• 10 Francs 1930, KM# 99, Belgium, Albert I, 100th Anniversary of Belgian Independence
  • 10 Francs 1930, KM# 99, Belgium, Albert I, 100th Anniversary of Belgian Independence
Description

The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the southern provinces (mainly the former Southern Netherlands) from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the establishment of an independent Kingdom of Belgium.

The people of the south were mainly Flemings (speakers of low Franconian dialects) and Walloons (speakers of langue d'oil dialects). Both peoples were traditionally Roman Catholic as contrasted with the largely Protestant (Dutch Reformed) people of the north. Many outspoken liberals regarded King William I's rule as despotic. There were high levels of unemployment and industrial unrest among the working classes.

On 25 August 1830, riots erupted in Brussels and shops were looted. Theatregoers who had just watched the nationalistic opera La muette de Portici joined the mob. Uprisings followed elsewhere in the country. Factories were occupied and machinery destroyed. Order was restored briefly after William committed troops to the Southern Provinces but rioting continued and leadership was taken up by radicals, who started talking of secession.

Dutch units saw the mass desertion of recruits from the southern provinces and pulled out. The States-General in Brussels voted in favour of secession and declared independence. In the aftermath, a National Congress was assembled. King William refrained from future military action and appealed to the Great Powers. The resulting 1830 London Conference of major European powers recognized Belgian independence. Following the installation of Leopold I as "King of the Belgians" in 1831, King William made a belated attempt to reconquer Belgium and restore his position through a military campaign. This "Ten Days' Campaign" failed because of French military intervention. The Dutch only accepted the decision of the London conference and Belgian independence in 1839 by signing the Treaty of London.

Obverse

Depicts the portraits in the left profile of the three first Kings of Belgium, engraver's initials below, surrounded by their names and dates.

Leopold I (1790–1865) was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following Belgian independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865.

Born into the ruling family of the small German duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold took a commission in the Imperial Russian Army and fought against Napoleon after French troops overran Saxe-Coburg during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat, Leopold moved to the United Kingdom where he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV).

After the Greek War of Independence (1821–32), Leopold was offered the position of King of Greece but turned it down, believing it to be too precarious. Instead, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. His reign was marked by attempts by the Dutch to recapture Belgium. Leopold was considered liberal and encouraged economic modernisation, playing an important role in encouraging the creation of Belgium's first railway in 1835 and subsequent industrialisation.

Leopold II (1835–1909) reigned as the second King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909 (the longest reign of any Belgian monarch) and became known for the founding and exploitation of the Congo Free State as a private venture. He was responsible for the death of 15 million African people.

Albert I (1875–1934) reigned as the King of the Belgians from 1909 to 1934. This was an eventful period in the history of Belgium, which included the period of World War I (1914–1918), when 90 percent of Belgium was overrun, occupied, and ruled by the German Empire. Other crucial issues included the adoption of the Treaty of Versailles, the ruling of the Belgian Congo as an overseas possession of the Kingdom of Belgium along with the League of Nations mandate of Ruanda-Urundi, the reconstruction of Belgium following the war, and the first five years of the Great Depression (1929–1934). King Albert died in a mountaineering accident in eastern Belgium in 1934, at the age of 58, and he was succeeded by his son Leopold III (r. 1934–1951).

Engraver: Armand Bonnetain

LEOPOLD I • LEOPOLD II • ALBERT
A.B
• 1830-1930 •

Reverse

Value (in Francs and Belgas) in the centre flanked by two stalks of laurel. Legend in French (Kingdom of Belgium) above, engraver's name below.

Engraver: Armand Bonnetain

ROYAUME
DE
BELGIQUE
10
FRANCS
ou
DEUX BELGAS
Bonnetain

Edge

Position A (readable from the obverse) or Position B (readable from the reverse)

* BELGIQUE - BELGIË *

Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Nickel
Weight 17.5 g
Diameter 34 mm
Thickness 2.65 mm
Shape round
Alignment Coin
Mint
Royal Belgian Mint

Related coins

Dutch Text

100th Anniversary of Belgian Independence

Nickel, 17.5 g, ⌀ 34 mm