In order to appreciate the true achievements of the modern day Kingdom of Netherlands in terms of its vibrant and rich socioeconomic and vibrant cultural position not only in Europe but globally, one has to understand and appreciate the journey the Dutch people have travelled throughout the centuries past.
We take a look at historical facts that have shaped the Kingdom of Netherlands and contributed to its current socioeconomic and rich cultural heritage.
The strong system of governance
The Monarchy was introduced in Netherlands in 1815 and has been in existence for over three centuries. During this period, the Dutch have had a smooth transition of authority from one monarch to the next and this level of political stability has contributed to the socioeconomic stability of this great Kingdom as well as the building of a great cultural heritage that the Dutch are proud of. The monarchy is enshrined in the country’s constitution and clearly spells out the process of transition from one monarch to the next. There also exists a government which is the executive source of legislation, and it oversees all local decisions, activities, and international relations. In as much as it’s a monarchy, there is an element of democracy as there exists a Parliament consisting of a 75-member council with the right to vote on, approve or reject government decisions.
The strong sense of nationhood
Over the centuries, the Dutch people have won and lost many battles but what’s significant is that the people of Netherlands always emerged stronger and united thanks to their strong sense of nationhood. From the 5th century when they were able to expel the Roman Empire from their land, to the 18th century when they expelled the Frenchand finally in the 20th century when Netherlands was under the occupation of the Germans after World War II, the Dutch have been able to rebuild their society both socially and economically. In spite of being surrounded by stronger economies and influences such as Spain, Germany, Belgium and France, and even falling into the control of some of these nations,the rich Dutch cultural heritage has never been swallowed or diluted. The Orange culture is uniquely Dutch and this speaks to the people’s strong sense of nationhood.
The Dutch today are a proud nation with a strong economy and a rich cultural heritage that is admired throughout Europe. It’s believed that this is partly the reason why The Hague which is the third largest city in the Netherlands is home to some of the world’s most important judicial bodies such as the ICC, the ICJ and the ICTR, and is the fourth major center of the United Nations. The Hague also hosts numerous academic institutions that specialize in the fields of international law, international relations and international development.