|Dominion of Borealia|
"Eendracht maakt macht" (Dutch)
"Unity makes strength"
Map of Borealia in 1882.
|Official languages||Burgundian, Dutch|
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|-||Prime Minister||Bastiaan Rambonnet|
|-||Lower house||National Assembly|
The Dominion of Borealia, also known simply as Borealia is a nation located in northern Arcadia. The nation was founded in 1882 with the confederation of several Burgundian colonies, including Nova Belgica, Avelskamp and New Netherland. The nation is a federal republic composed of ten states, with its capital located in the city of Sint Jan in Nova Belgica, and its largest city being New Amsterdam, located in the state of New Netherland.
The region of Borealia was first settled by the Kingdom of Burgundy in the early sixteenth century, with New Amsterdam being founded in 1537, and Nova Belgica being settled in 1584. The nineteenth century saw all of Burgundy's Arcadian colonies begin to flourish independently, leading to the possibility of independence or greater autonomy for the various colonies. In 1861 the colony of New Amsterdam, under Frederik Lucassen, began talks with the Kingdom of Burgundy to establish independence, while Nova Belgica was granted representation in parliament and an increase in territory. In 1882 the Constitution Act was passed in both colonies, agreeing that both colonies (as well as Avelskamp) would be united into one, independent nation, as the Dominion of Borealia.
Arcadia's Gilded Age
Beginning in roughly the 1860s, the "Gilded Age" was a period in Nova Beglican (and later Borealian) history, and of Arcadia as a whole, in which the continent saw rapid industrialization and growth. The term for this period comes from the 1872 novel, De Vergulde Leeftijd ("The Gilded Age") by Belgican-Dutch author Mark Thijm, which satirized an era of serious social problems masked by a thin gold gilding. In Nova Belgica and the other Burgundian colonies, the era overlapped with the Robertian Era, the reign of King Robert IV of Burgundy (1851 - 1870), and his successor, Mary I.
During this time there was rapid economic progress and growth in the nations of Nova Belgica and New Netherland, a large increase in immigration from Europe, largely as a consequence of recent upheaval in Europe and the larger wages in the colony for skilled laborers, and the beginning of industrialization. However, the Gilded Age also saw the rise of poverty and inequality, especially among the new wave of immigrants, and the beginning of large concentration of wealth becoming more visible within the nation.
The Gilded Age was also underscored by widespread corruption within governments and civil services. The Isala Company Scandal of 1866, in which it was discovered that the major railroad company, known as the Isala Company, was charging heavily inflated rates for construction of lines in Bovenstland, Nova Belgica, and also had paid a large sum of money and discounted stock to numerous politicians in government. The scandal disgraced the government of Governor Adriaan van Hall, and in November 1866 he lost the election to conservative candidate Pieter Steyn.
Steyn's government sought to reverse the trend of corruption, brought on in part by the popular "spoils system", in which successful politicians rewarded their campaign workers and supporters with important government jobs, over potentially more qualified individuals. The Civil Service Act, which mandated a competitive examination for applicants for government jobs, was an early step in the process, which would continue well into the 1880s. In 1876 Governor Bernard Hendriksen would be assassinated by Charles Julius Guiteau, a disgruntled campaign worker who had been harmed by the reforms.
Nonetheless the trend would be continued by Hendriksen's successor, Jan Ruys. Other reforms during this period included the Interstate Commerce Act of 1878, which ended railroads' discrimination against small shippers, and the Antitrust Act of 1888, which outlawed monopolies in business. Nonetheless this period saw the rise of numerous entrepreneurs and businessmen, who amassed great fortunes and influence across Arcadia, including coal and steel tycoon Gerrit Kuiper of WESCO (Westen Staal and Kolen Corporatie), and Cornelius Vanderbilt, a railroad tycoon largely responsible for the construction of the Transcontinental Railroad. Vanderbilt's Union Central Railroad Company would begin construction of the rail line in 1874, and would be completed four years later.
