Home View All Databases Search Places Store New Site
Help My Account

Netherlands Timeline

Netherlands Timeline

Netherlands is small country in northwestern Europe along the North Sea. It is often called Holland. However, "Holland" officially refers to the western part of the country. The people call themselves Nederlanders, and they are also known as the Dutch.

50s BC Julius Caesar conquered much of the Low Countries, including what is now the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg.

400s AD The Franks drove the Romans out of the region.

800s AD The Frankish kingdom broke apart after Charlemagne died.

870 The Netherlands became part of the East Frankish kingdom which is now Germany. The West Frankish kingdom was France.

1100s In the Low Countries trade and industry began to rapidly expand. Many towns began to develop and grow.

1300s-1400s The French dukes of Burgundy united most of the Low Countries.

1477 Mary of Burgundy married Maximilian of the House of Habsburg. This joined the Low Countries with the Habsburg Empire.

1516 Charles, ruler of the Low Countries, king Charles I of Spain. In 1519, Charles became Holy Roman Emperor Charles V.

1500s The Protestant Reformation movement spread throughout the Low Countries. Charles allowed persecution of the Protestants to try and stop the threat to the Roman Catholics

1556 Charles gave control of the Low Countries to his son, Philip II. Philip stepped up the struggle against the Protestants.

1566 The people of the Low Countries began to rebel.

1568 William I, prince of Orange, led a revolt against the Spanish government.

1573 Spain attacked Leiden.

1574 The Dutch opened the dikes. This allowed a Dutch fleet to sail over the flood waters and rescue Leiden.

1579 The rebellion began to fall apart. The southern provinces of the Low Countries, which is now Belgium, wanted to return to Spanish control. The northern provinces, which is now the Netherlands, formed the Union of Utrecht pledging to continue the revolt.

26 July 1581 The Dutch declared their independence from Spain. However, Spain did not recognize their independence and continued to attack the Dutch.

1600s The Netherlands became the world's major sea power and developed a great colonial empire.

1602 The Dutch East India Company was formed. The company founded Batavia, now Jakarta, as its headquarters. The company drove out most of the British and Portuguese. The area later became the Netherlands Indies, which is now Indonesia. The company also took control of Ceylon, which is now Sri Lanka.

1621 The Dutch West India Company was founded.

1624 The Dutch West India Company colonized New Netherland, which consisted of present-day New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Delaware.

1626 Manhattan Island was purchased from the Indians in New Netherland by Peter, Minuit, the governor of the colony.

1630-1654 The Dutch controlled Brazil. They also acquired the Netherlands Antilles and Aruba.

1648 Spain finally recognized Dutch independence.

Mid 1600s-Mid 1800s The Dutch traders were the only westerners allowed to trade with Japan.

1652-1674 The Netherlands fought three naval wars with England. Was a result of the wars the Dutch gained control of Suriname and the British gained control of New Netherland.

1670 France and England formed a secret alliance against the Netherlands.

1672 England and France attacked Holland. The English were prevented from landing by sea, but the French troops seized many Dutch towns. William III, prince of Orange, who was then governor, had the people open up the dikes to stop the French. Spanish and German troops came to the aid of the Dutch.

1674 England made peace with the Netherlands after suffering from major defeats at sea.

1678 The French were driven out and signed a peace treaty.

1689 William III was married the Mary, a member of the English royal family. He led a what is called the Glorious Revolution. He became the king of England and the Dutch stadtholder.

1689-1697 France fought with the Netherlands.

1701-1714 The Netherlands continued to struggle with France.

1700s Trade and industry in the Netherlands began to falter as a result of the struggles with France.

1775-1783 During the American Revolution the Dutch aided the Americans.

1780 As a result of the Dutch support of the Americans the United Kingdom started a naval war with the Netherlands.

1784 The Dutch were defeated by the United Kingdom.

1795-1813 France controlled the Netherlands under the direction of Napoleon. The country was renamed Batavian Republic. During this time the United Kingdom seized most of the Dutch overseas possessions.

1806 Napoleon forced the Dutch to accept his brother, Louis, as their king. The Batavian Republic became the Kingdom of Holland.

1810 Napoleon made the Kingdom of Holland part of France.

1813 The Dutch drove the French out.

1814-1815 During the Congress of Vienna many European political leaders remapped much of the continent. Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg were formed into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. William VI, prince of Orange, became King William I of the Netherlands and the Grand Duke of Luxembourg.

1830 Belgium revolted and became independent.

1890 Luxembourg ended political ties with the Dutch royal family.

1914-1918 During World War I the Netherlands remained neutral.

10 May 1940 German troops invaded the Netherlands.

14 May 1940 The Dutch surrendered to Germany.

March 1942 The Netherlands Indies was captured by Japan. Tens of thousands of Dutch who were living in the Indies became prisoners in Japanese camps.

1940-1945 During the German occupation of the Netherlands during World War II the Dutch people suffered greatly. By 1945 approximately 250,000 people had been killed or had starved to death. Many of the Dutch were also forced to work in German factories. During this time a Dutch resistence movement secretly published newspapers, hid Jews from capture, and committed acts of sabotage against the Germans.

1945 The Netherlands became a charter member of the United Nations.

1948 Benelux was formed between Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg. The organization eliminated all tariffs on trade among themselves.

1949 The Netherlands joined the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO)

1949 The Netherlands granted independence to the Netherlands Indies (now Indonesia).

1950s The Netherlands helped to form the European Coal and Steel Community, the European Atomic Energy Community, and the European Economic Community. These agencies later became the basis for the European Union.

1954 The colonies of Suriname and Netherlands Antilles became equal partners in the Dutch kingdom.

1959 Natural gas was discovered in the Netherlands giving the country a huge economic boost.

1962 The Netherlands gave up its last colony, West New Guinea (now the Indonesian province of Papua).

1975 Suriname became a fully independent nation.

1980 Beatrix became the queen of the Netherlands.

1992 The Netherlands and 11 other European nations signed the Treaty of European Union, an agreement establishing the EU, in the Dutch city of Maastricht.

1990s The Dutch government tightened the immigration laws of the country.

1999 The Netherlands adopted the Euro.

2002 The Euro went into effect as the new currency of the Netherlands.

Works Cited
Jan de Vries. "Netherlands." Worldbookonline.com.


I recently signed up for your service and I love it, especially with all the added items. I am referring this website to all my friends who do genealogy! - Linda J.

Thank you so much for this, i've searched and searched for info on my great uncle, and yours is one of the very few sites where he's mentioned. Yours has more detail than any other. - Anita S.

I love your site, esp. the small newspaper collection and the search of external sites such as findagrave.com. - Mary H.


Signup for the World Vital Records weekly newsletter. The newsletter covers:

Genealogy and family history industry news and updates

WorldVitalRecords news and information

Information on new and upcoming databases to be added to the site

Upcoming conferences and events

Get your free weekly genealogy newsletter



Return Policy   Link to this page   Bookmark this page

Copyright © 2006-2007, World Vital Records, Inc.