Netherlands, The [the Invention Of...]

Episodes

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02The Golden Age2018052820180530 (R4)

Misha Glenny on the astonishing golden age of the Netherlands.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny on the Dutch golden age - when a few boggy Netherlandish provinces turned into one of the military and trading heavyweights of the world.

In 1607 the Dutch took on and defeated the mighty Spanish in their own backyard at Gibraltar, Sixty years later they sailed up the Medway and humiliated another trading nation by towing away the flagship of the English fleet. It was called the Royal Charles, and parts can still be seen in the Rijksmuseum. This was the golden age - when North America, South Africa, north east Brazil and the Dutch East Indies all received visits from this violent upstart nation. How did this happen? How did Amsterdam transform itself from a small fishing town into the hub of a global super power in a few short decades?

With contributions from Rebecca Rideal, author of 1666: Plague, War and Hellfire; Ben Kaplan of University College London; Gils Rommelse, author of the Second Anglo-Dutch War; Judith Pollmann of Leiden University; Maarten Prak of Utrecht University; and the Dutch journalist Geert Mak.

From the team behind The Invention of Germany, the USA and of Brazil. The presenter is Misha Glenny.

The producer in Bristol is Miles Warde.

03Why Belgium?2018060420180606 (R4)

Misha Glenny ends his travels in the Netherlands in Brussels, home of the EU.

Misha Glenny presents histories of nations.

Misha Glenny ends his Netherlandish travels in Brussels, and asks why does Belgium exist. With details on the brief Kingdom of the Netherlands - a union with the Dutch in the north - and the reason why the British went to war with Germany in 1914. There is a faultline in Europe, running from the North Sea to the Alps, and this is one reason Belgium exists.

With contributions from Gita Deneckere of Ghent University; Simon Winder, who's at work on a new book called Lotharingia; and Paul Arblaster, author of A History of the Low Countries.

The producer is Miles Warde.