The house of Gijsbrecht van Aemstel was destroyed when the inhabitants of Kennemer broke through the Amstel dyke, the aggrem Amstel in 1204.
In the year 1275, Amsterdam had an important year in history. Count Floris V of Holland gave the fisherman exemption from tolls while Amsteeland fell under the administrative jurisdiction of the Prince-bishop's Sticht Utrect. Dated October 27, this is the oldest recorded document using Amsterdam as a name. The inhabitants of Amestelledamme could travel through the country of Holland and did not have to pay a toll. Amstelland again belonged to the Sticht when the murder of Floris took place in 1296. Amstelland's name evolved into Aemsterdam by 1327.
Amsterdam city was given rights by the bishop of Utrecht, Gwiide van Henegouwen, in 1300. Amsterdam fell under Holland when Count William III inherited it after his death.
Willem III put a toll on the trade of beer from Hamburg in 1323. In the Baltic Sea, there were trades formed in the cities of the Hanseatic League with the contacts that were made through the beer trade. Through these trades the Amsterdammers continually acquired grain and timber throughout the 14th and 15th centuries. Groot Privilege was awarded to the city by Count Williem IV, which increased the city's position in 1342. Amsterdam was the granary of the northern Low Countries with it being the most important trading city in Holland throughout the 15th century.
Amsterdam became legendary on March 12, 1345. The miracle of Amsterdam came about and Amsterdam became a pilgrimage town. Thanks to the pilgrims, the town became large. Stille Omgang, a Roman Catholic procession, takes place every year to celebrate the miracle that took place.
In 1421 and 1452, there were two big fires. New houses were to be constructed from stone after the second fire burnt down three quarters of the city. The Houten Huis (Wooden House) at the Begijnhof is one of the few wooden houses still there from this period.
Conflict with Spain
The Habsburgh King Philip II of Spain had a rebellion toward him by the Dutch in the 16th century. The uprising by the Spanish was created by the lack of political power for the local nobility and for the religious intolerance. In 1578, Amsterdam supported William I of Orange, but before that Amsterdam was on the Spanish side of the war. Eighty Year's War and Dutch independence occurred, because of the rebellion.
As a result of a war, Spanish religious intolerance gave way to Dutch tolerance. People were allowed to believe what they wanted in Amsterdam to a certain extent. Roman Catholic is still the main religion in Amsterdam, but a lot of the people now belong to the Reformed Church and the Protestant denominations.
As a result of years of religious wars all through Europe, a lot of people went to the Dutch Republic and Amsterdam, where they found refuge. Well off merchants from Antwerp and the Huguenots from France went to find safety in Amsterdam along with the wealthy Jews from Spain and Portugal.
The "Golden Age" (1585-1672)
Amsterdam's Golden Age was in the 17th century. When ships sailed to North America, Indonesia, Brazil and Africa, a worldwide trading network was formed. Amsterdam's merchants contributed to expeditions all over the world and they bought overseas possessions, which created the seed of the later Dutch colonies. Rembrandt painted in this century and the city grew greatly around its waterways during this time. Amsterdam had become the most important point for the shipment of goods throughout Europe. It had become the leading financial center of the world, until London took over the position years later.
Government by regents
The optimum population of about 200,000 people was reached by the mid 1660s. The level of trade, commerce, and agriculture that was happening was able to support it. The largest quota of taxes in the States of Holland was, in turn, contributed and half of that quota went to the States General. Amsterdam was known for settling tax demands. They would use this as a threat to withhold payments to get what they wanted.
The dominant voice in the foreign affairs in Holland was the body of regents who governed it. They had control over all the aspects of the city's life. If the men of the city had a long enough residence and a significant amount of wealth, then the men could join the ruling class. A wealthy family had to arrange a marriage between one of them and a person who was a part of a long established regent family. The son of the Burgomaster Valckenier married a person from the Trip family, who were the Amsterdam branch of the Swedish arms makers, in the 1670s. This union extended the influence and patronage available to him, strengthening his dominance in the council. The Amsterdam oligarchy gained strength. Intermarriages took place in the smaller towns, deteriorating the members, but they were able to unite the various members on policy decisions. The family network could have been so large that it was possible for members on opposing sides to be related while they were pursuing other interests. The leaders of the 1670s and 1680s kept their chair seats well into the 1690s; some even lasted into the new century.
