World History

Netherlands Timeline and History Highlights

Netherlands Timeline Highlights


2000-800 – Bronze Age people live in the Dutch area.

800-58 AD – Iron Age with the arrival of Germanic tribes and Celts.

57 – The Roman Empire, led by Julius Caesar, invades and takes control of the southern Netherlands.


1-100 – A tribe called the Frisians settled most of the area.

400 – Romans destroyed by Germanic tribes. Saxons, Franks, anglers, Jutes and other peoples live in this country.

768 – Charlemagne becomes King of the Franks. His empire extended to Holland.

From 800 to his 1000 – Vikings arrive and raid coastal towns. They settle in some areas.

1083 – The name Holland appears for the first time in legal documents describing the area that later became known as Holland county.

1384-1482 – Burgundy period, when most of the Netherlands was united under the rule of the Duke of Burgundy.

1482 to 1567 – Habsburg period when the region was ruled by the Habsburg Empire.

1509 – Dutch philosopher Erasmus wrote “Praise of Folly”.

1568 – The Eighty Years’ War begins when the Dutch, led by Prince William I of Orange, revolt against the Habsburg Empire ruled by King Philip II of Spain

1581 – The Dutch declare independence from Spain, forming the Seven United Dutch Republics.

1602 – The Dutch East India Company is established.

1642 – Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn paints his most famous painting, The Night Watch.

1648 – Peace of Munster ends the Eighty Years’ War. The Dutch Republic is recognized as an independent country by Spain.

1652 – The Dutch go to war with the British.

1688 – King William and Queen Mary of the Kingdom of Orange become rulers.

1795 – French forces invade and seize power. The Batavian Republic is proclaimed.

1806 – Napoleon, Emperor of France, appoints his brother Louis as King of the Netherlands.

1813 – Napoleon and the French army are defeated and the United Kingdom of the Netherlands is proclaimed. Including Belgium, his two capitals are Brussels and Amsterdam.

1830 – Belgium revolts and secedes, forming an independent country.

1853 – The famous painter Vincent van Gogh is born.

1899 – The First Hague Peace Conference is held among many world powers to avoid war.

1914 – World War I begins. The Netherlands remains neutral.

1922 – Women are given the right to vote.

1939 – World War II begins. The Netherlands again tries to remain neutral.

1940 – Germany invades and occupies the Netherlands.

1941 – Jews are rounded up by Nazi police and sent to concentration camps.

1944 – Anne Frank is captured by the Nazis and deported to the Auschwitz concentration camp.

1945 – World War II ends. Netherlands joins the United Nations.

1948 – The International Court of Justice is established in The Hague.

1949 – The Netherlands joins NATO and ceases to maintain its neutrality policy.

1953 – Over 1,800 people die in floods in the North Sea. The government begins construction of the Delta Factory, a series of dams and embankments to prevent future floods.

1975 – Dutch colony Suriname becomes independent.

1980 – Queen Juliana abdicates the throne and Beatrix becomes queen.

1995 – Hundreds of thousands of people evacuated as a state of emergency is declared due to heavy flooding.

1997 – Delta factory completed.

2002 – The Euro replaces the Dutch Guilder as the official currency.

Netherlands History Highlights:

People who live in Holland are called Dutch. The land was originally inhabited by Germanic tribes. Part of the country became a Roman province founded in the 1st century BC. Conquered by Julius Caesar. The country then became part of the Frankish Empire, then the House of Burgundy, and finally the Habsburg Empire.

In the 16th century the country came under Spanish rule and the Dutch revolted. Their leader was Willem of Orange, and in 1581 the United Netherlands was established. In the 17th century, the Netherlands emerged as an international power known for its powerful navy. The Dutch Empire spanned the globe through various colonies on almost every continent. Dutch art also reached its peak during this period, with famous artists such as Rembrandt and Vermeer being born.

In later years, the Dutch national power declined. Wars with Spain, France and England weakened the country. In the 1900s, the Netherlands tried to remain neutral during both world wars. It managed to avoid World War I, but was occupied by Germany in World War II. Dutch Jews were almost exterminated by the Germans. Over 75 percent of the 140,000 Jews living in Holland were murdered by German forces during the Holocaust. The famous Jewish girl Anne Frank wrote how she hid from the Nazis in Amsterdam before she was captured and sent to a concentration camp where she died. After World War II, most of the remaining Dutch colonies were granted independence.