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The Austrian Netherlands in 1789
|Status|| Province of Austria |
State of the Holy Roman Empire
|Common languages||German, French, Dutch, Latin|
|Francis Eugene (first)|
|Charles Louis (last)|
|Lothar Dominik (first)|
|Franz Karl (last)|
|Historical era||Early Modern|
|7 March 1714|
|8 November 1785|
|18 September 1794|
|Today part of|
Part of a series on the
|History of Belgium|
| Timeline |
The Austrian Netherlands (Dutch : Oostenrijkse Nederlanden; French : Pays-Bas Autrichiens; German : Österreichische Niederlande; Latin : Belgium Austriacum) was the larger part of the Southern Netherlands between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the Austrian acquisition of the former Spanish Netherlands under the Treaty of Rastatt in 1714 and lasted until Revolutionary France annexed the territory during the aftermath of the Battle of Sprimont in 1794 and the Peace of Basel in 1795. Austria, however, did not relinquish its claim over the province until 1797 in the Treaty of Campo Formio.
The Austrian Netherlands formed a non-contiguous territory that consisted of what is now western Belgium as well as greater Luxembourg, bisected by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège. The dominant languages were German (including Luxembourgish), Dutch (Flemish), and French, along with Picard and Walloon.[ citation needed ]
As a result[ citation needed ] of the Barrier Treaties of 1709-1715, the Holy Roman Emperor Charles VI (r. 1711–1740) showed little apparent interest in the day-to-day rule of the Austrian Netherlands; yet he insisted on keeping ultimate control of the territories concerned. This caused quite a lot of frustration with Austria's own inhabitants, especially because the Dutch troops were paid with money that needed to be raised from the Austrian Netherlands themselves. The war of 1740-1748 showed that Austria already had little interest in maintaining the Austrian Netherlands: constant bickering among the Allied commanders meant the French kept the initiative during the campaigns, and the fortifications, manned with mostly Dutch troops, were captured with ease by the French army. Although the Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle had stipulated that Dutch garrisons should again man the Barrier towns, Charles's daughter and successor Maria Theresa, advised by her counselor Kaunitz, refused to pay for those troops any longer, unless there were to be negotiations about new trade agreements. In the end, the Republic refused to pay for the rebuilding of the fortifications and or to send any troops, but with the Barrier towns in ruins and the Netherlands now open for a new invasion, she had little to offer. When Austria and France entered into an alliance in 1756, there was in effect no purpose in the Barrier treaty any more. In 1781 the Austrian archduke, Emperor Joseph II, unilaterally renounced the treaty.
Under the Treaty of Rastatt (1714), following the War of the Spanish Succession, the surviving portions of the Spanish Netherlands were ceded to Austria.
The Austrians were unconcerned with the upkeep of their province and the fortresses along the border (the Barrier Fortresses) were, by treaty, garrisoned with Dutch troops. The area had, in fact, been given to Austria largely at British and Dutch insistence, as these powers feared potential French domination of the region.
