The Netherlands, informally known as Holland is the main constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a densely populated country located in Western Europe with three territories in the Caribbean. The European part of the Netherlands borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south, and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing borders with Belgium, the United Kingdom. The three largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam and The Hague, Amsterdam is the countrys capital, while The Hague holds the Dutch seat of parliament and government. The port of Rotterdam is the worlds largest port outside East-Asia, the name Holland is used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. Netherlands literally means lower countries, influenced by its low land and flat geography, most of the areas below sea level are artificial. Since the late 16th century, large areas have been reclaimed from the sea and lakes, with a population density of 412 people per km2 –507 if water is excluded – the Netherlands is classified as a very densely populated country.
Only Bangladesh, South Korea, and Taiwan have both a population and higher population density. Nevertheless, the Netherlands is the worlds second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products and this is partly due to the fertility of the soil and the mild climate. In 2001, it became the worlds first country to legalise same-sex marriage, the Netherlands is a founding member of the EU, Eurozone, G-10, NATO, OECD and WTO, as well as being a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. The first four are situated in The Hague, as is the EUs criminal intelligence agency Europol and this has led to the city being dubbed the worlds legal capital. The country ranks second highest in the worlds 2016 Press Freedom Index, the Netherlands has a market-based mixed economy, ranking 17th of 177 countries according to the Index of Economic Freedom. It had the thirteenth-highest per capita income in the world in 2013 according to the International Monetary Fund, in 2013, the United Nations World Happiness Report ranked the Netherlands as the seventh-happiest country in the world, reflecting its high quality of life.
The Netherlands ranks joint second highest in the Inequality-adjusted Human Development Index, the region called Low Countries and the country of the Netherlands have the same toponymy. Place names with Neder, Nieder and Nedre and Bas or Inferior are in use in all over Europe. They are sometimes used in a relation to a higher ground that consecutively is indicated as Upper, Oben. In the case of the Low Countries / the Netherlands the geographical location of the region has been more or less downstream. The geographical location of the region, changed over time tremendously
The term Danish Realm refers to the relationship between Denmark proper, the Faroe Islands and Greenland—three countries constituting the Kingdom of Denmark. The legal nature of the Kingdom of Denmark is fundamentally one of a sovereign state. The Faroe Islands and Greenland have been part of the Crown of Denmark since 1397 when the Kalmar Union was ratified, legal matters in The Danish Realm are subject to the Danish Constitution. Beginning in 1953, state law issues within The Danish Realm has been governed by The Unity of the Realm, a less formal name for The Unity of the Realm is the Commonwealth of the Realm. In 1978, The Unity of The Realm was for the first time referred to as rigsfællesskabet. The name caught on and since the 1990s, both The Unity of The Realm and The Danish Realm itself has increasingly been referred to as simply rigsfællesskabet in daily parlance. The Danish Constitution stipulates that the foreign and security interests for all parts of the Danish Realm are the responsibility of the Danish government, the Faroes received home rule in 1948 and Greenland did so in 1979.
In 2005, the Faroes received a self-government arrangement, and in 2009 Greenland received self rule, the Danish Realms unique state of internal affairs is acted out in the principle of The Unity of the Realm. This principle is derived from Article 1 of the Danish Constitution which specifies that constitutional law applies equally to all areas of the Danish Realm, the Constitutional Act specifies that sovereignty is to continue to be exclusively with the authorities of the Realm. The language of Denmark is Danish, and the Danish state authorities are based in Denmark, the Kingdom of Denmarks parliament, with its 179 members, is located in the capital, Copenhagen. Two of the members are elected in each of Greenland and the Faroe Islands. The Government ministries are located in Copenhagen, as is the highest court, in principle, the Danish Realm constitutes a unified sovereign state, with equal status between its constituent parts. Devolution differs from federalism in that the powers of the subnational authority ultimately reside in central government.
