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This article may contain outdated information that is inaccurate for the current version of the game. It was last updated for 1.11.

Primary culture
Dutch (Germanic)

Capital province
Holland (97)

Feudal MonarchyGovernment monarchy.png

State religion

Technology group
WesternWestern technology group
Ideas and traditions
Traditions.png Traditions:
+50% Naval force limit modifier
−10% Shipbuilding time

Inflation reduction.png Found the Amsterdam Wisselbank

+0.10 Yearly inflation reduction

Merchants.png Dutch Trading Spirit

+1 Merchants
+10% Trade Range

Development cost.png Polders

−10% Development cost

Naval leader fire.png Instructie voor de Admiraliteiten

+2 Naval leader fire

Tolerance heretic.png Embrace Humanism

+3 Tolerance of heretics

Siege ability.png Army Sappers

+10% Siege ability

Infantry power.png Platoon Fire

+10% Infantry combat ability

Idea bonus.png Ambitions:

+15% Trade efficiency

The Netherlands is a formable nation in Europe, which can be formed by Burgundy or countries with a Dutch or Flemish culture. The formation decision however, requires only Dutch provinces and not Flemish ones. The Dutch are a typical trading power, reflected in their national ideas. Historically, the Netherlands became fully independent from Habsburg Spain in 1581.


Execute decision.pngForm Dutch Nation

The Dutch are emerging as one of Europe's most capable naval and colonial powers. Lucrative trade opportunities, locally and overseas, have resulted in a swift evolution for the country into one of the first capitalist countries in the world.

Potential Requirements
  • Netherlands does not exist
  • Is not the Papal States or the Holy Roman Empire
  • Any of the following:
    • Primary culture is Dutch
    • Primary culture is Flemish
    • Is Burgundy
  • Is either human or AI with at least 3 provinces

  • If country is Burgundy:
    • Culture icon.pngPrimary culture set to Dutch (Germanic)
    • Capital.pngCapital set to Holland
  • If country is Burgundy and France exists:
  • Changes country to Netherlands
  • Gain claims on all unowned provinces in the low countries
  • Gain Prestige.png25 prestige
  • Switch to new country's national ideas

Dutch revolt[edit]

Main article: Dutch revolt events

If the year is between 1550 and 1650 and the Netherlands does not exist, nations that control parts of the low countries and not have Dutch or Flemish as their primary culture will receive events causing revolts and if successful, eventually lead to the formation of the Netherlands. The newly-independent Netherlands will then receive a full navy and army and claims over the low countries as well as opportunities to annex other Dutch minors through events. The Dutch revolt can be avoided by other nations with a cultural shift to Dutch or Flemish culture.


Main article: Dutch missions

The Netherlands' missions are focused on colonization and conflict with Portugal and Spain.


Main article: Dutch events

Dutch events are focused on famous individuals, capitalism and the Dutch republic government type.


Execute decision.pngFound Oost-Indische Compagnie

A company of merchants are asking the States-General for a 21 year monopoly to carry out colonial activities in Asia. These areas are potentially very rich, but they need the monopoly because the risks are so high.

Potential Requirements
  • Is Netherlands
  • Does not have country modifier "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie"
  • Does not have country flag "trade_company"
  • Has discovered a province in East Asian trade port

  • Set country flag "trade_company"
  • Add country modifier "Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie" for the rest of the campaign:
    • Merchants.png+1 merchants
    • Trade power.png+5% trade power
    • Colonial range.png+25% colonial range


Formation as a nation with Dutch primary culture[edit]

Main article: Je maintiendrai

The Netherlands can be an interesting nation for trade, with the potential to become the world's foremost naval and trade power. Its capital, set in Holland, is in the English Channel trade node, one of four end nodes for all trade. Additionally, playing as the Netherlands provides countless opportunities to colonize; regardless of whether or not the player wishes to do so, the Netherlands' fleet can have the potential to increase its income just as well as colonization can. Forming the Netherlands as a one-province minor can often be quite difficult; Utrecht, Gelre, and Friesland, all neighbouring countries of the often hostile and much larger Burgundy, are likely to be warned very early on. All three minors are often rivaled by or have hostile relations with their neighbors; and one being an archbishopric, and another being a republic, it can be difficult to secure alliances early on. Thus, it may be advisable to restart until Burgundy is no longer hostile, posing less of an immediate threat as you improve relations with your neighbours and potential allies. As with all HRE minors, securing alliances with France and Austria is advisable (seeking a Statesman advisor may reduce the time needed improving relations), securing the player both protection from offensive wars initiated by other countries and providing help in future wars against more powerful countries – namely, Burgundy. Furthermore, the player should always rival their neighbours when possible, and if a Spymaster is available, it should be taken, as both will increase spy offense against target nations, reducing the chance that the player will gain aggressive expansion from fabricating claims against neighbours.

