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Originally appearing in Volume V13, Page 606 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
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HISTORY FROM 1579 TO MODERN TIMES3 £ 722,583 6,132,000 £ 445,333 9,311,666 £ 718,199 12,750,083 The political compact known as the Union of Utrecht differed from its immediate predecessors, the Pacification of Ghent, the Union of Brussels and the Perpetual Edict, in its come-permanence. The confederacy of the northern pro- quences vinces of the Netherlands which was effected (29th of the of January 1579) by the exertions of John of Nassau, Uutrecnionht.o, was destined to be the beginning of a new national life. The foundation was laid on which the Republic of the ' For the history of the Netherlands previous to the confederacy of the northern provinces in 1579 see NETHERLANDS. United Netherlands was to be raised. Its immediate results were far from promising. The falling away of the Walloon provinces and the Catholic nobles from the patriot cause threatened it with ruin. Nothing but the strong personal influence and indefatigable labours of the prince of Orange stood in the way of a more general defection. Everywhere, save in staunch and steadfast Holland and Zeeland, a feeling of wavering and hesitation was spreading through the land. In Holland and Zeeland William was supreme, but elsewhere his aims and his principles were misrepresented and misunderstood. He saw that unaided the patriotic party could not hope to resist the power of Philip II., and he had therefore resolved to gain the support of France by the offer of the sovereignty of the Netherlands to the duke of Anjou. But Anjou was a Catholic, and this fact aroused among the Protestants a feeling that they were being betrayed. But the prince persisted in the policy he felt to be a necessity, and (23rd of Jan. 1581) a treaty was concluded with the duke, by which he, under certain conditions, agreed to accept the sovereignty of the Netherland provinces, except Holland and Zeeland. These two provinces The Ban were unwilling to have any sovereign but William against himself, and after considerable hesitation he agreed William of to become their Count (24th of July 1581). He felt orange. that he was justified in taking this step because of the Ban which Philip had published on the 15th of March 1581, in which Orange had been proclaimed a traitor and miscreant, and a reward offered to any one who would take his life. His practical answer to the king was the act of Abjuration, by which at his persuasion the representatives of the provinces of Brabant, Flanders, Holland, Zeeland, Gelderland and Utrecht, assembled at the Hague, declared that Philip had forfeited his sovereignty over them, and that they held themselves henceforth absolved from their allegiance to him. In a written defence, The the famous Apology, published later in the year, William Apology. Attempt William had taken up his residence at Antwerp in on the Life of order to give the French prince his strongest personal Orange support, and while there a serious attempt was made by Jean upon his life (March 18th) by a youth named Jean Jaureguy. Jaureguy. He fired a pistol at the prince close to his head, and the ball passed under the right ear and out at the left jaw. It was a terrible wound, but fortunately not fatal. Mean- while Anjou soon grew tired of his dependent position and of the limitations placed upon his sovereignty. He resolved by a secret and sudden attack (17th of January 1583) to make himself master of Antwerp and of the person of Orange. The The assault was made, but it proved an utter failure. French Fury. The citizens resisted stoutly behind barricades, and the French were routed with heavy loss. The "French Fury " as it was called, rendered the position of Anjou in the Netherlands impossible, and made William himself unpopular in Brabant. He accordingly withdrew to Delft. In the midst of his faithful Hollanders he felt that he could still organize resistance, and stem the progress made by Spanish arms and Spanish influence under the able leadership of Alexander of Parma. Antwerp, with St Aldegonde as its burgomaster, was still in the hands of the patriots and barred the way to the sea, and covered Zeeland from invasion. Never for one moment did William lose heart or relax his efforts and vigilance; he felt that with the two maritime provinces secure the national cause need not be despaired of. But his own days had now drawn to their end. The failure of Jaureguy did not deter a young Catholic zealot, by name Balthazar Gerard, from attempting to assassinate the man whom he looked upon as the arch-enemy of God and the king. Under the pretext of seeking a passport, Gerard penetrated into the Prinsenhof at Delft, and Assasfiring point blank at William as he left the dining sination hall, mortally wounded him (loth of July 1584). of William Amidst general lamentations " the Father of his the silent. Country," as he was called, was buried with great state in the Nieuwe Kerk at Delft at the public charge. But though the great leader was dead, he had not striven or worked in vain. The situation was critical, but there was no panic. Throughout the revolted provinces there was a general determination to continue the struggle to the bitter end. To make head, however, against the victorious advance of Parma, before whose arms all the chief towns of Brabant and Flanders, Bruges, Ghent, Brussels and lastly—after a valiant defence—Antwerp itself had fallen, it was necessary to look for the protection of a foreign ruler. The government, now that the commanding personal influence of William was no more, was without any central authority which could claim obedience. The States-General were but the delegates of a number of sovereign provinces, and amongst these Holland by its size and wealth (after the occupation by the Spaniards of Brabant and Flanders) was predominant. Maurice of Nassau, Maurice William's second son, had indeed on his father's death Nassau. been appointed captain and admiral-general of the Union, president of the Council of State, and stadholder of Holland and Zeeland, but he was as yet too young, only seventeen, to take a leading part in affairs. Count Hohenloo took the command of the troops with the title of lieutenant-general. Two devoted adherents of William of Orange, Paul Buys, advocate of Holland, and Johan van Oldenbarneveldt, pensionary of Rotterdam, were the statesmen who at this difficult rTelghenty sove- juncture took the foremost part in directing the policy offered of the confederacy. They turned first to France. to Henry The sovereignty of the provinces was offered to Henry °~ and declined. own country, declined the dangerous honour (1585). Repelled in this direction, the States-General next turned themselves to England. Elizabeth was alarmed by the successes of the Spanish arms, and especially by the fall of Antwerp; and, though refusing the sovereignty, she agreed to send a force of 5coo foot and r000 horse to the aid of the Provinces under the com- mand of the earl of Leicester, her expenses being guaranteed by the handing over to her the towns general. of Flushing, Brill and Rammekens as pledges (Toth of August 1585). Leicester, on landing in Holland, was in the presence of the States-General and of Maurice of Nassau invested with the title of governor-general and practically sovereign powers (February 1586). The new governor had great difficulties to contend with. He knew nothing of the language or the character of the people he was called upon to govern; his own abilities both as Failure general and statesman were mediocre; and .he was and with-hampered constantly in his efforts by the niggardliness drawal of and changing whims of his royal mistress. In trying Leicester. to consolidate the forces of the Provinces for united action and to centralize its government, he undoubtedly did his best, according to his lights, for the national cause. But he was too hasty and overbearing. His edict prohibiting all commercial intercourse with the enemy at once aroused against him the bitter hostility of the merchants of Holland and Zeeland, who thrived by such traffic. His attempts to pack the council of State, on which already two Englishmen had seats, with personal adherents and to override the opposition of the provincial states of Holland to his arbitrary acts, at last made his position impossible. The traitorous surrender of Deventer and Zutphen by their English governors, Stanley and York, both Catholics, rendered all Englishmen suspect. The States of Holland under the leadership of Johan van Oldenbarneveldt, took up an attitude of resolute hostility to him, and the States of Holland dominated the States-General. In the midst of these divided councils the important seaport of Sluis was taken by Parma. Utterly discredited, Leicester (6th of August 1587) abandoned the task, Sovereignty offered to the Duke of Anjou. The Act ofAbJuration. replied at great length to the charges that had been brought against him, and carrying the war into the enemy's camp, endeavoured to prove that the course he had pursued was justified by the crimes and tyranny of the king. The duke of Anjou was solemnly inaugurated as duke of Brabant (February 1582), and shortly afterwards as duke of Gelderland, count of Flanders and lord of Friesland. in which he had met with nothing but failure, and returned to England. Nothing could have been worse than the position of the States at the beginning of 1588. Had Parma had a free hand, in all probability he would have crushed out the revolt Johan van and reconquered the northern Netherlands. But the e neveldtidt. attention of the Spanish king was at this time con- centrated upon the success of the Invincible Armada. The army of Parma was held in readiness for the invasion of England, and the United Provinces had a respite. They were fortunately able to avail themselves of it. The commanding abilities of Oldenbarneveldt, now advocate of Holland, gradually gathered into his hands the entire administration of the Republic. He became indispensable and, as his influence grew, more and more did the policy of the provinces acquire unity and con- sistency of purpose. At the same time Maurice of Nassau, now grown to man's estate, began to display those military talents which were to gain for him the fame of' being the first general of his time. But Maurice was no politician. He had implicit trust in the advocate, his father's faithful friend and counsellor, and for many years to