Holland

Holland

Overview
Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 (607,460)
The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 (473,940)
Zaanstad
Zaanstad
Zaanstad is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its main town is Zaandam. It is part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam.-Population centres:...

 (147.141)
Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

 (146,960)
Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

 (118,540)
|}

Holland is a name in common usage given to a region in the western part of 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...

. The term Holland is also frequently used as a pars pro toto
Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for "a part for the whole" where the name of a portion of an object or concept represents the entire object or context....

 to refer to the whole of the Netherlands. This usage is generally accepted but disliked by many Dutch people in the other parts of the Netherlands.

From the 10th century to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region, a county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 ruled by the Count of Holland
Count of Holland
The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

.
Discussion
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Timeline

1481   Battle of Westbrook – Holland defeats troops of Utrecht.

1570   A tidal wave in the North Sea devastates the coast from Holland to Jutland, killing more than 1,000 people.

1584   William I of Orange is assassinated in his home in Delft, Holland by Balthasar Gérard.

 
Encyclopedia
Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

 (607,460)
The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 (473,940)
Zaanstad
Zaanstad
Zaanstad is a municipality in the Netherlands, in the province of North Holland. Its main town is Zaandam. It is part of the metropolitan area of Amsterdam.-Population centres:...

 (147.141)
Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

 (146,960)
Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

 (118,540)
|}

Holland is a name in common usage given to a region in the western part of 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...

. The term Holland is also frequently used as a pars pro toto
Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for "a part for the whole" where the name of a portion of an object or concept represents the entire object or context....

 to refer to the whole of the Netherlands. This usage is generally accepted but disliked by many Dutch people in the other parts of the Netherlands.

From the 10th century to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region, a county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 ruled by the Count of Holland
Count of Holland
The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

. By the 17th century, Holland had risen to become a maritime and economic power, dominating the other provinces 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...

.

Today, the former County 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,...

 consists of the two Dutch provinces of North Holland
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...

, which together include the Netherlands' three largest cities: country capital
Capital of the Netherlands
The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, even though the States-General and the government have been both situated in The Hague since 1588. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of 24 August 1815 and its...

 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...

; seat of government The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

; and Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

, home of Europe's largest port
Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world's busiest port, now overtaken by first Shanghai and then Singapore...

.

Etymology


Pliny the Elder
Pliny the Elder
Gaius Plinius Secundus , better known as Pliny the Elder, was a Roman author, naturalist, and natural philosopher, as well as naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and personal friend of the emperor Vespasian...

 (AD 23–79) referred to this region as the land between the Helinium and Flevo ("inter Helinium ac Flevum"), the names of the mouths into which the Rhine divided itself, the first discharging its waters in the Mosa in the neighbourhood of Brielle and the second into "the lakes of the north" (present IJsselmeer). The name Holland first appeared in sources in AD 866 for the region around Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

, and by 1064 was being used as the name of the entire county. By this time, the inhabitants of Holland were referring to themselves as "Hollanders". Holland is derived from the Middle Dutch term holtland ("wooded land"). This spelling variation remained in use until around the 14th century, at which time the name stabilised as Holland (alternative spellings at the time were Hollant and Hollandt). Popular, but incorrect etymology holds that Holland is derived from hol land ("hollow land") and was inspired by the low-lying
Lowland
In physical geography, a lowland is any broad expanse of land with a general low level. The term is thus applied to the landward portion of the upward slope from oceanic depths to continental highlands, to a region of depression in the interior of a mountainous region, to a plain of denudation, or...

 geography
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...

 of Holland.

Usage


The proper name of the area in both Dutch and English is "Holland". "Holland" is a part of the Netherlands. "Holland" is informally used in 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 other languages, including sometimes 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...

 itself, to mean the whole of the modern country of the Netherlands
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...

. (This example of pars pro toto
Pars pro toto
Pars pro toto is Latin for "a part for the whole" where the name of a portion of an object or concept represents the entire object or context....

 or synecdoche
Synecdoche
Synecdoche , meaning "simultaneous understanding") is a figure of speech in which a term is used in one of the following ways:* Part of something is used to refer to the whole thing , or...

 is similar to the tendency to refer to the United Kingdom as "England".)

