Senegambia (Dutch West India Company)
Senegambia known in Dutch as Bovenkust, was the collective noun for the fortifications and trading posts owned by the Dutch West India Company in the region now known as Senegal. The main purpose of these trading posts was to obtain slaves; the government of the territory was based on Gorée. In 1677, the Dutch lost this island to France; the next year, the French conquered all DWIC trading posts on the Senegalese coast as well as the island of Arguin. Having lost all the trade in gum arabic, bezoar stone and ostrich feathers, the DWIC wanted to regain its position; the Frenchman Jean du Casse, head of the Compagnie de Sénégal, reached an agreement with the local leaders, who decided to destroy the Dutch trading posts and the DWIC lost its position for good. Gorée: 1617 - 1663, 1664 - 1677. With the fortifications: Nassau and Orange. Trading posts: Portudal: 1633 - 1678. Here the DWIC bought slaves and ivory. Rufisque: 1633 - 1678. Joal: 1633 - 1678
Piet Pieterszoon Hein
Pieter Pietersen Heyn was a Dutch admiral and privateer for the Dutch Republic during the Eighty Years' War between the United Provinces and Spain. Hein was the last to capture a large part of a Spanish "silver fleet" from America. Hein was born in Delfshaven, the son of a sea captain, he became a sailor while he was still a teenager. During his first journeys he suffered from extreme motion sickness. In his twenties, he was captured by the Spanish, served as a galley slave for about four years between 1598 and 1602, when he was traded for Spanish prisoners. Between 1603 and 1607 he was again held captive by the Spanish. In 1607, he joined the Dutch East India Company and left for Asia, returning with the rank of captain five years later, he settled in Rotterdam. In 1618, when he was captain of the Neptunus, both he and his ship were pressed into service by Venice. In 1621 he traveled overland to the Netherlands. For a year in 1622 he was a member of the local government of Rotterdam, although he did not have citizenship of this city: the cousin of his wife, one of the three burgomasters, made this possible.
In 1623, he became vice-admiral of the new Dutch West India Company and sailed to the West Indies the following year. In Brazil, he captured the Portuguese settlement of Salvador leading the assault on the sea fortress of that town. In August with a small and undermanned fleet he sailed for the African west coast and attacked a Portuguese fleet in the defended bay of Luanda but failed to capture any ships, he crossed the Atlantic Ocean again to try and capture merchant ships at the city of Vitória, but was defeated by a resistance organized by the local citizenry with the assistance of the Portuguese garrison. After finding that Salvador had been recaptured by a large Spanish-Portuguese fleet Hein returned home; the Dutch West India Company, pleased with Hein's leadership qualities, placed him in command of a new squadron in 1626. In subsequent raids during 1627 at Salvador, he attacked and captured over thirty richly laden Portuguese merchant ships before returning to the United Provinces. Modern historians today classify Hein as a pirate, though he was more properly a privateer.
While many privateers behaved no better than common pirates, Hein was a strict disciplinarian who discouraged unruly conduct among his crews and had rather enlightened views for the times about "Indian" tribes and members of other religions. He never was an individual privateer but rather commanded entire fleets of warships and the fact that he was an Admiral of the Dutch Republic should dispel such views. In 1628, Admiral Hein, with Witte de With as his flag captain, sailed out to capture a Spanish treasure fleet loaded with silver from their American colonies and the Philippines. With him was Admiral Hendrick Lonck and he was joined by a squadron of Vice-Admiral Joost Banckert, as well as by the pirate Moses Cohen Henriques. Part of the Spanish fleet in Venezuela had been warned because a Dutch cabin boy had lost his way on Blanquilla island and was captured, betraying the plan, but the other half from Mexico continued its voyage, unaware of the threat. Sixteen Spanish ships were intercepted.
After some musket volleys from Dutch sloops the crews of the galleons surrendered and Hein captured 11,509,524 guilders of booty in gold and other expensive trade goods, such as indigo and cochineal, without any bloodshed. The Dutch did not take prisoners: they gave the Spanish crews ample supplies for a march to Havana; the released were surprised to hear the admiral giving them directions in fluent Spanish. The capture of the treasure fleet was the Dutch West India Company's greatest victory in the Caribbean; as a result, the money funded the Dutch army for eight months, the shareholders enjoyed a cash dividend of 50% for that year. Hein returned to the Netherlands in 1629. Watching the crowds cheering him as he stood on the balcony of the town hall of Leyden, he remarked to the burgomaster: "Now they praise me because I gained riches without the least danger. Hein was the first and the last to capture such a large part of a Spanish "silver fleet" from America, he became, after a conflict with the WIC about policy and payment, Lieutenant-Admiral of Holland and West Frisia on 26 March 1629, thus factual supreme commander of the confederate Dutch fleet, taking as flag captain Maarten Tromp.