Vinland and the Islands Incident
In 1868, an Englishman named Thomas Spence, influenced by the ideals of republicanism in France and Iberia, launched a rebellion to secure independence for the Scandinavian territory of Vinland, declaring the Republic of Vinland in the capital city. The Scandinavian government accepted assistance from the Kingdom of Burgundy, and due to its proximity to Vinland, Nova Belgica played a large role in quelling the rebellion. That same year an expeditionary force of 8,000, led by Jan de Brouckère, joined Burgundian forces in Vinland. Nova Belgican's detachment was tasked with securing the nearby islands of Prinz Rupert Island (Prince Edward Island) and Ny Gotland (Anticosti Island), which had previously been a part of the nation a few decades prior. Both islands had a low rebel presence, and were captured with little resistance later that year.
The government of Scandinavia made little effort to re-establish control of the territory or help quell the rebel themselves, and in 1871 both of the islands under Nova Belgican military occupation were assigned a provisional, Burgundian government to help facilitate defense and rebuilding efforts. Defenses would be constructed on the islands coordinated by the Burgundian government, and the Burgundian occupation soon outnumbered Vinland's own raised armed forces. Additionally the islands saw a high amount of Burgundian settlement, encouraged by the Nova Belgican government.In 1872 Frederick Stenweide was elected to the position of government, after in part campaigning on a platform of expansionism. The formal annexation of the occupied islands was a logical target for the nation, and in January 1873 an offer was made to re-purchase the islands from the Scandinavian government.
This would ultimately lead to a diplomatic crisis commonly nicknamed the "Islands Incident". The Scandinavian government refused to formally reply to the Nova Belgican government, and in February dispatched armed forces to Vinland. This was immediately interpreted as a possible act of aggression by the Nova Belgican government, while the Scandinavians officially sought to re-establish control over their territories, which had lapsed from their authority for the past five years. Fearing a possible war with Burgundy, Scandinavia continued to raise forces in Vinland, while not officially attacking the occupied islands, while Nova Belgica responded by raising reserves and dispatching a fleet under Admiral Karel Visser to patrol the coast of Vinland. Around the same time Scandinavia accused the Burgundians of infringing on their territorial integrity, and asked the international community to condemn Nova Belgica's actions, which only the government of Great Britain did. France, however, was attracted to Burgundy's side, and unofficially backed Nova Belgica.
With tensions growing in Europe concurrently due to East Germany's military buildup and plans to attack Burgundy proper, both sides of the crisis wished to quickly end the possible conflict. With the Scandinavians unwilling to cede the islands to Nova Belgica directly, France negotiated to have the islands ceded to them instead in exchange for concessions in South Africa, and in August 1873 the Treaty of Anticosti was signed. In late December the Treaty of Winsum was negotiated between France and Burgundy, which say France then cede the islands to Nova Belgica. Both governments saw the move as potentially instigating to Scandinavia, leading to a formal alliance between France and Burgundy. The French government, however, hoped the deal would bait Scandinavia into a conflict for violating their earlier treaty, as France also had ambitions of defeating Scandinavia in a subsequent war. As the Treaty of Winsum was being signed, 20,000 Nova Belgican soldiers joined the French garrison already existing on the island, so that in the event of a Scandinavian retaliation they would be striking both Burgundy and France, while in mainland Nova Belgica another 50,000 reserves were raised and stationed in the north of the nation. Tensions would remain high throughout 1874, with Burgundy and German officially going to war, and Scandinavia ordering the construction of several forts in Vinland, and 25,000 soldiers to be dispatched to the colony.
War of the Rhine
In 1874 war broke out between the Kingdom of Burgundy and the German states of Rhineland and East Germany. During this period some 100,000 men from Nova Belgica and 200,000 men from New Netherland would serve overseas in the Rhineland. Throughout the war the colonies saw a massive buildup of wartime industry to aid in the war effort, include the first domestic armament and ammunition factories, and an increase in warship construction. In total five battleships would be constructed in the colonies throughout the war; SMNBS Antigoon, Elegast, Arendsvrees, Walewein, and Gruuthuse.
