History of the Netherlands Essay

Submitted By Tyler-Coherd
Words: 586
Pages: 3

History of the Netherlands
In the ancient days, the Netherlands was one part of the Earth where it was fairly hard to live in. However, if you did manage to make it into the Netherlands, it was one of the best spots to defend. The physical geography (lakes, rivers, forests, etc) were extremely difficult for invaders to cross, meaning no one could make it even into the country. Somewhere in the very last century of BC, however, the Netherlands was conquered by the Roman Empire, making an age of peace in the Netherlands. This era of peace would last around three hundred years, all the way to the falling of the Roman Empire. While the Roman Empire’s grip on the Old World was slipping, the German tribes (the Franks lead by Charlemagne especially) started to invade. Eventually in the 5th or 6th centuries, they succeeded, bringing the traditions of Christianity to the country. Then after the Charlemagne Empire started to fall, the country was divided into states. This brought on a very good economic advancement, making the Netherlands a very, very rich country. In the Renaissance era, the Burgundy forces tried to conquer the Netherlands. The Burgundy forces did not succeed, however, the next force did, the Habsburg forces. Then in the 1500’s the king of the Habsdurg bestowed a gift to the king of Spain, the entire country of the Netherlands. The king then proceeded to tax all of the Dutch, making most extremely unhappy. Because of a religion difference between the people of the Netherlands and the king of Spain, the Dutch fought back, declaring independence in 1581. This angered the Spanish people, and they would not recognize the Union of Utrecht (the union of the Netherlands that declared independence) until 1648, after an eighty year long war! Then this small republic stayed unconquered and out of harm’s way for another 150 years, under Austrian power. Jumping back to 1648, the Dutch suffered many hardships and damage from the war. That, however, did not stop the Dutch from exploring the seas and making discoveries. By the early 1650’s the Dutch were considered one of the biggest sea powers of Europe and Amsterdam was the center financially of Europe. This meant that England, and the new powerhouse, the French, would try to dominate the Netherlands.…