|This article is part of a series on|
|The Republic of Courelli|
The Bronze and Iron Age
|The Bronze and Iron Age|
|c. 2500 BCE - c. 60 BCE|
|c. 600 BCE||Hillfort construction boom.|
|c. 200 BCE||Dalinism begins to gain support.|
The earliest history of Courelli begins in the Bronze Age in around 2500 BCE on the Atlian Peninsula. Presumably, earlier human occupation of the peninsula existed, but little archaeological evidence has been found aside from certain tomb structures that provide little information on the nature of those cultures. Early signs of humans coincide with the appearance of the characteristic Atlian culture. The Atlian people focused on fishing and hunting. They remained isolated in their early history; in fact, they believed that there was nothing beyond their land. The Bronze Age Atlian culture was focused on the individual as opposed to communities, as evidenced by the creation of large tombs and burial mounds, suggesting the rise of powerful elites. As time went on, settlements became permanent and intensive.
The Iron Age began around 800 BCE. The archaeological record suggests this was not accompanied by any substantial population or demographic change. Evidence of life in this time suggests the development of the early forerunners of the later First Kingdom. On the whole, burials largely disappeared across Atlia, with the dead disposed of in a way which is archaeologically invisible. Cremation is widely cited as the most likely scenario, evidenced most famously by a structure known only as The Altar, a man-made structure thought to be a proto-crematorium. Atlian society shifted its focus towards family and community during this time, evidenced by the rise in prevalence of medium to large residential structures called hillforts. Hillforts were known since the Late Bronze Age, but a huge number were constructed in the period 600–400 BCE, particularly in the North. After about 400 BCE, construction of new hillforts largely ceased. A large number cease to be regularly inhabited, while others become heavily occupied, suggesting a degree of regional centralization. Later writings suggest that this was a time of warring tribes, spread across the peninsula and centered upon their proto-cities. Ceramic figures of horsemen with bows or spears are common, as are great numbers of arrow and spear heads.
At around 200 BCE, a religion known as Dalinism started to gain support. While the exact dates of the life of the religion's prophet, Dalin, are unknown, he is believed to have resided near present-day Leoncavallo. The development of local written language begins in conjunction with written religious texts, including prototypical forms of the current Dalinian Scrolls. Folk religions would continue to oppose Dalinism for centuries following, forming the center of some of the greatest Atlian conflicts of the Medieval era.
The First Kingdom
|The First Kingdom|
|c. 60 BCE - c. 200 CE|
|c. 60 BCE||Creation of written Atlian language.|
|12 BCE||The armies of Jaspus, Godan, and Ruthgar defeat the armies of Unik the Bald, solidifying Jaspus' authority; Kingdom of Atlia established and Jaspus crowned King.|
|17 CE||King Jaspus dies; son Bengar crowned King.|
|20 CE||Giliite Rebellion; first internal armed conflict of the Dalinian Church.|
|35 CE||Entirety of Atlian mainland unified under the Crown.|
|36 CE||King Bengar killed in battle; son Harald I crowned King.|
|55 CE||King Harald I dies; son Harald II crowned King.|
|62 CE||King Harald II dies; daughter Berenice crowned Queen.|
|87 CE||Queen Berenice dies; son Eriaric I crowned King.|
|96 CE||King Eraric I dies; son Totila crowned King.|
|121 CE||King Totila dies; son Aripert crowned King.|
|143 CE||King Aripert dies; son Pippin crowned King.|
|146 CE||King Pippin dies; daughter Mavia crowned Queen.|
|173 CE||Queen Mavia dies; son Eriaric crowned King.|
|192 CE||King Eriaric II killed in battle, Kingdom of Atlia falls after invasion by Afafanua natives and outbreak of Red Fever.|
The earliest examples of written Atlian occur around 60 BCE, and coincide with the beginning of the First Kingdom. Jaspus, who would become the first King of the Atlian Kingdom, began gathering together local tribes under his banner. He began his campaigns near the mouth of the Great River, near modern-day Leoncavallo. There he conquered his brother's hillfort with help from two local tribal chiefs, Godan and Ruthgar. According to historical records, Jaspus' older brother, Baln, had usurped control of the tribe from his father, and had taken Jaspus' lover as wife, leading to disunity between them. While the historicity of this account is questionable, it is certain that Jaspus went to Godan and Ruthgar, who were sworn men of Jaspar, and managed to win their support. According to one legend, as described in Vitello's Blue Book of the West in the second century CE, Jaspus earned Godan's support by defeating the chief in an arm wrestling match, a feat which had never been accomplished by anyone else. Godan was so impressed he swore not only his support, but gave Jaspus his daughter Halga in marriage.
