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Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was a Dutch statesman, who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain.

In 1586, Van Oldenbarnevelt was made Land's Advocate of the province of Holland, an office he held for 32 years. Holland being the most important province of the Dutch Republic, and Van Oldenbarnevelt being a very able policitian, he became one of the most powerful men in the country.

On April 9, 1609, Van Oldenbarnevelt managed to negotiate a truce with Spain, much against the will of his former protege Maurice, even though the deal was favourable to the Netherlands. The relationship between the two became worse when they ended up in opposing camps in an ongoing religious conflict in the Netherlands.

Van Oldenbarnevelt supported the more libertine Arminians (or Remonstrants), while Maurice gave his support to the strict Calvinist Gomarists (or Contra-Remonstrants). When Van Oldenbarnevelt proposed several measures which de facto called for independence of the province of Holland from the rest of the Republic, Maurice intervened, and Van Oldenbarnevelt was arrested on August 23, 1618 on accusation of treason.

A show trial followed, in which no real evidence was presented and in which several judges were known political enemies of Van Oldenbarnevelt, he was sentenced to death. On 13 May 1619 he was beheaded at the Binnenhof in The Hague.

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Johan van Oldenbarnevelt was a Dutch statesman, who played an important role in the Dutch struggle for independence from Spain.

In 1586, Van Oldenbarnevelt was made Land's Advocate of the province of Holland, an office he held for 32 years. Holland being the most important province of the Dutch Republic, and Van Oldenbarnevelt being a very able policitian, he became one of the most powerful men in the country.

On April 9, 1609, Van Oldenbarnevelt managed to negotiate a truce with Spain, much against the will of his former protege Maurice, even though the deal was favourable to the Netherlands. The relationship between the two became worse when they ended up in opposing camps in an ongoing religious conflict in the Netherlands.

Van Oldenbarnevelt supported the more libertine Arminians (or Remonstrants), while Maurice gave his support to the strict Calvinist Gomarists (or Contra-Remonstrants). When Van Oldenbarnevelt proposed several measures which de facto called for independence of the province of Holland from the rest of the Republic, Maurice intervened, and Van Oldenbarnevelt was arrested on August 23, 1618 on accusation of treason.

A show trial followed, in which no real evidence was presented and in which several judges were known political enemies of Van Oldenbarnevelt, he was sentenced to death. On 13 May 1619 he was beheaded at the Binnenhof in The Hague. More

 
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