Belgium 1815-1830 Belgium 1830-1870 Netherlands 1815-1830 Netherlands 1830-1848

The 10 Days Campaign

Also referred to as the Belgian War of Independence

A.) The Diplomatic Pre-History of the Rebellion

The Vienna Congress of 1814-1815 disposed of the former Habsburg Netherlands as an area to be secured against French annexion. First it was allocated to Prussia, then, as a compensation for lost colonial property (Ceylon, the Cape Colony) merged with the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
King Willem I. (William I.) of the House of Orange ruled in a neo-absolutist style; the population of Catholic Belgium, to a significant part French- speaking, was dissatisfied with the monarchy and the union with the Calvinist north.

B.) The Military Course of Events

On Sept. 1st 1830 representatives of Eastates General at Brussels convince the crown prince that the administrative separation of north (Netherlands) and south (Belgium would be the best solution for the constitutional problem.
On Sept. 5th Proclamation of the king, calls on Estates General to decide over administrative separation.
On Sept. 23rd to 26th Prince Frederick fails in an attempt to occupy Brussels by force; he was repelled in street fights.
On Oct. 4th 1830 the independent state of Belgium was proclaimed.
On Febr. 7th 1831 the Belgian consyitution was proclaimed.
On June 4th 1831 Leopold von Sachsen-Coburg-Gotha elected King Leopold I. of Belgium.

The breakup of Belgium would violate the political order established at the Vienna Congress, an order the Holy Alliance was formed to uphold. Yet Czar Nicholas, although willing to send troops to suppress the Belgian revolution, was unable to do so because of the Polish Rebellion of 1830. Britain was not interested in interfering in Dutch-Belgian affairs, but was adamantly opposed to French wishes to annex Belgium, which were articulated at that time.

August 2nd to 12th the Dutch Army invaded Belgium (TIENDAAGSE VELDTOCHT = 10 Days' Campaign), defeated the Belgian forces near Hasselt and Leuven (Louvain).
A French army under Gerard appeared in Belgium, causing the Dutch to retreat. The victorious campaign gave the Dutch side an advantageous position in subsequent negotiations.

C.) The Legacy

The LONDON CONGRESS (October 24th 1831) established conditions for Belgo-Dutch relations. Belgium was to be independent and neutral. The Kingdom of the Netherlands recognized Belgian independence in the Treaty of 1839, in which the contested provinces LIMBURG and Luxemburg were split (The Grand Duchy of Luxemburg remained in dynastic union with the Kingdom of the Netherlands until 1890).
French officers helped organize a Belgian Army. Britain regarded itself the protectress of Belgium (with a suspicious eye at France).

Brussel 1830, from Krijgsverrichtingen Korps Rijdende Artillerie, in Dutch
Kamp van Beverlo, by Chris Witters, story of a Belgian army camp since 1830, in Dutch
Belgium 1830: A Night at the Opera, from The Wojciech Orlinski Page; the page ends abruptly with the Belgian Declaration of Independence and is written in a sloppy language inappropriate for serious historical topics
The Belgian Revolution, from The New Politics 211 Website
La Revolution Belge (1830-1831), from
Hendrik Conscience, De Omwenteling van 1830 (1884) posted online by L.J. Coster, excerpts, detailed, in Dutch, title translates to "The revolution of 1830"
De Tiendaagse veldtocht van het Nederlandse leger tegen de Belgen in augustus 1831. (The 10 days campaiign of the Dutch army against the Belgians in August 1831), from, in Dutch, detailed
DOCUMENTS Martyrs of the Belgian Revolution, from Find a Grave
Belgian Revolution, from Rijksmuseum Amsterdam, collection, 1250 major exhibits, encyclopedia, b, Belgian Revolution, thumbnail images
Gustaf Wappers: Tafereel van de septemberdagen 1830 (op de Grote Markt te Brussel), from DHM (painting featuring patriotic scene of the September days, Brussels, Great Market, 1830)
Werner Huysmans, Historiek van de 1e Lansiers, from Belgian Army pre 1914, in Dutch

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2001, last revised on November 19th 2004

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