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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Netherlands

The Netherlands

Timeline and History Overview

Netherlands Timeline

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CE Brief Overview of the History of the Netherlands

The people who live in the Netherlands are called the Dutch. The land was originally inhabited by Germanic tribes. A portion of the land became a Roman province that was conquered by Julius Caesar in the first century BC. Later, the land became part of the empire of the Franks, then the House of Burgundy, and eventually became part of the Habsburg Empire.

In the 16th Century the land came under Spanish Rule and the Dutch revolted. Their leader was Willem of Orange and in 1581 the Republic of the United Netherlands was formed.


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During the 17th century the Netherlands became an international power known for its strong navy. The Dutch empire expanded throughout the world through various colonies on nearly every continent. Also during this time, the arts in Netherlands was at its peak with notable artists such at Rembrandt and Vermeer.

In later years, Dutch power declined. Wars with Spain, France, and England weakened the country.

In the 1900s, the Netherlands tried to stay neutral during both World Wars. They managed to avoid getting involved in the First World War, but in World War II they were occupied by Germany. The Dutch Jews were almost wiped out by the Germans. Over 75 percent of the 140,000 Jewish people that lived in the Netherlands were killed by the Germans as part of the Holocaust. Famous Jewish girl Anne Frank wrote of hiding from the Nazis in Amsterdam before getting captured and taken to a concentration camp to die.

After World War II, most of the Netherland's remaining colonies were granted independence.

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History >> Geography >> Europe >> Netherlands

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