A History of the Low Countries (Palgrave Essential by Paul Arblaster

By Paul Arblaster

Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are 3 really small nations whose contribution to Europe's monetary, religious and creative history has been massive. Their histories can't be written in isolation from each other, or from their neighbours.

In the 1st complete historic survey of the Benelux quarter to be written in English, Paul Arblaster describes the total sweep of the background of the Low international locations, from Roman frontier provinces via to the institution of the 3 constitutional monarchies of the current day. during this revised and up to date re-creation, Arblaster:

? contains the most recent scholarship and up to date occasions, bringing the tale correct as much as today
? offers clean assurance of immigration, multiculturalism, and the resurgence of nationalism within the Low Countries
? deals a quick dialogue of the increase of secularism in Western Europe and the way this has affected the Benelux region
? outlines the nations' fresh fiscal successes and failures
? contains a new checklist of political events and governments due to the fact 1918

A background of the Low Countries is perfect for these looking a concise and readable advent to the background of a quarter which, for hundreds of years, has been on the crossroads of Western Europe.

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Scores more – Irishmen, Englishmen, Franks and Frisians – have been remembered as saints of the early medieval Low Countries, often only in the locality where they preached and prayed or where they were buried. The men and women reverenced as saints, and their often far from saintly royal backers, together brought about a cultural synthesis which lies at the basis of all subsequent social developments. Often by force, they ended the practice of sacrifice, including human sacrifice, in the pools and groves of the Low Countries, and replaced it with the Mass, a re-enactment of Christ’s unique sacrifice on the Cross.

The Frankish custom of dividing an inheritance among all the heirs meant that their kingdom was in constant flux, reunited and redivided according to variations in royal fertility and survival. Nor does family affection appear to have done much to prevent the in-fighting kings and queens of the Franks from speeding their rivals to childless deaths. Members of the nobility who were felt to be a threat were no safer, and nor were bishops and hermits who got in the way. One of the many attractions of monastic life for the Frankish elite must have been its relative insulation from the literally cut-throat world of the court.

In 274 one of his successors, Tetricus, was defeated and deposed by the ‘Roman’ emperor Aurelian. Almost immediately another Frankish invasion, more destructive than the first, swept over the Gaulish provinces. It was beyond a doubt that the effective organization of the frontier defences required a supreme commander on the spot. With the rise of Diocletian stability began to return to the Empire. In 286, two years after being proclaimed Augustus, Diocletian appointed Maximian as his co-emperor with special responsibility for the defences of the northern frontiers.

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