Following his brother's death, he and his allies turned east and raided villages along the coast until they reached modern-day Aleotti. There, they faced the armies of Unik the Bald in 12 BCE. Utilizing the hilly landscape and morning fog to hide their numbers, Jaspus' army routed the army of Unik. This is also the first written account of the use of war elephants in Atlia, with one of Unik's bannermen writing:
- "They came in the morn, when yet we had blown first horn, and to hear their trumpeting some thought they were being woken by their chief's hornman. No sooner had we stood when from the mist there arose a great bellowing, and a sound of thunder, and the beasts were upon us. With tusks of iron, hides of leather and trunks like mighty trees, there was naught we could do but die there, and those who remained were slain by the horsemen or captured as slaves and divested amongst the greatest of their warriors."
Over the next four years, the territory was consolidated and King Jaspus led a campaign further east, where he subjugated two more tribes. The method by which Jaspus built his kingdom involved three main systems. The first was repatriation: while former conquerors attempted to enforce their rule over other tribes while leaving them mostly intact, Jaspus was systematic in his approach towards the dissolution of enemy tribes. He would take women of conquered tribes, between the ages of 14 and 30, and spread them out within allied tribes as victory-wives. Men of the same age were divested across his armies as soldiers, and never within units containing other members of their tribe - preferably as far apart from each other as possible, severing their tribal ties. Children and infants under 14 were taken from their mothers and either given to Atlian families to be raised, or, if they showed physical promise, collected in highly-trained slave groups called Atlani, where they would be raised into the kingdom's most elite soldiers. This was the second element of Jaspus' success - indoctrination: by forming a military force that was loyal specifically to the kingdom, rather than to any individual tribe, he swayed balance of power in favor of unity. The final system of Jaspus' kingdom was a shift towards meritocracy, both in the military and the civil service he was developing. Jaspus unified language spoken in his lands, and codified written language. He ensured that his commanders and major players within court could read, and formulated a system of advancement within his military, as opposed to inherited ranks. The same was later applied to his bureaucracy, with the Atliscilisese (“Civil Servant Examination”) becoming standard for anyone seeking to serve the Kingdom's government.
By 3 CE the border of the Atlian Kingdom had been pushed back as far as Black Hill. Individual tribes found it difficult to confederate, and Jaspus would deliberately try and keep his possible rivals separated and encouraged animosity between them during the short breaks in his conquests. By 16 CE, it covered all of Atlia east of Leoncavallo. King Jaspus died in 17 CE, leaving the throne and crown to his son Bengar.
At the same time, the Dalinian faith saw its first major schism. Focused on questions related to who was the foremost of the Intercessors, three major groups arose between 5 CE and 10 CE. The first was centered on the writings of Valentinus of Cavalli and became known as the Valentinians. The Valentinians believed that, while Dalin was the Great Prophet, in heaven all intercessors were considered equal, and therefore none should take precedence in worship. The second group was the Giliites, who believed that St. Gil, whom Dalin described as "first of God's chosen", and the earliest Intercessor mentioned in the Dalinian Scrolls, was also the highest in precedence in heaven. They pointed to the "first of God's chosen" passage not as a description of chronology, but of favor. The final group was the Prophescians, who believed that Dalin, as the Great Prophet and Deliverer of the Word, was the highest in God's favor. By this point in history, Bengar had converted to Dalinism, and the Church was a central power in the Atlian Kingdom.
As debates grew more and more expansive and bitter, the divide threatened to tear the Church apart, and with it the fledgling Kingdom. As such, Bengar turned to the Archon of the Church to oversee the matter. However, the Archon was a friend of Jacobi, the de facto leader of the Prophescians. While the Archon called a council of the Church, the debate was clearly slanted in favor of the Prophescians. Half the Giliite bishops were barred from entering the debate. As such, the Prophescian doctrine was widely accepted as Church canon. The Valentinians managed to retain their positions, but the Giliites were excommunicated from the Church.
