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Mons, Ghent, Ypres, Dendermonde, Bouillon, Meenen, Namur, Louvain, Philippeville, Ath, Marienbourg, Doornick, Arlon, &c., fell, without resistance, into the hands of the insurgents, who consisted not so much of burghers as of volunteers and foreigners. Oct. 6, the Dutch garrison also left the citadel of Liege. De Potter had, in the mean time, made his entry into Brussels, and, as a member of the provisionary government, had put himself at the head of the central committee. The provisionary government now declared, Oct. 4, that "the provinces severed from Holland shall form an independent state." It resolved, Oct. 9, that a meeting should be held in Brussels to elect a ruler, and, Oct. 18, declared that the grand-duchy of Luxemburg was a component part of Belgium. Oct. 5, the prince of Orange, authorized by his father, declared, by a proclamation from Antwerp, that he assumed the government of Belgium, as separate from Holland, and held a cabinet-council of his ministers, among whom was Gobbelschroy, and in which the duke of Ursel presided. The prince was to rule the provinces which had remained faithful, and to pacify the insurgent ones. He was surrounded entirely by Belgians. But the bloody days of Brussels had alienated the hearts of the Belgians from the house of Orange, and the only remaining hope was in the election of the prince of Orange to be regent. The central committee (De Potter, Rogier, Van der Weyer, count Merode) of the provisionary government was now occupied with the preparation of a constitution, upon which a national convention of two hundred members was to be convoked to act.* From that time, three parties divided Belgium: the French party, strengthened by numbers of Frenchmen who had arrived from France, which desired the union of Belgium with France, or (because the Catholics were opposed to their union with France) to have the second son of the king of the French, the duke of Nemours (q. v.), for king of the Belgians; the second, at the head of which stood De Potter, was in favor of a democratic republic, preserving the Catholic religion as the religion of the state; the third, the most numerous, but which had not the courage to come forward boldly, wished for the prince of Orange as regent. During this period, when the
*The king had lost the confidence of the Belgians by recalling Van Maanen to the ministry, and making him president of the supreme court, and calling the Dutch to arms, Oct. 5.
volunteers, under the direction of their leaders, gave the law, and committed the most brutal excesses in the cities occupied by them, and when political excitement and popular licentiousness prevailed every where, all business was interrupted. Persons of property fled into foreign countries, and, in Brussels alone, 15,000 armed volunteers, besides a great number of poor people, were to be maintained. But no movement in favor of the Orangists had any success; not even in Ghent, the great market for whose cotton manufactures was Java, because the popular voice was too decidedly against the house of Orange. In vain, therefore, did the prince of Orange declare (Oct. 16) that he acknowledged the independence of Belgium: in vain did count de Hogendorp maintain (in the work mentioned above) that the separation of Belgium, under one dynasty with Holland, was conformable to the interests of both countries and of Europe. The declaration of the prince was disrelished at the Hague, and the commandant of Antwerp refused to acknowledge his authority. The king himself having declared (Oct. 24) that, in future, he should govern only Holland and Luxemburg, and would leave Belgi um to itself, until the great powers of Europe should have decided on its fate by the congress of ministers at London, but that, meanwhile, the fortresses of Antwerp, Maestricht and Venloo should remain in possession of the Dutch, and all the steps of the prince of Orange having been declared void, and the orders of the commandants of Antwerp and Maestricht directed to be followed,—war was decided upon. The prince therefore left Belgium (Oct. 25), and returned to the Hague. Belgian troops entered Antwerp, and broke the armistice concluded with the commandant of the citadel, lieutenant-general Chassé, who then bombarded the city for seven hours, with 300 cannons. The bombardment destroyed thirty houses, damaged hundreds of others, and destroyed merchandise to the value of several millions of guilders. This disaster, of which each party accuses the other as the cause, raised a new wall of separation, not only between Holland and Belgium, but also between Belgium and the prince of Orange. The whole
The most important counter revolution in favor of the house of Orange was attempted in Ghent, in February, 1831, by colonel Grégoire, a Frenchman, captain de Bart, and a lieutenant Ernest. Another attempt at insurrection, in De cember, 1831, in the grand-duchy of Luxem urg by baron Tornaco, failed.
