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Dutch Republic

Predecessor state of the Netherlands (1581–1795) / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The United Provinces of the Netherlands, officially the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Dutch: Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden), and commonly referred to in historiography as the Dutch Republic, was a confederation that existed from 1579 until the Batavian Revolution in 1795. It was a predecessor state of the present-day Netherlands and the first independent Dutch state. The republic was established after seven Dutch provinces in the Spanish Netherlands revolted against Spanish rule, forming a mutual alliance against Spain in 1579 (the Union of Utrecht) and declaring their independence in 1581 (the Act of Abjuration). It comprised Groningen, Frisia, Overijssel, Guelders, Utrecht, Holland and Zeeland.

Quick facts: Republic of the Seven United NetherlandsRepub...
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands
Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden (Dutch)
1579–1795
Motto: Eendracht maakt macht
Concordia res parvæ crescunt
"Unity makes strength"
"Small things flourish by concord"
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1789
Republic of the Seven United Netherlands in 1789
CapitalNone (de jure)
The Hague (de facto)
Common languagesDutch, Dutch Low Saxon, West Frisian
Religion
Dutch Reformed (state religion),[1] Catholicism, Judaism, Lutheranism
Demonym(s)Dutch
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic
Stadtholder 
 1581–1584 (assassinated)
William I
 1584–1625
Maurice, Prince of Orange
 1625–1647
Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange
 1647–1650
William II, Prince of Orange
 1672–1702
William III, Prince of Orange
(from 1688, was also
King William III of England)
 1747–1751
William IV, Prince of Orange
 1751–1795
William V, Prince of Orange
Grand Pensionary 
 1581–1585
Paulus Buys
 1586–1619
Johan van Oldenbarnevelt
 1621–1629
Anthonie Duyck
 1631–1636
Adriaan Pauw
 1636–1651
Jacob Cats
 1651–1653
Adriaan Pauw
 1653–1672
Johan de Witt
 1672–1689
Gaspar Fagel
 1689–1720
Anthonie Heinsius
 1720–1727
Isaac van Hoornbeek
 1727–1736
Simon van Slingelandt
 1736–1746
Anthonie van der Heim
 1746–1749
Jacob Gilles
 1749–1772
Pieter Steyn
 1772–1787
Pieter van Bleiswijk
LegislatureStates General
 State Council
Council of State
Historical eraEarly modern period
23 January 1579
26 July 1581
12 April 1588
30 January 1648
 Rampjaar
1672
11 April 1713
19 January 1795
Population
 1795
1,880,500[2]
CurrencyGuilder, rijksdaalder
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Flag_of_Cross_of_Burgundy.svg Spanish Netherlands
Batavian Republic Flag_of_the_navy_of_the_Batavian_Republic.svg
Today part ofNetherlands
Belgium
Close
History of the Low Countries
Frisii Belgae
Cana–
nefates
Chamavi,
Tubantes
Gallia Belgica (55 BC–c.5th AD)
Germania Inferior (83–c.5th)
Salian Franks Batavi
unpopulated
(4th–c.5th)
Saxons Salian Franks
(4th–c.5th)
Frisian Kingdom
(c.6th–734)
Frankish Kingdom (481–843)Carolingian Empire (800–843)
Austrasia (511–687)
Middle Francia (843–855) West
Francia

(843–)
Kingdom of Lotharingia (855– 959)
Duchy of Lower Lorraine (959–)
Frisia

Friesland_%28kleine_wapen%29.svg
Frisian
Freedom

(11–16th
century)
Wapen_graafschap_Holland.svg
County of
Holland

(880–1432)
Utrecht_-_coat_of_arms.png
Bishopric of
Utrecht

(695–1456)
Coat_of_arms_of_the_Duchy_of_Brabant.svg
Duchy of
Brabant

(1183–1430)
Guelders-J%C3%BClich_Arms.svg
Duchy of
Guelders

(1046–1543)
Arms_of_Flanders.svg
County of
Flanders

(862–1384)
Hainaut_Modern_Arms.svg
County of
Hainaut

(1071–1432)
Arms_of_Namur.svg
County of
Namur

(981–1421)
Armoiries_Principaut%C3%A9_de_Li%C3%A8ge.svg
P.-Bish.
of Liège


(980–1794)
Arms_of_Luxembourg.svg
Duchy of
Luxem-
bourg

(1059–1443)
  Flag_of_the_Low_Countries.svg
Burgundian Netherlands (1384–1482)
Flag_of_the_Low_Countries.svg
Habsburg Netherlands (1482–1795)
(Seventeen Provinces after 1543)
 
