History in AmsterdamEdit This
Amsterdam was granted city rights in either 1300 or 1306. From the 14th century on, Amsterdam flourished, largely because of trade with the Hanseatic League. In 1345, an alleged Eucharistic miracle in the Kalverstraat rendered the city an important place of pilgrimage until the alteration to the protestant faith. The Stille Omgang—a silent procession in civil attire—is today a remnant of the rich pilgrimage history.
In the 16th century, the Dutch rebelled against Philip II of Spain and his successors.The main reasons for the uprising were the imposition of new taxes, the tenth penny, and the religious persecution of Protestantism by the Spanish Inquisition. The revolt escalated into the Eighty Years' War, which ultimately led to Dutch independence. Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William the Silent, the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance. Jews from the Iberian Peninsula, Huguenots from France, prosperous merchants and printers from Flanders, and economic and religious refugees from the Spanish-controlled parts of the Low Countries found safety in Amsterdam. The influx of Flemish printers and the city's intellectual tolerance made Amsterdam a centre for the European free press.
The 17th century is considered Amsterdam's Golden Age, when it became one of the wealthiest cities in the world. Ships sailed from Amsterdam to the Baltic Sea, North America, and Africa, as well as present-day Indonesia, India, Sri Lanka and Brazil, forming the basis of a worldwide trading network.Amsterdam's merchants had the largest share in both the VOC (Dutch East India Company) and the WIC (Dutch West India Company). These companies acquired overseas possessions that later became Dutch colonies. Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading financial centre of the world. In 1602, the Amsterdam office of the VOC became the world's first stock exchange by trading in its own shares.
Amsterdam's prosperity declined during the 18th and early-19th centuries. The wars of the Dutch Republic with England and France took their toll on Amsterdam. During the Napoleonic Wars, Amsterdam's fortunes reached their lowest point. However, the later establishment of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815 marked a turning point. New developments, by people such as city planner Samuel Sarphati,drew their inspiration from Paris.