10 Facts About Southern Netherlands


Southern Netherlands, called the Catholic Netherlands, were the parts of the Low Countries belonging to the Holy Roman Empire which were at first largely controlled by Habsburg Spain and later by the Austrian Habsburgs until occupied and annexed by Revolutionary France .

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Southern Netherlands comprised most of modern-day Belgium and Luxembourg, small parts of the modern Netherlands and Germany, in addition to most of the present Nord-Pas-de-Calais region, and Longwy area in northern France.

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Habsburg Southern Netherlands passed to the Austrian Habsburgs after the War of the Spanish Succession in 1714.

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The Austrian Southern Netherlands were ultimately lost to the French Revolutionary armies, and annexed to France in 1794.

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The King of the Southern Netherlands was Grand Duke of Luxembourg until 1890, when William III was succeeded by his daughter, Wilhelmina of the Southern Netherlands – but Luxembourg still followed the Salic law at the time, which forbade a woman to rule in her own right, so the union of the Dutch and Luxembourger crowns then ended.

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Spanish Southern Netherlands was a portion of the Low Countries controlled by Spain from 1556 to 1714, inherited from the Dukes of Burgundy.

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When part of the Southern Netherlands separated from Spanish rule and became the United Provinces in 1581 the remainder of the area became known as the Spanish Southern Netherlands and remained under Spanish control.

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Under the Archdukes, the Spanish Southern Netherlands actually had formal independence from Spain, but always remained unofficially within the Spanish sphere of influence, and with Albert's death in 1621 they returned to formal Spanish control, although the childless Isabella remained on as Governor until her death in 1633.

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Under the Treaty of Rastatt, following the War of the Spanish Succession, what was left of the Spanish Southern Netherlands was ceded to Austria and thus became known as the Austrian Southern Netherlands or Belgium Austriacum.

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People of the Austrian Southern Netherlands rebelled against Austria in 1788 as a result of Joseph II's centralizing policies.

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