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Beschreibung des Verlags
This edition of Holland - The History of the Netherlands provides an encompassing examination of the Dutch nation from the earliest times to the Napoleonic Wars, inclusive of the supplementary chapter by Julian Hawthorne.
Thomas Grattan commences his history with the Roman invasions of what is now the Netherlands. Although the Roman Empire held sway and brought organisation to the locality, but were eventually driven out by successive assaults of Frankish tribes. The strategic bargain the province of Frisia took, in order to retain native control over the lands north of the Lower Rhine, and the growing organisation of the region in the Dark Ages is hereafter discussed.
The temporarily dominant position of Frisia eventually gave way to the province of Holland, which became a formal entity in its own right and a province of the Holy Roman Empire. Self-perceptions of Frisian culture were retained until around the 12th century. Thereafter, in part due to the lengthy rule of the House of Holland, the peoples developed a distinct, Hollander identity.
Grattan keenly explains the Medieval and Renaissance history of the Netherlands, in terms of the various alliances and conflicts the nation undertook with Belgium, Spain and France. Although a small nation, the prosperous Dutch were able to negotiate strongly on terms of trade.
The later portions of the text examines the circumstances of the Dutch Rebellion against the Habsburgs during the Eighty Years' War. The development of gunpowder and naval power was instrumental in the rebellion, and represented a turning point in conflict during the 16th century.
The later rule by France over Holland, and the emergence of William V, the Prince of Orange is detailed. Finally, the book concludes with an examination of Holland's role in the closely proximate Battle of Waterloo during the Napoleonic War.
Thomas Grattan's account of Dutch history is intensive yet accessible. Those seeking insight into how the Netherlands developed its distinct culture to the point of playing a decisive role in the geopolitical events of wider Europe will find Grattan's researches, writing style, and attention to detail satisfying and comprehensive.