Brabant with Antwerp as a major port of trade became the economic powerhouse of the Low Countries, hub of trade and commerce between Germany, France and England. Brabant was also a center of cultural and scientific development, not in the least thanks to the activities of the monastical orders. The borders of Brabant stretched from the Meuse in the north to far in northern France.
Eventually the House of Burgundy inherited the Duchy of Brabant, later followed by the Habsburg Emperor Charles V. His son Philips II as King of Spain and ruler of the Low Countries started a process of modernization of his government. This resulted in a shift of power towards a more centralized form of government. Much to the resentment of the nobility and the cities.
In combination with the religious turmoil and the reformation this resulted in the Dutch revolt against the Spanish rule. The first step was taken by the provincial parliament of the Duchy of Brabant when they called for an assembly of the Estates General of the Low Countries. The war ended in a separation of the Low Countries. The south remained under the rule of the House of Habsburg, the most northern part of Brabant became part of the new Dutch republic, ruled directly by the Dutch government in The Hague.
In 1796 the citizens of Noord-Brabant decided ' enough is enough' and demanded their own provincial government and parliament. This marks the start of the modern province of Noord-Brabant. Was Brabant originally a predominantly agricultural society, in the 19th century this changed. Industrialization and urbanization had their impact on society. Just name Philips, a company that changed the face of Eindhoven and its surroundings.
In the first year of the First World War approximately one million Belgian fugitives sought safety in the Netherlands and passed through Brabant. In the first decennia of the century Brabant’s industries expanded and education was promoted. The Second World War with Operation Market Garden and Operation Pheasant brought widespread destruction and loss of life. Brabant and the Netherlands recovered thanks to the Marshall Aid program. Since then Brabant has prospered with a highly innovative, internationally oriented industry and a competitive agricultural sector. A province with a high quality of life in which Brabanders, old and new, of all corners of Europe and the world, find their home.