Eighty Years' War
The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance, they were able to oust the Habsburg armies, in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas; the Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire; the Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.
There are numerous causes that led to the Eighty Years' War but the primary reasons could be classified into two: resentment towards the Spanish authority and religious tension. The first was articulated by the Dutch nobility who wanted to regain power and privileges lost in favor of the King, so they settled the thought that Phillip II was surrounded by evil advisors; this developed into an overarching discontent against the absolutist Spanish regime. Religious resistance, on the other hand, came with the imposition of an ecclesiastical hierarchy for all of the Spanish territories; this created resistance in the Dutch provinces, which embraced the Reformation. In the decades preceding the war, the Dutch became discontented with Spanish rule. A major concern involved the heavy taxation imposed on the population, while support and guidance from the government was hampered by the size of the Spanish empire. At that time, the Seventeen Provinces were known in the empire as De landen van herwaarts over and in French as Les pays de par deça – "those lands around there".
The Dutch provinces were continually criticised for acting without permission from the throne, while it was impractical for them to gain permission for actions, as requests sent to the throne would take at least four weeks for a response to return. The presence of Spanish troops under the command of the Duke of Alba, brought in to oversee order, further amplified this unrest. Spain attempted a policy of strict religious uniformity for the Catholic Church within its domains, enforced it with the Inquisition; the Reformation meanwhile produced a number of Protestant denominations, which gained followers in the Seventeen Provinces. These included the Lutheran movement of Martin Luther, the Anabaptist movement of the Dutch reformer Menno Simons, the Reformed teachings of John Calvin; this growth led to the 1566 Beeldenstorm, the "Iconoclastic Fury", in which many churches in northern Europe were stripped of their Catholic statuary and religious decoration. In October 1555, Emperor Charles V of the Holy Roman Empire began the gradual abdication of his several crowns.
His son Philip II took over as sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands, which at the time was a personal union of seventeen provinces with little in common beyond their sovereign and a constitutional framework. This framework, assembled during the preceding reigns of Burgundian and Habsburg rulers, divided power between city governments, local nobility, provincial States, royal stadtholders, the States General of the Netherlands, the central government assisted by three councils: the Council of State, the Privy Council and the Council of Finances; the balance of power was weighted toward the local and regional governments. Philip did not govern in person but appointed Emmanuel Philibert, Duke of Savoy as governor-general to lead the central government. In 1559 he appointed his half-sister Margaret of Parma as the first Regent, who governed in close co-operation with Dutch nobles like William, Prince of Orange, Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, Lamoral, Count of Egmont. Philip introduced a number of councillors in the Council of State, foremost among these Antoine Perrenot de Granvelle, a French-born cardinal who gained considerable influence in the Council, much to the chagrin of the Dutch council members.
When Philip left for Spain in 1559 political tension was increased by religious policies. Not having the liberal-mindedness of his father Charles V, Philip was a fervent enemy of the Protestant movements of Martin Luther, John Calvin, the Anabaptists. Charles had outlawed heresy in special placards that made it a capital offence, to be prosecuted by a Dutch version of the Inquisition, leading to the executions of over 1,300 people between 1523 and 1566. Towards the end of Charles' reign enforcement had become lax. Philip, insisted on rigorous enforcement, which caused widespread unrest. To support and strengthen the attempts at Counter-Reformation Philip launched a wholesale organisational reform of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands in 1559, which resulted in the inclusion of fourteen dioceses instead of the old three; the new hierarchy was to be headed by Granvelle as archbishop of the new archdiocese of Mechelen. The reform was unpopular with the old church hierarchy, as the new dioceses were to be financed by the transfer of a number of rich abbey
Vikings were Norse seafarers speaking the Old Norse language, who during the late 8th to late 11th centuries and traded from their Northern European homelands across wide areas of Europe, explored westwards to Iceland and Vinland. The term is commonly extended in modern English and other vernaculars to the inhabitants of Norse home communities during what has become known as the Viking Age; this period of Nordic military and demographic expansion constitutes an important element in the early medieval history of Scandinavia, the British Isles, Kievan Rus' and Sicily. Facilitated by advanced sailing and navigational skills, characterised by the longship, Viking activities at times extended into the Mediterranean littoral, North Africa, the Middle East. Following extended phases of exploration and settlement, Viking communities and governments were established in diverse areas of north-western Europe, Belarus and European Russia, the North Atlantic islands and as far as the north-eastern coast of North America.
