Landindeks: België

Landindeks: België



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Oorloë en verdrae

Aix-la-Chapelle, Verdrag van (2 Mei 1668)
Campo Fornio, Verdrag van, 17 Oktober 1797
Devolusie, Oorlog van (1667-68)
Eerste Wêreldoorlog, 1914-1918
Galliese Oorlog, 58-51 v.C.
Honderd dae, 18 Julie-11 November 1918
Lunéville, vrede van, 9 Februarie 1801
Napoleontiese oorloë (1799-1815)
Wedloop na die see van September-Oktober 1914
Tweede Wêreldoorlog (1939-1945)
Steyer, wapenstilstand van, 25 Desember 1800
Westfalen, Vrede van, 24 Oktober 1648


Gevegte

Aisne, slag van die, 57 v.C.
Antwerpen, Derde Slag van 1-10 Oktober 1914
Antwerpen en Scheldt-monding, stryd om, 4 September-8 November 1944
Ardennes, slag van die, 20-25 Augustus 1914
Atuatuci, beleg van die, herfs 57 v.C.
Atuatuca, slag van, 54 Oktober v.C.
Bastogne, beleg van 18-26 Desember 1944
Bodenplatte, Operasie, 1 Januarie 1945
Bresken Pocket, battle of, or Operation Switchback, 6 Oktober-3 November 1944
Broodseinde, slag van, 4 Oktober 1917
Bulge, battle of the, 16 Desember 1944-25 Januarie 1945
Charleroi, beleërings van 30 Mei-25 Junie 1794
Courtrai, 11 Julie 1302 (België)
Courtrai, slag van, 11 Mei 1794
Duinkerke, ontruiming van, 27 Mei-4 Junie 1940 (Operasie Dynamo)
Dynamo, Operasie, die ontruiming uit Duinkerken, 27 Mei-4 Junie 1940
Elsenborn Ridge, Battle of the, 16-23 Desember 1944
Fleurus, slag van, 26 Junie 1794
Fontenoy, 11 Mei 1745 (België)
Grense van Frankryk, slag van 20-24 Augustus 1914
Gheluvelt, slag van, 29-31 Oktober 1914
Greif, Operasie (vanaf 16 Desember 1944)
Haelen, slag van, 12 Augustus 1914
Jemappes, Battle of, 6 November 1792
Langemarck, slag van, 21-24 Oktober 1914
Luik, beleg van 5-16 Augustus 1914 (België)
Ludendorff Offensives, 21 Maart-18 Julie 1918
Lys, slag van die, 9-29 April 1918
Menin, slag van, 13 September 1793
Menin, slag van, 15 September 1793
Menin, beleg van 27-30 April 1794
Menin Road Ridge, Battle of the, 20-25 September 1917
Messines, slag van, 12 Oktober-2 November 1914
Mons, slag van, 23 Augustus 1914
Mouscron, slag van, 29 April 1794
Neerwinden, slag van, 18 Maart 1793
Nieuport, beleg van 22-29 Oktober 1793
Nieuport, beleg van 4-18 Julie 1794
Nonne Bosschen, slag van, 11 November 1914
Oudenaarde, slag van, 11 Julie 1708 (België)
Ourthe, Battle of the, 18 September 1794
Passchendaele, Eerste slag van, 12 Oktober 1917
Passchendaele, Tweede slag van, 26 Oktober-10 November 1917
Poelcappelle, slag van, 9 Oktober 1917
Polygon Wood, slag van 26-27 September 1917
Roer, slag van die, 2 Oktober 1794
St Vith, slag van, 18-23 Desember 1944
Sambre, Battle of the, 57 Julie v.C.
Sambre, Battle of the, 21-23 Augustus 1914
Steppe, slag van, 13 Oktober 1213 (België)
Stosser, Operation (of Hohes Venn), 17-23 Desember 1944
Terugskakeling, operasie of die slag van die Breskens-sak, 6 Oktober-3 November 1944
Thielt (of Hackespol), slag van, 21 Junie 1128 (Vlaandere)
Dertigjarige oorlog (1618-48)
Tournai, slag van, 22 Mei 1794
Willems, slag van, 10 Mei 1794
Ieper, Eerste Slag van 19 Oktober-22 November 1914
Ieper, Tweede Slag van 22 April-25 Mei 1915
Ieper, Derde Slag van, 21 Julie- 6 November 1917
Yser, slag van die, 18 Oktober-30 November 1914
Zeebrugge 1918: Voorspel tot St Nazaire


Biografieë


Wapens, leërs en eenhede

Cobra, ACEC, APC (België)
Hawker Hunter F. Mark 4
Hawker Hunter F. Mark 6


Konsepte

Konsepte



België

België is 'n federale konstitusionele monargie waarin die koning die staatshoof is en die premier die regeringshoof in 'n veelpartystelsel is. Besluitnemingsbevoegdhede is nie gesentraliseer nie, maar verdeel tussen 3 regeringsvlakke: die federale regering, 3 taalgebaseerde gemeenskappe (Vlaams, Frans en Duitssprekend) en 3 streke (Vlaandere, Brussel Hoofstad en Wallonië). Wetlik is hulle almal gelyk, maar het hulle magte en verantwoordelikhede op verskillende terreine. Brussel is, saam met Luxemburg Stad en Straatsburg, een van die drie amptelike setels van die Europese instellings.


OP DIE INDUSTRIËLE GESKIEDENIS VAN BELGIË

Die industriële revolusie op die Europese vasteland het in België begin. Voorheen het die land jare lank tradisioneel 'n lewendige handelstradisie geniet. Tekstielproduksie floreer in Vlaandere, ysterverwerking in Wallonië en daar was groot steenkoolreserwes in die suide en ooste van die land. Hierdie sleuteltakke was die ideale voorvereistes vir industrialisasie. Belge het ook intensiewe kontak met Groot -Brittanje onderhou en in 1720 het die eerste stoomenjin op die vasteland naby Luik in werking getree. Die model, gemaak deur Thomas Newcomen, is gebruik om afvalwater uit 'n steenkoolmyn te haal. 'N Ruk later is dit opgevolg deur 'n ander stoomenjin in die steenkoolgebied rondom Mons en Charleroi. Alles was dus in plek om die steenkool- en staalbedryf in beide gebiede 'n hupstoot te gee.

In 1792 is die land deur Napoleon verower. Sy beroep het 'n positiewe uitwerking op die ekonomie gehad: hy het die ou gildes afgeskaf en handelsvryheid ingevoer. Terselfdertyd het 'n groot nuwe mark in Frankryk oopgemaak, nie die minste vir steenkool nie.

'N Brit was verantwoordelik vir die volgende deurbraak. In 1799 installeer William Cockerill die eerste walspinmasjien op die vasteland in Verviers en lê daardeur die grondslag vir 'n bloeiende tekstielbedryf in die streek. Cockerill bou toe 'n ingenieursfabriek vir die vervaardiging van die masjiene in Luik. 'N Paar jaar later het sy seun John yster begin vervaardig in die nabygeleë Seraing aan die Sambre -rivier, en die onderneming het vinnig uitgebrei. "Cockerill-Sambre" vervaardig vandag nog staal onder die dak van die reusagtige "Arcelor-Mittal" onderneming.

Die enigste industriële sentrum buite die kolwerye en hoogoonde van Wallonië was die ou stad Gent. Omstreeks 1800 het 'n vervaardiger met die naam Liévin Bauwens 'n draaiende jenny uit Engeland gesmokkel en daar in gebruik geneem. Toe die kanaal in Terneuzen by die monding van die Schelde gebou is, het die stad direkte toegang tot die see gekry. Van toe af word die stad algemeen erken as die & quotManester van Vlaandere & quot.

'N Opbloei in kanaalgeboue het gelei tot 'n langtermyn verbetering in vervoerkommunikasie. Kort voor lank word steenkool langs die nuwe waterweë van die gebied rondom Mons en Charleroi na Noord -Frankryk geneem en verder na Parys. Die brandstof is ook aan Brussel gelewer via 'n nuwe kanaal wat ook die eens florerende sakekern van Antwerpen verbind het met die Maasrivier, die tradisioneel belangrike handelsroete.

Na die stigting van die Belgiese staat in 1830 het suksesvolle beleggings in Britse tegnologie weer begin. België was ook 'n baanbreker in die bou van die spoorweë. Tussen 1840 en 1880 het die spoornetwerk tienvoudig uitgebrei - selfs meer as in Groot -Brittanje. Danksy sy hoogs ontwikkelde vervoerkommunikasie het die land baat by handel met minder ontwikkelde bure, nie die minste nie met Duitsland, waar daar 'n groot vraag na Belgiese goedere was. Belgiese beleggers en entrepreneurs het 'n aansienlike bydrae gelewer tot die opbou van industriële aktiwiteite langs die riviere Ruhr und Emscher.

