bigglesworth wrote:There have been Counts of Holland and subsequent titles of the same area with primogeniture since about 900 I think.
Calling the Netherlands, Holland. Tsk. Tsk.
History of the Netherlands in a Nutshell.
Back during the Reformation, the sister of the king of Spain was running the area that is now Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg when the local guy William of Orange, who had the job of running the area right along the border of all the Protestant/Catholic crap, came up with one of the best ideas ever. Religious Tolerance. He tried to talk the sister of the king of Spain into it, but she wouldn't go for it, so they held a revolution and threw the Spanish out. Well this religious tolerance thing was a big hit. People poured into the country, intellectuals came, the economy boomed, great science,art, philosophy and technology were created. Only one thing went wrong from William of Orange's point of view. He wasn't in charge. The country was a republic called the United Provinces of the Netherlands and he had share power with a bunch of rich business men. Worse, they didn't have an electoral college so the largest most populous province Holland had all the power. This pissed off the other provinces. So William played his political hand by becoming a populist and playing poor people and the small provinces against the rich merchants of Holland. This is the way politics in the Netherlands went on for generations. Then in France they were making revolution and democracy look bad and elected this guy Napoleon who got sick of the whole democracy thing and made himself Emperor. He then took armies around Europe to impose the metric system. Well Napoleon conquered the Netherlands, split Holland into North Holland and South Holland and put his brother in charge. Napoleon then got his ass kicked by the Russians and the English. Well the Russians and the English were not going to have any of this republic or democracy crap so they put in a monarchy and that's why there's royalty in the Netherlands.
And that's story guaranteed to be at least 60% accurate.