Chronography of Belgium & Luxembourg

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Demography of Belgium


For Luxembourg see Appendix 1


2002, Belgium adopted the Euro.

1999, A new Belgian Government included the Green Party for the first time, as environmental concerns became more widespread.

31 July 1993, King Baudouin I of Belgium died.

5 March 1992, In Belgium, Christian Democrat Jean-Luc Dehaene agreed to form a coalition government after a three-month political crisis.

20 March 1985, The Belgian Parliament approved the deployment of Cruise Missiles.

1983, Death of Leopold III, King of the Belgians 1934-51 until he involuntarly abdicated in favour of his son, Baudouin, on 17 July 1951.

1980, Belgium adopted a new Constitution devolving government by language; French, Flemish (Dutch) and German.

14 October 1962, Riots in Brussels as the Flemish demanded constitutional change.

26 March 1961, In Belgian elections, the Christian Socialists lost their overall majority and formed a coalition government with the Socialists. Theodore Lefevre (Christian Socialist) succeeded Gaston Eyskens (also Christian Socialist) as Prime Minister.

19 October 1958, The 1958 World Fair closed in Brussels. It attracted 40 million visitors, the main centrepiece being The Atomuim, which remains today.

1957, Belgium became one of the founder members of the EEC.

17 July 1951, Baudouin became King of Belgium, after the enforced abdication of his father, King Leopold III.

Leopold surrendered the Belgian armed forces to the Nazis on 28 May 1940, just 18 days after the German invasion of Belgium began, a move condemned as too hasty by the Allies. Leopold then chose to become a PoW in the luxurious surroundings of Laeken Castle, near Brussels. However there was evidence that Leopold had averted the deportation of half a million Belgian women in 1942 to work in German munitions factories. After the War Leopold was exiled to London. Belgian opinion on his return wad divided on ethnic/religious lines, with a referendum providing a 58% pro-Leopold majority. This majority was mainly from the Catholic Flemish north of Belgium. The southern Walloon socialist liberals were against Leopold�s return. In July 1950 Belgian coalminers went on strike against Leopold. In the interests of national unity Leopold abdicated in favour of his son.

1 August 1950, King Leopold III abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin.

23 July 1950, Anti-Leopold riots in Brussels, Belgium.

22 July 1950, Leopold III of Belgium returned to the throne after 6 years.

12 March 1950. A referendum in Belgium favoured the monarchy. King Leopold III returned to the throne after 6 years on 22 July 1950. On 23/ July 1950 there were anti-Leopold riots on the streets of Brussels. On 1 August 1950 King Leopold abdicated in favour of his son Baudouin.

25 August 1947, Franz Cumont, Belgian historian of religion (born 3 January 1868) died in Brussels.

1 November 1947. The Benelux customs union, officially created on 29 October 1947, became active.

3 July 1947. The Benelux Union Bill was ratified, creating an economic union of 18 million people.

1945, The Belgian Christian People�s Party was founded. A Roman Catholic Party, it previously existed as the Catholic Bloc (founded 1936), itself a successor to the first modern Belgian Catholic Party, founded in 1884.

18 July 1945, The Belgian senate voted to forbid the return of Leopold III.

15 July 1945, King Leopold of Belgium again refused to abdicate.

7 June 1944. King Leopold of Belgium was arrested.

1940-1944, Belgium was under Nazi occupation during World War Two.


Fascist conflict in Belgium pre-World War Two

4/1939, In the Belgian elections, over 45% of votes in the German-speaking eastern districts went to the Heimattreue Front, which wanted these regions incorporated into the German Reich.

13 October 1937. The integrity of Belgium was guaranteed by Germany.

22 October 1936. Martial law was imposed in Belgium to control the Fascists.

24 May 1936. Rexists, Belgian Fascists, won 21 seats in the General Election.

12 July 1934, Belgium banned uniformed political parties.


29 August 1935, Queen Astrid of Belgium was killed in a car crash.

23 February 1934. King Leopold III succeeded to the throne of Belgium.

17 February 1934. Albert I, King of Belgium, aged 58, was killed in a climbing accident near Namur, after a 25-year reign. He was succeeded by his son, Leopold III, aged 32, who ruled until 1950.

7 September 1930, King Baudouin of the Belgians was born at Stuyenberg Castle, the elder son of King Leopold III and Queen Astrid.