The people of Holland are referred to as "Hollanders" in both Dutch and English. Today this refers specifically to people from the current provinces of North Holland and South Holland. Strictly speaking, the term "Hollanders" does not refer to people from the other provinces in the Netherlands, but colloquially "Hollanders" is sometimes mistakenly used in this wider sense.

In Dutch, the Dutch word "Hollands" is the adjectival form for "Holland". The Dutch word "Hollands" is also colloquially and occasionally used by some Dutch people in the sense of "Nederlands" (Dutch), but then often with the intention of contrasting with other types of Dutch people or language, for example Limburgish, the Belgian form of the Dutch language ("Flemish
Flemish
Flemish can refer to anything related to Flanders, and may refer directly to the following articles:*Flemish, an informal, though linguistically incorrect, name of any kind of the Dutch language as spoken in Belgium....

"), or even any southern variety of Dutch within the Netherlands itself.

However, in English there is no commonly used adjective for "Holland". "Dutch" refers to the Netherlands as a whole, not just the region of Holland. "Hollands" is ordinarily expressed in English in two ways:
  • a possessive
    Possessive case
    The possessive case of a language is a grammatical case used to indicate a relationship of possession. It is not the same as the genitive case, which can express a wider range of relationships, though the two have similar meanings in many languages.See Possession for a survey of the different...

     construction (e.g. "Holland's economic power"); or
  • an "of Holland" or "from Holland" construction (e.g. "the Maid of Holland"; "a girl from Holland").


The following usages apply in certain limited situations but do not ordinarily serve as the English equivalent of the commonly used Dutch adjective "Hollands".
  • Occasionally, the noun "Holland" is used in apposition
    Apposition
    Apposition is a grammatical construction in which two elements, normally noun phrases, are placed side by side, with one element serving to define or modify the other. When this device is used, the two elements are said to be in apposition...

     (e.g. "the Holland Society
    Holland Society
    The Holland Society of New York was founded in New York City in 1885 to collect information respecting the settlement and history of New Netherland. Its main objective is to find and preserve documentation about the inhabitants' lives and times so as to elucidate the political, social, and...

    ").
  • The adjective "Hollandic" is occasionally used by some historians and other academic writers as an adjective for Holland. Historians who use the word tend to reserve it to pre-Napoleonic Holland. 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....

     is also the name linguists give to the dialect spoken in Holland.
  • The adjective "Hollandish" is a word in English but is no longer in use.

Geography




Holland is situated in the west of the Netherlands. A maritime region, Holland lies on 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...

 at the mouths of the Rhine and the 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...

 (Maas). It has numerous rivers and lakes and an extensive inland canal and waterway system. To the south is Zealand
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...

. The region is bordered on the east by the IJsselmeer
IJsselmeer
IJsselmeer is a shallow artificial lake of 1100 km² in the central Netherlands bordering the provinces of Flevoland, North Holland and Friesland, with an average depth of 5 to 6 m. The IJsselmeer is the largest lake in Western Europe....

 and four different provinces of the Netherlands.

Holland is protected from the sea by a long line of coastal dunes. Most of the land area behind the dunes consists of polder
Polder
A polder is a low-lying tract of land enclosed by embankments known as dikes, that forms an artificial hydrological entity, meaning it has no connection with outside water other than through manually-operated devices...

 landscape lying well below sea level
Sea level
Mean sea level is a measure of the average height of the ocean's surface ; used as a standard in reckoning land elevation...

. At present the lowest point in Holland is a polder near Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

, which is about seven meters below sea level. Continuous drainage is necessary to keep Holland from flooding. In earlier centuries windmill
Windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

s were used for this task. The landscape was (and in places still is) dotted with windmills, which have become a symbol of Holland.

Holland is 7,494 square kilometres (land and water included), making it roughly 13% of the area of the Netherlands. Looking at land alone, it is 5,488 square kilometres in size. The combined population is 6.1 million.

