The United Provinces have the Power of Merchants
Starting government: Republic
- Start with 1 Commerce researched
- Non-Library techs cost less
- Rare resources in the game are visible at beginning of game
- Start with 2 merchants
- Demi-lancers  => cuirassiers[2-3] => Troopers  (meant to weaken the Dutch army)
- Ruyters  Nassau ruyters  => Royal marshals  horse with ranged attack, and amphibious qualities.
- Geuzen raiders  => Blauwe Garde [2-3] => Mariniers  heavy infantry with amphibious qualities and greater resistance to cavalry units.
- Armed merchants
- Yacht  => Indiamen  => Dutch clipper  = faster and stronger light ship. Indiamen and clippers can also protect units from attrition
- Fluyt [1-2] a cheaper and faster heavy ship. A strong ship in the Colonial Era, it however is outclassed by better warships until the Imperial Era, but can still hold its own.
- Ironclad  fast-firing and faster-moving, but weaker-hitting bombardment ship
-  Renegade knight
-  Landsknecht
-  Stuart exile
-  Garde Écossaise
-  Gajnal mercenary
-  Hokkien rabble
-  Mercenary sowar
-  Presidential Guard
-  Colonial Grenadiers
-  Tankette.
- Academy - trains your elite units
- National Bank
- Academy of Sciences
- Units heal within your borders
- Reduces the build time of ships, foundry units and aircraft
- Has a +10 oil and +10 metal bonus (once 3rd Green researched).
- Reduces the knowledge costs of science research and the research time for military research.
- Grants access to upgrades that allow for the creation of dreadnoughts, howitzers and heavy machine guns in .
- Has a facility for building recoilless gun infantry and tanks (different non-European sides build different tanks in  - Tanks are powerful mechanised units that destroy all other units, but have their own weaknesses - recoilless guns destroy them; they are vulnerable from aircraft attack; a direct hit from a cannon could potentially destroy them; and they are slower than tankettes, although they are much powerful in a shot-for-shot battle.)
- Innovative navy
- Good economic bonuses and early-game defence
- Population repression bonus
- Diminished anti-air and counterintelligence support - kraals can detect enemy units, but cannot fire on aircraft
- Poor mid- to late-game land army
The Netherlands are a faction dedicated generally towards amphibious defence. With a powerful defensive structure, units capable of crossing water in record time, and an extremely hardened light ship line capable of protecting units from attrition, the Netherlands have one of the most powerful bonuses. Perhaps, some would say, a bit too powerful.
At the sea, the Dutch can count on a variety of units to dominate and control sea lanes: first of these should be the misleadingly named "light ship" line. This line, consisiting of fluyts, East Indiamen and Dutch clippers, not only enjoy better speed, hitpoints and armour, but also function as floating supply wagons. Adding to these bonuses are the unique ranged cavalry and heavy infantry/marine line which are hardier and faster in water than normal (the only other faction to do this are the Malays). This synergy can be most powerful during amphibious invasions of people wont to use attrition, particularly Russia as sometimes supply wagons take longer to get to their destination than normal units. The Dutch ships are also sufficiently powerful enough to take apart the more thin-skinned but cheaper Muslim shipping, and can also be used to bully the far less developed navies of Mexico and Siam in the early game.
On land, the Dutch also have another interesting feature: the kraal. This is a hardened defence as strong as a Martello cannon tower, and is also capable of generating happiness from select resources, just as how a salon does as well. Kraals, however, are not cheap and so their placement requires some micro-management. Also, the Dutch lack access to anti-aircraft batteries or outposts, and must rely on the costlier Kraal line for point defence structures. The Kraal, nevertheless, being able to create food from merchants and happiness from pelts, wool, horses and bison, is still powerful enough to give most enemies pause. Rare resources are of vital importance for the Dutch, because their merchants are more effective in exploiting them in comparison to other powers.
So the best game for the Dutch in any normal setup is the early game, where the Dutch ought to conquer islands as fast as they can, using their superior swimming and sailing abilities to take key resources and seize strategic areas, which can then be expanded further using the abilities of the kraal. This is vital since unlike other factions, the Dutch ability to gather more resources from rares means that trade and mercantile colonisation can be capitalised on for economic growth. Diplomacy is also key too, due to the poor quality of Dutch defences in later eras - you will need to create your own agents and airplanes for surveillance and air defence. This all feeds into a strategy of early booming and strategic rushing to acquire the resources you need, and then outbuilding your opponent, while denying him or her further ground using your powerful kraal until your larger and more superior army can save the day.
