The War of the Spanish Succession (1701–14) ended with the cession of Belgium to the Austrian Hapsburgs. Briefly annexed to France during the Napoleonic war, Belgium and Holland were reunited by the Treaty of Paris (1815) to form one state. The Belgians rose in revolt and the kingdom of Belgium was formed as an independent state in 1830. By the Treaty of London, 15 Nov. 1831, the neutrality of Belgium was guaranteed by Austria, Russia, Great Britain and Prussia. In 1914 Belgian neutrality was violated and, as a consequence, Britain declared war on Germany. In the Second World War Belgium was again invaded by Germany. In the post-war years, linguistic rivalry between the Flemish (Dutch)-speaking north of the country and the French-speaking Walloons of the south led to bitter political divisions. Following constitutional reforms voted by Parliament in May 1993, Belgium became a federal state.
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