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A History of the Nineteenth Century, Year by Year

The throne was offered to Prince Leopold of Coburg


[Sidenote: Revolution in Belgium]

[Sidenote: Bombardment of Antwerp]

[Sidenote: Talleyrand's last mission]

[Sidenote: Belgian Independence recognized]

Outside of France, on the contrary, the effects of the short revolution were far-reaching. In the Netherlands ever increasing friction between the Dutch-speaking Protestants of Holland and the French Catholics of Belgium had excited the country to the point of revolution. Recent repressive measures on the part of the Dutch Government made matters worse. On August 25, the performance, at the Brussels Opera House, of Auber's "La Muette di Portici," with its representation of a revolutionary rising in Naples, gave the signal for revolt. From the capital the insurrection spread throughout Belgium. The King summoned the States-General to The Hague and agreed to an administrative separation of Belgium and Holland; but the storm was not quelled. On the appearance of Dutch troops in Brussels, barricades were erected and the insurgents drove the soldiers out of the city. For several days fighting continued in the outskirts. A provisional government declared the independence of Belgium. Mediation by a conference in Holland was frustrated by the bombardment of Antwerp by its Dutch garrison. The French Liberals were burning to give assistance. Austria and Russia stood ready to prevent their intervention by force of arms. Louis Philippe, while holding the French war party in check, felt constrained to look about him for an ally. In this extremity Prince Talleyrand, the old-time diplomat of the Bourbons, the Republic, the Empire and the Restoration, now in his eightieth year, was sent to London. He approached Wellington and the new King with such consummate address that an understanding was soon reached with England, which set at naught all projects of European armed intervention on behalf of the Prince of Orange. Such intervention could not have failed to drag the French into war. Now it was agreed that the regulation of Belgian affairs should be submitted to a conference at London. In the interim Belgian independence was accepted in effect and hostilities ended.

[Sidenote: Leopold of Coburg declines Greek crown]

In Greece, the government of Capodistrias was beset with such difficulties that it was decided to invite some European prince to set up a constitutional monarchy. The throne was offered to Prince Leopold of Coburg, the husband of the late Princess Charlotte of England. Leopold accepted, but when he learned that the Powers would not grant complete independence to Greece, without restoring AEtolia, Thessaly and the fertile islands of Samos and Candia to the Sultan, he withdrew his acceptance.

[Sidenote: Revolution in Poland]

[Sidenote: War declared on Russia]

Peace had scarcely been restored in the Netherlands when the spirit of revolt, travelling northward,


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