Chapter

The Death of Belgium

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/9780199694341.003.0009
The Death of Belgium

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The reconstruction of Belgium achieved in 1947 established the basis of the post-war political order, dominated by the Catholic and Socialist parties and by a centralized state and parliamentary culture. Rapid economic change in the 1950s and 1960s undermined, however, the basis of this political order, leading to the development of Flemish and subsequently Walloon political movements, which challenged the ascendancy of the principal political parties. In the end, however, these regional pressures caused the division of the principal parties into linguistically defined regional parties, which from the end of the 1960s onwards led to a top-down erosion of the structures and loyalties of the former Belgian nation-state. Federalization in the 1980s provided only a temporary stabilization of this process.

Keywords: Belgium; Cold War; monarchy; nationalism; Flemish movement; Walloon movement; federalism; European integration

Chapter.  11923 words. 

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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