commercial world was now excited, both in Europe and America, and claimed indemnification at the Hague. The authority of law had by no means been restored in Belgium. In Hainault and Bruges, plunderings, burnings and murders were committed. In Louvain, the Dutch major Gaillard, being taken prisoner, was put to death under the tree of liberty, with the most shameful cruelties. The gallant defender of Brussels, Juan van Halen, who was persecuted by the priests, was likewise arrested at Mons, and narrowly escaped the fury of the people. His trial resulted in his favor; but he was excluded from the public service. De Potter's influence also began to decline. His project of establishing a democracy failed. The propaganda in Paris, connected with him, was not strong enough to oppose the peace policy of the French government, and the monarchical principles insisted upon by the London conference. The four great powers also rejected every idea of a union of Belgium with France. The nobility, the rich landed proprietors and merchants, who felt the tyranny of the mob and the clubs, and, above ani, the clergy, were in favor of a constitutional monarchy, and a representation in two chambers. The national congress met Nov. 10, and unanimously proclaimed, Nov. 18, under the presidency of Surlet de Chokier, the independence of Belgium, by 188 votes, with the reservation of the connexion of Luxemburg with the German confederacy. (q. v.) Nov. 22, the same congress adopted, by 174 votes against 13, a monarchical form of government, and, Nov. 24, without regard to the London protocol of the 17th of the same month, in which the exclusion of the members of the house of Nassau, in the election, was prohibited, voted the exclusion of the house of Nassau from the Belgian throne, by 161 votes against 28, although even the French government had urgently advised the congress against this step. Dec. 17, the motion that the senators (or members of the upper chamber) should be elected by the electors of the lower chamber was adopted by 136 votes against 40; so also was the proposition that the senators should be elected for double the term of the deputies, that the senate might be dissolved, and that the number of senators should be half the number of the deputies. A proposition to abolish nobility was rejected; so also was the proposal to repeal the exclusion of the house of Orange. The provisionary government continued its functions at the request of the congress; but De Pot
ter declared, Nov, 15, that he should retire from the administration. The London conference was anxious to stop the effusion of blood: for this reason, an armistice of ten days between the Belgian and Dutch government was proclaimed on Nov. 25, and the frontier of May 30, 1814, was adopted. But this frontier was differently understood by the different parties. The decisive declaration of the French cabinet against an intervention by the other powers; the great armaments of France; the change of administration in England, where lord Grey (q. v.) took the place of Wellington (q. v.); the union of France and England, effected by Talleyrand; and finally the Polish revolution,— were highly favorable to the Belgian revolution. The recommencement of hostilities with Holland, towards the end of 1830, had no important consequences. The chief question remaining was the choice of a ruler. Baron de Stassart favored the plan of electing the king of the French. Belgium, however, forming a separate kingdom, count Robiano de Boorsbeek wished for a native prince. The liberals were decidedly opposed to the theocratic views of count Robiano. Another party was in favor of the duke of Leuchtenberg, the son of Eugene (q. v.); but the diplomatic committee informed the congress that France would never acknowledge the duke king of the Belgians, and that king Louis Philip would no less positively decline the union of Belgium with France or the election of the duke de Nemours as king of the Belgians. The election finally took place Feb. 3, 1831. One hundred and ninety-one members were present, and ninety-seven votes were for the duke de Nemours, seventy-four for the duke of Leuchtenberg, and twenty-one for the archduke Charles. The president now declared Louis Charles Philip, duke de Nemours (born Oct. 25, 1814), duly chosen king of the Belgians; and, on the fourth, a committee of the congress was sent to the king. They were received in a friendly manner; but the king declined the crown for his son, and it was understood to be his wish, that the brother of the king of the Two Sicilies should be elected.* The central committee of the congress decided on the election of a regent, and, Feb. 24, the congress
The protocol of the London conference of ministers of February 1, excluded the duke of ilies of any of the five great powers, from the Bel Leuchtenberg, as well as the members of the fam gian throne.