This period of expansion witnessed the wider dissemination of Norse culture, while introducing strong foreign cultural influences into Scandinavia itself, with profound developmental implications in both directions. Popular, modern conceptions of the Vikings—the term applied casually to their modern descendants and the inhabitants of modern Scandinavia—often differ from the complex picture that emerges from archaeology and historical sources. A romanticised picture of Vikings as noble savages began to emerge in the 18th century. Perceived views of the Vikings as alternatively violent, piratical heathens or as intrepid adventurers owe much to conflicting varieties of the modern Viking myth that had taken shape by the early 20th century. Current popular representations of the Vikings are based on cultural clichés and stereotypes, complicating modern appreciation of the Viking legacy; these representations are not always accurate — for example, there is no evidence that they wore horned helmets.
One etymology derives víking from the feminine vík, meaning "creek, small bay". Various theories have been offered that the word viking may be derived from the name of the historical Norwegian district of Viken, meaning "a person from Viken". According to this theory, the word described persons from this area, it is only in the last few centuries that it has taken on the broader sense of early medieval Scandinavians in general. However, there are a few major problems with this theory. People from the Viken area were not called'Viking' in Old Norse manuscripts, but are referred to as víkverir,'Vík dwellers'. In addition, that explanation could explain only the masculine and ignore the feminine, a serious problem because the masculine is derived from the feminine but hardly vice versa; the form occurs as a personal name on some Swedish runestones. The stone of Tóki víking was raised in memory of a local man named Tóki who got the name Tóki víking because of his activities as a viking; the Gårdstånga Stone uses the phrase "ÞeR drængaR waRu wiða unesiR i wikingu", referring to the stone's dedicatees as vikings.
The Västra Strö 1 Runestone has an inscription in memory of a Björn, killed when "i viking". In Sweden there is a locality known since the middle ages as Vikingstad; the Bro Stone was risen in memory of Assur, said to have protected the land from vikings. There is little indication of any negative connotation in the term before the end of the Viking Age. Another etymology, one that gained support in the early twenty-first century, derives Viking from the same root as Old Norse vika, f.'sea mile', originally'the distance between two shifts of rowers', from the root *weik or *wîk, as in the Proto-Germanic verb *wîkan,'to recede'. This is found in the Proto-Nordic verb *wikan,'to turn', similar to Old Icelandic víkja'to move, to turn', with well-attested nautical usages. Linguistically, this theory is better attested, the term most predates the use of the sail by the Germanic peoples of North-Western Europe, because the Old Frisian spelling shows that the word was pronounced with a palatal k and thus in all probability existed in North-Western Germanic before that palatalisation happened, that is, in the 5th century or before.
In that case, the idea behind it seems to be that the tired rower moves aside for the rested rower on the thwart when he relieves him. The Old Norse feminine víking may have been a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers, i.e. a long-distance sea journey, because in the pre-sail era, the shifting of rowers would distinguish long-distance sea journeys. A víkingr would originally have been a participant on a sea journey characterised by the shifting of rowers. In that case, the word Viking was not connected to Scandinavian seafarers but assumed this meaning when the Scandinavians begun to dominate the seas. In Old English, the word wicing appears first in the Anglo-Saxon poem, which dates from the 9th century. In Old English, in the history of the archbishops of Hamburg-Bremen written by Adam of Bremen in about 1070, the term referred to Scandi
Dutch famine of 1944–45
The Dutch famine of 1944–45, known in the Netherlands as the Hongerwinter, was a famine that took place in the German-occupied Netherlands in the densely populated western provinces north of the great rivers, during the winter of 1944–45, near the end of World War II. A German blockade cut off fuel shipments from farm towns; some 4.5 million were survived thanks to soup kitchens. Loe de Jong, author of The Kingdom of the Netherlands During World War II, estimated at least 22,000 deaths occurred due to the famine. Another author estimated 18,000 deaths from the famine. Most of the victims were elderly men; the famine was alleviated by the liberation of the provinces by the Allies in May 1945. Prior to that, bread baked from flour shipped in from Sweden, the airlift of food by the Royal Air Force, the Royal Canadian Air Force, the United States Army Air Forces – under an agreement with the Germans that if the Germans did not shoot at the mercy flights, the Allies would not bomb the German positions – helped to mitigate the famine.
