Oldenbarnevelt, Johan van

Oldenbarnevelt, Johan van

biographical name

(born Sept. 14, 1547, Amersfoort, Spanish Netherlands—died May 13, 1619, The Hague, Neth.) Dutch statesman and a founding father of Dutch independence. A lawyer in the province of Holland, he helped William I negotiate the Union of Utrecht (1579). Appointed “great pensionary” of Holland, he mobilized Dutch resources for the military goals of Maurice of Nassau. As foreign secretary of the Union's seven provinces, he negotiated a triple alliance with France and England against Spain (1596). He later concluded the Twelve Years' Truce with Spain (1609), which reaffirmed Holland's dominant role in the republic. In 1617 he sided with the moderate Arminians in religious strife against the stricter Calvinists (known as Counter-Remonstrants) and Prince Maurice; he was arrested in 1618, convicted of religious subversion, and beheaded.

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