Charles de Broqueville

Charles Marie Pierre Albert, Count de Broqueville (4 December 1860 – 5 September 1940) was the 20th Prime Minister of Belgium, serving during World War I.

Charles de Broqueville
20th Prime Minister of Belgium
In office
22 October 1932 – 20 November 1934
MonarchAlbert I
Leopold III
Preceded byJules Renkin
Succeeded byGeorges Theunis
In office
17 June 1911 – 1 June 1918
MonarchAlbert I
Preceded byFrans Schollaert
Succeeded byGérard Cooreman
Personal details
Born4 December 1860
Postel, Belgium
Died5 September 1940 (aged 79)
Brussels, Belgium
Political partyCatholic Party
Charles de Broqueville memorial
Memorial to Charles de Broqueville on Avenue de Broqueville, Woluwe-St-Lambert, Brussels

Before 1914

First elected to the Chamber of Representatives in 1892, he represented the arrondissement of Turnhout until June 1919.

He was the leader of Belgium's Catholic Party, and he served as prime minister between 1911 and 1918, heading the de Broqueville government.

Once it became clear that Germany intended to violate Belgian neutrality in August 1914, he oversaw Belgium's mobilization for war. Despite the mobilization, de Broqueville opposed King Albert I's proposal to deploy the Belgian Army along the German frontier in 1914 — instead strategically placing them throughout the country. He recognized that wartime support for Belgium depended upon its continued status as a non-provocative neutral power.


The German invasion of 1914 forced the Belgian government into exile at Le Havre. De Broqueville fought the king on the neutrality issue, hereby denying Belgium a full alliance with the Allied forces.

This opposition of the king critically weakened de Broqueville's stance among members of his cabinet. Consequently, he resigned as Foreign Secretary in January 1918 and as Prime Minister in May when he lost the support of his own party.

De Broqueville also served as minister in various departments:

  • Minister of Railways and PTT (Posts, Telegraphs and Telephones) 1910-1912
  • Minister of War 1912-1917
  • Minister of Foreign Affairs 1917
  • Minister of Reconstruction 1917-1918
  • Minister of the Interior 1918-1919
  • Minister of National Defence 1926-1930

After the War

Later, Charles de Broqueville became Prime Minister a second time, serving from 22 October 1932 until 20 November 1934.



See also


  1. ^ Royal Decree of 1919/-Mémorial du centenaire de l'Ordre de Léopold. 1832-1932. Bruxelles, J. Rozez, 1933..

References and further reading

  • Louis DE LICHTERVELDE, Charles de Broqueville, in: Biographie Nationale de Belgique, t. XXIX, 1956-1957, p. 369-377.
  • Paul VAN MOLLE, La parlement belge, 1894-1972, Antwerp, 1972
  • Luc SCHEPENS, Albert Ier et le gouvernement Broqueville, 1914–1918 : aux origines de la question communautaire. Paris 1983,
  • Thierry DENOËL, Le nouveau dictionnaire des Belges, 2e éd. revue et augm., Brussels, Le Cri, 1992, p. 167.
  • Maria DE WAELE, Charles de Broqueville, in: Nieuwe Encyclopedie van de Vlaamse Beweging, Tielt, 1998
  • Paul VOS, Charles de Broqueville op de kering der tijden, in: Vlaamse Stam, 2012, blz. 122-142.
  • Frans RENAERS, De opvoeding van Charles de Broqueville, in: Vlaamse Stam, blz 142-145.

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Frans Schollaert
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Gérard Cooreman
Preceded by
Jules Renkin
Prime Minister of Belgium
Succeeded by
Georges Theunis
1912 Belgian general election

Full general elections were held in Belgium on 2 June 1912.

1913 in Belgium

Events in the year 1913 in Belgium.

1914 Belgian general election

Partial general elections were held in Belgium on 24 May 1914.

The result was a victory for the Catholic Party, which won 41 of the 88 seats up for election in the Chamber of Representatives.The Catholics had formed the government continuously since 1884; the incumbent de Broqueville government was in office since 1911.

