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by Paetland. . 4 reads.

History

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History

Prehistory
The region encompassing today's Pætland was first inhabited shortly after the end of the first ice age, by mesolithic hunter-gatherer peoples. This was not permanent sedentary occupation and it is believed these peoples migrated seasonally across the landmass. Gēamann's caves date back to around 10,000 to 9,000BC, as does the Cyngscēapford refuse tip, some one thousand years before the "Grēatbrima disaster". It is believed this mesolithic population was devastated by the so-called "Grēatbrima disaster" which together with climate change weakened the population and facilitated their displacement by incoming proto-Itihasic peoples.
Though these proto-Itihasic peoples brought agriculture and domesticated animals - including the horse - they inhabited the region for a relatively brief time from 4000BC to around 3000BC before being either displaced or assimilated by Itihasic peoples proper. Remains of settlements throughout Pætland, including in counties Pætlandƿaldasby, Æþelingtūn, and Elþeodstrand suggest that organised hierarchical societies took hold around this time, as the size of enclosures grew as did the population.


Distribution of Gwaelga-speaking peoples.
Bronze age "crouched-grave peoples" are the first major group living in the region that is well-attested in the historical record. Believed to have migrated from what is now Sora and Norikwhum, the "crouched-grave peoples" introduced both copperworking and bronze into the region, and from the number of remains with visible wounds, appear to have developed something of a martial culture as well as an artisan one.
As Pætland is not particularly mineral-wealthy and is for the most part hemmed in against the Highlands, the "crouched-grave peoples" existed for a far longer length of time in Pætland than in neighbouring territories, and appear to have remained in the region long after neighbouring peoples were displaced by incoming Gwaela.

Bronze & Iron Ages
It was only from c.500BC that Gwaela peoples displaced or assimilated these indigenous tribes. The ancestors of the modern-day Prythonaidd-speaking Gwaela (now called Cymbry) came to inhabit the area from this time. The precise relationship of Prythonaidd to other Gwaelga languages is disputed, with the University of North Pætland arguing that Prythonaidd forms a language family with Teiydhwye and Cairngwisghwye ("lowland Gwaelga" theory) and the Bakusaian convention maintaining that Teiydhwye, Cairngwisghwye and Meonrwhwye form a language family ("Gogeruseomal languages"). What is clear is that Prythonaidd-speakers migrated from areas along the Mulberry Ocean to the area of Pætland as part of the larger Gwaelic migrations and subsumed existing populations in the region.

The establishment of Cymbric petty kingdoms and the introduction of ironworking marked the beginning of the Pætlandic iron age. Large tracts of land came under the control of chieftains who through successive periods of war and peace oversaw a massive expansion in agricultural, religious and cultural development. A written form of writing was introduced from the north, Ogham, and a form of Gwaelic paganism took hold throughout the country. This period, called in Prythonaidd yr Hen, is noted for a wealth of literature and music as well as the lifetimes of famed druids Myrllin and Taliesin, who founded druidical lineages that remain influential today.

The last major migration into the region occurred after the year 400AD. Primarily a movement of Niđerseaxons and Ængles, but also of Ēotas, Gēatas, Francans and Frescans, these peoples (together called Sæxons) this migration was first prompted by the legendary invitation of King Foirtchern (᚛ᚃᚖᚏᚈᚉᚓᚏᚅ᚜) of the Icēns. As local rule weakened and fractured, Sæxons arrived en masse and subjugated the various Cymbric kingdoms with the exception of Ogledd Rheged, Deheuol Rheged and Elfed which survived into the colonial era.

