1945-1949 1969-1990






Belgium 1949-1969



In 1950, a plebiscite approved for King Leopold to return, which he did. Yet the Belgian population was divided over the issue; he was resented by many; in 1951, the king abdicated in favour of his son, and King BAUDOUIN I. was crowned.
BRUSSELS' importance as a European metropolis increased with the establishment of the EUROPEAN COMMISSION FOR COAL AND STEEL in 1951 and the EUROPEAN ECONOMIC COMMUNITY in 1957, which chose Brussels as its seat. When France withdrew from the military branch of NATO, NATO headquarters was also moved to Brussels (1967). Belgium released its colonies into independence (Congo-Leopoldville in 1960, Rwanda and Urundi in 1962). In both cases, transfer into independence was accompanied by violence - ethnic strife in Rwanda and Burundi, control over Katanga's mineral wealth the issue in the Congolese troubles.
In domestic policy, the LANGUAGE ISSUE became more and more central. In 1965 the WALLOON PARTY was founded, changing its name into WALLOON RALLY in 1968. In 1968 the CVP/PSC (Christian People's Party) broke up in the Flemish CVP and the Walloon PSC, significant because it was the ruling party for much of the last two decades. Cabinets generally were short-lived; few lasted throughout a legislative period.
In 1958 the WORLD FAIR was held at Brussels, the ATOMIUM being a lasting monument of the event. In 1956 Belgium and the Federal Republic of Germany signed a treaty of reconciliation.In 1963 German was introduced as language of administration in the eastern cantons (acquired in 1919). Belgian C. PIRE was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1958.
In the 1950es Belgium experienced a significant increase in life expectancy, from an average 55 years in 1951 to an average 68 years in 1960, an average 69 years in 1969 (Quetelet 2005).














EXTERNAL
FILES
Belgium : History, from infoplease, encyclopedic, scroll down
Leopold III, King of Belgium, from Famous Belgians, encyclopedic; from Museum voor Vaderlandse Geschiedenis, in Dutch
Biography of Paul Henri Spaak, from NATO, from Famous Belgians, from Website of Belgium's Prime Minister
Biography of Hubert Pierlot, from Website of Belgium's Prime Minister
Biography of Achille van Acker, from Federal Govt., Belgium
List of Belgian Kings, Prime Ministers, from Ben Cahoon
List of Belgian Prime Ministers, portfolio ministers, party leaders since 1945, information on party history, from ZPC
Liste des gouvernements 1944-1999, with downloadable files 'composition', 'declaration', from CRISP (in French, on Belgium)
History of the Atomium, from Atomium
De Overstromingsramp, 31 Januari 1953 (The Inundation of Jan. 31st 1953) (at Bredene near Oostende), from De Bredenaar, illustrated
Vertegenwoordiging of voorhoede ? De Vereniging van Vlaamse Studenten, 1938-1977 (Representation or Avantgarde ? The Union of Flemish Students 1938-1977), by Bregt Henkens
Claire Quetelet, De evolutie van de levensverwachting in Belgie, 18de - 20ste eeuw (The Evolution of Life Expectancy in Belgium, from the 18th to the 20th century), thesis Univ. Gent 2005, in Dutch
DOCUMENTS Table on Marshall Plan aid received by country, from The Marshall Plan 1947-1997 A German View by Susan Stern
Foto : Groundbreaking ceremony for new NATO Headquarters at Brussels, 1967, from NATO
Belgian banknotes, from Currency Museum and from Ron Wise's World Paper Money
Paper money issued for the Belgian occupation troops in W. Germany, by A.F. Schepers (1946-1959)
REFERENCE Dorothy Loder, The Land and People of Belgium, Philadelphia : Lippincott (1957) revised edition 1973 [G]
Chapter 9 : The Benelux Contellation, pp.105-122 in : John Gunther, Inside Europe Today, NY : Harper & Bros. 1961 [G]
Article Belgium, in : Britannica Book of the Year 1950 pp.106-108, 1951 pp.103-105, 1952 pp.99-101, 1953 pp.100-101, 1954 pp.98-99, 1955 pp.159-160, 1956 pp.100-101, 1957 pp.158-159, 1958 pp.98-99, 1959 pp.101-102, 1960 pp.101-102, 1961 pp.101-103, 1962 pp.86-87, 1963 pp.202-203, 1964 pp.180-181, 1965 pp.179-180, 1966 pp.126-127, 1967 pp.141-142, 1968 pp.136-137, 1969 pp.138-139 [G]
Article : Belgium, in : Americana Annual 1957 pp.85-86, 1961 pp.77-78, 1962 pp.76-78, 1963 pp.88-89, 1964 pp.90-91, 1965 p.116, 1967 pp.119-120, 1968 pp.110-111, 1969 p.123 [G]
Article : Belgium, in : Funk & Wagnall's New Standard Encyclopedia Year Book 1952 pp.70-71, 1961 pp.41-42 [G]




This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 12th 2007

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