Under the alternating system, elections were only held in four out of the nine provinces: Hainaut, Limburg, Liège and East Flanders. This was the last time this system was applied, as the next elections in 1919 saw the introduction of full four-year terms.

The elections occurred shortly before the outbreak of World War I. The newly elected legislature met for just one day in a special session: on 4 August 1914, when King Albert I addressed the United Chambers of Parliament upon the German invasion of Belgium. The parliament met again after the war in November 1918.

1914 in Belgium

Events from the year 1914 in Belgium.

1915 in Belgium

Events in the year 1915 in Belgium.

1916 in Belgium

Events in the year 1916 in Belgium.

1917 in Belgium

Events in the year 1917 in Belgium.

1932 Belgian general election

General elections were held in Belgium on 27 November 1932.

The Catholic Party won 79 of the 187 seats in the Chamber of Representatives and 42 of the 93 seats in the Senate. Voter turnout was 94.3%.

Belgian government in exile during World War I

The De Broqueville government in exile refers to two successive Belgian governments, led by Charles de Broqueville, which served as governments in exile during the German occupation of Belgium in World War I. They were based in Le Havre in northern France after October 1914. The first government, known as the First de Broqueville government, was a Catholic government which elected in 1911 and continued until 1916, when it was joined by Socialists and Liberals expanding it into the Second de Broqueville government which would last until 1 June 1918. In November 1914, the vast majority of Belgian territory (2,598 out of 2,636 communes) was under German occupation. The only portion of Belgium that remained controlled by the Kingdom of Belgium in exile was the strip of territory behind the Yser Front.

Catholic Party (Belgium)

The Catholic Party (French: Parti catholique; Dutch: Katholieke Partij) was established in 1869 as the Confessional Catholic Party (Dutch: Confessionele Katholieke Partij).

Frans Van Cauwelaert

Frans van Cauwelaert (10 January 1880 – 17 May 1961), was a Belgian Roman Catholic politician and lawyer.

Van Cauwelaert was born at Onze-Lieve-Vrouw-Lombeek. He was a member of the Flemish movement, Professor of psychology at the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven), mayor of Antwerp (1921-1932), and co-founder of the daily journal De Standaard.

He fought for using Dutch at the University of Ghent, together with the Socialist Camille Huysmans and the liberal Louis Franck. In 1911 they proposed a bill to the Belgian parliament, which originated from Lodewijk De Raet for the usage of Dutch at the University of Ghent instead of French.

Frans Van Cauwelaert was a member of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives from 1910 until his death in 1961. He was appointed Minister of State in 1931. In the government led by Charles de Broqueville, Van Cauwelaert was minister for Commerce, Middle Class and Foreign Trade (January–June 1934) and Minister of Agriculture and Economical Affairs (June–November 1934). Van Cauwelaert then served in the government led by Georges Theunis as the minister of Agriculture and the Middle class and as minister of Public Works (November 1934-January 1935), until he resigned due to a financial scandal. From 1939 to 1954, he served as President of the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, and lived in exile in New York during the German occupation (May 1940-September 1944).

He died in Antwerp.

His youngest son Jan became a Catholic bishop and died aged 102 as one of the oldest bishops in the Church.

Félix Wielemans

Lieutenant-General Félix Maximilien Eugène Wielemans (10 January 1863 – 5 January 1917) was the Chief of Staff of the Belgian Army during the First World War.

After serving as the Chief of the Military Cabinet to the War Office under Charles de Broqueville in the run-up to the War, he took up the post of Deputy Chief of the General Staff in 1914, and was promoted to Chief of the General Staff in 1915. He represented Belgium at the Allied War Council in December 1915, and the Paris Conference in March 1916.

He received a large number of decorations for his role in the war, including the personal presentation of the Legion d'Honneur by General Joffre.

He died suddenly in January 1917, at Houtem; the cause of his death was reported by The New York Times as pneumonia contracted whilst in the trenches.