Burgundy's construction of the Panama Canal was also stalled by the war, and the colonies took a vested interest in continuing its construction, with Nova Belgica become the largest stakeholder in yearly construction temporarily. Additionally the war began a mass migration from Europe to the colonies, including heavy immigration from Burgundians and Germans, most of which would stay and settle various towns across the colonies. Suspicion of German citizens of the nation was initially high, with "Belgicanizing" processes put in place to rename German names, and to promote Burgundian language across the colonies. The war would end officially in 1880 with the signing of the Treaty of Zurich.
Formation of Borealia
The 1880s saw the rise of expansionism in the Burgundian colonies, especially after the revitalizing victory over the German states in the War of the Rhine. Senator Jan Coevorden, from the Conservative Party of Nova Belgica, would publish a series of essays, beginning in 1880, which discussed the merits of an “Arcadian union” between the various Burgundian colonies, as well as jingoistic pursuits to strengthen the Burgundian Empire’s holdings in the western hemisphere. Coevorden’s opponents, the Liberal Party, were largely not in favor of such actions, with incumbent governor Jacob Thedens in favor more so of greater autonomy for the colony of Nova Belgica. Thedens’ had his proposal blocked by the Conservatives, who had established a majority in the senate since 1878. Instead Thedens’ proposal would be modified to include the aforementioned autonomy changes, as well as a union between the three colonies of the northeast; Nova Belgica, New Netherlands, and Avelskamp. Despite initially being against unification, Thedens would oversee the transition after Burgundy approved the proposal.
The Dominion of Borealia would be formally created in 1882. In Nova Belgica Thedens had declined to run in the 1880 election, but nonetheless the Liberal Party managed to secure the governorship, with Stephanus Joubert ascending to the governorship. After negotiation, it was determined that Joubert would serve as the first acting prime minister of Borealia, until elections could take place the following year. Jan Coevorden, a rising star in the unification movement had narrowly lost the election, which he attributed to the Conservative Party’s poor backing, leading him to leave the party. Many conservatives followed creating a split between the mainline conservatives and the “Coevordenians”, the latter going on to merge with several smaller parties, including the Social Christian Democracy Party, to form the Christian Democratic Party, or Democratic Party for short. The Democratic Party would go on to become one of the most dominant parties in Borealia during its early history, with Coevorden winning the 1882 election.
While in office Coevorden’s ideology received the name “manifest destiny” after a highly publicized speech, in which he stated:
“And that claim is by the right of our manifest destiny to expand across this continent, and to protect the interest of the Kingdom of Burgundy in its fight, which Providence has given us for the development of the great experiment of liberty and federated self-government entrusted to us.”
As a result the government under Coevorden pushed for greater foreign involvement across the continent. In 1883 the Treaty of Lucentum formally recognized the independence of Arcadia from Russia, and Borealia became the first state outside of Russia to recognize the Arcadian government. The Pan-Arcadian Congress was created in 1884 as an intergovernmental, regional organization, consisting of Borealia, Arcadia, and Texas, creating a makeshift alliance between the three states, much to Coevorden’s approval.
Additionally, beginning before Coevorden’s term as prime minister, his ideas managed to attract interest in colonial ventures outside Arcadia. In 1881 the Democratic Party supported a group of wealthy businessmen interested in establishing a "colony" in West Africa, through the settling of Nova Belgicans (mostly minorities) in Burgundy's West Africa territory. A group set sail by the end of the year and managed to settle a small town near Burgundy's main outpost (OTL Fresco), which they called Joubertina after the head of Nova Belgica, although this name was later changed to Joubertia less than a year later. Johannes Snyman, a businessman of Dutch and African descent, became mayor of the town, under the leadership of the governor of West Africa. While in office Coevorden managed to have these expeditions officially sanctioned and funded in part by the government, and several more towns would be founded in the 1880s, including Johannesburg, named for Secretary of State Johannes Verhagen, and the eponymous town of Coevorden.
