Étienne Constantin de Gerlache

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Étienne Constantin de Gerlache

Étienne Constantin Baron de Gerlache (born December 26, 1785 in Biourge, today Bertrix , Luxembourg , † February 11, 1871 in Brussels ) was a Belgian politician.

Gerlache studied law and was a lawyer at the Paris Supreme Court during the Napoleonic Empire . After the unification of Belgium with the Netherlands to form the United Kingdom of the Netherlands (1815), he was a councilor at the Court of Appeal in Liège , and during this time he wrote a number of papers on Belgian tax, customs and commercial matters. In 1824 he became a member of the Second Chamber of the States General , where he distinguished himself as the leader of the Catholic opposition through speaking talent and political views.

When the revolution broke out in 1830 , he first became a member of the Liège Security Commission and then President of the commission charged with drafting a constitution. After Surlet de Chokier was appointed Regent of Belgium, he was elected President of the National Congress as its successor. He headed the delegation that offered the Belgian crown to Prince Leopold of Saxe-Coburg and, as President of the Chamber of Representatives, took the oath of the constitution from the new king.

On February 27, 1831, he became the first Prime Minister of Belgium. While Gerlache himself was a representative of Catholicism , all other ministers in his government belonged to the Liberals . This led to conflicts with the Catholic MPs, as a result of which Gerlache offered his resignation on March 7, 1831 and was finally dismissed on March 18, 1831.

He then became President of the Belgian Supreme Court in 1832 and was also director of the Belgian Academy of Sciences and President of the Belgian History Commission. In 1869 he retired. In ecclesiastical questions he was one of the representatives of Belgian ultramontanism .


  • Œuvres complètes . Groemaere, Brussels 1875
  1. Histoire du royaume des Pays-Bas 1814-1830 . (Vol. 1)
  2. Histoire du royaume des Pays-Bas 1814-1830 . (Vol. 2)
  3. Histoire du royaume des Pays-Bas 1813-1830 . (Vol. 3)
  4. Histoire de Liége .
  5. Études sur Salluste .
  6. Essais sur les grandes époques de notre histoire nationale .
  • Revolution de Liége sous Louis de Bourbon . Brussels 1831
  • Souvenirs historiques du pays et de la principauté de Liége . Brussels 1825.


  • Théodore Juste: Le baron de Gerlache. Ancien président du Congrès National . Editions Muquardt, Brussels 1870 (Les fondateurs de la monarchie belge; Vol. 9)