In 1863 stig Ernest Solvay 'n baanbrekeronderneming met sy eerste fabriek in Charleroi. Hy het 'n revolusionêre proses uitgevind om chemies soda te produseer. Soda was 'n basiese materiaal wat gebruik word vir die vervaardiging van glas, seep en chemikalieë. Die Solvay -werke het 'n groot bron van kommer geword, wat deesdae wêreldwyd chemiese produkte, sintetiese materiale en farmaseutiese goedere vervaardig.

Teen die einde van die 19de eeu was die industriële gebiede in België die broeiplek van die Europese werkersklasbeweging. By meer as een geleentheid het slegte werksomstandighede in die kolwerye rondom Mons en Charleroi groot stakings tot gevolg gehad. In die tekstieldorp Gent het werkers hulself georganiseer in selfhelp-koöperasies met hul eie verskaffers, waaronder bakkerye, 'n koerant en hul eie bank.


'N GESKIEDENIS VAN BELGIË

Vroeë België n Die Romeine verower België in 57 vC en dit word geïntegreer in die Romeinse Ryk as Gallia Belgica. In die 5de eeu nC het die Romeinse bewind egter in duie gestort en die Franken het België verower. Hulle eerste hoofstad was in Tournai. In die 9de eeu regeer die Franke die grootste deel van Wes -Europa. Tog het hulle ryk ook verbrokkel.

Toe verskyn Vlaandere (ongeveer moderne België) in die 11de eeu as 'n kragtige semi-onafhanklike koninkryk. Dit het ook voorspoedig geword. In die 12de en 13de eeu het die wolbedryf in België hoogty gevier. (Doek is vervaardig met wol wat uit Engeland ingevoer is). Daar is ook handel gedryf met Frankryk, Duitsland, Spanje en Italië. Vlaamse (Belgiese) dorpe soos Brugge, Gent en Ieper het floreer.

Die ryk en magtige stede van België het egter in botsing gekom met die konings van Frankryk. Die grawe van België was vasale van die Franse koning en hy was dikwels in oorlog met Engeland. België maak egter staat op Engelse wol en die handelaars was nie bereid om die Franse teen die Engelse te skaar nie. Verder het die Franse koning gehoop om België in sy koninkryk te integreer.

Sake kom in 1302 tot 'n hoogtepunt toe vakmanne in Brugge weier om 'n nuwe belasting te betaal. Die Franse koning het soldate gestuur om die stad te beset. Pieter De Coninck, 'n wewer, en Jan Breydel, 'n slagter, het egter op 18 Mei 1302 'n rebellie gelei. Hulle het almal vermoor wat nie die Vlaamse woorde schild end vriend kon uitspreek nie. Die opstand in Brugge het na die res van België versprei en 'n Franse leër is gestuur om dit te vermorsel.

Belgiese kleinboere en vakmanne het die Franse egter verpletter tydens die Slag van die Golden Spurs op 11 Julie 1302. (Die Belge het 'n moeras met borselhout vermom en die Franse ridders het in die strik gery). Daarna het die Belge 600 goue spore versamel. Na die geveg moes Frankryk die onafhanklikheid van Vlaandere erken.

In die 14de eeu was 'n gebied van wat nou Frankryk genoem word Bourgondië 'n kragtige gebied. In 1377 trou die hertog van Bourgondië met Margaret van Vlaandere, die erfgenaam van die graaf van Vlaandere. Na die dood van die graaf in 1385 het Vlaandere deel geword van die Bourgondiese gebied. Onder die Bourgondiese bewind het die handel steeds gedy. Dit was ook 'n groot prestasie-era in kuns met beroemde kunstenaars soos Jan Van Eyck (1390-1441) en Hans Memling (1440-1494). Verder is die Universiteit van Leuven in 1425 gestig.

In 1477 trou Maria, erfgenaam van die hertog van Bourgondië, met Maximiliaan van Oostenryk. België het dus onder Oostenrykse bewind gekom. Maximilian se kleinseun Charles I het heerser geword van Spanje sowel as Oostenryk en België. In 1566 is die groot gebied egter verdeel. Charles se seun Philip word koning van Spanje en België. België het dus onder Spaanse bewind gekom.

Intussen is die hele Europa in die 16de eeu deur die Protestantse Hervorming geruk, maar die meeste mense in België het Katoliek gebly. Aan die einde van die 17de eeu het die Europese moondhede om België geveg. In 1714, aan die einde van die Spaanse opvolgingsoorlog, het Oostenryk België gekry.

In 1794 beset die Franse leër egter België. In 1795 is België deur Frankryk geannekseer. Die Franse Revolusionêre het 'n aantal hervormings ingestel, maar in 1797 het hulle ook diensplig ingestel. Die gevolg was 'n opstand in 1798, maar die Franse het dit verpletter en in beheer gebly.

In die vroeë 19de eeu het België begin industrialiseer. Steenkoolmynbou het hoogty gevier. So ook tekstiele en die metaalbedryf. In 1815 is Napoleon egter in Waterloo verslaan. Daarna het die groot moondhede die kaart van Europa herontwerp. België en Holland is saam verenig as een land.

Die vakbond gaan egter nooit werk nie, aangesien België en Holland ekonomies en kultureel te verskillend was. Op 25 Augustus 1830 het rebellie uitgebreek en op 'n konferensie in Januarie 1831 het die groot moondhede ooreengekom om Belgiese onafhanklikheid te erken.

Op 21 Julie 1831 word Leopold van Sakse-Coburg koning van België en hy regeer tot 1865. Tydens sy bewind het België bly industrialiseer, maar daar was toenemende spanning tussen twee taalgroepe, Vlaminge en Waals.

Leopold II regeer van 1865 tot 1909. Hy hoop om België magtiger te maak en in 1885 neem hy beheer oor 'n gebied met die naam Belgiese Kongo. Die Afrikaners is egter met ontsettende wreedheid behandel en in 1908 het die Belgiese regering Leopold van sy beheer beroof. Hy sterf in 1909, maar België regeer die Kongo tot 1960.

België het tydens die twee wêreldoorloë erg gely. In 1914 was België neutraal, maar die Duitsers val in elk geval binne. Die Belge verset dapper, maar byna die hele land is oorval en die Duitsers behandel hulle wreed. België was weer neutraal in 1940, maar weer het die Duitsers binnegeval. Die bondgenote het Brussel egter op 3 September 1944 bevry. Tog, ná die oorlog, was België verwoes.

België het egter gou herstel van die Tweede Wêreldoorlog en in 1957 was dit een van die stigterslede van die EU. Brussel is nou die hoofkwartier van die EU. Verder het België by die Euro aangesluit in 1999. In die laat 20ste eeu het België 'n welgestelde samelewing geword. Televisie het in 1953 in België begin.

Vandag is België 'n welvarende land. In 2019 word Sophie Wilmes die eerste vroulike premier van België. In 2020 was die bevolking van België 11,5 miljoen.

Brussel


  • AMPTELIKE NAAM: Koninkryk België
  • REGERINGSVORM: Federale parlementêre demokrasie onder 'n konstitusionele monargie
  • HOOFSTAD: Brussel
  • BEVOLKING: 11 570,762
  • AMPTELIKE TALE: Nederlands, Frans en Duits
  • GELD: Euro
  • GEBIED: 30782 vierkante kilometer

AARDRYKSKUNDE

Een van die kleinste lande in Europa, België grens aan Frankryk, Luxemburg, Nederland en Duitsland. Die land het ook 'n smal kuslyn langs die Noordsee.

België lê hoofsaaklik naby seevlak, hoewel die land wel 697 meter (2,277 voet) bereik op 'n punt wat bekend staan ​​as Botrange, wat binne die Ardennen -plato lê.

Kaart geskep deur National Geographic Maps

MENSE & KULTUUR

België is een van die lande met die grootste bevolking in Europa en die meeste mense woon in stedelike gebiede.

België is verdeel in drie gemeenskappe wat gebaseer is op taal: In die noorde is die Vlaminge, wat Vlaams (Nederlands) praat, in die suide die Waals, wat Frans praat, en in die stad Luik is daar 'n klein Duitssprekende bevolking.

Verskillende gemeenskappe in België het verskillende gebruike. Die tipiese Vlaamse groet behels 'n vinnige handdruk, terwyl die Waalse met 'n ligte soen op die wang groet. Wallone is ook geneig om later aandete as die Vlaamse hul aandete te eet. Om te praat terwyl jy kougom of terwyl jy hande in jou sak hou, word egter as onbeskof beskou in gemeenskappe.

Kuns, musiek en argitektuur speel 'n groot rol in die Belgiese lewe en geskiedenis. Die strokiesprent word hoog aangeslaan, met beide "Kuifie" en "Die smurfen" wat hul oorsprong in die land het. Sport is ook gewild in België, en sokker is die sport wat die meeste gespeel word.

Wafels, moules frites (mossels bedien met patat) en sjokolade is drie van die gewildste Belgiese kosse.

