History of Holland: foundation, historical facts, photos

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History of Holland: foundation, historical facts, photos
History of Holland: foundation, historical facts, photos

History of Holland (Netherlands) has more than 2 thousand years. This is not only a country of beautiful tulips, delicious cheese, bright diamonds and rich bankers. Royal power still exists here and a constitutional monarchy has been approved, however, part of the rights has been transferred to the government and the General States.

General information about the state

The official name of Holland is the Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden) - a state in Western Europe, most of which is located on the North Sea (450 km of coastline). It has borders with Germany and Belgium. It also includes the Caribbean island of Aruba with special status and the Antilles.

The area of ​​Holland is 41,526 km22, the population is 17 million people. The date of declaration of independence is July 26, 1581. The official language is Dutch. The state is divided into 12 provinces, the capital is Amsterdam, and the royal residence and parliament are located in The Hague.

Religion - Protestantism and Catholicism. The largest cities are Amsterdam, The Hague, Rotterdam, Utrecht,Eindhoven. Below is a fairly brief history of the country of Holland.

Map and coat of arms

Ancient times and the power of Rome

Even in ancient times, there were settlements of primitive people on the territory of Holland, as evidenced by excavations related to the period of the last glaciation. In the post-glacial period, the population of these lands was subjected to frequent floods, therefore, for security purposes, the first settlements of pastoralists began to build on hills (terps). In more southern areas, people were more engaged in agriculture.

Even in the 1-2 centuries BC. the Frisians and Batavians lived on the territory of the modern Netherlands, which were then conquered by Rome. Information about this is given in the historical documents of Ancient Rome: the army of Julius Caesar invaded first Gaul, and then the lands of modern Germany and Great Britain, conquering a strategically important territory in the Rhine Delta along the way. We can say that the history of Holland dates back to the period when the Romans built a road and dams here to protect against floods.

In the 3rd-4th centuries A.D. first Germanic tribes began to settle here, and then Frankish and Saxon, the common language for them was German (Germanic). The Franks then moved on, forming the state of France and changing the language to Latin (later French).

Old map of Holland

Medieval Holland

In the Middle Ages, the lands located in the lowlands of the rivers Rhine, Meuse and Scheldt (Holland, Zeeland and Friesland) and along the shores of the North Sea were called"seaside lowlands". Gradually, this term from the descriptive became a household name, since the name "Netherlands" is translated as "low lands".

During the VIII-IX centuries. these territories were ruled by the Frankish kings of the Merovingian and Carolingian dynasty. After the reforms of Charlemagne in the field of politics and economics, the population was converted to Christianity. With regular redistribution of land, the Netherlands often passed into the possession of various Frankish kings, as a result of which in 1000 it even became part of the Holy Roman Empire.

During that period, the inhabitants of the coastal regions were subjected to constant raids by the Vikings from Scandinavia, but gradually this came to an end. Trading and fishing ships began to actively navigate the North Sea, and in the southern part of the Rhine Delta (the provinces of Flanders and Brabant), manufacturing enterprises began to be built and developed, where fabrics and clothes were made from imported wool.

Cities began to actively develop in the Netherlands, where the organization of workshops engaged in crafts in various professions (clothmakers, etc.) developed. Guilds of merchants also flourished, successfully trading with other cities and countries. As a result of the reorganization of administration and the transfer of power into the hands of the townspeople, conflicts began between we althy burghers and artisans. In the XIV century. there were several rebellions, civil wars were fought due to the fierce competition of urban settlements and the rivalry of family dynasties. In 1370, all local counties were united in the trade and political union Hansa, which acted as an intermediary betweenEuropean West and East. Thus began the economic history of Holland.

In the 14th century, the territories of the present-day Netherlands became independent regions. At this time, the Duke of Burgundy, who ruled in Flanders and Artois, then his heirs annexed the lands of Holland and Zeeland. The Burgundian rulers were considered the most powerful in Europe, they had a large army and surrounded themselves with excessive luxury. The money for this went through the taxation of local cities.

