V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 7. Western and Central Europe, 1848–1914 > c. The Low Countries
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
(See 1847)
 
c. The Low Countries
1. Belgium
 
Monarchs: Leopold I (r. 1831–65), Leopold II (r. 1865–1909), and Albert I (r. 1909–34).  1
 
1850 Ff
 
Doctrinaire liberalism gained control in the government under Charles Rogier. François Laurent became the major theorist and argued that progress toward individualism was directed by God. L'Économiste belge served as the major periodical for the movement.  2
 
1850
 
An education bill increased the number of state grammar and secondary schools, but allowed priests to offer religious instruction in these schools. Nonetheless, the bill met increasing opposition from the Catholics, and priests generally refused to offer such instruction.  3
National Bank founded.  4
 
1852
 
Walther Frère-Orban adopted a strategy of free trade implemented through a series of bilateral trade treaties and by reducing duties on a number of items.  5
The Rogier cabinet resigned as a result of domestic crisis and the growing hostility of Napoleon III. Leopold I proved unable to establish a stable conservative government. The doctrinaire Liberals returned in 1857.  6
 
1854
 
L'Affranchissement established. Along with Les Solidaires (1857), it combined atheism with socialist ideas. Atheist organizations provided groundwork for socialism in Belgium throughout the 19th century.  7
 
1860, July 21
 
Frère-Orban abolished cities' rights to impose duties on wares brought into towns and established the Crédit communal, which provided state loans to municipalities on favorable terms.  8
 
1870, Aug. 9, 11
 
Treaties concluded among Britain, Prussia, and France guaranteed Belgian neutrality during the Franco-Prussian War.  9
 
1879, July 1
 
An education act secularized primary education. No public support was to be given to “free” or Catholic schools. The measure passed with Liberal support but estranged the Clericals.  10
 
1880, June
 
Clericals won a majority in the elections and replaced the Liberals in power until World War I.  11
 
1884, Sept. 10
 
A new education law gave public support for church schools in Catholic districts.  12
 
1885
 
The Workers' Party founded. It soon replaced the Liberals as the primary opposition to the Clericals.  13
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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