Medieval period
These various tribal groups had no sense of common identity in the early part of this period, which is known as the Pætlandic medieval period. Different tribal groups coalesced into tribal petty kingdoms, which varied in number and extent until roughly 580AD when the following kingdoms emerged: The Ēotic kingdom of Cantƿaraland, the Ænglic kingdoms of Dere-Beornice, Miercnarīce and the kingdom of Sægesænglaland, as well as the Niđerseaxon kingdoms of Ēastseaxnarīce, Ƿestseaxnarīce and Sūþseaxnarīce. These kingdoms, in addition to warring and raiding, saw similar cultural, economic and religious development but did not develop a common identity until the arrival of Sabbatarian evangelist Gregory of Meridiune. Whilst a resident of his native Sora, he is said to have encountered Ængle slaves for sale at market, which moved him and inspired him to spread the gospel in the region. He arrived in the country in 597AD Though black-hat sabbatarianism did not see much success beyond the Ēotas, and several royal courts, it (together with other missionary-religions like Jaatunism and Myeongism) served as a tremendous cultural catalyst during the period.


Emblem of Pætland, depicting
Gregory and the slaves.
In the first instance, many royal courts converted when encountering Gregory's mission (though most did not last beyond the death of the converted ruler) which simultaneously differentiated the Sæxon kingdoms from nearby realms and created a new element of unity between the various petty rulers. Similarly, the introduction of a new script and organisational system (dioceses) facilitated this. It was under the leadership of the Sabbatarian king Ælfred I of Ƿestseaxnarīce that the idea of a "Sæxon" people was first acknowledged as existing, for example.
Furthermore, the advent of religious communities including the Sabbatarian mission of Gregory of Meridiune (and his successor Augustine of Cantƿaraburh) caused a substantial reaction from the overwhelmingly pagan population. Whilst the pagan identity of many tribes and peoples was reinforced, starting with the Ealleþing of 634 the religion began to become radically reformed. In particular, the messianic nature of Sabbatarianism and Myeongism was quickly adopted, as was the organisational structure of bishoprics and dioceses. Eventually, after many controversies and several subsequent Ealleþings, the new "reformed paganism" or "new school paganism" broke with the established tradition by maintaining the Germanic legends were narrated wholly in the past tense; that Ragnarok had in fact already occurred and the world was governed solely by Baldr (Bældæg) not by Woden, Tiw or Thor. Baldr, already a figure similar to and influenced by the Sabbatarian tradition of the Messiah, was considered in a similar light, even coming to be portrayed as a suffering martyr. Apart from reducing the appeal and spread of Sabbatarianism, this further consolidated the Sæxon identity and differentiated it from neighbouring peoples.

In the first decade of the Sæxon kingdoms Cantƿaraland was the pre-eminent, especially as a major trade entrepôt and only major centre of the Sabbatarian religion. However, soon afterwards Miercnarīce eclipsed Cantƿaraland and remained an important petty kingdom controlling the central regions of Pætland and holding sway over no fewer than twelve major tribal groups of whom nine were Ængle groupings. This kingdom reached its greatest height under King Offa, a celebrated figure who ruled from 757AD. However, the dominance of Miercnarīce did not last after several incapable rulers and the Kingdom of Ƿestseaxnarīce came to predominate from the 870s onwards, Väinlased raids notwithstanding. Throughout the period from the year 1000 and for several hundred years subsequent to that, the kings of Ƿestseaxnarīce remained more-or-less paramount over the other kingdoms and their tribal divisions. This was only ever broken by rebellion - chiefly on the part of Miercnarīce or the Pengƿernings - or by invasion from the Gwaela Alban chiefs to the north.
The supremacy of Ƿestseaxnarīce, situated as it was on the coast and in the prime agricultural territories of southern Pætland along the Līcteselēomafeoraflēot river, was maintained as the Sæxon identity became stronger and the various tribal groups began to view themselves as subsets of a wider Sæxon people. The kings of Pætland from at least the year 1250AD began to be referred to as the Sæxonƿalda "wielder [of power] over the Sæxons". The period 1250-1400 is generally regarded as being a golden age in the region, the so-called "Sæxonƿalda period". Cultural, social, religious and technological development was pronounced and Ƿestsæxon kings ruled with little controversy, particularly as religious controversies had largely died down.

