Is Holland A Country?

Volendam, a town in North Holland.

The name Holland is more often than not used to refer to the country of Netherlands. In other words, people are using the names Netherlands and Holland interchangeably. This is because people tend to think that Holland is a different name for the Netherlands which leads us to the question, is the Netherlands the same as Holland? To many, this would be a straight yes, but they would be completely wrong! Holland is just a coastal city (one of the twelve provinces) in the Netherlands situated on the western side. The word Holland has been used to refer to the Netherlands, and it has surprisingly become accepted in most countries. In the Netherlands, however, especially other parts of Netherlands apart from Holland, people may not appreciate this name.

Why The Netherlands Is Called Holland?

As previously mentioned, Holland is a province in the Netherlands. To answer this question, we have first to know that the Netherlands is now made up twelve provinces including Groningen, Friesland, Drenthe, Overijssel, Noord (North) Holland, Zuid (South) Holland, Zealand, North Brabant, Flevoland, Gelderland, Utrecht, and Limburg.

Holland therefore only refers to North and South Holland despite what people like to think is the case. The reason as to why the people say this is because of history. From the year 1588 to 1795, the country of Netherlands did not exist, and it was referred to as the Republic of Seven United Netherlands. In 1795, the French (under Napoleon) took control of it in 1795, and the Republic of Seven United Netherlands became the Batavian Republic which was ruled by Louis, Napoleon’s brother (1795-1806).

However before the fall of the Republic of Seven United Netherlands (Dutch Republic) and the eventual rise of the Batavian Republic, the former from the 17th century, a period commonly known as the Dutch Golden Age began. This was a period when the fields of trade, science, and military among others improved significantly in the republic. During this time, most of the trading ships from the Netherlands embarked from the two provinces today known as North Holland and South Holland. Most sailors also when asked they came from they would more often than not say that they were from the city where he came from and not the country. Since most sailors came from Holland, the name Holland began to be used as a synonym for the Netherlands from that time, and it has stuck until today.

The reason is therefore that Holland was the most significant contributor when it came to the economy side of the whole area. It dominated the other cities in both maritime and economic matters. This misconception has been compared to people commonly thinking that the United Kingdom refers to the country of England and vice versa.

This, therefore, answers your question and gives the reason as to why will not see Holland as a country on Google Maps. The people from the other ten provinces may not appreciate this as it may sound insulting. The two regions are also the home to the Netherlands’ capital city, Amsterdam. They are also home to The Hague, and the Port of Rotterdam (Europe’s most vital port).


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