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History of Belgium: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Kathryn Miedema Dominguez

Kathryn has taught elementary students for over ten years and has her master's degree in elementary education.

In this lesson, we'll learn about the long history of Belgium. It is a small country, but has been fought over by many empires and countries such as the Romans, Franks, Spain, France, and Germany.

History of Belgium

Belgium is often called 'the battleground' of Europe because so many battles were fought on this land. Belgium has been surrounded by powerful rulers for thousands of years. Many of these battles were fought so the ruler could control the land and people. It is like four kids circled around a popsicle, and they all want it, so they fight each other to get it! It took thousands of years and many battles for Belgium to become its own country.

Map of Belgium
Belgian Map

Who Were the First People in Belgium?

A long time ago, various tribes lived in the Belgian region. Just like in the Native Americans in the United States, there were native tribes in Europe, too. One of the last tribes was called the Belgae. When the Romans took over in 57 B.C., they named the region Gallia Belgica after this tribe. Eventually, its name became Belgium.

After 500 years, the Franks took control of the Belgian region. The Franks were from Germany. They had many dynasties ruled for hundreds of years. A dynasty is set of rulers are from the same family. For example, say a principal can no longer run a school, so one of his family members takes over. It can be one of his siblings or children. The following principal would also need to be a family member. It would continue to be a dynasty until the principal (ruler) is not a family member anymore. Usually, dynasties would change when another country fights to take over.

New Cities

After the Franks, Belgium began to form new cities. These cities grew really fast because they had many businesses. One of the big businesses was making cloth and selling it to other countries in Europe. Belgian businesses bought wool from England and wove it into cloth. This made many people wealthy in Belgium.

The French wanted to take their money, so they fought many battles and took over Belgium in 1329. England did not like that the French took over, so they stopped shipping their wool over. A hundred-year war between France and England began because of wool!

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