The Netherlands could only gain independence under Mary of Burgundy (1480s). Uprisings began to break out, opposition formed, and 10 years later the country fell under the rule of the Habsburgs.

Royal Palace

Revolution in Holland

In 1463, the States General was formed on the territory of the Netherlands, which were then transformed into the first parliament of the country. By the beginning of the XVI century. the lands were united with Belgium and Luxembourg under the rule of Charles V - this is how the Habsburg-Burgundian Empire appeared.

A difficult period began in the history of Holland: the ruling Catholics established the court of the Inquisition, thanks to which they could crack down on all those who were objectionable. As a result, a wave of religious protests took place in the cities, when the opposition and the Calvinists began to smash Catholic churches. All this turned into an uprising, in response to which the Spanish rulers sent punitive troops.

Thus began the people's war of independence, which lasted 80 years (1566-1648). The representative of the opposition was William of Orange, who led the resistance inas part of a detachment of "sea gezes", who won the first victory in 1572, when they were able to capture the port of Bril. They were supported by Calvinists, who called themselves "forest gezes".

In 1574, the inhabitants of Leiden, who became the stronghold of the rebels and led by William of Orange, defeated the Spaniards. The goal of Orange was not only the expulsion of the Spaniards, but also the unification of all the provinces of the Netherlands (17 regions). The States General were convened, and in 1576 in Ghent the text of the “Ghent appeasement” was adopted on the creation of a single state under the leadership of Prince William of Orange. However, the authority of King Philip was also recognized, foreign troops were withdrawn. The form of government was approved liberal.

However, the Duke of Parma (A. Farnese) sent by Philip II to the governor declared the prince illegal - the war began again. Farnese was able to conquer the southern provinces, where the Union of Arras (1579) was concluded, which granted political rights to the citizens of these lands under the dominance of the Catholic religion.

The northern provinces, in response to this, together with Flanders and Brabant, signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they declared their goal to be the struggle for the political independence of the state and complete freedom of religion. 7 rebellious provinces declared their non-recognition of the power of Philip II. In 1584, William of Orange was treacherously killed, and the Earl of Leicester was appointed sovereign to Holland.

Later, the States General took over the country, which gradually led to the decentralization of power and the strengthening of the influence of the provinces. In 1609, a truce came into force for 12 years,which meant the actual independence of the country, but in 1621 the war with Spain resumed. France became an ally in the war, and the Dutch fleet won several significant naval battles with the Spanish fleet.

In a brief history of Holland, it should be noted that the Netherlands officially gained independence only in 1648, after which it became known as the Republic of the United Provinces. Since then, it has been the first country to organize a bourgeois republic.

Philip II and William of Orange

Golden Age

During the 17th century, Holland was involved in several wars with France and England, squabbling in politics and trade. However, despite the constant military battles, this period is considered a golden age for the economy of the Netherlands. During these years, Amsterdam became the largest port and center of trade in Europe. The Republic carried out very successful West and East India Companies and captured colonies in Southeast Asia and North America.

Founded in 1602, the Netherlands East Indies Company (OIC) had a monopoly on trading operations in the waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, importing spices and other exotic goods. Thanks to her influence and huge profits, Holland was able to accelerate the economic development of the state.

The West India Company was engaged in the capture of ships belonging to Spain and Portugal, as well as the transportation of slaves to America. Its strongholds were located on the islands of the Caribbean Sea and in the American colony of New Holland (in its place noware the states of New York and New Jersey, USA). Later, these territories were given to England under the agreement.

The most important for the economy in the history of Holland was maritime trade, which was associated with the development of shipbuilding, the active construction of windmills for energy, the manufacture of clothing and sugar. Banking and trade were developed, which became an impetus for the prosperity of cities.

Return of ships from the East Indies, 1599

Parliament and human rights

Thanks to economic prosperity, the United Provinces of the Netherlands have created a unique state structure. The States General provided political power in the country, in this parliament each province had the right to vote and the ability to veto, and the provinces remained independent in solving internal issues. The decisions of the provincial states were directly dependent on the city magistrate, where the oligarchic system dominated, since members of the magistrate could be appointed for life. It usually included representatives of we althy families who had income from this.

