History of Tussenland
This page explores the history of Tussenland in greater detail. Initially, Tussenland was a federation of Dutch colonies and protectorates, before it gained independence in 1905 as a single political unit.
Early Colonial History
Early Years (1624-1655)
The Dutch colonial venture in North America started when Henry Hudson, an English-born explorer working for the Dutch, sailed west seeking a northwest passage to Asia. However, he did not find this passage. Instead, he stumbled upon lush land filled with beaver and natives who were interested in trading. As soon as the Dutch States-General heard of this, they sent more sailors and explorers to establish a presence on this uncharted land. Thus, the colony of New Netherland was established, with New Amsterdam as its capital.
Throughout the first half of the 17th century, the Dutch West India Company (GWC) ran the colony. To attract settlers, the GWC established the patroon system: anyone who could bring in at least 50 settlers to the colony would be awarded land grants. This system proved to be successful and bolstered the young colony's population.
By the 1640s, multiple settlements already hugged the eastern coast, and several factorÿen (trading forts) dotted the upstream course of the Noordt River. However, as the population grew, so were the settlers' disgruntlement over the GWC's corruption and the colony's mismanagement. The settlers denounced the GWC and pleaded to the Dutch Republic's States-General to establish a more representative colonial government. The States-General heard their demands and enacted the Municipal Charter of New Netherland (1656), which established a popular government and expelled the GWC out of New Netherland.
A New Colony: Tussenland (1655)
New Netherland's municipal charter forbade the GWC from operating in their territory. Despite this, the company was never disbanded. The company knew the fur trade was too invaluable. They would never let the French up north dominate the fur business. Instead, the company moved further west, away from New Netherland and into the American interior.
The GWC convinced the Dutch States-General to give the company a new trade charter. The new charter allowed them to establish new factorÿen and engage in commerce with the Iroquois. The charter effectively split the Dutch Republic's territorial holdings in North America into two. On the coast was New Netherland (a settler-oriented colony), and on the interior was the GWC-controlled territory.
The GWC allied with the Iroquois nation (Hoodenoshieöné) and fought against the French trying to expand into the interior. With the French out of the way, the GWC expanded southwestward, following the Ohio and Mississippi rivers' downstream course and into the Gulf of New Spain.
Throughout the 17th century, the GWC maintained a stable partnership with the Iroquois and the colonial government of New Netherland. With the bolstered population of New Netherland and an alliance with the Iroquois, the GWC was able to defend their western territorial holdings against the English during the 2nd Anglo-Dutch War.
Treaty of Perpetual Alliance (1658), and the Quiripi Wars (1659)In 1658, the Dutch Republic signed the Treaty of Perpetual Alliance with the Iroquois confederacy. This treaty stipulated the Dutch recognition of Iroquois sovereignty, a stronger trade partnership, and a ''perpetual'' mutual defense treaty. This treaty also allowed the GWC to build forts inside of Iroquois territory. The first fort built on native land was Fort Hedel. Additionally, the treaty forbade Dutch settlers from founding new settlements inside native land.
In 1659, the Iroquois entangled themselves in the Quiripi Wars, where they fought against the Quiripi tribe (plus several other English-allied tribes) near the English frontier. In 1661, after the Quiripi attacked a band of Iroquois, the Iroquois attempted to invoke the Treaty of Perpetual Alliance to get the GWC to join the war on their side. However, the company refused to participate, not wanting to get involved in a petty conflict against England and the other natives. The GWC justified this decision by saying that the Iroquois were the aggressors, thus rendering the Treaty of Alliance inapplicable. However, the GWC reversed this decision after the Second Anglo-Dutch War erupted in 1664; the war forced the GWC to join the Iroquois in attacking the English-allied tribes. Together with New Netherland and the Iroquois, the GWC successfully repelled the English invaders.
The name "Tussenland"
The region covered by the GWC's trade charter did not have an official name or title during its creation in 1656. However, some records show GWC personnel calling the region Tussenland as early as the 1690s (Dutch: Tussenlandt; lit.: country in between). Historians generally agree that this was due to the traders' belief that the region was between two mountain ranges: the Appalachian range on the east and a supposedly uncharted mountain range on the west. There is no clear evidence of what western mountains they were referring to, but historians generally agree that it might have been the Rocky Mountain Range.Tussenlandt first appeared on a GWC document in 1702, referring to the region as Nederlandse Besittingen ter Tussenlandt (lit.: Dutch possessions on the Tussenland).