The Giliites were angered by this; they took to arms in 20 CE. Bengar, at the behest of the Archon, turned his armies upon them and the Giliite Rebellion was quelled. This left two main branches of the faith in terms of belief and doctrine: the Valentinians and the Prophescians.
Following his father's death, Bengar continued the Atlian conquest. By 35 CE, the entirety of the land was unified under the Atlian crown. Written records at this time are focused on accurate genealogies and death records, suggesting a cultural focus on birthrights. Legal structures for succession law begin appearing around 55 CE, further lending credence to this theory.
The Atlian Kingdom was marked by increasing regional centralization and rapid overhauls in technology and science. However, the Atlian Kingdom was doomed to fall in 192 CE, as invaders from Hart Isle - called "Afafanua" by the Isle's natives - pushed north; first taking over several southern villages, but eventually reaching the Atlian heartland. While the Atlian forces repelled the invaders, the Afafanuans had brought with them the Red Fever, a plague to which the Atlians had no resistance. The ensuing spread of pestilence caused centralization to break apart as more and more people moved back to the countryside to avoid the centers of plague. This caused revolts amongst those who remained, eventually leading to the dissolution of the Atlian Kingdom as population numbers dwindled.
The Inter-Kingdom Age
|The Inter-Kingdom Age|
|c. 200 CE - c. 615 CE|
|301||The Vexite Council was formed by the Dalinian Church to discuss the legitimacy of the Letters of Hart Isle.|
|c. 600||The last of the nomadic tribes settled, marking the end of nomadic life on the Atlian mainland.|
|603 - 611||Dalinian nobles and crusaders invaded the Atlian countryside and nearby territories, crushing pagan worship in the Wars of Conversion.|
The next four hundred years were marked by a slow rebuilding of the population. During this period, many of the technological breakthroughs of the First Kingdom were lost, most notably advanced irrigation techniques. The nation fell apart into small, feudal states, which changed drastically over the tumultuous time that followed. Several times, the nobility in charge of various regions of the nation attempted to rebuild the Atlian Kingdom, to varying degrees of success, but always failing in the end. By 600 CE, the various states had settled into a more consistent, basic layout, vaguely mirroring former tribal groupings.
These four hundred years were also marked by increasing Church influence in the day-to-day governance of the people. The Church was one of the few institutions remaining from the First Kingdom, and therefore one of the closest proxies for a central government of Atlia that existed at the time. As such, the internal politics and workings of the Church became increasingly important and tumultuous.
The first major feud in the Church occurred in 301 CE. Since the early decades of the 1st Century, Church elders had debated the legitimacy of the Letters of Hart Isle, by the prophet Malcom, as Church doctrine. The letters prescribed the basic tenets of Church functions, and had been widely accepted as the basis for many Churches in the area. However, by 301, an increasingly popular group began debating the legitimacy of using the writings, as they didn't come from Dalin himself. At the center of the debate was inclusion of public prayer in Church worship. To quote the First Letter of Hart Isle, "You shall stand as one and lift your voices in exultation to God's glory, for he has provided for you." This seemed to fly in the face of Dalin's prescription for prayer in the First Prophecy: "One who shouts in the market square of their love for God is no true believer, for he seeks only the acceptance of flawed matter. Blessed are they who keep God in their heart."
At the center of this debate were the twin Churches of Fronte and Melbias. The debate grew heated, with violence between followers of the two sides in several places, and so the Vexite Council was formed. After a week of debate, it was agreed that only Intercessors could make claims on the control of the Church, but the Archon also agreed that Malcolm showed all the signs of an Intercessor, and so he was proclaimed an Intercessor, and his letters were collected and published.
The second formative event for the church during this time was the Mattite Heresy. The Mattities were a sect based in Monte Gabrieli, led by the bishop Matteo. The Mattites were at first a group of ascetics, who gained such popularity that in 571 CE, one of their own was named Archon. Soon thereafter, the group began hypothesizing as to the nature of God, and eventually came to the conclusion that God was not a single entity, but had been broken apart into sparks of divinity that had been implanted into the world. Some people were born with a divine spark and others were not, and only those born with the spark could ascend to heaven. This flew in the face of traditional doctrine, and the church split. The Anti-Mimmians established themselves in Leoncavallo and set up a new Archon. A brief but bloody holy war followed, and in the end the Mattites were defeated. The holy center was permanently moved to Leoncavallo, and all those connected to the Mattite Heresy were excommunicated.
