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Netherlands History Timeline

Netherlands's Information

Flag of Netherlands
Land Area 33,893 km2
Water Area 7,650 km2
Total Area 41,543km2 (#131)
Population 17,016,967 (#66)
Population Density 502.08/km2
Government Type Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy; Part Of The Kingdom Of The Netherlands
GDP (PPP) $871.00 Billion
GDP Per Capita $50,800
Currency Euro (EUR)
Largest Cities
  • (1801) Napoleon Bonaparte imposed new constitution
  • (1814) William VI, prince of Orange, became King William I of the Netherlands
  • (1815) British, German, Dutch, Belgian troops assembled to face Napoleon
  • (1825) Dike breaks caused severe flooding, more than 800 died
  • (1830) Belgium rebelled against Netherlands
  • (1840) King William I of Holland abdicated
  • (1864) British, French, Dutch fleets attacked Japan in Shimonoseki Straits; Gerard Heineken founded beer Heineken brewery
  • (1870) Amstel Brewery opened
  • (1873) Holland American cruise line began operations from Netherlands; colonization efforts began in Aceh province (Indonesia), caused decades-long war
  • (1890) Grand Duchy of Luxembourg separated from Netherlands; Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. founded
  • (1894) Disastrous flooding occurred
  • (1899) First Hague Peace Conference held in Netherlands, 26 nations participated
  • (1903) Harry Houdini escaped from police station in Amsterdam
  • (1904) Two men (Weerdinge couple) found in bog, dated from 160BC - 220AD
  • (1914 - 1918) World War I; German Zeppelins bombed Antwerp twice; Netherlands maintained neutrality; Kaiser Wilhelm II of German went into exile in Netherlands
  • (1916) Zuyderzee Flood caused by dike breaks
  • (1917) Mata Hari (Dutch dancer who spied for Germans)executed by firing squad
  • (1920) Dutch government refused to hand over dethroned German monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to Allies; League of Nations established International Court of Justice in The Hague
  • (1922) Dutch women received right to vote
  • (1928) Olympics opened in Amsterdam
  • (1932) Dutch textile strike broken by trade unions; Afsluitkijk Dam completed, sealed Zuider Zee from ocean, formed freshwater lake, IJsselmeer.
  • (1934) Jordanians revolted due to reduction in employment in Amsterdam
  • (1935) Dutch Revolutionary Socialist Worker's Party formed
  • (1939) Netherlands declared neutrality at outbreak of World War II; Netherlands passenger ship hit German mine, 86 died
  • (1940) Germany invaded Netherlands; Royal family fled to England; Germans bombed Rotterdam from air, destroyed tens of thousands of buildings; Netherlands surrendered; Germans occupied Netherlands
  • (1941) Nazi police attacked, driven away from Koco in Amsterdam by young Jews; roundup of Jews in Amsterdam occurred; concentration camp at Amersfoort opened; German Jews in Netherlands declared stateless
  • (1942) Japan declared war against Netherlands; Japanese forces invaded Dutch East Indies; Nazis executed 72 in Sachsenhausen; Jews transported from Holland to extermination camp
  • (1943) US ship James Oglethorpe, Netherlands ship Terkolei torpedoed, sank; U S mistakenly bombed Rotterdam, 326 killed; Dutch struck against forced labor in Nazi German's war industry; Jews rioted in Amsterdam against Germans; Willem Kolff invented first dialysis machine
  • (1944) Nazi troops executed 96 prisoners by firing squad; 99 inhabitants of Tulle were hung; last transport of Dutch Jews, including Anne Frank, left for Auschwitz; 65,000 Dutch Nazi collaborators fled to Germany (Mad Tuesday); British and American troops parachuted into Holland to capture Arnhem Bridge; thousands of British troops killed by Germans at Arnhem Bridge
  • (1944 - 1945) Netherlands became site of fighting between Allied forces and Germany; food supply severely disrupted, many Dutch civilians suffered near-starvation
  • (1945) RAF bombing error hit The Hague, killed 511; Netherlands, Denmark liberated from Nazi control; Allies bombed The Hague; Queen Wilhelmina returned to Netherlands; Nazi occupiers executed; Canadian troops liberated Nazi concentration camp at Westerbork; Netherlands became charter member of United Nations
  • (1948) International Court of Justice opened at The Hague; Queen Wilhelmina abdicated throne due to health reasons; Queen Juliana crowned
