What is the earliest point at which the Low Countries can be a unified, independent state? And how would this be accomplished? Ideally, I'm searching a way that leads to an independent state (so no unification under a foreign power) where Old or Middle Dutch is the main language or at least vernacular and where the development of separate regional identies has not made full unification difficult; so ideally, this should be before the year 1200.

Maybe the Carolingian Empire could be divided differently in 843? Perhaps Flanders is a part of East Francia, rather than West? Or maybe Pepin I of Aquitane lives longer (IOTL, he died at age 41)? This would lead to a quadripartite division of the empire; and one of the divisions could be the northwestern portion where the Low Countries are.

Would love to hear your thoughts on this.
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A Carolingian division sounds unlikely, considering what you are seeking maybe we might as well go for a stronger Frisian kingdom that Christianizes and stays independent or even conquers Brabant and Flanders, though it would end up as half Frisian and half Old Dutch speaking and not mostly Old Dutch.
That's okay, as long as it's recognizably Dutch to a degree, it's fine. I do like the idea of a stronger Frisia quite a bit, though I'm also curious if there are other working setups.
Arnulf III of Flanders (B. ca 1055) doesn't have Flanders usurped by his uncle, Robert. He marries the OTL wife of his brother, Ida of Louvain, who inherits the County of Louvain and Landgraviate of Brabant after the deaths of her brothers. This way you have a strong core with Flanders, Zeeland, Hainaut, Louvain/Brussels that can subjugate the old Flemish county of Boulougne, and expand further north in Holland/West-Frisia and then further.
And his uncle, Robert is/was regent of Holland, which he might or might not usurp from the children of his wife, Gertrude of Saxony, countess of Holland. And if you somehow have every son of Gertrude's first marriage and the marriage to Robert die, the the counts of Flanders might claim Holland
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