These were Chowhound. Operation Faust trucked in food to the province. Towards the end of World War II, food supplies became scarce in the Netherlands. After the landing of the Allied Forces on D-Day, conditions grew bad in the Nazi-occupied Netherlands; the Allies were able to liberate the southern part of the country, but their liberation efforts came to an abrupt halt when Operation Market Garden, their attempt to gain control of the bridge across the Rhine at Arnhem, failed. The seizure of the approaches to the port of Antwerp was delayed due to Montgomery's preoccupation with Market Garden and trying to end the war quickly. After the national railways complied with the exiled Dutch government's appeal for a railway strike starting September 1944 to further the Allied liberation efforts, the German administration retaliated by placing an embargo on all food transports to the western Netherlands. By the time the embargo was lifted in early November 1944, allowing restricted food transports over water, the unusually early and harsh winter had set in.
The canals became impassable for barges. Food stocks in the cities in the western Netherlands ran out; the adult rations in cities such as Amsterdam dropped to below 1000 calories a day by the end of November 1944 and to 580 calories in the west by the end of February 1945. Over this Hongerwinter, a number of factors combined to cause starvation in the large cities in the West of the Netherlands; the winter in the month of January 1945 itself was unusually harsh prohibiting transport by boat for a month between early January 1945 and early February 1945. The German army destroyed docks and bridges to flood the country and impede the Allied advance. Thirdly, Allied bombing made it difficult to transport food in bulk, since Allied bombers could not distinguish German military and civilian shipments; as the south-eastern and the south-western part of the Netherlands became one of the main western battlefields, these conditions combined to make the transport of existing food stocks in large enough quantities nearly impossible.
The areas affected were home to 4.5 million people. Butter disappeared after October 1944, shortly after railway transport to the western parts of the Netherlands had stopped in September due to the railway strike; the supply of vegetable fats dwindled to a minuscule seven-month supply of 1.3 liters per person. At first 100 grams of cheese were allotted every two weeks; the bread ration had dropped from 2,200 to 1,800 and to 1,400 grams per week. It fell to 1,000 grams in October, by April 1945 to 400 grams a week. Together with one kilogram of potatoes, this formed the entire weekly ration; the black market ran out of food as well, with the gas and electricity and heat turned off, everyone was cold and hungry. In search of food, young strong people would walk for tens of kilometers to trade valuables for food at farms. Tulip bulbs and sugar beets were consumed. Furniture and houses were dismantled to provide fuel for heating. In the last months of 1944, in anticipation of the coming famine, tens of thousands of children were brought from the cities to rural areas where many remained until the end of the war.
Deaths in the three big cities of the Western Netherlands started in earnest in December 1944, reaching a peak in March 1945, but remained high in April and May 1945. In early summer 1945 the famine was brought under control. From September 1944 until May 1945 the deaths of 18,000 Dutch people were attributed to malnutrition as the primary cause and in many more as a contributing factor; the Dutch Famine ended with the liberation by the Allies of the western Netherlands in May 1945. Shortly before that, some relief had come from "Swedish bread", baked in the Netherlands from flour shipped in from Sweden. Shortly after these shipments, the German occupiers allowed coordinated air drops of food over German-occupied Dutch territory by the Royal Air Force and Royal Canadian Air Force from 29 April to 7 May, by the U. S. Army Air Forces from 1 to 8 May; the Germans agreed not to shoot at the planes flying the mercy missions, the Allies agreed not to bomb German positions. Operation Faust trucked in food to Rhenen beginning on 2 May, utilizing 200 vehicles.
