Belgium is a small nation in Western Europe. It borders the Netherlands to the north, Germany and Luxembourg to the east, and France to the south. Its capital and largest city is Brussels.


Belgian history mirrors that of the Netherlands. Belgium was conquered by the armies of Julius Caesar in the first century BC. It became a part of the Frankish Empire after the fall of the Roman Empire. Later, it became a part of the Duchy of Burgundy. After the fall of this duchy in the late 15th century, it was split between the Kingdom of France and Austria.

In the 16th century, it became part of the Spanish Netherlands. It won independence as part of the Dutch Republic after the Eighty Years' War. Belgium won independence from the Netherlands in 1830.

Belgium was invaded by Germany during World War I as part of the Schlieffen Plan. Many battles of World War I, including the Battle of Ypres, took place in Belgium. Belgium was again invaded by Germany in World War II, and was liberated in 1944.


Belgium is divided into two cultural groups: the Walloons, who speak a Romance language similar to French, and the Flemish people, who are of Germanic blood. The Walloons have a slight majority in population. Belgium is known for Belgian waffles, and for having invented the French fries.

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