Prince Maurice's War (1750-1755), and Acquisition of MeerenlandIn 1750, the Great Silesian War had erupted in Europe due to Prussian ambitions in the Silesian region. This conflict dragged France, a Prussian ally, to war against Britain and her allies (which included the Dutch Republic). This spawned a colonial war on the North American continent, called Prince Maurice's War (named after the Dutch Republic's stadtholder at the time). The war was one of the most significant colonial conflicts in North America, pitting the North American colonies of Britain, Spain, and the Dutch Republic against France and her native allies.
In the early years of the war, New France saw significant gains on the Western Tussenland front, occupying key areas. However, Dutch forces soon overpowered the invading French troops and marched northeast towards the Great Lakes region in 1751, capturing several important forts. Meanwhile, the rest of the French army had marched south from Montreal to invade the Iroquoian homeland. The French were ultimately unable to take the Iroquoian land, and in late 1752, combined Dutch and British forces occupied Montreal. They then occupied Quebec and other forts along the St. Lawrence River in 1753.
The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Vienna on 16 February 1755. As part of the treaty, the French renounced all their claims west of the Mississippi River (which overlapped Tussenland's claims) and transferred the Great Lakes region's possession (Pays d'en Haut) to the Dutch.
The First Provinces of Tussenland
Meerenlandt: A Francophone Colony
The newly acquired Pays d'en Haut territory was promptly renamed Meeranlandt (Dutch for "lake country") and became a separate Dutch colony in 1756. The first Director-General of Meerenlandt, Pieter Evertsz de Vries, ruled over a predominantly French-speaking and Catholic population. De Vries won over the loyalty of the people through a policy of appeasement and placation. He allowed the French to practice Catholicism freely and even participate in the fur trade, a privilege that the GWC did not give to settlers in the GWC-controlled territories.
Mississippi: A settler colony
In 1761, to strengthen the legitimacy of Dutch claims on the Mississipi region, the Dutch West India company adopted a policy of inviting settlers from New Netherland, which experienced overpopulation since the 1760s. This policy differed from the earlier colonization schemes they had set in New Netherland decades before. This new policy would have fewer entry barriers and allowed the upper-middle-class to own land plots in the region. This policy had boosted the Dutch population west of the Mississippi River, and many Dutch settlements sprouted up throughout the rest of the 19th century.
19th Century: An Era of Revolutions
Fall of the Dutch Republic
In 1795, the French Republic subjugated the Dutch Republic in Europe during the French Revolutionary Wars. The neighboring Dutch colony New Netherland had declared independence. Despite this, the GWC in Tussenland remained loyal to the Dutch Republic government-in-exile in Britain and tried to prevent revolutionary ideas from spreading from New Netherland.
During the republic's absence, the Dutch West India company faced an invasion by Britain but was able to repel it. The victories against the British and the mother country's absence helped the GWC consolidate and exercise greater power over the Tussenland colony.
The Iroquois Split (1805)
By 1780, more than half of the Iroquois territory had Dutch settlements. After their independence in 1796, New Netherland claimed all territory with Dutch settlements to be part of New Netherland territory. This claim included parts of the Iroquoian homeland. The Iroquois initially remained neutral, hoping that the Dutch Republic would eventually regain control of New Netherland. However, this did not happen.
The Iroquois had to act. The Iroquois Grand Council was convened multiple times throughout the late 1790s and early 1800s over the matter. The Seneca and Cayuga nations saw it necessary to move south, away from New Netherland's influence and land claims, as the only way to protect their sovereignty. Furthermore, they feared that if they become part of New Netherland, the New Netherland government would stop paying land dues, especially now that New Netherland was no longer subject to Dutch laws protecting the Iroquois. However, the other Iroquois nations (the Mohawk, Onondaga and Oneida) wanted to stay in their traditional homeland. With the nations having different opinions on the matter (especially between the Cayuga and the Oneida, who had to reach the same consensus before the process progressed to the next stage), the Grand Council process was stuck on a deadlock had to be dismissed and reconvened multiple times. Tensions between the Iroquois nations even became tenser as the Onondaga showed interest in the invitation to join New Netherland, offered by the New Netherland government led by Marÿn van Beeke. Eventually, it became clear that the grand council could not make a decision. In 1805, the Cayuga and Seneca migrated south and escaped to the Dutch Tussenland without the other Iroquois nations' approval. This effectively marked the end of the Iroquois confederacy.
