Countess Albertine Agnes of Nassau
Albertine Agnes of Nassau, was regent of Friesland and Drenthe during the minority of her son Henry Casimir II, Count of Nassau-Dietz. She was the sixth child and fifth daughter of stadtholder Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. Albertine Agnes was the sixth of nine children born to her parents; some of her siblings died in childhood. Albertine and four other siblings lived to adulthood, her surviving siblings were: William II, Prince of Orange, Luise Henriette of Nassau, Henriette Catherine of Nassau and Mary of Nassau. In 1652 she married William Frederick, Prince of Nassau-Dietz. After the death of her husband in 1664, she became regent for her son in Friesland and Drenthe. In 1665, both England and the bishopric of Münster declared war on the Netherlands; because most of the money for defence had been used for the fleet, the army had been neglected. When Groningen was under siege, Albertine Agnes hastened to the city to give moral support. Pressure by King Louis XIV of France an ally, forced the forces of her enemies retreated, but six years the Netherlands were attacked from the south, by the French under Louis XIV and from the north by the bishop of Münster and archbishop of Cologne.
She kept morale high. In 1676 Albertine Agnes called it Oranjewoud Palace, it was here that she died in 1696. She had Schloss Oranienstein built from 1672 as her new residence at Diez, she had three children: Amalia of Nassau-Dietz, married to John William III, Duke of Saxe-Eisenach Henry Casimir II, Count of Nassau-Dietz, married to Henriëtte Amalia of Anhalt-Dessau Wilhelmina Sophia Hedwig "Women in power 1640–1670" last accessed August 4, 2007 The Correspondence of Albertine Agnes van Oranje-Nassau in EMLO
In the Low Countries, stadtholder was an office of steward, designated a medieval official and a national leader. The stadtholder was the replacement of the duke or earl of a province during the Burgundian and Habsburg period; the title was used for the official tasked with maintaining peace and provincial order in the early Dutch Republic and, at times, became de facto head of state of the Dutch Republic during the 16th to 18th centuries, an hereditary role. For the last half century of its existence, it became an hereditary role and thus a monarchy under Prince William IV, his son, Prince William V, was the last stadtholder of the republic, whose own son, King William I, became the first king of the Netherlands. The Dutch monarchy is only distantly related to the first stadtholder of the young Republic, William of Orange, the leader of the successful Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Empire, his line having died out with William III; the title stadtholder is comparable to England's historic title Lord Lieutenant.
Stadtholder means "steward". Its component parts translate as "place holder," or as a direct cognate, "stead holder", it was a term for a "steward" or "lieutenant". Note, not the word for the military rank of lieutenant, luitenant in Dutch. Stadtholders in the Middle Ages were appointed by feudal lords to represent them in their absence. If a lord had several dominions, some of these could be ruled by a permanent stadtholder, to whom was delegated the full authority of the lord. A stadtholder was thus more powerful than a governor, who had only limited authority, but the stadtholder was not a vassal himself, having no title to the land; the local rulers of the independent provinces of the Low Countries made extensive use of stadtholders, e.g. the Duke of Guelders appointed a stadtholder to represent him in Groningen. In the 15th century the Dukes of Burgundy acquired most of the Low Countries, these Burgundian Netherlands each had their own stadtholder. In the 16th century, the Habsburg Holy Roman Emperor Charles V King of Spain, who had inherited the Burgundian Netherlands, completed this process by becoming the sole feudal overlord: Lord of the Netherlands.
Only the Prince-Bishopric of Liège and two smaller territories remained outside his domains. Stadtholders continued to be appointed to represent Charles and King Philip II, his son and successor in Spain and the Low Countries. Due to the centralist and absolutist policies of Philip, the actual power of the stadtholders diminished. When, in 1581, during the Dutch Revolt, most of the Dutch provinces declared their independence with the Act of Abjuration, the representative function of the stadtholder became obsolete in the rebellious northern Netherlands – the feudal lord himself having been abolished – but the office continued in these provinces who now united themselves into the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands; the United Provinces were struggling to adapt existing feudal concepts and institutions to the new situation and tended to be conservative in this matter, as they had after all rebelled against the king to defend their ancient rights. The stadtholder no longer represented the lord but became the highest executive official, appointed by the states of each province.
