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Netherlands Historical Events

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Date: [unknown] [unknown]
Location: Netherlandsmap
Surname/tag: Netherlands
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Below is a list of Netherlands history (or pre-history) that can be used in Genealogical Programs to create a timeline. Note: The below is formatted as per a program called Kith and Kin, so it might need to be reformatted for other programs.

Feel free to add or ammend.


57 BC = War: The Roman Empire under Julius Caesar invades the southern Netherlands and takes control.
ABT 1 = - 100. A tribe called the Frisians have settled much of the area.
ABT 400 = War: Romans are overthrown by Germanic tribes. Peoples such as the Saxons, Franks, Angles, and Jutes
600 = - 700. Frisians clashed with Franks
768 = Ruler: Charlemagne becomes King of the Franks. His empire expands to include the Netherlands.
800 = - 1000. The Vikings arrive raiding towns and cities along the coast. They settle in some areas.
814 = Ruler: Death of Charlemagne, the Frankish emperor of the West and conqueror of the Saxons and Frisia
814 = The Low Countries become part of Lotharingia, squeezed between the German lands and France.
838 = Flood: Large portion of northwest Netherlands flooded; over 2,400 died
1014 = Flood: Walcheren. Thousands died when line of the Netherlands was breached.
1042 = Flood: Flemish coast and in particular the region of the Yser mouth.
1083 = The name Holland first appears in a legal document describing a region that would later become known
1163 = Flood: Several floods this year. This caused dike breaches along the Maas.
1170 = Flood: North Sea, Zuiderzee and Waddenzee. First All Saints' Flood
1196 = Flood: North Netherlands and Zuiderzee. St. Nicholas' Flood
1212 = Flood: Large flood at Noord-Holland killed 60,000
1214 = Flood: Storm flood affecting all parts of the Netherlands
1219 = Flood: St. Marcellus Flood killed 36,000. St. Marcellus' Flood (Sint-Marcellusvloed).
20-11-1248 = Flood: North Holland, Friesland and Groninge. coastal dunes were breached (likely at Callantsoog)
28-12-1248 = Flood: North Holland, Friesland and Groninge
4-2-1249 = Flood: North Holland, Friesland and Groninge
1270 = Place: Rotterdam. Dam constructed in the Rotte
12-10-1275 = Place: Amsterdam (Amstelledamme) occurs in toll records
1277 = Flood: Reiderland
1280 = Flood: North of the Netherlands. This flood created the Lauwerszee.
1282 = Flood: Waddenzee and IJsselmeer. A storm broke through the coastal dunes around Texel
1287 = Flood: St. Lucia's flood, Zuider Zee seawall collapsed; ~50,000 to 80,000 died
1299 = Ruler: Count of Holland gained control of Zeeland
1300 = Ruler: French Dukes of Burgundy united all of the Low Countries
1301 = War: Holland defeated Lichtenberg at Battle of Breukelen
1340 = Place: Rotterdam granted city rights by the Count of Holland
1345 = War: Frisian defeated Dutch at Warns
1362 = Flood: Grote Mandrenke. Storm surge kills 25,000; sixty parishes destroyed in Slesvig
1384 = Ruler: Start of the Burgundian Period when most of the Netherlands was ruled by the Duke of Burgundy
1404 = Flood: First St. Elizabeth's Flood occurred; Zeeland and Holland
1421 = Flood: Second St. Elizabeth's Flood; dike broke, villages swept away; 2,000 to 10,000 died
1432 = Ruler: Zeeland became part of Low Countries under Phillip the Good of Burgundy
1460 = Episcopal palace at Atrecht held witch burnings
1477 = Ruler: Mary of Burgundy, heiress of all Netherlands, married Maximilian I of Habsburg of Austria
1481 = Ruler: End of the Burgundian Period when most of the Netherlands was ruled by the Duke of Burgundy
1482 = Ruler: Start of the Habsburg Period when the region was ruled by the Habsburg Empire.
1489 = Start of plague killed thousands
1490 = End of plague killed thousands
1492 = War: German mercenaries killed 232 at Bread and Cheese rebellion
1500 = 's. Protestant Reformation swept across Europe; Dutch Protestants persecuted by Roman Catholics
1506 = Ruler: The Netherlands is inherited by the future Habsburg Emperor and King of Spain Charles V.
