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altered. Dutch Flanders continued to form part of the Republic of the Seven Provinces, as the possession of the mouths of the Scheldt was bound up with the security of the State and as it was only in this way that the waterways which give admittance to the very heart of the country could be kept under Dutch control. Dutch Flanders has consequently remained attached to the Netherlands since the XVII* century. The Treaty of Westphalia (1648) ratified this state of affairs. The frontiers were fixed in detail in 1664. And though the line of demarcation has from time to time been slightly modified in the course of the centuries, the country has always remained Dutch from Sluys to Hulst and M├ętier-de-Hulst, Cadzand, Neuzen, Biervliet and Sas-van-Gent. It has never in any way formed part of Belgium. At the time of the French occupation in 1795 it was not made part of Belgium, but was formed into a French department, in spite of the opposition of the population, who desired to remain Dutch. In 1814, when the independence of the Netherlands was re-estabished, Dutch-Flanders was again joined to Holland. When in 1815 Belgium was united to Holland, Dutch-Flanders remained part of the province of Zeeland, although the population would then have had an excellent opportunity of joining Belgian Flanders, had they so desired. In the mixed commission which drew up the constitution of the united Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Belgian members abstained from changing this relation, because according to the report of M. Raepsaet, himself a Belgian, "we might have been disowned by the inhabitants". The same thing happened in 1830 when Belgium seceded. The population of Dutch Flanders refused to make common cause with the Belgian revolutionaries. They helped on the contrary to expel the armed bands which had invaded their territory. Dutch Flanders was never consigned to Belgium by any of the partition projects proposed by the Powers, not even by that of June 26* 1831, which was the most favourable to Belgium. It has consequently always remained

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