Royaume de Belgique Koninkrijk België (Kingdom of Belgium)
  • Barry Turner
Part of the The Statesman’s Yearbook book series (SYBK)


Burgundian rule in the Low Countries began in 1369 with the marriage of Philip the Bold, duke of Burgundy to Margaret of Flanders. The 1477 marriage of Mary of Burgundy to Maximilian of Habsburg, later Holy Roman Emperor, brought three centuries of Habsburg rule. Brugge (Bruges) was overtaken by Antwerp in the 1490s as the principal trading and financial centre of northwest Europe. Philip the Handsome married the Spanish heiress, Juana the Mad, in 1496. The imposition of a new ecclesiastical hierarchy unified opposition to Spanish rule. Philip II of Spain sent the duke of Alba to stamp out Protestantism. Although Alba managed to reassert Philip’s authority in the south, his armies were unable to regain the provinces north of the Rhine. However, a measure of unity was achieved at the Pacification of Ghent after the ‘Spanish Fury’ of 1576—Spanish troops massacred 7,000 in Antwerp. The Union of Arras (1579) accepted the sovereignty of the Spanish king, supported Catholicism and ended the revolt of the southern provinces. In reaction the northern provinces drew up the Union of Utrecht, thus creating the Dutch Republic.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Further Reading

  1. The Institut National de Statistique. Statistiques du commerce extérieur (monthly). Bulletin de Statistique. Bi-monthly. Annuaire Statistique de la Belgique (from 1870).—Annuaire statistique de poche (from 1965).Google Scholar
  2. Service Fédéral d’Information. Guide de l’Administration Fédérale. OccasionalGoogle Scholar
  3. Deprez, K., and Vos, L., Nationalism in Belgium—Shifting Identities, 1780–1995, London 1998Google Scholar
  4. Fitzmaurice, J., The Politics of Belgium: a Unique Federalism. Farnborough, 1996Google Scholar
  5. Hermans, T. J., et al., (eds.) The Flemish Movement: a Documentary History. London, 1992Google Scholar
  6. National statistical office: Institut National de Statistique, Rue de Louvain 44, 1000 Brussels.Google Scholar
  7. Service Fédérale d’Information: POB 3000, 1040 Brussels 4.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Palgrave Macmillan, a division of Macmillan Publishers Limited 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Turner

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations