Talk:History of the Netherlands

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Former featured article History of the Netherlands is a former featured article. Please see the links under Article milestones below for its original nomination page (for older articles, check the nomination archive) and why it was removed.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
January 19, 2004 Refreshing brilliant prose Kept
October 15, 2006 Featured article review Demoted
October 1, 2008 Good article nominee Not listed
Current status: Former featured article


Netherlands had slaves and Dutch East India Company were killers and thieves[edit]

The introductory paragraphs of the article leave off facts regarding the Netherlands major involvement in the enslavement and murder of many Africans, and Pacific Islanders. (These facts should be at the beginning, I would add them but I'm blocked when I attempt to edit wikipedia article racism). Further, the mention of the Dutch East India Company doesn't even mention that the company traded in slaves, but also other stolen resources from Africa, and Pacific and Caribbean, etc. Nederlandse Westindische Compagnie or WIC (the Dutch East Indian Company) transported up to 600,000 black slaves to Suriname, the Dutch Antilles and Aruba. "Between 1612 and 1872, the Dutch operated from some 10 fortresses along the Gold Coast (now Ghana), from which slaves were shipped across the Atlantic. The trade declined between 1780 and 1815. The Dutch part in the Atlantic slave trade is estimated at 5-7 percent, or some 550,000-600,000 Africans."

The Netherlands was one of the last countries to abolish slavery in 1863."

Old comments[edit]

knap werk! - Mathijs
Dank je. - Andre Engels
Yes, very impressive! --LMS
You should work for the CIA. :-D (The entire history they collected was about 5 lines long) --KQ
I have amended the Belgian revolution a bit. You made it sound like the Flemings were forced into independence and though pro-French elements were responsible for igniting the revolt, the core sentiments among both Flemings and Walloons were more as I described IMHO. -- [[User:Scipius]
I added a little known fact about WWI and the German Army taking a short cut over a small bit of Lands of the Netherlands, maybe someone can add to this. -- Golf

I always learned in school that there was no actual relation between the old Frisians (in Roman times), and the later ones? The new frisians took up the name of the region. (the remark about "still do")

I think this section is not exactly accurate.

The history of this small country starts with its first inhabitants, hunters that lived during the last ice age thousands of years ago. Notable remains of that period include the monumental Hunebeds in the province Drenthe.

It makes it seem as if the hunebeds were put up by hunters during the last ice age, 8,000 BCE or so. According to a random google they were built between 3400 and 3200 BCE. That's quite a huge distance in time. According to the same source the people who put up these monuments were early farmers. It's like confusing ancient egypt with the reign of Charlemaine.. Martijn faassen 23:12, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Intro expansion request[edit]

I'd like to put this article on the main page, but the introduction could use some beefing up. Also, someone else noted that the painting (the Nightwatch) seems a bit arbitrary, and that a better painting (perhaps a painting of a historical event described in the article) would be better. →Raul654 00:56, Jan 29, 2005 (UTC)

  • Done. It think this nicely combines two erae in Dutch history. Junes 18:29, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Not completely living up to standards now[edit]

Although this article is pretty good, and may have been good enough to be featured on Wikipedia in the past, I don't think it's living up to Wikipedia's current standards for featured articles. I mean, I have just added quite a considerable amount of additions and corrections, and I still feel like there's lots missing/wrong. For instance: the introduction is really odd, there is nothing about peoples coming in before the Romans (Batafs, Westgoths, the like), the Holy Roman Empire bit is rather short considering the timespan (+- 500-1500!) and important developments, there is next to nothing on the Eighty Years' War (yes, I know there's an article but there should be something in the main article as well), nothing about cultural life in the Golden Age (science, arts), oh and that part should probably be sectioned (subdivided, but not divided!) in Eighty Years' War and Golden Age. There is very little contemporary history and most of it is about institutions and the like (where are 'depillarization', 60's-70's cultural changes, immigration?), the balance is odd at times (quite a lot about Indonesia compared to the rest), the language is rather poor sometimes and I agree with some comments that have been made about the images - there should probably be a different painting at the top (not sure what, though), and I feel there should be an image of William of Orange (Greatest Dutchman, after all ;) ). Don't worry, there's a lot that I like about the article (otherwise I wouldn't work on it), and hey, if we all work together we can give this article the smothering love that it needs :D. Junes 18:50, 4 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • Okay, so I've corrected some of these shortcomings, specifically: added some Germanic & Roman history, expanded the Eighty Years' War bit, added contemporary history, improved on the language (but it still has sections that are a bit odd), and I've changed the top image. Still to be done: expand Holy Roman Empire, some more about science, arts, intellectualism during the Golden Age, insert an image of William of Orange, adding good (and English!) references. What's also badly needed: some trimming, and maybe creating new articles, because the balance is horrible at the moment. But see also the next subject below. Junes 18:26, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)


Although I very much like your additions, Thames, because they are well-written and important, a problem is becoming apparent. Some sections have grown so much that the balance is completely gone. Of course, the Golden Age is very important in the history of the Netherlands, and that should merit a longer section, but now it's about 6 times longer than the Holy Roman Empire section. The 20th century is also very long in comparison to the rest. Of course, we could just expand the other sections greatly, but that would mean the article could no longer serve as an introductory text. So it's probably best to make some new articles or merge the information into other existing articles. There a two useful articles here: Dutch Golden Age and Eighty Years' War. The first is a thorough article on the cultural and social history of the Golden Age, but doesn't concern politics. The second is not so thorough, and needs improvement. I think some of mine and your additions could perfectly amend that article. Also, a third article would be very useful, something like History of the Dutch Golden Age, which focuses mainly on political events. However, that would be a lot of work and I'm not ready to write it now. But I'd like to hear your views on it before I merge the History and the Eighty Years' War. What I still miss by the way, and for which there would be plenty of room to expand on in the war article, is some of the more selfish reasons for the revolt: privileges that were taken away, more bureaucratic governing instead of by nobility. As for the 20th century, there's probably enough now to merit a seperate article, and I will as soon as I get to it. Junes 18:27, 7 Feb 2005 (UTC)

  • I have now partitioned the article, moving the causes for the Eighty Years' War to that article. I have also made a new article for the History of the Netherlands: modern history (1900-present), and I have considerably shortened the 20th century section of the present article (but I may shorten it some more). I'm not so sure about the names of the new entries, it all seems very conflicting and arbitrary. Junes 22:56, 9 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Franks and Frisians[edit]

This is the first time I've posted a comment on Wikipedia, so forgive me if I'm doing it wrong in some way.

I enjoyed this history (and others here on similar topics). It would be great if it could explore in more depth the early origins of the Dutch as a people. Who are the Dutch exactly? Not in terms of legend or national identity (e.g. Batavians) but in purely historical terms. The current article deals with this but only for a few lines.

I think English-speakers who are interested in the history of this nation would like to know more about its early relationship between Anglo-Saxon lands. Apparently there were strong ties between SE England and the Frisians. The Dutch were christianised by Anglo-Saxons whose language was apparently intelligible. (Is that correct?) Why does England have so much written in Old English, but in Old Dutch there is virtually nothing?

The medieval Flemish and Dutch (many of them anyway) are presumably the inheritors of the Franks. Dutch essentially developed from Old Low Franconian. The Franks were centered in Flanders, but extended into the southern Netherlands. We read about the Frisians inhabiting the area north of the two rivers and having a large trading influence over the surrounding areas. In 900 most of the Netherlands is still Frisian, all the way down to the main rivers; by 1300 we're looking at a country that has become largely Frankish and is on the verge of world empire. By the time of the Golden Age we see a Holland that is made up of these magnificent prosperous cities - Amsterdam, Leiden, Rotterdam, Haarlem, etc. - but they obviously didn't just pop up out of nowhere.

So what happened between around 900 and 1300 to change the country from being primarily Frisian speaking to being primarily Frankish speaking? From terp-dwelling to Golden Age? From having no written records in Dutch to producing a Vermeer? Was it a slow migration north? Or did Franks create Frankish towns and cities that were surrounded by Frisians? Did the Frisians become culturally and linguistically "Frankicised" for social or economic reasons? Did Vikings or Charlemagne have anything to do with it? What was the dynamic here? Isn't this transition from Frisian to Frankish a really important part of Dutch history? If not, why not? I would love to read more about it. We read much about the Frankish conquest of France, but little about the expansion northwards.

