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Escher is a well-known graphics artist. Willem de Kooning was born and trained in Rotterdam , although he is considered to have reached acclaim as an American artist.
Hooft as the two most famous writers. In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the poor treatment of the natives in the Dutch colony, the current Indonesia.
Anne Frank 's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she was murdered in the Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.
Traditional Dutch architecture is especially in evidence in Amsterdam , Delft and Leiden , where numerous buildings from the 17th and 18th centuries can be observed along the canals.
Smaller village architecture with wooden houses is found in Zaandam and Marken. A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang , China. Windmills , tulips , wooden shoes , cheese, Delftware pottery, and cannabis are among the items associated with the Netherlands by tourists.
The Netherlands is the country of philosophers Erasmus and Spinoza. The Dutch scientist Christiaan Huygens — discovered Saturn 's moon Titan , argued that light travelled as waves, invented the pendulum clock and was the first physicist to use mathematical formulae.
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek was the first to observe and describe single-celled organisms with a microscope. Dutch society is egalitarian and modern.
The Dutch have an aversion to the non-essential. The Dutch are proud of their cultural heritage , rich history in art and involvement in international affairs.
Dutch manners are open and direct with a no-nonsense attitude; informality combined with adherence to basic behaviour.
According to a humorous source on Dutch culture, "Their directness gives many the impression that they are rude and crude — attributes they prefer to call openness.
Asking about basic rules will not be considered impolite. The Netherlands is one of the most secular countries of Europe, and religion is in the Netherlands generally considered as a personal matter which is not supposed to be propagated in public, although it often remains a discussion subject.
The Netherlands has a long history of social tolerance and today is regarded as a liberal country, considering its drug policy and its legalisation of euthanasia.
On 1 April , the Netherlands became the first nation to legalise same-sex marriage. As of the Netherlands had one of the highest rates of carbon dioxide emissions per capita in the European Union, above those of Germany, France and Belgium.
Sustainability is a concept important for the Dutch. The goal of the Dutch Government is to have a sustainable , reliable and affordable energy system, by , in which CO 2 emissions have been halved and 40 percent of electricity is derived from sustainable sources.
The government is investing billions of euros in energy efficiency , sustainable energy and CO 2 reduction. The Netherlands has multiple music traditions.
Traditional Dutch music is a genre known as " Levenslied ", meaning Song of life , to an extent comparable to a French Chanson or a German Schlager.
These songs typically have a simple melody and rhythm, and a straightforward structure of verses and choruses.
Themes can be light, but are often sentimental and include love , death and loneliness. Traditional musical instruments such as the accordion and the barrel organ are a staple of levenslied music, though in recent years many artists also use synthesisers and guitars.
Contemporary Dutch rock and pop music Nederpop originated in the s, heavily influenced by popular music from the United States and Britain.
In the s and s the lyrics were mostly in English, and some tracks were instrumental. As of the s, more and more pop musicians started working in the Dutch language, partly inspired by the huge success of the band Doe Maar.
Today Dutch rock and pop music thrives in both languages, with some artists recording in both. Trijntje Oosterhuis , one of the country's most well known and versatile singers, has made multiple albums with famous American composers Vince Mendoza and Burt Bacharach.
Early s Dutch and Belgian house music came together in Eurodance project 2 Unlimited. Selling 18 million records,  the two singers in the band are the most successful Dutch music artists to this day.
Tracks like " Get Ready for This " are still popular themes of U. In the mid s Dutch language rap and hip hop Nederhop also came to fruition and has become popular in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Since the s, Dutch electronic dance music EDM gained widespread popularity in the world in many forms, from trance , techno and gabber to hardstyle.
The Amsterdam Dance Event ADE is the world's leading electronic music conference and the biggest club festival for the many electronic subgenres on the planet.
The Netherlands have participated in the Eurovision Song Contest since its first edition in , and have won five times.
Their most recent win was in In classical music , Jan Sweelinck ranks as the Dutch most famous composer, with Louis Andriessen amongst the best known living Dutch classical composers.
Ton Koopman is a Dutch conductor, organist and harpsichordist. He is also professor at the Royal Conservatory of The Hague.
The latter, together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra , has taken classical and waltz music on worldwide concert tours, the size and revenue of which are otherwise only seen from the world's biggest rock and pop music acts.
The most famous Dutch classical composition is " Canto Ostinato " by Simeon ten Holt , a minimalistic composition for multiple instruments.
Film director Theo van Gogh achieved international notoriety in when he was murdered by Mohammed Bouyeri in the streets of Amsterdam after directing the short film Submission.
The Netherlands has a well developed television market, with both multiple commercial and public broadcasters. Imported TV programmes, as well as interviews with responses in a foreign language, are virtually always shown with the original sound and subtitled.
Only foreign shows for children are dubbed. TV exports from the Netherlands mostly take the form of specific formats and franchises, most notably through internationally active TV production conglomerate Endemol , founded by Dutch media tycoons John de Mol and Joop van den Ende.
Headquartered in Amsterdam , Endemol has around 90 companies in over 30 countries. Endemol and its subsidiaries create and run reality, talent, and game show franchises worldwide, including Big Brother and Deal or No Deal.
John de Mol later started his own company Talpa which created show franchises like The Voice and Utopia.
Approximately 4. About two-thirds of the population between 15 and 75 participates in sports weekly. The Netherlands national football team is one of the most popular aspects of Dutch sports; especially since the s when one of the greatest footballers of all time, Johan Cruyff , developed Total Football with coach Rinus Michels.
Tennis, gymnastics and golf are the three most widely engaged in individual sports. Organisation of sports began at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century.
Federations for sports were established such as the speed skating federation in , rules were unified and sports clubs came into existence.
A Dutch National Olympic Committee was established in Thus far, the nation has won medals at the Summer Olympic Games and another medals at the Winter Olympic Games.
In international competition, Dutch national teams and athletes are dominant in several fields of sport. The Netherlands women's field hockey team is the most successful team in World Cup history.
The Netherlands baseball team have won the European championship 20 times out of 32 events. The Netherlands Women's handball team holds the record of the only team in the world that consecutively reached all six semifinals of major international tournaments since , winning silver and bronze at the European Women's Handball Championship and silver, bronze and gold at the World Women's Handball Championship.
They finished fourth at the Summer Olympics. The Dutch speed skaters' performance at the Winter Olympics , where they won 8 out of 12 events, 23 out of 36 medals, including 4 clean sweeps, is the most dominant performance in a single sport in Olympic history.
