History of Belgium

Belgium today is a democracy like most other European countries but it has experienced a roller coaster ride of sorts before getting to the present state, its history has been quite tumultuous. Belgium boasts of a rich prehistory too. Prehistory of Belgium can simply not be studied in isolation as prehistory of Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg is very intrinsically connected. Netherlands, Belgium and Luxemburg are collectively called Low Countries as most of the land of these countries along the North Sea coast and quite some distance inland is below sea level or just above it. Historians include territory of present day Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg as well as parts of northern France in the entity called Low Countries for the study of history and prehistory of the region. Prehistory and history of Low Countries till at least 16th century is studied in unison. History of Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg is studied separately for later periods. During prehistorical times regions north of lower courses of Meuse and Rhine river were part and parcel of north European cultural area while regions to the south were influenced by culture of central and western Europe.

Prehistory and history

Human activity in the region can be traced back to 250000 BP. Flint objects found near Maastricht on the Netherlands-Belgium border are regarded as oldest signs of human inhabitation in the region and date back to 250000 BP. Remains of human activity found at Mons, Belgium are regarded as older than Maastricht remains. Period from 250000 BP till 35000 BP is regarded as lower and middle Paleolithic period in this region. .Extensive remains from lower and middle Paleolithic period (250000 BP till 35000 BP), Upper Paleolithic period (35000-10000 BP), Mesolithic period (10000 BP to 4000 BCE), Neolithic period (4000-2900 BC), Bronze age (2000-700 BC) and Iron age (700 BC to Roman times) have been found.

Roman period started in this region with roman conquest of 1st century BC. In mid-3rd century AD weakening of Roman authority happened. Reason was not only resurgence of Germanic tribes but probably intrusion by sea. At the end of 3rd century AD roman authority resurrected temporarily but Roman occupation of Low Countries was finally ended by invading Germanic tribes in 406-407 AD. Later on Low Countries became a part of Frankish empire. After centuries of foreign rule Belgium finally became independent state in 1831. Dutch, the last foreign occupiers of Belgium recognized Belgium as independent state in 1839. Belgium was occupied by Germany during world wars 1 and 2.

National Flag