The first part of this two part mini series is HERE
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In Amsterdam the catholic church and its strictly enforced rules and regulations remained as intolerant as they could be until Amsterdam, isolated and suffering economically, had no choice but to change to Protestantism being the last Catholic strongholds in the newly formed Republic of the Netherlands. This was well into the Dutch revolt and the 80 year war! This guy is setting up history falsification (wasn't that illegal? I'm looking that up later!!).
27 minutes into the video i got the impression that the tolerance for smoking weed is something mostly found in Amsterdam and is more of a tourist attraction thing. In Amsterdam it IS more of a tourist thing than it is in the rest of the county but only in a way that in the rest of the country the coffee shops and smoking of weed isn't remarkable and no one even thinks about it. The official numbers of the percentage of population who smoke weed gives a wrong picture due to peoples reluctance to admit in surveys and such to smoking regularly.
In my experience roughly a third of the population smokes weed to some degree. Because this smoking rarely causes problems there's little motivation for media to give that much attention or for politics to be interested in that number. The still illegal production and supply of the weed on the other hand is interesting for both as this is mainly in the hands of organized criminal organizations and their more aggressive ways of managing increasing market share, resolving credit disputes and things like that. The actual use of weed causes little to no problems in our society that might raise concern or grab attention, unlike alcohol which does cause health issues, and increases health services, social services and law enforcement's workloads. But for most Dutch smoking weed is as normal as drinking alcohol.
But again i digress from what i was initially triggered to write you in the first place. The history falsification in relation to the Dutch revolt in the video. So moving on...
The narrative in the video gives the impression that the rise of the protestant religious groups was a development that was started, centered and driven around Amsterdam, and that it was the main cause and motivator in the start of the revolt, and the Spanish army's trek through the Dutch provinces towards Holland. This is a misrepresentation and scandalous oversimplification of actual events and the timeline of those events. Amsterdam had in fact very little to do with these events in the period leading up to the revolt and the early stages of the revolt.
The events, in the Netherlands, mainly occurred and centered around the southern provinces where power, trade, wealth and growth were concentrated.
The causal events began with Emperor Charles the 5th's ambition to unify the patchwork of principalities of which the low countries consisted, each with very different laws, rights and privileges, into a unified and centrally governed vassal state. The people in those principalities felt no relation or connection with the other principalities, identifying with their own cities or at best their province. In the early 16th century this effort, by taking authorities away from the principalities and shifting them more and more to the empire, lead to dissatisfaction and vehement protests from the nobility in the Netherlands, known as the 17 provinces at the time.
One of the motivations for this unification effort by the emperor was the desire, and later on need, to be able to raise taxes for the imperial expansion drift and wars. The emperor wasn't able to impose taxation as this was a privilege of the nobility in the principalities, which were more like separate countries at the time. The provision of money to the empire often came with demands on how it was spent, often impeding the unification efforts. The growing dissatisfaction in the low countries gave room for the growing ideas of the reformation, undermining the catholic church and spreading of protestant mentality. This process accelerated from 1540 because of economic recession, which caused deterioration of the lives of the proletariat who then resented the church's opulent display of wealth more and more. This recession was the result of the interrupted supply of wool from England due to political and religious unrest, that caused the decline of the Sheet industry.
Charles the 5th's repression of the protestant movements by stricter edicts, expansion of the inquisition, and the "Bloedplakkaat" or "Blood placard" which set the death-penalty and seizure of all possessions as penalty for producing, owning, and spreading of "heretical" pictures or documents as well as attending or preaching heresy and also harboring heretics grew and fueled the dissatisfaction of nobles and the Calvinists throughout the low countries.
This is the circumstances in which Charles the 5th abdicated, divided the empire and crowned his son Phillip the 2nd in 1550. Phillip continued his father's governing and after the peace of Cateu-Cambresis between France and Spain was signed he permanently returned to Spain in 1559 naming his half sister Margaretha van Parma to be Governess of the low countries. She followed the advice of a few confidants in governing, diminishing the power of the high nobility like van Oranje and van Egmond. They began to unite the high mobility and work to achieve a change in policy which was causing unrest in their provinces, culminating in a journey by van Egmond to Spain to plead their case to Phillips the 2nd in person, in vain.
The famine and inflation in 1565/66 rose tensions in the low countries even more leading to the union of the nobility into the Oath Covenant of Noblemen in 1566 who wrote a petition of the Nobles, signed by a few hundred noblemen and offered to Margareta van Parma by Hendrik van Brederode. The petition pleaded for the cessation of prosecution of the Calvinists. Margaretha suspended the prosecution awaiting a response from Phillip. This moved the Calvinists to openly manifest themselves which caused polarization and eventually the "Beeldenstorm" or "Statue Storm" where most of the Churches, in less than two months, were raided and the statues and religious items were destroyed by the Calvinists. This was all mostly happening in the south of the low-countries and occasionally mirrored in the northern provinces, on rare occasions even in Amsterdam. Amsterdam as an entity never doubted which side they were on, firmly loyal to Phillip the 2nd and the Catholic church.
William of Orange and his supporters, including the high nobles Egmont and Horne, condemned the violence. They had in mind a moderate policy and freedom of conscience in the Seventeen Provinces. The support of moderate Catholics for the idea of freedom of conscience was jeopardized by the iconoclasm. Van Oranje and van Egmond pleaded wit Margaretha to allow them to restore order in exchange for allowing Protestantism in the areas the iconoclasm took place, which she agreed to. Margaretha, supported by the opposition to van Oranje, formed an army to combat the protestants in the Wallonian provinces. This army besieged large Wallonian cities and crushed an insurrection army intending to help the Wallonians restoring order in most southern provinces of the low countries making freedom of religion an impossibility. Margaretha then demanded oaths of loyalty from all noblemen, which some took. van Oranje and other prominent nobles foresaw they'd be seen as insurrectionists and faced seizure of all their possessions as well as the death-penalty. and fled to Germany. At this point the insurrection or rebellion was effectively over, before it had begun.