The Self-Government Arrangements devolves political competence and responsibility from the Danish political authorities to the Faroese, the Faroese and Greenlandic authorities administer the tasks taken over from the state, enact legislation in these specific fields and have the economic responsibility for solving these tasks. The Danish government provides a grant to the Faroese and the Greenlandic authorities to cover the costs of these devolved areas. The 1948 Home Rule Act of the Faroe Islands sets out the terms of Faroese home rule, the Act states. the Faroe Islands shall constitute a self-governing community within the State of Denmark. It establishes the government of the Faroe Islands and the Faroese parliament. The Faroe Islands were previously administered as a Danish county, the Home Rule Act abolished the post of Amtmand and these powers were expanded in a 2005 Act, which named the Faroese home government as an equal partner with the Danish government
Mark Rutte is a Dutch politician who has been the Prime Minister of the Netherlands since 14 October 2010, and the Leader of the Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy since 31 May 2006. At the 2006 general election, the Peoples Party for Freedom and Democracy, already under Rutte, lost six seats, and he became the opposition leader. At the following election in 2010, the VVD won the highest number of votes cast. After a long period, Rutte became Prime Minister and formed a Cabinet. When Rutte was sworn in on 14 October 2010, he became the first liberal Prime Minister of the Netherlands in 92 years, on 5 November 2012, the Second Rutte cabinet was installed by Queen Beatrix. Izaäk Rutte worked for a company, first as an importer in the Dutch East Indies. Rutte attended a high school from 1979 until 1985, specialising in the arts. Although Ruttes original ambition was to attend a conservatory and become a concert pianist, he went to study history at Leiden University instead, where he obtained a MA degree in 1992.
Rutte combined his studies with a position on the board of the Youth Organisation Freedom and Democracy, after his studies, Rutte entered the business world, working as a manager for Unilever and Calvé. Until 1997, Rutte was part of the human resource department of Unilever, between 1997 and 2000, Rutte was staff manager for Van den Bergh Nederland, a subsidiary of Unilevers. In 2000, Rutte became a member of the Corporate Human Resources Group, between 1993 and 1997, Rutte was a member of the national board of the VVD. Rutte served as a member of the VVD candidate committee for the election of 2002. Rutte was elected as Member of Parliament in 2003, Rutte served as Undersecretary in the Social Affairs and Employment ministry from 22 July 2002 to 17 June 2004 in the first and second Balkenende cabinets. Rutte was responsible for fields including bijstand and arbeidsomstandigheden, after the 2003 elections Rutte was briefly a member of the House of Representatives, from 30 January to 27 May 2003.
In office, Rutte showed particular interest in making the Dutch higher education system more competitive internationally, Rutte would have been succeeded by former The Hague alderman Bruno Bruins. Before Bruins could be sworn into office, the second Balkenende cabinet fell, in the subsequently formed third Balkenende cabinet Bruins succeeded Rutte as Undersecretary. Rutte resigned as Undersecretary in June 2006 to return to the House of Representatives, Rutte became an important figure within the VVD leadership. Rutte was campaign manager for the 2006 municipal elections, on 31 May 2006, it was announced that Mark Rutte would be the next front-runner of the VVD
Jean-Claude Juncker is a Luxembourgish politician. Since 2014, Juncker has been President of the European Commission, from 1995 to 2013, he was the 23rd Prime Minister of Luxembourg, and from 1989 to 2009, he was the Minister for Finances. From 2005 to 2013, Juncker served as the first permanent President of the Eurogroup, in 2014, the European Peoples Party had Juncker as its lead candidate, or Spitzenkandidat, for the Presidency of the Commission in the 2014 elections. This marked the first time that the Spitzenkandidat process was employed, the EPP won 220 out of 751 seats in the Parliament. On 27 June 2014, the European Council officially nominated Juncker for the position, and on 15 July 2014 and he succeeded Jose Manuel Barroso as President on 1 November 2014. During his leadership, Britain voted to leave the European Union in 2016, Juncker is the first President that prior to the election has campaigned as a candidate for the position, a process introduced with the Treaty of Lisbon. Juncker was born in Redange and spent the majority of his childhood in Belvaux and he studied at the Roman Catholic école apostolique at Clairefontaine on the edge of Arlon in Belgium, before returning to Luxembourg to study for his Baccalaureate at the Lycée Michel Rodange.
