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Österreichische Niederlande#

Netherlands, Austrian, name for the provinces of Brabant and Flanders, which had formerly constituted a major portion of the Spanish Netherlands awarded to the Habsburgs under the Peace of Utrecht of 1713 and which now form parts of Belgium and Luxembourg. The Austrian governors-general Prince Eugène of Savoy, Prince Karl of Lorraine Karl VI, Archduchess Marie Christine and Albert Kasimir, Duke of Saxony-Teschen) ruled with the help of authorised ministers. While the historically established inner autonomy of the provinces ("Joyeuse Entree") remained untouched by the Austrian governors general, their economic expansion was blocked by the English and Dutch seafaring powers, who forced the dissolution of the Ostend Company ( Trading Companies, Privileged). During his reign, Karl VI introduced reforms inspired by the spirit of enlightened despotism, while measures taken by Joseph II. (Edict of Toleration of 1781, changes in the administration of state and church) led to resistance in 1787 which came to a head in the revolt of July 1789 and a temporary declaration of independence of 11 provinces which joined together as the "United Provinces". The provinces were at odds amongst themselves, and consequently Austria managed to re-gain control in December 1790; this was, however, only temporarily, since the Austrian Netherlands were occupied by France in 1794.