Joyeuse Entree - Encyclopedia


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JOYEUSE ENTREE, a famous charter of liberty granted to Brabant by Duke John III. in 1354. John summoned the representatives of the cities of the duchy to Louvain to announce to them the marriage of his daughter and heiress Jeanne of Brabant to Wenceslaus duke of Luxemburg, and he offered them liberal concessions in order to secure their assent to the change of dynasty. John III. died in 1355, and Wenceslaus and Jeanne on the occasion of their state entry into Brussels solemnly swore to observe all the provisions of the charter, which had been drawn up. From the occasion on which it was first proclaimed this charter has since been known in history as La Joyeuse Entrée. By this document the dukes of Brabant undertook to maintain the integrity of the duchy, and not to wage war, make treaties, or impose taxes without the consent of their subjects, as represented by the municipalities. All members of the duke's council were to be native-born Brabanters. This charter became the model for other provinces and the bulwark of the liberties of the Netherlands. Its provisions were modified from time to time, but remained practically unchanged from the reign of Charles V. onwards. The ill-advised attempt of the emperor Joseph II. in his reforming zeal to abrogate the Joyeuse Entrée caused a revolt in Brabant, before which he had to yield.

See E.Poullet, La Joyeuse entrée, ou constitution Brabanconne (1862).

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