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1st cent. BC: The area’s first inhabitants - Frisians, Batavians, and other tribes - settle the coastal territory along the Rhine River. The Batavians become allies of Rome.
1421: A storm on St Elizabeth’s Day breaks dikes along the Maas and Waal rivers, causing a flood that drowned 10,000 people.
1555: Philip II of Spain sends the duke of Alba to the Low countries to confront the Protestant Reformation.
Early 17th cent. : Jewish refugees from Spain and Portugal began to arrive in the Netherlands.
1648: The Peace of Munster ended the 80-year war for independence. The Dutch Republic was officially recognized as a nation.
1685: Edict of Nantes (a decree issued by Henry IV of France in 1598 that gave political equality to the Huguenots) was revoked. Consequently, a heavy influx of Huguenots arrived into the Netherlands (by 1686 they were 75,000), resulting in the founding of many French Reformed church congregations.
1795: The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was overthrown, and the Batavian Republic, patterned after the French republic, was established. Zeeuws Flanders, Flanders, and Dutch areas in Limburg were annexed to France.
1805: The Batavian Republic was dissolved, and the Kingdom of Holland was established, with Louis Bonaparte, brother of Napoleon, as king.
1810: The Kingdom of Holland was dissolved, and the territory was annexed to the French Empire.
1814: French troops left the country. Prince Willem VI of Orange–Nassau became sovereign prince of the Netherlands.
1815: On 16 March 1815, the Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.
1831: The people of the former Southern Netherlands rebelled and set up their own government. This was the beginning of the Kingdom of Belgium.
1839: Belgium was recognized as an independent nation, and border disputes were resolved.
1940: World War II. Nazi Germany invades on May 10. Holland surrenders 4 days later after the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam. Queen Wilhelmina goes into exile in London.
1945, May 5: German forces in the Netherlands capitulate.
1949: The Dutch East Indies’ wins independence, as well as Indonesia, after a bitterly fought liberation struggle.
1975: The Netherlands grants independence to Suriname.
2002: Political assassination of Pim Fortuyn, populist leader, during election campaign, by an ethnic Dutch environmentalist.
2004: Assassination of Theo van Gogh, film director and writer, by a Moroccan-Dutch Muslim. Van Gogh had a strong agenda favouring absolute free speech and derogatory towards Muslims and Islam and left wing politicians.

Source: History of the Netherlands.

D 27 September 2012   

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