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Amsterdam, the capital of The Netherlands from the beginning of the 19th century onward, is renowned for its religious diversity and tolerance, which date back as far as the Eighty Years’ War, the Dutch revolt against Spanish and Roman Catholic rule (1568–1648). The revolt was largely a reaction to the Counter-Reformation, the persecution of the Protestant sects that had firmly established themselves in the northern lowlands, including Amsterdam, during the Reformation. In 1588, these territories united to form the Dutch Republic and managed to liberate themselves from Spanish and Roman Catholic rule.

Although the population of the Dutch Republic was primarily Calvinist, the revolt spawned a deeply felt urge for religious tolerance. As a result, Amsterdam, in particular, soon became a safe haven for religious dissidents ...

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