I am also interested in other 5th to 13th century aspects. English sources have much to say about early medieval society in France, England and Germany, but so little about the Netherlands. - the transition from busy Roman outpost to sparsely populated Frisian empire - the Christianisation of the Netherlands and the role of Irish and Anglo-Saxon missionaries - the role played by the Dutch in the Crusades and the church - the history of the language itself

If this leads anywhere thanks! (Alex)

  • I have moved your comments here, at the bottom, as is the custom (don't worry about it). These are some interesting questions you raise here and you're right that they're not apropriately answered in the article. Certainly the medieval section is rather poor at the moment, it should be expanded. However I'm afraid I don't think it can be as in depth as you sketch it here, well not in the main article that is. If there's enough material about these topics eventually there could be other articles about them. Maybe I'll add some more text (I've worked on the text in a piecemeal manner, but have lost interest a bit). But of course you can add to it as well, if you'd like! Just a word of warning: it's not true that it was all Frisians north of the rivers. The inhabitants of the Netherlands in those days were of a lot of different tribes, as is mentioned in the article. There were Saxons in the east, for example. Junes 22:12, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)
    • The people who settled in the 12th and 13th century in Holland were not Franks. These were Western Germanic settlers from Flanders and Utrecht. They spoke Lower German. A 'language' with huge dialect differences, spoken in the entire Netherlands, Northern Germany, Northern Poland and Kaliningradskaya. The dialects fluently changed from area to area. The people in Gelre spoke a language which corresponds half to modern German and half to modern Dutch. --Daanschr 22:43, 30 November 2005 (UTC)
      • Surely this last comment is imprecise? What does "Western Germanic" mean? Old Low Franconian became Old Dutch. The "Dutch" and "Flemish" (admittedly imprecise terms) are essentially the Franks, with some Frisians and Saxons thrown in. By referring to "Lower German", you're essentially suggesting that the Dutch are descended from the Saxons. Many of them are, but most are not and the language is not. The Franks predominated in places like Utrecht and Flanders, and when they settled in Holland they brought their language with them. There are Saxons and Saxon dialects in the east of the country of course. That's my understanding anyway. Schildewaert (talk) 00:47, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Copy-editing & type of spelling[edit]

Thanks by the way Alex, for your copy-editing. There were quite a bit of errors in the article because it wasn't written by native speakers. I saw you changed some American spelling to British spelling. I think that's probably a good idea (the Wikipedia policy is to use consistent spelling, and to make the choice depending who is most likely to read it. Because of the proximity of the UK to the Netherlands, British spelling would be best.) Junes 22:28, 27 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Colonial History[edit]

It would be nice to have a detailed section on the colonial history of the netherlands, how it came about, which countries etc.

I agree, this would also make the mentioning of decolonisation of Indonesia in the post WWII section less awkward.--Arnoutf 23:43, 13 January 2006 (UTC)

It would also be fair to write something on slave's trade.

Modern? Who isn't?[edit]

The following may seem like a trite remark, but this is about a deep-rooted misconception and even an insult. The article says "The Netherlands is now a modern, industrialised nation". Sounds fine, but it suggests there are non-modern countries. Can anyone think of a nation that is not now a modern nation? And would they then dare tell this to an inhabitant of that country in their face? If a nation exists now, it's by definition a modern nation, right? Or does it really mean western and are non-western countries, ehm ... backward or something? Sorry for being so dutch :) DirkvdM July 3, 2005 08:03 (UTC)

  • I think the description "a modern, industrialized nation" is fine. Although the concept of "modern" is applied in many different areas and could be misinterpreted to some extent, I think most readers will appreciate the intended meaning, which IMO would include concepts as: a high standard of living, innovation and use of technology, participation in international organizations, good infrastructure, etc. "Modern" is something that described a state of affairs. I'd say there ARE countries that are not modern, or less modern; for example in Africa or central or Southeast Asia. Although in some of these countries there are relatively modern cities, a large proportion of the population would be living in conditions that may be more similar to how Western countries lived many decades or even centuries ago. I would not feel uncomfortable in telling someone that their country is not "modern"; it is not derogatory or a value judgment. Erik75 20:28, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

Dirk's comments show a lack of exposure to travel off the beaten track. There are many nations, particularly in Africa and the Pacific, which it would be difficult to classify as "modern". Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, etc. No slight intended, they just don't have modernised economies and depend on foreign aid to survive. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:32, 7 December 2007 (UTC)


Hello, how could I copy the schematic about the history of the Low Countries, I´m translating this article into the Spanish Wikipedia. Thanks. Delp. Sorry, i cant sign because im not registered here.

Armada link[edit]

I put this in here and corresponing material in the Armada article as it is very easy for nations to ignore other people's contribution to and experience of history (even to fall into the trap of believing their own nation's propaganda). My aim is to draw attention to the wider pattern which clearly exists, though my knowledge is too narrow, for the reason given, for me to be competent to achieve this fully. Maybe there is an article already covering the broader view at this period. If so, I have missed it. (RJP 13:16, 30 October 2005 (UTC))

Spanish Rule[edit]

During the period of rule of Spain in the Netherlands, was the Spanish language known by Dutch citizens? If no, why not? The Spanish could have exerted a much greater influence on the Netherlands if their subjects knew Spanish. Stallions2010 23:05, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I don't know for sure, but I'd be very surprised if many people knew Spanish. The Habsburgs did not rule the Netherlands in the modern sense of the word. There was a feudal system, in which the local government was always lead by local nobility. In addition, several cities had acquired some self-rule. So the whole thing was rather decentralized. In fact, it was the attempt to centralize government that was one of the reasons for the revolt. By the way, the language around the courts in Brussels was French, rather than Spanish. William of Orange spoke French too. Junes 12:04, 24 January 2006 (UTC)

All citizens of The Netherlands condemned to death?[edit]

Can anyone point me to John Lothrop Motley's source material regarding the death sentence for the whole of The Netherlands? The passage from his work 'The Rise of the Dutch Republic' regarding a decree by the Holy Office of the Inquisition is often quoted but I have also read that this document (if it existed) was a forgery. Reading Motley's history, one can clearly feel the admiration of the author for William of Orange as well as his loathing for the Duke of Alva ( both understandable ) but it has been suggested that Motley ( 1814-1877 ) may have painted a more extreme picture of Spanish infamy at this time than was in fact the case. --User:Tamurello 10:50, 9 March 2006 (UTC)

I have to concur with Tamurello. I have tried to find documentation to verify this claim, which I have heard in several places, and been unable to do so. I have also looked into Motley a bit, and he is widely regarded as being heavily influenced by his own Whig view of history and his anti-Catholic stance in 'Dutch Republic' (e.g., his references to the pope as the "Roman tyrant"). He is not regarded as reliable by historians. Cf. Robert Wheaton, "Motley and the Dutch Historians," New England Quarterly 35 (2007), 318-336, who states that "special pleading, outrageous bias, and an uncritical use of sources are all apparent to the casual reader". I have deleted the sentence from Motley for now, until someone can provide some objective corroboration. - Alan 15:53, 29 March 2007 (UTC)


Shouldnt there be a navigational template? most other history pages have a template listing all the different history period article. – Tutmøsis (Talk) 20:01, 17 April 2006 (UTC)

And floods?[edit]

So there's not a single mention of floods in the history of the Netherlands? --euyyn 00:52, 13 May 2006 (UTC)

I fully agree with the implication of your remark: there should be a paragraph on floods in the Netherlands, because these are an important part of Dutch history - and, for that matter, Dutch identity and collective memory. I started by writing one on the major disaster of 1953 (known in Dutch as "De Watersnoodramp"). (R3NL 19:53, 14 September 2006 (UTC))

Dutch Slave trade[edit]

I’ve added a few lines on how Dutch wealth during the so called “golden period” came partly from their extensive slaving. For references and for those interested in the appalling human cost of the Dutch wealth, se the following links:

--Stor stark7 Talk 15:57, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

I am wondering if reparations were ever offered for the Netherland's involvement in slave trade. - aba lead a at yahoo dot com (one-word ID)

No. Should the Italians give reparations to people in the regions where the Romans were slaving? Should the governments of scandinavia give reparations to all the cities the Vikings pillaged and raped? (Stor stark7)? Reparations have been forced anyway by Mugabe Anoderate1 (talk) 09:06, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

I included that the jews who lived in the Netherlands were the main driving force behind bringing the slave trade to the netherlands and were also its main practioners. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:58, 2 June 2010 (UTC)

Dutch collaboration during WW2 and Reichskommissar Arthur Seyss-Inquart[edit]

I edited the line on Arthur Seyss-Inquart in the secion on WW2 and moved it another part of the article. The semi-colon in the original implies that he was a Dutch collaborator instead of an Austrian National Socialist, imposed by the Nazi regime as Reich Commissioner of the Netherlands. By moving the line, the link to the excellent Wikipedia entry on Seyss-Inquart is preserved in this article.

