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The Royal Lowlands refers to the low-lying basin along the European North Sea Coast south of where the Scheld River meets the ocean. The Treaty of Verdun in 843 handed these lands over to West Francia, which would later become the Kingdom of France. The region gave the Kings of France a bounty of wealth. The region was one of the high medieval economic powerhouses of Europe. The cloth trade, in particular, turned the region into Northern Europe’s wealthiest corner. The wealth and political autonomy of Flanders would drive the Renaissance across Europe.