At the beginning of the High Middle Ages there were still some areas in the Netherlands independent. This meant that they were not under the rule of a gentleman and therefore did not have to pay tax. The independent area was mainly of the Frisians. The Frisians, however, had seen their territory shrink during the Middle Ages. At the beginning of the Middle Ages, Zeeland, South Holland, North Holland, Groningen and part of northern Germany belonged to Friesland. Much of the Frisian territory has been conquered by the tombs of Holland. However, they could never conquer the Friesland we know today. Nor could they control the north-eastern part of North Holland. This part of North Holland is called West Friesland.
The Dutch Count William II had a lot of land in his possession in the 13th century. He gave the city rights to Delft, Haarlem, 's Gravenzande and Alkmaar. So he was an important man in history. All these cities were in his area. But he was very keen to expand his territory. He waged several wars against the West Frisians. In 1256 these wars were his death. He fell through the ice and the WestFriezes killed him. The WestFriese kept his body.
His son Floris V spent many years searching for his father's body. It was not until 1282 that he had defeated the West Frisians and added West Friesland to his territory. With this he completed the work of his father and he was able to bury his father honorably in Middelburg. Another of his father's work was the construction of the Binnenhof in The Hague. Floris V's grandfather; Floris IV had started this. Willem II had gone further and Floris V had finished this work.
Floris V ruled as a count in the Holy Roman Empire. Like his father, he too became an important man in Dutch history. He has ruled among several kings, including Rudof I. As Count of Holland, Floris V had to pay taxes to his king. The king had several counties. The Holy Roman Empire therefore included the present countries the Netherlands, Belgium, parts of France, Switzerland, Austria, parts of Italy, the Czech Republic, Germany and parts of Poland. Although the county of Holland was very large and important, the county of Burgundy was ultimately more powerful. The county of Burgundy was located in the present central France. Burgundy originally consisted of two parts. One part was the duchy. Of these, the French king was the highest loaner. The other part was Franche-Comté. This was the county that fell under the German Empire. Burgundy expanded. It became a state.
From the year 1384, parts of the Netherlands also fell under the rule of the Duke of Burgundy. The Duke obtained these territories through legacies, marriage or purchase. At the end of the 15th century, the whole of the Western, Southern and Eastern Netherlands belonged to Burgundy. The area was divided into provinces. Each province was still allowed to maintain its own governance.
Burgundy had a central government during this period. It was ruled from the Burgundian court. This was a cultural center. Painters had plenty of work here. The large area was ruled by the States-General. All Burgundian regions / provinces sent representatives to the Burgundian court, where they met on, for example, new taxes.
Taxes increased and the cities rebelled. When the then Duke Charles the Bold died in 1477, the cities would not accept his daughter as ruler until she agreed to lower taxes.