Considered one of the world's great maritime powers in the 17th century, the Netherlands continues to be an important commercial entrepot and international crossroads today, a status that has made the modern nation one of the wealthiest in the world. Despite this country's small size, the Netherlands has played a relatively large part in the history of commerce, government, art, and religion, and it has left an indelible imprint on all of the world's continents."A Brief History of the Netherlands" provides a general overview of the history of the country from ancient times to the present day. It relates the central events that have shaped the country, and details their significance in historical context. The volume touches on all aspects of the history of the country, including political, international, economic, cultural, and social affairs. Basic facts, a chronology, a bibliography, and a list of suggested reading make up the appendixes, and sidebars are scattered throughout.