The other events that marked both Church and state were the series of holy wars that ranged across Atlia at this time. Traditional pagan worship was seen as heretical by the Dalinian faith, and crusades to defeat pagan lords and convert them to Dalinism were common. Such crusades and wars are at the center of many stories. Called the Wars of Conversion, they form the central cultural image of the Inter-Kingdom Age for most modern Courellians, romanticized as they are due to the imagery of the "gallant knight", which later generations would add into the tales.
The Second Kingdom
|The Second Kingdom|
|c. 615 CE - c. 1150 CE|
|619||Willem Milon conquers Hart Isle and the Atlian mainland; establishes Kingdom of Milonia declares himself King; the Milonian Orthodox Church splits from the Holy Dalinian Church, and the position of Archon-on-Milonia is created.|
|649||King Willem dies, son Alberto I crowned King.|
|677||King Alberto I dies, son Marcus I crowned King.|
|679||King Marcus I dies, son Alberto II crowned King.|
|688||King Alberto II dies, son Alphonso I crowned King.|
|698||King Alphonso I abdicates, son Philip I crowned King.|
|722||King Philip I dies, son Alphonso II crowned King.|
|723||King Alphonso II assassinated, son Ferdinand I crowned King.|
|736||King Ferdinand I dies, daughter Isabella I crowned Queen.|
|754||Queen Isabella I dies, son Alberto III crowned King; Milon dynasty ends.|
|787||King Alberto III dies, son Alberto IV crowned King.|
|952 - 980||Territorial skirmishes with the Eastern tribes; ended in tribal surrender.|
|967||Leoncavallo was declared the capital of the Kingdom of Milonia.|
|1011 - 1013||The Singer Rebellion; ended at the First Battle of Leoncavallo with the defeat and exile of rebel leader Harald Milon.|
|1016||Rebel leader Harald Milon executed on order of King Josef II.|
In 619 CE, the Afafanuans attempted another series of raids on the Atlian mainland, which were repelled. In revenge for the death of his brother in the invasion, Willem Milon formed an alliance with six other Dukes and set out on ships to Hart Isle. There, the Atlians turned the tables on their attackers, and eventually captured the island. Subjugating its people, Willem then declared the formation of the Kingdom of Milonia. Seven months later, Willem used his political acumen and the ships captured at Hart Isle to attack an unprepared and weakened northern populace of the Atlian mainland. At the same time, he forcibly converted the populace of Hart Isle to Dalinism in the Last War of Conversion, and gave his religious advisor the title of Archon-on-Milonia. This caused the first long-term denominational split of the Dalinian Church, forming the Milonian Orthodox Church.
With the help of his allies in the north and his own attacks from the south, Willem conquered much of Atlia under the banner of the Kingdom of Milonia. This began the Second Kingdom, which would last five hundred years.
Willem Milon died in 649 CE, and was succeeded by his son, Alberto I. Alberto I was a capable military commander in his own right, and led a series of brutal, expansionist attacks on the surrounding lands. When questioned by one of the local Lords, who was skeptical of the new King's approach to governing, King Alberto I allegedly proclaimed:
- "I have broken the spine of the Kingdom, you say? ... Sometimes, things must be broken in order to be rebuilt! As I have bent the Kingdom to my will, so I will bend the world, and it will know order. My true work is about to begin."
While internal conflicts between the rapidly increasing number of dukes, lords, and barons were common, the Crown of Milonia held stable power for the duration of the Second Kingdom.
For the next 300 years, the Kingdom was officially at peace. However, border skirmishes continued. In 952 CE, towards the end of King Josef I’s reign, rebellions began occurring. With the army forced to deal with the rebellions in the South, the tribal forces in the west rallied and surged over the borders. Combat was not swift, and the war was defined by quickly shifting and changing borders. Finally, around 980 CE, the western tribes were pushed far enough back that they surrendered, making another long-term peace treaty.
The greatest divisions at the time were between sects of the Dalinian faith. The greatest controversy was related to the division between Milonian Orthodoxy and the Dalinian Church. The Archon-on-Milonia and the Dalinian Archon would battle for years, both seeing themselves as the true leader and heart of the Church. While early on the throne aligned itself with the Milonian Orthodox faith, this changed over the years due to marriages with Dalinian nobility. In 967 CE, the throne of Milonia officially left the Milonian Orthodox Church with the capital's move to Leoncavallo, much to the dismay of the Orthodox Church. The Archon-on-Milonia would work with the nobility over the coming decades to attempt to reinstall an Orthodox king.
