How Did the Netherlands Get Its Name?
“Netherlands,” in the language of the Dutch, literally means “lowlands.” The country (also called “Holland”) is so named because its land is very low, much of it actually below sea level. It is a very old name. In dutch the Netherlands is Nederland, and sometimes people say ‘De lage landen’.
Long ago, the people of the Kingdom of Netherlands began building strong sea walls called “dikes.” With windmill-powered pumps, they drained the North Sea waters from behind the dikes. Thus they increased the size of their small nation. The long battle against the sea has given the people of the “lowlands” a strong sense of national pride.
The Netherlands is part of a Kingdom with the same name: The Kingdom of the Netherlands — which is headed by the Dutch Royal Family. The Kingdom of the Netherlands contains three more countries and to find them we must sail from the icy North Sea to the Caribbean and Aruba, Curaçao, Sint Maarten.
These are no territories, but self-governing countries within the Kingdom of the Netherlands and as such they have their own governments, and their own currencies.