Gérard Cooreman

Gérard (Gerard) François Marie Cooreman (25 March 1852 – 2 December 1926) was a Belgian Catholic Party politician.

Born in Ghent, Cooreman was trained in law, and practised as a lawyer, but was more active as a businessman and financier, and became involved with Catholic social groups.

In 1892 Cooreman was elected to the Belgian Senate, and from 1898 to 1914 he represented Ghent in the Belgian Chamber of Representatives, holding the position of leader of the Chamber from 1908 to 1912.

He held office as Labour and Industry minister for a short time in 1899, and on the fall of Frans Schollaert's government in 1911 he was asked to become the 21st Prime Minister of Belgium and form the new government, but declined. He was appointed an honorary Minister of State in 1912 and left politics in 1914 to become a director of the Société Générale de Belgique.

During the First World War, Cooreman followed the Belgian government into exile at Le Havre. On the fall of Charles de Broqueville, King Albert I of Belgium appointed Cooreman to lead a new government on 1 June 1918. With the end of the war in November 1918, Cooreman resigned as Prime Minister.

Julien Davignon

Henri François Julien Claude, viscount Davignon (Sint-Joost-ten-Node, 3 December 1854 - Nice, 12 March 1916) was a Belgian politician who served as Minister of Foreign Affairs (1907-1916).

Davignon was a member of the Catholic Party. He was first elected to the Belgian Senate in 1898. In 1900 he was elected to the Chamber of Representatives of which he remained a member until his death. In 1907 he became Minister of Foreign Affairs in the government led by Jules de Trooz (1907), a post he kept in the following governments of Frans Schollaert (1907-1911) and Charles de Broqueville (1911-1916). In this function at the start of the First World War he received the German ultimatum, demanding free passage through Belgium.

In January 1916 Davignon left the Foreign Office and became Minister without portfolio until his death on 12 March 1916. The day before his death he was ennobled a hereditary viscount in the Belgian nobility.

His grandson, Étienne, served as vice-president of the European Commission.

Le Vingtième Siècle

Le Vingtième Siècle (French: [lə vɛ̃tjɛm sjɛkl], The Twentieth Century) was a Belgian newspaper that was published from 1895 to 1940. Its supplement Le Petit Vingtième ("The Little Twentieth") is known as the first publication to feature The Adventures of Tintin.

The conservative Catholic newspaper was founded by Georges Helleputte, Joseph d’Ursel, and Athanase de Broqueville (brother of Belgian Prime Minister Charles de Broqueville). Its first issue was published on June 6, 1895. It sold poorly and was kept alive by Charles de Broqueville and other Belgian aristocrats.

In 1914, Fernand Neuray took over as editor-in-chief. He distanced the newspaper from the Catholic alignment and tried to position it as a national newspaper.

List of ambassadors of China to Belgium

The Chinese ambassador to Belgium is the official representative of the government of China to the government of Belgium.

From 1973 to 2005 the Chinese ambassador in Brussels was also accredited to the European Community.

Ministry of Defence (Belgium)

The Ministry of Defence (Dutch: Ministerie van Landsverdediging, French: Ministère de la Défense, German: Ministerium der Verteidigung), formerly called the Ministry of War and Ministry of National Defence, is the Belgian ministry responsible for national defence and the Belgian military. The Ministry of Defence is responsible to the Minister of Defence.

As a result of the Verhofstadt I Government's plans to modernise the federal administration, all other ministries were transformed into Federal Public Services (FPS), but in August 2007 there still was no Royal Order creating the FPS Defence, although that name is already in use on official websites. The Ministry of Defence is responsible to the Minister of Defence.

The Chief of Defence (CHOD) is the highest uniformed official in the Ministry of Defence. The CHOD is assisted in the exercise of his functions by a Vice-Chief of Defence (VCHOD) and a Secretary-General.

The Ministry of Defence is organised into multiple staff departments and directorates-general. The Armed Forces are subordinate to the Assistant Chief of Staff (ACOS) Operations and Training, who heads the Staff Department for Operations and Training. He is assisted by two Deputy Assistant Chiefs of Staff (DACOS), one for Operations and Planning and one for Training and Support.

