Pub. date: 2010 | Online Pub. Date: December 16, 2009 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412971973 | Print ISBN: 9781412914321 | Online ISBN: 9781412971973| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Amsterdam, the Netherlands
Manuel B. Aalbers
Amsterdam is the capital of the Netherlands, and with 750,000 inhabitants it is also its largest city. The city is part of the Randstad metropolitan area, which covers most of the west portion of the country and accommodates roughly half of the country's 16.5 million inhabitants. Randstad also includes the second- and third-largest cities, Rotterdam and The Hague. The city of Amsterdam developed on a dam in the Amstel River at the end of the twelfth century. The period 1585 to 1672, the Golden Age, was the heyday of Amsterdam's commercial success. At the time Amsterdam was the staple market of the world. During this period the characteristic Amsterdam cityscape developed; the 1613 and 1663 urban expansions with concentric canals still determine the city's characteristic appearance. The year 1672 brought disaster for the Dutch Republic with the French and English attacking simultaneously: The Golden Age had come to an end. ...