Former state (1581–1795), about the size of the modern kingdom of The Netherlands. It consisted of the seven northern Netherlands provinces that formed the Union of Utrecht in 1579 and declared independence from Spain in 1581 (finally achieved in 1648). Political control shifted between the province of Holland and the princes of Orange. In the 17th century the Dutch Republic developed into a world colonial empire far out of proportion to its resources, emerging as a centre of international finance and a cultural capital of Europe. In the 18th century the republic's colonial empire was eclipsed by that of England. In 1795 the Dutch Republic collapsed under the impact of a Dutch democratic revolution and invading French armies.
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Canadian provinces of New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island. They are located on the Atlantic Coast and the Gulf of St. Lawrence. With Newfoundland and Labrador they form the Atlantic Provinces. The name Acadia was applied to much of the region during French colonial rule, until it was ceded to the British in 1713.
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