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 Definition Constitutional monarchy (population c. 16.6 million; capital Amsterdam) located at the delta of three major rivers (Rhine, Maas or Meuse, and Schelde) in north-western Europe; situated between Germany and Belgium, and bordering the North Sea to the north and west; founding member of the European Union. [d] [e]
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 Workgroup category Geography [Editors asked to check categories]
 Talk Archive none  English language variant Not specified


I would be pleased if experts contributed to this article (I'm only a citizen of this country and not an expert in anything geographical).--Paul Wormer 04:07, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Hi paul, i just added the subpages to this page so you can see how it works. The checklist you added now lives at the metadata page (click the organge M) amongst other things, although there is still a visual representation placed here by the subpage template. On the article all the categories are placed by the subpages template too. Chris Day (talk) 04:47, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Two houses of parliament?

Is that an upper and lower house (like the UK's house of commons and house of lords or the US congress and senate) - in which case the phrase should be changed to bicameral parliament?

I think you are right, in Dutch we call it eerste (first) and tweede (second) kamer (chamber). I didn't know the term bicameral. Thank you. --Paul Wormer 07:54, 22 August 2007 (CDT)

Workgroup The Netherlands

Let's start here. --Daniel Breslauer 06:40, 4 February 2008 (CST)

Daniel, thank you for inviting me here (see here). Like Paul, I'm a citizen of the Netherlands and not an expert on geographical or political subjects. However, if there's going to be a workgroup I would be happy to help out (although my time is limited). Regards, Martijn Lens 04:20, 5 February 2008 (CST)
Well, I'll try to contribute some too. I'm Dutch too, though I've been living in the United States for almost six years now. I just added a whole bunch of stuff. Michel van der Hoek 23:02, 28 April 2008 (CDT)

Ural Mountains

I copied verbatim the sentence containing "Ural Mountains" from the Oxford Atlas of the World, 11th ed. (2003). It is the first sentence in the entry "Netherlands". --Paul Wormer 03:56, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

I'm not challenging the veracity of the statement. I guess I'm just being nitpicky about the style of the sentence. To mention the "Ural Mountains" in an article about the Netherlands just seems ridiculous. It is mentioned in a subclause that specifies information about the European plain, but the subclause does not add anything to the description of the Netherlands. It would be the equivalent of saying, "California is bordered on the west by the Pacific Ocean which extends to Japan." True but pointless.Michel van der Hoek 10:15, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Plural or singular?

The Oxford atlas writes The Netherlands lies (singular). The lead-in uses singular throughout, so would one say The Netherlands are a constitutional monarchy?--Paul Wormer 04:01, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

There is some disagreement among English speakers. In American usage it would be The Netherlands lies... and many Brits would also follow this usage. However, some people take the phrase "The Netherlands" as a collective plural in the same way as phrases as "the police" (Police are saying...). Some Brits also talk about The United States are..., though few if any Americans would say that. Unfortunately, the most authoritative dictionaries I own either don't have an entry for "Netherlands" (the Oxford English Dictionary OED) or carefully avoid sentences where they would have to indicate grammatical number (American Heritage Dictionary). The Britannica Concise Encyclopedia uses Netherlands as a singular. I would propose that we follow this custom and correct any preexisting text to conform to it. Michel van der Hoek 10:46, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Prehistory and Conversion to Christianity

Nice section, well done.--Paul Wormer 04:08, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Thank you. Michel van der Hoek 10:48, 29 April 2008 (CDT)


Excuse my ignorance, but what is the political party TON? I have never heard of it, but, as I say, I've been gone from Holland for almost 6 years now. I can't find any reference to it anywhere. Am I missing something really obvious? Michel van der Hoek 10:48, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

I just researched this a little more and found that TON = Trots op Nederland (Proud of the Netherlands), an extremist nationalist party. I do not see why this group should be included in an encyclopedia article. It is extremely new and small. This party has had no influence of mention on Dutch culture, politics, or anything else. I propose we delete the reference to TON.
You are quite mistaken, if we may believe the independent polls the "movement" (not a party) will have about 25 seats in parliament (will be larger than the VVD and about as large as the PvdA). The leader of the movement (Rita Verdonk) believes that she will get 40 seats and will become prime minister (personally I abhor the idea). Because of these polls the party (excuse me, movement) has already much influence, just as Pim Fortuyn had (you know of him, don't you?)--Paul Wormer 13:58, 29 April 2008 (CDT)
Paul, thank you for your comments and your other contributions on the article I have seen. Just to make sure we get off on the right foot, I do not insist on this point. Frankly, this discussion is of relatively little importance. It's a judgment call and since I do not live in Holland right now, I will defer to your judgment. Yet, even if the polls are correct, I still doubt whether this populist party (because that is what it is, despite their own name!) has a place in an encyclopedic article on the Netherlands. This movement is so new. The party LPF (yes, I watched TV all evening, aghast, when Pim Fortuyn was assassinated in 2002, when I was still living in Holland) lasted about 3 years until its support vanished. Is TON replacing LPF and carrying on the same or similar sentiment? Personally, I would not include TON in this article, but reserve it for a separate article on Dutch politics or something like it, at least until a year or two have gone by, or, alternatively, this party wins some official election. This is just my own gut feeling of what constitutes noteworthiness in an encyclopedia article. But go ahead. Any other opinions out there? Michel van der Hoek 15:49, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

