Table of contents
2. Independent & stable form of government
3. Half of the people lived in city’s
4. Geographical & commercial centre of trade
5. Inventive agriculture
6. VOC & WIC
7. Freedom of the press and religion
9. (Shipping) technology and science
10. The Bank of Amsterdam
This introduction will not be about why I chose this subject.
Because I didn’t have any choice.
I’m going to explain different factors that made it like it was.
Independent & Stable form of government
Holland was different at first sight. Because this was a nation without a king. It just were 7 provinces and every one of them were ruled by a group of rich people. But let’s go closer into the Dutch government; There were a group of man called regenten who all had the duty of ruling a city. These weren’t royal or anything else special. But most of them just were rich merchants. The regenten were led by the raadspensionaris. Who acted like the minister of foreign affairs or sometimes like the prime-minister of all the seven provinces. But at the same height of the raadspensionaris was the house of Oranje, They also were very important because by the leadership of Willem van Oranje the Netherlands had won the war against King Philip. The title of stadhouder was in the hands of the house of Oranje only. Stadhouders were given the privileges to command the army and to appoint new government officials.
And last but not least was the Staten-Generaal. The government all together was in the hands of this Staten-Generaal. Here in The Hague the regents came together to make important decisions.
Half of the people lived in city’s
Unlike in every other country, half the people here lived in city’s. Which was because the agriculture hadn’t much to offer. This meant that many men started to live of trade. And making stuff to trade. This helped the Dutch people of starting a Golden Age.
Geographical & and commercial the centre of trade.
The Netherlands, and particularly Amsterdam ,the number one port city in the world at that time, lie in the middle of the world and was easy to reach by land or by sea. To the north was Scandinavia and even further the north pole, to the East were Japan and India. To the south was Africa and to the west was America. This was the geographical centre of trade. In the Netherlands you could buy almost everything. Everything was shipped from places all over the world and were shipped to other places via Amsterdam. Almost all city’s in the Netherlands had a speciality of them own: Dordrecht traded in wine, Alkmaar had the largest cheese market, Enkhuizen controlled north sea fishing. And all goods were imported to Amsterdam. Also the VOC and WIC were situated in Amsterdam.
Because the ground in the Netherlands was to poor to grow grain on it. They imported it and focused all the ground on growing other goods like: flowers, fruit and vegetables. But also dairy products were produced on Dutch grounds.
VOC & WIC
The VOC was founded in 1602 and was given the monopoly in Dutch trade in the east Indies.
They earned huge loads of money and imported a large quantity in goods. The profits were huge and take the example of the Dutch saying : peperduur , because pepper was imported for fairly low prices in the Indies and was sold for large amounts of money here in Europe.
It was here worth for more then 10 times than the price they bought in the Indies. The VOC even founded city’s, signed treaties and made war with rivals! In 1621 the WIC was founded too. But this wasn’t even close to be as successful as the VOC.
Freedom of press and religion
The Netherlands proved again to be different than every other country because we thought trade was more important than religion and they were soft against other religions than there own. This was because they wanted to trade with for example Protestants and Catholics and not with only one of them. So they allowed people to worship the god that they wanted to.
Many people immigrated to the Netherlands because of the richness here. And of course there were people among them that already were rich and they brought there money with them into the dutch economy.
(Shipping) technology and science
The dutch also were progressive at technology and science. They used windmills for almost everything, sawing, pumping water, paper, oil and textile industries. But also seafaring related inventions were done. And one of the most important ones was the Fluyt. This was a revolutionary kind of ship and the main advantages were that it could carry a large freight, needed only a small crew and was easy to build. So it was more profitable than any other ship.
The bank of amsterdam
The bank of Amsterdam was a place of calmness in the chaos of currencies used all over Europe. Because in all other countries the coins weren’t of established weight and purity but it was in Amsterdam. In Amsterdam the weight and purity were measured and it was converted into golden florins which were of established weight and purity.
This concludes my essay about the golden age. I hoped you enjoyed reading it.