The second oldest university in the United States, founded in 1693, is the “College of William and Mary,” whose undergraduate education ranked fourth in the US News 2021 rankings.

It is a remarkable thing that William and Mary are often mentioned together, as both King and Queen of England during their time. William was Dutch.

William and Mary College was not originally called by this name, but because it required certification from the Ministry of Education (Royal Charter) after its establishment. After the approval of the two kings, the current name was used, and the school emblem was adorned with a crown.

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William and Mary overthrew the rule of Mary’s father James II, known as the “Glorious Revolution”: this is the most glorious event in English history, as it expelled the Catholics and established constitutional monarchy.

Although Mary’s father stepped down, his greatest legacy is the name of New York.

The original name for the core area of New York was New Amsterdam, which was a Dutch colony. After the British took over, it was renamed New York, which came from the title of Mary’s father at the time (Duke of York).

Mary’s husband William III was the Stadholder of the Netherlands at that time. The term “Stadholder” cannot be translated because it no longer exists. The Netherlands was a republic at the time, but had a hereditary head of state.

Because William of Orange, who led the Dutch people in their rebellion against the Habsburg Spanish rule, was the Prince of Orange, the Dutch team later adopted orange as their color.

Until today, the flag of New York City is still based on the Dutch flag, with only the red color specially replaced with orange.

Here, we take a glimpse of the ancient relationship between the Netherlands and the United States from a chaotic perspective.

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During World War II, due to the role of the US military as a savior, Western Europe, including the Netherlands, warmly welcomed active American involvement in European affairs.

However, after the war, there was a significant conflict between the Netherlands and the United States, mainly on the issue of Indonesian independence.

At that time, the United States saw itself as a lighthouse, guiding the anti-colonialism movement. The Americans themselves gave up the Philippines, standing on the moral high ground.

Although the Netherlands is currently a small country with a population of only 17 million, back then, including its 150-year rule over the Dutch East Indies (present-day Indonesia), the Netherlands was an empire and ranked among the top five populous countries in the world.

The Japanese invasion of Indonesia awakened local nationalism, leading to multiple violent suppressions by the Netherlands after the war. However, American firmness led the Netherlands to eventually give up Indonesia and later, New Guinea.

This must be viewed from an Eastern perspective, where the American imperialists have brought the Netherlands the ultimate humiliation of “giving up their land”.

The Yalta Agreement has an interesting but often overlooked point, which is that countries can demand reparations from Germany in the form of territory, factories, or labor, but it is preferable not to demand cash compensation.

The Soviet Union and Poland took a quarter of German territory in the east. The Netherlands had originally planned to take a quarter of the western territory, including Cologne, but were prevented by the Americans. The Americans were concerned that destroying the German economy and relocating Germans would lead to unrest in Europe.

Do Dutch people hate Americans?

It was hard to say at the time, as Holland was still reeling from the pain of World War II and the looming shadow of the Soviet Union. However, forming an alliance with the United States overall provided a sense of security for the country.

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As time passes, the consciousness of a Dutch national identity fades with the decline of colonization. After all, living in the glory of the past is not much different from self-intoxication every day.

Today, the Netherlands and the United States have established a very strong economic partnership, with the small country of the Netherlands being one of the top five investing countries in the US.

With the weakening of national consciousness, it is now the era of multinational corporations: Shell, Philips, Unilever, Heineken beer and other well-known brands. The finance, aviation, chemical and semiconductor industries in the Netherlands are also world-class.

There is little discussion online regarding the relationship between the Netherlands and America, so this article could be seen as a starting point for further discourse. The question of how modern individuals should reflect on the past and which eras should be subject to scrutiny remains a difficult issue to tackle.

However, nowadays society only likes to listen to one voice, and presenting different perspectives is often unpopular. Let’s just conclude this note hastily.

Thank you for reading.