Oversea Greed

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The Netherlands have been a long time tolerant and rich land. The country opened the Bank of Amsterdam and ran a major trade business incomparable to any other. Although small, the territory bore a perfect harbor for ships of the time. Up until the late 17th century the Dutch Republic had a successful nation, unified under a booming economy. When England and other alliances shifted, the Dutch Republic would experience immense turmoil. England’s reasoning behind allying with the Spanish was solely for personal economic gain and power, by destroying the Dutch unity and economy it left room for England to become the most powerful commerce.

The Dutch economy was devastated by the military force of foreign countries. England wiped out over 2,000 Dutch ships within twenty years (Document 3). Having a border across a sea from the Dutch Republic made it easier for the English to demolish the Dutch’s naval fleet than it was for France who was obstructed by the Spanish Netherlands. In fact, the routes the Dutch took for trade to Africa and the East Indies went directly past England, many naval battles were held in this straight (Document 1). The only relatively safe path from England the Dutch could take for a trade route was to the Baltic Sea, but even this route’s trade decreased by approximately 45% over the span of 50 years (Document 2). With a lack of trade the Dutch fell into financial debt rapidly, in just twenty years the Dutch Republic was in almost 150,000,000 guilders of debt (Document 12). None of the provinces could handle this debt except Holland which included Amsterdam, the most successful center of trade in all of Europe. However, not even Holland’s wealth could save the Dutch.

With the constant financial burdens and ba...

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...e Dutch Republic’s despair, so did some of Asia, such as the Portuguese, Chinese, and Muslims (Document 13). The Dutch Republic feared the “other kings [who] seem more and more to scheme how to ruin what remains of the trade… and to take over part of it for themselves” (Document 7). Not only did England increase her own power by destroying the Dutch Republic, the nation had such a powerful business of trade other countries took the Dutch wealth for themselves.

England had no intention to help France; they only wanted more money and power for themselves. This decision resulted in more power for other countries. Although the Dutch suffered greatly, lost national unity and security, and their economy crashed, the balance of power was checked. Ultimately the Dutch power had to end eventually for the balance of power to remain equal amongst European and Asian nations.
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