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Netherlands
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Netherlands
The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products. The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999. In October 2010, the former Netherlands Antilles was dissolved and the three smallest islands - Bonaire, Sint Eustatius, and Saba - became special municipalities in the Netherlands administrative structure. The larger islands of Sint Maarten and Curacao joined the Netherlands and Aruba as constituent countries forming the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
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Independence / Republic Days
Independence Declared 26 July 1581
- Recognised 30 January 16484

Capital
Amsterdam

Current Time in Amsterdam (Netherlands)

Weather in Netherlands
Click here

Calling code
+31, +5998

Currency
Euro (€): Netherlands5, United States dollar ($): Caribbean Netherlands6

Geographic Coordinates
52°19'N 05°33'E

Official languages
Dutch

Location
Western Europe, bordering the North Sea, between Belgium and Germany

Geographic coordinates
52 30 N, 5 45 E

Map references
Europe

Area
total: 41,543 sq km
country comparison to the world: 135
land: 33,893 sq km
water: 7,650 sq km

Area - comparative
slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

Coastline
451 km

Maritime claims
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm

Elevation extremes
lowest point: Zuidplaspolder -7 m
highest point: Mount Scenery 862 m (on the island of Saba in the Caribbean, now considered an integral part of the Netherlands following the dissolution of the Netherlands Antilles)
note: the highest point on continental Netherlands is Vaalserberg at 322 m

Nationality
noun: Dutchman(men), Dutchwoman(women)
adjective: Dutch

Languages
Dutch (official)
note: Frisian, Low Saxon, and Limburgish are recognized as regional languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages

National symbol(s)
lion

National anthem
name: "Het Wilhelmus" (The William)

National Anthem lyrics/music
Philips VAN MARNIX van Sint Aldegonde (presumed)/unknown
note: adopted 1932, in use since the 17th century, making it the oldest national anthem in the world; also known as "Wilhelmus van Nassouwe" (William of Nassau), it is in the form of an acrostic, where the first letter of each stanza spells the name of the leader of the Dutch Revolt

Budget
revenues: $370.4 billion
expenditures: $400.6 billion (2013 est.)

Taxes and other revenues
46.3% of GDP (2013 est.)
country comparison to the world: 20

Flag Description
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; similar to the flag of Luxembourg, which uses a lighter blue and is longer; the colors were those of WILLIAM I, Prince of Orange, who led the Dutch Revolt against Spanish sovereignty in the latter half of the 16th century; originally the upper band was orange, but because it tended to fade to red over time, the red shade was eventually made the permanent color; the banner is perhaps the oldest tricolor in continuous use

Netherlands : National Anthem
the William

English lyrics meant to fit the melody, the rhyme and the acrostic (1934)[citation needed]

William of Nassau, scion
Of a German and ancient line,
I dedicate undying
Faith to this land of mine.
A prince am I undaunted,
Of Orange, ever free,
To the king of Spain I've granted
A lifelong loyalty.

I've ever tried to live in
The fear of God's command
And therefore I've been driven,
From people, home, and land,
But God, I trust, will rate me
His willing instrument
And one day reinstate me
Into my government.

Let no despair betray you,
My subjects true and good.
The Lord will surely stay you
Though now you are pursued.
He who would live devoutly
Must pray God day and night
To throw His power about me
As champion of your right.

Life and my all for others
I sacrificed, for you!
And my illustrious brothers
Proved their devotion too.
Count Adolf, more's the pity,
Fell in the Frisian fray,
And in the eternal city
Awaits the judgement day.

I, nobly born, descended
From an imperial stock.
An empire's prince, defended
(Braving the battle's shock
Heroically and fearless
As pious Christian ought)
With my life's blood the peerless
Gospel of God our Lord.

A shield and my reliance,
O God, Thou ever wert.
I'll trust unto Thy guidance.
O leave me not ungirt.
That I may stay a pious
Servant of Thine for aye
And drive the plagues that try us
And tyranny away.

My God, I pray thee, save me
From all who do pursue
And threaten to enslave me,
Thy trusted servant true.
O Father, do not sanction
Their wicked, foul design,
Don't let them wash their hands in
This guiltless blood of mine.

O David, thou soughtest shelter
From King Saul's tyranny.
Even so I fled this welter
And many a lord with me.
But God the Lord did save him
From exile and its hell
And, in His mercy, gave him
A realm in Israel.