NATUUR

Terwyl die grootste deel van België 2000 jaar gelede deur loofbos bedek was, het menslike aktiwiteite die plant- en dierelewe in die streek verminder.

Vandag is die mees algemene boom eikebome, en die meeste diere kan gevind word in die Ardennen, wat bestaan ​​uit 'n mengsel van bladwisselende en naaldbos. Diere wat algemeen in die Ardennen voorkom, is onder meer wilde varke, takbokke, wilde katte en fisante.

Elders in België kan verskeie voëlspesies gevind word, soos sandpipers en snipes, saam met muskusrotte en hamsters.


Inhoud

Oudheid

- Julius Caesar, De Bello Gallico, Boek I, Ch. 1

Die Belgae was die inwoners van die noordelikste deel van Gallië, wat baie groter was as die moderne België. Caesar gebruik die Latynse woord "België", om te verwys na hul land in Noord -Gallië, wat 'n streek was wat nou in Noord -Frankryk was. [28] Moderne België stem ooreen met die lande Morini, Menapii, Nervii, Germani Cisrhenani, Aduatuci en, rondom Arlon, 'n deel van Dit alles, behalwe die Treveri, vorm 'n minder "Kelties-beïnvloed" oorgangsone, noord van die gebied wat Caesar as "België" behandel het.

Na die verowering van Caesar, Gallia Belgica was die Latynse naam van 'n groot Romeinse provinsie wat die grootste deel van Noord -Gallië dek, insluitend die Treveri. Gebiede wat nader aan die laer Rynse grens was, insluitend die oostelike deel van die moderne België, het uiteindelik deel geword van die grensprovinsie van Germania minderwaardig, wat interaksie gehad het met Germaanse stamme buite die ryk. In die tyd toe die sentrale regering in die Wes-Romeinse Ryk in duie stort, is die Romeinse provinsies Belgica en Germania bewoon deur 'n mengsel van 'n geromaniseerde bevolking en Germaansprekende Franken wat die militêre en politieke klas kom oorheers het.

Middeleeue

Gedurende die 5de eeu het die gebied onder die heerskappy van die Frankiese Merowingiese konings gekom, wat waarskynlik die eerste keer gevestig is in die noorde van Frankryk. Gedurende die 8ste eeu het die koninkryk van die Franken beheer geword deur die Karolingiese dinastie, wie se magsentrum was rondom die gebied wat nou oos -België is. [29] Die frankiese koninkryk was op baie maniere verdeel, maar die Verdrag van Verdun in 843 het die Karolingiese Ryk in drie koninkryke verdeel, waarvan die grense 'n blywende impak op die middeleeuse politieke grense gehad het. Die grootste deel van die moderne België was in die Middelryk, later bekend as Lotharingia, maar die kusgraaf Vlaandere, wes van die Scheldt, het deel geword van Wes -Francia, die voorganger van Frankryk. In 870 in die Verdrag van Meerssen het moderne Belgiese lande almal vir 'n tydperk deel van die westelike koninkryk geword, maar in 880 in die Verdrag van Ribemont het Lotharingia teruggekeer na die blywende beheer van die Heilige Romeinse keiser. Die heerskappye en die bisdom langs die "Maart" (grens) tussen die twee groot koninkryke handhaaf belangrike verbindings tussen mekaar. Die graafskap Vlaandere het oor die Schelde uitgebrei tot die ryk, en is gedurende verskeie periodes deur dieselfde here as die graafskap Henegouwen regeer.

In die 13de en 14de eeu het die doekbedryf en -handel veral in die Vlaamse graafskap gegroei en dit het een van die rykste gebiede in Europa geword. Hierdie voorspoed het 'n rol gespeel in konflikte tussen Vlaandere en die koning van Frankryk. Die Vlaamse milisies het in 1302 'n verrassende oorwinning behaal tydens die Slag van die Golden Spurs teen 'n sterk mag van ridders in 1302, maar Frankryk het gou weer beheer oor die opstandige provinsie gekry.

Bourgondië en Habsburg Nederland

In die 15de eeu neem die hertog van Bourgondië in Frankryk beheer oor Vlaandere, en vandaar het hulle 'n groot deel van die huidige Benelux, die sogenaamde Bourgondiese Nederland, verenig. [30] "België" en "Vlaandere" was die eerste twee algemene name wat gebruik is vir die Bourgondiese Nederland, wat die voorganger was van die Oostenrykse Nederland, die voorganger van die moderne België. [31] Die vakbond, wat tegnies tussen twee koninkryke strek, het die gebied ekonomiese en politieke stabiliteit verleen, wat gelei het tot 'n nog groter welvaart en artistieke skepping.

Die Habsburgse keiser Karel V, gebore in België, was erfgenaam van die Bourgondiërs, maar ook van die koninklike families van Oostenryk, Kastilië en Aragon. Met die Pragmatic Sanction van 1549 het hy die sewentien provinsies meer legitimiteit gegee as 'n stabiele entiteit, eerder as net 'n tydelike persoonlike unie. Hy het ook die invloed van hierdie Nederlande verhoog op die prins-bisdom van Luik, wat as 'n groot semi-onafhanklike enklave bestaan ​​het. [32]

Spaans en Oostenrykse Nederland

Die Tagtigjarige Oorlog (1568–1648) is veroorsaak deur die beleid van die Spaanse regering ten opsigte van protestantisme, wat in die Lae Lande gewild geword het. Die opstandige noordelike Verenigde Provinsies (Belgica Foederata in Latyn, die "Federated Netherlands") uiteindelik geskei van die Suid -Nederland (Belgica Regia, die "Koninklike Nederland"). Laasgenoemde is agtereenvolgens regeer deur die Spaanse (Spaanse Nederland) en die Oostenrykse Habsburgers (Oostenrykse Nederland) en bestaan ​​uit die grootste deel van die moderne België. Dit was die teater van nog meer uitgerekte konflikte gedurende die grootste deel van die 17de en 18de eeu waarby Frankryk betrokke was, waaronder die Frans-Hollandse Oorlog (1672–1678), die Negejarige Oorlog (1688–1697), die Spaanse opvolgingsoorlog ( 1701–1714), en deel van die Oorlog van die Oostenrykse opvolging (1740–1748).

Die Franse revolusie en die Koninkryk van Nederland

Na die veldtogte van 1794 in die Franse Revolusionêre Oorloë, is die Lae Lande-insluitend gebiede wat nooit nominaal onder Habsburgse bewind was nie, soos die prins-bisdom van Luik-deur die Franse Eerste Republiek geannekseer, wat die Oostenrykse bewind in die streek beëindig het. 'N Hereniging van die Lae Lande as die Verenigde Koninkryk van Nederland het plaasgevind by die ontbinding van die Eerste Franse Ryk in 1814, na die abdikasie van Napoleon.

Onafhanklike België

In 1830 het die Belgiese Revolusie gelei tot die skeiding van die Suidelike Provinsies van Nederland en tot die stigting van 'n Katolieke en burgerlike, amptelik Franssprekende en neutrale, onafhanklike België onder 'n voorlopige regering en 'n nasionale kongres. [33] [34] Sedert die aanstelling van Leopold I as koning op 21 Julie 1831, wat nou as die nasionale dag van België gevier word, was België 'n konstitusionele monargie en parlementêre demokrasie, met 'n laïstiese grondwet gebaseer op die Napoleontiese kode. [35] Alhoewel die franchise aanvanklik beperk was, is algemene stemreg vir mans ingestel ná die algemene staking van 1893 (met meervoudige stemme tot 1919) en vir vroue in 1949.

Die belangrikste politieke partye van die 19de eeu was die Katolieke Party en die Liberale Party, met die Belgiese Arbeidersparty teen die einde van die 19de eeu. Frans was oorspronklik die enkele amptelike taal wat deur die adel en die bourgeoisie aangeneem is. Dit het geleidelik sy algehele belangrikheid verloor namate Nederlands ook erken word. Hierdie erkenning word amptelik in 1898, en in 1967 aanvaar die parlement 'n Nederlandse weergawe van die Grondwet. [36]

Die Berlynse konferensie van 1885 het beheer oor die Kongo -Vrystaat aan koning Leopold II as sy privaatbesit afgestaan. Vanaf ongeveer 1900 was daar toenemende internasionale kommer oor die uiterste en wrede behandeling van die Kongolese bevolking onder Leopold II, vir wie die Kongo hoofsaaklik 'n bron van inkomste uit ivoor- en rubberproduksie was. [37] Baie Kongolese is deur Leopold se agente doodgemaak omdat hulle nie die produksiekwotas vir ivoor en rubber nagekom het nie. [38] In 1908 het hierdie oproer die Belgiese staat gelei tot die verantwoordelikheid vir die regering van die kolonie, voortaan die Belgiese Kongo genoem. [39] 'n Belgiese kommissie het in 1919 beraam dat die bevolking van die Kongo die helfte was van wat dit in 1879 was. [38]

Duitsland het België in Augustus 1914 binnegeval as deel van die Schlieffen -plan om Frankryk aan te val, en baie van die Westelike Front se gevegte tydens die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het in westelike dele van die land plaasgevind. Die openingsmaande van die oorlog was bekend as die verkragting van België as gevolg van Duitse buitensporighede. België het tydens die oorlog beheer geneem oor die Duitse kolonies Ruanda-Urundi (hedendaagse Rwanda en Burundi), en in 1924 het die Volkebond hulle aan België opgedra. In die nasleep van die Eerste Wêreldoorlog het België die Pruisiese distrikte Eupen en Malmedy in 1925 geannekseer, waardeur 'n Duitssprekende minderheid ontstaan ​​het.

