Belgium: Location, History, Size, Population, & Government

About the location, history, size, population, and government in the country of Belgium.



Location--Northwestern Europe between France (to the southwest) and the Netherlands (to the northeast). The North Sea is to the north; Luxembourg and West Germany are south and east.

How Created--The Belgae were a Celtic tribe conquered by Julius Caesar. The country was ruled by various European powers until 1815, when it was united with the Netherlands by the Congress of Vienna. In 1830 the Belgians revolted against the Dutch and invited a German Prince, Leopold of Saxe-Coburg, to be their King. The Treaty of Versailles, after W.W.I, added another 400 sq. mi. in the east.

Size--11,781 sq. mi., (30,514 sq. km.), slightly larger than Maryland.

Population--Over 11 million: Belgian, 95.1%; Italian 2.2%; French, Dutch, Polish, and others, 2.7%. 93.2% Roman Catholic.

Who Rules--Parliamentary democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The King, Baudouin I (born September 7, 1930, crowned July 17, 1951), is chief of state. Government is headed by the Prime Minister and Cabinet. Parliament consists of the Senate and Chamber of Representatives.

Who REALLY Rules--All postwar governments have been formed by one or more of 3 major parties: Catholics, Socialists, and Liberals (actually a conservative party).

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