Relations with Canada[edit]

I do not think the line about the relations with Canada is entirely accurate any more. Only the elderly in the Netherlands associate Canada with the liberation after the second world war. For younger generations, other images are more important. Canada's reputation has suffered badly in the Netherlands as a result of regularly recurring negative publicity in the Dutch press about the clubbing of baby seals in the Arctic. I amended the line about Canada accordingly, but it might be considered to take out the line about Dutch-Canadian relations completely, as it does not seem very relevant in this section on Dutch history (why is there no reference to relations with the U.S., arguably a country that has influenced the Netherlands more than Canada, or with post-war Germany?) (R3NL 20:22, 10 September 2006 (UTC))

Good point. But I don't think the general opinion on the hunt of baby seals deserves a place in a general article on the history of the netherlands. I propose we strike the entire line about the relations with Canada being "honoured".--Dengo 08:05, 13 September 2006 (UTC)

I agree. In my view the whole line about Canada could be deleted. (R3NL 19:30, 14 September 2006 (UTC))

Deportation of Germans after WW2[edit]

I detect some mistakes in references in the paragraphs on Dutch plans to deport Germans from Dutch territory and annex swathes of German territory after WW2. One of the footnotes should refer to article 4, not to article 5. Careful reading of that article demonstrates, moreover, that the British authorities in northern Germany did not expel 100.000 Dutch from the British occupation zone, but only threatened to do so in reaction to the expulsion of Germans from Dutch territory.

In a more geneneral sense, I do not think it is proportionate to devote four or five paragraphs to Dutch-German relations in the aftermath of WW2. This Wikipedia article contains only one paragraph on the mass murder of more than 100.000 Jewish citizens of the Netherlands in German concntration camps. Devoting another three or four paragraphs to (only very partially implemented) plans for expulsion of Germans and annexation of German territory seems entirely out of proportion. I would be in favour of deleting these paragraphs. ( 17:18, 21 October 2006 (UTC))

Could anyone tell me where exactly the article quoted in footnote 5 mentions that the British occupation authorities threatened to expell 100,000 Dutch from northern Germany? It is not in there, yet the footnote has not been removed from the article. ( 17:42, 23 December 2006 (UTC))

Someone has changed this part of the article slightly. The so-called reference to the reaction of the British authorities in occupied Germany, expelling 100,000 Dutch from Northern Germany, is now referenced by footnote 7 instead of footnote 5. But after having read the article on Dutch plans to annex parts of Germany (to which footnote 7 refers), I can only conclude that no mention is made there to this British reaction. This part of the text is faulty and should be removed.

I have removed some sentences on the expulsion of Germans from the Netherlands after WW2. Careful reading of the articles quoted in the footnote shows that they do not corroborate the statements made in this part of the Wikipedia entry. (

Restoration of some earlier material[edit]

I'm reviewing articles from Version 0.5 that have been "downgraded" during our work period, and noticed that a large chunk of material about the "golden age" had been removed. I find it hard to believe that was not caused by a vandal, but could someone who maintains/watches this page please review my edit. If I've made some mistake, please revert, but I would have thought this was one of the most important periods in Dutch history! Walkerma 05:44, 24 November 2006 (UTC)

Complete rewrite of the History of the Netherlands.[edit]

I recently fell in love with the History of Poland is dealt with, which is with dates. Currently this is eccentially a huge pile of information, in my vision this will be a starting point to a wide array of sub articles dealing with specific articles.Rex 19:50, 29 December 2006 (UTC)

Text deleted in April 2006[edit]

Some text about prehistoric and Roman times has been deleted long ago. I readded it with minor modifications. Icek 02:51, 8 April 2007 (UTC)

Tone tag removed[edit]

Since adding the tag seems to be a one man's action that has never been clarified by the editor that submitted this tag, Daniel Case (never contributing to Talk nor contributing in any other way to the article) I think is appropiate to remove this weird comment. Thanks. Rokus01 08:34, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

independence from Germany[edit]

..The Dutch didn't regard themselves as Germans any more since the 15th century, but they officially remained a part of Germany until 1648..

According to whom? The then German emperor perhaps and later German historians and most Germans who still read 'history books' tainted by Bismarckian (and later) influences, but surely not the Dutch themselves. What is always left out is the Pragmatic Sanction of 1548 in which Charles V, both Emperor and Lord of the 17 provinces created them to be new and largely unified unity with its own 'federal' parliament that no longer owed anything to the German Diet. The only link was a personal one: the Netherlands payed the person of the emperor a yearly sum of money in return for which the emperor promissed to 'protect' the Netherlands (i.e. his own provinces..) It was the parliament that decided to pay off his son Phillip's mercenaries-in-mutiny, surreptitously taking control of a rather messy situation and provoking an invasion from the king and the subsequent declaration of independence of the North.

How would Americans feel if their history page said that they remained officially an English colony till 1812 just because the Brits wrote the history books?

America's independence is 1776, ours 1581. At the latest.

Jcwf 04:44, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Is this like the Dutch history books stating Indonesian independence as 1949, not 1945. ;-) --Merbabu 04:52, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
I have changed the text a litlle bit to better reflect the situation. It was officially part of the Holy Roman Empire until 1648. Stating that it was part of Germany presumes that Germany was a unified country, which it was not at that time. Ofcourse there is a difference between the official date and what was the actual situation, in that sense indeed comparable with the situation in Indonesia. Compare the Indonesian Declaration of Independence with the Oath of Abjuration. Difference is that it took the Netherlands 67 years to get the official recognition and Indonesia four. BoH 09:43, 22 September 2007 (UTC)

Swifterbant culture and agriculture[edit]

I was a bit quick in editing the introduction. In my history comment I noted that there was no reference to the Swifterbant culture independently re-establishing agriculture, but I since found I missed a citation in the Swifterbant culture article. My suggestion is to move some of this discussion out of this article into the Swifterbant culture article.

I also still stand by my edit of the introduction - to state the Netherlands is an (underestimated) cradle of civilization is very strong and in my opinion unwarranted, and many countries can make claims like this. Reinventing agriculture just seems plain wrong - it's stated that they were influenced by other agriculturalists and adopted it, not reinvented it from scratch or something. Martijn Faassen 02:39, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

If you are talking about modesty, you are absolutely right. However, has history not been too modest so far towards an area that harboured the homelands of Swifterbant, Bell-Beakers and the Salian Franks? Certainly, this does not fit the practice of rather putting prestigeous nations on the platform, and the availability of archeological facts does not fit the tendency to point at virtually unexplored, far away regions otherwise. Still, don't underestimate Swifterbant, so far they are the oldest culture on the line leading to Funnelbeaker, Corded Ware and Beaker cultures.

The introduction is still making the claim that the area is underestimated. I don't know whether it should, as it's still an opinion, but it was much stronger before. "cradle of civilizations", "reinventing agriculture". Wikipedia runs a danger of having every country's history seem more prestigious, causing inflation of historical importance. I'd like to guard against this. Martijn Faassen 00:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I can understand your doubts concerning the cultural achievements of Swifterbant. After all they just left the hunter-gatherer stage. However, the acculturation of Northern Europe was different from the gradual spread of agriculture from Turkey to the Balkans and so on. Here, indigeous people took up agriculture in their own ways, without being an extension of the wave of agricultural lifestyles radiating from the Orient. The word acculturation might not reflect this break sufficiently. Besides, being semi-sedentairy by nature (they were fishermen!), the limited cultivation of certain crops did not involve a sudden a change of lifestyle, it predated the advent of certain neighbouring agriculturists and even might have been the way prehistoric people had added certain crops to their menu already for thousands of years.

I'm fine to have something like this in, if we cite sources. We should do this in Swifterbant_culture first. Can you find sources for it? So far the Swifterband culture article lacks sources describing this transition, even though the article asserts it. The one source listed as supporting the theory is just describing a field being discovered, nothing else. It doesn't back up the assertion of an independent transition. Martijn Faassen 00:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

I also can understand your doubt concerning the cultural achievements of the Salian Franks, since after all they (and their offspring) only rose to preeminence having their new centres in France and Germany.

