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Last Chancebelgium At Versailles

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Chapter Summary

Belgium's political divisions over annexation reflected much more than the usual political squabbles. It was a young state moving towards finding its identity. (Sensitivity to slights on the nation contributed to a certain prickliness at Versailles.) In a sense, Belgium pursued many goals with a single strategy, while the Netherlands had one goal achieved through multiple strategies. This reflected the different natures of the two countries. This chapter explores the Belgian side of the cultural-diplomatic divide. Hymans' own delegation reflected the national uncertainty. Vandervelde demanded and got a spot on the delegation, which Hymans certainly did not want. They disagreed immediately over annexation. The borders that Belgium sought to change in 1919 can trace their history to the 14th century. The Dutch had no need to posture publicly. The country was completely united and its self-image was secure after 350 years of independence.

Keywords: Belgium at Versailles; Hymans



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