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Today in Labour History

22 October 1830
Source: N 102/1

Holland and Belgium Divorce

Belgium and Holland were married in 1815 by order of the great European powers. Belgium was most discontented with this union. Following a popular rebellion, the Provisional Government proclaimed independence on 4 October 1830. The Dutch statesman Gijsbert Karel van Hogendorp showed understanding in a pamphlet dated 22 October 1830. His advice was to let the Belgians go, since they were so emotional about this issue. Holland could an practice free trade without being affected by Belgian desires for protectionist measures. In the end, Europe would be better off with two balanced nations rather than a single one that is ready to start a civil war. "It is even possible that in the next century, the progress of the human spirit will combine the conflicting interests."

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