The Protectorate of Irokesenlandt (1816)
After the Kingdom of the Netherlands was created in 1814, the fledgling kingdom still recognized the Treaty of Perpetual Alliance. Together with the GWC, the Netherlands offered the Cayuga and Seneca land within the Tussenland colony, which they could rule as their own. In 1816, the Irokesenlandt Land Grant Treaty was signed in Fort Hedel by the Dutch West India Company, the Kingdom of the Netherlands, and the three nations' sachems. The treaty officially recognized the Iroquois nations ruling autonomously within the Tussenland colony.
This land grant put the Kingdom of the Netherlands in a strong position against the Iroquois. The Iroquois' status as a sovereign nation became moot. The kingdom and the Dutch West India company manipulating Iroquois policy would be a common trend throughout the 19th century (including the controversial strong-arming and pressuring of the Dutch to sell the eastern part Irokesenlandt to Virginia in 1848).
The Threefold Dilemmas of Irokesenlandt's Creation
The creation of Tussenland's first "nation within a nation," Irokesenlandt, did not come without problems. New Netherland historian Lucille Hopkins had identified three critical issues of the creation of Irokesenlandt and their effects on the history of Tussenland in her book A History of Modern Tussenland (1974). Although problematic, these problems and their effects are important factors that shaped future Tussenland policy. These three problems are:
- The Amerikaner Settler Dilemma: During the creation of the Irokesenlandt, there were already a few Dutch settlers setting up settlements in the area. They were disgruntled with this new land treaty and viewed it as an "eviction notice." They were displeased with the Kingdom of the Netherland's favoritism towards the natives instead of the Dutch settlers. Despite protests, the kingdom enforced this treaty by coercing Dutch colonists to move westward into the predominantly Dutch/Amerikaner provinces of Mississippi. Some of the settlers even went as far as the west coast, in what would become known as the Voortrekker Trails, which would soon form the foundations of the modern nation of the Amerikaanse Free State. This westward expansion would quickly bring the Kingdom of the Netherlands into a conflict with the Spanish Empire and culminate in the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War in 1850.
- The Native Dilemma: The borders of Irokesenlandt ignored the pre-existing native population within. Initially, the Iroquois had adopted a policy of coexistence with these other natives. However, the other natives (most especially the Choctaw, Shawnee, and Chickasaw) were unreceptive to their new landowners, increasing tensions between the native groups. These tensions soon evolved into raids, attacks, and battles between the Iroquois and the other natives, collectively known as the Irokesenlandt Wars. The Iroquois won these wars. The natives, defeated, were forced by the Iroquois to migrate westward, just outside the southwestern borders of Irokesenlandt (in the regions of what would become the modern-day nation of Opdamsland). In the coming decades, the Opdamsland region would be used by Tussenland as a destination for a series of native removals throughout the late 19th century.
- The Virginian Settler Dilemma: Despite being claimed by Tussenland (and part of the new Irokesenlandt), the western regions of Irokesenland were also claimed by Virginia (which was a British colony at the time). Virginian yeomen had already migrated to the area since the late 18th century and established settlements there. The creation of Irokesenlandt would only agitate 9Virginia and would lead Great Britain to send more settlers in the region to reinforce their claims. The Kingdom of the Netherlands warned the Iroquois not to attack these Virginian settlers, as they did not want to get into a conflict with Great Britain.
Creation of the Royal Tussenland Company (1817)
Virginia Purchase (1848)
The Kingdom of the Netherlands had feared that the contested region in west Irokesenland would lead into a colonial war between Tussenland and Virginia. Additionally, they also feared that a military conflict against the Spanish Empire was imminent, due to Tussenland settlers' continuous westward expansion, and the fact that the kingdom was recently accused by the Spanish Empire of financially supporting separatist rebels in their colony of New Granada in the 1830s. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was faced with a dilemma. However, in 1847, a delegation from Britain sent a formal offer to purchase the contested territory from the Kingdom of the Netherlands. The Kingdom of the Netherlands was reluctant to renounce their claims, as were the Iroquois. However, as the threat of war with Spain became more imminent, the Kingdom of the Netherlands agreed to the purchase and pressured the Iroquois to give up the contested part to Virginia. However, despite the Dutch West India's efforts to placate Great Britain, in mid-1849 the Kingdom of the Netherlands still get involved in a war against Great Britain and France over China.
