|Republic of Virginia
Virginia, officially the Republic of Virginia, is a country in eastern North America. Situated between the Atlantic Ocean and the Appalachians, Virginia borders New Netherland to the north, Tussenland to the west and Florida to the south. The capital of the republic is Jamestown (part of the Jamestown-Williamsburg metroplex), while Hopewell is the nation's largest city by population.
The area's history begins with several indigenous groups, including the Powhatan. In 1607 the London Company established the Colony of Virginia as the first permanent English colony in the New World. Slave labor, the relationship with the New Netherland Colony and land acquired from displaced Native American tribes each played a significant role in the colony's early politics and plantation economy. In the mid 19th century Virginia won it's independence in the 2nd Anglo-Virginian War (1852-1854).
Founding of Virginia
The first English charter in what would become Virginia was awarded to the London-Virginia Company in 1606. In 1609, a second charter was made, and expanded further on the claims and boundaries of the first charter. The London-Virginia was one of the two primary companies that England allowed to operate in America (the other being the Plymouth Company of New England).
The London-Virginia company administered the colony from 1606 until the company's dissolution in 1624. Mismanagement and financial loss were the primary reasons for the company's disbandment. However, wanting to keep the claims made James I of England placed the area under direct crown rule.
The neighboring Dutch colony of New Netherland experienced tremendous growth after it was granted its own representative government in 1656. In response, no new charters would be created in Virginia to shore up protection over English claims, and all colonial power was delegated and centralized to a single governor.
The boundaries between Spanish Florida and Virginia remained unclear throughout the rest of the 17th century. It was only in 1700 that the borders were settled in the resulting treaty of the Spanish Succession Crisis .
Attempts at Independence
First Anglo-Virginian War (1833-1834) and the First Virginian Republic
The first Anglo-Virginian war came as a result of the British abolishing slavery in 1833. The slave-owning elite of Virginia resisted this policy change and declared the colony's independence. Britain ultimately crushed the short-lived republic (dubbed the First Virginian Republic) by 1834 and forcefully placed a new set of colonial government members loyal to the crown.
Second Anglo-Virginian War (1852-1854)
While Britain was occupied with fighting the Dutch-Qing alliance in Asia, Virginia once again declared independence in 1852. Virginia quickly extended diplomatic relations to the Dutch (through their colony of Tussenland) and New Netherland. New Netherland was the first nation to recognize Virginia's independence on 12 March 1852, and signed a treaty of friendship and trade. Shortly after, the Kingdom of the Netherlands and Tussenland also recognized Virginian independence.
The New Netherland government provided minimal monetary support to Virginia. Virginia prepared its armies in case of invasion by Britain, but this did not come. In 1853, the Virginian navy raided several British ports in the Caribbean and New England, and was met with minimal resistance. Privateering was a common practice by the Virginian sailors during the war. With the situation being more extreme in East Asia, Britain was forced to recognized Virginia's independence on 19 September 1854. This day would be known as Virginian Independence Day and is a national holiday in the modern day.
Independent Virginia (19th Century)
Establishment of Salvatia (Virginian Colony)
By the time of independence, 26 percent of the entire population were either former slaves or descendants of former slaves, mostly of African origin. Although there was no official data, it was believed that a huge majority of the former slave population were adherents to the Zoekerist ideology, a quasi-religious philosophy originating in South Tussenland that centers around the idea of African empowerment and slave emancipation.
Throughout the 1800s, Zoekerism had thrived in South Tussenland. The philosophy gradually spread throughout North America, especially in Virginia. In the Republic of Virginia, despite slavery being abolished in the 1830s (during British rule), the government saw Zoekerism as a threat to order. In order to accommodate the rise of Zoekerism in Virginia and also to satiate their colonial ambitions, the colony of Virginian colony of Salvatia was established on the African West Coast. Salvatia was portrayed as the "Promised Land", an escape from slavery, the land of universal emancipation, among others. While the government did not force the Afro-American population to emigrate, they encouraged this by providing monetary incentives to would-be emigrants. Salvatia had attracted mostly English-speaking followers of Zoekerism (as South Tussenland predominantly spoke Amerikaens). However, despite the encouragement by the Virginian government, less than 20 percent of the Afro-Virginian population would attempt emigration to Salvatia, and only 6 percent of that portion would stay permanently.
3rd Anglo-Virginian War (1874)
Throughout the early 1870s, Britain expressed concern over the growing Zoekerist influence in East Africa. In March 1874, Lord Belmont of Britain allegedly sent the Virginian government an ultimatum to stop sending colonists to Salvatia. Receiving no response from the Virginian government by the end of the month, British ships started attacking Virginian ships en route to Africa. In July of 1874, British forces from the Gambia marched south to Salvatia. They occupied the Salvatian outposts of Clarke and Grandchurch after a minor skirmish with Virginian soldiers. British troops attacked and occupied the fort in Victoria. In September of 1874, Virginia conceded defeat and ceded Salvatia to the British. Salvatia was annexed as a British protectorate, and would be one of the colonies in what would become British West Africa.
