Who were the greatest Dutch in history ?


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This thread is intended to complement the greatest Dutch contributions of the world. Instead of contributions, we will now be voting for individuals, regardless of whether their achievements had an impact on the rest of the world or just in their country or region. They can be national heroes, great athletes, artists, scientists, or politicians that shaped the country's identity and history.

Here is a list of famous Dutch people to help you choose.

My personal list would definitely include :

- William the Silent, Prince of Orange (1533-1584) : the main leader of the Dutch revolt against the Spaniards that resulted in the independence of the Netherlands.

- Rembrandt van Rijn (1606-1669) : painter

- Christiaan Huygens (1629-1695) : mathematician, astronomer, physicist and horologist. He invented the pendulum clock, developed the Huygens–Fresnel principle of of wave propagation, contributed to the development of modern calculus, discovered Titan (moon of Saturn), and many other things.

- Johannes Vermeer (1632-1675) : painter

- Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) : my favourite 17th-century philosopher, although it is debatable if he should be listed as Dutch since he was born to Portuguese Jewish parents and he didn't have any Dutch ancestry.

- Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) : commonly known as "the Father of Microbiology". He improved the microscope and was also the first to record microscopic observations of muscle fibers, bacteria, spermatozoa and blood flow in capillaries.

- Hugo de Vries (1848-1935) : botanist and geneticist who introduced the concept of genes, rediscovered independently the laws of heredity in the 1890s (previously discovered by Gregor Mendel), coined the term "mutation", and for developed a mutation theory of evolution.

Note how 1632 was an unusually fertile year for the birth of great Dutch people !
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