In 1011 CE, this came to a head with the Singer Rebellions. Harald Milon, a cousin of then-King Ferdinand II, rose up with the backing of the Orthodox Church and a collection of nobles, and attempted to take the throne by force. His defeat in 1013 CE at the First Battle of Leoncavallo led to his exile on St. Margaret's Isle. He would rise again two years later, leading to his execution in 1016 CE. The end of the Singer Rebellions would lead to a period of peace and prosperity for the nation that would last for a century, marked only by minor political and religious squabbles that would set the formation of the modern Dalinian Church in motion.
The Reformative Age
In 1157 CE, a matter of succession debate caused the nation to split again. Corvin , the eldest son of then-King Bernardo I, but was actually the King's third child, after Sophia and Juliette. While Juliette had married, been widowed and joined a convent, Sophia was still active and had spent much of her life assisting in court and crown affairs, while Corvin had been sent away to be tutored. With the death of their father, Corvin claimed he had the right to the throne, while Sophia claimed the same. While technically at that time no woman had ever inherited the throne had there been a male heir, there was nothing in the law stating that she couldn't inherit. Corvin's supporters claimed that he had the right as eldest son; Sophia's claimed she had the right by practice and as eldest child. Religious divides again came to the fore: the Milonian Orthodox Church heavily supported Corvin, and riled up their followers to also support him. This led to civil war, which ended at the Second Battle of Leoncavallo. The signing of the Leoncavallo Accord split the nation into two principalities: the Principality of Courelli in the east, under Sophia, and the Principality of Leos in the west, under Corvin.
Over the course of his reign, a combination of higher taxes, unsuccessful wars and conflict with the Milonian Orthodox Church had made Prince Corvin unpopular with his dukes, and in 1190 some of the most important decided to rebel against him. On July 13, 1191, he met the rebels at the Principality’s capital, Monte Gabrieli, to seal the Script of Lords, which imposed legal limits on the Prince's personal powers. Because he had sealed under duress, however, Corvin received approval from the Archon-on-Milonia to break his word as soon as hostilities had ceased, provoking a Courellian invasion by Prince Christophe, Sophia's son and Corvin's nephew. Corvin traveled around the country to oppose the Courellian forces, directing, among other operations, an eight-month siege of the rebel-held Wertham Castle. Corvin died in battle at the age of 51, and Christophe III assumed the throne of a newly united nation, now under the banner of the Kingdom of Courelli.
In 1232, under King Fredrich II, Christophe’ son, the Kingdom of Courelli willingly adopted the Script of Lords, which became the basis for its Constitution and National Assembly. Meanwhile, the Eastern tribes were dissolving under the pressure of their own feuding lords, first losing control of their eastern reaches to rebellion in 1221, then their southern-most territories in a series of conflicts between 1227 and 1237. The Kingdom of Courelli bided its time under the rule of Fredrich, and waited for the western tribes to exhaust themselves in a series of internal conflicts.
Finally, in 1246, Fredrich turned his forces westward and began capturing western territories. The wars were swift and decisive. By 1254, the whole land was united, save for Hart Isle.
This became the status quo for the next 200 years. The Milon dynasty reestablished itself, and used this period to begin efforts at unifying the nation under a single culture. This involved the creation of extensive road systems, the spread of Milonian Orthodox doctrine eastward, and a requirement for a unity of language. This became a period of peace and growth for the nation. In 1381, however, the Milonian Orthodox Church faced a crisis as the Movine Heresy began to gain a foothold. The Church leveraged its power on the crown, but was faced with a cold shoulder. This led to the excommunication of several important lords and the brief Movine War, which lasted three months. At the end, the role of Archon-on-Milonia of the Milonian Orthodox Church was dissolved and incorporated into the role of the crown. The excommunicated lords were absolved and allowed back into the fold of the Church, and the Movine Heresy was squashed.
