Peasants' War (1798)

Last updated

Peasants' War
Part of the French Revolutionary Wars
The Peasant War.jpg
Peasants gathering, Constantin Meunier (1875)
Date12 October 1798 – 5 December 1798
(1 month and 23 days)
Location Southern Netherlands annexed by the French Republic
(modern-day Belgium, Luxembourg and German border lands)
Result French republican victory
Belligerents
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg French Republic Blanc croix rouge.svg Counter-revolutionary peasants
Commanders and leaders
Flag of France (1794-1815).svg Claude-Sylvestre Colaud Blanc croix rouge.svg Pieter Corbeels
Casualties and losses
In Flanders, c.15,000 dead
In Luxembourg, 200–300 [1]

The Peasants' War (French: Guerre des Paysans, Dutch : Boerenkrijg, German: Klöppelkrieg, Luxembourgish : Klëppelkrich) was a peasant revolt in 1798 against the French occupiers of the Southern Netherlands, a region which now includes Belgium, Luxembourg, and parts of Germany. The French had annexed the region in 1795 and control of the region was officially ceded to the French after the Treaty of Campo Formio in 1797. [2] [3] The revolt is considered part of the French Revolutionary Wars.

Dutch language West Germanic language

Dutch(Nederlands ) is a West Germanic language spoken by around 23 million people as a first language and 5 million people as a second language, constituting the majority of people in the Netherlands and Belgium. It is the third most widely spoken Germanic language, after its close relatives English and German.

Southern Netherlands historical region in Belgium

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.

Treaty of Campo Formio 1797 treaty between Napoleonic France and Habsburg Austria

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.

Contents

Motivations for war

After the Southern Netherlands was annexed by France, the French revolutionaries began to implement their policies regarding the Catholic Church. The Civil Constitution of the Clergy required that priests take an oath of allegiance to the state. Priests who refused such an oath (non-juring priests) were considered to be enemies of the state and could be removed from their positions and homes. [2] Additionally, in early 1798, the French Council of Five Hundred passed a law requiring compulsory military service. This law ordered the conscription of men between the ages of 20 and 25 in all French territories. General conscription like this was a relatively new product of the French Revolution, and was met with anger by the men who were forced into service. [4]

Civil Constitution of the Clergy

The Civil Constitution of the Clergy was a law passed on 12 July 1790 during the French Revolution, that caused the immediate subordination of the Catholic Church in France to the French government.

Council of Five Hundred lower house of the legislature of France during the period commonly known as the Directory (Directoire)

The Council of Five Hundred, or simply the Five Hundred, was the lower house of the legislature of France under the Constitution of the Year III. It existed during the period commonly known as the Directory (Directoire), from 26 October 1795 until 9 November 1799: roughly the second half of the period generally referred to as the French Revolution.

France was the first modern nation state to introduce universal military conscription as a condition of citizenship. This was done in order to provide manpower for the country's military at the time of the French Revolution. Conscription continued in various forms for two hundred years until being finally phased out between 1996 and 2001.

By region

Flanders

The majority of the conflict during the Peasants' War occurred in Flanders (Lys and Scheldt départements) and Brabant (Deux-Nèthes and Dyle départements). Referred to as the Boerenkrijg, it is referenced by some historians as a Belgian national revolt, and an indication of a desire for independence by Belgium. [2] [3]

Lys (department) former French department (1795-1814)

Lys[lis] was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Belgium. It was named after the river Lys (Leie). It was created on 1 October 1795, when the Southern Netherlands were annexed by France. Before its occupation, its territory was part of the county of Flanders. Its capital was Bruges.

Escaut (department) former French department (1795-1814)

Escaut[ɛsko] was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Belgium and Netherlands. It was named after the river Scheldt, which is called the Escaut in French. It was formed in 1795, when the Southern Netherlands were annexed by France. Before the occupation, the territory was part of the county of Flanders and the United Provinces (Staats-Vlaanderen).

Deux-Nèthes former French department (1795-1814)

Deux-Nèthes was a department of the First French Empire in present-day Belgium and the Netherlands. It was named after two branches of the river Nete. The southern part of its territory corresponds more or less with the present-day Belgian province of Antwerp.

In Flanders the revolt was somewhat organized, with the people seeking aid from foreign nations such as England and Prussia. The revolution began on 12 October 1798, with peasants taking up arms against the French in Overmere. Initially the rebellion was somewhat successful, however, lacking proper arms and training it was crushed less than two months later, on 5 December, in Hasselt. An estimated 5,000–10,000 people were killed during the uprising. Additionally, there were 170 executions of the leaders of the rebellion. [5]

Prussia state in Central Europe between 1525–1947

Prussia was a historically prominent German state that originated in 1525 with a duchy centred on the region of Prussia on the southeast coast of the Baltic Sea. It was de facto dissolved by an emergency decree transferring powers of the Prussian government to German Chancellor Franz von Papen in 1932 and de jure by an Allied decree in 1947. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organised and effective army. Prussia, with its capital in Königsberg and from 1701 in Berlin, decisively shaped the history of Germany.