elected baron Surlet de Chokier regent of the Belgians. He was solemnly inducted on the twenty-fifth, and took the Oath to preserve the independence of Belgium and maintain the exclusion of the house of Orange. In a succeeding session, the congress adopted the electoral law by 101 votes against 31. The members of the provisional government announced that their authority was at an end. Congress voted them a grant of 150,000 guilders. De Potter went to Paris. The regent first confirmed the existing ministers: at a later period, he appointed new ones. But order did not revive with the establishment of the new government. Towards the end. of March, there were disturbances in Liege, Antwerp, Ghent, Mechlin, Namur, and even in Brussels; but they were suppressed with energy. March 29, 1831, congress was again opened by the regent: of 200, but little more than half were present. The congress voted to call out the first class of civic guards, amounting to 90,000 men, and to raise a loan of twelve million guilders. Upon the recommendation of England, prince Leopold of SaxeCoburg was now looked to as a suitable person to fill the Belgic throne. A deputation, therefore, was sent, April 17, to London, consisting of several members of the congress, to sound the disposition of the prince, and, at the same time, to make some settlement in regard to boundaries, the maintenance of the constitution, and a fair division of the public debt of the kingdom of the Netherlands. In general, foreign politics so entirely engrossed the thoughts of the congress, that little attention was given to laws relative to the press, juries, municipal organization, &c. Public feeling in Belgium continued warlike: it defied even the London conference; and the language of several members of the Belgian congress was exceedingly violent. When the intelligence from England was rather more favorable, and government received (May 24) information that the Belgian flag would be admitted into the British ports, congress again proceeded to elect a king, June 4, 1831. One hundred and ninetyFix members were present; nineteen did not vote; ten were opposed to the election of any king; fourteen voted for Surlet de Chokier; one ballot was inadmissible; the rest of the votes were for prince Leopold, whom the regent declared to be king, on condition of his adopting the Belgian constitution. No acclamation or signs of approbation were heard, however and the spectators kept
silence. A deputation carried a notice of the vote to the prince in London. But, at the same time, a protocol of the London conference (number twenty-six), consisting of eighteen articles, made its appearance, on the adoption of which the declaration of prince Leopold depended. These articles caused a violent debate of nine days, and, at last, were adopted, on July 9, by 126 votes against 70. This result was received with loud applause by the congress and the spectators in the gallery. Belgium longed for peace and order. A deputation carried this resolution to London, and on July 21, 1831, king Leopold took the oath to observe the Belgian constitution,* in Brussels, according to ancient custom, in the open air.
*The legislative power is exercised collectively by the king, the chamber of representatives, of the three branches of the legislative power; nevand the senate. The initiative pertains to each ertheless, every law relating to the revenue and expenditure of the state, or to the contingent of the army, must be first voted by the chamber of representatives. The constitutional powers of the king are hereditary in direct, natural, legiti mate descent, from male to male, by order of primogeniture, to the perpetual exclusion of females and their descendants. The king attains his majority at the age of eighteen years. The person of the king is inviolable, but his ministers are responsible. The king appoints and dismisses his ministers, confers ranks in the army, and has the right of granting titles of nobility, without the power of annexing therewith any privilege. He commands the army and navy, declares war and makes peace, and sanctions and promulgates the laws. The chambers assemble by their November, unless convoked earlier by the king, own right, every year, on the second Tuesday of The law fixes the civil list for the duration of each reign. The chamber of representatives is composed of deputies elected by the citizens law: the requisite sum cannot exceed 100 florins, paying a direct tax determined by the electoral nor be less than 20 florins. The number of deputies is apportioned according to population, and it cannot exceed the proportion of one deputy to 45,000 inhabitants. The members of the chamber of representatives are elected for four years, one half being elected every two years; and. each member receives 200 florins a month during the session. The members of the senate are elected by the citizens, who elect the members of the chamber of representatives; and their number is The senators are elected for eight years, one half equal to one half the number of the representatives. being elected every four years. A senator must be forty years of age, and must pay a direct tax The heir presumptive of the of 1000 florins. king is of right a senator at the age of eighteen years, but has no deliberative voice till the age of twenty-five. A citizen, in order to be either a deputy or an elector, must be twenty-five years of age. The judges are appointed by the king for life; and a jury is established for all criminal and political offences. Religious liberty, the freedom of the press, liberty of instruction, person al liberty, and the right of petitioning the public authorities, are guarantied.
