The ambition of princes to absolute power

In the epoch of the Regents and sovereigns there was much war. Netherlands was at war with the Spaniards because they found that all Dutch people had to be Catholic. The Dutch Royal wanted to Calvinism. They also wanted that all Dutch people were Calvinist. But many Dutch people were still Catholic and some were Remonstrant. The Dutch Royal contested the Remonstrants and put them caught. It was in this epoch so much fought because of religion.

The war with Spain was won in 1648. Now it was the Dutch Republic independent. Prince William of Orange had this Republic founded in 1588. He led the revolt against the Spanish. William of Orange was during this rebellion killed by the Catholic Balthazar Gerards. Walker, Maurice of Nassau was then the leader of the rebellion. However, in 1625 Maurice died. His brother, Frederick Henry succeeded him as stadtholder and Captain-General.

The Governor was the head of the States General. The States General was the highest Board of the Republic. They took the political decisions. Frederick Henry died in 1647. Its function as Stadholder was now fulfilled by his son William II.

William II wanted the Republic now turn into a monarchy. That meant that the country would be ruled by a King instead of the States General. William II wanted to be King. King, he was not. But he did have a military dictatorship established. This meant that the absolute power in the army. Willem II died of smallpox in 1650. He was no older than 24 years and his first son was not yet born. William III, his son, saw eight days after the death of his father.

There is now a period period broke. The people were happy to be rid of the dictatorship. But the foreign policy had suffered from the absence of a clear leader. England wanted along with Netherlands one land forms. This found the Dutch nobles not a good idea. This created the first Anglo-Dutch war in 1652. This war lasted 2 years. The Republic lost this war and had to accept the English conditions for peace. This meant among other things that they no longer were allowed to trade with England.

There were many more wars with England. They fought to the Board in Netherlands and colonies overseas. These wars were primarily fought at sea. So it came that Devi DAS is one of the most important people from the Dutch history. He has many English ships sunk.

The French invaded Netherlands in 1672. The French King Louis XIV was an absolute ruler and wanted its area. England supported him in his fight against the Republic. France was, however, much stronger than the English land on sea. Overijssel, Gelderland and Utrecht were within 3 weeks. The Republic could not finance this war eventually and had to withdraw.

The advance of the French to Holland could be prevented because William III the area between the Zuiderzee and the rivers flooded. Thereby the Republic survived the attack of 1672, the year that in the history would be known as disaster year. William III saw chance alliances with Brandenburg, Spain, and the German Emperor. But it was not until 1678 for the peace of Nijmegen could be closed.


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