Duitse magte het die land weer in Mei 1940 binnegeval, en 40 690 Belge, meer as die helfte van hulle Jode, is tydens die daaropvolgende besetting en die Holocaust dood. Van September 1944 tot Februarie 1945 het die Geallieerdes België bevry. Na die Tweede Wêreldoorlog het 'n algemene staking koning Leopold III in 1951 gedwing om te abdikeer, aangesien baie Belge gevoel het dat hy tydens die oorlog met Duitsland saamgewerk het. [40] Die Belgiese Kongo verkry onafhanklikheid in 1960 tydens die Kongokrisis [41] Ruanda-Urundi volg met sy onafhanklikheid twee jaar later. België het as stigterslid by die NAVO aangesluit en vorm saam met Nederland en Luxemburg die Benelux -groep volke.

België het in 1951 een van die ses stigterslede van die Europese steenkool- en staalgemeenskap geword en van die European Atomic Energy Community and European Economic Community, wat in 1957 gestig is. , insluitend die Europese Kommissie, die Raad van die Europese Unie en die buitengewone en komiteesessies van die Europese Parlement.

In die vroeë negentigerjare het België verskeie groot korrupsieskandale gesien, veral rondom Marc Dutroux, Andre Cools, die Dioxin -saak, Agusta -skandaal en moord op Karel Van Noppen.

België deel grense met Frankryk (620 km), Duitsland (167 km), Luxemburg (148 km) en Nederland (450 km). Die totale oppervlakte, insluitend die wateroppervlakte, is 30,689 km2 (11,849 vierkante myl). Voor 2018 was die totale oppervlakte 30,528 km2 (11,787 vierkante myl). Toe die land se statistieke in 2018 gemeet is, is 'n nuwe berekeningsmetode gebruik. In teenstelling met vorige berekeninge, het hierdie gebied die oppervlakte van die kus tot die laagwaterlyn ingesluit, wat die land 160 km2 groter het as wat voorheen gedink is. [42] [43] Die oppervlakte alleen is 30 278 km2. [44] [ benodig opdatering ] Dit lê tussen breedtegrade 49 ° 30 'en 51 ° 30' N, en lengtes 2 ° 33 'en 6 ° 24' E. [45]

België het drie geografiese streke: die kusvlakte in die noordweste en die sentrale plato behoort albei tot die Anglo-Belgiese bekken, en die hoogtes van die Ardennen in die suidooste tot by die Hercyniese orogene gordel. Die Parys -bekken bereik 'n klein vierde gebied aan die suidelike punt van België, die Belgiese Lorraine. [46]

Die kusvlakte bestaan ​​hoofsaaklik uit sandduine en polders. Verder in die binneland lê 'n gladde, stadig stygende landskap wat deur talle waterweë besproei word, met vrugbare valleie en die noordoostelike sandvlakte van die Campine (Kempen). Die dik beboste heuwels en plato's van die Ardennen is meer ruig en rotsagtig met grotte en klein klowe. Hierdie gebied strek weswaarts tot in Frankryk en is ooswaarts verbind met die Eifel in Duitsland deur die High Fens -plato, waarop die Signal de Botrange die hoogste punt van die land vorm op 694 m (2,277 voet). [47] [48]

Die klimaat is maritiem gematig met beduidende neerslag gedurende alle seisoene (Köppen -klimaatklassifikasie: Vgl), soos die grootste deel van Noordwes -Europa. [49] Die gemiddelde temperatuur is die laagste in Januarie by 3 ° C (37.4 ° F) en die hoogste in Julie by 18 ° C (64.4 ° F). Die gemiddelde neerslag per maand wissel tussen 54 mm (2.1 in) vir Februarie en April, tot 78 mm (3.1 in) vir Julie. [50] Gemiddeldes vir die jare 2000 tot 2006 toon daaglikse minimum temperatuur van 7 ° C (44,6 ° F) en maksimum van 14 ° C (57,2 ° F) en 'n maandelikse reënval van 74 mm (2,9 in), dit is ongeveer 1 ° C en byna 10 millimeter bo die normale waardes van die vorige eeu. [51]

Fitogeografies word België gedeel tussen die Atlantiese Europese en Sentraal -Europese provinsies van die sirkumboreale streek binne die Boreale Koninkryk. [52] Volgens die World Wide Fund for Nature behoort die grondgebied van België tot die aardse ekoregio's van Atlantiese gemengde woude en Wes -Europese breëblaarwoude. [53] [54] België het 'n gemiddelde gemiddelde telling van 1.36/10 van die Forest Landscape Integrity Index in 2018, en dit is wêreldwyd 163ste uit 172 lande. [55]

Provinsies

Die grondgebied van België is verdeel in drie streke, waarvan twee, die Vlaamse streek en die Waalse streek, op hul beurt onderverdeel is in provinsies, die derde streek, die Brusselse hoofstad, nie 'n provinsie of 'n deel van 'n provinsie is nie.

Provinsie Nederlandse naam Franse naam Duitse naam Kapitaal Gebied [3] Bevolking
(1 Januarie 2019) [5]
Digtheid ISO 3166-2: BE
[ aanhaling nodig ]
Vlaamse streek
Antwerpen Antwerpen Anvers Antwerpen Antwerpen 2.876 km 2 (1.110 vierkante myl) 1,857,986 647/km 2 (1,680/vierkante myl) VAN
Oos -Vlaandere Oost-Vlaanderen Flandre orientale Ostflandern Gent 3,007 km 2 (1,161 vierkante myl) 1,515,064 504/km 2 (1,310/vierkante myl) VOV
Vlaams Brabant Vlaams-Brabant Brabantse vlamme Flämisch-Brabant Leuven 2.118 km2 (818 vierkante myl) 1,146,175 542/km 2 (1.400/vierkante myl) VBR
Limburg Limburg Limburg Limburg Hasselt 2.427 km2 (937 vierkante myl) 874,048 361/km 2 (930/vierkante myl) VLI
Wes -Vlaandere Wes-Vlaanderen Flandre occidentale Wes -Vlaandere Brugge 3.197 km2 (1.234 vierkante myl) 1,195,796 375/km 2 (970/vierkante myl) VWV
Waalse streek
Henegouwen Henegouwen Henegouwen Hennegau Mons 3.813 km2 (1.472 vierkante myl) 1,344,241 353/km 2 (910/vierkante myl) WHT
Luik Luik Luik Lüttich Luik 3,857 km 2 (1,489 vierkante myl) 1,106,992 288/km 2 (750/vierkante myl) WLG
Luxemburg Luxemburg Luxemburg Luxemburg Arlon 4,459 km 2 (1,722 vierkante myl) 284,638 64/km 2 (170/vierkante myl) WLX
Namur Namen Namur Namur (Namür) Namur 3.675 km2 (1.419 vierkante myl) 494,325 135/km 2 (350/vierkante myl) WNA
Waals -Brabant Waals-Brabant Brabantse Wallon Wallonies-Brabant Wavre 1,097 km2 (424 vierkante myl) 403,599 368/km 2 (950/vierkante myl) WBR
Brussel Hoofstad
Brussel Hoofstad Brussel Hoofdstedelijk Gewest Regio de Bruxelles-Capitale Streek Brüssel-Hauptstadt Brussel Stad 162,4 km 2 (62,7 vierkante myl) 1,208,542 7.442/km 2 (19.270/vierkante myl) BBR
Totaal België Belgies Belgien Brussel Stad 30.689 km 2 (11.849 vierkante myl) 11,431,406 373/km 2 (970/vierkante myl)

België is 'n konstitusionele, gewilde monargie en 'n federale parlementêre demokrasie. Die tweekamer federale parlement bestaan ​​uit 'n senaat en 'n kamer van verteenwoordigers. Eersgenoemde bestaan ​​uit 50 senatore wat deur die parlemente van die gemeenskappe en streke aangestel is en 10 gekoöpteerde senatore. Voor 2014 is die meeste lede van die Senaat direk verkies. Die 150 verteenwoordigers van die kamer word verkies onder 'n proporsionele stemstelsel uit 11 kiesdistrikte. België het verpligte stemme en handhaaf dus een van die hoogste stempersentasies ter wêreld. [56]

