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In 1650 the Dutch republic a political union of seven provinces was a formidable commercial financial and naval power The wealthiest and most powerful province was Holland dominated by the influential merchant elite of Amsterdam the leading banking and trading center in Europe For the Dutch Republic the period from 1650 to the Peace of Utrecht 1713 was one of shifting alliances and a series of military conflicts with other European powers There were many challenges to the security of the Dutch republic from 1650-1713 The Anglo-Dutch Wars with England from 1652-54 1664-67 took a major toll on the security of the Dutch republic These wars resulted from the first of the English Navigation Acts which required that English goods be transported on English ships which was a huge boost to the development of an English merchant marine By this time there was a great commercial rivalry between the English and the Dutch According to Document 1 it is seen that many naval battles were fought along the coasts of both England and the Dutch republic In these little wars England was relatively successful Shown in Document 3 the Dutch seized only 500 ships from the English while the English siezed between 2000 and 2700 from the Dutch By 1672 Louis XIV of France focused his attention on the Dutch and started the third of the Dutch Wars in which France overran the Netherlands This war devestated the provinces but in the Treaty of Nijmegen 1678-79 the Dutch obtained important concessions from France According to Document 7 the Resolution of the Amsterdam City Council states Not only the French monarch but other kings seem more and more to scheme how to ruin what remains of the trade and navigation of the Dutch republic Many countries in Europe knew the great wealth that the Dutch republic held and they wanted to take control of that
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