The Brief History of Belgium Timeline
A Concise History of Brussels Belgium
Belgium Capital: Brussels
Belgium Currency: Euro (formerly Belgian franc)
Belgium Total Area: 30,690 km²
Belgium Languages: Dutch; French; German
Belgium Religions: Religion in Belgium 2019 as below:
Other Christians (2.0%)
No Religion (31.0%)
Other religions (4.0%)
Prehistory of Belgium
Ancient History of Belgium: The oldest trace of human presence in Belgium was found in Hallembaye (province of Liège), it dates back approximately 800,000 years. Then, around 400,000 BC, men settled on the banks of the Meuse. From 250,000 to 35,000 BC, Belgium was populated by Neanderthals, especially in the province of Liège and in the province of Namur (man of Spy). From 30,000 BC, Neanderthal man gave way to modern man. Remains of the Neolithic era exist in Spiennes where there was a prehistoric flint mine.
The first signs of the Bronze Age date from 1750 BC. In 500 BC, Belgium was inhabited by Celts, it was influenced by and traded with the Mediterranean world. As early as 150 BC, the first Celtic coins appeared. The various Celtic tribes living on the territory of Belgium at this time were the Eburons, the Aduatics, the Nervians, the Menapians, the Morins and the Treverians. In 57 BC, the Roman Empire invaded the region and took control of it. History of Belgium.
The writings of Julius Caesar De Bello Gallica (I and II) form the beginning of the written history of Belgium. Added to Gallia by this same conqueror, it was at the reorganization of Emperor Augustus that its regions were separated as Gallia Belgica. This imperial province is much larger than present-day Belgium. It covers all of present-day north-eastern France, from Picardy to Franche-Comté, as well as all of western Switzerland. In Roman times, few important cities existed on the territory of present-day Belgium, but we can nevertheless mention Tongres, Arlon and Tournai.
Belgium In the middle Ages
Mid Age History of Belgium: In the Middle Ages, the Belgium of today does not exist. The Belgian territory is part of the 17 provinces of the Duchy of Burgundy. At its head, Charles Quint, Duke of Burgundy and Prince of Spain, is accepted as legitimate sovereign.
With the arrival of Philippe II, the son and heir of Charles Quint, the country rises. Philip II, who comes straight from Spain, is not considered a legitimate heir.
At the same time, Protestantism appears. The citizens then revolted against this new sovereign, against religious non-freedom and heavy taxes. History of Belgium.
North and South split
The territory that today represents the Netherlands is divided into two. The northern part, the “Belgica Foederata” and the southern part, the “Belgica Regia” (Royal Belgium).
Still under Spanish rule, war broke out between the Northern Netherlands and the Southern Netherlands.
In 1793, the territory was annexed by France, and remained so until 1815. When the French Empire fell, the great powers came together and formed the Kingdom of the Netherlands. William of Orange ascends the throne. History of Belgium.
Religious Revolt in Belgium
From the middle of the s. XV, advances in the mechanization of the printing press caused a boom in education and humanist thinkers such as Erasmus of Rotterdam and Thomas More were attracted to Mechelen and Brussels, two important centers of knowledge. The printing press also made it easier for the literate to read the Bible, and the priests, who grew rich by selling indulgences (forgiveness or mitigation of sins), could no longer cover up such practices as divine will.
As a result, a current arose that would transform and divide Christianity, the Reformation. Felipe II, a fervent defender of the Counter-Reformation, a Catholic counterattack to the Protestant currents, applied a repressive policy to put an end to dissent, which led, together with the increase in taxes, to an increasingly tense situation in its Flemish territories.
In 1566 many Protestants launched themselves to loot churches in an episode known as “Iconoclastic Fury”, which destroyed religious symbols that they considered idolatrous. Felipe II responded with 10,000 soldiers under the command of the Duke of Alba. The government of Fernando Álvarez de Toledo in the Netherlands, one of the great milestones of the Black Legend forged by the anti-Spanish propaganda of the time, and the rebellion of William of Orange, the Taciturn, unleashed almost a century of armed conflicts, the called War of Flanders or War of the Eighty Years.