The "Sæxonƿalda period" ended around the year 1400 when the Ƿestsæxon court began to break down under economic and social strain. The reasons are complex and not fully understood but are likely related to the shifting of trade patterns, overgrazing and environmental depletion, and the growing power of both the Empire of Éicenrad and the principalities in what is now northern Sora. The kingdoms reasserted their independence and Pætland fell into a dark age. It was only in the late 1600s that the inland kingdom of Dere-Beornice became the paramount power. Due to the gradual movement of tribal populations, the Ænglic tribes of the Derenians and Beornicians had expanded their territory at the expense of the Suþmierce and Ūtermierce tribes of the Kingdom of Miercnarīce. As a result, Dere-Beornice became the foremost kingdom and all excepting Ƿestseaxnarīce and Sūþseaxnarīce bowed to the inland kingdom.


Charter showing the
word "Sæxonƿalda".
From 1455AD the entire region fell into civil war between the rival cadet houses of Dere-Beornice's Æthelfrithing dynasty. One faction, based in Lonceaster fought another based in the nearby settlement of Eoforƿic. The Lonceasters were supported by Ƿestseaxnarīce, Éicenrad and the major landowning families of the Ƿreocansæte and Magonsæte tribes. The Eoforƿicings were supported by the Pengƿerning and Hƿicce tribes, as well as landowners throughout northern areas. After well over thirty years of intermittent fighting where the Eoforƿicings often had the upper hand - a combination of Lonceaster loyalists and Gwaela auxiliaries eventually triumphed. Important battles included that at Toƿtūn, an hours-long fight during a simultaneous snowstorm and lightning storm, and Cēapbosƿurþ which saw the final victory of the Lonceasters. Whilst the civil war ended in 1487, the conflict permanently destabilised the region: Not merely in terms of lives lost and resources despoiled, but in growing inequality between regions that suffered, and regions that remained out of the war, such as Ƿestseaxnarīce and Sūþseaxnarīce.

The relative supremacy of Dere-Beornice continued, though not without competition from Ƿestseaxnarīce, which over time swayed more territories to its side; most notably the Middelseaxna. This contributed to growing tensions, and a corresponding fall in technological & social progress. This prolonged the dark age, which in many ways continued into the 1700s. Throughout the 1600sAD the territory remained fractured and only stable insofar as the various tribal groups remained identifiable. Very few natural resources were found in the region and as a result of a massive silver shortage the coinage was severely debased. Coupled with the effective collapse of Dere-Beornician authority in the 1660sAD, slave-raiding along the coast and a series of peasant revolts the so-called dark age ended ignominiously.
The situation stabilised in the 1690s and 1700s as a committee of Þegns and Ealdormen forced constitutional change within the kingdom of Ƿestseaxnarīce. An Ealdorþing was created with broad powers, instituting a primitive form of democracy at Ƿintanceaster. This proved a necessary innovation and together with a string of able kings ensured a second long-lasting period of Ƿestsæxon supremacy.

The Ƿestsæxon supremacy saw a massive leap in societal and cultural change. New technologies from Sora and Ioccuèighe were widely adopted by the more well-educated and civilised Ƿestsæxon court. Advanced bookkeeping, trade innovations and military innovations were adopted under the rules of Ælfred VI, Ēadƿeard II and Coenƿulf. In particular, a badly-needed revolution in mining and quarrying occurred under Coenƿulf, which saw greatly improved trade with regional neighbours. It is said the royal capital Ƿintanceaster was a glittering metropolis with many houses of worship and towering palaces. Modern farming techniques were controversial and spawned several peasant revolts as enclosures replaced traditional subsistence farms. In particular, it was during the early 1700s that the last vestiges of independent Cymbry power were swept aside, as Ƿestsæxon and Miercnan forces took over Elfed.

Ante-colonial Pætland
It was after this time that Sinjuan explorers from Jungju travelled the region. Throughout the 1700s explorers, chiefly from Hokan, Jeongmi, Fusen, Longzhou and Vạn Xuân explored the so-called "Sæxon principalities" in search of trade routes, resources and treasures. As the 1700s turned into 1800s, a vast corpus of Jungjuans roamed the region: Surveyors, demographers, traders, statisticians, civil servants, soldiers and a vast number of explorers.


