The United States of Belgium

The Story of the First Belgian Revolution

Jane Judge

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Monograph - ebook

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New and comprehensive insights into the seminal events that shaped Belgian identity
In 1790, between the birth of America (1776) and the creation of the French National Assembly (1789), nine provinces nestled between the French and Dutch borders declared themselves a new free and independent country: the United States of Belgium. Before then, the provinces had been part of the vast Austrian Habsburg Empire ruled by Joseph II. In 1789 revolutionaries from Brussels to Ghent to Namur recruited a grass-roots army that, to the surprise of many, successfully chased imperial forces from the majority of the territories. The exhilaration of military triumph and political independence quickly faded as revolutionary factions fought each other and the European monarchies became more nervous in the face of French radicalization. Yet, the course of events had fostered the solidification of a new identity among the provinces’ inhabitants: Belgianness. This is the story of the emergence of Belgianness in the crucible of revolution.

The United States of Belgium tells the story of the First Belgian Revolution before the creation of a language barrier between French and Dutch. It incorporates over 50 contemporary images of the revolutionary era.

This publication is GPRC-labeled (Guaranteed Peer-Reviewed Content).

FOREWORD 
by Prof. dr. Johan Verberckmoes

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS 

THE FIRST BELGIAN REVOLUTION 
Belgian History 
The Story in an “Age of (National) Revolution” 

SETTING THE STAGE: THE CONTEXT OF THE BELGIAN PROVINCES AND JOSEPH II’S REFORMS 
The Habsburg Empire and the Belgian Provinces 
Joseph’s Motives and His Reforms 

FIRST STIRRINGS OF REVOLUTION: RESISTANCE TO JOSEPH II’S REFORMS 
The General Seminary 
Codifying Resistance 
Provincial Unity: The Vienna Delegation and an Increase in Violence 

FOR HEARTH AND HOME: FOMENTING REVOLT IN THE BELGIAN PROVINCES 
The Breda Committee 
Pro Aris et Focis 
Melding the Committees 

VIVE LES PATRIOTES: THE FIGHT FOR INDEPENDENCE 
Armed Conflict 
A “National” Triumph 

“THE FORMER DUKE”: DECLARING INDEPENDENCE 
Declaring Independence in the Eighteenth Century 
Belgians Declare Independence 

CREATING A STATE: STRENGTH IN UNION OR THE BEGINNING OF THE END? 
The Creation of the United States of Belgium
Troubles From Within 

REVOLUTIONARY DISSENT: DEBATING A BELGIAN NATION 

“ESPERANCES FALLACIEUSES:” THE END OF THE UNITED STATES OF BELGIUM 
Austrian Rhetoric and Generosity 
European Diplomacy 
Belgian Reactions: Inaction, Obstinacy, and Defeat 

EPILOGUE 
NOTES 
BIBLIOGRAPHY 
ILLUSTRATION CREDITS 
INDEX 

Format: Monograph - ebook

Size: 234 × 156 mm

310 pages

ISBN: 9789461662637

Publication: October 24, 2018

Languages: English

Jane C. Judge obtained her PhD in History from the University of Edinburgh and held a 2-year postdoctoral position at KU Leuven thanks to support from the Belgian American Educational Foundation and a KU Leuven Postdoctoral Mandate.