From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

HOLLAND ; a maritime province of the Netherlands, remarkable above all others, even in that populous country, for the density of its towns and villages, and for the triumph of persevering industry over the difficulties of nature. In the present article will be described the province, properly so called, and consisting of two parts, North and South Holland. They form a narrow tract, extending from lat. 51° 40' to 53° 10' N.; in length about 90 miles, in breadth varying from 25 to 40. The greatest breadth is in the south. This province is bounded west by the German ocean, south by Zealand, east by the Zuyder Zee and the province of Utrecht. The superficial extent of the whole prov ince of Holland is about 2200 square miles. The whole province contains 37 cities and towns, 38 smaller towns with markets, and 418 villages. The division into the two governments of South and North Holland, is recognised by the constitution of 1814 ; population, 820,449. The following are the chief towns: Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Hague, Leyden, Haarlem, Dort, Delft, Gouda, Alkmaar, Hoorn. The national religion is Calvinism ; but there is a Lutheran congregation in every town of consequence ; and among the lower classes the Catholics are numerous. The whole province of Holland is a continued flat, and lies so low as to be under the level of the sea at high water: the tide is prevented from flowing in by means of dikes and natural sandbanks. The numerous canals and ditches which traverse the province in all directions, are likewise provided with dikes, and serve not only to promote internal communication, but to drain the country of superfluous water. In addition to the two great rivers which water this province in common with the rest of the Netherlands, viz., the Rhine and the Maese, Holland has several smaller rivers, the Amstel, the Schie, the Rotte ; but they have so little current as to be more properly canals, or watercourses. The principal lake is that of Haarlem. The soil is in general rich, consisting of a deep, fat loam. From the humidity of both soil and climate, there is little of the province under tillage, and that little is in South Holland. The crops* principally cultivated, are wheat, madder, tobacco, hemp and flax. The agricultural wealth of the province at large, consists in its pastures, which are almost unrivalled in the abundance and luxuriance of the grass which they produce. The manufactures of Holland, though no longer extensive, embrace a variety of articles, viz., linen, woollen, and leather ; also paper, wax, refined sugar, starch, and, in certain districts, potteiy and tiles. Large quantities of gin are likewise made, particularly at Schiedam, near the Maese. (For the history and statistics, see JYethe?iands.)