digplanet beta 1: Athena
Share digplanet:

Agriculture

Applied sciences

Arts

Belief

Business

Chronology

Culture

Education

Environment

Geography

Health

History

Humanities

Language

Law

Life

Mathematics

Nature

People

Politics

Science

Society

Technology

For information about the confusion between the Low Countries and the Netherlands, see Netherlands (terminology). For information about the region in South Carolina, see Lowcountry.
The Low Countries as seen from space.

The Low Countries (Dutch: de Lage Landen, French: les Pays-Bas) make up a coastal region in north western Europe, consisting especially of Belgium and the Netherlands, and the low-lying delta of the Rhine, Meuse, Scheldt, and Ems rivers where much of the land is at or below sea level.[1][2] This wide area of Northern Europe roughly stretches from French Gravelines and Dunkirk at its southwestern point, to the area of Dutch Delfzijl and German Eastern Frisia at its northeastern point, and to Luxembourg and French Thionville in the southeast.

Most of the Low Countries are coastal regions bounded by the North Sea or the English Channel. The countries without access to the sea have linked themselves politically and economically to those with access to form one union of port and hinterland. A poetic description also calls the region the Low Countries by the Sea.

The Low Countries were the scene of the early northern towns, newly built rather than developed from ancient centres, that marked the reawakening of Europe in the 12th century. In that period, they rivaled northern Italy for the most densely populated region of Europe. Most of the cities were governed by guilds and councils along with a figurehead ruler; interaction with their ruler was regulated by a strict set of rules describing what the latter could and could not expect from them. All of the regions mainly depended on trade, manufacturing and the encouragement of the free flow of goods and craftsmen.

Germanic languages such as Dutch and Luxembourgish were the predominant languages, although Romance languages also played an important role. Secondary languages included French (Luxembourg, Brabant around Nivelles), Romance-speaking Belgium (cf. the Bishopric of Liège), the Romance Flanders (i.e. Cambrai, Lille, Tournai), and Namur (Walloon).

Terminology[edit]

The Low Countries from 1556 to 1648.
Southern part of the Low Countries with bishopry towns and abbeys ca. 7th century. Abbeys were the onset to larger villages and even some towns.

Historically, the term Low Countries arose at the Court of the Dukes of Burgundy, who used the term les pays de par deça (~ the lands over here) for the Low Countries as opposed to les pays de par delà (~ the lands over there) for the Duchy of Burgundy and the Free County of Burgundy, which were part of their realm but geographically disconnected from the Low Countries.[3][4] Governor Mary of Hungary used both the expressions les pays de par deça and Pays d'Embas (~ lands down here), which evolved to Pays-Bas or Low Countries. Today the term is typically fitted to modern political boundaries and used in the same way as the term Benelux, which also includes Luxembourg.

The name of the modern country the Netherlands has the same meaning and origin as the term "low countries" due to "nether" meaning "lower". The same name of these countries can be found in other European languages, for example German Niederlande, French, les Pays-Bas, and so on, which all literally mean "the Low Countries". In the Dutch language itself (known in Dutch as "Nederlands", meaning "Netherlandish") no plural is used for the name of the modern country. So Nederland (singular) is used for the modern nation and de Nederlanden (plural) for the 16th century domains of Charles V. (However, in official use the name of the Dutch kingdom is still Kingdom of the Netherlands (Koninkrijk der Nederlanden), a name deriving from the 19th century origins of the kingdom which originally included present-day Belgium.)

In Dutch, and to a lesser extent in English, the Low Countries colloquially means the Netherlands and Belgium, sometimes the Netherlands and Flanders—the Dutch-speaking north of Belgium. (This version does not include Luxembourg.) For example, a 'Derby der Lage Landen' (Derby of the Low Countries), is a sports event between Belgium and the Netherlands.

"Belgium" was renamed only in 1830, after splitting from the Kingdom of the Netherlands, in order to distinguish it from its northern neighbour. It had previously also commonly been referred to as one part of the geographic "Netherlands", being the part which remained in the hands of the Habsburg heirs of the Burgundian Dukes until the French Revolution. Politically, before the Napoleonic wars, it was referred to as the "Southern", "Spanish" or later "Austrian" Netherlands. It is still referred to as part of the "low countries".

