The Kingdom of the Netherlands

1756 Words8 Pages
The Kingdom of the Netherlands The country called the Kingdom of the Netherlands, or more often simply the Netherlands, is an intriguing place. Common images associated with this country include decorative wooden shoes, large white Dutch hats on little girls, elaborate systems of dikes, wooden windmills, and fields of colorful tulips. A land of diverse and varied history, the Netherlands has overcome intriguing struggles in many centuries, impacting the world despite its diminutive size. Among the smaller countries in Europe, the Netherlands’ ranks thirty-first out of forty-five countries. The country has many valuable assets, such as the famed Ruhr industrial zone lusted after by the ambitious Germans in World War II. It would be…show more content…
The country also shares an eastern border with Germany. The mouths of three major European rivers converge in the Netherlands: the Rhine, Maas (or Meuse), and Schelde. The heritage of the Netherlands is equally interesting. Though the country celebrates unique traditions, such as St. Nicholas’ Day—a holiday based on the life of a generous bishop —the earliest recorded history comes from the time of the Roman Empire. The Romans built forts and warred successfully against the natives of the region, known as Batavians. Later, the Batavians rebelled. Though they ultimately lost, they gained a tax exempt status within the Empire. The Dutch proudly consider the perky Batavians to be their founding fathers. Like the rest of Europe, the region became a feudalistic society during the Holy Roman Empire. Pope Urban II’s encouragement in the late eleventh century led drew the Dutch into the crusades. Later, the powerful Hapsburg family (1477-1515) entangled the country in religious wars and unsuccessful struggles for emancipation from the Holy Roman Empire. Caught up in the aftermath of the Reformation, the country even came under control of the Roman Catholic Philip II of Spain (husband of “Bloody” Mary of England). A predominantly Protestant region as a result of the Reformation, the country resisted Phillip and the illegitimate sister he had
Open Document