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The Netherlands is one of the four countries in the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Large parts of the land and the majority of the people are well below sea-level. Hence the country spends serious money to keep everything dry and safe. Today the dikes and dunes are designed to withstand a one in 10.000 years flood.  
Government and Parliament are located in The Hague but  Amsterdam is the capital of the country.
The harbor of Rotterdam is Europe's largest seaport.
Sea level and river-flows continuously changed the lower-lying lands so prehistoric finds come mainly from the higher grounds or the sea. 
Hunter-gatheres arrived 10.000 years ago and by 4000 BC most people had changed over to agriculture.
The  Frisian Kingdom with Utrecht at its center  was a lose alliance of several smaller entities and soon disappeared around 750 AD.
TheDutch Republic was created in 1581 after declaring independence from Spain. The war lasted 80 years.
The 17th century was the Dutch Golden Age, when the ships of the VOC gathered huge wealth from the colonies in Asia. 
Since 1815 the Netherlands is an independent monarchy under the House of Oranje-Nassau.
As one of the founding fathers of the EU and the Euro zone the Netherlands today is a very prosperous and liberal country.
Den Haag
Den Bosch