Although each province could assign its own stadtholder, most stadtholders held appointments from several provinces at the same time. The highest executive power was exerted by the sovereign states of each province, but the stadtholder had some prerogatives, like appointing lower officials and sometimes having the ancient right to affirm the appointment of the members of regent councils or choose burgomasters from a shortlist of candidates; as these councils themselves appointed most members of the states, the stadtholder could indirectly influence the general policy. In Zeeland the Princes of Orange, who after the Dutch Revolt most held the office of stadtholder there, held the dignity of First Noble, were as such a member of the states of that province, because they held the title of Marquis of Veere and Flushing as one of their patrimonial titles. On the Republic's central'confederal' level, the stadtholder of the provinces of Holland and Zealand was also appointed Captain-General of the confederate army and Admiral-General of the confederate fleet, though no stadtholder actually commanded a fleet in battle.
In the army, he could appoint officers by himself. Legal powers of the stadtholder were thus rather limited, by law he was a mere official, his real powers, were sometimes greater given the martial law atmosphere of the'permanent' Eighty Years War. Maurice of Orange after 1618 ruled as a military dictator, William II of Orange attempted the same; the leader of the Dutch Revolt was William the Silent. His personal influence and reputation was subsequently associated with the office and transferred to members of his house. Maurice in 1618 and William III of Orange from 1672 replaced entire city councils with their partisans to increase their
William V, Prince of Orange
William V, Prince of Orange was the last Stadtholder of the Dutch Republic. He went into exile to London in 1795, he was the reigning Prince of Nassau-Orange until his death in 1806. In that capacity he was succeeded by his son William. William Batavus was born in The Hague on 8 March 1748, the only son of William IV, who had the year before been restored as stadtholder of the United Provinces, he was only three years old when his father died in 1751, a long regency began. His regents were: Dowager Princess Anne, his mother, from 1751 to her death in 1759. William was made the 568th Knight of the Order of the Garter in 1752. William V assumed the position of stadtholder and Captain-General of the Dutch States Army on his majority in 1766. However, he allowed the Duke of Brunswick to retain a large influence on the government with the secret Acte van Consulentschap. On 4 October 1767 in Berlin, Prince William married Princess Wilhelmina of Prussia, the daughter of Augustus William of Prussia, niece of Frederick the Great and a cousin of George III..
He became an art collector and in 1774 his Galerij Prins Willem V was opened to the public. The position of the Dutch during the American War of Independence was one of neutrality. William V, leading the pro-British faction within the government, blocked attempts by pro-American-independence, pro-French, elements to drag the government to war in support of the Franco-American alliance. However, things came to a head with the Dutch attempt to join the Russian-led League of Armed Neutrality, leading to the outbreak of the Fourth Anglo-Dutch War in 1780. In spite of the fact that Britain was engaged in fighting on several fronts, the war went badly for the poorly prepared Dutch, leading to the loss of St. Eustatius and Nagapattinam. Scandals like the Brest Affair undermined belief in the Dutch navy; the stadtholderian regime and the Duke of Brunswick were suspected of treason in the matter of the loss of the Barrier fortresses. The deterioration of the prestige of the regime made minds ripe for agitation for political reform, like the pamphlet Aan het Volk van Nederland, published in 1781 by Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol.