Rhenen was occupied by the Germans The D
Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Utrecht
The Archdiocese of Utrecht is an archdiocese of the Catholic Church in the Netherlands. The Archbishop of Utrecht is the Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical province of Utrecht. There are six suffragan dioceses in the province: Breda, Groningen-Leeuwarden, Haarlem-Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and's-Hertogenbosch; the cathedral church of the archdiocese is Saint Catherine Cathedral which replaced the prior cathedral, Saint Martin Cathedral, after it was taken by Protestants in the Reformation. The Archdiocese of Utrecht was established in the 7th century and disestablished in the 16th century during the Protestant Reformation; the Catholic church reestablished the Archdiocese in the 19th century.. According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the founding of the diocese dates back to Francia, when St. Ecgberht of Ripon sent St. Willibrord and eleven companions on a mission to pagan Frisia, at the request of Pepin of Herstal; the Diocese of Utrecht was erected by Pope Sergius I in 695. In 695 Sergius consecrated Willibrord in Rome as Bishop of the Frisians.
George Edmundson wrote, in Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition, that the bishops, in fact, as the result of grants of immunities by a succession of German kings, notably by the Saxon and Franconian emperors became the temporal rulers of a dominion as great as the neighboring counties and duchies. John Mason Neale explained, in History of the so-called Jansenist church of Holland, that bishops "became warriors rather than prelates. Debitum pastoralis officii nobis was Pope Leo X's 1517 prohibition to the Archbishop-Elector of Cologne, Hermann of Wied, as legatus natus, to summon, to a court of first instance in Cologne, Philip of Burgundy, his treasurer, his ecclesiastical and secular subjects. Leo X only confirmed a right of the Church, explained Neale; the Bishopric ended when Henry of the Palatinate resigned the see in 1528 with the consent of the cathedral chapter, transferred his secular authority to Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor. The chapters voluntarily transferred their right of electing the bishop to Charles V, Pope Clement VII gave his consent to the proceeding.
George Edmundson wrote, in History of Holland, that Henry, "was compelled" in 1528 to formally surrender "the temporalities of the see" to Charles V. Lordship of Utrecht The diocese was elevated to an archdiocese in 1559, it was taken from Province of Cologne, in which it was a suffragan, elevated to the rank of an archdiocese and metropolitan see. During the administration of the first archbishop, Frederik V Schenck van Toutenburg, Calvinism spread especially among the nobility, who viewed with disfavor the endowment of the new bishoprics with the ancient and wealthy abbeys; the parish churches were attacked in the Beeldenstorm in 1566. The hanging of the nineteen Martyrs of Gorkum in Brielle in 1572 is an example of the persecution which Catholics suffered. During the Dutch Revolt in the Spanish Netherlands, the archdiocese fell. In the Beeldenstorm in 1580, the collegiate churches were victims of iconoclastic attacks and St. Martin's Cathedral, was "severely damaged". "Even though one third of the people remained Roman Catholic and in spite of a great tolerance," as early as 1573, the public exercise of Catholicism was forbidden, the cathedral was converted into a Protestant church in 1580.
The cathedral chapter survived and "still managed its lands and formed part of the provincial government" in the Lordship of Utrecht. "The newly appointed canons, were always Protestants." The two successor archbishop appointed by Spain neither received canonical confirmation nor could they enter their diocese because of the States-General opposition. The archdiocese was suppressed in 1580. Walter Phillips wrote, in Encyclopædia Britannica, 1911 edition, the last archbishop of Utrecht, Frederik V Schenck van Toutenburg, died in 1580, "a few months before the suppression of Roman Catholic public worship" by William I, Prince of Orange. "Suppression of dioceses," wrote Hove, "takes place only in countries where the faithful and the clergy have been dispersed by persecution," the suppressed dioceses become missions, prefectures, or vicariates apostolic. This is; the Holland Mission started when the vicariate was erected by Pope Clement VIII in 1592. "For two centuries after the Peace of Westphalia much of Holland was under vicars apostolic as mission territory, as England was in the same period.