The Hwang Report.
The Hokanese were the first to maintain a substantial presence however. Seeing the deplorable condition of the Gwaelic Cymbry masses, who had been reduced to landless serfs little more cared for than cattle, Hokanese charitable institutions in Pætland established so-called "Sinju Institutions". Far more benevolent than the more aggressive government agencies operating further north, these charitable schools sought to educate the Cymbry who by culture and temperament were apparently seen to be similar to Sinjuans.
Whilst vast tracts of land were colonised during the early 1800s, Pætland was not. The land was not rich in minerals, was neither poor nor wealthy in grain, fish and meat, and had no major seaport. Various powers, chiefly Hokan, Longzhou and Vạn Xuân contented themselves with treaties with the indigenous rulers, such as the Vạnxuânese arrangement with Constantīnus of Cantƿaraland allowing access to the harbour at Sūþtūn.

This changed in the mid-1800s for a variety of reasons ascertained by historians. This includes the Hokanese takeover of Talamh Chaonaigh in 1833 and the subjugation of Sora's northernmost tribes at around the same time. Assessors from Longzhou, as part of the Report of the Imperial Geological Survey of West Yoju, first alerted Jungju to the fact that the natural wealth of Pætland was far greater than previously suspected and at the same time the Report was published Ƿestseaxnarīce fell into civil war. The Ealdorþing had increasingly become divided along religious lines as "orthodox" reformed-pagans came into conflict with "iconoclasts". Tensions reached a peak after the death of the iconoclast King Odda and the ensuing fighting crippled the kingdom.
Most infamously, the Kingdom of Miercnarīce - seeking to reassert its independence from Ƿestseaxnarīce - began a campaign of harsh suppression against the Gwaela minority. Hated and envied for their educational development at the "Sinju Institutions" Cymbry were massacred, deported and pressed into forced marriage.

At Ka-me-lou [Camledun] for instance was related of a teacher in the "Kamelou Teacher's College", a gentle, refined Gwæla girl, speaking Jeongmian, knowing music and calligraphy, attractive by the standards of any land, who was given in enforced marriage to the þegn of a neighbouring Sæxon village, a filthy, ragged ruffian thrice her age, with whom she still has to live, and by whom she has borne a child.
- Hwang Report.

It was perhaps the latter reason that convinced the Sinjuan powers that "civilisation" had to be enforced upon the Sæxon principalities - especially after the Jeongmian Hwang Report was published, urging "humanitarian" colonial intervention. It was Vạn Xuân that won out in establishing its presence in the region, at first invoking the treaty with Constantīnus of Cantƿaraland to establish a beachhead in Cantƿaraburh. Ƿestseaxnarīce - in chaos as it was - fell quickly to the Vạnxuânese. It was only Miercnarīce that held out military resistance against the Kinh invaders, though eventually Offa IX was killed in battle - an old flintlock no match against Sinjuan firepower. Pacification of rebellious tribes, in particular the Derenians and Western Gēatas, continued for decades to come, but this did not prevent the declaration of subjugation of the Sæxon principalities in 1862.

Colonial Pætland
There was no current name among the Sæxons or Cymbry for the land they lived in, only for their various kingdoms. As such, the Vạnxuânese adopted a new term, relatively utilitarian: "坦叹盆", simply meaning "land of peat". From the beginning the colony had to be pacified, with colonial authorities having to demarcate boundaries and secure valuable territory in the region as quickly as they could. As such, in the early period 1862-c.1890 the Sublime State pursued something of a "dual policy": Reliable allies were cultivated, such as Constantīnus of Cantƿaraland, Ƿinta VIII of the Lindesƿara and Ƿihtgar III of the Ƿihtƿara on the one hand, and on the other harsh reprisals were meted out against rebellious peoples.

