The country called the Kingdom of the Netherlands, or more often simply the Netherlands, is an intriguing place. Common images associated with this country include decorative wooden shoes, large white Dutch hats on little girls, elaborate systems of dikes, wooden windmills, and fields of colorful tulips. A land of diverse and varied history, the Netherlands has overcome intriguing struggles in many centuries, impacting the world despite its diminutive size. Among the smaller countries in Europe, the Netherlands’ ranks thirty-first out of forty-five countries. The country has many valuable assets, such as the famed Ruhr industrial zone lusted after by the ambitious Germans in World War II.
It would be an understatement to say that the Netherland’s physical geography is unique. Mainly a coastal lowlands area, the country is well-known for its historic quest to hold back the sea. The legendary story of the alert little boy who prevented the failure of the dike by plugging a small hole with his finger embodies the battle. A dike failure could unleash great devastation, allowing the sea to overtake settled land the Dutch had painstakingly claimed from the sea. The government perpetually implements reclamation programs, attempting to reclaim more and more land from the sea by means of strategic dikes and levees.
The climate is favorable; temperate, with marine characteristics. Cool summers and mild winters make the Netherlands attractive. Precipitation is evenly spread, averaging between 2-3 inches per month. Summer temperatures average in the high 60s-low 70s, and the winter temperatures hover in the 40s. Located in continental Europe bordering the North Sea, the Netherlands is situate...
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Schaffner, Mrs. Tawnja. Interview by author, 30 October 2011.
Schuchart, Max. Netherlands. New York: Walker and Company, 1972.
State, Paul F. A Brief History of the Netherlands. New York: Facts On File, 2008.
United Nations. “Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg (Benelux), and Barbados.” United Nations Treaties. 1971. http://untreaty.un.org/unts/1_60000/23/9/00044428.pdf .
Wikipedia. “Mark Rutte.” Wikipedia. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mark_Rutte.
Wikipedia. “Netherlands.” Wikipedia. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Netherlands#Climate
Wikipedia. “Same-Sex Marriage in the Netherlands.” Wikipedia. 2011. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Same-sex_marriage_in_the_Netherlands .
World Trade Organization (WTO). “Members and Observers.” World Trade Organization. 2011. http://www.wto.org/english/thewto_e/whatis_e/tif_e/org6_e.htm .
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