The officials of Amsterdam made sure to provide good services to the residents of the city. The city officials spent the bulk of the money they received on water ways, almshouses for the elderly, hospitals, churches, and other infrastructure elements.
Entrepreneurs encouraged commerce in Amsterdam, which contributed to the wealth Amsterdam generated. Amsterdam had an open door policy, which help to prove there was a tolerant ruling class. This toleration of the ruling class was done out of convenience for the city. The Sephardic Jews that were wealthy were welcomed into the city and given privileges, but were not allowed citizenship. The Ashkenazi Jews who were poor may or may not have been allowed in, but those who were allowed in were asked to move on if they became dependent on the city. Louis XIV's religious policy of 1681 drove the Protestant Huguenot immigrants out of France. The same policy used for the Jews was used for the people now moving to Holland. By the 1670s, the city officials hired immigrants to construct churches or temples for all religions, but the Catholics and the radical sects of religions. Catholics were able to practice their religion in a chapel within Beguinhof.
The majority of the people living in Amsterdam were immigrants throughout the 17th and 18th century. The majority of the immigrants in Amsterdam were the Lutheran-Protestant Germans. The surnames of the people living in Amsterdam today are German, which is the result of the impact that the Germans had on the city. There was a smooth integration of immigrants throughout the city. An immigrant could find work as a craftsman. The craftsman would have to join a guild, serve in the city's patrol, and compete with other districts. The quick integration process was a result of the powerful institutions where there were many immigrants or children of immigrants working. People with all types of backgrounds, Dutch, German, French, Flemish, and Scottish, ran the city council of Amsterdam.
There was an outbreak of the bubonic plague from 1663 to 1666. It came from Algiers. London's trading center also suffered an attack of the plague in 1665. Though it had minor effect, the disease grew in the fall of 1663 and the following year in 1664. Jan J. Hinopen's spouse and his youngest daughter were stricken with the plague along with Rembrandt's partner Hendrickie Stoffels during the fall. Samuel Pepys reported that for a couple of weeks at the end of the year in 1663, Hamburg and Amsterdam's ships were kept at port for thirty days due to the plague. There were 24,148 people buried in Amsterdam in 1664. It was believed that the uncovering of the new canals is what caused the plague. People that came in touch with the plague were at risk, 10% of the population in Amsterdam died.
The only thing that was effective against the plague was tobacco smoke. Between the plague and the war with England looming over Amsterdam, the English ambassador made a comment in May of 1664 about Amsterdam. He commented on the 338 dead in Amsterdam and the plague increasing within the year. Then he stated that is the plague increased there would be no reason for a war, because there would not need to take over the town. The well off people left the city to avoid the plague. As time went on, the pandemic got worse and in the year 1664 in Amsterdam there were 1,041 more burials in Amsterdam and 7,000 in the last part of the summer in 1665 in London. Eating salad, spinach, or prunes could be unhealthy, according the mayors of the city. Theater performances were shut down by the vroedschap until 1666, but it was said that Jan J. Hinlopen's death was caused by the plague that same year. The only people that seemed to be safe from the plague were sailors who were out to sea.
Decline and Moderation
Amsterdam's prosperity lessened in the 18th and 19th centuries. Wars with the United Kingdom and France took their toll on Amsterdam. Amsterdam lost a fortune during the Napoleonic war. Things got better in 1815 with the establishment of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Samuel Sarphati was one of the first people to start new developments in Amsterdam, taking his inspiration from Paris.
Near the end of the 19th century, the Industrial Revolution reached Amsterdam. Amsterdam's connection to the Rhine was established through the digging of the Amsterdam-Rijn kanaal. Amsterdam's port connection with the North Sea was established through the digging of the Noordzee kanaal. The kanaals had greatly improved communication with parts of Europe and the world. The economy improved dramatically.
