The Belgian nobility comprises individuals and families recognized by the Kingdom of Belgium as members of a certain class of persons. These individuals were a privileged class enjoying a certain degree of prestige in society. In contemporary society, much of the historic social privileges associated with being a member of the nobility has become somewhat reduced reflecting the present-day notion of egalitarianism; the Belgian constitution states. Because most old families have resided in the current territory of Belgium for hundreds of years, their members have belonged to various nations. Spanish nobles married in to local houses. Amongst these houses we find de Peňaranda, Coloma, De Evora y vega, Perez, de Castro y Lopez, de San Estevan, de Horosco, Franco y Feo, Santa Cruz, Gallo de Salamanca, Sant Vittores de la Poitilla. In the period under Dutch sovereignty, the nobility formed an important factor in the independence. After the independence of Belgium, the Kingdom of the Netherlands lost an important part of nobles: all the high families lived in the south and became part of the Belgian nobility.
At court in the 19th century the nobility played a major role. In some old families the heads of the house have the right of multiple titles. Today, most important families still pass these old titles only in the male line. In the Ancien Régime and Spanish and Austrian period and rights could be inherited by marriage or just by will; this was accepted by the Spanish crown and titles could be accumulated with other legal titles. This system ended after the French Revolution. After the creation of Belgium, families could receive the recognition of their status, which happened for the majority of the current families; the noble status was recognized but sometimes too the old title, that could only be passed by the male line of the same noble house. Since this change, old titles have disappeared, only few old titles survive. Known examples are the counts of Bornhem and the Marquess of Assche titles inherited by the families of Marnix de Sainte-Aldegonde and Vander Noot; until 1662 the North part of France belonged under Spanish rule.
Titles created. The Picardian and Artesian nobility lost their land to the French Crown, was incorporated into the French Kingdom; the Marquess of Morbecque had lost his land after the Battle of Cassel. After this periode much former Flemish houses, were bestowed other French titles. ExamplesCreation in 1674 by Louis XIV: Marquess of Saint-Floris, title of the Flemish house of Ghistelles. Creation in 1705 by Louis XIV: Marquess of Becelaere, title of the Flemish house of de la Woestyne. During the Austrian period, the high nobility participated in the government, both political and at the imperial court of Brussels. Since the French Revolution the nobility has not played a social function; however some members of most old families worked in major functions in Belgium. The modern Belgian nobility is known to be traditionalist, royalist. In the Kingdom of Belgium there were as of 2013 1,300 noble families, with some 20,000 members; the noble lineage of only 400 families dates back to the 17th century or earlier.
As Belgium is a democratic constitutional monarchy there are no legal privileges attached to bearing a noble title or to being a member of the aristocracy. According to article 113 of the constitution, "The King may confer titles of nobility, without having the power to attach privileges to them". Many nobles in Belgium still belong to the elite of society, they sometimes own and manage companies, or have leading positions in cultural society, banking, diplomacy, NGOs etc. Many of the older families still own important castles or country houses; the fortune of the nobility is impressive: only 11 % of the 500 wealthiest families in Belgium are members of the nobility, however: they have more than 56% of this wealth, 79,85 billion Euros. This is caused by the fact that many of the new noble titles are bestowed on wealthy entrepreneurs, like the families of Boël, Colruyt and Solvay. Old houses however have sold lots of their lands and estates; the house of Merode has sold during the ages thousands of hectares of their own private lands.
Other houses have still immense lands and grounds, but most houses have lost much of their historic wealth. Like most European nobility, the family name says much of the origin of the house; the name of the family or House cannot change, however it used to be possible. A famous example was Conrad III Schetz: he had himself adopted by his aunt and changed his surname, for him and all his descendants from Schetz to van Ursel; every noble family has its own coat of arms and titles: both are protected from copyright. People who do not belong to the house, are forbidden to use the coat of arms. In Belgium the title is mentioned on the ID-card; the title is not a part of the name though. Assumption of noble titles by those not entitled to any is prohibited and is punishable with a fine of 200 to 1000 euros under article 230 of the Belgian penal code. Belgium is one of the few monarchies in the world in which hereditary ennoblement still occurs regularly. Hereditary titles are conferred by letters patent, which are in general annually issued by the King of the Belgians.
