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Rossland, and less commonly Rossia, is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and covers nearly the entirety of Greenland below Lake Ross, lying between the Labrador Sea and the Denmark Strait, bordered by New Dorset to the north and Danish Greenland to the east.
The land that is now Rossland was inhabited for thousands of years by various groups of Inuit tribes. It wasn't until British colonialism in the late sixteenth century that British expeditions explored, and later settled, southernmost Greenland as well as the Americas. Rossland became a nation within the United Kingdom after a referendum held in 1949.
Rossland was named after John Ross, a Greenlandic explorer who is credited for exploring the land which would go on to become Rossland and New Dorset. He was commander of the British expeditions, and was a Scotsman, representing one of the first joint missions by the newly United Kingdom of England and Scotland and has left his mark on Greenland, with Rossland bearing his name.
He is credited for the creation of the capital, Port James, named after the reigning monarch of the time, as well as the coastal fort which would go on to become New Durham. Many also (mis)credit him for the creation of the flag of Rossland, which is an easy mistake to make, since it bears the Cross of Saint Andrew, however that flag was the creation of another notable Scotsman.
After seeing expeditions launched by rival powers to Greenland, and in the spirit of the joint "British" missions such as the Ulster plantation, King James decided to send an expedition to Greenland to take note of the land himself and to see what could be claimed for future British colonisation. Already seeing the beginning of the colonisation of North America, and the plantation of Ulster, by 1611 King James had decided to fund an expedition to the island in the hope of expanding British influence across the Atlantic. A Scottish explorer of previously little note, Jon Ross, was chosen to lead this joint Anglo-Scot exploration.
Landing at what would come to be known as the Bay of James, Ross was quick to set up a provisional camp and set about building a rudimentary wooden fort. The relics of this rudimentary fort can still be seen today, and is maintained by Historic Greenland. The site of this fort would eventually grow to become Port James, the current capital of the nation. After construction of the fort, Ross soon set about exploring the surrounding regions, trekking southward along the coast while leaving a small garrison of sorts to hold the fort. However, unused to the conditions, hunting proved to be a big problem and led to the first contact with the local Inuit peoples of the region. Although having ships, most of the sailors did not know how to fish, and it was decided to keep the ships within sight in case of things going drastically south, and records indicate some plan was made to leave the land and head back if food could not be found and provisions ran low. Through hand gestures, among other forms of crude diplomacy, the explorers managed to trade a few weapons for much needed food, and managed to establish contact with one of the native tribes of the region.
By the winter of 1612, the explorers had reached what they believed to be the southern tip of the landmass, and set about establishing winter lodgings in a sheltered cove with good access to the interior and the sea. This region would eventually house the largest city of Rossland, and indeed of the largest in Greenland - New Durham, which is situated some 15 miles from where John Ross and his expedition wintered. It is also during this time, the first efforts were made to catalogue the local wildlife of this new land. Although it is important to note that biologists did not exist, the works of Edward Spencer, a member of this expedition provide for the first accounts of fauna such as the musk oxen and the reindeer, both of which had been somewhat domesticated by the local inuit. Large herds of the muskox were seen to migrate to higher lands during the bitter winter, and successful hunting of these large animals allowed for a plentiful source of food. A few stray polar bears were reported too, but human impact on the island has meant that much of the current population lives within the lands of Romanova, and are rarely seen south in wintertime.
In the following spring, Ross decided to take a part of his men and sail back to the newly established "James' Fort". Unsure of what he would find, considering the lion's share of supplies had been taken by Ross' group as they trekked southward, he was throughly surprised to find not only had the 30 or so men managed to remain alive (of course a few deaths were a given in new lands), but the settlement had actually grown - and there were women present! Granted, these were native inuit women that the men had taken as wives, but it was surprising nonetheless. On landing, he found that after a close run with starvation, relations had been established with the local tribes of the region - who helped the colony survive. In gratitude (or by force, the writings on this specific issue are not quite clear), most of the men took native wives and it could be noted at least two women were pregnant. Coming to the realisation that this would probably be mirrored in the south, Ross realised now was probably the best time to return to Britain and report his findings to the King.
