Charles Rogier
Charles Latour Rogier (17 August 1800–27 May 1885) was a Belgian liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 statesman and a leader in the Belgian Revolution
Belgian Revolution
The Belgian Revolution was the conflict which led to the secession of the Southern provinces from the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and established an independent Kingdom of Belgium....

 of 1830. He became Prime Minister of Belgium on two separate occasions: from 1847 to 1852, and again from 1857 to 1868.
Rogier descended from a family settled in the department of the Nord in France
The French Republic , The French Republic , The French Republic , (commonly known as France , is a unitary semi-presidential republic in Western Europe with several overseas territories and islands located on other continents and in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Metropolitan France...

. He was born at Saint-Quentin. His father, an officer in the French army
French Army
The French Army, officially the Armée de Terre , is the land-based and largest component of the French Armed Forces.As of 2010, the army employs 123,100 regulars, 18,350 part-time reservists and 7,700 Legionnaires. All soldiers are professionals, following the suspension of conscription, voted in...

, perished in the Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

n campaign of 1812. The family then moved to the Belgian city of Liege, where the eldest son, Firmin, held a professorship. Rogier studied law at the University of Liège
University of Liège
The University of Liège , in Liège, Wallonia, Belgium, is a major public university in the French Community of Belgium. Its official language is French.-History:...

 (ULg) and was admitted to the bar
Bar association
A bar association is a professional body of lawyers. Some bar associations are responsible for the regulation of the legal profession in their jurisdiction; others are professional organizations dedicated to serving their members; in many cases, they are both...

. However, he devoted himself with greater zeal to journalistic campaigns against Dutch
Dutch people
The Dutch people are an ethnic group native to the Netherlands. They share a common culture and speak the Dutch language. Dutch people and their descendants are found in migrant communities worldwide, notably in Suriname, Chile, Brazil, Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, and the United...

 rule in Belgium
Belgium , officially the Kingdom of Belgium, is a federal state in Western Europe. It is a founding member of the European Union and hosts the EU's headquarters, and those of several other major international organisations such as NATO.Belgium is also a member of, or affiliated to, many...

. In 1824, in collaboration with his lifelong friends Paul Devaux
Paul Devaux
Paul Devaux was a liberal Belgian politician, deeply involved in the unionist movement.-Life:...

 and Joseph Lebeau
Joseph Lebeau
Jean Louis Joseph Lebeau was a Belgian liberal politician and statesman, the second Prime Minister.-Biography:...

, he founded the journal Mathieu Laensberg (afterwards Le Politique). With its ardent patriotism and its attacks on the Dutch
The Netherlands is a constituent country of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, located mainly in North-West Europe and with several islands in the Caribbean. Mainland Netherlands borders the North Sea to the north and west, Belgium to the south, and Germany to the east, and shares maritime borders...

 administration, the journal soon achieved widespread influence.

On the outbreak of the insurrection at Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

 in August 1830, Rogier went there with a militia of about 300 citizens of Liège
Liège is a major city and municipality of Belgium located in the province of Liège, of which it is the economic capital, in Wallonia, the French-speaking region of Belgium....

. In Brussels he gained recognition as one of the most active among the patriot leaders. He became a member of the provisional government
Provisional Government of Belgium
The Provisional Government was formed as a revolutionary committee of notables during the Belgian Revolution on September 24, 1830 at the Brussels City Hall under the name of Administrative Commission....

 established in October of the same year, and after the election of Leopold
Leopold I of Belgium
Leopold I was from 21 July 1831 the first King of the Belgians, following Belgium's independence from the Netherlands. He was the founder of the Belgian line of the House of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha...

 as King in June 1831, he was made Governor of Antwerp. During his first stint as Interior Minister, from 1832 to 1834, he brought into existence the Belgian railway system. From 1840 to 1841 he was Minister of Public Works and Education, and from 1861 to 1868 he served as Minister for Foreign Affairs.

Today, one of central Brussels' landmarks, the Place Rogier, commemorates his name.

Famous quotes

  • La Belgique sera Latine ou elle ne sera pas. — "Belgium will be Latin or it won't be."
  • On establishing a French speaking government:
    Les premiers principes d’une bonne administration sont basés sur l’emploi exclusif d’une langue et il est évident, que la seule langue des Belges doit être le Français. Pour arriver à ce résultat, il est nécessaire que toutes les fonctions, civiles et militaires, soient confiées pour quelques temps à des Wallons; de cette manière les Flamands, privés temporairement des avantages attachés à ces emplois, seront contraint d’apprendre le Français et l’on détruira, peu à peu l’élèment germanique en Belgique.
    — "The first principles of a good administration are based upon the exclusive use of one language, and it is evident that the only language of the Belgians should be French. In order to achieve this result, it is necessary that all civil and military functions are entrusted to Walloons and Luxemburgers; this way, the Flemish, temporarily deprived of the advantages of these offices, will be constrained to learn French, and we will hence destroy bit by bit the Germanic element in Belgium."
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