The Decline of the Dutch Republic in 1650 to 1713 The Dutch Republic, in 1650, was an intimidating power; the Dutch Republic boasted dominant commercial, financial, and naval power. The Dutch Republic accredited much of their power to their most power province, Holland. Holland, dominated by Amsterdam, was a leading trading center in Europe.
Although The Dutch Republic enjoyed a domineering power before 1650, the Peace of Utrecht brought about the decline of the Dutch Republic, due to a series of European wars, internal disunity and conflict, and a loss of trade dominance and economic prosperity. The Dutch Republic was the center of multiple European wars, that contributed to its decline. The Treaty of Dover, of 1670, promised a war on the Dutch Republic, in which France and England would join forces to bring about the downfall of the Dutch Republic.
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In a Resolution of the Amsterdam City Council, in 1671, it was noted that the monarchs waging war against the Dutch Republic were solely interested in taking parts of the Dutch Republic for their own kingdoms. In a letter from the Dutch ambassador to England in 1672, Konrad Van Beuningen reported that the onslaught of war from France and England could deteriorate the commerce of the Dutch Republic. The citizens of the Dutch Republic suffered socially from the wars that the Dutch Republic fought.
In a letter about the Dutch reaction to losses suffered in the war. An English resident in the Dutch Republic notes that the enormous draw of males to fight the war is taking a toll on the citizens of the Dutch Republic. The losses suffered from the wars with France and England brought on the deterioration of the Dutch Republic, through their economic and internal struggles. The Dutch Republic’s decline was, in part, caused by the economic declination; which was catalyzed by the wars France and England waged on the Dutch Republic.
Although Sir George Downing, the English ambassador to the Dutch Republic in 1664, may have been exaggerating the shattered state of the Dutch Republic, in a letter to the English government, Downing described the Dutch Republic as being shattered and a divided thing that depends on the previously wealthy province of Holland. The national debt of the Dutch Republic in 1688 increased immensely, so that in 1713 the national debt of the Dutch Republic more than tripled.
The national debt in 1688 was a result of the war against England and France and the Dutch Republic never recovered due to the wars the Dutch were forced to fight against France. Although the debt was so immense, that every province of the Dutch Republic felt it, the few wealthy citizens of Amsterdam remained virtually untouched and stayed the wealthiest citizens of the Dutch Republic. The heavy class distinctions of the Dutch Republic during 1650 to 1713 contributed to the growing unease within the provinces.
The disunity and conflict within the Dutch Republic contributed to its overall decline as a major power during 1650 to 1713. In a government report of the Dutch Republic in 1683 reports on the fact that the different provinces of the Dutch Republic cannot agree on how to oppose the attacks of Louis XIV in the war against France and England. Although the government report on the Dutch Republic seems unbiased and is therefore to be trusted, the political pamphlet published in Amsterdam, 1683 is to be regarded as slightly exaggerated. The pamphlet describes the wealth citizens of Amsterdam with some bitterness.
The pamphlet is sympathetic to the struggling citizens of the Dutch provinces and describes them as the only source of wealth in the Dutch Republic. The political pamphlet illustrates the disunion within the Dutch Republic as a result of economic hardships brought about by the wars the provinces participate in; the very wars that affected the once great trade power that the Dutch Republic was. The decline of the Dutch Republic was caused by the economic hardships prompted by the wars the Dutch Republic was forced to defend itself against.
The trade competition caused by the English East India Company was reported to be the real cause of the war between England and the Dutch Republic by Marquis de Pomponne, the French ambassador to the Dutch Republic, in a report to the French government in the early 1680’s. In the map of the Dutch Republic and Rival States in the Late Seventeenth Century, the map shows the numerous naval battles the Dutch Republic was fighting against England. As a result of the naval battles fought, the Dutch Republic suffered great losses from their trading.
There was an estimated 2,000 to 2,700 Dutch shops seized by the English during the Three Anglo-Dutch Wars in 1652 to 1674. To make up for the lost revenues that resulted from a massive number of Dutch trading ships seized, the Dutch Republic planted heavy taxes on merchants. In an anonymous pamphlet published in the province of Holland in 1669 an unnamed citizen of the Dutch Republic notes that the heavy taxes set of the merchants are a burdensome addition to the losses they are already suffering from the naval battles the Dutch Republic is involved in.
Although the writer of the pamphlet is clearly biased towards the merchants, the pamphlet is to be regarded as true because the writer, most likely a merchant, experienced the burden of the taxes first hand. The wars waged against England did not solve the trade problem as illustrated in a letter to the directors of the Dutch East India Company in 1705 from a Dutch colonial administrator. The letter reports that the East Indian trade is not earning any profits because of the competition with other countries.
The Dutch Republic was previously an intimidating and dominating power in Europe. Its decline was caused mainly by the many wars it was forced to defend itself against. The wars the Dutch Republic fought caused great economic losses. The wars touched the Dutch Republic’s trading ships and caused further disunion within the provinces. The decline of the Dutch Republic was caused by a series of European wars, internal conflict, and a loss of trade dominance and economic abundance.