The main cities in Holland are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. 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...

 is formally the capital of the Netherlands
Capital of the Netherlands
The capital of the Netherlands is Amsterdam, even though the States-General and the government have been both situated in The Hague since 1588. The current position of Amsterdam as capital city of the Kingdom of the Netherlands is governed by the constitution of 24 August 1815 and its...

 and its largest city. The Port of Rotterdam
Port of Rotterdam
The Port of Rotterdam is the largest port in Europe, located in the city of Rotterdam, Netherlands. From 1962 until 2004 it was the world's busiest port, now overtaken by first Shanghai and then Singapore...

 is Europe's largest and most important harbour and port. The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

 is the seat of government of the Netherlands. These cities, combined with Utrecht
Utrecht (city)
Utrecht city and municipality is the capital and most populous city of the Dutch province of Utrecht. It is located in the eastern corner of the Randstad conurbation, and is the fourth largest city of the Netherlands with a population of 312,634 on 1 Jan 2011.Utrecht's ancient city centre features...

 and other smaller municipalities, effectively form a single city—a conurbation called 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...

.

The Randstad area is one of the most densely populated regions of Europe, but still relatively free of urban sprawl. There are strict zoning laws. Population pressures are enormous, property values are high, and new housing is constantly under development on the edges of the built-up areas. Surprisingly, much of the province still has a rural character. The remaining agricultural land and natural areas are highly valued and protected. Most of the arable land is used for intensive agriculture, including horticulture and greenhouse
Greenhouse
A greenhouse is a building in which plants are grown. These structures range in size from small sheds to very large buildings...

 agri-businesses.

Language


The predominant language spoken in the Holland is Dutch
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...

. Hollanders sometimes refer to the Dutch language as "Hollands", instead of the standard term Nederlands. Inhabitants of Belgium and other provinces of the Netherlands refer to "Hollands" to indicate someone speaking in a 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....

 dialect, or strong accent.

Standard Dutch was historically largely based on the dialect of the County 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,...

, incorporating many traits derived from the dialects of the previously more powerful Duchy of 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 County 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....

. Strong dialectal variation still exists throughout 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....

. Today, Holland-proper is the region where the original dialects are least spoken, in many areas having been completely replaced by standard Dutch, and the Randstad has the largest influence on the developments of the standard language—with the exception of the Dutch spoken in Belgium.

Despite this correspondence between standard Dutch and the Dutch spoken in the Randstad, there are local variations within Holland itself that differ from standard Dutch. The main cities each have their own modern urban dialect, that can be considered a sociolect
Sociolect
In sociolinguistics, a sociolect or social dialect is a variety of language associated with a social group such as a socioeconomic class, an ethnic group, an age group, etc....

. A small number of people, especially in the area north of Amsterdam, still speak the original dialect of the county, Hollandic. The Hollandic dialect is present in the north: Volendam and Marken and the area around there, West Friesland
West Friesland (region)
West Friesland is a contemporary region in the northwestern Netherlands, in the province of North Holland.The region covers an area of about , delineated by the Westfriese Omringdijk...

 and the Zaanstreek; and in a south-eastern fringe bordering on the provinces of North Brabant
North Brabant
North Brabant , sometimes called Brabant, is a province of the Netherlands, located in the south of the country, bordered by Belgium in the south, the Meuse River in the north, Limburg in the east and Zeeland in the west.- History :...

 and Utrecht. In the south on the island of Goeree-Overflakkee
Goeree-Overflakkee
Goeree-Overflakkee is the southernmost delta island of the province of South Holland, Netherlands. It is separated from Voorne-Putten and Hoeksche Waard by the Haringvliet, from the mainland of North Brabant by the Volkerak, and from Schouwen-Duiveland by Lake Grevelingen.From west to east, it...

, Zealandic is spoken.

History


Each of the provinces in the Netherlands has a history that deserves full attention on its own. However, to a certain extent at least, the history of Holland is the history of the Netherlands, and vice versa. See the article on "History 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 a more detailed history. The article here focuses on those points that are specific to Holland itself or that highlight the nature of the role played by Holland in the Netherlands as a whole.

Reclamation of the land


The land that is now Holland had never been stable. Over the millennia the geography of the region had been dynamic. The western coastline shifted up to thirty kilometres to the east and storm surges regularly broke through the row of coastal dunes. The Frisian Isles
Frisian Islands
The Frisian Islands, also known as the Wadden Islands or Wadden Sea Islands, form an archipelago at the eastern edge of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, stretching from the north-west of the Netherlands through Germany to the west of Denmark...

