Conflict and accommodation in Belgian-American diplomatic and commercial relations, 1830-1846
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Belgian-American relations, established primarily but not exlusively for commercial purposes, experienced a critical period in the initial years 1830-1846, when both nations were coping with the beginnings of industrialization. Many reciprocal economic needs and interests did not immediately result in a commercial agreement; commercial negotiations were one major recurring source of conflict. Other basic reasons for the diplomatic difficu l ties which the two nations encountered were the inexperience of Belgian diplomacy, the non-recognition by the United States of the "balance of power" politics of the Old World, and a common inability to comprehend each other's traditions, expectations, and international obligations. Three major disputes led to extreme tensions. Disagreements over a commercial treaty and its provisions, Belgian and American designs in the Republic of Texas, and American claims for indemnification for property lost in the Antwerp bombardment of 1830 were the significant irritants. The basis for accommodation was a mutual acceptance of peaceful diplomatic methods to solve issues, a liberal trade treaty, and Belgian-American interest in establishing a New York to Antwerp steamship line. [TRUNCATED]
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