There was a huge increase if worker migrants from the Dutch countryside into the city of Amsterdam because of the Industrial Revolution. As the rise of socialism took place, this occurred in Amsterdam. Socialists were treated violently by the Dutch authorities who try to destroy socialism. On a weekly basis, there were violent occurrences that took place between the police and the socialists throughout the 1880s and 1890s. In 1886, 26 demonstrators were killed by the army due to the Palingooroer (eel riots). The Orange riots of 1887 did a lot of damage to the socialist pub, only the socialist were arrested and the orangists were not punished at all. In 1890s, the well known leaders of the socialist were jailed most of the time. One socialist was so mad at the police he tried to eliminate the chief superintendent of police. The socialist shot a hole in the hat of the superintendent of police, so he was roughed up by the police and spent many years in jail for it. The workers of Amsterdam thought of him as a hero and had a parade in his honor and put a laurel wreath on his head, there were people were crying in the streets.
Amsterdam's second Golden Age was at the end of the 19th century. New Museums, the Central Station and the Concertgebouw were constructed. Also constructed was the Stelling van Amsterdam, a unique ring of forts and land that could be used for protecting the city against attacks. The population in Amsterdam grew rapidly during this period.
While World War I was in effect the Netherlands remained neutral, as food became less Amsterdam felt the effects of the war. The military was bought in to control the working women who went aboard the ship to raid it of the army supplies. As workers helped their wives raid the ship the soldiers shot at them. At least 100 people were wounded and six were killed due to the raiding of the ships.
The Afsluitdijik, a dyke that separated the Zuider Zee from the North Sea was completed in 1932. The Zuider Zee no longer existed. Ijsselmeer was the name of the new lake that formed behind the dyke. Amsterdam no longer was open to the sea for the first time in the city's history.
German troops took over the city throughout World War II. The Germans deported more than 100,000 Jewish people, including Anne Frank. The Jewish community was almost completely wiped out. Amsterdam had been the world's center for diamond trading before the war began. The diamond trade disappeared when the Jewish businessmen and craftsmen were deported.
In 1952, Amsterdam bid unsuccessfully for the Summer Olympic Games. Helsinki won the bid.
Amsterdam became the magical center, magisch centrum, during the cultural revolution of the 1960s and 1970s. The city was a popular destination for hippies, because the use of soft drugs was tolerated. There was a widespread influx of squatting happening. There were frequent riots and clashes with the police throughout the city. Amsterdam had a grim atmosphere that took over it. The Provos, a group of anarchists, and Kabouterbeweging, a local political movement, wanted to alter the local society. The Dutch mafia and contractors worked together. This led to confrontations with squatters in empty buildings and people who used building for other purposes than to live in. There were widespread protests over the building of the underground Metro, because of the affects the building of it had on the heritage buildings and local residents within the oldest part of the city. The early 1980s was an explosive time in Amsterdam. Protestors outside the New Church on Dam Square fought with the police in a protest against the government's policies while Queen Beatrix was being coroneted in the 1980s. The protestor's slogan was no house, no coronation, 'geen woning, geen kroning'. The situation was brought under control by the military that the mayor and city council brought in.
People from Suriname, Turkey and Morocco immigrated to Amsterdam in record numbers during the 1970s. Purmerend, Almere, and other cities, the growth cities, near Amsterdam saw an exodus of people. Piip and Jordaan, primarily working class neighborhoods, were being sought after by the wealthy yuppies and students. Amsterdam, primarily a poor city in the Netherlands, became one of the richest cities. This was due, in part, to the economical trend toward a service economy instead of an industrial economy.
In the Bijlmermeer, in the Amsterdam Zuidoost, there was an El Al cargo plane that crashed in 1992. The Bijilmerramp, as the disaster was called, was the cause of death for 43 people.
Safety, ethnic discrimination, and segregation between the religious and social groups began to develop at the beginning of the millennium. There is 45% of the population in Amsterdam that were not born to Dutch parents. People from Surinam, the Dutch Antilles, Morocco, and Turkey make up the largest social groups. The perceived social tolerance and diversity is how Amsterdam has been characterized. On November 2, 2004, the murder of Dutch film maker Theo van Gogh by the Islamic fundamentalist, Mohamed Bouyeri, endangered the city's social tolerance. Job Cohen, the mayor of Amsterdam, and Ahmed Aboutaleb, an alderman for integration, came up with the policy of keeping things together. The policy involves a social dialogue, tolerance, and harsh measures for a person who breaks the law.