By Paul F State

Regardless of the country's small dimension, the Netherlands has performed a comparatively huge half within the background of trade, govt, artwork, and faith, and it has left an indelible imprint on the entire world's continents. this article presents a common assessment of the heritage of the rustic from precedent days onwards.

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No longer imperial appointees after 1122, the bishops were elected by the canons of the five collegiate churches of Utrecht. They proved as covetous to acquire additional lands as their lay neighbors. Between the Oversticht and the Nedersticht a territorial vacuum existed. The lands here—Gelderland (Guelders), Zutphen, the Veluwe, and the Bommelerswaard—were united under Otto I (r. 1184–1207), the first count of Gelderland. In the east, a fragmented political landscape existed. The rulers of Brabant, Limburg, and Gelderland competed here for overlordship of fragmented bits of territory with varying legal powers; however, the bits were wealthy ones.

The wretched inhabitants take refuge on the sand-hills, or in little huts, which they construct on the summits of lofty stakes, whose elevation is conformable to that of the highest tides. When the sea rises, they appear like navigators; when it retires, they seem as though they had been shipwrecked. They subsist on the fish left by the refluent waters, and which they catch in nets formed of reeds or seaweed. Neither tree nor shrub is visible on these shores. Source: Thomas Colley Grattan, Holland: The History of the Netherlands (New York: Peter Fenelon Collier, 1898), p.

Count William II of Holland (r. 1235–56), a ruler who marked his rising status by having a hunting lodge constructed for him on the sand dunes at s’Gravenhage, or “Count’s Hedge,” in 1242 (the beginnings of The Hague), succeeded to the imperial throne itself when, in 1247, he was elected anti-king by the German princes who were rebelling against Frederick II. The counts would be based at The Hague after 1351 following a fire at Haarlem that destroyed their castle there. Rulers would seek confirmation of their titles—and additional lands besides—through judiciously arranged marriages.

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