The Netherlands (pronounced /ˈnɛðərləndz/ ( listen); Dutch: Nederland, pronounced [ˈneːdərlɑnt] ( listen)) is a country in Northwestern Europe, constituting the major portion of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is a parliamentary democratic constitutional monarchy. The Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east. The capital is Amsterdam and the seat of government is The Hague.
The Netherlands is often called Holland, a pars pro toto, as North and South Holland are actually two of its twelve provinces (seeterminology of "the Netherlands"). The word Dutch is used to refer to the people, the language, and anything pertaining to the Netherlands. This lexical difference between the noun and the adjective is a peculiarity of the English language and does not exist in theDutch language. The adjective 'Dutch' is derived from the language that was spoken in the area, called 'Diets', which equals Middle Dutch.
Being one of the first parliamentary democracies, the Netherlands was a modern country from its inception. Among other affiliations the country is a founding member of the European Union (EU), NATO, OECD, WTO, and has signed the Kyoto protocol. ...