2nd Dutch-Spanish War (1850-1855)
With the Dutch now fighting the British and French in Asia, the fear of an imminent war against Spain grew larger. Border tensions in the west came to a head in 1850, when Spain finally declared war against the weakened Netherlands. This war would be known as the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War. The war ended in a humiliating Dutch defeat. In the resulting treaty, the Dutch had ceded a large portion of the Mississippi basin region to New Spain, and they were forced to release Southern Tussenland as an independent nation, effectively locking the Dutch out of the Gulf of Florida. This had soured relations between the Dutch and the Spanish, until in 1881, Mexico had declared their independence as the Empire of Mexico.
South Tussenland declaration of Independence (1850)Having plantations operated by the Royal Tussenland Company, the southern region of Tussenland had a significant population of slaves. A unique Dutch creole culture had evolved in the southern region of Tussenland. In the midst of the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War, Tussenland saw a slave insurrection beginning to form in the south, spearheaded by a "prophet" who had claimed to be sent by God to liberate the slave-population of southern Tussenland. A religious movement soon formed in southern Tussenland, named the Church of the Second Ascension. To undermine the Dutch, Spain had supported this slave insurrection. The southern region declared independence officially as the United Gemeenten (religious communities) of South Tussenland (Dutch: Verenigde Gemeenten van Zuyd Tussenlandt), led by the ex-slave prophet Abayomi van Tussenlandt. Spain was the first nation to recognize this new nation. The now independent South Tussenland fought alongside the Spanish against the Dutch.
The Tussenland Upheavals (1859-1861)
The loss of the Dutch during the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War caused political and economic turmoil in the various colonies in Tussenland. The unrest culminated in a series of loosely connected revolts in a period known as the Tussenland Upheavals. The Tussenland Upheavals (also known as the Tussenland Revolution Period) was a series of events that led to radical change within Dutch Tussenlandic government and society. This period saw the transformation of Tussenland from being independent colonies operated by the Dutch West India company and various Dutch protectorates into a loose confederation of several states. This was codified in the Tussenland Act of 1861.
1861 Tussenland Constitution
The Tussenland Act of 1861 elevated the American colonies and protectorates to 'province' status, all being equal to each other. Irokesenland, Westerzee, Mississippi, and Meerenland were now part of the Federation of Tussenland. Under the act, the four provinces would have full domestic authority, while still following the Dutch legal framework. A constitution was created for Tussenland, and a unicameral legislature called the Federal Assembly was created. The Federal Assembly consisted of 72 members: 18 representative per province. The Federation would be led by a Grand Pensionary (Amerikaens: raedspensionaris) which would be selected by the Federal Assembly. Alongside the raedspensionaris was the Dutch High Commissioner: a representative of the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the Federation, which would serve as an advisory role.
The 1861 Tussenland Act also granted parcels of land in southwestern Irokesenland to the Dutch plantation owners who had lost their land after the independence of South Tussenland.
The Black Hills Republic (1881-1903)
After gold was discovered on the Black Hills in 1874, Dutch and French-speaking Tussenlander settlers came pouring into the Black Hills, which was then part of New Spain territory. Spain, occupied with fighting against a revolution for Mexican independence, did very little to stop the influx of settlers. When the Mexican Empire declared independence in 1881, the Amerikaners also proclaimed an independent republic called the Black Hills Republic, which corresponded to the borders of the New Spain province of Misuri del Norte. Numerous clashes with the plains indians occured from 1875-1885, most of whom were driven north into the unincorporated territories of Tussenland.
In 1891, Mexico's Emperor Jorge González de Güemes y Horcasitas sent a message to the leaders of the Black Hills Republic, demanding them to swear allegiance to the Mexican Empire as they were on Mexican territory. This demand was ignored by the Black Hills Republic leaders. Despite this, no other hostile action was taken by Mexico. However, tensions over the territory would continue to rise and would be one of the catalyzing factors of the Dutch-Mexican War (1901-1903).
