|Motto|| In Astris Scripta|
(written in the stars)
|Government||Parliamentary republic, bicameral|
|Predecessor||Free Republic of Granida and the four western provinces|
Granida is a state in Rodenia of about 22 million inhabitants. It is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional republic. It borders Sudetia in the south and Navonia in the west. Portland, located in the urbanized central region, is the country's political and judicial capital. Elisabethtown forms the center of commerce and business. The majority of the population is centered around these cities, and on or around the Eastern Peninsula. The western provinces are more agrarian and less densely populated.
- Main article: History of Granida.
The first Dutch and English settlers arrived in the sixteenth century, eventually leading to the foundation of the Free Republic of Granida in 1699. It rapidly expanded and grew, and in 1742 it was transformed into the republic Granida. In the 19th and 20th centuries, Granida's political system was reformed into a democratic and constitutional state.
First settlements Edit
The "New Continent" Rodenia was first colonized in the mid-sixteenth century. Prior to the European colonization, there has never been human presence on Rodenia. The first attempts at exploring the area now covered by Granida were made by English settlers based in the Colonial Province of Navonia, in the 1550s and 60s. In 1563-1564, the Dutch private explorer Hendrik Janszoon Leerintveld and his crew landed on Cape Paradise in present-day Southern Redcrosse. They founded the first Dutch settlement on Rodenia.
British and Dutch political and religious refugees arrived in the same area in the period 1568-1582. The Dutch refugees fled from the Spanish oppression of the Eighty Years' War. As the Northern Netherlands were freed from Spanish rule and entered their Golden Age, immigration from the Netherlands soon ceased. In the following period, there was a strong influx of English settlers, including those from Navonia.
Historians agree that there were approximately 28 settlements in the area, most of them in the far east, and some in the Selessian hill lands. They were often ruled by elders or religious leaders. Most of the communities were strictly Puritan or otherwisely Protestant. Around the turn of the century, the percentage of Dutch inhabitants had fallen to 15%. With it, the Dutch Puritanism was replaced by a more pragmatic mercantile spirit.
Provinces and Free Republic Edit
Like Sudetia in the south, the Granida settlements remained free areas. England nor the Netherlands formally colonized the region. Instead, a number of settlements developed into full-size towns, led by town councils. In 1620, the first formal bond between two such towns was created. By 1670, six "provinces" existed: Henryville, Antworph, Newton and Portland in the east, and New Navonia and Free Western Company in the west. They were led by strong leaders, who tried to establish trade with neighboring countries and with the European mainland. They were among the earliest to establish trade contacts with the English colonies on America's east coast.
In 1699, Antworph and Newton merged into a free republic, following the example of the Dutch Republic. The Free Republic of Granida consisted of about twenty communities and was led by a council of twelve local leaders, who chose one Chancellor from among themselves. Newton was the most dominant place in the new republic, and exercised influence on the neighboring provinces.
By then, 'Granida' had become a widespread name for the collected provinces on the east coast and in the bay area. Its origin is unclear. Most likely, it derived from either Grenada/Granada in Spain, or from the title character of P.C. Hooft's pastoral play Granida, which must have been known to the Dutch community, who remained in contact with their homeland.
In the early 1700s, remaining Dutch colonists settled in New Seeland.
Henryville and Portland joined the Free Republic in 1703, and Portland took over from Newton as the republic's economic and political heart. Chancellor Humbert Raleigh, a Portlander, exercised great influence on the centralization of the republic. It was further expanded to cover about half of the current state. New Seeland and present-day Bolton were annexed in 1719.
In the west, the Selessians retained their autonomy from the growing Free Republic. Four small interdependent states entertained economic relations with the Selessian homelands in present-day Navonia, as well as with the republics on the eastern shore. During the Navonian Civil War of 1734-1736, many Selessians fled across the border. When the Murcian Commonwealth was formed in 1736, the Free Republic of Granida began discussing a tactical alliance with the western lands. In 1738, they gathered in Bolton for a six-month congress. It was agreed upon by then-Chancellor John Jefferson Titford and Selessians Hendrik De Groot and Peter Smith that they should unite in order to withstand possible imperialist tendencies of either Sudetia or the Murcian Commonwealth.