Motorcycle racing at the TT Circuit Assen has a long history. Assen is the only venue to have held a round of the Motorcycle World Championship every year since its creation in The circuit was purpose-built for the Dutch TT in , with previous events having been held on public roads.
The coastal resort of Zandvoort hosted the Dutch Grand Prix from to , and has been announced to return in The biggest success of the women's national team was winning the European Championship in and the World Grand Prix in Recently cricket has made a remarkable progress in the Netherlands.
They have also qualified for and T20 World Cup. Originally, the country's cuisine was shaped by the practices of fishing and farming , including the cultivation of the soil for growing crops and raising domesticated animals.
Dutch cuisine is simple and straightforward, and contains many dairy products. Breakfast and lunch are typically bread with toppings, with cereal for breakfast as an alternative.
Traditionally, dinner consists of potatoes, a portion of meat, and seasonal vegetables. The Dutch diet was relatively high in carbohydrates and fat, reflecting the dietary needs of the labourers whose culture moulded the country.
Without many refinements, it is best described as rustic, though many holidays are still celebrated with special foods. In the course of the twentieth century this diet changed and became much more cosmopolitan , with most global cuisines being represented in the major cities.
Modern culinary writers distinguish between three general regional forms of Dutch cuisine. The regions in the northeast of the Netherlands, roughly the provinces of Groningen , Friesland , Drenthe , Overijssel and Gelderland north of the great rivers are the least populated areas of the Netherlands.
The late 18th century introduction of large scale agriculture means that the cuisine is generally known for its many kinds of meats. The relative lack of farms allowed for an abundance of game and husbandry , though dishes near the coastal regions of Friesland, Groningen and the parts of Overijssel bordering the IJsselmeer also include a large amount of fish.
The various dried sausages, belonging to the metworst -family of Dutch sausages are found throughout this region and are highly prized for their often very strong taste.
Also smoked sausages are common, of which Gelderse rookworst is the most renowned. The sausage contains a lot of fat and is very juicy.
Larger sausages are often eaten alongside stamppot , hutspot or zuurkool sauerkraut ; whereas smaller ones are often eaten as a street food.
The provinces are also home to hard textured rye bread , pastries and cookies, the latter heavily spiced with ginger or succade or containing small bits of meat.
A notable characteristic of Fries roggebrood Frisian rye bread is its long baking time up to 20 hours , resulting in a sweet taste and a deep dark colour.
As a coastal region, Friesland is home to low-lying grasslands, and thus has a cheese production in common with the Western cuisine. Friese Nagelkaas Friesian Clove is a notable example.
Because of the abundance of water and flat grasslands that are found here, the area is known for its many dairy products, which include prominent cheeses such as Gouda , Leyden spiced cheese with cumin , and Edam traditionally in small spheres as well as Leerdammer and Beemster , while the adjacent Zaanstreek in North Holland has since the 16th century been known for its mayonnaise , typical whole-grain mustards ,  and chocolate industry.
Zeeland and South Holland produce a lot of butter, which contains a larger amount of milkfat than most other European butter varieties. A by-product of the butter-making process, karnemelk buttermilk , is also considered typical for this region.
Seafood such as soused herring , mussels called Zeeuwse Mossels , since all Dutch mussels for consumption are cleaned in Zeeland's Oosterschelde , eels , oysters and shrimps are widely available and typical for the region.
Kibbeling , once a local delicacy consisting of small chunks of battered white fish , has become a national fast food , just as lekkerbek.
Pastries in this area tend to be quite doughy, and often contain large amounts of sugar; either caramelised, powdered or crystallised. The oliebol in its modern form and Zeeuwse bolus are good examples.
Cookies are also produced in great number and tend to contain a lot of butter and sugar, like stroopwafel , as well as a filling of some kind, mostly almond, like gevulde koek.
The traditional alcoholic beverages of this region are beer strong pale lager and Jenever , a high proof juniper -flavored spirit, that came to be known in England as gin.
A noted exception within the traditional Dutch alcoholic landscape, Advocaat , a rich and creamy liqueur made from eggs, sugar and brandy, is also native to this region.
It is renowned for its many rich pastries, soups, stews and vegetable dishes and is often called Burgundian which is a Dutch idiom invoking the rich Burgundian court which ruled the Low Countries in the Middle Ages, renowned for its splendor and great feasts.
It is the only Dutch culinary region that developed an haute cuisine. Pastries are abundant, often with rich fillings of cream, custard or fruits.
Savoury pastries also occur, with the worstenbroodje a roll with a sausage of ground beef , literally translates into sausage bread being the most popular.
The traditional alcoholic beverage of the region is beer. There are many local brands, ranging from Trappist to Kriek.
Beer, like wine in French cuisine, is also used in cooking; often in stews. In early , Oxfam ranked the Netherlands as the country with the most nutritious, plentiful and healthy food, in a comparison of countries.
From the exploitations in the Mughal Empire in the 17th century, to the colonisations in the 19th century, Dutch imperial possessions continued to expand, reaching their greatest extent by establishing a hegemony of the Dutch East Indies in the early 20th century.
The Dutch East Indies, which later formed modern-day Indonesia, was one of the most valuable European colonies in the world and the most important one for the Netherlands.
In the Dutch Golden Age of the 17th century, the Netherlands urbanised considerably, mostly financed by corporate revenue from the Asian trade monopolies.
Social status was based on merchants' income, which reduced feudalism and considerably changed the dynamics of Dutch society.
When the Dutch royal family was established in , much of its wealth came from Colonial trade. Afterward, they established ports in Dutch occupied Malabar , leading to Dutch settlements and trading posts in India.
However, their expansion into India was halted, after their defeat in the Battle of Colachel by the Kingdom of Travancore , during the Travancore-Dutch War.
The Dutch never recovered from the defeat and no longer posed a large colonial threat to Bengal Subah. Universities such as the Leiden University , founded in the 16th century, have developed into leading knowledge centres for Southeast Asian and Indonesian studies.
Leiden University and in particular KITLV are educational and scientific institutions that to this day share both an intellectual and historical interest in Indonesian studies.
Other scientific institutions in the Netherlands include the Amsterdam Tropenmuseum , an anthropological museum with massive collections of Indonesian art, culture, ethnography and anthropology.
