An 1830-1831 Dutch Hasselt Cross
An 1830-1831 Dutch Hasselt Cross - Bronze, 29 mm, light contact, bruising below the ball finial, near extremely fine. Footnote: The Cross was instituted by Royal Order no. 70 on September 12, 1831 and awarded to participants in the war against Belgium of 1830-1831. Its official name is the Metalen Kruis (Metal Cross) but it is popularly known as the Hasselt Kruis (Hasselt Cross) since the bronze for the cross came from Belgian cannon captured during the Battle of Hasselt on August 8, 1831. At the Congress of Vienna in 1815, at which the Great Powers laid out the post-Napoleonic European map, Belgium became part of the new Kingdom of the Netherlands. However, the French-speaking Catholic elements of the population became increasingly disenchanted with the rule of the Dutch-speaking Protestant King Willem I and a rebellion started in Brussels in 1830. Belgian independence was declared and Dutch forces invaded but withdrew at the insistence of France and Britain. The independence of Belgium with Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha as king was ratified at the London Conference of 1830-1831.