Die koning (tans Philippe) is die staatshoof, maar met beperkte prerogatiewe. Hy stel ministers aan, waaronder 'n premier, wat die vertroue van die Kamer van Verteenwoordigers het om die federale regering te vorm. Die Ministerraad bestaan ​​uit nie meer as vyftien lede nie. Met die moontlike uitsondering van die Eerste Minister, bestaan ​​die Ministerraad uit 'n gelyke aantal Nederlandstalige lede en Franssprekende lede. [57] Die regstelsel is gebaseer op burgerlike reg en is afkomstig van die Napoleontiese kode. Die Cassation Court is die hof van laaste uitweg, met die appèlhowe een vlak onder. [58]

Politieke kultuur

Die politieke instellings van België is kompleks, die meeste politieke mag is georganiseer rondom die behoefte om die belangrikste kulturele gemeenskappe te verteenwoordig. [59] Sedert ongeveer 1970 het die belangrike nasionale Belgiese politieke partye in verskillende komponente verdeel wat hoofsaaklik die politieke en taalkundige belange van hierdie gemeenskappe verteenwoordig. [60] Die belangrikste partye in elke gemeenskap behoort, hoewel hulle naby die politieke sentrum is, aan drie hoofgroepe: Christen -Demokrate, Liberale en Sosiaal -Demokrate. [61] Verdere noemenswaardige partye het goed ontstaan ​​na die middel van die vorige eeu, hoofsaaklik rondom taalkundige, nasionalistiese of omgewingstemas en onlangs kleiner van 'n spesifieke liberale aard. [60]

'N Rits koalisieregerings van Christen -Demokrate vanaf 1958 is in 1999 verbreek ná die eerste dioksienkrisis, 'n groot skandaal met voedselbesmetting. [62] [63] [64] 'n "Reënboogkoalisie" het uit ses partye ontstaan: die Vlaamse en die Franstalige liberale, sosiaal-demokrate en groenes. [65] Later het 'n 'pers koalisie' van liberale en sosiaal -demokrate ontstaan ​​nadat die setperke die meeste van hul setels in die verkiesing in 2003 verloor het. [66]

Die regering onder leiding van premier Guy Verhofstadt van 1999 tot 2007 behaal 'n gebalanseerde begroting, 'n paar belastinghervormings, 'n arbeidsmarkhervorming, geskeduleerde kernfase-uitfasering en wetgewing wat strenger oorlogsmisdaad en strenger vervolging van sagte dwelms moontlik maak. Beperkings op die weerhouding van genadedood is verminder en huwelike van dieselfde geslag is gewettig. The government promoted active diplomacy in Africa [67] and opposed the invasion of Iraq. [68] It is the only country that does not have age restrictions on euthanasia. [69]

Verhofstadt's coalition fared badly in the June 2007 elections. For more than a year, the country experienced a political crisis. [70] This crisis was such that many observers speculated on a possible partition of Belgium. [71] [72] [73] From 21 December 2007 until 20 March 2008 the temporary Verhofstadt III Government was in office. This coalition of the Flemish and Francophone Christian Democrats, the Flemish and Francophone Liberals together with the Francophone Social Democrats was an interim government until 20 March 2008. [74]

On that day a new government, led by Flemish Christian Democrat Yves Leterme, the actual winner of the federal elections of June 2007 , was sworn in by the king. On 15 July 2008 Leterme announced the resignation of the cabinet to the king, as no progress in constitutional reforms had been made. [74] In December 2008 he once more offered his resignation to the king after a crisis surrounding the sale of Fortis to BNP Paribas. [75] At this juncture, his resignation was accepted and Christian Democratic and Flemish Herman Van Rompuy was sworn in as Prime Minister on 30 December 2008. [76]

After Herman Van Rompuy was designated the first permanent President of the European Council on 19 November 2009, he offered the resignation of his government to King Albert II on 25 November 2009. A few hours later, the new government under Prime Minister Yves Leterme was sworn in. On 22 April 2010, Leterme again offered the resignation of his cabinet to the king [77] after one of the coalition partners, the OpenVLD, withdrew from the government, and on 26 April 2010 King Albert officially accepted the resignation. [78]

The Parliamentary elections in Belgium on 13 June 2010 saw the Flemish nationalist N-VA become the largest party in Flanders, and the Socialist Party PS the largest party in Wallonia. [79] Until December 2011, Belgium was governed by Leterme's caretaker government awaiting the end of the deadlocked negotiations for formation of a new government. By 30 March 2011 this set a new world record for the elapsed time without an official government, previously held by war-torn Iraq. [80] Finally, in December 2011 the Di Rupo Government led by Walloon socialist Prime Minister Elio Di Rupo was sworn in. [81]

The 2014 federal election (coinciding with the regional elections) resulted in a further electoral gain for the Flemish nationalist N-VA, although the incumbent coalition (composed of Flemish and French-speaking Social Democrats, Liberals, and Christian Democrats) maintains a solid majority in Parliament and in all electoral constituencies. On 22 July 2014, King Philippe nominated Charles Michel (MR) and Kris Peeters (CD&V) to lead the formation of a new federal cabinet composed of the Flemish parties N-VA, CD&V, Open Vld and the French-speaking MR, which resulted in the Michel Government. It was the first time N-VA was part of the federal cabinet, while the French-speaking side was represented only by the MR, which achieved a minority of the public votes in Wallonia. [82]

In May 2019 federal elections in the Flemish-speaking northern region of Flanders far-right Vlaams Belang party made major gains. In the French-speaking southern area of Wallonia the Socialists were strong. The moderate Flemish nationalist party the N-VA remained the largest party in parliament. [83] In July 2019 prime minister Charles Michel was selected to hold the post of President of the European Council. [84] His successor Sophie Wilmès was Belgium's first female prime minister. She led the caretaker government since October 2019. [85] The Flemish Liberal party politician Alexander De Croo became new prime minister in October 2020. The parties had agreed on federal government 16 months after the elections. [86]

Communities and regions

Following a usage which can be traced back to the Burgundian and Habsburg courts, [87] in the 19th century it was necessary to speak French to belong to the governing upper class, and those who could only speak Dutch were effectively second-class citizens. [88] Late that century, and continuing into the 20th century, Flemish movements evolved to counter this situation. [89]

While the people in Southern Belgium spoke French or dialects of French, and most Brusselers adopted French as their first language, the Flemings refused to do so and succeeded progressively in making Dutch an equal language in the education system. [89] Following World War II, Belgian politics became increasingly dominated by the autonomy of its two main linguistic communities. [90] Intercommunal tensions rose and the constitution was amended to minimize the potential for conflict. [90]

Based on the four language areas defined in 1962–63 (the Dutch, bilingual, French and German language areas), consecutive revisions of the country's constitution in 1970, 1980, 1988 and 1993 established a unique form of a federal state with segregated political power into three levels: [91] [92]

  1. The federal government, based in Brussels.
  2. The three language communities:
    • the Flemish Community (Dutch-speaking)
    • the French Community (French-speaking)
    • the German-speaking Community.
  3. The three regions:
    • the Flemish Region, subdivided into five provinces
    • the Walloon Region, subdivided into five provinces
    • the Brussels-Capital Region.

The constitutional language areas determine the official languages in their municipalities, as well as the geographical limits of the empowered institutions for specific matters. [93] Although this would allow for seven parliaments and governments when the Communities and Regions were created in 1980, Flemish politicians decided to merge both. [94] Thus the Flemings just have one single institutional body of parliament and government is empowered for all except federal and specific municipal matters. [B]

The overlapping boundaries of the Regions and Communities have created two notable peculiarities: the territory of the Brussels-Capital Region (which came into existence nearly a decade after the other regions) is included in both the Flemish and French Communities, and the territory of the German-speaking Community lies wholly within the Walloon Region. Conflicts about jurisdiction between the bodies are resolved by the Constitutional Court of Belgium. The structure is intended as a compromise to allow different cultures to live together peacefully. [16]

Locus of policy jurisdiction

The Federal State's authority includes justice, defense, federal police, social security, nuclear energy, monetary policy and public debt, and other aspects of public finances. State-owned companies include the Belgian Post Group and Belgian Railways. The Federal Government is responsible for the obligations of Belgium and its federalized institutions towards the European Union and NATO. It controls substantial parts of public health, home affairs and foreign affairs. [95] The budget—without the debt—controlled by the federal government amounts to about 50% of the national fiscal income. The federal government employs around 12% of the civil servants. [96]

Communities exercise their authority only within linguistically determined geographical boundaries, originally oriented towards the individuals of a Community's language: culture (including audiovisual media), education and the use of the relevant language. Extensions to personal matters less directly connected with language comprise health policy (curative and preventive medicine) and assistance to individuals (protection of youth, social welfare, aid to families, immigrant assistance services, and so on.). [97]

Regions have authority in fields that can be broadly associated with their territory. These include economy, employment, agriculture, water policy, housing, public works, energy, transport, the environment, town and country planning, nature conservation, credit and foreign trade. They supervise the provinces, municipalities and intercommunal utility companies. [98]

In several fields, the different levels each have their own say on specifics. With education, for instance, the autonomy of the Communities neither includes decisions about the compulsory aspect nor allows for setting minimum requirements for awarding qualifications, which remain federal matters. [95] Each level of government can be involved in scientific research and international relations associated with its powers. The treaty-making power of the Regions' and Communities' Governments is the broadest of all the Federating units of all the Federations all over the world. [99] [100] [101]

Buitelandse betrekkinge

Because of its location at the crossroads of Western Europe, Belgium has historically been the route of invading armies from its larger neighbors. With virtually defenseless borders, Belgium has traditionally sought to avoid domination by the more powerful nations which surround it through a policy of mediation. The Belgians have been strong advocates of European integration. Both the European Union and NATO are headquartered in Belgium.