A specific segment of Dutch literature called Dutch Indies literature still exists and includes established authors, such as Louis Couperus , the writer of "The Hidden Force", taking the colonial era as an important source of inspiration.
The majority of Dutchmen that repatriated to the Netherlands after and during the Indonesian revolution are Indo Eurasian , native to the islands of the Dutch East Indies.
This relatively large Eurasian population had developed over a period of years and were classified by colonial law as belonging to the European legal community.
Including their second generation descendants, Indos are currently the largest foreign-born group in the Netherlands.
Many Indonesian dishes and foodstuffs have become commonplace in the Netherlands. Rijsttafel , a colonial culinary concept, and dishes such as Nasi goreng and satay are very popular in the country.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about the constituent country. For the sovereign state, see Kingdom of the Netherlands.
For all other uses, see Netherlands disambiguation. Country in Western Europe. Coat of arms. Co-official [b].
English Papiamentu West Frisian. Recognised [c]. Main article: Terminology of the Low Countries. This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards.
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Main article: History of the Netherlands. Diachronic distribution of Celts from BC. Expansion into the southern Low Countries by BC. Main articles: Frankish Kingdom and Frisian Kingdom.
Main article: History of urban centers in the Low Countries. Spanish Netherlands. Main article: Geography of the Netherlands. See also: Low Countries.
Main article: Geology of the Netherlands. Main articles: Delta Works and Flood control in the Netherlands.
Workum , Friesland. Lisse , North Holland. Main article: Climate change in the Netherlands. Further information: List of national parks of the Netherlands and List of extinct animals of the Netherlands.
Main articles: Bonaire , Saba , and Sint Eustatius. Willem-Alexander King of the Netherlands since 30 April Main articles: Political parties of the Netherlands and Politics of the Netherlands.
Main article: Government of the Netherlands. Main articles: Foreign relations of the Netherlands and List of diplomatic missions of the Netherlands.
Main article: Armed forces of the Netherlands. Main article: Economy of the Netherlands. Main article: Transport in the Netherlands. Main article: Demography of the Netherlands.
Largest municipalities in the Netherlands Statistics Netherlands . Main article: Languages of the Netherlands. Main article: Religion in the Netherlands.
Roman Catholic Protestant Church in the Netherlands [l] Other Christian [m] 4. Muslim 4. Other 1. Main articles: Education in the Netherlands and Universities in the Netherlands.
Main article: Healthcare in the Netherlands. Main article: Culture of the Netherlands. Main articles: Dutch art , Architecture of the Netherlands , and Dutch literature.
Girl with a Pearl Earring by Johannes Vermeer. Self-portrait by Vincent van Gogh. The Rijksmuseum. Main article: Dutch customs and etiquette.
Main articles: Cinema of the Netherlands and Television in the Netherlands. Main article: Sports in the Netherlands. Main article: Dutch cuisine.
Stroopwafels syrup waffles are a treat consisting of waffles with caramel-like syrup filling in the middle.
Oliebollen , a Dutch pastry eaten on New Year's Eve. Poffertjes are made in a special, so-called, poffertjespan. The Gouda cheese market in Gouda City.
Hutspot with klapstuk beef. Bitterballen are usually served with mustard. Main article: Dutch Empire. Netherlands portal. However, many people still tend to give their older affiliation even after the merger.
People who declared themselves simply as belonging to the Protestant Church in the Netherlands did not give an information about belonging to an older affiliation.
Retrieved 27 December Retrieved on 4 July Retrieved 17 October Retrieved 11 October International Monetary Fund. April Retrieved 9 July United Nations Development Programme.
Retrieved 10 December Dutch government. Retrieved 11 January Retrieved 24 March Netherlands Bureau for Tourism and Congresses.
Retrieved 3 December Government of the Netherlands in Dutch. Retrieved 11 July Ministry of Defence. Archived from the original on 19 August Retrieved 15 August Retrieved 5 August Retrieved 16 December Chapter 2, Article Retrieved 3 July Archived from the original on 5 October Retrieved 26 June Rotterdam Port Authority.
Retrieved 28 June The Hague: Legal Capital of the World. Cambridge University Press. Retrieved 29 April Marshall Cavendish.
Archived from the original on 22 January Retrieved 25 January Retrieved 26 August September Retrieved 15 January World Economic Outlook.
October Retrieved 1 January Archived from the original on 1 February Archived from the original on 10 May Retrieved 10 May Archived from the original PDF on 12 July Retrieved 18 June Archived from the original PDF on 22 March Retrieved 3 August Retrieved 23 February Columbia Encyclopedia.
Columbia University Press. Retrieved 1 February University of Pennsylvania Press. Retrieved 11 March The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 31 March Archived from the original PDF on 27 February Explore Holland.
Retrieved 17 January The New York Times. New York City. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Bibcode : PNAS.. Leiden: Sidestone. Open Access Leiden University. Faculty of Archaeology, Leiden. Archived from the original PDF on 10 October Retrieved 7 July Retrieved 6 October Retrieved 28 February I, pp.
PhD thesis , Copenhagen: University of Copenhagen, p. Why did they leave? Why did they stay? On continuity versus discontinuity from Roman times to Early Middle Ages in the western coastal area of the Netherlands.
Walter de Gruyter. John Benjamins Publishing Company. History of the Low Countries. Berghahn Books. Een wereldstad in de middeleeuwen , Walburg Pers, Zutphen, pp.
Atlas of Medieval Europe. Retrieved 9 October Retrieved 25 August The Rise of the Dutch Republic, Volume 2.
Retrieved 11 November Bloomsbury Publishing. The Rise of the Dutch Republic Vol. III, Harper Bros. Greenwood Publishing Group. Archived from the original on 14 January Retrieved 14 January Digital History.
Tong CRC Press. Esposito , ed. The Islamic World: Past and Present. Volume 1: Abba - Hist. Oxford University Press.
N Bengal: the unique state. Concept Publishing Company. Bengal [ Europe referred to Bengal as the richest country to trade with.
McCusker, vol. London Review of Books. Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. Archived from the original on 7 December Retrieved 7 December CS1 maint: BOT: original-url status unknown link.
Retrieved 28 October Retrieved 2 October Universal Newsreel. Retrieved 21 February Retrieved 8 September Centraal Bureau voor de Statistiek.
Archived from the original PDF on 15 February Retrieved 4 February Geology of the Netherlands.
Britannica Online Encyclopedia. Rijks Universiteit Groningen. Archived from the original on 5 July Archived from the original on 6 January Retrieved 21 January Archived from the original on 26 December Boston Globe.
