Dutch people

Dutch people

Overview
The Dutch people are an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, Chile
Dutch Chilean
In 1600 , the Chilean city of Valdivia was conquered by Dutch pirate Sebastian de Cordes. He left the city after some months. Then in 1642 the VOC and the WIC sent a fleet of some ships to Chile to conquer the city of Valdivia and the goldmines of the Spanish. The expedition was conducted by...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

The traditional art and culture of the Dutch encompasses various forms of traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

s, architectural style
Architectural style
Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of the use of form, techniques, materials, time period, region and other stylistic influences. It overlaps with, and emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture...

s and clothing, some of which are globally recognizable. Internationally, Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh are held in high regard.
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Encyclopedia
The Dutch people are an ethnic group
Ethnic group
An ethnic group is a group of people whose members identify with each other, through a common heritage, often consisting of a common language, a common culture and/or an ideology that stresses common ancestry or endogamy...

 native to the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, Chile
Dutch Chilean
In 1600 , the Chilean city of Valdivia was conquered by Dutch pirate Sebastian de Cordes. He left the city after some months. Then in 1642 the VOC and the WIC sent a fleet of some ships to Chile to conquer the city of Valdivia and the goldmines of the Spanish. The expedition was conducted by...

, Brazil
Brazil
Brazil , officially the Federative Republic of Brazil , is the largest country in South America. It is the world's fifth largest country, both by geographical area and by population with over 192 million people...

, Canada
Canada
Canada is a North American country consisting of ten provinces and three territories. Located in the northern part of the continent, it extends from the Atlantic Ocean in the east to the Pacific Ocean in the west, and northward into the Arctic Ocean...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

, South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, and the United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

.

The traditional art and culture of the Dutch encompasses various forms of traditional music
Traditional music
Traditional music is the term increasingly used for folk music that is not contemporary folk music. More on this is at the terminology section of the World music article...

, dance
Dance
Dance is an art form that generally refers to movement of the body, usually rhythmic and to music, used as a form of expression, social interaction or presented in a spiritual or performance setting....

s, architectural style
Architectural style
Architectural styles classify architecture in terms of the use of form, techniques, materials, time period, region and other stylistic influences. It overlaps with, and emerges from the study of the evolution and history of architecture...

s and clothing, some of which are globally recognizable. Internationally, Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh are held in high regard. The dominant religion of the Dutch is Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 (both Catholic
Roman Catholic Church
The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the world's largest Christian church, with over a billion members. Led by the Pope, it defines its mission as spreading the gospel of Jesus Christ, administering the sacraments and exercising charity...

 and Protestant
Reformed churches
The Reformed churches are a group of Protestant denominations characterized by Calvinist doctrines. They are descended from the Swiss Reformation inaugurated by Huldrych Zwingli but developed more coherently by Martin Bucer, Heinrich Bullinger and especially John Calvin...

), although in modern times the majority is no longer (openly) religious. Significant percentages of the Dutch are adherents of humanism
Humanism
Humanism is an approach in study, philosophy, world view or practice that focuses on human values and concerns. In philosophy and social science, humanism is a perspective which affirms some notion of human nature, and is contrasted with anti-humanism....

, agnosticism
Agnosticism
Agnosticism is the view that the truth value of certain claims—especially claims about the existence or non-existence of any deity, but also other religious and metaphysical claims—is unknown or unknowable....

, atheism
Atheism
Atheism is, in a broad sense, the rejection of belief in the existence of deities. In a narrower sense, atheism is specifically the position that there are no deities...

 or individual spirituality
Individualism
Individualism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that stresses "the moral worth of the individual". Individualists promote the exercise of one's goals and desires and so value independence and self-reliance while opposing most external interference upon one's own...

.

In the Middle Ages the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 were situated around the border of France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

 and the Holy Roman Empire
Holy Roman Empire
The Holy Roman Empire was a realm that existed from 962 to 1806 in Central Europe.It was ruled by the Holy Roman Emperor. Its character changed during the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period, when the power of the emperor gradually weakened in favour of the princes...

, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had de facto become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain
Spain
Spain , officially the Kingdom of Spain languages]] under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages. In each of these, Spain's official name is as follows:;;;;;;), is a country and member state of the European Union located in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula...

 as the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

 took place.

Emergence


As with all ethnic groups the ethnogenesis
Ethnogenesis
Ethnogenesis is the process by which a group of human beings comes to be understood or to understand themselves as ethnically distinct from the wider social landscape from which their grouping emerges...

 of the Dutch (and their predecessors) has been a lengthy and complex process. Though the majority of the defining characteristics (such as language, religion, architecture or cuisine) of the Dutch ethnic group have accumulated over the ages, it is difficult (if not impossible) to clearly pinpoint the exact emergence of the Dutch people; the interpretation of which is often highly personal. The text below hence focuses on the history of the Dutch ethnic group; for Dutch national history, please see the history-articles of the Netherlands
History of the Netherlands
The history of the Netherlands is the history of a maritime people thriving on a watery lowland river delta at the edge of northwestern Europe. When the Romans and written history arrived in 57 BC, the country was sparsely populated by various tribal groups at the periphery of the empire...

. For Dutch colonial history, see the article on the Dutch Empire
Dutch Empire
The Dutch Empire consisted of the overseas territories controlled by the Dutch Republic and later, the modern Netherlands from the 17th to the 20th century. The Dutch followed Portugal and Spain in establishing an overseas colonial empire, but based on military conquest of already-existing...

.

General



In the first centuries CE, the Germanic tribes formed tribal societies with no apparent form of autocracy
Autocracy
An autocracy is a form of government in which one person is the supreme power within the state. It is derived from the Greek : and , and may be translated as "one who rules by himself". It is distinct from oligarchy and democracy...

 (chiefs only being elected in times of war), beliefs based Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

 and speaking a dialect still closely resembling Common Germanic. Following the end of the migration period
Migration Period
The Migration Period, also called the Barbarian Invasions , was a period of intensified human migration in Europe that occurred from c. 400 to 800 CE. This period marked the transition from Late Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages...

 in the West around 500 CE, with large federations (such as the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, Vandals
Vandals
The Vandals were an East Germanic tribe that entered the late Roman Empire during the 5th century. The Vandals under king Genseric entered Africa in 429 and by 439 established a kingdom which included the Roman Africa province, besides the islands of Sicily, Corsica, Sardinia and the Balearics....

, Alamanni
Alamanni
The Alamanni, Allemanni, or Alemanni were originally an alliance of Germanic tribes located around the upper Rhine river . One of the earliest references to them is the cognomen Alamannicus assumed by Roman Emperor Caracalla, who ruled the Roman Empire from 211 to 217 and claimed thereby to be...

 and Saxons
Saxons
The Saxons were a confederation of Germanic tribes originating on the North German plain. The Saxons earliest known area of settlement is Northern Albingia, an area approximately that of modern Holstein...

) settling the decaying Roman Empire
Roman Empire
The Roman Empire was the post-Republican period of the ancient Roman civilization, characterised by an autocratic form of government and large territorial holdings in Europe and around the Mediterranean....

, a series of monumental changes took place within these Germanic societies. Among the most important of these are their conversion from Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

 to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

, the new emerging of a political system, centered on kings, and a continuing process of emerging mutual unintelligibility of their various dialects.

Specific




The general situation described above is applicable to most if not all modern European ethnic groups with origins among the Germanic tribes, such as the Frisians, Germans, English and the North-Germanic peoples. In the Low Countries, this phase began when the Franks
Franks
The Franks were a confederation of Germanic tribes first attested in the third century AD as living north and east of the Lower Rhine River. From the third to fifth centuries some Franks raided Roman territory while other Franks joined the Roman troops in Gaul. Only the Salian Franks formed a...

, themselves a union of multiple smaller tribes (many of them, such as the Batavi
Batavians
The Batavi were an ancient Germanic tribe, originally part of the Chatti, reported by Tacitus to have lived around the Rhine delta, in the area that is currently the Netherlands, "an uninhabited district on the extremity of the coast of Gaul, and also of a neighbouring island, surrounded by the...

, Chauci
Chauci
The Chauci were an ancient Germanic tribe living in the low-lying region between the Rivers Ems and Elbe, on both sides of the Weser and ranging as far inland as the upper Weser. Along the coast they lived on artificial hills called terpen, built high enough to remain dry during the highest tide...

, Chamavi
Chamavi
The Chamavi were a Germanic tribe of Late Antiquity and the European Dark Age. They first appear under that name in the 1st century AD Germania of Tacitus as a Germanic tribe that, for most of their history, existed along the North bank of the Lower Rhine in the region today called Hamaland after...

 and Chattuarii
Chattuarii
The Chattuarii or Attoarii were a Germanic tribe of the Franks. They lived originally east of the northern Rhine and west of the Chatti. Their land was south of the Bructeri. Some of them settled in the pagus attuariorum south of Langres in the 3rd century...

, were already living in the Low Countries prior to the forming of the Frankish confederation), began to incur the northwestern provinces of the Roman Empire
Western Roman Empire
The Western Roman Empire was the western half of the Roman Empire after its division by Diocletian in 285; the other half of the Roman Empire was the Eastern Roman Empire, commonly referred to today as the Byzantine Empire....

. Eventually, in 358 CE, the Salian Franks
Salian Franks
The Salian Franks or Salii were a subgroup of the early Franks who originally had been living north of the limes in the area above the Rhine. The Merovingian kings responsible for the conquest of Gaul were Salians. From the 3rd century on, the Salian Franks appear in the historical records as...

