What Were the Challenges to Security, Unity, and Prosperity in the Dutch Republic, Otherwise Known as the Netherlands, in the Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century?

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The challenges to the security, unity, and prosperity in the Dutch Republic, otherwise known as the Netherlands, in the seventeenth and eighteenth century were mostly routed in the wars between England, France, and the Dutch Republic (which led to the end of the Dutch’s Golden Age and the start of their economic decline). The challenges varied from one to another; whether it was military conflicts, the shifting of alliances, the decay in oversea trade, or the disunity among the provinces. Despite the immense role these challenges played in the downfall of the Netherlands, the key factor was the disunity of the seven provinces. This disunity was the Netherlands tragic flaw and led to their downfall. In the sixteenth to seventeenth century the seven provinces that became the United Provinces of the Netherlands had entered a time of economic prosperity, also known as the Dutch Golden Age. Its economic achievement was built on the foundations of high urban consolidation, transformed agriculture, extensive trade and finance, and an overseas commercial empire. In the seventeenth century the Dutch engaged in a series of naval wars against England and in 1672 the armies of King Louis XIV invaded the Netherlands. The seventeenth century to eighteenth century was a time of shifting alliances and a series of military conflicts with other European powers. The disunity among the provinces and the military conflicts they faced were essential to the economic decline of the Dutch. The wars between England, France, and the Dutch had a detrimental effect on the security of the Dutch Republic. In 1670, France and England signed a secret treaty called the Treaty of Dover. It required England to assist France in its war of conquest against the Dutch; the third Anglo-Dutch War, a military war between England and the Netherlands, was a direct consequence of this treaty. The treaty proclaimed that “The king of France promises to pay to the king of England two million livers. Each...
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