Armed forces

The Belgian Armed Forces have about 47,000 active troops. In 2019, Belgium's defense budget totaled €4.303 billion ($4.921 billion) representing .93% of its GDP. [102] They are organized into one unified structure which consists of four main components: Land Component, or the Army Air Component, or the Air Force Marine Component, or the Navy Medical Component. The operational commands of the four components are subordinate to the Staff Department for Operations and Training of the Ministry of Defense, which is headed by the Assistant Chief of Staff Operations and Training, and to the Chief of Defense. [103]

The effects of the Second World War made collective security a priority for Belgian foreign policy. In March 1948 Belgium signed the Treaty of Brussels and then joined NATO in 1948. However, the integration of the armed forces into NATO did not begin until after the Korean War. [104] The Belgians, along with the Luxembourg government, sent a detachment of battalion strength to fight in Korea known as the Belgian United Nations Command. This mission was the first in a long line of UN missions which the Belgians supported. Currently, the Belgian Marine Component is working closely together with the Dutch Navy under the command of the Admiral Benelux.

Belgium's strongly globalized economy [105] and its transport infrastructure are integrated with the rest of Europe. Its location at the heart of a highly industrialized region helped make it the world's 15th largest trading nation in 2007. [106] [107] The economy is characterized by a highly productive work force, high GNP and high exports per capita. [108] Belgium's main imports are raw materials, machinery and equipment, chemicals, raw diamonds, pharmaceuticals, foodstuffs, transportation equipment, and oil products. Its main exports are machinery and equipment, chemicals, finished diamonds, metals and metal products, and foodstuffs. [44]

The Belgian economy is heavily service-oriented and shows a dual nature: a dynamic Flemish economy and a Walloon economy that lags behind. [16] [109] [C] One of the founding members of the European Union, Belgium strongly supports an open economy and the extension of the powers of EU institutions to integrate member economies. Since 1922, through the Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union, Belgium and Luxembourg have been a single trade market with customs and currency union. [110]

Belgium was the first continental European country to undergo the Industrial Revolution, in the early 19th century. [111] Areas in Liège Province and around Charleroi rapidly developed mining and steelmaking, which flourished until the mid-20th century in the Sambre and Meuse valley and made Belgium one of the three most industrialized nations in the world from 1830 to 1910. [112] [113] However, by the 1840s the textile industry of Flanders was in severe crisis, and the region experienced famine from 1846 to 1850. [114] [115]

After World War II, Ghent and Antwerp experienced a rapid expansion of the chemical and petroleum industries. The 1973 and 1979 oil crises sent the economy into a recession it was particularly prolonged in Wallonia, where the steel industry had become less competitive and experienced a serious decline. [116] In the 1980s and 1990s, the economic center of the country continued to shift northwards and is now concentrated in the populous Flemish Diamond area. [117]

By the end of the 1980s, Belgian macroeconomic policies had resulted in a cumulative government debt of about 120% of GDP. As of 2006 [update] , the budget was balanced and public debt was equal to 90.30% of GDP. [118] In 2005 and 2006, real GDP growth rates of 1.5% and 3.0%, respectively, were slightly above the average for the Euro area. Unemployment rates of 8.4% in 2005 and 8.2% in 2006 were close to the area average. By October 2010 , this had grown to 8.5% compared to an average rate of 9.6% for the European Union as a whole (EU 27). [119] [120] From 1832 until 2002, Belgium's currency was the Belgian franc. Belgium switched to the euro in 2002, with the first sets of euro coins being minted in 1999. The standard Belgian euro coins designated for circulation show the portrait of the monarch (first King Albert II, since 2013 King Philippe).

Despite an 18% decrease observed from 1970 to 1999, Belgium still had in 1999 the highest rail network density within the European Union with 113.8 km/1 000 km 2 . On the other hand, the same period, 1970–1999, has seen a huge growth (+56%) of the motorway network. In 1999, the density of km motorways per 1000 km 2 and 1000 inhabitants amounted to 55.1 and 16.5 respectively and were significantly superior to the EU's means of 13.7 and 15.9. [121]

From a biological resource perspective, Belgium has a low endowment: Belgium's biocapacity adds up to only 0.8 global hectares in 2016, [122] just about half of the 1.6 global hectares of biocapacity available per person worldwide. [123] In contrast, in 2016, Belgians used on average 6.3 global hectares of biocapacity - their ecological footprint of consumption. This means they required about eight times as much biocapacity as Belgium contains. As a result, Belgium was running a biocapacity deficit of 5.5 global hectares per person in 2016. [122]

Belgium experiences some of the most congested traffic in Europe. In 2010, commuters to the cities of Brussels and Antwerp spent respectively 65 and 64 hours a year in traffic jams. [124] Like in most small European countries, more than 80% of the airways traffic is handled by a single airport, the Brussels Airport. The ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge (Bruges) share more than 80% of Belgian maritime traffic, Antwerp being the second European harbor with a gross weight of goods handled of 115 988 000 t in 2000 after a growth of 10.9% over the preceding five years. [121] [125] In 2016, the port of Antwerp handled 214 million tons after a year-on-year growth of 2.7%. [126]

There is a large economic gap between Flanders and Wallonia. Wallonia was historically wealthy compared to Flanders, mostly due to its heavy industries, but the decline of the steel industry post-World War II led to the region's rapid decline, whereas Flanders rose swiftly. Since then, Flanders has been prosperous, among the wealthiest regions in Europe, whereas Wallonia has been languishing. As of 2007, the unemployment rate of Wallonia is over double that of Flanders. The divide has played a key part in the tensions between the Flemish and Walloons in addition to the already-existing language divide. Pro-independence movements have gained high popularity in Flanders as a consequence. The separatist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA) party, for instance, is the largest party in Belgium. [127] [128] [129]

Science and technology

Contributions to the development of science and technology have appeared throughout the country's history. The 16th century Early Modern flourishing of Western Europe included cartographer Gerardus Mercator, anatomist Andreas Vesalius, herbalist Rembert Dodoens [130] [131] [132] [133] and mathematician Simon Stevin among the most influential scientists. [134]

Chemist Ernest Solvay [135] and engineer Zenobe Gramme (École industrielle de Liège) [136] gave their names to the Solvay process and the Gramme dynamo, respectively, in the 1860s. Bakelite was developed in 1907–1909 by Leo Baekeland. Ernest Solvay also acted as a major philanthropist and gave its name to the Solvay Institute of Sociology, the Solvay Brussels School of Economics and Management and the International Solvay Institutes for Physics and Chemistry which are now part of the Université libre de Bruxelles. In 1911, he started a series of conferences, the Solvay Conferences on Physics and Chemistry, which have had a deep impact on the evolution of quantum physics and chemistry. [137] A major contribution to fundamental science was also due to a Belgian, Monsignor Georges Lemaître (Catholic University of Louvain), who is credited with proposing the Big Bang theory of the origin of the universe in 1927. [138]

Three Nobel Prizes in Physiology or Medicine were awarded to Belgians: Jules Bordet (Université libre de Bruxelles) in 1919, Corneille Heymans (University of Ghent) in 1938 and Albert Claude (Université libre de Bruxelles) together with Christian de Duve (Université catholique de Louvain) in 1974. François Englert (Université libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2013. Ilya Prigogine (Université libre de Bruxelles) was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1977. [139] Two Belgian mathematicians have been awarded the Fields Medal: Pierre Deligne in 1978 and Jean Bourgain in 1994. [140] [141]

As of 1 January 2020, the total population of Belgium according to its population register was 11,492,641. [5] The population density of Belgium is 376/km 2 (970/sq mi) as of January 2019, making it the 22nd most densely populated country in the world, and the 6th most densely populated country in Europe. The most densely populated province is Antwerp, the least densely populated province is Luxembourg. As of January 2019, the Flemish Region had a population of 6,589,069 (57.6% of Belgium), its most populous cities being Antwerp (523,248), Ghent (260,341) and Bruges (118,284). Wallonia had a population of 3,633,795 (31.8% of Belgium) with Charleroi (201,816), Liège (197,355) and Namur (110,939), its most populous cities. The Brussels-Capital Region has 1,208,542 inhabitants (10.6% of Belgium) in the 19 municipalities, three of which have over 100,000 residents. [5]