Charles VI attempted to use the Austrian Netherlands to compete with British and Dutch traders in an enterprise known as the Ostend Company.[ citation needed ]
Throughout the latter part of the eighteenth century, the principal foreign policy goal of the Habsburg rulers was to exchange the Austrian Netherlands for Bavaria, which would round out Habsburg possessions in southern Germany. In the Treaty of Versailles of 1757, Austria agreed to the creation of an independent state in the Southern Netherlands ruled by Philip, Duke of Parma and garrisoned by French troops in exchange for French help in recovering Silesia. However, the agreement was later revoked by the Treaty of Versailles of 1758 and Austrian rule continued.[ citation needed ]
In 1784 Joseph II did take up the long-standing grudge of Antwerp, whose once-flourishing trade was destroyed by the permanent closure of the Scheldt, and demanded that the Dutch Republic open the river to navigation. However, the Emperor's stance was far from militant, and he called off hostilities after the so-called Kettle War, known by that name because its only "casualty" was a kettle. Though Joseph did secure in the Treaty of Fontainebleau in 1785 that the Southern Netherlands would be compensated by the Dutch Republic for the continued closing the Scheldt, this achievement failed to gain him much popularity.[ citation needed ]
In the 1780s, opposition emerged to the liberal reforms of Emperor Joseph II, which were perceived as an attack on the Catholic Church and the traditional institutions in the Austrian Netherlands. Resistance, focused in the autonomous and wealthy Estates of Brabant and Flanders, grew. In the aftermath of rioting and disruption, known as the Small Revolution, in 1787, many of opponents took refuge in the neighboring Dutch Republic where they formed a rebel army. Soon after the outbreak of the French and Liège revolutions, the émigré army crossed into the Austrian Netherlands and decisively defeated the Austrians at the Battle of Turnhout in October 1789. The rebels, supported by uprisings across the territory, soon took control over much of the territory and proclaimed independence. Despite the tacit support of Prussia, the independent United Belgian States, established in January 1790, received no foreign recognition and soon became divided along ideological lines. The Vonckists, led by Jan Frans Vonck, advocated progressive and liberal government, whereas the Statists, led by Hendrik Van der Noot, were staunchly conservative and supported by the Church. The Statists, who had a wider base of support, soon drove the Vonckists into exile through a terror.
By mid-1790, Habsburg Austria ended its war with the Ottoman Empire and prepared to suppress the rebels. The new Holy Roman Emperor, Leopold II, was also a liberal and proposed an amnesty for the rebels. After defeating a Statist army at the Battle of Falmagne, the territory was soon overrun and the revolution was defeated by December. The Austrian reestablishment was short-lived, however, and the territory was soon overrun by the French during the French Revolutionary Wars.
The Councillors of state acted as government, and formed the council by imperial consent:
In 1794, the armies of the French Revolution annexed the Austrian Netherlands from the Holy Roman Empire and integrated them into the French Republic.
The War of the Polish Succession was a major European conflict sparked by a Polish civil war over the succession to Augustus II of Poland, which the other European powers widened in pursuit of their own national interests. France and Spain, the two Bourbon powers, attempted to test the power of the Austrian Habsburgs in western Europe, as did the Kingdom of Prussia, whilst Saxony and Russia mobilized to support the eventual Polish victor. The fighting in Poland resulted in the accession of Augustus III, who in addition to Russia and Saxony, was politically supported by the Habsburgs.
The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–1714) was a European conflict of the early 18th century, triggered by the death of the childless Charles II of Spain in November 1700. His closest heirs were members of the Austrian Habsburg and French Bourbon families; acquisition of an undivided Spanish Empire by either threatened the European balance of power and thus involved the other leading powers. Related conflicts include Rákóczi's War of Independence in Hungary, the Camisard revolt in Southern France, Queen Anne's War in North America, and minor struggles in Colonial India. The 1700-1721 Great Northern War is viewed as connected but separate.
The War of the First Coalition is the traditional name of the wars that several European powers fought between 1792 and 1797 against the French First Republic. They were only lightly allied and fought without much apparent coordination or agreement; each power had its eye on a different part of France it wanted to appropriate after a French defeat, which never occurred.
The Treaty of Campo Formio was signed on 18 October 1797 by Napoleon Bonaparte and Count Philipp von Cobenzl as representatives of the French Republic and the Austrian monarchy, respectively. The treaty followed the armistice of Leoben, which had been forced on the Habsburgs by Napoleon's victorious campaign in Italy. It ended the War of the First Coalition and left Great Britain fighting alone against revolutionary France.
The Southern Netherlands, also called the Catholic Netherlands, was the part of the Low Countries largely controlled by Spain (1556–1714), later Austria (1714–1794), and occupied then annexed by France (1794–1815). The region also included a number of smaller states that were never ruled by Spain or Austria: the Prince-Bishopric of Liège, the Imperial Abbey of Stavelot-Malmedy, the County of Bouillon, the County of Horne and the Princely Abbey of Thorn. The Southern Netherlands were part of the Holy Roman Empire until the whole area was annexed by Revolutionary France.
