The readings taught me a lot about the history and development of the Netherlands. The cities were designed around their techniques to be most proficient.
I thought it was interesting to learn about the disappearance of the water from the cityscape and how they improvised to fix the problem. Before, water was the main source of transportation, but then steam engines, railroads,and roads took over. The water systems began to be polluted with increased population and their drinking water became unusable. In the 1850’s, they created canals to improve the urban water system. Unfortunately, this did not fully help purify the water so they had to create new underground structures for drainage, sewage and drinking water. With that Rotterdam became Europe’s largest port throughout the mid-19th century. They used roads and railroads for their main transportation.
To dig deeper, I wanted to learn more about the construction of the railways in the Netherlands during the nineteenth century. They first came up with the idea after Britain’s railroad opened. An army officer wanted to change their goods transportation methods from the water to railroads. Unfortunately, the army officer was unable to raise funds for his project. Later, an employee of the army officer decided to bring up the plan to King William. King William approved the plan, because he didn’t want the Netherlands to have a competitive disadvantage compared to neighboring countries. There was a delay in opening the line due to the railroad being built on the wrong gauge, but luckily they were able to fix that. The line was finally opened in 1839!