come the statesman and the soldier worked in harmony together for the best interests of their country (see OLDENBARNEVELDT, and MAURICE, prince of Orange). At the side of Maurice, as a wise adviser, stood his cousin William Louis, stadholder of Friesland, a trained soldier and good commander in the field. After the destruction of the Armada, Parma had been occupied with campaigns on the southern frontier against the French, and the Netherlanders had been content to stand on Campaign of 159I. guard against attack. The surprise of Breda by a stratagem (8th of March 1590) was the only military event of importance up to 1591. But the two stadholders had not wasted the time. The States' forces had been reorganized and brought to a high state of military discipline and training. In 1J91 the States-General, after considerable hesitation, were persuaded by Maurice to sanction an offensive campaign. It was attended by marvellous success. Zutphen was captured on the loth of May, Deventer on the loth of June. Parma, who was besieging the fort of Knodsenburg, was forced to retire with loss. Hulst fell after a three days' investment, and finally Nymegen was taken on the 21st of October. The fame of Maurice, a consummate general at the early age of twenty-four, was on all men's lips. The following campaign was signalized by the capture of Steenwyk and Koevorden. On the Death of 8th of December 1592 Parma died, and the States Parma. were delivered from their most redoubtable adversary. In 1593 the leaguer of Geertruidenburg put the seal on Maurice's reputation as an invincible besieger. The town fell after an New investment of three months. Groningen was the province chief fruit of the campaign of 1594. With its dependent of Stadt district it was formed into a new province under the en Landes. name of Stadt en Landen. William Louis became the stadholder (see GRONINGEN). The soil of the northern Netherlands was at last practically free from the presence of Spanish garrisons. The growing importance of the new state was signalized by the conclusion, in 1J96, of a triple alliance between England, France and the United Provinces. It was of short duration and purchased by hard conditions, but it implied the recognition by Henry IV. and Elizabeth of the States - General, as a sovereign power, with whom treaties could be concluded. Such a recognition was justified by the brilliant successes of the campaign of 1597. It began with the complete rout of a Spanish force of 4500 men at Turnhout in January, with scarcely any loss to the victors. Then in a succession of sieges Rheinberg, Meurs, Groenlo, Bredevoort, Enschede, Ootmarsum, Oldenzaal and Lingen fell into the hands of Maurice. The relations of the Netherlands to Spain were in 1598 completely changed. Philip II. feeling death approaching, resolved to marry his elder daughter, the Infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia,to her cousin, the Cardinal Archduke Albert of Austria, who had been governor-general of the Netherlands since 2596, and to erect the Provinces into an independent sove- Albert and reignty under their joint rule. The instrument was Isabel, executed in May; Philip died in September; the sovereigns marriage took place in November. In case the mar- oftre Nether- riage should have no issue, the sovereignty of the lands. Netherlands was to revert to the king of Spain. The archdukes (such was their official title) did not make their joyeuse entree into Brussels until the close of 1599. The step was taken too late to effect a reconciliation with the rebel provinces. Peace overtures were made, but the conditions were unacceptable. The States-General never seriously considered the question of giving in their submission to the new sovereigns. The traders of Holland and Zeeland had thriven mightily by the war. Their ships had penetrated to the East and West Indies, and were to be found in every sea. The year 'Goo saw the foundation of the Chartered East India Company (see DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY). The question of freedom of trade with the Indies had become no less vital to the Dutch people than freedom of religious worship. To both these con-cessions Spanish policy was irreconcilably opposed. Dunkirk, as a nest of freebooters who preyed upon Dutch commerce, was made the objective of a daring offensive campaign in 1600 by the orders of the States-General under the influence of Old enbarneveldt in the teeth of the opposi- The6attle tion of the stadholders Maurice and William Louis. port. By a bold march across Flanders, Maurice reached Nieuport on the 1st of July, and proceeded to invest it. The archduke Albert, however, followed hard on his steps with an army of seasoned troops, and Maurice, with his communications cut, was forced to fight for his existence. A desperate combat took place on the dunes between forces of equal strength and valour. Only by calling up his last reserves did victory declare for Maurice. The archduke had to fly for his life. Five thousand Spaniards were killed; seven hundred taken, and one hundred and five standards. To have thus worsted the dreaded Spanish infantry in open fight was a great triumph for the States troops and their general, but it was barren of results. Maurice refused to run further risks and led back his army to Holland. For the following three years all the energies alike of the archdukes and the States-General were concentrated on the siege of Ostend (15th of July 1601—20th of Sept. 1604), the solitary possession of the Dutch in Flanders. The heroic obstinacy of the defence was equalled by the perseverance of the attack, and there was a vast expenditure, especially on the side of the Spaniards, of blood and treasure. At last when reduced to a heap of ruins, Ostend fell before the resolution of Ambrosio de Spinola, a Genoese banker, to whom the command of the besiegers had been entrusted (see SPINOLA). A month before the surrender, however, another and more commodious seaport, Sluis, had fallen into the possession of the States army under Maurice, and thus the loss of Ostend was discounted. Spinola proved himself to be a general of a high order, and the campaigns of 16o6 and 1607 resolved themselves into a duel of skill between him and Maurice without much ad-vantage accruing to either side. But the archdukes' Negotlatreasury was now empty, and their credit exhausted; tpeeacetor both sides were weary of fighting, and serious negotiations for peace were set on foot. The disposition of the Spaniards to make concessions was further quickened by the destruction of their fleet at Gibraltar by the Dutch admiral Heemskerk, (April 1607). But there were many difficulties in the way. The peace party in the United Provinces headed by Oldenbarneveldt was opposed by the stadholders Maurice and William Louis, the great majority of the military and naval officers, the Calvinist preachers and many leading merchants. The Spaniards on their side were obdurate on the subjects of freedom of trade in the Indies and of freedom of religious worship. At last, after the negotiations had been repeatedly on the point of breaking off, a compromise was effected by the mediation of the envoys of France and England. On the 9th of April 16og Maurice of Nassau. Triple Alliance of France, England and the United Provinces. Siege of Ostend. a truce for twelve years was agreed upon. On all points the he had been so largely instrumental in bringing about. He and oomarus. Two professors of theology at Leiden, Jacobus Arminius (see Alumnus) and Franciscus Gomarus, became the leaders of two parties, who differed from one another upon certain tenets of the abstruse doctrine of predestination. Gomarus supported the orthodox Calvinist view; Arminius assailed it. The Arminians appealed to the States of Holland (161o) in a Remonstrance in which their theological position Remora- was defined. They were henceforth known as " Restrants and monstrants"; their opponents were styled "Contra-contra- Remonstrants." The advocate and the States of Remon- Holland took sides with the Remonstrants, Maurice strants. and the majority of the States-General (four provinces out of seven) supported the Contra-Remonstrants. It became a question of the extent of the rights of sovereign princes under the Union. The States-General wished to summon a national synod, the States of Holland refused their assent, and made levies of local militia(waard-gelders) for the maintenance of order. The States-General (9th of July 1618) took up the challenge, and the prince of Orange, as captain-general, was placed at the head of a commission to go in the first place to Utrecht, which supported Oldenbarneveldt, and then to the various cities of Holland to insist on the disbanding of the waardgoderras. gelders. On the side of Maurice, whom the army obeyed, was the power of the sword. The opposition collapsed; the recalcitrant provincial states were purged; and the leaders of the party of state rights—the advocate himself, Hugo de Groot (see GROTIUS), pensionary of Rotterdam, and Hoogerbeets, pensionary of Leiden, were arrested and thrown into prison. The whole proceedings were illegal, and the illegality was consummated by the prisoners being brought before a olden- special tribunal of 24 judges, nearly all of whom were barne- personal enemies of the accused. The trial was veldt merely a preliminary to condemnation. The advocate executed. was sentenced to death, and executed (13th of May 1619) in the Binnenhof at the Hague. The sentences of Grotius and Hoogerbeets were commuted to perpetual imprisonment. Meanwhile the National Synod had been summoned and had met at Dort on the 13th of November 1618. One hundred Synod of members, many of them foreign divines, composed Dort, this great assembly, who after 154 sittings gave their seal to the doctrines of the Netherlands Confession and the Heidelberg Catechism. The Arminians were condemned, their preachers deprived, and the Remonstrant party placed under a ban (6th of May 1619). In 1621 the Twelve Years' Truce came to an end, and war broke out once more with Spain. Maurice, after the death of Oldenbarneveldt, was supreme in the land, but he missed sorely the wise counsels of the old statesman whose tragic endand Spinola found themselves once more at the head R news] of the armies in the field, but the health of the stad- of the war holder was undermined, and his military genius was under a cloud. Deeply mortified by his failure to relieve Breda, which was blockaded by Spinola, Maurice fell seriously ill, and died on the 23rd of April 1625. He