The Dutch-Mexican War (1901-1903)
By the 1890s, tensions arose when the Dutch condemned Mexico's activities in the Boer Provinces. In March 1900, the Netherlands warned Mexico to cease activity in the Boer provinces, but Mexico ignored the warning. The following month, the Netherlands marched its troops into the Black Hills Republic (nominally Mexican territory) to protect the Amerikaner settlers there. Mexico was outraged by this violation of its sovereignty. In an attempt to diffuse the tension, the Netherlands offered to purchase all former and claimed territories to avoid conflict, but Mexico rejected it. Mexico issued an ultimatum to the Dutch to end their presence inside Mexican territory but was once again ignored. Mexico took no further action until the following year. On February 3, 1901, Mexico declared war on the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
On the seas, the young Mexican navy was no match against the Dutch navy, which had blockaded important Atlantic-facing Mexican ports. However, the war was slow and drudging for the Dutch on land, having difficulty penetrating Mexican defenses. The tides eventually favored the Dutch when they won the siege of Santa Maria in the spring of 1901. The Dutch emerged victorious in a series of naval battles on the gulf and captured Matamoros and Tampico in the same year, prompting calls for peace. On June 4, 1903, peace was signed on the city of Williamsburg in neutral Virginia in favor of the Dutch.
After the war, territory that was lost during the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War was returned to the Dutch. In the Boer provinces of Mexico, the Northern Boers identified more with the Dutch than the Mexicans, and they were invited to be absorbed into the Federation of Tussenland, but they rejected the offer, citing cultural differences as a result of 75 years of Hispanic influence. There was also opposition within Tussenland against their entry into the Federation. The provinces of Irokesenland and Westerzee feared that two new Amerikaner dominated provinces would upset the political balance within the Federation and threaten Tussenland's cosmopolitan nature. As a compromise, borders were redrawn, and the independent Amerikaens Free State was created.
On the other hand, the Southern Boers identified more with Mexico and elected to stay within the Mexican Empire, granted that their autonomy would be restored and be allowed to continue self-rule.
Aside from its direct effects on Tussenland, the war also had lasting domino effects on New Netherland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands itself, eventually leading to the 1903 revolution of New Netherland, the anti-colonial uprisings in the Netherlands, and the independence of Tussenland.
The path to independence (1905)
Tensions with the Kingdom of the Netherlands
Establishment of the Tussenland Land Agency
After the Dutch-Mexican War, Tussenlanders from Mississippi and Meerenland were thrilled to settle the newly reconquered western land. In December 2, 1903, the Director of the Federation of Tussenland, Frans Crÿnssen, established the Tussenland Land Agency (Amerikaens: Tussenlandt Landagencie) and was supported by the Federal Assembly. The agency started surveying and parceling out land in Suydt-Mizoerie and Noord-Mizoerie and offered it to prospective settlers. This violated the 1818 Royal Decree on the Limitation on Settlement, which banned further settlement west of Mississippi and Meerenland. The Tussenland Federal Assembly challenged the validity of this 86-year old decree, stating that it is outdated and applied arbitrarily by the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In general, the Tussenlanders were greatly upset that they were forbidden to settle the lands that they had conquered for the Dutch.
Dutch interference in Tussenland government
The Dutch High Commissioner, Johannes van Nijenhuis, who held office in the capital Daesemus, requested Crÿnssen to repeal the act, but he was ignored. Van Nijenhuis reported this back to the Netherlands. The Dutch court held Frans Crÿnssen in contempt and ordered his replacement.
In February 1904, a Dutch delegation arrived in Daesemus and arrested Crÿnssen. Crÿnssen was replaced by an acting director, Sebastiaen de Herder, a loyalist statesman from Mississippi province. This upset the Tussenland Federal Assembly, as this bypassed the usual democratic selection process. The Tussenland Federal Assembly viewed the new government as illegitimate and refused to recognize de Herder as the new head of government. The federal assembly then elected an acting head of government due to Crÿnssen's absence.
While initially, the Federal Assembly did not pursue independence, the tides changed as the Kingdom of the Netherlands kept overstepping its boundaries. By late 1904, members of the Assembly began drafting a new constitution for Tussenland, one that excluded the Netherlands. On February 14, 1905, the Federal Assembly officially declared Tussenland as an independent federal parliamentary republic. The Federal Assembly now fashioned itself as the Tussenland National Assembly (Amerikaens: Tussenlandts Nasional Assemblie, or TNA). The Royal Tussenland Army, composed of mostly Amerikaners, broke off from the Dutch and was rebranded as the Tussenland National Defense Force.
