Flanders is the Dutch-speaking northern portion of Belgium and one of the communities and language areas of Belgium. However, there are several overlapping definitions, including ones related to culture, language and history, sometimes involving neighbouring countries; the demonym associated with Flanders is Fleming. The official capital of Flanders is Brussels, although the Brussels Capital Region has an independent regional government, the government of Flanders only oversees the community aspects of Flanders life in Brussels such as culture and education. Flanders, despite not being the biggest part of Belgium by area, is the area with the largest population. 7,876,873 out of 11,491,346 Belgian inhabitants live in the bilingual city of Brussels. Not including Brussels, there are five modern Flemish provinces. In medieval contexts, the original "County of Flanders" stretched around AD 900 from the Strait of Dover to the Scheldt estuary and expanded from there; this county still corresponds with the modern-day Belgian provinces of West Flanders and East Flanders, along with neighbouring parts of France and the Netherlands.
Although this original meaning is still relevant, during the 19th and 20th centuries it became commonplace to use the term "Flanders" to refer to the entire Dutch-speaking part of Belgium, stretching all the way to the River Meuse, as well as cultural movements such as Flemish art. In accordance with late 20th century Belgian state reforms the Belgian part of this area was made into two political entities: the "Flemish Community" and the "Flemish Region"; these entities were merged, although geographically the Flemish Community, which has a broader cultural mandate, covers Brussels, whereas the Flemish Region does not. Flanders, by every definition, has figured prominently in European history since the Middle Ages. In this period, cities such as Ghent and Antwerp made it one of the richest and most urbanized parts of Europe and weaving the wool of neighbouring lands into cloth for both domestic use and export; as a consequence, a sophisticated culture developed, with impressive achievements in the arts and architecture, rivaling those of northern Italy.
Belgium was one of the centres of the 19th century industrial revolution but Flanders was at first overtaken by French-speaking Wallonia. In the second half of the 20th century, due to massive national investments in port infrastructures, Flanders' economy modernised and today Flanders and Brussels are more wealthy than Wallonia and in general one of the wealthiest regions in Europe and the world. Geographically, Flanders is flat, has a small section of coast on the North Sea. Much of Flanders is agriculturally fertile and densely populated, with a population density of 500 people per square kilometer, it touches France to the west near the coast, borders the Netherlands to the north and east, Wallonia to the south. The Brussels Capital Region is an bilingual enclave within the Flemish Region. Flanders has exclaves of its own: Voeren in the east is between Wallonia and the Netherlands and Baarle-Hertog in the north consists of 22 exclaves surrounded by the Netherlands; the term "Flanders" has several main modern meanings: The "Flemish community" or "Flemish nation", i.e. the social and linguistic, scientific and educational and political community of the Flemings.
It comprises 6.5 million Belgians. The political subdivisions of Belgium: the Flemish Region and the Flemish Community; the first does not comprise Brussels, whereas the latter does comprise the Dutch-speaking inhabitants of Brussels. The political institutions that govern both subdivisions: the operative body "Flemish Government" and the legislative organ "Flemish Parliament"; the two westernmost provinces of the Flemish Region, West Flanders and East Flanders, forming the central portion of the historic County of Flanders. An ancien régime territory that existed from the 8th century until its absorption by the French First Republic; until the 1600s, this county extended over parts of what are now France and the Netherlands. One of the Flemish regions which are now part of France, in the Nord department; this is referred to as French Flanders, can be divided into two smaller regions: Walloon Flanders and Maritime Flanders. The first region was predominantly French-speaking in the 1600s, the latter became so in the 20th century.
