I have two unrelated questions about the Netherlands. 1)Why are the people of the country called Dutch? Why not Netherlanders or Orangemen? 2)Why is the Netherlands so permissive (e.g. drugs) and how did it get that way?
WAG on #1: They were called “Dutch” before the country known as “The Netherlands” was so named. The words “Dutch,” “Deutsch” (the German word for “German”), and “Teutonic” all ultimately derive from an ancient Germanic root meaning “tribe” or “us guys.” One of the Straight Dope books (maybe the first) mentions this.
I’ll leave it to Clogmod to answer the others. . . .
The Dutch call themselves Nederlanders. Or, less correctly and just to add to the confusion, Hollanders. (after the province which historically was the more important, and held a disproportionate part of the population)
I believe that “Dutch” is an English bastardization of the word “Diets” which is what the inhabitants of the lowcountries called themselves before there ever was a nation.
As to the permissiveness of their society, I don’t know for sure, but suspect it has something to do with the centrist-left tendencies of their governments since WWII. All I know is that the permissiveness has an obsessive quality to it, and most every Dutchman will gladly (and ad nauseam) tell you how much better it is than whatever society you poor soul happen to find yourself confined by.
Somehow the easy availability of pot, porn and hookers, combined with 12 year old girls not needing parental permission for such a life altering procedure as abortion, and the right to have a doctor off your parents because you have doubts about their quality of life are the next big civilization advances…Oops, that turned into a rant! Sorry…
Isosleepy, if you want to rant, get thee to the pit. Sheesh.
The “permissiveness” of Dutch society probably stems from the wide possibilities you get in a small country with a pragmatic mindset. If pseudolegalization of cannabis cause less problems than upholding a ban, then by all means stop chasing the pot-smokers around and have your police do something more worthwhile with their time. WTF, it seems to work.
The permissiveness stops where other drugs are concerned, however - Dutch laws on hard drugs are quite close to those in other European countries.
I thought Coldfire would be in here.
Hey, the Nederlanders were were tolerant centuries ago! The puritans moved there when they were driven out of england, the french Hugoenauts (sp?) fled there when they were being exterminated in France, They traditionally did not burn witches while said witches were being torched in Scotland, england, France and Germany, and they resisted the inquisition, the Nazi occupation, and many other inequities. A cousin of mine in Gelderland was executed by the Nazis for assisting Jews. Granted, there were lapses, like driving some of their own countrymen out in the mid 19th century by reforming the church and banning the more conservative (and less tolerant) religious practices, but by and large, they’ve practiced “I’ll let you do what you want to do if it harms me not, and you’ll let me do the same” for hundreds of years!
mijn grootfaders vertrokken naar amerika uit Zeeland en Gelderland!
I read a book, title no longer remembered, where the origin of the word was attributed to the sailors of the English Navy who quite oftened competed with the people of the lowlands. They used the word as a slur, knowing the Hollander objection to being identified with the people up the Rhine and up the coast.
From my perspective, Dutch, but primarily raised in Canada under Calvinism, forced to go to church twice on Sunday, catechism, no movies, no dances, no TV (for a while), no work and no spending money on Sunday, I was amazed when I was old enough to realize how liberal the country was. I think the country was like my oldest sister,who was figuratively locked up and just went wild when she went to university.
Well, of course! The intolerant Hollanders all emigrated to the US and Canada in the 1840’s to 1880’s when they reformed the Calvinist church in the Netherlands. (massive exaggeration for effect). Church only twice on Sunday? Around here (the midwest USA) it was twice on sunday, and also on Wednesday night! Can’t have sex standing up, cause it could lead to dancing! I still see bumper stickers locally which say “you ain’t much if you ain’t dutch”. And for God’s sake, don’t marry out of the faith! My grandfather, a Dutch Reformed, married my grandmother, a Christian Reformed (split off from the Dutch reformed, 'cuz they thought the DR was too liberal), and they were both ostracized from their churches. And don’t ask what happened when my dad married my mom, a Methodist!
I think the Netherlands just decided to party real hearty after all the hard-liners moved out
Are you sure it wasn’t the other way around. In Ontario,(I now live in British Columbia) The Canadian Reformed, who had counterparts in the States called American Reformed, regarded the Christian Reformed as way too liberal.
My mother’s family were Christian Reformed, and it was a real treat for me to stay with them.
Anyhow, following the death of my mother, at the age of 15, my father decided to leave the Canadian Reformed for some American style no name fundamentalist group. Out of the frying pan into the fire. The Canadian Reformed elders approached me when I was 21, to enquire if they should strike me from the Book of Life. I told them to do whatever they felt was neccessary, because I wasn’t going to make the choice for them.
Williams and Bright say in “The World’s Writing Systems”
“…the English word comes from Duutsc, which ultimately derives from the Latin theodiscus, also the source for Deutsch ‘German’.”
So, the word is Latin in origin.
Really not sure, but around here the CR’s were the most conservative, followed by the orthodox presbys, followed by the DR’s, and then those flaming liberals, the mainline presbys. Various factions were always forming within the churches too. The conventional wisdom stated that whenever two hollanders moved into an area, the first thing they did was build a church. When 3 hollanders moved in the first thing they did was build two churches.
But then again, I’m Unitarian now, so no longer keep up with the Calvinists