History of the Netherlands

History of the Netherlands

Overview
The history of the Netherlands is the history of a maritime people thriving on a watery lowland river delta
River delta
A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river...

 at the edge of northwestern Europe. When the Romans
Romans in the Netherlands
For around 450 years, from around 55 BC to around 410 AD, the southern part of the Netherlands was integrated into the Roman Empire. During this time the Romans in the Netherlands had an enormous influence on the lives and culture of the people who lived in the Netherlands at the time and on the...

 and written history arrived in 57 BC, the country was sparsely populated by various tribal groups at the periphery of the empire. Over four centuries of Roman rule
Romans in the Netherlands
For around 450 years, from around 55 BC to around 410 AD, the southern part of the Netherlands was integrated into the Roman Empire. During this time the Romans in the Netherlands had an enormous influence on the lives and culture of the people who lived in the Netherlands at the time and on the...

 had profound demographic effects, resulting afterwards in the establishment of two primary Germanic peoples
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...

: the Frisians
Frisians
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia and North Frisia, that was a part of Denmark until 1864. They inhabit an area known as Frisia...

 and 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...

.
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The history of the Netherlands is the history of a maritime people thriving on a watery lowland river delta
River delta
A delta is a landform that is formed at the mouth of a river where that river flows into an ocean, sea, estuary, lake, reservoir, flat arid area, or another river. Deltas are formed from the deposition of the sediment carried by the river as the flow leaves the mouth of the river...

 at the edge of northwestern Europe. When the Romans
Romans in the Netherlands
For around 450 years, from around 55 BC to around 410 AD, the southern part of the Netherlands was integrated into the Roman Empire. During this time the Romans in the Netherlands had an enormous influence on the lives and culture of the people who lived in the Netherlands at the time and on the...

 and written history arrived in 57 BC, the country was sparsely populated by various tribal groups at the periphery of the empire. Over four centuries of Roman rule
Romans in the Netherlands
For around 450 years, from around 55 BC to around 410 AD, the southern part of the Netherlands was integrated into the Roman Empire. During this time the Romans in the Netherlands had an enormous influence on the lives and culture of the people who lived in the Netherlands at the time and on the...

 had profound demographic effects, resulting afterwards in the establishment of two primary Germanic peoples
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...

: the Frisians
Frisians
The Frisians are a Germanic ethnic group native to the coastal parts of the Netherlands and Germany. They are concentrated in the Dutch provinces of Friesland and Groningen and, in Germany, East Frisia and North Frisia, that was a part of Denmark until 1864. They inhabit an area known as Frisia...

 and 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...

. 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...

 and Anglo-Saxon
Anglo-Saxon mission
Anglo-Saxon missionaries were instrumental in the spread of Christianity in the Frankish Empire during the 8th century, continuing the work of Hiberno-Scottish missionaries which had been spreading Celtic Christianity across the Frankish Empire as well as in Scotland and Anglo-Saxon England itself...

 missionaries led both to adopt 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...

 by the 8th century. The Franks came to dominate
Frisian–Frankish wars
The Frisian–Frankish wars were a series of conflicts between the Frankish Empire and the Frisian kingdom in the 7th and 8th century.The wars where mainly about control of the Rhine delta. But after the death of the Frisian king Redbad, the Franks gained the upper hand...

 the area and from their speech the Dutch language
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...

 arose.

Carolingian
Carolingian
The Carolingian dynasty was a Frankish noble family with origins in the Arnulfing and Pippinid clans of the 7th century AD. The name "Carolingian", Medieval Latin karolingi, an altered form of an unattested Old High German *karling, kerling The Carolingian dynasty (known variously as the...

 rule, loose integration into 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...

 and Viking
Viking
The term Viking is customarily used to refer to the Norse explorers, warriors, merchants, and pirates who raided, traded, explored and settled in wide areas of Europe, Asia and the North Atlantic islands from the late 8th to the mid-11th century.These Norsemen used their famed longships to...

 depredation followed, the local noblemen being left relatively free to carve out highly independent duchies and counties. For several centuries, 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...

, 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,...

, Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

, 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...

, Gelre and the others fought intermittently amongst themselves, but at the same time trade continued and grew, land was reclaimed, and cities prospered. Forced by nature to work together, over the centuries they built and maintained a network of polders and dikes that kept out the sea and the floods
Flood control in the Netherlands
Flood control in the Netherlands is an important issue for the Netherlands as about two thirds of the country is vulnerable to flooding while at the same time the country is among the most densely populated on earth. Natural sand dunes and man made dikes, dams and floodgates provide defense against...

