Kingdom of the Netherlands

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Kingdom of the Netherlands
Koninkrijk der Nederlanden
Flag of Kingdom of the Netherlands
Coat of arms of Kingdom of the Netherlands
Coat of arms
Location of Kingdom of the Netherlands
and largest city
Official languagesDutch
Recognised regional languagesEnglish
West Frisian
Dominant mode of productionCapitalism
GovernmentParliamentary constitutional monarchy
• Monarch
• Prime Minister
Mark Rutte
• Total
41,865 km²
• 2022 estimate

The Netherlands is a country located in Europe with overseas colonies in the Caribbean. It is part of NATO[1] and the European Union.[2] The Netherlands export more food than any other country besides the United States.[3]

History[edit | edit source]

Dutch Revolution[edit | edit source]

In the 16th century, the Protestant Reformation quickly spread through the Low Countries, which were ruled by Habsburg Spain. century. The Spanish cracked down on Protestants in 1566, leading to armed resistance against their rule. William of Orange led a bourgeois revolution against Philip Hapsburg which resulted in more than 40 years of war. The Spanish retook Belgium but failed to conquer the Netherlands. Calvinists in Germany, France, England, and Scotland supported the Dutch Revolution and sent troops to resist the Spanish. When Spain began a third offensive in 1584, Elizabeth Tudor of England intervened and defeated the Spanish armada, and Spain finally surrendered in 1609.[4]

Colonialism[edit | edit source]

The Netherlands led the slave trade until being overtaken by the English in 1675. They colonized a part of North America which they called New Amsterdam and was renamed New York after the English took over.[5]

In 1794 and 1795, France supported a revolution in the Netherlands that overthrew Prince Willem Batavus and created the Batavian Republic. Britain took over the Dutch colony of Demerara (now Guyana).[6]

The Netherlands banned slavery in 1863 during the Statesian Civil War.[5]

Politics[edit | edit source]

Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Party for Freedom and Democracy (VVD) is highly Russophobic and is strongly backing Ukraine to be used as a NATO proxy against Russia. With the exception of the war in Ukraine, he has highly limited government spending,[7] causing numerous political crises, concerning, among others, housing, education, healthcare, energy, refugees and nitrogen compound pollution.[citation needed]

The far-right Party for Freedom (PVV) won the 2023 elections with 23.49% of the vote and is attempting to form a coalition with the VVD and the anti-environmentalist Farmer–Citizen Movement.[8]

Current crisis[edit | edit source]

Housing[edit | edit source]

Arguably the most severe political crisis the Netherlands is currently experiencing, the Dutch housing crisis is a consequence of decades of capitalist housing policies, as started by the turn away from social democracy in the late 1980s and early 1990s. The crisis is quite severe, with there being 100.000 homeless people and about 900.000 extra houses needing to be built. What is interesting is that despite the massive shortage, about 90.000 houses are empty. This shows that the crisis is caused by capitalism, as a socialist system would immediately allocate these houses to the homeless.[citation needed]

Education[edit | edit source]

The Dutch education system can also be considered to be in a state of crisis at present. In the primary school system, there is a shortage of between 7.000 and 10.000 teachers. Wages in all levels of education are also too low, owing to austerity measures of the neoliberal government. The tertiary education system is experiencing problems also. For about a decade, the Netherlands had a university system similar to that of the United States of America, where students had to lend money to go to university. This policy left all students in debts north of 20.000 euros, and such the policy will be reversed in 2023, with the previous system of government-funded tertiary education being reinstated.[citation needed]

Healthcare[edit | edit source]

The Dutch healthcare system is one based on compulsory insurance at a private insurance corporation. This causes significant inefficiency, as these insurers are for-profit corporations. Beyond this, though, the Dutch healthcare system, having suffered under the stress of the COVID-19 epidemic, is currently experiencing shortages and long waiting lists, especially in healthcare for transgender persons. The situation is similar to (though not quite as severe as) the UK, though the Netherlands has no fully private healthcare providers as an alternative.[citation needed]

Refugees[edit | edit source]

The Dutch refugee absorption system is notoriously inefficient, to the point that human rights organizations such as Doctors Without Borders having to assist in the refugee camps to prevent a humanitarian crisis. Civics education is compulsory for immigrants, though this system is, again, inefficient, with the privatized civics education plunging many financially vulnerable refugees into debt.[citation needed]

Nitrogen compound pollution[edit | edit source]

The Dutch central government has for a long time been avoiding European Union regulations on pollution from nitrogen compounds, specifically ammonia and nitrogen oxides. From 2019 onward, EU authorities and the Dutch Council of State have disallowed this policy, which in 2019 caused all construction projects to cease. This has also led to large scale protests from farmers who produce most of the pollution, but do not want to change their ways for fear of it cutting into profits.[citation needed]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. David G. Haglund (2022). NATO. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  2. Matthew J. Gabel (2022). European Union. Encyclopedia Britannica.
  3. Nash Landesman (2022-12-08). "Dutch farmers battle technocratic forces driving them into oblivion" The Grayzone. Archived from the original on 2022-12-09. Retrieved 2022-12-10.
  4. Neil Faulkner (2013). A Marxist History of the World: From Neanderthals to Neoliberals: 'The First Wave of Bourgeois Revolutions' (pp. 99–101). [PDF] Pluto Press. ISBN 9781849648639 [LG]
  5. 5.0 5.1 Domenico Losurdo (2011). Liberalism: A Counter-History: 'What Is Liberalism?' (pp. 15–16). [PDF] Verso. ISBN 9781844676934 [LG]
  6. Domenico Losurdo (2011). Liberalism: A Counter-History: 'Crisis of the English and American Models' (pp. 157–158). [PDF] Verso. ISBN 9781844676934 [LG]
  7. Sonja van den Ende (2022-10-05). "Netherland’s Scandal-Ridden Prime Minister Mark Rutte Embodies Hypocrisy of Global Ruling Elite" CovertAction Magazine. Archived from the original on 2022-10-29. Retrieved 2022-12-23.
  8. NPA Antifascist Commission (2024-05-19). "The resistible rise of the far right in Europe" International Viewpoint. Archived from the original on 2024-05-29.