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BELGIUM

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suze
257052.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:13 pm Reply with quote

'twould be slightly harsh to say that Belgium isn't a "proper country", but for sure there was no country of the name until 1830. Before that, there had been all manner of petty kingdoms and principalities in the area, and it had been under the rule of France, Spain, Austria, and the Netherlands at different times.

When Europe was sorted out at the end of the Napoleonic Wars, the area which is now Belgium and the Netherlands was formed into a country called the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. The King was from the royal dynasty which is now the Dutch royal family.

This new kingdom wasn't especially popular in what's now Belgium though, in large part because the Dutch royal family are Protestant while a majority of Belgians are Catholic. A revolution ensued in 1830, and Belgium became an independent nation. The Belgians spent almost a year thinking about who to appoint as King, but - just like certain other countries one could think of - ultimately decided that a German nobleman was their best bet. His name was Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, and he was Queen Victoria's uncle; his descendants rule Belgium to this day.

That's a very brief account of the creation of Belgium; more detailed ones are available. While the Great Powers didn't become actively involved in the revolution, they certainly watched with interest, and as noted were not too unhappy at the notion of two relatively minor nations forming in this region.

As for famous Belgians, we did this once before. Is Charlemagne famous enough or significant enough?

 
Belgian Billy
257073.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:41 pm Reply with quote

quote spinoza:
Maybe you experts on Belgium can help me out. I seem to remember reading somewhere that Belgium is not a proper country, but was created in the nineteenth century with British connivance as part of its strqtegy to prevent any of the European powers from becoming too strong.




You are partially right: the area we now call Belgium consisted of various county's (medieval entity's like Flanders and Brabant).
Under the burgundian dukes it was a personal union (different fiefs residing under one souvereign) with Holland, sealand, friesland, etc.

This "land" (it wouldn't be right to speak of a nation) called 'the seventeen provinces of the low countries' fell into two parts during the religious wars: the north was independent and protestant (now the netherlands), the south catholic and Habsburgian (now Belgium).

Due to the habsburgs the south half remained catholic and resided first under Spanish, later under Austrian rule. In 1792 the french revolution army annexed Belgium (now more and more called to by this name). The Belgians had just before that managed to free themselves from the Austrian rule in the Brabantian revolution. But it remained a french province untill Waterloo, after which the Vienna congres stated that the low countries should once again become united. Belgium became a part of 'the kingdom of the Netherlands' under the dutch king William of Orange-Nassau.

In 1830 the french belgians and the catholic flemish revolted against the king because of his ant-french policy and his protestant belief. Like most revolutions this one was carried out by the average Joes, but mostly the urban elites benefitted from this.

Like always the truth lies in the middle: Yes, the belgian state was an invention of the 19th century bourgeois of brussels
but also: No, The belgian people had a common history before 1830


Last edited by Belgian Billy on Tue Jan 15, 2008 7:02 am; edited 5 times in total

 
samivel
257074.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 2:41 pm Reply with quote

Is he Belgian enough? After all, there was no Belgium in his time.

 
suze
257096.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:06 pm Reply with quote

'tis true, 'tis true - but I like to count anyone from what is now Poland as a Pole (for instance, I'd get rather upset if you alleged to me that Chopin was French, and very upset if you alleged that Marie Curie was Russian).

So by that logic, Charlemagne was Belgian!

 
samivel
257101.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 3:11 pm Reply with quote

Well, in that case, I'll refrain from Russianising any double Nobel laureates.

 
Belgian Billy
257154.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:08 pm Reply with quote

It is of course an anachronism: saying Carolus Magnus (latin name) was Belgian is similar to stating that Moctezuma was Mexican or Caesar Italian.

In Belgian historybooks Charlemagne is considered to be a Carolinger. This dynasty/tribe was named after his grandfather Carl (Karl) Martel (the hammer). This Carl himself was a Frank (a tribe which gave its name to France) and the Franks are considered to be German.

So it is not illogical to write that Charlemagne was french and all french are German ...


Last edited by Belgian Billy on Sat Jan 12, 2008 7:19 pm; edited 1 time in total

 
Belgian Billy
257180.  Sat Jan 12, 2008 5:43 pm Reply with quote

... and therefore all Germans are named Charlemagne

(drum)

 
Belgian Billy
257583.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:34 am Reply with quote

Belgians (or people who lived in what we now call ...) I think we should not forget:

AMBIORIX (Gaul warrior)
FRANS MASEREEL (outstanding woodcutartist and pacifist activist during WWI)
ILYA PRIGOGINE (Physicist, Nobel prize laureate chemistry)
RUBENS, JAMES ENSOR, LUC TUYNMANS (painters)
not to mention the fine tradition of Flemish/belgian surrealism
MAGRITTE, KAMAGURKA, BREUGHEL, BROODTHAERS, CHARLES DE COSTER, PAUL VAN OSTAIJEN, MY FATHER


Also these people who lived in Belgium for a while and 'did their thing' there:

KARL MARX
BAUDELAIRE
RIMBAUD
MARVIN GAYE

 
Lumpo31
257683.  Sun Jan 13, 2008 12:34 pm Reply with quote

Belgian Billy wrote:
MY FATHER


Rene?

Belgian Billy wrote:
MARVIN GAYE


Now, that one I didn't know!

 
Belgian Billy
258873.  Tue Jan 15, 2008 6:59 am Reply with quote

[quote="Lumpo31"]
Belgian Billy wrote:
MY FATHER


Rene?

His name is Luc Josef Adolf H. He was born in 1949 but anyway my grandparents gave him the names of two of the century's biggest mass murderers: ironically he is a very sweet man.

 
Sadurian Mike
326239.  Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:30 pm Reply with quote

Well well. Four pages of posts and nobody has linked to the Comic Relief sketch yet;

Youtube Comic Relief, "Nosenight"

 
Aglets
326591.  Mon Apr 28, 2008 2:16 pm Reply with quote

Sadurian Mike wrote:
Well well. Four pages of posts and nobody has linked to the Comic Relief sketch yet;

Youtube Comic Relief, "Nosenight"


I've never seen that clip before, thanks.

 
Sadurian Mike
326661.  Mon Apr 28, 2008 3:47 pm Reply with quote

Aglets wrote:
Sadurian Mike wrote:
Well well. Four pages of posts and nobody has linked to the Comic Relief sketch yet;

Youtube Comic Relief, "Nosenight"


I've never seen that clip before, thanks.

1989 I believe. I saw it first time round and only this thread has prompted me to find it again.

Thank you QI.

 
Nigelblt
377037.  Thu Jul 10, 2008 5:13 am Reply with quote

Tas wrote:
You have missed out the astonishingly famous:

Stella Artois.

:-)

Tas


In Belgium, beer is taken very seriously and it is a topic of much mirth that Stella Artois (or Artois as it is now re-branded) is considered a premium beer in the UK. Here it is a bog-standard supermarket beer along with Maes and Jupiler, about as premium as McKewan's Export.

Oh, and the Belgian Smurfs/Schtroumpfs are celebrating their 50th anniversary this year, so expect a revival.

 
dr.bob
377205.  Thu Jul 10, 2008 9:29 am Reply with quote

Nigelblt wrote:
In Belgium, beer is taken very seriously and it is a topic of much mirth that Stella Artois (or Artois as it is now re-branded) is considered a premium beer in the UK.


I know it's advertised as a premium beer, but does anyone really consider it as such?

Certainly its common nickname of "Old Wifebeater" doesn't really hint at any "premium" connotations.

 

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