Belgium is bordered by Germany, the Netherlands, and France, and their culture reflects its surroundings. Belgium is currently made up of two larger groups of a Dutch speaking population and French Speaking population, with a small percentage of German speakers. It’s a relatively small country of 11 million people, which over the years has played an important role in world politics.
On this day 21st, in 1831, Leopold I becomes King of Belgium after the country gains its independence from the Netherlands. The Netherlands had control over Belgium from the 16th century, but once the French Revolution overthrew the monarchy, many countries were inspired to do the same.
On August 25, 1830 riots began in Brussels, Belgium. The Netherlands was a Protestant state, while a majority of Belgians, especially in the south, were Roman Catholics. Today Leopold was proclaimed king. The Dutch, on the other hand, did not accept their independence until 1839 when the Treaty of London was singed. Under the treaty, and in order to maintain the balance of powers in Europe, Belgium was made to be a neutral state. Post independence, Belgium participated in the industrial revolution, and went on to colonize Africa, which Belgium is more infamous than famous for.