After the signing of the Treaty of Paris, there was growing restlessness in the United Provinces with William's rule. A coalition of old Dutch States Party regenten and democrats, called Patriots, was challenging his authority more and more. In 1785 William left the Hague and removed his court to Het Loo Palace in Gelderland, a province remote from the political center. In September 1786 he sent States-Army troops to Hattem and Elburg to overthrow the cities' Patriot vroedschap, despite the defense by Patriot Free Corps, organised by Herman Willem Daendels; this provoked the Patriot-dominated States of Holland to deprive him of his office of Captain-General of the States Army. In June 1787 his energetic wife Wilhelmina tried to travel to the Hague to foment an Orangist rising in that city. Outside Schoonhoven, she was stopped by Free Corps, taken to a farm near Goejanverwellesluis and after a short detention made to return to Nijmegen. To Wilhelmina and her brother, Frederick William II of Prussia, this was both an insult and an excuse to intervene militarily.
Frederick launched the Prussian invasion of Holland in September 1787 to suppress the Patriots. Many Patriots fled around Saint-Omer, in an area where Dutch was spoken; until his overthrow they were supported by King Louis XVI of France. William V joined the First Coalition against Republican France in 1793 with the coming of the French Revolution, his troops fought bravely in the Flanders Campaign, but in 1794 the military situation deteriorated and the Dutch Republic was threatened by invading armies. The year 1795 was a disastrous one for the ancien régime of the Netherlands. Supported by the French Army, the revolutionaries returned from Paris to fight in the Netherlands, in 1795 William V went into exile in England. A few days the Batavian Revolution occurred, the Dutch Republic was replaced with the Batavian Republic. Directly after his arrival in England, the Prince wrote a number of letters from his new residence in Kew to the governors of the Dutch colonies, instructing them to hand over their colonies to the British "for safe-keeping."
Though only a number complied, this contributed to their demoralisation. All Dutch colonies were in the course of time occupied by the British, who in the end returned most, but not all, first at the Treaty of Amiens and with the Convention of London 1814. In 1799 the Hereditary Prince took an active part in the Anglo-Russian invasion of Holland, engineering the capture of a Batavian naval squadron in the Vlieter Incident; the surrender of the ships was formally accepted in the name of William V as stadtholder, allowed to "sell" them to the Royal Navy for an appreciable amount. But, his only success, as the troops suffered from choleric diseases, civilians at that time were unwilling to re-instate the old regime; the arrogance of the tone in his proclamation, demanding the restoration of the stadtholderate, may not have been helpful, according to Simon Schama. After the Peace of Amiens in 1802, in which Great Britain recognised the Batavian Republic, an
Maurice, Prince of Orange
Maurice of Orange was stadtholder of all the provinces of the Dutch Republic except for Friesland from 1585 at earliest until his death in 1625. Before he became Prince of Orange upon the death of his eldest half-brother Philip William in 1618, he was known as Maurice of Nassau. Maurice spent his youth in Dillenburg in Nassau, studied in Heidelberg and Leiden, he succeeded his father William the Silent as stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland in 1585, became stadtholder of Utrecht and Overijssel in 1590, of Groningen in 1620. As Captain-General and Admiral of the Union, Maurice organised the Dutch rebellion against Spain into a coherent, successful revolt and won fame as a military strategist. Under his leadership and in cooperation with the Land's Advocate of Holland Johan van Oldenbarnevelt, the Dutch States Army achieved many victories and drove the Spaniards out of the north and east of the Republic. Maurice set out to revive and revise the classical doctrines of Vegetius and pioneered the new European forms of armament and drill.
During the Twelve Years' Truce, a religious dispute broke out in the Republic, a conflict erupted between Maurice and Van Oldenbarnevelt, which ended with the latter's decapitation. After the Truce, Maurice failed to achieve more military victories, he died without legitimate children in The Hague in 1625, was succeeded by his younger half-brother Frederick Henry. Maurice was a son of William the Silent and Princess Anna of Saxony and was born at the castle of Dillenburg, he was named after his maternal grandfather, the Elector Maurice of Saxony, a noted general. Maurice never married but was the father of illegitimate children by Margaretha van Mechelen and Anna van de Kelder, he was raised in Dillenburg by his uncle Johan of Nassau. Together with his cousin Willem Lodewijk he studied in Heidelberg and in Leiden where he met Simon Stevin; the States of Holland and Zeeland paid for his studies, as their father had run into financial problems after spending his entire fortune in the early stages of the Dutch revolt.
