The Difference between Netherlands and Holland
You must have noticed that many people refer to the Netherlands the same way as they would to Holland. There are many people who think Netherlands and Holland are same. But this is wrong. While some people use the word ‘Holland’ for a country synonymous to the Netherlands, in reality, Holland is a region located on the western coast of the actual Netherlands country. The Netherlands are divided into twelve provinces, out of which two are South Holland and North Holland. Together they make Holland. Some of the biggest cities of the Netherlands, including Hague, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, are also located in Holland. But people are confused and they sometimes call the entire Netherlands as Holland. So, we have composed this oneHOWTO article to tell you the difference between Netherlands and Holland.
What’s the confusion?
The country’s name is the Kingdom of Netherlands, and when we talk about Holland, we refer to only two provinces of the country, North Holland and South Holland. But why is there confusion when telling the difference between Netherlands and Holland? This is probably because of Holland’s massive contribution towards the country’s wealth and economy. The area that is present day’s Netherlands was previously the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands. When the French conquered it in 1795, it became Batavian Republic. In 1806, Napoleon turned it into a kingdom, and Holland contributed a lot towards the country’s wealth and economy after Napoleon’s defeat. Owing to that, Holland became a common name used to refer to the Netherlands.
Historical differences between Netherlands and Holland
Long ago, Holland was actually the name of a country. But with time, Holland got split and went through several renaming as the Kingdom of Holland, the United States of Belgium, and the Dutch Republic. Finally, the country settled on 'the Netherlands' for its name. South and North Holland are two of the most important provinces in the country, being home to Hague, the capital city Amsterdam, the Port of Rotterdam, and also its government seat.
Geographical differences between Holland and the Netherlands
The Rhine and it distributaries of Meuse and Waal are the major water bodies of Holland. The Rhine is the longest river or Europe and it enters Holland from the eastern parts of the Netherlands. The river enters the North Sea in Holland only. There are no mountain ranges in Holland, and its land covers around 5488 sq. kms. On the other hand, the Netherlands is the country in which Holland is situated, and its area is only 13% of the entire Netherlands land area.
Language differences between Holland and the Netherlands
Dutch is the official language of the Netherlands, and most people in the country use this language. People living in Holland call Dutch language the Hollands, and not Nederlands, which is what most people use. People of other provinces in the Netherlands know the word 'Hollands' as someone who speaks in Hollandic dialect. The language that people in the Netherlands use is based on Hollandic dialect with some derivations from Brabantian and Flemish.
Economic differences between Holland and the Netherlands
The Netherlands is blessed with an open and prosperous economy, primarily leading in petroleum refining, chemicals, financial services and food processing. Provinces of North and South Holland contribute a lot to the Netherlands economy as a whole. Rotterdam, the biggest harbor port of Europe, functions as a significant transit point between Europe and international destinations. Agriculture sector in the country employs around 5% of labor force, and provides surpluses for exports and food processing activities. Amsterdam, located in Holland, is the capital city of the Netherlands, and has the oldest stock exchange and one of the largest stock markets in Europe.
With this information, you can be clear that the Netherlands is a country, and Holland is just two provinces in this country. There are ten more provinces in the Netherlands other than South and North Holland. Each of these provinces has a history and culture of its own. So, referring to the Netherlands as Holland is insulting and limiting to the entire nation of the Netherlands. It is important to understand the difference between the Netherlands and Holland, so that you can refer to the right place in the right manner.
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