|At 1 January 1559|
|Government type||Feudal Monarchy|
|Center of Trade||Antwerpen|
The Netherlands is a nation in northern Europe, historically formed in 1559, it can be formed much earlier by a player.
The Netherlands are not available at the start of the Grand Campaign and can be played from two starts. Either by completing the Form Dutch Nation decision or by selecting the formed nation later in the timeline.
If The Netherlands are formed early then the challenges remain the same as for Holland or the other Dutch minors, controlling a European presence and expanding to form colonies. Dutch missions will guide the expansion and diplomacy of The Netherlands and will shape the game from there.
Starting in 1559
The Netherlands begins with a numerical disadvantage compared to Spain, but has 2 armies while the Spanish have only one. One of them can be used to besiege Spanish provinces and the other to recapture whatever the Spanish may take. The player must ensure that Spanish transports do not reach his territory, or he will be forced to fight a larger army. After a significant amount of time has elapsed, peace can be made.
Later formations involve more work in making the Dutch Empire behave, disparate colonies will need connecting, pirates will need pacifying and infrastructure will need developing. Dealing with a resurgent France and Austria will be the main challenge, in addition care will be needed with the Holy Roman Empire.
The Netherlands generally has a strong navy and weaker army, in war with other nations use the navy to blockade their ports and drive up War Exhaustion. This will increase revolt risk and soon fighting rebels will drain the opponents manpower allowing an easier conquest. Against other large naval nations, ensure that unfinished colonies are protected of that they have no ability to project force at such a distance. Your land based threats are likely to be France or whoever controls the French region or commands the Holy Roman Empire.
- Main article: Holland
The easiest way to form The Netherlands is from Holland. The most effective strategy will be the same strategy as used for Holland.