Netherlands: History

  1. 1667

    The Dutch Golden Age for the Netherlands was a time of great development for trade, industry,the arts, and sciences. The Dutch empire created the Dutch East India Company, which was the first and most important national mercantile company in the world.

  2. 1940

    After declaring its independence in 1939, the Netherlands is invaded by Nazi Germany. After an aerial assault, the Dutch army is forced to surrender in four days. The Dutch city of Rotterdam is almost entirely leveled, with the destruction of tens of thousands of buildings.

  3. 1944-1945

    The bombardment of German positions, as the allied powers advance to Germany, leads to further destruction of the Netherlands infrastructure. German occupation ends in May 1945 with the surrender of Nazi Germany.

  4. 1949

    The Netherlands joins NATO.

  5. 1952

    The Netherlands is a founding member of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

  6. 1957

    The union of countries in the ECSC leads to the formation of the European Economic Community (EEC). 

  7. 1975

    The Dutch colony of Suriname is granted independence, leading to the emigration of hundreds of thousands of Surinames to the Netherlands. 

  8. 2002

    The euro replaces the Dutch Guilder as the official Dutch currency. 


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