Rampjaar

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Allegory of the Disaster Year by Jan van Wijckersloot (1673): In this allegorical painting, a young Orangist shows a regent, wearing a nightcap, an allegorical drawing. In this drawing, the Dutch lion is pictured inside a Dutch garden or "Hollandic Yard", a traditional symbol for the safety and integrity of the province of Holland adorning many of its public buildings. The lion is presented as weak and defenseless, his seven arrows (representing the provinces) dispersed and sword broken, while the fence surrounding the yard has already been broken down. At the top of the drawing, a French cock, perched atop three fleurs-de-lis and four conquered arrows crows triumphantly. The lesson is that the regents should have listened to the Orangists' concerns about the threat of Louis XIV of France. Johannes van Wijckersloot - Allegorie op de Franse invasie van 1672.jpg
Allegory of the Disaster Year by Jan van Wijckersloot (1673): In this allegorical painting, a young Orangist shows a regent, wearing a nightcap, an allegorical drawing. In this drawing, the Dutch lion is pictured inside a Dutch garden or "Hollandic Yard", a traditional symbol for the safety and integrity of the province of Holland adorning many of its public buildings. The lion is presented as weak and defenseless, his seven arrows (representing the provinces) dispersed and sword broken, while the fence surrounding the yard has already been broken down. At the top of the drawing, a French cock, perched atop three fleurs-de-lis and four conquered arrows crows triumphantly. The lesson is that the regents should have listened to the Orangists' concerns about the threat of Louis XIV of France.

In Dutch history, the year 1672 was known as the rampjaar, the "disaster year." That year, following the outbreak of the Franco-Dutch War and the Third Anglo-Dutch War, the Dutch Republic was simultaneously attacked by England, France, and the prince-bishops Bernhard von Galen, bishop of Münster, and Maximilian Henry of Bavaria, archbishop of Cologne. The invading armies quickly defeated most of the Dutch States Army and conquered part of the Republic.

History of the Netherlands Dutch history

The History of the Netherlands is the history of seafaring people thriving on a lowland river delta on the North Sea in northwestern Europe. Records begin with the four centuries during which the region formed a militarised border zone of the Roman Empire. This came under increasing pressure from Germanic peoples moving westwards. As Roman power collapsed and the Middle Ages began, three dominant Germanic peoples coalesced in the area, Frisians in the north and coastal areas, Low Saxons in the northeast, and the Franks in the south.

Franco-Dutch War International conflict

The Franco-Dutch War, often just the Dutch War, was a conflict that lasted from 1672 to 1678 between the Dutch Republic and France, each supported by allies. France had the support of England and Sweden, while the Dutch were supported by Spain, the Holy Roman Empire and Denmark.

Third Anglo-Dutch War conflict

The Third Anglo-Dutch War or the Third Dutch War was a military conflict between the Kingdom of England and the Dutch Republic that lasted from 7 April 1672 to 19 February 1674. It was part of the Franco-Dutch War between the Dutch Republic and her allies—the Quadruple Alliance—and France, and the third Anglo-Dutch War.

Contents

A famous Dutch saying coined that year describes the Dutch people as redeloos, its government as radeloos, and the country as reddeloos: senseless, desperate, and irrecoverable, respectively. Fed up with reduced military spending, the cities of the remaining coastal provinces of Holland, Zealand and Frisia underwent a political transition: the city governments were taken over by Orangists, opposed to the republican regime of the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt, soon ending the First Stadtholderless Period.

Holland Region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands

Holland is a region and former province on the western coast of the Netherlands. The name Holland is also frequently used informally to refer to the whole of the country of the Netherlands. This usage is commonly accepted in other countries, and sometimes employed by the Dutch themselves. However, some in the Netherlands, particularly those from regions outside Holland, may find it undesirable or misrepresentative to use the term for the whole country.

Zeeland Province of the Netherlands

Zeeland is the westernmost and least populous province of the Netherlands. The province, located in the south-west of the country, consists of a number of islands and peninsulas and a strip bordering Belgium. Its capital is Middelburg. Its area is about 2,930 square kilometres (1,130 sq mi), of which almost 1,140 square kilometres (440 sq mi) is water, and it has a population of about 380,000.

