« iepriekšējāTurpināt »
2. Julienne ; b. Feb. 18, 1788.
4. Frederick Ferdinand, b. Nov. 22, 1792; m. Aug. 1, 1829, Caroline, Princess Royal of Denmark.
The political condition of Belgium, formerly known by the name of the Austrian Netherlands, has undergone many changes within a few centuries past; and it has, for the most part, been under foreign government In 1713, it was ceded by Spain to the house of Austria, in whose possession it remained till near the end of the last century. At an early period of the French revolution, this country was invaded by the French, who having conquered it from Austria, formally incorporated it into the kingdom of France in 1795.
After the downfall of Bonaparte, in 1814, the Congress of Vienna, composed of all the great powers of Europe, undertook the difficult and delicate task of adjusting the affairs of Europe, in such a manner as to restore and preserve an even balance of power; and with a view of raising up a formidable barrier against France, the Netherlands were severed from that coun. try and annexed to the United Provinces; and these two countries were formed into a kingdom under William, Prince of Orange, with the title of King of the Netherlands.
This union was effected by a confederacy of foreigners, without the consent of the parties; and it never obtained the cordial acquiescence of the Belgians. The two nations were by no means well fitted to be united under the same government, inasınuch as they differed widely in character, manners, institutions, religion, and language. The inhabitants of Holland are Dutch, who are a commercial people, and of the Protestant religion ; the Belgians are Catholics, are distinguished for manufactures, generally speak the French language, and resemble the inhabitants of France in their character and manners.
The Belgians, long dissatisfied with their political condition, at length broke out into an open insurrection in August, 1830 ; and on the 4th of October made a declaration of their independence.
The representatives of the five great powers of Europe, viz. Austria, France, Great Britain, Prussia, and Russia, assembled in London, and agreed to a protocol in favor of an armistice, directing that hostilities should entirely cease between the Dutch and Belgians; and on the 27th of December the acknowledgment of the independence of Belgium was officially communicated to the national congress at Brussels.
On the 4th of June, 1831, the Belgian congress made choice of Prince Leo
pold of Saxe-Coburg for their king, by a vote of 152 to 34 ; and on the 26th he accepted the crown on certain conditions. On the 9th of July, the congress, by a vote of 126 to 70, acceded to the preliminaries and articles agreed on at London by the five great powers, and again declared Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, King of Belgium ; and on the 21st of July the new king made his entrance into Brussels, and took his oath to the constitution.
Belgians, 3,570,000 : Jews, 30,000 : Germans and Dutch, 10,000. Catholics, (1 Archbishop, viz. of Louvain, and 7 Bishops) - 3,570,000. Protestants, 10,000: Jews, 30,000.
OUTLINES OF THE CONSTITUTION. The legislative power is exercised collectively by the King, the Chamber of Representatives, and the Senate. The initiative pertains to each of the three branches of the legislative power ; nevertheless 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, legitimate 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 18 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 annesing therewith any privilege. He commands the army an
nary; declares war and makes peace; and sanctions and promulgates the laws.
The Chambers asseinble by their own right, every year on the second Tuesday of November, unless convoked earlier by the King. The law fixes the civil list for the duration of each reign.
The Chamber of Representatives is composed of deputies elected by the citizens paying a direct tax determined by the electoral law; the requisite sum cannot exceed 100 florins, 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 presentatives 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 equal to one half the number of the Representatives.
The Senators are elected for eight years, one half being elected every four
years. Á senator must be 10 years of age, and must pay a direct tax of 1,000 florins. The heir presuroptive of the King is of right a senator at the age of 18 years, but has no deliberative voice till the age of 25. A citizen in order to be either a deputy or an elector must be 25 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, personal liberty, and the right of petitioning the public authorities are guarantied.
LEOPOLD, King of the Belgians, formerly Prince Leopold of Saxe. Coburg, brother of the present Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha; b. Dec. 16, 1790; m. (1.) May 2, 1816, the daughter of George IV, of England, who died Nov. 6, 1817; elected King of the Belgians, June 4, 1831 ; took the oath to the constitution, July 21, 1831 ; m. (11.) Aug. 9, 1832, LOUISE, daughter of Louis Philip, King of France, b. April 3, 1812.
Holland, a small commercial kingdom, comprises the country formerly styled the Republic of the Seven United Provinces, and often also the Republic of Holland.
In 1579, the Seven United Provinces revolted from Philip II., king of Spain, and established their independence, which they maintained till after the French Revolution; and they became distinguished for their commercial enterprise and prosperity.
These provinces were, for a few years, united to the French empire; but, after the downfall of Bonaparte, the Dutch and Belgic provinces, together with the German grand duchy of Luxemburg, were formed, by the Congress of Vienna, into a kingdom, and placed under the government of William, Prince of Orange, who received the title of King of the Netherlands and Grand Duke of Luxemburg.
In 1830, the Belgic Provinces revolted from the government of William, and declared their independence, which has been acknowledged by thie five great powers of Europe. - See Belgium.
Sq. miles. Pop. in 1831.
928 417,458 Amsterdam, South Holland,
1,166 484,608 THE HAGUE, . Zealand,
588 137,194 Middleburg, . Utrecht,
512 131,835 Utrecht, Guelderland,
2,018 312,897 Arnheim, Overyssel,
1,293 180,495 Zwolle, Drenthe,
64,028 Assen, Groningen,
778 159,321 Groningen, Friesland,
1,151 207,425 Leuwarden, North Brabant,
1,653 319,289 Bois-le-Duc, Luxemburg,
2,303 302,654 Luxemburg, Total .. 13,208 | 2,747,204
202,364 56,015 14,700 43,407 14,509 15,640
2,184 30,260 20,938 20,489 9,432
OUTLINES OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE KINGDOM OF THE NETHER.
LANDS AS ESTABLISHED JULY, 1815. The crown is hereditary in the House of Orange-Nassau by right of primogeniture in the male line, females being excluded, unless there should be an entire failure of the male line.
The King has an annual revenue of 2,400,000 florins, and attains his majority at the age of 18 years. The oldest son of the King, the presumptive heir of the crown, has the title of Prince of Orange.
The King has the direction of foreign affairs, declares war and makes peace; has the control of the army and navy ; grants titles of nobility; and sanctions or rejects the propositions which are made to him by the States. General.
The Council of State is composed of not more than 24 members, chosen, as far as possible, from all the provinces of the kingdom. The King presides in the Council, and appoints and dismisses the members at his plea
The Prince of Orange is of right a member of the Council of State, and takes his seat at the age of 18 years.
The legislative power is exercised jointly by the King and StatesGeneral.
The States-General consist of two Chambers. The first Chamber ''s composed of not less than 40 nor more than 60 members, of 40 years of age and upwards, nominated for life by the King, of persons most distinguished for public services, birth, or fortune. — The second Chamber is com
* Maestricht, though situated in the Belgic province of Limburg, belongs to Holland.