In 2017 the average total fertility rate (TFR) across Belgium was 1.64 children per woman, below the replacement rate of 2.1, it remains considerably below the high of 4.87 children born per woman in 1873. [142] Belgium subsequently has one of the oldest populations in the world, with the average age of 41.6 years. [143]

Migrasie

As of 2007 [update] , nearly 92% of the population had Belgian citizenship, [144] and other European Union member citizens account for around 6%. The prevalent foreign nationals were Italian (171,918), French (125,061), Dutch (116,970), Moroccan (80,579), Portuguese (43,509), Spanish (42,765), Turkish (39,419) and German (37,621). [145] [146] In 2007, there were 1.38 million foreign-born residents in Belgium, corresponding to 12.9% of the total population. Of these, 685,000 (6.4%) were born outside the EU and 695,000 (6.5%) were born in another EU Member State. [147] [148]

At the beginning of 2012, people of foreign background and their descendants were estimated to have formed around 25% of the total population i.e. 2.8 million new Belgians. [149] Of these new Belgians, 1,200,000 are of European ancestry and 1,350,000 [150] are from non-Western countries (most of them from Morocco, Turkey, and the DR Congo). Since the modification of the Belgian nationality law in 1984 more than 1.3 million migrants have acquired Belgian citizenship. The largest group of immigrants and their descendants in Belgium are Moroccans. [151] 89.2% of inhabitants of Turkish origin have been naturalized, as have 88.4% of people of Moroccan background, 75.4% of Italians, 56.2% of the French and 47.8% of Dutch people. [150]

Tale

Belgium has three official languages: Dutch, French and German. A number of non-official minority languages are spoken as well. [152] As no census exists, there are no official statistical data regarding the distribution or usage of Belgium's three official languages or their dialects. [153] However, various criteria, including the language(s) of parents, of education, or the second-language status of foreign born, may provide suggested figures. An estimated 60% of the Belgian population are native speakers of Dutch (often referred to as Flemish), and 40% of the population speaks French natively. French-speaking Belgians are often referred to as Walloons, although the French speakers in Brussels are not Walloons. [D]

The total number of native Dutch speakers is estimated to be about 6.23 million, concentrated in the northern Flanders region, while native French speakers number 3.32 million in Wallonia and an estimated 870,000 (or 85%) in the officially bilingual Brussels-Capital Region. [E] [154] The German-speaking Community is made up of 73,000 people in the east of the Walloon Region around 10,000 German and 60,000 Belgian nationals are speakers of German. Roughly 23,000 more German speakers live in municipalities near the official Community. [155] [156] [157] [158]

Both Belgian Dutch and Belgian French have minor differences in vocabulary and semantic nuances from the varieties spoken respectively in the Netherlands and France. Many Flemish people still speak dialects of Dutch in their local environment. Walloon, considered either as a dialect of French or a distinct Romance language, [159] [160] is now only understood and spoken occasionally, mostly by elderly people. Walloon is divided into four dialects, which along with those of Picard, [161] are rarely used in public life and have largely been replaced by French.

Godsdiens

Since the country's independence, Roman Catholicism has had an important role in Belgium's politics. [162] However Belgium is largely a secular country as the constitution provides for freedom of religion, and the government generally respects this right in practice. During the reigns of Albert I and Baudouin, the Belgian royal family had a reputation of deeply rooted Catholicism. [163]

Roman Catholicism has traditionally been Belgium's majority religion being especially strong in Flanders. However, by 2009 Sunday church attendance was 5% for Belgium in total 3% in Brussels, [164] and 5.4% in Flanders. Church attendance in 2009 in Belgium was roughly half of the Sunday church attendance in 1998 (11% for the total of Belgium in 1998). [165] Despite the drop in church attendance, Catholic identity nevertheless remains an important part of Belgium's culture. [163]

According to the Eurobarometer 2010, [166] 37% of Belgian citizens responded that they believe there is a God. 31% answered that they believe there is some sort of spirit or life-force. 27% answered that they do not believe there is any sort of spirit, God, or life-force. 5% did not respond. According to the Eurobarometer 2015, 60.7% of the total population of Belgium adhered to Christianity, with Roman Catholicism being the largest denomination with 52.9%. Protestants comprised 2.1% and Orthodox Christians were the 1.6% of the total. Non-religious people comprised 32.0% of the population and were divided between atheists (14.9%) and agnostics (17.1%). A further 5.2% of the population was Muslim and 2.1% were believers in other religions. [167] The same survey held in 2012 found that Christianity was the largest religion in Belgium, accounting for 65% of Belgians. [168]

Symbolically and materially, the Roman Catholic Church remains in a favorable position. [163] Belgium officially recognizes three religions: Christianity (Catholic, Protestantism, Orthodox churches and Anglicanism), Islam and Judaism. [169]

In the early 2000s, there were approximately 42,000 Jews in Belgium. The Jewish Community of Antwerp (numbering some 18,000) is one of the largest in Europe, and one of the last places in the world where Yiddish is the primary language of a large Jewish community (mirroring certain Orthodox and Hasidic communities in New York, New Jersey, and Israel). In addition, most Jewish children in Antwerp receive a Jewish education. [170] There are several Jewish newspapers and more than 45 active synagogues (30 of which are in Antwerp) in the country. A 2006 inquiry in Flanders, considered to be a more religious region than Wallonia, showed that 55% considered themselves religious and that 36% believed that God created the universe. [171] On the other hand, Wallonia has become one of Europe's most secular/least religious regions. Most of the French-speaking region's population does not consider religion an important part of their lives, and as much as 45% of the population identifies as irreligious. This is particularly the case in eastern Wallonia and areas along the French border.

A 2008 estimate found that approximately 6% of the Belgian population (628,751 people) is Muslim. Muslims constitute 23.6% of the population of Brussels, 4.9% of Wallonia and 5.1% of Flanders. The majority of Belgian Muslims live in the major cities, such as Antwerp, Brussels and Charleroi. The largest group of immigrants in Belgium are Moroccans, with 400,000 people. The Turks are the third largest group, and the second largest Muslim ethnic group, numbering 220,000. [151] [172]

Gesondheid

The Belgians enjoy good health. According to 2012 estimates, the average life expectancy is 79.65 years. [44] Since 1960, life expectancy has, in line with the European average, grown by two months per year. Death in Belgium is mainly due to heart and vascular disorders, neoplasms, disorders of the respiratory system and unnatural causes of death (accidents, suicide). Non-natural causes of death and cancer are the most common causes of death for females up to age 24 and males up to age 44. [173]

Healthcare in Belgium is financed through both social security contributions and taxation. Health insurance is compulsory. Health care is delivered by a mixed public and private system of independent medical practitioners and public, university and semi-private hospitals. Health care service are payable by the patient and reimbursed later by health insurance institutions, but for ineligible categories (of patients and services) so-called 3rd party payment systems exist. [173] The Belgian health care system is supervised and financed by the federal government, the Flemish and Walloon Regional governments and the German Community also has (indirect) oversight and responsibilities. [173]

For the first time in Belgian history, the first child was euthanized following the 2-year mark of the removal of the euthanization age restrictions. The child had been euthanized due to an incurable disease that was inflicted upon the child. Although there may have been some support for the euthanization there is a possibility of controversy due to the issue revolving around the subject of assisted suicide. [174] [175] Excluding assisted suicide, Belgium has the highest suicide rate in Western Europe and one of the highest suicide rates in the developed world (exceeded only by Lithuania, South Korea, and Latvia). [176]

Onderwys

Education is compulsory from 6 to 18 years of age for Belgians. [177] Among OECD countries in 2002, Belgium had the third highest proportion of 18- to 21-year-olds enrolled in postsecondary education, at 42%. [178] Though an estimated 99% of the adult population is literate, concern is rising over functional illiteracy. [161] [179] The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA), coordinated by the OECD, currently ranks Belgium's education as the 19th best in the world, being significantly higher than the OECD average. [180] Education being organized separately by each, the Flemish Community scores noticeably above the French and German-speaking Communities. [181]

Mirroring the dual structure of the 19th-century Belgian political landscape, characterized by the Liberal and the Catholic parties, the educational system is segregated within a secular and a religious segment. The secular branch of schooling is controlled by the communities, the provinces, or the municipalities, while religious, mainly Catholic branch education, is organized by religious authorities, although subsidized and supervised by the communities. [182]