, originally joined to the mainland, became detached islands in the north. The main rivers, the Rhine and the Meuse (Maas)
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...

, flooded regularly and changed course repeatedly and dramatically.

The people of Holland found themselves living in an unstable, watery environment. Behind the dunes on the coast of the Netherlands a high peat
Peat
Peat is an accumulation of partially decayed vegetation matter or histosol. Peat forms in wetland bogs, moors, muskegs, pocosins, mires, and peat swamp forests. Peat is harvested as an important source of fuel in certain parts of the world...

 plateau had grown, forming a natural protection against the sea. Much of the area was marsh
Marsh
In geography, a marsh, or morass, is a type of wetland that is subject to frequent or continuous flood. Typically the water is shallow and features grasses, rushes, reeds, typhas, sedges, other herbaceous plants, and moss....

 and bog
Bog
A bog, quagmire or mire is a wetland that accumulates acidic peat, a deposit of dead plant material—often mosses or, in Arctic climates, lichens....

. By the tenth century the inhabitants set about cultivating this land by draining it. However, the drainage resulted in extreme soil shrinkage, lowering the surface of the land by up to fifteen metres.
To the south of Holland, in 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...

, and to the north, in Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

, this development led to catastrophic storm floods
Floods in the Netherlands
This is a chronological list of floods that have occurred in the Netherlands, until 1500 most parts of the Netherlands were in Frisia.*838 December 26: A large part of the northwest of the Netherlands was flooded by a storm. Lack of good dikes was an important cause of this flood disaster...

 literally washing away entire regions, as the peat layer disintegrated or became detached and was carried away by the flood water. From the Frisian side the sea even flooded the area to the east, gradually hollowing Holland out from behind and forming the Zuiderzee (the present IJsselmeer). This inland sea threatened to link up with the "drowned lands" of Zealand in the south, reducing Holland to a series of narrow dune barrier islands in front of a lagoon
Lagoon
A lagoon is a body of shallow sea water or brackish water separated from the sea by some form of barrier. The EU's habitat directive defines lagoons as "expanses of shallow coastal salt water, of varying salinity or water volume, wholly or partially separated from the sea by sand banks or shingle,...

. Only drastic administrative intervention saved the county from utter destruction. The counts and large monasteries took the lead in these efforts, building the first heavy emergency dikes to bolster critical points. Later special autonomous administrative bodies were formed, the waterschappen ("water control boards"), which had the legal power to enforce their regulations and decisions on water management
Water management
Water management is the activity of planning, developing, distributing and managing the optimum use of water resources. In an ideal world. water management planning has regard to all the competing demands for water and seeks to allocate water on an equitable basis to satisfy all uses and demands...

. As the centuries went by, they eventually constructed an extensive dike system that covered the coastline and the polders, thus protecting the land from further incursions by the sea.

However, the Hollanders did not stop there. Starting around the 16th century, they took the offensive and began land reclamation
Land reclamation
Land reclamation, usually known as reclamation, is the process to create new land from sea or riverbeds. The land reclaimed is known as reclamation ground or landfill.- Habitation :...

 projects, converting lakes, marshy areas and adjoining mudflats into polders. This continued right into the 20th century. As a result, historical maps of mediaeval and early modern Holland bear little resemblance to the maps of today.

This ongoing struggle to master the water played an important role in the development of Holland as a maritime and economic power and in the development of the character of the people of Holland.

County of Holland



Until the 9th century, the inhabitants of the area that became Holland were Frisians. The area was part of Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

. At the end of the 9th century, Holland became a separate county
County
A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain modern nations. Historically in mainland Europe, the original French term, comté, and its equivalents in other languages denoted a jurisdiction under the sovereignty of a count A county is a jurisdiction of local government in certain...

 in 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...

. The first count of Holland
Count of Holland
The Counts of Holland ruled over the County of Holland in the Low Countries between the 10th and the 16th century.-House of Holland:The first count of Holland, Dirk I, was the son or foster-son of Gerolf, Count in Frisia...

 known about with certainty was Dirk I
Dirk I, Count of Holland
Dirk I was Count of Holland, thought to have been in office from ca. 896 to ca. 928 or 939.-'Count in Frisia':The actual title of count Dirk I was 'count in Friesland'....

