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Territory in northwest Europe, ruled since 1815 by the Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland) is a country located mainly in northwestern Europe. Together with three island territories in the Caribbean (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba), it forms a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The European portion of the Netherlands consists of twelve provinces and borders Germany to the east, Belgium to the south and the North Sea to the northwest, sharing maritime borders in the North Sea with Belgium, the United Kingdom and Germany. The five largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague, Utrecht (forming the Randstad megalopolis) and Eindhoven (leading the Brabantse Stedenrij). Amsterdam is the country's capital, while The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe and the world's largest outside Asia.

Geographical type: Territory

Latitude: 52.32° N — Longitude: 5.55° E

Area: 41,543 km²

ISO 3166-2 code: NL

Birthplace of

Hugo Grotius, in Delft, on 10 Apr 1583
Bernard Mandeville, in Rotterdam, on 1670
Baruch Spinoza, Bento de Spinoza, in Amsterdam, on 24 Nov 1632

Deathplace of

Gabriel Kolko, in Amsterdam, on 19 May 2014
Maria Montessori, in Noordwijk, on 6 May 1952
Baruch Spinoza, in The Hague, on 21 Feb 1677

Measures of Freedom

Human Freedom Index [PDF], The Human Freedom Index 2023: A Global Measurement of Personal, Civil, and Economic Freedom
2021: 8.57, Rank: 11, Personal freedom: 9.14, Economic freedom: 7.76
Level of Economic Freedom, Economic Freedom of the World
2014: 7.63, Rank: 25
Netherlands | Freedom House, Freedom in the World 2024
2016: Status: Free, Aggregate Score: 99, Political Rights: 1, Civil Liberties: 1
Migration and asylum policy continued to dominate the political discourse in the Netherlands in 2015. In April, the Council of Europe (CoE) reaffirmed its 2014 decision that the country was in violation of the European Social Charter for its failure to meet humanitarian obligations toward asylum applicants. The two-party coalition government has struggled to find common ground on this issue, but managed to agree in April to put in place tougher policies against rejected applicants who do not agree to return to their home countries.


UpdThe Criminality of the State, by Albert Jay Nock, The American Mercury, Mar 1939
Cautions Americans that rather than being worried or surprised by the doings of Nazi Germany, Soviet Russia, the Munich agreement and other foreign states, they should devote their energies to reining in the United States government
The weaker the State is, the less power it has to commit crime. Where in Europe today does the State have the best criminal record? Where it is weakest: in Switzerland, Holland, Denmark, Norway, Luxembourg, Sweden, Monaco, Andorra. Yet when the Dutch State, for instance, was strong, its criminality was appalling; in Java it massacred 9000 persons in one morning which is considerably ahead of Hitler's record or Stalin's. It would not do the like today, for it could not; the Dutch people do not give it that much power, and would not stand for such conduct.
Fortuyn, murdered Dutch politician, by Hubert Jongen, 5 May 2003
Home Study Course: Module 4: Adam Smith's Wealth of Nations (Part I)
Fourth module of the Cato Home Study Course, includes link to listen or download audio program (2:33:34), questions and suggested readings
[Smith] saw how commercial relations tend to encourage probity, punctuality, and honesty in dealings. As he observed, "Of all the nations in Europe, the Dutch, the most commercial, are the most faithful to their word." He argued that this was not due to some unique Dutch national characteristic or racial distinction but was "far more reduceable to self interest, that general principle which regulates the action of every man, and which leads men to act in a certain manner from views of advantage, and is as deeply planted in an Englishman as a Dutchman ..."
Related Topics: Free Market, Adam Smith
Natural Law and Peace: A Biography of Hugo Grotius, by Jim Powell, 4 Jul 2000
Biographical essay; alternative version of chapter "Natural Law and Peace" in section 3, "Peace", of The Triumph of Liberty (2000)
In 1568, Protestants in the seven northern Dutch provinces began their struggle for independence from Spain ... The Dutch, fortunately, were served by able leaders, beginning with William of Orange (William the Silent) and after his death, his second son William of Nassau in partnership with the lawyer Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. William of Nassau proved to be a resourceful military commander, while Oldenbarnevelt kept the provinces politically together ... In 1601, the United Provinces asked 18-year-old Grotius to write the history of their valiant struggle against Spain.
Related Topics: Hugo Grotius, Law, Rights, War

The introductory paragraph uses material from the Wikipedia article "Netherlands" as of 27 Sep 2018, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.