Frisia coastal region on the North Sea in the Netherlands and Germany formerly a historic region with its own language

Frisia is a coastal region along the southeastern corner of the North Sea in what today is mostly a large part of the Netherlands, including modern Friesland and smaller parts of northern Germany. Frisia is the traditional homeland of the Frisians, Germanic people who speak Frisian languages, which together with Anglic languages form the Anglo-Frisian language group.

Despite the initial shock and successful invasion of the eastern Dutch Republic, the English, French and German forces were eventually driven back. The English suffered defeats in 1673 by the navy under Michiel de Ruyter.

Michiel de Ruyter Dutch naval commander and folk hero

Michiel Adriaenszoon de Ruyter was a Dutch admiral. Widely celebrated and regarded as one of the most skilled admirals in Dutch history, De Ruyter is arguably most famous for his achievements with the Dutch Navy during the Anglo-Dutch Wars. He fought the English and French forces and scored several critical victories, with the Raid on the Medway being the most famous among them.

The English, whose parliament was suspicious of King Charles's motives in his alliance with France, and with Charles himself wary of French domination of the Spanish Netherlands, settled a peace with the Dutch republic in the Treaty of Westminster in 1674. Without English pressure and with the French being held in the south, Cologne and Münster also made peace in 1674. The French were eventually repelled with the help of the Spanish forces in the Spanish Netherlands, though some Spanish cities were ceded to France. The conflict eventually ended with the Treaties of Nijmegen in 1678-9.

The Treaty of Westminster of 1674 was the peace treaty that ended the Third Anglo-Dutch War. Signed by the Netherlands and England, it provided for the return of the colony of New Netherland to England and renewed the Treaty of Breda of 1667. It also provided for a mixed commission for the regulation of commerce, particularly in the East Indies.

Spanish Netherlands Historical region of the Low Countries (1581–1714)

Spanish Netherlands was the collective name of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries, held in personal union by the Spanish Crown from 1556 to 1714. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.

Treaties of Nijmegen Series of 17th century peace treaty

The Treaties of Peace of Nijmegen were a series of treaties signed in the Dutch city of Nijmegen between August 1678 and December 1679. The treaties ended various interconnected wars among France, the Dutch Republic, Spain, Brandenburg, Sweden, Denmark, the Prince-Bishopric of Münster, and the Holy Roman Empire. The most significant of the treaties was the first, which established peace between France and the Dutch Republic and placed the northern border of France very near its modern position.

Situation in the Republic

Prince's Day by Jan Steen (ca. 1665): Supporters of the Prince of Orange drink to the health of the Nassau line on the Prince's birthday. Prinsjesdag Rijksmuseum SK-A-384.jpeg
Prince's Day by Jan Steen (ca. 1665): Supporters of the Prince of Orange drink to the health of the Nassau line on the Prince's birthday.

During the Eighty Years' War there had been tension in the provinces between adherents of a government ruled by the burgher oligarchy, called regents, and those who favoured a government led by the Prince of Orange. These tensions had escalated in 1650 when William II, Prince of Orange had tried to conquer Amsterdam, the main bastion of the Regents of the De Graeff- and Bicker- clan. After negotiations he succeeded in removing a number of his adversaries from office.

Eighty Years War 16th and 17th-century Dutch revolt against the Habsburgs

The Eighty Years' War or Dutch War of Independence (1568–1648) was a revolt of the Seventeen Provinces of what are today the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg against Philip II of Spain, the sovereign of the Habsburg Netherlands. After the initial stages, Philip II deployed his armies and regained control over most of the rebelling provinces. Under the leadership of the exiled William the Silent, the northern provinces continued their resistance. They eventually were able to oust the Habsburg armies, and in 1581 they established the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. The war continued in other areas, although the heartland of the republic was no longer threatened. This included the origins of the Dutch colonial empire, which began with Dutch attacks on Portugal's overseas territories, which at the time was conceived as carrying overseas the war with Spain due to Portugal being in a dynastic union with Spain. The Dutch Republic was recognized by Spain and the major European powers in 1609 at the start of the Twelve Years' Truce. Hostilities broke out again around 1619, as part of the broader Thirty Years' War. An end was reached in 1648 with the Peace of Münster, when the Dutch Republic was definitively recognised as an independent country no longer part of the Holy Roman Empire. The Peace of Münster is sometimes considered the beginning of the Dutch Golden Age.

