Netherlands (informally known as Holland) has 17.6 million people. Only 50% of its land exceeds 1 metre above sea level. The per capita income is $60,461.00 – 11th in the world. The country’s official language is Dutch. The four largest cities are Amsterdam, Rotterdam, The Hague and Utrecht. The port of Rotterdam is the busiest seaport in Europe. The Hague is dubbed the ‘world’s legal capital’. Netherlands is a founding member of European Union, NATO, OECD and WTO. Between 1588 and the 20th century, the Netherlands was powerful and established colonies all over the world including Indonesia and Surinam in South America. The colonies brought economic opportunity to the mother country and there was little concern at the time about it. The military forces in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia) were controlled by the governor and were not part of the regular Dutch army. The Dutch slowly expanded their holdings from their base in Java to include all of modern Indonesia by 1920. Most islands were not a problem but there was a long, costly campaign against Aceh in north Sumatra of Indonesia. During World War Two, Germany invaded the Netherlands, and Japan invaded Indonesia. After World War Two, Indonesia achieved independence from the Netherlands in 1949. Netherlands has continued to prosper since the end of the World War Two. The Dutch have evolved into one of the most accepting, egalitarian, and prosperous people in the world. Netherlands has a long record of social tolerance – it has human euthanasia and a liberal drug policy. The Netherlands, along with Denmark, are the most bike-friendly countries in Europe – 36% of Dutch consider the bicycle as their most frequent mode of transport. Cycling infrastructure in the Netherlands is comprehensive. In the Netherlands, many Indonesian dishes and foodstuffs have become commonplace – Nasi goreng and satay are very popular in the country.