, one of the three main subdivisions among the Frankish alliance settled the area's Southern lands as a foederati
Foederati
Foederatus is a Latin term whose definition and usage drifted in the time between the early Roman Republic and the end of the Western Roman Empire...

; Roman allies in charge of border defense.

Linguistically the Frankish language gradually evolved into Old Dutch
Old Dutch
In linguistics, Old Dutch denotes the forms of West Franconian spoken and written in the Netherlands and present-day northern Belgium during the Early Middle Ages. It is regarded as the primary stage in the development of a separate Dutch language...

, which was first attested in the 6th century, whereas religiously the Franks (beginning with the upper class
Upper class
In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

) converted to Christianity
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

 from around 500 to 700 CE. On a political level, the Frankish warlords abandoned tribalism and founded a number of kingdoms, eventually culminating in the Frankish Empire
Frankish Empire
Francia or Frankia, later also called the Frankish Empire , Frankish Kingdom , Frankish Realm or occasionally Frankland, was the territory inhabited and ruled by the Franks from the 3rd to the 10th century...

 of Charlemagne
Charlemagne
Charlemagne was King of the Franks from 768 and Emperor of the Romans from 800 to his death in 814. He expanded the Frankish kingdom into an empire that incorporated much of Western and Central Europe. During his reign, he conquered Italy and was crowned by Pope Leo III on 25 December 800...

.

However, the population make-up of the Frankish Empire, or even early Frankish kingdoms such as Neustria
Neustria
The territory of Neustria or Neustrasia, meaning "new [western] land", originated in 511, made up of the regions from Aquitaine to the English Channel, approximating most of the north of present-day France, with Paris and Soissons as its main cities...

 and Austrasia
Austrasia
Austrasia formed the northeastern portion of the Kingdom of the Merovingian Franks, comprising parts of the territory of present-day eastern France, western Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands. Metz served as its capital, although some Austrasian kings ruled from Rheims, Trier, and...

, was not dominated by Franks. Though the Frankish leaders controlled most of Western Europe, the Franks themselves were confined to the Northwestern part (i.e the Low Countries and Northern France
France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

) of the Empire. Eventually, the Franks in Northern France were assimilated by the general Gallo-Roman population, and took over their dialects (which became French
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

), whereas the Franks in the Low Countries retained their language, which would evolve into Dutch. The current Dutch-French language border has (with the exception of the Nord-Pas-de-Calais in France and Brussels
Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 and the surrounding municipalities in Belgium) remained virtually identical ever since, and could be seen as marking the furthest pale of gallicization among the Franks.

Convergence



The medieval cities of the Low Countries, who experienced major growth during the 11th and 12th century, were instrumental in breaking down the already relatively loose local form of feudalism. As they became increasingly powerful, they used their economical strength to influence the politics of their nobility. During the early 14th century, beginning in and inspired by the County of Flanders, the cities in the Low Countries gained huge autonomy and generally dominated or greatly influenced the various political affairs of the fief, including marriage succession.

While the cities were of great political importance, they also formed catalysts for medieval Dutch culture. Trade flourished, population numbers increased dramatically, and (advanced) education was no longer limited to the clergy; Dutch epic literature such as Elegast
Elegast
Elegast is the hero and noble robber in the poem Karel ende Elegast, a Medieval Dutch epic poem that has been translated into English as Charlemagne and Elbegast. In the poem, he possibly represents the King of the Elves. He appears as a knight on a black horse, an outcast vassal of Charlemagne...

(1150 CE), the Roelantslied and Van den vos Reynaerde (1200 CE) were widely enjoyed. The various city guilds as well as the necessity of water boards (in charge of dikes, canals, etc.) in the Dutch delta and coastal regions resulted in an exceptionally high degree of communal organization. It is also around this time, that ethnonyms such as Diets and Nederlands emerge.

In the second half of the 14th century, the dukes of Burgundy gained a foothold in the Low Countries through the marriage in 1369 of Philip the Bold
Philip the Bold
Philip the Bold , also Philip II, Duke of Burgundy , was the fourth and youngest son of King John II of France and his wife, Bonne of Luxembourg. By his marriage to Margaret III, Countess of Flanders, he also became Count Philip II of Flanders, Count Philip IV of Artois and Count-Palatine Philip IV...

 of Burgundy to the heiress of the Count of Flanders. This was followed by a series of marriages, wars, and inheritances among the other Dutch fiefs and around 1450 the most important fiefs are under Burgundian rule, while complete control is achieved in 1503, thereby unifying the fiefs of the Low Countries under one ruler. This process marks a new episode in the development of the Dutch ethnic group, as now political unity starts to emerge, consolidating the strengthened cultural and linguistic unity.

Consolidation




Despite the linguistic and political unity, and (in the case of Flanders
County of Flanders
The County of Flanders was one of the territories constituting the Low Countries. The county existed from 862 to 1795. It was one of the original secular fiefs of France and for centuries was one of the most affluent regions in Europe....

, Brabant
Duchy of Brabant
The Duchy of Brabant was a historical region in the Low Countries. Its territory consisted essentially of the three modern-day Belgian provinces of Flemish Brabant, Walloon Brabant and Antwerp, the Brussels-Capital Region and most of the present-day Dutch province of North Brabant.The Flag of...

 and Holland
County of Holland
The County of Holland was a county in the Holy Roman Empire and from 1482 part of the Habsburg Netherlands in what is now the Netherlands. It covered an area roughly corresponding to the current Dutch provinces of North-Holland and South-Holland, as well as the islands of Terschelling, Vlieland,...

) economical similarities; there was still little sense of unity among the Dutch.

However, the centralist policies of Burgundy in the 14th and 15th centuries, at first violently opposed by the cities of the Low Countries, had a profound impact and changed this. During Charles the Bold's many wars, which were a major economic burden for the Burgundian Netherlands, tensions slowly increased. In 1477, the year of Charles' sudden death at Nancy
Battle of Nancy
The Battle of Nancy was the final and decisive battle of the Burgundian Wars, fought outside the walls of Nancy on 5 January 1477 between Charles the Bold, Duke of Burgundy, and René II, Duke of Lorraine...

, the Low Countries rebeled against their new liege, Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy
Mary of Burgundy ruled the Burgundian territories in Low Countries and was suo jure Duchess of Burgundy from 1477 until her death...

 and presented her with a set of demands.

The subsequently issued great privilege
Great Privilege
The Great Privilege was an instrument signed by Mary of Burgundy on February 11, 1477 which reconfirmed a number of privileges to the States-General of the Netherlands...

 met a lot of these demands (which included that Dutch, not French, should be the administrative language in the Dutch-speaking provinces and that the States General
States-General of the Netherlands
The States-General of the Netherlands is the bicameral legislature of the Netherlands, consisting of the Senate and the House of Representatives. The parliament meets in at the Binnenhof in The Hague. The archaic Dutch word "staten" originally related to the feudal classes in which medieval...

 had the right to hold meetings without the monarch's permission or presence) and despite the fact that the overall tenure of the document (which was declared void by her son, and successor, Philip IV) aimed for more autonomy for the counties and duchies, the fact that all fiefs presented their demands together, rather than separately, are evidence that by this time a sense of common interest was emerging among the provinces of the Netherlands.

Following Mary's marriage to Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor
Maximilian I , the son of Frederick III, Holy Roman Emperor and Eleanor of Portugal, was King of the Romans from 1486 and Holy Roman Emperor from 1493 until his death, though he was never in fact crowned by the Pope, the journey to Rome always being too risky...

, the Netherlands were now part of the Habsburg lands. Further centralized policies by the Habsburgs (like their Burgundian predecessors) again met with resistance, but, peaking with the formation of the collateral councils of 1531 and the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549
Pragmatic Sanction of 1549
The Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 was an edict, promulgated by Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, reorganizing the Seventeen Provinces.It was his plan to centralize the administrative units of Holy Roman Empire. The Pragmatic Sanction transformed this agglomeration of lands into a unified entity, of which...

, were still implemented. The rule of Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

 sought even further centralist reforms, which, accompanied by religious dictates and excessive taxation, resulted in the Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

. The Dutch provinces, though fighting alone now, for the first time in their history found themselves fighting a common enemy. This, together with the growing number of Dutch intelligentsia and the Dutch Golden Age
Dutch Golden Age
The Golden Age was a period in Dutch history, roughly spanning the 17th century, in which Dutch trade, science, military and art were among the most acclaimed in the world. The first half is characterised by the Eighty Years' War till 1648...

 in which Dutch culture
Dutch culture
thumb|right|250px|[[Netherlandish Proverbs|Dutch proverbs]], by [[Pieter Bruegel the Elder]]. Dutch culture may refer to:* used more narrowly, the Culture of the Netherlands* used more widely Culture of Dutch-speaking Europe, including...

, as a whole, would get international prestige, consolidated the Dutch as an ethnic group.

National identity


By the middle of the 16th century an overarching, 'national' (rather than 'ethnic') identity seemed in development in the Habsburg Netherlands, when inhabitants began to refer to it as their 'fatherland' and were beginning to be seen as a collective entity abroad; however, the persistence of language barriers, traditional strife between towns, and provincial particularism continued to form an impediment to more thorough unification. Following excessive taxation together with attempts at diminishing the traditional autonomy of the cities and estates in the Low Countries, followed by the religious oppression after being transferred to Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain
Habsburg Spain refers to the history of Spain over the 16th and 17th centuries , when Spain was ruled by the major branch of the Habsburg dynasty...

