Ambiorix was, together with Cativolcus, prince of the Eburones, leader of a Belgic tribe of north-eastern Gaul, where modern Belgium is located. In the nineteenth century Ambiorix became a Belgian national hero because of his resistance against Julius Caesar, in 57 BC Julius Caesar conquered parts of Gaul and Belgica. There were several tribes in the country who fought against each other frequently, the Eburones were ruled by Ambiorix and Catuvolcus. In 54 BC Caesars troops urgently needed food, and so the local tribes were forced to give up part of their harvest. Understandably the starving Eburones were reluctant to do so and Caesar ordered that camps be built near the Eburones villages, each centurion was ordered to make sure the food supplies were delivered to the Roman soldiers. This created resentment among the Eburones, although Julius Caesar had freed him from paying tribute to the Atuatuci, Ambiorix joined Catuvolcus in the winter of 54 BC in an uprising against the Roman forces under Q.
Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta, because a drought had disrupted his grain supply, Caesar was forced to winter his legions among the rebellious Belgic tribes. Titurius Sabinus and L. Aurunculeius Cotta were wintering among the Eburones when they were attacked by them, led by Ambiorix and Cativolcus. Ambiorix deceived the Romans, telling them the attack was made without his consent, trusting Ambiorix and Cottas troops left the next morning. A short distance from their camp, the Roman troops were ambushed by the Eburones, another Roman force under Q. Tullius Cicero, brother of the orator Marcus, were wintering amongst the Nervii, leading a coalition of rebellious Belgic tribes, Ambiorix surrounded Ciceros camp. After a long while, a Roman messenger was finally able to slip through the Belgic lines, mobilizing his legions, Caesar immediately marched to Ciceros aid. As they approached the besieged Roman camp, the Belgae moved to engage Caesars troops, vastly outnumbered, Caesar ordered his troops to appear confused and frightened, and they successfully lured the Belgae to attack them on ground favourable to the Romans.
Caesars forces launched a counterattack, and soon put the Belgae to flight. Later, Caesars troops entered Ciceros camp to find most of the men wounded, Indutiomarus, a leader of the Treveri, began to harass Labienuss camp daily, eventually provoking Labienus to send out his cavalry with specific orders to kill Indutiomarus. They did so, and routed the remnants of Indutiomaruss army, Caesar personally remained in Gaul for the remainder of winter due to the renewed Gallic threat. When the Roman senate heard what had happened, Caesar swore to put all the Belgic tribes. Ambiorix had killed a whole Roman legion and five cohorts, tullius Cicero, stationed with a legion in the territory of the Nervii, failed due to the timely appearance of Caesar
Belgium in World War I
It was this action that technically caused the British to enter the war, as they were still bound by the 1839 agreement to protect Belgium in the event of war. On 2 August 1914, the German government demanded that German armies be given passage through Belgian territory. The Belgian King Albert I addressed his Parliament on 4 August, the strength of our right and the need of Europe for our autonomous existence make us still hope that the dreaded events will not occur. The same day German troops invaded Belgium crossing the frontier at dawn, Liège was attacked on 4 August and fell on 7 August. In fact, the German advance on Paris was almost exactly on schedule, the German invaders treated any resistance—such as demolition of bridges and rail lines—as illegal and subversive, shooting the offenders and burning buildings in retaliation. Flanders was the base of the British army and it saw some of the greatest loss of life on both sides of the Western Front. The Germans governed the areas of Belgium while a small area around Ypres remained under Belgian control.
For the majority of the occupation, the German military governor was Moritz von Bissing, beneath the governor was a network of regional and local German kommandanturen and each locality was under the ultimate control of a German officer. Many civilians fled the war zones to safer parts of Belgium, many refugees from all over the country went to the Netherlands and about 300,000 to France. Over 200,000 went to Britain, where they resettled in London, the British and French governments set up the War Refugees Committee and the Secours National, to provide relief and support, there were an additional 1,500 local WRC committees in Britain. The high visibility of the refugees underscored the role of Belgium in the minds of the French, on the advice of the Belgian government in exile, civil servants remained in their posts for the duration of the conflict, carrying out the day-to-day functions of government. All political activity was suspended and Parliament shut down, while farmers and coal miners kept up their routines, many larger businesses largely shut down, as did the universities.
