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Nov 10, 2015

In 1787 Joseph II decreed a series of administrative reforms for his Belgian provinces, essentially undoing their independence. Thus began a resistance, mounted by the estates, guilds and corporations, and then a revolution. In June 1789, Joseph had declared the Joyeuse Entrée annulled, creating a whole new branch of revolutionaries. In this lecture, Jane Judge documents the different strands of both conservative and democratic revolutionary thought which emerged in the Belgian provinces at this time, and argues that this is the first instance of people thinking of themselves as Belgian in what is modern day Belgium.