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The Sorrows of BelgiumLiberation and Political Reconstruction, 1944-1947$
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Martin Conway

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199694341

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694341.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
The Sorrows of Belgium
Author(s):

Martin Conway

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694341.003.0001

Why did the manifold political and social crises which Belgium experienced during the period from the German invasion of 1940 to the later 1940s lead to the re-establishment of a version of the pre-war political and social order? Despite the violence of the German Occupation and the upheavals which followed it, the ultimate outcome was the establishment of a largely unchanged structure of party-dominated parliamentary rule. This process of democratic consolidation, however, disguised the way in which social and political power shifted within Belgium during the 1940s away from the pre-war francophone bourgeoisie to a new Dutch-speaking Flemish elite. Symbolized by the electoral success of the Christian Democrat Party, this provided a new basis for the post-war democratic order.

Keywords:   Belgium, parliamentary democracy, Flanders, Christian democracy, Cold War, Western Europe

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