The Germans helped set up the first solely Dutch-speaking university in Ghent, the Germans sent in managers to operate factories that were underperforming. Lack of effort was a form of resistance, Kossmann says that for many Belgians the war years were a long. Belgian workers were conscripted into forced labour projects, by 1918, the German army was outraged at how Belgium had frustrated the Schlieffen Plan to capture Paris. From top to bottom there was a belief that the Belgians had unleashed illegal saboteurs. The response was a series of multiple attacks on civilians. Individuals suspected of activities were summarily shot
Leopold I of Belgium
Leopold I was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following Belgian independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865, Charlotte died in 1817, but Leopold continued to enjoy considerable status in Britain. After the Greek War of Independence, LeopoId was offered the position of King of Greece but turned it down, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The Belgian government offered the position to Leopold because of his connections with royal houses across Europe. Leopold took his oath as King of the Belgians on 21 July 1831 and his reign was marked by attempts by the Dutch to recapture Belgium and, later, by internal political division between liberals and Catholics. As a result of the ambiguities in the Belgian Constitution, Leopold was able to expand the monarchs powers during his reign. He played an important role in stopping the spread of the Revolutions of 1848 into Belgium and he died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II.
Leopold was born in Coburg in the tiny German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld in modern-day Bavaria on 16 December 1790 and he was the youngest son of Francis, Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, and Countess Augusta Reuss-Ebersdorf. In 1826, Saxe-Coburg acquired the city of Gotha from the neighboring Duchy of Saxe-Gotha-Altenburg and gave up Saalfeld to Saxe-Meiningen, becoming Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. Ln 1795, at just five years old, Leopold was given a commission of the rank of colonel in the Izmaylovsky Regiment, part of the Imperial Guard. Seven years later, he received a promotion to the rank of Major General, when French troops occupied the Duchy of Saxe-Coburg in 1806 during the Napoleonic Wars, Leopold went to Paris where he became part of the Imperial Court of Napoleon. Napoleon offered him the position of adjutant, but Leopold refused, instead, he went to Russia to take up a military career in the Imperial Russian cavalry, which was at war with France at the time. He campaigned against Napoleon and distinguished himself at the Battle of Kulm at the head of his cuirassier division, in 1815, by the time of the final defeat of Napoleon and, aged 25, reached the rank of lieutenant general.
Leopold received British citizenship in 1815, on 2 May 1816, Leopold married Princess Charlotte of Wales at Carlton House in London. Charlotte was the legitimate child of the Prince Regent George. The same year he received a commission to the rank of Field Marshal. On 5 November 1817, Princess Charlotte gave birth to a stillborn son and she herself died the next day following complications. Despite Charlottes death, the Prince Regent granted Prince Leopold the British style of Royal Highness by Order in Council on 6 April 1818, from 1828 to 1829, Leopold had several-months long affair with the actress Caroline Bauer, who bore a striking resemblance to Charlotte
Congo Free State
The Congo Free State was a large state in Central Africa from 1885 to 1908, which was in personal union with the Kingdom of Belgium under Leopold II. Leopold was able to procure the region by convincing the European community that he was involved in humanitarian and philanthropic work, via the International Association of the Congo he was able to lay claim to most of the Congo basin. On May 29,1885, the king named his new colony the Congo Free State, the state would eventually include an area now held by the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Leopolds reign in the Congo eventually earned infamy due to the mistreatment of the indigenous peoples. Leopold extracted ivory and minerals in the upper Congo basin for sale on the market, even though his nominal purpose in the region was to uplift the local people. Under Leopold IIs administration, the Congo Free State became one of the greatest international scandals of the early-20th century, the report of the British Consul Roger Casement led to the arrest and punishment of white officials who had been responsible for killings during a rubber-collecting expedition in 1903.
The loss of life and atrocities inspired literature such as Joseph Conrads Heart of Darkness, debate has been ongoing about the high death rate in this period. The boldest estimate concludes that the labour system led directly and indirectly to the deaths of 20 percent of the population. Also active in exposing the activities of the Congo Free State was the author Arthur Conan Doyle, by 1908, public pressure and diplomatic manoeuvres led to the end of Leopold IIs rule and to the annexation of the Congo as a colony of Belgium. It became known thenceforth as the Belgian Congo, in addition, a number of major Belgian investment companies pushed the Belgian government to take over the Congo and develop the mining sector as it was virtually untapped. Diogo Cão traveled around the mouth of the Congo River in 1482, until the middle of the 19th century, the Congo was at the heart of independent Africa, as European colonialists seldom entered the interior. Along with fierce resistance, the rainforest and attendant malaria.
