Chapter

Introduction

Martin Conway

in The Sorrows of Belgium

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199694341
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738401 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694341.003.0001
Introduction

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  • Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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Why did the manifold political and social crises which Belgium experienced during the period from the German invasion of 1940 to the later 1940s lead to the re-establishment of a version of the pre-war political and social order? Despite the violence of the German Occupation and the upheavals which followed it, the ultimate outcome was the establishment of a largely unchanged structure of party-dominated parliamentary rule. This process of democratic consolidation, however, disguised the way in which social and political power shifted within Belgium during the 1940s away from the pre-war francophone bourgeoisie to a new Dutch-speaking Flemish elite. Symbolized by the electoral success of the Christian Democrat Party, this provided a new basis for the post-war democratic order.

Keywords: Belgium; parliamentary democracy; Flanders; Christian democracy; Cold War; Western Europe

Chapter.  6471 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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