Archived from the original on 30 June Retrieved 10 October Tol February Floods, flood management and climate change in The Netherlands.
Institute for Environmental Studies, Vrije Universiteit. Archived from the original on 22 October Risk Analysis.
Retrieved on 21 August Retrieved 19 February Retrieved 25 December Milieu centraal in Dutch. Associated Press.
NRC Handelsblad in Dutch. De Volkskrant in Dutch. Popular view of the Netherlands, a windmill near the town of Workum in Südwest-Friesland.
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About the Netherlands Satellite view is showing the Netherlands, officially the Kingdom of the Netherlands, a nation in western Europe, bordered by the North Sea in west and north.
Border countries are Belgium , and Germany. The country also shares maritime borders with France and the United Kingdom. Amsterdam grew and in the 15th century became the primary trading port in Europe for grain from the Baltic region.
Amsterdam distributed grain to the major cities of Belgium, Northern France and England. This trade was vital, because Holland could no longer produce enough grain to feed itself.
Land drainage had caused the peat of the former wetlands to reduce to a level that was too low for drainage to be maintained. Under Habsburg Charles V , ruler of the Holy Roman Empire and King of Spain , all fiefs in the current Netherlands region were united into the Seventeen Provinces , which also included most of present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and some adjacent land in what is now France and Germany.
The level of ferocity exhibited by both sides can be gleaned from a Dutch chronicler's report: .
On more than one occasion men were seen hanging their own brothers, who had been taken prisoners in the enemy's ranks A Spaniard had ceased to be human in their eyes.
On one occasion, a surgeon at Veer cut the heart from a Spanish prisoner, nailed it on a vessel's prow, and invited the townsmen to come and fasten their teeth in it, which many did with savage satisfaction.
The Duke of Alba ruthlessly attempted to suppress the Protestant movement in the Netherlands. Netherlanders were "burned, strangled, beheaded, or buried alive" by his " Blood Council " and his Spanish soldiers.
Severed heads and decapitated corpses were displayed along streets and roads to terrorize the population into submission.
Alba boasted of having executed 18,,   but this figure does not include those who perished by war and famine.
The first great siege was Alba's effort to capture Haarlem and thereby cut Holland in half. It dragged on from December to the next summer, when Haarlemers finally surrendered on 13 July upon promise that the city would be spared from being sacked.
It was a stipulation Don Fadrique was unable to honor, when his soldiers mutinied, angered over pay owed and the miserable conditions they endured during the long, cold months of the campaign.
The citizens resisted, but were overcome; seven thousand of them were mowed down; a thousand buildings were torched; men, women, and children were slaughtered in a delirium of blood by soldiers crying, "Santiago!
A sangre, a carne, a fuego, a sacco! To blood, to the flesh, to fire, to sack! Following the sack of Antwerp , delegates from Catholic Brabant, Protestant Holland and Zeeland agreed, at Ghent, to join Utrecht and William the Silent in driving out all Spanish troops and forming a new government for the Netherlands.
Don Juan of Austria , the new Spanish governor, was forced to concede initially, but within months returned to active hostilities.
As the fighting restarted, the Dutch began to look for help from the Queen of England, but she initially stood by her commitments to the Spanish in the Treaty of Bristol of The result was that when the next large-scale battle did occur at Gembloux in , the Spanish forces easily won the day, killing at least 10, rebels, with the Spanish suffering few losses.
Opposing them, the northern half of the Seventeen Provinces forged the Union of Utrecht also of in which they committed to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army.
Spanish troops sacked Maastricht in , killing over 10, civilians and thereby ensuring the rebellion continued.
The Protestant Queen Elizabeth I of England sympathised with the Dutch struggle against the Spanish, and sent an army of 7, soldiers to aid the Dutch in their war with the Catholic Spanish.
Parts of the southern provinces became de facto colonies of the new republican-mercantile empire.
After declaring their independence, the provinces of Holland , Zeeland , Groningen , Friesland , Utrecht , Overijssel , and Gelderland formed a confederation.
All these duchies, lordships and counties were autonomous and had their own government, the States-Provincial. The States General , the confederal government, were seated in The Hague and consisted of representatives from each of the seven provinces.
The sparsely populated region of Drenthe was part of the republic too, although it was not considered one of the provinces. Their population was mainly Roman Catholic, and these areas did not have a governmental structure of their own, and were used as a buffer zone between the Republic and the Spanish-controlled Southern Netherlands.
In the Dutch Golden Age , spanning much of the 17th century, the Dutch Empire grew to become one of the major seafaring and economic powers, alongside Portugal, Spain, France and England.
Science, military, and art especially painting were among the most acclaimed in the world. By , the Dutch owned 16, merchant ships.
The Dutch settlement in North America began with the founding of New Amsterdam on the southern part of Manhattan in Dutch colonies in South America were established along the many rivers in the fertile Guyana plains, among them Colony of Surinam now Suriname.
Many economic historians regard the Netherlands as the first thoroughly capitalist country in the world. In early modern Europe it had the wealthiest trading city Amsterdam and the first full-time stock exchange.
The inventiveness of the traders led to insurance and retirement funds as well as phenomena such as the boom-bust cycle , the world's first asset-inflation bubble , the tulip mania of —, and the world's first bear raider , Isaac le Maire , who forced prices down by dumping stock and then buying it back at a discount.
At sea it could successfully prevent the English and French navy entering the western shores. On land, however, it was almost taken over internally by the advancing French and German armies coming from the east.
It managed to turn the tide by inundating parts of Holland but could never recover to its former glory again and went into a state of general decline in the 18th century, with economic competition from England and long-standing rivalries between the two main factions in Dutch society, the republican Staatsgezinden and the supporters of the stadtholder the Prinsgezinden as main political factions.
With the armed support of revolutionary France , Dutch republicans proclaimed the Batavian Republic , modelled after the French Republic and rendering the Netherlands a unitary state on 19 January The stadtholder William V of Orange had fled to England.
But from to , the Kingdom of Holland was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom governed by his brother Louis Bonaparte to control the Netherlands more effectively.
However, King Louis Bonaparte tried to serve Dutch interests instead of his brother's, and he was forced to abdicate on 1 July The Emperor sent in an army and the Netherlands became part of the French Empire until the autumn of , when Napoleon was defeated in the Battle of Leipzig.
