The nations (nations, naties) comprised the nine political corps created by the statute of 11 February 1421. The nations shared in the government of the city following the rising of 1421 until the end of the ancien régime in the 1790s. Each nation grouped together a certain number of the city's craft guilds. The initial formation of the nations and the origins of their composition are unknown, but their names are cited in an act of August 1422. For almost four centuries, the nations enjoyed numerous privileges in exchange for their agreement to supply troops to the sovereign, and they were able to restrict guild membership either to relatives or to those who could pay a substantial entrance fee. They shared in governing the city and from their ranks were drawn the traditional representatives of the common people of Brussels in the provincial Estates. See appendix E for the names of the nations and many of their member guilds.

Historical Dictionary of Brussels. .

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