The Netherlands was formed in 1815. In 1830 Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but suffered invasion and occupation by Germany in World War II. The nation is a member of NATO, the EU, and participates in the European Monetary Union.
The Dutch have a prosperous economy, which depends heavily on foreign trade. Netherlands is noted for stable industrial relations, moderate unemployment and inflation and an important role as a European transportation hub. Industrial activity is predominantly in food processing, chemicals, petroleum refining, and electrical machinery. A mechanized agricultural sector provides large surpluses for the food-processing industry and for exports.
23 January 1579 (the northern provinces of the Low Countries conclude the Union of Utrecht breaking with Spain; not until 1648 did Spain recognized their independence)
Border Countries: Belgium 450 km, Germany 577 km
long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands - short form: Netherlands
local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden - local short form: Nederland
Nederland Flag Description:
three equal horizontal bands of red (top), white, and blue; one of the oldest flags in constant use, originating with William I, Prince of Orange, in the latter half of the 16th century