Armed Conflict with the Netherlands
Things were not calm after the declaration of independence. The Dutch, who still maintained control of the capital Daesemus, refused to recognize Tussenland's independence. While things were peaceful in the urban areas of Tussenland, the Tussenland National Army had multiple skirmishes with Dutch forces in Irokesenland and Southern Mississippi. However, day-by-day the Amerikaners were quickly able to capture critical forts of Tussenland, especially after the anti-Hollandic government of New Netherland sent forces to aid the Tussenlanders in the republican cause. Within three months after their independence, the Tussenlanders were able to capitulate the capital, with the Dutch High Commissioner fleeing to neighboring Opdamsland. Old colonial flags of Tussenland were removed from the capital, and replaced with the new republican flag of Tussenland.
Blockade of America, and the Atlantic Quasi-War
Even though the Tussenlanders were able to gain control of the capital, the conflict was far from over. The Dutch, who had naval superiority in the region, conducted a blockade on Tussenland's Pacific and Atlantic ports. However, this did very little to harm Tussenland as they were still able to access the Atlantic through New Netherland. As a response to this, the Dutch also blockaded New Netherland's ports, leading to an undeclared quasi-war between New Netherland and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. In English historical literature, this is known as the Atlantic Quasi-war. The Atlantic quasi-war and blockade prompted New Netherland to accelerate its ship production, and was the first time New Netherland used their new submarines in warfare, sinking multiple Dutch ships.
Effects on the Kingdom of the Netherlands
By 1910, the Atlantic Quasi-war had already toned down in intensity. However, the Netherlands still did not recognize Tussenland as an independent nation. However, this stubbornness had led to a homegrown anti-colonialism back in the Kingdom of the Netherlands in 1911. However, this uprising was quickly crushed as factionalism broke the effort down, with republicans wanting to overthrow the king and transition into a republic, monarchists who wanted to keep the monarchial institution, and communards who wished to upheave the social order. The war and loss of Tussenland also caused an inflation of food prices in the Netherlands, as colonial Tussenland played a significant role in the Dutch agricultural economy. The Netherlands would only recognize Tussenland's independence in 1918, as a response to growing international recognition of the new country. The Dutch shortly established trade with the new independent nation, and an embassy was installed in the nation's capital.
Northern Great Plains expeditions
Now free from Dutch legislations, the newly independent Tussenland sought to expand north into territory they were formerly forbidden to settle. The Tussenland Land Agency began surveying the land in the north, which attracted ire from the nomadic peoples living there. In 1907, the National Assembly authorized military expeditions into the north. Throughout 1907 to 1917, the Tussenland army engaged in multiple skirmishes against the northern plains Indians, particularly the Cree and Sioux, and later the Niitsaapi (Blackfoot), A'aninin (Gros Ventre), and Tsuutina (Sarcee). In 1915, the latter three nations formed a united front against Amerikaner expansion called the Plains Confederacy. Unfortunately, the lack of unity from the confederacy caused their defeat. Throughout the whole ordeal, the Tussenland Land Agency brokered and conducted hundreds of individual treaties with individual bands of Indians who surrendered, either granting them land in Opdamsland (which Tussenland had pressured into opening up land to Indian refugees), or granting them shelter in the urban areas of Tussenland and Opdamsland.
Conflict in the northern plains had settled down by 1915. However, the Northern Plains war is considered to have officially ended when the Amerikaners signed the last relocation treaty in June 14, 1917 after a band of Indian horsemen surrendered after a brief battle ensued near the outskirts of Nieuw-Kaetsheuvel. The conflict is regarded as one of Tussenland's darker chapters in history. Historians argue that more Indians have died in battle or disease than those forcibly relocated. This had led to many protests in the 1940s and 1950s in Opdamsland, led by many second-generation Cree and Siouan refugees born in Opdamsland.