He joined the Christian Social Peoples Party in 1974 and he studied Law at the University of Strasbourg, graduating with a Masters in Law in 1979, and although he was sworn into the Luxembourg Bar Council in 1980, he never practised as a lawyer. Juncker is fluent in his language of Luxembourgish, along with French, German. Following Junckers graduation from the University of Strasbourg, he was appointed as a Parliamentary Secretary and he won election to the Chamber of Deputies for the first time in 1984 and was immediately appointed to the Cabinet of Prime Minister Jacques Santer as Minister of Labour. This led to his given a chairmans role at a number of meetings of the Council of the European Communities. Shortly before the 1989 election Juncker was seriously injured in a road accident. His eventual promotion to Prime Minister seemed at this time inevitable, Juncker at this time accepted the position of Luxembourgs representative on the 188-member board of Governors of the World Bank. Juncker was re-elected to the Chamber in 1994, maintaining his ministerial role, Juncker relinquished his post at the World Bank at this time, but maintained his position as Minister for Finance.
Junckers first term as Prime Minister was focused on a platform of international bilateral ties to improve Luxembourgs profile abroad. The press dubbed Juncker the Hero of Dublin for achieving a consensus between the two. He instigated the Euro 11, an group of European finance ministers for matters regarding his Economic. For all of these initiatives, he was honoured with the Vision for Europe Award in 1998, after the 2004 election, the Luxembourg Socialist Workers Party became the second largest party again, and Juncker again formed a coalition with them
Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a unitary parliamentary republic in Europe. Located in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea, Italy shares open land borders with France, Austria, San Marino, Italy covers an area of 301,338 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate and Mediterranean climate. Due to its shape, it is referred to in Italy as lo Stivale. With 61 million inhabitants, it is the fourth most populous EU member state, the Italic tribe known as the Latins formed the Roman Kingdom, which eventually became a republic that conquered and assimilated other nearby civilisations. The legacy of the Roman Empire is widespread and can be observed in the distribution of civilian law, republican governments, Christianity. The Renaissance began in Italy and spread to the rest of Europe, bringing a renewed interest in humanism, exploration, Italian culture flourished at this time, producing famous scholars and polymaths such as Leonardo da Vinci, Galileo and Machiavelli. The weakened sovereigns soon fell victim to conquest by European powers such as France and Austria.
Despite being one of the victors in World War I, Italy entered a period of economic crisis and social turmoil. The subsequent participation in World War II on the Axis side ended in defeat, economic destruction. Today, Italy has the third largest economy in the Eurozone and it has a very high level of human development and is ranked sixth in the world for life expectancy. The country plays a prominent role in regional and global economic, military and diplomatic affairs, as a reflection of its cultural wealth, Italy is home to 51 World Heritage Sites, the most in the world, and is the fifth most visited country. The assumptions on the etymology of the name Italia are very numerous, according to one of the more common explanations, the term Italia, from Latin, was borrowed through Greek from the Oscan Víteliú, meaning land of young cattle. The bull was a symbol of the southern Italic tribes and was often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Social War. Greek historian Dionysius of Halicarnassus states this account together with the legend that Italy was named after Italus, mentioned by Aristotle and Thucydides.
