Read the story here. Advertise at Before It's News here.
Profile image
By New Historian
Contributor profile | More stories
Story Views
Last hour:
Last 24 hours:

What was the Dutch Republic?

% of readers think this story is Fact. Add your two cents.

Many think that the United States of America was the first republic in the world, but this is false. The Dutch Republic, sometimes referred to as The United Provinces (Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Provinciën), was a confederation of seven provinces between 1581 and 1795. This Republic was the predecessor state of the modern Netherlands one of the first republics in the world.

No revolution of the masses occurred, the Republic developed naturally from existing organizations into a federation of sovereign provinces. The Dutch Republic was founded on a variety of economic, ideological, religious, and military reasons, which at the time were considered too liberal for many foreigners.

In the early 16thcentury, the United Provinces did not exist as a single entity. It was comprised of numerous provinces known as the Low Countries (today’s Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg). These were under the control of the Roman Emperor Charles V and his son Philip II of Spain. As an ardent Catholic, Philip II was reluctant to allow the continuing development of Protestantism in the Low Countries.

Revolts began in 1566 with the Petition of Compromise to the governor of the Netherlands; Margaret of Parma. Margaret capitulated on the issue which led to an upsurge in Protestant protests.

The protests escalated in 1568 which led to the start of the Eighty Years’ War with Spain. Under the leadership of Prince William of Orange, Count of Nassau, seven Low Countries provinces (Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Gelderland, Groningen, Friesland, and Overijssel) formed a defensive political alliance known as the Union of Utrecht.

One of the main reasons for the alliance was resistance to Spain’s attempts of centralization of authority. The new Union was, therefore, designed as a confederacy of states in which each province operated its own independent government. In 1581 the Union signed the Act of Abjuration which declared independence from Spain.

Needless to say, Philip II did not agree, and the war intensified. In 1582 the United Provinces invited Francis, Duke of Anjou to lead them in the war. However, after a failed attempt to take Antwerp in 1583, the duke left the Union again. Both Henry III of France and Elizabeth I of England declined to recognize sovereignty of the Union, after the assassination of William of Orange in 1584.

England, however did agree to turn the Dutch Republic into a protectorate of England, however, this plan also failed in 1588 and the provinces went back to being a confederacy. This was not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648 which was also the end of the Eighty Years’ War.

The century that followed became known as the Dutch Golden Age. After the Union officially gained independence, the Dutch East India Company started dominating world trade. Conquering a vast colonial empire and operating the largest fleet worldwide, the County of Holland became the wealthiest and most urbanized region in the world.

The success of the Dutch Republic eventually came to end at the start of the 18thcentury. There had been a long-lasting rivalry between the two main factions in Dutch society, the Republicans (Staatsgezinden) and the Royalists (Prinsgezinden). In 1672 William III of Orange became the last stadtholder and the Royalists regained power, eventually establishing the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

The post What was the Dutch Republic? appeared first on New Historian.


Before It’s News® is a community of individuals who report on what’s going on around them, from all around the world.

Anyone can join.
Anyone can contribute.
Anyone can become informed about their world.

"United We Stand" Click Here To Create Your Personal Citizen Journalist Account Today, Be Sure To Invite Your Friends.

Please Help Support BeforeitsNews by trying our Natural Health Products below!

Order by Phone at 888-809-8385 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Order by Phone at 866-388-7003 or online at M - F 9am to 5pm EST

Humic & Fulvic Trace Minerals Complex - Nature's most important supplement! Vivid Dreams again!

HNEX HydroNano EXtracellular Water - Improve immune system health and reduce inflammation.

Ultimate Clinical Potency Curcumin - Natural pain relief, reduce inflammation and so much more.

MitoCopper - Bioavailable Copper destroys pathogens and gives you more energy. (See Blood Video)

Oxy Powder - Natural Colon Cleanser!  Cleans out toxic buildup with oxygen!

Nascent Iodine - Promotes detoxification, mental focus and thyroid health.

Smart Meter Cover -  Reduces Smart Meter radiation by 96%! (See Video).

Report abuse


    Your Comments
    Question   Razz  Sad   Evil  Exclaim  Smile  Redface  Biggrin  Surprised  Eek   Confused   Cool  LOL   Mad   Twisted  Rolleyes   Wink  Idea  Arrow  Neutral  Cry   Mr. Green

    Load more ...




    Email this story
    Email this story

    If you really want to ban this commenter, please write down the reason:

    If you really want to disable all recommended stories, click on OK button. After that, you will be redirect to your options page.