The German tribes wandered all over the map, so indeed too much emphasis on their presence in the Netherlands would be wrong. Martijn Faassen 00:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)

However, the Bell Beakers are represented everywhere as carriers of a civilized package of attributes that incended most of Central and Western Europe - maybe even Italy, the wider identification of Beaker cultures seems to emerge as a new field of scholarly discussion. This package was already established when they started to expand. This means, it was established were it originated: in the Netherlands and lover Rhine valley. Sure, they incorporated state of the art technology from all over, just like the Western civilization did when they started to expand. That's why they preferred rivers and coastal areas. And just like the Western civilization, they improved on their acquired package of civilized items themselves and put the base of something completely new. This is indeed a significant contribution to civilization. Underestimated, since we already know all of this for almost forty years, and still it doesn't seem to fully enter. Rokus01 22:44, 25 September 2007 (UTC)

Are you suggesting we modify the current introduction? I think these points still stand in the adjusted introduction. I'd still be more comfortable if we could find an external source that makes the same point: "the territory of the present-day Netherlands is an underestimated cradle of peoples". I guess it's a problem with being underestimated; it means that there are less likely to be sources to back this up. But is Wikipedia really the place to start saying this, then? Martijn Faassen 00:21, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
"Cradle of nations" was never there. It should be clear to everyone that the Swifterbant culture was not a "nation". I also think it's hard to maintain it was a "civilization", which is why I modified "underestimated cradle of civilizations" to "underestimated cradle of peoples". That said, let's remove it and let people draw any conclusion they like themselves (unless Rokus01 can find an external reference characterizing the area as such). I've edited the introduction a bit after your edits. The region is known as possible origin of the Bellbeaker culture, which is mentioned in that article, so I put that back in. Martijn Faassen 10:41, 26 September 2007 (UTC)
You are right, it does appear to his edit. It's not there anymore. You're using a lot of negative words about Rokus01 and this risks getting tempers frayed. Can't we talk about the topic matter instead of taking a confrontational tone? Please see Wikipedia:Civility Martijn Faassen 16:37, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

I miss the point here. What is wrong about the Netherlands being an attested cradle of people and (also prehistoric) civilization? Where are you afraid of? Examples abound. The Beaker phenomenon was pivotal in spreading Bronze culture and the emergence of trade routes as far as China - where Bronze was accepted gratefully at that other end of the silk route. Ironically, it seems all we miss is indeed a pityful government to promote indigenous culture wearing feathered crowns like in Venezuela (Chavez) or Bolivia (Morales), or having a tax-paid ministry for making an inventory of (alleged) feats to boost nationalistic self confidence. Instead we have mister Schonken. From scientific point of view, I wonder what is better. In short, I don't mind any political bias bullying towards the repression of sourced facts and any positive interpretation, while obviously accepting wholesale the unsourced bias of other nations. Rokus01 08:14, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

What is wrong is that wikipedia is not supposed to engage in original conclusions. And this is a conclusion that is contestable, as this discussion shows. Contestable conclusions should be sourced. If you know of an independent outside source that characterizes the territory of the Netherlands as a "cradle of civilizations", let's put it in there. Otherwise, I don't think it's good idea. I also think that Schonken's tone was entirely inappropriate. I'm not sure what unsourced bias of other nations you are referring to, by the way. Martijn Faassen 22:44, 30 September 2007 (UTC)

I restored the claims of an indigenous development of agriculture. It was sourced before with two notable references, however, since this view was contested by a sock and a rouge admin I also added a pagenumber and a quote.Rokus01 (talk) 21:53, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Rokus, we can debate the content without removing this entire discussion from the page, can we? I don't understand why this discussion, which I was involved in, is repeatedly removed from the talk page. Was it some kind of editing mistake? Martijn Faassen (talk) 11:44, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

Martijn, sure we have to focus on content. That is why I filtered out the contributions of an attack account, and will continue to do so. Unfortunately I deleted all that referred to the unfocussed attacks, indeed for having nothing to do with content. Rokus01 (talk) 22:17, 26 January 2008 (UTC)


can somebody fix the intro please? "The history of the Netherlands technically began more than 152,000 years ago" is extremely unprofessional. Just state that the area was inhabited since the paleolithic. The lead should also be shorter. dab (𒁳) 17:25, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

I've made a few more edits as per your suggestion. Shortening the lead will be more lead and contributions are welcome. Martijn Faassen 17:47, 23 September 2007 (UTC)

Rokus01, I'm fine with your recent edits to the intro, but you shouldn't have flagged them as minor, and I'd have appreciated an edit summary. Martijn Faassen 00:03, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

any claim of "indigenous development of agriculture before 4100 BC" would need extremely reliable references, and belongs in the "prehistory" section, not the lead. dab (𒁳) 09:20, 2 October 2007 (UTC)
Ah, here you are. I restored the claims of an indigenous development of agriculture. It was sourced before with two notable references, however, since this view was contested by a sock and by you I also added a pagenumber and a quote. Anyone familiar to the Dutch faculty of archeology will know Raemakers and L. P. Louwe Kooijmans are among the best of our archeologists, i.e. extremely reliable references. Rokus01 (talk) 22:00, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

I just added something about the Peace of Münster in the intro. -The Bold Guy- 18:10, 13 October 2007 (UTC)

Dutch people with Roman names?[edit]

I am fascinated by how many Dutch people I meet with Roman names like Lucius Vilnius, for example. Is there more to this than the Wiki explains? Is there a Roman sub-culture still existing in the Netherlands? Are Dutch people of Roman ancestry a kind of elite? It would be good to have a section in the Wiki page about this. TonyG (Australia) - 07 Dec 2007.

Some dutch people have latin names because latin was a language that some scholars and clergy had learned to speak and read since it was a part of their occupations. All dutch people have germanic ancestry and some may have some celtic ancestry. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:24, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Anachronistic references[edit]

I would like to know what people think about the anachronistic references to "Netherlands" and "Dutch" in this article. Take these sentences for example:

  • "The wealth of the Netherlands in the Iron Age is seen at the "King's grave in Oss"...
  • "Much of the western Netherlands was barely inhabited between the end of the Roman period and around 1100."
  • "As settlement progressed, the area quickly became Dutch."

Considering there was no "Netherlands" and no "Dutch" at this time, aren't sentences like this completely misleading? They ruin the article for me.

Even if this is repaired, what term should be used? A phrase like "the provinces that are now called the Netherlands" seems too much of a mouthful. The Dutch version of this article addresses this problem expressly at the start:

Het Nederland in de huidige betekenis bestond niet voor de late middeleeuwen. Voor die tijd is het beter te spreken van 'het gebied van het huidige Nederland'.

I suppose the problem is artificially trying to construct a history for a political unit that did not exist until the 17th centry. The answer is probably not to keep making references to it. It's poor style in any case. Schildewaert (talk) 23:21, 7 March 2008 (UTC)

I'm not the right person to comment on the usage of "Netherlands" and "Dutch", but to address your last point, I can say that there is nothing wrong with writing history going back 1000's of years on a relatively recent political construct. The point is, we are covering the history of an area that is *now* the modern state. --Merbabu (talk) 01:27, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Quality of this article[edit]

Is anyone else distressed by the quality of the language and content of this article? Schildewaert (talk) 00:37, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Let me ad a few remarks about things that could use some looking into;

In; United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1816–1839) ".. tariffs and guilds; the a unified coinage system .. " What was meant here?
In; Democratic and Industrial Development (1840–1939) " .. During this period the Netherlands also produced a few notable scientists, .." Is it not just During... or Within, maybe someone with more English language skills can pick it up?
Wondering... The 1945 - 1946 has a strange continuing, from the war to the waterworks of 51? , there is no mention of rebuilding the cities, the country and involvement of the Marshall-plan to get the economy moving again, I find that strange. Besides that the EEG, Schengen Agreement, forming of the EU, the "verdracht of maastricht" (euro) are not mentioned in the post war part of the text. I would think that is certainly a part of the current generations history. And as in other described eras, the demographics are not summarized. For example; In the post war period, not only Surinam people immigrated into dutch society, but also Turk and Moroccan people, who were invited to fill jobs within the country and later had opportunities to unite with their families in the Netherlands. At this moment the 3th generation is living in the Netherlands. Currently certain area's in the Netherlands invite families from eastern Europe to settle and unite with their families to counter the current demographic developments with an influx of younger working families. (the logistics hub of Venlo is such a region). Jasperwillem (talk) 08:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)
Secundly, thx all for writing this article, it gives a great inside in my home country ;)!. now after reading all this, lets sleep ;). Jasperwillem (talk) 07:45, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

Burgundian period[edit]

I expanded the section on the Burgundian period. I added a small section on the Frisian peasants rebellion from 1515 until 1523 lead by Pier Gerlofs Donia. Was signed,

Jouke Bersma —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:00, 29 September 2008 (UTC)

GA Review[edit]

This review is transcluded from Talk:History of the Netherlands/GA1. The edit link for this section can be used to add comments to the review.