Bourgeoisie polysemous French term which denotes the wealthy stratum of the middle class that originated during the latter part of the Middle Ages

Bourgeoisie is a polysemous French term that can mean:

William II, Prince of Orange Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland

William II was sovereign Prince of Orange and Stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Guelders, Overijssel and Groningen in the United Provinces of the Netherlands from 14 March 1647 until his death three years later. His only child, William III, reigned as King of England, Ireland, and Scotland.

When William died from smallpox later that year, the republican party came back into power. The Act of Seclusion declared that they would not appoint his son, William III of Orange, or anybody else to the office of Stadholder, stating that a supreme head of government would be harmful to 'True Liberty'. Johan de Witt was appointed Grand Pensionary of Holland and led the States of Holland, the most important province within the Union.

The takeover by the regents did not go without protest from the Orangists, but with the economy booming and peace on the Union's borders they had little opportunity to remove the government from office. To appease the Orangists, and because of their own business interests, the Dutch Regents tried to keep the peace within Europe.

Foreign affairs

When the Republic fought for its independence from Spain, it had allied with France and England. In 1648, as part of the Peace of Westphalia, the Republic made peace with Austria and Spain. France had only made peace with Austria and continued fighting Spain until the Treaty of the Pyrenees in 1659. A condition of that peace was that Louis XIV would marry Maria Theresa, daughter of Philip IV of Spain. Maria Theresa would also renounce her share of the inheritance in exchange for a large dowry. The dowry, however, was never paid by the Spanish.

Peace of Westphalia Peace treaty ending the European Thirty and Eighty Years Wars

The Peace of Westphalia was a series of peace treaties signed between May and October 1648 in the Westphalian cities of Osnabrück and Münster, largely ending the European wars of religion, including the Thirty Years' War. The treaties of Westphalia brought to an end a calamitous period of European history which caused the deaths of approximately eight million people. Scholars have identified Westphalia as the beginning of the modern international system, based on the concept of Westphalian sovereignty, though this interpretation has been challenged.

Treaty of the Pyrenees 1659 border treaty between France and Spain

The Treaty of the Pyrenees was signed on 7 November 1659 to end the 1635–1659 war between France and Spain, a war that was initially a part of the wider Thirty Years' War. It was signed on Pheasant Island, a river island on the border between the two countries which has remained a French-Spanish condominium since the treaty. The kings Louis XIV of France and Philip IV of Spain were represented by their chief ministers, Cardinal Mazarin and Don Luis Méndez de Haro, respectively.

Maria Theresa of Spain French queen consort

Maria Theresa of Spain, was by birth Infanta of Spain and Portugal and Archduchess of Austria as member of the Spanish branch of the House of Habsburg and by marriage Queen of France.

During the 1650s and 1660s the existing tensions between Dutch trade interests and English trade interests grew. The First Anglo-Dutch War was fought between the republics, resulting in a victory for the English. In a secret appendix to the Treaty of Westminster, the Act of Seclusion, Holland declared that it abolished the office of Stadholder and would never allow the States-General of the Netherlands to appoint a member of the House of Orange to the office of Captain-General. Oliver Cromwell, who was Lord Protector of England at that time, insisted on this condition because William II had assisted Charles I (his father-in-law) during the English Civil War. While supporters of the Dutch Regent favoured diminishing the influence of the House of Orange, by agreeing to the English conditions they intermingled internal and foreign affairs and infuriated the pro-Orange faction.

When Charles II was crowned king of England in 1660 during the English Restoration, the Act of Seclusion was declared void, but to the dismay of Holland, Charles affirmed those clauses of the peace which negatively impacted Dutch trade interests.

