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History of Belgium

History of Belgium

History of Belgium is studied from the beginning of 57 BC during which the reign of Julius Caesar expanded into some European region too. To grasp it better, we can divide the Belgian history into three periods, Ancient, Medieval and the Burgundian Period.

Ancient History

The early period of Belgian history is dominated by Gaul and the Romans. They called it the province Gallia Belgica. Later on in fourth century a Germanic tribe, Franks took over the control of the region and developed it as a large independent dynasty known as Merovingian by the year 431.Franks ruled a large part of present day France, Belgium and southwestern Germany as well under their Merovingian dynasty.

Medieval History

The medieval history of Belgium witnessed vast development of Belgium's nascent cities. Counts of Flanders emerged as powerful rulers during this period. The very first amongst the family was Baldwin Iron who dared revolting against the French rulers by marrying one of the daughters of Charles the Bold. Baldwin took first step in creating the equipped towns in order to check the Norsemen. The southeastern part of today's Belgium was taken over by German kings as part of Duchy of Lower Lotharingia or Lorraine by the next few years. Brussels came into existence in 977 when the Duke of Lorriane built the fortress on the River Senne that laid the foundation of the city. In due course of time trade and commerce developed and Flanders entered into their golden period. Counts of Flanders and the French nobility fought a war in 1302. However, they could manage to ward of the French with their unified resistance. France took over the control of Flanders by 1329. It became a reason for the annoyance of England which would supply raw wool for the clothe trade and was not pleased with the outcome. Therefore, England stopped sending wools to them in an attempt of breaking the French Power. Both the parties kept involved in war for years and did not end until Philip the Bold of Burgundy took over the charge of Flanders in 1384.

The Burgundian Period

Philip ruled from 1419 to 1467 and the empire expanded even more. Philip got a control over the southeastern areas that included Brussels, Namur and Liege. This era saw a great prosperity in terms of culture. Nevertheless, Belgium history went through a crisis period with the ascendancy of Philip II to the Spanish throne. The clash between the Spanish Catholicism and the rising Protestantism in northern Europe was the main reason behind all this.

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