U.S. President in Amsterdam

Plakkaat_van_VerlatingheU.S. President Barack Obama came to Amsterdam this Monday. Prime Minister Rutte welcomed him into our city ahead of the Nuclear Security Summit in The Hague.

For the first time a sitting president of the United States is visiting our city. Bush senior, junior and Clinton have been in the Netherlands, but not in function as president. John Adams, Roosevelt and Clinton visited our city , but also not during their tenure. In short, the visit of President Obama is a great honor. Many people inside and outside Amsterdam will want to catch a glimpse of the president, but the security measures, make that the president is almost invisible. But on TV it worked out quite well.

The visit is a nice start to the Amsterdam trade mission to the U.S., on April 6, here a large delegation will visit San Francisco , New York and Boston to get connect economic ties that lead back to the origins of the U.S..

Amsterdam was once the home of two Americans who later became president. John Adams and his son John Quincy Adams stayed from 1780 to 1782 in Holland. John Adams was here U.S. envoy in 1781 and moved into the building on the Keizersgracht 529. His son attended the Latin School in Amsterdam. Adams lend in 1782, the Republic recognised the U.S., five million guilders from Amsterdam bankers.

While visiting the Rijksmuseum president Obama saw the Plakkaat van Verlatinghe (The Act of Abjuration) signed on 26 July 1581 in the Hague confirmed the decision made by the States-General of the Netherlands in Antwerp on 22 July 1581, formally declared all magistrates in the provinces which united in the Union of Utrecht absolved of their oath of allegiance to their overlord, Philip II of Spain. It stated that by oppressing and violating the ancient rights of his subjects, Philip was considered to have vacated his thrones in the Low Countries. As such, it was the formal declaration of independence of the Low Countries.

This Dutch document from 1581 was an example of what later became The Declaration of Independence in the Americas.

The Declaration of Independence is a statement adopted by the Continental Congress on July 4, 1776, which announced that the thirteen American colonies, then at war with Great Britain, regarded themselves as independent states, and no longer a part of the British Empire. Instead they formed a union that would become a new nation—the United States of America. John Adams was a leader in pushing for independence, which was unanimously approved on July 2. A committee had already drafted the formal declaration, to be ready when Congress voted on independence.

Adams persuaded the committee to select Thomas Jefferson to compose the original draft of the document, which congress would edit to produce the final version.

6 thoughts on “U.S. President in Amsterdam

  1. Very interesting. Strange that US President’s have not visited Netherlands while they were in office. I think we have a better record for visits, but I don’t know that we are any more important to the US. Well, they do have their spy systems in our deserts.

    1. Amsterdam is the capital of the country, but The Hague is the political centre.

      As a nation we’re the 4th largest investor in the U.S., but try to find us on a map of the world and most American people don’t know where to look for us.

  2. HOW COOL of our president to visit! I know where the netherlands is on a map, because I am not your average stoopid american. mrs. obama and the daughters are in china right now. and thanks for the small history lesson, peter! hope you are well AND I hope you get the see a motorcade or something!

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