1509 = Dutch philosopher Erasmus writes The Praise of Folly
1511 = Portuguese traders reached Banda Islands
1516 = Ruler: King Charles I of Spain rules Netherlands
1517 = Protestants burned at the stake
1519 = Ruler: King Charles I of Spain became Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V
1520 = Public burning of books took place in Louvain
1521 = Ruler: Emperor Charles V banned wooden buildings in Amsterdam
1524 = Henry Van Zutphen, Dutch Protestant martyr, burned at stake
1527 = Wendelmoet Claesdochter first Dutch woman burned at stake as heretic
1530 = Flood: St. Felix's Flood. Large parts of Flanders and Zeeland
1540 = Ruler: Emperor Charles V beat uprising against taxes in Ghent; nine leaders beheaded, one hanged
1555 = Ruler: Philip II of Spain sends the duke of Alba to the Low Countries to confront the Protestant Ref
1556 = Ruler: Emperor Charles V gave control of Low Countries to Son, King Philip II of Spain
1567 = Ruler: Duke of Alba became guardian of Netherlands
1568 = War: Eighty Years' War, William I the Prince of Orange vs Habsburg Empire (King Philip II of Spain)
1568 = Ruler: King Phillip II of Spain banned foreign Dutch students
1568 = Flood: Tidal wave in North Sea destroyed sea walls, over 1,000 killed
1570 = Flood: All Saints' flood. Egmond, Bergen Op Zoom, and Saeftinghe. 20,000 died
1572 = Ruler: William of Orange became viceroy of Holland, Friesland, Utrecht
1572 = War: Town of Naarden surrendered to Spanish, town burned, all residents massacred
1574 = Flood: Storm broke Leiden dike, 20,000 Spanish soldiers drowned
1576 = Netherlands' 17 provinces united in Pacification of Ghent; formed federation to maintain peace
1576 = War: Spanish forces attached Antwerp (the Spanish Fury)
1579 = Treaty of Utrecht signed, beginning of Dutch Republic
1579 = Friesland joined Union of Utrecht
1579 = The southern provinces broke with the Pacification of Ghent
1580 = States of Utrecht outlawed Catholic worship
1581 = Dutch declare their independence from Spain, Republic of the Seven United Netherlands is established
14-12-1582 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Brabant, Zeeland
20-12-1582 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Limburg
25-12-1582 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Brabant, Zeeland
31-12-1582 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Limburg
1-1-1583 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Holland
12-1-1583 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Holland
10-2-1583 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Groningen.
21-2-1583 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Groningen
1584 = William of Orange assassinated
6-1584 = Calender: Groningen Returned to Julian calendar in the summer of 1594.
1585 = War: Antwerp sacked by Duke of Parma
1588 = Republic of the Seven United Netherlands was founded.
ABT 1590 = Invention: Dutch Father-Son team, Hans and Zaccharias Jansen, invented the microscope in the 1590s
1600 = 's. Jewish refugees from Spain and Portugal begin to arrive in the Netherlands.
1602 = Dutch East India Company formed in Jakarta, Indonesia
1602 = Invention: Stock market
1604 = War: Spanish took Ostend (northwest Belgium) from Netherlands
1608 = Invention: Hans Lippershey developed the first telescope
1609 = Henry Hudson's voyage to the Americas.
1620 = Pilgrims left Netherlands, landed in Massachusetts
1624 = Dutchman Cornelius Drebbel created world's first submarine
1626 = Peter Minuit "purchases" Manhattan Island from the Manhattoes Native Americans for the equiv. of $24
1630 = War: Dutch begin conquest of Brazil
1642 = Dutch artist Rembrandt van Rijn paints his most famous painting, The Night Watch.
1642 = Navigator Abel Tasman is the first European to reach Tasmania and New Zealand.
1648 = War: The Eighty Years' War comes to an end with the Peace of Munster.
1648 = The Dutch Republic is recognized by Spain as an independent country.
1652 = War: War broke out between Netherlands and England
1652 = Dutchman Jan van Riebeek founds Cape Town, South Africa.
1654 = War: Dutch conquered Brazil
1661 = Holland sold Brazil to Portugal
1664 = Nieuw Amsterdam renamed New York by the English.
1665 = Ruler: King Charles II of England declared war on Netherlands
1665 = War: British captured Banda Island of Run from Dutch
1667 = War: Dutch fleet sailed Thames, threatened London; burned three ships
1667 = Ruler: William of Orange replaced James Stuart
1667 = War: Peace of Breda ended war;
1667 = Surinam ceded to England by Dutch in exchange for New York
1672 = War: King Louis XIV of France invaded Netherlands
1672 = War: sluices opened in Holland to save Amsterdam from French
1675 = Flood: North Netherlands
1677 = Ruler: William of Orange married cousin Mary (daughter of James, Duke of York)
1685 = Edict of Nantes (that gave political equality to the Huguenots in France) was revoked
1688 = Ruler: King William of Orange and Queen Mary become rulers.
