Belgium : A State With Two Ethnic Groups, Fleming And Walloon

1251 Words Feb 27th, 2016 6 Pages
Belgium is a multiethnic state with two main ethnic groups, Fleming and Walloon, that have been conflict for about 200 years. Many factors have caused the conflicts in Belgium including prehistoric migrations, Roman Imperial foreign policy, revolutions in the 16th century and 19th century, and two World Wars. Although, core issues include economic, political,and linguistic issues. The linguistic conflict started in about the 1840s.Western Europe’s Germanic/Romance linguistic line runs east/west across Belgium. The southern half of the country speaks French (romance language that came from Latin), while the northern half of the country speaks Flemish (a germanic language known as Dutch). The Walloons make up one-third of the population of Belgium. In the first or second century BC, Iron Age Germanic Tribes displaced Celtic as the main language in what is now Belgium. Also, Julius Caesar conquered Gaul in the mid-first century BC, where the Latin replaced Celtic. Soon after, the linguistic divide was reinforced in the 4th century AD by the Roman Imperial decision to allow Germanic Barbarians in what is now northern Belgium. Although, due to the swampy nature of the coastal area in north Belgium and the depopulation due to warfare, no Roman urban centers could develop, so Flemish survived. The second great divide of the cultures had to do mostly with two different religions, Catholic and Protestant Dutch. The Low Country elites launched an 80-year war of independence, while the…

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