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Holland

Holland

Region and former province in the western netherlands

Holland is a geographical region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. From the 10th to the 16th century, Holland proper was a unified political region within the Holy Roman Empire as a county ruled by the counts of Holland. By the 17th century, the province of Holland had risen to become a maritime and economic power, dominating the other provinces of the newly independent Dutch Republic.

The area of the former County of Holland roughly coincides with the two current Dutch provinces of North Holland and South Holland into which it was divided, and which together include the Netherlands' three largest cities: the capital city (Amsterdam), the home of Europe's largest port (Rotterdam), and the seat of government (The Hague). Holland has a population of 6,583,534 as of November 2019,[1] and a density of 1,203/km2 (3,120/sq mi).

The name Holland has also frequently been used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This casual usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and is even employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands (particularly those from regions outside Holland) find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country. In January 2020, the Netherlands officially dropped its support of the word Holland for the whole country, which included a logo redesign that changed "Holland" to "NL".

Etymology and terminology

The name Holland first appeared in sources for the region around Haarlem, and by 1064 was being used as the name of the entire county. By the early twelfth century, the inhabitants of Holland were called Hollandi in a Latin text. Holland is derived from the Old Dutch term holtlant ('wood-land'). This spelling variation remained in use until around the 14th century, at which time the name stabilised as Holland (alternative spellings at the time were Hollant and Hollandt). A popular but erroneous folk etymology holds that Holland is derived from hol land ('hollow land' in Dutch), purportedly inspired by the low-lying geography of the land.

"Holland" is informally used in English and other languages, including sometimes the Dutch language itself, to mean the whole of the modern country of the Netherlands. This example of pars pro toto or synecdoche is similar to the tendency to refer to the United Kingdom as "England", and developed due to Holland's becoming the dominant province and thus having the majority of political and economic interactions with other countries.

Between 1806 and 1810 "Holland" was the official name for the county as a whole, after Napoleon made his brother Louis Bonaparte the monarch of the Kingdom of Holland.

The people of Holland are referred to as "Hollanders" in both Dutch and English, though in English this is now unusual. Today this refers specifically to people from the current provinces of North Holland and South Holland. Strictly speaking, the term "Hollanders" does not refer to people from the other provinces in the Netherlands, but colloquially "Hollanders" is sometimes used in this wider sense.

In Dutch, the word Hollands is the adjectival form for Holland. Hollands is also colloquially used by some Dutch people in the sense of Nederlands (the Dutch language), occasionally with the intention of contrasting with other types of Dutch people or forms of the language—for example Limburgish, the Belgian varieties of the Dutch language ("Flemish"), or even any southern variety of Dutch within the Netherlands itself.

In English, Dutch refers to the Netherlands as a whole, but there is no commonly used adjective for "Holland". The word "Hollandish" is no longer in common use. "Hollandic" is the name linguists give to the dialect spoken in Holland, and is occasionally also used by historians and when referring to pre-Napoleonic Holland.

County of Holland

Further information: County of Holland

Historical coat of arms of the County of Holland

Until the start of the 12th century, the inhabitants of the area that became Holland were known as Frisians. The area was initially part of Frisia. At the end of the 9th century, West-Frisia became a separate county in the Holy Roman Empire. The first Count known about with certainty was Dirk I, who ruled from 896 to 931. He was succeeded by a long line of counts in the House of Holland (who were in fact known as counts of Frisia until 1101). When John I died childless in 1299, the county was inherited by Count John II of Hainaut. By the time of William V (House of Wittelsbach; 1354–1388) the count of Holland was also the count of Hainaut and Zealand.

After the St. Lucia's flood in 1287 the part of Frisia west of the later Zuiderzee, West Friesland, was conquered. As a result, most provincial institutions, including the States of Holland and West Frisia, would for more than five centuries refer to "Holland and West Frisia" as a unit. The Hook and Cod wars started around this time and ended when the countess of Holland, Jacoba or Jacqueline was forced to cede Holland to the Burgundian Philip III, known as Philip the Good, in 1432.

In 1432, Holland became part of the Burgundian Netherlands and since 1477 of the Habsburg Seventeen Provinces. In the 16th century the county became the most densely urbanised region in Europe, with the majority of the population living in cities. Within the Burgundian Netherlands, Holland was the dominant province in the north; the political influence of Holland largely determined the extent of Burgundian dominion in that area. The last count of Holland was Philip III, better known as Philip II, king of Spain. He was deposed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, although the kings of Spain continued to carry the titular appellation of Count of Holland until the Peace of Münster signed in 1648.

History

County of Holland

Further information: County of Holland

Historical coat of arms of the County of Holland

Until the start of the 12th century, the inhabitants of the area that became Holland were known as Frisians. The area was initially part of Frisia. At the end of the 9th century, West-Frisia became a separate county in the Holy Roman Empire. The first Count known about with certainty was Dirk I, who ruled from 896 to 931. He was succeeded by a long line of counts in the House of Holland (who were in fact known as counts of Frisia until 1101). When John I died childless in 1299, the county was inherited by Count John II of Hainaut. By the time of William V (House of Wittelsbach; 1354–1388) the count of Holland was also the count of Hainaut and Zealand.

After the St. Lucia's flood in 1287 the part of Frisia west of the later Zuiderzee, West Friesland, was conquered. As a result, most provincial institutions, including the States of Holland and West Frisia, would for more than five centuries refer to "Holland and West Frisia" as a unit. The Hook and Cod wars started around this time and ended when the countess of Holland, Jacoba or Jacqueline was forced to cede Holland to the Burgundian Philip III, known as Philip the Good, in 1432.

In 1432, Holland became part of the Burgundian Netherlands and since 1477 of the Habsburg Seventeen Provinces. In the 16th century the county became the most densely urbanised region in Europe, with the majority of the population living in cities. Within the Burgundian Netherlands, Holland was the dominant province in the north; the political influence of Holland largely determined the extent of Burgundian dominion in that area. The last count of Holland was Philip III, better known as Philip II, king of Spain. He was deposed in 1581 by the Act of Abjuration, although the kings of Spain continued to carry the titular appellation of Count of Holland until the Peace of Münster signed in 1648.

Dutch Republic

A map of Holland from 1682

In the Dutch Rebellion against the Habsburgs during the Eighty Years' War, the naval forces of the rebels, the Watergeuzen, established their first permanent base in 1572 in the town of Brill. In this way, Holland, now a sovereign state in a larger Dutch confederation, became the centre of the rebellion. It became the cultural, political and economic centre of the United Provinces (Dutch: Verenigde Provinciën), in the 17th century, the Dutch Golden Age, the wealthiest nation in the world. After the King of Spain was deposed as the count of Holland, the executive and legislative power rested with the States of Holland, which was led by a political figure who held the office of Grand Pensionary.

The largest cities in the Dutch Republic were in the province of Holland, such as Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Leiden, Alkmaar, The Hague, Delft, Dordrecht and Haarlem. From the great ports of Holland, Hollandic merchants sailed to and from destinations all over Europe, and merchants from all over Europe gathered to trade in the warehouses of Amsterdam and other trading cities of Holland.

Many Europeans thought of the United Provinces first as Holland rather than as the Republic of the Seven United Provinces of the Netherlands. A strong impression of Holland was planted in the minds of other Europeans, which then was projected back onto the Republic as a whole. Within the provinces themselves, a gradual slow process of cultural expansion took place, leading to a "Hollandification" of the other provinces and a more uniform culture for the whole of the Republic. The dialect of urban Holland became the standard language.

Timeline

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