Two New Provinces
Since 1907, the Tussenland Land Agency had already started opening up fertile land to Tussenlander settlers. The first department in unincorporated territory, Batavia, was established on March 3, 1908 south of Lake Manidooba, centered around the outpost town of the same name. Then came the department of Nackota, established six months later on September 24, 1908. On the following year, Prosperitie was established. On July 10, 1910, the fourth department in unincorporated territory was created. Shortly after, the Tussenland Land Agency consolidated the four departments into a single territory called Crÿnssenslandt, and on September 26, 1910 was admitted as the fifth province of Tussenland.
By 1911, Tussenland expressed desires to settle unincorporated territory west of Crÿnssenslandt. The Tussenland Land Agency expressed support for this, but there were political hurdles within the Tussenland National Assembly. Representatives from the non-white majority provinces of Westerzee and Irokesenland were against the creation of new provinces in unincorporated territories, as this would increase white representation in the assembly and reduce the political influence of Westerzee and Irokesenland. The issue split the National Assembly in two camps. However, they were able to come to a compromise: only one new province would be created for the rest of the unincorporated territories, called Ruyterslandt, and any new departments created will automatically be added to this new province. This was called the Ruyterslandt compromise. On June 7, 1911, the new province of Ruyterslandt. The compromise resulted in the unusually large and irregular shape of Ruytersland. As with all the other provinces, the province is represented by 20 members in the Tussenland National Assembly, bringing the total number of representatives in the assembly to 120. As of its creation.
20th-century economic growth and immigration
The 20th century energy boom
Tussenland's potential in the natural gas and petroleum industry was first realized by the Dutch in the 1820s, mainly in Meerenland, prompting them to utilize the resource and build the Great Pacific Railway in the 1860s. The energy sector of Tussenland was mostly eastern-oriented, until in the 1890s, the Dutch the first recorded natural gas find south of Fort Lubbertsen (now in present-day Lansinck Department, Ruytersland). However, it was not after the independence of Tussenland that the first well was drilled near the location. The Tussenland Land Agency oversaw the drilling of a well. This led to the discovery of the Lansinck Gas Sand in 1912. Further expeditions led to more gas, and eventually, oil finds in Ruytersland and ultimately the establishment of the Lansinck Natural Gas Company (now the present-day Tussenland National Energy Corporation).
Immigration into Tussenland
The new finds in the energy sector, along with lands being opened up for settlement on the great plains, attracted a lot of European and Asian immigrants into Tussenland. European immigrants mainly went through Meerenland through the St. Lawrence or through New Netherland. The major European immigrant groups in the early 20th century were the Germans and Russians fleeing from economic devastation that the 1920s European economic crisis brought, and Christian Ottomans fleeing from religious persecution. Asian immigrants entered Tussenland by the Pacific Westerzee ports. The major Asian immigrant groups were Chinese people fleeing from Qing's economic downturn, and Coreans fleeing the Russo-Corean War in the 1930s.
20th Century Government
Government and Diplomatic Relations
Tussenland, from 1905-1911, was ruled by the Federalist Party, until they were replaced by the Republican Coalition in the 1911 Elections. Since their independence, Tussenland looked towards Great Britain for recognition. There had been substantian investment and trade between the two nations, and continued to foster good relations throughout the early 20th century.
The Alyeskan Scheme Crisis (1927-1929)
The National-Republican Scare
The Republican government of Tussenland, which had been in power since 1911, grew worried of the effects of the Russian Civil War (1925-1928) on Tussenland. President Maurits Teysmin feared a possible rise of National-Republicanism in Alyeska, which might leak over to the Pacific Tussenland provinces. Teysman and the republicans devised the "Alyeskan Scheme," an ambitious attempt to pre-emptively invade Alyeska while the Russian Civil War was going on, in an attempt to grow Tussenlander influence in the region and prevent the rise of National-Republicanism in Alyeska. This proposal was very controversial and amongst the urban classes and Meerenlanders who all saw this as a power grab. This triggered a public backlash against the government.
The president of Tussenland then tries to reinforce his power by going against the political norms, appointing a prime minister from his own party (republican), and tried to form a new government even when they did not hold a clear majority. This angered the opposition party, the Federalists, who then consolidated support in the National Assembly and ousted the President and Prime Minister in a vote of no confidence in 1929. This triggered a National Elections, where Teysman and the republicans lost to the coalition party of the opposition, the New Tussenland Alliance (NTA).