Coevorden’s expansionist policy continued after he left office in 1885, with Gijsbert Mollerus, a conservative with similar leanings, and Floris Conrad, a Democrat, following him in office. Although popular within the nation, the Democratic Party’s jingoism caught the ire of the neighboring English commonwealth nations; Avalon, New England, and Savanna, especially in New England where the nation controlled formerly Burgundian territories with a Burgundian minority. As a result in 1886 the Commonwealth War broke out between Britain and its associated states, and Burgundy, Borealia, and the members of the Pan-Arcadian Congress.
The Commonwealth War concluded in 1887 with the Treaty of New Gwynedd (Principia Moderni IV Map Game). The peace treaty established Borealian and Burgundian control over the seas, in relation to the English empire, and saw the annexation of several new territories within Borealia. The city of Koebecstad and its surrounding area became the eleventh state of the union in 1888, as Koebec. This was followed by Nausetia in 1889, the territory around the city of Bilzen. A territory south of the previous border, linking the southeast corner of New Jersey to Lake Erie, became two states in 1890; Unamia and Allegheny.
Insurgency and Populism
Despite the initial victory in the Commonwealth War, that did not mark the end of hostility between Borealia and the nearby English states. Almost immediately the League of Empire Loyalists (or "LEL") was founded as a pro-English insurgency group within Borealia, with backing from New England and Avalon. Over the next few decades the "LEL" would launch a number of terrorist attacks, armed rebellions, and protests across the nation, sparking a period of ethnic violence. Additionally, in response to the English insurgency, counter insurgents rose up to fight back against these attacks. This led to the rise of such groups as the Bilzen Defense Force, a pro-Burgundian group, and the Erie Volunteer Army, a primarily English, communist organization.
The conflict between Borealia, the insurgents, and the English would continue for decades after the Treaty of New Gwynedd, leading to the death of thousands, especially in the war torn regions of northern New England. The Borealian government's initially positive treatment of the English changed. Instead the English language was banned, and attempts were made to assimilate the English population. The Orphan Program led to the adoption, some times by force, of hundreds of thousand of English children, while internment camps, forced migrations, and deportations also took place. After 15 years of these measures the states of Koebec and Nausetia had turned from primarily English to primarily Burgundian, with the majority of its former inhabitants being moved to Avelskamp, Bovenstland, Guyana, or Vinland.
With the government there were several responses to the new English population. Several new political parties were created during this period, with many revolving around the question of the English. In 1887 the People's Party was founded in Bilzen. A pro-English party opposed to annexation, the People's Party became one of the most popular among English citizens. Its antithesis was the Unionist Party, comprised of a mix of English and Burgundian citizens, in favor of Borealian unionism. Lastly, the Constitution Party also rose to predominance, as a pro-English, heavily nativist (against Burgundians), and more extremist party.
After overseeing much of the early policies against the English, Floris Conrad failed to be elected for a second term in 1888, marking a decline in the popularity of the Democratic Party. He was replaced by Johannes Siberg of the Liberal Party, a national celebrity who was fairly neutral toward the English, in favor of diplomatic cooperation. 1890s saw the rise of the Populist Party, which had been a relatively minor party thus far since 1884. As most of the population was weary of conflict and expansion, a large portion of the nation sided with the the Populist Party, who already appealed to the large agrarian portion of the nation, and the party's founder, Sybrand Thieme, was elected in 1891. The party also had a second candidate, Jan Moor, elected in 1897.
