Pub. date: 2009 | Online Pub. Date: May 18, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971935 | Print ISBN: 9781412966702 | Online ISBN: 9781412971935| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Heather K. Michon
The Netherlands is located in northwestern Europe, with a coastline on the North Sea. It is sometimes erroneously referred to as Holland, after one of its larger regions; its residents are known as the Dutch. At only 41,500 square miles, it is the largest of the “Low Countries,” the low-laying countries along Europe's northern river deltas. More than half of the country sits at or below sea level, with water levels controlled by an elaborate system of dikes, canals, and seawalls. Over 90 percent of the country's 16 million residents live in cities. A center of international trade and commerce since at least the 17th century, it has a long history as a industrious and cosmopolitan country. With an economy focused on trade and commerce, the Dutch were able to enjoy games and pastime that came from all over the world on the ships that made their way up and ...