Joseph Lebeau
Jean Louis Joseph Lebeau (3 January 1794 - 19 March 1865) was a Belgian
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...

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,...

 politician and statesman, the second Prime Minister.


Born in Huy
Huy is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liege. Huy lies along the river Meuse, at the mouth of the small river Hoyoux. It is in the sillon industriel, the former industrial backbone of Wallonia, home to about two-thirds of the Walloon population...

, he received his early education from an uncle who was parish priest
A parish is a territorial unit historically under the pastoral care and clerical jurisdiction of one parish priest, who might be assisted in his pastoral duties by a curate or curates - also priests but not the parish priest - from a more or less central parish church with its associated organization...

 in Hannut
Hannut is a municipality of Belgium. It lies in the country's Walloon Region and Province of Liege. On January 1, 2006 Hannut had a total population of 14,291...

, and became a clerk. He raised money to study 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:...

, and was called to the bar association
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...

 in 1819. While in 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....

, he formed a fast friendship with Charles Rogier
Charles Rogier
Charles Latour Rogier was a Belgian liberal statesman and a leader in the Belgian Revolution of 1830. He became Prime Minister of Belgium on two separate occasions: from 1847 to 1852, and again from 1857 to 1868....

 and Paul Devaux
Paul Devaux
Paul Devaux was a liberal Belgian politician, deeply involved in the unionist movement.-Life:...

, together with whom he founded at Liege in 1824 the Mathieu Laensbergh, afterwards Le politique, a journal which helped to unite the Catholic Party with the Liberals
Liberalism in Belgium
This article gives an overview of liberalism in Belgium. It is limited to liberal parties with substantial support, mainly proved by having had a representation in parliament. The sign ⇒ denotes another party in that scheme...

 in their opposition to the cabinet, without manifesting any open disaffection to the United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands
United Kingdom of the Netherlands is the unofficial name used to refer to Kingdom of the Netherlands during the period after it was first created from part of the First French Empire and before the new kingdom of Belgium split out in 1830...


Lebeau had not aimed for the separation of the Netherlands
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...

 and Belgium, but his hand was forced by the August 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 was sent by his native district to the National Congress, and became minister of foreign affairs in March 1831 during the interim regency of Érasme-Louis Surlet de Chokier. By proposing the election of Leopold of Saxe-Coburg
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 of the Belgians
Monarchy of Belgium
Monarchy in Belgium is constitutional and popular in nature. The hereditary monarch, at present Albert II, is the head of state and is officially called King of the Belgians .-Origins:...

he secured a benevolent attitude on the part of the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

, but the restoration to the Netherlands of part of the duchies of Limburg
Duchy of Limburg
The Duchy of Limburg, situated in the Low Countries between the river Meuse and the city of Aachen, was a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Its territory is now divided between the Belgian provinces of Liège and Limburg , the Dutch province of Limburg , and a small part of North Rhine-Westphalia in...

 and Luxembourg
Luxembourg , officially the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg , is a landlocked country in western Europe, bordered by Belgium, France, and Germany. It has two principal regions: the Oesling in the North as part of the Ardennes massif, and the Gutland in the south...

 provoked a heated opposition to the 1839 Treaty of London
Treaty of London, 1839
The Treaty of London, also called the First Treaty of London or the Convention of 1839, was a treaty signed on 19 April 1839 between the European great powers, the United Kingdom of the Netherlands and the Kingdom of Belgium. It was the direct follow-up of the 1831 'Treaty of the XXIV Articles'...

, and Lebeau was accused of treachery to Belgian interests.

He resigned the direction of foreign affairs on the accession of King Leopold, but in the next year became minister of justice. He was elected deputy for 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 1833, and retained his seat until 1848. Differences with the king led to his retirement in 1834. He was subsequently governor of the Province of Namur
Namur (province)
Namur is a province of Wallonia, one of the three regions of Belgium. It borders on the Walloon provinces of Hainaut, Walloon Brabant, Liège and Luxembourg in Belgium, and on France. Its capital is the city of Namur...

 (1838), ambassador to the Frankfurt Diet (1839), and in 1840 he formed a short-lived Liberal ministry. From this time he held no office of state, although he continued his energetic support of liberal and anti-clerical
Anti-clericalism is a historical movement that opposes religious institutional power and influence, real or alleged, in all aspects of public and political life, and the involvement of religion in the everyday life of the citizen...

measures. He died at Huy.


Lebeau published La Belgique depuis 1847 (Brussels, 4 vols., 1852), Lettres aux électeurs belges (8 vols., Brussels, 1853–1856). His (Brussels, 1883) were edited by A. Freson.
The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.