A Small Nation with a Great Cause: the Netherlands

时间:2015-01-07 单词数:4030

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A Small Nation with a Great Cause: the Netherlands


The rise of the Dutch started from the argentous menhaden. Due to changes of the ocean current, every summer large amounts of menhaden flew to the northern coastal zone of Netherlands. The Dutch could capture 10 million kilogram of menhaden from the North Sea and many people lived on this. Beginning with the fishing industry, Netherlands began to do business with Northeastern Europe, England, Southern Europe and Africa and then began the sea trade.


Located in northeastern Europe, faced with the North Sea in the Atlantic, and backed by the vast European Continent, Netherlands enjoys a good geographic position and there are also two major water channels flowing into the ocean from here. To drain the flooded fields, the Dutch built many canals which formed the most advanced water communication network in Europe. All these advantages facilitated Netherlands to become the new community distributing centre in Europe. The great geographical discovery in the 15th century brought about unprecedented flourish to Europe and also offered the historical opportunity for Netherlands to become a business empire. As the intermediary, agent, processor and promoter, the Dutch loaded spice, silk and gold from Portugal and Spain and then sold them to other places in Europe.


The rising up of commerce and cities made people begin to yearn for the free economy. The more and more wealthy citizens finally made a choice that surprised all. They bought the city’s right of autonomy from the nobility like buying goods. Since then, citizens set up laws by themselves and the nobility could not collect taxes from them. “Citizen Autonomy” injected powerful driving force for the Dutch cities. They established the earliest joint stock company—East India Company which controlled half of the world trade. They set up the first stock exchange in the world, thus creating the capitalist market. They were the first to open the modern bank and invented the credit system which is still used today. With the establishment of a series of modern finance and commerce system, the 17th century became a century of the Netherlands.

商业和城市的兴起使人们产生了对经济自由的渴望。日渐富有的市民们最终做出一个让人惊讶的选择。他们像购买货物一样,从贵族手中买到了城市的自治权。从此,市民们自行立法,贵族不能直接向他们收税。“市民自治”为荷兰的城市注入了强大的发展动力。他们成立了世界上最早的联合股份公司——东印度公司,垄断了当时全球贸易的一半;他们建起了世界上第一个股票交易所,资本市场就此诞生;他们率先创办现代银行,发明了沿用至今的信用体系。 凭借一系列现代金融和商业制度的创立,17世纪成为荷兰的世纪。

Due to natural factors such as territorial area, by the end of the 17th century, Netherlands gradually lost control of the world. Yet till today, the Dutch people are still leading an abundant life and the business rules created by the Dutch are still influencing the world.