The British became involved, as the Protestant Elizabeth I of England actively supported the rebels against Philip, her brother-in-law. To punish England’s meddling in Flanders,
In 1598 Philip II handed over the government of the Netherlands to his daughter, the infanta Isabel Clara Eugenia, and her husband (and first cousin), Archduke Albert of Austria, in an attempt by the king to resolve the insurrection by establishing an indigenous branch of the Habsburgs. Although the war continued, the court sponsored new industries, such as lace-making and diamond processing, and sumptuous churches were built to emphasize the power of the Catholic Church.
The Spanish Netherlands in Belgium
The History of Belgium: After decades of destruction, the northern Netherlands became an independent Protestant entity, the United Provinces or Union of Utrecht, implicitly recognized by Spain with the signing of the Twelve Years’ Truce (1609-1621). However, the Hispanic Monarchy kept parts of what are now Belgium and Luxembourg, the so-called Spanish Netherlands, until 1714. These territories remained mostly Catholic, so many Protestants (a good part of the mercantile class) moved to the United Provinces. or to England. The economy stagnated, although Liège, as a large independent principality-bishopric, albeit nominally integrated into the Holy Roman Empire, prospered.
In 1648, with the Peace of Westphalia, Spain and the Holy Roman Empire officially recognized the independence of the United Provinces. This was an economic disaster for the Spanish Netherlands, as one of its clauses stated that a part of the Scheldt River should be closed to non-Dutch ships. As a consequence, Antwerp’s trade collapsed, while a golden age dawned for Amsterdam. The peace was short-lived. France had already seized parts of Flanders and southern Wallonia in the 1650s. Then, in 1667, with Spain at odds with Portugal and Holland with England, the way was clear for Louis XIV to seize more territory. Holy roman empire flag.
Dutch and British tried to prevent further French advances. Both countries allied after Protestantism returned to England and the Dutch William of Orange became King of England under the name of William III (co-reigned with Mary II). However, the Franco-Dutch wars continued to rage in the region for decades to come, reaching a climax in 1695, when Louis XIV fiercely shelled Brussels. France occupied much of the area and sent the military engineer Vauban to fortify places like Namur, Ypres, Philippeville and Luxembourg.
Austrian rule and French Occupation in Belgium
History of Belgium Timeline: The Spanish King Charles II died without issue in 1700. By virtue of his will, the Spanish Netherlands was to pass to a French prince. This meant that the French and Spanish empires would end up united to form a great superpower. The prospect horrified Britain and Holland, and the War of the Spanish Succession (1701-1713) broke out. French and English troops skirmished for a decade until the Treaty of Utrecht imposed a curious agreement in which Spain ceded its Netherlands and its possessions in Italy to the Austrian Habsburgs, who ruled the area from 1713 to 1794.
In 1789, the French Revolution plunged Europe into a new maelstrom. The anti-religious and anti-monarchical events in Paris were echoed in the region, where the Brabantine revolution instituted the short-lived United States of Belgium and the one in Liège expelled the prince-bishops. The Austrians were quick to restore the old order, but in 1794 French armies entered the Austrian Netherlands and enacted revolutionary laws, including religious freedom.
The independence of the principality-bishopric of Liège came to an end. Many churches were looted and Belgium’s once-splendid monasteries were looted and their lands nationalized. Many abbey churches were demolished to take advantage of their stone.
In 1812, Napoleon Bonaparte’s empire would crumble after his ill-advised attempt to conquer Russia. But the emperor made a desperate comeback in 1815, when mud, rain and a few hours of fighting near Brussels decided Europe’s fate at the Battle of Waterloo. After the defeat of the privateer, the Congress of Vienna created the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, formed by the current Netherlands and Belgium. Meanwhile, the restored Grand Duchy of Luxembourg (then twice its current size) was declared the domain of the Dutch king, who in turn became grand duke.
The United Kingdom of the Netherlands in Belgium
The constitution of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was largely due to the desire to maintain the balance of power in Europe and to create a buffer state in case France’s ambitions turned north. It seemed unimportant then to impose coexistence on people of different creeds and customs. William of Orange-Nassau, crowned William I in Brussels, made many enemies after refusing to grant fair political representation to the south and attempting to impose Dutch as the national language.