was Maur Deathke. of succeeded in his dignities by his younger brother Frederick Henry (see FREDERICK HENRY, prince of Orange), who was appointed stadholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Overyssel and Gelderland, captain and adjutant-general of the Union and head of the Council of State. Frederick Henry was as a general scarcely inferior to Maurice, and a far more able states-man. The moderation of his views and his conciliatory temper did much to heal the wounds left by civil and religious strife, and during his time the power and influence of the stadholderate attained their highest point. Such was his popularity The and the confidence he inspired that in 1631 his great period of offices of state were declared hereditary, in favour of Frederick his five-year-old son, by the Acte de Survivance. He Henry. did much to justify the trust placed in him, for the period of Frederick Henry is the most brilliant in the history of the Dutch Republic. During his time the East India Company, which had founded the town of Batavia in Java as their adminis- The East trative capital, under a succession of able governor- and west generals almost monopolized the trade of the entire India coin-Orient, made many conquests and established a net- panes' work of factories and trade posts stretching from the Cape of Good Hope to Japan (see DUTCH EAST INDIA COMPANY). The West India Company, erected in 1621, though framed on the same model, aimed rather at waging war on the enemies' commerce than in developing their own. Their fleets for some years brought vast booty into the company's coffers. The Mexican treasure ships fell into the hands of Piet Heyn, the boldest of their admirals, in 1628; and they were able to. send armies across the ocean, conquer a large part of Brazil, and set up a flourishing Dutch dominion in South America (see DUTCH WEST INDIA COMPANY). The operations of these two great chartered companies occupy a place among memorable events of Frederick Henry's stadholderate; they are therefore mentioned here, but for further details the special articles must be consulted. When Frederick Henry stepped into his brother's place, he found the United Provinces in a position of great danger and of critical importance. The Protestants of Germany were on the point of being crushed by the forces of the Policy ofck Austrian Habsburgs and the Catholic League. It lay' He dry with the Netherlands to create a diversion in the favour of their co-religionists by keeping the forces of the Spanish Habsburgs fully occupied. But to do so with their flank exposed to imperialist attack from the east, was a task involving grave risks and possible disaster. In these circumstances, Frederick Henry saw the necessity of securing French aid. It was secured by the skilful diplomacy of Francis van Aarssens (q.v.) but on hard conditions. Richelieu required the assistance of the Dutch fleet to enable him to overcome the resistance of the Huguenot stronghold of La Rochelle. The far-sighted stadholder, despite popular opposition, by his powerful personal influence induced the States-General to grant the naval aid, and thus obtain the French alliance on which the safety of the republic depended. The first great military success of Frederick Henry was in 1629. His capture of Hertogenbosch (Bois-le-duc), hitherto supposed to be impregnable, after a siege of five sieges of months was a triumph of engineering skill. Wesel also was taken by surprise this same year. In 1631 a genhosch large Spanish fleet carrying a picked force of 6000 'ndMaessoldiers, for the invasion of Zeeland, was completely tricht. destroyed by the Dutch in the Slaak and the troops made prisoners. The campaign of the following year was made memorable by the siege of Maestricht. This important frontier town lying on both sides of the river Meuse was taken by the prince of Orange in the teeth of two relieving armies, Spanish Dutch demands were granted. The treaty was concluded with The the Provinces, " in the quality of free States over Twelve whom the archdukes made no pretentions." The uti Years' possidetis as regards territorial possession was recog- Truce. nized. Neither the granting of freedom of worship to Roman Catholics nor the word " Indies " was mentioned, but in a secret treaty King Philip undertook to place no hindrance in the way of Dutch trade, wherever carried on. One of the immediate results of this triumph of his policy was the increase of Oldenbarneveldt's influence and authority in the Theo_ government of the Republic. But though Maurice logical and his other opponents had reluctantly yielded to strife in the advocate's skilful diplomacy and persuasive Holland. arguments, a soreness remained between the statesman and the stadholder which was destined never to be healed. The country was no sooner relieved from the pressure of external war than it was torn by internal discords. After a brief interference in the affairs of Germany, where the intricate question of the Cleves-Julich succession was already preparing the way for the Thirty Years' War, the United Provinces became immersed in a hot and absorbing theological struggle with which were mixed up important political issues. The province Arminius of Holland was the arena in which it was fought out. ofs a . of eleven months; it was now retaken by Frederick Henry after a siege of eleven weeks, in the face of immense difficulties. The reluctance of the States of Holland, and of Amsterdam in particular, to grant adequate supplies caused the campaigns of 1638 and 1639 to be in the main defen- sive and dilatory. An attempted attack on Antwerp was foiled by the vigilance of the Cardinal Infant. A body of 6000 men under Count William of Nassau were surprised and utterly cut to pieces. The year 1639, which had begun with abortive negotiations, and in which the activity of the stadholder had been much hampered by ill-health, was not to end, however, without a signal triumph of the Dutch arms, but it was to be on sea and not on land. A magnificent Spanish armada consisting of 77 vessels, manned by 24,000 soldiers and sailors under the command of Admiral Oquendo, were sent to the Channel in September with orders to drive the Dutch from the narrow seas and land a large body of troops at Dunkirk. Attacked by a small Dutch fleet under Admiral Marten Tromp, royal with William, the only son of the stadholder. The wed-ding of the youthful couple (aged respectively r4 and ro years) took place on the 12th of May 1641 (see WILLIAM II., prince of Orange). This royal alliance gave added influence and position to the house of Orange-Nassau. About this time various causes brought about a change in the feelings which had hitherto prevented any possibility of peace between Spain and the United Netherlands. Changed The revolt of Portugal (December 164o) weakened relations the Spanish power, and involved the loss to Spain of of the the Portuguese colonies. But it was in the Portuguese Provrovinin Pces colonies that the conquests of the Dutch East and with West India Companies had been made, and the France question of the Indies as between Netherlander and and Spain. Spaniard assumed henceforth quite a different complexion. Aarssens, the strongest advocate of the French alliance, passed away in 1641, and his death was quickly followed by those of Richelieu and Louis XIII. The victory of Conde at Rocroy opened the eyes of Frederick Henry to the danger of a French conquest of the Belgian provinces; and, feeling his health growing enfeebled, the prince became anxious before his death to obtain peace and security for his country by means of an accommodation with Spain. In 1643 negotiations were opened which, after many delays and in the face of countless difficulties, were at length, four years later, to terminate successfully. The course of the pourparlers would doubtless have run more smoothly but for the infirm health and finally the death of the prince of Orange himself. Frederick Henry Death of expired on the 14th of March 1647, and was buried Frederick by the side of his father and brother in Delft. In Henry—his his last campaigns he had completed with signal last cam-success the task which, as a military commander, hepaigns. had set himself,—of giving to the United Provinces a thoroughly defensible frontier of barrier fortresses. In 1644 he captured Sas de Ghent; in 1645 Hulst. That portion of Flanders which skirts the south bank of the Scheldt thus passed into the possession of the States, and with it the complete control of all the waterways to the sea. The death of the great stadholder did not. however, long delay the carrying out of the policy on which he had set his heart, of concluding a separate peace with Spain behind the back of France, notwithstanding the compact of 1635 Lean of with that power. A provisional draft of a treaty had Munster. already been drawn up before the demise of Frederick Henry, and afterwards, despite the strenuous opposition of the new prince of Orange (who, under the Acte de Survivance, had inherited all his father's offices and dignities) and of two of the provinces, Zeeland and Utrecht, the negotiations were by the powerful support of the States of Holland and of the majority of the States-General, quickly brought to a successful issue. The treaty was signed at Munster on the 3oth of January 1648. It was a peace practically dictated by the Dutch, and involved a complete surrender of everything for which Spain had so long fought. The United Provinces were recognized complete as free and independent, and Spain dropped all her triumph claims; the uti possidetis basis was adopted in respect "the to all conquests; the Scheldt was declared entirely Dutch. closed—a clause which meant the ruin of Antwerp for the profit of Amsterdam; the right to trade in the East and West Indies was granted, and all the conquests made by the Dutch from the Portuguese were ceded to them; the two contracting parties agreed to respect and keep clear of each other's trading grounds; each was to pay in the ports of the other only such tolls as natives paid. Thus, triumphantly for the revolted provinces, the eighty years' war came to an end. At this moment the republic of the United Netherlands touched, perhaps, the topmost point of its prosperity and greatness. No sooner was peace concluded than bitter disputes arose between the provincial States of Holland and the prince of Orange, supported by the other six provinces, upon the question of the disbanding of the military forces. William was a young man (he was twenty-one at the time of