These events between 1520 and 1565 all took place before the Spanish army of Alva entered the low-countries
Phillip the 2nd was hurt and shocked when he learned of the iconiclasm and because the war with the Turks had wound down he could turn his attention to setting the low-countries straight. He wanted to bring down the wrath of his rule hard on the insulant provinces and gave that job to the Duke of Alva, known as the Iron Duke for his reputation for brutality. He arrived two months later in Brussels with a 10.000 men army on August 22nd 1567. He established the "Raad van Beroerten" (translates really badly into "Board of Strokes") which was charged with prosecuting and punishing any one involved in the onrests during the past two years. The board arrested and convicted 8950 persons. Noblemen van Egmond and Horne were convicted of treason and decapitated, as were 1100 others. van Oranje was also convicted in absense to death, and his son was abducted and held as hostage in Spain. This caused 60.000 people to flee the Low Countries in fear of being arrested. The deaths of Brederode, van Egmond and Horne had left van Oranje to be the undisputed sole leader of the insurrection.
Margaretha van Parma resigned her position and was succeeded by Alva. He was not recognized as legitimate head of government but as commander of an occupation army alienating the Dutch even more from Phillip the 2nd. The new imposed taxes, like the tenth penning as well as the establishment of new dioceses in an attempt to get more control backfired and achieved the opposite.
The (ultimately failed) invasion by van Oranje in 1568 and the Battle at Heiligerlee on may 23rd 1568 is traditionally viewed as the start of the Dutch revolt.
In the video all of this is whittled down to a Spanish army trekked through the southern provinces, a massacre near Amsterdam for which i could find no mention in other sources and the adoption of Protestantism of Amsterdam in 1578. The video calls this "Bloodless Revolution" which actually blew my mind. Tens of thousands of deaths, over a 10 year uprising turned war, with an even bloodier war to come in the next 20-30 years is called a Bloodless Revolution by the video!
And with that the video looses interest in the 80 year war it seems. A lot of dribble goes on about the refugees coming to Amsterdam and the acceptance of outsiders leading to "boats" which goal is to picture Amsterdam as the multicultural miracle and example to the world the video probably will claim it is still today. This is mostly, at best, a misinterpretation. Remember that the 80 year war was still raging, making Amsterdam as destination for refugees an idea for only the dumbest of refugees. Fleeing oppression to go to a Nation at war, right, sure. The establishment of the United East-India Company (VoC) came from one thing, and one thing only: Threat to Trade and economy.
The east India trade was dominated by Portugal, which was fine with the Dutch who happily traded with Portugal for the spices from the east indies. When Portugal was absorbed into the Spanish Empire in 1580 though, which was still at war with the Dutch (or was still pacifying the Insurrection in their provinces at it was viewed from Spanish viewpoint), the Dutch were banned from entering Portuguese harbors and from trade with the Portuguese. As the spice trade generated a lot of tax income for the Dutch republic, needed dearly for the fight against the Spanish. Without a source of spices which were in high demand and the taxes they earned for the war effort, the Dutch had no choice but to go to the east indies and get them themselves. The first endeavors sending one or two ships showed this was possible but expensive and dangerous, which motivated the Dutch to force the merchants to cooperate and unite to form the VoC. The VoC was established in 1602 and ownership was sold to the public through shares. This was the first publicly owned company with shareholders, and the first stock-market was established in Amsterdam. It was also the start of the Golden century for the Netherlands, all while the 80 year war was raging on.
I stopped watching the video at 48 minutes though, as i doubted the accuracy of the information would improve. I am also going to end this email, it being far longer than i had intended and probably much longer than you are willing to read. I have decided to skip the information i was planning to offer about the city that in reality played the role this video claims for Amsterdam, and does have the characteristics that are said Amsterdam has. If you're interested, i'll be happy to make a comprehensive or short write up of Breda for you though. I admit it is very interesting and a good example of a representative Dutch city, worth checking deeper into.
TL;DR: The video contains little to no information that is accurate and truthful. Most of the video is straight up falsification of history. As you yourself state (28 minutes in) that you are "learning so much" from this video i think this video should be taken down, or at least preceded by a warning telling the viewers about the video's lies, misinterpretations, and falsifications. I want to emphasize that i in no way blame you for the damaging content of the video. Your reactions are genuine and enjoyable to watch, as are the other videos on your channel. I remain subscribed (with a bell) to your channel and will continue to watch the other videos i've not yet seen.
Apologies for the ridiculous length of this email, and thank you for reading this far. I would very very much appreciate a reply from you in any form. Not only for me but also for the readers of my articles on read.cash where i posted 2 articles about the video and this email who inquired after your reaction to this email.
Christ van Silfhout
(deuZige on YT, Anonsunamun on read.cash)
Judging by the way the Youtuber comes across, and how he portraits himself to be, I do expect him to respond in some way. However when i see the way he's built his channel and the age of the channel (August 21, 2021) with the way it ticks all the "how to build a profitable YouTube channel" boxes I have serious doubts about that. The video is generating views, which means income, causing me to doubt the video will be taken down, or a warning will be added.
I will inform you of any reaction i might get, but otherwise I'm going to forget about this video. I've said my piece and done my duty as far as I'm concerned, and i have put in a lot more effort into this than i had intended when i started. I'm going to watch the other videos of American Guy Reacts and I'm going to think about what I'm going to write about next. So keep an eye out for me!
Thank you for reading this!
Stay safe and stay happy!