Tussenland under the NTA Government (1929-onwards)
The New Tussenland Alliance (NTA), led by President Cornelis Laurensz, was a political coalition composed of members of the former opposition, which ousted President Maurits Teysman in 1929, and several members of the previous government who switched sides. Much of the NTA's popularity owed to their vocal opposition against the Republican government and their ambitious schemes. However, the public grew disillusioned with the ineffectiveness of the NTA government. President Laurensz's rule was marked by heavy corruption, triggering protests in many parts of Tussenland, calling for his resignation.
In 1935, a poll showed the unpopularity of Laurensz among the Tussenlander public. With the National Elections upcoming in November 1935, Laurensz established an ad-hoc think tank, tasked with increasing the popularity of the NTA government and either securing victory in the 1935 elections, or delaying the elections. The perfect opportunity came when the Great War in Europe broke out July 1935, just four months before the National Elections. President Laurensz wanted to use the war to unite public sentiment under a common cause, and divert public attention away from the the NTA's political scandals.
Sinking of the PWHS Potouwatomie (1935)
In August 12, 1935, the PWHS Potouwatomie, a ship operated by the Pacific Tussenland Trading Company, was sunk by a torpedo attack on the Bay of Biscay. The Tussenland government blamed the French government for the attack, after photographic evidence and survivor testimonies surfaced. The public was divided over the legitimacy of these reports, with the opposition claiming that this was only a diversionary tactic. However, some in the public were convinced that the French were behind the attack, and urged the government to join the war on the British side against the French. Until today, there is no clear evidence whether this was a legitimate French attack, or a false-flag operation perpetrated by the NTA government. Nevertheless, the attack was used as the main argument for public calls to join the war.
Tussenland in the Great War (1935-1937)
On August 24, 1935, a motion for a declaration of war is passed in the Tussenland National Assembly 109-71 and was approved by the Council of Provinces (lower house) in less than a week. On September 3, 1935, Tussenland officially declares war on France. Tussenland was relatively safe from the war in Europe, and provided auxiliary naval and infantry support for Great Britain, often fighting with British divisions. Support for the war was strongest in the Misuri provinces, Mississippi, and Irokesenland. Irokees recruits from Irokesenland, especially those of Mohawk descent, were the most iconic Tussenlander soldiers in Europe, and made good scouts and snipers. Support for the war is less evident in Westerzee and Meerenland due to the sympathies of their significant French and Corean-speaking populations.
Tussenlander withrawal from the war (September 1937)
In August 1937, New Amsterdam and Mexico City had correspondence with the French diplomatic delegation. Édouard Boissonade, French ambassador to America, invited New Netherland and Mexico to join the war on the Tripartite Coalition's side. In the case of a French victory, Boissonade promised Mexico City the return of Tussenlander territory formerly part of the Mexican Empire (the Misuri provinces), and promised New Amsterdam territory in Irokesenland and Meerenland.
As a result of Mexico's dubious response to France's call to join the war, the Tussenlander government began to exercise caution. Tussenland was relatively safe from the Great War, and only provided auxiliary support to Britain. However, Mexico and New Netherland in the war "would spell disaster for Tussenland," remarked Tussenland President Cornelis Laurensz. New Amsterdam, upon realizing that Tussenland was unwilling to fight a war against New Netherland and Mexico, began a campaign of military posturing on the border with Tussenland. This was a move in an attempt to sever Tussenland's ties with Great Britain by pressuring Tussenland to drop out of the war, after being faced with a threat. This was in line with the geostrategic goals of the ruling party of New Netherland (the Free Destiny Party), which aimed to remove foreign influence in North American nations' affairs. New Netherland, in cooperation with Mexico, continued to delay their response to France's call to war, until the Tussenland government finally announced their withdrawal from the Great War in September 1937.
Fall of the NTA Government
This had an unfavorable effect on Tussenland. Their withdrawal had disillusioned the families of Tussenlander soldiers in Europe and the general public after seeing their efforts in the war be all for naught. The incumbent Tussenland government (the NTA, or the New Tussenland Alliance) was removed in a vote of no confidence and a National Level elections was held. A republican government was elected in Tussenland, one that was aligned with New Netherland and Mexico.
By November 1937, two months after Tussenland dropped out of the war, New Netherland and Mexico officially refused to join the war on France's side, considering that the Cordial League was starting to make gains in the war.