Noble titles can be granted for life. Belgian citizens distinguished in business, science, sports, etc. or for extraordinary service to the kingdom may
Kinshasa is the capital and the largest city of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The city is situated alongside the Congo River. Once a site of fishing and trading villages, Kinshasa is now a megacity with an estimated population of more than 11 million, it faces Brazzaville, the capital of the neighbouring Republic of the Congo, which can be seen in the distance across the wide Congo River, making them the world's second-closest pair of capital cities after Rome and Vatican City. The city of Kinshasa is one of the DRC's 26 provinces; because the administrative boundaries of the city-province cover a vast area, over 90 percent of the city-province's land is rural in nature, the urban area occupies a small but expanding section on the western side. Kinshasa is Africa's third-largest urban area after Lagos, it is the world's largest Francophone urban area, with French being the language of government, newspapers, public services, high-end commerce in the city, while Lingala is used as a lingua franca in the street.
Kinshasa hosted the 14th Francophonie Summit in October 2012. Residents of Kinshasa are known as Kinshasans; the indigenous people of the area include the Teke. The city was founded as a trading post by Henry Morton Stanley in 1881, it was named Léopoldville in honour of King Leopold II of the Belgians, who controlled the Congo Free State, the vast territory, now the Democratic Republic of the Congo, not as a colony but as a private property. The post flourished as the first navigable port on the Congo River above Livingstone Falls, a series of rapids over 300 kilometres below Leopoldville. At first, all goods arriving by sea or being sent by sea had to be carried by porters between Léopoldville and Matadi, the port below the rapids and 150 km from the coast; the completion of the Matadi-Kinshasa portage railway, in 1898, provided an alternative route around the rapids and sparked the rapid development of Léopoldville. In 1914, a pipeline was installed so that crude oil could be transported from Matadi to the upriver steamers in Leopoldville.
By 1923, the city was elevated to capital of the Belgian Congo, replacing the town of Boma in the Congo estuary. The town, nicknamed "Léo" or "Leopold", became a commercial centre and grew during the colonial period. After gaining its independence on 30 June 1960, following riots in 1959, the Republic of the Congo elected its first prime minister, Patrice Lumumba. Lumumba's determination to have full control over Congo's resources to improve the living conditions of his people was perceived as a threat to Western interests; this being the height of the Cold War, the U. S. and Belgium did not want to lose control of the strategic wealth of the Congo, in particular its uranium. Less than a year after Lumumba's election, the Belgians and the U. S. bought the support of his Congolese rivals and set in motion the events that culminated in Lumumba's assassination. In 1965, with the help of the U. S. and Belgium, Joseph-Désiré Mobutu seized power in the Congo. He initiated a policy of "Authenticity" the names of places in the country.
In 1966, Léopoldville was renamed Kinshasa, for a village named Kinshasa that once stood near the site, today Kinshasa. The city grew under Mobutu, drawing people from across the country who came in search of their fortunes or to escape ethnic strife elsewhere, thus adding to the many ethnicities and languages found there. In the 1990s, a rebel uprising began. Kinshasa suffered from Mobutu's excesses, mass corruption and the civil war that led to his downfall, it is still a major cultural and intellectual centre for Central Africa, with a flourishing community of musicians and artists. It is the country's major industrial centre, processing many of the natural products brought from the interior; the city has had to fend off rioting soldiers, who were protesting the government's failure to pay them. Joseph Kabila, president of the Democratic Republic of the Congo since 2001, is not overly popular in Kinshasa. Violence broke out following the announcement of Kabila's victory in the contested election of 2006.
The announcement in 2016 that a new election would be delayed two years led to large protests in September and in December which involved barricades in the streets and left dozens of people dead. Schools and businesses were closed down. Kinshasa is a city of sharp contrasts, with affluent residential and commercial areas and three universities alongside sprawling slums, it is located along the south bank of the Congo River, downstream on the Pool Malebo and directly opposite the city of Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of the Congo. The Congo river is the second longest river in Africa after the Nile, has the continent's greatest discharge; as a waterway it provides a means of transport for much of the Congo basin. The river is an important source of hydroelectric power, downstream from Kinshasa it has the potential to generate power equivalent to the usage of half of Africa's population; the older and wealthier part of the city is located on a flat area of alluvial sand and clay near the river, while many newer areas are found on the eroding red soil of surrounding hills.