The colony's great wealth lay in deposits of peat soil, a carbon-dense form of partially decayed plant matter which was at that time a desirable form of fossil fuel. It was used overwhelmingly as a source of heat, peatfires used to warm well over 80% of homes throughout the country. Because of the large reserves of coal and not insubstantial amounts of timber, the territory quickly became a massive exporter of fossil fuels. The economy of the country was re-oriented to facilitate this, with rail lines extending from inland peat cutting regions to ports on the coast. One of these ports, Gadinmær (家定㵋, Gia Định Mới) became a massive metropolis within a few short decades and a significant Kinh-populated urban centre. Gadinmær became the colonial capital of the colony, usurping the place of traditional capitals like Ƿintanceaster, Ƿindlesore or Tomtūn.
The export of bricks of peat, as well as the reserves of coal heretofore untapped, helped fuel the burgeoning industrial revolution in Vạn Xuân and across Jungju. As the value of the territory became more apparent, increasing numbers of Kinh soldiers were imported into the region and a veritable force of bureaucrats and administrators began to be stationed at Gadinmær, in addition to the prior elements of industrialists and pioneers. The "dual policy" was continued and indigenous élites were co-opted as best as possible. Educational institutions were re-introduced throughout the territory - though now aimed at the sons of Sæxon landowners, rather than Gwaelas. Vạnxuânese honours were bestowed upon the élite, and colonial administrators even resettled convicted prostitutes into the territory in an abortive attempt to create a loyal creole class.


Nguyễn Sinh.
Largely dependent on the whims of colonial governors, domestic affairs within the colony took a turn during the late 1890s as Vạn Xuân slowly became more militaristic. The "dual policy" was ended by governor Lê Trại Trường Sơn, who as one of his first acts abolished the tribal monarchies of the Ƿihtƿaras, Gēatas, Ēastseaxe, Suþseaxe and Francans. Trường Sơn, the longest-serving governor, elected to replace indigenous leaders with Kinh mainlanders. The period of his governorship (1896-1922) was a cruel one, which prohibited the learning of indigenous languages and customs, forced land reform, and the introduction of mandatory curfews. In particular, Trường Sơn resumed a policy of enticing settlers to the far-flung colony.

However, successive years of state education - in both Pætland and mainland Vạn Xuân, saw a small minority of educated middle-class Pætlanders emerge. A clique centred on Æđelberht Cantƿicing, Osƿald af Scēađfeld, Cuþbert Gīsling and Ēslēah Niorđson founded the Yojuland Peoples’ National Liberation Front in 1918, with Nguyễn Hồng Khanh and Hilda Hœlsdohtor founding the Communist Party of Pætland around the same time. The Y.P.N.L.F. was an amorphous group whose only ideology was securing independence for Pætland and ostensibly other West Yojuan colonies. Despite several years of inactivity, in the suspense before the onset of the Great Eulhae War the group picked up its activities and began a campaign of bombings and murders targeting colonial officials and military establishments. Though Æđelberht Cantƿicing would be killed in early 1922, the remaining leaders continued to attract mass popular support. Trường Sơn resigned later the same year and was replaced by a succession of minor military figures who failed to effectively deal with the menace.

When considering the ongoing hostility of the population to ongoing military rule; the growing expense and inefficiency of importing raw fuel from the colony as other, closer and more suitable deposits are found elsewhere; and the strategic indefensibility of the colony against Hokanese Hauxxin; the Advisory Committee on Peat-land concludes that managed independence is preferable to other courses outlined in this document.
- Advisory Committee on Peat-land.

The Kinh continued to maintain control over the territory's urban centres, rail networks and resource deposits through the 1930s. However, governor Trần Hữu Ánh's brutal policy against civilians suspected of allegiance to the Y.P.N.L.F. or Communist Party caused public support for the rebels to skyrocket, especially in the industrial centres of north Miercnaland. Needing to mobilise as part of the newly-formed Contingent Powers, the government in Vạn Xuân ordered a review of the colonial system in Pætland. The Advisory Committee on Peat-land headed by Nguyễn Sinh controversially went beyond their mandate to recommend that Vạn Xuân cede the territory in a controlled compromise, to ensure no costly full-blown conflict with Y.P.N.L.F. partisans. Chancellor Ngô Bảo Châu's government accepted the recommendations, and unilaterally agreed to a timetable for independence, without the Y.P.N.L.F.'s input.