Hasselt Municipality in Flemish Community, Belgium

Hasselt is a Flemish city and municipality, and capital of the province of Limburg in Belgium. The Hasselt municipality includes the original city of Hasselt, plus the old communes of Sint-Lambrechts-Herk, Wimmertingen, Kermt, Spalbeek, Kuringen, Stokrooie, Stevoort and Runkst, as well as the hamlets and parishes of Kiewit, Godsheide and Rapertingen.

Luxembourg

In Luxembourg (Forêts département), the revolt was called Klëppelkrich. This revolt quickly spread, consuming most of West Eifel. [6] The primary combatants in Luxembourg were the peasantry. The middle and upper classes were not driven to revolt as the anti-clericalism and the modernisation brought by the French Revolution were somewhat beneficial to them. [6]

Forêts former French department (1795-1814)

Forêts[fɔ.ʁɛ] was a department of the French First Republic, and later the First French Empire, in present-day Belgium, Luxembourg, and Germany. Its name, meaning 'forests', comes from the Ardennes forests. It was formed on 24 October 1795, after the Southern Netherlands had been annexed by France on 1 October. Before the occupation, the territory was part of the Duchy of Luxembourg and the Duchy of Bouillon. Its capital was Luxembourg City.

West Eifel mountains in Germany

The West Eifel refers to that part of the Eifel mountains in Germany that is centred on the town of Prüm and reaches as far as the border with Belgium and Luxembourg. It is not geographically precisely defined however, overlapping by about 60% with the Schnee Eifel), whilst geologically its northern half is part of the Vulkaneifel and its southern half part of the South Eifel.

Anti-clericalism is opposition to religious authority, typically in social or political matters. Historical anti-clericalism has mainly been opposed to the influence of Roman Catholicism. Anti-clericalism is related to secularism, which seeks to remove the church from all aspects of public and political life, and its involvement in the everyday life of the citizen.

Lacking both financial support from the middle classes, and proper military training, the peasants were quickly put down by the French occupation force. Ninety-four insurgents were tried and of those, 42 were executed. [7]

In later culture

See also

Footnotes

  1. "De Verlaf vum Klëppelkrich" (in Luxembourgish). Histoprim. Retrieved 10 September 2007.
  2. 1 2 3 Andre de Vries (16 May 2007). Flanders: A Cultural History. Oxford University Press. pp. 10–. ISBN   978-0-19-983733-5.
  3. 1 2 Ganse, Alexander. "The Flemish Peasants War of 1798". World History at KMLA. Korean Minjok Leadership Academy. Retrieved 29 September 2014.
  4. Trausch (2002), p. 205
  5. Orts 1863, p. 211
  6. 1 2 Kreins (2003), p. 66
  7. Brown, Howard (June 2005). "Revolt and Repression in the Midi Toulousain". French History. 19 (2): 252. doi:10.1093/fh/cri013.

Related Research Articles

Luxembourg Grand duchy in western Europe

Luxembourg, officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, is a small landlocked country in western Europe. It is bordered by Belgium to the west and north, Germany to the east, and France to the south. Its capital, Luxembourg City, is one of the three official capitals of the European Union and the seat of the European Court of Justice, the highest judicial authority in the EU. Its culture, people, and languages are highly intertwined with its neighbours, making it essentially a mixture of French and German cultures, as evident by the nation's three official languages: French, German, and the national language, Luxembourgish. The repeated invasions by Germany, especially in World War II, resulted in the country's strong will for mediation between France and Germany and, among other things, led to the foundation of the European Union.

History of Luxembourg aspect of history

The history of Luxembourg consists of the history of the country of Luxembourg and its geographical area.

Belgian Revolution Conflict in western Europe, 1830–1831

The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium.

1798 was a relatively quiet period in the French Revolutionary Wars. The major continental powers in the First coalition had made peace with France, leaving France dominant in Europe with only a slow naval war with Great Britain to worry about. The leaders of the Directory in Paris feared Napoleon Bonaparte's popularity after his victories in Italy, so they were relieved when he proposed to depart France and mount an expedition to Egypt to gain further glory.

