Belgium Key Dates

350 BC    Iron-Age Celtic tribe called the Belgae settles in the area.
52 BC    Roman army under Julius Caesar conquers the region. Roman province of Gallia Belgica created.
300 AD    German Franks begin moving into Belgium from the east and settle in the north and west.
496 AD    The Franks are converted to Christianity.
9th C.    Region incorporated into the Holy Roman Empire of Charlemagne.
814 AD    Death of Charlemagne sees Belgium disintegrate into semi-independent principalities.
843 AD    Partition of Verdun – Belgium divided between France and German kingdom of Lotharingia.
891 AD    Viking invaders defeated at Louvain.
1090    First Crusade sparks rapid growth in commerce and industry in the region.
1302    Invading French army defeated.
1384    French dukes of Burgundy unite the region.
1477    Control of region passed to Habsburg family in Austria.
1555    Region passed to Spanish Habsburgs – becomes part of Spanish Netherlands.
1578    Netherlands revolts against Spanish rule, but southern Catholic part later reconquered by Spain.
1713    Peace of Utrecht – territory passed to Austria as Austrian Netherlands.
1789    Belgian revolt leads to independent Confederation of the United States of Belgium.
1794    Austrian Netherlands conquered by the French Republic.
1797    France gains Belgian territories by Treaty of Campo Formio.
1814    Congress of Vienna – Belgium merged with Netherlands.
4 Oct 1830    Declaration of independence from the Netherlands.
21 July 1831    Leopold I becomes first modern king of Belgium.
19 April 1839    Belgian neutrality guaranteed by major European powers at London Conference.
1885    Congo Free State created under personal rule of the Belgian king.
1908    Belgian Congo transferred to Belgian state control.
1921    Belgo-Luxembourg Economic Union formed.
4 August 1914    Belgium invaded by German forces at start of World War I. Belgium partially occupied until 1918.
1919    Belgium awarded League of Nations mandate for Ruanda-Urundi.
1925    Locarno Pact guarantees post-WWI borders of Belgium.
1930    Flanders and Wallonia legally become unilingual regions.
10 May 1940    Germany invades Belgium and Netherlands.
28 May 1940    King Leopold surrenders to German forces.
Sept 1944    Belgium liberated by Allied Forces.
1947    Benelux Customs Union formed with Netherlands and Luxembourg.
4 April 1949    Belgium becomes a founder member of NATO.
25 March 1957    Treaty of Rome signed – founder member of EEC.
1960    Belgian Congo granted independence.
1962    Rwanda and Burundi granted independence.
1993    New federal constitution recognises three administrative regions: Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.
January 2002    Euro replaces Belgian Franc as national currency.

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