Thursday, April 19, 2012

Kingdom of Belgium Born!

On April 19, 1839 the Kingdom of Belgium was officially recognized by the European powers in Treaty of London. I find it a little funny to see sources indicate this as the "birthday" of Belgium or the day when the Kingdom of Belgium was "born" since Belgian independence had been asserted a decade before and SM King Leopold 1er had been reigning as King of the Belgians for almost as long already. However, this was the day in history that the status of the Kingdom of Belgium was firmly settled and established in the international community, because it was only in 1839 that the European powers finally pressured King Willem I of the Netherlands to recognize the fact of Belgian independence that had already existed. He had still been hoping that he would be able to re-conquer Belgium and force it back into the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. But Belgium resisted with ferocity and the other powers really did not want to see the Low Countries going into a long and ugly war so they finally stepped in and put the pressure on King Willem I to recognize that he would have to sleep in the bed he had made and recognize Belgian independence. So, hurrah for the Treaty of London then! At one time it seems that treaties gave national independence instead of taking it away .... or am I speaking impolitic? ;-)

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