Union and growth Edit
The republic of Granida was founded in 1742. Granida was the first Rodenian country to form a united, non-military state. Portland was chosen the country's capital. Granida was divided into twelve provinces: Portland, Elisabethtown, Henryville, New Seeland, Bolton, Redcrosse, Western Hills, Charleston, Midfield, Bayside, Oxford Bay and Taylor.
Voting rights were given to free men aged 21 and older, who belonged to old European nobility, or which had reached the level of landed gentry in Granida. Gentry was defined as those men who owned land in the form of country estates to such an extent that they were not required to actively work, except in an administrative capacity on their own lands. The estates were often (but not always) made up of tenanted farms, in which case the gentleman could live entirely off rent income. Estimates show about 5 to 15% of the inhabitants could actually participate in elections. Those were held every ten years. Minor dyntasties arose, with sons being elected after their fathers' decease. Each province elected a Governor and a Deputy Governor. All twenty-four convened twice a year in Portland, where issues of national importance, such as defense and international trade were discussed. Every five years, the council elected a Chancellor from among themselves. In the history of this council, all Chancellors were from either Portland, Elisabethtown or a neighboring area. Westerners were, due to the low population, practically excluded from co-government.
Granida grew steadily, due to its mercantile policies and high import taxes. In 1780, Grace province was formed from the eastern part of Western Hills. Spenser province was formed in 1791 from parts of several provinces.
In reaction to the American and French Revolutions, civil unrest arose in the central provinces, calling for greater democracy and a constitutional document. In 1812, the 1812 Constitution was drafted and signed by the council. It foresaw a Bill of Rights, modeled after the American Constitution, as well as some provisions for commoners to participate in voting. Roughly 4,000 men were given rights to vote, totaling the entitled population to about 16%.
In the course of the 19th century, the central regions of Granida were heavily industrialised. The eastern seaboard remained commerce-oriented, whereas the far east remained largely agrarian.
Sparked by the revolutionary wave of 1830, the people of Granida demanded a stronger government elected by the people. They were not opposed to a monarch, but the Governors and the Chancellor were. In response to the mass demonstrations, the council drafted the 1831 Constitution, which foresaw in universal adult male suffrage. A national government was erected, which would lead the nation as a unitary state. The power of the provinces was strictly limited. In 1833, the first democratic elections were held, wherein all males aged 21 and older were given the right to vote. The people elected thirty-six senators from different loose factions. In the course of 1834, the two first parties formed: the Solidarists, which favored the workers, and the Industrial Party, which wanted to strengthen the economy. From the 1838 elections through the early 1860s, the Industrialists, also supported by the eastern middle and upper classes, governed the nation by majorities from just over 50% to 70%. The Industrial Party is credited for modernizing Granida's economy, constructing railroads, and boosting eastern commerce. In 1863, however, the Solidarists gained a majority in parliament, supported by small Christian parties and by the growing labor unions. In the course of the 1860s, they attempted to reform the labor laws. They achieved only a part of their program, in providing for basic laborers' rights. With the growing popular dissatisfaction in neighboring Navonia (then an empire under Gregory I), laborers and farmes from the east and the central regions, stood up for more rights, labor protection, minimum wages, and progressive taxation. The bourgeoisie and the industrial upper class reacted by raising factory wages. Unlike in Navonia, the protests ceased quickly, without causing major disruptions.