William Frederick , son of the last stadtholder, returned to the Netherlands in and proclaimed himself Sovereign Prince of the Netherlands.
Two years later, the Congress of Vienna added the southern Netherlands to the north to create a strong country on the northern border of France.
William Frederick raised this United Netherlands to the status of a kingdom and proclaimed himself as King William I in In addition, William became hereditary Grand Duke of Luxembourg in exchange for his German possessions.
However, the Southern Netherlands had been culturally separate from the north since , and rebelled. The south gained independence in as Belgium recognised by the Northern Netherlands in as the Kingdom of the Netherlands was created by decree , while the personal union between Luxembourg and the Netherlands was severed in , when William III died with no surviving male heirs.
Ascendancy laws prevented his daughter Queen Wilhelmina from becoming the next Grand Duchess. The policy brought the Dutch enormous wealth and made the colony self-sufficient.
The Netherlands abolished slavery in its colonies in The Dutch were also one of the last European countries to industrialise , in the second half of the 19th century.
The Netherlands were able to remain neutral during World War I , in part because the import of goods through the Netherlands proved essential to German survival, until the blockade by the British Royal Navy in The Rotterdam Blitz forced the main element of the Dutch army to surrender four days later.
During the occupation, over , Dutch Jews  were rounded up and transported to Nazi extermination camps ; only a few of them survived.
Dutch workers were conscripted for forced labour in Germany, civilians who resisted were killed in reprisal for attacks on German soldiers, and the countryside was plundered for food.
Although there were thousands of Dutch who risked their lives by hiding Jews from the Germans, over 20, Dutch fascists joined the Waffen SS ,  fighting on the Eastern Front.
On 8 December , the Dutch government-in-exile in London declared war on Japan,  but could not prevent the Japanese occupation of the Dutch East Indies Indonesia.
In , the Charter for the Kingdom of the Netherlands reformed the political structure of the Netherlands, which was a result of international pressure to carry out decolonisation.
Indonesia had declared its independence in August recognised in , and thus was never part of the reformed Kingdom. Suriname followed in After the war the Netherlands left behind an era of neutrality and gained closer ties with neighboring states.
Government-encouraged emigration efforts to reduce population density prompted some , Dutch people to leave the country after the war.
Youths, and students in particular, rejected traditional mores and pushed for change in matters such as women's rights , sexuality , disarmament and environmental issues.
In , the euro was introduced as fiat money and in , the Netherlands Antilles was dissolved. Referendums were held on each island to determine their future status.
This led to the incorporation of these three islands into the country of the Netherlands as special municipalities upon the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles.
The special municipalities are collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands. Most of the areas below sea level are man-made, caused by peat extraction or achieved through land reclamation.
Since the late 16th century, large polder areas are preserved through elaborate drainage systems that include dikes , canals and pumping stations.
Much of the country was originally formed by the estuaries of three large European rivers: the Rhine Rijn , the Meuse Maas and the Scheldt Schelde , as well as their tributaries.
The south-western part of the Netherlands is to this day a river delta of these three rivers, the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta. The European Netherlands is divided into north and south parts by the Rhine, the Waal , its main tributary branch, and the Meuse.
In the past these rivers functioned as a natural barrier between fiefdoms and hence historically created a cultural divide, as is evident in some phonetic traits that are recognisable on either side of what the Dutch call their "Great Rivers" de Grote Rivieren.
Just like the previous, this river forms a linguistic divide: people to the northeast of this river speak Dutch Low Saxon dialects except for the province of Friesland , which has its own language.
The modern Netherlands formed as a result of the interplay of the four main rivers Rhine , Meuse , Schelde and IJssel and the influence of the North Sea.
The Netherlands is mostly composed of deltaic , coastal and eolian derived sediments during the Pleistocene glacial and interglacial periods.
Almost all of the west Netherlands is composed of the Rhine - Meuse river estuary , but human intervention greatly modified the natural processes at work.
Most of the western Netherlands is below sea level due to the human process of turning standing bodies of water into usable land, a polder.
In the east of the Netherlands, remains are found of the last ice age , which ended approximately ten thousand years ago. As the continental ice sheet moved in from the north, it pushed moraine forward.
The ice sheet halted as it covered the eastern half of the Netherlands. After the ice age ended, the moraine remained in the form a long hill-line.
The cities of Arnhem and Nijmegen are built upon these hills. Over the centuries, the Dutch coastline has changed considerably as a result of natural disasters and human intervention.
On 14 December , St. Lucia's flood affected the Netherlands and Germany, killing more than 50, people in one of the most destructive floods in recorded history.
The huge North Sea flood of early February caused the collapse of several dikes in the south-west of the Netherlands; more than 1, people drowned in the flood.
The Dutch government subsequently instituted a large-scale programme, the " Delta Works ", to protect the country against future flooding, which was completed over a period of more than thirty years.
The impact of disasters was, to an extent, increased through human activity. Relatively high-lying swampland was drained to be used as farmland.
The drainage caused the fertile peat to contract and ground levels to drop, upon which groundwater levels were lowered to compensate for the drop in ground level, causing the underlying peat to contract further.
Additionally, until the 19th century peat was mined, dried, and used for fuel, further exacerbating the problem. Centuries of extensive and poorly controlled peat extraction lowered an already low land surface by several metres.
Even in flooded areas, peat extraction continued through turf dredging. To guard against floods, a series of defences against the water were contrived.
In the first millennium AD , villages and farmhouses were built on man-made hills called terps. Later, these terps were connected by dikes.
In the 12th century, local government agencies called " waterschappen " "water boards" or " hoogheemraadschappen " "high home councils" started to appear, whose job it was to maintain the water level and to protect a region from floods; these agencies continue to exist.
As the ground level dropped, the dikes by necessity grew and merged into an integrated system. By the 13th century windmills had come into use to pump water out of areas below sea level.
The windmills were later used to drain lakes, creating the famous polders. The Netherlands is one of the countries that may suffer most from climate change.
Not only is the rising sea a problem, but erratic weather patterns may cause the rivers to overflow. After the disaster , the Delta Works was constructed, which is a comprehensive set of civil works throughout the Dutch coast.
The project started in and was largely completed in with the completion of the Maeslantkering. Since then, new projects have been periodically started to renovate and renew the Delta Works.
A main goal of the Delta project was to reduce the risk of flooding in South Holland and Zeeland to once per 10, years compared to once per years for the rest of the country.
