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**1. Historical Background:**

– The Netherlands has a rich historical background dating back to prehistory around 800 BC.
– Neanderthal traces have been found near Maastricht.
– Transition from the Funnelbeaker to Corded Ware culture occurred in the Netherlands.
– Various cultures like the Iron Age Celtic Hallstatt culture and the Ahrensburg culture have been present.
– The Dutch Republic played a significant role in wars and during the Dutch Golden Age.

**2. Language and Culture:**

– Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in Friesland.
– The term ‘Netherlands’ means lower countries.
– The Dutch have a tradition of social tolerance and liberal policies.
– Dutch art, especially painting, was acclaimed worldwide during the Dutch Golden Age.
– Dutch colonies were established in various regions like South Africa, South America, Asia, and Japan.

**3. Geography and Economy:**

– The Netherlands is located in northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean.
– Rotterdam is the busiest port in Europe, and Schiphol is the fourth busiest airport.
– The Netherlands is the world’s second-largest exporter of food.
– The Hague holds the seat of the States General and Supreme Court.
– The country has a mixed-market advanced economy.

**4. Political History and Development:**

– The Dutch Republic faced naval blockades and wars, leading to economic challenges.
– The Batavian Republic was proclaimed in 1795, followed by the establishment of the Kingdom of Holland under Napoleon.
– The United Netherlands was created in 1815 after Belgium gained independence in 1830.
– The Netherlands was neutral in WWI and invaded by Germany in WWII.
– Decolonization efforts were undertaken, with a colonial war in Indonesia and independence granted in 1954.

**5. Environmental Concerns and Infrastructure:**

– The Netherlands faces challenges due to its low-lying geography and climate change impacts.
– The Delta Works project aimed to reduce flood risks by raising sea and river dikes.
– The country is preparing for sea-level rise and altered rainfall patterns.
– Human activities like peat extraction exacerbated flood risks in the Netherlands.
– The Room for the River plan aims to protect major populated areas from river flooding.

Netherlands (Wikipedia)

The Netherlands, informally Holland, is a country located in northwestern Europe with overseas territories in the Caribbean. It is the largest of the four constituent countries of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Netherlands consists of twelve provinces; it borders Germany to the east and Belgium to the south, with a North Sea coastline to the north and west. It shares maritime borders with the United Kingdom, Germany, and Belgium. The official language is Dutch, with West Frisian as a secondary official language in the province of Friesland. Dutch, English, and Papiamento are official in the Caribbean territories.

Nederland (Dutch)
Je maintiendrai (French)
("I will maintain")
Anthem: Wilhelmus (Dutch)
("William of Nassau")
Location of Netherlands (dark green)

– in Europe (light green & dark grey)
– in the European Union (light green)

Sovereign stateKingdom of the Netherlands
Before independenceSpanish Netherlands
Act of Abjuration26 July 1581
Peace of Münster30 January 1648
Kingdom established16 March 1815
Liberation Day5 May 1945
Kingdom Charter15 December 1954
Caribbean reorganisation10 October 2010
and largest city
52°22′N 4°53′E / 52.367°N 4.883°E / 52.367; 4.883
Government seatThe Hague
Official languagesDutch
Recognised languages
Ethnic groups
GovernmentUnitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
Mark Rutte
LegislatureStates General
House of Representatives
European Parliament
26 seats
• Total
41,865 km2 (16,164 sq mi) (134th)
• Water (%)
Highest elevation322.4 m (1,057.7 ft)
• 11 April 2024 estimate
Neutral increase 18,064,700 (68th)
• 2011 census
• Density
520/km2 (1,346.8/sq mi) (33rd)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.297 trillion (28th)
• Per capita
Increase $73,316 (11th)
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
Increase $1.09 trillion (17th)
• Per capita
Increase $61,769 (11th)
Gini (2021)Positive decrease 26.4
HDI (2022)Steady 0.946
very high · 10th
Time zone
 • Summer (DST)
Driving sideright
Calling code+31, +599
Internet, .bq

Netherlands literally means "lower countries" in reference to its low elevation and flat topography, with 26% situated below sea level. Most of the areas below sea level, known as polders, are the result of land reclamation that began in the 14th century. In the Republican period, which began in 1588, the Netherlands entered a unique era of political, economic, and cultural greatness, ranked among the most powerful and influential in Europe and the world; this period is known as the Dutch Golden Age. During this time, its trading companies, the Dutch East India Company and the Dutch West India Company, established colonies and trading posts all over the world.

With a population of 17.9 million people, all living within a total area of 41,850 km2 (16,160 sq mi)—of which the land area is 33,500 km2 (12,900 sq mi)—the Netherlands is the 33rd most densely populated country, with a density of 535 people per square kilometre (1,390 people/sq mi). Nevertheless, it is the world's second-largest exporter of food and agricultural products by value, owing to its fertile soil, mild climate, intensive agriculture, and inventiveness. The four largest cities in the Netherlands are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. Amsterdam is the country's most populous city and the nominal capital, though the primary national political institutions are located in the Hague.

The Netherlands has been a parliamentary constitutional monarchy with a unitary structure since 1848. The country has a tradition of pillarisation (separation of citizens into groups by religion and political beliefs) and a long record of social tolerance, having legalised prostitution and euthanasia, along with maintaining a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands allowed women's suffrage in 1919 and was the first country to legalise same-sex marriage in 2001. Its mixed-market advanced economy has the eleventh-highest per capita income globally. The Hague holds the seat of the States General, Cabinet and Supreme Court. The Port of Rotterdam is the busiest in Europe. Schiphol is the busiest airport in the Netherlands, and the fourth busiest in Europe. Being a developed country, the Netherlands is a founding member of the European Union, Eurozone, G10, NATO, OECD, and WTO, as well as a part of the Schengen Area and the trilateral Benelux Union. It hosts intergovernmental organisations and international courts, many of which are in The Hague.

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