In the 17th century, three wars were fought between England and the Republic of the Seven United Netherlands over the control over the seas and trade routes. These wars are known as the Anglo-Dutch Wars. After the end of a fourth and 'final' (see below) Anglo-Dutch war in the late 18th century, England ended up as the "winner".

Some historians also count the conflicts during the Napoleonic era as Anglo-Dutch wars:

In this period revolutionary France reduced the Netherlands to a satellite and finally annexed the country in 1810. Britain took over all the Dutch colonies, with the exception of the trading post at Deshima in Japan.

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