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Auguste Delfosse, a Belgian politician, is said to have given this statement in the Belgian House of Representatives on March 1, 1848:

La liberté française pour faire le tour du monde n'a pas besoin de passer en Belgique!

This can be roughly translated to:

The French freedom to travel around the world does not need to pass through Belgium!

I cannot find much context as to why he gave the statement so I'm not sure what he meant by it. I realize that the French Revolution of 1848 was occurring at that time, so perhaps he is emphatically stating that the ideas of the Revolution do not need to enter Belgian politics? If so, why was he opposed to those ideas?

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    Isn't it closer to translate as "The French freedom" than "the freedom of France"?
    – user69715
    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:26
  • Yes, that is the correct translation.
    – terminex9
    Dec 23, 2015 at 1:31
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    Does a government minister need a reason to oppose revolutionary politics? Seems obvious to me that government ministers oppose revolutions.
    – MCW
    Dec 23, 2015 at 13:55

2 Answers 2

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Well, as Delfosse was fighting against French influence on Belgium, I think he tried to say that the idea's of the 1848 French revolution shouldn't brim over to Belgium!

On the other hand, we shouldn't also forget that, after the first French revolution, in 1794 France invaded Belgium. And after the period as part of the United Kingdom of the Netherlands which followed Waterloo, Belgium became independent on 1830, so it was a "young nation". From this, we could also understand this statement as a warning for a possible invasion!

(See also History of Belgium)

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Belgium was a very young nation back then, and the liberal party (Delfosse was a liberal) even younger (formed in 1846). Belgium was (and still is) a constitutional monarchy, like the French "July Monarchy" overthrown by the 1848 revolution.

The government was quite concerned by the increasing turmoil in France and all over Europe, fearing a new revolution or an invasion by France. In 1848, they took a series of reforms to increase liberties and democracy in Belgium. The number of voters doubled to 2% of the population (7% of the adult males). The government also began to consider social issues.

The Belgian government managed to remain unscathed from the revolutionary wave of 1848, so Delfosse ended up being right about his claim

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