Despite its political and linguistic divisions, the region corresponding to today's Belgium has seen the flourishing of major artistic movements that have had tremendous influence on European art and culture. Nowadays, to a certain extent, cultural life is concentrated within each language Community, and a variety of barriers have made a shared cultural sphere less pronounced. [16] [183] [184] Since the 1970s, there are no bilingual universities or colleges in the country except the Royal Military Academy and the Antwerp Maritime Academy. [185]

Fine arts

Contributions to painting and architecture have been especially rich. The Mosan art, the Early Netherlandish, [186] the Flemish Renaissance and Baroque painting [187] and major examples of Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque architecture [188] are milestones in the history of art. While the 15th century's art in the Low Countries is dominated by the religious paintings of Jan van Eyck and Rogier van der Weyden, the 16th century is characterized by a broader panel of styles such as Peter Breughel's landscape paintings and Lambert Lombard's representation of the antique. [189] Though the Baroque style of Peter Paul Rubens and Anthony van Dyck flourished in the early 17th century in the Southern Netherlands, [190] it gradually declined thereafter. [191] [192]

During the 19th and 20th centuries many original romantic, expressionist and surrealist Belgian painters emerged, including James Ensor and other artists belonging to the Les XX group, Constant Permeke, Paul Delvaux and René Magritte. The avant-garde CoBrA movement appeared in the 1950s, while the sculptor Panamarenko remains a remarkable figure in contemporary art. [193] [194] Multidisciplinary artists Jan Fabre, Wim Delvoye and the painter Luc Tuymans are other internationally renowned figures on the contemporary art scene.

Belgian contributions to architecture also continued into the 19th and 20th centuries, including the work of Victor Horta and Henry van de Velde, who were major initiators of the Art Nouveau style. [195] [196]

The vocal music of the Franco-Flemish School developed in the southern part of the Low Countries and was an important contribution to Renaissance culture. [197] In the 19th and 20th centuries, there was an emergence of major violinists, such as Henri Vieuxtemps, Eugène Ysaÿe and Arthur Grumiaux, while Adolphe Sax invented the saxophone in 1846. The composer César Franck was born in Liège in 1822. Contemporary popular music in Belgium is also of repute. Jazz musician Toots Thielemans and singer Jacques Brel have achieved global fame. Nowadays, singer Stromae has been a musical revelation in Europe and beyond, having great success. In rock/pop music, Telex, Front 242, K's Choice, Hooverphonic, Zap Mama, Soulwax and dEUS are well known. In the heavy metal scene, bands like Machiavel, Channel Zero and Enthroned have a worldwide fan-base. [198]

Belgium has produced several well-known authors, including the poets Emile Verhaeren, Guido Gezelle, Robert Goffin and novelists Hendrik Conscience, Stijn Streuvels, Georges Simenon, Suzanne Lilar, Hugo Claus and Amélie Nothomb. The poet and playwright Maurice Maeterlinck won the Nobel Prize in literature in 1911. The Adventures of Tintin by Hergé is the best known of Franco-Belgian comics, but many other major authors, including Peyo (The Smurfs), André Franquin (Gaston Lagaffe), Dupa (Cubitus), Morris (Lucky Luke), Greg (Achille Talon), Lambil (Les Tuniques Bleues), Edgar P. Jacobs and Willy Vandersteen brought the Belgian cartoon strip industry a worldwide fame. [199] Additionally, famous crime author Agatha Christie created the character Hercule Poirot, a Belgian detective, who has served as a protagonist in a number of her acclaimed mystery novels.

Belgian cinema has brought a number of mainly Flemish novels to life on-screen. [F] Other Belgian directors include André Delvaux, Stijn Coninx, Luc and Jean-Pierre Dardenne well-known actors include Jean-Claude Van Damme, Jan Decleir and Marie Gillain and successful films include Bullhead, Man Bites Dog en The Alzheimer Affair. [200] Belgium is also home to a number of successful fashion designers Category:Belgian fashion designers. For instance, in the 1980s, Antwerp's Royal Academy of Fine Arts produced important fashion trendsetters, known as the Antwerp Six. [201]

Folklore

Folklore plays a major role in Belgium's cultural life: the country has a comparatively high number of processions, cavalcades, parades, 'ommegangs' and 'ducasses', [G] 'kermesse' and other local festivals, nearly always with an originally religious or mythological background. The Carnival of Binche with its famous Gilles and the 'Processional Giants and Dragons' of Ath, Brussels, Dendermonde, Mechelen and Mons are recognized by UNESCO as Masterpieces of the Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity. [202]

Other examples are the Carnival of Aalst the still very religious processions of the Holy Blood in Bruges, Virga Jesse Basilica in Hasselt and Basilica of Our Lady of Hanswijk in Mechelen 15 August festival in Liège and the Walloon festival in Namur. Originated in 1832 and revived in the 1960s, the Gentse Feesten have become a modern tradition. A major non-official holiday is the Saint Nicholas Day, a festivity for children and, in Liège, for students. [203]

Kos

Many highly ranked Belgian restaurants can be found in the most influential restaurant guides, such as the Michelin Guide. [204] Belgium is famous for beer, chocolate, waffles and french fries with mayonnaise. Contrary to their name, french fries are claimed to have originated in Belgium, although their exact place of origin is uncertain. The national dishes are "steak and fries with salad", and "mussels with fries". [205] [206] [207] [H]

Brands of Belgian chocolate and pralines, like Côte d'Or, Neuhaus, Leonidas and Godiva are famous, as well as independent producers such as Burie and Del Rey in Antwerp and Mary's in Brussels. [208] Belgium produces over 1100 varieties of beer. [209] [210] The Trappist beer of the Abbey of Westvleteren has repeatedly been rated the world's best beer. [211] [212] [213] The biggest brewer in the world by volume is Anheuser-Busch InBev, based in Leuven. [214]

Sport

Since the 1970s, sports clubs and federations are organized separately within each language community. [215] Association football is the most popular sport in both parts of Belgium also very popular are cycling, tennis, swimming, judo [216] and basketball. [217]

Belgians hold the most Tour de France victories of any country except France. They have also the most victories on the UCI Road World Championships. Philippe Gilbert is the 2012 world champion. Another modern well-known Belgian cyclist is Tom Boonen. With five victories in the Tour de France and numerous other cycling records, Belgian cyclist Eddy Merckx is regarded as one of the greatest cyclists of all time. [218] Jean-Marie Pfaff, a former Belgian goalkeeper, is considered one of the greatest in the history of association football. [219]

Belgium hosted the 1972 European Football Championships, and co-hosted the 2000 European Championships with the Netherlands. The Belgium national football team reached first place in the FIFA World Rankings for the first time in November 2015. [220]

Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin both were Player of the Year in the Women's Tennis Association as they were ranked the number one female tennis player. The Spa-Francorchamps motor-racing circuit hosts the Formula One World Championship Belgian Grand Prix. The Belgian driver, Jacky Ickx, won eight Grands Prix and six 24 Hours of Le Mans and finished twice as runner-up in the Formula One World Championship. Belgium also has a strong reputation in, motocross with the riders Joël Robert, Roger De Coster, Georges Jobé, Eric Geboers and Stefan Everts among others. [221] Sporting events annually held in Belgium include the Memorial Van Damme athletics competition, the Belgian Grand Prix Formula One, and a number of classic cycle races such as the Tour of Flanders and Liège–Bastogne–Liège. The 1920 Summer Olympics were held in Antwerp. The 1977 European Basketball Championship was held in Liège and Ostend.


New EU survey reveals almost a third of people think corruption is getting worse in their country. A further 44% think it’s not getting any better.


The People of Belgium

Type of Government: federal parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy

Languages Spoken: Dutch (official) 60%, French (official) 40%, German (official) less than 1%, legally bilingual (Dutch and French)

Onafhanklikheid: 4 October 1830 (a provisional government declares independence from the Netherlands) 21 July 1831 (King Leopold I ascends to the throne)

National Holiday: 21 July (1831) ascension to the Throne of King Leopold I

Nasionaliteit: Belgian(s)

Godsdienste: Roman Catholic 75%, Protestant or other 25%

National Symbol: lion

National Anthem or Song: La Brabanconne (The Song of Brabant)


Cultural institutions

The Belgian artistic heritage is represented in major museums in Brussels, Ghent, Brugge, Antwerp, Charleroi, and Liège. Traditional art and architecture are preserved in a large outdoor museum near Hasselt. The most extensive collection of Central African art in the world is housed in a museum in Tervuren, a suburb of Brussels. The National Orchestra and the National Opera in Brussels enjoy world fame. The Museum of Musical Instruments, also in Brussels, has a fine collection. War monuments at Waterloo, Ypres, and Bastogne, among others, attract visitors and history buffs to Belgium from around the world.


Outline Map of Belgium

The blank outline map above represents Belgium, a Western European Nation. The above map can be downloaded, printed and used for educational purpose like coloring and map-pointing activities.

The above outline map represents Belgium, a Western European Nation. Belgium is one of the most densely populated European countries.