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The colonies became independent in the early 1960s.
Politically the country was once polarized on matters of religion and, in recent decades, it has faced new divisions over differences of language and unequal economic development.
The French Revolutionary wars led to Belgium becoming part of France in 1795, bringing the end of the semi-independence of areas which had belonged to the Catholic church.
After the defeat of the French in 1814, a new United Kingdom of the Netherlands was created, which eventually split one more time during the Belgian Revolution of 1830–1839, giving three modern nations, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg.
In the third and late fourth millennia BCE, the whole of Flanders shows relatively little evidence of human habitation.
Although it is felt that there was a continuing human presence, the types of evidence available make judgement about the details very difficult.
The population of Belgium started to increase permanently with the late Bronze age from around 1750 BCE.
Three possibly related European cultures arrived in sequence.
In the last part of the Neolithic, evidence is found for the Corded Ware and Bell Beaker cultures in the south of the Netherlands, but these cultures also do not seem to have had a big impact in all of Belgium.First the Urnfield culture arrived (for example, tumuli are found at Ravels and Hamont-Achel in the Campine).Then, coming into the Iron Age, the Hallstatt culture, and the La Tène culture.This ongoing antagonism has caused far-reaching reforms since the 1970s, changing the formerly unitary Belgian state into a federal state, and repeated governmental crises.It is now divided into three regions: Flanders (Dutch-speaking) in the north, Wallonia (French-speaking) in the south, and bilingual Brussels in the middle.
So-called Limburg pottery and La Hoguette pottery are styles which stretch into northwestern France and the Netherlands, but it has sometimes been argued that these technologies are the result of pottery technology spreading beyond the original LBK farming population of eastern Belgium and northeastern France, and being made by hunter gatherers.