Older parts of the city were laid out on a geometric pattern, with de facto racial segregation becoming de jure in 19
The Belgian Congo was a Belgian colony in Central Africa from 1908 until independence in 1960. The former colony adopted its present-day name, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, in 1964. Colonial rule in the Congo began in the late 19th century. King Leopold II of Belgium attempted to persuade the Belgian government to support colonial expansion around the then-largely unexplored Congo Basin, their ambivalence resulted in Leopold's establishing a colony himself. With support from a number of Western countries, Leopold achieved international recognition for a personal colony, the Congo Free State, in 1885. By the turn of the century, the violence used by Free State officials against indigenous Congolese and a ruthless system of economic exploitation led to intense diplomatic pressure on Belgium to take official control of the country, which it did by creating the Belgian Congo in 1908. Belgian rule in the Congo was based on the "colonial trinity" of state and private-company interests; the privileging of Belgian commercial interests meant that large amounts of capital flowed into the Congo and that individual regions became specialised.
On many occasions, the interests of the government and of private enterprise became linked, the state helped companies to break strikes and to remove other barriers raised by the indigenous population. The colony was divided into hierarchically organised administrative subdivisions, run uniformly according to a set "native policy"; this contrasted the practice of British and French colonial policy, which favoured systems of indirect rule, retaining traditional leaders in positions of authority under colonial oversight. During the 1940s and 1950s the Belgian Congo experienced extensive urbanisation, the colonial administration began various development programmes aimed at making the territory into a "model colony". One result saw the development of a new middle-class of Europeanised African "évolués" in the cities. By the 1950s the Congo had a wage labour force twice as large as that in any other African colony. In 1960, as the result of a widespread and radical pro-independence movement, the Congo achieved independence, becoming the Republic of Congo-Léopoldville under Prime Minister Patrice Lumumba and President Joseph Kasa-Vubu.
Poor relations between political factions within the Congo, the continued involvement of Belgium in Congolese affairs, the intervention by major parties during the Cold War led to a five-year-long period of war and political instability, known as the Congo Crisis, from 1960 to 1965. This ended with the seizure of power by Joseph-Désiré Mobutu in November 1965; until the part of the 19th century, few Europeans had ventured into the Congo basin. The rainforest and accompanying malaria and other tropical diseases, such as sleeping sickness, made it a difficult environment for European exploration and exploitation. In 1876, King Leopold II of Belgium organized the International African Association with the cooperation of the leading African explorers and the support of several European governments for the promotion of African exploration and colonization. After Henry Morton Stanley had explored the region in a journey that ended in 1878, Leopold courted the explorer and hired him to help his interests in the region.
Leopold II had been keen to acquire a colony for Belgium before he ascended to the throne in 1865. The Belgian civil government showed little interest in its monarch's dreams of empire-building. Ambitious and stubborn, Leopold decided to pursue the matter on his own account. European rivalry in Central Africa led to diplomatic tensions, in particular with regard to the unclaimed Congo River basin. In November 1884 Otto von Bismarck convened a 14-nation conference to find a peaceful resolution to the Congo crisis. Though the Berlin Conference did not formally approve the territorial claims of the European powers in Central Africa, it did agree on a set of rules to ensure a conflict-free partitioning of the region; the rules recognised the Congo basin as a free-trade zone. But Leopold II emerged triumphant from the Berlin Conference and his single-shareholder "philanthropic" organization received a large share of territory to be organized as the Congo Free State; the Congo Free State operated as a corporate state controlled by Leopold II through a non-governmental organization, the Association Internationale Africaine.
