March 1, 2024

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Dutch

The Dutch (Dutch: ), occasionally referred to as Netherlanders, a term that is cognate to the Dutch word for Dutch people, “Nederlanders” are an ethnic group of Germanic people native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, CuraƧao, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United States. In the Middle Ages, the Low Countries were situated around the border of France and the Holy Roman Empire, forming a part of their respective peripheries, and the various territories of which they consisted had de facto become virtually autonomous by the 13th century. Under the Habsburgs, the Netherlands were organised into a single administrative unit, and in the 16th and 17th centuries the Northern Netherlands gained independence from Spain as the Dutch Republic. The high degree of urbanization characteristic of Dutch society was attained at a relatively early date. During the Republic the first series of large scale Dutch migrations outside of Europe took place. Despite the small size of the Netherlands, the Dutch left behind a legacy in excess of their mere numbers. The Dutch people are generally seen as the pioneers of capitalism, and their emphasis on a modern economy, secularism, and a free market ultimately had a huge influence on the great powers of the West, especially the British Empire, its Thirteen Colonies, and ultimately the United States. The traditional art and culture of the Dutch encompasses various forms of traditional music, dances, architectural styles and clothing, some of which are globally recognizable. Internationally, Dutch painters such as Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh are held in high regard. The dominant religion of the Dutch is Christianity (both Catholic and Protestant), although in modern times the majority is no longer religious. Significant percentages of the Dutch are adherents of humanism, agnosticism, atheism or individual spirituality.

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