The Info List - Austrian Netherlands

The Austrian Netherlands
Austrian Netherlands
(Dutch: Oostenrijkse Nederlanden; French: Pays-Bas Autrichiens; German: Österreichische Niederlande; Latin: Belgium
Austriacum) was the Southern Netherlands
Southern Netherlands
between 1714 and 1797. The period began with the acquisition of the territory by the Habsburg Monarchy
Habsburg Monarchy
under the Treaty of Rastatt
Treaty of Rastatt
in 1714 and lasted until its annexation during the aftermath of the Battle of Sprimont
Battle of Sprimont
in 1794 and the Peace of Basel
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
Austrian Netherlands
was a noncontiguous 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 of the Barrier Treaty, the Holy Roman emperor Charles VI 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 situation would last until the 1740s, when Charles's daughter and successor Maria Theresa
Maria Theresa
refused to pay for those troops any longer. The war of 1740-1748 showed that the fortifications manned with Dutch troops were easy for the French army to overrun. When Austria and France entered into an alliance in 1756, there was in effect no purpose in the barrier treaty any more. In 1781, Emperor Joseph II of Austria unilaterally renounced the treaty.


1 History

1.1 Brabant Revolution 1.2 Imperial Councillors of State

2 French rule 3 Citations

3.1 Sources

History[edit] See also: History of Belgium Under the Treaty of Rastatt
Treaty of Rastatt
(1714), following the War of the Spanish Succession, the surviving portions of the Spanish Netherlands
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.

Map of the Austrian Netherlands, bisected by the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.

Charles VI attempted to use the Austrian Netherlands
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
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
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
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
Dutch Republic
for the continued closing the Scheldt, this achievement failed to gain him much popularity.[citation needed] Brabant Revolution[edit] Main article: Brabant Revolution 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
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
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. [1] 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. Imperial Councillors of State[edit] The Councillors of state acted as government, and formed the council by imperial consent:[1]

The Baron von Reischach, Imperial Diplomat Cardinal von Migazzi Cardinal von Frankenberfg the Baron of Gottignies, Imperial Lord Chamberlain Philippe von Cobenzl, vice Chancellor of the Imperial Council of State. Henri d'Ognies, Prince of Grimberghen, Imperial Lord Chamberlain the Count of Neny; president of the Privy Council, member of the Imperial Council of State the Count of Woestenraedt, Imperial Lord Chamberlain. the Marquess of Chasteler, Lord Chamberlain the Count of Gomegnies, President of the Council of Hainaut the Viscount of Villers; Imperial Treasurer General the Prince of Gavre: Grand Marshall of the Imperial Court of the Archduchess.

French rule[edit] Main articles: Battle of Sprimont
Battle of Sprimont
and Southern Netherlands § French annexation In 1794, the armies of the French Revolution
French Revolution
annexed the Austrian Netherlands and integrated them into the French Republic. Citations[edit]

^ Almanach de la cour de Bruxelles sous les dominatione autrichienne et francaise, la monarchie des Pays-Bas et le gouvernement belge, de 1725 a 1840 (etc.)


Heinrich Benedikt. Als Belgien österreichisch war. Herold, V