The name Italia originally applied only to a part of what is now Southern Italy – according to Antiochus of Syracuse, but by his time Oenotria and Italy had become synonymous, and the name applied to most of Lucania as well. The Greeks gradually came to apply the name Italia to a larger region, excavations throughout Italy revealed a Neanderthal presence dating back to the Palaeolithic period, some 200,000 years ago, modern Humans arrived about 40,000 years ago. Other ancient Italian peoples of undetermined language families but of possible origins include the Rhaetian people and Cammuni. Also the Phoenicians established colonies on the coasts of Sardinia and Sicily, the Roman legacy has deeply influenced the Western civilisation, shaping most of the modern world
European Coal and Steel Community
The European Coal and Steel Community was an organisation of 6 European countries set up after World War II to regulate their industrial production under a centralised authority. It was formally established in 1951 by the Treaty of Paris, signed by Belgium, West Germany, the Netherlands and Luxembourg. The ECSC was the first international organisation to be based on the principles of supranationalism, the ECSC was first proposed by French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 as a way to prevent further war between France and Germany. He declared his aim was to make war not only unthinkable but materially impossible which was to be achieved by regional integration, of which the ECSC was the first step. The Treaty would create a market for coal and steel among its member states which served to neutralise competition between European nations over natural resources, particularly in the Ruhr. These would ultimately form the blueprint for todays European Commission, European Parliament, the Council of the European Union, the 1967 Merger Treaty led to all of ECSCs institutions to merge into that of the European Economic Community, but the ECSC retained its own independent legal personality.
In 2002, the Treaty of Paris expired and the ECSC ceased to exist in any form, its activities fully absorbed by the European Community under the framework of Amsterdam and Nice treaties. Despite stiff ultra-nationalist and communist opposition, the French Assembly voted a number of resolutions in favour of his new policy of integrating Germany into a community, the International Authority for the Ruhr changed in consequence. Schumans guiding principles were moral, based on the equality of states, the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950 occurred after two Cabinet meetings, when the proposal became French government policy. France was thus the first government to agree to surrender sovereignty in a supranational Community and it laid out a plan for a European Community to pool the coal and steel of its members in a common market. Such an act was intended to help economic growth and cement peace between France and Germany, who were historic enemies and steel were vital resources needed for a country to wage war, so pooling those resources between two such enemies was seen as more than symbolic.
Schuman saw the decision of the French government on his proposal as the first example of a democratic and supranational Community, a new development in world history. The plan was seen by some, like Monnet, who crossed out Reuters mention of supranational in the draft and inserted federation. The Schuman Declaration that created the ECSC had several distinct aims and it would make war between member states impossible. It would transform Europe in a step by step process leading to the unification of Europe democratically and it would create the worlds first supranational institution. It would create the worlds first international anti-cartel agency and it would create a common market across the Community. It would, starting with the coal and steel sector, revitalise the whole European economy by similar community processes and it would improve the world economy and the developing countries, such as those in Africa. Firstly, it was intended to prevent further war between France and Germany and other states by tackling the cause of war
Luxembourgish, Luxemburgish or Letzeburgesch is a West Germanic language that is spoken mainly in Luxembourg. Worldwide, about 390,000 people speak Luxembourgish. To communicate, all luxembourgees have to learn 4 different languages in the school, german, french. Since the migration of 70% of the luxembourgees to the US, despite the lack of a sharp boundary between Luxembourgish and the neighboring German dialects, this has led several linguists to regard it as a separate, yet closely related language. Luxembourgish belongs to the West Central German group of High German languages and is the example of a Moselle Franconian language. Luxembourgish is the language of Luxembourg and one of three administrative languages, alongside French and German. Luxembourgish is spoken in the Arelerland region of Belgium and in parts of Lorraine in France. In the German Eifel and Hunsrück regions, and in Lorraine, Moselle Franconian dialects outside the Luxembourg state border tend to have far fewer French loan words, and these mostly remain from the French Revolution.
There are several distinct forms of Luxembourgish including Areler, Kliärrwer, Stater, Veiner and Weelzer. Further small vocabulary differences may be even between small villages. There is no distinct boundary between the use of Luxembourgish and the use of other closely related High German dialects, it instead forms a dialect continuum of gradual change. Spoken Luxembourgish is relatively hard to understand for speakers of German who are not familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects. However, they can read the language to some degree. For those Germans familiar with Moselle Franconian dialects, it is easy to understand. However, the number of French loanwords in Luxembourgish may hamper communication about certain topics. There is no intelligibility between Luxembourgish and French or any of the Romance dialects spoken in the adjacent parts of Belgium, erna Hennicot-Schoepges, President of the Christian Social Peoples Party of Luxembourg 1995–2003, was active in promoting the language beyond Luxembourgs borders.
