Background. The Netherlands won independence from Spain in 1579 and proceeded to become one of the world's great seafaring and economic nations in the 17th century. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed as a constitutional monarchy in 1815. Its territory included island protectorates in the Caribbean, the Antilles, and Aruba. In 1830, Belgium seceded and formed a separate kingdom. The Netherlands remained neutral in World War I, but it...
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