The Low Countries 1789 CE
The Netherlands have become a centre of world-wide commerce.
What is happening in The Low Countries in 1789CE
The Dutch Republic embarked on a series of wars with England, fought mainly at sea. The fighting was fairly evenly matched, but the Dutch suffer proportionately more, as they were the smaller nation and, also, they were invaded by France in 1672. This invasion had the effect of drawing the Netherlands and England together and in 1688, William III of Orange, stadtholder of the Netherlands, becomes also king of England when his wife, Mary, inherits the throne.
In the mid- to- late 17th century the Dutch continued to be the leading trading power in Europe. They expanded their overseas trade and empire, largely through the agency of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). They pioneered a number of important financial innovations, central to modern economic life: for example the development of joint-stock companies and the establishing of a central bank. In agriculture, too, they developed a market-orientated approach which led to major innovations, which, when spread to England, formed the basis of the Agricultural Revolution there.
The rise of Britain as a maritime trading and naval power has eclipsed the Netherlands as the leading commercial nation in Europe, but the Dutch Republic has remained comparatively prosperous and politically stable during the 18th century.
The Spanish Netherlands were transferred to the Austrian branch of the Hapsburg family in 1714.