Belgium, Its Institutions, Industries and Commerce (Classic Reprint)
Excerpt from Belgium, Its Institutions, Industries and Commerce From the earliest days of its history and under every rule, Belgium has had its own national characteristics. Julius Ceasar acknowledged them and did homage to the military virtues of the Belgians of yore. After the fall of the Roman Empire, the several provinces, forming as many small independent States, whose sovereigns had but ill-defined duties towards the Kings of France and the Holy Empire, lived autonomously and history proclaims their heroic deeds. All of them were moved, sooner than anywhere else, by the spirit of liberty and independence. Communal franchises and citizens rights were allowed ever since the XIIth century, and were almost the same in the north as in the south
the Kings of Spain as well as the Emperors of Austria swore to respect them, as Dukes of Brabant, Limburg and Luxemburg, Counts of Flanders, Hainault and Namur, when these territories, from a purely personal union, became..