He died the same year, in a campaign against the Dunkirkers, the effective fleet of Habsburg commerce raiders and privateers operating from Dunkirk. As it happened his flotilla intercepted three privateers from Ostend, he deliberately moved his flagship in between two enemy ships to give them both simultaneous broadsides. After half an hour he was killed instantly, he is buried in the Oude Kerk in Delft —once again dispelling enemy propaganda that he was a pirat
Île de Gorée is one of the 19 communes d'arrondissement of the city of Dakar, Senegal. It is an 18.2-hectare island located 2 kilometres at sea from the main harbour of Dakar, famous as a destination for people interested in the Atlantic slave trade although its actual role in the history of the slave trade is the subject of dispute. Its population as of the 2013 census was 1,680 inhabitants, giving a density of 5,802 inhabitants per square kilometre, only half the average density of the city of Dakar. Gorée is both the least populated of the 19 communes d'arrondissement of Dakar. Other important centres for the slave trade from Senegal were further north, at Saint-Louis, Senegal, or to the south in the Gambia, at the mouths of major rivers for trade, it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name is a corruption of its original Dutch name Goedereede, meaning "good roadstead". Gorée is a small island 900 metres in length and 350 metres in width sheltered by the Cap-Vert Peninsula. Now part of the city of Dakar, it was a minor site of European settlement along the coast.
Being devoid of drinking water, the island was not settled before the arrival of Europeans. The Portuguese were the first to establish a presence on Gorée c. 1450, where they built a small stone chapel and used land as a cemetery. Gorée is known as the location of the House of Slaves, built by an Afro-French Métis family about 1780–1784; the House of Slaves is one of the oldest houses on the island. It is now used as a tourist destination to show the horrors of the slave trade throughout the Atlantic world. After the decline of the slave trade from Senegal in the 1770s and 1780s, the town became an important port for the shipment of peanuts, peanut oil, gum arabic and other products of the "legitimate" trade, it was in relation to this trade that the so-called Maison des Esclaves was built. As discussed by historian Ana Lucia Araujo, the building started gaining reputation as a slave depot because of the work of its curator Boubacar Joseph Ndiaye, able to move the audiences who visited the house with his performance.
Many public personalities visit the House of Slaves, which plays the role of a site of memory of slavery. In June 2013, President of the United States Barack Obama visited the House of Slaves; the island of Gorée was one of the first places in Africa to be settled by Europeans, as the Portuguese settled on the island in 1444. It was captured by the United Netherlands in 1588 the Portuguese again, again the Dutch, they named it after the Dutch island of Goeree, before the British took it over under Robert Holmes in 1664. After the French invasion in 1677, the island remained continuously French until 1960. There were brief periods of British occupation during the various wars fought by Britain. In 1960 Senegal was granted independence; the island was notably taken and occupied by the British between 1758 and 1763 following the Capture of Gorée and wider Capture of Senegal during the Seven Years' War before being returned to France at the Treaty of Paris. For a brief time between 1779 and 1783, Gorée was again under British control, until ceded again to France in 1783 at the Treaty of Paris.
During that time, the infamous Joseph Wall was Lieutenant Governor there, who had a man unlawfully flogged to death in 1782. Gorée was principally a trading post, administratively attached to Saint-Louis, capital of the Colony of Senegal. Apart from slaves, beeswax and grain were traded; the population of the island fluctuated according to circumstances, from a few hundred free Africans and Creoles to about 1,500. There would have been few European residents at any one time. In the 18th and 19th century, Gorée was home to a Franco-African Creole, or Métis, community of merchants with links to similar communities in Saint-Louis and the Gambia, across the Atlantic to France's colonies in the Americas. Métis women, called signares from the Portuguese senhora descendants of African women and European traders, were important to the city’s business life; the signares commanded male clerks. They were famous for cultivating fashion and entertainment. One such signare, Anne Rossignol, lived in Saint-Domingue in the 1780s before the Haitian Revolution.
