The Netherlands 1609–48

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Map Code: Ax00827

From 1609, a truce subsisted for twelve years between the Spanish and Dutch. However, war would eventually reignite because neither side would commit to religious tolerance in the areas they controlled, and because of growing conflict between their respective colonial and commercial interests. In 1621, hostilities resumed; a Spanish attack on Bergen-op-Zoom was countered by a Dutch invasion of Flanders. Although several towns were taken, Antwerp, Ghent and Brussels remained in Spanish hands. More significantly, the Dutch gained little support from the native Catholic population, who appeared content with Spanish rule. Increasingly those controlling commercial interests in the Netherlands could see the advantages of a Spanish buffer zone from France, with Antwerp hamstrung as a trading rival to Amsterdam. The Treaty of Munster in 1648 confirmed the independence of the seven northern provinces together with their control over the border zone of the Lands of the Generality.

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