History[edit]

History of the Low Countries
............ ...... ............ ..... ..... ..... ..... ............ ...........
Frisii Belgae
Cana-
nefates
[5]
Chamavi, Tubanti[6] Vexilloid of the Roman Empire.svg Gallia Belgica (55BC-5th c.)
Salian Franks Batavii[7]
unpopulated
(4th-5th c.)
Saxons Salian Franks[8]
(4th-5th c.)
Frisian Kingdom
(6th c.–734)
Frankish Kingdom (481-843) - Carolingian Empire (800-843)
Austrasia (511-751)
Middle Francia (843–855) West
Francia

(843–)
Kingdom of Lotharingia[9] (855– 959)
Duchy of Lower Lorraine[10] (959–)
Frisia Arms of Flanders.svg

Friesland (kleine wapen).svg
Frisian
Free-
dom
[11]
(11–16th
century)
Counts of Holland Arms.svg
County of
Holland
[12]
(880–1432)
Coat of arms of Utrecht city.gif
Bishopric of
Utrecht
[13]
(695–1456)
Royal Arms of Belgium.svg
Duchy of
Brabant
[14]
(1183–1430)
Guelders-Jülich Arms.svg
Duchy of
Guelders
[15]
(1046–1543)
County of
Flanders
[16]
(862–1384)
Hainaut Modern Arms.svg
County of
Hainaut

(1071–1432)
Arms of Namur.svg
County of
Namur

(981–1421)
Armoiries Principauté de Liège.svg
P.-Bish.
of Liège

[17]
(980–1794)
Arms of Luxembourg.svg
Duchy of
Luxem-
bourg

(1059–1443)
  Flag - Low Countries - XVth Century.png
Burgundian Netherlands (1384–1482)
Flag of the Low Countries.svg
Habsburg Netherlands (1482–1795)
(Seventeen Provinces after 1543)[18]
 
Statenvlag.svg
Dutch Republic
(Seven United Netherlands)
(1581–1795)
Flag of the Low Countries.svg
Spanish Netherlands
(1556–1714)
 
  Austrian Low Countries Flag.svg
Austrian Netherlands
(1714–1795)
  Flag of the Brabantine Revolution.svg
United States of Belgium
(1790)
LuikVlag.svg
R. Liège
(1789–'91)
     
Flag of the Batavian Republic.svg
Batavian Republic (1795–1806)
Kingdom of Holland (1806–1810)
Flag of France.svg
part of French First Republic (1795–1804)
part of First French Empire (1804–1815)
   
Flag of the Netherlands.svg
Princip. of the Netherlands (1813-1815)
 
United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830)


Kingdom of the Netherlands (1839-)
Flag of Belgium.svg
Kingdom of Belgium (1830-)
Flag of Luxembourg.svg
Gr D. L.
(1839-)
Gr D. of
Luxem-
bourg

(1890-)

The region politically had its origins in Carolingian empire; more precisely, most of it was within the Duchy of Lower Lotharingia.[19][20] After the disintegration of Lower Lotharingia, the Low Countries were brought under the rule of various lordships until they came to be in the hands of the Valois Dukes of Burgundy. Hence, a large part of the low countries came to be referred to as the Burgundian Netherlands also called the Seventeen Provinces up to 1581. Even after the political secession of the autonomous Dutch Republic (or "United Provinces") in the north, the term "low countries" continued to be used to refer collectively to the region. The region was temporarily united politically between 1815 and 1839, as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands, before this split into the three modern countries of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Early history[edit]

The Low Countries were part of the Roman provinces of Gallia Belgica, Germania Inferior and Germania Superior. They were inhabited by Belgic and Germanic tribes. In the 4th and 5th century, Frankish tribes had entered this Roman region and came to run it increasingly independently. They came to be ruled by the Merovingian dynasty, under which dynasty the southern part (below the Rhine) was re-Christianised.

Frankish empire[edit]

By the end of the 8th century, the Low Countries formed a core part of a much expanded Francia and the Merovingians were replaced by the Carolingian dynasty. In 800 the Pope crowned and appointed Charlemagne Emperor of the re-established Roman Empire.

After the death of Charlemagne, Francia was divided in three parts among his three grandsons. The middle slice, Middle Francia, was ruled by Lothair I, and thereby also came to be referred to as "Lotharingia" or "Lorraine". Apart from the original coastal County of Flanders, which was within West Francia, the rest of the Low Countries were within the lowland part of this, "Lower Lorraine".

After the death of Lothair, the Low Countries were coveted by the rulers of both West Francia and East Francia. Each tried to swallow the region and to merge it with their spheres of influence. Thus, the Low Countries consisted of fiefs whose sovereignty resided with either the Kingdom of France or the Holy Roman Empire. While the further history the Low Countries can be seen as the object of a continual struggle between these two powers, the title of Duke of Lothier was coveted in the low countries for centuries.

