Week Fifty-four

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Snow Snow Snow. Yep, still snowy and cold.

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Look at that snow. See anything strange about this picture? It was one of those days, my life is never dull. Go ahead, look close, click on it to make it bigger if you need to.
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netherland province

^^^^^ THE NETHERLANDS ^^^^^

200px-Holland_position.svg

^^^^^ HOLLAND ^^^^^

Since I don’t have much to talk about, besides snow, let me clear up a little geography for anyone interested.
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Holland vs. The Netherlands

A lot of people refer to the land north of Belgium as Holland. While that could be sort of correct, it is not. The country is called The Netherlands, there is not a country named “Holland”. Holland is simply a province, in the country of The Netherlands.
The country of The Netherlands is actually a part of The Kingdom of The Netherlands. Presently, The Kingdom of The Netherlands rules over a few countries in the world. Such as Aruba and Curaçao. And the BES (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba) is actually a part of (the country) The Netherlands. Which used to be a part of The Netherlands Antilles but are now known as the Caribbean Netherlands (?? ya I know, look at the diagram)

555px-Kingdom_of_the_Netherlands_location_tree.svg

But here is where it gets confusing in 1806, Napoleon Bonaparte gave The Netherlands (which looked different than it does today since the French owned parts of it) over to his brother Louis and renamed the whole country The Kingdom of Holland. In a few years, Napoleon was not happy with his brother. His brother dared assimilate to the Dutch culture and learned the language. Something that even the present day French people in Belgium hate. After Louis’ death, Napoleon was so annoyed at all this “French people trying to be Dutch crap” that he dissolved the Kingdom of Holland and wrapped it into the French Empire.

In 1815 The United Kingdom of The Netherlands was created (thanks to the Congress in Vienna who had to sort out all this political mapping junk after The French Revolution and the dissolution of The Holy Roman Empire). This United Kingdom of The Netherlands included Belgium and Luxembourg.
The Belgians rebelled against that whole deal in 1830 and became it’s own country
The Luxembourgers stopped all that in 1890 and became it’s own country
Which left the Netherlands to how it pretty much looks today.

SO, The Netherlands used to be called The Kingdom of Holland, and a hundred years ago it was correct to call the whole country “Holland”, but that is not correct today. Holland is now just the name of a province in The Netherlands. Which is part of the country of The Netherlands, which is a part of The Kingdom of The Netherlands. Sort of make sense? In Texas terms, think of Holland as The Southwest. The Netherlands as The United States, and The Kingdom of The Netherlands The US plus all those little places we have but pretend aren’t there (Guam, Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, American Samoa etc).

Other fun historical facts. Don’t underestimate the impact that The Dutch have had on shaping our world. The Dutch formed New Netherland (which was present day New York, New Jersey, parts of Connecticut etc), named the island of Manhattan New Amsterdam, set up a place called Harlem (Haarlam is the capital of the province of North Holland). New Zealand (Zeeland), Dutch Indies…Such a small country with such a huge impact.

The Netherlands flag
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Not to be confused with the Luxembourg Flag
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Amsterdam, The Netherlands
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Aruba (picture from our 2007 vacation)
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Someday this trivia will come up. I promise you. It may be on a quiz show, it may be in a bar, it may be on a board game but alas, it will come up. Let me know when it does.

Oh and the French call The Netherlands region ‘Pays-Bas’. But let’s not get into that.

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2 Responses to Week Fifty-four

  1. tjebran35 says:

    I always enjoy your history/geography lessons. History was my minor when I was in college.

  2. Shannon W says:

    Dog on the roof of the shed? WHAT?

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