The latter infuriated not only the Francophones, but also the Flemish, who considered their language different from Northern Dutch. Few would have imagined that an opera performance in Brussels would spark a revolution. However, this was the case on August 25, 1830.
Belgium Revolution and Independence
At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, the Belgian and Dutch provinces were united into one state. Belgium thus came under the rule of the Dutch King William I. Although his economic policy was beneficial to the Belgian bourgeoisie, protests arose. The Catholics protested against the interference of William I in ecclesiastical affairs and the liberals against the limited freedoms. In 1828 the Catholic and the liberal bourgeoisie of the future Belgium united to draw up a common program of demands. This went down in history as the so-called unionism or monster covenant.
On September 23, 1830, the revolution broke out in Brussels. The Brussels insurgents received support from volunteers from outside the city. As a result of this revolt, Belgium separated itself from the northern provinces. The Provisional Government proclaimed independence on October 4, 1830, and on November 3, of the same year, 30,000 voters of tax and ability elected the National Congress. The National Congress passed a then progressive constitution on February 7, 1831.
Independence And The Birth Of Belgium
The southern part of the Kingdom fights the Napoleonic authority of William I. In 1830, it is the general revolution and the “Belgica Regia” obtains its independence.
Belgium was finally born, and the first King of the Belgians, Leopold I, took the oath. The kingdom then becomes a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. History of Belgium.
Belgium Colonies And World Wars
History of Belgium Congo: In the 18th century, Belgium experienced a considerable and precocious industrial revolution. It is the beginning of a great boom and the cradle of revolutionary technologies for the time. In 1905, she colonized the Congo.
Unfortunately, the First World War broke out. Then the second. Belgium will be under German occupation until 1944, at the Liberation.
It lost the Congo in 1960 and, faced with economic competition and war damage, it suffered an unprecedented crisis. Following this crisis and the generalized strikes, it saw the arrival of the split and the fixing of the linguistic border.
The 2 current main communities were created in 1970, the Flemish Community and the French Community.
In 1980, the country became a federal state in its own right, recognized as such by the Constitution in 1993.
Belgium in WWI
In 1914, pursuant to the Schlieffen plan, Germany, at war with France, invaded Belgium to circumvent the French armies from the north. The violation of Belgian neutrality triggers the entry into the war of the United Kingdom. Despite strong resistance, the Belgian army led by King Albert I was quickly overwhelmed, and the country was occupied throughout the war except behind the front line of the Yser. After the war, Belgium obtained some former German colonies, Ruanda and Burundi.
In the interwar period, Belgium first experienced an economic recovery. This period coincided with artistic currents such as Art Nouveau followed by Jugendstiel/Art Deco. At the beginning of the 1930s, Belgium, like the rest of Europe, was hit by a major economic crisis.
Belgium in The Second World War
In 1940, Belgium was again occupied by Germany. After fighting a battle, desperate after the capture of the forts by the paratroopers, for 18 days, King Leopold III decided to surrender, against the advice of the government, which first took refuge in France, before partially surrendering to its turn, but with a few ministers who took refuge in London. This decision of the king will be considered by some as a betrayal. The king remains in Belgium as a prisoner of war, refusing to perform official duties. The government in exile pronounces the incapacity to reign of the king; it will not be lifted upon release. After the war, an impasse reigns. Opposition hardens.
In 1950 the Catholic party obtained the majority and organized a referendum on the question of the return of the king (royal question); the result gives a majority for the return on the whole of Belgium, but a majority against the return in Wallonia, more precisely in the provinces of Liège and Hainaut but not in Namur nor in Luxembourg, and, in a much less pronounced, in the industrial zones of Flanders (where all the provinces have a majority for the return of the king). History of Belgium.
Leopold III’s decision to return despite everything caused serious insurrectionary unrest in Wallonia, with dozens of dynamite attacks and the threat of flooding mines and blast furnaces. The gendarmerie fires on strikers in Grace-Berleur, near Liège, killing four. In Wallonia a provisional government is created in secret, which considers the possibility of seceding and proclaiming independence. The abdication of Leopold III in favor of his son saved Belgian unity and a return to calm, but what was called the royal question definitely marked a break in unitarism. History of Belgium.