The see was reestablished as an Archdiocese in the 1853. Johannes Zwijsen Andreas Ignatius Schaepman Petrus Matthias Snickers Henricus van de Wetering Johannes Henricus Gerardus Jansen Johannes de Jong Bernardus Johannes Alfrink Johannes Gerardus Maria Willebrands Adrianus Johannes Simonis Willem Jacobus Eijk Source: Radboud University Library. Goswin Haex van Loenhout, O. Carm. Godefridus Yerwerd, O. S. B. (28 M
Burgomaster is the English form of various terms in or derived from Germanic languages for the chief magistrate or executive of a city or town. The name in English was derived from the Dutch burgemeester. In some cases, Burgomaster was the title of the head of state and head of government of a sovereign city-state, sometimes combined with other titles, such as Hamburg's First Mayor and President of the Senate). Contemporary titles are translated into English as mayor. In history in many free imperial cities the function of burgomaster was held by three persons, serving as an executive college. One of the three being burgomaster in chief for a year, the second being the prior burgomaster in chief, the third being the upcoming one. Präsidierender Bürgermeister is now an obsolete formulation sometimes found in historic texts. In an important city in a city state, where one of the Bürgermeister has a rank equivalent to that of a minister-president, there can be several posts called Bürgermeister in the city's executive college, justifying the use of a compound title for the actual highest magistrate, such as: Regierender Bürgermeister in West Berlin and reunited Berlin, while in Berlin the term Bürgermeister without attribute – English Mayor – refers to his deputies, while the heads of the 12 boroughs of Berlin are called Bezirksbürgermeister, English borough mayor.
Erster Bürgermeister in Hamburg Bürgermeister und Präsident des Senats in Bremen Amtsbürgermeister can be used for the chief magistrate of a Swiss constitutive canton, as in Aargau 1815–1831 Bürgermeister, in German: in Germany, South Tyrol, in Switzerland. In Switzerland, the title was abolished mid-19th century. Oberbürgermeister is the most common version for a mayor in a big city in Germany; the Ober- prefix is used in many ranking systems for the next level up including military designations. The mayors of cities, which comprise one of Germany's 112 urban districts bear this title. Urban districts are comparable to independent cities in the English-speaking world; however the mayors of some cities, which do not comprise an urban district, but used to comprise one until the territorial reforms in the 1970s, bear the title Oberbürgermeister. Borgmester Borgarstjóri Borgermester Börgermester Burgomaestre Purkmistr Burgumaisu Borgomastro or Sindaco-Borgomastro: in few communes of Lombardy Burgemeester in Dutch: in Belgium a party-political post, though formally nominated by the regional government and answerable to it, the federal state and the province.
Mayor. In the Netherlands nominated by the municipal council but appointed by the crown. In theory above the parties, in practice a high-profile party-political post. Bourgmestre in Belgium and the Democratic Republic of the Congo Bürgermeister Burmistras, derived from German. Buergermeeschter Polgármester, derived from German. Burmistrz, a mayoral title, derived from German; the German form Oberbürgermeister is translated as Nadburmistrz. The German-derived terminology reflects the involvement of German settlers in the early history of many Polish towns. Borgmästare, kommunalborgmästare. Boargemaster Pormestari In the Netherlands and Belgium, the mayor is an appointed government position, whose main responsibility is chairing the executive and legislative councils of a municipality. In the Netherlands, mayors chair both the council of the municipal council, they are members of the council of mayor and aldermen and have their own portfolios, always including safety and public order. They have a representative role for the municipal government, both to its civilians and to other authorities on the local and national level.
A large majority of mayors are members of a political party. This can be the majority party in the municipal council. However, the mayors are expected to exercise their office in a non-partisan way; the mayor is appointed by the national government for a renewable six-year term. In the past, mayors for important cities were chosen after negotiations between the national parties; this appointment procedure has been criticised. The party D66 had a direct election of the mayor as one of the main objectives in its platform. In the early 2000s, proposals for change were discussed in the national parliament. However
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethnolinguistic group of Northern European origin identified by their use of the Germanic languages. Their history stretches from the 2nd millennium BCE up to the present day. Proto-Germanic peoples are believed to have emerged during the Nordic Bronze Age, which developed out of the Battle Axe culture in southern Scandinavia. During the Iron Age various Germanic tribes began a southward expansion at the expense of Celtic peoples, which led to centuries of sporadic violent conflict with ancient Rome, it is from Roman authors. The decisive victory of Arminius at the Battle of the Teutoburg Forest in 9 CE is believed to have prevented the eventual Romanization of the Germanic peoples, has therefore been considered a turning point in world history. Germanic tribes settled the entire Roman frontier along the Rhine and the Danube, some established close relations with the Romans serving as royal tutors and mercenaries, sometimes rising to the highest offices in the Roman military.