- Willem van Oranje
- Maurits van Nassau
- Peter Stuyvesant
- Frederik Johan van Baer
- Jan van Riebeeck
- Lodewijk Bonapart
For the most part of the mediaeval era, the Dutch have been a suppressed people, living under either Burgundian, French or Spanish hegemony for several centuries. The great Dutch Rebellion that began in 1568, however, started an independence movement that could not be snuffed out even with some the greatest fleets and armies in the hands of those who would bring the Dutch to heel. The birth of the Dutch nation was also married to Dutch colonial aspirations. Trade and fishing as well as a strong navy guaranteed the Dutch the resources they would need to maintain their independence in Europe and South Africa for well over three and a half centuries.
Early years: Formation of the United ProvincesEdit
Prior to the rebellion, the Netherlands belonged to Spain as part of the Burgundian territories ceded to Charles V. The Dutch had several reasons to rebel, but the most important was that the Spanish persecuted the increasingly numerous Dutch Protestant community — with some being burned at the stake. Naturally, the Dutch were incensed, and so came the beeldenstorm or iconoclasm, which meant the retaliatory demolition of Catholic churches, statues and images of saints. In reprisal, the Duke of Alva was despatched to the Netherlands with an army to restore order. Initially, the Dutch acquiesced, but then came Willem of Oranje (his name, anglicised as "Orange" lent itself to the name of the same colour, which he used on his own colours).
It was Duke Willem who organised the rebel forces, and together with aid from German nobles fought Alva with success. Subsequently, many cities in the Netherlands and in present Belgium were brought under Oranje rule and in 1588, this resulted in the creation of a new country, "The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands" (Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, Friesland, Gelderland, Drenthe, and Overijssel), the first modern republic in the world. It is also thought that Dutch jurisprudence later on inspired a second set of rebels, the Americans to eventually overthrow the British and form the United States of America.
As Amsterdam was situated in Holland and this city became "the warehouse" of Europe, Holland became the most important of all the provinces and people came to call the Netherlands, "Holland". Dutch traders traded all over Europe and in faraway lands, and the Dutch became immensely wealthy from such prosperous trade.
Another (very important) source of income was the fishing of herring. The Spaniard Charles V was quoted to have commented, "The Dutch fish more gold and silver from the sea than other nations dig from the ground". To make herring last longer, salt was required to pickle the herring. This salt was bought in Spanish and Portuguese ports. The Spanish didn't like this since they were at war with the Netherlands, and impounded all Dutch vessels and closed harbours to all Dutch trade, forcing the Dutch to get their salt elsewhere, starting first at small islands near Brazil, later in Brazil itself and on other coasts. The Spanish did everything to stop the Dutch from getting it because South America was largely Spanish and they wanted to cripple the Dutch economy. It didn't help, as Dutch ships kept coming and this time not only for salt, but to prey on Spanish trade and colonies. In 1621, the Dutch West Indies Company was created to organise these activities. They had two main goals: encourage trade and colonistation; and capture Spanish ships and colonies (and their allies). One such mission was the capture of a Spanish silver fleet by Piet Hein, raking in silver and other products aboard of a total value of 12 million guilders (estimated around 5 million dollars today).
When Portugal "allied" with Spain, Dutch access to Brazil was cut off. Subsequently, the Dutch tried to take Brazil in 1624. After a harsh battle, Salvador was taken from Portugal but a Spanish fleet cut short Dutch control. After many battles and the continuous blocking of Brazilian harbours by ships of the Geoctroyeerde Westindische Compagnie, or Chartered West Indies Company (GWC), the Dutch finally settled on land. Within years, large parts of Brazil were colonised, including Pernambuco, Paraiba and Itamaraca. The colony was called "New Holland". Although commercially successful, the Lusitanian residents of New Holland rebelled with success and the West Indies Company finally lost New Holland in 1654 to Portugal. On the other hand, adventures in North America and Asia would prove to be more successful, culminating with the founding of Nieuw Amsterdam and the seizure of Nea Sverige from the Swedes. These areas would correspond to present-day New York City and Delaware State today, while the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie, or United East India Company (VOC) would manage the spice trade in the East Indies.
However, there was a new rival. Until the ascension of William of Orange to the English throne, Anglo-Dutch rivalry was at its strongest and both factions would be involved in economic competition, which often even plunged into armed conflict. In the Americas, both factions attempted to resolve this by trading British Suriname for Dutch-held Nieuw Amsterdam, now currently New York in the United States. In Asia, the Dutch traded and fought against the locals in an attempt to secure ports of trade such as Malacca and Nagasaki, but it would not be until after the Kew Treaty that the Dutch would eventually begin to colonise what is now present-day Indonesia.
