History of Europe

What are three reasons for the financial success of the Netherlands during the 16th and 17th centuries?

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2008-01-16 23:15:47

Not sure if I can simply answer this question. The Dutch (once

liberated from Spain) entered their golden age. If you ask for

three reasons I'll give these with an explanation:

1- trade

2- tolerance

3- war 1 Trade

Everyone knows the Dutch are a trading nation. Most famous are

the VOC (Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie) which was the first

international organization in which normal civilians could

participate by buying stocks. Allthough the VOC and trade with the

West Indies (WIC) certainly earned a share of the gold for the

Dutch Republic we must not forget the trade with the Baltic stats

and Sweden (known as the 'Moeder Negotie'). This was more or less

the continuing Hanseatic trade. It is known that the Dutch

influence in Sweden was that big, that famous traders (who lived in

Sweden) addressed the Swedish royal family talking Dutch, as the

Royal family and all notables in Sweden spoke Dutch at the time.

2 Tolerance

The reformations certainly left there signs in Holland. The

statechurch was now protestant, but the real money was with the

Catholic Southern Dutch (now known as Belgians). Due to the war

with Spain many of these rich businessman fled to Amsterdam and

Leiden (at the time the main cities). Together with protestat

tradesman (who took far more initiative) they founded the VOC and

WIC. Both taking an equal share of the risk. It sounds obvious to

cooperate know, but tolerance on religious matters was very

uncommon in those days! 3 war

When countries around you are in war, they need weapons. The

Dutch (controlling the main Swedish Iron ore mines) were more than

happy to provide them. Metallurgy was the main thing for a lot of

Dutch traders. Selling Canons to all surrounding nations earned

them a lot. Next to this trade part of war, the Dutch beat the

English fleet several times, creating the free sea routes to the

desired East and West indies. Without these wars the financial

bloom would have never begun Hopefully usefull

Another reason Another reason is the fact that the Dutch

invented windmills which could saw wood. This sawing method was

much faster than sawing by hand. This ment that the Dutch could

build more ships in less time, thereby taking control of the sea's

and oceans.

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