Dutch Pamphlets, 1486-1853: The Knuttel Collection Part II: 1649-1750
After the official recognition of its independence in 1648 the Dutch Republic quickly established itself as an economic, political and military power in Europe and a formidable contender in the struggle for trade and glory overseas. The second half of the 17th century was a golden age for the Dutch. Economic rivalry with England led to several naval wars, but in 1689, the Dutch stadhouder William of Orange was invited to assume the throne of that country after the Glorious Revolution had driven James II from power. In the disaster year of 1672 French and other armies penetrated deep into Dutch territory, exacerbating the internal conflict between the States and Orangist parties that led to the murder of the Grand Pensionary Johan de Witt and his brother by a mob in The Hague. The Republic survived this ordeal, recovered and prospered. The 18th century brought a relative eclipse of the Republic on the European stage and the beginnings of the reforming Patriotsmovement at home.