Fear not 't will rain sans ceasing
The clouds are bound to part.
I bide that sight so pleasing
Unto my princely heart,
Which is that I with honor
Encounter death in war,
And meet in heaven my Donor,
His faithful warrior.

Nothing so moves my pity
As seeing through these lands,
Field, village, town and city
Pillaged by roving hands.
O that the Spaniards rape thee,
My Netherlands so sweet,
The thought of that does grip me
Causing my heart to bleed.

Astride on steed of mettle
I've waited with my host
The tyrant's call to battle,
Who durst not do his boast.
For, near Maastricht ensconced,
He feared the force I wield.
My horsemen saw one bounce it
Bravely across the field.

Surely, if God had willed it,
When that fierce tempest blew,
My power would have stilled it,
Or turned its blast from you
But He who dwells in heaven,
Whence all our blessings flow,
For which aye praise be given,
Did not desire it so.

Steadfast my heart remaineth
In my adversity
My princely courage straineth
All nerves to live and be.
I've prayed the Lord my Master
With fervid heart and tense
To save me from disaster
And prove my innocence.

Alas! my flock. To sever
Is hard on us. Farewell.
Your Shepherd wakes, wherever
Dispersed you may dwell,
Pray God that He may ease you.
His Gospel be your cure.
Walk in the steps of Jesus
This life will not endure.

Unto the Lord His power
I do confession make
That ne'er at any hour
Ill of the King I spake.
But unto God, the greatest
Of Majesties I owe
Obedience first and latest,
For Justice wills it so.

English translation of the original Dutch version. (non-melodious)

William of Nassau
am I, of Dutch blood.
Loyal to the fatherland
I will remain until I die.
A prince of Orange
am I, free and fearless.
The king of Spain
I have always honoured.

To live in fear of God
I have always attempted.
Because of this I was ousted
bereft of my land and my people.
But God will direct me
like a good instrument.
So that I may return
to my domain.

Hold on my subjects,
who are honest by nature.
God will not abandon you
even though you now are in despair.
He who tries to live piously,
must pray to God day and night,
that He will give me strength
that I may help you.

My life and fortune altogether
I have not spared you.
My brothers high in rank
have shown you this as well:
Count Adolf died
in battle in Frisia
His soul in eternal life
awaits the final judgement.

Noble and high-born,
of imperial descent,
Chosen a prince of the empire,
Like a pious Christian,
for the honoured word of God,
I have without hesitation
like a fearless hero,
ventured my own noble blood.

My shield and reliance
are you, o God my Lord.
It is you on whom I want to rely,
never leave me again.
[Grant] that I may remain brave,
your servant for always,
and [may] defeat the tyranny,
which pierces my heart.

From all those that burden me
and are my pursuers,
my God, do save
your loyal servant.
That they may not surprise me
with their wicked plans
nor wash their hands
in my innocent blood.

Like David, who was forced to flee
from Saul, the tyrant.
I had to sigh,
as did many other nobles.
But God raised him,
relieving him of despair,
and gave him a kingdom
very great in Israel.

After this sourness I will receive
from God my Lord the sweetness
For that longs so much
my noble mind
which is that I may die
with honour in the fields,
and gain an eternal realm
as a faithful hero.

Nothing makes me pity so much
in my adversity,
then that are seen to be impoverishing
the good lands of the King
That you are molested by the Spaniards,
O Noble Netherlands sweet,
when I think of that,
my noble heart bleeds.

Seated [on horseback] like a prince,
with my armed forces,
Defied by the tyrant,
I awaited the battle.
Those dug in at Maastricht
were afraid of my might
People saw my horsemen ride
bravely through the fields.

If it had been the Lord's will,
at the time,
I would have gladly relieved
you of this heavy tempest.
But the Lord above,
who rules all,
He who we should always praise,
did not desire so.

By a Christian mood was driven
My princely heart
Steadfast remained
my heart in adversity
To the Lord I prayed,
from the bottom of my heart,
that He may save my cause,
and proclaim my innocence.

Farewell, my poor sheep,
who are in deep despair.
Your shepherd will not sleep,
even though you are now dispersed.
Turn to God,
accept his curing word.
Live as a good Christian;
soon, it will be finished here .

I want to confess to God,
and to his great power
that I have never
despised the King.
except that to God the Lord,
the highest Majesty
I've been obedient
in justice.
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