  • (1949) Netherlands joined NATO
  • (1952) Netherlands founding member of European Coal and Steel Community
  • (1953) More than 1,800 killed in flooding
  • (1968) Greece, Portugal and Spain embassies bombed in The Hague
  • (1969) John Lennon, Yoko Ono staged bed-in for peace in Amsterdam; nuclear reactor in Dodewaard began use
  • (1975) Dutch colony of Surinam gained independence; hundreds of thousands of Surinamese emigrated to Netherlands; Rembrandt's "Nightwatch" slashed, damaged in Amsterdam; South Moluccan extremists surrendered after holding 23 hostages for 12 days on train near Beilen
  • (1977) Moluccan extremists held 105 school children, 50 others, hostage on train in Netherlands; Dutch Social Democratic party won Parliamentary election
  • (1980) Queen Juliana abdicated throne; Beatrix crowned queen
  • (1983) Alfred Heineken, Heineken Brewery, kidnapped, held for ransom of over $10 million; freed by police after 20 days
  • (1991) European community leaders met in Maastricht, agreed to begin using single currency by 1999
  • (1992) Earthquake struck Netherlands and Germany; Amsterdam apartment complex struck by El Al jet, 43 killed
  • (1995) Flooding forced evacuation of 200,000 people and millions of animals
  • (1997) European Union (EU) set common foreign, security policy in Amsterdam Treaty
  • (1999) Netherlands, 10 other EU nations began using Euro monetary system; Picasso painting slashed by mental patient in Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam; student in Heghel shot teacher, four students in first school shooting in Dutch history
  • (2000) Parliament legalized euthanasia; fireworks depot exploded in Enschede, 20 killed, 489 injured, 400 houses flattened; bill passed allowing same-sex partners to marry; brothels were legalized
  • (2002) Euro officially replaced Dutch guilder; prime minister Wim Kok's government resigned; anti-immigration party leader, Pim Fortuyn killed by gunman; Balkenende became prime minister; government collapsed three months later; eight men detained for providing financial aid, logistical services to al Qaeda
  • (2003) Bird flu found; 18-judge world court inaugurated at The Hague; flu epidemic broke out; high school student fatally shot teacher
  • (2004) 200,000 demonstrated in Amsterdam, protested public spending cuts, welfare reforms; filmmaker, Theo van Gogh, murdered after receiving death threats about movie "Submission"; Dutch police raided Kurdish training camp in southern Netherlands, 29 arrested
  • (2005) Dutch voters rejected E U constitution; civil servants went on strike protesting declining benefits, low wages; authorities seized 5 tons of cocaine at Port of Rotterdam; police detained seven suspects in anti-terrorism operation in three cities; police arrested 45 members of Hell's motorcycle gang, seized assortment of weapons; fire at prison complex killed 11 illegal immigrants awaiting deportation; Dutch government agreed to send additional 1,400 troops to join NATO forces in Afghanistan
  • (2006) Parliament approved sending additional 1,200 troops to Afghanistan; former Yugoslav leader Slobodan Milosevic, found dead in prison cell while being tried for war crimes; outbreak of bluetongue disease (transmitted to sheep by insects) discovered; center-right Christian Democrats won most seats in elections; Netherlands became first nation to use completely digital signals
  • (2007) Jan Peter Baldenende sworn in as head of three-party centrist coalition (three months after elections)
  • (2008) Amsterdam authorities announced plan to close half the city's brothels in effort to drive organized crime from city centre.
  • (2010) Miep Gies, last surviving Anne Frank protector, died at the age of 100; 12 Somali men arrested in Rotterdam on suspicion of terrorism involvement
  • (2011) Gunman killed six, wounded 11, then shot himself at shopping mall in Alphen aan den Rijn
This page was last updated on August 28, 2019.

About the Author

John Moen is a cartographer who along with his wife are the orignal founders of worldatlas.com. He and his wife, Chris Woolwine-Moen, produced thousands of award-winning maps that are used all over the world and content that aids students, teachers, travelers and parents with their geography and map questions. Today, it's one of the most popular educational sites on the web.

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