1688 = War: King Louis XIV of France declared war on Netherlands
1688 = Ruler: King James II of England fled London, abdicated throne
1689 = Ruler: King William III joined League of Augsburg and Netherlands
1689 = Ruler: King William III formed Grand Alliance to counter war of aggression by King Louis XIV
1690 = War: French defeated Grand Alliance forces at Fleurus in Netherlands
1692 = War: French forces defeated English at Battle of Steenkerke in Netherlands
4-6-1692 = War: English and Dutch fleet beat France at Battle of La Hogue
29-7-1693 = War: At Battle of Neerwinden(1693) in Netherlands, French destroyed Grand Alliance army
1697 = War: Treaty of Ryswick signed; ended war between france and Grand Alliance
ABT 1700 = Invention: Orange carrots
30-6-1700 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Gelderland
12-7-1700 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Gelderland
30-11-1700 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Utrecht, Overijssel
12-12-1700 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Utrecht, Overijssel
31-12-1700 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Friesland, Groningen (second time)
1701 = War: England, Austria, Netherlands formed Alliance against France
12-1-1701 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Friesland, Groningen (second time)
30-4-1701 = Calender: End of Julian Calender: Drenthe
12-5-1701 = Calender: Start of Gregorian Calender: Drenthe
12-1703 = Flood: Great Storm of 1703. Friesland. 8,000 to 15,000 died
25-12-1717 = Flood: Christmas flood of 1717. Groningen, Zwolle, Dokkum, Amsterdam, and Haarlem. 14,000 died
13-4-1741 = Dutch protested against bad quality of bread
1745 = War: England, Austria, Saxony, Netherlands formed alliance against Russia;
11-5-1745 = War: French forces defeated Ango-Dutch army at Fontenoy
2-7-1747 = War: French forces defeated Ango-Dutch at Battle of Lauffeld
15-8-1747 = War: England and Netherlands signed military treaty
18-9-1747 = War: French captured Bergen op Zoom
1748 = Riot broke out in Amsterdam after public execution; over 200 killed
12-1780 = War: Start of Netherlands war with England. Fourth Anglo-Dutch War
1782 = Dutch become first to officially recognize nationhood of the United States.
1783 = War: End of Netherlands war with England
1784 = War: Peace of Versailles ended war between France, England, Holland
15-6-1784 = Holland banned orange clothes
1788 = War: Alliance between Britain, Prussia, Netherlands ratified
6-11-1792 = War: French conquer Belgium
16-2-1793 = War: France declared war on Britain and Netherlands
4-3-1793 = War: French conquered Geertruidenberg, Netherlands
4-3-1793 = War: Fort at Klundert was captured. 60 killed
18-3-1793 = War: Battle of Neerwinden (1793)
1795 = War: The French army invades and takes over. The Batavian Republic is declared
1801 = Ruler: Napoleon Bonaparte imposed new constitution
1806 = Ruler: French emperor, Napoleon, makes his brother, Louis, King of the Netherlands.
1813 = War: Napoleon and the French are defeated
1813 = The United Kingdom of the Netherlands is declared. It includes Belgium and has two capitals: Brusse
1814 = Ruler: William VI, prince of Orange, became King William I of the Netherlands
1814 = French troops left the country
1815 = War: British, German, Dutch, Belgian troops assembled to face Napoleon
16-3-1815 = Congress of Vienna formed the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, (Prince Willem VI became King)
1-1820 = Flood: Holland. This flood inundated large parts of the Alblasserwaard, after a number of dike breac
26-1-1820 = Flood: The lock between the Linge and the canal from Steenenhoek to Gorinchem succumbed
3-2-1825 = Flood: Groningen, Friesland and Overijssel. Dike breaks. 800+ died
1830 = War: Belgium rebels and breaks away forming its own country.
11-1836 = Flood: Amsterdam. Hurricane-driven flood breached the gates of Amsterdam i
25-12-1836 = Flood: Hurricane-driven flood, flooded Leyden on Christmas day
1839 = Belgium was recognized as an independent nation, and border disputes were resolved
1839 = Limburg was split between the Netherlands and Belgium.