The Dutch history of human rights is linked to the mainstream of government policy and is based on a harmonious combination of trade interests and philosophical principles. This had a favorable effect on the acquisition of personal freedoms by the Dutch. In those years, for European countries, this was an exception to the rule.

The Reformed Church in Holland was recognized by the state, which abolished taxation for it. All Protestant organizations were free to conductpreaching, as well as Lutherans, Baptists, Jews, etc. Censorship was not very strict, freedom of the press and expression was adopted, although not absolute. In the 17th century Huguenots emigrated to Holland from other European countries, who contributed to the development of the country's culture and art.

Canals of Amsterdam

New Holland: the history of the colony

In search of a northern route for trade with the East, the Dutchman H. Hudson sailed to the American continent and founded the city of New Amsterdam at the mouth of the river, which now bears his name. The colony of New Holland was founded on the present island of Manhattan (New York). The history of the islands of Tasmania and New Zealand also begins with their discovery by a traveler named A. Tasman (who came from the province of Zeeland in the Netherlands). At the same time, a new continent, Australia, was discovered in the South Pacific Ocean, which at first was called New Holland, but they decided not to explore it. Its name existed for 150 years, and England took up the development of these territories, setting up a prison there for their compatriots condemned to death.

Another New Holland was created by the Russian Tsar Peter I in the form of 2 man-made islands in St. Petersburg, where a Russian military port was built in 1721.

Amsterdam, Holland and tulips

Under the rule of Napoleon

A new turn in the history of Holland occurred after the capture of the country by Napoleon in 1795, under whose authority the territories were until 1813, when, with the support of the Russian army under the command of Benckendorffliberation has come. Prince Wilhelm 1st, a descendant of the last statholder, was proclaimed sovereign of the Netherlands.

At the congress in Vienna, statesmen of European countries decided to create a single kingdom of the Netherlands. Bourgeois reforms took place in the country, colonial lands were returned, and industry was developing rapidly.

The subsequent events of the 19th century took place in the struggle between the 2 main parties of Holland - the liberals and the conservatives, as well as the ongoing disputes between the Catholic Church and the government of the state, mainly in the field of education. Second half of the 19th and early 20th centuries characterized by the flourishing of Dutch painting, music, science and architecture.

Cheese Fair, Gouda

20th century: world wars

During the First World War, the Netherlands took a neutral position, although maritime trade was significantly affected by the imposed blockade on transportation. To prevent starvation, the Dutch government introduced a strict distribution system. During these years, important political reforms were also carried out: from 1917-1919. all citizens were given the right to vote.

The consequence of the "crisis of schooling" was the law of 1917 to ensure equal subsidies for elementary schools between religious denominations and the state.

In 1929, during a period of economic depression, there was an increase in political tension: the National Socialist (Nazi) party emerged with the support of the bourgeoisie, and the social democratic forces, together with liberals and religious parties, formed a coalition(1939).

In 1940, fascist troops invaded the territory of the Netherlands, which at that moment was neutral. The queen and the government urgently left for England, an occupation regime was established in the country, which lasted until May 5, 1945. Over the years, 240 thousand inhabitants were destroyed (of which 110 thousand Jews). In the post-war years, the country was doing its best to restore the economy and trade, strengthen ties with European countries.

The colonial empire of the Netherlands collapsed: in 1962, relations with Indonesia were severed, which caused significant material damage to the country, and in 1975 Suriname gained independence.

Holland, Amsterdam

The end of the XX - the beginning of the XXI centuries

The political course of Holland in the second half of the 20th century was determined by participation in the movement for integration processes in Europe. In 1948, a customs union of 3 Benelux states was concluded, and in 1960 an economic one, the purpose of which was the complete economic integration of Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. In 1949, the Netherlands abandoned its neutrality by joining NATO, and in 1958 joined the European Union.

Modern Holland is an economically developed and free country with a distinctive culture. The standard of living of the Dutch is quite high, class and religious differences were gradually erased and hostile relations ceased.

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