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Belgian officers also fought during the Revolutionary War.
To note a few: Charles De Pauw, a Fleming who accompanied Lafayette to America; Ensign Thomas Van Gaasbeck, Captain Jacques Rapalje, and Captain Anthony Van Etten, all of New York; and Captain Johannes Van Etten of Pennsylvania.
In 1830, Belgium declared its independence, adopted a constitution, and chose its first king, Leopold I. During World War I, Belgium was overrun by Germany. Under the personal command of their "soldier king," Albert I, Belgium managed to hold on until the arrival of the Allied forces in 1918.
History repeated itself in World War II when Hitler bombed Belgium into submission and took its king, Leopold III, prisoner.
They came for reasons no different than many other Western Europeans—financial opportunity and a better life for their families.
For example, Hoboken is named after a town in Belgium.
Pavonia got its name when a Fleming, Michael Pauw, purchased land on the Jersey shore.
The country is divided into three regions: Northern Lowlands, Central Lowlands, and Southern Hilly Region.
Its highest point is the Botrange Mountain (2,275 feet), and its major rivers are the Schelde, the Sambre, and the Meuse, which are important transportation routes.