Postcolonial period
The Vạnxuânese administration, now led by civilian administrator Hoàng Văn Long, agreed to negotiations not only with militant leaders from the Y.P.N.L.F. (namely Osƿald af Scēađfeld and Ēslēah Niorđson) but with respected community leaders and moderates, including Episcopi Æliah II of Gadinmær, the Myeongist Patriarch of All Pætland. The negotiations with Episcopi Æliah were particularly fruitful, insofar as they established a fundamental framework under which to contest multi-party elections to a constitutional convention. Said elections took place in 1935 on a restricted franchise which saw the Y.P.N.L.F. and the moderate Folcsscieldƿeall win the Sæxon vote, the Cymdeithas y llanciau win the Cymbry vote and the alliance "National Pact Union / Association of Pætlandic Kinh / Citizens' Convergence" win the Kinh vote. These parties dominated the fraught negotiations over an independence referendum for Pætland. The Y.P.N.L.F. fought both verbally and often physically with the Folcsscieldƿeall and the N.P.U.-A.P.V.-C.C., with the latter parties advocating for a multi-racial democracy over the growing authoritarian tendency in the Y.P.N.L.F. Tensions continued to mount until Hoàng Văn Long was assassinated by unknown assailants. A brief civil war threatened and Kinh began to flee the colony before Nguyễn Sinh, onetime head of the Advisory Committee on Peat-land agreed to assume the governorship.


Nguyễn Hồng Khanh,
longtime Communist leader.
The constitutional convention eventually agreed on a constitution for Pætland, and new elections were scheduled. Episcopi Æliah won the provisional presidency at the convention, and the Y.P.N.L.F. emerged as clearly the most influential party. Anxious over looming hostilities in Jungju, the Vạnxuânese government of Ngô Bảo Châu approved of the constitution in late 1936. As the months before independence dragged on, the Communist Party under Nguyễn Hồng Khanh inaugurated a low-level insurgency, upset at being excluded from the constitutional process (their base being among Sæxons that didn't meet the qualification to vote). Furthermore, a continuing exodus of Kinh from the country caused substantial brain-drain and destabilised the N.P.U.-A.P.V.-C.C., becoming more radical. It was under these fraught conditions that agreement was eventually reached and Nguyễn Sinh announced Pætland was prepared for independence: A proclamation was issued 11ᵗʰ Guwol 1938, with Nguyễn Sinh and Episcopi Æliah journeying to Phú Xuân later the same day.

First Republic
A treaty, signed 21ˢᵗ Guwol 1938, established in the eyes of the international community an independent Pætland. Among those ignorant of the campaign of terrorism by the Y.P.N.L.F., and the now ongoing insurgency from the Communists, it was lauded for the peaceful transfer of power and both Nguyễn Sinh and Episcopi Æliah II were celebrated in the international press. However, upon returning to Pætland and overseeing the official independence day on 1ˢᵗ Shiwol 1938, things began to decline. The Y.P.N.L.F. and its new leader Odda Ælleson had won the elections a few weeks previously, under which 100 seats went to Sæxon and Gwaela voters, and 20 to Kinh. Under contentious circumstances, Ælleson had rather suspiciously won 78 of 100 seats, the remainder going to the Communists and Cymdeithas y llanciau.
The new republic was essentially incapable: Functioning on a system of patronage and corruption, the export-dependent economy nosedived and persecution of minorities ramped up. The Cymdeithas y llanciau was banned from contesting elections as were the Communists, who were still in a state of rebellion.

The "first republic" quickly fell into discord and instability, further prompting a flight of Kinh business and commercial interests. On the 1ˢᵗ Irwol 1939 an internal coup deposed Ælleson in favour of Osric Gēamann Oslacing, but this did not avert political chaos. As the Communist insurgency under Nguyễn Hồng Khanh escalated, the Y.P.N.L.F. broke apart in a schism which saw the Y.P.N.L.F. (Oslacing) lose power to Ælleson's Y.P.N.L.F. (Retributionist).
The period 1939 to 1941 saw continued chaos: no fewer than twelve attempted military coups and three successful coups occurred and there were seven Prime Ministers who served during the period. President Æliah was powerless to cease the chaos and was himself deposed during General Ēadgār Crīstesmæl's coup though was restored during Brigadier-Colonel Landbeorht Geldþegn's counter-coup. Ethnic violence spiralled out of control and the Kinh population dwindled. Successive governments alternated between supporting participation in the Great Eulhae War or staying out of it, and no coherent economic policy was formulated. General Æþelric Osƿald's coup against the government of Drystan Kynddeligydd stabilised the situation, although successive governments were unable to aid the economy or halt rioting and ethnic violence.