Economic History of Belgium
After World War II, Belgium became a founding member of NATO and of the European Economic Community, now the European Union.
Federalization and regionalization’s of the 70s, 80s, 90s and after 2000. History of Belgium.
The last quarter of the twentieth century will see several waves of institutional change. The reason for these being multiple:
1. the growing divergence in political choices in Flanders and in the Belgian Francophonie (Flanders evolving towards a Nordic and Anglo-Saxon model, more rights, the Francophonie remaining strongly statist , voting on a strong left-wing socialist party, compared to the more social-democratic Flemish socialists); History of Belgium.
2. the growing frustration in Flanders because of the continued widespread discrimination in national and local public services in Brussels. Thus, in 1990, the Brussels executive answered a parliamentary question that until that date, no social housing had been granted in the 19 municipalities of the capital city on the basis of a file in Dutch. In 2003, a French-speaking socialist minister will recognize that the medical emergency services in Brussels make generalized discrimination against the Flemings. History of Belgium.
On July 21, 1831 Leopold of Saxe-Coburg became King of Belgium and reigned until 1865. During his reign, Belgium continued to industrialize, but tension between two linguistic groups, the Flemish and the Walloons, increased.
Leopold II reigned from 1865 to 1909. He hoped to make Belgium more powerful, and in 1885 he took control of an area called the Belgian Congo. However, the Africans were treated with appalling cruelty and in 1908 the Belgian government took control away from Leopold. He died in 1909, but Belgium ruled the Congo until 1960.
Belgium suffered greatly during the two world wars. In 1914 Belgium was neutral, but the Germans invaded anyway. The Belgians bravely resisted, but almost all of their country was overrun and brutalized by the Germans.
Belgium was neutral again in 1940, but once again the Germans invaded the country. However, the Allies liberated Brussels on September
3, 1944. After the war, Belgium was devastated.
However, Belgium soon recovered from World War II and in 1957 was one of the founding members of the EU. Brussels is now the seat of the EU. Furthermore, Belgium joined the euro in 1999. At the end of the 20th century, Belgium became a prosperous society. Television began in Belgium in 1953. History of Belgium.
What Are Belgium Famous For?
- Famous for Chocolate
- NATO Head Office
- Belgian waffles: Breakfast food connoisseurs are very familiar with the delicious Belgian waffles.
History of Belgium Waffles
What is it and where does it come from?
History of Belgium Waffles: Waffles or waffles are a kind of cake or cookie of Belgian origin with crispy dough similar to a wafer, which is cooked between two hot plates. This sweet is quite well known in popular culture thanks in part to the United States. Although it is a Belgian sweet, it was introduced to the United States thanks to settlers from the Netherlands in 1620. Thomas Jefferson was in charge of ordering a cast iron waffle from France and since then it has become popular. History of Belgium.
There are several ways to prepare it and each country has its own recipe that makes them unique. In the United States, for example, they will be prepared with a different type of yeast and that makes them thinner and denser. Americans usually take them at breakfast, hot, with butter or maple syrup. In Hong Kong, however, the preparation is very similar to the European one but the shape of the waffle instead of being gridded is circular. History of Belgium.
History Of The Flag of Belgium
History of Belgium Flag: The current flag of Belgium is the result of its intense past. This country experienced periods of Burgundian (1348-1477), Spanish (1506-1713), Austrian (1713-1795), French (1795-1814) and Dutch (1815-1830) domination. Finally, in 1830, it became an independent state, and Leopold I was its first sovereign. History of Belgium.
But the colors of the Belgian flag come from the golden lion of the arms of the Duchy of Brabant (12th century), with its red claws and tongue, and the black background of the shield. The black, red and yellow bands were placed horizontally. But in 1831, with the official proclamation of the Kingdom of Belgium, they were arranged vertically, according to the French model . History of Belgium.
In 1993 the state reform, started in 1989, led to the creation of a federal state made up of Wallonia, Flanders and the Brussels region. Each of them with their own language. Although Dutch, French and German are the official languages, there are notable dialect variants, such as Flemish or Walloon, which also coexist in one of the most densely populated states in the world. History of Belgium.
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