Initial comments[edit]

Commencing review. BlackJack | talk page 12:02, 30 September 2008 (UTC)

I've done a quick scan to see if there any fundamental issues and can report as follows on the quickfail criteria:

  • The article completely lacks reliable sources – it doesn't completely lack them but there are only 17 and that is inadequate; so this is going to be a problem
  • The topic is treated in an obviously non-neutral way – cannot see any evidence of POV at this stage
  • There are correctly applied cleanup banners, including, but not limited to ... or similar tags – not applicable
  • The article is or has been the subject of ongoing or recent, unresolved edit wars – not applicable
  • The article specifically concerns a rapidly unfolding current event without a definite endpoint – not applicable

So, unless I find POV when I read the article in depth, the only major problem is the shortage of citations. I do not think it will help anyone to quickfail the article on that basis so I will place {{cn}} tags as I read through it. Unfortunately, this does mean the article will probably fail GA but at least I can highlight where work is needed.

I do have another problem which is that I have seen several examples of unsatisfactory prose such as "Julius Caesar and his empire conquered Gaul". I will try to improve prose, grammar and spelling as I work through the review but it depends on the scale of the problem.

Otherwise, the article seems well-served by images and there is plenty of linkage. Not sure if it should have more categories and I will look into that.

Watch this space. BlackJack | talk page 12:49, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


The article fails GA.

I have made comments above about the poor quality of the prose in many areas and about the shortage of citations. The article also fails because the lead does not adequately summarise the content.

Not only does the lead contain poor prose, it is at times divorced from the main content. For example, the first paragraph refers to the Roman province of Gallia Belgica and this is not mentioned anywhere in the main text. What is needed is for someone to rewrite the lead to provide consistency by accurately summarising the article.

Using the good article criteria, the article rates as follows:

  • 1(a) – the prose is generally poor and several sections need to be edited to ensure clarity and readability
  • 1(b) – with 1(a) in mind, attention to WP:WTA will assist; the lead needs to be completely rewritten as described above; the layout is satisfactory but should be considered if extensive changes to prose are made; there is no jargon to speak of; the fiction and list components are not applicable
  • 2(a) – sources listed are not in accordance with the guide to layout
  • 2(b) – there are only 17 citations and this is insufficient as citations are needed throughout
  • 2(c) – there doesn't appear to be any OR
  • 3(a) – satisfactory in terms of its scope
  • 3(b) – focus is generally good and it doesn't delve into unnecessary detail, but ensure attention to 1(a) and 1(b) does not impact this
  • 4(.) – the article is neutral
  • 5(.) – the article is stable
  • 6(a) – copyright and usage of the images seem to be in order
  • 6(b) – the images are appropriate but, as per 1(a), some of the captions could be improved

I considered placing the article "On Hold" for a time while citations are provided and the necessary improvements are made to the lead and the prose, but I have decided to "Fail" it. I notice that the nominator is new to the article and has only made a few recent edits so his commitment remains uncertain. I cannot identify any editor who is a regular, let alone main, contributor. This leads me to suspect that the commitment is not there and so the improvements will not be done in a reasonable timeframe.

I think the cause of the article's problems is this lack of committed editors because it has been receiving occasional edits from all and sundry with no one to take on the mantle of a co-ordinator. The inconsistency between the lead and the content is a reflection of that situation.

For what it is worth, I will keep the article in my own watchlist and make edits as and when. It has at least interested me in the subject when previously I had only a superficial knowledge of Dutch history. BlackJack | talk page 14:56, 1 October 2008 (UTC)

Your input requested: Patrician/Patricianship[edit]

Under a proposal made by me, the pages Patrician and Patricianship -- whose names presently are not specific enough -- will be renamed as follows:

(I dropped an earlier proposal for merging the two pages.)

For the rationale for renaming the pages and a couple of associated other changes, as well as the opinions of user:Johnbod, please see the discussion page at Talk:Patricianship.

My question is, do people here support my renaming proposal, or if not support it, at least would not oppose it.

Thanks in advance for all replies--Goodmorningworld (talk) 14:37, 8 October 2008 (UTC)

Merging Dutch miracle[edit]

I agree that removing the template may not be according to the procedure, but the procedure also requires discussion on the talk page, which is missing.

There's really nothing to merge in the Dutch miracle article. Besides, that article has already given three different definitions of what the Dutch miracle might be. Mvdleeuw (talk) 06:12, 18 October 2010 (UTC)

If nobody objects, I will remove the template shortly. Mvdleeuw (talk) 06:57, 7 March 2011 (UTC)

I removed slave trade reference[edit]

I removed the slave trade reference since it is not specific about who owned and operated in the african slave trade. The "Dutch" colonies had many people who were not ethnically germanic living in them and therefore are not dutch. Most all of the black african slave owners and traders who historians call dutch were actually jewish people who had moved from spain to the netherlands. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:00, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

better read the Postma book which has the detailed evidence. Rjensen (talk) 17:14, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

The postma book is not specific about the ethnicity of the slave owners. I deleted it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:54, 25 December 2010 (UTC)

Quality of this article[edit]

This article desperately requires editing. There are organisational problems and language problems. I've been checking it out for a few years now, occasionally editing something. I'm a little reluctant to get involved because of the "drive-by shooting" that is conducted here by casual visitors. I suppose it's not vandalism, but it often seems to be done (in sub-standard English) by people who haven't read the complete article, perceive the profiling of a specific point as more important than maintaining the integrity of the article, have no intention of referencing their additions, confuse Dutch history with Dutch nationalism, and have odd notions about what English speakers wish to (or should!) read about Dutch history. It would be better to create a series of sub-articles on specific subjects and then just summarise them here. It would also be better for the editors of the sub-articles to turn their attention to what's going on there. But that does not seem to be happening. If no-one objects, I'll try to edit this article slowly over the course of a period of time, but without summarising every individual micro-change. I don't think there will be any objection given the magnitude of the number of errors. Also, I'm not going to start with the problematic introduction. Schildewaert (talk) 07:01, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

I've been able to devote several evenings to try to clean this article up. I won't be able to look at it further for a while, so if there's anyone out there that wants to take up the task, please feel free. I added a few paragraphs for things that belong there but were strangely missing. I mostly took them from other Wikipedia articles. I also tried to organise it both chronologically and thematically to make it more accesible.
The article is still far from smooth, but I hope people agree that it's much better than before. There are still many remnants of drive-by shootings, especially the out-of-place paragraphs on the Batavians, West Friesland and Gelre. I tried to preserve everything that was there, but of course much of it does not belong there and the temptation is great to delete. It is strange how the footnoting stopped with the post-Roman period. I suppose this is where a different kind of editor got interested. I have no idea whether many of the statements made in this latter part are accurate. I suppose this article is till waiting for a true historian to come along and rewrite the entire thing, with proper referencing. Schildewaert (talk) 23:51, 23 March 2011 (UTC)

Hiving off "Prehistory"[edit]

I propose to move this part of the article to a separate page and then just leave a brief one paragraph overview here. I'll wait a few days for objections to be raised. Schildewaert (talk) 07:09, 18 March 2011 (UTC)

Removal of out-of-context sentence[edit]

I've taken out this sentence, because it doesn't make sense in this context of Dutch prehistory. It seems to refer to a diaspora "from Ireland". If the author wants to put it back in, here is the code:

from Ireland to the Carpathian Basin and south along the Atlantic coast and following the Rhone valley as far as Portugal, North Africa and Sicily, even penetrating northern and central Italy.[1]

1730 Purge of Homosexuals.[edit] - Some 250+ men executed. Notable? Pär Larsson (talk) 20:16, 28 August 2011 (UTC)

Editing "19th Century"[edit]

With respect to the original author(s), the text relating to the 19th century is particularly problematic from both a language and content perspective. I started to edit it myself, but I've stopped for now. This whole section needs to be properly rewritten by someone with expertise and access to secondary sources. I thought the improvements could come from the article on "William I" or the article on "United Kingdom of the Netherlands", but those two articles are also unfootnoted and not that well written.

  • The headings seem inappropriate. (easy to fix)
  • This part of the article is mostly unfootnoted. What footnotes there are seem to be unreliable (eg a 1907 Catholic encyclopedia). A quick check of the equivalent articles on the Dutch Wikipedia shows that footnoting is not an important aspect of the Dutch Wikipedia. It's strange that the two Wikipedias have such different approaches.
  • Some of it is insulting to the intelligence of the reader (eg "Flemings in the south spoke a Dutch dialect ("Flemish")") and includes sweeping statements that seem unlikely ("Poverty...also largely disappeared...").
  • Was the "Fundamental Law of Holland" really the name of the law introduced in the UK of the NL??
  • Another example: it says the "estates were resurrected", but when I click through to the links to try to understand this, the material does not support this statement at all. I think what was meant was that the "States General were restored".