Another staff department is the Staff Department for Intelligence and Security, which is led by the ACOS Intelligence and Security. This staff department is also known as the General Intelligence and Security Service and is responsible for military intelligence and security.

Mol, Belgium

Mol (Dutch pronunciation: [mɔl]) is a municipality located in the Belgian province of Antwerp. The municipality only comprises the town of Mol. On January 1, 2014 Mol had a total population of 35,395 inhabitants. The total area is 114.19 km² which gives a population density of 307 inhabitants per km².Mol is a popular holiday resort, with a number of lakes surrounded by woods. There are two main tourist lakes:

Zilvermeer, which opened as a Provincial Park in 1959 and offers a white sand beach as well as facilities such as an outdoor playground and an underwater museum for divers.

Zilverstrand: Originally, it had only an outdoor lake with a white sand beach. Later, a caravan park was built and mid-1990s an indoor swimming pool was created.Furthermore, there is a Sun Parks holiday centre called "Kempense Meren" with an indoor swimming pool.

The museum of Jakob Smits is located in the former vicarage of Mol-Sluis. This displays works of the artist Jakob Smits (1855-1928) and other painters of the Molse School, who were attracted to the area by its rustic views including several windmills (of which only one remains).

In the north-east corner of Mol, near the Dutch border, lies the Norbertine Postel Abbey. Mol is also home to the SCK•CEN Belgian Nuclear Research Centre, the Flemish institute for technological research (VITO) and a European School. The first industries in Mol were the Vieille Montagne company and the explosive factory N.V. La Forcite. In 1872 the Sablières et Carrières Réunies (SCR), now Sibelco, was founded in order to extract the silica sand layers in Mol for industrial applications. The company became the global market leader in this sector with production sites all over the world.

The 15 chapels were built by Pater Helsen in 1815 with 14 co-workers of the region. It is a protected monument.

Paul Hymans

Paul Louis Adrien Henri Hymans (23 March 1865 – 8 March 1941), was a Belgian politician associated with the Liberal Party. He was the second President of the League of Nations, and served again as its president in 1932-33.

Hymans was the son of Belgian writer and historian Louis Hymans. He became a lawyer and professor at the Universite Libre de Bruxelles. As a politician he became Belgian Minister for Foreign Affairs from 1918 to 1920 (and again from 1927 to 1935), minister of justice from 1926 to 1927, and member of the council of ministers from 1935 to 1936. In 1919, together with Charles de Broqueville and Emile Vandervelde he introduced universal suffrage for all men (one man, one vote) and compulsory education.

As foreign minister during the Great war, Hymans was successful in securing promises from the Allies that amounted to co-belligerency. Britain, France and Russia pledged in the Declaration of Sainte-Adresse in February 1916 that Belgium would be included in the peace negotiations, but its independence would be restored, and that it would receive a monetary compensation for Germany for the damage. When war began, Hymans also got major promises of relief support from the United States, with the approval of President Wilson. Relief was directed primarily by an American Herbert Hoover and involved several agencies: Commission for Relief in Belgium, American Relief Administration, and Comité National de Secours et d'Alimentation. At the Paris peace conference in 1919, Belgium officially ended its long time neutral status, and became first in line to receive reparations payments from Germany. However, Belgium received only a small bit of German territory, and was rejected in its demands for all of Luxembourg and part of the Netherlands. However, it was given colonial mandates over the German colonies of Rwanda and Burundi. Hymans was the leading spokesman for the small countries at Paris, and became president of the first assembly of the new league of Nations. He Hymans helped form the customs union of Belgium and Luxembourg (Belgium-Luxembourg Economic Union) in 1921 and played a leading part in negotiating the Dawes Plan in 1924. In 1928, he signed the Kellogg-Briand Pact for Belgium.He was a Protestant and a freemason, and a member of the lodge Les Amis Philanthropes of the Grand Orient of Belgium in Brussels. Paul Hymans is interred in the Ixelles Cemetery in Brussels.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.