This is the town of Veldhoven in the netherlands. Its a fairly modest town with a population of 45,500. But what if I told you, that the entire world economy, is based around this town. Because, what is happening here, in Veldhoven, has been catching the attention of the worlds superpowers. In fact, something that is happening here, quietly, in the background, just might dramatically change the world for the better of humanity, cause a full on economic collapse, and maybe, just maybe, make an old empire rise once again.
This is the rotte River. Around the year 900 AD, a few dozen people lived along this river. However, over the next few hundred years, those few dozen people grew into a village with over 500 people. However, just as the village seemed to be reaching new heights, a massive flood of the river came and wiped out most of infrastructure of the village. And for 100 years, because of the flooding, this area didn’t recover. But then, the area became an area that would become one of the most important economic projects in history.
In the mid 1200’s, the Rotte River had a Dam built along it which helped reclaim a lot of the flooded land that the river destroyed a century earlier. Soonafter, King William the 4th of Holland officially made the village apart of Holland, and named it RotterDam after the river, and the dam which allowed the village to exist.
King William then announced a Canal project for Rotterdam, which would allow ships to enter and leave the city fairly easily. And it was this Canal project which would accidentally change the world as we know it today.
You see, the Canal in the 1300’s, did help bolster the local economy of Rotterdam but at the time, ship technology, and International trade were pretty limited. So for the time being, this Port and Canal was pretty much only used for trade between nearby countries.
But then, a strange thing happened. A race to become the new great empire of the world was underway. Spain, Portugal, and Britain all began inventing new ship technologies to expand their empires throughout the world. And over the next several centuries, globalization and colonization became rampant throughout the world. And all of a sudden, the port of Rotterdam, became one of the largest trading Hubs in the world.
You see, in the 1600s, as other empires like the british, spanish, and portuguese were focused on expanding their empire and seeing how much land they could conquer, the Dutch focused on controlling a few select countries, and creating trading posts, resource exploitations, and forts, rather than large expansive swaths of land.
Also during this time, the Netherlands also transitioned their economic policy towards having free markets, property rights for all, and high levels of agricultural and technological investment, therefore the Netherlands became known as the worlds first modern economy.
And because of all these reasons, the NEtherlands soon became known as the Dutch empire. The dutch controlled global trade, and dictated which nations were able to have access to key resources like spices, Rye, and luxuries,
By 1670, half of all european trade came from Dutch ships, and flowed through the ports of Rotterdam and Amsterdam.
Think about that, at the time of some of the largest empires in history, the Netherlands, who had a population of only about 2 million people, dominated world trade.
And I know what you are probably asking. What happened to this trade empire? Well, it actually never really went anywhere.
You see, even after its decolonization of its empire, the Dutch quietly have been one of the biggest trading nations in the world.
If you were to take a look at the top exporters of goods in the world, you would see something that may catch your eye.
The top exporters may seem obvious, as they are China, the United States, Germany, and Japan. Those nations have been the kings of exports for decades, and they all have very large populations. So that makes sense.
But who do you think is the next largest exporter of goods? Is it an old power like the UK or france? How about a large populous country like brazil or India? Maybe its an upcoming manufacturing powerhouse like indonesia?
Well. As it turns out. The Netherlands, is still one of the top exporters of goods in the world. Despite having a population of only 19 million people today, the Dutch
My Game Dev Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzuUsoqUOXul8aRcl2ZwyNA
Want some Advice? Ask Me on Reddit!
On Tik Tok: @jackchapple
On Reddit: https://www.reddit.com/JackChapple/
On Instagram! https://instagram.com/jack_chapple_real/
On Twitter! https://twitter.com/JackChappleSci
On Facebook! https://www.facebook.com/ChappleREI/
OR (even better, and more likely to get to me): Send me a tweet or instagram DM.