, the Dutch revolted, in what would become the Eighty Years' War. For the first time in their history, the Dutch established their independence from foreign rule. However, during the war it became apparent that the goal of liberating all the provinces and cities that had signed the Union of Utrecht
Union of Utrecht
The Union of Utrecht was a treaty signed on 23 January 1579 in Utrecht, the Netherlands, unifying the northern provinces of the Netherlands, until then under the control of Habsburg Spain....

, which roughly corresponded to the Dutch-speaking part of the Spanish Netherlands, was unreachable. The Northern provinces were free, but during the 1580s the South was recaptured by Spain, and, despite various attempts, the armies of the Republic were unable to expel them. In 1648, the Peace of Münster
Peace of Münster
The Peace of Münster was a treaty between the Dutch Republic and Spain signed in 1648. It was a landmark treaty for the Dutch republic and one of the key events in Dutch history; with it, the United Netherlands finally became independent from the Spanish Crown...

, ending the Eighty Years' War, acknowledged the independence of the Dutch Republic
Dutch Republic
The Dutch Republic — officially known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands , the Republic of the United Netherlands, or the Republic of the Seven United Provinces — was a republic in Europe existing from 1581 to 1795, preceding the Batavian Republic and ultimately...

, but maintained Spanish control of the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands were a part of the Low Countries controlled by Spain , Austria and annexed by France...

. Apart from a brief reunification from 1815 till 1830, within the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...

 (which included the Francophone
Francophone
The adjective francophone means French-speaking, typically as primary language, whether referring to individuals, groups, or places. Often, the word is used as a noun to describe a natively French-speaking person....

s/Walloons
Walloons
Walloons are a French-speaking people who live in Belgium, principally in Wallonia. Walloons are a distinctive community within Belgium, important historical and anthropological criteria bind Walloons to the French people. More generally, the term also refers to the inhabitants of the Walloon...

) the Dutch have been separated from the Flemings to this day.

Ethnic identity



The ideologies associated with (Romantic) Nationalism
Romantic nationalism
Romantic nationalism is the form of nationalism in which the state derives its political legitimacy as an organic consequence of the unity of those it governs...

 of the 19th and 20th centuries never really caught on in the Netherlands, and this, together with being a relatively mono-ethnic society up until the late 1950s, has led to a relatively obscure use of the terms nation and ethnicity as both were largely overlapping in practice. Today, despite other ethnicities making up 19.6% of the Netherlands' population, this obscurity continues in colloquial use, in which Nederlander sometimes refers to the ethnic Dutch and Frisians, sometimes to anyone possessing Dutch citizenship
Dutch nationality law
Dutch nationality law is based primarily on the principle of Jus sanguinis and is governed by the Kingdom act regarding Dutch citizenship . Thus citizenship is conferred primarily by birth to a Dutch parent, irrespective of place of birth...

.

However, the (re)definition of Dutch cultural identity has become a subject of public debate in recent years following the increasing influence of the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the influx of non-Western immigrants in the post-World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

 period. In this debate 'typically Dutch traditions' have been put to the foreground.

In sociological studies and governmental reports, ethnicity is often referred to with the terms autochtoon and allochtoon
Allochtoon
Allochtoon is a Dutch word , literally meaning "originating from another country"...

. These legal concepts refer to place of birth and citizenship rather than cultural background and do not coincide with the more fluid concepts of ethnicity used by cultural anthropologists.

Greater Netherlands


As did many European ethnicities during the 19th century, the Dutch also saw the emerging of various Greater Netherlands- and Pan-Movement
Pan-nationalism
Pan-nationalism is a form of nationalism distinguished by the large-scale of the claimed national territory, and because it often defines the nation on the basis of a ‘’cluster’’ of cultures and ethnic groups. It shares the general nationalist ideology, that the nation is a fundamental unit of...

s seeking to unite the Dutch-speaking peoples across the continent. During the first half of the 20th century there was a prolific surge in writings concerning the subject. One of its most active proponents was the historian Pieter Geyl
Pieter Geyl
Pieter Catharinus Arie Geyl was a Dutch historian, well-known for his studies in early modern Dutch history and in historiography.-Background:...

, who wrote De Geschiedenis van de Nederlandsche stam (Dutch: The History of the Dutch tribe/people) as well as numerous essays on the subject.

During World War II, when both Belgium and the Netherlands fell to German occupation
Battle of France
In the Second World War, the Battle of France was the German invasion of France and the Low Countries, beginning on 10 May 1940, which ended the Phoney War. The battle consisted of two main operations. In the first, Fall Gelb , German armoured units pushed through the Ardennes, to cut off and...

, fascist elements (such as the NSB
National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands
The National Socialist Movement in the Netherlands was a Dutch fascist and later national socialist political party. As a parliamentary party participating in legislative elections, the NSB had some success during the 1930s...

 and Verdinaso
Verdinaso
The Verdinaso was an authoritarian and fascist-inspired political party in Belgium and the Netherlands during the 1930s...

) tried to convince the Nazis into combining the Netherlands and Flanders. The Germans however refused to do so, as this conflicted with their ultimate goal of a 'Germanic Europe'. During the entire Nazi occupation the Germans denied any assistance to Greater Dutch ethnic nationalism
Ethnic nationalism
Ethnic nationalism is a form of nationalism wherein the "nation" is defined in terms of ethnicity. Whatever specific ethnicity is involved, ethnic nationalism always includes some element of descent from previous generations and the implied claim of ethnic essentialism, i.e...

, and, by decree of Hitler himself, actively opposed it.

The 1970s mark the beginning of a cultural and linguistic cooperation between Belgium (Flanders) and the Netherlands which continues to this day.

Statistics


The total number of Dutch can be defined in roughly two ways. By taking the total of all people with full Dutch ancestry, according to the current CBS definition, resulting in an estimated 16,000,000 Dutch people, or by the sum of all people with both full and partial Dutch ancestry, which would result in a number around 25,000,000.

Language




Dutch is the language spoken by most Dutch people. It is a West Germanic language spoken by around 22 million people. The language was first attested around 500 AD, in a Frankish legal text, the Lex Salica, and has a written record of more than 1500 years, although the material before ca. 1200 is fragmentary and discontinuous.

As a West Germanic language, Dutch is related to other languages in that group such as Frisian, English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 and German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

. Many West Germanic dialects experienced a series of sound shifts. The Anglo-Frisian nasal spirant law and Anglo-Frisian brightening resulted in certain early Germanic languages evolving into what are now English and Frisian, while the Second Germanic sound shift resulted in what would become German. Dutch experienced none of these sound changes and can thus be said to occupy a central position within the West Germanic languages
West Germanic languages
The West Germanic languages constitute the largest of the three traditional branches of the Germanic family of languages and include languages such as German, English, Dutch, Afrikaans, the Frisian languages, and Yiddish...

.

Standard Dutch has a sound inventory of 13 vowels, 6 diphthongs and 23 consonants, of which the voiceless velar fricative
Voiceless velar fricative
The voiceless velar fricative is a type of consonantal sound used in some spoken languages. The sound was part of the consonant inventory of Old English and can still be found in some dialects of English, most notably in Scottish English....

 (hard ch
Hard and soft G in Dutch
In the Dutch language the terminology hard and soft ⟨g⟩ refers to not only a phonological phenomenon of the pronunciation of the letters ⟨g⟩ and ⟨ch⟩ but also indicates a major isogloss within the language. In the northern part of the European Dutch language area, these letters represent velar or...

) is considered a well known sound, perceived as typical for the language. Other relatively well known features of the Dutch language and use are the frequent use digraphs like Oo, Ee, Uu
Letter combination of uu
The combination uu occurs rarely in the English language and, other than continuum, muumuu and vacuum, in words which are unfamiliar or archaic. With the exception of Muumuu and anschauung , they derive from Latin roots...

 and Aa, the ability to form long compounds
Compound (linguistics)
In linguistics, a compound is a lexeme that consists of more than one stem. Compounding or composition is the word formation that creates compound lexemes...

 and the use of diseases as profanity
Profanity
Profanity is a show of disrespect, or a desecration or debasement of someone or something. Profanity can take the form of words, expressions, gestures, or other social behaviors that are socially constructed or interpreted as insulting, rude, vulgar, obscene, desecrating, or other forms.The...

.

General consensus among linguists is that the Dutch language has 28 main dialects. These dialects are usually grouped into six main categories; Hollandic
Hollandic
Hollandic or Hollandish is, together with Brabantian, the most frequently used dialect of the Dutch language. Other important Low Franconian language varieties spoken in the same area are Zeelandic, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish....

, West-Flemish/Zealandic
West Flemish
West Flemish , , , Fransch vlaemsch in French Flemish) is a group of dialects or regional language related to Dutch spoken in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France....

, East Flemish
East Flemish
East Flemish is a group of dialects of the Dutch language, which is a Low Franconian language. It is spoken in the province of East Flanders in Belgium, but also spoken in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in the Netherlands.-Brabantic Expansion:...

, Brabantic, Limburgish and Dutch Saxon
Dutch Low Saxon
Dutch Low Saxon is a group of Low Saxon, i.e. West Low German dialects spoken in the northeastern Netherlands. In comparison, the remainder of the Netherlands speak a collection of Low Franconian dialects.The class "Dutch Low Saxon" is not unanimous...

. Of these dialects, Brabantic and East Flemish are spoken exclusively by the Southern Dutch, whereas Hollandic and Dutch Saxon are solely spoken by Northerners. West-Flemish/Zealandic
West Flemish
West Flemish , , , Fransch vlaemsch in French Flemish) is a group of dialects or regional language related to Dutch spoken in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France....

  and Limburgish are cross border dialects in this respect. Lastly, the dialectal situation is characterised by the major distinction between 'Hard G' and 'Soft G' speaking areas
Hard and soft G in Dutch
In the Dutch language the terminology hard and soft ⟨g⟩ refers to not only a phonological phenomenon of the pronunciation of the letters ⟨g⟩ and ⟨ch⟩ but also indicates a major isogloss within the language. In the northern part of the European Dutch language area, these letters represent velar or...

