Global Independent Analytics
Lionel Baland
Lionel Baland

Location: Belgium

Specialization: Euroscepticism, Patriotic parties of Europe

Just as in the First World War in Belgium: A Surge in Nationalism in Europe is a Reaction to Globalist Aggression

In different countries of Europe, the nationalist parties got in 2015 very good results in elections or in opinion polls. This eruption is not something new in the history.

To understand what is happening now, it is useful to watch the past. One century ago, between 1916 and 1920, the nationalist ideas were very strong in Belgium as a reaction to the German aggression. 

Belgium was born 175 years ago

At the end of the Napoleonic era, the Netherlands was built as a buffer State between France, England and Prussia. 15 years later, in 1830, an uprising in the South of the country led to the creation of two States: Belgium and the Netherlands. In 1839, the King of the Netherlands agreed to the conditions imposed on Belgium and the Netherlands by the big countries (France, England and Prussia). The Netherlands got back some territories and the King of the Netherlands got the German-speaking part of Luxemburg as a personal possession. [This separation in two part of Luxemburg, mainly following the language (Luxemburgish/German and Walloon/French), can be seen as a volition of Prussia to separate the villages and cities that have a Luxemburg dialect and the German language from those that have a Walloon dialect and the French language, and a kind of precocious German nationalist decision of Prussia]. The Walloon/French speaking part stayed in Belgium and the Luxemburgish/German part became a State. 

The Belgian State having people from three languages Flemish/Dutch, Walloon/French and German, was a kind of artificially created state and the product of a complicated history. Although some historians tried building the myth of Belgian people existing for two millenniums, Belgian nationalism cannot be considered as existing in the 19th century. But at the end of this century, Belgium knew a surge of a sentiment of national pride.

Belgian nationalism

Before the First World War, some thinkers and writers developed the Belgian nationalist idea but this conception didn’t reach a lot of people in the Belgian population.

In 1914, Germany invaded Belgium and the German army did bad things. They occupied a very large part of the country. In reaction, a strong nationalist sentiment erupted in the occupied and non-occupied Belgian territories and in France too by the Belgian refugees in Paris, or in Saint-Adresse near Le Havre where the Belgian government was in exile.

This strong nationalist sentiment went further: in 1916, Pierre Nothomb started to write books in which he claimed for Belgium some German and Dutch territories and the annexation of the State of Luxemburg. The war ended in November 1918. The Belgians were proud of their King and of their resistance against the Germans. In 1920, nationalism started to decline and now Belgian nationalism doesn’t exist anymore. The only nationalism that still exists in Belgium is Flemish nationalism that has the goal to cut the country into two and proclaim the independence of Flanders.

My homeland 

In 1915, Gabrielle Petit, a Belgian female member of the Resistance who was shot in 1916 by the Germans, declared: “My homeland, I haven’t had enough think about it. I almost ignored it. I didn’t feel that I liked it. But since they martyr it, the monsters, I see it everywhere. I sniff it in the streets of the city, at the shadow of our palaces… It lives in me, I live in it.”

Similar causes have similar effects

Nationalism is surging nowadays in Europe, reacting to the globalist aggression, as in 1916 in Belgium, it reacted to the German attack and occupation.

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