On the same day, the regent laid down his office, and the constituent congress concluded its sessions. The king of the Belgians summoned the electoral colleges to meet in Brussels, August 29, and the senate and the chamber of representatives September 8. But, August 2, he was attacked by Holland. The struggle lasted only thirteen days, and covered the boasting Belgians with ignominy. France interfered, and prevented the Dutch troops from marching into Brussels; and protocol number thirty-four decreed an armistice of six weeks, which was subsequently prolonged. The king immediately began the reorganization of the army. General Daine and several high officers were dismissed; German and French officers were taken into the service; the native officers were obliged to undergo an examination. The king also sent to London full powers to the Belgian minister, Van de Weyer, in order to treat on the final arrangement with Holland, according to the proposals of the conference. Sir Robert Adair, the British minister, and the French minister, general Belliard, assisted him. September 8, 1831, the chambers met. The most pressing business was the reorganization of the army. The king appointed colonel de Brouckère minister at war. His proposal to introduce French officers into the Belgian army was adopted by the chambers. A committee of inquiry investigated the conduct of the Belgian officers, whose disgraceful conduct, during the war with Holland, had brought the young kingdom to the brink of ruin. General Daine, the commander of the army of the Meuse, who had been shamefully defeated, was, however, acquitted in March, 1832. The French general Desprez was placed at the head of the Belgic staff. Another French general, baron Evain, was also active in the reorganization, and numerous French and German officers and privates entered the Belgian army. A law was even passed empowering the king, in case of necessity, to open the Belgian territory (which had been left by the French auxiliary army on September 26) to foreign troops. The new Belgian army amounted, in October, 1831, to 54,000 men, with 120 cannons; and, in the following March, it was to comprise 86,000 men. The budget of this year, for the Belgian department of war, amounted to 29,553,878 guilders, owing to the great deficiency of military stores and equipments. This explains the great deficit in the finances of the young kingdom. It was necessary to cover it by
loans contracted in Paris under hard conditions. In the budget of 1831, the deficit amounted to 9,833,143 guilders; the revenue being 41,892,585, and the expenditure 51,725,728 guilders. According to the budget of 1832, the deficit will amount to 19,372,121, the diminutions in the budget being calculated at 2,000,000 guilders. According to this budget, the ordinary and extraordinary expenses of the government had increased, since the budget of 1831, not less than 37,668,328 guilders, because the expenses occasioned by the public debt, which, in 1831, were only 2,532,028 guilders, have been augmented so much by loans, that the extraordinary and ordinary expenses for 1832 (without the above reduction) amounted to 89,394,048 guilders, and the revenue for this year was only calculated at 68,021,927 guilders, of which the ordinary revenue amounted to 31,421,927 guilders, and the loans yet to be paid, to 36,000,000 guilders. A protocol from London (October 15, 1831), containing the definitive treaty of peace between Belgium and Holland, consisting of twentyfour articles, concluded in the name of the five great powers present at the conference, was laid before the representatives, October 20, by the minister of foreign affairs, De Meulenaere. He observed that Belgium, though this treaty exacted sacrifices from her, could not think of its rejection since the downfall of Poland. The chamber adopted it on November 1, by fifty-nine votes against thirty-eight, and the senate by thirty-five against eight: king Leopold sanctioned it on November 15. But the king of the Netherlands declared that he did not accept the twentyfour articles. While this monarch continued the negotiations, a new protocol arrived at Brussels, November 12, by which the London conference formally acknowledge prince Leopold as king of the Belgians. Belgic ministers were now duly appointed in Paris and London; at the former court, Lehon, at the latter, Sylvian van de Weyer; but Austria, Prussia, and the other states, would not receive the ministers sent to announce to them Leopold's ascension of the throne, wishing to delay acknowledging him until William, king of the Netherlands, had done so. They long delayed receiving Belgic ministers; and it is but a short time