 (see also Dutch phonology
Dutch phonology
Dutch is a Germanic language and as such has a similar phonology to other Germanic languages...

).

Dutch immigrants also exported the Dutch language. Dutch was spoken in United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

 as a native language from the arrival of the first permanent Dutch settlers in 1615, surviving in isolated ethnic pockets until ~1900, when it ceased to be spoken with the exception of 1st generation Dutch immigrants. The Dutch language nevertheless had a significant impact on the region around New York
New York
New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

. For example, the first language of American president
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 was Dutch. Most of the Dutch immigrants of the 20th century quickly began to speak the language of their new country. For example, of the inhabitants of New Zealand, 0.7% say their home language is Dutch, despite the percentage of Dutch heritage being considerably higher.

Dutch is currently an official language
Official language
An official language is a language that is given a special legal status in a particular country, state, or other jurisdiction. Typically a nation's official language will be the one used in that nation's courts, parliament and administration. However, official status can also be used to give a...

 of the Netherlands, Belgium, Suriname
Suriname
Suriname , officially the Republic of Suriname , is a country in northern South America. It borders French Guiana to the east, Guyana to the west, Brazil to the south, and on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. Suriname was a former colony of the British and of the Dutch, and was previously known as...

, Aruba
Aruba
Aruba is a 33 km-long island of the Lesser Antilles in the southern Caribbean Sea, located 27 km north of the coast of Venezuela and 130 km east of Guajira Peninsula...

, Sint Maarten, Curaçao
Curaçao
Curaçao is an island in the southern Caribbean Sea, off the Venezuelan coast. The Country of Curaçao , which includes the main island plus the small, uninhabited island of Klein Curaçao , is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands...

, the European Union
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the Union of South American Nations (due to Suriname being a member). In South Africa
South Africa
The Republic of South Africa is a country in southern Africa. Located at the southern tip of Africa, it is divided into nine provinces, with of coastline on the Atlantic and Indian oceans...

, Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

 is spoken, a descendant of Dutch, which itself was an official language of South Africa until 1925. The Dutch, Flemish and Surinamese governments coordinate their language activities in the Nederlandse Taalunie (Dutch Language Union
Dutch Language Union
The Dutch Language Union is an international institution for discussing issues regarding the Dutch language. It was founded on 9 September 1980 by the Netherlands and Belgium...

), an institution also responsible for governing the Dutch Standard language, for example in matters of orthography
Orthography
The orthography of a language specifies a standardized way of using a specific writing system to write the language. Where more than one writing system is used for a language, for example Kurdish, Uyghur, Serbian or Inuktitut, there can be more than one orthography...

.

Etymology of autonym and exonym



The origins of the word Dutch go back to Proto-Germanic, the ancestor of all Germanic languages, *theudo (meaning "national/popular"); akin to Old Dutch dietsc, Old High German
Old High German
The term Old High German refers to the earliest stage of the German language and it conventionally covers the period from around 500 to 1050. Coherent written texts do not appear until the second half of the 8th century, and some treat the period before 750 as 'prehistoric' and date the start of...

 diutsch, Old English þeodisc and Gothic
Gothic language
Gothic is an extinct Germanic language that was spoken by the Goths. It is known primarily from the Codex Argenteus, a 6th-century copy of a 4th-century Bible translation, and is the only East Germanic language with a sizable Text corpus...

 þiuda all meaning "(of) the common (Germanic
Germanic peoples
The Germanic peoples are an Indo-European ethno-linguistic group of Northern European origin, identified by their use of the Indo-European Germanic languages which diversified out of Proto-Germanic during the Pre-Roman Iron Age.Originating about 1800 BCE from the Corded Ware Culture on the North...

) people". As the tribes among the Germanic peoples began to differentiate its meaning began to change. The Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxons
Anglo-Saxon is a term used by historians to designate the Germanic tribes who invaded and settled the south and east of Great Britain beginning in the early 5th century AD, and the period from their creation of the English nation to the Norman conquest. The Anglo-Saxon Era denotes the period of...

 of England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 for example gradually stopped referring to themselves as þeodisc and instead started to use Englisc, after their tribe. On the continent *theudo evolved into two meanings: Diets
Dietsch
-Languages:*German *Middle Dutch*Low German including Dutch*Low German excluding Dutch by definition*Low Dietsch, transitional Limburgish-Ripuarian dialects-People:* John Dietsch, author on the subject of fly fishing...

(meaning "Dutch (people)" (archaic)) and Deutsch (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

, meaning "German (people)"). At first the English language used (the contemporary form of) Dutch to refer to any or all of the Germanic speakers on the European mainland (e.g. the Dutch, the Frisians and the -various- Germans). Gradually its meaning shifted to the Germanic people they had most contact with, both because of their geographical proximity, but also because of the rivalry in trade and overseas territories: the people from the Republic of the Netherlands, the Dutch.

In the Dutch language
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

, the Dutch refer to themselves as Nederlanders. Nederlanders derives from the Dutch word "Neder", a cognate of English
English language
English is a West Germanic language that arose in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms of England and spread into what was to become south-east Scotland under the influence of the Anglian medieval kingdom of Northumbria...

 "Nether" both meaning "low", and "near the sea" (same meaning in both English and Dutch), a reference to the geographical texture of the Dutch homeland; the western portion of the Northern European plain. Although not as old as Diets, the term Nederlands has been in continuous use since 1250.

Names


Dutch surnames (and surnames of Dutch origin) are generally easily recognizable.
There are several main types of surnames in Dutch:
  • Patronymic surnames; the name is based on the personal name of the father of the bearer. Historically this has been by far the most dominant form. These type of names fluctuated in form as the surname was not constant. If a man called Willem Janssen
    Willem Janszoon
    Willem Janszoon , Dutch navigator and colonial governor, is probably the first European known to have seen the coast of Australia. His name is sometimes abbreviated to Willem Jansz....

     (William, John's son) had a son named Jacob, he would be known as Jacob Willemsen
    Jacob Willemszoon de Wet
    Jacob Willemszoon de Wet or Jacob Willemsz. de Wet the Elder was a Dutch Golden Age painter, whose works were largely influenced by Rembrandt.-Biography:...

     (Jacob, Williams' son). Following civil registry, the form at time of registry became permanent. Hence today many Dutch people are named after ancestors living in the early 19th century when civil registry was introduced to the Low Countries
    Low Countries
    The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

    . These names rarely feature tussenvoegsels.
  • Surnames relating to geographical origin
    Geography
    Geography is the science that studies the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes...

    ; the name is based on the location on which the bearer lives or lived. In Dutch this form of surname nearly always includes one or several tussenvoegsels, mainly van, van de and variants. Many immigrants removed the spacing, leading to derived names for well known people like Cornelius Vanderbilt
    Cornelius Vanderbilt
    Cornelius Vanderbilt , also known by the sobriquet Commodore, was an American entrepreneur who built his wealth in shipping and railroads. He was also the patriarch of the Vanderbilt family and one of the richest Americans in history...

    . While "van" denotes "of", Dutch surnames are sometimes associated with the upper class
    Upper class
    In social science, the "upper class" is the group of people at the top of a social hierarchy. Members of an upper class may have great power over the allocation of resources and governmental policy in their area.- Historical meaning :...

     of society or aristocracy (cf. William of Orange
    William the Silent
    William I, Prince of Orange , also widely known as William the Silent , or simply William of Orange , was the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spanish that set off the Eighty Years' War and resulted in the formal independence of the United Provinces in 1648. He was born in the House of...

    ). However, in Dutch van often reflects the original place of origin (Van Der Bilt - He who comes from De Bilt
    De Bilt
    De Bilt is a municipality and a town in the Netherlands, in the province of Utrecht.-Population centres :The municipality of De Bilt consists of the following cities, towns, villages and/or districts: Bilthoven, De Bilt, Groenekan, Hollandsche Rading, Maartensdijk, Westbroek...

    ); rather than denote any aristocratic status.
  • Surnames relating to Occupation
    Employment
    Employment is a contract between two parties, one being the employer and the other being the employee. An employee may be defined as:- Employee :...

    ; the name is based on the occupation of the bearer. Well known examples include Molenaar, Visser and Smit. This practice is similar to English surnames (the example names translate perfectly to Miller
    Miller
    A miller usually refers to a person who operates a mill, a machine to grind a cereal crop to make flour. Milling is among the oldest of human occupations. "Miller", "Milne" and other variants are common surnames, as are their equivalents in other languages around the world...

    , Fisher
    Fisher (surname)
    Fisher is an English surname in the English language. It is an occupational name from the Old English "fiscare," which means "fisherman", one who obtained his living by fishing. In Ireland it is the anglicized form of Gaelic Ó Bradáin ‘descendant of Bradán’, a personal name meaning ‘salmon’. The...

     and Smith
    Smith (surname)
    Smith is an English family name originating in England. It is the most common surname in the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States, the second most common surname in Canada, and the fifth most common surname in Ireland...

    ).
  • Surnames relating to physical appearance
    Human physical appearance
    Human physical appearance refers to the outward phenotype or look of human beings. There are infinite variations in human phenotypes, though society reduces the variability to distinct categories...

