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Netherlands, The, history of

 

The 18th century


 

 

Economic and political stagnation


 

Once the Dutch fleet had declined, Dutch mercantile interests became heavily dependent on English goodwill; yet the rulers of the country were more concerned with reducing the monumental debt that weighed heavily upon the country. During the 18th century Dutch trade and shipping were able to maintain the level of activity reached at the end of the 17th century, but they did not match the dramatic expansion of French and especially English competitors. The Dutch near-monopoly was now only a memory. Holland remained rich in accumulated capital, although much of it could find no outlet for investment in business. Some went into the purchase of landed estates, but a great deal was used to buy bonds of foreign governments; the bankers of Amsterdam were among the most important in Europe, rivaling those of London and Geneva. Dutch culture failed to hold its eminence; a medical scientist like Hermann Boerhaave or a jurist like Cornelis van Bynkershoek was highly respected, but they were not the shapers and shakers of European thought. Dutch artists were no longer of the first order, and literature largely followed English or French models without matching their achievements. The quality of life changed: instead of the seething activity of the 17th century, the 18th century was one of calm and easeful pleasantness, at least for men of property. The middling classes in town and countryside also knew continuing prosperity; conditions for the labouring classes continued to be hard, although foreign visitors thought the workers lived better than elsewhere. The poor as such were not labourers but a residual class of unemployed who subsisted on the charity of town governments and private foundations. Religious life was more relaxed, particularly among Protestants. Roman Catholics, still without political rights but facing milder restrictions, fell into a quarrel between adherents of Jansenism, which denied free will, and supporters of Rome; the former split off to form the Old Catholic Church, a small denomination that still exists. The educated classes widely accepted the principles and attitudes of the Enlightenment although without the sharp hostility to religion that characterized the French philosophes. (See Old Catholic Church of The Netherlands.)

During the second stadtholderless period of Dutch government (1702-47), the republican system became an immobile oligarchy. The "liberty" defended by the regents as soundly republican was in practice the rule of hereditary patricians, responsible to neither the citizenry below nor a stadtholder above. Although William IV yearned for restoration to the offices held by the princes of Orange before him in the provinces to the south, he accepted, with no less admiration and commitment than the regents, the perfection and immutability of the Dutch constitutional system, with the single difference that he envisioned it including the stadtholderate for all the provinces. It was not until the War of the Austrian Succession (1740-48) that the power of the regents began to crumble. As in 1672, disaster on the battlefield proved the Achilles' heel of a regime that had not built up a broad popular political base. The regents had not been able to overcome the traditional commitment of the people to the house of Orange as their natural leader and saviour. French and Prussian armies swarmed over the Austrian (formerly Spanish) Netherlands and were poised for invasion of the United Provinces, which were linked by alliance with England, although they had remained formally neutral. When the French forces crossed into Dutch territory, rioting reminiscent of 1672, although less widespread and violent, led to the fall of the second purely republican government and the election of William IV as hereditary stadtholder of all the provinces. Otherwise there was little change; some regents were compelled to step down from their posts, and leadership in the hands of the prince of Orange was uncontested. William rebuffed the efforts of burghers in Amsterdam and other towns who had supported his restoration in order to achieve democratic reforms, in which participation in government would be extended to men of modest property who had been completely disfranchised (although not to wageworkers or to paupers).

 

(See stadholderless periods.)

 

 

Netherlands, The, history of

 

War with Spain (1621-48)


 

The war resumed in 1621 under Maurice's leadership. But his touch of victory was gone, and the republic appeared in danger when the great fortress of Breda on the southern frontier fell to the Spaniards in 1625. Only a few weeks before, Maurice had died. The danger was all the greater because the Austrian Habsburgs, in alliance with their Spanish cousins, were waging a successful struggle against their Protestant foes in Germany in the first stages of the Thirty Years' War. But Maurice's half-brother, Frederick Henry, who succeeded him as prince of Orange, stadtholder, and commander in chief, resumed the course of victory. He completed the recapture of the towns recently gained by the Spaniards and extended the territory under the States-General to the key fortress of Maastricht on the Maas (Meuse) well to the south. At the same time, the Dutch navy won a series of victories over the Spaniards, including Piet Heyn's celebrated capture of their silver fleet off the coast of Cuba (1628) and the destruction of a Spanish fleet in the Downs, off the English coast, by Maarten Tromp in 1639. (See Eighty Years' War.)

