The independence of Belgium in 1830

The independence of Belgium in 1830

The repercussions of Paris revolution of July 1830 they were most strongly felt in the Netherlands, where a profound change took place. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was created during Congress of Vienna to avoid any possible expansion by France to the north. They formed it between Holland and Belgium, and they gave the kingship to the prince of Orange.

The differences between the two nations were profound. While the Dutch were Calvinists, living off agriculture and commerce, the Belgians were Catholic and industrialized. The huge differences in terms of languages ​​spoken in the kingdom, where the Dutch faced the Flemish and the French. Both wanted the capital to be on their territory, so it was decided to distribute the official bodies among different populations, which made the center of the kingdom itinerant.

In 1828, Belgian liberals and Catholics united in an exclusively nationalist movement that I was looking for independence. But it was not until the outbreak of riots in paris when tempers flared in the Netherlands. The Belgians took to the streets to demonstrate calling for separation but the royalist reaction was brutal: the army, led by Prince Frederick, attacked Brussels.

However, the rebels managed to resist and appoint a provisional government in that city, as well as a Constituent Assembly that proclaimed the independence of the new state. Thanks to the internationalization of the situation, the Belgians obtained the necessary support from France and Great Britain, who in November 1830 they recognized them as an independent country.

The Assembly endowed Belgium with a constitution in February 1831. In it, the constitutional monarchy was established as a form of government. But this made the Belgians now have to face a new problem: finding a king.

Having completely discarded the orange family, several names were considered that could be in charge of the throne. The list was reduced to two: the Duke of Leuchtenberg, son of Eugene de Beauharnais, and the Duke of Nemours, son of Louis Philippe of Orleans. The latter was preferred, but he refused to accept the post to prevent further action by Great Britain. Therefore, with the British approval, the appointment was for Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, widower of Princess Charlotte of England. The plan was for Leopoldo to marry Luis Felipe's daughter, thus leaving everyone happy.

Therefore, the Brussels Congress chose the June 4, 1831 to Leopold of Saxe-Coburg as king of the new nation. The powers agreed that Belgium should always remain neutral and Great Britain guaranteed the security of the new country.

The Constitution that was based on their parliamentary monarchy It is considered today as the most complete expression of liberalism. It had the recognition of the sovereignty of the people, the existence of two elected chambers, the separation between the clearing and the State, an independent judicial system and the declaration of human rights. It was a clear triumph of the liberal and nationalist postulates over the artificiality imposed by the Congress of Vienna at the beginning of the century.

Passionate about History, he has a degree in Journalism and Audiovisual Communication. Since he was a child he loved history and ended up exploring the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries above all.

Video: Belgian Revolution Independence