Introduction to Belgium
The kingdom of Belgium is a federal state in Western Europe and is a founding member of the European Union, hosting the organisations headquarters and is also the home of NATO. Belgium is a relatively small nation with a population of around 11 million people. Geographically Belgium straddles the cultural border between Germanic and Latin Europe. The land that is modern day Belgium was once owned by the Netherlands but a revolution in the 1800’s won the region independence.
The nation’s capital is Brussels and is comprised of two main groups of people. The Dutch speaking, mostly Flemish peoples make up 60% of the population with French speakers 40%, there is also a small number of predominately German speaking people as well.
From the 16th century until the Belgian Revolution in 1830, when Belgium seceded from the Netherlands many battles between European powers were fought in the area of Belgium, causing it to be dubbed the cockfighting region of Europe, a reputation strengthened by both of the World Wars.