Immigrants have always formed a substantial part of the population of the Netherlands. During the formative years of the Dutch Republic, many Calvinists fled from the Spanish-dominated Southern Netherlands to the united Northern provinces. During the prosperous 17th century—the Dutch “Golden Age”—many people from Germany and the Scandinavian countries came to the Nether lands to find jobs as servants, aboard the Asia-bound ships of the East India Company, or as craftsmen. Jews, persecuted for their religion in Spain and Portugal, settled in Amsterdam and The Hague, as did English dissenters in the beginning of the 17th century and French Huguenots from the 1680s. In particular the German el ement, which, however, mostly assimilated to the dominant culture, has been strong, even during the 19th century when not only maid servants and day laborers but also merchants and peddlers immi grated. Other groups of immigrants include Chinese, Italians, Gyp sies, and in the wake of decolonization after 1945, people from Indonesia (e.g., the Moluccas, Ambon), Surinam, and the Nether lands Antilles, but also guest workers from Turkey and North Africa (particularly Morocco) in the 1960s. The integration of Muslims, in combination with increasing numbers of asylum seekers, has caused tensions in the Dutch society recently.
   See also Islam.

Historical Dictionary of the Netherlands. . 2012.

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