In the mid-1600s the territories that now make up Benelux were divided into two
regions, the north and south, Belgium falling primarily
into the southern district. This territory again fell under the rule of the Hapsburgs
(among others) and became home to multiple battles in the 1600s and 1700s as
France fought both the Austrians and Spanish.
This ended in the late-1700s when France annexed the entire region.
After the fall of Napoleon's France in the early 1800s,
the Belgian territory was united with the northern section of the region once again
to create the United Kingdom of the Netherlands. However,
Belgium protested this union and about 15 years later gained
their full independence as a monarchy.
When World War I broke out in the early 1900s Belgium was
immediately invaded by the Germans and the country became home to multiple battles.
This seemed to be repeated during World War II (WWII) when Belgium was again invaded
by Germany and occupied rather quickly.
After WWII, Belgium ended its monarchy and, as a republic
was founded, Belgium lost most of their colonies, including Congo, Rwanda, and Uganda.
Belgium has since joined NATO and was a founding member of the European Union (EU),
as many EU departments are located in Brussels, Belgium.