1840 = Ruler: King William I of Holland abdicated
1840 = The province of Noord–Holland was created by a division of the province of Holland.
1840 = The remaining part of the province of Holland later came to be known as Zuid–Holland.
30-3-1853 = Famous painter Vincent van Gogh is born.
1857 = Place: De Mijl became part of Dubbledam
1862 = Invention: Dutchman Herman Snellen invented the letter chart eye test
1864 = Gerard Heineken founded beer Heineken brewery. He bought a brewery known as De Hooiberg
20-7-1864 = War: British, French, Dutch fleets attacked Japan in Shimonoseki Straits
6-9-1864 = War: Final battle in Shimonoseki Straits
11-6-1870 = Amstel Brewery opened
1873 = Holland American cruise line began operations from Netherlands
1873 = War: Colonization efforts began in Aceh province (Indonesia), caused decades-long war
31-8-1880 = Ruler: Queen Wilhelmina (Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria) born
30-1-1886 = Place: Delfshaven amalgamated with Rotterdam
1890 = Grand Duchy of Luxembourg separated from Netherlands
1890 = Royal Dutch Petroleum Co. founded
29-7-1890 = Famous painter Vincent van Gogh died
28-2-1895 = Place: Charlois amalgamated with Rotterdam
28-2-1895 = Place: Kralingen amalgamated with Rotterdam
1899 = The First Hague Peace Conference is held between many of the world powers in an effort to avoid war.
12-1-1903 = Harry Houdini escaped from police station in Amsterdam
1904 = Two men (Weerdinge couple) found in bog, dated from 160BC - 220AD
30-4-1909 = Ruler: Queen Juliana (Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina) born
28-7-1914 = War: World War I begins. The Netherlands remains neutral.
25-8-1914 = German Zeppelins bombed Antwerp
2-9-1914 = German Zeppelins bombed Antwerp second time
13-1-1916 = Flood: Northwest Netherlands.Zuyderzee Flood. Dikes broke at dozens of places around the Zuiderzee
1917 = The Netherlands suffers from severe food shortages.
15-10-1917 = Mata Hari (Dutch dancer who spied for Germans) executed by firing squad
11-1918 = Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germanany went into exile in Netherlands
1919 = Women gain the right to vote in the Netherlands
1920 = Dutch government refused to hand over dethroned German monarch, Kaiser Wilhelm II, to Allies
1920 = League of Nations established International Court of Justice in The Hague
1927 = Begin of building of Afsluitdijk
28-7-1928 = Olympics opened in Amsterdam
1932 = Afsluitkijk Dam completed, sealed Zuider Zee from ocean, formed freshwater lake, IJsselmeer.
5-4-1932 = Dutch textile strike broken by trade unions;
1933 = Dutch economic crisis
1934 = Jordanians revolted due to reduction in employment in Amsterdam
1-5-1934 = Place: Hoogvliet amalgamated with Rotterdam
1-5-1934 = Place: Penris amalgamated with Rotterdam
1935 = Dutch Revolutionary Socialist Worker's Party formed
1939 = War: World War II begins. The Netherlands once again tries to remain neutral.
1939 = Netherlands passenger ship hit German mine, 86 died
1940 = Germans bombed Rotterdam from air, destroyed tens of thousands of buildings
10-5-1940 = War: Germany invades and occupies the Netherlands.
1941 = Jewish people are rounded up and sent to concentration camps by Nazi police.
1941 = Nazi police attacked, driven away from Koco in Amsterdam by young Jews
1-8-1941 = Place: Hillegersberg amalgamated with Rotterdam
1-8-1941 = Place: IJsselmonde amalgamated with Rotterdam
1-8-1941 = Place: Overschie amalgamated with Rotterdam
1-8-1941 = Place: Schiebroek amalgamated with Rotterdam
1942 = War: Japan declared war against Netherlands
1942 = Japanese forces invaded Dutch East Indies
1942 = Nazis executed 72 in Sachsenhausen
1942 = Jews transported from Holland to extermination camp
1943 = War: US ship James Oglethorpe, Netherlands ship Terkolei torpedoed, sank
1943 = War: U S mistakenly bombed Rotterdam, 326 killed
1943 = Dutch struck against forced labor in Nazi German's war industry
1943 = Jews rioted in Amsterdam against Germans
1943 = Willem Kolff invented first dialysis machine
1944 = Anne Frank is caught by the Nazis and sent to Auschwitz concentration camp.
