Currency: Euro (€)
Calling Code: 31
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the
Kingdom of the Netherlands, a member of the European Union.
Administration is located in Hague, being the official seat of the
monarchy, as well as its executive, legislative and judicial
authorities. Its capital is Amsterdam. The provinces that make up
the Netherlands are located in northwestern Europe and border the
North and West with the North Sea, the South with Belgium and the
East with Germany. The special municipalities of Bonaire, Saint
Eustatius and Saba, located in the Caribbean, complete the Dutch
territory. The country is one of the most densely populated areas in
the world and is one of the most developed states: in 2011 it was
ranked third in terms of human development according to the Human
Development Index published by the United Nations. As its name
indicates, the territory of the country is formed by low land
(neder) of which approximately a quarter are situated at or below
Frequently, the country is known by the name of its most influential or relevant historical region, Holland, located in the western part of the country. In this sense, the panhispánico Dictionary of doubts, published by the Royal Spanish Academy, does admit its use as a synonym, but to a certain extent. Their language is also traditionally known and for the same reason as Dutch, even though their official name is Dutch; in fact, Dutch in the strict sense is a dialect of Dutch; admissible by the RAE in the current speech, but never in official texts where it must be referred to as Dutch. His name is also known traditionally as Dutch, also admissible according to the RAE in ordinary speech, but not in official texts, where it must be referred to as Dutch. Often, the Netherlands is also confused with the customs union known as Benelux formed by Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg; The denomination is based on the intergovernmental cooperation agreement that became effective in 1944.
North Holland (Netherlands)
|Bergen aan Zee
South Holland (Netherlands)
Alphen aan den Rijn
Wijk bij Duurstede
Horst aan de Maas
Mook en Middelaar
Peel en Maas
Valkenburg aan de Geul
North Brabant (Netherlands)
|'s-Hertogenbosch (or Den Bosch)
Bergen op Zoom
The first archaeological evidence of the presence
of an ancient person in the territory of present-day Netherlands
refers to the Lower Paleolithic (about 800 thousand years ago). They
were engaged in hunting and gathering. At the end of the Ice Age,
the territory was inhabited by various Paleolithic groups. About
8000 BC Mesolithic tribe lived on this territory, and in the
next several millennia the Iron Age with a relatively high standard
of living came.
At the time of the arrival of the Romans, the territory of modern Netherlands was inhabited by Germanic tribes, such as the Tubants, Canine-Fats and Friezes, who settled there about 600 BC. Celtic tribes, such as the Eburons and the Menapies, populated the south of the country. Germanic Frieze tribes are one of the branches of the Teutons that came to the Netherlands around the middle of the 1st millennium BC. e. At the beginning of Roman colonization, the German tribes of Batavi and Toxandra also arrived in the country. During the Roman Empire, the southern part of the present Netherlands was occupied by the Romans and became part of the province of Belgica (lat. Gallia Belgica), and later - the province of Lower Germany (lat. Germania Inferior).
In the Middle Ages, the Lower Countries (approximately consisting of present-day Belgium and the Netherlands) included various counties, duchies, and dioceses that were part of the Holy Roman Empire. They were united into one state under the rule of the Habsburgs in the 16th century. After the spread of Calvinism, the Counter-Reformation followed, causing a split in the country. The attempts of the Spanish King Philip II to centralize the state led to an uprising against Spanish rule under the leadership of William I of Orange. On July 26, 1581, the country's independence was proclaimed officially recognized by other states only after the Eighty Years War (1568–1648). During the years of the War of Independence, the “Golden Age” of the Netherlands began, a period of economic and cultural prosperity that lasted the whole of the 17th century.
After the end of the French occupation at the beginning of the 19th century, the Netherlands turned into a monarchy under the rule of the House of Oran. In 1830, Belgium finally separated from the Netherlands and became an independent kingdom; Luxembourg gained independence in 1890. Under pressure from liberal politicians, the country was transformed into a parliamentary constitutional monarchy in 1848. This political structure has survived to this day, with a brief break during the Nazi occupation.
During World War I, the Netherlands remained neutral, but during World War II they were occupied by Germany for five years. During the German invasion, Rotterdam was bombarded, in which the city center was almost completely destroyed. Holocaust victims during the occupation were 104,000 Dutch Jews (more than seventy percent of all Dutch Jews).
After the war, the country's rapid recovery began, helped by the Marshall Plan, organized by the United States of America. Thanks to this, the Netherlands quickly managed to restore the national economy and achieve economic growth. The former colonies of Indonesia and Suriname gained state independence. As a result of mass immigration from Indonesia, Turkey, Morocco, Suriname and the Antilles, the Netherlands became a country with many cultures and a large share of the Muslim population.
In the sixties and seventies, great social and cultural changes took place. Catholics and Protestants began to communicate more with each other, and differences between sectors of the population also became less noticeable due to an increase in living standards and the development of education. Women's economic rights expanded much, and they increasingly began to occupy high positions in enterprises and in government. They were also given passive suffrage, that is, the right to be elected. The government began to care not only about economic growth, but also about protecting the environment. The population received broad social rights; pensions, unemployment and disability benefits are among the highest in the world.
On March 25, 1957, the Netherlands became one of the founders of the European Union and later did a lot for European integration. However, in a referendum on the European Constitution in June 2005, more than half of the Dutch voted against its adoption. A negative role was played by the ban on holding a referendum on the country's transition from a guilder to the euro. Thus, the Netherlands became the second country, after France, which rejected the draft of a single EU constitution.
From July 22, 2002 to October 14, 2010, the leader
of the Christian Democratic Appeal, Jan-Peter Balkenende, was the
Prime Minister. On February 22, 2007, he formed his fourth cabinet
of ministers - a coalition of Christian Democratic Appeal, the Labor
Party and the Christian Union Small Party (6 seats in parliament).
The Balkenende deputies in the government were the leader of the
Labor Party, Wouter Bos and the leader of the Christian Union, Andre
On February 20, 2010, the fourth cabinet of ministers, Jan-Peter Balkenende, collapsed due to disagreements among coalition members over the participation of Dutch forces in the anti-terrorist operation in Afghanistan. The leader of the Labor Party, Wouter Bos, called for the speedy withdrawal of all Dutch troops from Afghanistan, while coalition leader Jan-Peter Balkenende insisted on extending the mandate in Afghanistan for another year (the mandate expired in August 2010). In February 2010, 1,900 Dutch soldiers were in Afghanistan. New elections were called.
In the parliamentary elections of June 9, 2010, the ruling Christian Democratic Party lost 20 of the 41 seats, and the best results were achieved by the liberal People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy, the center-left Labor Party and the Freedom Party, known for its anti-Muslim views. On October 14, 2010, Mark Rutte, leader of the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy, became the new Prime Minister of the Netherlands. The Freedom Party became part of the ruling coalition with the NPSD and the Christian Democratic Party without the right to ministerial posts. The parties of the ruling coalition (NPSD, KDP and PS) had 76 deputy mandates of 150 seats in the Second Chamber and 37 of 75 in the First.
On April 23, 2012, Rutte submitted a letter of resignation to Queen Beatrix. The reason for such actions on the part of Rutte was unsuccessful negotiations with the opposition on the 2013 budget and possible measures to overcome the financial crisis. In particular, one of these measures is to reduce public spending by 16 billion euros. After the early parliamentary elections held in September 2012, Rutte formed the coalition government of the People’s Party for Freedom and Democracy and the Labor Party.