  1. In about 2,000 words, I will describe major events that affected the Netherlands from 1900 to the present.
  2. 1900 – Fast modernisation of Dutch industry in the last 50 years, increased population of Amsterdam from 200,000 to 500,000.
  3. 1914 (to 1918) – World War One. The Netherlands maintains its neutrality during World War One. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany goes into exile in the Netherlands at the end of the war.
  4. 1920 – KLM launches the world’s first scheduled air service.
  5. 1922 – Women gain the right to vote.
  6. 1928 – Olympic Games are held in Amsterdam.
  7. 1932 – A 31-km dam is completed across the Zuider Zee forming a freshwater lake known as the Ijsselmeer. Part of the lake has since been drained and the reclaimed land is used to grow crops.
  8. 1940 – World War Two. Nazi Germany invades, overwhelming the Dutch armed forces. The Dutch surrendered. Over 4,000 Dutch citizens lost their lives, and an additional 2,700 were wounded.
  9. 1941 – Jewish people are rounded up and sent to concentration camps by Nazi police. Approximately 107,000 Dutch Jews were deported to these camps, and most perished there.
  10. 1942 – The 3-day Battle of Java Sea ended as United States of America suffered a major naval defeat. Japanese troops occupy Kalidjati airport in Java. More than 900 Dutch and 250 Indo-Dutch sailors died during the battle in which the Allied navies suffered a disastrous defeat by the Imperial Japanese Navy.
  11. 1944 (to 1945) – Thousands of Dutch civilians die in the “Hunger Winter” as fighting between Allied and German forces disrupt food supplies.
  12. 1948 – After World War Two, the International Court of Justice is established at The Haque in the Netherlands.
  13. 1949 – The Dutch East Indies, which had been occupied by Japan during World War Two, becomes independent and becomes known as Indonesia.
  14. 1963 – Colony of ‘Netherlands New Guinea’ or Irian Jaya, is ceded to Indonesia. A West Papua pro-independence movement began and by 2004, an estimated 100,000 civilians had died in the struggle.
  15. 1975 – Dutch colony of Surinam in South America achieves independence. Hundreds of thousands of Surinamese emigrate to the Netherlands.
  16. 1975 – Use of cannabis is decriminalised.
  17. 1993 – Netherlands regulates euthanasia by doctors. Official estimates suggest that 2% of all deaths in the Netherlands each year are assisted.
  18. 2000 – Netherlands’ lawmakers voted to legalise euthanasia with strict guidelines.
  19. 2002 – The Euro replaces the Dutch guilder.
  20. 2006 – In the Netherlands the International Court of Justice heard arguments by Bosnia accusing Serbia of genocide, the first time a state has faced trial for humanity’s worst crime.
  21. 2003 – Marijuana went on sale at Dutch pharmacies to help bring relief to thousands of patients suffering from cancer, AIDS or multiple sclerosis.
  22. 2006 – In the Netherlands, former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic (born 1941), the so-called “butcher of the Balkans” who was being tried for war crimes after orchestrating a decade of bloodshed during his country’s breakup, was found dead in his prison cell. Milosevic spent nearly five years at a UN detention facility in Scheveningen, a suburb of The Hague. An autopsy showed that he died of a heart attack.
  23. 2006 – Netherlands ended transmission of “free to air” analog television, becoming the first nation to switch completely to digital signals.
  24. 2007 – It was reported that coffee shops licensed to sell marijuana in the southern Dutch city of Maastricht will begin fingerprinting customers and scanning their IDs to help prove they are following rules governing such sales.
  25. 2007 – The Dutch news agency ANP reported that almost half of Rotterdam’s coffee shops will be forced to stop selling cannabis because they are too close to secondary schools.
  26. 2007 – A Dutch government-funded agency said China has overtaken the United States as the top emitter of carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, because of surging energy use amid an economic boom. However, consumption and emission levels per head remained a mere fraction of America’s.
  27. 2008 – The International Court of Justice awarded Singapore sovereignty over a disputed island at the eastern entrance of the Singapore Straits. The ICJ ruled in favour of Singapore in the 28-year dispute with Malaysia over a tiny but strategic uninhabited island the size of half a football field. The court, however, gave Malaysia ownership of a smaller uninhabited outcropping (rock formation). Sovereignty over a third disputed cluster of rocks was left to be determined later between the countries when they sort out their territorial waters.
  28. 2008 – A smoking ban went into effect in cafes, restaurants and bars across the Netherlands, as the country joins a growing list of European countries to tighten rules on tobacco use in public places. Smoking marijuana in the Netherlands’ infamous “coffee shops” is still permitted under the new law, as long the drug is not mixed with tobacco.
  29. 2008 – Amsterdam unveiled plans to close brothels, sex shops and marijuana cafes in its ancient city centre as part of a major effort to drive organised crime out of the tourist haven.
  30. 2009 – The International Criminal Court at The Hague issued an arrest warrant for Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur. He is the first sitting head of state the court has ordered to be arrested.
  31. 2010 – The Hague appeals judges said the International Criminal Court was wrong when it decided that Sudan’s President Omar al-Bashir cannot be charged with genocide in Darfur. The unprecedented ruling could lead to al-Bashir’s indictment with humanity’s worst crime.
  32. 2010 – A Netherlands court fined the owner of what was the biggest marijuana-selling “coffee shop” in the country almost 10 million euros ($13.34 million) for violating liberal Dutch drug laws, in what is seen as a test for authorities seeking to rein in the growth of such cafes.
  33. 2011 – In the Netherlands, the daily Het Parool reported that prostitutes in Amsterdam will be required to pay taxes from this year. Over 3,000 sex workers were affected by the move.
  34. 2011 – The Dutch government said it would start banning tourists from buying cannabis from “coffee shops” and impose restrictions on Dutch buyers.
  35. 2011 – The International Criminal Court in the Netherlands issued arrest warrants for Moammar Gadhafi, his son Seif, and his intelligence chief for crimes against humanity in the Libyan leader’s four-month battle to cling to power.
  36. 2011 – The Dutch government said it would move to reclassify high-potency marijuana alongside hard drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy.
  37. 2014 – Malaysia Airlines flight MH17 with 298 people on board was shot down over eastern Ukraine. Officials strongly suspected the Boeing 777 was downed by a missile fired by Ukrainian separatists backed by Moscow. More than half of the dead passengers, 193 people, were Dutch. Twenty-nine were Malaysian, 27 Australian, 12 Indonesian, 9 British, 4 German, 4 Belgian, 3 Filipino, one Canadian, and one New Zealander. All 15 crew were Malaysian. Netherlands declares national mourning for its 193 citizens.
  38. 2014 – A Dutch privacy watchdog ordered Google to make changes to the way it handles users’ personal data or face fines of up to 15 million euros ($18.7 million).
  39. 2015 – A report by the Dutch Safety Board concludes that flight MH17 crashed in rebel-held Ukraine because it was hit by a Russian-made Buk missile, but it does not say who fired the missile.
  40. 2016 – A Dutch-led inquiry into downing of Flight MH17 said the Boeing 777 was shot down from an area in eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russian separatists. Russian missile-maker Almaz-Antey said the BUK missile was fired from a territory held by the Ukrainian army, but the findings were not supported by technical evidence.
  41. 2016 – An international tribunal at The Hague rejected China’s extensive claims in the South China Sea in a landmark ruling that also found the country had aggravated the regional dispute and violated the Philippines’ maritime rights by building up artificial islands that destroyed coral reefs and disrupted fishing and oil exploration. China immediately rejected the ruling.
  42. 2017 – Researchers said euthanasia has become a common way to die in the Netherlands, accounting for 4.5% of deaths, and that requests are increasing from people who are not terminally ill.
  43. 2017 – Netherlands stood as the world’s fifth largest exporter of goods. A third of its GDP come from exporting goods and services.
  44. 2018 – Netherlands and Australia announced they were holding Moscow legally responsible for its role in the 17 July 2014 missile attack and downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 over Ukraine nearly four years ago.
  45. 2018 – Parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of recognising the massacres of up to 1.5 million Armenians by Ottoman troops in 1915 as genocide.
  46. 2019 – In the Netherlands a partial ban on face-covering clothing took effect. It covered public transportation, government buildings and health and education institutions.
  47. 2020 – At The Hague, the International Court of Justice ordered Myanmar to take all measures in its power to prevent genocide against the Rohingya.
  48. 2020 – In the Netherlands, the University of Maastricht disclosed that it had paid hackers a ransom of 30 bitcoin — at the time worth 200,000 euros ($220,000) — to unblock its computer systems, including email and computers.
  49. 2020 – In Indonesia visiting Dutch King Willem-Alexander apologised for his country’s aggression during its colonial rule and formally recognized the country’s independence date in his first formal visit to the former Dutch colony.
  50. 2020 (to 2022) – COVID-19 pandemic caused more than 21,000 deaths in Netherlands.
  51. 2022 – Netherlands has 17.6 million people.

© Comasters March 2022.

No Comments

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.

Subscribe To Our Newsletter

Comasters Law Firm and Notary Public is a commercial legal practice in Sydney. We conduct matters in a range of legal areas. Whilst based in Sydney, Comasters maintains close links with business people across the Asia Pacific region.

You have Successfully Subscribed!