I would like to invite the original author(s), or someone else who understands 19th century Dutch history, to amend this text (with proper footnotes of course). It's a shame the Dutch articles are unfootnoted because the easiest approach would have been to translate them. If no one takes up the challenge, I'll do it myself, but the result will be the amendment of most of the current text. Schildewaert (talk) 20:22, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Old Dutch language[edit]

"The Franks came to dominate the area and from their speech the Dutch language arose."

How does this account for the Low Saxon languages spoken in the east of the Netherlands? (talk) 15:01, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't. I agree completely that a sentence or two about this should be added into the article as along as it is properly referenced and integrated into the rest of the text. However I feel that nothing on the minority dialects and languages needs to be put into the introduction. (The sentence you've quoted is from the intro, not the article.) The introduction is already too long. In the intro, I think it's enough to say that Dutch developed historically as the primary language of the country and its origin is probably Franconian. None of the other dialects and languages are mentioned in the intro. If readers want more, they can go to the article itself.
I would like to do that myself, but I can't find any discussion of this on the English Wikipedia that is properly referenced. The last thing we should do is add more unreferenced statements to the article. Look at the article on "Dutch Low Saxon" or "West Low German" or "Dutch dialects", for example. Just a single footnote and that reference is in German and concerns a disputable point, i.e. that Low Saxon is actually a variation of Dutch. The various Dutch articles on the Low Saxon dialects are also completely unreferenced. Look at the articles on "Drents", "Achterhoeks", etc. Also no footnotes there. It's a shame that so much relating to the Netherlands on Wikipedia is unreferenced.
Also, I cannot find an article that deals specifically with the historical development of the Dutch Low Saxon dialects. This is after all an article about history not language.
I have to add that this article inherited a (referenced) section emphasising the inaccuracy of the traditional Frank, Frisian, Saxon distinction. It was difficult to work with this in the editing process because it was rather vague and so many people still see this distinction as an integral part of Dutch history. I think anything relating to minority group history has to be properly referenced because it seems to be sensitive, a subject of dispute and the target of drive-by editorial shootings.
However, to deal with your concern, I've added "main article" links to the part on language so that readers interested in the subject can go to the Dutch Low Saxon article.Schildewaert (talk) 03:25, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

I like what you did, we on the Veluwe should not be forgotten, right? Just wanted to have it noted somewhere in the article. Thanks! ;) (talk) 22:11, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

"disappearance of the Frisii"[edit]

The section deleted was a duplicate 450 words of the main Frisii article which considers various possibilities of what might have been the cause. (Frisii says "In the 3rd and 4th centuries the population of Frisia steadily decreased, and by the 5th century the population had dropped dramatically. The coastal lands would remain largely unpopulated for the next two centuries. When conditions improved Frisia would receive an influx of new settlers, mostly Saxons, and these would eventually be referred to as 'Frisians', though they were not necessarily descended from the ancient Frisii.") That is the coverage for the disappearance of a group belongs in the Frisii article where it is. --the group is important for the long term narrative only when it was a distinctive element and none of that was removed. The article is too long and this kind of detail is not needed when the interested reader can read the text by one click. History books do not pay much attention to the disappearance issue -- see Ton Derks; Nico Roymans (2009). Ethnic Constructs in Antiquity: The Role of Power and Tradition. Amsterdam University Press. p. 323.  for recent research Rjensen (talk) 10:53, 6 December 2012 (UTC)

First, I'd like to compliment you on the work you've been doing on this article. It's harrowing to watch from afar, but there is no doubt you've been improving it in many ways.
Regarding the para about the Frisii, I don't deny that this para may have been lifted from another article, but I also tried to shorten it and amend it on the basis of my reading of the Bazelmans article. My concern about this para has been different: the source quoted also identified tribal conflict as a reason for the disappearance of the Frisii. I didn't include this point and I've been waiting for the author to ask why.
Please understand that this para on the disappearance of the Frisii is hugely important from a Dutch historical perspective. Beyond that, many Frisians are curious to know the details of their ethnogenesis. Many believe they are descended from the ancient Frisii, when they apparently are not. It's a sensitive point that requires a sympathetic approach and a reasoned explanation.
This paragraph is referenced. Footnote 37 provides a link to the Bazelmans article in the Roymans book you referred to. I don't think the disappearance of the Frisii is in dispute. Schildewaert (talk) 23:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

What I do feel this article desperately needs is some explanation of the relationship and differences between the Frisians and the Low Saxons. My research has not uncovered an explanation of that. The Dutch Wikipedia article on the Frisii has this (unfortunately unfootnoted) sentence:

In de loop van de 4e eeuw versmolt de Nederlandse volkssamenstelling tot drie nieuwe stamverbanden die de naam Franken, Saksen en Friezen kregen. Deze 'Friezen' zijn een samensmelting van stammen van onder andere, Cananefaten, een deel Angelen en Saksen, waarin de Frisii bleven domineren.

This statement raises more questions for me than answers. But if it is right, and if it is supported by the sources, the current paragraph should be amended according. I also found this unreferenced statement on the page for Anglo-Frisian Language:

The early Anglo-Frisian and Old Saxon speech communities lived close enough together to form a linguistic crossroads...

This seems right to me, but what isn't clear to me is the process that led to such a clear distinction between Frisians and Low Saxons today. Schildewaert (talk) 23:36, 8 December 2012 (UTC)

thanks for the compliment! :) I've done research on the modern history of the Netherlands but I'm not very familiar with the scholarship on the pre-1430 period. My deletion was designed not to screw up the historiography but merely to shorten the article a bit. Rjensen (talk) 00:25, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

NL or B?[edit]

This part was recently added:

Adolphe Quetelet (1796-1874), the great Belgian statistician, calculated that the new nation was significantly better off than other states. Mortality was low, the food supply was good, education was good, public awareness was high and the charity rate was the highest in the world. The best years were in the mid 1820s.
The quality of schooling was dismal, however. According to Schama, about 1800 the local school teacher was the "humble auxiliary of the local priest. Despised by his co-villagers and forced to subsist on the gleanings of the peasants, he combined drumming the catechism into the heads of his unruly charges with the duties of winding the town clock, ringing the church bells or digging its graves. His principal use to the community was to keep its boys out of mischief when there was no labour for them in the fields, or setting the destitute orphans of the town to the 'useful arts' of picking tow or spinning crude flax. As one would expect, standards in such an occupation were dismal."[121] But in 1806 the Dutch, led by Adriaan van den Ende, energetically set out to modernise education, focusing on a new system for advanced training of teachers with an elaborate system of inspectors, training courses, teacher examinations and teaching societies. By 1826, although much smaller than France, the Dutch national government was spending 12 times more than Paris on education.

However, it is not clear whether this applies to Belgium or the southern part of the Netherlands. The reference to "priest" seems to exclude most of the modern Netherlands. If it pertains to the situation in Belgium, how relevant is it to this article? Schildewaert (talk) 07:54, 10 December 2012 (UTC)

Depiction of tribal groupings[edit]

I'm willing to discuss the issue of how to list and depict the various tribal groupings associated with the pre-Roman period. This particular map is useful, not because of its accuracy, but because of its comprehensiveness. It is accurate enough to give the casual reader a basic understanding, and the symbolic nature of the representation is fully explained in the caption. A more detailed presentation of the tribal groupings can be presented in an article devoted to that topic. I was absolutely delighted to find that someone had made this image and posted it on Wikimedia. It belongs in this article, unless you can find another map that presents it better. I do think a listing of the various tribes is more or less essential to anyone seeking to understand the situation. I would like to avoid the situation of the only tribal group presented being the Batavians.

