History of the Netherlands

1st century BC
Numerous tribes (mostly Frisians and Batavians) become the area’s first inhabitants.

 4th century
Barbarians invade the area.

Amsterdam is founded.

Storm causes a flood that drown approximately 10.000 inhabitants.

King of Spain Charles V inherites the Netherlands.

Wooden buildings in Amsterdam are banned. 

Amsterdam abandons the Spanish and Catholic cause.

The Union of Utrecht unites the northern Low Countries.

The United Provinces declare their independence from Spain.

The United East India is founded.

The Dutch discover Manhattan Island.

Peter Minuit (Director-General of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands) purchases Manhattan Island for the equivalent of 24 dollars.

 1630 - 1654
Dutch conquer Brazil.

Rembrandt paints The Night Watch.

night watch
Source: Wikipedia

 1642 - 1643
Abel Tasman reaches Tasmania and New Zealand.

End of war with Spain; Dutch independence recognised.

Jan van Riebeek reaches Cape Town; first Anglo-Dutch war.

Brazil is sold to Portugal.

 1665 - 1667
Second Anglo-Dutch war.

 1672 - 1674
Third Anglo-Dutch war.

Velvet Revolution; French occupy the Netherlands.

 1806 - 1810
Louis Bonaparte (Napoléon's brother
) becomes king of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands regains independence.

The country becomes the Kingdom of the Netherlands headed by Willem l of the House of Oranje-Nassau.

Belgium rebels against the Netherlands and breaks free.

Vincent van Gogh is born.

Amstel Brewery opened.

Vincent van Gogh commits suicide*

KLM launces the world’s first scheduled air service.

Dutch women get the vote.

Olympic Games are held in Amsterdam.

Germany invades and conquers the Netherlands four days after the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam.

February strike against deportation of the Jewish community.

 1942 - 1945
Anne Frank and her family hide in Amsterdam. The refuge is betrayed and Anne dies at Bergen-Belsen concentration camp. She was 15.

 1944 - 1945
Thousands die during the Hunger Winter.

The Diary of Anne Frank is published.

› 1948
Benelux customs union takes effect.

The Dutch East Indies receives its independence as Indonesia; the Netherlands joins NATO.

The Netherlands founding member of European Coal and Steel Community.

The Netherlands joins the European Economic Community.

Amsterdam’s 700th anniversary; the Netherlands grants independence to Surinam; use of cannabis is decriminalised.

Queen Juliana retired and succeeded by her daughter Beatrix.

The Homomonument is unveiled.

Photo by Flickr user JorgeBRAZIL

The world’s first same-sex marriage takes place in Amsterdam.

Euro replaces the Dutch guilder; regulated euthenasia is legalised.

Dutch voters reject EU constitution.

The Netherlands withdraws its soldiers from Afghanistan.


* According to Steven Naifeh and Gregory White Smith, authors of new biography Van Gogh: The Life, Vincent van Gogh did not commit suicide.

100 years ago: The Netherlands during WWI

It's 100 years since the First World War started in Europe. But how did the Netherlands fit into the picture? Here's some info about the Dutch WWI experience.

The Netherlands
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