, who ruled (also as count of Frisia) from 896 to 931. He was succeeded by a long line of counts
Counts of Holland family tree
This is a family tree of the Counts of Holland from 916 to 1299, when a personal union was formed with the County of Hainaut. After this date, the diagram continues at Counts of Hainaut family tree.-See also:*Holland - Other family trees...

 in the House of Holland. When John I
John I, Count of Holland
John I was Count of Holland and son of Count Floris V. John inherited the county in 1296 after the murder of his father....

, count of Holland, died childless in 1299, the county was inherited by John II of Avesnes
John II, Count of Holland
John II of Avesnes was the oldest son of John I of Avesnes and Adelaide of Holland.-History:John II was Count of Hainaut from 1280 to his death, succeeding his grandmother, Margaret II...

, count of Hainaut. By the time of William V (House of Wittelsbach; 1354–1388) the count of Holland was also the count of Hainaut
County of Hainaut
The County of Hainaut was a historical region in the Low Countries with its capital at Mons . In English sources it is often given the archaic spelling Hainault....

, 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...

 and Zealand
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...

.
In this time a part of Frisia
Frisia
Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea, i.e. the German Bight. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, a Germanic people who speak Frisian, a language group closely related to the English language...

, West Friesland
West Friesland (historical region)
West Friesland is a historical region in the northern part of the Netherlands. It was located in parts of what now is Noord-Holland and the Waddenzee. The region was bordered by the rivers Vlie and IJ...

, was conquered (as a result, most provincial institutions, including the States of Holland and West Frisia
States of Holland
The States of Holland and West Frisia were the representation of the two Estates to the court of the Count of Holland...

, would for centuries refer to "Holland and West Frisia" as a unit). 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...

 started around this time and ended when the countess of Holland, Jacoba or Jacqueline
Jacqueline, Countess of Hainaut
Jacqueline of Wittelsbach was Duchess of Bavaria-Straubing, Countess of Hainaut and Holland from 1417 to 1432...

 was forced to give up Holland to the Burgundian Philip III, known as Philip the Good, in 1432.

The last count of Holland was Philip III, better known as 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....

 king of Spain. He was abolished in 1581 by the so-called Act of Abjuration, although the kings of Spain continued to carry the titular appellation of count of Holland until 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...

 signed in 1648.

Holland's prominence in the United Provinces and Dutch Republic


In 1432 Holland became part of 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...

 and since 1477 of 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...

 Seventeen Provinces
Seventeen Provinces
The Seventeen Provinces were a personal union of states in the Low Countries in the 15th century and 16th century, roughly covering the current Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, a good part of the North of France , and a small part of Western Germany.The Seventeen Provinces were originally held by...

. In the 16th century the county became the most densely urbanised region in Europe, with the majority of the population living in cities. Within the Burgundian Netherlands, Holland was the dominant province in the north; the political influence of Holland largely determined the extent of Burgundian dominion in that area.
In the Dutch Rebellion against the Habsburgs during the Eighty Years' War, the naval forces of the rebels, the Watergeuzen, established their first permanent base in 1572 in the town of Brill
Brielle
Brielle , also called Den Briel is a town and municipality in the western Netherlands, in the province of South Holland, on the north side of the island of Voorne-Putten, at the mouth of the New Maas. The municipality covers an area of 31.12 km² of which 3.63 km² is water...

. In this way, Holland, now a sovereign state in a larger Dutch confederation, became the centre of the rebellion. It became the cultural, political and economic centre of the United Provinces, in the 17th century, 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...

, the wealthiest nation in the world. After the King of Spain was deposed as the count of Holland, the executive and legislative power rested with the States of Holland, which was led by a political figure who held the office of Grand Pensionary
Grand Pensionary
The Grand Pensionary was the most important Dutch official during the time of the United Provinces. In theory he was only a civil servant of the Estates of the dominant province among the Seven United Provinces: the county of Holland...

.

The largest cities in 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...

 were in the province of Holland, such as 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...

