jueves, 3 de febrero de 2011

The Netherlands

The Netherlands

Since the revolt of the sixteenth century, Holland is often confused with the Dutch nation, which is most important.

Holland, born late medieval county of the disintegration of the Carolingian Empire and the Norman invasions, was part of the Lorraine, annexed kingdom definitely the Germanic empire in 925. After passing, the late Middle Ages, at the hands of the Dukes of Burgundy and then to the Habsburgs, the county developed during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries a province of the Dutch republic. Under the Batavian Republic (1795-1810), the province of Holland, dismembered at first, forms a central department. Subdivided, the department gave its name to the kingdom up to Louis Bonaparte (1806-1810). The existence in the Netherlands of the Dutch provinces, a southern and a northern branch extends the department created by the French nation.


The country is part of the great plain of north-western Europe. North and west, Netherlands borders the North Sea to the south with Belgium and East Germany. With its 41,526 km2, the Netherlands is a bit larger than Belgium and about nine times less than Germany.

The very name of the Netherlands, which also gives Netherlands (Nederland, in which nether end means low land country) indicates its particular geographical location. The highest point, the Vaalserberg, lies in the extreme southeast, to 321 meters above sea level. In the North and West there are many regions on lower level than sea level, in total more than a quarter of the country is in this situation. The lowest point is 6.70 meters under sea level and is in a polder (reclaimed land, drained and devoted to agriculture) near Rotterdam.

Although the official name of the nation is the Kingdom of the Netherlands and abroad, and particularly in Spanish-speaking countries, the country is better known by the name Holland. However, in reality this term refers only to the two provinces of the east coast, the South Holland and North Holland, which played an important role in Dutch history.


The Netherlands is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The head of state is Queen Beatrix. This together with the ministers represent the Crown.

-The Royal Family

The royal house is the House of Orange-Nassau, which is linked to the Netherlands from the sixteenth century. The founder of the dynasty is the Prince William of Orange (1533-1584). The current head of state is Queen Beatrix (born 1938) is married to Prince Claus of the Netherlands, Jonkheer van Amsberg (born 1926). This royal couple have three sons: Prince Willem-Alexander (born in 1967 and heir to the Crown with the title "Prince of Orange from 1980, are also the chief Johan Friso (1968) and Prince Constantine (1969). The Royalty is inherited by both male and female line, in order of birth.

-Ministerial Responsibility

Under the terms of the Constitution, the King is inviolable, the ministers are accountable to Parliament. When a bill, the State Council issued an opinion on the matter, after which the Parliament to approve the project. Once approved by the Queen and the sign makers, after which the force of law.


Parliament consists of two chambers. The First Chamber (Senate) has 75 members elected indirectly by members of the provincial states. The Second Chamber has 150 members, elected by direct vote for the Dutch electorate, that is, by all Dutch citizens over 18 years. Parliament is next to the King and the ministers the legislature, while the executive is formed by the Queen and ministers.

-The State Council

The State Council is the supreme advisory body, which must be heard with every bill. The Head of State, for the dignity of his office, is president of the Council, which also has a deputy chairman and 28 members at most.


Netherlands due to its geographical location in the heart of Western Europe, enjoys a favourable position. In a radius of 500 miles, home to about 360 million people. And in this area is concentrated the major European industries. The Dutch economy, which is largely oriented towards trade and transportation sectors, must necessarily go abroad. Its geographical location has also led to the Netherlands was a country eminently suitable for the establishment of industries. Many international companies have established major distribution centers in Europe in the Netherlands. Many production companies that depend on sea transport of large quantities of raw materials choose Holland to establish a headquarters. On the other hand, there are also many other factors that make it attractive for Dutch production companies: an excellent supply industry, its favourable climate for business and a labour market that has high-level personnel. No wonder, then, are established in the Netherlands many multinational companies and research laboratories.


The population of the Netherlands was estimated to be 15,892,237 in July of 2000. In 2000, the nation's population growth rate was 0.57 percent. The birth rate was 12.12 births per 1,000 people. The fertility rate was 1.64 children born per woman, which is below the replacement level. However, a large number of immigrants move to the Netherlands each year. The average life expectancy for males in the Netherlands is 75.4 years and 81.28 years for females.
The majority of the people of the Netherlands are of Dutch ancestry (91 percent). The Dutch are primarily of Germanic and Gallo-Celtic origins. The remaining 9 percent of the population is split between people of Moroccan, Turkish, and Surinamese backgrounds.
Dutch is the official language of the nation, but English is also widely spoken. The population is highly educated and skilled. There is mandatory education through age 16 and the literacy rate is near 100 percent.


''Holland's culture is varied and lively. Dutch people themselves take immense delight in their cultural heritage. Arts of every form flourish in Holland. When it comes to culture, the country is possibly most renowned for its painters who were amongst the greatest in the world. The 19th and 20th centuries witnessed the emergence of artists such as Vincent van Gogh and Pieter Cornelis Mondrian.
Holland has exceptional museums and a remarkable variety of classical and innovative music and theatre. In Holland, major international arts festivals are held every year. The Holland Festival, held in Amsterdam in June every year, is an internationally distinguished music festival. Holland culture is also famed for other reasons. It has produced many great philosophers, astronomers, writers and mathematicians.
Dutch architecture is also a distinguished feature. Holland has six monuments on the World Heritage List. Cheese is another important product that has become a hallmark of Dutch culture.

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