Duchy of Burgundy[edit]

Gradually, separate fiefs came to be ruled by a single family through royal intermarriage. This process culminated in the rule of the House of Valois, who were the rulers of the Duchy of Burgundy. In 1477 the Burgundian holdings in the area, the Burgundian Netherlands passed through an heiress—Mary of Burgundy—to the Habsburgs.

A documentary about the art in the region at this time was produced by the BBC, named The High Art of the Low Countries.[21]

Seventeen Provinces[edit]

In the following century the "Low Countries" corresponded roughly to the Seventeen Provinces covered by the Pragmatic Sanction of 1549 of Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, which freed the provinces from their archaic feudal obligations.

After the northern Seven United Provinces of the seventeen declared their independence from Habsburg Spain in 1581, the ten provinces of the Southern Netherlands remained occupied by the Army of Flanders under Spanish service and are therefore sometimes called the Spanish Netherlands. In 1713, under the Treaty of Utrecht following the War of the Spanish Succession, what was left of the Spanish Netherlands was ceded to Austria and thus became known as the Austrian Netherlands. The United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815–1830) temporarily united the Low Countries again.

After the Second World War[edit]

After the Second World War, Benelux was the name used for the trading region of the sovereign states of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg.

Literature[edit]

One of the Low Countries' earliest literary figures is the blind poet Bernlef, from c. 800, who sang both Christian pslams and pagan verses. Bernlef is representative of the coexistence of Christianity and Germanic polytheism in this time period.[22]:1–2

The earliest examples of written literature include the Wachtendonck Psalms, a collections of twenty five psalms that originated in the Moselle-Frankish region around the middle of the 9th century.[22]:3

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ "Low Countries". Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Low Countries - definition of Low Countries by the Free Online Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia.". Farlex, Inc. Retrieved 26 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "1. De landen van herwaarts over". Vre.leidenuniv.nl. Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  4. ^ ALASTAIR DUKE. "The Elusive Netherlands. The question of national identity in the Early Modern Low Countries on the Eve of the Revolt". Retrieved 2014-01-01. 
  5. ^ Roman foederati
  6. ^ The Chamavi merged into the confederation of the Franks; the Tubanti merged into the confederation of the Saxons.
  7. ^ Roman foederati
  8. ^ Roman foederati
  9. ^ Part of East Francia after 939, divided in Upper Lorraine (as part of West Francia) and Lower Lorraine (as part of East Francia) in 959.
  10. ^ Lower Lorraine - also referred to as Lothier - disintegrated into several smaller independent territories and only the title of a "Duke of Lothier" remained, held by Brabant.
  11. ^ Lordship of Frisia and Lordship of Groningen (including the Ommelanden) after 1524 and 1536 respectively.
  12. ^ Including County of Zeeland, that was ruled by neighboring County of Holland and County of Flanders (until 1432).
  13. ^ Utrecht included Lordship of Overijssel (until 1528), County of Drenthe (until 1528) and County of Zutphen (until 1182).
  14. ^ Duchy of Brabant included since 1288 also the Duchy of Limburg (now part of the Belgian Province of Liège) and the "Overmaas" lands Dalhem, Valkenburg and Herzogenrath (now part of the Dutch Province of Limburg).
  15. ^ The county, later duchy, of Guelders consisted of four quarters, as they were separated by rivers: situated upstream Upper Quarter (the present day northern half of the Dutch province of Limburg), spatially separated from the three downstream Lower Quarters: County of Zutphen (after 1182), Veluwe Quarter and Nijmegen Quarter. The three lower quarters formed the present day province of Gelderland. Guelders did not include the Cleves enclave Huissen and the independent counties of Buren and Culemborg, that were much later seceded to the province of Gelderland.
  16. ^ Including County of Artois (part of Flanders until 1237) and Tournaisis.
  17. ^ Throughout the Middle Ages, the bishopric was further expanded with the Duchy of Bouillon in 1096 (ceded to France in 1678), the acquisition of the county of Loon in 1366 and the county of Horne in 1568. The Lordship of Mechelen was also part of the Prince-Bishopric of Liège.
  18. ^ The name Seventeen Provinces came in use after the Habsburg emperor Charles V had re-acquired the Duchy of Guelders, and an continuous territory arose.
  19. ^ "Franks". Columbia Encyclopedia. Columbia University Press. 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  20. ^ "Lotharingia / Lorraine ( Lothringen )". 5 September 2013. Retrieved 1 February 2014. 
  21. ^ http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/tvandradio/9972479/The-High-Art-of-the-Low-Countries-BBC-Four-review.html
  22. ^ a b Hermans, edited by Theo (2009). A literary history of the Low Countries. Rochester, N.Y.: Camden House. ISBN 1-57113-293-7. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]


Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Low_Countries — Please support Wikipedia.
This page uses Creative Commons Licensed content from Wikipedia. A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia.
1000000 videos foundNext > 

the Low Countries a historical atlas in motion

The developement of the Low or Benelux countries from 1543 to the present depicted in a moving historical atlas. Green stands for the Habsburg Netherlands (l...

