Belgium was ruled from Vienna until being invaded by France in 1795. In 1815 it became one of the provinces of the kingdom of the Netherlands but in 1830 it gained independence following a national revolution. However, it was not until 1839 that an international treaty was drawn up guaranteeing Belgian neutrality.
From 1820 to 1900 over 140,000 people from Belgium emigrated to America. This encouraged the publication of two Belgian newspapers in the United States, De Gazette van Moline and De Gazette van Detroit.
The Census of 1930 revealled that there were 64,194 people living in the United States who were born in Belgium. Important Belgian immigrants include Leo Baekeland, Django Reinhardt, Charles Van Depoele and Albert Claude.