In the eighteenth century until 1797, the territory of present-day Belgium was made up of the Austrian Low Countries (ruled by the Habsburg dynasty), the Diocese of Liège, and the Duchy of Luxemburg. These territories previously belonged to the Spanish Habsburgs and were transferred to Austria in 1715. The Habsburg Low Countries were annexed by revolutionary France in 1795. During this period the country was divided into nine départements (today’s provinces) on the French model, disregarding linguistic homogeneity within these units; like the French departments, they were created in order to make it possible to reach the chef-lieu within one day of travel. At the Congress of Vienna of 1815, the Belgian provinces were incorporated into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands which also included the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg.
KeywordsLiberal Party Socialist Party Plural Vote Universal Suffrage Secret Ballot
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