In the scheme of history nations have risen to prominence and have fallen and disappeared from history; this is now a fact that now threatens the tiny European kingdom of Belgium.
In the past Belgium has been threatened by wars from the time of its independence in the 1830’s right up into the modern era due to wars such as World War I and II; however now the small kingdom is threatening a new threat; a threat that is based in the foundation of the nation itself; a divided culture between the Flemish who live in Flanders and French speaking Belgians or Walloons.
Those who live in Flanders are those who are Flemish and those who French speaking live in the southern half of the nation or Wallonia.
Everything in Belgium is divided into two parts; those who are French speaking Belgians or Walloon look at French politics; read French books and enjoy the blessings of French culture. Those who live in the northern part of Belgium pay attention to Belgian, Dutch, British and American politics. A friend of mine who is retired has a husband who is Flemish or from northern Belgium and his family sees the Walloons or French Belgians as foreigner; as foreign as the French citizens in France and often call them, “those Walloons,” it is not a negative statement but a statement suggesting that the differences between northern and southern Belgium are huge; as if it is a separate country.
Why is there such a separation between the Flemish and French or Walloons? The separation within Belgium starts in the history of Belgium. Over many centuries what is now Belgium was a part of the Frankish Empire; most of which is present day France today; then portions of Belgium were apart of various feudal kingdoms, many of which were Dutch kingdoms. After many centuries Belgium found itself under the rule of Spain and later the old Austrian Empire which was often the scene of many battles between France and Austria before it was conquered again by France. Finally Belgium became a part of France and remained so under the reign of Napoleon I; however when Napoleon I fell the allied nation were intent to punish France in 1815 and gave much France territory to various nations; Belgium was given to the Netherlands.
Why is the history of Belgium important; because after 400 years of war and strife have had taken their toll on Belgium and the Netherlands; as a result even though they were made one nation in 1815 they separated by 1830 and Belgium became a nation; however the nation had separations within that last until today. The Flemish in the North of Belgium speak Dutch; the French Walloons in the south speak French; so the strife that caused Belgium to split from the Netherlands still causes strife within Belgium.
Due to the fact that the nation is not historically one nation and is a result of all long ago alliance and its punishing of Napoleonic France we must ask ourselves the questions; is the punishment nearly 200 years later practical? Both the Alliance of Austria, Prussia, Russia and Britain is long gone; in truth Prussia is no longer even a nation due to its punishment as a result of World War II. Napoleonic France is no more and France is not a danger to stability in Europe; in fact it has contributed greatly to the stability of Europe since World War I and is the world’s 3rd most powerful country today. As a result from a foreign perspective the punishment that brought Belgium into existence is no longer due nor is is the powers that enforced it upon France.
As a result we must ask the question; is it practical for Belgium which is torn apart from cultural strife within and was created by outside nations over a cause that has disappeared nearly 200 years ago; is it practical for Belgium to remain one kingdom?
I say, “No”
If the Flemish and French Walloons have not become one nation after nearly 200 years being within one country; they never will. Walloons see Flemish as foreigners; Flemish see Wallons as foreigner so why not keep the peace but bring a honourable divorce.
Allow Belgium be divided among the peoples that relate to each other and put an end to strife; politically and culturally.
Allow Walloonia and its five providences with Brussels in the south of Belgium to be become a part of France which shares the same culture and language with Walloonia. Allow the King of Belgium and Prime Minister to have a position in the French Government as many overseas territories of the French Republic.
Allow Flemish Flanders in the north to become a part of the Netherlands where they culturally have no real separation.
Bring Belgium to unity by bringing peace to its people and ending the difficulties in Belgium culture.