|Government type||HM's Government|
|Ruling party||Katholieke Partij|
|Capital||Brussels (ID 387)|
|Tech school||Traditional academia|
Belgium is a little country in Europe, having borders with France, Netherlands, Luxembourg and Prussia. Belgium starts with a relatively strong army of nine infantry, three cavalry one artillery brigade, and a weak navy that consists of three clippers transport ships. Belgium starts with a few factories - giving it a reasonable industrial base. Belgium is also strongly aligned with the United Kingdom, giving a chance to ally with them. However, the Netherlands, until the Treaty of London, have claims in all Belgium, and can ignite a crisis in the region.
Belgium is a very good nation to learn the ropes of the game with.
The origin of the modern state of Belgium goes back to 1830, with the Belgian Revolution of 1830. After the recognition of Belgian independence in the London Conferecence of 1830, which included the Great Powers of Europe, including the United Kingdom, Prussia and France, the Belgium Congress chose Leopold I as King of the Belgians. However, William I of the Netherlands refused to recognize Belgium as an independent country, eventually invading the country in 1831, known in history as the "Ten Days' Campaign", because the Dutch Army stopped the advance because of the French army. But William I would still refuse to acknowledge Belgium as an independent nation until 1839, where he was pressured to sign the Treaty of London.
Belgium was the second country, after the United Kingdom, where industrialization took place, because of the cheap coal and iron, attracting many entrepreneurs to open metal industries.
By 1836, Belgium owns a total of three factories in Flanders and Wallonia, giving some extra points. The Netherlands has cores on the Belgian land until they sign the Treaty of London. Therefore Belgium needs powerful allies. They have already got good relations with United Kingdom and they will do the job fine.
Belgium sits in an interesting position because not only do the Dutch have cores on all Belgian land but you will also see rebellions from Wallonian and Flemish nationalists. One way to avoid this and exercise extreme diplomacy is the route of Confederation. At the beginning of the game release both Wallonia and Flanders. This will leave with 0 prestige and only one province under your control. However you now have two puppets with 1 factory each and a factory in your lone province of Brussels. When taking this route you must try to become a Great Power as quickly as possible because the French will immediately try to get at least Wallonia in their SOI. One way to gain back some of the prestige you lost is to wait for the Dutch to declare war. Immediately call on your allies and once you are winning the war you can either acquire a state or make them your puppet. Either will bring a prestige gain which will help you, however demanding a state will give you the ports that you will need to construct a navy now that you have given up your lone port.
Belgian overseas colonies
Acquiring Belgian Congo and other colonies in Africa is possible, although Belgium does not have the advantage of other European powers of having possessions in Africa from the beginning. The easiest and quickest way to remedy this is when the Netherlands declare war towards the start of the game, add "acquire Dutch Ghana" as a war goal. This is a small colony in West Africa that can be a stepping stone to building up a Belgian colonial empire. Along with the necessary tech for colonialism in general, also research naval bases especially and build them up in now-Belgian Ghana so that you can have a greater reach, ideally towards Cameroon, Gabon, and eventually, the Congo. The fact that Belgium only has one national focus will put you at a disadvantage compared to France or the UK, so one has to be ready in 1870 and move quickly in order to obtain the rich lands of the Congo Basin. Additionally, other overseas expansion by conquering uncivilized nations, in places like Asia, can also serve as a base to expand from in 1870.