The Dutch period (1815 - 1830)
of Vienna (1814 - 1815) decided to erect a barrier against France by uniting the Northern and Southern Netherlands and the princedom of Liège under the rule of King William I.
William I promoted the industrialization of the country. To support mechanised industry, he embarked on large scale infrastructural development and provided financial assistance to enterpreneurs. His measures met with the approval of the industrialists of Wallonia and Ghent. In the rest of Flanders non-mechanised rural industry suffered greatly from the competition represented by new factories, which caused some dissatisfaction.
The catholic church supported this rural opposition because it refused to accept a protestant king. Moreover, William I wanted to limit clerical power, which resulted in catholic distrust.
The king was not so liberal in political matters. He refused to devolve power to government ministers, which was what the Liberals demanded. In linguistic matters, he wanted to impose Dutch in Flanders. The young Walloon and Flemish upper-classes, which spoke French, were afraid that their career opportunities would be affected.
In 1828 Catholics and young Liberals formed a Union which had a joint programme. Finally, in 1830, tensions in the south rose to such an extent that the area broke away from the north and formed a new independent Belgian state.