Duchy of Brittany-Maine, Brittany-Maine, Brittany is a medium-sized constitutional monarchy in Western Europe. It has borders with France and Wessex-Normandy to the east. Its capital is Naoned (or Nantes in French). It has a population of around 3.3 million.
The Head of State is Duke Peter VI.
Its official languages are Breton and French.
The currency is the Breton Ecu (BRE)
A long hold-out against Frankish, and then Imperial power, Brittany clung tenaciously to the Atlantic coast. Long associated with the Celtic nations to the North in Britannia, it received several waves of refugees, culminating in many Cornish nobility fleeing the invasion and eventual takeover of their homeland by Wessex.
During the 10th century the Breton kings removed Viking and Norman raiders from their lands and in return, the Kings of France recognised Breton independence, however they were technically demoted to dukes. Much as central authority in Francia collapsed in the late 10th/early 11th century, the authority of the dukes did too and the duchy bristled with war between various claimants. Eventually Conan I, Count of Roazhon, established a firm rule, at which point Brittany began to wage war against its neighbours, usually Normandy, often to suppress further civil war by trying to cut off foreign support for claimants.
In 1207 Wessex inherited Normandy, unleashing the Twenty Years War as Wessex fought not only rebels in Normandy but a shifting alliance of Brittany, Maine and France for the right to rule the Duchy and dominate northern Francia. The eventual result compounded France's weakness as Wessex secured its rule in Normandy and Brittany secured the right to inherit Maine.
Numerous minor wars with Wessex followed over the centuries as Brittany supported a variety of pretenders and rebel factions to try to undermine their grip on Normandy. This reached its height during the War of Anglian Succession when Brittany allied itself with Luxembourg and actually invaded mainland Wessex, opening another front to a war that had become bogged down in bloody stalemate. It would also forge an alliance with Munster, supporting it against Wessex's raiding during the so-called Long Irish-Wessex War. This was complemented by a slow accretion of Francian land as it inherited and absorbed its smaller neighbours; the Western portion of Maine as agreed in 1259, Anjou in 1454, and finally Retz in 1660.
The Duchy received little public clamour for Lutheran reform and in general remained stable whilst its neighbours struggled to reconcile their internal and external religious differences, flourishing as cross Atlantic trade with Leifia boomed, especially at it remained aloof from the Fifty Years War. Rivalry continued with Wessex during this period, expanding into wholesale piracy of each other's merchant fleets.
Allying with Kalmar in 1693, Brittany fought during the Kalmar-Wessex War, looking to take Wessex down a peg or two, hoping to leverage Kalmar to severely neuter Wessex's navy. Militarily, Brittany was outclassed once faced with the full-blown Wessex army (rather than freebooter militias in Ireland) and this would trigger concentrated efforts to reform the Duchy once the war was over. However the war did bring the previously Wessexian island of Liamuiga into Breton possession. Its near-neighbour Oualie was added later, seized from Leon in 1785 during the Six Years War and stoutly defended by a considerably improved navy.
The Duchy retained its independence, and Carib holdings, during the Iberian Revolution, mainly due to the defeat of the Hispanic navy by the Kalmar Union at the Battle of Alderney. As a result Hispania could not adequately protect its northern coasts or overseas territory and the Breton army made frequent raids on both.
The Industrial Revolution initially passed Brittany by and much of the country's wealth has been driven by imports of Leifian and Tawantinland goods. A concerted effort to 'catch-up' has led to a relatively high level of literacy in the Duchy with a growing light industry sector. This has played into the well-established rivalry between the cities of Naoned and Roazhon, whose universities compete for scientific innovation. In 2002 a Breton, Adrien Jégado, invented fast-freezing methods which has allowed a greater level of food imports to reach Europe.
The revival of a Cornish separatism movement in Wessex has been blamed on covert Breton support. Duke Peter VI has recently reinserted 'King of Cornwall' into his list of titles, inflaming passions both sides of the Wessex Channel. Due to this tensions remain high between Wessex and Brittany.
Britanny-Maine has a long history of parliamentary government, its Estates dates itself from the reign of Duke John V. In its current form the Estates is a bi-cameral chamber elected with a near-universal franchise. Elections are held as and when they are required. Politics tends to divide along linguistic lines with few parties able to appeal to both Breton and French majority provinces. Government is therefore usually formed of coalitions.
The island of Liamuiga, and neighbouring Oualie, had been relatively prosperous chiefdoms in the 14th-15th centuries, trading with Portuguese, Vinlandic, Álengsk and Mexic merchants. Records show Liamuiga had descended into civil war by the time Europe began to seriously look at the Carib islands to support their cross-Atlantic trade. Liamuiga would be occupied by Wessex, Leon took Oualie. Both kingdoms introduced Catholicism and sprinkling of European settlement, and tobacco, but competition from mainland Leifia would shift production toward sugar. Brittany would capture Liamuiga from Wessex in 1694, and Oualie from Leon in 1785, evicting both sets of settlers at the close of the respective wars.
The original Kalinago language declined as first Wessexian Saxon and Leonese, then Breton and French were promoted, and is now extinct and is only present in place-names and a few surnames.