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Brabant Revolution —
Brabant was located in the center of
the Austrian Netherlands.
What Caused the
The Spanish Netherlands (approx.
today's Belgium and Luxembourg) became the Austrian
Netherlands in 1713.
Its inhabitants were ready to shake off their Austrian Habsburg rulers,
especially when Holy Roman Emperor
overhauled the local administration and, in 1789, abolished the
Joyeuse Entrée, or Joyous
Entry, a charter of liberties that had been in place since 1356.
Encouraged by the outbreak of the
in July 1789, the Belgian revolt broke out in November 1789. Epicenter
of the uprising was the region of Brabant, hence its name.
The main intellectual leaders of the revolt were
Henri van der Noot and
Here is the map
Click map to enlarge
Events in the Brabant
Led by Jean-André van der Meersch, the
Belgians fought the Austrians, led by General
Richard d'Alton, in the
of Turnhout on October 24, 1789, and won.
By November 1789, Austrian garrisons had withdrawn from the larger
cities. The Belgians had the Austrians pushed back to the Meuse
In December 1789, an armistice was
concluded. And on January 11, 1790, the rebels proclaimed an
independent republic, the United Belgian States.
Richard d'Alton, by the way, was
ordered to come to Vienna and to explain himself with regards to
accusations that his men had contributed to and actively provoked
the uprising by employing arbitrary violence. He was said to have
taken a staunch and resolute position concerning the implementation
of Emperor Joseph II's reforms. D'Alton killed himself on February
16, 1790 at Trier.
Back to the Brabant Revolution.
The Austrians had again everything
under control by December 1790.
The rebels looked to France for
liberation and in 1792 the French revolutionary armies arrived. Austria
managed to hang on a while longer but officially lost
the Austrian Netherlands to France on October 1, 1795.
Map of the Austrian Netherlands and Brabant in
Click to enlarge