Cardinal-Infante Ferdinand was Governor of the Spanish Netherlands, Cardinal of the Holy Catholic Church, Infante of Spain, Infante of Portugal, Archduke of Austria, Archbishop of Toledo (1619–41), and military commander during the Thirty Years' War.
The 1748 Treaty of Aix-la-Chapelle, sometimes called the Treaty of Aachen, ended the War of the Austrian Succession, following a congress assembled on 24 April 1748 at the Free Imperial City of Aachen.
Spanish Netherlands was the name for the Habsburg Netherlands ruled by the Spanish branch of the Habsburgs from 1556 to 1714. They were a collection of States of the Holy Roman Empire in the Low Countries held in personal union by the Spanish Crown. This region comprised most of the modern states of Belgium and Luxembourg, as well as parts of northern France, southern Netherlands, and western Germany with the capital being Brussels.
The United Belgian States, also known as the United States of Belgium, was a confederal republic in the Southern Netherlands which was established after the Brabant Revolution. It existed from January to December 1790 as part of the unsuccessful revolt against the Habsburg Emperor, Joseph II.
The "Barrier Treaties" were a series of agreements signed and ratified between 1709 and 1715 that created a buffer zone between the Dutch Republic and Kingdom of France by allowing the Dutch to occupy a number of fortresses within the Spanish or Austrian Netherlands. The fortresses ultimately proved ineffective as a means of defence and the treaties were cancelled by Austria in 1781.
The Treaty of Baden was the treaty that ended formal hostilities between France and the Holy Roman Empire, which had been at war since the start of the War of the Spanish Succession. It was signed on 7 September 1714 in Baden, Switzerland, and complemented the Treaties of Utrecht and of Rastatt.
The Treaty of Rastatt was a peace treaty between France and Austria, concluded on 7 March 1714 in the Baden city of Rastatt, to put an end to state of war between them from the War of the Spanish Succession. The treaty followed the earlier Treaty of Utrecht of 11 April 1713, which ended hostilities between France and Spain, on the one hand, and Britain and the Dutch Republic, on the other hand. A third treaty at Baden, Switzerland was required to end the hostilities between France and the Holy Roman Empire.
The Treaty of Den Haag (1701) or Treaty of The Hague (1701) was signed on 7 September 1701 between Great Britain, the Holy Roman Emperor Leopold I, and the United Provinces. It reconstituted the 1689 anti-French Grand Alliance in response to the issues that resulted in the War of the Spanish Succession.
The Brabant Revolution or Brabantine Revolution, sometimes referred to as the Belgian Revolution of 1789–90 in older writing, was an armed insurrection that occurred in the Austrian Netherlands between October 1789 and December 1790. The revolution, which occurred at the same time as revolutions in France and Liège, led to the brief overthrow of Habsburg rule and the proclamation of a short-lived polity, the United Belgian States.
The Kettle War was a military confrontation between the troops of the Holy Roman Empire and the Republic of the Seven Netherlands on 8 October 1784. It was named the Kettle War because the only shot fired hit a soup kettle.
The Ficquelmont family is a noble family from Lorraine dating back to the 14th century whose filiation is established with Henry de Ficquelmont, knight, dead before 1386.
The Statists were a conservative political faction in the United Belgian States during the Brabant Revolution (1789–1790). They were led by Henri Van der Noot and fiercely opposed to the more radical "Vonckist" faction, led by Jan Frans Vonck.
In the period 1482–1492, the cities of the County of Flanders revolted twice against Archduke Maximilian of Austria, who ruled the county as regent for his son, Philip the Handsome. The revolts were rooted in the cities' desire to maintain the autonomy that they had wrested from Philip's mother and predecessor, Mary of Burgundy, which Maximilian threatened to curtail. Both revolts were ultimately unsuccessful.
The Committee of United Belgians and Liégeois was a group of exiled rebel leaders from the failed Brabantine and Liège Revolutions who sought to create an independent Belgian republic.