The Imperialist Age
|The Imperialist Age|
|c. 1450 CE - c. 1650 CE|
|1494||King Josef IV asks for Afafanuan Princess' hand in marriage, but was refused; War of Hart Isle began;|
|1500 - 1505||Hart Isle conquered; Courellian overseas territories consolidated; Bradley Shipping Company founded.|
|1510||King Josef IV dies; son Christophe IV becomes King.|
|1511||King Christophe IV's uncle, Alphonse, tampers with late-King Josef IV's will; obtains Letters of Patent appointing himself Royal Regent to King Christophe IV; assumes the title of Protector.|
|1513||Protector Alphonse killed by Jaspus Gray, who assumed the title of Protector for himself, with the support of the National Assembly.|
|1522||Jaspus Gray orders deposed King Christophe IV to be killed, hoping to end the ??? dynasty.|
|1526||Protector Jaspus Gray killed; Philip III (brother of Christophe IV) crowned King.|
|1533||The Six Lords Act enacted; established the Council of Lords, the predecessor to the modern Cabinet.|
|1550||First Courellian colony established in Noirmarche.|
|1567||King Philip III dies; Marcus III becomes King.|
|1568||King Marcus dies; Peter becomes King.|
|1601||Indentured Servitude Act enacted.|
|1608||Invasion of Harndon launched with Battle of Gonth Bay.|
|1632||Victory declared in conquest of Harndon.|
In 1494, King Josef IV of Courelli asked for the hand of the neighboring Afafanuan Prince's daughter in marriage, to seal an alliance, but was refused. Taking this insult to heart, he called for war. Courellian ships sailed south, and the War of Hart Isle began. Courelli swept through the island, and by 1500 had conquered it entirely.
Starting in 1505, having consolidated its holdings in Hart Isle, the crown turned its attention outward. They began sending out explorers to nearby lands, the most notable of whom were Jasper Gray, a conman-turned-sailor, and Lord Mardo Bradley, a wealthy merchant. Gray used his silver-tongue and skill for naval command to establish several colonies in the surrounding region, while Bradley eventually established the Bradley Shipping Company, which would become an important force in the nearly 400 years of Courellian imperialism, especially in colonization of Harndon.
Gray would eventually return to Courelli to accept a lordship and commendation from the crown, and served under King Josef IV as chief naval advisor, and eventual regent for King Christophe IV. Although he showed piety and intelligence, Christophe IV was only nine years old when he took the throne in 1510. His uncle, Alphonse, tampered with Josef IV's will, and obtained letters patent giving him much of the power of a monarch by March 1511. He took the title of Protector. Whilst some see him as a high-minded idealist, his stay in power culminated in a crisis in 1513, when many counties of the kingdom were up in protest. Alphonse, disliked by the National Assembly for his autocratic methods, was removed from power by Gray. Gray proceeded to adopt the power of Protector for himself, but his methods were more conciliatory and the National Assembly accepted him.
However, in 1522, Protector Gray ordered former King Christophe IV to be executed, in an attempt to end the Porras dynasty and solidify his hold on power. The former King was publicly skinned alive, and a book detailing the "sins, cruelties, and iniquities of House Porras" was bound with his flesh. After this, Protector Gray's popularity plummeted. In 1526, Jaspus was killed by an anonymous assassin (historians now believe to have been hired by Courellian nobles), and Philip III, the brother of Christophe IV, was crowned King.
Simultaneously, the Bradley Shipping Company was expanding its reach and influence, establishing itself as a primary political and trade force in many nations, acting as an arm of the Courellian Crown. Overseas, they began integrating themselves into the local political networks. Using their wealth, they were able to leverage their way into positions of influence in the nation, and over the next century would act as a destabilizing force for local rulership. In 1550, Courellian settlers would establish the first colonies in Noirmarche.
During this time, the basics of the landed gentry system began to gain deeper roots. Systems were established that provided greater and greater powers to the aristocracy, most notably in the functions of the legislative system. The Six Lords Act of 1533 established the basis for future Courellian governance in the form of the initial systems of the Council of Lords and its power over the National Assembly. The reign of Philip III was seen as a golden age for Courelli. Issues which had divided the country for hundreds of years, including language and religion, had finally homogenized to the point of seeing a united Courellian presence and culture; internal peace was at a high. This allowed for an expansion of the powers of government, but due to the Six Lords' Act, the power of the nobility was maintained. James died in 1567, and was succeeded first by his eldest son, Marcus, who died the following year, and then by Peter, who would rule until 1588.