The city of Lille identifies itself as "Flemish", this is reflected, for instance, in the name of its local railway station TGV Lille Flandres. The Flemish region which became part of the Dutch Republic, now part of the Dutch province of Zeeland; the significance of the County of Flanders and its counts eroded through time, but the designation remained in a broad sense. In the Early modern period, the term Flanders was associated with the southern part of the Low Countries: the Southern Netherlands. During the 19th and 20th centuries, it became commonplace to refer to the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium as "Flanders"; the linguistic limit between French and Dutch was recorded in the early'60's, from Kortrijk to Maastricht. Now, Flanders extends over the northern part of Belgium, including Belgian Limburg (corresponding to t
Army of Flanders
The Army of Flanders was a multinational army in the service of the kings of Spain, based in the Netherlands during the 16th to 18th centuries. It was notable for being the longest-serving standing army of the period, being in continuous service from 1567 until its disestablishment in 1706. In addition to taking part in numerous battles of the Dutch Revolt and the Thirty Years' War, it employed many developing military concepts more reminiscent of military units, enjoying permanent, standing regiments, military hospitals and rest homes long before they were adopted in most of Europe. Sustained at huge cost and at significant distances from Spain, the Army of Flanders became infamous for successive mutinies and its ill-disciplined activity off the battlefield, including the Sack of Antwerp in 1576; the Army of Flanders formed the longest standing army in the early modern period, operating from 1567 until 1706. It was established following a wave of iconoclasm in the troubled provinces of the Netherlands in 1565 and 1566.
The provinces were ruled by the Spanish King Phillip II, as trouble mounted he decided to reinforce the existing forces of the governor, Margaret of Parma, with a more substantial force. This was both a political reaction against the perceived rebellion, but a response to the Calvinist views being shown by the protesters, establishing a religious flavour to the military response. King Phillip's possessions stretched across Europe, were reflected in the creation of the new army. In 1567 it was intended that 8,000 Spanish foot and 1,200 horse would form the nucleus of a new army for the Netherlands, to be sent from north Italy via Savoy, it was envisaged at this stage that the total number might reach 70,000, under the command of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba. The force would be sent through Europe via a sequence of friendly or neutral territories, which would become known as the'Spanish Road'; the Spanish authorities concluded that 70,000 troops was excessive, too expensive, in the end only 10,000 Spaniards and a regiment of German infantry under Count Alberic de Lodron were sent.
Their formation and march north was a considerable accomplishment for the time. Arriving in the Netherlands, they joined the 10,000 Walloon and German troops serving Margaret of Parma, who resigned in favour of Alba; the Spanish troops formed an essential professional basis for the new army. Backed by the new Army of Flanders, Alba began clamping down on the unrest; the size of the Army of Flanders would vary over the period in response to contemporary challenges and threats. The initial force that combined in the Netherlands in 1567 was a little over 20,000 strong. In practice, the ensuing Dutch revolt meant that the Army had to enlarge in 1572, reaching, on paper, if not in reality, a strength of 86,000 by 1574; the Army was a multinational force, drawn from the various Catholic possessions of the Habsburgs but from the British Isles and from Lutheran parts of Germany. There was a clear contemporary hierarchy as to the value of different soldiers. Parker has argued that the Germans in fact performed much better than they were given credit for by contemporary commanders.
Despite their value on the field, Spanish troops in the Army were unpopular with the local people, at two key moments were sent out of the Netherlands to assuage local opinion. Recruitment occurred by various methods, including the commissioning of recruiting captains, who would attempt to enroll volunteers from a given recruiting region each year, contractors, who would attempt to hire troops from across Europe, it is estimated that around 25% of the Army had served their military apprenticeships elsewhere, with more than 50% recruited outside the Low Countries. At its best, this system could achieve remarkable surges – the increase in the Army in 1572 used all these methods, its success was a major accomplishment for the Spanish military establishment. During the 1590s, there was fierce competition for suitable veterans among Catholic France, embroiled in its civil wars of religion, the Habsburg Empire's other commitments and the Army of Flanders, with premiums being paid for transfers into the respective armies.
