Background – Context History

The following are important events in the context of history that could affect migrations of people and the survival of (parts of) tribes. These can be found in the timeline on the site. Also for relevant cities (mostly NL) is given a brief background of locally important relevant events. For an extensive good description of the various events the best is to consult Wikipedia.

CrusadesThese were from 1096-1272; This attracted large amounts of people to Jerusalem at the request of the Pope. Although you can’t say much anymore about the relevance, it’s mentioned anyway, because in the Chronicle of Van Dorsten an analysis states that the family coat of arms probably originates from the crusades on the basis of a description by a European in Palestine in the 12th century.
Teutonic OrderThis order existed from 1190 (originated during the Holy Roman Empire). It existed at that time mainly of nobles from Westphalia. The glory days for the Livonian Order (part of the Teutonic Order) were from 1309 until 1410 and the Order was finally driven out from that region in the middle of the 15th century. The Teutonic order was there up to in the last century!
Hanseatic LeagueThe Hanseatic League (cooperation of cities in Northern Europe) was formed in the mid-12th century, where mid-13th century the German Hanseatic originated from and with the glory days in the mid-15th century. It attracted many traders to other Hanseatic towns particularly around the Baltic Sea and the North Sea and also settled everywhere. The wealthy Hanseatic City of Dorsten participated well.
Golden AgeThis is the 17th century in the Netherlands. In the two centuries before trade increased already a lot, but this age was a very rich time and the hinterland (in Germany) was also focused on the Netherlands and many people went there. With the establishment of the Dutch East India Company in 1602 (and later the WIC) went also many people to the East and to the West.
Guelders WarsFor Gelre/Guelders there were several wars that affected the entire region (Netherlands, Belgium and German States) with locally major consequences. The most important are the Mad War from 1477 until 1499 (in 2 parts). This was preceded by the Guelders Wars of Succession (1371-1379 and 1423-1448) and followed by the Guelder Wars (1502-1543).
Eighty Years’ War (Independency)The war between the Netherlands and Spain (1568-1648) following the rebellion of the Netherlands in 1568 (especially by the collision of the emerging Protestant faith against the cruel Catholic Spanish oppression). In 1581 was the emergence of the Dutch Republic which became independent.
Thirty Years’ WarThis great religious war (1618-1648) with political motives took place in most of Europe. The impact was huge in Germany (and the Holy Roman Empire).
Franco-Dutch WarIn this war (1672-1678) the French conquered under King Louis XIV almost all the Netherlands and the whole region around Münster and Dorsten. For the Netherlands this was actually the end of the Golden Age.
Nine Years’ WarAnother war with France (1688-1697) in which the Netherlands together with England managed to keep them in the southern Netherlands.
Napoleonic EraThe French occupation of the whole of Europe (Netherlands 1799-1815), where a brother of Napoleon had the power in the Netherlands (many victims).
World War IThe war of the axis powers (with the German Empire and Austro-Hungary) against the rest of Europe, where, however, the Netherlands remained neutral.
World War IIA global war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries with the aggressors from Germany, Italy and Japan.
AmersfoortCity rights in 1259, large city fire 1340. In the 16th century, many suffer from war-acts and afterwards economic downhill.
AmsterdamCity rights around 1300, became in the golden age one of the most important port and trading cities in the world. In 1452 a great big city fire.
ArnhemCity rights in 1233, became member of the Hanseatic League in 1441. In 1813 there were heavy fights between the French occupying power and Prussian troops
Braemsche (D)Old city at the river Hase from the time of Charlemagne close to Osnabrück.
BredaCity rights in 1252, large city fires in 1490 and 1534. Occupied by the Spaniards at the end of the 16th century.
DeventerHanseatic town, city rights 1123, is one of the oldest cities in the Netherlands.
DordrechtCity rights in 1220. Dordrecht developed in the 14th century into a major staple of wood, wine and corn and was about 1400 the largest (and oldest) city of Holland. In 1572 was here the first free States meeting and was William of Orange recognized as Prince of the independent Netherlands.
KampenIn the 14th century Kampen grew into one of the most powerful and leading cities of North West Europe. This proceeded until about 1700.
LeidenCity rights in 1266, under siege by the Spaniards and horrified in 1574 (a third of the inhabitants died), glory days in the golden age.
Neuenhaus (D)Founded in 1317 and city rights in 1369.
NijmegenNijmegen is a very old city from Roman times (100 Ad). In 1230 it became a free imperial city and in 1402 Hanseatic City.
RotterdamCity rights in 1340, it was an important place around 1500. In 1572 it was sacked by Spanish troops.
SteenwijkCity rights in 1296. In 1523 a large city fire. In 1580-1581 a heavy siege, but they held. Soon after a plague epidemic killed 2300 of the 2500 inhabitants.
UtrechtA Bishop since the 8th century, city rights in 1122. Starting from the 12th century, the counts of Holland and Guelders competed for power in Utrecht (born in Roman times). Until the middle of the 16th century, it was the largest city in the northern Netherlands.
ZutphenOne of the oldest cities in the Netherlands and very important as Hanseatic City; the 14th century was the golden age. On 17 november 1572 there was a massacre by the Spaniards. There followed years of occupation and sieges and between 1582 and 1591 most of the inhabitants drew away.
ZwartsluisWas only mentioned first in 1398 as a transit port for peat and is at the river mouth of the Overijsselse Vecht.
ZwolleCity rights in 1230; in 1448 it became incorporated as a city of the German Empire. The fifteenth century was the golden age. Zwolle was the only city that wasn’t recaptured by the Spaniards during the Eighty Years’ War.




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