United States of Belgium

The United States of Belgium ( Dutch: Verenigde Nederlandse Staten or Verenigde Staten Belgian, French: États Unis belgiques, in German and United States of Belgium and Netherlands United States sometimes called ) were a confederation in the Southern Netherlands, now Belgium, by January to December, 1790, during a short-lived revolt against the Habsburgs Joseph II, existed.



Influenced by the Enlightenment, Joseph II tried a number of reforms in the Austrian Netherlands to perform during the eighties of the 18th century, which were characterized by efforts to modernize the political, legal and administrative system and centralize. The old decentralized system should be replaced by a unified legal system for the whole kingdom, and the independent provinces of the Austrian Netherlands should be replaced by nine counties and 35 districts. Joseph also had the education secularize and reorganized some religious orders or abolished it.

Revolt of Brabant

1789 broke a popular revolt in the Austrian Netherlands go against the imperial policy of centralization. Two fractions occurred, the static, the reforms rejected, and the Vonckisten, named after Jan Frans Vonck, who originally supported the reforms, but then in opposition went to them because they were implemented awkwardly in his view. The uprising started in Brabant, which was announced in January 1789 to recognize the imperial rule any longer. It was the beginning of the Brabant Revolution. The leader of the static fraction Hendrik van der Noot crossed the northern border with the United Netherlands and presented in Breda in the Generalitätslanden a small army.

In October 1789 he marched into Brabant. On 27 October, he took Turnhout after the successful battle of Turnhout against the Austrians. Ghent was taken on November 13. On 17 November, the Governor-General of the Austrian Netherlands, Albert Casimir of Sachsen -Teschen fled with his wife Maria Christina of Austria in Brussels. The remaining Imperial forces withdrew to the citadel of Luxembourg and Antwerp.

Proclamation of the independent state

Van der Noot Brabant now declared its independence, and soon joined all the other provinces of the Austrian Netherlands, except Luxembourg, at. On January 11, 1790 signed a pact which started a confederation under the name Verenigde Nederlandse Staten / États- Unis belgiques - (United States of Belgium) and a government under the name Sovereign Congress. The Plakkaat van Verlatinghe and the Declaration of Independence of the United States served as role models for the founding treaty.

Regardless of the Brabant events occurred in 1789 in the Bishopric of Liege to Liege Revolution. The revolutionaries set up a republic and entered the United States from Belgium in a kind of alliance.

Since he was the fragility of the new state was aware Van der Noot tried to win the support of other States and recommended a union with the United Netherlands, but without success. In addition, the static group was in constant conflict with the vonckischen, close to a civil war.

Reconquest Austria

Meanwhile, Joseph II had died and his brother succeeded him as Leopold II to the throne. Leopold soon made it to recapture the Austrian Netherlands. On 24 October, the imperial troops took Namur and forced the province of Namur, recognize the imperial authority. Two days later, the province of West Flanders and in December the entire territory was back in Imperial hands.