In February 1794 during the French Revolution, France abolished slavery, the slave trade from Senegal was said to have stopped. A French engraving of about 1797 shows it still going on. In April 1801, Gorée was captured by the British again. In March 1815, during his political comeback known as the Hundred Days, Napoleon definitively abolished the slave trade to build relations with Great Britain; this time, abolition continued. As the trade in slaves declined in the late eighteenth century, Gorée converted to legitimate commerce; the tiny city and port were ill-situated for the shipment of industrial quantities of peanuts, which began arriving in bulk from the mainland. Its merchants established a presence directly on the mainland, first in Rufisque and in Dakar. Many of the established families started to leave the island. Civic franchise for the citizens of Gorée was institutionalized in 1872, when it became a French commune with an elected mayor and a municipal council. Blaise Diagne, the first African deputy elected to the French National Assembly, was born on Gorée.
From a peak of about 4,500 in 1845, the population fell to 1,500 in 1904. In 1940 Gorée was annexed to the municipality of Dakar. From 1913 to 1938, Gor
Dutch Brazil known as New Holland, was the northern portion of the Portuguese colony of Brazil, ruled by the Dutch during the Dutch colonization of the Americas between 1630 and 1654. The main cities of the Dutch colony of New Holland were the capital Mauritsstad, Nieuw Amsterdam, Saint Louis, São Cristóvão, Sirinhaém and Olinda. From 1630 onward, the Dutch Republic conquered half of Brazil's settled European area at the time, with their capital in Recife; the Dutch West India Company set up their headquarters in Recife. The governor, Johan Maurits, invited artists and scientists to the colony to help promote Brazil and increase immigration. However, the tide turned against the Dutch when the Portuguese won a significant victory at the Second Battle of Guararapes in 1649. On 26 January 1654, the Dutch surrendered and signed the capitulation, but only as a provisional pact. By May 1654, the Dutch demanded. On 6 August 1661, New Holland was formally ceded to Portugal through the Treaty of The Hague.
While of only transitional importance for the Dutch, this period was of considerable importance in the historical memory in Brazil. It did not have lasting changes on the institutional development of Portuguese Brazil. Local Portuguese settlers had to oppose the Dutch by their own resources, including mobilizing black and indigenous allies, made use of their knowledge of local conditions; this struggle is counted, in Brazilian historical memory, as laying the seeds of Brazilian nationhood. This period precipitated a decline in Brazil's sugar industry, since conflict between the Dutch and Portuguese disrupted Brazilian sugar production, amidst rising competition from British and Dutch planters in the Caribbean; the Habsburg family had ruled the Low Countries from 1482. As part of the war, Dutch raiders attacked Spanish lands and ships. In 1594 Philip II, king both of Spain and of Portugal, gave permission for Dutch ships bound for Brazil to sail together once a year in a fleet of twenty ships.
In 1609 the Habsburgs and the Dutch Republic signed a Twelve Years' Truce, during which the Dutch Republic was allowed to trade with Portuguese settlements in Brazil. Portugal's small geographic size and small population meant that it needed "foreign participation in the colonization and commerce of its empire", the Dutch had played such a role, mutually beneficial; as part of the truce of 1609-1621 the Dutch agreed to delay the establishment of a West India Company, a counterpart to the existing Dutch East India Company. By the end of the truce, the Dutch had vastly expanded their trade networks and gained over half of the carrying trade between Brazil and Europe. In 1621, the twelve-year peace treaty expired and the United Netherlands chartered a Dutch West India Company; the Dutch–Portuguese War, which had started in 1602, through the new company the Dutch now started to interfere with the Spanish and Portuguese colonies in America. As part of the Groot Desseyn plan, Admiral Jacob Willekens in December 1623 led a West Indische Compagnie force to Salvador, the capital of Brazil and the center of a captaincy famous for its sugarcane.
The expedition consisted of 3,300 men. They arrived there on May 8, 1624, whereupon the Portuguese Governor Diogo Tristão de Mendonça Furtado surrendered. However, on April 30, 1625, the Portuguese recaptured the city with the help of a combined Spanish and Portuguese force consisting of 52 ships and 12,500 men; the city would play a critical role as a base of the Portuguese struggle against the Dutch for the control of Brazil. In 1628, the seizure of a Spanish silver convoy by Piet Heyn in Matanzas Bay provided the Dutch WIC the funds for another attempt to conquer Brazil at Pernambuco. In the summer of 1629, the Dutch coveted a newfound interest in obtaining the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, the largest and richest sugar-producing area in the world; the Dutch fleet of 65 ships was led by Hendrick Corneliszoon Loncq. Matias de Albuquerque, the Portuguese governor, led a strong Portuguese resistance which hindered the Dutch from developing their forts on the lands which they had captured. By 1631, the Dutch left Olinda and tried to gain control of the Fort of Cabedello on Paraíba, the Rio Grande, Rio Formoso, Cabo de Santo Agostinho.