In the cities modernization continued under the Populists. In Sint Jan the world's first metro system opened in 1896, followed soon after by New Amsterdam in 1897. Overall the nation sought distraction from the harsh insurgency on the edges of the nation, leading to the rise of amusement parks and other forms of entertainment at this time. Rothe Park (Asbury Park), New Jersey and Coney Island, New Netherland became major tourist destinations and resort locations. It was also during this time that "Astroworld" was founded, which would become one of the nation's most visited amusement parks. It found popularity almost immediately, boasting impressive "rollercoaster" rides, and the first ever "Flying Machine" ride, created by inventor Hiram Gheyn, famous for inventing the Gheyn Gun (Maxim Gun).
Also in the entertainment industry, the late 1800s saw the rise of the motion picture industry. The first studio specializing in cartoons and animated short films was founded in 1896 by Wouter Isigny, becoming a major success. The science fiction business also boomed, as writers such as H. S. Waal captivated the nation with novels such as The War of the Worlds and Liberty, the former causing a minor panic across the nation after Waal delivered a seemingly genuine retelling of the story over a radio broadcast. The first "national forests" would also be created by Prime Minister Jan Moor, which became destinations for campers and hikers. Along the Allegheny River the first ever "Utopia" was created, as a planned city equipped with all modern amenities. Other major construction projects included the "Statue of Liberty", a colossus-like statue in the New Amsterdam harbor.
This period saw the rise of several new inventions and industries. In the late 1890s the inventor Hendrik Steppen created the first steerable airship (zeppelin), which would later become a popular form of transportation. Several automobile and motor companies formed, including several that took part in the Kalamata Race of 1899. In 1900 the first powered, manned aircraft was flown by the Westen Brothers, leading to the rise of the airplane across the nation, and later the world.
The current head of government of the nation of Borealiais known as the Prime Minister, who also serves as the primary minister of the Crown and chair of the Cabinet. The prime minister is elected every two years, and is confirmed by the monarch of the Kingdom of Burgundy, although in practice the monarch complies with the results of the election within Borealia. The prime minister of the nation is elected using the Schulze method, a Condorcet election method developed by Burgundian mathematician Markus Schulze in 1852. Prime ministers are allowed up to two terms in office total, whether consecutive or not, although if succeeding the previous prime minister, and the previous prime minister's remaining term is one year or less, an additional two terms may be added to that.
- Conservative Party (f. 1849) - One of the earliest official parties formed in the future states of Borealia, initially based on the earlier Traditionalist Faction of the mid 1800s. Largely dominated the office of governor in Nova Belgica upon the creation of an elected office, as well as throughout the 1870s. Ideology consists of conservatism and economic liberalism.
- Liberal Party (f. 1851) - Founded from the opposition to the early conservative governments of Nova Belgica, the Liberal Party quickly grew to become the second most popular party throughout the mid 1800s.
- Christian Democratic Party (f. 1881) - Founded from the merger of a conservative splinter group, the "Coevordenians", and the existing Social Christian Democracy Party, this party would go on to become a major party in the mid 1880s. The party was led by Jan Coevorden, who would largely shape the direction of the party, and was elected prime minister in 1883. In particular Coevorden championed a form of expansionism which called for the nation to spread western values and democracy to the rest of the continent, if not the world, later nicknamed "manifest destiny". The party's ideology consists of christian democracy, conservatism, and jingoism.
- International Socialist Association (f. 1881) - Founded by author Hendrikus Linden, based loosely on the ideals of Marsanism, this party advocates for the defense of the working class, the abandoning of traditional ideas of capitalism and other institutions, and the establishment of an equal and socialist society.
- Arcadian Party (Know Nothings) (f. 1883) - Founded in response to the large scale immigration to Borealia, especially under the governance of Jan Coevorden, this party is highly hostile to immigration. The parties ideology consists of Arcadian nationalism and nativism.
