Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg are three relatively small countries whose historical importance is out of all relation to their size. Their contribution to Europe`s economic, spiritual and artistic heritage has been immense, and their histories cannot be written in isolation from one another, or from their neighbours. This is the first full historical survey of the Benelux area to be written in English. Paul Arblaster describes the whole sweep of the history of the Low Countries, from Roman frontier provinces, through medieval principalities, to the establishment of the three constitutional monarchies of the present day. This concise and readable overview highlights the international importance of the social, economic, spiritual, and cultural movements that have marked a region which, for centuries, has been the marketplace, cockpit and crossroads of Western Europe.