Belgium is the most densely-settled country on the earth. The population in January, 1900, was 6,744,553, crowded into an area of 11,313 square miles, making an average of 593 persons to each square mile of territory.
On the west Belgium is bounded by the North Sea; on the north by the Netherlands ; on the east by Holland ; and on the south by France. Religion - The Roman Catholic religion is professed by nearly the entire population, though full liberty and social equality are granted to all confessions. There are 15,000 Protestants, and 3,000 Jews. Government - Constitutional and hereditary monarchy. Executive, the King and ministry. Legislative, vested in the King, the Chamber of Representatives, and the Senate. The Chamber consists of 138 members, and the Senate of sixty-nine.
Much of Belgium in the west is below the level of the sea, from which it has to be protected by dikes and sand dunes. The soil is unusually fertile. Minerals are abundant, the inhabitants very industrious, and manufacturing is extensively carried on, Belgium surpassing all other European countries except England and Germany. Brussels is the capital city, with a population of 210,000. Antwerp is the largest city, with a population of 282,000. If the immediate suburbs of Brussels were taken in, as is done in our American cities, in would increase the population to more than half a million. The great battle of Waterloo, in which Napoleon was defeated, was fought a few miles from the city of Brussels.