- Populist Party (f. 1884) - Founded in response to the largely conservative period of the 1880s, and the rapid rise of industrialization. The part is particularly popular in agrarian parts of the nation, and advocates for populism, agrarianism, and bimetallism
- People's Party (f. 1887) - Political party founded in Bilzen, in the aftermath of the Borealian invasion of New England. Initially a faction opposed to Borealian occupation, after annexation the party has become advocate for English people within the nation, with some of its most extreme members petitioning for separation. Popular in majority English areas, however, has failed to attract a large enough audience to become a major party. The parties ideology consists of English nationalism, right-wing populism, national conservatism, and in some cases separatism.
- Unionist Party (f. 1888) - Founded by the smaller Burgundian population of the former territories of New England and Avalon, this party was formed largely in opposition to the People's Party as a pro-Borealian movement. Although less popular than the People's Party, the Unionists hold significant sway in former Burgundian territories such as Bilzen and Koebecstad. Advocates for Borealian unionism, national conservatism, and economic liberalism.
- Constitution Party (f. 1888) - English-centered political party representing the far-right within Borealia, specifically the ideals of limited government and traditionalism. Party is similar to the Know Nothings, however, they are additionally hostile to Borealians as a form of outsiders and are largely against expansionism, but are more neutral in the issue than the People's Party. The parties ideology consists of paleoconservatism, regionalism, and nativism.
The primary political entity of the nation of Borealia is the state. In the nation's founding the founding colonies agreed to the formation of a confederation of states, with a central government reigning overall. The individual states and the nation of Borealia as a whole are each affirmed to be sovereign jurisdictions under the nation's constitution. Due to the shared sovereignty between each state and the federal government, Borealians are citizens of both the federal republic and of the state in which they reside, however, states are not sovereign in the sense that their affairs are not independent of governance from the federal government.
|Flag||State||Date Admitted||Capital||Largest City||Population|
|Nova Belgica||1882||Sint Jan||Sint Jan|
|New Netherland||1882||New Amsterdam||New Amsterdam|
Due to Borealia's long history in the shipbuilding industry, and also the Kingdom of Burgundy as a whole's history as a naval power, the nation has historically invested heavily in its navy. Initially home to Burgundy's naval assets in the western hemisphere, the colonies that would make up Borealia eventually began to supplement Burgundy's fleets with domestically produced naval assets as well, leading to the Burgundian government authorizing the colony of Nova Belgica to use the designation “SMNBS” (Sijne Majestéit Nova Belgicesch Schëff, or “His/Her Majesty’s Nova Belgican Ship”). The navy was then heavily expanded after Borealia's formation, fighting in the War of the Rhine and the Commonwealth War.
List of Ships
List of Commanders
The Dutch colonies, particularly Nova Belgica, had a long history as a world leader in the building and owning of wooden sailing ships, beginning in the early nineteenth century, hosting several major shipyards in the continent. As a colony of Burgundy this began to translate to Nova Belgica becoming an important producer in the Burgundian navy, with the shipyards of Sint Jan, Lelystad, Ameland, Borselen, and Rustwyk becoming shipyards for Burgundian ships beginning in the 1870s, as well as the sites of the first locally-produced and administered ships of the colony around the same time.
One of the oldest, continuous shipyards in Arcadia is the Lelystad Naval Shipyard, established in 1800. Located on a cluster of conjoined islands, the swift current of the nearby river prevents ice from blocking navigation to the Atlantic Ocean. Before the official opening of the shipyard the area had a long tradition of shipbuilding, with the SMS Patagonië being locally produced in the vicinity of the future shipyard in 1696, considered the first Burgundian warship built in the Arcadian colonies.
Notable ships built in the colony include the Grondwet, a wooden-hulled, three-masted heavy frigate originally launched in 1797 in Lelystad. As one of the first ships commissioned independently by the colonial government, the ship continues to operate to this day, seeing numerous upgrades over the course of its almost century-long military use. The SMS Grondwet notably played a large role in the Franco-Burgundian War (1836 - 1840). In 1837 the SMS Grondwet battled the French frigate Guerrière, and during the battle most of the French shots rebounded harmlessly off Grondwet's hull, leading to the ship gaining the nickname of "Old Ironsides".