Anglo-Dutch Wars

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    The Anglo-Dutch Wars was a series of wars in the 17th and 18th (and some historians even stretch it to the early 19th) century, and it pitted the Kingdom of England (known as the Commonwealth of England during the First War and the Kingdom of Great Britain during the Fourth War) against the Dutch Republic.

    The First War (1652-1654) was fought due to England passing the Act of Navigation, which mandated that ships from Country A (usually, the Netherlands) could not carry goods from Country B to England or its colonies, sparking the war. The war initially was fought to a draw between the English and Dutch Navies, 2 of Europe's Badass Navies. The English eventually won the war after several naval victories in 1654, including a decisive victory in the Battle of the Gabbard.

    The Treaty of Westminster that ended the war had the Dutch recognize the Navigation Acts, as well as a secret clause that prevented William III from becoming stadtholder, (or stead holder) of the Dutch Republic.

    The Second War (1664-1667) was provoked by England in an attempt to curb Dutch naval power (The English tried but failed to follow through in the First War) Initially, England was able to take the advantage and win a series of victories over the Dutch. But the Dutch turned the tide in Chatham, England during the Raid of the Medway. A fleet of 60 ships led by Admiral Michiel de Ruyter, bombarded and captured Sherness, Kent, and sailed up the Medway river to Chatham, where the fleet burned and sunk 13 English ships and captured the ships of the line Unity and the Royal Charles, the English flagship. The battle secured a Dutch victory in the war.

    In the Treaty of Breda that ended the war. Both England and the Dutch agred to end the war "uti posstdetis" or "as you possess." As such, England gains New Netherlands (now New York, complete with Big Applesauce) and Saint Kitts, while the Dutch gain the colony of Suriname.

    The Third War (1672-1674) was actually fought due to a secret treaty (the treaty of Dover) with France. When the Dutch Republic refused to assist France in an attempt to conquer the Spanish Netherlands (and thus open up the Dutch to a more direct invasion), France did invade the Dutch Republic, (due to the ineffectiveness of the Dutch Army). However, the Dutch were able to garner support from the Holy Roman Empire, Spain, Denmark-Norway and Brandenberg. Sucessive victories in sea against the English navy by the Dutch Navy (once again under de Ruyter) forced England out of the war. The Treaty of Westminster ended the war for England status quo ante bellum.

    As for the conflict with France, that war lasted for another 4 years. Although it ended with a French victory and they did take territory from the Spanish Netherlands, there was still territory left to ensure that the buffer between France and the Netherlands remained intact.

    The Fourth War (1780-1784) was essentially Spin-Off of the American Revolution. The Dutch were using the port of Sint Eustatius to run guns for the Revolutionary Army. This, combined with the fact that the Dutch were the first to recognize US sovereignty upset the British quite badly. The war saw the final nail in the coffin for Dutch power. The Dutch navy had been neglected for years and was only a shade of its former self, the British were able to win the conflict quite easily, despite the war ending in a status quo ante bellum. This effectively ended the Dutch as a major power in Europe.

    • Badass Navy: Both sides qualify
    • Badass Bureaucrat: Samuel Pepy's practically built the Royal Navy himself.
    • Corrupt Corporate Executive (More then a few were involved)
    • Crowning Moment of Awesome: The Four Days Battle, where the two navies hammered away at each other for Four Days
      • The Dutch sailing up the Medway river to London.
        • The Medway doesn't lead to London. The Dutch sailed to the English Navy's biggest shipyard/port, ran the gauntlet of the defensive forts, broke through the chain across the river, then attacked much of the English fleet docked there, unarmed and unmanned. Then they had the sheer balls to steal ships that they didn't sink, and take them back home as prizes.
    • Four-Star Badass (several)
    • Glorious Leader (Cromwell)
    • The Kingdom (England)
    • Mega Corp (Both England and the Republic had an East India Company)
    • Proud Merchant Race (both sides)
    • The Republic (The Republic of the Seven United Netherlands)
      • In the first war, England was a republic as well.
    • Upper Class Wit / Upper Class Twit : Charles II had traces of both.
    • We ARE Struggling Together!: Arguably. At the time of the first war, England and the Netherlands were both radical revolutionary republics (by the standards of the time) in a sea of absolute monarchies, and had even considered uniting. What did they do? Go to war with each other.
    • Wooden Ships and Iron Men
      • Bizarrely to us, at this time the Dutch were considered more of a sailor race than the English. English naval commanders were even called "Generals-at-Sea" rather than admirals.
        • Because it's completely unimaginable that a country literally built on water would produce terrific sailors. As Descartes said, God created the Earth, but he left it up to the Dutch to create Holland. Even today, with more reclaimed land than ever, 20% of the country's surface area is made up of water.
        • Add to this the extensive usage of windmills for shipbuilding, making Holland the first industrialised country in world, plenty of peat available for processes that required heat and you've got yourself the ingredients for a truly Badass Navy that enabled one of the smallest countries in Europe to dominate the seas in the face of the combined might of France and Britain.
    • Worthy Opponent (both sides more or less respected each other; there was never terribly much bad blood between Britain and the Netherlands)

    Depictions in fiction