Belgium: History, the Alliance System, and New Imperialism

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  • Topic: Belgium, Leopold II of Belgium, Congo Free State
  • Pages : 3 (916 words )
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  • Published : March 14, 2012
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History, The Alliance System, And New Imperialism

History, The Alliance System, and New Imperialism
The country of Belgium received its name from the Belgae. The Belgae were a Celtic tribe, described by Julius Cesar, as the Gaul’s most courageous tribe. Like many other peoples, they were forced to surrender to Roman legions. The new area was named Gallia Belgica. Rome eventually faded but the name of Belgium endured. Belgium knew that as a small country, they had a much better chance of survival and maintaining their autonomy if they had allies. This struggle for a maintained independence was during the time of the hundred years’ war (1337-1453). During this time they were allied with the English against the French. That struggle culminated on January 20, 1831, when the Belgium people finally won their independence from the Dutch. After Napoleons’ fall (1815), it was decreed by the Congress of Vienna that Belgium would be absorbed into the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Their new ruler would be William of Orange. The Dutch people endured this new monarchy until 1830. By 1831 they had obtained their independence from the Dutch. That same year, Leopold, of the House of Saxe-Coburg Gotha, was chosen to be the ruling monarch. During the reign of Leopold the I and Leopold the II the country grew culturally and economically. This was also when Belgian imperialism was at its most. Before World War I Belgium maintained a neutral status. During World War II, Belgium wanted to be neutral but was not able to do so. In 1914 Belgium was invaded by Germany. In 1940 they did so again. Because of those actions, Belgium was one of the “loudest voices” for a collective security within the planning for European integration. In 1948 the Treaty of Brussels was signed by Belgium. This treaty was with France, the Netherlands, Great Britain, and Luxembourg. In 1949 on April 4, Belgium...
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