Definitions for Belgiumˈbɛl dʒəm; bɛlˈʒik; ˈbɛl xi ə
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word Belgium
Belgium, Kingdom of Belgium, Belgique(noun)
a monarchy in northwestern Europe; headquarters for the European Union and for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization
A country in Western Europe that has borders with the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France.
Origin: From Belgium, from the name of the tribe of Belgae.
Belgium, officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters as well as those of several other major international organisations such as NATO. Belgium covers an area of 30,528 square kilometres, and it has a population of about 11 million people. Straddling the cultural boundary between Germanic and Latin Europe, Belgium is home to two main linguistic groups, the Dutch-speakers, mostly Flemish, and the French-speakers, mostly Walloons, plus a small group of German-speakers. Belgium's two largest regions are the Dutch-speaking region of Flanders in the north and the French-speaking southern region of Wallonia. The Brussels-Capital Region, officially bilingual, is a mostly French-speaking enclave within the Flemish Region. A German-speaking Community exists in eastern Wallonia. Belgium's linguistic diversity and related political conflicts are reflected in the political history and a complex system of government. Historically, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg were known as the Low Countries, which used to cover a somewhat larger area than the current Benelux group of states. The region was called Belgica in Latin because of the Roman province Gallia Belgica which covered more or less the same area. From the end of the Middle Ages until the 17th century, it was a prosperous centre of commerce and culture. From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands, many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the "cockfighting arena of Europe," a reputation strengthened by both World Wars.
The Nuttall Encyclopedia
a small European State bordering on the North Sea, with Holland to the N., France to the S., and Rhenish Prussia and Luxemburg on the E.; is less than a third the size of Ireland, but it is the most densely populated country on the Continent. The people are of mixed stock, comprising Flemings, of Teutonic origin; Walloons, of Celtic origin; Germans, Dutch, and French. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion. Education is excellent; there are universities at Ghent, Liège, Brussels, and Louvain. French is the language of educated circles and of the State; but the prevalence of dialects hinders the growth of a national literature. The land is low and level and fertile in the N. and W., undulating in the middle, rocky and hilly in the S. and E. The Meuse and Scheldt are the chief rivers, the basin of the latter embracing most of the country. Climate is similar to the English, with greater extremes. Rye, wheat, oats, beet, and flax are the principal crops. Agriculture is the most painstaking and productive of the world. The hilly country is rich in coal, iron, zinc, and lead. After mining, the chief industries are textile manufactures and making of machinery: the former at Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, and Liège; the latter at Liège, Mons, and Charleroi. The trade is enormous; France, Germany, and Britain are the best customers. Exports are coal to France; farm products, eggs, &c., to England; and raw material imported from across seas, to France and the basin of the Rhine. It is a small country of large cities. The capital is Brussels (480), in the centre of the kingdom, but communicating with the ocean by a ship canal. The railways, canals, and river navigation are very highly developed. The government is a limited monarchy; the king, senate, and house of representatives form the constitution. There is a conscript army of 50,000 men, but no navy. Transferred from Spain to Austria in 1713. Belgium was under French sway from 1794 till 1814, when it was united with Holland, but established its independence in 1830.
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