Only 16 when his father was murdered in Delft in 1584, he soon took over as stadtholder, though this title was not inheritable. The monarchs of England and France had refused; this had left Maurice as the only acceptable candidate for the position of Stadtholder. He became stadtholder of Holland and Zeeland in 1585, of Guelders and Utrecht in 1590 and of Groningen and Drenthe in 1620. Protestant Maurice was preceded as Prince of Orange by his Roman Catholic eldest half-brother Philip William, Prince of Orange, deceased 1618. However, Philip William was in the custody of Spain, remaining so until 1596, was thus unable to lead the Dutch independence cause. Maria of Nassau, was a full sister of Philip William from the first marriage of William I, Prince of Orange, to wealthy and powerful aristocrat Anna van Egmont, a contender to Maurice over the estate of their father, he was appointed captain-general of the army in 1587, bypassing the Earl of Leicester, who returned to England on hearing this news.
Maurice organised the rebellion against Spain into a successful revolt. He reorganised the Dutch States Army together with Willem Lodewijk, studied military history and tactics, mathematics and astronomy, proved himself to be among the best strategists of his age; the Eighty Years' War was a challenge to his style, so he could prove himself a good leader by taking several Spanish Outposts. Paying special attention to the siege theories of Simon Stevin, he took valuable key fortresses and towns during a period known as the Ten Glory Years: Breda in 1590, Knodsenburg in 1591, Steenwijk and Coevorden in 1592, Geertruidenberg in 1593, Groningen in 1594. In 1597 he went on a further offensive and took Rheinberg, Groenlo, Enschede, Ootmarsum and closed off the year with the capture of Lingen; these victories rounded out the borders to the Dutch Republic, solidifying the revolt and allowing a national state to develop behind secure borders. They established Maurice as the foremost general of his time.
Many of the great generals of the succeeding generation, including his brother Frederick Henry and many of the commanders of the English Civil War learned their trade under his command. For a series of maps showing Maurice's campaigns to extend and consolidate the borders of the Republic, see Gallery of Maps of the 80 Years War, his victories in the pitched battles at Turnhout and at Nieuwpoort were dependent on his innovation of cooperation between arms, with his cavalry playing a major role. The victories earned him military acknowledgement throughout Europe. Despite these successes, the House of Orange did not attain great respect among European royalty, as the Stadtholdership was not inheritable; the training of his army was important to early modern warfare and the Military Revolution of 1560–1650. Previous generals had made use of drill and exercise in order to instill discipline or to keep the men physically fit, but for Maurice, they "were the fundamental postulates of tactics." This change affected the entire conduct of warfare, since it required the officers to train men in addition to leading them, decreased the size of the basic infantry unit for functional purposes since more specific orders had to be given in battle, the decrease in herd behavior required more initiative and inte
William the Silent
William I, Prince of Orange known as William the Silent or William the Taciturn, or more known as William of Orange, was the main leader of the Dutch Revolt against the Spanish Habsburgs that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1581. He was born in the House of Nassau as Count of Nassau-Dillenburg, he became Prince of Orange in 1544 and is thereby the founder of the branch House of Orange-Nassau and the ancestor of the monarchy of the Netherlands. Within the Netherlands he is known as Father of the Fatherland. A wealthy nobleman, William served the Habsburgs as a member of the court of Margaret of Parma, governor of the Spanish Netherlands. Unhappy with the centralisation of political power away from the local estates and with the Spanish persecution of Dutch Protestants, William joined the Dutch uprising and turned against his former masters; the most influential and politically capable of the rebels, he led the Dutch to several successes in the fight against the Spanish.
