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Belgium History Timeline

BC
  • (54BC) Eburons, a Belgian tribe under the command of King Ambiorix, won victory against the Roman legion
  • (53BC) Caesar claimed to have wiped out the Celtic Eburones; the Eburones lived in area that later came to be known as part of Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands
30 AD – 1000s
  • (30AD) Romans founded city of Tournal in Belgium
  • (496AD) King Clovis of the Franks founded a kingdom, included Belgium
  • (768) Carolingan family ruled the Frankish kingdom
  • (800) Charlemagne became king of the Franks
  • (843) Charlemagne's three grandsons divided the Frank empire between themselves
  • (963) Luxembourg founded, Belgium became part of the United Provinces of the Netherlands
  • (900-1000s) Carolingians lost most of their power; the families of Flanders, Brabant, Hainaut, Limburg, and Namur took control
1200s – 1700s
  • (1252) Town and monastery of Orval in Belgium burned to the ground; rebuilding took 100 years
  • (1370) Jews from Brussels massacred
  • (1477) Maximilian of Austria married Mary of Burgundy; Belgium ruled by Austria
  • (1506) Charles the Bold inherited the Netherlands (included present-day Belgium)
  • (1516) Charles the Bold inherited Spain
  • (1519) Charles the Bold became Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V
  • (1555) Charles gave Belgium to his son, Phillip II
  • (1566) Protestants, led by William I, Prince of Orange, rebelled against Catholic Phillip who sent thousands of Spanish soldiers to put down the rebellion
  • (1576) Eighty Years' War; Spain captured Antwerp
  • (1648) Conflict between Belgium and Spain ended when Spain recognized independence of the Netherlands, included Belgium
  • (1713) Austria ruled Belgium
  • (1789) Brabant Belgium Revolution occurred; armies from Austria defeated
  • (1790) Belgians formed independent state of Etats Belgiques Unis
  • (1790) Austria regained control of the region
  • (1790) France drove Austrians out of the region
1700s - 1800s
  • (1795) Belgium became a part of France
  • (1797) Austria surrendered to Napoleon; Austria gave up the Netherlands and Lombardy to France
  • (1814) Napoleon abdicated his throne
  • (1815) Congress of Vienna united Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg
  • (1821) Napoleon died
  • (1830) Declaration of independence from the Netherlands announced
  • (1831) Leopold I became king of Belgium
  • (1865) King Leopold II sent explorers to Africa; established the Congo Free State
1900s
  • (1908) United States forced the king to give control of the Congo to the Belgium Parliament; the Congo Free State became the Belgium Congo
  • (1909) King Albert became new King of Belgium
  • (1914) Germany invaded Belgium
  • (1914-18) World War I
  • (1918) Allied forces began the liberation of Belgium
  • (1920) Belgium abandoned neutrality; signed military alliance with France
  • (1940) Germany invaded Belgium and Holland: Belgian government evacuated to London; King Leopold surrendered to German forces
  • (1939-1945) World War II
  • (1944) Allied forces liberated Belgium
  • (1950) Belgian electorate voted for Leopold's return; after strikes and riots Leopold appointed eldest son, Prince Baudouin, to temporarily rule in his place
  • (1951) Baudouin officially assumed kingship
  • (1960) Belgian government granted independence to Congo; became Democratic Republic of Congo
  • (1967) "Innovation" department store in center of Brussels burned down; most devastating fire in Belgian history, 323 dead and missing, 150 injured
  • (1987) Cross channel ferry capsized outside the harbor off Zeebrugge, 180 drowned
  • (1992) Belgium ratified Maastricht Treaty on European Union
  • (1993) Constitution changed to recognize division of country into three administrative regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels
  • (1993) King Baudouin died, succeeded by his brother, Albert II
  • (1999) Dioxin contamination scandal, many nations banned Belgium food exports
  • (1999) Prime Minister Jean-Luc Dehaene's coalition resigned after large election losses
  • (1999) Coalition led by Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt took office

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This page was last modified on April 7, 2017.