Belgium

Belgium, a small European State bordering on the North Sea, with Holland to the N., France to the S., and Rhenish Prussia and Luxemburg on the E.; is less than a third the size of Ireland, but it is the most densely populated country on the Continent. The people are of mixed stock, comprising Flemings, of Teutonic origin; Walloons, of Celtic origin; Germans, Dutch, and French. Roman Catholicism is the predominant religion. Education is excellent; there are universities at Ghent, Liège, Brussels, and Louvain. French is the language of educated circles and of the State; but the prevalence of dialects hinders the growth of a national literature. The land is low and level and fertile in the N. and W., undulating in the middle, rocky and hilly in the S. and E. The Meuse and Scheldt are the chief rivers, the basin of the latter embracing most of the country. Climate is similar to the English, with greater extremes. Rye, wheat, oats, beet, and flax are the principal crops. Agriculture is the most painstaking and productive of the world. The hilly country is rich in coal, iron, zinc, and lead. After mining, the chief industries are textile manufactures and making of machinery: the former at Antwerp, Ghent, Brussels, and Liège; the latter at Liège, Mons, and Charleroi. The trade is enormous; France, Germany, and Britain are the best customers. Exports are coal to France; farm products, eggs, &c., to England; and raw material imported from across seas, to France and the basin of the Rhine. It is a small country of large cities. The capital is Brussels (480), in the centre of the kingdom, but communicating with the ocean by a ship canal. The railways, canals, and river navigation are very highly developed. The government is a limited monarchy; the king, senate, and house of representatives form the constitution. There is a conscript army of 50,000 men, but no navy. Transferred from Spain to Austria in 1713. Belgium was under French sway from 1794 till 1814, when it was united with Holland, but established its independence in 1830.

Population (circa 1900) given as 6,136,000.

Definition taken from The Nuttall Encyclopædia, edited by the Reverend James Wood (1907)

Belgæ * Belgrade
Beke, Dr.
Bekker, Immanuel
Bel and the Dragon, History of
Bela I.
Bela IV.
Belch, Sir Toby
Belcher, Sir Edward
Belfast
Belfort
Belgæ
Belgium
Belgrade
Belgra`via
Belial
Belief
Belinda, Arabella Fermor
Belisa`rius
Belize
Bell, Acton
Bell, Andrew, LL.D.
Bell, Bessy

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Antique pictures of Belgium

Links here from Chalmers

Hone, George Paul
Musgrave, Dr. William