Today's Luxembourg, for many centuries,
alternated under French, German, Spanish and Austrian
rulers. At the Vienna Congress in 1815, Luxembourg was
granted Grand Duchy status and in 1867 the country's
independence was confirmed. During the 20th century,
Luxembourg's wealth was founded through the growth of
the steel industry.
Celts, Romans and Franks have inhabited the area that
is today Luxembourg. In the 9th century AD, a county was
founded around the present capital. The county was
included early in the German-Roman Empire, but in the
1300s became an independent duchy. Various rulers then
replaced each other. In the 17th century, Luxembourg was
forced to resign its southernmost part to France and in
the 19th century areas east of Prussia and areas west of
Belgium were abandoned.
Comprehensive guide to and popular abbreviations of Luxembourg, covering history, economy, and social conditions.
At the Vienna Congress, which was held between
Europe's great powers after the Napoleonic Wars, it was
decided that Luxembourg would become a grand duchy in
human resources union with the Netherlands. This meant
that the Dutch king was head of state but that
Luxembourg was otherwise independent. In Belgium's
liberation from Dutch supremacy in 1830, the Belgians
occupied the whole of Luxembourg with the exception of
Luxembourg's borders are being drawn
Their present borders were given to Luxembourg by a
treaty in London in 1839 between the then European great
powers, with the western half of the country acceding to
Belgium. From 1842 to 1919 Luxembourg was a member of
the German Customs Union, though without any political
connection to Germany. Then the Duchy came to orient its
economic policy westward.
At a conference in London in 1867, Luxembourg was
declared an independent state with "eternal neutrality".
Not until the death of King William III in 1890 was the
staff union with the Netherlands terminated and the
Grand Duchy passed to a German branch of the same
family, the house Nassau.
Towards the end of the 19th century, mining of the
country's major iron ore assets began, which laid the
foundation for a successful steel industry.
The Germans occupied Luxembourg during the First
World War 1914-1918. Grand Duchess Marie-Adelīde, who
was perceived as German-friendly, had to leave after the
war and was succeeded in 1919 by her sister Charlotte.
At the same time, a new constitution was adopted which
introduced the introduction of democracy and universal
When the Germans again occupied the country during
the Second World War (1939-1945), Charlotte went into
exile in the United Kingdom.
Luxleaks judgments are alleviated
Following a nearly month-long new trial, the penalty for both French
whistleblowers and accountants lowered in the so-called Luxleaks deal is lowered
(see June 2016). The fines are for both, but Antoine Deltour is
now given six months' conditional imprisonment and Raphael Halet does not have
to go to prison. For the journalist Edouard Perrin, the liberating sentence