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goober/['ɡu(:)bə]/ n. 落花生, 皮肤上的小疙瘩...

【大耳朵双语最游记】Belgium(比利时)(一)

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History
           The history of Belgium can be distinguished from that of the Low Countries from the 16th century. A civil war, the Eighty Years" War (1568C1648), divided the Seventeen Provinces into the United Provinces in the north and the Southern Netherlands in the south. The southern provinces were ruled successively by the Spanish and the Austrian Habsburgs. The Southern Netherlands were sought after by numerous French conquerors and were the theatre of most Franco-Spanish and Franco-Austrian wars during the 17th and 18th centuries. Following the Campaigns of 1794 in the French Revolutionary Wars, the Low Countries were overrun by France, ending Spanish-Austrian rule in the region. The reunification of the Low Countries as the United Kingdom of the Netherlands occurred at the end of the French Empire in 1815.
           The 1830 Belgian Revolution led to the establishment of an independent, Catholic and neutral Belgium under a provisional government. Since the installation of Leopold I as king in 1831, Belgium has been a constitutional monarchy. Between independence and World War II, the democratic system evolved from an oligarchy characterised by two main parties, the Catholics and the Liberals, to a parliamentary democracy that has included a third party, the Belgian Labour Party, and a strong role for the trade unions. Originally, Belgium had only one official language, French, which was the adopted language of the nobility and the bourgeoisie. The country has since developed a bilingual Dutch-French system.
           Belgium"s neutrality was violated in 1914, when Germany invaded Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan. Belgium was again invaded by Germany in 1940 during the blitzkrieg offensive. After World War II, Belgium joined NATO and, together with the Netherlands and Luxembourg, formed the Benelux group of nations. During the 20th century, the history of Belgium became more and more dominated by the increasing autonomy of its two main language communities. This period saw a rise in inter-communal tensions between the Dutch-speaking Flemings of the north and the French-speaking Walloons of the South. The unity of the Belgian state has come under scrutiny. Through constitutional reforms in the 1970s and 1980s, this had led to the formation of different local governments, the Communities and Regions, granting these regions formal recognition and autonomy.
Geography  
           Belgium is a country in northwest Europe bordered by the Netherlands, Germany, Luxembourg and France. Belgium, with an area of 30,528 km², has three main physical regions: the coastal plain in the north-west, the central plateau, and the Ardennes uplands in the south-east.
           The coastal plain consists mainly of sand dunes and polders. The second physical region, the central plateau, lies further inland. This is a smooth, slowly rising area that has many fertile valleys and is irrigated by many waterways. There are rougher land, including caves and small gorges in this region. The third physical region, called the Ardennes, is more rugged than the other two regions. It is a thickly forested plateau, very rocky and not very good for farming, which extends into northern France. This is where much of Belgium"s wildlife can be found. Belgium"s highest point, the Signal de Botrange is located in this region at only 694 metres.
Political System
           Belgium is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary democracy that evolved after World War II from a unitary state to a federal state. The bicameral Parliament is composed of the Senate and the Chamber of Representatives. The former is a mix of directly elected senior politicians and representatives of the communities and regions, while the latter proportionally represents all Belgians older than 18. Belgium is one of the few countries where voting is compulsory.
           The federal government, formally nominated by the king, must have the confidence of the Chamber of Representatives. It is chaired by the Prime Minister. The numbers of Dutch- and French-speaking ministers are equal. The judicial system is a civil law system, originally based on the Napoleonic Code. The Court of Appeals is one level under the Court of Cassation, an institution based on the model of the French Court of Cassation.



历史
 
           从16世纪开始, 比利时的历史和其周围地势低的国家有所不同。长达八十年之久的内战(1568-1648)将17个省划分为北面的联合省份以及南面的南荷兰地区。 南部的省份接连被西班牙以及奥地利哈普斯堡皇室所统治。南荷兰地区是在被大量的法国人入侵后进而开发的,在17-18世纪也上演过佛朗哥-西班牙和佛朗哥-奥地利等主要战争。在1794年法国革命获得胜利之后,那些被法国所蹂躏的所谓低地国家,也被从西班牙和奥地利的掌控中解救出来。1815年法国王国灭亡, 这些国家被重新统一成为荷兰帝国。
           1830年的比利时革命建立了独立政权,天主教徒和中立的比利时人处于临时政府的管辖之下。自从1831年利奥波德一世 (Leopold I) 称帝,比利时即成为一个君主国。在独立战争和二战期间,其由两个主要政党天主教和自由党的政治演变成为民主政治体系,成为一个民主议会制的政府,这个政府还包括第三政党,即比利时工党,它对工会扮演重要的角色。最初的时候,比利时只使用法语为其官方语言,它是贵族和资产阶级所使用的语言。之后,比利时逐渐成为荷兰语和法语双语体系国家。
           1914年,德国入侵比利时,侵犯了其中立国地位。中比利时在1940年再次被德国入侵。二战后比利时加入了北大西洋公约组织,并和荷兰、卢森堡一起组成Benelux三国经济联盟。 20世纪,比利时的历史为其两大主要的语言社区的日益强化的自治趋势所影响。 这个时期见证了北部的荷兰语区的弗莱蒙人(Flemings)和南部的法语区瓦龙人(Walloons)间在社区间的紧张局势。比利时的国家统一也因此受到了威胁。 通过20世纪70年代和80年代的宪法改革,形成了不同的地方性政府部门,社区和地区,并给于这些地区认可和自治权。
地理
           比利时是一个欧洲西北部的国家,与荷兰、德国、卢森堡和法国接壤。比利时的国土面积是30,528平方公里,它拥有三个主要的地理区域:西北面的沿海平原,中部的平原以及东南部的阿尔丁(Ardennes)丘陵。
           沿海平原主要包括沙丘和低田。第二个地理区域中部的平原延伸到内陆。这是一个平坦的逐渐上升的地带,拥有许多富饶的山谷,并且由很多水路进行灌溉。地区的陆地不平,包括凹洞和小的峡谷。第三种地理区域叫作 阿尔丁区域。与前面两个地势相比,更加恶略。它这是个植被茂盛的平原,多岩石并不太适应农业种植。 它延伸到法国北部。 比利时的很多野生动物生活在这个区域。 比利时的最高点,海拔只有694米伯特兰吉山(Signal de Botrange)也位于这区域。
政治体系    
           比利时是个君主制议会民主国家,这是从二战后由单一个国家向联邦制的政府转变而来的。两院制议会由参议院和众议院组成。前者由直接选举出来的高级政治家和地区代表混合组成,而后者则是按一定比例代表所有超过18岁地比利时人。比利时是极少强制选举国家之一。联邦政府由国王委任,但必须得到众议院的信任。由总理大臣担任首脑。讲荷兰语大臣以及讲法国语的部长人要相等。

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