The state included the entire area of the present Democratic Republic of the Congo and existed from 1885 to 1908, when the government of Belgium reluctantly annexed the area. Under Leopold II's administration, the Congo Free State became a humanitarian disaster; the lack of accurate records makes it difficult to quantify the number of deaths caused by the ruthless exploitation and the lack of immunity to new diseases introduced by contact with European colonists – like the 1889–90 flu pandemic, which caused millions of deaths on the European continent, including Prince Baudouin of Belgium, who succumbed to the deadly virus in 1891. William Rubinstein wrote: "More it appears certain that the population figures given by Hochschild are inaccurate. There is, of course, no way of ascertaining the population of the Congo before the twentieth century, estimates like 20 million are purely guesses. Most of the interior of the Congo was unexplored if not inaccessible." Leopold's Force Publique, a private army that terrorized natives to work as forced labour for resource extraction, disrupted their societies and killed and abused natives indiscrimina
Antwerp is a city in Belgium, is the capital of Antwerp province in Flanders. With a population of 520,504, it is the most populous city proper in Belgium, with 1,200,000 the second largest metropolitan region after Brussels. Antwerp is on the River Scheldt, linked to the North Sea by the river's Westerschelde estuary, it is about 40 kilometres north of Brussels, about 15 kilometres south of the Dutch border. The Port of Antwerp is one of the biggest in the world, ranking second in Europe and within the top 20 globally; the city is known for its diamond industry and trade. Both economically and culturally, Antwerp is and has long been an important city in the Low Countries before and during the Spanish Fury and throughout and after the subsequent Dutch Revolt. Antwerp was the place of the world's oldest stock exchange building built in 1531 and re-built in 1872; the inhabitants of Antwerp are nicknamed Sinjoren, after the Spanish honorific señor or French seigneur, "lord", referring to the Spanish noblemen who ruled the city in the 17th century.
The city hosted the 1920 Summer Olympics. According to folklore, notably celebrated by a statue in front of the town hall, the city got its name from a legend about a giant called Antigoon who lived near the Scheldt river, he extracted a toll from passing boatmen, for those who refused, he severed one of their hands and threw it into the river. The giant was killed by a young hero named Silvius Brabo, who cut off the giant's own hand and flung it into the river. Hence the name Antwerpen, from Dutch hand werpen, akin to Old English hand and wearpan, which has evolved to today's warp. A longstanding theory is that the name originated in the Gallo-Roman period and comes from the Latin antverpia. Antverpia would come from Ante Verpia, indicating land that forms by deposition in the inside curve of a river. Note that the river Scheldt, before a transition period between 600 and 750, followed a different track; this must have coincided with the current ringway south of the city, situating the city within a former curve of the river.
However, many historians think it unlikely that there was a large settlement which would be named'Antverpia', but more something like an outpost with a river crossing. However, John Lothrop Motley argues, so do a lot of Dutch etymologists and historians, that Antwerp's name derives from "anda" and "werpum" to give an't werf. Aan't werp is possible; this "warp" is a man-made hill or a river deposit, high enough to remain dry at high tide, whereupon a construction could be built that would remain dry. Another word for werp is pol hence polders. Alfred Michiels has suggested that derivations based on hand werpen, Antverpia, "on the wharf", or "at the warp" lack historical backing in the form of recorded past spellings of the placename, he points instead to Dado's Life of St. Eligius from the 7th century, which records the form Andoverpis, he sees in it a Celtic origin indicating "those who live on both banks". Historical Antwerp had its origins in a Gallo-Roman vicus. Excavations carried out in the oldest section near the Scheldt, 1952–1961, produced pottery shards and fragments of glass from mid-2nd century to the end of the 3rd century.
The earliest mention of Antwerp dates from the 4th century. In the 4th century, Antwerp was first named; the Merovingian Antwerp was evangelized by Saint Amand in the 7th century. At the end of the 10th century, the Scheldt became the boundary of the Holy Roman Empire. Antwerp became a margraviate in 980, by the German emperor Otto II, a border province facing the County of Flanders. In the 11th century, the best-known leader of the First Crusade, Godfrey of Bouillon, was Margrave of Antwerp, from 1076 until his death in 1100, though he was also Duke of Lower Lorraine and Defender of the Holy Sepulchre. In the 12th century, Norbert of Xanten established a community of his Premonstratensian canons at St. Michael's Abbey at Caloes. Antwerp was the headquarters of Edward III during his early negotiations with Jacob van Artevelde, his son Lionel, the Duke of Clarence, was born there in 1338. After the silting-up of the Zwin and the consequent decline of Bruges, the city of Antwerp part of the Duchy of Brabant, grew in importance.
