and largest city
|Administrative center||The Hague|
|Recognised regional languages||Brabantish |
|Government||Unitary parliamentary democracy|
• Creation of the Habsburg Netherlands
• Independence of the Dutch Republic
• Monarchy established
The Netherlands (Dutch: Nederland) is a constitutional monarchy located in northwestern Europe which borders France to the south and the Rhineland to the east, also sharing a maritime border with the United Kingdom in the southwest. Its name is not to be confused with the term 'Kingdom of the Netherlands', which since the late 20th century has been used to collectively refer to the European country and its overseas territories.
In 1588, an independent Dutch republic seceded from the Habsburg Netherlands. Dominated by stadtholders of the Nassau dynasty, the country was occupied by the Augustine Republic until 1814, when it was established as a sovereign monarchy with William I of the Netherlands as king. The Dutch Empire continuously declined over the 19th century, leadings to the Tulips Uprising of 1910. In the post-Great War era, the country dealt with massive social and political unrest and colonial insurgencies, the most notable being the East Indies Crisis. In the late 20th century, the country entered into an economic union with the Rhineland and Hannover.
Government and Politics
|Unitary parliamentary monarchy|
The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy while also being that of a unitary parliamentary state with a strong executive branch. In combination with it being what some might call a “Bureaucratic democracy.” It fuses both Dutch republican ideals as well as pragmatism in how a small but densely populated nation is to be run.
The office of the prime minister has grown significantly in power since 1960 this is principally due to the depression (1974 - 2000). Due to a myriad of social issues, the refugee crisis the housing crisis, the eastern troubles, the Kandyan troubles, and the Burgher uprising. Combined with a harsh period for the Netherlands economically, culturally and socially showed that the former polder model of decision-making was too slow. Over time due to the various office holder the prime minister has grown in power, partly through actual expansion of power, or powers being taken from the king and given to the office of the prime minister. Yet also due to the precedent set making the office her powers range from its official ability to use the military within the kingdom or outside without parliament her approval for 190 days, which is a law, to be the only person to stand as the king stands during the annual budget review.
The executive power is formed by the prime minister and the council of ministers, the ministers are chosen by the coalition government, through consent. The cabinet usually consists of 12 ministers and secretaries and three representatives from the constituent states. This makes the Netherlands cabinet an interesting mishmash of various interests as since 1983 there has not been a single dominating party in governance and coalitions have become the norm.
The cabinet is responsible to the bicameral parliament, the States General, which also has legislative powers. The 150 members of the House of Representatives, the lower house, are elected in direct elections on the basis of party-list proportional representation. These are held every four years, or sooner in case, the cabinet falls (for example: when one of the chambers carries a motion of no confidence, the cabinet offers its resignation to the monarch). The States-Provincial are directly elected every four years as well. The members of the provincial assemblies elect the 75 members of the Senate, the upper house, which has the power to reject laws, but not proposes or amend them. Both houses send members to the Benelux Parliament, a consultative council
Political culture & parties
The Netherlands has one of the oldest standing armies in Europe; it was first established as such by Maurice of Nassau in the late 1500s. It has seen service throughout the Dutch empire, helping to expand, defend and hold it, as well as fighting in many large conflicts from the Russo-Corean war, the Great war the east indies crisis and the Batavian unrests, the Kandyan insurrection and more recently the Nieuw Batavian crisis. Throughout its existence, the military of the Netherlands has gained a reputation for its ability to conduct war on a budget, its ability to achieve objectives and its sheer ferocity when fighting, as shown in the great war where the Krijgsmacht held the Rhine despite heavy casualties and losing the south and eventually liberating the nation again and pushing all the way into France defeating the enemies of the Netherlands.
The military is composed of four branches, all of which carry the prefix Koninklijke (Royal):
- Koninklijke Marine (KM), the Royal Netherlands Navy, including the Naval Air Service and Marine Corps;
- Koninklijke Landmacht (KL), the Royal Netherlands Army;
- Koninklijke Luchtmacht (KLu), the Royal Netherlands Air Force;
- Koninklijke Marechaussee (KMar), the Royal Marechaussee (Military Police), tasks include military police and border control.
Within the armed forces (Krijgsmacht) almost all branches and units are open to both genders, with the exceptions of the following:
- Submarine service
- Korps Speciale Stoot Troepen
This is for a variety of reasons, be the safety of the females in service to the nature of the units themselves.
The Krijgsmacht in total employs more than 180,000 personnel with 1,3 million reservists, maintaining one of the largest and most capable militaries in Europe. Its navy is considered one of the largest in Europe, this, as well as its military power in general, is a result of its geography, with the need to defend far flung places in Asia and Oceania the need to be a mobile flexible force, as well as the need for defence and a credible deterrence has forced the Netherlands to pay more to the military than many of its citizens actually want.
- ^ The country may be referred to in Dutch, English, and other languages by a variety of names including the terms the Low Countries, Holland, and Belgica.