Historical intermezzo

From around 1500 the Kings of Spain were Lord over the 17 Provinces in the Low Countries previously ruled by Burgundy. The 80 Years War split these 17 Provinces into the Republic of the 7 United Provinces and the rest, known as the "Southern Netherlands". The northern part of the old Duchy of Brabant was annexed by the Republic which acquired the status of occupied territories under the name "Staats Brabant". In 1648 Spain and other countries officially recognized the Republic. As far as Baarle is concerned, Henry III was followed as Count of Nassau and Lord of Breda by René of Chalons, Prince of Orange (in France) and then by William of Orange, the central figure in the Dutch revolt against Spain. From there the line runs down to Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in our own day.

In the North the Republic of the 7 United Provinces survived up to 1795. Then from 1795 to 1806 these provinces form the so-called "Batavian Republic" with "Bataafs Brabant" (the former "Staats-Brabant") as a normal province. From 1806 to 1810 they form the Kingdom of Holland; from 1810 they are part of the French Empire until they are liberated at the end of 1813 with William of Orange as sovereign.

In the South the rule of the Spanish King gives way to that of the Austrian emperor. Then in 1793 comes annexation by France, first as part of the Republic and then of the Empire, with liberation at the end of 1813, when the Congress of Vienna decides that the North and South shall be united under King William of Orange I as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands.

In 1830 the two are split again: in the South we have the Kingdom of Belgium; in the North the Kingdom of the Netherlands. One half-province (the eastern part of greater Luxemburg) becomes a separate Grand Duchy initially under William I but from 1890 under its own Grand Dukes.