his father's death) of and Imperialist, whose united forces were far larger than his own. This brilliant feat of arms was the prelude to peace negotiations, Death which led to a lengthy exchange of diplomatic notes. of the No agreement, however, was reached. The death of infanta the Infanta Isabel in November 1633, and the reversion Isabel. of the Netherlands to the sovereignty of the king of Spain, rendered all efforts to end the war, for the time being, fruitless. At this juncture a strengthening of the French alliance seemed to the prince not merely expedient, but necessary. He had to contend against a strong peace party in Holland Alliance headed by the pensionary Pauw, but with the aid of with France. the diplomatic skill of Aarssens all opposition was overcome. Pauw was replaced as pensionary by Jacob Cats, and the objections of Richelieu were met and satisfied. A defensive and offensive alliance with France was concluded early in 1635 against the king of Spain, and each party bound itself not to make a peace or truce without the assent of the other. A large French force was sent into the Netherlands and placed under the command of the prince of Orange. The military results of the alliance were during the first two campaigns inconsiderable. The Cardinal Infant Ferdinand had been appointed governor of the Netherlands, and he proved himself an excellent general, and there were dissensions in the councils of the allies. In 1637 the stadholder was able to add to his fame as an invincible besieger of cities. His failure to relieve Breda had hastened the death of Maurice. It fell in 1625 into the hands of Spinola after a blockade Battle the Spaniards sheltered themselves under the English of the Dowers. Downs by the side of an English squadron. Tromp kept watch over them until he had received large reinforcements, and then (21st of October) boldly attacked them as they lay in English waters. Oquendo himself with seven vessels escaped under cover of a fog; all the rest of the fleet was destroyed. This crushing victory assured to the Dutch the command of the sea during the rest of the war. The naval power of Spain never in fact recovered from the blow. The triumph of Tromp had, however, a bad effect on public feeling in England. The circumstances under which the battle English of the Downs was won were galling to the pride of and Dutch the English people, and intensified the growing cont. unfriendliness between two nations, one of whom merciai possessed and the other claimed supremacy upon Rivalry. the seas. The prosperity of the world-wide Dutch commerce was looked upon with eyes of jealousy across the Channel. Disputes had been constantly recurring between Dutch and English traders in the East Indies and elsewhere, and the seeds were already sown of that stern rivalry which was to issue in a series of fiercely contested wars. But in 1639–1640 civil discords in England stood in the way of a strong foreign policy, and the adroit Aarssens was able so " to sweeten the bitterness of the pill " as to bring King Charles not merely to " overlook the scandal of the Downs," but to consent to the marriage of the princess Marriage of William and Mary. land, were sent to surprise Amsterdam. But the town council had been warned, and the gates were shut and guarded. The coup d'etat nevertheless was completely successful. The anti-Orange party, remembering the fate of Oldenbarneveldt, were stricken with panic at the imprisonment of their leaders. The States of Holland and the town council of Amsterdam gave in their submission. The prisoners were released, and public thanks were rendered to the prince by the various provincial states for " his great trouble, care and prudence." William appeared to be master of the situation but his plans for future action were never to be carried into effect. Busily engaged in sudden secret negotiations with France, he had retired to his Death of hunting seat at Dieren, when he fell ill with smallpox William on the 27th of October. A few days later he expired H. at the Hague (6th of November), aged but twenty-four years. A week after his death, his widow, the princess Mary of England, gave birth to a son who, as William III., was to give added lustre to the house of Orange. The anti-Orange particularist party, which had just suffered decisive defeat, now lifted up its head again. At the instance of Holland a Grand Assembly was summoned, consisting of delegates from all the provinces, to consider the The state of the Union, the army and religion. It met at Asssse emb/y. the Hague on the 18th of January 1651. The conclu- sions arrived at were that all sovereign powers resided in the provinces, and that to them severally, each within its own borders, belonged the control of the military forces and of religion. There was to be no captain-general of the Union. All the provinces, except Friesland and Groningen, which remained true to William Frederick of Nassau-Dietz, agreed to leave the office of stadholder vacant. The practical result was the establishment of the hegemony of Holland in the Union, and the handing over of the control of its policy to the patrician oligarchies who formed the town councils of that province. Such a system would have been unworkable but for the fact that with the revival of the political principles of Oldenbarneveldt, there was found a statesman of commanding The office ability to fill the office in which the famous advocate of Grand of Holland had for so many years been " minister of Pension-all affairs " in the forming state. The title of advocate ary. had indeed been replaced by that of grand pensionary (Raad Pensionaris), but the duties assigned to the office remained the same, the only change of importance being that the advocate was appointed for life, the grand pensionary for a term of five years. The grand pensionary was nominally the paid servant of the States of Holland, but his functions were such as to permit a man of talent and industry in the stadholderless republic to exercise control in all departments of policy and of government. All correspondence passed through his hands, he wrote all despatches, conducted the debates over which he presided, kept the minutes, drafted the resolutions, and was ex officio the leader and spokesman of the delegates who represented the Province of Holland in the States-General. Such was the position to which John de Witt, a young man of twenty-eight years of age, belonging to one of the most influential patrician families of Dordrecht (his father, Jacob de Witt, was one of the prisoners of Loewenstein) was appointed in 1653. From that date until 1672 it was his brain and his will that guided the affairs of the United Nether-lands. He was supreme in the States of Holland, and Holland was dominant in the States-General (see JOHN DE WITT). The death of William II. had left the Dutch republic at tine very highest point of commercial prosperity, based upon an almost universal carrying trade, and the strictest Disputes system of monopoly. Friction and disputes had between frequently arisen between the Dutch and the English English traders in different parts of the world, and especially and Dutch in the East Indies, culminating in the so-called Traders. " Massacre of Amboyna "; and the strained relations between the two nations would, but for the civil discords in England, have probably led to active hostilities during the reign of Charles I. With the accession of Cromwell to power the breach the highest abilities and of soaring ambition. He was totally opposed to the. peace with Spain, and wished to bring about a speedy resumption of the war. With this view he The form entered into secret negotiations for a French alliance of Govern- ment in which, as far as can be gathered from extant records, the had for its objects the conquest and partition by the United allies of the Belgic provinces, and joint action in Provinces. England on behalf of Charles II. As a preliminary step William aimed at a centralization of the powers of government in the United Provinces in his own person. He saw clearly the inherent defects of the existing federation, and he wished to remedy a system which was so complicated as to be at times almost unworkable. The States-General were but the delegates, the stadholders the servants, of a number of sovereign provinces, each of which had different historical traditions and a different form of government, and one of which—Holland—in wealth and importance outweighed the other six taken together. Between the States of Holland and the States-General there was constant jealousy and friction. And yet strangely enough the States of Holland themselves were not really representative of the people of that province, but only of the limited, self-coopting burgher aristocracies of certain towns, each of which with its rights and liberties had a quasi-independence of its own. Foremost among these was the great commercial capital, Amsterdam, whose rich burgher patriciate did not scruple on occasion to defy the authority of the States-General, the stadholder and even of the States of Holland themselves. The States of Holland had, in the years that followed the truce of 1609, measured their strength with that of the States- General, but the issue had been decided conclusively The posi- in favour of the federal authority by the sword of tic) o!n /bso Maurice. The party and the principles of Olden-. barneveldt, however, though crushed, were not extinguished, and though Frederick Henry by his personal influence and prudent statesmanship had been able to surmount the difficulties placed in his way, he had had to encounter at times strong opposition, and had been much hampered in the conduct both of his campaigns and of his policy. With the conclusion of the peace of Munster and the death of the veteran stadholder the struggle for predominance in the Union between the Orange-federalist and the Hollander States-rights parties was certain to be renewed. The moment seemed to be favourable for the assertion of provincial sovereignty because of the youth and inexperience of the new prince of Orange. But William II., though little more than a boy, was endowed with singular capacity and great strength of will, and he was intent upon ambitious projects, the scope of which has been already indicated. The collision came, which was perhaps inevitable. The States-The gees- General in the disbanding of the forces wished to Lion of retain the cadres of the regiments complete in case of a disband- renewal of the war. The States of Holland objected, tag the and, although