, in the process transforming their desolate landscape, mastering the North Sea
North Sea
In the southwest, beyond the Straits of Dover, the North Sea becomes the English Channel connecting to the Atlantic Ocean. In the east, it connects to the Baltic Sea via the Skagerrak and Kattegat, narrow straits that separate Denmark from Norway and Sweden respectively...

 and the high seas beyond, and emerging out of the struggle as one of the most urban and enterprising nations in Europe.

By 1433, as a result of the defeat of the last countess of Holland
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
Jacqueline of Wittelsbach was Duchess of Bavaria-Straubing, Countess of Hainaut and Holland from 1417 to 1432...

 in the Hook and Cod Wars
Hook and Cod wars
The Hook and Cod wars comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against...

, the Duke of Burgundy had assumed control over most of the Dutch-speaking territories and the concept of a nation of Dutch-speaking people was conceived. Eventually, however, under Charles V
Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor
Charles V was ruler of the Holy Roman Empire from 1519 and, as Charles I, of the Spanish Empire from 1516 until his voluntary retirement and abdication in favor of his younger brother Ferdinand I and his son Philip II in 1556.As...

 and then Philip II
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....

, the Burgundian Netherlands
Burgundian Netherlands
In the history of the Low Countries, the Burgundian Netherlands refers to a number of Imperial and French fiefs ruled in personal union by the House of Valois-Burgundy and their Habsburg heirs in the period from 1384 to 1482...

 became part of the Habsburg empire
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

 ruled from Spain. The Reformation
Reformation
- Movements :* Protestant Reformation, an attempt by Martin Luther to reform the Roman Catholic Church that resulted in a schism, and grew into a wider movement...

 inflamed passions. In 1566 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...

, a convert to Calvinism
Calvinism
Calvinism is a Protestant theological system and an approach to the Christian life...

 and the father of his people, started the Eighty Years' War to liberate the Dutch from the Catholic Spaniards and the brutality
Spanish Fury
A Spanish Fury was a vindictive or rampant bloody pillage of a city in the Low Countries by Spanish regular or mutinous troops that occurred in the years 1572–1579 during the Dutch Revolt....

 of the Duke of Alba
Fernando Álvarez de Toledo, 3rd Duke of Alba
Don Fernando Álvarez de Toledo y Pimentel, 3rd Duke of Alba was a Spanish general and governor of the Spanish Netherlands , nicknamed "the Iron Duke" in the Low Countries because of his harsh and cruel rule there and his role in the execution of his political opponents and the massacre of several...

. There followed an epic struggle
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...

 against the Spanish that did not end until 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. 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...

 was born, a nation with Protestants, Catholics and Jews
History of the Jews in the Netherlands
Most history of the Jews in the Netherlands was generated between the end of the 16th century and World War II.The area now known as the Netherlands was once part of the Spanish Empire but in 1581, the northern Dutch provinces declared independence...

 and an unusual policy of tolerance
History of religion in the Netherlands
The history of religion in the Netherlands has been characterized by considerable diversity of religious thought and practice.-Before the Reformation:...

. However, the southern provinces (present day Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

) remained under Habsburg rule
Habsburg Monarchy
The Habsburg Monarchy covered the territories ruled by the junior Austrian branch of the House of Habsburg , and then by the successor House of Habsburg-Lorraine , between 1526 and 1867/1918. The Imperial capital was Vienna, except from 1583 to 1611, when it was moved to Prague...

, Holland benefiting greatly from the resulting eclipse
Sack of Antwerp
The sack of Antwerp or the Spanish Fury at Antwerp was an episode of the Eighty Years' War.On 4 November 1576, Spanish tercios began the sack of Antwerp, leading to three days of horror among the population of the city, which was the cultural, economic and financial center of the Netherlands. The...

 of Flemish cities and massive influx of refugees.

During this struggle, commerce continued and the United Provinces
United Provinces
United Provinces may refer to:* United Provinces, another name for the Dutch Republic , now The Netherlands* United Provinces of Agra and Oudh , a former province of British India; now Uttar Pradesh...

 prospered. Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 became the most important trading centre in northern Europe
Northern Europe
Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. Northern Europe typically refers to the seven countries in the northern part of the European subcontinent which includes Denmark, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Norway, Finland and Sweden...

. In 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...

, which had its zenith in 1667, there was a remarkable flowering of trade, industry (especially shipbuilding), the arts (especially painting
Dutch Golden Age painting
Dutch Golden Age painting is the painting of the Dutch Golden Age, a period in Dutch history generally spanning the 17th century, during and after the later part of the Eighty Years War for Dutch independence. The new Dutch Republic was the most prosperous nation in Europe, and led European trade,...