*The wealthy cities of Belgium also suffered 1832, a deficit of 800,000 guilders; and in March, great financial embarrassments. Brussels had, in 1832, not less than 2000 pauper families received support from Leopold's government,
since the semi-official paper, the Austrian Observer, mentioned the kingdom of Belgium for the first time. Meanwhile, the ministers of the five powers in London had signed (November 15) the treaty of twentyfour articles, accepted by Belgium, and, in a twenty-fifth article, had guarantied its execution, and declared that it should be ratified within two months. By the fifty-fourth protocol, this period was prolonged to January 31. But Russia, Âustria and Prussia, induced by the representations of king William, still delayed the ratification of the treaty of November 15, appearing desirous to await the declaration of the king of the Netherlands. They considered the alteration of some articles, at least, necessary, and in no case were inclined to force king William to accept the whole twenty-four. In spite of these delays, England, France and Belgium_ratified the articles, January 31, 1832, at London; and the protocol of exchange of ratifications was left open for the plenipotentiaries of Russia, Austria and Prussia. A new term was set on March 15; but this was also extended to March 31, in consideration of peculiar circumstances. By the above-mentioned treaty of November 15, which is rejected by Holland, and may yet undergo some changes, 1. Belgium is to consist of the former southern provinces of the Netherlands, with the exception of part of Luxemburg, of Limburg on both the banks of the Meuse, and of Maestricht, with its territory.* 2. Within these limits, Belgium * The area of the former southern provinces, with the parts now to be ceded to Holland, is estimated at 13,140 square miles, and the inhabitants (according to Quetelet and Smits) at 4,064,000, two thirds of whom are people living in the country. After the above cession, Belgium would contain about 11,230 square miles, with 3,620,506 inhabitants. The following table is taken from the Weimar Almanac for 1832:
is to be an independent and perpetually neutral state. 3. The free navigation of the rivers is acknowledged, according to the stipulations of the congress of Vienna. 4. The use of the canals, which pass through Belgium and the Northern Netherlands, is common to both countries: the same is the case with the roads between Maestricht and Sittard, for the transit trade to Germany. Belgium may also make here new canals and roads. 5. From January 1, 1832, Belgium is to pay annually 8,400,000 guilders, on account of the public debt of the Netherlands, which is now acknowledged as the public debt of Belgium. Besides this treaty, a protocol had been signed in London by the ministers, with the exception of the French minister, April 17, 1831, according to which a part of the Belgic fortresses were to be razed. When the treaty of November 15 had been adopted by Belgium, France insisted upon the fulfilment of this promise, and Marienbourg, Philippeville, Ath and Menni are said to have been fixed upon. The four powers maintained that they have the right to do as they may see fit for the support of the other Belgian fortresses; but France demanded that the other fortresses should remain under the sole sovereignty of Belgium, free from any superintendence of the four great powers. The ratification of the agreement concluded respecting this point, December 14, 1831, was deferred to March 15, and since that time to a still later period, as it depends upon the adoption of the treaty of November 15, which is not yet decided. During all these transactions, king William remained in a warlike attitude. Belgium, therefore, was also obliged to continue its armaments. Ghent, Antwerp, Liege, and other points, the government ordered new fortifications to be erected; the chamber of representatives resolved, on December 28, 1831, to Locheran, St. Nicholas,
13,534 Turnhout, 12,730 Lierre,
16,179 Louvain, founded in 1426; students in 1828, 651