The Batavian Revolution: From Republic to RabbitEdit
Despite this seeming power and prosperity, the greatest threat to Holland came not from the Spanish, Portuguese, or the the British, but from the French. By the end of the 18th century, Holland was divided into two groups - the Orangists, who supported the stadhouder, and the Patriots, who demanded more democracy. The result was the Batavian revolution, backed by the revolutionary French government. Dutch nobility fled to England to join in exile hundreds of ther aristocrats, ruling elites, and other famous persons from many other European nations fleeing the advance of the revolution. A new republic was established, the Batavian Republic, while the rest of Belgium and some of the southern portions of the Netherlands were annexed as sovereign departments of France. The government changed hands several times before Napoleon created the Kingdom of Holland in 1805, making Louis Bonaparte, his brother, king.
Despite originally being meant to be a puppet of his elder brother, Louis proved to be a surprisingly popular ruler. Upon arriving, he went native, renouncing his French citizenship, and proclaimed himself king Lodewijk, and forced his French-born staff to speak only Dutch - despite his poor command of Dutch, which often resulted in his referring to himself as the Konijn (Dutch: "Rabbit) as opposed to Koning (Dutch for King) of Holland. Naturally, Napoleon was incensed and forced him to abdicate before subsuming Holland entirely into France.
Throughout the French occupation, the Dutch cooperated well enough with their masters, as much as one can when held at gunpoint. French troops garrisoned forts and cities throughout the Netherlands to keep an eye on both the people and the Dutch and Belgian troops in French service. The administration did what it could to meet Napoleon's expectations, especially during the years of the Consulate, before the Kingdom of Holland was created. Napoleon was planning to invade England and his naval plans were ambitious in the extreme, requiring literally thousands of vessels. Early on the Dutch fleet was stripped to skeleton status to appease Napoleon. Dutch ports of all sizes were building transports and escort ships for Napoleon's fleet around the clock with the local French naval prefects making harsher demands by the day. By and large the people were left to keep to themselves, however. French occupation was not as brutal as in Iberia or Eastern Europe and the people enjoyed the benefits of the Code Napoleon.
Not all Dutch and Belgians served with Napoleon, however. Some nine regiments of infantry were under French service circa 1810. In 1815, the Dutch and Belgian troops served with the Allied seventh coalition. The Dutch-Belgians lost over 3,400 casualties during the Waterloo campaign and fought with distinction. Once Napoleon was defeated, however, there was going to be no talk of any republics. A constitutional monarchy, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, was established with the family of the stathouder of the old republic installed as its royal family which has remained as such to this day. Despite sweeping reforms and developments, however, the kingdom was not to last - ever since the days of Spanish rule, the southern Netherlands had always been set apart culturally from the north, and so it was that in 1830 the south rose up in rebellion. The Dutch king wanted to send troops, but was compelled by the British to leave the secessionists alone, who then went on to found the kingdom of Belgium.
The Dutch Colonial EmpireEdit
Throughout the Napoleonic Wars, the seizure of Dutch ports by the British to deny the French access to Dutch assets in the Far East had shown the Dutch that more attention was required in order to secure its economic lifeline and national strength. Additionally, the loss of Belgium with its valuable coal mines also nearly bankrupted the Dutch treasury. Thus, it was decided to liquidate the hitherto insolvent VOC, and to expand Dutch interests in the East Indies. A treaty was secured between the British and the Dutch in 1824, dividing the Malay Archipelago into two different spheres of influence - the British took the commercially lucrative northern half, while the Dutch got the agriculturally productive southern half, which correspond roughly to present-day Malaysia and Indonesia. Further possessions in Africa, once vital components in the sailing ship routes of the Dutch maritime empire, were sold off in 1871 to Britain once both techonloy and foreign relations with Britain had improved.
Although the Dutch did much to improve the infrastructure of Indonesian cities, and were responsible for the creation of many cities, one must realise that Dutch investments in the Dutch East Indies were of a self-serving nature, meant to exploit the fruits of the earth and the raw labour of the indigenous peoples. It is thus unsurprising that Malays for many years would use the term bagai Belanda minta tanah ("Like a Dutchman asking for land") to describe an exceptionally avaricious individual.
The first few years, meant to replenish the coffers of the ailing Dutch state, were harsh; only until the 20th century did the Dutch begin to implement social reforms to ameliorate the condition of native citizens, but it was not enough. In 1940, the Japanese Empire declared the creation of a "Greater Asian Co-Porpspeity Sphere"; this soon led to an invasion of Indonesia in 1942. When the Dutch attempted to retake Indonesia once the Japanese were forced to surrender, they however discovered themselves facing a highly organised resistance movement, endowed with Japanese training and equipped with salvaged Japanese equipment and even assisted by renegade Japanese troops, and were compelled to quit the Malay Archipelago, their former colonies coalescing into the Republic of Indonesia by 1949.
Gregory H. Volbrecht et al, Netherlands Historical Overview, Cosscks Heaven