An English attempt to take over Dutch trade and colonies led to the Second Anglo-Dutch War. After the previous war Johan de Witt had supervised the expansion and improvement of the Dutch navy at the cost of neglecting the Dutch army. With the new fleet and the help of France, with whom they had allied again, the Dutch ultimately defeated the English at sea through the Raid on the Medway and put pressure on the English ally Münster. First Münster and then England were forced to make peace. While France had helped to put pressure on England and Münster they had not committed a major part of their army or fleet. After the death of Philip IV, Louis XIV claimed part of the inheritance for his wife. According to local law in parts of the Spanish Netherlands daughters of an earlier marriage took precedence before the sons of a later marriage. The way Louis XIV explained this, Maria Theresa, daughter of the first marriage of Philip IV, should inherit the Spanish Netherlands because Philip's son, Charles II was from Philip's second marriage. This went against the interests of the Dutch Republic, who preferred having a weak state as their neighbour to the south.

Because of this, Johan de Witt allied with the defeated English and Sweden, who had an army nearby in Germany, forming the Triple Alliance. In secret clauses of the treaty they agreed to use force if Louis XIV would not come to terms with Spain.

Renversement des Alliances

France made peace with Spain, but because the secret clauses of the Triple Alliance were soon made public, Louis XIV felt insulted by the "perfidious" Dutch, who according to him had broken faith. Immediately after the peace agreement, France took steps to isolate the Republic. Sweden and Münster were quickly bribed, but the English public distrusted Louis XIV. The English king, on the other hand, saw war with the Dutch as being in his best interests. He hoped that a defeat of the Republic would lead to the fall of the republican government so that his nephew, William III of Orange, could take power. A war would also be a good opportunity to crush the Dutch competition in trade and colonies. Additionally, Louis promised Charles a notable sum of money, so enabling him to rule without having to consult the English parliament.

In 1670, after the mediation of Charles' sister Henrietta Anne Stuart, wife of Louis's brother the Duc d'Orléans, France and England signed the secret Treaty of Dover.

To war

Louis XIV of France crossing the Rhine by Adam Frans van der Meulen. Adam Frans van der Meulen - The crossing of the Rhine at Lobith, 12 June 1672.jpg
Louis XIV of France crossing the Rhine by Adam Frans van der Meulen.

The Dutch were aware that negotiations between England and France were going on, but specific details were not known. Johan de Witt counted on the unpopularity among the English public of a war with a fellow Protestant nation and tried to improve relations with the French. The discussion on the issue of the Spanish Netherlands, however, yielded no consensus between the two countries. France saw the Rhine as its natural border and between France and the Rhine lay the Spanish Netherlands and the Dutch Generality Lands. The Dutch felt threatened by the French ambitions. According to the French ambassador, the Dutch acted from the motto: Gallicus amicus, non vicinus, or "The Frenchman is a good friend, but a bad neighbour". The Dutch again reinforced their fleet, but made insufficient preparations for their army because of a shortage of money. The Regents also distrusted an army that had often been an instrument of the Orange party. With war becoming more and more likely, pressure increased on the Dutch government to appoint William III, who had not yet come of age, to the office of Stadtholder and Captain-General. In February 1672, Johan de Witt finally agreed to appoint William as Captain-General for the duration of a single war campaign.

War

On 12 March 1672 Robert Holmes attacked a Dutch trade convoy, the Smyrna fleet. France, the Electorate of Cologne and the Bishopric of Münster declared war in April. In June, Louis XIV's army, led by Louis II de Bourbon, Prince de Condé and Turenne bypassed the Dutch southern defence through the Spanish Netherlands, the possessions of Münster and Cologne and other French allies and invaded the Dutch from the east.

At the IJssel, a short battle was easily won by the French and Groenlo was taken. The whole of the Republic lay open to the French. Panic broke out in the cities in Holland, Zeeland and Utrecht. Lower and middle-class people revolted against the government and demanded the appointment of the Prince along with the punishment of those responsible for the war and the state of the army. Johan de Witt and several others resigned and the government of the Regents fell. Partisans of William III took over. One of William's first acts was to strike out the word 'honourably' from Johan de Witt's letter of resignation.

Lynching of the De Witt brothers

The bodies of the De Witt brothers, by Jan de Baen. Jan de Baen- De lijken van de gebroeders de Witt.jpg
The bodies of the De Witt brothers, by Jan de Baen.

