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BELGIUM

capital: Brussels
political system: monarchy
population: 11.1 mil (2013)
area: 30 528 km2
official language: French, Dutch, German
Flag of Belgium
Coat of Arms of Belgium

Lands of today's Belgium were in history a place of a struggle between French, German, Austrian and Spanish empires. After Bonaparte's failure in Russian War in 1815 an opportunity arose for Lower Countries to become independent. Thus the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was formed, but a clear religious and language division between the protestant and Dutch-speaking Netherlands in the North and catholic, French-speaking Belgium in the South led to Belgium Revolution in 1830. In its result an independent Belgium state was formed for the first time in history. French language was dominant until 1898, when Dutch was also recognized. After the World War I Belgium took over German colonies and two border districts. The colonies are independent today, but the districts remained Belgian thus forming a German-speaking part of the country. After the World War II Belgium was a founding member of both NATO and European Union.

Map of Belgium
last update: 22 V 2014

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