Outline related to Belgian Emigration
- The province East-Flanders belongs to the Flemish Community and the Flemish Region of the Kingdom Belgium, and is situated in the North-East of Belgium.
- The official name is "Provincie Oost-Vlaanderen" in Dutch and "Province de la Flandre Orientale" in French.
- The official language is Dutch and the provincial capital is Ghent (Gent, Gand).
- The URL of their official website is www.oost-vlaanderen.be (dutch).
Province Oost-Vlaanderen (1815-now)The province is composed of six administrative Districts (with since 1 January 1977 of the following municipalities):
And of 3 judicial Districts (each composed of two administrative Districts):
- District Aalst
- Composed of 10 municipalities:
- Aalst, Denderleeuw, Erpe-Mere, Geeraardsbergen, Haaltert, Herzele, Lede, Ninove, Sint-Lievens-Houtem, Zottegem.
- District Dendermonde
- Composed of 10 municipalities (since 1 January 1977):
- Berlare, Buggenhout, Dendermonde, Hamme, Laarne, Lebbeke, Waasmunster, Wetteren, Wichelen, Zele
- District Eeklo
- Composed of 6 municipalities:
- Assenede, Eeklo, Kaprijke, Maldegem, Sint-Laurens, Zelzate.
- District Gent
- District Oudenaarde
- Composed of 11 municipalities (since 1 January 1977):
- Brakel, Horebeke, Kluisbergen, Kruishoutem, Lierde, Maarkedal, Oudenaarde, Ronse, Wortegem-Petegem, Zingem, Zwalm.
- District Sint-Niklaas
Departement de l'Escaut (1795-1814)The French Département de l'Escaut was, during the French occupation of 1795-1814, mainly composed of the actual province East-Flanders and the region "Zeeuws-Vlaanderen" of the actual Dutch province "Zeeland".
It was subdivided in four Districts: Dendermonde, Eeklo, Ghent and Oudenaarde
Ancien Régime (until 1795)The eastern part of the province dir belong to the Holy Roman Empire (Germany) and the western part (Oudburg & Land van Waas) to the Kingdom of France, but both parts where directly ruled by the County of Flanders.
The principal castellanies, situated in the current province, where:
- Land van Aalst
- Land van Dendermonde
- Land van Waas
- Oudburg van Gent
- Vier Ambachten
Austrian periodTne name "Province East-Flanders" was already used by the Austrian Emperor Joseph II, for what's now West-Flanders, when he tried to reform the feudal administration around 1780. He did name "Province West-Flanders" what's now French Flanders and Imperial Flanders what's now East-Flanders. This progressive reform didn't stick and was canceled after the (conservative) revolution of 1785/1786
- The French did in fact reuse the proposals of Joseph II, with success. The "Département de l'Esacaut" (Departement Schelde in Dutch) was craeted by decree of 1 October 1795. It was initially composed of the arrondissements Dendermonde, Gent and Oudenaarde.
- On the level of the districts (or arrondissements in Dutch and French) must be noted that:
- The capital of the what's now arrondissemnt Eeklo did swap from Sas-van-Gent to Eeklo between 1798 and 1803. Finally Eeklop was choosen.
- The arrondissemnt Middelburg (now belonging to the Dutch province Zeeland), was from 1 February part of the departement Schelde, did belong from 24 April 1810 to the departement Twee-Neten (Antwerpen) and from 15 May 1810 on to the departement Monden-van-de-Schelde (Zeeland) until now.
- The arrondisement Eeklo was created 28 March 1803 (from what was before the arrondissement Sas-van-Gent).
- On 1 January 1815 the 37 municipalities of East-Flanders (with 37229 inhabitants), who did belong before 1795 to the Dutch Republic, have been passed to the province Zeeland.
- The constitution of 24 August 1815 tranformed the departement into a province.
- The arrondissements Aalst and Sint-Niklaas have been created 3 January 1818.
- Although the city of Gent was ruled by a French speaking bourgoisie, it's a fact that this province was the most Orangist (faction opposed to the revolution of 1830 and in favor of the restauration of the Dutch King).
- That's easily understand, if you know that this province did benefit largely from the economical measures of the King Willem I where in the French period the port of Antwerp was a little more in favor.
World War I (1914-1918)
- A Deadly Fence
- "... the German occupation force in Belgium in spring 1915 erected a high voltage electric fence between Belgium and the neutral Netherlands."
- In 1923 two municipalities (Burcht and Zwijndrecht) have been moved to the province Antwerp, to permit a more coherent economical policy for the harbor of Antwerp.
World War II (1939-1945)