By the early 17th century, the similarities between the Habsburg army of Hungary and the Army of Flanders made competition for recruits intense. The cost of recruiting for the Army created tensions between Philip II's policy in the Netherlands, his need to maintain a strong presence in the Mediterranean against the Ottoman Turks. Although volunteers were the norm, in extremis other methods could be used. Pay remained fixed throughout most of the period, three escudos per day up until 1634 four escudos thereafter. At the highest social level, the Army of Flanders enjoyed a sequence of senior officers drawn from the nobility. Having senior noble commanders was considered extreme
County Cork is a county in Ireland. It is the largest and southernmost county of Ireland, situated in the province of Munster and named after the city of Cork, Ireland's second-largest city; the Cork County Council is the local authority for the county. Its largest market towns are Mallow, Macroom and Skibbereen. In 2016, the county's population was 542,868. Notable Corkonians include Michael Collins, Jack Lynch, Sonia O'Sullivan. Cork borders four other counties; the county contains the Golden Vale pastureland and stretches from Kanturk in the north to Allihies in the south. The south-west region, including West Cork, is one of Ireland's main tourist destinations, known for its rugged coast, megalithic monuments, as the starting point for the Wild Atlantic Way; the county is known as the "Rebel county", a name given to them by King Henry VII of England for its support of a man claiming to be Richard, Duke of York in a futile attempt at a rebellion. The main third-level educator is University College Cork, founded in 1845, with a current undergraduate population around 15,000.
Significant local industry and employers include technology company Dell EMC, the European headquarters of Apple, Dairygold, which own milk-processing factories in Mitchelstown and Mallow. Two local authorities have remits which collectively encompass the geographic area of the county and city of Cork; the county, excluding Cork city, is administered by Cork County Council, while the city is administered separately by Cork City Council. Both city and county are part of the South-West Region. For standardized European statistical purposes, both Cork County Council and Cork City Council rank as first-level local administrative units of the NUTS 3 South-West Region. Thirty-four such LAU 1 entities are in the Republic of Ireland. For elections to Dáil Éireann, the county is divided into five constituencies—Cork East, Cork North-Central, Cork North-West, Cork South-Central and Cork South-West. Together they return 18 deputies to the Dáil; the county is part of the South constituency for the purposes of European elections.
For purposes other than local government, such as the formation of sporting teams, the term "County Cork" is taken to include both city and county. County Cork is located in the province of Munster, bordering Kerry to the west, Limerick to the north, Tipperary to the north-east and Waterford to the east, it is the largest county in Ireland by land area, the largest of Munster's six counties by population and area. At the last census in 2016, Cork city stood at 125,657; the population of the entire county is 542,868 making it the state's second-most populous county and the third-most populous county on the island of Ireland. The remit of Cork County Council includes some suburbs of the city not within the area of Cork City Council. Twenty-four historic baronies are in the county—the most of any county in Ireland. While baronies continue to be defined units, they are no longer used for many administrative purposes, their official status is illustrated by Placenames Orders made since 2003, where official Irish names of baronies are listed.
The county has 253 civil parishes. Townlands are the smallest defined geographical divisions in Ireland, with about 5447 townlands in the county; the county's mountain rose during a period mountain formation some 374-360 million years ago and include the Slieve Miskish and Caha Mountains on the Beara Peninsula, the Ballyhoura Mountains on the border with Limerick and the Shehy Mountains which contain Knockboy, the highest point in Cork. The Shehy Mountains are on the border with Kerry and may be accessed from the area known as Priests Leap, near the village of Coomhola; the Galtee Mountains are located across parts of Tipperary and Cork and are Ireland's highest inland mountain range. The upland areas of the Ballyhoura, Boggeragh and Mullaghareirk Mountain ranges add to the range of habitats found in the county. Important habitats in the uplands include blanket bog, glacial lakes, upland grasslands. Cork has the 13th-highest county peak in Ireland. Three rivers, the Bandon and Lee, their valleys dominate central Cork.