New risk assessments occasionally show problems requiring additional Delta project dike reinforcements. The Delta project is considered by the American Society of Civil Engineers as one of the seven wonders of the modern world.
It is anticipated that global warming in the 21st century will result in a rise in sea level. The Netherlands is actively preparing for a sea level rise.
A politically neutral Delta Commission has formulated an action plan to cope with a sea level rise of 1.
The plan encompasses the reinforcement of the existing coastal defences like dikes and dunes with 1. Climate change will not only threaten the Netherlands from the sea side, but could also alter rainfall patterns and river run-off.
To protect the country from river flooding, another program is already being executed. The Room for the River plan grants more flow space to rivers, protects the major populated areas and allows for periodic flooding of indefensible lands.
The few residents who lived in these so-called "overflow areas" have been moved to higher ground, with some of that ground having been raised above anticipated flood levels.
The predominant wind direction in the European Netherlands is southwest, which causes a mild maritime climate , with moderately warm summers and cool winters, and typically high humidity.
This is especially true close to the Dutch coastline, where the difference in temperature between summer and winter, as well as between day and night is noticeably smaller than it is in the southeast of the country.
On average, snow can occur from November to April, but sometimes occurs in May or October too. Precipitation throughout the year is distributed relatively equally each month.
Summer and autumn months tend to gather a little more precipitation than the other months, mainly because of the intensity of the rainfall rather than the frequency of rain days this is especially the case in summer, when lightning is also much more frequent.
The number of sunshine hours is affected by the fact that because of the geographical latitude, the length of the days varies between barely eight hours in December and nearly 17 hours in June.
The highest recorded temperature was reached on 25 July The average temperature in the Netherlands has risen to almost 2 degrees Celsius from to The global average temperature has risen to 1 degrees Celsius.
The Dutch non-profit organisation Urgenda filled a lawsuit against the Dutch government for bringing the health of its citizens in danger by not acting enough on climate change.
The Netherlands has 20 national parks and hundreds of other nature reserves, that include lakes , heathland , woods , dunes and other habitats.
Most of these are owned by Staatsbosbeheer , the national department for forestry and nature conservation and Natuurmonumenten literally 'Natures monuments' , a private organisation that buys, protects and manages nature reserves.
It consists primarily of the salt waters of the Oosterschelde, but also includes mud flats, meadows, and shoals.
Because of the large variety of sea life, including unique regional species, the park is popular with Scuba divers.
Other activities include sailing, fishing, cycling, and bird watching. According to the World Wide Fund for Nature , the European territory of the Netherlands belongs to the ecoregion of Atlantic mixed forests.
In , the last old original natural woods were cut down, and most woods today are planted monocultures of trees like Scots pine and trees that are not native to the Netherlands.
Virgin Islands and Venezuela. The islands of the Caribbean Netherlands enjoy a tropical climate with warm weather all year round.
The Leeward Antilles are warmer and drier than the Windward islands. In summer, the Windward Islands can be subject to hurricanes. The Netherlands has been a constitutional monarchy since , and due to the efforts of Johan Rudolph Thorbecke ,  became a parliamentary democracy in The Netherlands is described as a consociational state.
Dutch politics and governance are characterised by an effort to achieve broad consensus on important issues, within both the political community and society as a whole.
In , The Economist ranked the Netherlands as the 11th most democratic country in the world. The monarch is the head of state , at present King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands.
Constitutionally, the position is equipped with limited powers. By law, the King has the right to be periodically briefed and consulted on government affairs.
Depending on the personalities and relationships of the King and the ministers, the monarch might have influence beyond the power granted by the Constitution of the Netherlands.
The executive power is formed by the Council of Ministers , the deliberative organ of the Dutch cabinet.
The cabinet usually consists of 13 to 16 ministers and a varying number of state secretaries. One to three ministers are ministers without portfolio.
The head of government is the Prime Minister of the Netherlands , who often is the leader of the largest party of the coalition.
The Prime Minister is a primus inter pares , with no explicit powers beyond those of the other ministers. Mark Rutte has been Prime Minister since October ; the Prime Minister had been the leader of the largest party continuously since The cabinet is responsible to the bicameral parliament , the States General , which also has legislative powers.
The members of the House of Representatives , the lower house , are elected in direct elections on the basis of party-list proportional representation.
These are held every four years, or sooner in case the cabinet falls for example: when one of the chambers carries a motion of no confidence , the cabinet offers its resignation to the monarch.
The States-Provincial are directly elected every four years as well. The members of the provincial assemblies elect the 75 members of the Senate , the upper house , which has the power to reject laws, but not propose or amend them.
Both houses send members to the Benelux Parliament , a consultative council. Both trade unions and employers organisations are consulted beforehand in policymaking in the financial, economic and social areas.
They meet regularly with the government in the Social-Economic Council. This body advises government and its advice cannot be put aside easily.
The Netherlands has a long tradition of social tolerance. In the late 19th century this Dutch tradition of religious tolerance transformed into a system of pillarisation , in which religious groups coexisted separately and only interacted at the level of government.
This tradition of tolerance influences Dutch criminal justice policies on recreational drugs , prostitution , LGBT rights , euthanasia , and abortion , which are among the most liberal in the world.
Because of the multi-party system , no single party has held a majority in parliament since the 19th century, as a result, coalition cabinets had to be formed.
Since suffrage became universal in , the Dutch political system has been dominated by three families of political parties: the strongest of which were the Christian Democrats , currently represented by the Christian Democratic Appeal CDA ; second were the Social Democrats , represented by the Labour Party PvdA ; and third were the Liberals , of which the right-wing People's Party for Freedom and Democracy VVD is the main representative.
These parties co-operated in coalition cabinets in which the Christian Democrats had always been a partner: so either a centre-left coalition of the Christian Democrats and Social Democrats was ruling or a centre-right coalition of Christian Democrats and Liberals.
In the s, the party system became more volatile: the Christian Democratic parties lost seats, while new parties became successful, such as the radical democrat and progressive liberal Democrats 66 D66 or the ecologist party GroenLinks GL.
In the election , the CDA lost its dominant position. In the elections , this cabinet lost its majority, because of an increased support for the CDA and the rise of the right LPF , a new political party, around Pim Fortuyn , who was assassinated a week before the elections.
The cabinet initiated an ambitious programme of reforming the welfare state , the healthcare system , and immigration policy.