War in the Vendée part of the War of the First Coalition

The War in the Vendée was an uprising in the Vendée region of France during the French Revolution. The Vendée is a coastal region, located immediately south of the Loire River in western France. Initially, the war was similar to the 14th-century Jacquerie peasant uprising, but quickly acquired themes considered by the Jacobin government in Paris to be counter-revolutionary, and Royalist. The uprising headed by the newly formed Catholic and Royal Army was comparable to the Chouannerie, which took place in the area north of the Loire.

The German occupation of Luxembourg in World War II began in May 1940 after the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg was invaded by Nazi Germany. Although Luxembourg was officially neutral, it was situated at a strategic point at the end of the French Maginot Line. On 10 May 1940, the German Wehrmacht invaded Luxembourg, Belgium and the Netherlands. Luxembourg was initially placed under a Military administration, but later became a civilly administrated territory and finally was annexed directly into Germany. The Germans believed Luxembourg to be a Germanic state, and attempted to suppress what they perceived as alien French language and cultural influences. Although some Luxembourgers joined the resistance or collaborated with the Germans, both constituted a minority of the population. As German nationals, from 1942, many Luxembourgers were conscripted into the German military. Nearly 3,500 Luxembourgish Jews were killed during the Holocaust. The liberation of the country by the Allies began in September 1944, but due to the Ardennes Offensive it was not completed until early 1945.

United Belgian States short-lived republic in Western Europe during the year of 1790

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.

Luxembourg Crisis

The Luxembourg Crisis was a diplomatic dispute and confrontation in 1867 between the French Empire and Prussia over the political status of Luxembourg. The confrontation almost led to war between the two parties, but was peacefully resolved by the Treaty of London.

Duchy of Luxemburg country in Western Europe during Late Middle Ages-Early Modern Ages

The Duchy of Luxemburg was a state of the Holy Roman Empire, the ancestral homeland of the noble House of Luxembourg. The House of Luxembourg, now Duke of Limburg, became one of the most important political forces in the 14th century, competing against the House of Habsburg for supremacy in Central Europe. They would be the heirs to the Přemyslid dynasty in the Kingdom of Bohemia, succeeding the Kingdom of Hungary and contributing four Holy Roman Emperors until their own line of male heirs came to an end and the House of Habsburg got the pieces that the two Houses had originally agreed upon in the Treaty of Brünn in 1364.

German occupation of Luxembourg during World War I military occupation during World War I

The German occupation of Luxembourg in World War I was the first of two military occupations of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg by Germany in the 20th century. From August 1914 until the end of World War I on 11 November 1918, Luxembourg was under full occupation by the German Empire. The German government justified the occupation by citing the need to support their armies in neighbouring France, although many Luxembourgers, contemporary and present, have interpreted German actions otherwise.

Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Luxembourg archdiocese

The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Luxembourg is an archdiocese of the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church in the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, comprising the entire Grand Duchy. The diocese was founded in 1870, and it became an archdiocese in 1988. The seat of the Archdiocese is the Cathedral of Notre Dame in the city of Luxembourg, and since 2011 the Archbishop is Jean-Claude Hollerich.

Pieter Corbeels was a Belgian book printer and resistance leader. He was a founder of the Belgian based publishing company Brepols. He commanded part of the Brabantine forces during a revolt against the French Revolutionary regime known as the Boerenkrijg. For his role in the war he was executed.

Gilbert Trausch was a Luxembourgish historian. He and other colleagues of the post-World War II generation of Luxembourg historians, such as Paul Margue, brought a new concern for Luxembourg's international relations to their study of its history.

French period Late 19th-century term for the era between 1794 and 1815, during which most of Europe were directly or indirectly under French rule or within the French sphere of influence

In Northern European historiography, the term French period refers to the period between 1794 and 1815 during which most of Northern Europe was controlled by Republican or Napoleonic France. The exact duration of the period varies by the location concerned.

Luxembourg in World War II

The involvement of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in World War II began with its invasion by German forces on 10 May 1940 and lasted beyond its liberation by Allied forces in late 1944 and early 1945.

The Reuter Ministry was the government in office in Luxembourg from 28 September 1918 until 20 March 1925. It resulted from the Chamber elections of 28 July and 4 August 1918 and was reshuffled on 5 January 1920 as a result of the elections of 26 October 1919. There was a further reshuffle on 15 April 1921, when the Liberals left the government.

Steel industry in Luxembourg

In the industrial sector, the Luxembourg steel industry continues to occupy the first place in the country, even after the industrial reforms which have taken place since the 1960s.

Events in the year 1798 in the Belgian Departments of France. The French First Republic had annexed the Austrian Netherlands and Prince-bishopric of Liège in 1795 and had reorganised the territory as the nine departments Dyle, Escaut (department), Forêts, Jemmape, Lys, Meuse-Inférieure, Deux-Nèthes, Ourthe, and Sambre-et-Meuse.

References