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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In 1765, the combined forces of Awadh and the Mughal Emperor met the British at the Battle of Buxar. The British won, but they did not take any territory; the whole of Awadh was restored to the Nawab, and the Mughal emperor Shah Alam was restored the subas of Allahabad and Kora in the lower Doab, with a British garrison in the fort of Allahabad. Governor-General Warren Hastings later augmented the territory of Awadh by lending the nawab a British army to conquer Rohilkhand in the Rohilla War, and by giving Allahabad and Kora to Awadh on the ground that Shah Alam had placed himself in the power of the Marathas. At the same time the British received the province of Benares from Awadh.
Subsequently no great change took place until the arrival of Lord Wellesley (Governor-General 1797-1805) who acquired a very large accession of territory in two instalments. In 1801 he obtained from the Nawab of Oudh the cession of Rohilkhand, the lower Doab, and the Gorakhpur Division, thus enclosing Awadh on all sides except the north. In 1804, as the result of Lord Lake's victories in the Second Anglo-Maratha War, part of Bundelkhand and the rest of the Doab, including Agra and the guardianship of the old and blind emperor, Shah Alam, at Delhi, were obtained from Scindia. In 1815 the Kumaon Division was acquired after the Gurkha War, and a further portion of Bundelkhand from the Maratha Peshwa in 1817. These new acquisitions, known as the ceded and conquered provinces, continued to be administered by the governor-general as part of Bengal. In 1833 an act of Parliament was passed to constitute a new presidency (province), with its capital at Agra. But this scheme was never fully carried out, and in 1835 another statute authorized the appointment of a lieutenant-governor for the North-Western Provinces, as they were then known.
The North-Western Provinces included the Delhi and Gurgaon territories, transferred later, after the Revolt of 1857 to the Punjab; and also (after 1853) the Saugor and Nerbudda Territories, which in 1861 became part of the Central Provinces. Awadh remained under its nawab, who was permitted to assume the title of king in 1819. Awadh was annexed in 1856 and constituted a separate chief commissionership. Then followed the Revolt of 1857, when all signs of British rule were for a time swept away throughout the greater part of the two provinces. The lieutenant-governor died when shut up in the fort at Agra, and Oudh was only reconquered after several campaigns lasting for eighteen months.
In 1877 the offices of lieutenant-governor of the North-Western Provinces and chief commissioner of Oudh were combined in the same person; and in 1902, when the new name of United Provinces of Agra and Oudh was introduced, the title of chief commissioner was dropped, though Oudh still retained some marks of its former independence. In 1935, the name of the province was shortened to the United Provinces. The Raj province became Uttar Pradesh state after India's independence on January 26, 1950.