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Limburg's history unique among Dutch provinces

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

The province of Limburg is one of four that gained the status of province during the post-Napoleonic era. Flevoland, the province whose territory has been (re)claimed from the IJsselmeer since the early 1940s, was proclaimed a province in very recent memory. Drenthe (re)gained full equal rights in 1795, while Brabant was raised from being a territory to province at the same time. Limburg is a different matter.

Limburg partly belonged as a territory to the United Dutch Republic since 1648, while other areas, like much of the Southern Dutch provinces, belonged to Austria. Other areas were under the jurisdiction of local and regional counts and dukes. Along with what is now part of the Belgian province bearing the same name, Limburg became a province in 1815. With the treaty of 1839 when the Belgian secession was settled, Netherlands-Limburg as a duchy remained a member of the Union of German States.

In 1867, when the Luxembourg-case was settled - King William III wanted to sell it to France - the Union of German States relinquished its claim on Limburg. Not all the inhabitants of Limburg wanted to be Dutchmen. For many years petitions were circulated to force 'The Hague' to let Limburg go. Only in 1905 did Limburg become a province like the others, a new province perhaps, but then one with the longest history of civilization.