These attempts were unsuccessful, however. Still in control of António Vaz and Recife, the Dutch gained a foothold at Cabo de Santo Agostinho. By 1634 the Dutch controlled the coastline from the Rio Grande do Norte to Pernambuco's Cabo de Santo Agostinho, they still maintained control of the seas as well. By 1635 many Portuguese settlers were choosing Dutch-occupied land over Portuguese-controlled land; the Dutch offered freedom of security of property. In 1635 the Dutch conquered three strongholds of the Portuguese: the towns of Porto Calvo, Arraial do Bom Jesus, Fort Nazaré on Cabo de Santo Agostinho; these strongholds gave the Dutch increased sugar lands. In 1637, the WIC gave control of its Brazilian conquests, now called "Nieuw Holland," to Johan Maur
Dutch West India Company
Dutch West India Company was a chartered company of Dutch merchants as well as foreign investors. Among its founders was Willem Usselincx. On June 3, 1621, it was granted a charter for a trade monopoly in the Dutch West Indies by the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands and given jurisdiction over Dutch participation in the Atlantic slave trade, the Caribbean, North America; the area where the company could operate consisted of West Africa and the Americas, which included the Pacific Ocean and the eastern part of New Guinea. The intended purpose of the charter was to eliminate competition Spanish or Portuguese, between the various trading posts established by the merchants; the company became instrumental in the ephemeral Dutch colonization of the Americas in the seventeenth century. From 1624 to 1654, in the context of the Dutch-Portuguese War, the WIC held Portuguese territory in northeast Brazil, but they were ousted from Dutch Brazil following fierce resistance. After several reversals, WIC reorganized and a new charter was granted in 1675 on the strength in the Atlantic slave trade.
This "New" version lasted for more than a century, until after the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War, during which it lost most its assets. When the Dutch East India Company was founded in 1602, some traders in Amsterdam did not agree with its mono politics. With help from Petrus Plancius, a Dutch-Flemish astronomer and clergyman, they sought for a northeastern or northwestern access to Asia to circumvent the VOC monopoly. In 1609, English explorer Henry Hudson, in employment of the VOC, landed on the coast of New England and sailed up what is now known as the Hudson River in his quest for the Northwest Passage to Asia. However, he failed to find a passage. In 1615 Isaac Le Maire and Samuel Blommaert, assisted by others, focused on finding a south-westerly route around South America's Tierra del Fuego archipelago in order to circumvent the monopoly of the VOC. One of the first sailors who focused on trade with Africa was Balthazar de Moucheron; the trade with Africa offered several possibilities to set up trading posts or factories, an important starting point for negotiations.
It was Blommaert, who stated that, in 1600, eight companies sailed on the coast of Africa, competing with each other for the supply of copper, from the Kingdom of Loango. Pieter van den Broecke was employed by one of these companies. In 1612, a Dutch fortress was built along the Dutch Gold Coast. Trade with the Caribbean, for salt and tobacco, was hampered by Spain and delayed because of peace negotiations. Spain offered peace on condition that the Dutch Republic would withdraw from trading with Asia and America. Spain refused to sign the peace treaty. At this time, the Dutch War of Independence between Spain and the Dutch Republic was occurring. Grand Pensionary Johan van Oldenbarnevelt offered to only suspend trade with the West in exchange for the Twelve Years' Truce; the result was. However, ten years Stadtholder Maurice of Orange, proposed to continue the war with Spain, but to distract attention from Spain to the Republic. In 1619, his opponent Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was beheaded, when two years the truce expired, the West Indian Company was established.
The West India Company received its charter from the States-General in 1621, but its foundation had been suggested much earlier in the 17th century only to be delayed by the conclusion of the Twelve Years' Truce between Spain and the United Provinces in 1609. The Dutch West India Company was organized to the Dutch East India Company. Like the VOC, the WIC company had five offices, called chambers, in Amsterdam, Hoorn and Groningen, of which the chambers in Amsterdam and Middelburg contributed most to the company; the board consisted of 19 members, known as the Heeren XIX. The institutional structure of the WIC followed the federal structure, which entailed extensive discussion for any decision, with regional representation: 8 from Amsterdam; each region had its own board of directors. The validity of the charter was set at 24 years. Only in 1623 was funding arranged; the States General of the Netherlands and the VOC pledged one million guilders in the form of capital and subsidy. Although Iberian writers said that crypto-Jews or Marranos played an important role in the formation of both the VOC and the WIC, research has shown that they played a minor role, but expanded during the period of the Dutch in Brazil.