At the end of the 15th century the foreign trading houses were transferred from Bruges to Antwerp, the building assigned to the English nation is mentioned in 1510. Antwerp became the sugar capital of Europe, importing the raw commodity from Portuguese and Spanish plantations; the city attracted Italian and German sugar refiners by 1550, shipped their refined product to Germany Cologne. Moneylenders and financiers developed a large business lending money all over Europe including the English government in 1544–1574. London bankers were too small to operate on that scale, Antwerp had a efficient bourse that itself attracted rich bankers from around Europe. After the 1570s, the city's banking business declined: England ended its borrowing in Antwerp in 1574. Fernand Braudel states that Antwerp became "the centre of the entire international economy, something Bruges had never been at its height." Antwerp was the richest city in Europe at this time. Antwerp's golden age is l
Cameroon the Republic of Cameroon, is a country in Central Africa. It is bordered by Nigeria to the north. Cameroon's coastline lies on the Bight of part of the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean. Although Cameroon is not an ECOWAS member state, it is geographically and in West Africa with the Southern Cameroons which now form her Northwest and Southwest Regions having a strong West African history; the country is sometimes identified as West African and other times as Central African due to its strategic position at the crossroads between West and Central Africa. French and English are the official languages of Cameroon; the country is referred to as "Africa in miniature" for its geological and cultural diversity. Natural features include beaches, mountains and savannas; the highest point at 4,100 metres is Mount Cameroon in the Southwest Region of the country, the largest cities in population-terms are Douala on the Wouri river, its economic capital and main seaport, Yaoundé, its political capital, Garoua.
The country is well known for its native styles of music makossa and bikutsi, for its successful national football team. Early inhabitants of the territory included the Sao civilisation around Lake Chad and the Baka hunter-gatherers in the southeastern rainforest. Portuguese explorers reached the coast in the 15th century and named the area Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Fulani soldiers founded the Adamawa Emirate in the north in the 19th century, various ethnic groups of the west and northwest established powerful chiefdoms and fondoms. Cameroon became a German colony in 1884 known as Kamerun. After World War I, the territory was divided between France and the United Kingdom as League of Nations mandates; the Union des Populations du Cameroun political party advocated independence, but was outlawed by France in the 1950s, leading to the Bamileke War fought between French and UPC militant forces until early 1971. In 1960, the French-administered part of Cameroon became independent as the Republic of Cameroun under President Ahmadou Ahidjo.
The southern part of British Cameroons federated with it in 1961 to form the Federal Republic of Cameroon. The federation was abandoned in 1972; the country was renamed the United Republic of Cameroon in 1972 and the Republic of Cameroon in 1984. Large numbers of Cameroonians live as subsistence farmers. Since 1982 Paul Biya has been President, governing with his Cameroon People's Democratic Movement party; the country has experienced tensions coming from the English-speaking territories. Politicians in the English-speaking regions have advocated for greater decentralisation and complete separation or independence from Cameroon. In 2017, tensions in the English-speaking territories escalated into open warfare; the territory of present-day Cameroon was first settled during the Neolithic Era. The longest continuous inhabitants are groups such as the Baka. From here, Bantu migrations into eastern and central Africa are believed to have originated about 2,000 years ago; the Sao culture arose around Lake Chad, c. 500 AD, gave way to the Kanem and its successor state, the Bornu Empire.
Kingdoms and chiefdoms arose in the west. Portuguese sailors reached the coast in 1472, they noted an abundance of the ghost shrimp Lepidophthalmus turneranus in the Wouri River and named it Rio dos Camarões, which became Cameroon in English. Over the following few centuries, European interests regularised trade with the coastal peoples, Christian missionaries pushed inland. In the early 19th century, Modibo Adama led Fulani soldiers on a jihad in the north against non-Muslim and Muslim peoples and established the Adamawa Emirate. Settled peoples who fled the Fulani caused a major redistribution of population; the Bamum tribe have a writing system, known as Shu Mom. The script was given to them by Sultan Ibrahim Njoya in 1896, is taught in Cameroon by the Bamum Scripts and Archives Project. Germany began to establish roots in Cameroon in 1868 when the Woermann Company of Hamburg built a warehouse, it was built on the estuary of the Wouri River. Gustav Nachtigal made a treaty with one of the local kings to annex the region for the German emperor.