Habitats of the valleys and floodplains include woodlands, marshes and species-rich limestone grasslands. The River Bandon flows through several towns, including Dunmanway to the west of the town of Bandon before draining into Kinsale Harbour on the south coast. Cork's sea loughs include Lough Hyne and Lough Mahon, the county has many small lakes. An area has formed where the River Lee breaks into a network of channels weaving through a series of wooded islands. About 85 hectares of swamp are around Cork's wooded area; the Environmental Protection Agency carried out a survey of surface waters in County Cork between 1995 and 1997, which identified 125 rivers and 32 lakes covered by the regulations. Cork has a flat landscape with many beaches and sea cliffs along its coast; the southwest of Ireland is known for its peninsulas and some in Cork include the Beara Peninsula, Sheep's Head, Mizen Head, Brow Head. Brow Head is the most southerly point of mainland Ireland. There are many islands off the coast in particular, off West Cork.
Carbery's Hundred Isles are the islands around Long Island Roaringwater Bay. Fastnet Rock lies in the Atlantic Ocean 11.3 km south of mainland Ireland, making it the most southerly point of Ireland. Many notable islands lie off Cork, including Bere, Great and Cape Clear. Cork has 1,094 km of coastline, the second-longest coastline of any county after Mayo
De Barry family
The de Barry family is a noble family of Cambro-Norman origins which held extensive land holdings in Wales and Ireland. The founder of the family was a Norman Knight, who assisted in the Norman Conquest of England during the 11th century; as reward for his military services, Odo was granted estates in Pembrokeshire and around Barry, including Barry Island just off the coast. Odo’s grandson, Gerald of Wales, a 12th-century scholar, gives the origin of his family's name, de Barry, in his Itinerarium Cambriae: "Not far from Caerdyf is a small island situated near the shore of the Severn, called Barri, from St. Baroc …. From hence a noble family, of the maritime parts of South Wales, who owned this island and the adjoining estates, received the name of de Barri." Many family members assisted in the Norman invasion of Ireland. For the family's services, King John of England awarded Philip's son, William de Barry, extensive baronies in the Kingdom of South Munster the defunct Uí Liatháin kingdom with its late seat at Castlelyons.
Odo de Barry was the grantee of the immense manor of Manorbier in Pembrokeshire, which included the manors of Jameston and Manorbier Newton, as well as the manors of Begelly and Penally. He built the first motte-and-bailey at Manorbier, his son, William FitzOdo de Barry, is the common ancestor of the Barry family in Ireland. He rebuilt Manorbier Castle in stone and the family retained the lordship of Manorbier until the 15th century, he had sons: Robert, Philip and Gerald by Angharad daughter of Gerald de Windsor and Nest ferch Rhys. After Gerald's death, Nest's sons married her to Stephen, her husband's constable of Cardigan Castle, by whom she had another two sons. Robert de Barry accompanied his half-uncle Robert Fitz-Stephen in the Norman invasion of Ireland, he took part in the Siege of Wexford and was killed at the battle of Lismore in 1185. Philip de Barry came to Ireland in 1185 to assist his half-uncle Robert Fitz-Stephen, his first cousin Raymond FitzGerald, in their efforts to recover lands in the modern county Cork - the cantreds of Killede and Muscarydonegan.
The latter cantred, variously called Muscry-donnegan or "O'Donegan's country" or "Múscraighe Tri Maighe", was a rural deanery in the Diocese of Cloyne. It is now identified as the barony of Kilmore; the name "Olethan" is an anglicisation of the Gaelic Uí Liatháin which refers to the early medieval kingdom of the Uí Liatháin. This petty kingdom encompassed most of the present Barony of Barrymore and the neighbouring barony of Kinnatalloon; the name Killyde survives in "Killeady Hills", the name of the hill country south of the city of Cork. These cantreds or baronies had been expropriated by another first cousin, Ralph Fitz-Stephen, the grandson of Nesta by Stephen, Constable of Cardigan. Robert Fitz-Stephen ceded these territories to Philip de Barry, his half-nephew. In 1181, King Henry II of England ennobled Robert de Barry as Baron Barry of Ibawne. On 24 February 1206, King John I of England confirmed William de Barry, Philip's son, in the possession of these territories and, by letters patent, conferred on him the Lordships of Castlelyons and Barry's Court in East Cork.