Frederick Henry turned out to be a more subtle and purposeful politician than Maurice. On the one hand, he ended the suppression of the Remonstrants, with whose religious views he sympathized, without exasperating the Contra-Remonstrants beyond repair. On the other hand, he established a firm grip over the policies of the republic, notably by establishing a close alliance with France aimed at the joint conquest of the Spanish Netherlands. Frederick Henry's political predominance within the republic was based upon his control of the lesser provinces, which had a majority in the States-General and which could outweigh the influence of Holland. Gradually Holland turned against him, especially after he arranged the marriage of his young son William to Princess Mary Stuart, daughter of Charles I of England, on the eve of the English Civil War (1642-51). This fateful dynastic bond tied the interests of the house of Orange to the royal families of England, first to the Stuarts and later to the Hanoverians. The position of the house of Orange, however, was elevated by the connection: the French monarchy granted Frederick Henry the honorary address of "His Highness," normally restricted to royalty; and the debate over the function of the princes of Orange in Dutch politics began to be conducted as a controversy over monarchy. A quasi-royal court rose up around Frederick Henry, and this in turn only clarified and strengthened the republicanism of his opponents, especially in Holland, who feared that the political leadership of the princes of Orange would be turned into an explicit monarchy.

During the 1640s, however, Frederick Henry lost his physical and intellectual powers and was unable to prevent Holland from reasserting its predominance over the republic's policies. The States-General entered into peace negotiations with Spain at M�nster in Westphalia. Frederick Henry died in 1647 before the conclusion of the talks, but his son, William II, could not prevent the signing and ratification of the treaty in January 1648. Spain now formally acknowledged the independence of the Dutch, and indeed even urged its friendship upon the United Provinces, warning of the threat to both the Dutch and the Spanish from the rising power of France.

Prince William was not ready to accept a permanent peace, and he negotiated secretly with the French for a resumption of the war, not only against Spain but also against republican England, which had executed his father-in-law, King Charles I, in January 1649. Needing a powerful army to wage the anticipated war, William bitterly fought the efforts of Holland to reduce the standing army and thereby to permit more rapid payment of the huge debt accumulated over the eighty years' struggle for independence. Efforts at compromise broke down during the spring of 1650, as the Hollanders and William each sought to compel the other to concede political inferiority. William decided to make use of his preponderance in the States-General, and he led a delegation from that body to the towns of Holland to seek a change of their vote in the States of Holland; such a delegation was a direct violation of what Holland saw as its provincial sovereignty. Rebuffed by a number of town governments, most importantly by those of Amsterdam and Dordrecht, William decided to cut through the resistance by force. At The Hague, on July 30, 1650, he arrested six of the States' deputies from the recalcitrant towns and sent them to the castle of Loevestein (where Grotius had been imprisoned) on charges of having resisted lawful orders of the States-General. At the same time he sent an army to seize Amsterdam, but it was thwarted by delays on its march and by the determined resistance of the municipal authorities, supported by the common people. Amsterdam, however, faced a siege that might gravely imperil its trade, while the besiegers themselves ran the danger of being drowned should Amsterdam open the dikes. A compromise was soon worked out whereby William's opponents were released but were required to withdraw from government. William had cleared the way for his policies but at the price of arousing deep fears among the Dutch people--most of all in the powerful province of Holland--of military dictatorship, monarchical rule, and renewed involvement of the nation in war. But before he could carry out his plans, William II died of smallpox in early November. A posthumous son, William III, was born a week later.

 

TRAITOR McCain

jewn McCain

ASSASSIN of JFK, Patton, many other Whites

killed 264 MILLION Christians in WWII

killed 64 million Christians in Russia

holocaust denier extraordinaire--denying the Armenian holocaust

millions dead in the Middle East

tens of millions of dead Christians

LOST $1.2 TRILLION in Pentagon
spearheaded torture & sodomy of all non-jews
millions dead in Iraq

42 dead, mass murderer Goldman LOVED by jews

serial killer of 13 Christians

the REAL terrorists--not a single one is an Arab

serial killers are all jews

framed Christians for anti-semitism, got caught
left 350 firemen behind to die in WTC

legally insane debarred lawyer CENSORED free speech

mother of all fnazis, certified mentally ill

10,000 Whites DEAD from one jew LIE

moser HATED by jews: he followed the law

f.ck Jesus--from a "news" person!!

1000 fold the child of perdition

 

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