    /other features; the name is based on the appearance or character of the bearer (at least at the time of registration). For example "De Lange" (the tall one), "De Groot" (the big one), "De Dappere" (the brave one).
  • Other surnames may relate to animals. For example; De Leeuw (The Lion), Vogels (Birds), Koekkoek (Cuckoo) and Devalck (The Falcon); to a desired social status; e.g., Prins (Prince), De Koninck/Koning (King), De Keyzer/keizer (Emperor). There is also a set of made up or descriptive names; e.g. Naaktgeboren (born naked).


Dutch names can differ greatly in spelling. The surname Baks, for example is also recorded as Backs, Bacxs, Bakx, Baxs, Bacx, Backx, Bakxs and Baxcs. Though written differently, pronunciation remains identical. Dialectal variety also commonly occurs, with De Smet and De Smit both meaning Smith for example. Surnames of Dutch migrants in foreign environments (mainly the Anglosphere
Anglosphere
Anglosphere is a neologism which refers to those nations with English as the most common language. The term can be used more specifically to refer to those nations which share certain characteristics within their cultures based on a linguistic heritage, through being former British colonies...

 and Francophonie) are often adapted, not only in pronunciation but also in spelling.

Culture


Religion


Prior to the arrival of Christianity, the ancestors of the Dutch adhered to a form of Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism
Germanic paganism refers to the theology and religious practices of the Germanic peoples of north-western Europe from the Iron Age until their Christianization during the Medieval period...

 augmented with various Celtic elements
Celtic polytheism
Celtic polytheism, commonly known as Celtic paganism, refers to the religious beliefs and practices adhered to by the Iron Age peoples of Western Europe now known as the Celts, roughly between 500 BCE and 500 CE, spanning the La Tène period and the Roman era, and in the case of the Insular Celts...

. At the start of the 6th century the first (Hiberno-Scottish
Hiberno-Scottish mission
The Hiberno-Scottish mission was a mission led by Irish and Scottish monks which spread Christianity and established monasteries in Great Britain and continental Europe during the Middle Ages...

) missionaries arrived. They were later replaced by Anglo-Saxon missionaries, who eventually succeeded in converting most of the inhabitants by the 8th century. Since then Christianity has been the dominant religion in the region. In the early 16th century the Protestant Reformation
Protestant Reformation
The Protestant Reformation was a 16th-century split within Western Christianity initiated by Martin Luther, John Calvin and other early Protestants. The efforts of the self-described "reformers", who objected to the doctrines, rituals and ecclesiastical structure of the Roman Catholic Church, led...

 began to form and soon spread in the Westhoek
Westhoek (region)
Westhoek or Maritime Flanders is a region in Belgium and France and includes the following areas:#Belgian Westhoek including the West Flanders arrondissements of Diksmuide, Ypres, and Veurne including the cities of Veurne, Poperinge, Wervik, Ypres, De Panne, Langemark-Poelkapelle, and Diksmuide...

 and the County of Flanders, where secret open-air sermons were held, called hagenpreken ("hedgerow orations") in Dutch. The ruler of the Dutch regions, Philip II of Spain
Philip II of Spain
Philip II was King of Spain, Portugal, Naples, Sicily, and, while married to Mary I, King of England and Ireland. He was lord of the Seventeen Provinces from 1556 until 1581, holding various titles for the individual territories such as duke or count....

, felt it was his duty to fight Protestantism, and, after the wave of iconoclasm, sent troops to crush the rebellion and make the Low Countries a Catholic region once more. The Protestants in the Southern Low Countries fled North en masse. Most of the Dutch Protestants were now concentrated in the free Dutch provinces North of the river Rhine, while the Catholic Dutch were situated in the Spanish occupied or dominated South. After the Peace of Westphalia
Peace of Westphalia
The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October of 1648 in Osnabrück and Münster. These treaties ended the Thirty Years' War in the Holy Roman Empire, and the Eighty Years' War between Spain and the Dutch Republic, with Spain formally recognizing the...

 in 1648, Protestantism did not spread South, resulting in a difference in religious situations that lasts to this day.
Contemporary Dutch are generally nominally Christians. People of Dutch ancestry in the United States are generally more religious than their European counterparts; for example the numerous Dutch communities of western Michigan
Western Michigan
West Michigan and Western Michigan are terms for an arbitrarily selected region in the U.S. state of Michigan in its Lower Peninsula. There is no official definition for what constitutes "West Michigan." The area of West Michigan may also include parts Southern Michigan.-Definition:In general,...

 remain strongholds of the Reformed Church in America
Reformed Church in America
The Reformed Church in America is a mainline Reformed Protestant denomination in Canada and the United States. It has about 170,000 members, with the total declining in recent decades. From its beginning in 1628 until 1819, it was the North American branch of the Dutch Reformed Church. In 1819, it...

, and the Christian Reformed Church
Christian Reformed Church in North America
The Christian Reformed Church in North America is a Protestant Christian denomination in the United States and Canada. Having roots in the Dutch Reformed churches of the Netherlands, the Christian Reformed Church was founded by Gijsbert Haan and Dutch immigrants who left the Reformed Church in...

, both descendants of the Dutch Reformed Church
Dutch Reformed Church
The Dutch Reformed Church was a Reformed Christian denomination in the Netherlands. It existed from the 1570s to 2004, the year it merged with the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands to form the Protestant Church in the...

.

Cultural divergences


One cultural division within Dutch culture is that between the Protestant North and the Catholic South, which encompasses various cultural differences between the Northern Dutch on one side and the Southern Dutch on the other. This subject has historically received attention from historians, notably Pieter Geyl
Pieter Geyl
Pieter Catharinus Arie Geyl was a Dutch historian, well-known for his studies in early modern Dutch history and in historiography.-Background:...

 (1887–1966) and Carel Gerretson (1884–1958). The historical pluriformity of the Dutch cultural landscape has given rise to several theories aimed at both identifying and explaining cultural divergences between different regions. One theory, proposed by A.J. Wichers in 1965, sees differences in mentality between the southeastern, or 'higher', and northwestern, or 'lower' regions within the Netherlands, and seeks to explain these by referring to the different degrees to which these areas were feudalised during the Middle Ages. Another, more recent cultural divide is that between the Randstad, the urban agglomeration in the West of the country, and the other provinces of the Netherlands.

In Dutch, the cultural division between North and South is also referred to by the colloquialism
Colloquialism
A colloquialism is a word or phrase that is common in everyday, unconstrained conversation rather than in formal speech, academic writing, or paralinguistics. Dictionaries often display colloquial words and phrases with the abbreviation colloq. as an identifier...

 "below/above the great rivers
Grote rivieren
The Grote rivieren, literally translated Great rivers, is a landform in the Netherlands. In addition, it is commonly used as a figure speech to denote a divide in Dutch culture linking to the broader Dutch-Flemish culture.-Geographical meaning:...

" as the rivers Rhine and Meuse
Meuse
Meuse is a department in northeast France, named after the River Meuse.-History:Meuse is one of the original 83 departments created during the French Revolution on March 4, 1790...

 roughly form a natural boundary between the Northern Dutch (those Dutch living North of these rivers), and the Southern Dutch (those living South of them). The division is partially caused by (traditional) religious
Religion
Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values. Many religions have narratives, symbols, traditions and sacred histories that are intended to give meaning to life or to...

 differences, with the North predominantly Protestant and the South having a majority of Catholics. Linguistic (dialectal) differences (positioned along the Rhine/Meuse river
Meuse River
The Maas or Meuse is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea...

s [sic].) and to a lesser extent, historical economic development
Economic development
Economic development generally refers to the sustained, concerted actions of policymakers and communities that promote the standard of living and economic health of a specific area...

 of both regions are also important elements in any dissimilarity.

On a smaller scale cultural pluriformity can also be found; be it in local architecture or (perceived) character. This wide array of regional identities positioned within such a relatively small area, has often been attributed to the fact that many of the current Dutch provinces were de-facto independent states for much of their history, as well as the importance of local Dutch dialects (which often largely correspond with the provinces themselves) to the people who speak them.

Northern Dutch culture


Northern Dutch culture is marked by Protestantism
Protestantism
Protestantism is one of the three major groupings within Christianity. It is a movement that began in Germany in the early 16th century as a reaction against medieval Roman Catholic doctrines and practices, especially in regards to salvation, justification, and ecclesiology.The doctrines of the...

. Though today many do not adhere to Protestantism anymore, or are only nominally part of a congregation, Protestant (influenced) values and custom are present. Generally, it can be said the Northern Dutch are more pragmatic
Pragmatism
Pragmatism is a philosophical tradition centered on the linking of practice and theory. It describes a process where theory is extracted from practice, and applied back to practice to form what is called intelligent practice...

, favor a direct approach and display a less exuberant lifestyle when compared to Southerners. On a global scale, the Northern Dutch have formed the dominant vanguard of the Dutch language and culture since the fall of Antwerp, exemplified by the use of 'Dutch' itself as the demonym
Demonym
A demonym , also referred to as a gentilic, is a name for a resident of a locality. A demonym is usually – though not always – derived from the name of the locality; thus, the demonym for the people of England is English, and the demonym for the people of Italy is Italian, yet, in english, the one...

 for the country in which they form a majority; the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

. Linguistically, Northerners speak any of the Hollandic
Hollandic
Hollandic or Hollandish is, together with Brabantian, the most frequently used dialect of the Dutch language. Other important Low Franconian language varieties spoken in the same area are Zeelandic, East Flemish, West Flemish and Limburgish....

