jueves, 3 de febrero de 2011

Victoria y Elisa: HOLLAND

Holland is a name in common usage given to a region in the western part of the Netherlands.. The term Holland is also frequently used to refer to the whole of the Netherlands.
From the 10th century to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region, a county ruled by the Count of Holland. By the 17th century, Holland had risen to become a maritime and economic power, dominating the other provinces of the Dutch Republic.
Today, Holland consists of the two Dutch provinces: North Holland and South Holland, which together include three largest cities: the capital Amsterdam, The Hague and Rotterdam.

The formation of the Batavian Republic, inspired by the French revolution, led to a more centralised government. Holland became a province of a unitary state. 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 and shortly by the son of Louis, Napoleon Louis Bonaparte, as the "Kingdom of Holland". This kingdom encompassed much of what would become the modern Netherlands.
During the period the Low Countries were annexed by the French Empire and actually incorporated into France (from 1810 to 1813), Holland was divided into the départements
Zuyderzée and Bouches-de-la-Meuse.
After 1813, Holland was restored as a province of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

There is a huge variety of religions in Holland:
27% catholics
and also in a smaller proportion hindu and budhist

It´s a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. The head of state is Queen Beatrix. This together with the ministers represent the Crown. Diplomatic representation in the US: chief of mission: Ambassador Boudewijn J. VAN EENENNAAM.

Political parties and leaders: Christian Democratic Appeal or CDA [Maxime Jacques Marcel VERHAGEN]; Christian Union Party [Andre ROUVOET]; Democrats 66 or D66 [Boris DITTRICH]; Green Party [Femke HALSEMA]; Labor Party or PvdA [Wouter BOS]; List Pim Fortuyn [Mat HERBEN]; People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (Liberal) or VVD [Gerrit
ZALM]; Socialist Party [Jan MARIJNISSEN]; a host of minor parties
Executive branch: chief of state: Queen BEATRIX (since 30 April 1980).

-Holland is situated in the west of the Netherlands.
-A maritime region, Holland lies on the North Sea at the mouths of the Rhine and the Meuse.
-It has numerous rivers and lakes and an extensive inland canal and waterway system.
- Holland is protected from the sea by a long line of coastal dunes. Most of the land area behind the dunes consists of polder landscape lying well below sea level.
-Holland is a polder near Rotterdam, which is about seven meters below sea level.
-The main cities in Holland are Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague. Amsterdam is formally the capital of the Netherlands and its largest city. The Port of Rotterdam is Europe's largest and most important harbour and port. The Hague is the seat of government of the Netherlands. These cities, combined with Utrecht and other smaller municipalities, effectively form a single city, a conurbation called Randstad.

The language primarily spoken in Holland is Dutch.
The standard Dutch that is spoken in the Netherlands is historically largely based on the Hollandic dialect of Holland, but is also partly derived from Flemish and Brabantian.
The majority of the people as well speaks English very good.

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 Netherlands has had many well-known painters. The 17th century, when the Dutch republic was prosperous, was the age of the "Dutch Masters", such as Rembrandt van Rijn, Johannes Vermeer, Jan Steen, Jacob van Ruysdael and many others. Famous Dutch painters of the 19th and 20th century were Vincent van Gogh and Piet Mondriaan. M. C. Escher is a well-known graphics artist.
In the Dutch Golden Age, literature flourished as well, with Joost van den Vondel and P.C. Hooft as the two most famous writers.
In the 19th century, Multatuli wrote about the poor treatment of the natives in Dutch colonies. Important 20th century authors include Harry Mulisch, Jan Wolkers, Simon Vestdijk, Cees Nooteboom, Gerard (van het) Reve and Willem Frederik Hermans. Anne Frank's Diary of a Young Girl was published after she died in the Holocaust and translated from Dutch to all major languages.
Replicas of Dutch buildings can be found in Nagasaki, Japan. A similar Holland Village is being built in Shenyang, China.
Windmills, tulips, wooden shoes, cheese, Delftware pottery, and cannabis are among the items associated with the Netherlands by tourists.

The Netherlands has a very strong economy and has been playing a special role in the European economy for many centuries. Since the 16th century, shipping, fishing, trade, and banking have been leading sectors of the Dutch economy. The Netherlands is one of the world's 10 leading exporting countries.
The Netherlands has the 16th largest economy in the world. Between 1998 and 2000 annual economic growth averaged nearly 4%, well above the European average. Growth slowed considerably from 2001 to 2005 with the global economic slowdown, but accelerated to 4.1% in the third quarter of 2007. Inflation is 1.3%, and unemployment is at 4.0% of the labour force.
Amsterdam is the financial and business capital of the Netherlands.
As a founding member of the euro, the Netherlands replaced its former currency, the "Gulden" on 1 January 1999, along with 15 other adopters of the Euro. One euro was equivalent to 2.20371 Dutch guilders.

The Netherlands has compulsory education from age 4 to 18 (or 16 as a study is completed which has given the student adequate professional skills to start as a professional in the labour market).
Pupils attend primary or elementary school from age 4 to age 12. The very first grade is not mandatory, the other 7 grades are. After that they continue their education at secondary school minimally until age 16; which indicates one of three tracks in the Dutch educational system.

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