|Province of Meerenland|
|Motto||Justis, Paix, Prospérité|
|Languages||Amerikaens (official) |
Meerenland (Amerikaens: Mîrenlandt, French: Mirelande) is a province of the Federation of Tussenland. Founded as a Dutch colony in 1755 during Prince Maurice's War, it was inaugurated as a province in 1861. Meerenland has a predominantly French-speaking and Catholic population and is one of the economic centers of Tussenland.
Originally part of the French colony of New France called Pays d'en Haut, Meerenland was explored and settled by French explorers and fur traders in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. They established forts, trading posts, and small settlements throughout the region. Prince Maurice's War (1750-1755) saw the Dutch capture the Great Lakes region from France. The territory was promptly renamed Meeranlandt (Dutch for "lake country") and became a separate Dutch colony in 1756. The first Director-General, Pieter Evertsz de Vries, ruled over the colony with a policy of appeasement and placation, allowing French settlers to practice Catholicism freely and participate in the fur trade.
In 1861, the Tussenland Act elevated the Dutch colonies and protectorates in America to 'province' status, and Meerenland became part of the Federation of Tussenland.
Meerenland is characterized by its linguistic diversity, with the majority of the population speaking both Amerikaens and French. The province is predominantly bilingual, with most schools offering education in both languages. Meerenland is also home to a distinct dialect of French, known as Meerenland French (Mirelandais), which has evolved over the centuries in the region, blending Dutch, French, and indigenous influences.
During the colonial period, the Dutch allowed the practice of Catholicism to continue and proliferate in Meerenland. Although the Dutch government was historically not fond of Catholics, particularly those under the Pope's influence, they recognized the need for settlers to populate their colonies and opted against implementing discriminatory policies. Today, Catholicism remains the predominant religion in the province.
One of the most enduring pieces of Meerenland folklore is the legend of the Meerenland Serpent, a mythical creature said to haunt the lakes of the province. According to local lore, the serpent has been sighted on numerous occasions, inspiring fear and fascination among the inhabitants of the Great Lakes region.
The University of Meerenland (Université du Mirelande) is a prestigious institution located in Peoria.
Government and politics
Saint-Alexis, Meerenland's fourth largest city, functions as the provincial capital.