4 November 1926, Queen Astrid of Belgium (1905-35), daughter of Charles of Sweden and Princess Ingeborg of Denmark, married Leopold III, Crown Prince of Belgium, who became King of Belgium on 23 February 1934.Mother of King Baudouin I of Belgium, she was killed in a car accident near Kussnacht, Switzerland.

5 April 1925, The Belgian Workers Party won parliamentary elections.

4 April 1922, In Brussels, Armand Jeanns was sentenced to death for betraying nurse Edith Cavell to the Germans.

1921, Belgium-Luxembourg economic union formed; the two currencies were now at a fixed exchange rate.

10 January 1920. Eupen and Malmedy united with Belgium; this was ratified by plebiscite later in 1920.

1914-1918, Belgium under German occupation. For main events of World War One see France-Germany

14 April 1913, In Belgium a General Strike began, lasting until 24 April 1913. Strikers demanded electoral reform, which was promised, but delayed by World War One until 6 May 1919.

14 August 1910, A fire at the World Exhibition, Brussels, destroyed some of the paintings.

25 April 1910, King Albert I opened the World Exhibition in Brussels.

23 December 1909. Prince Albert took the oath of fidelity of the Belgian constitution and became King Albert I of Belgium. He was born on 8 April 1875 at Brussels.He died from a fall whilst rock climbing at Namur on 17 February 1934.

17 December 1909, Albert I, 34, succeeded his uncle Leopold II as King of Belgium, who died aged 74 this day. Leopold II had ruled for nearly 41 years and amassed great personal wealth from his exploitation of the Congo. Albert I ruled until 1934.

7 March 1905, Auguste Lambermont, Belgian statesman, died (born 25 March 1819).

15 November 1902, King Leopold II of Belgium was attacked by anarchist Genaro Rubbino.

18 April 1902, Over a week of civil unrest in Belgium, as people demanded better education and work conditions. Despite a general strike and riots in several cities, with several killed, the Belgian government did not make any concessions.

3 November 1901, Leopold III, King of Belgium from 1934, was born the son of King Albert I.

27 May 1900, Belgium became the first country to elect a government by proportional representation.

18 April 1893. Belgium introduced pluralism and universal male suffrage.

4 January 1891, Pierre de Decker, Belgian statesman, died (born 1812).

11 July 1886, Jules Malou, Belgian statesman, died.

27 May 1885, Charles Latour Rogier, Belgian statesman, died in Brussels (born 17 August 1800 in St Quentin)

15 October 1883, The Palace of Justice opened in Brussels.

6 September 1881, Jean Baptiste Nothomb, Belgian statesman, died (born 3 July 1805).

12 September 1876. King Leopold of Belgium formed the International African Association to co-ordinate the activities of European explorers in Africa.

8 April 1875, Albert I, King of Belgium, born.

10 December 1865, Leopold I, King of Belgium, its first sovereign after separation from The Netherlands, died aged 74. He was succeeded by his 30-year old son, Leopold II.

19 March 1865, Joseph Lebeau, Belgian statesman, died (born 3 January 1794)

9 July 1863, Christian Friedrich Stockmar, Belgian statesman, died in Coburg (born 22 August 1787 in Coburg)

9 April 1835, Leopold II, King of Belgium, was born in Brussels.


Belgium achieves independence from The Netherlands, 1830-39

19 April 1839, The Treaty of London officially recognised the independent Kingdom of Belgium. Willem II of The Netherlands retained the eastern part of Luxembourg with himself as Duke.

2 August 1831, The Dutch invaded Belgium, aiming to restore the United provinces, but were expelled with the help of France.

21 July 1831, Prince Leopold became Leopold I, King of Belgium, when that country separated from the Netherlands.

4 June 1831, Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg was chosen as the first sovereign of newly independent Belgium.

7 February 1831, The Belgian Constitution was published.

20 December 1830. Belgium achieved independence, conceded by the Dutch King William.The Belgians were mainly Catholic, but the Dutch were mainly Protestant. On 20 January 1831 in London, the boundaries of the Netherlands and Belgium were settled, and the neutrality of Belgium was guaranteed by the European powers.