In 1267, King Henry III of England appointed Lord David de Barry as Chief Justice of Ireland. In 1385, King Richard II of England raised John Barry to the viscountcy as Viscount Buttevant. In 1627, King Charles I of England elevated David Barry as Earl of Barrymore. Barryscourt Castle near Carrigtwohill was the seat of the Barry family from the 12th century until 1617 when they removed to Barrymore Castle in Castlelyons. In 1771, the 7th Earl saw; the family fortunes were subsequently dissipatated by the 7th and 8th Earls. The name of the town of Buttevant is believed to derive from the family's battle cry - Boutez-en-Avant translating as "Kick your way through"; the most prominent Gaelic neighbours of the de Barrys were the MacCarthy Reagh dynasty, rulers of the principality or petty kingdom of Carbery. For the most part, with not a great many exceptions, the two families kept on good terms, regularly intermarried; the de Barrys are descended from several of the MacCarthy Reagh princes through their daughters.
The Barrys intermarried with the powerful MacCarthys of Muskerry. Some Barrys became so Gaelicized that a paternal Gaelic lineage was imagined for them, they were made to descend from Fothach Canann, 5th son of the famous Lugaid Mac Con of the Dáirine or Corcu Loígde. The Uí Liatháin or "Sons of Liathán", whose long decayed and defunct kingdom the de Barrys by coincidence came to occupy, are notable for having raided other parts of Britain in antiquity from their fortresses in Wales and Cornwall. Notable that the de Barry family descend maternally, through Angharad and Nesta, from the ancient Welsh Prince Cunedda, whose sons were the Britons who ended the Uí Liatháin's dominance in Wales. FitzGerald dynasty Earl of Barrymore Baron Barrymore Barry, E. Barrymore: Records of the Barrys of County Cork. Cork: Guy and Co. Ltd. 1902. Barry Family Name Origins
Limerick is a city in County Limerick, Ireland. It is located in the Mid-West Region and is part of the province of Munster. Limerick City and County Council is the local authority for the city; the city lies on the River Shannon, with the historic core of the city located on King's Island, bounded by the Shannon and the Abbey River. Limerick is located at the head of the Shannon Estuary where the river widens before it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. With a population of 94,192, Limerick is the third most populous urban area in the state, the fourth most populous city on the island of Ireland; the Limerick City Metropolitan District had a population of 104,952. On 1 June 2014 following the merger of Limerick City and County Council a new Metropolitan District of Limerick was formed within the united council which extended the city area; the Metropolitan District includes the city urban area and extends outwards towards Patrickswell in the west and Castleconnell in the east. The City Metropolitan Area however excludes city suburbs located within County Clare.
Limerick is one of the constituent cities of the Cork–Limerick–Galway corridor which has a population of 1 million people. It is located at a strategic position on the River Shannon with four main crossing points near the city centre. To the south of the city is the Golden Vale, an area of rich pastureland. Much of the city's industry was based on this rich agricultural hinterland and it is noted for Limerick Ham. Luimneach referred to the general area along the banks of the Shannon Estuary known as Loch Luimnigh; the earliest settlement in the city, Inis Sibhtonn, was the original name for King's Island during the pre-Viking and Viking eras. This island was called Inis an Ghaill Duibh, "The Dark- Foreigner's Island"; the name is recorded in Viking sources as Hlymrekr. The city dates from 812, the earliest probable settlement. Antiquity's map-maker, produced in 150 the earliest map of Ireland, showing a place called "Regia" at the same site as King's Island. History records an important battle involving Cormac mac Airt in 221 and a visit by St. Patrick in 434 to baptise an Eóganachta king, Carthann the Fair.