Ængist af Ƿrēocensætescīr was the last major Y.P.N.L.F. Prime Minister, and served from 3ʳᵈ Iwol to 25ᵗʰ Sawol 1947. By this point the party was moribund, and its only ideology was using the treasury to pay off its support base. af Ƿrēocensætescīr, and his predecessors Æþelbert Kenning and Tiƿ Ƿyrdƿebba had begun actively persecuting minorities as a matter of policy, and had begun a drive to confiscate businesses and properties belonging to the Kinh minority. Even shortly after Nguyễn Sinh's death, his farm was confiscated and granted to a political ally of af Ƿrēocensætescīr. The capital, Gadinmær (Gia Định Mới), was renamed Ƿitanageburh.
This situation changed with the election of Hilda Œngissætan, one of the developing world's first female leaders. Œngissætan's government actually managed to stabilise the economy and both this and her successor Osian Finn-Geldgifa's government enacted groundbreaking economic reforms which redistributed land away from élite interests and back to the peasantry. However, earning the wrath of the military caused the most massive and long-lasting military coup in Pætland's history.

Æþelþegnƿīne dictatorship


Æđelbryht Æþelþegnƿīne.
Æđelbryht Æþelþegnƿīne was born in Cantƿaraland to Sabbatarian Ēastseaxon parents, and was enrolled into the fledgling Vạnxuânese air force shortly before the independence of Pætland. Even after independence, he continued his career in Vạn Xuân and fought in the Great Eulhae War. He graduated through the ranks during the fighting, and towards the end of Vạnxuânese participation in the conflict even led an air wing despite being a foreign national. After the end of the conflict in 1943, he returned to Pætland and was transferred into the Pætlandic air force with the rank of Air Commodore. After briefly serving in the government of Ƿidukind Þeodknosen he was promoted to Air Marshal, the highest rank in the air force. Gaining respect from the military establishment, most of whom had only served in tribal conflicts, by his charisma and frugality, Æþelþegnƿīne was approached repeatedly during the Œngissætan administration by leading military figures, as Œngissætan's policies had severely alienated Pætland's institutional élites. He agreed to lead a coup attempt only if in the following administration he had sole control of the country's budget.

Hilda Œngissætan was overthrown on the 13ᵗʰ Guwol 1948, and a period known as the "Æþelþegnƿīne dictatorship" or "National Union state" began. It would last 32½ years.

Æþelþegnƿīne inaugurated a dictatorship that consistently featured himself as Prime Minister and Minister for Finance. Having abolished the office of president in Shibirwol 1948, he remained the head of state throughout.
The first actions of the dictatorship were to reinstitute martial law and to return the privileges of the military, before renewing the fighting against Communist militants. However, the coming dictatorship would be dissimilar to neighbouring periods of autocratic rule.
Æþelþegnƿīne at first indulged his compatriots but when his rule became secure and he devoted legislative powers to his own political organisation, the National Union, he began stripping power away from the military - anxious that no coup be attempted against his authority. Supported only be key figures in the army and navy, he transferred the military's powers to the National Union, which he described as a "non-political, non-partisan political party". Unlike contemporary strongman dictators, Æþelþegnƿīne gradually reduced the influence of the military, and sought to de-politicise the public via his National Union, which did not tolerate extremes of any kind, left or right, instead encouraging the public to become apathetic and apolitical.
Æþelþegnƿīne also made efforts to ingratiate Pætland with its neighbours: Using his tight control of the treasury, he was able to tempt back business, commercial and industrial interests. Again, not by looting the country or wielding populist rhetoric but by dispensing state patronage. Despite his anti-Communism, Æþelþegnƿīne worked to mend relations with the People's Republic of Hauxxin and with the Republic of Sora. As part of a policy of deepening ties with other developing countries he even toured Miju, visiting Sabbatarian sacred sites in Matobo and meeting heads of state from Wokajoor to Ambemarivo.