) and the sciences. 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...

, particularly Holland and Zeeland
Zeeland
Zeeland , also called Zealand in English, is the westernmost province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. With a population of about 380,000, its area is about...

, became a veritable 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...

, a maritime power with a commercial, imperial and colonial reach that extended to Asia, Africa and the Americas
Dutch colonization of the Americas
Dutch trading posts and plantations in the Americas precede the much wider known colonization activities of the Dutch in Asia. Whereas the first Dutch fort in Asia was built in 1600 , the first forts and settlements on the Essequibo river in Guyana and on the Amazon date from the 1590s...

 — but not without slavery and colonial oppression.

By the mid-18th century decline had set in because of several economic factors. There was a series of wars with the English
Anglo-Dutch Wars
The Anglo–Dutch Wars were a series of wars fought between the English and the Dutch in the 17th and 18th centuries for control over the seas and trade routes. The first war took place during the English Interregnum, and was fought between the Commonwealth of England and the Dutch Republic...

 and the French
Franco-Dutch War
The Franco-Dutch War, often called simply the Dutch War was a war fought by France, Sweden, the Bishopric of Münster, the Archbishopric of Cologne and England against the United Netherlands, which were later joined by the Austrian Habsburg lands, Brandenburg and Spain to form a quadruple alliance...

. The country's political system was dominated by wealthy regents
Regenten
In the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, the regenten were the rulers of the Dutch Republic, the leaders of the Dutch cities or the heads of organisations . Though not formally a hereditary "class", they were de facto "patricians", comparable to that ancient Roman class...

 and (sometimes) by stadtholders drawn from the House of Orange. Eventually, Amsterdam
Amsterdam
Amsterdam is the largest city and the capital of the Netherlands. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of August 24, 1815 and its successors. Amsterdam has a population of 783,364 within city limits, an urban population...

 lost its leading position to London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

. In 1784 a war
Fourth Anglo-Dutch War
The Fourth Anglo–Dutch War was a conflict between the Kingdom of Great Britain and the Dutch Republic. The war, tangentially related to the American Revolutionary War, broke out over British and Dutch disagreements on the legality and conduct of Dutch trade with Britain's enemies in that...

 with Great Britain ended particularly disastrously. There was growing unrest and conflict between the Orangists and the Patriots
Patriots (faction)
The Patriots were a political faction in the Dutch Republic in the second half of the 18th century. They were led by Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, gaining power from November 1782....

 inspired by the French Revolution
French Revolution
The French Revolution , sometimes distinguished as the 'Great French Revolution' , was a period of radical social and political upheaval in France and Europe. The absolute monarchy that had ruled France for centuries collapsed in three years...

, and finally conflict with France itself. A pro-French Batavian Republic
Batavian Republic
The Batavian Republic was the successor of the Republic of the United Netherlands. It was proclaimed on January 19, 1795, and ended on June 5, 1806, with the accession of Louis Bonaparte to the throne of the Kingdom of Holland....

 was established (1795–1806) and then the country was invaded by, and integrated into, the First French Empire
First French Empire
The First French Empire , also known as the Greater French Empire or Napoleonic Empire, was the empire of Napoleon I of France...

 as the Kingdom of Holland
Kingdom of Holland
The Kingdom of Holland 1806–1810 was set up by Napoleon Bonaparte as a puppet kingdom for his third brother, Louis Bonaparte, in order to better control the Netherlands. The name of the leading province, Holland, was now taken for the whole country...

 (1806–1815).

After the Battle of Waterloo
Battle of Waterloo
The Battle of Waterloo was fought on Sunday 18 June 1815 near Waterloo in present-day Belgium, then part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands...

 in 1815, the Netherlands was restored as a nation by the Vienna Congress and the House of Orange was elevated to a monarchy
Monarchy
A monarchy is a form of government in which the office of head of state is usually held until death or abdication and is often hereditary and includes a royal house. In some cases, the monarch is elected...

. King William I was also given rule over Belgium
Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

, but this lasted only around two decades. After an initially conservative period, strong liberal sentiments arose, so that in the 1848 constitution the country was made a parliamentary democracy with a constitutional monarch.

The Netherlands was neutral during the First World War, but it was unable to stay out of the Second. On 10 May 1940 Nazi Germany invaded the country and, after destroying Rotterdam
Rotterdam Blitz
The Rotterdam Blitz refers to the aerial bombardment of Rotterdam by the German Air Force on 14 May 1940, during the German invasion of the Netherlands in World War II. The objective was to support the German troops fighting in the city, break Dutch resistance and force the Dutch to surrender...