The German Empire claimed the territory as the colony of Kamerun in 1884 and began a steady push inland. The Germans ran into resistance with the native people who did not want the Germans to establish themselves on this land. Under the influence of Germany, commercial companies were left to regulate local administrations; these concessions used forced labour of the Africans to make a profit. The labour was used on banana, palm oil, cocoa plantations, they initiated projects to improve the colony's infrastructure, relying on a harsh system of forced labour, much criticised by the other colonial powers. With the defeat of Germany in World War I, Kamerun became a League of Nations mandate territory and was split into French Cameroons and British Cameroons in 1919. France integrated the economy of Cameroon with that of France and improved the infrastructure with capital investments and skilled workers, modifying the system of forced labour; the British administered their territory from neighbouring Nigeria.
Natives complained that this made them a neglected "colony of a colony". Nigerian migrant workers flocked to Southern Cameroons, ending forced labour altogether but angering the local natives, who felt swamped. T
Ruanda-Urundi was a territory in the African Great Lakes region, once part of German East Africa, ruled by Belgium between 1922 and 1962. Occupied by the Belgians during the East African Campaign during World War I, the territory was under Belgian military occupation from 1916 to 1922 and became a Belgian-controlled Class B Mandate under the League of Nations from 1922 to 1945. After the disestablishment of the League and World War II, Ruanda-Urundi became a Trust Territory of the United Nations, still under Belgian control. In 1962, the mandate became independent as the two separate countries of Burundi; the Kingdoms of Ruanda and Burundi were two independent kingdoms in the Great Lakes region before the Scramble for Africa. In 1894, they were annexed by the German Empire and became two districts of German East Africa; the two monarchies were retained as part of the German policy of indirect rule, with the Ruandan king Yuhi V Musinga using German support to consolidate his control over subordinate chiefs in exchange for labour and resources.
World War I broke out in 1914. German colonies were meant to preserve their neutrality as mandated in the Berlin Convention, but fighting soon broke out on the frontier between German East Africa and the Belgian Congo around Lakes Kivu and Tanganyika; as part of the Allied East African Campaign and Urundi were invaded by a Belgian force in 1916. The German forces in the region were hugely outnumbered. Ruanda was occupied over April–May and Urundi in June 1916. By September, a large portion of German East Africa was under Belgian occupation reaching as far south as Kigoma and Karema in modern-day Tanzania and as far eastwards as Tabora. In Ruanda and Urundi, the Belgians were welcomed by many Africans who were opposed to the autocratic behaviour of the kings; the territory captured was administered by a Belgian military occupation authority pending an ultimate decision about its political future. An administration, headed by a Royal Commissioner, was established in February 1917 at the same time as Belgian forces were ordered to withdraw from the Tabora region by the British.
The Treaty of Versailles divided the German colonial empire among the Allied nations. German East Africa was partitioned, with Tanganyika allocated to the British and a small area allocated to Portugal. Belgium was allocated Ruanda-Urundi which represented only a fraction of the territories occupied by the Belgian forces in East Africa though it had been hoped that Belgian claims in the region could be traded for Portuguese territory in Angola to expand the Congo's access to the sea; the League of Nations awarded Ruanda-Urundi to Belgium as a B-Class Mandate on 20 July 1922. The mandatory regime was controversial in Belgium and it was not approved by Belgium's parliament until 1924. Unlike colonies which belonged to its colonial power, a mandate was theoretically subject to international oversight through the League's Permanent Mandates Commission in Geneva, Switzerland. After a period of inertia, the Belgian administration became involved in Ruanda-Urundi between 1926 and 1931 under the governorship of Charles Voisin.
The reforms produced a dense road-network and improved agriculture, with the emergence of cash crop farming in cotton and coffee. However, four major famines did ravage parts of the mandate after crop failures in 1916–1918, 1924–26, 1928–30 and 1943–44; the Belgians were far more involved in the territory than the Germans in Ruanda. Despite the mandate rules that the Belgians had to develop the territories and prepare them for independence, the economic policy practised in the Belgian Congo was exported eastwards: the Belgians demanded that the territories earn profits for the motherland and that any development must come out of funds gathered in the territory; these funds came from the extensive cultivation of coffee in the region's rich volcanic soils. To implement their vision, the Belgians used the existing indigenous power structure; this consisted of a Tutsi ruling class controlling a Hutu population, through the system of chiefs and sub-chiefs under the overall rule of the two Mwami. The Belgian administrators deserved power.
