A Conversation for Topography of The Netherlands

The 7 provinces

Post 1

Gilgamesh of Uruk

I understand that there were originally 7 provinces - so which were they, please?
Also, on the subject of Friesland - I've been told that the Wadden islanders do/did speak their own language - is/was this true of mainland Friesland as well, please?

The 7 provinces

Post 2


(A simple question, but not a simple answer, especcially because in the end there have to be 12 provinces....)

In 1579 an agreement between different provinces and city's was made to fight the Spanish and not to sign a peace threaty on there own with the Spanish. This Union of Utecht was initiated by the stadholder of Gelre, Jan van Nassau. This union was a federation and was acknowledged as such by the Spanish (and Europe) in the Peacethreaty of Munster of 1648. It was up untill 1795 the only formal agreement betweeen the different provinces and city's.

The period 1579 - 1795 has become known as the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands (Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden).

The agreement was made between:
1. the Duchy (hertogdom) of Gelre (the province of Gelderland)
2. the County (graafschap) of Holland (the provinces Zuid-Holland and North-Holland)
3. The County of Zeeland (the province of Zeeland)
4. the Diocese (bisdom) of Utrecht (the province of Utrecht)
5. the Manor (heerlykheid) of Groningen (the province of Groningen)
Shortly followed by
6. the Manor of Friesland (the province of Friesland)
7. the Manor of Overyssel (the province of Overyssel)
and the city's of Groningen, Venlo, Antwerpen, Breda and Brugge.

The republic consisted of these seven northern provinces (Northern Netherlands) and the Southern Netherlands.

The province of Drenthe wasn't part of the federation, it didn't have the right to vote, but was protected by it (#8).

The Southern Netherlands consisted of Staats-Brabant (#9, the province of Noord-Brabant), and Staats-Limburg (#10) and Staats-Vlaanderen (#11, the Northern Part of Belgium). Staats-Brabant and Staats-Limburg were conquered by the Republic and didn't get independent government or the right to vote in contradiction to the northern provinces.

The province of Staats-Vlaanderen was part of the the Netherlands untill 1839 when it was separated from the Netherlands due to revolution of the Belgians against the Dutch (11-1 makes 10 provinces).

The province of Holland was divided in 2 parts Zuid-Holland and Noord-Holland (10+1 makes 11 provinces).

The Kingdom was officially divided into 11 provinces in 1814. With each province consisting of 100's of municipalities.

Flevoland is the last province; made of reclaimed land in the second half of the 20th century (yes: #12).

The 7 provinces

Post 3

Gilgamesh of Uruk

Aha! all very much clearer now, thanks. I was particularly in the Netherlands/Belgium split bit - my sources weren't very clear on that.
Perhaps it's surprising that "7 Provinces" is (or was till recently) used as a warship name in view of this (there again, perhaps not - the RN still uses names like Devonshire, Dorsetshire etc. and the counties haven't been known as that for donkeys years)

The 7 provinces

Post 4


I noticed that the second part of your question hasn't been answered yet:
"Also, on the subject of Friesland - I've been told that the Wadden islanders do/did speak their own language - is/was this true of mainland Friesland as well, please?"

Although the local peopleon the Wadden islands do tend to speak with heavy accents,officially they use a dialect of either Dutch or Frisian. Meaning that Frisian is recognised as an official language. As a government language it's only used for affairs within the province Friesland.

Although the roots of Frisian stems from the language spoken by the old Frisian tribes (at the time of the Kelts and Picts in Britain). It was not officially recognised as a language by the European Union till 1992. Old Frisian is also refered to as Anglo-Frisian, because English and Frisian share the same roots. Modern Frisian has changed under influence of other Germanic languages to a language closer to Dutch and German. English developed in a different direction. Today, Frisian is spoken in Friesland and some parts of Northern Germany.

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