In these elections, the CDA remained the largest party and the Socialist Party made the largest gains. The big winner of the elections was Geert Wilders , whose right wing PVV ,   the ideological successor to the LPF , more than doubled its number of seats.
This unprecedented minority government was supported by PVV, but proved ultimately to be unstable,  when on 21 April , Wilders, leader of PVV, unexpectedly 'torpedoed seven weeks of austerity talks' on new austerity measures, paving the way for early elections.
On 5 November they formed the second Rutte cabinet. The Netherlands is divided into twelve provinces, each under a King's Commissioner Commissaris van de Koning.
Informally in Limburg province this position is named Governor Gouverneur. All provinces are divided into municipalities gemeenten , of which there are The country is also subdivided into 21 water districts as of , governed by a water board waterschap or hoogheemraadschap , each having authority in matters concerning water management.
The Dutch water boards are among the oldest democratic entities in the world still in existence. Direct elections of the water boards take place every 4 years.
The administrative structure on the 3 BES islands, collectively known as the Caribbean Netherlands , is outside the twelve provinces.
These islands have the status of openbare lichamen public bodies. The Netherlands has several Belgian exclaves  and within those even several enclaves which are part of the province of North Brabant.
Because the Netherlands and Belgium are both in the Benelux , and more recently in the Schengen Area , citizens of respective countries can travel through these enclaves without controls.
The history of Dutch foreign policy has been characterised by its neutrality. The Dutch economy is very open and relies strongly on international trade.
The foreign policy of the Netherlands is based on four basic commitments: to Atlantic co-operation , to European integration , to international development and to international law.
One of the more controversial international issues surrounding the Netherlands is its liberal policy towards soft drugs. During and after the Dutch Golden Age , the Dutch people built up a commercial and colonial empire.
The most important colonies were present-day Suriname and Indonesia. Indonesia became independent after the Indonesian National Revolution in the s following a war of independence, international pressure and several United Nations Security Council resolutions.
Suriname became independent in The historical ties inherited from its colonial past still influence the foreign relations of the Netherlands.
In addition, many people from these countries are living permanently in the Netherlands. The Netherlands has one of the oldest standing armies in Europe; it was first established as such by Maurice of Nassau in the late s.
The Dutch army was used throughout the Dutch Empire. After the defeat of Napoleon, the Dutch army was transformed into a conscription army.
The army was unsuccessfully deployed during the Belgian Revolution in After , it was deployed mainly in the Dutch colonies, as the Netherlands remained neutral in European wars including the First World War , until the Netherlands was invaded in World War II and defeated by the Wehrmacht in May In conscription was suspended, and the Dutch army was once again transformed into a professional army.
Since the s the Dutch army has been involved in the Bosnian War and the Kosovo War , it held a province in Iraq after the defeat of Saddam Hussein , and it was engaged in Afghanistan.
The military is composed of four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koninklijke Royal :. The submarine service is open to women as of 1 January The Korps Commandotroepen , the Special Operations Force of the Netherlands Army, is open to women, but because of the extremely high physical demands for initial training, it is almost impossible for a woman to become a commando.
The Netherlands has ratified many international conventions concerning war law. The Netherlands has a developed economy and has been playing a special role in the European economy for many centuries.
Since the 16th century, shipping, fishing, agriculture, trade, and banking have been leading sectors of the Dutch economy.
The Netherlands has a high level of economic freedom. The Netherlands is one of the top countries in the Global Enabling Trade Report 2nd in , and was ranked the fifth most competitive economy in the world by the Swiss International Institute for Management Development in Foodstuffs form the largest industrial sector.
Other major industries include chemicals, metallurgy, machinery, electrical goods, trade, services and tourism. The Netherlands has the 17th-largest economy in the world , and ranks 10th in GDP nominal per capita.
Growth slowed considerably from to with the global economic slowdown, but accelerated to 4. In May , inflation was at 2. In Q3 and Q4 , the Dutch economy contracted by 0.
Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands. It is situated near Dam Square in the city's centre. As a founding member of the euro , the Netherlands replaced for accounting purposes its former currency, the "gulden" guilder , on 1 January , along with 15 other adopters of the euro.
Actual euro coins and banknotes followed on 1 January One euro was equivalent to 2. In the Caribbean Netherlands , the United States dollar is used instead of the euro.
The Dutch location gives it prime access to markets in the UK and Germany, with the Port of Rotterdam being the largest port in Europe. Other important parts of the economy are international trade Dutch colonialism started with co-operative private enterprises such as the Dutch East India Company , banking and transport.
The Netherlands successfully addressed the issue of public finances and stagnating job growth long before its European partners.
Amsterdam is the 5th-busiest tourist destination in Europe with more than 4. The Netherlands continues to be one of the leading European nations for attracting foreign direct investment and is one of the five largest investors in the United States.
The economy experienced a slowdown in , but in recovered to the fastest pace in six years on the back of increased exports and strong investment.
The pace of job growth reached year highs in The Netherlands is the fourth-most competitive economy in the world, according to the World Economic Forum 's Global Competitiveness Report.
Beginning in the s, the Netherlands discovered huge natural gas resources. The sale of natural gas generated enormous revenues for the Netherlands for decades, adding hundreds of billions of euros to the government's budget.
Apart from coal and gas, the country has no mining resources. The last coal mine was closed in The Groningen gas field , one of the largest natural-gas fields in the world, is situated near Slochteren.
The cost of damage repairs, structural improvements to buildings, and compensation for home value decreases has been estimated at 6. Around 35, homes are said to be affected.
Netherlands is faced with future challenges as the energy supply is forecasted to fall short of the demand by the year in the gas sector.
This is attributed to the depletion of Netherlands's major gas field, Groningen, and the earthquakes that have hit the Groningen region.
Netherlands relies heavily on natural gas to provide energy. ON, Eneco and Delta that have significant influence over the energy policy.
This means the Dutch required nearly six times as much biocapacity as the Netherlands contains.
As a result, the Netherlands was running a biocapacity deficit of 4. The Dutch agricultural sector is highly mechanised, and has a strong focus on international exports.
One-third of the world's exports of chilis , tomatoes and cucumbers goes through the country. The Netherlands also exports one-fifteenth of the world's apples.
Aside from that, a significant portion of Dutch agricultural exports consists of fresh-cut plants, flowers, and flower bulbs, with the Netherlands exporting two-thirds of the world's total.
Mobility on Dutch roads has grown continuously since the s and now exceeds billion km travelled per year,  three quarters of which are done by car.
