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Strongly pushed by Dutch Revolt leader William the Silent, the Dutch Republic became known for its relative religious tolerance.

Amsterdam was Europe's most important point for the shipment of goods and was the leading Financial centre of the western world.

The Bank of Amsterdam started operations in 1609, acting as a full service bank for Dutch merchant bankers and as a reserve bank.

The earliest recorded use of that name is in a document dated October 27, 1275, which exempted inhabitants of the village from paying bridge tolls to Count Floris V.

This allowed the inhabitants of the village of Aemstelredamme to travel freely through the County of Holland, paying no tolls at bridges, locks and dams.

As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (Ga WC) study group.

The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands.

During the Napoleonic Wars, Amsterdam's significance reached its lowest point, with Holland being absorbed into the French Empire.

However, the later establishment of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1815 marked a turning point.

Famous Amsterdam residents include the diarist Anne Frank, artists Rembrandt van Rijn and Vincent van Gogh, and philosopher Baruch Spinoza.

The Amsterdam Stock Exchange, the oldest stock exchange in the world, is located in the city center.

The 17th-century canals of Amsterdam and the 19–20th century Defence Line of Amsterdam are on the UNESCO World Heritage List.