He always led a very simple and austere life and resisted honours, monuments, distinctions, and special treatment, even in his own home province, where he had a small farm and liked to withdraw to tend it on holidays. Æþelþegnƿīne always loathed demagoguery, like in Sora and later Ioccuèighe ... he saw moderation as the key to stability, and stability to prosperity. That is why he invited the Sinjuans back, and worked with the élites, instead of overthrowing them.
- Cerdic Cuþbertson.

On the domestic front, the dictatorship's evaluation is more mixed. Whilst over time the economy stabilised and growth resumed, the relentless campaign against Nguyễn Hồng Khanh's Communists saw arbitrary detention and the murder or "disappearance" of countless numbers of suspected militants. Furthermore, the continued collusion with business and military élites saw inequality steadily grow over Æþelþegnƿīne's thirty years in power. The continued prohibition on any political party other than the National Union saw political participation drop sharply - whilst that was the intention, it also ensured that abuses and corruption ran rife throughout the country.
Nevertheless, defenders of the Æþelþegnƿīne dictatorship continue to argue that public order was maintained, and the minority communities of Kinh and Gwaelas recovered after years of neglect and persecution. It is argued that pursuing capitalist forms of economics prevented stagnation in the economy, though it is also argued that the bureaucratic and patronage-based system fostered a dependency on government that into the modern era has encouraged socialism.

Of all the facets of the dictatorship, the one most focused on, and most celebrated, is the personal characteristics of Æđelbryht Æþelþegnƿīne. Always modest and frugal, he never even wore his military uniform, let alone grant himself the kind of absurd titles and quantity of medals other regional dictators did - or even his own predecessors. Ēadgār Crīstesmæl, also from the Sabbatarian minority and also a military dictator of Pætland, famously described himself as "Besetter af þe Ƿanscuanīsce Cyngsrīce Eallehƿær and Pætland in Besunder". Rather, Æþelþegnƿīne did not desire to build a cult-of-personality or the kind of ideological fascist state of the time, but encourage an apolitical environment that did not "worship" the ruler in a pagan manner, but encourage stability and prosperity.

Second Republic
After Æþelþegnƿīne's sudden death on his farm in Ƿōdensfeld, the weaknesses in what was now an aging and moribund dictatorship began to reveal themselves. The power of the National Union, coupled with an apathy in the population that it had fostered, led to an environment of corruption and impunity in government, which allowed the system to become decadent. Understanding that the dictator's system was on its last legs, his successor Cerdic Cuþbertson attempted to reform the government. He ensured that all National Union politicians and bureaucrats were elected, and abandoned the use of the longpao style of dress, which the conservative Æþelþegnƿīne had insisted on maintaining. However, such minor reforms did not avert the economy's steady decline and Cuþbertson stood down in Yuwol 1982 in favour of the noted opposition leader Ƿulfhere af Ælfredshȳd. Democracy was restored without incident as the National Union was broken up. af Ælfredshȳd's United Party would oversee the transition into a more-or-less full democracy until Bældæg Lofiantilƿōden's Social Democratic Front won the election of 1990. The vestiges of the military élite reacted with horror, and placed Lofiantilƿōden under house arrest. However, unlike in the first republic the people did not stand for military intervention and after the "aquamarine revolution" the coup leaders stepped down and allowed Lofiantilƿōden to resume his term.

Since that time Pætland has been a "struggling" democracy, which though fairly free and multi-party has struggled to negotiate the power-politics between elected politicians, military strongmen and entrenched industrial interests. The last election was in 2020, in which the incumbent Social Democratic Party (Geþeōdsmincudōmsdang) of Æþelflæd Nīƿetūn lost out to the resurgent Progressive-Conservatives (Forþþōht-Geƿunaƿeardings) of Hereƿard Bældæging and was the first-ever rated by international observers as "free and fair".

Paetland

Edited:

RawReport