While before colonization the Hutu had played some role in governance, the Belgians simplified matters by further stratifying the society on ethnic lines. Hutu anger at the Tutsi domination was focused on the Tutsi elite rather than the distant colonial power. Musinga was deposed by the administration as mwami of Ruanda in November 1931 after being accused of disloyalty, he was replaced by his son Mutara III Rudahigwa. Although promising the League it would promote education, Belgium left the task to subsidised Catholic missions and unsubsidised Protestant missions. Catholicism expanded through the African population in consequence; as late as 1961, shortly before independence arrived, fewer than 100 Africans had been educated beyond the secondary level. The policy was one of low-cost paternalism, as explained by Belgium's special representative to the Trusteeship Council: "The real work is to change the African in his essence, to transform his soul, to do that one must love him and enjoy having daily contact with him.
He must be cured of his thoughtlessness, he must accustom himself to living in society, he must overcome his inertia." The League of Nations was formally dissolved in April 1946, following its failure to prevent the Second World War. It was succeeded, by the new United Nations. In December 1946, the new body voted to end the mandate over Ruanda-Urundi and replace it with the ne
Belgium the Kingdom of Belgium, is a country in Western Europe. It is bordered by the Netherlands to the north, Germany to the east, Luxembourg to the southeast, France to the southwest, the North Sea to the northwest, it has a population of more than 11.4 million. The capital and largest city is Brussels; the sovereign state is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system. Its institutional organisation is structured on both regional and linguistic grounds, it is divided into three autonomous regions: Flanders in the north, Wallonia in the south, the Brussels-Capital Region. Brussels is the smallest and most densely populated region, as well as the richest region in terms of GDP per capita. Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups or Communities: the Dutch-speaking Flemish Community, which constitutes about 59 percent of the population, the French-speaking Community, which comprises about 40 percent of all Belgians. A small German-speaking Community, numbering around one percent, exists in the East Cantons.
The Brussels-Capital Region is bilingual, although French is the dominant language. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in its political history and complex system of governance, made up of six different governments. Belgium was part of an area known as the Low Countries, a somewhat larger region than the current Benelux group of states that included parts of northern France and western Germany, its name is derived after the Roman province of Gallia Belgica. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, the area of Belgium was a prosperous and cosmopolitan centre of commerce and culture. Between the 16th and early 19th centuries, Belgium served as the battleground between many European powers, earning the moniker the "Battlefield of Europe", a reputation strengthened by both world wars; the country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution. Belgium participated in the Industrial Revolution and, during the course of the 20th century, possessed a number of colonies in Africa.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia. This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993. Despite the reforms, tensions between the groups have remained, if not increased. Unemployment in Wallonia is more than double that of Flanders. Belgium is one of the six founding countries of the European Union and hosts the official seats of the European Commission, the Council of the European Union, the European Council, as well as a seat of the European Parliament in the country's capital, Brussels. Belgium is a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, WTO, a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area. Brussels hosts several of the EU's official seats as well as the headquarters of many major international organizations such as NATO.
Belgium is a developed country, with an advanced high-income economy. It has high standards of living, quality of life, education, is categorized as "very high" in the Human Development Index, it ranks as one of the safest or most peaceful countries in the world. The name "Belgium" is derived from Gallia Belgica, a Roman province in the northernmost part of Gaul that before Roman invasion in 100 BC, was inhabited by the Belgae, a mix of Celtic and Germanic peoples. A gradual immigration by Germanic Frankish tribes during the 5th century brought the area under the rule of the Merovingian kings. A gradual shift of power during the 8th century led the kingdom of the Franks to evolve into the Carolingian Empire; the Treaty of Verdun in 843 divided the region into Middle and West Francia and therefore into a set of more or less independent fiefdoms which, during the Middle Ages, were vassals either of the King of France or of the Holy Roman Emperor. Many of these fiefdoms were united in the Burgundian Netherlands of the 15th centuries.
Emperor Charles V extended the personal union of the Seventeen Provinces in the 1540s, making it far more than a personal union by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 and increased his influence over the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The Eighty Years' War divided the Low Countries into the northern United Provinces and the Southern Netherlands; the latter were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs and comprised most of modern Belgium. This was the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries—including territories that were never nominally under Habsburg rule, such as the Prince-Bishopric of Liège—were annexed by the French First Republic, ending Austrian rule in the region; the reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the dissolution of the First French Empire in 1815, after the defeat of Napo