Meanwhile, Germanic tribes expanded into Eastern Europe, where the Goths subdued the local Iranian nomads and came to dominate the Pontic Steppe launching sea expeditions into the Balkans and Anatolia as far as Cyprus. The westward expansion of the Huns into Europe in the late 4th century CE pushed many Germanic tribes into the Western Roman Empire, their vacated lands were filled by Slavs. Much of these territories were reclaimed in following centuries. Other tribes became known as the Anglo-Saxons. With the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, a series of Germanic kingdoms emerged, of which, Francia gained a dominant position; this kingdom formed the Holy Roman Empire under the leadership of Charlemagne, recognized by Pope Leo III in 800 CE. Meanwhile, North Germanic seafarers referred to as Vikings, embarked on a massive expansion which led to the establishment of the Duchy of Normandy, Kievan Rus' and their settlement of the British Isles and the North Atlantic Ocean as far as North America.
With the North Germanic abandonment of their native religion in the 11th century, nearly all Germanic peoples had been converted to Christianity. In about 222 BCE, the first use of the Latin term "Germani" appears in the Fasti Capitolini inscription de Galleis Insvbribvs et Germ; this may be referring to Gaul or related people. The term Germani shows up again written by Poseidonios, but is a quotation inserted by the author Athenaios who wrote much later. Somewhat the first surviving detailed discussions of Germani and Germania are those of Julius Caesar, whose memoirs are based on first-hand experience. From Caesar's perspective, Germania was a geographical area of land on the east bank of the Rhine opposite Gaul, which Caesar left outside direct Roman control; this word provides the etymological origin of the modern concept of "Germanic" languages and Germany as a geographical abstraction. For some classical authors Germania included regions of Sarmatia, as well as an area under Roman control on the west bank of the Rhine.
Additionally, in the south there were Celtic peoples still living east of the Rhine and north of the Alps. Caesar and others noted differences of culture which could be found on the east of the Rhine, but the theme of all these cultural references was that this was a wild and dangerous region, less civilized than Gaul, a place that required additional military vigilance. Caesar used the term Germani for a specific tribal grouping in northeastern Belgic Gaul, west of the Rhine, the largest part of whom were the Eburones, he made clear. These are the so-called Germani Cisrhenani, whom Caesar believed to be related to the peoples east of the Rhine, descended from immigrants into Gaul. Tacitus suggests that this was the original meaning of the word "Germani" – as the name of a single tribal nation west of the Rhine, ancestral to the Tungri, not the name of a whole race as it came to mean, he suggested that two large Belgic tribes neighbouring Caesar's Germani, the Nervii and the Treveri, liked to call themselves Germanic in his time, in order not to be associated with Gaulish indolence.
Caesar described this group of tribes both as Germani. Gauls are associated with Celtic languages, the term Germani is associated with Germanic languages, but Caesar did not discuss languages in detail; the geographer Ptolemy described the place where these people lived as Germania, which according to his accounts was bordered by the Rhine and Danube Rivers, but he circumscribed into Greater Germania an area which included Jutland and an enormous island known as Scandia. While saying that the Germani had ancestry across the Rhine, Caesar did not describe these tribes as recent immigrants, saying that they had defended themselves some generations earlier from the invading Cimbri and Teutones, it has been claimed, for example by Maurits Gysseling, that the place names of this region show evidence of an early presence of Germanic languages, as early as the 2nd century BCE. The Celtic culture and language were however influential als
People's Party for Freedom and Democracy
The People's Party for Freedom and Democracy is a conservative liberal political party in the Netherlands. The VVD, whose forerunner was the Freedom Party, supports private enterprise and economic liberalism. Mark Rutte has been the party's leader since 31 May 2006 and on 14 October 2010 became Prime Minister of the Netherlands, marking the first time that the VVD led a government; the First Rutte cabinet's parliamentary majority was provided by the Christian Democratic Appeal and the Party for Freedom, but this majority became unstable when the latter refused to support austerity measures amid the Euro crisis. Therefore, a general election was held in September 2012; the VVD remained the largest party, with 41 seats. From November 2012 until March 2017, the VVD was the senior partner in the Second Rutte cabinet, a "purple" coalition government with the Labour Party. VVD remained the largest party in the March 2017 election. However, continuing the existing coalition was impossible, as the Labour Party had lost 29 seats, therefore a centre-right coalition was negotiated with the D66, CU and CDA, which became the Third Rutte Cabinet.
