The Decline of The Dutch Republic
Document Based Question Essay
AP European History Period 2
November 7th, 2012, First Quarter
From the middle of the Seventeenth Century to the early Eighteenth Century, the Dutch Republic, which in 1648 had it’s independence recognized in the Peace of Westphalia, was an important commercial and military presence in Western Europe which later experienced challenges to its security, unity, and prosperity: in security, the Dutch faced navel challenges from England and land-based invasions from France; the challenges to prosperity came from the cost of wars and fierce competition to it’s trading empire; in turn, the financial stress caused by war and commercial decline threatened the unity of the Republic, as the financial burden of the wars fell disproportionately on the province of Holland. The Dutch Republic, once a strong military force which was able to fend off the Spanish in the Eighty Years War, struggled with naval attacks from the English and land-based invasions from the French. The Dutch greatly suffered during the three Anglo-Dutch wars from 1652-1674; the English defeated the Dutch and seized 2,000-2,700 ships, compared to the Dutch capture of only 500 ships (Doc. 3). The fact that Dutch trade routes passed by England (Doc. 1) allowed the English ready access to seize Dutch merchant shipping. From documents one and three, evidently, the English naval power in the English Channel and the North Sea threatened Dutch merchant shipping from its origins and allowed it to seize many Dutch ships. Britain was not the only foreign nation to threaten the Dutch security. The military state of the Netherland continued to deteriorate when in 1670, The Treaty of Dover between England and France provided that France would fund English land attacks on the Netherlands: “The king of France will defray all expenses of the [English] campaign by land.” (Doc 6). The Treaty of Dover shows that concern with Dutch power led to...
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