It depends. The BNP has seen some success in England in recent years, at the expense of the old white nationalist movements. Their not exactly mainstream in their support, but their are a lot of neo-fascist groups emerging in Europe, and are definately worthy of an encyclopedia article. Denis Cavanagh 17:00, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

people will lok to CZ for current events and TON is making waves: today's polls have it taking 23 seats and that's significant: Rita Verdonk’s populist party TON continues its rise in the polls and would take 23 seats in parliament if there was an election now, according to the latest Maurice de Hond poll. The Liberal democratic D66 party is also still on the up, boosting its support from 11 to 12. The party currently has three seats. Support for the ruling Christian Democrats is up from 31 to 33. However, the three-party coalition as a whole would only take 68 seats, well below the 76 necessary for an overall majority in the 150-seat parliament. source Richard Jensen 18:02, 29 April 2008 (CDT)
If people want current events they should check the news I would have thought. The polls were wrong - addition of ToN to the section about major political parties was premature, which the recent elections have served to highlight. I have removed ToN from the list - they might deserve an article, but not inclusion in a list of prominent political parties in the Netherlands. David Finn 10:38, 24 July 2010 (UTC)

Troops in Iraq

I believe that we (i.e., the Dutch) had never more than, say 1500, troops in Iraq. We have about that many now in Afghanistan.--Paul Wormer 14:08, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

good point--I took the numbers from the Embassy Press release, which talks about aggregate who served. The max was about 1700, so I will revise. Richard Jensen 14:34, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

History article

I've begun the Netherlands, history article and would appreciate feedback. Richard Jensen 19:59, 29 April 2008 (CDT)

Looking good so far! I have an old two volume collection by J Motley, a historian who wrote a famous work on the 'rise of the Dutch Republic'. I might make a stab at adding to the eighty year war when (If) I get a chance. Denis Cavanagh 20:42, 29 April 2008 (CDT)
hey, thanks! re Motley, well I almost remember when that book first appeared. :) Richard Jensen 20:53, 29 April 2008 (CDT)
Good idea! I've added a bit on the Middle Ages. Feel free to add, tweak, specify. I put a longer version on the Netherlands, history article, and a summarized version here. Michel van der Hoek 10:25, 30 April 2008 (CDT)
yes, a short history here can be pitched to a general reader. Students should read the longer, more complex, annotated version at Netherlands, history.Richard Jensen 15:53, 30 April 2008 (CDT)

Pennsylvania Dutch

As a linguist/philologist, I have to put my foot down on this point. "Pennsylvania Dutch" is a linguistic term, not an ethnic term. While in colloquial speech, people may talk about the "Pennsylvania Dutch" as a group of people, this is technically incorrect. "Pennsylvania Dutch" means "Pennsylvania Deutsch", i.e. the dialect of German spoken in the German settlements of Pennsylvania. It is true that 95% percent of the people who used to speak this dialect have given it up and now only speak English, there are still some tiny pockets of German speakers left within the most conservative branches of the Amish. Also, it is not correct to think that only the Amish or the Mennonites spoke Pennsylvania Dutch. It used to be simply the name for the German dialect spoken by any descendants of the Pennsylvania settlers, wherever they were located in the US. The dialect could (can) be identified by certain peculiarities. I don't have any written sources on this (I will have to look for it), but I heard a presentation on the topic at the Germanic Linguistics Annual Conference at Penn State (yes, in the middle of Pennsylvania Dutch country) only last year. Michel van der Hoek 22:58, 30 April 2008 (CDT)

well as a historian of American ethnic groups I can explain that Pennsylvania Dutch is indeed primarily an ethnic term (not merely a linguistic term). The ethnic groups still exists and are collectively still called Pennsylvania Dutch, but German is almost dead (except among the Amish). The article is not about the Dutch language, so the linguistic point should be made in a separate article. (On linguistics, I would indeed be astonished to find there was just one dialect, as the Pennsylvania Dutch came from many different parts of Germany and Switzerland. The largest number were Lutherans from the Palatine. There were numerous sects, like Moravians, Mennonites, Amish, United Brethren and others, all with distinct histories. (My wife was PI on an NEH project on the music of the Pennsylvania Dutch, so I heard a great deal about them, visited numerous sites in the 1980s and met with local religious and music leaders.) Richard Jensen 23:54, 30 April 2008 (CDT)
Perhaps we can agree that the term was used for both, though I was quite convinced that it originated as a linguistic term. But let's not bicker about a detail like that. I may be wrong. On the linguistic point, it was, surprisingly, one single dialect because of a curious immigration pattern around 1750 that wiped out the original diversity that probably existed (a huge influx of immigrants from the Palatine that completely dwarfed the Swiss and other Germans). There are still some members of the Reformed Church in the United States (which was founded by German Calvinists in Pennsylvania in 1748) to this day who speak a version of Pennsylvania Dutch, though they live mostly in the Upper Midwest (esp. the Dakotas). As for including it in this article, it is only one sentence and I do think it has a place because it is still believed to be related to the Netherlands by a shocking number of people. Michel van der Hoek 09:22, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

Spelling Socialistiese partij

My eyes got hooked on the spelling "Socialistiese" in the article, and I wonder if we should not avoid it.

