Friday, February 09, 2018

Amsterdam: The capital of the Netherlands

For seven centuries Amsterdam has been a center of international trade and transportation. Other important industries include banking, insurance and tourism.

Amsterdam began as a fishing village in the 1200s. The city was founded at a dam on the Amstel River which it derived its first name “Amstelledamme”. A small-scale settlement of 1,000 inhabitants in 1300 was transformed into a global trading metropolis of 200, 000 inhabitants by 1700.

By the 1400s it was an important port. During the 1500s many Jews and Protestants fled religious wars in other parts of Europe. Many settled in Amsterdam because to it was known for its religious freedom.

During the period 1795 to 1813, Amsterdam suffered badly from an economic recession. Many houses were vacant and some even collapse for lack of maintenance. The period 1813 to 1920 is marked by economic recovery and, from 1870 onward, by expansion.

Nazi troops from Germany controlled Amsterdam in the 1940s, during World War II. Today, Amsterdam is still a major port with access to the North Sea and an international center for financial services as it serves as a headquarters for several multinationals.
Amsterdam: The capital of the Netherlands
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