Saint Munchin, the first bishop of Limerick died in 652, indicating the city was a place of some note. In 812 the Vikings sailed up the Shannon and pillaged the city, burned the monastery of Mungret but were forced to flee when the Irish attacked and killed many of their number; the Normans redesigned the city in the 12th century and added much of the most notable architecture, such as King John's Castle and St Mary's Cathedral. In early medieval times Limerick was at the centre of the Kingdom of Thomond which corresponds to the present day County Clare, the Kingdom included North Kerry and parts of South Offaly. One of the kingdom's most notable kings was ancestor of the O'Brien Clan of Dalcassians; the word Thomond is synonymous with the region and is retained in place names such as Thomondgate, Thomond Bridge & Thomond Park. Limerick in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries was called the most beautiful city in Ireland; the English-born judge Luke Gernon, a resident of Limerick, wrote in 1620 that at his first sight of the city he had been amazed at its magnificence: "lofty buildings of marble, like the Colleges in Oxford".
During the civil wars of the 17th century the city played a pivotal role, besieged by Oliver Cromwell in 1651 and twice by the Williamites in the 1690s. The Treaty of Limerick ended the Williamite war in Ireland, fought between supporters of the Catholic King James II and the Protestant King William of Orange; the treaty offered toleration to Catholicism and full legal rights to Catholics that swore an oath of loyalty to William III and Mary II. The Treaty was of national significance as it ensured closer British and Protestant dominance over Ireland; the articles of the Treaty protecting Catholic rights were not passed by the Protestant Irish Parliament which rather updated the Penal Laws against Catholics which had major implications for Irish history. Reputedly the Treaty was signed on the Treaty Stone, an irregular block of limestone which once served as a mounting block for horses; this stone is now displayed on a pedestal at Clancy Strand. Because of the treaty, Limerick is sometimes known as the Treaty City.
This turbulent period earned the city its motto: Urbs antiqua fuit studisque asperrima belli. The peace times that followed the turmoil of the late 17th Century allowed the city to prosper through trade in the late 18th century. During this time Limerick Port established itself as one of Ireland's major commercial ports exporting agricultural produce from one of Ireland's most fertile areas, the Golden Vale, to Britain and America; this increase in trade and wealth amongst the city's merchant classes saw a rapid expansion of the city as Georgian Limerick began to take shape. This gave the city its present-day look including the extensive terraced streets of fine Georgian townhouses which remain in the city centre today; the Waterford and Limerick Railway linked the city to the Dublin–Cork railway line in 1848 and to Waterford in 1853. The opening of a number of secondary railways in the subsequent decades developed Limerick as a regional centre of communications. However, the economic downturn in the European conflicts of the French Revolution and Napoleonic eras, following the Act of Union 1800, the impact of the Great Irish Famine of 1848 caused much of the 19th Century to be a more
The Dutch Republic, or the United Provinces, was a confederal republic that existed from the formal creation of a confederacy in 1581 by several Dutch provinces—seceded from Spanish rule—until the Batavian Revolution of 1795. It was a predecessor state of the first Dutch nation state; the republic was known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands, Republic of the Seven United Provinces, the United Provinces, Seven Provinces, Federated Dutch Provinces, or the Dutch Federation. Common names for the Republic in official correspondence were: Republic of the United Netherlands Republic of the United Provinces Republic of the Seven Provinces Republic of the Seven United Netherlands Republic of the Seven United Provinces United Provinces United Provinces of the Netherlands United States of the Netherlands United Regions Seven United Regions Until the 16th century, the Low Countries—corresponding to the present-day Netherlands and Luxembourg—consisted of a number of duchies and prince-bishoprics all of which were under the supremacy of the Holy Roman Empire, with the exception of the county of Flanders, under the Kingdom of France.
Most of the Low Countries had come under the rule of the House of Burgundy and subsequently the House of Habsburg. In 1549 Holy Roman Emperor Charles V issued the Pragmatic Sanction, which further unified the Seventeen Provinces under his rule. Charles was succeeded by King Philip II of Spain. In 1568 the Netherlands, led by William I of Orange, revolted against Philip II because of high taxes, persecution of Protestants by the government, Philip's efforts to modernize and centralize the devolved-medieval government structures of the provinces; this was the start of the Eighty Years' War. In 1579, a number of the northern provinces of the Low Countries signed the Union of Utrecht, in which they promised to support each other in their defence against the Spanish army; this was followed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, the declaration of independence of the provinces from Philip II. In 1582, the United Provinces invited Duke of Anjou to lead them. After the assassination of William of Orange on 10 July 1584, both Henry III of France and Elizabeth I of England declined offers of sovereignty.
