Monday, October 4, 2010

Baron Surlet de Chokier: Belgian Revolutionary and Statesman

The best known Regent of Belgium was the controversial Prince Charles, brother of Leopold III. In 1831, however, at the beginning of her history, the fledgling kingdom had another, equally controversial Regent, professional revolutionary Erasme Louis, Baron Surlet de Chokier. The Exiled Belgian Royalist reports on his life in a very interesting article. Was the Baron a nationalist hero? Read and judge for yourself...

3 comments:

MadMonarchist said...

As a big supporter of Belgium I suppose I must give him some credit for that but, had I been around at the time, I would have been fighting on the side of the prince-bishop and later would have rather fought for the Hapsburgs than the Bonapartes. That being said, I can't be too hypocritical, I have also said in other cases that not all the supporters of Napoleon were wicked. I just detest revolutionaries so no one should expect any greater sympathy than that...

Matterhorn said...

I agree. I have major "issues" with the French Revolution, and with Napoleon, as you might guess, and I cannot help questioning where this man's loyalties really lay. So having Belgium be subject to the Austrians or the Dutch is bad, but it's fine to be subject to the revolutionary French? Was he so much a patriot then, or more just an ideologue of a certain breed?

MadMonarchist said...

That's the way it seems to me (not that I'm an expert, I never heard of the man before now) but it does look like his fame was based more on what he was against rather than what he was for. Switching from independence to dependence on France makes it look, to my uninformed eyes, that he really cared more about sticking it to the Hapsburgs than he was about his own country. Just the impression I get anyway.