Cavalry and naval civilization
- Cavalry attacks 15%/20%/25% faster in the Feudal/Castle/Imperial Age
- Town Center costs -50% stone
- Fishing ships have +2 LV and moves 20% faster
- Cuirassier (Melee cavalry powerful to kill archers)
- Arquebusier (hand cannoneer upgrade)
- Maximilian armor: Infantry (+1/+1 armor)
- Rotterdam: War ships regenerate
- Trade Carts (+3/+4) armor
From 862 onwards the Counts of Flanders were one of the original twelve peers of the Kingdom of France. For centuries their estates around the cities of Ghent, Bruges and Ypres formed one of the most affluent regions in Europe.
During the Middle Ages, the descendants of the Salian Franks, the Carolingian dynasty, came to dominate the area and then extended their rule to a large part of Western Europe. The region of the Netherlands therefore became part of Lower Lotharingia within the Frankish Holy Roman Empire. For several centuries, lordships such as Brabant, Holland, Zeeland, Friesland, Guelders and others held a changing patchwork of territories. There was no unified equivalent of the modern Netherlands.
The territories that would later form the Dutch Republic began as a loose federation known as the Seventeen Provinces, which Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and (as "Carlos I") King of Spain, inherited and brought under his direct rule in 1543. In 1566, a Protestant Dutch revolt broke out against rule by Roman Catholic Spain, sparking the Eighty Years' War. Led by William of Orange, independence was declared in the 1581 Act of Abjuration.
The Dutch colonization of the Americas began with the establishment of Dutch trading posts and plantations in the Americas, which preceded the much wider known colonisation activities of the Dutch in Asia. While the first Dutch fort in Asia was built in 1600 (in present-day Indonesia), the first forts and settlements on the Essequibo River in Guyana date from the 1590s.