Timeline of Dutch Empire

As part of the Visual Timeline series


1566: Begin Eighty Years War (1566-1648). Dutch rebellion against Spanish.

1576: Sack of Antwerp

1581: Dutch declare independence

1588: English repel Spanish Armada

1595: First Dutch expedition to East Indies (Bali, Indonesia) gains investor confidence that Dutch can replace Portugal as main spice supplier


1600: Dutch establish fortress in Amboina (Indonesia), symbolizing start of colonization. Batavia (Jakarta) founded in 1620.

1602: Dutch VOC and Amsterdam Stock Exchange established


1618: Thirty Years War (1618-1648) begins; primarily Catholic vs Protestants, France vs England; Habsburgs fails to restore Catholic dominance against Protestant princes

1609-1621: Ceasefire between Dutch and Spanish.

1619: Dutch bring African slaves to British colony Jamestown, Virginia

1626: Dutch settle New Amsterdam (New York)

1641: Dutch take Malacca from Portuguese (1641-1825), making Dutch strongest European power in the archipelego

1642: Dutch explorer Tasman first European to visit Tasmania (Australia), New Zealand (names it), Tonga, and Fiji

1649: English Civil War (1642-1649) ends with Parliament victory over Charles I

Jan Micker‘s depiction of Amsterdam c1652. Source

1652: English take New Amsterdam from Dutch, renamed New York

1654: First Anglo-Dutch War (1652-1654), effectively stalemate; trade war beginning with England passing Navigation Act of 1651 mandating all goods from American colonies be carried by English ships

– Dutch/Dano-Swedish War (1657-1660): Denmark-Dutch alliance defeat Sweden to lower tolls on profitable Baltic trade routes
– Charles II restores monarchic absolutism in England

1661: Dutch sells New Holland (Brazil) to Portugal for 63 tonnes of gold

1664: English capture New Netherlands; renaming to New York and New Jersey

1667: Second Anglo-Dutch War (1665-1667) ends with Dutch victory. Another trade war. Dutch golden age begins.


1678: Franco-Dutch War (1672-1678) and Third Anglo-Dutch War (1672-1674): Dutch (allied with Holy Roman Empire and Spain) repel France-England invasion but at great cost

1684: Dutch secures Java after intervening in civil war in sultanate of Mataram

1688: Glorious Revolution in England; limiting absolute monarchy and relocating to Parliament; Catholic James II Stuart replaced by his daughter Queen Mary II and her Dutch Protestant husband William III of Orange.

1701: War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) starts

1704: England-Holland-Austrian Habsburg (under British commander Marlborough) defeat France-Bavaria at Battle of Blenheim (War of Spanish Succession)

1714: War of Spanish Succession (1701-1714) ends. France-Spain vs England-Austria-Dutch. French heir Philip V takes Spanish throne but with many concessions (Spain gives up territory in Italy and Belgium to Austria, as well as Gibraltar to England; France gives England and Netherlands colonial trade concessions); French and Spanish power erode while Britain rises.

– War of Quadruple Alliance (1718-1720); Britain-France-Austria-Dutch defeat Spain as they attempt to recover losses from 1713 Peace of Utrecht
– South Sea Bubble in Britain, Mississippi Bubble in France.

1735: War of Polish Succession (1733-1735); England-Spain-Dutch-HolyRomanEmpire coalition to halt French expansionism; Poland falls under dominion of Austria and Russia

1748: War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748); Prussia (allied with France, Spain, and other German states) invades Austria (allied with Britain, Dutch, Russia), supporting German princes’ territorial ambitions against Austria

1763: Anglo-Prussian victory over France-Habsburg-Saxony-Russia-Spain in Seven Years War (1756-1763)

– Dutch Patriot Revolt
– British capture Dutch settlements in west Sumatra

1784: Fourth Anglo-Dutch War ends in British victory (1780-1784); British retaliate for Dutch supporting American Revolution; fighting occurs globally (North Sea, India, Indonesia, Caribbean).


1789: French Revolution begins as Bastille prison is stormed

1792: Napoleonic Wars begin

1795: France conquers mainland Dutch empire; setting up puppet Batavian Republic

1804: Napoleon crowns himself emperor

1814: Napoleon defeated and exiled to Elba. Netherlands established

1815: Napoleon finally defeated at Waterloo. Congress of Vienna.

[map of territorial changes]

1824: British capture Malacca from Dutch


1839: Belgian Revolution (1830-1839) ends with Belgium and Luxembourg gaining independence from post-Napoleonic Netherlands

Additional reference:


See also:

Visual Timeline Series