, occupied it. Around 100,000 Dutch Jews died in the Holocaust and many others died as well. On 5 May 1945, the war ended after liberation by mainly Canadian forces. The post-war years were a time of hardship, natural disaster and mass emigration, followed by rebuilding, large-scale public works programmes (especially the Delta Works
Delta Works
The Delta Works is a series of construction projects in the southwest of the Netherlands to protect a large area of land around the Rhine-Meuse-Scheldt delta from the sea. The works consist of dams, sluices, locks, dikes, levees, and storm surge barriers...

), economic recovery, European integration and the gradual introduction of a welfare state
Welfare state
A welfare state is a "concept of government in which the state plays a key role in the protection and promotion of the economic and social well-being of its citizens. It is based on the principles of equality of opportunity, equitable distribution of wealth, and public responsibility for those...

. There was also a conflict with Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, which ended with the Dutch withdrawing completely from their former colonies there in 1961. 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...

 declared independence in 1975. Many people from Indonesia and Suriname, and later from other countries as well, moved to the Netherlands, which resulted in the transformation of the country into a vibrant, multicultural society.

The second half of the 20th century was marked by relative peace and prosperity. By the 21st century, the Netherlands had become a modern, dynamic country with a successful, internationally oriented economy (the 16th largest in the world in 2010) and a high standard of living.

Historical changes to the landscape


The prehistory of the area that is now the Netherlands was largely shaped by its constantly shifting, low-lying geography.


Earliest groups of hunter-gatherers (before 5000 BC)



The area that is now 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...

 has been inhabited since the last ice age
Ice age
An ice age or, more precisely, glacial age, is a generic geological period of long-term reduction in the temperature of the Earth's surface and atmosphere, resulting in the presence or expansion of continental ice sheets, polar ice sheets and alpine glaciers...

. The oldest known artifact
Artifact (archaeology)
An artifact or artefact is "something made or given shape by man, such as a tool or a work of art, esp an object of archaeological interest"...

s date from the Hoogeveen
Hoogeveen
Hoogeveen is a municipality and a town in the northeastern Netherlands.- Population centres :Elim, Fluitenberg, Hoogeveen and Noordscheschut, which still have the canals which used to be throughout the town...

 interstadial
Stadial
A stadial is a period of lower temperatures during an interglacial separating the glacial periods of an ice age. Such periods are of insufficient duration or intensity to be considered glacial periods...

 of the Saalian glaciation. During the last ice age, the Netherlands had a tundra
Tundra
In physical geography, tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin Sami word tūndâr "uplands," "treeless mountain tract." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra, alpine...

 climate with scarce vegetation. The first inhabitants survived as hunter-gatherers. After the end of the ice age, various Paleolithic
Paleolithic
The Paleolithic Age, Era or Period, is a prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered , and covers roughly 99% of human technological prehistory...

 groups inhabited the area.
It is known that around 8000 BC a Mesolithic
Mesolithic
The Mesolithic is an archaeological concept used to refer to certain groups of archaeological cultures defined as falling between the Paleolithic and the Neolithic....

 tribe resided near Burgumer Mar
Burgumer Mar
The Burgumer Mar is a lake near the town of Burgum in the Dutch province of Friesland. The lake was formed during the last ice age. It is a popular water sports area with multiple yacht harbours...

 (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...

). Another group residing elsewhere is known to have made canoes. The oldest recovered canoe in the world is the canoe of Pesse
Hoogeveen
Hoogeveen is a municipality and a town in the northeastern Netherlands.- Population centres :Elim, Fluitenberg, Hoogeveen and Noordscheschut, which still have the canals which used to be throughout the town...

. According to C14 dating
Radiocarbon dating
Radiocarbon dating is a radiometric dating method that uses the naturally occurring radioisotope carbon-14 to estimate the age of carbon-bearing materials up to about 58,000 to 62,000 years. Raw, i.e. uncalibrated, radiocarbon ages are usually reported in radiocarbon years "Before Present" ,...

 analysis it was constructed somewhere between 8200 BC and 7600 BC. This canoe is exhibited in the Drents Museum
Drents Museum
The Drents Museum is a historical museum located in Assen, Netherlands. It was founded by the King's Commissioner of Drenthe on November 28, 1854 as the Provincial Museum of Drents Antiquities.-Collection:...

 in Assen
Assen
Assen is a municipality and a city in the north eastern Netherlands, capital of the province of Drenthe. It received city rights in 1809. Assen's main claim to fame is the TT Circuit Assen the motorcycle racing circuit, where on the last Saturday in June the Dutch TT is run...

.