French Hainaut

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Map of the County of Hainaut, with in red the current French-Belgian border. French Hainaut is the southern part

French Hainaut is one of two areas in France that form the département du Nord, the easterly area. It corresponds roughly with the Arrondissement of Avesnes-sur-Helpe (east), Arrondissement of Cambrai (south-west) and Arrondissement of Valenciennes (north-west).

Until the 17th century it was an integral part of the County of Hainaut, ruled by the Burgundians and later the Habsburgs. In a series of wars between France and Spain, this southern part of Hainaut was conquered by France, together with the adjacent smaller Cambresis or the Bishopric of Cambrai to the south-west, loosely associated with it, and the similar area to these two combined in the west, southern Flanders, which borders on the English Channel (French: la Manche). Together these formed the French province of Flandre immediately before the French Revolution, which became the current Nord département.

Map of the new region, Hauts-de-France, with its five départements, colored according to the historical provinces as they existed until 1790. Apart from the combination mentioned above in the text, tiny amounts of Artois and Picardy contributed to the North départements, beyond Cambresis (or Cambrai).
  Artois
  French Hainaut
  Other

Coordinates: 50°12′N 3°48′E / 50.20°N 3.80°E / 50.20; 3.80