However, the latter agreed to turn the United Provinces into a protectorate of England, sent the Earl of Leicester as governor-general. This was unsuccessful and in 1588 the provinces became a confederacy; the Union of Utrecht is regarded as the foundation of the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, not recognized by the Spanish Empire until the Peace of Westphalia in 1648. During the Anglo-French war, the internal territory was divided into two groups: the Patriots, who were pro-French and pro-American, the Orangists, who were pro-British; the Republic of the United Provinces faced a series of republican revolutions in 1783–1787. During this period, republican forces occupied several major Dutch cities. On the defence, the Orangist forces received aid from Prussian troops and retook the Netherlands in 1787; the republican forces fled to France, but successfully re-invaded alongside the army of the French Republic, ousting stadtholder William V, abolishing the Dutch Republic, replacing it with the Batavian Republic.
After the French Republic became the French Empire under Napoleon, the Batavian Republic was replaced by the Napoleonic Kingdom of Holland. The Netherlands regained independence from France in 1813. In the Anglo-Dutch Treaty of 1814 the names "United Provinces of the Netherlands" and "United Netherlands" were used. In 1815, it was rejoined with the Austrian Netherlands and Liège to become the Kingdom of the Netherlands, informally known as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, to create a strong buffer state north of France. On 16 March 1815, the son of stadtholder William V crowned himself King William I of the Netherlands. Between 1815 and 1890, the King of the Netherlands was in a personal union the Grand Duke of the sovereign Grand Duchy of Luxembourg. After Belgium gained its independence in 1830, the state became unequivocally known as the "Kingdom of the Netherlands", as it remains today. During the Dutch Golden Age in the late-16th and 17th centuries, the Dutch Republic dominated world trade, conquering a vast colonial empire and operating the largest fleet of merchantmen of any nation.
The County of Holland was the most urbanized region in the world. In 1650 the urban population of the Dutch Republic as a percentage of total population was 31.7 percent, while that of the Spanish Netherlands was 20.8 percent, of Portugal 16.6 percent, of Italy 14 percent. In 1675 the urban population density of Holland alone was 61 percent, that of the rest of the Dutch Republic 27 percent; the free trade spirit of the time was augmented by the development of a modern, effective stock market in the Low Countries. The Netherlands has the oldest stock exchange in the world, founded in 1602 by the Dutch East India Company, while Rotterdam has the oldest bourse in the Netherlands; the Dutch East-India Company exchange went public in six different cities. A court ruled that the company had to reside in a single city, so Amsterdam is recognized as the oldest such institution based on modern trading principles. While the banking system evolved in the Low Countries, it was incorporated by the well-connected English, stimulating English economic output.
Between 1590 and 1712 the Dutch possessed one of the strongest and fastest navies in the world, allowing for their varied conquests, including breaking the Portuguese s
Confederate Ireland or the Union of the Irish was the period of Irish self-government between 1642 and 1649, during the Eleven Years' War. During this time, two-thirds of Ireland was governed by the Irish Catholic Confederation known as the Confederation of Kilkenny because it was based in Kilkenny, it was formed by Irish Catholic nobles and military leaders after the Irish Rebellion of 1641. The Confederation had what were a parliament, an executive, a military, it pledged allegiance to Charles I. The remaining Protestant-controlled enclaves in Ulster and Leinster were held by armies loyal to the royalists, parliamentarians or Scottish Covenanters. Throughout its existence, the Confederation waged war against the parliamentarians. In 1648, it allied itself with the royalists. However, in 1649 a parliamentarian army under Oliver Cromwell invaded Ireland, it brought the Confederation to an end. For a military history of the period, see Irish Confederate WarsThe Irish Catholic Confederation was formed in the aftermath of the 1641 rebellion, both to control the popular uprising and to organise an Irish Catholic war effort against the remaining English and Scottish armies in Ireland.