, Zealandic and Dutch Low Saxon
Dutch Low Saxon
Dutch Low Saxon is a group of Low Saxon, i.e. West Low German dialects spoken in the northeastern Netherlands. In comparison, the remainder of the Netherlands speak a collection of Low Franconian dialects.The class "Dutch Low Saxon" is not unanimous...

 dialects natively, or are influenced by them when they speak the Standard form of Dutch. Economically and culturally the traditional center of the region have been the provinces of North
North Holland
North Holland |West Frisian]]: Noard-Holland) is a province situated on the North Sea in the northwest part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is Haarlem and its largest city is Amsterdam.-Geography:...

 and South Holland
South Holland
South Holland is a province situated on the North Sea in the western part of the Netherlands. The provincial capital is The Hague and its largest city is Rotterdam.South Holland is one of the most densely populated and industrialised areas in the world...

, or today; the Randstad
Randstad
Image:Randstad_with_scale.png|400px|thumb|right|Clickable schematic map of the Randstadcircle 528 380 26 Schipholrect 426 356 498 436 Haarlemmermeerrect 399 166 479 245 Velsencircle 250 716 32 Delftcircle 220 642 60 The Hague...

, although for a brief period during the 13th or 14th century it lay in east, when various eastern towns and cities aligned themselves with the emerging Hanseatic League
Hanseatic League
The Hanseatic League was an economic alliance of trading cities and their merchant guilds that dominated trade along the coast of Northern Europe...

. The entire Northern Dutch cultural area is located in the Netherlands
Netherlands
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

, its ethnically Dutch population is estimated to be just under 10,000,000.Estimate based on the population of the Netherlands, without the Southern Provinces and non-Ethnic Dutch.
Frisians


Frisians, specifically West Frisians
West Frisians
The West Frisians or, more precisely, the Westlauwers Frisians are those Frisian peoples in that part of Frisia administered by the Netherlands. This region, the Province of Friesland, is bounded in the west by the IJsselmeer and in the east by the River Lauwers...

, are an ethnic group; present in the North of the Netherlands; mainly concentrating in the Province of Friesland
Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

. Culturally, modern Frisians and the (Northern) Dutch are rather similar; the main and generally most important difference being that Frisians speak West Frisian, one of the three subbranches of the Frisian languages, alongside Dutch.

West Frisians in the general do not feel or see themselves as part of a larger group of Frisians, and, according to a 1970 inquiry, identify themselves more with the Dutch than with East
East Frisians
East Frisians are, in the wider sense, the inhabitants of East Frisia in the northwest of the German state of Lower Saxony. In the narrower sense the East Frisians are the eastern branch of the Frisians, a Germanic people and belong, together with the Danes, Sorbs, Sinti and Romanies to the...

 or North Frisians. Because of centuries of cohabitation and active participation in Dutch society, as well as being bilingual, the Frisians are not treated as a separate group in Dutch official statistics
Statistics
Statistics is the study of the collection, organization, analysis, and interpretation of data. It deals with all aspects of this, including the planning of data collection in terms of the design of surveys and experiments....

.

Southern Dutch culture



The Southern Dutch sphere generally consists of the areas in which the population was traditionally Catholic. During the early Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

 up until the Dutch Revolt
Dutch Revolt
The Dutch Revolt or the Revolt of the Netherlands This article adopts 1568 as the starting date of the war, as this was the year of the first battles between armies. However, since there is a long period of Protestant vs...

, the Southern regions were more powerful, as well as more culturally and economically developed. At the end of the Dutch Revolt, it became clear the Habsburg
Habsburg
The House of Habsburg , also found as Hapsburg, and also known as House of Austria is one of the most important royal houses of Europe and is best known for being an origin of all of the formally elected Holy Roman Emperors between 1438 and 1740, as well as rulers of the Austrian Empire and...

s were unable to reconquer the North, while the North's military was too weak to conquer the South, which, under the influence of the Counter-Reformation
Counter-Reformation
The Counter-Reformation was the period of Catholic revival beginning with the Council of Trent and ending at the close of the Thirty Years' War, 1648 as a response to the Protestant Reformation.The Counter-Reformation was a comprehensive effort, composed of four major elements:#Ecclesiastical or...

, had started to develop a political and cultural identity of its own. The Southern Dutch, including Dutch Brabant and Limburg, remained Catholic or returned to Catholicism. The Dutch dialects spoken by this group are Brabantic, Limburgish and East
East Flemish
East Flemish is a group of dialects of the Dutch language, which is a Low Franconian language. It is spoken in the province of East Flanders in Belgium, but also spoken in Zeeuws-Vlaanderen in the Netherlands.-Brabantic Expansion:...

 and West Flemish
West Flemish
West Flemish , , , Fransch vlaemsch in French Flemish) is a group of dialects or regional language related to Dutch spoken in parts of the Netherlands, Belgium, and France....

. In the Netherlands, an oft-used adage used for indicating this cultural boundary is the phrase boven/onder de rivieren (Dutch: above/below the rivers), in which 'the rivers' refer to the river Rhine and Meuse
Meuse River
The Maas or Meuse is a major European river, rising in France and flowing through Belgium and the Netherlands before draining into the North Sea...

.
Flemings


Within the field of ethnography
Ethnography
Ethnography is a qualitative method aimed to learn and understand cultural phenomena which reflect the knowledge and system of meanings guiding the life of a cultural group...

 it is generally agreed that the Dutch-speaking populations of the Netherlands and Belgium form a single (though internally diverse) group, with a shared language
Language
Language may refer either to the specifically human capacity for acquiring and using complex systems of communication, or to a specific instance of such a system of complex communication...

, generally similar or identical customs
Customs
Customs is an authority or agency in a country responsible for collecting and safeguarding customs duties and for controlling the flow of goods including animals, transports, personal effects and hazardous items in and out of a country...

 and with no clearly separate ancestral origin or origin myth
Origin myth
An origin myth is a myth that purports to describe the origin of some feature of the natural or social world. One type of origin myth is the cosmogonic myth, which describes the creation of the world...

.

However, the popular perception of being a single polity varies greatly, depending on subject matter, locality and personal background. Generally, The Flemish will seldom identify themselves as being Dutch and vice versa, especially on a national level.

This is partly caused by the popular stereotypes in the Netherlands as well as Flanders which are mostly based on the 'cultural extremes' of both Northern and Southern culture. Though these stereotypes tend to ignore the transitional area formed by the Southern provinces of the Netherlands and most Northern reaches of Belgium, resulting in (largely incorrect, but nevertheless common) generalizations.

In the case of Belgium, there is the added influence of nationalism
Nationalism
Nationalism is a political ideology that involves a strong identification of a group of individuals with a political entity defined in national terms, i.e. a nation. In the 'modernist' image of the nation, it is nationalism that creates national identity. There are various definitions for what...

 as the Dutch language and culture were oppressed by the Francophone
French language
French is a Romance language spoken as a first language in France, the Romandy region in Switzerland, Wallonia and Brussels in Belgium, Monaco, the regions of Quebec and Acadia in Canada, and by various communities elsewhere. Second-language speakers of French are distributed throughout many parts...

 government. This was followed by a nationalist backlash
Flemish movement
The Flemish Movement is a popular term used to describe the political movement for emancipation and greater autonomy of the Belgian region of Flanders, for protection of the Dutch language, and for the over-all protection of Flemish culture and history....

 during the late 19th and early 20th century that saw little help from the Dutch government (which for a long time following the Belgian Revolution
Belgian Revolution
The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the Southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and established an independent Kingdom of Belgium....

 had a reticent and contentious relationship with the newly formed Belgium and a largely indifferent attitude towards its Dutch-speaking inhabitants) and hence focused on pitting Flemish culture against 'French culture' and resulted in the forming of the Flemish nation
Nation
A nation may refer to a community of people who share a common language, culture, ethnicity, descent, and/or history. In this definition, a nation has no physical borders. However, it can also refer to people who share a common territory and government irrespective of their ethnic make-up...

 within Belgium, consciousness of which can be very marked among some Dutch-speaking Belgians.

Dutch diaspora



Since World War II, Dutch Emigrants
Emigration
Emigration is the act of leaving one's country or region to settle in another. It is the same as immigration but from the perspective of the country of origin. Human movement before the establishment of political boundaries or within one state is termed migration. There are many reasons why people...

 mainly went to the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and (until the 1970s) to South Africa. Today Dutch immigrants can be found in most developed countries. In several former Dutch colonies and trading settlements, there are isolated ethnic groups of full or partial Dutch ancestry.

Eastern Europe


During the German eastward expansion
Ostsiedlung
Ostsiedlung , also called German eastward expansion, was the medieval eastward migration and settlement of Germans from modern day western and central Germany into less-populated regions and countries of eastern Central Europe and Eastern Europe. The affected area roughly stretched from Slovenia...

 (mainly taking place between the 10th and 13th century AD) a number of Dutchmen also moved east of their traditional homelands. Mainly settling east of the Elbe
Elbe
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northwestern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia , then Germany and flowing into the North Sea at Cuxhaven, 110 km northwest of Hamburg...

 and Saale
Saale
The Saale, also known as the Saxon Saale and Thuringian Saale , is a river in Germany and a left-bank tributary of the Elbe. It is not to be confused with the smaller Franconian Saale, a right-bank tributary of the Main, or the Saale in Lower Saxony, a tributary of the Leine.-Course:The Saale...

 rivers, regions largely inhabited by Polabian Slavs
Polabian Slavs
Polabian Slavs - is a collective term applied to a number of Lechites tribes who lived along the Elbe river, between the Baltic Sea to the north, the Saale and the Limes Saxoniae to the west, the Ore Mountains and the Western Sudetes to the south, and Poland to the east. They have also been known...

