Westerzee

From Roses, Tulips, & Liberty
Westerzee
Province of Westerzee
Westerzee
Location of Westerzee
Established1861
CapitalMelenssel
Largest CityMelenssel
LanguagesAmerikaens (official)
Corean
Mandarin
Russian
Others

Westerzee is a province located on the Pacific coast of the Federation of Tussenland. With a rich and diverse history involving Spanish, Dutch, and Russian claims, Westerzee was established as a semi-autonomous province of Tussenland following the Tussenland Upheavals in 1861. The region has experienced significant immigration from China and Corea, particularly during the 19th and 20th centuries, resulting in a unique cultural blend that is evident in its customs, celebrations, and cuisine. Westerzee's development was further propelled by the construction of the Tussenland Railroad, with its largest city, Melenssel, serving as a bustling trade hub and premier Pacific port.

Etymology

Westerzee means 'western sea' in Dutch, referring to its position on the Pacific coast. The term was coined by a companion of Dutch explorer Jacob Corneliszoon, Simon de Rascon y Tasman in 1797. It was first used in an official capacity in 1834 in the charter of town of Oranjehaven. It is called different names in different languages, such as Вестерзи (vesterzi) in Russian, 웨서지 (wesjadji) in Corean, and 韋瑟齊 (weisechi) in Chinese.

History

Before European contact, Westerzee was inhabited by various indigenous tribes, who developed complex societies and sustainable ways of life over thousands of years. The region was first explored settled by Europeans in the 18th century.

European exploration and settlement

European exploration in the Westerzee region in the 18th and 19th centuries

Dutch expeditions

The Corneliszoon Expedition of 1799 was a significant Dutch expedition into the largely uncharted Westerzee region. This expedition was organized and funded by the Royal Tussenland Company, which sought to expand Dutch trade and colonial interests in the region. The expedition was led by Jacobus Corneliszoon, who set out from Fort Maurice with a small team of explorers. The goal of the expedition was to survey and map the Westerzee region, including its coastal features, rivers, and native settlements. The Corneliszoon Expedition faced numerous challenges, including the harsh weather, hostile natives, and treacherous terrain. Despite these obstacles, the expedition was able to gather valuable information about the region, which helped to pave the way for future Dutch exploration and settlement in the area, such as Kuykinck (1799-1802), Dana & Pieter (1805), and Danckaert (1823).

Competing Russian, Dutch, and Spanish claims in the 19th century

Various European powers competed for control over the Westerzee region in the 19th century. The Russian Empire, for instance, conducted several expeditions in the region, notably the Kolchak expedition in 1815 which led to the establishment of the Fort Alexander colony on Kolchak Island. However, the Russian colony was short-lived as it was plagued by harsh winters and frequent native raids. The Dutch and Russian claims to the region were a source of tension until the Russo-Dutch Treaty of 1832 was signed. This treaty established the modern Tussenland-Alyeska international border. Meanwhile, Spain had also previously laid claim to a part of southern Westerzee in the 18th century. However, the 2nd Dutch-Spanish War (1850-1855) and Dutch-Mexican War (1901-1903) eventually determined the international border between Westerzee and Mexico.

Dutch settlement

In the early 19th century, settlers of Dutch origin from New Netherland and the eastern regions of the Dutch Tussenland colony established sparsely populated colonies in the Westerzee region. These independent settlers were known as the Boers or Voortrekkers. Although the colonies of these voortrekkers were not officially sponsored by the Royal Tussenland Company, they were largely left to their own devices and were not subjected to much oversight or interference, as the presence of these settlers would only help to legitimize Dutch claims in the area. However, the 1850 Dutch-Spanish War led to the annexation of these Voortrekker republics into New Spain, which later became part of Mexico. Nonetheless, a few Voortrekker republics whose territories extended into the modern-day Westerzee borders had a lasting influence on the region.

City of Melenssel and the Tussenland railroad

Tussenland railroad pamphlet from 1895. Full resolution map.

In 1836, the coastal settlement of Melenssel was founded. The construction of the Tussenland Railroad further contributed to the development of Westerzee, with Melenssel being the final destination of this ambitious infrastructure project. The completion of the railroad transformed Melenssel into a bustling trade city and premier port, which attracted even more immigrants to the region, including many Chinese and Corean laborers who contributed to the workforce during its construction. This influx of workers further cemented the influence of Asian culture within Westerzee, which continues to be evident in the present day.

The Tussenland upheavals (1859), and provincehood (1861)

In 1859, the Dutch Tussenland colony experienced significant social and political upheavals, collectively called the Tussenland upheavals. These uprisings were led by the colonists who were seeking greater autonomy and control over their own affairs. In the aftermath of the Tussenland upheavals, the colony of Tussenland was reorganized and divided into several smaller self-governing provinces, one of which being the Westerzee province. Melenssel was made the capital of the newly founded province.

Rise of the Asian Population in Westerzee: Immigration and Cultural Shifts

In the latter half of the 19th century and the early 20th century, several events led to an influx of Asian immigrants, particularly from Corea and China. The Canton War (1850-1855), the industrialization of Corea in the 1850s-1870s, and the devastating impact of the Great War on Corea and China in the 1930s all contributed to a growing number of Asian immigrants seeking better opportunities in Westerzee. The Tussenland government largely welcomed this increase in the Asian population, resulting in the establishment of numerous Asian communities throughout Westerzee. By the 1940s, Corean, Mandarin, and Cantonese were widely spoken in the province, and the government implemented various pro-Asian immigration policies, such as the Asiatic Migration Act (1940), which increased the quotas for Corean and Chinese immigration into Westerzee. Many Asian individuals were also appointed to government posts and administrative roles, reflecting the region's pro-Asian migration stance.

Government and Politics

Administrative regions of Westerzee on a 1915 map

Administrative divisions

Districts
  • Kolchak Island
  • New Friesland
  • Schackiet
  • Spuckanie
  • Susqualie

Culture

The culture of Westerzee province is a vibrant blend of various influences, owing to its rich history and diverse population. The significant influx of Chinese and Corean immigrants in the 19th century has left an mark on the region's customs, celebrations, and cuisine. Westerzee is renowned for its lively Lunar New Year festivities, which are celebrated by its residents with great enthusiasm. The province's cuisine is a unique fusion of local and Asian flavors, reflecting the harmonious coexistence of different culinary traditions. Additionally, the arts and architecture in Westerzee showcase a blend of European and Asian influences, creating a distinct and diverse cultural landscape that sets it apart from other provinces in the Federation of Tussenland.

See also