Amsterdam and the Netherlands a  brief History.

C. 1270 Amsterdam officially founded on what is now know as the Amstel river.

1275 Amsterdam is granted toll free use of the Dutch waterways to enable for it to concentrate on trade.

1287 The Netherlands builds it's first water defenses which are a construction of huge sand dunes after completion enabled the creation of Zuiderzee and giving Amsterdam it's first direct access to the ocean. They have been busy keeping the water back ever since and continue to be the world leaders on water flooding prevention.

1300 Amsterdam is officially recognised as a city.

1317 Amsterdam officially becomes part of the Netherlands / Holland

1323 The city obtains sole exclusive rights for the importing of German beer.

1368 Amsterdam becomes a member of the Hanseatic League

1400s Amsterdam is ruled by Philip III, Duke of Burgundy AKA Philip the Good or Philippe le Bon (July 31, 1396 – June 15, 1467)

1519 Amsterdam comes under direct rule from Spain

1543 The union of the Netherlands is created by Charles V, a descendant of Philip of Burgundy, with Brussels as the official capital

1568 80-year war  begins – Holland revolts against the religious persecution of Spain, but Amsterdam remains loyal to Spain.

1578 Amsterdam, now totally isolated, from the rest of the Netherlands signs a peace treaty and peace rains once again.

1580 Spain defeats Portugal so the Dutch loose a major trading partner and are forced to go in search of new trading partners to trade with.  Amsterdam gains importance as a major port.

1585 Antwerp noted for the wealth of the city and its citizens and for having the third largest port in Europe is invaded by the Spanish. Mean time Amsterdam starts to experiences it's first economic boom

1600s Amsterdam's "Golden Age" arrives which makes it a leading trade centre, trade and culture flourish.

1602 The Dutch East Indian Company is established which deals in buying and selling of slaves among other things but the Dutch do not use slaves themselves, just the buying and selling of them while keeping their hands clean.

1609 The planning and construction of Amsterdam’s three central ring canals begins, Herengracht (Man's canal) Keizersgracht (Kings canal) and Prinsengracht (Princes canal) all leading from the Amstel.

1648 Dutch gets it's independence from Spain

1672 War against France is declared and  Netherlands is attacked by England who side with France.

1689 William of Orange succeeds to the English throne as William III following the Glorious Revolution and the defeat of King James.

1747 Willem IV of Orange assumes the Dutch throne.

1795 Holland is occupied by the French and renamed the Bavarian Republic; Napoleons, brother is made head of the republic

1815 Willem I of Orange is crowned king; Amsterdam remains the capital but the Government moves to The Hague.  Amsterdam's no longer the commercial capital it once was.

1839 Belgium gains independence and The Netherlands is established within its modern-day boarders.

Late 1800s  sees the opening of the Suez Canal and with it a huge increase in world trade. The trade between the Netherlands and Indonesia intensifies.and around this time also sees the first diamonds arriving in Amsterdam.

10 May 1940 Holland is invaded and occupied by the Nazis and remains that way for the duration of the war. Many Jews are rounded up and sent to concentration camps , most never to return, Anne Frank's family is one of them.

5 May 1945 Germany is defeated and surrenders,  ending World War II and leaving much of Europe in ruins. Rebuilding starts straight away.

1948 Queen Wilhelmina abdicates and her daughter  Juliana is crowned Queen and succeeds to the Dutch throne

1949 The Dutch East Indies is granted it's independence and renames itself Indonesia

1950s/60s  With the war over Europe as well  as The Netherlands experiences massive economic growth.

1958 The Netherlands one of the founding members joins the EEC along with Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg  and is now know as the EU (European Union) 

1975 First coffee shops open in Amsterdam an spread to other cities in Netherlands soon over 700 shops open in Amsterdam alone. They are raided and closed by the police but reopen with days it not hours either in the same location or as near by as possible.  Police fight a loosing battle.

1980  Beatrix is crowned Queen and assumes the throne of the Netherlands.

1985  With over 700 coffeeshops open in Amsterdam. Government decide to think about the legalisation of them.

1992 Nelson Mandela visits Amsterdam and receives a hero's welcome.

1990's House prices see large increases in their value.

1999 Amsterdam Escape opens for business

2002 January 1st sees the end of the Dutch Guilder and the introduction of the Euro, prices rocket but wages remain unchanged.

2006 Now less than 300 coffee shops left open in Amsterdam and all are closely watched by the police.
April 2006, the official population of the city stands at 743,905; this counts only people who are registered as living in Amsterdam and does not count the thousands if not tens of thousands of illegal's, squatters, general drop outs and other non registered residents. the population of the greater Amsterdam area is around 1.5 million making it one of the most densely populated places on earth in relation to area size.
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