the army was a federal force, gave orders forces. for the general disbanding of the troops in the pay of the province. The officers refused to obey any orders but those of the council of State of the Union. The provincial states, on their part, threatened them with loss of pay. At this juncture the States-General, as in 1618, appointed a commission headed by the prince of Orange to visit the towns of Helland, and provide for the maintenance of order and the upholding of the Union. Both parties put themselves in the wrong, the province by refusing its quota to the federal war-sheet, the generality by dealing with individual towns instead of with the states of the province. The visitation was a failure. The town councils, though most of them willing to receive William in his capacity as stadholder, declined to give a hearing to the commission. The Amsterdam refused absolutely to admit either stad-Prisoners holder or commission. In these-circumstances William ofLoeveu-' resolved upon strong measures. Six leading mem- stein. hers of the States of Holland were seized (3oth of July 16io) and imprisoned in Loewenstein Castle, and troops under the command of William Frederick stadholder of Fries- The position of Holland and Amster-dam. John de ma. was widened. A strong party in the Provinces were unfriendly to the Commonwealth, and insults were offered in the Hague to the English envoys. The parliament replied by passing the memorable Navigation Act (Oct. 1651), which struck a deadly blow at the Dutch carrying trade. It was the beginning of that struggle for supremacy upon the seas which was to end, after Naval three great wars, in the defeat of the weaker country. struggle The first English war lasted from May 1652 to April with 16J4, and within fifteen months twelve sea-fights took England. place, which were desperately contested and with varying success. The leaders on both sides—the Netherlanders Tromp (killed in action on the loth of August 16J3) and de Ruyter, the Englishmen Blake and Monk—covered themselves with equal glory. But the losses to Dutch trade were so serious that negotiations for peace were set on foot by the burgher party of Holland, and Cromwell being not unwilling, an agreement was reached in the Treaty of Westminster, signed on the 5th of April 16J4. The Dutch conceded the striking of the flag and compensation for English claims against the Dutch in the East Indies and else- where. The act of Seclusion, which barred the young prince of Orange from holding the office of stadholder and of captain-general, had been one of the conditions on which Cromwell had insisted. The consent of the States-General was refused, but by a secret treaty Holland, under the influence of de Witt, accepted it in their own name as a sovereign province. The popular feeling throughout the United Provinces was strongly antagonistic to the act of Seclusion, by which at the dictation of a foreign power a ban of exclusion was pronounced against the house of Orange-Nassau, to which the republic owed its independence. In 1658, the States-General interfered to save the Danes from Charles Gustavus of Sweden. In 1659 a• treaty of peace was war with concluded between France, England and the United Sweden. Provinces with a view to the settlement of the Dano- Swedish question, which ended in securing a northern peace in 166o, and in keeping the Baltic open for Dutch trade. The foreign affairs of the republic were throughout these years ably conducted by de Witt, and the position of Dutch colonial expansion in the Eastern seas made secure and firm. An advantageous peace with Portugal was made in 1662. Meanwhile the Commonwealth in England had been followed in 166o by the restoration of the monarchy. To conciliate the new king the act of Seclusion was repealed, and the second education of the young prince of Orange was under- English war. taken by the States of Holland under the super- intendence of de Witt. But Charles owed a grudge against Holland, and he was determined to gratify it. The Navigation Act was re-enacted, old grievances revived, and finally the Dutch colony of New Netherland was seized in time of peace (1664) and its capital, New Amsterdam, renamed New York. War broke out in 1665, and was marked by a series of terrific battles. On the 13th of June 1665 the Dutch admiral Obdam was completely defeated by the English under the duke of York. The four days' fight (11th–14th of June 1666) ended in a hard-won victory by de Ruyter over Monk but later in this year (August 3rd) de Ruyter was beaten by Ayscue and forced to take refuge in the Dutch harbours. He had his revenge, for on the 22nd of June 1667 the Dutch fleet under de Ruyter and Cornelius de Witt made their way up the Medway as far as Chatham and burnt the English fleet as it lay at anchor. Negotiations between the two countries were already in progress and this event hastened a settlement. The peace of Breda was signed (31st of July 1667) on terms on the whole favourable to the Dutch. New Netherland was retained by England in exchange for Suriname. In the following year iiy the efforts of Sir William Temple the much vaunted Triple Alliance was concluded between Great The Britain, the United Provinces and Sweden to check Triple Alliance. the ambitious designs of Louis XIV. The instability of Charles II., who sold himself to Louis by the treaty of Dover (167o), speedily rendered it of no effect, and left the United Provinces to face unaided the vengeance of the French king. From 1668 to 1672 Louis made ready to destroy the Dutch, and so well had his diplomacy served him that they were left with-out a friend in Europe. In 1672 the storm broke: the English without a declaration of war tried, unsuccess- FThrenech fully, intercept the Dutch Mediterranean fleet; fleet; invasion. and the French at the same time set forthinapparently irresistible strength to overcome the despised traders of Holland. The States were ill-prepared on land though their fleet was strong and ready; party spirit had become intensely bitter as the prince of Orange (see WILLIAM III.) grew to man's estate, and the ruling burgher party, knowing how great was the popularity of William, especially in the army, had purposely neglected their land forces. Town after town fell before the French armies, and to de Witt and his supporters there seemed to be nothing left but to make submission and accept the best terms that Louis XIV. would grant. The young prince alone rose to the height of the occasion, and set his face against such cowardly counsels, and he had the enthusiastic support William of the great majority of the people. Amidst general im Stud. acclamation William was elected stadholder, first of holder and Zeeland, then of Holland, and was appointed captain- captain-general of the Union (June 1672). Meanwhile the general. fleet under de Ruyter had encountered a combined English and French force in Solebay (7th of June), and after a desperate fight, in which the French had but slackly supported their allies, had more then held its own. William, in his turn, with an army wholly insufficient to meet The third the French in the open field, was able to persuade war. ng.ish his countrymen to open the dikes and by flooding the land to prevent it :s occupation by the enemy. The courage and resourcefulness of their youthful leader inspired Murder the people to make heroic sacrifices for their independ- of the ence, but unfortunately such was the revulsion of Brothers feeling against the grand pensionary, that he himself de Witt and his brother Cornelius were torn in pieces by an infuriated mob at the Hague (loth of August). William, now supreme in the States, while on land struggling with chequered success against the superior forces of the French, strove by his diplomacy, and not in vain, to gain allies for the republic. The growing power of Pweaest- ce of France caused alarm to her neighbours, and Sweden, , minster. Denmark, Spain and the emperor lent a willing ear to the persuasions of the stadholder and were ready to aid his efforts to curb the ambition of Louis. On sea in 1673 de Ruyter, in a series of fiercely contested battles, successfully maintained his strenuous and dogged conflict against the united English and French fleets. In England the war was exceedingly unpopular, and public opinion forced Charles II. to conclude peace. The treaty of Westminster, which provided that all conquests should be restored, was signed on the 14th of February 1674. The French now found themselves threatened on many sides, and were reduced to the defensive. The prince, how-ever, suffered a defeat at Seneff, and was in 1674 prevented from invading France. The war, nevertheless, during the following years was on the whole advantageous to the Dutch. In 1676 a Dutch squadron fought two hard but indecisive battles with a superior French force, off Stromboli (8th of January) and off Messina (22nd of April). In the last-named fight Admiral de Ruyter was badly Death of wounded and died (29th of April). In 1677 negotia- tions for peace went on, and were forwarded by the marriage, at the close of the year, of William of Orange with his cousin the princess Mary, daughter of the duke of York. At last (August 1678) a peace was concluded at Nymwegen by which the Dutch secured the integrity Peace of and independence of their country. All the conquests wegen. made by the French were given up. The aggressive policy of Louis XIV. in the years that followed the peace of Nymwegen enabled William to lay the foundations of the famous confederacy which changed the whole aspect Peace of Westminster. Act of Seclusion. Peace of Breda. The war with France. the United Provinces and by several German states. In England William and Mary were looked upon as the natural successors to the throne on the death of James II., and William kept up close relations with the malcontents in Church and State, who disliked the arbitrary and papistical policy of his father-in-law. But with the birth of a prince of Wales the situation was changed, and William determined to intervene actively in English affairs. His opportunity came when Louis Palatinate. The opposition of Amsterdam to an English expedition, in the absence of danger from the side of Revolu- France, was overcome. The Revolution of 1688 1688. ensued, and England became, under William's strong rule, the chief member of the Great Coalition against French aggression. In the Grand Alliance of 1689–1690 he was accused of sacrificing Dutch to English interests, but there can be no doubt that William loved his native country