Forming the Netherlands as Burgundy[edit]

Main article: Burgundy

Forming the Netherlands as Burgundy is less difficult, compared with starting as a one province minor (OPM). The challenge consists in winning two or three wars against the Holy Roman Empire to take the provinces of Utrecht, Gelre and Friesland. The simplest option is wait for the emperor to be busy with a war with a decently strong nation so that they are distracted from Burgundian incursions; a more advanced strategy consists in attacking Austria, and when victory in that war is secured, attacking the Dutch minor. With luck, the monarch of a nation other than Austria will become Emperor, making things easier. Other option is taking the provinces that are needed (usually one-province states) and annexing them after making them a vassal.

However, when forming the Netherlands as Burgundy, all French region provinces are ceded to France, which is generally not desirable, because it makes a strong enemy even stronger. Unfortunately, this can only be avoided by completely eliminating France. With Castile or Aragon as ally and superior military strategy, completely conquering France as Burgundy is something that can be attempted; this will take some hundred years and at least four wars.

As of 1.12 playing as Burgundy allows you to crawl along the Channel and seize England before forming the Netherlands. This makes the English culture accepted and grants domination of the North Sea Trade node without use of light ships. Losing the southern Burgundian provinces is a non-issue, as you will be able to seize Paris with a single war.

Forming the Netherlands as other nation[edit]

Any other nation can form the Netherlands after a cultural shift to Dutch or Flemish culture. This allows a few interesting strategies. Any nation (as long as it is not a custom nation designed with the nation designer) can switch its national ideas to Dutch ideas this way, or use this to switch its government type after the Constitutionalism and the General Estates event fires. Münster or Cologne could use this strategy to get out of the theocratic government type should they somehow end up in possession of the Dutch provinces.

It is even possible to form the Netherlands as Austria. After inheriting Burgundy and conquering the remainder of the Dutch provinces, Austria would have to release Styria as vassal and move the capital to a Dutch province. This will likely allow a cultural shift to Dutch, which not only gives the option to form the Netherlands, but also disables the Dutch rebellion events.


In the 1.13 Patch Forming the Netherlands removes you from the Holy Roman Empire, so forming the Netherlands may hamper your future ability to expand into German territories.

Depending on how the Netherlands were formed, there will be different strategies available to the player. If the Netherlands were formed by a small or Dutch or Flemish Nation, the Netherlands will be a medium European Nation that could try to conquer smaller European nations or expand into the Americas, Africa or Asia, but will not be able to take on a major European power like France, Austria or Spain without strong allies.

Forming the Netherlands gives a claim on all of the low countries, so if the Flemish provinces are not owned by one of the major European powers (even if Austria didn't inherit them from Burgundy,the 'big blue blob' France has a tendency to gobble them up), they would be a primary target for expansion. It would be advisable to fully secure the foothold on the continent before setting sights overseas.

Historically, the Dutch expanded into the Caribbean and the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), also holding countless ports along the coasts of West Africa, India, and southeast Asia, as well to having a small foothold in the New World in Nieuw-Nederland. The player's trade fleet alone may be enough to rack in plenty of dosh; but by island hopping through the Atlantic and Pacific, the Dutch may also become a powerful military power, finding coastal footholds as the Dutch did historically. Southeast Asia is highly lucrative; by setting up trade companies, the Dutch can become the most powerful nation in the world, not only through trade but also militarily. It may also be advisable to strategically colonize and take provinces with the highest base tax or extra bonuses, such as Cape in South Africa. Playing as the Netherlands presents a wide range of opportunities; its strengths, however, are primarily within the areas of trade and its navy. The player, well-funded by trade, may well do anything within reason; the unique Dutch republic government type and its constantly strong field of leaders only expand its potential opportunities.

Alternatively (or at the same time) a conquest strategy in Germany could be pursued, since Dutch (and Flemish) are in the Germanic culture group.

The Netherlands itself can only strive to become emperor of the HRE if the monarchy-option was chosen in the Constituationalism and the general estates event, or if the Dutch Republic turns into a monarchy.


Je maintiendrai icon
Je maintiendrai
Form the Netherlands as a minor nation starting with Dutch culture.
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