Download e-book for kindle: Belgium (Modern World Nations) by George Wingfield

By George Wingfield

ISBN-10: 079109670X

ISBN-13: 9780791096703

Mendacity at the coast of the North Sea in northwestern Europe, with Germany to its east, the Netherlands to its north and France to its south and west, Belgium is found on the middle of 1 of Europe's such a lot hugely industrialized areas. including its acquaintances the Netherlands and Luxembourg, this workforce of 3 international locations is talked about jointly as Benelux. Belgium has a inhabitants of approximately 10 million humans in a space of 11,700 sq. miles (30,000 sq. kilometers) and comprises French, Dutch, and German as its legit languages.Belgium used to be one of many founding contributors of the ecu Union (EU), and Brussels is successfully the unofficial capital of Europe - domestic to the ecu Parliament of the ecu Union and the headquarters of NATO (of which Belgium and the U.S. are either contributors) in addition to a variety of different foreign businesses. A full-color examine of the historical past, humans, tradition, geography, surroundings, and economic climate of this pivotal kingdom and position it performs in modern day international politics are highlighted in "Belgium".

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However, a little over 100 years later, control of the terri-­ tory that is today’s Belgium was divided between the rulers of France and Germany. Most of the ­Dutch-­speaking north came under the influence of France, and the ­French-­speaking south was ruled by the German Holy Roman ­Empire. DOMINANCE BY OTHER EUROPEAN ­POWERS During the latter part of the fourteenth century, the lands that are now the Netherlands and ­Belgium—­the Low ­Countries— ­fell into the hands of the powerful dukes of Burgundy.

From the early twentieth century onward, French was the dominant language in Brussels as a result of Walloon immigration and enforced gallicization by means of social ­pressure. A government and national congress were established, and Belgium was set on the course of parliamentary democracy. In 1831, Prince Leopold of ­Saxe-­Coburg (in Bavaria) was chosen and enthroned as King Leopold I of Belgium, a constitutional monarch. The fact that a figure such as Leopold was crowned king soon after the Belgian Revolution should come as no surprise to those who regard monarchy as the antithesis of democracy.

This ideologi-­ cal conflict took place from 1879 to 1884, and later from 1954 to 1958, between the political parties that were philosophically to the left (at first Liberals, and later Liberals and Socialists) and Catholics. These “wars” were a result of defiance of Catholic authority in matters that related to education in ­Belgium. Another controversy occurred in 1990 when Baudouin, the Roman Catholic and deeply religious king of the Belgians, refused to sign and officially ratify an abortion bill that had already been approved by par-­ liament.

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Belgium (Modern World Nations) by George Wingfield

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