The Dutch And Americans: What Is Their Relationship Like?

December 2, 2020

It is sometimes difficult to keep up with the various countries that have a good relationship, a bad relationship, or which happen to be friendly allies. Relations between a lot of countries have often stayed similar in their nature over the course of recent history, and this is the case for the Netherlands and America. The Netherlands and America have quite a unique relationship that dates back a few hundred years. You might be wondering, how is the relationship between the Netherlands and America?

The Dutch and Americans have a positive and healthy bilateral relationship and have for quite some time now. America and the Netherlands are allies, dating all the way back to the American Revolution in the 1700s. The relationship between the Dutch and America is considered very strong.

Today, we are going to discuss in depth the history and nature of the relationship between America and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. There are more facets to this story that you might even be aware of. Let’s go ahead and dive in to learn more about the special friendship that the Netherlands and America share with one another.

History of the Dutch and American Relationship

The friendship between the Netherlands and the United States dates all the way back to the 1700s; even before then, really. A huge moment in the history between The Netherlands and America was in 1782, which was when the Netherlands became the second country to recognize America as an independent nation, which was not long after France did the same. 

John Adams, who was one of the Founding Fathers as well as the second president of the United States, decided to purchase a property in the Hague, the Netherlands. This property ended up becoming the very first American embassy in the whole world.

From that point on in the 18th century, the Netherlands and United States have fought for and with each other as time has gone on. In 1942, Queen Wilhelmina of the Netherlands addressed the United States during a joint congress session, where the two countries found common ground. Her successor, Queen Juliana, was able to do the same a decade later. 

The Netherlands and America joined NATO, or the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, together in 1949. The two respective countries have recognized one another as sovereign entities that actively strive to maintain human rights and world peace, and they have worked together to keep a flourishing relationship.

Is the Netherlands an Ally of the United States?

The short answer to the question of whether the Netherlands is an ally to the United States is yes, the two countries are very much allies. The Netherlands and the United States have never been in a detrimental conflict or war, and they have worked together and joined forces in many instances.

President Ronald Reagan even once claimed that the relationship between the United States and the Netherlands is “the longest unbroken, peaceful relationship that we have had with any other nation.”

The United States was an ally during the Second World War by assisting in liberating the Netherlands from Nazi Germany. The Dutch were allies to the United States in the Korean War, and the Dutch have played a key role in peacekeeping attempts in the Middle East for years.

It seems as though the relationship between America and the Dutch has only gotten stronger as time has gone on, which is advantageous during this time that our world is going through so many changes.

Over time, the Netherlands and the United States have signed at least six treaties together ranging on topics of amity and commerce. After World War II, the Marshall Plan was proposed to send aid to Europe after the devastating effects of the war. 

The Netherlands was able to restore itself at a much faster rate with the aid received because of the Marshall Plan. Throughout history, both countries have always strived to help one another and on a solid agreement when it comes to sustainability, horticulture, water management, and security.

Ronald Reagan claimed: “the longest unbroken, peaceful relationship that we have had with any other nation.”

The Dutch And Americans What Is Their Relationship Like - Ronald Reagan

The Netherlands and American Relations Today

As mentioned earlier, the United States and the Netherlands share what is called a bilateral relationship, which means that the two nations respect one another as individual and sovereign nations, and practice political, cultural, and economic relations in a supportive manner. 

The current United States Ambassador to the Netherlands is Pete Hoekstra, and André Haspels is the Netherlands Ambassador to the United States. President Barack Obama once said that the two countries “share a friendship that will never die.” Those are some pretty remarkable words that are a true testament to the allyship that has formed over time.

In the year 2018, the American Embassy in the Netherlands was moved to Wassenaar and received an updated makeover. The original embassy that was purchased by John Adams is still standing in The Hague.

There are also over one hundred different museums and monuments throughout the Netherlands that recognize the history of the role America played in helping liberate the Netherlands from the Nazis during World War II.

It is also worth noting that this year, the Kingdom of the Netherlands celebrated 75 years of liberation from Nazi Germany. The United States, Canada, Poland, and Britain all assisted in accomplishing this feat. Liberation Day is celebrated each year on the 5th of May in the Netherlands.

Friendship Days to Celebrate the Dutch and American Relation

It just so happens that there are even two different days each year that commemorate the lovely and historical friendship between the Dutch and American nations. They are coined as “Friendship Days,” which truly could not be more wholesome.

Dutch-American Friendship Day:

Dutch-American Friendship Day is celebrated around mid-April each year and recognizes the day that the Founding Father John Adams was officially received by the Dutch government, as well as the day that John Adams purchased what became the first American Embassy in the world in the Hague. 

These occurrences were a major component in keeping the strong and lasting allyship alive throughout the few hundreds of years that have passed since then.

Dutch-American Heritage Day:

The second day out of the year that celebrates the bond between the United States and the Netherlands is called Dutch-American Heritage Day and falls on November 16th of every year. This day was presented by President George Bush back in 1991 to observe and honor the impact that the Dutch community has had on the United States and the rich history behind the friendship of the two countries.

Many people might not know this, but New York City was originally founded by Dutch settlers and given the name New Amsterdam! These extraordinary and historic Dutch roots still have a lasting impact on New York and other areas of the northeastern United States, which we will go into further in another future article.

New York, once known as New Amsterdam:

The Dutch And Americans What Is Their Relationship Like - Pic #1

Economic Relationship Between the Netherlands And America

In addition to being allies in international affairs, the United States and the Netherlands are involved in the exportation and trading of goods to one another. Both countries provide invaluable assistance when it comes to providing goods. 

It also just so happens that the United States is currently the biggest foreign investor for the Netherlands, and the Netherlands is the third-highest investor for America. Let’s take a look at what each respective country offers.

The United States

Main export products from America to the Netherlands:

  • Machinery and appliances
  • Leather
  • Minerals
  • Gasoline
  • Oil

The Netherlands

Main export products from the Netherlands to America:

  • Transport equipment
  • Chemicals
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Food and livestock
  • Vinegar and alcohol

This symbiotic exchange of goods and services between these two countries can create more than half of a million various jobs for people around the entire planet, as well as funnel many billions of dollars into the global economy.

It happens to be that the states of Texas, California, and Pennsylvania are the largest providers of merchandise exportation to the Netherlands.

Conclusion

To sum up, we have answered the question of whether or not the Netherlands and America have a good relationship. At the end of the day, the United States and the Netherlands have a very positive and flourishing relationship that has stood the test of time. The two countries are consistently teaming up on international affairs and trading billions of dollars of goods each year.

If you were not sure about where the relationship lies between the United States and the Netherlands, now you hopefully do. It is a friendship that has proven to be a solid one as time has gone on, and it is predicted to stay that way. 

Maybe you are even inspired to celebrate the Dutch and American Friendship Days from now on to honor all of the momentous occasions that have happened over time. Without the relationship between the Netherlands and the United States, both of these countries would be astronomically different places-and the entire world would be too.

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Written by

Leo van den Berg
As a Dutchman I am extremely proud of the beautiful country in which I live. My goal is to convey my passion and love for the Netherlands to as many people as possible.

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