The Netherlands and Anglo-German Relations, 1899-1906
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Around the turn of the twentieth century, newspapers in the Netherlands and Germany openly debated the possibility of a customs union between the two countries. Such an economic union was generally assumed to be the first step towards a military alliance and perhaps even integration of the Netherlands into the German Empire. Through critically examining a large variety of sources, this thesis researches the influence of this discussion on Anglo-German relations and argues that it contributed greatly to growing antagonism between Great Britain and Germany during the years between 1899 and 1906. Although most Dutchmen were unwilling to enter into a customs union with Germany, the possibility triggered anxiety among the British, for whom the independence of the Netherlands was a traditional security principle.