A History of the Low Countries (Palgrave Essential by Paul Arblaster

By Paul Arblaster

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are 3 quite small international locations whose contribution to Europe's fiscal, non secular and inventive historical past has been tremendous. Their histories can't be written in isolation from each other, or from their neighbours.

In the 1st complete historic survey of the Benelux quarter to be written in English, Paul Arblaster describes the complete sweep of the historical past of the Low international locations, from Roman frontier provinces via to the institution of the 3 constitutional monarchies of the current day. during this revised and up to date new version, Arblaster:

? comprises the most recent scholarship and up to date occasions, bringing the tale correct as much as today
? presents clean assurance of immigration, multiculturalism, and the resurgence of nationalism within the Low Countries
? deals a quick dialogue of the increase of secularism in Western Europe and the way this has affected the Benelux region
? outlines the nations' contemporary financial successes and failures
? encompasses a new checklist of political events and governments seeing that 1918

A heritage of the Low Countries is perfect for these looking a concise and readable advent to the heritage of a sector which, for hundreds of years, has been on the crossroads of Western Europe.

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Example text

He visited Rome, as many of his missionary predecessors had done, and studied at Monte Cassino, eventually returning to his Saxon flock after Charlemagne reimposed order in 785. Scores more – Irishmen, Englishmen, Franks and Frisians – have been remembered as saints of the early medieval Low Countries, often only in the locality where they preached and prayed or where they were buried. The men and women reverenced as saints, and their often far from saintly royal backers, together brought about a cultural synthesis which lies at the basis of all subsequent social developments.

He enjoyed the protection of the king, Aldgisl, and by the time he resumed his journey in the spring of 679 numerous Frisian noblemen and commoners had been baptized. The Anglo-Saxon mission to Frisia thus predates even the mission to Sussex, which Wilfrid initiated in 681. Aldgisl’s successor, Radbod, was a determined pagan, but after his defeat in the Battle of Dorestad (689) he agreed to admit missionaries to his kingdom. A century later it was recounted of Radbod that he had himself agreed to accept baptism.

There were still occasional incursions thereafter, such as that of King Gorm of Denmark into Frisia in 934, but they were without lasting impact. In the century after 891 the military organization of the counties of Flanders and Holland, and of the area which was eventually to become the duchy of Brabant, put an end to Scandinavian ambitions along the Rhine, Maas and Scheldt. Trade began to recover. The Old Rhine was now silting up, but Tiel, on the more navigable Waal, replaced Dorestad as the main marketplace of the Low Countries.

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