The Duchy of Burgundy is a medium-sized constitutional monarchy in western Europe and a member state of Francia. It is bordered by France, United Kingdoms of the Netherlands, Palatinate, Hagenau, Swiss Confederation, Geneva, Arles and Auvergne. The population is around 1.8 million and the capital is Dijon.
The language is Bourguignon which is mutually intelligable to Parisian French and Auvergnat.
The currency is the French Livre (FLV) which it mints with its own designs.
The Duchy of Burgundy broke away from the Kingdom of Arles in 1263 as the Hohenstaufen lands disintegrated, immediately beginning fruitless attempts to seize control over the Duchy of Swabia to the east. Split inheritances further eroded its authority (though equally Swabia lost central control too) and turned the duchy into a loosely co-operative bloc of counties. Thereafter, it was the focus of French and Imperial wars as it and Arles fought for control of Swabia and access to the Rhinelands. Continued division in Burgundy and Swabia allowed Geneva and the Swiss Confederation to coalesce as well letting France champion the rights of the Francophone areas of the Empire.
By 1483 and the Decapole War, what is roughly modern Burgundy had more or less accepted the rule of the Nassau-Weiberg family and shrewd marriages and had strengthened their central rule. That war, and the victory over the Swabian League, helped fabricate a 'national myth' and glue its disparate parts together, which otherwise may have ended up being swallowed by France, Luxembourg, the Swiss Confederation or into some Imperial German dynastic agglomeration.
However it would not help it forge a common religious path during the Reformation and much of the late 16th century was consumed by a 18 year-long civil war. Duke John converted to Lutheranism in 1550 and was immediately opposed by his daughter Joan and son-in-law Henry of Burgundy-Henneberg who championed Catholicism. The war sucked in militias from across Europe eager to settle relious scores on the battlefield, prolonging the war and causing considerable devastation and distruption to the duchy and surrounding lands, especially Champagne, Nassau and the Palatinate. Henry's eventual victory resulted in Burgundy remaining Catholic, but cautiously so.
It joined the Protestant side during the Fifty Years War, not only to re-start its dormant feud with Arles but to try to limit Papal influence north of the Alps which it saw as a necessary condition for religious peace in Europe. This, however, led to invasion from Luxembourg in 1628. Defeated, it was co-erced to switch sides, and scored victories over its previous allies Auvergne and Aragon.
Continued military prestige through the 18th and 19th centuries, often partnering with France in the effort to prevent Luxembourg's growth along the Rhine, masked a slow decline in the Duchy's fortunes. During the Iberian Revolution the Burgundian army was well-regarded until the Battle of Nancy in which the core of the army was destroyed. An early peace was sought and it had to suffer the indiginity of allowing Hispania free-passage through its lands, although ad hoc guerilla forces would harass Hispania and its allies as it moved and quartered. The Peace of Milan which closed the war attempted to fix the boundaries in western Europe and Burgundy was encouraged to give up its residual claims on Swiss and Arles lands
Noted for its fine wine growing areas Burgundy has good reserves of coal and iron. Concerted efforts by successive dukes and governments to raise the fortunes of the duchy following the Peace of Milan has allowed to be become an industrial powerhouse. It is well-connected to its neighbours by canal and railways. Constitutional rule, as opposed to an Absolutist style of monarchy was confirmed in 1899 following several years of occasionally violent protests.
Burgundy is governed by a bicameral Parlement. Burgundian politics tend to be quite stable, some might say boring, with a coalition of two Conservative parties having been in power for the last 30 years. However a moderate Social Democratic party is gaining ground. It was the first Francian state to give votes to women.
Burgundy is a part of Francia and is represented at the Francian Parlement in Tours. Due to its long meandering border with various Imperial states it also has non-voting observer status at the Imperial Diet in Frankfurt.
The Head of State is Duke Henry VII and his Prime Minister is Francois Royal.