Western states were at first reluctant to colonize the area in the absence of economic benefits. Leopold used the association to promote plans to seize independent central Africa under this philanthropic guise. Failing to enlist British interest in developing the Congo region, Stanley took up service with Leopold II, who hired him to help gain a foothold in the region and annex the region for himself. From August 1879 to June 1884 Stanley was in the Congo basin, while exploring the Congo for Leopold, Stanley set up treaties with the local chiefs and with native leaders. Few to none of these leaders had a realistic idea of what they were signing, and, in essence. With Stanleys help, Leopold was able to claim an area along the Congo River
Treaty of London (1839)
It was a direct follow-up to the 1831 Treaty of the XVIII Articles which the Netherlands had refused to sign, and the result of negotiations at the London Conference of 1838–1839. Under the treaty, the European powers recognized and guaranteed the independence and neutrality of Belgium, article VII required Belgium to remain perpetually neutral, and by implication committed the signatory powers to guard that neutrality in the event of invasion. Since 1815, Belgium had been a part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, in 1830 Catholic Belgians broke away and established an independent Kingdom of Belgium. They could not accept the Dutch kings favouritism toward Protestantism and his disdain for the French language, outspoken liberals regarded King William Is rule as despotic. There were high levels of unemployment and industrial unrest among the working classes, there was small-scale fighting but it took years before the Netherlands finally recognized defeat. In 1839 the Dutch accepted Belgian independence by signing the Treaty of London, the major powers guaranteed Belgian independence.
With the treaty, the provinces of the Netherlands became internationally recognized as the Kingdom of Belgium, while the province of Limburg was split into Belgian. The same happened to the Grand Duchy of Luxemburg which lost two-thirds of its territory to the new Province of Luxembourg in what is termed the Third Partition of Luxembourg, belgiums de facto independence had been established through nine years of intermittent fighting. The treaty was a fundamental lawmaking treaty that became a cornerstone of European international law, when the German Empire invaded Belgium in August 1914 in violation of the treaty, the British declared war on 4 August. The Treaty of London guaranteed Belgium the right of transit by rail or canal over Dutch territory as an outway to the German Ruhr. This right was reaffirmed in a 24 May 2005 ruling of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in a dispute between Belgium and the Netherlands on the railway track, in 2004 Belgium requested a reopening of the Iron Rhine.
This was the result of the transport of goods between the port of Antwerp and the German Ruhr Area. As part of the European policy of modal shift on the traffic of goods, transport over railway lines. The Belgian request was based on the treaty of 1839, after a series of failed negotiations, the Belgian and Dutch governments agreed to take the issue to the Permanent Court of Arbitration and respect its ruling in the case. In its ruling of 24 May 2005, the court acknowledged both the Belgian rights under the treaty of 1839 and the Dutch concerns for part of the Meinweg National Park nature reserve. The 1839 treaty still applies, the court found, giving Belgium the right to use and modernise the Iron Rhine, however, it has to finance the modernisation of the line, while the Netherlands have to fund the repairs and maintenance of the route. Both countries will split the costs of the construction of a tunnel beneath the nature reserve, list of treaties Treaty of Maastricht Treaties of London Schlieffen Plan Calmes, Christian.
The Making of a Nation From 1815 to the Present Day, the Question of the Netherlands in 1829–1830, Transactions of the Royal Historical Society pp. 150–171 JSTOR3678256 Schroeder, Paul W
The revolution was the product of opposition which emerged to the liberal reforms of Emperor Joseph II in the 1780s. These were perceived as an attack on the Catholic Church and the institutions in the Austrian Netherlands. Resistance, focused in the autonomous and wealthy Estates of Brabant and Flanders, in the aftermath of rioting and disruption, known as the Small Revolution, in 1787, many dissidents took refuge in the neighboring Dutch Republic where they formed a rebel army. Soon after the outbreak of the French and Liège revolutions, the army crossed into the Austrian Netherlands. The rebels, supported by uprisings across the territory, soon took control over all the Southern Netherlands. Despite the tacit support of Prussia, the independent United Belgian States, established in January 1790, received no foreign recognition and the rebels soon became divided along ideological lines. The Vonckists, led by Jan Frans Vonck, advocated progressive and liberal government, whereas the Statists, led by Hendrik Van der Noot, were staunchly conservative, the Statists, who had a wider base of support, soon drove the Vonckists into exile through a terror.