1944 = War: Nazi troops executed 96 prisoners by firing squad
9-6-1944 = War: 99 inhabitants of Tulle were hung
5-9-1944 = War: 65,000 Dutch Nazi collaborators fled to Germany (Mad Tuesday)
9-9-1944 = War: Netherlands became site of fighting between Allied forces and Germany
17-9-1944 = War: British and American troops parachuted into Holland to capture Arnhem Bridge
17-9-1944 = War: Thousands of British troops killed by Germans at Arnhem Bridge
10-1944 = War: Food supply severely disrupted, many Dutch civilians suffered near-starvation
3-3-1945 = War: RAF bombing error hit Bezuidenhout, The Hague, killed 511
5-5-1945 = War: German forces in the Netherlands capitulate.
10-12-1945 = The Netherlands joins the United Nations.
1948 = The International Court of Justice is established at The Hague.
1948 = Benelux customs union with Belgium and Luxembourg takes effect.
9-1948 = Ruler: Queen Wilhelmina abdicated throne due to health reasons; Queen Juliana crowned
1949 = The Netherlands joins NATO, no longer keeping its policy of neutrality.
1952 = Netherlands founding member of European Coal and Steel Community
1953 = Flood: The North Sea Flood kills over 1,800 people.
1953 = The government starts construction on the Delta Works,
31-1-1953 = Flood: North Sea flood of 1953. 2,551 died
1958 = The Netherlands joins the European Economic Community, the forerunner of today's European Union (EU)
28-11-1962 = Ruler: Queen Wilhelmina (Wilhelmina Helena Pauline Maria) died
1963 = Invention: Dutch firm Philips invented cassettes
1968 = Greece, Portugal and Spain embassies bombed in The Hague
1969 = Nuclear reactor in Dodewaard began use (closed 26 March 1997)
3-1969 = John Lennon, Yoko Ono staged bed-in for peace in Amsterdam
1970 = Place: Dubbeldam merged with Dorecht
13-9-1974 = French Embassy attack in The Hague
1975 = Hundreds of thousands of Surinamese emigrated to Netherlands
1975 = Amsterdam's 700th anniversary
14-9-1975 = Rembrandt's "Nightwatch" slashed, damaged in Amsterdam
25-11-1975 = Dutch colony of Suriname gained independence
4-1980 = Ruler: Beatrix becomes queen when Queen Juliana abdicates her throne.
1982 = Invention: Dutch firm Philips invented CD
1983 = Alfred Heineken, kidnapped, for ransom of over $10 million; freed by police after 20 days
1988 = Invention: Fair Trade
ABT 1990 = Invention: Dutch engineer Dr. Jaap Haartsen invented Bluetooth
ABT 1990 = Inventions: Network scientists Victor Hayes and Cees Links laid the basis for WaveLAN -> Wi-Fi
1991 = European community leaders met in Maastricht, agreed to begin using single currency by 1999
13-4-1992 = Earthquake struck Netherlands and Germany
4-10-1992 = Amsterdam apartment complex struck by El Al jet, 43 killed
22-8-1994 = Rule: Wim Kok, Prime Minister of the Netherlands
2-2-1995 = Flood: Rine River flood, state of emergency and hundreds of thousands of people are evacuated.
1997 = The Delta Works are completed.
1997 = European Union (EU) set common foreign, security policy in Amsterdam Treaty
1997 = Invention: Dutch firm Philips invented DVD
1999 = Netherlands, and 10 other EU nations began using Euro monetary system;
16-5-1999 = Picasso painting slashed by mental patient in Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam
7-12-1999 = Student in Veghel shot teacher, four students in first school shooting in Dutch history
2000 = Parliament legalized euthanasia
2000 = Bill passed allowing same-sex partners to marry
2000 = Brothels were legalized
13-5-2000 = Fireworks depot exploded in Enschede, 20 killed, 489 injured, 400 houses flattened
2002 = The Euro replaces the Dutch guilder as the official currency.
2002 = Eight men detained for providing financial aid, logistical services to al Qaeda
6-5-2002 = Anti-immigration party leader, Pim Fortuyn killed by gunman
22-7-2002 = Ruler: Prime minister Wim Kok's government resigned
22-7-2002 = Ruler: Balkenende became prime minister; government collapsed three months later
20-3-2004 = Ruler: Queen Juliana (Juliana Louise Emma Marie Wilhelmina) died
18-3-2010 = Place: Rozenburg amalgamated with Rotterdam
30-4-2013 = Ruler: Beatrix abdicates and is succeeded by her son Willem-Alexander

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