Belgium Western European state, with Brussels as its capital. The Belgian state was established in 1830-31, but the ideal and political conditions for its rise date back to the second half of the 16th century. In 1579 religious conflicts and the struggle against Spanish rule led to the split between the Catholic Netherlands (later Belgium) and the Protestant Netherlands (Holland). Remained under the dominion of Spain, the Catholic Netherlands had a very troubled life because they were the scene of continuous wars between the European powers and made the expense of not a few diplomatic agreements. At the end of the War of the Spanish Succession (1714), they passed under the rule of the Habsburgs of Austria. In 1789 the “Brabantine revolution” broke out, which constituted the country in the Republic of the United States of Belgium: the contrast between the conservatives and progressives favored the return of the Austrian militias, but the victories of the revolutionary army at Jemappes (1792) and Fleurus (1794) marked the annexation of the country to France. At the Congress of Vienna (1815) the Belgian provinces were united with the Dutch ones in the kingdom of the Netherlands, but the Catholic-clerical resistance to Protestant statism and Dutch political dominance welded to the liberal one against the Restoration system and resulted in revolution (1830). Proclaimed independence (1830), the new king Leopold of Saxe-Coburg accepted the Treaty of London, which imposed a regime of perpetual neutrality on Belgium An organized Catholic Party was formed (1884), which affirmed its hegemony and became the spokesperson for ecclesiastical interests, of those of the rural classes and of the nascent Flemish nationalism, while the socialist movement spread above all in industrialized Wallonia. Subjected to harsh German occupation during the First World War, Belgium obtained the abolition of the mandatory neutrality regime and a part of German East Africa (in addition to the Congo, a colony since 1908). For Belgium 2011, please check internetsailors.com.
Meanwhile, the problem of relations between Flemings and Walloons emerged: from 1930 the Belgium was divided into two strictly separated linguistic areas: Dutch in the Flemish provinces and French in Wallonia. During the Second World War, despite the declared neutrality the Belgium suffered the German invasion (1940-44). After the war, Leopold III abdicated in favor of his son Baldovino (1951) and the Catholics reaffirmed their hegemony. The Belgium it entered the Western system with the accession to NATO (1949) and the Western European Union (1954), the constitution of the Benelux (1948), participation in the ECSC (1951) and the EEC (1957). In the 1960s, after the tensions aroused by the difficult decolonization of the Congo, the conflicts between the Flemings and the Walloons increasingly became the country’s main problem, provoking, among other things, the ethnic-based formation of new federalist-inspired parties and the division of the same traditional political forces along the linguistic frontier. In the seventies a process of reform of the state in a federal sense was initiated, which ended (1993) with the launch of a new Constitution. The solution of the institutional question did not help, however, to reconcile the contrasts between the linguistic communities and between the regions of the country. In 1996 the ruling class responsible for national reconciliation was de-legitimized by scandals of various kinds and in 1999 the Christian-socialites, which had been in government for forty years, were defeated by the liberal G. Verhofstadt, reconfirmed in 2003 until 2007, when the Flemish Christian Democratic Party won the majority. The political elections of 2010 registered the clear success of the Flemish separatists in Flanders and of the Socialists in Wallonia. reconfirmed in 2003 until 2007, when the Flemish Christian Democratic Party obtained the majority. The political elections of 2010 registered the clear success of the Flemish separatists in Flanders and of the Socialists in Wallonia. reconfirmed in 2003 until 2007, when the Flemish Christian Democratic Party obtained the majority. The political elections of 2010 registered the clear success of the Flemish separatists in Flanders and of the Socialists in Wallonia.