better than his adopted one, and was a true patriot. If the United Provinces suffered in prosperity through their close relations with and subordination to Great Britain during a long series of years, it was due not to the policy of William, but to the fact that the territory of the republic was small, open to attack by great military powers, and devoid of natural resources. The stadholder's authority and popularity continued unimpaired, despite of his frequent absences in England. He had to contend, like his predecessors, with the perennial hostility of the burgher aristocracy of Amsterdam, and at times with other refractory town councils, but his power in the States during his life was almost autocratic. His task was rendered lighter by the influence and ability of Heinsius, the grand pensionary of Holland, a wise and prudent statesman, whose tact and moderation in dealing with the details and difficulties of internal administration were conspicuous. The stadholder gave to Heinsius his fullest confidence, and the pensionary on his part loyally supported William's policy and placed his services ungrudgingly at his disposal (see HEINSIUS). The conduct of the war by the allies was far from successful. In 1690 (July 1st) Waldeck was defeated by Luxemburg at Fleurus; and the Anglo-Dutch fleet was so severely handled by Tourville (loth July) off Beachy Head that for two years the command of the sea remained in the possession of the French. A striking victory off Cape la Hogue (29th of May 1692) restored, however, supremacy to the allies. On land the combined armies fared ill. In 1691 the French took Mons, and in 1692 Namur, in which year after a hard-fought battle William was defeated at Steenkirk and in 1693 at Neerwinden. But William's military genius never shone so brightly as in the hour of defeat; he never knew what it was to be beaten, and in 1695 his recapture of Namur was a real triumph of skill and resolution. At last, after long negotiations, exhaustion compelled the French king to sign the peace of Ryswick in 1697, in which William was recognized a favourable commercial treaty, and the right to garrison the Netherland barrier towns. This peace, however, did no more than afford a breathing space during which Louis XIV. prepared for a renewal of the struggle. The great question of the Spanish succession was looming in all men's eyes, and though partition treaties between the interested Death of powers were concluded in 1698 and 1700, it is practically Iwlmam certain that the French king held himself little bound by them. In 1701 he elbowed the Dutch troops out of the barrier towns; he defied England by recognizing James III. on the death of his father; and it was clear that another war was imminent when William III. died in 1702. In 1672 the stadholdership in five provinces had been madehereditary in the family of the prince of Orange, but William died childless, and the republican burgher party was strong enough to prevent the posts being filled up. William sfadhad wished that his cousin, Count John William holderless Friso of Nassau, stadholder of Friesland and Gron- Governingen, should succeed him, but his extreme youth and ment. the jealousy of Holland against a " Frisian " stood in the way of his election. The result was a want of unity in counsel and action among the provinces, Friesland and Groningen standing aloof from the other five, while Holland and Zeeland had to pay for their predominance in the Union by being left to bear the bulk of the charges. Fortunately there was no break of continuity in the policy of the States, the chief conduct of affairs remaining, until his death in 1720, in the capable and tried hands of the grand pensionary Heinsius, who had at his side a number of exceptionally experienced and wise counsellors—among these Simon van Slingeland, for forty-five years (1680–1725) secretary of the council of state, and afterwards grand pensionary of Holland (1727–1736), and Francis Fagel, who succeeded his father in 1699 as recorder (Griffier) of the States-General, and held that important office for fifty years. The tradition of William III. was thus preserved, but with the loss of the firm hand and strong personality of that great ruler the United Provinces were relegated to a subordinate place in the councils of the nations, and with the gradual decadence of its navy the Dutch republic ceased to rank as a power to be reckoned with. In the War of the Spanish Succession, which broke out in 1702, Dutch troops took part in the campaigns of Marlborough and Eugene, and had their share in winning the great war victories of Blenheim (1704), Ramillies (1706), Ouden- of the arde (1708) and Malplaquet (1709). At the peace of Spanish Utrecht, concluded in 1713, the interests •of the sue"' Netherlands were but half-heartedly supported by slon. the English plenipotentiaries, and the French were. able to obtain far more favourable terms than they had the power to exact. But they were compelled to abandon all claim to the Spanish Netherlands, which were formally handed over to the United Provinces, as trustees, to be by them, after the conclusion of a satisfactory barrier treaty, given up to the emperor, and be known henceforth as the Austrian Netherlands. Uirechf. Treaty of The peace of Utrecht taught the Dutch that the great powers around them, while ready to use their resources for war, would not scruple to abandon them when they wanted peace; they, therefore, determined henceforth to stand clear of all foreign complications. With 1713 the influence of the United Netherlands upon European politics comes almost to an end. The ruling party in the States took an active part in securing George I. on the throne of England; and they succeeded in coming to an agreement both with France and with of European politics. The league of Augsburg (1686), which followed the revocation of the edict of Nantes, placed Orange at the head of the resistance to French domination. League of The league was formed by the emperor, Spain, Sweden, Augsburg. The Grand Alliance. William and Heinsius. War with France. Peace of by France as king of England, the Dutch obtaining Ryswick. towns, and were thus able in tranquillity to concentrate their energies upon furthering the interests of their trade. Under the close oligarchical rule of the patrician families, who filled all offices,in the town councils, the States of Holland, in which the influence of Amsterdam was dominant, and which in their turn exercised predominance in the States-General, became more and more an assembly of " shopkeepers " whose policy was to maintain peace for the sake of the commerce on which they thrived. For thirty years after the peace of Utrecht the Provinces kept themselves free from entanglement in- the quarrel§ of their neighbours. The foundation of the Ostend East India Company (see OSTEND COMPANY), however, Ostend by the emperor Joseph II. in 1723, at once aroused Compa. Fast l:anyy. the strong opposition of the Amsterdam merchants who looked upon this invasion of their monopoly with alarm, and declared that the Ostend Company had been set up in contravention to the terms of Article V. of the treaty of Munster. In maintaining this position the States had the support of England, but it was not until 1731 that they succeeded in obtaining the suppression of the company by consenting to Austria over the difficulties connected with the barrier Peace policy. guarantee the Pragmatic Sanction of Charles VI. This by Dutch commerce at the hands of British privateers. The step led in 1743 to their being involved in the War of the War of the Austrian Succession, and thus being drawn into hostili-Austrian ties with France, which invaded the barrier country. Succes- In 1744 they formed with Great Britain, Austria and slop' Saxony, a Quadruple Alliance, and put a contingent famous agreement, known as the " Armed Neutrality," with which in 1786 the States of the continent at the The instigation of Catherine II. of Russia replied to the Armed maritime claims put forward by Great Britain drew the Neu- Provinces once more into the arena of European politics. t`ahty. of troops in the field. The Dutch took an active part in the campaign of 1745 and suffered heavily at Fontenoy, after which battle Marshal Saxe overran the Austrian Netherlands. The French captured all the barrier towns, and in 1747 Revolt:- entered Dutch Flanders and made an easy conquest. tion of 1747. The United Provinces, as in 1672, seemed to lie at the mercy of their enemies, and as in that eventful year, popular feeling broke down the opposition of the burgher oligarchies, and turned to William IV., prince of Orange, as the William saviour of the state. John William Friso had died ,v. young in 1711, leaving a posthumous son, William Charles Henry Friso, who was duly elected stadholder by the two provinces, Friesland and Groningen, which were always faithful to his family, and in 1722 he became also, though with very limited powers, stadholder of Gelderland. The other provinces, however, under pressure from Holland, bound them-selves not to elect stadholders, and they refused to revive the office of captain-general of the Union. By the conquest of Dutch Flanders Zeeland was threatened, and the states of that province, in which there were always many Orange partisans, elected (April 1747) William stadholder, captain-general and admiral of Zeeland. The example once given was infectious, and was followed in rapid succession by Holland, Utrecht and Overysel. Finally the States-General (May 4) appointed the prince, who was the first member of his family to be stadholder of all the seven provinces, captain and admiral-general of the Union, and a little later these offices were declared hereditary in both the male and female lines. William IV., though not a man of great ability, was sincerely anxious to do his utmost for securing the maintenance of peace, and the development of the resources and commercial peace of of the country, and his powerful d y AjX-Ia- prosperity Y. Y Chapelle. connexions (he had married Anne, eldest daughter of George II.) gave him weight in the councils of Europe. The peace of Aix-la-Chapelle, in 1748, in which the influence of Great Britain was exerted on behalf of the States, though it nominally restored the old condition of things, left the Provinces crippled by debt, and fallen low from their old position among the nations. At first the stadholder's efforts to promote the trade and welfare of the country were hampered by the distrust and opposition of Amsterdam, and other strong- holds