A number of proposals for standardising the orthography of Luxembourgish can be documented, there was no officially recognised system, until the adoption of the OLO on 5 June 1946. The rules explicitly rejected certain elements of German orthography, new principles were adopted for the spelling of French loanwords. A more successful standard eventually emerged from the work of the committee of specialists charged with the task of creating the Luxemburger Wörterbuch, published in 5 volumes between 1950 and 1977
Europe is a continent that comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia. Europe is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west, yet the non-oceanic borders of Europe—a concept dating back to classical antiquity—are arbitrary. Europe covers about 10,180,000 square kilometres, or 2% of the Earths surface, Europe is divided into about fifty sovereign states of which the Russian Federation is the largest and most populous, spanning 39% of the continent and comprising 15% of its population. Europe had a population of about 740 million as of 2015. Further from the sea, seasonal differences are more noticeable than close to the coast, Europe, in particular ancient Greece, was the birthplace of Western civilization. The fall of the Western Roman Empire, during the period, marked the end of ancient history. Renaissance humanism, exploration and science led to the modern era, from the Age of Discovery onwards, Europe played a predominant role in global affairs. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, European powers controlled at times the Americas, most of Africa, Oceania.
The Industrial Revolution, which began in Great Britain at the end of the 18th century, gave rise to economic and social change in Western Europe. During the Cold War, Europe was divided along the Iron Curtain between NATO in the west and the Warsaw Pact in the east, until the revolutions of 1989 and fall of the Berlin Wall. In 1955, the Council of Europe was formed following a speech by Sir Winston Churchill and it includes all states except for Belarus and Vatican City. Further European integration by some states led to the formation of the European Union, the EU originated in Western Europe but has been expanding eastward since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. The European Anthem is Ode to Joy and states celebrate peace, in classical Greek mythology, Europa is the name of either a Phoenician princess or of a queen of Crete. The name contains the elements εὐρύς, broad and ὤψ eye, broad has been an epithet of Earth herself in the reconstructed Proto-Indo-European religion and the poetry devoted to it.
For the second part the divine attributes of grey-eyed Athena or ox-eyed Hera. The same naming motive according to cartographic convention appears in Greek Ανατολή, Martin Litchfield West stated that phonologically, the match between Europas name and any form of the Semitic word is very poor. Next to these there is a Proto-Indo-European root *h1regʷos, meaning darkness. Most major world languages use words derived from Eurṓpē or Europa to refer to the continent, in some Turkic languages the originally Persian name Frangistan is used casually in referring to much of Europe, besides official names such as Avrupa or Evropa
Luxembourg /ˈlʌksəmbɜːrɡ/, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east and its culture and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and Germanic cultures. It comprises two regions, the Oesling in the north as part of the Ardennes massif. With an area of 2,586 square kilometres, it is one of the smallest sovereign states in Europe, Luxembourg had a population of 524,853 in October 2012, ranking it the 8th least-populous country in Europe. As a representative democracy with a monarch, it is headed by a Grand Duke, Grand Duke of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is a country, with an advanced economy and the worlds highest GDP per capita. Luxembourg is a member of the European Union, OECD, United Nations, NATO, and Benelux, reflecting its political consensus in favour of economic, political. The city of Luxembourg, which is the capital and largest city, is the seat of several institutions.
