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A history. The Dutch and liberty.


DeRaadspensionaris

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In the days we are in now it is perhaps important to understand why the Dutch Republic is what it is. To preserve emotions and ideas before they can be washed away in a tidal wave of change.

The story goes back a long time. Perhaps back to the days of of their war of independence, the Eighty Years War where the Dutch fought side by side to preserve their freedoms from taxation, their religion and their entire way of life against a global power that had one wish: to bring the Dutch into slavery, under their control and under the control of a religion institution that had gone out of control.

In the century that followed the Dutch knew prosperity and liberties not enjoyed elsewhere. Freedom of press, freedom of religion and of conscience but also to division. Orangist vs Republican, Protestant vs Catholics and North vs South. As the South was still under Spanish control. It were these division that slowly led to the decay of the Republic.

The Dutch had to fight off most of Europe. Britain, France, Spain, Portugal, Sweden and the German States. Each tried and each failed to bring the Dutch under their control. Vast tracks of the south were lost to France and the Franco-Dutch border had been slowly shifting northwards since the Middle Ages and half of Flanders was lost.

But the confederal system went corrupt and slowly corruption and nepotism took over and that would lead the moral decline seen in the 18th century and the 1795-1813 French occupation. That would only make things worse as the House of Orange, whose noble ancestor William I led the rebellion against the Spaniards and died a martyrs death (killed by an assassin in 1584). In 1815 a group of six men had a Prince of Orange crowned as King William I. Now reunited with the south in the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and led by an autocrat the Dutch had lost their freedom. In 1830 the discriminated south rebelled and a division took place that would create the bi-lingual (French and Dutch) state of Belgium.

Both Belgium and the Netherlands were beginning to see prosperity around the turn of the century and they had turned into parliamentary democracies and constitutional monarchies but World War I broke out. Neutral Belgium was attacked by the Germans and occupied for four years and over 1 million Belgians fled to the Netherlands. After the war the pro-France government of Belgium tried to secure even more lands for their French-speaking overlords by making sure that the Flemish Dutch had to know French and they even tried claiming parts of the Netherlands. But that failed as they could not achieve British support.

During the Second World War both Belgium and the Netherlands were occupied by the Germans and both countries lost their ideas of neutrality after the war when their monarchies were restored and there countries were integrated in the American sphere of influence.

This started to change in 1980 when the Dutch monarchy collapsed and the Socialist Republic of Hollandia was proclaimed that also absorbed Belgium. During that Regime vast numbers of Dutch and Belgians. Dutch or French-speaking, were murdered or disappeared into concentration camps. Perhaps over 6 million people fled and the monarchies were overthrown and driven into exile. Around 350.000 people were murdered or disappeared. Socialism had promised a humane society- but it brought a ruthless dictatorship and police state. But Hollandia collapsed in 2006 and the Republic of the Seven Netherlands was born. A government that also promised equality but discriminated the south and occupied it. It was quickly overthrown and a massive civil war broke out.

It was this civil war that would shape the Dutch and bring them back to their origins.

(OOC: I will continue this tonight- because this civil war will be the key to understanding the Republic)

Edited by DeRaadspensionaris
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The Civil War broke out in May 2007 when two parties had formed. On one side there were the Federalisten and on the other the Unitaristen. The Federalists wanted a federal republic and wanted to get rid of everything that reminded the people of the days of Hollandia and of the Monarchy. They wanted freedom for all and a libertarian government. A return to small communities and as little government as possible.

On the other side were the Unitarians or Orangists as they were also called. They wanted to have the monarchy restored and centralize power in The Hague but the Unitarians and Federalists could agree on one thing. Both wanted a Greater Netherlands. North and South reunited.

On May Day 2007 a riot about taxation in the small village of Dwingeloo (the province of Drenthe) turned violent when catholics decided that they would no longer pay taxes. They were joined by other people- from all sets of believes. Amongst them even small groups of Muslims and Jews that had stay behind after the majority of them had been dragged into the country during the days of Hollandia and starting leaving during the Seven Netherlands- the local villagers armed themselves and gathered on the local green and when troops arrived they refused to disperse. No one will ever come to know how the group had achieved to arm themselves but the shots would be heard around the world.

What is to be told now will be partially based on the accounts of actual eye witnesses, amongst those people that sacrificed their own lives during the Civil War:

The Army had pointed their rifles at the public threatening to open fire if they would not go home as well as give up their arms and their possessions. Probably by accident a local farmer tripped over his rifle and the shot killed an Army Officer. The Army opened fire killing five rebels and the rebels quickly dispersed. The Army marched on to claim more tribute in local villages that had also risen up. But only a couple of miles away from the village they were suddenly attacked by farmers shooting their rifles from behind farmsteads, barn doors, hedges and from behind trees in a forest. Nine soldiers died there when the uprising turned violent. They lost their nerves and fled the scene. For the first time since the Eighty Years War had an ad-hoc militia shown that it would take on units of the army.

The rebellion spread like wildfire and by June the entire North and East were fighting the Army and Orangists.

Edited by DeRaadspensionaris
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