 After the capture of territory along the Elbe and Havel Rivers in the 1160s, Dutch settlers from flooded regions in Holland used their expertise to build dikes in Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

, but also settled in and around major German cities such as Bremen and Hamburg and German regions of Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg
Mecklenburg is a historical region in northern Germany comprising the western and larger part of the federal-state Mecklenburg-Vorpommern...

 and Brandenburg
Brandenburg
Brandenburg is one of the sixteen federal-states of Germany. It lies in the east of the country and is one of the new federal states that were re-created in 1990 upon the reunification of the former West Germany and East Germany. The capital is Potsdam...

. From the 13th to the 15th centuries, Prussia
Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

 invited several waves of Dutch and Frisians to settle throughout the country (mainly along the Baltic Sea
Baltic Sea
The Baltic Sea is a brackish mediterranean sea located in Northern Europe, from 53°N to 66°N latitude and from 20°E to 26°E longitude. It is bounded by the Scandinavian Peninsula, the mainland of Europe, and the Danish islands. It drains into the Kattegat by way of the Øresund, the Great Belt and...

 coast)

In the early-to-mid 16th century, Mennonites began to move from the Low Countries
Low Countries
The Low Countries are the historical lands around the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Scheldt, and Meuse rivers, including the modern countries of Belgium, the Netherlands, Luxembourg and parts of northern France and western Germany....

 (especially Friesland
Friesland
Friesland is a province in the north of the Netherlands and part of the ancient region of Frisia.Until the end of 1996, the province bore Friesland as its official name. In 1997 this Dutch name lost its official status to the Frisian Fryslân...

 and Flanders
Flanders
Flanders is the community of the Flemings but also one of the institutions in Belgium, and a geographical region located in parts of present-day Belgium, France and the Netherlands. "Flanders" can also refer to the northern part of Belgium that contains Brussels, Bruges, Ghent and Antwerp...

) to the Vistula
Vistula
The Vistula is the longest and the most important river in Poland, at 1,047 km in length. The watershed area of the Vistula is , of which lies within Poland ....

 delta region in Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia
Royal Prussia was a Region of the Kingdom of Poland and of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth . Polish Prussia included Pomerelia, Chełmno Land , Malbork Voivodeship , Gdańsk , Toruń , and Elbląg . It is distinguished from Ducal Prussia...

, seeking religious freedom and exemption from military service. When the Prussian government eliminated exemption from military service on religious grounds, the Mennonites emigrated to Russia
Russian Empire
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until the Russian Revolution of 1917. It was the successor to the Tsardom of Russia and the predecessor of the Soviet Union...

. They were offered land along the Volga River
Volga River
The Volga is the largest river in Europe in terms of length, discharge, and watershed. It flows through central Russia, and is widely viewed as the national river of Russia. Out of the twenty largest cities of Russia, eleven, including the capital Moscow, are situated in the Volga's drainage...

. Some settlers left for Siberia
Siberia
Siberia is an extensive region constituting almost all of Northern Asia. Comprising the central and eastern portion of the Russian Federation, it was part of the Soviet Union from its beginning, as its predecessor states, the Tsardom of Russia and the Russian Empire, conquered it during the 16th...

 in search for fertile land. The Russian capital itself, Moscow
Moscow
Moscow is the capital, the most populous city, and the most populous federal subject of Russia. The city is a major political, economic, cultural, scientific, religious, financial, educational, and transportation centre of Russia and the continent...

, also had a number of Dutch immigrants, mostly working as craftsmen. Arguably the most famous of which was Anna Mons
Anna Mons
Anna Mons was a German commonner who almost succeeded in marrying Tsar Peter the Great.- Biography :In 1691, during one of his visits to the German Quarter, young Peter I of Russia became enamoured of Anna Mons, the daughter of Dutch wine merchant Johann Mon. It is generally thought he was from...

, the mistress of Peter the Great
Peter I of Russia
Peter the Great, Peter I or Pyotr Alexeyevich Romanov Dates indicated by the letters "O.S." are Old Style. All other dates in this article are New Style. ruled the Tsardom of Russia and later the Russian Empire from until his death, jointly ruling before 1696 with his half-brother, Ivan V...

.

Historically Dutch also lived directly East of the German border, most have since been assimilated (apart from ~40,000 recent border migrants), especially since the establishment of Germany itself in 1872. Cultural marks can still be found though. In some villages and towns a Dutch Reformed church is present, and a number of border districts (such as Cleves
Kleve (district)
Kleve or Kreis Kleve is a Kreis in northwestern North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany...

, Borken
Borken (district)
Borken is a Kreis in the northwestern part of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany in the Region Münsterland. Neighboring districts are Bentheim, Steinfurt, Coesfeld, Recklinghausen, Wesel, Cleves, and the Dutch provinces Gelderland and Overijssel....

 and Viersen
Viersen (district)
Viersen is a Kreis in the west of North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Neighboring districts are Cleves, Wesel, district-free Krefeld, Neuss, district-free Mönchengladbach, Heinsberg and the Dutch province of Limburg.-History:...

) have towns and village with an etymologically Dutch origin. In the area around Cleves (Ger
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

.Kleve, Du.
Dutch language
Dutch is a West Germanic language and the native language of the majority of the population of the Netherlands, Belgium, and Suriname, the three member states of the Dutch Language Union. Most speakers live in the European Union, where it is a first language for about 23 million and a second...

 Kleef) traditional dialect
South Guelderish
South Guelderish refers to a group of dialects of the Dutch language which are spoken along the Nederrijn in the Netherlands and around the city of Cleves in Germany...

 is Dutch, rather than surrounding (High/Low) German
Low German
Low German or Low Saxon is an Ingvaeonic West Germanic language spoken mainly in northern Germany and the eastern part of the Netherlands...

. More to the South, cities historically housing many Dutch traders have retained Dutch exonyms
Exonym and endonym
In ethnolinguistics, an endonym or autonym is a local name for a geographical feature, and an exonym or xenonym is a foreign language name for it...

 for example Aachen
Aachen
Aachen has historically been a spa town in North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. Aachen was a favoured residence of Charlemagne, and the place of coronation of the Kings of Germany. Geographically, Aachen is the westernmost town of Germany, located along its borders with Belgium and the Netherlands, ...

 (Aken) and Cologne/Köln (Keulen) to this day.

Southern Africa



In South Africa, the Dutch settled the Cape in 1652. Initially the settlement was meant as a re-supply point and way station for Dutch East India Company
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 vessels on their way back and forth between the Netherlands and the East Indies
East Indies
East Indies is a term used by Europeans from the 16th century onwards to identify what is now known as Indian subcontinent or South Asia, Southeastern Asia, and the islands of Oceania, including the Malay Archipelago and the Philippines...

.

The support station gradually became a settler community. However, the rural inhabitants of the colony soon began to dislike the power held by the Dutch India Company (it stopped the colony's policy of open immigration, monopolized trade, combined the administrative, legislative and judicial powers into one body, told the farmers what crops to grow, demanded a large percentage of every farmer's harvest, and harassed them.)

Slowly these farmers moved away from the Cape, eventually becoming known as 'trekboers', and settled deeper into South Africa and eventually Namibia
Namibia
Namibia, officially the Republic of Namibia , is a country in southern Africa whose western border is the Atlantic Ocean. It shares land borders with Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east and South Africa to the south and east. It gained independence from South Africa on 21 March...

. Today the Boer
Boer
Boer is the Dutch and Afrikaans word for farmer, which came to denote the descendants of the Dutch-speaking settlers of the eastern Cape frontier in Southern Africa during the 18th century, as well as those who left the Cape Colony during the 19th century to settle in the Orange Free State,...

s and Cape Dutch
Cape Dutch
Cape Dutch are people of the Western Cape of South Africa who descended primarily from Dutch and Flemish as well as smaller numbers of French, German and other European immigrants along with a percentage of their Asian and African slaves, who, from the 17th century into the 19th century, remained...

 are known collectively as the Afrikaner
Afrikaner
Afrikaners are an ethnic group in Southern Africa descended from almost equal numbers of Dutch, French and German settlers whose native tongue is Afrikaans: a Germanic language which derives primarily from 17th century Dutch, and a variety of other languages.-Related ethno-linguistic groups:The...

s, while the descendants of Cape Dutch and local black women are known as the Baster
Baster
The Basters are the descendants of Cape Colony Dutch and indigenous African women. They largely live in Namibia and are similar to Coloured or Griqua people in South Africa....

s.

Their main language is Afrikaans
Afrikaans
Afrikaans is a West Germanic language, spoken natively in South Africa and Namibia. It is a daughter language of Dutch, originating in its 17th century dialects, collectively referred to as Cape Dutch .Afrikaans is a daughter language of Dutch; see , , , , , .Afrikaans was historically called Cape...

, a language which originated from Dutch and was considered a Dutch dialect until the late 19th century when it became recognised as a distinct language. Although some sources would suggest that they are, the two languages are not quite mutually intelligible, even though speakers of each language can acquire the other with relative ease. Afrikaans is grammatically far simpler than Dutch, and vocabulary items are generally abbreviated in a clearly patterned manner (e.g. vogel becomes voël (bird), and regen becomes reën (rain)).

