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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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The Reconstruction of the Belgian Nation-State and Post-War Elections, Summer 1945–February 1946

The Reconstruction of the Belgian Nation-State and Post-War Elections, Summer 1945–February 1946

Chapter:
(p.238) 5 The Reconstruction of the Belgian Nation-State and Post-War Elections, Summer 1945–February 1946
Source:
The Sorrows of Belgium
Author(s):

Martin Conway

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199694341.003.0006

The Belgian nation-state gradually recovered its prestige and institutional authority during the final months of 1945. This was both an institutional process, and a manifestation of the reserves of Belgian patriotism which had been generated by the war. This new Belgian patriotism was less monarchist, and focused especially on the sense of a common historical heritage of a Belgian people who were defined as diverse in character but united in a common spirit. In contrast, Flemish nationalism emerged much weakened from the war as a consequence of its association with pro-German collaboration, while the Walloon movement in southern Belgium failed to build on its initial basis of support in 1945. Political life recovered its familiar character, culminating in the belated holding of elections in February 1946, but the conflict between the King and the government remained obstinately unresolved.

Keywords:   Belgium, politics, nationalism, Flemish movement, Walloon movement, regionalism, Leopold III, elections

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