The Protectorate (1875-1899)
Following the 3rd Anglo-Virginian War, the Economic Collapse of 1875 began to the bankcupcy of the major Virginian banks. This caused great turmoil in Virginia. General Matthew Washington ran for the Presidency as a Passionist, but opposed Prime Minister George Smith due to his defeat in the war. Washington won the Presidency but the supposedly fraudulent victory of Prime Minister George Smith, caused him to assume Emergency Powers and purge dissenting voices from the government. He would continue his Emergency Powers until 1877 as he had a new constitution written that granted him permeant dictatorship powers as the Protector of Virginia.
During the Protectorate, Washington brought order and stability to the nation. Foreign investment led to internal development mainly in cities and industrialization. However, this came at the cost of social and political rights. Thousands in political opposition were arrested and imprisoned. Black Virginians faced the most persecution since Virginian independence. Secret societies such as the Prohibitionists were hunted down and forced to hid. Wealth generated during his time disproportionally went to the Virginian Aristocracy. However, when Washington began to target them in his War Against the Valorists, he was soon pushed out of power and resigned on 2 May 1899.
The Third Virginian Republic (1899-1911) and political crisis
The Third Virginian Republic continued the domination of Virginian Aristocracy. Key industries such as mining, manufacturing and banking were monopolized. Harsh living conditions and low pay for the lower class caused unrest. Christian Communards like the Grave Brothers and Mercy Hills rose up in short rebellions against the political system. Despite that, there was greater social freedom than before especially for religious minorities like Catholics, Zoekerists, and the Prohibitionists this would accumulate into the Religious Revival of the 1910s.
The new constitution did not do away with nor remove powers from the president as the ruling elites saw it as a way to control the nation. In 1907, President Luke Highland of the Centralists won and championed himself on worker relief despite being born from a prominent family. However, after after a brutal strike putdown at a mine owned by his brother, many reformists abandoned him including Reverend Jonathan Woods. Woods was the most popular evangelist in the country and announced his candidacy for the presidency in 1911. When it became clear that he would win, President Highland enacted Emergency Powers had Woods arrested for treason due to violent political protest and cancelled the upcoming election.
This angers a group of junior officers in the Virginian army, known as "The Lieutenants." The Lieutenants execute a coup and remove President Highland from Power. The Lieutenants, led by Colonel Jacob Taylor, oppose Woods more democratic and communard views and wish to make him only a junior partner in the new government. The Lieutenant Constitution is rejected by Woods and his militia known as the Horsemen. Neither group is able to complete control the nation a minor groups begin to arm themselves and take over parts of Virginia.
Virginian Civil War, and Prohibitionist Rule (1911-1914)
In 1911, following the Lieutenants' Coup and the collapse of the Third Republic of Virginia, the nation quickly splintered into factions vying for political control of the nation. This period was known as the Virginian Civil War. There were three major factions in the civil war:
- The Black Forces are a coalition of evangelical, religious, and communard groups that hope to topple the Virginian aristocracy and bring social equality for all. This faction includes:
- The Prohibitionist Faction, The Horsemen, The Martyrs, The Tidewater Shipbuilders, Saint Paul Commune, The American Christina Organization, The Plebian Prayer Warriors, The Free Territory of Conroy
- The Green forces are composed of an uneasy alliance between the remnants of the old government, the Lieutenants, and other conservatives and religious minorities who fear persecution by some groups within the Black forces. This faction includes:
- The Third Republic of Virginia, The Washingtonites, New Salvatia, The Lieutenants, The Pope's New Army
- The Orange forces are Amerikaner separatists, hoping to join either New Netherland or Tussenland. This faction includes:
- The International Dutchmen, The Orange Brotherhood
Eventually, the Prohibitionists emerged as the victorious faction in the Civil War, and consolidated their power in Virginia with Elijah V as the patriarch and head of government and state.
Prohibitionist Rule (1914-1934)
Under the Prohibitionist rule of Elijah IV, the Virginian government put austere policies in place. Elijah IV's relations with the other American nations were tense, but remained cordial. Elijah V looked to Europe for influence and recognition, particularly France. Elijah IV's aversion towards the British made them a close ally of France, cooperating in terms of trade and economy. Under his rule, the Prohibitionist Church grew in numbers, consisting of 17% of the total Virginian population by 1930. In 1930, Elijah IV died and was replaced by his successor, Elijah V.
Virginia under Elijah V became a pariah state, cutting off diplomatic ties with the rest of the American nations and strengthening ties with France even more. This attracted the ire of several elite in the Prohibitionist Church, who believed that Elijah V was doing Virginia no good. Additionally, several conservative opposition members began plotting for the overthrow of the Virginian government.
Yorktown Landings, and the Conservative Coup (1934)
In early 1934, conservative General Edward Anderson lands on the Virginian peninsula in a military operation sponsored by New Netherland. This was known as the Yorktown landings. This was followed by the violent overthrow of Elijah V by the conservatives. Elijah V and five other high ranking members of the Prohibitionist Church were subsequently arrested, found guilty, and sentenced to death. Following the fall of Elijah V, the Prohibitionist Church took a sharp decline in its following, falling to only 6% of the entire population.
In 1934, the conservatives began drafting a new constitution for Virginia, and in August 1935, the new constitution was ratified. The fourth Republic of Virginia was established, with Prime Minister Rodger Taylor and the Civic Union Party in power.