, Rotterdam
Rotterdam
Rotterdam is the second-largest city in the Netherlands and one of the largest ports in the world. Starting as a dam on the Rotte river, Rotterdam has grown into a major international commercial centre...

, Leiden, Alkmaar
Alkmaar
Alkmaar is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands, in the province of Noord Holland. Alkmaar is well known for its traditional cheese market. For tourists, it is a popular cultural destination.-History:...

, The Hague
The Hague
The Hague is the capital city of the province of South Holland in the Netherlands. With a population of 500,000 inhabitants , it is the third largest city of the Netherlands, after Amsterdam and Rotterdam...

, Delft
Delft
Delft is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland , the Netherlands. It is located between Rotterdam and The Hague....

, Dordrecht
Dordrecht
Dordrecht , colloquially Dordt, historically in English named Dort, is a city and municipality in the western Netherlands, located in the province of South Holland. It is the fourth largest city of the province, having a population of 118,601 in 2009...

 and Haarlem
Haarlem
Haarlem is a municipality and a city in the Netherlands. It is the capital of the province of North Holland, the northern half of Holland, which at one time was the most powerful of the seven provinces of the Dutch Republic...

. From the great ports of Holland, Hollandic merchants sailed to and from destinations all over 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...

, and merchants from all over Europe gathered to trade in the warehouses of Amsterdam and other trading cities of Holland.

Many Europeans thought of the United Provinces first as "Holland" rather than as the "Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands". A strong impression of "Holland" was planted in the minds of other Europeans, which then was projected back onto the Republic as a whole. Within the provinces themselves, a gradual slow process of cultural expansion took place, leading to a "Hollandification" of the other provinces and a more uniform culture for the whole of the Republic. The dialect of urban Holland became the standard language
Standard language
A standard language is a language variety used by a group of people in their public discourse. Alternatively, varieties become standard by undergoing a process of standardization, during which it is organized for description in grammars and dictionaries and encoded in such reference works...

.

Kingdom of Holland


The formation of the 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....

, 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...

, led to a more centralised government. Holland became a province of a unitary state
Unitary state
A unitary state is a state governed as one single unit in which the central government is supreme and any administrative divisions exercise only powers that their central government chooses to delegate...

. Its independence was further reduced by an administrative reform in 1798, in which its territory was divided into several departments called Amstel, Delf, Texel, and part of Schelde en Maas.

From 1806 to 1810 Napoleon styled his vassal state, governed by his brother Louis Napoleon
Louis Bonaparte
Louis Napoléon Bonaparte, Prince Français, Comte de Saint-Leu , King of Holland , was the fifth surviving child and the fourth surviving son of Carlo Buonaparte and Letizia Ramolino...

 and shortly by the son of Louis, Napoleon Louis Bonaparte
Napoleon Louis Bonaparte
Napoléon Louis Bonaparte , or Louis II of Holland, was the middle son of Louis Napoléon, King of Holland, and Hortense de Beauharnais. His father was the younger brother of Emperor Napoléon I and king of Holland, while his mother was the daughter of Josephine de Beauharnais, Napoléon's first wife...

, 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...

". This kingdom encompassed much of what would become the modern Netherlands. The name reflects how natural at the time it had become to equate Holland with the non-Belgian Netherlands as a whole.

During the period the Low Countries were annexed by the 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...

 and actually incorporated into France (from 1810 to 1813), Holland was divided into the départements Zuyderzée
Zuyderzée
Zuyderzée is the name of a département of the First French Empire in the present Netherlands. It is named after the Zuider Zee sea inlet. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponds more or less with the present Dutch provinces North Holland...

 and Bouches-de-la-Meuse
Bouches-de-la-Meuse
Bouches-de-la-Meuse is the name of a département of the First French Empire in the present Netherlands. It is named after the mouth of the river Meuse. It was formed in 1810, when the Kingdom of Holland was annexed by France. Its territory corresponds more or less with the present Dutch province...

.

Provinces like any other


After 1813, Holland was restored as a province of 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...

.