I've looked carefully at your new list of the tribal groupings in the section on the Batavians, and I don't understand why you are unwilling to list them in a separate section, or integrate them into the section that is already there. Your list raises issues for me. Your comment about the Frisians for example is a repetition of comments made elsewhere. I'm sorry, but I feel this list should be removed or integrated more smoothly into the existing text. It essentially ruins the treatment of this subject. I don't see this as vandalism, but you are riding roughshod over the text that is already there. Schildewaert (talk) 02:26, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

I think there are several issues that can be separated out here. Several are matters of basic WP policy as far as I can see. Can you please comment on the following...
  • You delete sourced material and re-insert un-sourced material which you admit might not be accurate. In one edit deleting accurate sourceable information you mention archaeological evidence, but you do not bring any published sources into the article.
  • You explicitly say that your edit favours "usefulness" over accuracy. Given that we are making an encyclopedia, how can something inaccurate be useful? And please note that the map is not just a little bit wrong, but totally wrong, and totally unsourced. For example the Menapii lived west of the Scheldt but you want to tell our readers they lived east of it, the Ampsivarii are named after the river Ems in Germany, but you have them between Maas and Rhine where Caesar tells us the Eburones lived.
  • Another issue which seems to concern you is that I have tried to merge discussion of Roman era tribes all into one section, whereas you seem to want all tribes apart from the Batavi treated as "pre Roman" in a separate inaccurate but "useful" section. Why? (I find the emphasis on the Batavi odd, given they only lived in a small part of the modern Netherlands. The Frisii, or whoever they replaced, were surely covering more of the country?)
  • And again coming back to accuracy, how can we justify treating Roman era sources as if they were pre-Roman? For the pre imperial era we have no information about the names of the tribes north of the Belgae. (And archaeology gives no information about these names in this era.) Published sources might not all agree but many do suggest that all or at least some of the tribes you want to call pre-Roman, (Canenefates, Batavi, Toxandri, etc), only arrived later.
  • Many of the tribes mentioned in the section you favour are actually known not to have lived in the territory of the Netherlands (Chatti, Ubii, Tencteri, Usipetes, Sicambri, Bructeri, Ampsivarii - most of whom are in strikingly wrong positions on the unsourced map) whereas others who Pliny mentions living in the delta, are being deleted by you from being mentioned (Chauci, Sturii, Frisiavones). Instead you have almost the whole delta covered by the Batavians, whose connection to the area before Roman rule is a subject of academic debate, and who are in any case clearly known not to have covered the whole delta during Roman rule.
  • You object to any remark being made which questions whether the modern Frisians are the same as the ancient Frisii. Is this because you think no published sources doubt it? (I note that the effect of NOT mentioning this doubt is to let readers equate Frisii and Frisians, which can lead to the idea that the Frisii only lived in the far north of the Netherlands. Again, de-emphasizing the biggest tribe we know of, and over-emphasizing the Batavi.)
If there is a theme amongst all of the above, it is perhaps that you want the Batavians emphasized at the expense of all other information we could be giving readers? Note that in your preferred version, the Roman era is only about the Batavi and no other tribes are mentioned. Why? --Andrew Lancaster (talk) 07:46, 30 June 2013 (UTC)
Upon reflection I see two areas of possible common ground which maybe give me an editing direction.
  • You ask why I did not integrate my new material properly into the section it is in. I can maybe see what you mean there, in that the section is all about the Batavi. I think the obvious solution requires some restructuring of the whole "Roman Era" part of this article, so that it does not only focus on the Batavi. (It should for example have a sub-section about the Batavian revolt, which involved many tribes.) In this way hopefully we can get rid of the tribal map sub-section of the pre-Roman section.
  • You suggest that you'd be happy if a better map could be provided. I have tended to avoid this for the exact reason that I am concerned with WP:OR, but I do think I can make something, and I will try to find time for it.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 13:45, 30 June 2013 (UTC)

the lead should be compressed[edit]

The article and the lead are both far outside WP norms and have generally been written in a wordy way. The lead reads like a mini version of the whole article. I think it would be pretty easy to compress the lead without losing much, but I wanted to give a warning and not shock anyone. I think this is still too long.--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 15:02, 1 July 2013 (UTC)

the norms are not for this kind of sweeping article -- keep in mind that most people will only read the lede and not the rest of the article. Short ledes have to be entirely rewritten--very few names of individuals, wars or places will remain, only rather vague generalities. Rjensen (talk) 16:51, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Hmm. I would think the norms are for all articles, and if there is in any case something special going on here what is it? Please explain why is the history of the Netherlands such a "sweeping" subject? And do you think the article is elegantly written so that no compression is possible without making it worse? Really? Secondly we are not talking about a small differences from the norms. This article is more than double the normal maximum.
When articles are big we normally make "child" articles for sub-sections, and then we compress the "mother" article. What would be the point of having leads if they read like the body of the article, or specialist articles if they are all reproduced or even expanded upon in the parent article? The article as a whole looks like the pasting together of what should be dozens of articles, and it can not be said that it is already well edited and impossible to improve. The intro is longer than any article I know of. It just looks like something needing editing, and so why may it not be edited and improved? And by the way is there anything actually wrong with the lead proposal below?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 18:53, 1 July 2013 (UTC)
Now Proposal
The history of the Netherlands is the history of a seafaring people thriving on a watery lowland river delta on the North Sea in northwestern Europe. When the Romans and written history arrived in 57 BC, the country was sparsely populated by various tribal groups at the periphery of the empire. Over four centuries of Roman rule had profound demographic effects, resulting eventually in the establishment of three primary Germanic peoples in the area: Frisians, Low Saxons and the Franks. Hiberno-Scottish and Anglo-Saxon missionaries led them to adopt Christianity by the 8th century. The descendants of the Salian Franks eventually came to dominate the area, and from their speech the Dutch language arose.

Carolingian rule, loose integration into the Holy Roman Empire and Viking depredation followed, the local noblemen being left relatively free to carve out highly independent duchies and counties. For several centuries, Brabant, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland, Gelre and the others fought intermittently amongst themselves, but at the same time trade continued and grew, land was reclaimed, and cities prospered. Forced by nature to work together, over the centuries they built and maintained a network of polders and dikes that kept out the sea and the floods, in the process transforming their desolate landscape into a highly productive garden-state, mastering the North Sea and the high seas beyond, and emerging out of the struggle as one of the most urban and enterprising nations in Europe.

By 1433, the Duke of Burgundy had assumed control over most of the Dutch-speaking territories and the concept of a nation of Dutch-speaking people emerged. However, under Charles V and then Philip II, the Burgundian Netherlands became part of the Spanish empire. The Protestant Reformation made Calvinism the dominant religion in the north (The Netherlands). Protestantism lost its gains in the South after the Catholic Counter Reformation, leaving the South (Belgium) almost wholly Catholic. The Spanish counterattack was led by Duke of Alba and Alexander Farnese. In 1566 William of Orange, a Calvinist, launched the Eighty Years' War to liberate the Dutch of all religions from the Catholic Spaniards. The Dutch revolt was an epic struggle against the Spanish; it finally was won in the North with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, but the Spanish remained in control in the South.

The Dutch Republic was born, a Dutch-speaking nation with a Protestant majority, many Catholics and thousands of Jews—and an unusual policy of tolerance. Holland benefited greatly from the decline of Antwerp and the massive influx of Protestant refugees.

During the Revolt commerce flourished and the United Provinces prospered. Amsterdam became the most important trading centre in northern Europe. In the Dutch Golden Age, which had its zenith around 1667, there was a remarkable flowering of trade, industry (especially shipbuilding), the arts (especially painting) and the sciences. Using its naval power and vast commercial fleet, the province of Holland, built a worldwide Dutch empire, a maritime power with a commercial, imperial and colonial reach that extended to Asia, Africa and the Americas. The trade in slaves was especially profitable.

By the mid-18th century decline had set in because of several economic factors. The population was small—under two million. A series of wars with the British and the French were expensive. The country's political system was dominated by wealthy regents and (sometimes) by stadtholders drawn from the House of Orange. Eventually, Amsterdam lost its leading position to London. In 1784 a war with Great Britain ended particularly disastrously. There was growing unrest and conflict between the Orangists and the Patriots inspired by the French Revolution, and finally conflict with France itself. A pro-French Batavian Republic was established (1795–1806), and with the consolidation of French power under Napoleon gradually turned into a French satellite state, culminating in the Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810) and later simply an imperial province.

After the Battle of Leipzig and subsequent collapse of the French Empire in 1813, the Netherlands was restored as a "sovereign principality" with the House of Orange providing a monarch. The Vienna Conference in 1815 confirmed this authority by creating the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. King William I was also given rule over Belgium. But the cultural chasm between North and South was too great. Belgium revolted in 1830 and the European powers recognized its independence. After an initially conservative period, strong liberal sentiments arose in the Netherlands, so that in the 1848 constitution the country was made a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. Industrialization and urbanization made it a prosperous small nation with a large empire.

The Netherlands was neutral during the First World War, and the 1920s and 1930s were quiet years. On 10 May 1940 Nazi Germany invaded the country and, after destroying Rotterdam, occupied it. Around 100,000 Dutch Jews were murdered in the Holocaust and many others died as well. On 5 May 1945, the war ended after liberation by mainly Canadian forces. The post-war years were a time of hardship, natural disaster and mass emigration, followed by rebuilding, large-scale public works programmes (especially the Delta Works), economic recovery, European integration and the gradual introduction of a welfare state. There was also a conflict with Indonesia, which ended with the Dutch withdrawing completely from their former colonies there in 1961. Suriname declared independence in 1975. Many people from Indonesia and Suriname, and later from other countries as well, moved to the Netherlands, which resulted in the transformation of the country into a multicultural society.