of anti-Orange feeling, and just as his good Death of intentions were becoming more generally recognized, wnuam 1v. William unfortunately died, on the 22nd of October 1751, aged forty years, leaving his three-year-old son, William V., heir to his dignities. The princess Anne of England became regent, but she had a difficult part to play, and on the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in which the Anne of Provinces were determined to maintain neutrality, England Regent. her English leanings brought much unpopularity upon her. She died in 1759, and for the next seven years the regency passed into the hands of the States, and the government was practically stadholderless. In 1766 William V. was declared to be of age; and his accession to power was generally welcomed. He was, however, a weak William v. man, without energy or resolution, and he allowed himself to be entirely led by his old guardian the duke of Brunswick, and by his wife Frederica Wilhelmina of Prussia, a woman of marked ability, to whom he entirely deferred. In the American War of Independence William's sympathies were strongly on the English side, while those of the majority of the Dutch people were with the revolted colonies. It is, however, certain that nothing would have driven the Provinces to take part in the war but for the overbearing attitude of the British government with regard to the right of neutral shipping upon the seas, and the heavy losses sustained Every effort was made by the English to prevent the Dutch from joining the league, and in this they were assisted by the stadholder, but at last the States-General, though only by the bare majority of four provinces against three, determined to throw in their lot with the opponents of England. Nothing could have been more unfortunate, for the England• country was not ready for war, and party spirit was too strong for united action to be taken or vigorous preparations to be made. When war broke out Dutch commerce was destroyed, and the Dutch colonies were at the mercy of the English fleet without the possibility of a blow being struck in their defence. An indecisive, but bravely fought action with Admiral Parker at the Dogger Bank showed, however, that the Dutch seamen had lost none of their old dogged courage, and did much to soothe the national sense of humiliation. In the negotiations of the Treaty of Paris (1783) the Dutch found themselves abandoned by their allies, and compelled papeartsce of . to accept the disadvantageous but not ungenerous terms accorded to them by Great Britain. They had to sacrifice some of their East Indian possessions and to concede to the English freedom of trade in the Eastern seas. One result of this humiliating and disastrous war was the strengthening of the hands of the anti-Orange burgher-regents, who had now arrogated to themselves the name of " patriots." It was they, and not the stadholder, who Tpatriot" had been mainly responsible for the Provinces joining party, "the Armed Neutrality," but the consequences of the war, in which this act had involved them, was largely visited upon the prince of Orange. The " patriot " party did their utmost to curtail his prerogatives, and harass him with petty insults, and at last the Prussian king was obliged to Interven- interfere to save his niece, who was even more un- tlon of popular than her weak husband, from being driven the king of from the country. In 1784 the emperor Joseph II. Prussia. took advantage of the dissensions in the Provinces to raise the question of the opening of the Scheldt. He himself was, however, no more prepared for attack than the Republic for defence, but the Dutch had already sunk so low, that they agreed to pay a heavy indemnity to induce Difficulty the Austrians to drop a demand they were unable to Emperor. enforce. To hold the mouth of the Scheldt and prevent at all costs a revival of Antwerp as a commercial port had been for two centuries a cardinal point of Dutch policy. This difficulty removed, the agitation of the " patriots " against the stadholderate form of government increased in violence, and William speedily found his position untenable. An insult offered to the prince of Orange in 1787 led to an invasion Prussian of the country by a Prussian army. Amsterdam invasion. capitulated, the country was occupied, and the patriot leaders declared incapable of holding any office. The Orange party was completely triumphant, and William V., under the protection of Prussia and England, with which states Restorathe United Provinces were compelled to ally themselves, Lion to was restored to power. It was, however, impossible power of to make the complicated and creaking machinery of William v. the constitution of the worn-out republic of the United Nether-lands work smoothly, and in all probability it would have been within a very short time replaced by an hereditary monarchy, had not the cataclysm of the French Revolution swept it away from its path, never to be revived. When war broke out between the French revolutionary government and the coalition of kings, the Provinces The French remained neutral as long as they could. It was not till invade the Dumouriez had overrun all the Austrian Netherlands Nether- in 1792,and had thrown open the passage of the Scheldt, lands. that they were drawn into the war. The patriot party sided with the French, but for various reasons the conquest of the country was delayed until 1795. In the closing months of 1794 Pichegru, at the head of a large and victorious army, invaded the Provinces. The very severe frost of that winter gave his troops an easy passage over all the rivers and low-lying OVer, lands; town after town fell before him; he occupied throw of Amsterdam, and crossing the ice with his cavalry the stad- took the Dutch fleet, as it lay frost-bound at the holderate. Texel. The stadholder and his family fled to England, and the disorganized remnants of the allied forces under the duke of York retreated into Germany. The " patriots," as Flight of the anti-Orange republicans still styled themselves, William received the French with open arms and public re- joicings, and the government was reorganized so as to bring it into close harmony with that of Paris. The stadholderate, the offices of captain and admiral-general, and all the ancient organization of the United Netherlands were abolished, and were transformed into the Batavian Republic, in close alliance with France. But the Dutch had soon cause The to regret their revolutionary ardour. French alliance Batavian Republic. meant French domination, and participation in the wars of the Revolution. Its consequences were the total ruin of Dutch commerce, and the seizure of all the Dutch colonies by the English. Internally one change of government succeeded another; after the States-General came a Changes national convention; then in 1798 a constituent of Govern- ment. assembly with an executive directory; then chambers of representatives; then a return to the earlier systems under the names of the eight provincial and one central Commissions (r8or). These changes were the outcome of a gradual reaction in a conservative direction. The peace of Amiens gave the country a little rest, and the Dutch got back the Cape of Good Hope and their West Indian colonies; it was, however, but the brief and deceptive coma- interlude between two storms; when war began tution of 1805. again England once more took possession of all she had restored. In 18o5 the autocratic will of Napoleon Bonaparte imposed upon them a new constitution, and Rutger Jan Schimmelpenninck (1765–1825) was made, under the ancient title of grand pensionary, head of the government. In the next year the French emperor added Holland, as the United Provinces were now named, to the ring of dependent sovereignties, by means of which he sought to build up a universal empire, and hi forced his brother Louis to be the unwilling king of an unwilling people. The new tones king was a man of excellent intentions and did his Bonaparte best to promote the interest of his subjects, but finding King of himself unable to protect them from the despotic Holland. overlordship of his brother, after a four years' reign, Louis abdicated. In 18ro the Northern Netherlands by decree of Napoleon were incorporated in the French empire, and had to bear the burdens of conscription and of a crushing weight of taxation. The defeat of Leipzig in 1813 was the signal for a general revolt in the Netherlands; the prince of Orange (son of William V.) was recalled, and amidst general The rejoicing accepted at Amsterdam the offer of the Sovereign Prince, sovereignty under a free constitution (Dec. 1, 1813), with the title of sovereign prince. On the downfall of Napoleon the great powers determined to create in the Low Countries a powerful state, and by the treaty of London (June 14, 1814) the Belgians were united with the Dutch provinces to form the kingdom of the Netherlands, which was also to include the bishopric of Liege and the duchy of Bouillon, and the prince of Orange was placed upon the throne on the 15th of March 1815 as William I., king of the Netherlands (see WILLIAM I., king of the Netherlands). The ancestral possessions of the House of Nassau were exchanged for Luxemburg, of which territory King William in his personal capacity The Hun- became grand duke. The carrying out of the treaty dred Days. was delayed by the Hundred Days' campaign, which for a short time threatened its very existence. Thedaring invasion of Napoleon, however, afforded the Dutch and Belgian contingents of the allied army the opportunity to fight side by side under the command of William, prince of Orange, eldest son of the new king, who highly distinguished himself by his gallantry at Quatre Bras, and afterwards at Waterloo where he was wounded (see WILLIAM II., king of the Nether- lands). The Congress of Vienna confirmed the William!. crowned at arrangements made by the treaty of London, and Brussels. William I. was crowned king of the Netherlands at Brussels on the 27th of September 1815. Under the constitution the king, as hereditary sovereign, possessed full executive powers, and the initiative in proposing laws. He had consa- the power of appointing his own council of state. tution The legislative body bore the time-honoured title of otthe States-General, and was divided into an Upper lan Nethdser-Chamber nominated by the king, and a Lower Chamber elected by the people. Freedom of worship, freedom of the press, and political equality were principles of the constitution, guaranteed to all. The