The 1873 elections saw four major parties on the ballot. The Solidarists had split over disagreements about the unsufficient labor rights. The Workers' Party adhered a socialist ideology, inspired by Marx and Engels. The Christian Solidarity Party (CSP) united the bottom-up Christian movements with the more moderate socialists. The Liberals consisted of middle-of-the-road populists, seeking to united the demands of the people with those of a strong capitalist market. Then there was the Commerce Party, mainly supported by easterners in commerce, banking, the crafts, and the administration. The Liberals and the CSP won and formed a coalition government, which managed to expand labor rights, whilst favoring the industrial sector financially. From 1873 to the turn of the century, the coalition held ground. Under their government, the population of the industrialized central regions grew rapidly. The commercial east, which had known great success in the previous centuries, stagnated.
Modern state Edit
At the turn of the century, there was a general dissatisfaction with the politics of the ruling coalition. Government corruption had grown demonstrably, and labor rights were often not respected by the factory bosses. A progressive, reformist movement arose from within the ranks of the Liberals and the Workers' Party, supported by the Commerce Party. Joseph T. Brendon was soon regarded as the movement's leader and spokesperson. With the support of two major labor unions, Brendon's new Reform Party of Granida won the 1903 Granida General Elections by a wide margin. The Liberals were discontinued. Brendon's Reform Party busted government corruption aggressively, broke up several industrial and commercial monopolies and trusts, and expanded the Bill of Rights. The Reform Party expanded the number of senators from thirty-six to fifty-five. They actively used the government to reform society and the free market. The Reform Party attempted to introduce voting rights for women, but failed to do so due to internal disagreement. The party enjoyed another major success in the 1908 and 1913 elections. When Joseph Brendon announced not to run for re-election in 1918, his party was divided into two fractions. The "Liberal" fraction backed Henry Smith, a westerner who would stand up for the agricultural and commercial interests of the eastern and central regions. The more conservative "democratic" part supported Joseph Helton, a westerner who favored a stable and democratic republic wherein the middle classes would play the most important role. As a result of the party's divide, the Workers' Party for the first time won the elections, gaining about 34% of the popular vote. They engaged in a troublesome coalition with the Christian People's Party (CPP). Their major achievement was the introduction of universal suffrage for men and women, aged 21 and older. The rail and road systems were also improved, and the CPP made a major point of the reform of the judiciary into an independent institution. In 1933, the Conservatives won 40% of the vote, engaging in a coalition with the CPP. The country's government remained Christian-conservative until the mid-1940s.
Administrative divisions Edit
Election districts Edit
- Main article: Election districts of Granida.
For the purpose of national elections, Granida is divided into 181 election districts. Each of those districts elects one representative to the national parliament. Every member represents 43,000 to 145,000 thousand inhabitants. Districts in low-density provinces generally cover smaller population groups, to compensate for the dominance of the populous cities. The five most populous provinces together contain half of the voting districts. If all provinces were proportionally represented (with at least one district per province), 58% of all districts would be located in the top five provinces. As a result of the slight overrepresentation of rural provinces, and the underrepresentation of the largest provinces, a single inhabitant of Elisabethtown has the lowest impact on the elections, whereas inhabitants of Charleston have the largest. Ideally, there is one election district for every 100,000 people. This is only the case for Coastal province. Two sets of two provinces are joined for the purpose of national elections: Ulysses and South Point province together form two districts, that do not follow province borders. Similarly, the Selessian Hills and Morphea split three districts over their combined territories.
Granida is notably less populated than its neighbors. It has about 22 million inhabitants (22,031,554 according to the 2010 Granida Census), of which 7 million live in the Portland and Elisabethtown provinces. The eastern portion has a very low population density.
There are Selessian minorities in the southwest region.
Politics and government Edit
The most recent StabMin index, a rudimentary system to estimate the overall political stability of a country, deems Granida's internal situation "good" ("government in control and the protest of the opposition remains peaceful"). Granida's international politics are neutral: "casual contact, friendly attitude, both aiming at regional stability."
Political parties Edit
- Economic Strength Party (ESP)
- Green Party (GP)
- Integrationist League (IL)
- Selessian Front (SF)
- Socialist Party (SP)
- Pastoral Workers' Collective (PWC)
- Western Efforts Strong Together (WEST)