The second half of the 20th century was marked by relative peace and prosperity. By the 21st century, the Netherlands had become a modern, dynamic country with a successful, internationally oriented economy (the 16th largest in the world in 2010) and a high standard of living.

The history of the Netherlands is the history of a seafaring people thriving on a watery lowland river delta on the North Sea in northwestern Europe. For four centuries the region formed a militarized border zone of the Roman empire, which came under increasing pressure from Germanic peoples moving westwards. As Roman power collapsed and the Middle Ages began, three dominant Germanic peoples coalesced in the area, Frisians in the north, Low Saxons in the northeast, and the Franks.

During the Middle Ages, the descendants of the Salian Franks, the Carolingian dynasty, came to dominate the area militarily, as well as a large part of Western Europe. The region of the Netherlands therefore became part of Lower Lotharingia within the Frankish Holy Roman Empire. For several centuries, lordships such as Brabant, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland, Guelders and others held a changing patchwork of territories. There was no unified equivalent of the modern Netherlands.

By 1433, the Duke of Burgundy had assumed control over most of the lowlands territories in Lower Lotharingia, creating the Burgundian Netherlands. This also included modern Belgium, Luxemburg, and a part of France. Under Charles V these were declared independent of Germany and France. But under his Habsburg dynasty, they also then became part of the new Spanish empire. This became a source of violent division when new Protestant had an important impact in many parts of the region, especially in Dutch speaking areas.

The Catholic Kings of Spain took strong measures against protestantism and other dissent, and this polarized the peoples of what are now Belgium and Holland. The subsequent Dutch revolt finally led to the splitting of the Burgundian Netherlands into a southern "Spanish Netherlands", roughly equivalent to Belgium and Luxembourg, and a northern "United Provinces", from which the modern Netherlands has developed.

In the Dutch Golden Age, which had its zenith around 1667, there was a remarkable flowering of trade, industry (especially shipbuilding), the arts (especially painting) and the sciences. A worldwide Dutch empire developed, and the Dutch East India Company became one of the earliest and most important companies of all time.

During the 18th century the power and wealth of the Netherlands declined. A series of wars with the British and the French weakened it, while Britain (with its own East India Company became stronger. There was growing unrest and conflict between the Orangists and the Patriots. Later, a pro-French Batavian Republic was established (1795–1806), and this gradually turned into a French satellite state, the Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810), and later simply an imperial province.

After the collapse of the French Empire in 1813, an expanded Netherlands was restored with the House of Orange as monarchs, ruling a "United Kingdom of the Netherlands" which included Belgium and Luxembourg. Belgium revolted in 1830 and by 1839 new borders had been agreed, dividing the Netherlands into the three countries in the region today. After an initially conservative period, in the 1848 constitution the country became a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch. Modern Luxembourg initially remained united with the Netherlands, but today is ruled by a separate branch of the Dutch royal family.

The Netherlands was neutral during the First World War, but during the Second World War, the Netherlands was invaded and occupied by Germany. The post-war peace years as in many parts of Europe, were initially a time of hardship, and mass migration, followed by rebuilding, large-scale public works programmes (especially the Delta Works). Indonesia rebelled from Dutch and became independent in 1961. Suriname declared independence in 1975. Economic recovery, European integration and the gradual introduction of a welfare state followed. The second half of the 20th century was marked by relative peace and prosperity. The Netherlands formed a new economic alliance with Belgium and Luxembourg, the Benelux, and then all three became founding members of the European Union.

Just a quick note to remark that I have received no comments about the above proposal. To give some examples of things removed:

  • it no longer states that a conflict in 1740 was influenced by the French revolution
  • it no longer contains a eulogy of William of Orange fighting on behalf of all creeds against Phillip II
  • It no longer contains such things as "the 1920s and 1930s were quiet years" or special mention of the importance of Canadian forces

...all such things seem rather unusual diversions in a lead about a the entire history of the Netherlands. Is there any reason not to put the above proposed lead in as at least a small step towards trying to compress this article a bit?--Andrew Lancaster (talk) 16:49, 2 July 2013 (UTC)

I make no comparisons between the two leads. I stop by this talk page to commend the authors of the lead. Being an ex-patriot of Belgium, I have read many descriptions in many varied articles pertaining to the history of Belgium and/or the Netherlands. The lead is without doubt the clearest and easiest to follow and understandhistory of the area that I have read. . Buster Seven Talk 17:57, 14 March 2015 (UTC)

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Modern doubts about the traditional Frisian, Frank and Saxon distinction[edit]

I feel this section has to be toned down a little, because it's more about historiographical questions than about the actual presence of these groups. The latter is not really in doubt. The meaning or impact of that is another matter. I will look into that in the near future. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 16:59, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

It remains a big deal because lots of older people were taught the model and still believe it. Rjensen (talk) 17:06, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I won't be suggesting any changes about modern doubts about the historical or historiographical impact of the model. That is not the problem. The section of the article in question should imo however not suggest that the appearance of these three tribal identities never took place and has had no meaning at all for the ancestry of what is at present the population of the Netherlands. I don't think that the sources given would put it that strongly either, also because they are primarily concerned with the impact of the model. I'm presently re-reading Blok's "De Franken in Nederland" at the time. I'll wait with any suggestions at least until I finished that. Thanks. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:28, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
OK we'll wait--but Blok is very controversial see . What happened is that the longstanding old interpretation was that the three elements were powerful forces over many centuries. Experts no longer support that. So what influence do the three have today? Wiki can only mention the influence that current RS identify. So what if anything is that in 2016? Rjensen (talk) 17:33, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
I don't think Blok is "very controversial". It is just that the site you linked to is apparently devoted to advocating a fringe theory by Albert Delahaye, who claims that (quoting from [1]):
1. Charlemagne has no links with Nijmegen, many in Noyon
2. The Netherlands (and part of Belgium) where under water (Dunkerk Transgressions) (my emphasis; this refers to the period 250-1050 AD)
3. Interpretation of maps: North-West orientation misunderstood (i.e., traditional interpretation of maps is wrong)
4. No Carolingian artefacts have been found in The Netherlands
5. The Vikings never occupied quarters in Nijmegen
6. Willibrord and Bonifatius never evangelised in The Netherlands
Iblardi (talk) 18:28, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Well, to answer part of your last question, some aspects of regional language (dialects) and historical farmhouse architecture.... But that's about it. I agree they were not powerful forces over many centuries. I would even say they were not very powerful aspects at the time they were supposed to be distinct (early middle ages). For instance, the present Saxon speaking area's of what are now the Netherlands were apparently (if you can believe historical carthography, a very confusing aspect of this matter) not involved in the pagan Saksony that Charlemagne fought against, having been part of the Frankish domain long before that. Also they were incorporated in the Utrecht Bishopric rather than the Munster or Osnabruck ones.... They were (exept for some portions of the "Achterhoek") not even part of the later Saxon Duchy within the German kingdom, but rather of Lower Lotharingia, coincideing somewhat with the earlier borders of the Utrecht "Bishopric of the Frisians!". But these identities were there. That's the only point I'm making right now. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 17:59, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Another thing Rjensen, I'd regard Blok as a reliable source over Delahaye any time. Delahay's works have long been regarded as bordering on pseudoscience. And we don't regard blogs as reliable sources on Wikipedia anyway. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 18:05, 13 April 2016 (UTC)
Definitely agree that Delahaya is pure fringe. Even the way he writes was entirely unprofessional. He claimed that the Netherlands "stole" culture from North-France and the only way he claimed to source his bizarre theories was that people buy his book (which was simply completely differently interpreting older texts). Bataaf van Oranje (Prinsgezinde) (talk) 12:00, 23 May 2016 (UTC)
I'll be back with suggestions for different language. Gerard von Hebel (talk) 15:46, 1 June 2016 (UTC)

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Surrender in 1940[edit]

Who exactly surrendered? The Fortress Holland? The forces in the mainland? All forces? The Netherlands as a nation? Due to an exile government the last scenario is unlikely. Another question is, if parts of the forces (especially Air Force and Navy units) could escape and fought comparable to the Polish Armed Forces in the West together with the allies. Another question is, if the Netherlands were at war with Italy as well.--Stubenviech (talk) 08:14, 5 May 2017 (UTC)

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  1. ^ The Oxford Illustrated Prehistory of Europe - Barry Cunliffe, Oxford University Press, p250-254, 1994