By mid-1790, Habsburg Austria ended its war with the Ottoman Empire, the new Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold II, was a liberal like his predecessor but proposed an amnesty for the rebels. After defeating a Statist army at the Battle of Falmagne, the territory was overrun by Holy Roman forces. The Austrian reestablishment was short-lived and the territory was overrun by the French during the French Revolutionary Wars. Because of its course, the Brabant Revolution had been extensively used in historical comparisons with the French Revolution. Some historians, following Henri Pirenne, have seen it as a key moment in the formation of a Belgian nation-state, the Austrian Netherlands was a territory with its capital at Brussels which covered much of what is today Belgium and Luxembourg during the Early Modern period. In 1714, the territory, which had ruled by Spain, was ceded to Austria as part of the Treaty of Rastatt which ended the War of the Spanish Succession. In the 1580s, the Dutch Revolt had separated the independent Dutch Republic from the rest of the territory, the Austrian Netherlands were both a province of Habsburg Austria and a part of the Holy Roman Empire.
Josephs mother, Maria Theresa, had appointed her daughter, Maria Christina. Both Joseph and Maria Theresa were considered reformists and were interested in the idea of enlightened absolutism. Joseph II, who was known as the philosopher-emperor, had a particular interest in Enlightenment thought and had his own ideology which has sometimes been termed Josephinism after him. Soon after taking power, in 1781, Joseph launched a tour of inspection of the Austrian Netherlands during which he concluded reform in the territory was badly needed
Battle of Vosges (58 BC)
The Battle of Vosges was fought between the Germanic tribe of the Suebi under the leadership of Ariovistus against six Roman legions under the command of Gaius Julius Caesar in 58 BC. This encounter is the major battle of the Gallic Wars. Germanic tribes crossed the Rhine, seeking a home in Gaul, the main Gallic rebellion had not started yet, as it was in 52 BC. Prior to the battle and Ariovistus held a parley, Ariovistus cavalry cast stones and weapons at the Roman cavalry. Caesar broke off negotiations and instructed his men not to retaliate to prevent the Suebi from claiming they were induced into a trap by their accepting an opportunity to talk, Caesar led his forces forward in the standard three line formation. Observing that the German left was the part of their line he concentrated his forces there. The Germans attacked in several columns, moving so swiftly that there was no time for the Romans to hurl their pila and battle was fought proximally, a fierce struggle occurred in which the German left was broken after a stiff fight.
In command of the cavalry, Crassus had the opportunity to move around the battlefield. Seeing the left wing in peril, Crassus led forward reserves from the third line, overwhelmed on both flanks, the Germanic tribesmen fled for the Rhine closely pursued by the Romans. This 15-mile pursuit took a toll on the escaping Suebi. Ariovistus was driven back over the Rhine, which he would never cross again, Caesar had for the moment secured his German border. He chased them into Germania, building a bridge across the Rhine in only 10 days, Gaius Iulius Caesar, The conquest of Gaul, ISBN 0-14-044433-5, translated by S. A. Handford and revised by Jane F. fanaticus. org/DBA/battles/vosges. html
The southern provinces initially joined in the revolt, but submitted to Spain. The religious clash of cultures built up gradually but inexorably into outbursts of violence against the repression of the Habsburg Crown. These tensions led to the formation of the independent Dutch Republic, the first leader was William of Orange, followed by several of his descendants and relations. This revolt was one of the first successful secessions in Europe, and led to one of the first European republics of the modern era, King Philip was initially successful in suppressing the rebellion. In 1572, the rebels captured Brielle and the rebellion resurged, the northern provinces became independent, first in 1581 de facto, and in 1648 de jure. The Southern Netherlands remained under Spanish rule, the continuous heavy-handed rule by the Habsburgs in the south caused many of its financial and cultural elite to flee north, contributing to the success of the Dutch Republic. The Dutch imposed a blockade on the southern provinces which prevented Baltic grain relieving famine in the southern towns.