28 October 1830, Liege became part of Belgium.

27 October 1830, Dutch forces bombarded Antwerp, in an attempt to thwart the secession of Belgium from The Netherlands.

14 October 1830, Belgium proclaimed its independence, having been part of the Low Countries (Netherlands).

4 October 1830, Belgium demanded independence from the Netherlands.

26 September 1830. The Belgians defeated a Dutch Army sent to quell the Belgian Revolution of 24 August.

25 August 1830, Demonstrations in Brussels against Dutch rule of Belgium.

24 August 1830. The Belgian Revolution began late in the night in Brussels. See 26 September 1830.


25 May 1821, Henri Alexis Brialmont, Belgian military engineer, was born.

25 March 1819, Auguste Lambermont, Belgian statesman, was born (died 7 March 1905).

2 June 1812, Jan de Winter, Dutch Admiral, died (born 1750).

24 April 1812, Hubert Frere-Orban, Belgian statesman, was born (died 2 January 1896).

3 July 1805, Jean Baptiste Nothomb, Belgian statesman, was born (died 6 September 1881)

17 August 1800, Charles Latour Rogier, Belgian statesman, was born in St Quentin (died 27 May 1885 in Brussels)

3 January 1794, Joseph Lebeau, Belgian statesman, was born (died 19 March 1865).

6 November 1792, The French under General Dumouriez decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Jenappes, Belgium. As a result of this battle, the Austrian Netherlands (now Belgium) were annexed by revolutionary France.

16 December 1790, Leopold I, King of the Belgians, was born.


First independence for Belgium, 1789-90

2 December 1790, Austrian forces reconquered Belgium, restoring it as the Austrian Netherlands.

27 July 1790, In the Treaty of Reichenbach, Russia, Prussia, Britain and the Dutch republic agreed that Austria could reconquer Belgium, formerly the Austrian Netherlands, which had been in a state of revolt since 1789.

9 January 1790, Britain Prussia and the Dutch republic agreed a common policy over Belgium, although William Pitt the Younger, British Prime Minister, was reluctant to recognise Belgian independence.

13 December 1789, The Austrian Netherlands declared their independence as �The United States of Belgium�.


18 June 1789, Austrian troops occupied Brussels.

22 August 1787, Christian Friedrich Stockmar, Belgian statesman, was born in Coburg (died 9 July 1863 in Coburg)

11 May 1745, The Battle of Fontenoy took place in Belgium, during the War of the Austrian Succession. Marshal de Saxe won a French victory over British and Allied forces. William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland, had been sent with Austrian, British, Dutch and Hanoverian troops to relieve Tournai, Belgium, under siege by the French. Cumberland�s army was beaten back with casualties of 7,000 and forced to retreat during the night towards Brussels. The British suffered further setbacks in Flanders and as troops were called back to fight the Young Pretender, Charles Edward Stuart. The British made peace with France at Aix la Chapelle in 1748.

23 May 1706, The Battle of Ramillies, between Louvain and Namur in Belgium.Allied British and Dutch armies under Marlborough intercepted a French offensive. 15,000 French and 5,000 Allied soldiers died. The result of Ramillies was that Brussels, Antwerp and most of the Spanish Netherlands surrendered. By the end of 1706 the French held only Namur and Mons in The Netherlands.

1 June 1690, At Fleurus, Belgium, a French Army fought an allied Spanish and Dutch army.The French won.

10 August 1648, Battle of Lens, Belgium.

1585, The Dutch blockaded the port of Antwerp.

1 June 1523, Two followers of Martin Luther were burnt alive in Brussels.

1402, Construction of Brussels Town Hall began.

2 March 1124, Charles The Good, Count of Flanders, was murdered.

20 February 1071, William fitzOsbern, Earl of Hereford, died in battle atCassal (near Brussels). This deprived William of England of a key ally, and Flanders became hostile to him under the rule of Robert the Frisian.

For earlier history of the region see France-Germany


Appendix 1 � Luxembourg

|Demography of Luxembourg

10 July 2005, Luxembourg voted to accept the European Constitution.

2002, Luxembourg adopted the Euro.

1957, Luxembourg became one of the founder members of the EEC.

1948, The Benelux Treaty created a customs union.

1940-1944, Luxembourg was under Nazi occupation during World War Two.

1921, Luxembourg entered an economic union with Belgium.

23 November 1890, Death of King William III of the Netherlands (born 1817). He was succeeded by his 10-year-old daughter who ruled as Queen Wilhelmina from 1898. The duchy of Luxembourg separated from the Netherlands because no woman could inherit the ducal title.

1867, The Treaty of London declared that Luxembourg was neutral territory.

12 April 963, The foundation of Luxembourg. On this day Count Sigefroi of the House of Ardenne acquired the site of present day Luxembourg City for the purpose of erecting a castle there.


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