This page last modified: June 30, 2000
The recreation of the Duchy of Burgundy as an independent state by the Congress of Vienna in 1816 was to have unforseen effects concerning the Low Countries: Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.
Following the death of the Duc du Berri in 1851, the Burgundian marriage alliance with Belgium collapsed, and during the subsequent Crimean conflict, Burgundy annexed Luxembourg and the Walloon-speaking part of Belgium. The Flemish-speaking portion of Belgium managed to save itself from Burgundian occupation only by a formal political union with the Netherlands.
Representatives of the Dutch fleet. Clockwise, starting from the top-right: De Ruyter, Zwolle, an "1894", Maastricht, Zeeland, Delfjin.
Burgundian expansionism was halted by the Franco-Prussian war when large portions of Burgundy were ravaged by the French, but subsequent aid by the newly-created German state have rebuilt Burgundy into such a position that it is once again bent upon recovering all the territories it held at the apex of its power in the 15th century: territories which in many cases lie within the borders of the enlarged constitutional monarchy of the Netherlands.
The Netherlands lack an army of the calibre of the Burgundians, but with resources from their possessions in the East Indies to tap, they are not lacking in modern gear of war, both aeronefs and more conventional naval vessels. The largest vessels have all been built in British yards, although the Royal Netherlands dockyards in Rotterdam are gaining valuable experience in building their own unique designs, such as the recent aerial cruiser Delfjin, and in the future it seems likely that all aeronefs will be constructed at home.
The "Zwoll" class Gunboat
The "Zeeland" class Defence Ship
The "1894" class Aerial Battery
The Armoured Cruiser "De Ruyter"
The Delfjin class Light Cruiser
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