Popular sentiment remained unsatisfied and frustrations with the hopeless military situation led to the search for scapegoats. In August, Cornelis de Witt, the less gifted and less popular brother of Johan de Witt, was imprisoned in The Hague on suspicion of treason and plotting to assassinate William. When Johan de Witt visited his brother, the small cavalry security detail present was sent away on the pretext of stopping a group of marauding peasants. Around the prison a crowd had gathered, demanding the punishment of the brothers. The prison was stormed — according to some contemporary accounts, after Orangist Cornelis Tromp, an enemy of Johan de Witt, had given the sign — by civil militia. The brothers were taken and murdered by the militia members and their bodies mutilated and partly eaten by the crowd. The names of a few of the murderers became known but they were protected and, in some cases, even rewarded by Prince William. Many modern historians suspect that the murders were the result of a conspiracy involving, among others, William himself.[ citation needed ]

The Waterline

The Storming of Coevorden, 30 December 1672 by Pieter Wouwerman (ca. 1672-82). The Disaster Year ended on a positive note, as Coevorden was recaptured from the troops of the Bishop of Munster on December 30, 1672. Assault on Coevorden in 1672 - De bestorming van Coevorden, 30 december 1672 (Pieter Wouwerman).jpg
The Storming of Coevorden, 30 December 1672 by Pieter Wouwerman (ca. 1672-82). The Disaster Year ended on a positive note, as Coevorden was recaptured from the troops of the Bishop of Münster on December 30, 1672.

The French had advanced from the IJssel to Utrecht. By that time, negotiations had begun. Louis XIV and Charles II of England had intended that William become Sovereign Prince at the head of a Hollandic rump state principality, a joint protectorate (with the British occupying key Hollandic cities and the isle of Walcheren). Louis halted his army to allow the Orangists to take over Holland and come to an arrangement with him. He offered the Dutch peace in exchange for either the southern fortresses, religious freedom for Catholics and six million guilders, or the retention of his present conquests and sixteen million guilders. These demands, especially the financial portions, led to a renewed public outrage and the Dutch mood abruptly changed from defeatism to a dogged determination to resist the French.

Dutch position in the Summer of 1672. Black is the territory held by the French and their allies. Debruijn holland map.gif
Dutch position in the Summer of 1672. Black is the territory held by the French and their allies.

While negotiations took place, the French failed to prevent the Dutch from inundating the Dutch Water Line. Before the French understood the nature and importance of this defence system, William III's small army withdrew behind it and further French advance was blocked by an impassable barrier of water and mud. This small success for the Dutch was followed by others. The Dutch fleet under admiral Michiel de Ruyter had already defeated the Anglo-French fleet at the Battle of Solebay, and on 28 August 1672 the German Bishop of Münster, Bernhard von Galen, withdrew from the siege of Groningen (an event still celebrated annually in Groningen).

On the diplomatic front, the Holy Roman Empire and Spain took the side of the Netherlands. In 1673, Bonn fell to a Dutch army. [1] This forced the French to retreat from most of the Republic. England, Münster and Cologne made peace in 1674; the French fought on until 1678. (For the rest of the war, see Franco-Dutch War)

Effects

The experience of the Rampjaar had considerable influence on the direction of Dutch foreign policy. William III saw it as his life's work to defend both the Republic and Europe against French hegemony. In all the wars of Louis XIV, the Dutch would support his adversaries. In 1688, when faced with an English king who again seemed to side with the French, the Dutch mobilised their full resources in order to invade Britain and overthrow the Catholic Stuart Dynasty (the Glorious Revolution) - an event of immense historical importance. Although a gamble, it was considered worthwhile, since after the Rampjaar, the possibility of a Catholic and French-dominated Britain was regarded as a mortal threat to the Netherlands. In England, public opinion was already turning against the French but was accelerated by the war of 1672. While Charles II and his successor James II of England still had French sympathies, they had to take into account the English public's distrust of France.

The Dutch economy never fully recovered from the severe crisis, although the Dutch Golden Age is sometimes said to have continued until the end of the century. The art market was as severely affected as other trades. A famous comment by Jan Vermeer's widow described how he was unable to sell work thereafter. The leading maritime artists, Willem van de Velde the Elder and his son Willem II, both emigrated to London, never to return.

See also

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References

  1. "Dutch troops under Willem III occupy Bonn". Brainyhistory.com. Retrieved 2013-11-24.