The Belgium-Netherlands Border Through the Ages


Throughout history, the primary function of borders has been to create differentiated spaces over which political power could be exercised. Because of this, people have sought to change them through force, diplomacy, or any other means at their disposal. The Belgium-Netherlands border is no exception to this rule.

The purpose of this reflection is to show some of the region’s most important borders and border shifts. Both the actual borders and their perceived functions will be considered. This short exposition is in no way meant to be exhaustive. It aims, rather, to provide some important historical context to the development of the Low Countries and their boundaries. For the sake of brevity and clarity, the focus will strictly be on Belgium and the Netherlands. Neither Luxembourg, the nations’ former colonies or dependent territories will be explicitly considered.