Ross returned to court, and presented the King with the hides of the animals which had been hunted. He also reported on what the rest of the expedition had got up to, and requested further funds and men (and, it is said, that he quietly indicated some women too would not go amiss), and King James enthusiastically agreed, allocating him more funding, men and ships to expand out the two small forts. Some soldiers too would accompany these men, to ensure the safety of these explorers. Many would cite this as the point as when conflict with the natives would be certain, although this is with hindsight and it was more likely to assume at the time that he probably sought to protect British interests from the French and Norse powers within the region. In a bold move, the King suggested transporting Irish women who had lost husbands or maidens who would be hard pressed to find men due to the recent conflict on the island - both in an effort to raise colonial populations and provide the men some "comforts of home" and to try to weaken Irish power. Such a move would not be implemented until King James' final years, but safe to say it was a deeply unpopular move and only helped add to the chaos of Ireland and the ire of his Parliament.
The Potato blight that hit Europe beginning in 1845 was significantly harsher in the highlands of Scotland and in Ireland, and lead to large scale emigration from Ireland. During this period of economic harshness, the colony of Rossland was experiencing robust growth due to the diverse nature of the economy, with a significant agricultural sector growing wheat, barley, oats and rye (as well as potatoes). The relative cheap cost of passage from Ireland and Scotland to Greenland meant it became one of the preferred destinations of emigration. Although a large number of settlers would thus arrive in Rossland, most were tempted by the prospect of greater plots of land they could obtain in what would become New Dorset, preferring the rugged style of life that reminded them of home. This helped establish what became known as the potato road (the present day M6 motorway roughly follows this old road).
More surprisingly, Rossland also experienced noticeable emigration from the Netherlands during this period - another region hit by the potato blight. This was in large part due to the already existing Dutch communities present, although a large number of them had fully integrated. These immigrants were mostly absorbed into the agricultural sector, like most of the immigrants from the British Isles.
Second World War
The Rossish economy, on the other hand, boomed during the Second World War. Out of range of Nazi aircraft, it (along with Romanova) underwent heavy industrialisation, and became the site to many British armament factories. Closer to the United States, allied aircraft could provide sufficient coverage to convoys heading north toward Allied Greenland. As a result, Rossland perhaps received the highest percentage of successful convoys.
This uninterrupted supply of raw materials allowed for the establishment of factories and equipment to exploit in a more intense manner the large reserves of metals and ores present within the region. From 1941 to 1945, Rossland saw unprecedented growth as factories sprang up overnight and unemployment reached 0%. A large number of these factories were for tank production, and the nation would build an impressive number of Valentines, Cromwells, Churchills and Crusader tanks.
Referendum and Union
Following the Second World War, while much of Britain laid destroyed by the Blitz, Rossland on the other hand shone as a symbol of British development and growth. It is, perhaps, no surprise that following the end of hostilities millions of Britons emigrated to the nation to set up new lives in a land untouched by war. They were welcomed with open arms, as pro-British feeling was riding at all all time high with Allied victory. Calls soon began on officialising this relation between Rossland and the mother country. A small but vocal minority began advocating for complete union with the United Kingdom, and were surprised to find how receptive the people were to this idea (helped in no small part by the immigrating Britons). Thus, when a referendum was decided as the means to dictate Newfoundland's future, it was deemed the correct time to decide Rossland's future too.
The Referendum of 1949 presented the people of Rossland with two options. One faction, led by ?, advocated for union with the United Kingdom as a new nation within the union while the other faction, led by ??, advocated for an independent Rossland with responsible government. The results were a landslide victory for the unionists, winning 61% of the vote - with a turnout rate of 87%. Celebrations broke out all over the nation, with one reporter having been brought to tears to see the sea of Union Jacks within the capital of Port James.
Politics and government