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Country Fast Facts: Netherlands


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The Dutch United Provinces declared their independence from Spain in 1579; during the 17th century, they became a leading seafaring and commercial power, with settlements and colonies around the world. After a 20-year French occupation, a Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed in 1815.

In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom.

The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II.

A modern, industrialized nation, the Netherlands is also a large exporter of agricultural products.

The country was a founding member of NATO and the EEC (now the EU), and participated in the introduction of the euro in 1999.

Source: CIA World Fact Book

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