Luxembourg, Belgium, the Netherlands and parts of northern France constituted the area of the Netherlands, which until 1579 had a common history (see Netherlands).
In the Netherlands’ war against Spain, Luxembourg joined forces with the provinces of the south and recognized the authority of Philip II. In 1684 it was conquered by France, but 13 years later was returned to Spain with the Rijswijk Treaty. In 1713 it became subject to the Habsburg Austrians. In 1795, Napoleon’s troops invaded the country, and it became subject to France.
Following Napoleon’s defeat, the Vienna Congress in 1815 transferred the Duchy of Luxembourg to Julius I of Orange, who took it as the 18th province of his kingdom. After the Belgian uprising in 1831, Luxembourg was divided. The greater part was incorporated in Belgium and the smallest transferred to Julius I as Grand Duchy of Luxembourg – which he only accepted in 1839. Until 1867 it was administered independently. In 1866, the German Confederation was dissolved, and with the Treaty of London the Grand Duchy achieved its neutrality.
The German troops invaded the country in 1914, but in 1919 it was again liberated. In 1940-44 it was probably once occupied by German troops. After the war, it joined forces with Belgium and the Netherlands in the Benelux and was admitted to the EC. With its accession to NATO in 1949, its neutrality ceased.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER.ORG: What does LU stand for? In the field of geography, this two letter acronym means Luxembourg. Check this to see its other meanings in English and other 35 languages.
The center-right Socialist Christian Party (PSC) had an absolute majority in parliament in the period 1919-74, when a center-left government formed by the Socialist Workers Party (POS) and the Democratic Party (PD) was formed. The PSC again gained a majority in 1979 and ruled in alliance with POS and PD.
Luxembourg is a co-founder of NATO, and in 1986 it was also decided to include women in the country’s defense militia.
Women were given the right to vote in 1919. Their share in the formal labor market in 1979 was only 25.2%. This figure had risen to 34% in 1988. In the education sector, Luxembourg’s women held 74.8% of positions – the highest quotient within the EU.
The metal processing industry and production are the country’s most important, employ most of the workforce and in 1988 accounted for 32% of the country’s gross domestic product. The industry is dominated by the multinational group ARBED, which also has important subsidiaries in Belgium and Germany.
At the June 1989 parliamentary elections, PSC, POS and PD received 22, 18 and 11 seats in parliament, respectively. A new party – the Action Committee 5/6 – got 4 seats. Its campaign was predominantly based on the retention of private employees’ pensions. The two environmental parties each got 2 seats, while the Communist Party got 1.
In 1990, the country’s NATO ambassador, Guy de Muyser, had to resign after being accused of providing secret information to the Soviet Union. The same year, border controls against Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands were abolished.
According to Countryaah.com, the population of Luxembourg in 1996 was 408,038, ranking number 168 in the world. The population growth rate was 1.340% yearly, and the population density was 157.5865 people per km2.