Declared an outlaw by the Spanish king in 1580, he was assassinated by Balthasar Gérard in Delft in 1584. William was born on 24 April 1533 at Dillenburg castle in the County of Nassau-Dillenburg, in the Holy Roman Empire, he was the eldest son of William, Count of Nassau by his second wife Juliana of Stolberg-Wernigerode. William's father had one surviving daughter by his previous marriage, his mother had four surviving children by her previous marriage, his parents had twelve children together, of. The family was religiously devout and William was raised a Lutheran. In 1544, William's agnatic first cousin, René of Châlon, Prince of Orange, died childless. In his testament, René of Chalon named William the heir to all his estates and titles, including that of Prince of Orange, on the condition that he receive a Roman Catholic education. William's father acquiesced to this condition on behalf of his 11-year-old son, this was the founding of the house of Orange-Nassau. Besides the principality of Orange and significant lands in Germany, William inherited vast estates in the Low Countries from his cousin.
Because of his young age, Emperor Charles V, the overlord of most of these estates, served as regent until William was old enough to rule them himself. William was sent to the Netherlands to receive the required Roman Catholic education, first at the family's estate in Breda and in Brussels, under the supervision of Mary of Hungary, governor of the Habsburg Netherlands. In Brussels, he was taught foreign languages and received a military and diplomatic education under the direction of Champagney, brother of Granvelle. On 6 July 1551, William married Anna van Egmond en Buren and heiress of Maximiliaan van Egmond, an important Dutch nobleman. Anna's father had died in 1548, therefore William became Lord of Egmond and Count of Buren upon his wedding day; the marriage was a happy one and produced three children. Anna died on 24 March 1558, aged 25. Being a ward of Charles V and having received his education under the tutelage of the Emperor's sister Mary, William came under the particular attention of the imperial family, became a favorite.
He was appointed captain in the cavalry in 1551 and received rapid promotion thereafter, becoming commander of one of the Emperor's armies at the age of 22. This was in 1555, when Charles V sent him to Bayonne with an army to take the city in a siege from the French. William was made a member of the Raad van State, the highest political advisory council in the Netherlands, it was in November of the same year that the gout-afflicted Emperor Charles V leaned on William's shoulder during the ceremony when he abdicated his Spanish possessions in favour of his son, Philip II of Spain. In 1559, Phillip appointed William stadtholder of the provinces of Holland and Utrecht, thereby increasing his political power. A stadtholdership over Franche-Comté followed in 1561. Although he never directly opposed the Spanish king, William soon became one of the most prominent members of the opposition in the Council of State, together with Philip de Montmorency, Count of Hoorn, Lamoral, Count of Egmont, they were seeking more political power for themselves against the de facto government of Count Berlaymont and Viglius of Aytta, but for the Dutch nobility and, for the Estates, complained that too many Spaniards were involved in governing the Netherlands.
William was dissatisfied with the increasing persecution of Protestants in the Netherlands. Brought up as a Lutheran and a Catholic, William was religious but was still a proponent of freedom of religion for all people; the activity of the Inquisition in the Netherlands, directed by Cardinal Granvelle, prime minister to the new governor Margaret of Parma, increased opposition to Spanish rule among the mostly Catholic population of the Netherlands. Lastly, the opposition wished to see an end to the presence of Spanish troops. According to the Apology, William's letter of justification, published and read to the States General in December 1580, his resolve to expel the Spaniards from the Netherlands had originated when, in the summer of 1559, he and the Duke of Alva had been sent to France as hostages for the proper fulfillment o
The Hague is a city on the western coast of the Netherlands and the capital of the province of South Holland. It is the seat of government of the Netherlands. With a metropolitan population of more than 1 million, it is the third-largest city in the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam; the Rotterdam–The Hague metropolitan area, with a population of 2.7 million, is the 13th-largest in the European Union and the most populous in the country. Located in the west of the Netherlands, The Hague is in the centre of the Haaglanden conurbation and lies at the southwest corner of the larger Randstad conurbation; the Hague is the seat of the Cabinet, the States General, the Supreme Court, the Council of State of the Netherlands, but the city is not the constitutional capital of the Netherlands, Amsterdam. King Willem-Alexander lives in Huis ten Bosch and works at the Noordeinde Palace in The Hague, together with Queen Máxima; the Hague is home to the world headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell and other Dutch companies.
