Skip to main content


United Provinces

The United Provinces were the regions of the northern Netherlands which joined together as a republic at the outset of the 17th century, chiefly because of their united opposition to Spanish rule.

The republic they formed, which was essentially controlled by patrician rulers in the towns and cities, proved economically successful, its wealth being based on sea trade.

Until the 19th century the United Provinces were one of the few places in Western Europe which allowed religious freedom to people of different faiths, including the Jews.