I've been getting a lot of "messages" from future historians about the Dutch Golden Age. As a middle-class man worth his salt, I will try to explain as best as I can my thoughts.
A bit of context: We had just came out of the Dutch Revolt victorious, winning partial sovereignty from Spain, who controlled us at the time.
In the year 1648, the Spanish recognized the Netherlands as a separate country with the Treaty of Westphalia to end the 30 Years War. The Netherlands did not suffer as much compared to other nations during this war.
Additionally, our economy was doing quite well. The gentry were in power due to their increased influence with the agricultural revolution. Combined with the states of Netherlands having disagreeing viewpoints, we became one of the earliest constitutional monarchies in an era with centralized governments.
There are 3 main results to remember about the Golden Age. The first of these is the expansion of the Dutch East India Company. This allowed for essentially a monopoly on Eastern goods and more luxuries on the market.
Personally, I love what they are doing. Since they are improving my life, improving the economy, and giving me access to exotic luxuries, I believe they should keep doing what they were doing. This may be the most important event of them all.
I don't like what they are doing! We just want food for goods and you are not giving us what we need.
The 2nd important effect of the Golden Ages that it was a safe haven for persecuted religious people. This is bringing us new knowledge and culture, which is improving my life as well, such as with streetlights. This makes my community and I safer.
The increase in Dutch art nourishes me visually and intellectually. A century ago this would not have been possible, and I love my paintings that I have. This was a nice quality of life change, but somewhat minor.
A third important distinguishment of the Dutch Golden Age was Dutch paintings. Dutch paintings often portrayed common people in their everyday lives.