Most foreign embassies in the Netherlands and 200 international governmental organisations are located in the city, including the International Court of Justice and the International Criminal Court, which makes The Hague one of the major cities hosting a United Nations institution along with New York City, Vienna and Nairobi. Because of this, The Hague is known as the home of international law and arbitration; the Hague was first mentioned as Die Haghe in 1242. In the 15th century, the name des Graven hage came into use "The Count's Wood", with connotations like "The Count's Hedge, Private Enclosure or Hunting Grounds". "'s Gravenhage" was used for the city from the 17th century onward. Today, this name is only used in some official documents like marriage certificates; the city itself uses "Den Haag" in all its communications. Little is known about the origin of The Hague. There are no contemporary documents describing it, sources are of dubious reliability. What is certain is that The Hague was founded by the last counts of the House of Holland.
Floris IV owned two residences in the area, but purchased a third court situated by the present-day Hofvijver in 1229 owned by a woman called Meilendis. Floris IV intended to rebuild the court into a large castle, but he died in a tournament in 1234, before anything was built, his son and successor William II lived in the court, after he was elected King of the Romans in 1248, he promptly returned to The Hague, had builders turn the court into a "royal palace", which would be called the Binnenhof. He died in 1256 before this palace was completed but parts of it were finished during the reign of his son Floris V, of which the Ridderzaal, still intact, is the most prominent, it is still used for political events, such as the annual speech from the throne by the Dutch monarch. From the 13th century onward, the counts of Holland used The Hague as their administrative center and residence when in Holland; the village that originated around the Binnenhof was first mentioned as Die Haghe in a charter dating from 1242.
It became the primary residence of the Counts of Holland in 1358, thus became the seat of many government institutions. This status allowed the village to grow. In its early years, the village was located in the ambacht, or rural district, of Monster, governed by the Lord of Monster. Seeking to exercise more direct control over the village, the Count split the village off and created a separate ambacht called Haagambacht, governed directly by the Counts of Holland; the territory of Haagambacht was expanded during the reign of Floris V. When the House of Burgundy inherited the counties of Holland and Zeeland in 1432, they appointed a stadtholder to rule in their stead with the States of Holland and West Friesland as an advisory council. Although their seat was located in The Hague, the city became subordinate to more important centres of government such as Brussels and Mechelen, from where the sovereigns ruled over the centralised Burgundian Netherlands. At the beginning of the Eighty Years' War, the absence of city walls proved disastrous, as it allowed Spanish troops to occupy the town.
In 1575, the States of Holland, temporarily based in Delft considered demolishing the city but this proposal was abandoned, after mediation by William the Silent. In 1588, The Hague became the permanent seat of the States of Holland as well as the States General of the Dutch Republic. In order for the administration to maintain control over city matters, The Hague never received official city status, although it did have many of the privileges granted only to cities. In modern administrative law, "city rights" have no place anymore. Only in 1806, when the Kingdom of Holland was a puppet state of the First French Empire, was the settlement granted city rights by Louis Bonaparte. After the Napoleonic Wars, modern-day Belgium and the Netherlands were combined in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands to form a buffer against France; as a compromise and Amsterdam alternated as capital every two years, with the government remaining in The Hague. After the separation of Belgium in 1830, Amsterdam remained the capital of the Netherlands, while the government was situated in The Hague.
When the government started to play a more prominent role in Dutch society after 1850, The Hague expanded. Many streets were built for the large number of civil se