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The Benelux Countries

The Benelux Countries

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The Benelux Countries

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  1. The Benelux Countries 16.3

  2. Benelux • NE Europe • Belgium • The Netherlands • Luxembourg • First letters of each: Benelux • a.k.a. low countries • 26.1 million people

  3. Land from the Sea • Human interaction: brought back 1/5 of land from the North Sea

  4. Technology Creates Land • 2000 years ago: • mounds and stone walls to keep land dry • Romans • Built dikes-embankments of earth and rock

  5. Technology Creates Land • Dutch used dikes and pumped water to canals • Polder—reclaiming land from sea • 1200 • Windmills to power the pumps • New land for farming and cities • 1/3 country below sea level • Standing in a polder field, you can see ships passing by in canals that run alongside the land

  6. Making Good Use of the Land • High population density • Dutch have learned to make the best possible use of their land • ½ of land use for farming • Fertilize and use modern ag methods • Huge arc shaped metropolis area: The Hague, Rotterdam, Amsterdam, and Utrecht Amsterdam The Hague Rotterdam Utrecht

  7. Advantages of Location • Rotterdam and Amsterdam important ports

  8. Belgium • Two ethnic groups • 30% Walloons • French speaking • 55% Flemish • Speak Flemish- dialect of Dutch

  9. Belgium • 1830 independence • Tense ethnic relations • French: official language • Govt and Universities spoke French • Flemings couldn’t hold government office or attend school • 1898 decentralized govt into 3 regions • Flanders, Brussels, and Wallonia

  10. Luxembourg • 990 square miles • Smaller than Rhode Island • Existed for 1000 yrs • Has close cultural ties with Germany, France, and Belgium

  11. Luxembourg • 3 languages: • French • German • Luxembourgish • Among highest standard of living in Europe • Economy • High-tech films • Service industries