The country emerged in 1830 following the Belgian Revolution when it seceded from the Netherlands.Belgium is a federal constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of governance.Usually, within a few years, the fever has died down, and there's only vague echoes of "oh, yeah, that's Satanic" left in the communal memory.Some subcommunities forget faster than others, of course...Everybody's heard of it, and it's not long until someone comes by and realizes, "Hey, if I complain about this, everyone will listen to me!" Things that are new are inherently unknown, and when something is unknown, a dash of Nothing Is Scarier can be injected.
Belgium is also a founding member of the Eurozone, NATO, OECD, and WTO, and a part of the trilateral Benelux Union and the Schengen Area.
Additionally, there is a small group of German speakers, numbering around one percent, who live in the East Cantons.
The capital and largest city is Brussels; other major cities are Antwerp, Ghent, Charleroi and Liège.
The second half of the 20th century was marked by rising tensions between the Dutch-speaking and the French-speaking citizens fueled by differences in language and culture and the unequal economic development of Flanders and Wallonia.
This continuing antagonism has led to several far-reaching reforms, resulting in a transition from a unitary to a federal arrangement during the period from 1970 to 1993.