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Netherlands

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Flag of the Netherlands.

The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located in North-West Europe. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and water borders with Denmark, Norway and United Kingdom. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.

Netherlands in 1632Edit

At the time of the Ring of Fire event, the modern Netherlands did not yet exist. Many provinces were under the domination of Spain, while others were under the control of the United Provinces.

However, certain military and political gains in 1634 (aided and abetted by Mike Stearns, Prime Minister of the United States of Europe and his wife and special envoy Rebecca Stearns) created a new prosperous, populous nation that united the predecessor territories of what, in the OTL, eventually became the Kingdom of Belgium and the Kingdom of the Netherlands, plus a mixture of minor territories including the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and a few prince-bishoprics into a new Habsburg Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Don Fernando, weary of the ongoing rebellion, and understanding that he essentially lost in the original time-line anyway, broke with his older brother, Philip IV of Spain, and styled himself as "King in the Netherlands"—in effect establishing a third Habsburg kingdom and dynasty in mainland Europe. At the other end of the spectrum was Fredrick Hendrik, Prince of Orange, who grew dispirited by the knowledge that in the OTL, history produced two "Dutch" states, the Netherlands and Belgium, and preferred the possibility of a strong unified Dutch state offered by the USE.

Initially, at least, the new kingdom was apparently a quasi-federal arrangement between the United Provinces and the Spanish Lowlands. While the United Provinces no longer truly formed a de facto independent state, they retained the name and at least some status as a distinct entity that could enter into agreements.[1] Also, the terms of the agreement between Fernando and Fredrick Hendrik limited Fernando's power within the Provinces.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies, ch. 29. The Netherlands' share of Trinidad's oil production was split evenly between the Spanish Lowlands and the United Provinces.
  2. Grantville Gazette IV (print edition), "The Anatomy Lesson".

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