In 1650 the Dutch Republic had become a commercial, financial, and naval powerhouse, which led to other European nations recognizing it as the banking and trading center of Europe. Leading to its commercial success was the monopoly on trade routes in the North Sea. However during the 17th and 18th centuries the Dutch Republic began to decline due to their loss of control in the North and Atlantic Seas and the significant loss of manpower due to European wars. This led to an overall decline of the Dutch as the primary European power. The decline was due to a succession of European Wars, a loss of trade dominance, and general internal discord.
The Dutch Republic was a small but powerful political union consisting of seven provinces. The wealthiest and most powerful of the seven being Holland. With Holland being the wealthiest province it naturally become the financier of the many war efforts that the Dutch Republic was apart of (Doc 4). Other provinces were not able to supply money, so they instead fielded thousands of men and sailors to fight the French (Doc 10). With the copious amounts of men going to fight these European wars this of course lead to casualties, and for the Dutch these were plentiful (Doc 14). With the Dutch cities close to empty of men discord started to rise. The general populace was tired of the constant warfare, the taxing on their pockets, and the loss of human life. These sentiments lead to general disagreement with the Dutch government. There was a large distrust of government policies and its leaders, this lead to hindered deliberations when trying to decide which military commander to pick to fight off the French in 1670’s. (Doc 9). Not being able to make these decisions quickly made the Dutch situation even worse then it already was. These documents written by the Dutch show the bias that the general populace were not in favor of the wars that they were involved in.
The Dutch Merchant Marines were by far the...
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