Battle of 7 september 1884

Battle of 7 september 1884
   The election of a majority Catholic national government in June 1884 led to passage of a law on primary education (loi Jacobs) favoring schools run by religious orders. Burgomaster Charles Buls and leading Liberal Party officials in Brussels protested vigorously. On 7 September 1884, 80,000 Catholics descended on the capital to demonstrate on the place de la Constitution in support of the measure. Angry city residents, armed with sacks of laundry bluing that they dumped on the out-of-towners, dispersed the gathering. There were no deaths; however, the day's happenings infuriated Catholics and produced a hardening of animosity between Brussels, a bastion of anticlerical strength, and the rural, conservative countryside that would last for 30 years.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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