Now now, don't be silly. Language had very little to do with it. It was broader than that. The main reason was Willem's politic to try and blend the best of The Netherlands and the best of Belgium together. For instance he tried to make an economic system based on Belgium's industry and Holland's trade and colonies. Problem was that most of the profits went to projects in The Netherlands. Also liberals soon found a common dismay with the catholics and they united against the Protestant hegemony for fear of getting marginalized. Funny thing is that at first the Dutch catholics supported the cause, because they too saw the opportunity. And ofcourse, they didn't divide everything as equally as the Belgians would like, politcally speaking and Willem was too powerful, while the Belgians had asked for a more ceremonial King. About the language, yes, he did create laws to have the language unified in 1817, but they only started to implement them in 1827-1828, by then the first groups of rebellion were already forming and the liberal press was already proposing a division between The Netherlands and Belgium. I think Les Etats Unis de Belgiques are the best proof that there was a national feeling before 1830. Anyway, the Flemish 'nation' is even a younger creationIt is true that I tend to overlook many of the other reasons, but I do think language shouldn't be neglected here. The French elite (and yes, those lived in Flanders as well, I know) has always thought of Dutch as a lesser language, even today they're still refusing to learn it because it's not the language of Voltaire (and mind you: I don't blame them. No one should be forced to learn a different language, but please, don't split up the country and make other people learn your language). It most certainly did play a part in it.I Concurr.
ZappyVlaams arguments are somewhat teinted with current nationalism rather than historical insight.
First of all: languages. They are almost not taken into account in EU3 culture system.
And it's also wrong to say "evil french speakers created belgium":
- There were much flemish in both revolutions (1789-90 and 1830);
- Both time, the issues were not language (States rights and then economical, political and religious issues).
- Nobody, save a few elite in both part of Belgium spoke French (mainly Picard languages).
Facts are stubborns, and past errors and tragedies (the centralization of early Belgium and the elites' disdain for flemish and picards languages as well) IMHO do not mean there is no such thing as Belgian idendity.
Even more: you can stick with these, I don't mind, but it happened far outside EU3 timeframe and do not mean there was no belgian idendity in these times.
No serious historian can negate the existence of a proto-belgian idendity with its roots in catholicisme, the attachment to local rights, charters and such and the fidelity to the ruling dynasty as long as the said rights are respected. Think what you want about post-1830 belgium, I'm advocating for the implementation of a pre-1830, Belgian-States United federation like one. Like it did happen. And I'm sure you won't negate the flemishness of Antwerp or Turnhout patriots of 1790 (or 1830 ) nor the Wallonianness of Namur's ones.
So, only Flanders or Brabant won't suffice to represent a Belgian State. We need a union tag or at least a country tag.
Come on! Germany and Romania have it...
In history class, we learnt that the separation of Belgium from the Netherlands was an irrational decision that yielded no greater benefits for Belgium. Yes, there was some cultural friction and all the other things OscarWilde mentions, but that could have been fixed in a different way. Especially the Flemish people (and by that I mean the peasants, not the French speaking elite) was better off in an union with the Netherlands.
The revolt against Austria is quite a different situation from the revolt against Belgium (I actually live in Turnhout, btw), as the 'oppressing' nation was a far away, foreign country and not a neighboring country with which a great deal of the nation had cultural ties. I see no need to introduce a new country just for this very specific revolt, that's why I think Brabant, Hainaut or Flanders call fill in as 'Belgian revolutionary state'. The main reason I don't want Belgium to be in the game, is just because it makes no sense at all. Even if there is a Belgian nationalistic feeling, it's only because we were separated since 1585 from the rest of the Netherlands and conquered by other nations every since (what a base for a nationalistic feeling: common oppression! Too bad the oppression didn't end with Belgium for Flanders). Starting in 1399 with Brabant and then forming Belgium rather than the Netherlands makes no sense at all, only in a very specific situation would a country like Belgium be desired and even then, I think Hainaut conquering Vlaanderen, Antwerpen, Brabant and Limburg would give a more realistic situation than a new Belgian state with Flemish and Walloon as accepted cultures.
I'm actually not a Flemish nationalist, though I am in favor of reuniting Flanders and the Netherlands, if it's not a simple annexation.