This guy is Johan van Oldenbarnevelt. He is the creator of the Netherlands. Back in the 1500's the Dutch decided to no longer be a part of Spain, so we rebelled. We presented the Act of Abjuration, or in Dutch: het plakkaat van Verlatinghe to the king of Spain. In it we said that if a king does not herd his sheep like a king, the people are no longer forced to see him as their king. So we decided to just not listen to him anymore. This decision plunged the Netherlands in the 80 year war against Spain. During this period of time the Netherlands were formed. First we tried to find a new king, but no one wanted a war with Spain, the strongest country at that time. So we just decided to do it ourselves and became a republic in 1581. After a while the western Netherlands, Zeeland and holland were no longer under Influence with Spain and they started to trade. This ushered in our golden age. The other provinces however, Gelre, Overijsel, Friesland, Groningen and Drente were still at war with Spain. The sea was free, but the land was still at war. This made sure the provinces, back then called the Gewesten, had conflicting interests. The gewesten at the shore wanted a better fleet to protect their trade vessels, and the land gewesten wanted a better army to fight Spain. Johan was the spokesman of Holland, and because Holland was the most important gewest back then the leader of the Netherlands. He talked with kings and queens, which for them was very odd. A regular person talking to royalty? that was unheard of. Still we did it and sucesfully at that.
After a while the western gewesten wanted peace, war is bad for trade. But the land gewesten still wanted war, they still weren't free. This is where our stadhouder maurits comes in the play
Maurits was the leader of the army. Maurits and Oldebarnevelt used to be great friends. However some actions taken by Oldebarnevelt angered Maurits.
Oldebarnevelt and Maurits debated over what to do in the Staten Generaal, our government. in the end the twelve years of treaty were declared, het twaalfjarig bestand. During these twelve years. Maurits played a foul game. He pushed the Staten Generaal to declare van Oldenbarevelt a traitor. They decapitated him a few days later. So we thanked the man that made our land with decapitation.
Maurits died some years later and in 1648 Spain finally had to give up and grant us our independence. After 80 years of fighting the Netherlands were finally free, however we had been ruling ourselves for a few decades. Some time later they gave Oldebarnevelt a statue. However it was not allowed to stand at the place it's supposed to stand because the King might not like that. Now however some historians want it to be placed at it's rightful place, on the binnenhof in the Hague, in order to finally honour the man that made our state.
I will flesh this part of our history out some time later. I'll probably tell something more about Maurits, and tell something about the watergeuzen, Willem van Oranje, and Alva.
Well I hope you liked the story of how we decided to decapitate the man that made our nation. This one might be a bit rambly, because it has been made entirely out of memory. So it might not be entirely chronological. Facts should check out though.