It was hoped that by doing this, the Irish Catholics could hold off an English or Scottish re-conquest of the country. The initiative for the Confederation came from a Catholic bishop, Nicholas French, a lawyer named Nicholas Plunkett, they put forth their proposals for a government to Irish Catholic nobles such as Viscount Gormanston, Viscount Mountgarret and Viscount Muskerry. These men would commit their own armed forces to the Confederation and persuaded other rebels to join it; the declared aims of the Confederates were similar to those of Sir Phelim O'Neill, the leader of the early stages of the rebellion in Ulster, who issued the Proclamation of Dungannon in October 1641. On 17 March 1642 these nobles signed the "Catholic Remonstrance" issued at Trim, County Meath, addressed to King Charles I. On 22 March, at a synod in nearby Kells chaired by Hugh O'Reilly, Archbishop of Armagh, a majority of the Catholic bishops proclaimed that the rebellion was a just war. On 10 May 1642, Ireland's Catholic clergy held a synod at Kilkenny.
Present were the Archbishops of Armagh and Tuam, eleven bishops or their representatives, other dignitaries. They drafted the Confederate Oath of Association and called on all Catholics in Ireland to take the oath; those who took the oath swore allegiance to Charles I and vowed to obey all orders and decrees made by the "Supreme Council of the Confederate Catholics". The rebels henceforth became known as Confederates; the synod re-affirmed that the rebellion was a "just war". It called for the creation of a council for each province, which would be overseen by a national council for the whole island, it vowed to punish misdeeds by Confederate soldiers and to excommunicate any Catholic who fights against the Confederation. The synod sent agents to France and Italy to gain support, gather funds and weapons, recruit Irishmen serving in foreign armies. Lord Mountgarret was appointed president of the Confederate Supreme Council, a General Assembly was fixed for October that year; the first Confederate General Assembly was held in Kilkenny on 24 October 1642, where it set up a provisional government.
The Assembly was a parliament in all but name. Present at the first Assembly were 14 Lords Temporal and 11 Lords Spiritual from the Parliament of Ireland, along with 226 commoners; the Confederate's constitution was written by a Galway lawyer named Patrick D'Arcy. The Assembly resolved that each county should have a council, overseen by a provincial council made up of two representatives from each county council; the Assembly agreed orders "to be observed as the model of their government". The Assembly elected an executive known as the Supreme Council; the first Supreme Council was elected about 14 November. It consisted of 24 members, 12 of whom were to abide always in Kilkenny or wherever else they deemed fitting; the members of the first Supreme Council were as follows: James Tuchet, 3rd Earl of Castlehaven, representing the Crown, was the final member of the Supreme Council. The Supreme Council would have power over all military generals, military officers and civil magistrates, its first act was to name the generals who were to command Confederate forces: Owen Roe O'Neill was to command the Ulster forces, Thomas Preston the Leinster forces, Garret Barry the Munster forces and John Burke the Connacht forces.
Ulick Burke, 1st Marquess of Clanricarde was named head general, as they thought he would sooner or join the Confederates. The Supreme Council issued an order to raise £30,000 and a levy of 31,700 men in Leinster who were to be trained at once; the Supreme Council made its own seal, described as follows: "'Twas circular, in its centre was a large cross, the base of which rested on a flaming heart, while its apex was overlapped by the wings of a dove. On the left of the cross was the harp, on the right the crown." The motto on the seal was Rege, et Patria, Hiberni Unanimes. A National Treasury, a mint for making coins, a press for printing proclamations were set up in Kilkenny; this first General Assembly sat until 9 January 1643. However, the Confederate Catholic Association of Ireland never claimed to be an independent government, because they professed to be Royalists, loyal to Charles I. Since only the King could call a Parliament, the Confederate General Assembly never claimed to be a Parliament e