The Low Countries (1815-Present)

History of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg from the end of the Napoleonic Wars to present.

Live chart: The low countries

Are European economies going the way of Japan?

HIGH FASHION LOW COUNTRIES | The Film [HD]

Created as part of the project with the same name, the film 'High Fashion Low Countries' focuses on the importance of sustainable development, new cutting-ed...

City Of Ships- Low Countries (Lyrics)

Song: Low lives Band: City of Ships Album: Minor world [Lyrics] if this looks like average turnpike trash i might as well be dead what was going through your...

Panzer Corps - Wehrmacht Campaign - Low Countries

After a quick-fix, here it is. The Low Countries scenario. We're going for the 'Sichelschnitt'! Panzer Corps - Wehrmacht Campaign - Low Countries ◁Get Panzer...

Henk van Lijnschooten - Rhapsody from the low countries

Rhapsody from the low countries van componist Henk van Lijnschooten, gespeeld door harmonie Excelsior Warnsveld onder leiding van Geert Jan Dijkerman tijdens...

Belgium and the Netherlands Will Come Up Short in Brazil | Men in Blazers World Cup Preview

The Men in Blazers, a.k.a. Roger Bennett and Michael Davies, take a look at the "Low Countries," Belgium and the Netherlands, and wonder if these talented te...

Lazybones Buns Dutch Hot Cross Buns - Hairy Bikers' Bakeation Low Countries 1

Banda de Beas de Segura (Rhapsody from the low countries)

La Banda de la Asociación Cultural Musical Santa Cecilia, de Beas de Segura interpreta la "Rhapsody from the low countries" , del compositor H. V. Lijnschoot...

1000000 videos foundNext > 

85 news items

 
Huffington Post
Tue, 01 Jul 2014 14:02:26 -0700

A German guy is leading a group of Americans in an effort to outmaneuver Belgium's defenses … history is weird. The White House is warning of a coming transportation funding deficit, which could just be the administration softening the ground for ...
 
Hernando Today
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 09:07:30 -0700

This topic often comes to mind when reading or writing about Scandinavian or the Low Countries in Europe. With the exception of the Netherlands, all have populations of fewer than 10 million people. Even though these are the quintessential European ...
 
Livemint
Mon, 28 Jul 2014 05:33:45 -0700

In a speech delivered at the African Development Bank in February 2009, Professor Ha-Joon Chang noted that “until the 17th century, Britain was a backward country dependent on raw wool exports to Low Countries (or what are the Netherlands and Belgium ...

TIME

TIME
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 07:02:05 -0700

3 in. (1.6 m). The Tollund Man is by no means the only bog person to have been uncovered in recent decades. About a thousand others have been found in Ireland, England, Denmark and the Low Countries. This July 27, which is, yes, International Bog Day, ...

The Fortnightly Review

The Fortnightly Review
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 15:15:38 -0700

... contrived exactly to impress in these ways. The Magdalene appears to come from a different tradition of representation, from Italy rather than the Low Countries; it is thought that van der Weyden was making his bid to establish a Europe-wide ...

Herald Scotland

Herald Scotland
Sun, 27 Jul 2014 10:26:15 -0700

Following his excellent overviews Art Of Germany, Art Of Russia, Art Of Spain, Art Of The Low Countries and Art Of Somewhere Else I've Probably Forgotten, But You Can Bet It Was Good, Graham-Dixon is heading east, to the land of jade, Terracotta ...

Somerset County Gazette

Somerset County Gazette
Thu, 24 Jul 2014 02:56:15 -0700

Somerset County Gazette: SINGER Sarah Randle and Giles Adams in Bishops Lydeard at the West SINGER Sarah Randle and Giles Adams in Bishops Lydeard at the West Somerset Railway, which features in his video. A SOMERSET man has created a ...

The Moderate Voice

The Moderate Voice
Wed, 23 Jul 2014 16:15:00 -0700

Back in the 16th and 17th centuries, “tiny Holland” — the “Northern Low Countries” with less than 2 million people — experienced an era of unprecedented, explosive growth and prosperity to become the premier economic, industrial, commercial and naval ...
Loading

Oops, we seem to be having trouble contacting Twitter

Talk About Low Countries

You can talk about Low Countries with people all over the world in our discussions.

Support Wikipedia

A portion of the proceeds from advertising on Digplanet goes to supporting Wikipedia. Please add your support for Wikipedia!