Courellian imperialism didn't truly grow to a head until the early 1600s. Before this time, the focus of Courellian growth was purely business based, avoiding military conflict if at all possible. Starting in 1601, however, Courelli began building up its naval power for rapid outward expansion. Utilizing trade routes established by the Bradley Shipping Company, Courelli allowed would-be colonies to grow dependent on Courellian trade, before severing the lines and utilizing naval might to force a stranglehold on local powers. Thus, Courellian imperialism began in earnest. A perfect example of this operation was in Harndon, where the BSC began leveraging their wealth and trade to begin controlling King Lvijas. This inflamed local passions and caused Harndon to tear itself apart. The BSC simply withdrew to their island fortresses to wait out the instability. When things settled, Harndon was still weak from the divide, and the Courellian Navy arrived on the coast. They took several coastal towns, and set up a blockade on the country, which they used as a foothold to walk over the now-chaotic area.
Having waited for their trade blockade to take its toll, the Courellian Navy struck. Entering the Sea of Monwe a day before the spring equinox, the navy timed their assault with the Harndonians' "Kiko celebrations", hoping to catch the tribespeople unaware. The Harndonians, however, had stationed scout vessels along the north-eastern edge of the Sea of Monwe, one of which was able to flee back to the mainland before the rest were blown out of the water.
The Courellian Navy then turned their sights on Quechkhonia to the south-west, and set sail in hopes to overrun the Hardonian city. A small Harndonian warfleet of 24 vessels moved to engage the navy in the Gonth Bay, which was blanketed in dense fog, allowing the smaller Harndonian ships to sneak towards the Courellian fleet.
A diary entry from a sailor on the Courellian vessel Milonian Vengeance give details on what happened next:
- "We were sailing through the dense fog, relying on our compases and previous headings to lead us to the pagan's great temples - or whatever they called them. It was totally quiet, apart from the creak of the ship beneath us and the lapping waves against the hull. Everyone was tense. Suddenly, we heard screams from starboard of us, away from the shore. The breeze carried the voices of my panicked brothers, pleading not to die. Flashes of light lit the fog, and we initially thought that was our cannons firing at something, but the colour was wrong: it was a luminous green mixed with bright orange. Without warning, something blew up at our bow, throwing a fiery spray the same colour as the flashes before. The spray landed on some of the sailors near me, and they died screaming, unable to wash the hellish fluid off, even using the water we had in buckets on the deck."
- "The screaming to the right of us got louder, and flashes of both our gunfire and their chemical fire lit up on all sides. Our starboard cannons roared, firing blindly in the direction of the screams. We rushed over to that side, clutching our muskets, but we couldn't see anything we could confidently fire at. I've never been in a naval battle so confused before. It was awful."
The flanking attack by the Harndonians was a success, spreading fear and panic into the Courellian fleet. Fires spread onto many Courellian ships, with 15 being totally destroyed or ablaze within the first 10 minutes. After adjusting to the initial surprise, however, the tide turned: the rest of the Courellian fleet fired blindly into the direction of the flankers with grapeshot, decimating both Courellian and Harndonian ships and troops. By the time the bay fell silent, no Harndonian vessel was left, and the Courellians had lost 22 ships, and approximately half their troops.
The Courellian Navy then turned their attention to shore. Small landing craft were sent to investigate the coast, with orders to return if the area was clear. After 2 hours, they still hadn't been seen. Taking this as the only clue they were going to get, the fleet fired their cannons onto the fog-shrouded shore, again using grapeshot. The Harndonians were massacred. Those who survived fled, taking what was left of their fallen home with them, and disappeared into the forest. Horrified at the losses they had sustained, the Courellians nevertheless continued south-west, until they arrived at the site of the Five Temples. Though expecting resistance, there was no-one to be found. The 5 Temples were empty, apart from the fabled riches that the Courellian Empire was determined to gain.
Over the course of the year, more ships were sent to Harndon, and most managed to cross the now-infamous Sea of Monwe, and it's hidden tribesmen with chemical firearms. The Courellians marched onwards, capturing more villages, and destroying native shrines. There was no physical resistance by the Harndonians, but the natives resisted in their own, unique way - in every settlement the Courellians came across, traps, some crude, made with sharpened sticks and faeces; others with the same chemical weaponry that laid waste to the fleet in the Battle of Gonth Bay, lay in wait, ready for an unsuspecting soldier to open that door, or to step on that path. The effect on morale was devastating: troops recruited to go to Harndon were known as the "Unlucky Legions" amongst the Courellian people, and the offensive was slow.