In regular Dutch one writes "socialistische" instead of "socialistiese". The latter spelling was considered progressive ("of the people") in the 1970s and early 1980s when the SP was founded. I haven't seen this progressive spelling for ages and I wondered how the SP (which has moved away from the extreme left) would spell its name now. Answer: they avoid it. Their website is full of the abbreviation SP, but nowhere we find the name in full. In texts the SP uses the ordinary spelling: "socialistisch". --Paul Wormer 03:34, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

That is most curious. If the SP actually has switched to the standard spelling "socialistische", we should change it. They used to be very consistent about using the spelling "socialistiese" (which has always driven me nuts). I ground my teeth as I typed it... Michel van der Hoek 09:24, 1 May 2008 (CDT)

I wrote the SP an e-mail requiring if they were still "Socialistiese Partij". Today I got this answer:

Beste Paul Wormer,

uw spelling is slechts korte tijd van kracht geweest.

Al weer vele jaren zijn we "Socialistische Partij".

Met vriendelijke groet,
Theo Cornelissen
medewerker secretariaat

--Paul Wormer 07:06, 2 May 2008 (CDT)

Political Parties

The list of politcal parties currently includes:-

  • ChristenUnie - Christian Union (Conservative Christian Party)
  • SGP = Staatkundig Gereformeerde Partij - Conservative Christian Party

This seems somewhat confusing. In fact, ChristenUnie is much more progressive than either SGP (which to my mind is rightly called conservative – until recently it would not even admit women as members) or CDA (which I would call centrist). The question then becomes how to characterize CU. I would suggest "Social Christian Party" for want of a better term.

Additionally, ChristenUnie does not mean "Christian Union" but "Christians' Union": a christen is a Christian, while christelijk would be the Dutch equivalent for the adjective "Christian". Bessel Dekker 13:59, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

PS I have made a few minor alterations sub GroenjLinks: there is no space in the name (website: [1]), and the party is not a "federation", as the article claimed. It is the result of a merger of various other political parties, but this is a historical accident which hardly needs to exercise the reader here. (The same goes for CDA.) Bessel Dekker 14:07, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
I see that colleagues have now made some alterations. I had not intended my suggestion "Social Christian Party" as a translation of the name, i.e. in the italicized version. Rather, I was groping for an emendation to the "Conservative" occurring in the roman-type characterization. Might I suggest that in this roman-type description, "(Left of centre)" be added in brackets? On the whole, this seems to me to be a fair description. Bessel Dekker 20:13, 11 March 2010 (UTC)
In line with my earlier remarks, in the table I have shifted CU from centre-right to centre-left. Hopefully this will meet with little opposition. Bessel Dekker 19:53, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

Semi-independence of provinces

In Name and usage, the second sentence ran "This name goes back to the history of the country as a federal republic during the 17th and 18th centuries, when each of the constituent provinces were considered semi-independent states." I should like to point out that I have been rather impetuous and deleted considered. After all, the Unie van Utrecht (16th century, admittedly) was a league of regions which acceded in their own right, had their own "States" (deputies to the States General), and in fact, gradually other regions and even cities joined the union of their own accord. Autonomous government was accorded the signatories under the stipulations of the Unie van Utrecht. (An exception, of course, were the "Generaliteitslanden" — which until 1796 were administered directly by the States General, hence the designation. But they included only Staats-Brabant, Staats-Vlaanderen and a spate of smaller regions.) In sum, I hope my deletion of the word considered will cause no offence, although admittedly I might have consulted with colleagues first. Bessel Dekker 20:06, 11 March 2010 (UTC)

IMHO removal of "considered" is a (minor) improvement, because it was not clear by whom the provinces were considered semi-independent: by the Dutch themselves, the governments of the other European nations, or both? "Semi-independent" gives sufficient qualification, it doesn't have to be weakened.--Paul Wormer 06:42, 12 March 2010 (UTC)


The Netherlands and the Kingdom of the Netherlands are two different entities: the latter includes the West Indian territories, the former doesn't ([2]). Wikipedia has two separate articles. How should this be dealt with here? Peter Jackson 14:51, 14 January 2011 (UTC)

Similarly Talk:Denmark. Peter Jackson 10:55, 20 January 2011 (UTC)