Portal:Netherlands

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Welcome to the Dutch Portal!
Welkom bij het Nederlandse Portaal!

Flag of the Netherlands
Coat of Arms for the Netherlands
Map of the Netherlands within Europe.

The Netherlands is one of the four countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands is a parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarch, located in northwestern Europe. It borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. Since 10 October 2010, the Caribbean islands of Bonaire, Saba and Sint Eustatius are also part of the Netherlands. Aruba, Curaçao and Sint Maarten are separate countries within the Kingdom.

In some countries, the Netherlands is often referred to by the name Holland. However widespread, this use is incorrect in English, as Holland is a region in the central-western part of the Netherlands, consisting of two provinces.

The Netherlands is one of the most densely populated and geographically low-lying countries in the world (its name literally means "Low-lands") and is popularly famous for, among other things, its dikes, windmills, wooden shoes, tulips, bicycles and social tolerance. Its liberal policies (towards drugs and prostitution among other things) receive international attention. The country is host to the International Court of Justice. Its capital is Amsterdam, as stated by the constitution, but The Hague is the seat of government and the home of the monarch. Most embassies are located in the Hague, as well. As of the 2011 report, the Netherlands ranks third on the list of countries by Human Development Index.

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Logo of the Lijst Pim Fortuyn
The Pim Fortuyn List was a political party in the Netherlands. The eponymous founder of the party was Pim Fortuyn, a charismatic former university professor and political columnist who initially had planned to contest the 2002 general election as leader of the Livable Netherlands (LN) party. He was however dismissed as party leader in February 2002 due to controversial remarks he made in a newspaper interview on immigration-related issues, and instead founded LPF a few days later. After gaining support in opinion polls, Fortuyn was assassinated on 6 May, days before the election. The party held onto its support, and went on to become the second-largest party in the election.

The LPF formed part of a coalition government with the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA) and the People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD), but internal conflicts in the LPF led to the coalition's break-up and fresh elections after a few months. Following the 2003 election, the party was left in opposition. It became clear that the party was not viable without its original leader, and it went into decline until it was finally dissolved in 2008.

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The bend in the Herengracht, Amsterdam
Credit: Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde, 1685

The bend in the Herengracht, Amsterdam, by Dutch artist Gerrit Adriaensz. Berckheyde, depicts life in the Dutch Golden Age, a highly prosperous period of Dutch history. The period lasted roughly the whole of the seventeenth century and saw Dutch trade, science, and art being among the most acclaimed in the world.

Did you know...

portrait of white headed man with glasses
  • ... the Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world where the government is not seated in the capital? The Constitution of Netherlands regards Amsterdam as the official capital, but The Hague is the seat of the Government of Netherlands.
  • ... the Netherlands is the 15th most densely populated country in the world, with 395 inhabitants per square km (or 482/km² if only the land area is counted, 18.4% is water)?
  • ... about 20% of the surface area of the Netherlands is located below sea level?
  • ... a UNICEF report published in 2007 ranked the Netherlands as the best country for children to live in?
  • ... 10% of the surface of the Netherlands has been taken from the sea?

Selected biography

Portrait of William III wearing the Great George
William III was the Prince of Orange from his birth, Stadtholder of the main provinces of the Dutch Republic from 28 June 1672, King of England and King of Ireland from 13 February 1689, and King of Scots (under the name William II) from 11 April 1689, until his death.

Born a member of the House of Orange-Nassau, William III won the English, Scottish and Irish Crowns following the Glorious Revolution, during which his uncle and father-in-law, the Catholic James II (VII in Scotland)), was deposed. In England, Scotland and Ireland, William ruled jointly with his wife, Mary II, until her death on 28 December 1694. He reigned as 'William II' in Scotland, but 'William III' in England and Ireland. Often he is referred to as William of Orange, a name he shared with many other historical figures. In Northern Ireland and Scotland, he is often informally known as "King Billy".

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Flag of the Netherlands.svg You are invited to participate in the WikiProject Netherlands, a WikiProject dedicated to developing and improving articles about the Netherlands.

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