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The history of Granida begins only in the sixteenth century, when Dutch and English settlers arrived in the area. Their settlements eventually evolved into the English-speaking 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. It has been closely related to the History of Navonia and Sudetia.
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.
Free Republic of Granida Edit
- Main article: Free Republic of Granida.
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.
Rise of Industrialists and Solidarists Edit
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.
Liberal and Christian coalitions Edit
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
Progressive Era Edit
- Main article: Progressive Era.
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.
In 1901, Sudetia's National Army in a surprise move invaded Granida. Military outposts in Henryville, Ulysses, South Point and southern Spenser were attacked. The invasion initially proved a success for Sudetia, whereas Granida's army was unprepared. Civil forces were called to arms and by 1902, they managed to stop the Sudetian invasion from moving forward to the nation's capital. They were pushed back near the border by 1904, and finally retreated in 1905, due to internal political problems. The conflict severed the economic and diplomatic ties between the two countries severely.
Interbellum and Great Depression Edit
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 1928, Conservatives won 40% of the vote, engaging in a coalition with the CPP.
Granida initially felt the impact of the Great Depression in 1930, when GDP dropped heavily and export earnings fell about 20%. By 1932, GDP had shrunk to almost 60% of what it had been in 1929, exacting a terrible toll in unemployment and business failures. After 1932, an increase in wool and meat prices led to a gradual recovery. During the 1930s, Granida employed a highly restrictive immigration policy. The Conservative-CPP coalition had been unable to reverse the downturn. Quarter by quarter the economy went downhill, as prices, profits and employment fell, leading to the political realignment in 1933 that brought to power the Workers' Party. They engaged in a coalition government with the CPP. The Workers' Party leader, Thomas D. Hoover, argued that restructuring of the economy would be needed to prevent another depression or avoid prolonging the current one. Government programs sought to stimulate demand and provide work and relief for the impoverished through increased government spending and the institution of financial reforms. By 1936, the main economic indicators had regained the levels of the late 1920s, except for unemployment, which remained high at 11%, especially in the cities with old industrial facilities. In 1938, the Hoover administration cut spending and increased taxation in an attempt to balance the federal budget.
Isolation Era Edit
- Main article: Isolation Era.
Recent history Edit