The first phase of the conflict can be considered to be the Dutch War of Independence, the focus of the latter phase was to gain official recognition of the already de facto independence of the United Provinces. This phase coincided with the rise of the Dutch Republic as a major power, in a series of marriages and conquests, a succession of Dukes of Burgundy expanded their original territory by adding to it a series of fiefdoms, including the Seventeen Provinces. Although Burgundy itself had been lost to France in 1477, the Burgundian Netherlands were still intact when Charles V was born in Ghent in 1500 and he was raised in the Netherlands and spoke fluent Dutch, French and some German. In 1506, he became lord of the Burgundian states, among which were the Netherlands, subsequently, in 1516, he inherited several titles, including the combined kingdoms of Aragon, and Castile and León which had become a worldwide empire with the Spanish colonization of the Americas. In 1519, he became ruler of the Habsburg empire, although Friesland and Guelders offered prolonged resistance, virtually all of the Netherlands had been incorporated into the Habsburg domains by the early 1540s.
Flanders had long been a wealthy region, and had been coveted by the French kings for a long time. The other Netherlands had grown into wealthy and entrepreneurial regions within the empire, Charles Vs empire became a worldwide empire with large American and European territories. The latter were, distributed throughout Europe and defense of these were hampered by the disparity of the territories and huge length of the empires borders. This large realm was almost continuously at war with its neighbors in its European heartlands, most notably against France in the Italian Wars, further wars were fought against Protestant princes in Germany. The Netherlands paid heavy taxes to fund these wars, but perceived them as unnecessary and sometimes downright harmful, during the 16th century, Protestantism rapidly gained ground in northern Europe. Dutch Protestants, after initial repression, were tolerated by local authorities, by the 1560s, the Protestant community had become a significant influence in the Netherlands, although it clearly formed a minority then
History of Belgium
The history of Belgium predates the founding of the modern state of that name in 1830. Belgiums history is intertwined with those of its neighbours, the Netherlands, France, due to its strategic location and the many armies fighting on its soil, since the Thirty Years War, Belgium has often been called the battlefield of Europe or the cockpit of Europe. It is remarkable as a European nation which contains, and is divided by, Belgiums formation, like that of its Benelux neighbours, can be traced back to the Seventeen Provinces within the Burgundian Netherlands. The Eighty Years War, led to the split between a northern Dutch Republic, and the Southern Netherlands from which Belgium and Luxembourg developed and this southern territory continued to be ruled by the Habsburg descendants of the Burgundian house, at first as the Spanish Netherlands. Invasions from France under Louis XIV led to the loss of what is now Nord-Pas-de-Calais to France, the French Revolutionary wars led to Belgium becoming part of France in 1795, bringing the end of the semi-independence of areas which had belonged to the Catholic church.
The king set up his own private colonial empire in the Belgian Congo, Belgium was neutral but its strategic location as a pathway to France made it an invasion target for Germany in 1914 and 1940. Conditions under the occupation were severe, in the postwar period Belgium was a leader in European unification, as a founding member of what has become the European Union. Brussels is now host to the headquarters of NATO and is the de facto capital of the European Union, the colonies became independent in the early 1960s. Politically the country was once polarized on matters of religion and, in recent decades, it has faced new divisions over differences of language and the unequal economic development. This ongoing antagonism has caused far-reaching reforms since the 1970s, changing the formerly unitary Belgian state into a federal state and it is now divided into three regions, Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the South, and bilingual Brussels in the middle. There is a German-speaking population along the border with Germany, on Belgian territory Neanderthal fossils were discovered at Engis in 1829-30 and elsewhere, some dating back to at least 100,000 BCE.
The earliest Neolithic farming technology of northern Europe, the so-called LBK culture and its expansion stopped in the Hesbaye region of eastern Belgium around 5000 BCE. The Belgian LBK is notable for its use of walls around villages. A slightly later-starting Neolithic culture found in central Wallonia is the so-called Groupe de Blicquy, one notable archaeological site in this region is the Neolithic flint mines of Spiennes. Farming in Belgium however failed to take permanent hold at first, the LBK and Blicquy cultures disappeared and there is a long gap before a new farming culture, the Michelsberg culture and became widespread. Hunter gatherers of the Swifterbant culture apparently remained in the north of Belgium. In the third and late fourth millennia BCE, the whole of Flanders shows relatively little evidence of human habitation, although it is felt that there was a continuing human presence, the types of evidence available make judgement about the details very difficult. The Seine-Oise-Marne culture spread into the Ardennes, and is associated with megalithic sites there, the same pattern continues into the late Neolithic and early Bronze Age