Luxembourg served on the United Nations Security Council for the years 2013 and 2014, around this fort, a town gradually developed, which became the centre of a state of great strategic value. In the 14th and early 15th centuries, three members of the House of Luxembourg reigned as Holy Roman Emperors, in the following centuries, Luxembourgs fortress was steadily enlarged and strengthened by its successive occupants, the Bourbons, Habsburgs and the French. After the defeat of Napoleon in 1815, Luxembourg was disputed between Prussia and the Netherlands and this arrangement was revised by the 1839 First Treaty of London, from which date Luxembourgs full independence is reckoned. In 1842 Luxembourg joined the German Customs Union, the King of the Netherlands remained Head of State as Grand Duke of Luxembourg, maintaining a personal union between the two countries until 1890. At the death of William III, the throne of the Netherlands passed to his daughter Wilhelmina and this allowed Germany the military advantage of controlling and expanding the railways there.
In August 1914, Imperial Germany violated Luxembourgs neutrality in the war by invading it in the war against France and this allowed Germany to use the railway lines, while at the same time denying them to France. Nevertheless, despite the German occupation, Luxembourg was allowed to maintain much of its independence, in 1940, after the outbreak of World War II, Luxembourgs neutrality was again violated when the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany entered the country, entirely without justification. A government in exile based in London supported the Allies, sending a group of volunteers who participated in the Normandy invasion. Luxembourg was liberated in September 1944, and became a member of the United Nations in 1945. Luxembourgs neutral status under the constitution formally ended in 1948, in 2005, a referendum on the EU treaty establishing a constitution for Europe was held
In economics, a service is a transaction in which no physical goods is transferred from the seller to the buyer. The benefits of such a service are held to be demonstrated by the willingness to make the exchange. Public services are those that society as a whole pays for, using resources, skill and experience, service providers benefit service consumers. Services can be described in terms of their key characteristics, sometimes called the Five Is of Services and they are not manufactured, transported or stocked. Services cannot be stored for a future use and they are produced and consumed simultaneously. Services are perishable in two regards, Service-relevant resources and systems are assigned for delivery during a specific period in time. If the service consumer does not request and consume the service during this period, from the perspective of the service provider, this is a lost business opportunity if no other use for those resources is available. Examples, A hairdresser serves another client, an empty seat on an airplane cannot be filled after departure.
When the service has been rendered to the consumer, this particular service irreversibly vanishes. Example, a passenger has been transported to the destination and the flight is over, the service provider must deliver the service at the time of service consumption. The service is not manifested in an object that is independent of the provider. The service consumer is inseparable from service delivery, The service consumer must sit in the hairdressers chair, or in the airplane seat. Correspondingly, the hairdresser or the pilot must be in the shop or plane, many services are regarded as heterogeneous and are typically modified for each service consumer or each service context. Another and more common term for this is heterogeneity, both service provider and service consumer participate in the service provision. Mass generation and delivery of services must be mastered for a provider to expand. This can be seen as a problem of service quality, both inputs and outputs to the processes involved providing services are highly variable, as are the relationships between these processes, making it difficult to maintain consistent service quality.
Many services involve variable human activity, rather than a precisely determined process, the human factor is often the key success factor in service provision. Demand can vary by season, time of day, business cycle, consistency is necessary to create enduring business relationships
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a sovereign state in Western Europe bordered by France, the Netherlands, Germany and the North Sea. It is a small, densely populated country which covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres and has a population of about 11 million people. Additionally, there is a group of German-speakers who live in the East Cantons located around the High Fens area. Historically, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, the region was called Belgica in Latin, after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance. It is divided into three regions and three communities, that exist next to each other and its two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region is a bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia, Belgiums linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments.
Upon its independence, declared in 1830, Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Belgium is a member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD and WTO. Its capital, hosts several of the EUs official seats as well as the headquarters of major international organizations such as NATO. Belgium is a part of the Schengen Area, Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy and is categorized as very high in the Human Development Index. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings, a gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 14th and 15th centuries, the Eighty Years War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands.
The latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and this was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, although the franchise was initially restricted, universal suffrage for men was introduced after the general strike of 1893 and for women in 1949. The main political parties of the 19th century were the Catholic Party, French was originally the single official language adopted by the nobility and the bourgeoisie