Holland was divided into the present provinces North Holland
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...

 in 1840, after 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....

 of 1830. This reflected an historical division of Holland along the IJ
IJ (bay)
The IJ is a river, formerly a bay, in the Dutch province of North Holland. It is known for being Amsterdam's waterfront. The name derives from the generic Germanic term for "water" and is similar to other Aa/Ee names for bodies of water. In Dutch, the name consists of the digraph ij, which is...

 into a Southern Quarter (Zuiderkwartier) and a Northern Quarter (Noorderkwartier). But the actual division is different from the old division.

From 1850 a strong process of nation formation took place, the Netherlands being culturally unified and economically integrated by a modernisation process, with the cities of Holland as its centre.

Image of Holland at home and abroad


The predominance of Holland in the Netherlands has resulted in regionalism
Regionalism (politics)
Regionalism is a term used in international relations. Regionalism also constitutes one of the three constituents of the international commercial system...

 on the part of the other provinces. This is a reaction to the perceived threat that Holland poses to the identities and local cultures of the other provinces. The other provinces have a strong, and often negative, image of Holland and the Hollanders, to whom certain qualities are ascribed within a mental geography, a conceptual mapping of spaces and their inhabitants. On the other hand, some Hollanders take Holland's cultural dominance for granted and treat the concepts of "Holland" and the "Netherlands" as coincidental. Consequently, they see themselves not primarily as "Hollanders", but simply as "Dutch" (Nederlanders). This phenomenon has been called "hollandocentrism".

Holland tends to be associated with a particular image. The stereotypical image of Holland is an artificial amalgam of tulip
Tulip
The tulip is a perennial, bulbous plant with showy flowers in the genus Tulipa, which comprises 109 species and belongs to the family Liliaceae. The genus's native range extends from as far west as Southern Europe, North Africa, Anatolia, and Iran to the Northwest of China. The tulip's centre of...

s, windmill
Windmill
A windmill is a machine which converts the energy of wind into rotational energy by means of vanes called sails or blades. Originally windmills were developed for milling grain for food production. In the course of history the windmill was adapted to many other industrial uses. An important...

s, clogs
Clog (shoe)
A clog is a type of footwear made in part or completely from wood.The Oxford English Dictionary defines a clog as a "thick piece of wood", and later as a "wooden soled overshoe" and a "shoe with a thick wooden sole"....

, cheese
Cheese
Cheese is a generic term for a diverse group of milk-based food products. Cheese is produced throughout the world in wide-ranging flavors, textures, and forms....

 and traditional dress (klederdracht). As is the case with many stereotypes, this is far from the truth and reality of life in Holland. This can at least in part be explained by the active exploitation of these stereotypes in promotions of Holland and the Netherlands. In fact only in a few of the more traditional villages, such as Volendam and locations in the Zaan
Zaan
The Zaan is a small river in the province of North-Holland in The Netherlands and the name of the district through which it runs. The river was originally a side arm of the IJ bay and travels 10 kilometers through the municipality of Zaanstad north of Amsterdam, from West-Knollendam in the north...

 area, are the different costumes with wooden shoes still worn by some inhabitants.

New Holland


The province of Holland gave its name to a number of colonial settlements and discovered regions that were called Nieuw Holland or New Holland. The most extensive of these was the island continent presently known as 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...

: New Holland
New Holland (Australia)
New Holland is a historic name for the island continent of Australia. The name was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman as Nova Hollandia, naming it after the Dutch province of Holland, and remained in use for 180 years....

 was first applied to Australia in 1644 by the Dutch seafarer Abel Tasman
Abel Tasman
Abel Janszoon Tasman was a Dutch seafarer, explorer, and merchant, best known for his voyages of 1642 and 1644 in the service of the VOC . His was the first known European expedition to reach the islands of Van Diemen's Land and New Zealand and to sight the Fiji islands...

 as a Latin
Latin
Latin is an Italic language originally spoken in Latium and Ancient Rome. It, along with most European languages, is a descendant of the ancient Proto-Indo-European language. Although it is considered a dead language, a number of scholars and members of the Christian clergy speak it fluently, and...

 Nova Hollandia, and remained in international use for 190 years. On the same voyage he named 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...

 after the Dutch province of 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...

. In the Netherlands Nieuw Holland would remain the usual name of the continent until the end of the 19th century; it is now no longer in use there, the Dutch name today being Australië.

External links