Why is Holland called the Netherlands
In today’s society world the names “Holland” and “The Netherlands” are often interchangeable, with people from various countries commonly referencing the same location with either one or the other. The reason for this lies primarily in both history and geographic importance of Holland.
Rather than an independent area, Holland is actually one of twelve separate states contained within the Netherlands (the official titles of the country). Within the Netherlands, however, Holland is the largest and most powerful of the states and as such has long dominated the Netherlands’ history.
Originally part of France and Germany, the Netherlands won their freedom through rebellion in the 16th century and were declared the Netherlands as a region. Shortly afterwards, however, it was incorporated into Spain and later France under the rule of Napoleon. During Napoleon’s rule the area was then renamed once again into the Kingdom of Holland and made into a dependent state of France.
Following Napoleon’s defeat and the dissipation of the Napoleonic empire the Netherlands once again regained their independence, again reverting their name to the original independent form used before becoming the Kingdom of Holland. Holland did, however, remain the largest and most powerful of the twelve states that comprised of the Netherlands, with Amsterdam being one of the most powerful cities (and the primary stronghold for the Netherland rebellion and fight for independence in many conflicts against the larger countries that had once controlled them).
Now thanks to both Napoleon and many other countries having created Holland as the primary reference point for the area as well as history’s regular alteration of the name from century to century both the title of Holland and the Netherlands has come to refer to the same place. Additionally each language has its own reference to the country or region as a whole, many times with the same language having more than one name to reference the area (much like English). This continues to cause confusion amongst many people today attempting to discuss the area due to the wide range of references needing to be known, though the Netherlands still remains to official title for the region today.