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The Republic of the Netherlands is a nation in Western Europe. It's known for being the one of the oldest countries in the world, with its constitution written in 1490. This was possible because the constitution was very modern for its time, and thus the majority of the constitution has seen very little changes.
The Netherlands were first inhabited by the Frisians, who had the Frisian Kingdom in the north. In 733 the Frisians were defeated by the Franks, who added the Netherlands to their country. When the Frankish Empire fell apart in 843, most of the Netherlands became part of the Middle Francia, which fell in 855, creating Lotharingia. The Netherlands then became part of East Francia in 870, although it was in control of the vikings who controlled the coastal towns.
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In 1435, Denmark-Sweden got into a war against the Imperial Duchy of Holstein, after a few weeks of border incidents, including several Holsteiners crossing the border and slaughtering a village. After the Danish-Swedish invasion the Emperor, Sigismund I, called upon the Empire to fight. Denmark-Sweden were initially losing, being defeated in the major Battle of Sleswig and having their offensive halted. However, in a move of desperation, Eric VII, the king of Denmark, reached out to several Imperial Fiefs and Duchies, encouraging them to revolt. Little of those fiefs and duchies actually did so, but Holland, Gelre, Utrecht and Friesland agreed. This was the turning point of the war, as the Dutch nations successfully distracted the Imperial forces enough for Denmark-Sweden to come back. Seeing the relative success the Dutch had, the Duchy of Milan followed their example and revolted too. The Imperial Army was now forced to split into three. The war had a heavy toll on the Empire, and in 1438 peace was signed, confirming the independence of the duchies that revolted and ceding Holstein to Denmark-Sweden.
Dutch Civil War
The struggle for power commenced almost immediately after the peace was signed. All 4 of the duchies claimed each other's territories, igniting the Dutch Civil War(1438-1452). The war took 14 years, mainly due to shifting Danish-Swedish influence. It ended in a victory for Holland, who united the area as the Republic of the 5 United Netherlands.
While the Northern Provinces were free, the Southern Provinces were under Burgundian rule, until 1482. In 1482, Mary of Burgundy died, and her possessions passed on to her son Philip. The provinces were now under Habsburg rule. In 1483 Flemish cities revolted against the rule of the Habsburgs. The first revolt failed, but in 1489 Flanders revolted yet another time, this time receiving help from both the Netherlands and Denmark-Sweden. This sparked the Second Danish-Imperial War. Most of the fighting took place in the Southern Netherlands, although minor fighting still took place in Holstein. In a move unexpected by the Empire, Dutch troops left Flanders to invade East Frisia, Oldenburg and Münster. Danish-Swedish forces pushed into Germany, and the Empire was forced to concede.
Grand European War
The Dutch, once the allies of Denmark-Sweden, were torn away from their allies after the Rikardist Revolution in 1709. Ever since, the Dutch were naturally opposed to Rikardism and cut all relations with Denmark-Sweden. Denmark-Sweden supported Rikardist rebels in the Southern Netherlands, something which forced the Dutch into the Grand European War, as the French intervened, officially to combat the Rikardists and help the Dutch. Historians have pointed out that there were most likely deeper motives for the French intervention, especially because they took hold of the French majority provinces. It led to little skirmishes during the Grand European War, known as the Minor Franco-Dutch War. The French annexed the provinces in 1739, officially ending official disputes over it.
After the war the Dutch severed the temporary alliance with the English, French and Italians, and declared full neutrality. This neutrality was maintained for some time, but in 1818 the Dutch signed their first official alliance since the declaration of neutrality, with their historical allies, Denmark-Sweden. Even then, peace continued and the only time the army was used was to aid Denmark-Sweden against rebels. When Denmark-Sweden rewrote the constitution, the alliance continued and it does so to this date. When the Great War erupted, the Dutch took no side and actually somewhat benefited from the war, continuing their merchant nature and profiting from both sides.
- Friesland (700.000)
- Nedersaksen (4.100.000)
- Gelreland (3.600.000)
- Utrecht (1.100.000)
- Holland (7.000.000)
- Zeeland (400.000)
- Noord-Brabant (2.300.000)
- Limburg (1.700.000)
- Antwerpen (2.500.000)
- Vlaanderen (600.000)
- Zuid-Brabant (2.200.000)
- Luik (1.000.000)
Total Population (2015 estimate): 27.200.000
Population numbers of provinces are rounded