A provisional government, the Driemanschap, took over the Netherlands after its liberation from the French by Prussian and Russian forces in 1813. The principality of the United Netherlands was declared and the exiled William Frederick was made ‘Sovereign Prince’ and granted extensive powers. In 1815 the union of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands was proclaimed. The old borders in the north were restored and portions of Germany and most of the southern territories in the Low Countries were awarded to the new kingdom. The spearhead of William’s policies was economic progress and a drive to make the unified country of the Netherlands prosperous. Instead, unemployment and industrial unrest divided the kingdom, compounded by conflict between the Protestant north and Catholic south, with Belgium rebelling in protest. In 1830 this erupted into a ten-day war (the Belgian Revolution), with the Dutch being forced to withdraw under the threat of French intervention. In 1839 under the Treaty of London, the kingdom of the Netherlands was dissolved and Belgium was declared independent.
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