Statenvlag.svg
Dutch Republic
(1581–1795)
Flag_of_the_Low_Countries.svg
Spanish Netherlands
(1556–1714)
 
  Austrian_Low_Countries_Flag.svg
Austrian Netherlands
(1714–1795)
  Flag_of_the_Brabantine_Revolution.svg
United States of Belgium
(1790)
LuikVlag.svg
R. Liège
(1789–'91)
     
Flag_of_the_navy_of_the_Batavian_Republic.svg
Batavian Republic (1795–1806)
Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810)
Flag_of_France.svg
associated with French First Republic (1795–1804)
part of First French Empire (1804–1815)
   
Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg
Princip. of the Netherlands (1813–1815)
 
Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830) Flag_of_Luxembourg.svg
Gr D. L.
(1815–)
Flag_of_the_Netherlands.svg
Kingdom of the Netherlands (1839–)
Flag_of_Belgium.svg
Kingdom of Belgium (1830–)
Flag_of_Luxembourg.svg
Gr D. of
Luxem-
bourg

(1890–)

Although the state was small and contained only around 1.5 million inhabitants, it controlled a worldwide network of seafaring trade routes. Through its trading companies, the Dutch East India Company (VOC) and the Dutch West India Company (GWC), it established a Dutch colonial empire. The income from this trade allowed the Dutch Republic to compete militarily against much larger countries. It amassed a huge fleet of 2,000 ships, initially larger than the fleets of England and France combined. Major conflicts were fought in the Eighty Years' War against Spain (from the foundation of the Dutch Republic until 1648), the Dutch–Portuguese War (1602–1663), four Anglo-Dutch Wars (the first against the Commonwealth of England, two against the Kingdom of England, and a fourth against the Kingdom of Great Britain: 1652–1654, 1665–1667, 1672–1674 and 1780–1784), the Franco-Dutch War (1672–1678), War of the Grand Alliance (1688–1697), the War of the Spanish Succession (1702–1713), the War of Austrian Succession (1744–1748) and the War of the First Coalition (1792–1795) against the Kingdom of France.

The republic was more tolerant of different religions and ideas than its contemporary states were, allowing freedom of thought to its residents. Artists flourished under this regime, including painters such as Rembrandt, Johannes Vermeer and many others. So did scientists, such as Hugo Grotius, Christiaan Huygens and Antonie van Leeuwenhoek. The Dutch trade, science, military, and art were among the most acclaimed in the world during much of the 17th century, a period which became known in Dutch history as the Dutch Golden Age.

The republic was a confederation of provinces each with a high degree of independence from the federal assembly, known as the States General. In the Peace of Westphalia (1648) the republic gained approximately 20% more territory, located outside the member provinces, which was ruled directly by the States General as Generality Lands. Each province was led by an official known as the stadtholder (Dutch for 'steward'); this office was nominally open to anyone, but most provinces appointed a member of the House of Orange. The position gradually became hereditary, with the Prince of Orange simultaneously holding most or all of the stadtholderships, making him effectively the head of state. This created tension between political factions: the Orangists favoured a powerful stadtholder, while the Republicans favoured a strong States General. The Republicans forced two Stadtholderless Periods, 1650–1672 and 1702–1747, with the latter causing national instability and the end of Great Power status.

Economic decline led to a period of political instability known as the Patriottentijd (1780–1787).[3] This unrest was temporarily suppressed by a Prussian invasion in support of the stadtholder. The French Revolution and subsequent War of the First Coalition caused these tensions to reignite. Following military defeat by France, the stadtholder was expelled in the Batavian Revolution of 1795. This ended the Dutch Republic; it was succeeded by the Batavian Republic.

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