Belgium 100 Francs banknote 1959 King Leopold I

Belgium Banknotes 100 Francs banknote 1959 King Leopold I
Belgium Banknotes 100 Francs bank note 1959
Belgium Banknotes 100 Francs banknote 1959 King Leopold I
National Bank of Belgium - Nationale Bank van België - Banque nationale de Belgique

Obverse: Portrait of King Leopold I of Belgium.
Reverse: Portrait of Hubert Frère-Orban, Minister of Finance and founder of the National Bank of Belgium in 1850.

Belgian banknotes - Belgium paper money
1950-1959 Issue

100 Francs         500 Francs        1000 Francs

King Leopold I (French: Léopold Ier, German and Dutch: Leopold I; Coburg, 16 December 1790 – Laeken, 10 December 1865) was a German prince who became the first King of the Belgians following Belgian independence in 1830. He reigned between July 1831 and December 1865. He established the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha to which all subsequent Belgian Kings have belonged.
   Born into the ruling family of the small Germany duchy of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, Leopold took a commission in the Imperial Russian Army and fought against Napoleon after French troops overran Saxe-Coburg during the Napoleonic Wars. After Napoleon's defeat, Leopold moved to the United Kingdom where he married Princess Charlotte of Wales, the only child of the Prince Regent (the future King George IV), thus situating himself as a possible future prince consort of Great Britain. Charlotte died in 1817, although Leopold continued to enjoy considerable status in England.
   After the Greek War of Independence (1821-1832), Leopold was offered the position of King of Greece but turned it down, believing it to be too precarious. Instead, Leopold accepted the kingship of the newly-established Kingdom of Belgium in 1831. The Belgian government offered the position to Leopold because of his diplomatic connections with royal houses across Europe. In addition, because he was seen as a British-backed candidate, he was not affiliated to other powers, such as France, which were believed to have territorial ambitions in Belgium which might threaten the European balance of power created by the 1815 Congress of Vienna.
   Leopold was crowned in Belgium on 21 July 1831, an event commemorated annually as Belgian National Day. His reign was marked by attempts by the Dutch to recapture Belgium and, later, by internal political division between liberals and Catholics. As a Protestant, Leopold was considered liberal and encouraged economic modernisation, playing an important role in encouraging the creation of Belgium's first railway and in 1835 and subsequent industrialisation. As a result of the ambiguities in the Belgian Constitution, Leopold was able to slightly expand the monarch's powers during his reign. He also played an important role in stopping the spread of the Revolutions of 1848 into Belgium. He died in 1865 and was succeeded by his son, Leopold II.

Walthère Frère-Orban, in full Hubert Joseph Walthère Frère-Orban (born April 24, 1812, Liège, French Empire [now in Belgium] — died Jan. 1, 1896, Brussels, Belg.), Belgian statesman and Liberal Party reformer who was twice prime minister (1868–1870 and 1878–1884).
   An exponent of doctrinaire economic liberalism and a strong advocate of free trade, Frère-Orban played a prominent part in the Liberal movement while practicing law in Liège. He was sent in 1847 to the Chamber of Representatives as a member from that city. From 1847 to 1894 he served as the leading Liberal member of the lower house in addition to holding many ministerial posts. As minister of finance (1848–52), he founded the Banque Nationale, abolished the newspaper tax, reduced the postage, and modified the customs duties as a preliminary to a free-trade policy.
   To facilitate negotiations for a new commercial treaty, he conceded to France a law of copyright, which proved highly unpopular in Belgium. He resigned and the rest of the Cabinet soon followed him. While serving again as finance minister in 1857, he embodied his free-trade principles in commercial treaties with Great Britain and France and abolished the octroi duties (local import taxes) and tolls on national roads. After becoming prime minister in 1868, he defeated a French attempt to gain control of the Luxembourg railways (1869). In his second term as prime minister, he provoked the bitter opposition of Belgium’s Catholic party by establishing secular primary education (1879) and by breaking off diplomatic relations with the Vatican (1880). Although Frère-Orban grudgingly conceded an extension of the franchise (1883), the hostility of the Radicals and the discontent caused by a financial crisis resulted in the overthrow of his government in the elections of 1884. He continued to lead the Liberal opposition until 1894.