Emigrant Calvinists from the Spanish Netherlands did make significant investments in the WIC. Investors did not rush to put their money in the company in 1621, but the States-General urged municipalities and other institutions to invest. Explanations for the slow investment by individuals were that shareholders had "no control over the directors' policy and the handling of ordinary investors' money," that it was a "racket" to provide "cushy posts for the directors and their relatives, at the expense of ordinary shareholders." The VOC directors invested money in the WIC, without consulting their sharehol
Olinda, is a historic city in the Brazilian state of Pernambuco, located on the country's northeastern Atlantic Ocean coast, in Greater Recife. It has a population of 389,494 people, covers 41.681 square kilometres, has a population of 9 inhabitants per square kilometer. It is noted as one of the best-preserved colonial cities in Brazil. Olinda features a number of major tourist attractions, such as a historic downtown area and the Carnival of Olinda, a popular street party similar to traditional Portuguese carnivals, with the addition of African influenced dances. Unlike in Rio de Janeiro and Salvador, in Olinda, admission to Carnival is free. All the festivities are celebrated on the streets, there are no bleachers or roping. There are hundreds of small musical groups in many genres. Several indigenous tribes occupied the coast of Northeastern Brazil for several thousand years, the hills of the present day municipality of Olinda had settlements of Caetés and Tupinambá tribes, which were at war.
French mercenaries are thought to be the first Europeans to get to the region, but the Portuguese exploited intertribal rivalries and managed to build a stronghold on the former Caeté village in the higher hill. Recent studies by the Universidade Federal de Pernambuco have uncovered new evidence of the pre-colonial population of the area; the settlement of Olinda was founded in 1535 by Duarte Coelho Pereira. It was made the seat of the Territorial Prelature of Pernambuco in 1614, becoming the Diocese of Olinda in 1676; the economy of the region was dominated by the production of sugarcane. The importation of slaves from Africa to support the economy made Olinda a colonial stronghold. By 1600 its economy was based on sugar, imported African slave labor had made it a colonial stronghold. Slavery existed in Olinda until the Lei Áurea, or Golden Law, abolished slavery in Brazil in 1888. Olinda was burned by Dutch invaders; the Portuguese built their town on the hill, for practical purposes. In the 17th century the Kingdom of Portugal was united with Spain.
Taking advantage of this period of Portuguese weakness, the area around Olinda and Recife was occupied by the Dutch who gained access to the Portuguese sugarcane plantations. John Maurice, Prince of Nassau-Siegen was appointed as the governor of the Dutch possessions in Brazil in 1637 by the Dutch West India Company on recommendation of Frederick Henry, he landed at Recife, the port of Pernambuco and the chief stronghold of the Dutch, in January 1637. By a series of successful expeditions, he extended the Dutch possessions from Sergipe on the south to São Luís de Maranhão in the north, he conquered the Portuguese possessions of Saint George del Mina, Saint Thomas, Luanda, Angola, on the west coast of Africa. After the dissolution of the Iberian Union in 1640, Portugal would reestablish its authority over the lost territories of the Portuguese Empire. Olinda declined in importance after the Dutch invasion. Recife became the capital of Pernambuco in 1827; the city now serves as a suburb to the greater Recife metropolitan area.
Due to the historic position of the city, its Cathedral, a World Heritage Site, São Salvador do Mundo, remains the primary seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Olinda e Recife, with a co-cathedral in Recife, while Olinda has a Minor Basilica, again World Heritage Site: Basílica Abacial do Mosteiro de São Bento de Olinda. Besides its natural beauty, Olinda is one of Brazil's main cultural centers. Declared in 1982 a Historical and Cultural Patrimony of Humanity by the UNESCO, Olinda relives the magnificence of the past every year during the Rio-style Carnival, on the rhythms of frevo and others rhythms; the main economic activities in Olinda are based in tourism, transportation industry and artcraft. The tourist sector has a boom every Carnival when thousands of people are in the old historic town center. Economy by Sector List of museums in Pernambuco Olinda travel guide from Wikivoyage Official website https://web.archive.org/web/20130407002251/http://olindavirtual.org/ https://web.archive.org/web/20060614045202/http://www.olinda.com.br/ Commercial site Video Olinda, Pernambuco Video Olinda street Carnival
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