Through marriage, war, and political maneuvering, most of the region comprising the present-day Netherlands-Holland, Utrecht, Noord-Brabant, and Geldeland-came into the hands of the Dukes of Burgundy during the 15th and early 16th centuries. War of independence waged from 1568 to 1648 by the Dutch against Spain, then the most powerful nation in Europe. In the early 17th century, when eventual Dutch independence was assured, an era of great commercial prosperity opened, as did the so-called golden age of Dutch art, with such painters as Rembrandt and Jan Vermeer.
By the mid-17th century, the Netherlands was the foremost commercial and maritime power of Europe, and Amsterdam was the financial center of the continent. In the late 18th century, the Orange Party enjoyed a brief triumph with the help of an invading Prussian army, but in 1795, French troops and a force consisting of self-exiled Dutch citizens replaced the Republic of the Seven United Provinces with the Batavian Republic, which was modeled on the revolutionary French Republic. These wonderful coins were minted with the same renaissance artistry during a time of great historical change in Dutch history.