The VVD was founded in 1948 as a continuation of the Freedom Party, a continuation of the interbellum Liberal State Party, which in turn was a continuation of Liberal Union. They were joined by the Comité-Oud, a group of liberal members of the Labour Party, led by Pieter Oud; the liberals within the Labour Party were members of the pre-war social liberal Free-thinking Democratic League, who went on to join the Labour Party in the post-war Doorbraak movement. However, they believed. Oud became the merged party's first leader. Between 1948 and 1952 the VVD took part in the broad cabinets led by the Labour Party Prime Minister Willem Drees; the party was a junior partner with only eight seats to the Catholic People's Party and Labour Party, which both had around thirty seats. The Drees cabinets laid the foundation for the welfare state and decolonisation of the Dutch East Indies. In the Dutch general election of 1952 the VVD did not join the government. In the Dutch general election of 1956 they increased their total, receiving thirteen seats, but were still kept out of government until the general election of 1959, held early because of cabinet crisis.
This time they gained nineteen seats and the party entered government alongside the Protestant Anti-Revolutionary Party, Christian Historical Union CHU and the Roman Catholic KVP. In 1963, Oud retired from politics, was succeeded by the Minister of the Interior Edzo Toxopeus. With Toxopeus as its Leader, the VVD lost three seats in the 1963 election, but remained in government. In 1962, a substantial group of disillusioned VVD-members founded the Liberal Democratic Centre, intended to introduce a more twentieth-century liberal direction pointing to the classical liberal VVD. In 1966, frustrated with their hopeless efforts, LDC members departed the VVD altogether and went on now to form an political party, the Democrats 66. In 1965, there occurred a conflict between VVD Ministers and their counterparts from the KVP and ARP in the Marijnen cabinet; the cabinet fell and without an election it was replaced by the KVP–ARP–PvdA cabinet under Jo Cals, which itself fell the next year. In the following 1967 election the VVD remained stable and entered yet again the cabinet under Prime Minister Piet de Jong.
During this period the VVD had loose ties with other liberal organisations and together they formed the neutral pillar. This included the liberal papers Nieuwe Rotterdamsche Courant and Algemeen Handelsblad, the broadcaster AVRO and the employers' organisation VNO. In the Dutch general election of 1971 the VVD lost the cabinet lost its majority. A cabinet was formed by the Christian democratic parties, the VVD and the Labour Party offshoot Democratic Socialists'70; this cabinet collapsed after a few months. Meanwhile, the charismatic young MP Hans Wiegel had attracted considerable attention, he became the new leader of the VVD: in 1971 he became the new parliamentary leader, in 1972 he was appointed lijsttrekker. Under Wiegel's leadership, the party oriented towards a new political course, reforming the welfare state, cutting taxes etc. Wiegel did not shrink from conflict with the trade unions. With this new course came a new electorate: working class and middle-class voters who, because of individualisation and depillarisation, were more easy to attract.
The course proved to be profitable: in the polarised general election of 1972 the VVD gained six seats. The VVD was kept out of government by the social democratic and Christian democratic cabinet led by Joop den Uyl. Although the ties between the VVD and other organisations within the neutral pillar became looser, the number of neutral organisations, friendly to the VVD, expanded; the TROS and Veronica, new broadcasters which entered the Netherlands Public Broadcasting, were friendly to the VVD. In 1977 the VVD again won six seats bringing its total to twenty-eight seats; when lengthy formation talks between the social democrats and Christian democrats led to a final break between the two parties, the VVD formed cabinet with the Christian Democratic Appeal, with a majority of only two seats. In the general election of 1981 the VVD lost two seats and its partner the CDA lost more; the cabinet was without a majority and a CDA