As part of its commitment to environmental sustainability, the Government of the Netherlands initiated a plan to establish over recharging stations for electric vehicles across the country.
The rollout will be undertaken by Switzerland-based power and automation company ABB and Dutch startup Fastned , and will aim to provide at least one station within a kilometre radius 30 miles from every home in the Netherlands.
Trains are frequent, with two trains per hour on lesser lines, [j] two to four trains per hour on average, and up to eight trains an hour on the busiest lines.
Cycling is a ubiquitous mode of transport in the Netherlands. Almost as many kilometres are covered by bicycle as by train.
There are large bicycle parking facilities, particularly in city centres and at train stations. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, with the rivers Meuse and Rhine providing excellent access to the hinterland upstream reaching to Basel , Switzerland, and into Germany and France.
As of [update] , Rotterdam was the world's eighth largest container port handling The harbour functions as an important transit point for bulk materials and between the European continent and overseas.
From Rotterdam goods are transported by ship, river barge, train or road. The Volkeraksluizen between Rotterdam and Antwerp are the biggest sluices for inland navigation in the world in terms of tonnage passing through them.
In , the Betuweroute , a new fast freight railway from Rotterdam to Germany, was completed. Schiphol Airport , just southwest of Amsterdam, is the main international airport in the Netherlands, and the third busiest airport in Europe in terms of passengers.
In , the Royal Schiphol Group airports handled 70 million passengers. The Netherlands had an estimated population of 17,, as of 31 May It is the 64th most populous country in the world.
Between and , the country's population almost doubled from 5. From to , the population further increased, to The fertility rate in the Netherlands is 1.
According to a estimate, the population was The Dutch are the tallest people in the world, by nationality,  with an average height of 1. According to Eurostat , in there were 1.
Of these, 1. The Randstad has a population of about 8. According to Dutch Central Statistics Bureau, in , 28 percent of the Dutch population had a spendable income above 45, euros which does not include spending on health care or education.
The official language is Dutch , which is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants. In the European part of the kingdom two other regional languages are recognised under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages.
The first of these recognised regional languages is Low Saxon Nedersaksisch in Dutch. Low Saxon consists of several dialects spoken in the north and east, like Tweants in the region of Twente , and Drents in the province of Drenthe.
Secondly, Limburgish is also recognised as a regional language. It consists of Dutch varieties of Meuse-Rhenish Franconian languages and is spoken in the south-eastern province of Limburg.
Ripuarian language , which is spoken in Kerkrade and Vaals in the form of, respectively, the Kerkrade dialect and the Vaals dialect   is not recognised as a regional language of the Netherlands.
These dialects are however sometimes considered to be a part of or related to Limburgish see Southeast Limburgish dialect.
English has a formal status in the special municipalities of Saba and Sint Eustatius. It is widely spoken on these islands. Papiamento has a formal status in the special municipality of Bonaire.
Yiddish and the Romani language were recognised in as non-territorial languages. In higher level secondary schools HAVO and VWO , the acquisition of two additional modern foreign language skills is mandatory during the first three years.
Only during the last three years in VWO one foreign language is mandatory. Besides English, the standard modern languages are French and German , although schools can replace one of these modern languages with Chinese , Spanish , Russian , Italian , Turkish or Arabic.
Religious identification in the Netherlands . The population of the Netherlands was predominantly Christian until the late 20th century, divided into a number of denominations.
Although significant religious diversity remains, there has been a decline of religious adherence. The Netherlands is now one of the most secular societies in the world.
In , Statistics Netherlands found that Groups that represent the non-religious in the Netherlands include Humanistisch Verbond. Christians comprised Muslims comprised 4.
The southern provinces of North Brabant and Limburg have historically been strongly Roman Catholic, and some residents consider the Catholic Church as a base for their cultural identity.
Protestantism in the Netherlands consists of a number of churches within various traditions. Several orthodox Reformed and liberal churches did not merge into the PKN.
Although in the Netherlands as a whole Christianity has become a minority, the Netherlands contains a Bible Belt from Zeeland to the northern parts of the province Overijssel , in which Protestant particularly Reformed beliefs remain strong, and even has majorities in municipal councils.
Islam is the second largest religion in the state. This included migrant workers from Turkey and Morocco , as well as migrants from former Dutch colonies , such as Surinam and Indonesia.
Most of these are Indo-Surinamese. There are also sizable populations of Hindu immigrants from India and Sri Lanka , and some Western adherents of Hinduism-oriented new religious movements such as Hare Krishnas.
The Netherlands has an estimated , Buddhists or people strongly attracted to this religion, mainly ethnic Dutch people. In addition, there are about 45, Jews in the Netherlands.
The Constitution of the Netherlands guarantees freedom of education, which means that all schools that adhere to general quality criteria receive the same government funding.
This includes schools based on religious principles by religious groups especially Roman Catholic and various Protestant. Upon the country's independence, Protestants were predominant in most of the country, while Roman Catholics were dominant in the south, especially North Brabant and Limburg.
In the late 19th century secularism, liberalism and socialism and atheism gained adherents. By , Roman Catholics now equalled Protestants in number; thereafter, both Christian branches began to decline.
Conversely, Islam grew considerably as the result of immigration. Since the year there has been raised awareness of religion, mainly due to Muslim extremism.
The Dutch royal family has been traditionally associated with Calvinism , specifically the Dutch Reformed Church , which has merged into the Protestant Church in the Netherlands.
The Dutch Reformed Church was the only major Protestant church in the Netherlands from the Reformation until the 19th century.
Denominational splits in and in diversified Dutch Calvinism. In , a Roman Catholic became Queen consort. Education in the Netherlands is compulsory between the ages of 5 and All children in the Netherlands usually attend elementary school from on average ages 4 to It comprises eight grades, the first of which is facultative.
Based on an aptitude test, the eighth grade teacher's recommendation and the opinion of the pupil's parents or caretakers, a choice is made for one of the three main streams of secondary education.
After completing a particular stream, a pupil may still continue in the penultimate year of the next stream. The VMBO has 4 grades and is subdivided over several levels.
Successfully completing the vmbo results in a low-level vocational degree that grants access to the MBO. The MBO middle-level applied education is a form of education primarily focuses on teaching a practical trade, or a vocational degree.
The HBO higher professional education are universities of professional education applied sciences that award professional bachelor's degrees; similar to polytechnic degrees.
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