union of the Dutch and Belgian provinces, like so many of the territorial arrangements of the Congress of Vienna, was an attempt to create a strong state out of diverse Difference and jarring elements. It was an artificial union, between which nothing but consummate tact and statesman- the Dutch ship could have rendered permanent and solid. North and Belgic and south were divided from one another by religious provinces. belief, by laws and usages, by material interests, and by two centuries and a half of widely severed national life. The Belgians were strict Catholics, the Dutch Calvinistic Protestants. The Dutch were chiefly a commercial and sea-faring people, with interests in distant lands and colonial possessions; the Belgians were agriculturists, except where their abundance of minerals made them manufacturers. The national traits of the Dutch were a blend of German and English, the national leaning of the Belgians was towards France and French ideals. Nevertheless the materials were there out of which a really broad-minded and conciliatory handling of religion and racial difficulties might have gradually built up a Nether-land nation able to hold from its population and resources a considerable place among European powers. For it must not be forgotten that some two-thirds of the Belgian people are by origin and language of the same race as the Dutch. But when difficulties and differences arose between North and South, as they were sure to arise, they were not dealt with wisely. The king had good intentions, but his mind was warped by Dutch prejudices, and he was ill-advised and acted unadvisedly. The consequences were the Belgian Revolution of 183o, The which ended in the intervention of the great powers, Belgian and the setting up, in 1831, of Belgium as an indepen- Revola- dent kingdom. The final settlement of outstanding Lion' questions between the two countries was not reached till 1839 (for an account of the Belgian Revolution, see BELGIUM). King WilliamI.inthefollowingyear,having become unpopular through his resistance to reform, resigned his crown to Relga of his son William II., who reigned in peace till his lwilliam death in 1849, when he was succeeded by his eldest son William III. (see WILLIAM III., king of the Netherlands). His accession marked the beginning of constitutional government in the Netherlands. William I. had been to Acces- a large extent a personal ruler, but William II., sion of though for a time following in his father's steps, had iWiigam been moved by the revolutionary outbreaks of 1848 to concede a revision of the constitution. The fundamental law of 1848 enacted that the first chamber of the States-General should be elected by the Provincial Estates instead of being appointed by the king, and that the The second chamber should be elected directly by all 011848. persons paying a certain amount in taxation. Ministers were declared responsible to the States-General, and a liberal measure of self-government was also granted. During the long reign of William III. (1849–189o) the chief struggles of parties in the Netherlands centred round religious education. On Creation of the Kingdom of the Nether-lands. the one side are the liberals, divided into moderates and progressives, the representatives to a large extent of the com-Poet>cai mercial towns. Opposed to them is the coalition of parties In the orthodox Protestant conservatives, styled anti-the Nether- revolutionaries, supported by the Calvinistic peasantry, lands. and the Catholics, who represent about one-third of the population and have their headquarters in Dutch Brabant, Dutch Flanders and Limburg. There is also in the Netherlands a small, but very strenuous socialist party, which was founded by the active propaganda of an ex-pastor Domela-Nieuwenhuis. It draws its chief strength from Amsterdam and certain country districts of Friesland. The liberals were in power from 1871 to 1888 continuously, but a Catholic-anti-revolutionary ministry under Baron Mackay held office from 1888 to 1891, and again a coalition ministry was formed in 1901 with Dr Kuyper at its head. From 1894 to 1897 a ministry of moderate liberals supported by a large part of the Catholic and anti-revolutionary parties were in power. The constitution of 1848 made it the duty of the state to provide free primary secular education, but it allowed to members of all creeds the liberty of establishing private schools, and this was carried into effect by a law passed in 18J7 by the joint efforts of the liberals and Catholics against the opposition of the orthodox Calvinists. But the long liberal ascendancy closed the ranks of the Catholic-Calvinist coalition, and united them against the neutral schools, and in 1889 they were able to pass a law enabling not only the unsectarian public schools, but all private schools organized by societies and bodies recognized by the law to receive subventions from the state. In 1890 there were 3000 public schools with 450,000 scholars and 1300 private schools with 195,000 scholars. The subject of the extension of the franchise has also been the cause of violent party strife and controversy. It was taken in hand as early as 1872, but as a revision of the constitution was necessary, no change was actually carried out till 1887. The law of that year lowered the qualification of the payer of a direct tax to to fl. Votes were given to all householders paying a certain minimum house duty, and to all lodgers who had for a given time paid a minimum of rent, also to all who possessed certain educational and social qualifications, whose definition was left to be specified by a later law. The passing of such a law was deferred by the coalition (Catholic-Orthodox) ministry of 1888-1891. The liberal ministry of 1891 attempted to deal with the question, and a proposal was made by the minister Tak van Poortvliet, which almost amounted to universal suffrage. The educational qualification was to be Extension able to write, the social that of not receiving charitable of the suffrage. relief. This proposal caused a cleavage right through all parties. It was supported by the radical left, by a large portion of the Orthodox-Calvinists under Dr Kuyper, and by some Catholics; it had against it the moderate liberals, the aristocratic section of the Orthodox-Calvinists, the bulk of the Catholics, and a few radicals under an influential leader van Houten. After a fierce electoral fight the Takkians were victors at the first polls, but were beaten at the second ballots. Of the 46 Takkians, 35 were liberals; of the 54 anti-Takkians, 24 were Catholics. A moderate liberal ministry was formed (1894) and in 1896 carried into law what was known as the van Houten project. It gave the right of voting to all Dutchmen over twenty-five years of age, who paid 1 fl. in direct taxation; were householders or lodgers as defined in 1887, or tenants of a vessel of, at least, 24 tons; were the recipients of certain salaries or had certain deposits in the public funds or savings banks. By this reform the number of electors, which had been raised in 1887 from 140,000 to 300,000, was augmented to 700,000. The question of universal military service has also divided parties. The principle of personal service has been strongly opposed by the Catholics and conservatives, but became the law of the land in 1898, though exemptions were conceded in favour of ecclesiastics and certain classes of students. The long-continued and costly wars with the sultan of Achin have during a series of years been a source of trouble to Dutch ministries. In 1871-1872 Great Britain, in exchange for certain possdssions of Holland on the coast of The Guinea, agreed to recognize the right of the Dutch Achin war. to occupy the north of Sumatra. The sultan of Achin opposed by force of arms the efforts of the Dutch to make their occupation effective, and has succeeded in maintaining a vigorous resistance, the Dutch colonial troops suffering severely from the effects of the insalubrious climate. Until 1871 the surplus derived from the colonial budget had been turned into a deficit, and the necessity of imposing fresh taxes to meet the war expenses has led to the downfall both of individual ministries and of cabinets. William III. dying in 1890 was succeeded by his only surviving child, Wilhelmina. The new queen being a minor, her mother, the queen-dowager Emma, became regent. One effect of the accession of Queen Wilhelmina was the Queen severance of the bond between the Netherlands and miihel mina. Luxemburg. The grand duchy, being hereditary only in the male line, passed to the nearest agnate, the duke of Nassau. In 1898 the queen, having reached the age of eighteen, assumed the government. She married in 1901 Prince Henry of Mecklenburg. The outbreak of the Boer War in 1899 led to a strong outburst of sympathy among the Dutch on behalf of their kinsmen in South Africa, and there were times during the war, especially after President Kruger had fled from the Transvaal in a Dutch war vessel and had settled in Holland, when it was a task of some difficulty for the Dutch government to prevent the relations between Great Britain and the Nether-lands from becoming strained. The ministry, however, under Dr Kuyper were able to keep the popular feeling in favour of the Boers in restraint, and to maintain towards Great Britain a correct attitude of strict neutrality. In 1903 the government took strong measures to prevent a threatened general strike of railway employees, the military were called out, and occupied the stations. A bill was passed by the States-General declaring railway strikes illegal. The elections of 1905 for the Second Chamber gave the liberals a narrow majority of four. Dr Kuypeaccordingly resigned, and a moderate liberal cabinet was formed by Th. H. de Meester. The fact that up to 1908 the queen had not become a mother gradually caused some public concern as to the succession; but in 1909 Queen Wilhelmina, amid national rejoicings, gave birth to a princess. Religious education: Military sery ice. Geschiedenis der, Nederlandsche Letterkunde (2 vols. 1881) ; C. Busken Huet, Het Land van Rembrandt-studien over de Nordnederlandsche beschaving in de 17e eeuw (2 vols., 1886) ; L. D. Petit, Reperlorium der verhandelingen en bijdragen betreffende de geschiedenis des Vaterlands in tijdschriften en mengel werken tot op 1900 verschenen, 2 parts (190); other parts of this valuable repertorium are in course of publication. (G. E.)
End of Article: HISTORY FROM 1579 TO MODERN

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