Southeast Asia


Since the 16th century, there has been a Dutch presence in South East Asia, Taiwan and Japan
Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

. In many cases the Dutch were the first Europeans the natives would encounter. Between 1602 and 1796, the VOC
Dutch East India Company
The Dutch East India Company was a chartered company established in 1602, when the States-General of the Netherlands granted it a 21-year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia...

 sent almost a million Europeans to work in the Asia. The majority died of disease or made their way back to Europe, but some of them made the Indies their new home. Interaction between the Dutch and native population mainly took place in Sri Lanka
Dutch period in Ceylon
Ceylon was a governorate of the Dutch East India Company between 1658 and 1798 on the island currently known as Sri Lanka.In the early 17th century, Sri Lanka was partly ruled by the Portuguese and the Sinhala kingdom, who were constantly battling each other...

 and the modern Indonesian Islands
Islands of Indonesia
This is a list of islands of Indonesian Archipelago. Indonesia comprises 17,508 - 18,306 islands and 8,844 that have been named according to estimates made by the Government of Indonesia, with 922 of those permanently inhabited. The islands span eastward from Sabang in northern Sumatra to Merauke...

. Most of the time Dutch soldiers intermarried with local women and settled down in the colonies. Through the centuries there developed a relatively large Dutch-speaking population of mixed Dutch and Indonesian descent, known as Indos or Dutch-Indonesians. The expulsion of Dutchmen following the Indonesian Revolt
Indonesian National Revolution
The Indonesian National Revolution or Indonesian War of Independence was an armed conflict and diplomatic struggle between Indonesia and the Dutch Empire, and an internal social revolution...

, means that currently the majority of this group lives in the Netherlands. Statistics show that Indos are in fact the largest minority group in the Netherlands and number close to half a million (excluding the third generation).

Australia and New Zealand

Main articles: Dutch New Zealanders
New Zealand European
The term New Zealand European refers to New Zealanders of European descent who identify as New Zealand Europeans rather than some other ethnic group...

, Dutch Australian
Dutch Australian
A Dutch Australian is an inhabitant of Australia with full or partial Dutch ancestry, the majority of these people are part of the Dutch diaspora.-History:...


Though the Dutch were the first Europe
Europe
Europe is, by convention, one of the world's seven continents. Comprising the westernmost peninsula of Eurasia, Europe is generally 'divided' from Asia to its east by the watershed divides of the Ural and Caucasus Mountains, the Ural River, the Caspian and Black Seas, and the waterways connecting...

ans to visit Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 and New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, colonization did not take place and it was only after the Second World War that a sharp increase in Dutch emigration to Australia occurred. Poor economic prospects for many Dutchmen as well as increasing demographic pressures, in the post-war Netherlands were a powerful incentive to emigrate. Due to Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 experiencing a shortage of agricultural
Agriculture
Agriculture is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. Agriculture was the key implement in the rise of sedentary human civilization, whereby farming of domesticated species created food surpluses that nurtured the...

 and metal industry workers it, and to a lesser extent New Zealand
New Zealand
New Zealand is an island country in the south-western Pacific Ocean comprising two main landmasses and numerous smaller islands. The country is situated some east of Australia across the Tasman Sea, and roughly south of the Pacific island nations of New Caledonia, Fiji, and Tonga...

, seemed an attractive possibility, with the Dutch government actively promoting emigration.

The effects of Dutch migration to Australia can still be felt. There are many Dutch associations and a Dutch-language newspaper continues to be published. The Dutch have remained a tightly knit community, especially in the large cities. In total, about 310,000 people of Dutch ancestry live in Australia whereas New Zealand has some 100,000 Dutch descendants.

North America





The Dutch had settled in America long before the establishment of the United States of America. For a long time the Dutch lived in Dutch colonies, owned and regulated by the Dutch Republic, which later became part of the Thirteen Colonies
Thirteen Colonies
The Thirteen Colonies were English and later British colonies established on the Atlantic coast of North America between 1607 and 1733. They declared their independence in the American Revolution and formed the United States of America...

.

Nevertheless, many Dutch communities remained virtually isolated towards the rest of America up until the American Civil War
American Civil War
The American Civil War was a civil war fought in the United States of America. In response to the election of Abraham Lincoln as President of the United States, 11 southern slave states declared their secession from the United States and formed the Confederate States of America ; the other 25...

, in which the Dutch fought for the North and adopted many American ways.

Most future waves of Dutch immigrants were quickly assimilated. There have been three American presidents of Dutch descent: Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren
Martin Van Buren was the eighth President of the United States . Before his presidency, he was the eighth Vice President and the tenth Secretary of State, under Andrew Jackson ....

 (8th, first president who was not of British descent, first language was Dutch), Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin D. Roosevelt
Franklin Delano Roosevelt , also known by his initials, FDR, was the 32nd President of the United States and a central figure in world events during the mid-20th century, leading the United States during a time of worldwide economic crisis and world war...

 (32nd, elected to four terms in office, he served from 1933 to 1945, the only U.S. president to have served more than two terms) and Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore Roosevelt
Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt was the 26th President of the United States . He is noted for his exuberant personality, range of interests and achievements, and his leadership of the Progressive Movement, as well as his "cowboy" persona and robust masculinity...

 (26th).

In Canada 923,310 Canadians claim full or partial Dutch ancestry. The first Dutch people to come to Canada were Dutch Americans among the United Empire Loyalists. The largest wave was in the late 19th and early 20th century, when large numbers of Dutch helped settle the Canadian west. During this period significant numbers also settled in major cities like Toronto
Toronto
Toronto is the provincial capital of Ontario and the largest city in Canada. It is located in Southern Ontario on the northwestern shore of Lake Ontario. A relatively modern city, Toronto's history dates back to the late-18th century, when its land was first purchased by the British monarchy from...

.

While interrupted by World War I, this migration returned in the 1920s, but again halted during the Great Depression
Great Depression
The Great Depression was a severe worldwide economic depression in the decade preceding World War II. The timing of the Great Depression varied across nations, but in most countries it started in about 1929 and lasted until the late 1930s or early 1940s...

 and World War II. After the war a large number of Dutch immigrants moved to Canada, including a number of war brides of the Canadian soldiers who liberated the Low Countries.

See also

  • Demographics of the Netherlands
    Demographics of the Netherlands
    This article is about the demographic of the Netherlands, including population density, ethnicity, education level, health of the populace, economic status, religious affiliations and other aspects of the population.-Population size:...

  • Dutch Brazil
    Dutch Brazil
    Dutch Brazil, also known as New Holland, was the northern portion of Brazil, ruled by the Dutch during the Dutch colonization of the Americas between 1630 and 1654...

  • Dutch Chilean
    Dutch Chilean
    In 1600 , the Chilean city of Valdivia was conquered by Dutch pirate Sebastian de Cordes. He left the city after some months. Then in 1642 the VOC and the WIC sent a fleet of some ships to Chile to conquer the city of Valdivia and the goldmines of the Spanish. The expedition was conducted by...

  • Dutch Surinamese
  • Dutch customs and etiquette
    Dutch customs and etiquette
    The Dutch have a code of etiquette which governs social behaviour and is considered important. Because of the international position of the Netherlands many books have been written on the subject. Some customs may not be true in all regions and they are never absolute...

  • Dutch diaspora
    Dutch diaspora
    The Dutch diaspora is the movement, migration, or scattering of the Dutch away from the Netherlands.Emigration from the Netherlands has been happening for at least the last eight centuries. In several former Dutch colonies and trading settlements, there are ethnic groups of partial Dutch ancestry...

  • List of Dutch people
  • List of Germanic peoples
  • Netherlands (terminology)
    Netherlands (terminology)
    More than one name is used to refer to the Netherlands, both in English and in other languages. Some of these names refer to different, but overlapping geographical, linguistic and political areas of the country. This is a common source of confusion for outsiders...

  • New Netherlands now called New York
    New York
    New York is a state in the Northeastern region of the United States. It is the nation's third most populous state. New York is bordered by New Jersey and Pennsylvania to the south, and by Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont to the east...

    .
  • Pennsylvania Dutch
    Pennsylvania Dutch
    Pennsylvania Dutch refers to immigrants and their descendants from southwestern Germany and Switzerland who settled in Pennsylvania in the 17th and 18th centuries...


Further reading


  • Four Centuries of Dutch American Relations (1609-2009). Hans Krabbendam, Kees van Minnen and Giles Scott-Smith eds, 2009. SUNY Press
  • Die Niederlande. Geschichte und Sprache der Nördlichen und Südlichen Niederlande. J. A Kossmann-Putto and E.H. Kossmann, 1993.
  • Dutch South Africa: early settlers at the Cape, 1652–1708. By John Hunt, Heather-Ann Campbell. Troubador Publishing Ltd 2005, ISBN 1-904744-95-8.
  • Geschiedenis van de Nederlanden. By J.C.H. Blom et al.
  • Handgeschreven wereld. Nederlandse literatuur en cultuur in de middeleeuwen. By D. Hogenelst and Frits van Oostrom, 1995, Amsterdam.
  • The Dutch in America, 1609–1974. By Gerald Francis De Jong. Twayne Publishers 1975, ISBN 0-8057-3214-4 
  • The Dutch in Brazil, 1624-1654. By Charles R. Boxer. The Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1957, ISBN 0-208-01338-5 
  • The Persistence of Ethnicity: Dutch Calvinist pioneers. By Rob Kroes. University of Illinois Press 1992, ISBN 0-252-01931-8 
  • The UnDutchables
    The UnDutchables
    The UnDutchables is a term originally coined by author Colin White who, together with author Laurie Boucke, wrote a book with the same title. The complete title is: The UnDutchables: an observation of the Netherlands, its culture and its inhabitants...

    . By White & Boucke, ISBN 978-1-888580-44-0.
  • The Xenophobe's Guide to the Dutch. By Rodney Bolt. Oval Projects Ltd 1999, ISBN 1-902825-25-X
  • Voor wie Nederland en Vlaanderen wil leren kennen. By J. Wilmots and J. De Rooij, 1978, Hasselt/Diepenbeek.