American-Dutch diplomacy

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On April 19, 1782, John Adams was received by the States-General and the Dutch Republic as they were the first country, together with Morocco and France, to recognize the United States as an independent government. John Adams then became the first U.S. ambassador to the Netherlands and the house that he had purchased at Fluwelen Burgwal 18 in The Hague, became the first U.S. embassy anywhere in the world.

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In July 1780 Adams replaced Laurens as the ambassador to the Dutch Republic, then one of the few other republics in the world, ironically less then 3 decades later it became a monarchy. With the aid of the Dutch Patriot leader Joan van der Capellen tot den Pol, Adams secured the recognition of the United States as an independent government at The Hague on April 19, 1782. In February 1782 the Frisian states was the first Dutch province to recognize the United States, while France had been the first European country to grant diplomatic recognition in 1778. He also negotiated a loan of five million guilders financed by Nicolaas van Staphorst and Wilhelm Willink. By 1794 a total of eleven loans were granted in Amsterdam to the United States with a value of 29 million guilders. In October 1782, he negotiated with the Dutch a treaty of amity and commerce, the first such treaty between the United States and a foreign power following the 1778 treaty with France.The house that Adams bought during this stay in the Netherlands became the first American-owned embassy on foreign soil.(Medallion given to John Adams in 1782 by Johann Georg Holtzhey to mark United States as an independent nation by the Netherlands)800px-Erkenning_onafhankelijkheid_Verenigde_Staten_foto2

 

Adams liked the country. At an earlier visit to the Netherlands in 1780, Adams wrote to his wife Abigail:

“The country where I am is the greatest curiosity in the world. This nation is not known anywhere, not even by its neighbours. The Dutch language is spoken by none but themselves. Therefore they converse with nobody and nobody converses with them.

The English are a great nation, and they despise the Dutch because they are smaller. The French are a greater Nation still, and therefore they despise the Dutch because they are still smaller in comparison to them.

But I doubt much whether there is any nation of Europe more estimable than the Dutch, in proportion. Their industry and economy ought to be examples to the world.

They have less ambition, I mean that of conquest and military glory, than their Neighbours, but I don’t perceive that they have more avarice. And they carry learning and arts I think to greater extent. The collections of curiosities public and private are innumerable.”

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The Maastricht Treaty

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Signed on  7 February 1992 the Maastricht Treaty represented a significant step forward not only for Europe in general, but also for cohesion policy in particular. The treaty brought the first reform of cohesion policy, more flexibility being created for national governments. It firmly established economic and social cohesion as one of the core objectives of the European Union, alongside the single market and the Economic and Monetary Union.

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Representatives from 12 countries signed the Treaty on 7 February 1992 – Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The parliaments in each country then ratified the Treaty, in some cases holding referendums. The Maastricht Treaty officially came into force on 1 November 1993 and the European Union was officially established.

Since then, a further 16 countries have joined the EU and adopted the rules set out in the Maastricht Treaty or in the treaties that followed later.

P007781033So much has happened with the EU ever since that day in 1992 and I really could fill  my whole website with only EU stories but I limiting this blog to that one day in Maastricht.

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Oh those romantic European politicians.

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (1)

I am just being a bit cheeky here but sometimes you see pictures of European leaders and you wonder “How friendly were they really?” Above and below are pictures of Kohl and Mitterand,holding hands  in Verdun, 1984

Kohl and Mitterand in Verdun, 1984 (3)

Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev embraces Erich Honecker, hardline communist and general secretary of the Communist Party (SED) as members of SED applaud during the 11th SED party’s congress, on April 17, 1986 in East Berlin. The socialist fraternal kiss or socialist fraternal embrace was a special form of greeting between the statesmen of Communist countries.

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That Honecker sure got around Soviet President Leonid Brezhnev and East German leader Erich Honecker change kisses after Brezhnev was honored with the title “Hero of the German Democratic Republic” and the “Karl Marx Medal”.

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Europe’s odd couple, often called Merkozy.

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French president François Hollande is greeted by President Higgins and Sabina Higgins at Áras an Uachtaráin

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Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover.

Russian President Putin holds hand of German Chancellor Merkel during tour of Hanover Messe in Hanover

Ending with one more of Honecker and Brehznev.

The Socialist Fraternal Kiss between Leonid Brezhnev and Erich Honecker 1979 2