Belgium and the February Revolution by Brison D. Gooch

By Brison D. Gooch

Including to the growing to be physique of literature on 1848, this learn amplifies the politieal and diplomatie posture of Belgium either earlier than and after the February Revolution. The narrative relies on diplomatie and administrative correspondence, such a lot of it unpublished, and likewise at the papers of Charles Rogier and Sylvain Van de Weyer, now a part of the holdings of Belgium's files Generales du Royaume. those fabrics make attainable a extra entire account of the Liberal Ministry's first yr in offiee, a fuller therapy of the influence of the February Revolution at the Belgian domestie scene, and, for the 1st time, a close tracing of Belgian negotiations with the hot Provision al executive and different ecu powers throughout the few months simply after the autumn of Louis Philippe. To my wisdom this can be additionally the 1st monographie paintings in English to debate Belgian difficulties in 1847 and 1848. * * * * I should still like the following to list my indebtedness. My maximum legal responsibility is to the Belgian Ameriean academic starting place whose aid used to be not just contributory to this research but in addition ended in a tremendous step in my own highbrow development. Transportation to Be1gium was supplied by way of the Massachusetts Institute of know-how and typing of the manuscript used to be the paintings of leave out Carolyn Embach of the Uni versity of Oklahoma school learn Committee. between many archivists and librarians who've without problems assisted my efforts, par tieular point out needs to be made up of P. -H.

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3 In London the ambassadors of the N orthern Powers reacted to what they judged was aperiod of crisis and emergency. In a Secret Memo of February 27, r848, edited by Brunnow and sent to Palmerston, D'Hoffschmidt to Ligne, Feb. 28, 1848, CNB, I, 14. Waller to Palmerston, Feb. O. 10/137. 3 D'Hoffschmidt to Van de Weyer, Mar. 2, 1848, CNB, I, 51. D'Hoffschmidt also asked Willmar's opinion which was as folIows: Belgian neutrality demanded prompt and unofficial relations with the Provisional Government and that Belgium stay neutral in case of a conflict between France and other powers.

Hedging, d'Hoffschmidt asked what the Belgians were supposed to do if the French sent them an ambassador. The Briton replied that this would be improbable unless they had received encouragement. The meeting ended with the foreign minister promising that the matter would receive full study but that the British should remember Belgium's special conditions. He promised that both the British and Prussian ambassadors would be informed of any positive decision. 1 D'Hoffschmidt then wrote Ligne that his talks with Howard de WaIden and with Seckendorff convinced hirn both Britain and Prussia were opposed to official Belgian relations with the Provisional Government.

D'Hoffschmidt to Van de Weyer, Feb. 29, I848, CNB, I, I32-I34. 3 Van de Weyer to d'Hoffschmidt, Mar. , 68-69. 4 Leopold to Metternich, Feb. , I848 (no date, no signature), drafts, AEV. Leopold warned that Austria's status as a Russian ally would come to resemble that of the Sultan. 32 THE REVOLUTION'S INITIAL IMPACT proved of what he had heard from Woyna of Belgium's early posture of firmness after the fall of Louis Philippe. While there might be a few partisans in Belgium desiring a union with France, Mettemich wrote that he was sure "the people ought not to wish" such a thing.

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