Despite their difficulties, the long, agonising campaign was declared a success in 1632, when the Courellian Empire had decided it owned enough of the productive areas to stop expansion. Not particularly interested in pushing further west since they had access to the resources they intended to capture, the Courellians spent the next century consolidating their power and imposing Courellian law over the area, including teaching of Dalinism and building of Dalinian churches. Settlements either built by Courellians, or expanded and made permanent by them, became islands of security in a sea of threat: it was impossible to tell if you would make it to your destination alive if you dared to venture out of a settlement.
The Formation of the Republic
The rapid expansion of the Courellian Empire was stayed in the late 1600s by the Courellian Civil War. In 1653, A large body of revolutionaries, dubbed Republicans, dissatisfied with the monarchy, conducted a series of attacks on the forces of King Eric II, the sitting monarch of the Kingdom of Courelli. In a grueling seven-year Civil War, the Royalists and Republicans met in many bloody battles, which culminated in January 1660 at the Third Battle of Leoncavallo, where the Royalist Army was defeated. King Eric II fled to Hart Isle, but was eventually handed over to the National Assembly in 1662. He escaped, and the war continued, although it ended quickly, with the Republican Army quickly securing the country. The capture and subsequent trial of Eric II led to his beheading in May 1663 at the Town Square in Leoncavallo, and Courelli was established as a republic.
Going forward, the National Assembly desired to avoid anything that remotely resembled a monarchy, and negotiated the Constitution of the Republic of Courelli. Under this Constitution, the National Assembly was a central authority without any legislative power. It could pass its own resolutions, determinations, and regulations, but not any laws, and could not impose any taxes or enforce regulations upon its citizens. This institutional design reflected how Courellians believed the deposed system of Crown ought to have functioned, with respect to the royal dominion: a superintending body for matters that concerned the entire nation.
Regional governments, now called Provinces, were out from under monarchic rule, and assigned some formerly-royal prerogatives (making war, receiving ambassadors) to the National Assembly; the remaining prerogatives were lodged within their own respective Provincial governments.
With peace now at hand, the Provinces turned toward their own internal affairs. By 1678, Courellians found their continental borders besieged and weak, and their respective economies in crises as neighboring Provinces agitated trade rivalries with one another. They witnessed their hard currency pouring into foreign markets to pay for imports, their commerce preyed upon by Pirates, and their Civil War debts unpaid and accruing interest. Civil and political unrest loomed.
Following the successful resolution of commercial and fishing disputes between Einaudi and Monteverdi at the Picci Conference in 1685, Einaudi called for a conference between all the Provinces, set for September 1686 in Leoncavallo, with an aim toward resolving further-reaching interstate commercial antagonisms. When the convention failed for lack of attendance due to suspicions among most of the other Provinces, NAME led the Giordiano delegation in a call for a convention to offer revisions to the Constitution, to be held the next spring. Prospects for the next convention appeared bleak until NAME and NAME succeeded in securing NAME's attendance to the convention as a delegate for Salieri.
When the Constitutional Convention convened in May 1687, the delegations in attendance brought with them an accumulated experience over a diverse set of institutional arrangements between legislative and executive branches from within their respective Provincial governments. Most Provinces maintained a weak executive without veto or appointment powers, elected annually by the legislature to a single term only, sharing power with an executive council, and countered by a strong legislature. Monteverdi offered the greatest exception, having a strong, unitary governor with veto and appointment power elected to a three-year term, and eligible for reelection to an indefinite number of terms thereafter. It was through the closed-door negotiations at the Convention that the executive framed in the Constitution as we know it today, which would be adopted in August 1689, emerged.
The Fall of the Empire
|The Fall of the Empire|
|c. 1700 CE - c. 1805 CE|
|c. 1710||Pirate Admiral Perrigrine Young and his forces battle the forces of Courellian Admiral Wilson Kirkham at the Battle of Black Fog; 300+ pirates captured and executed; the Pirate Wars begin.|
|1731||Pagan extremists attempt to assassinate Governor William Lindsay; the Wheatfield Crisis began.|
|1742||Slaves across Courelli took arms against their masters in the Great Slave Revolt; farms ground to a halt; Governor Zachary Pence issued the Emancipation Order.|
|1746 - 1748||Pirates attack and conquer the Noirmarche colonies.|
|1748 - 1753||Colonists rebel against the national government, but are eventually crushed.|
|1792||Courellian pirate hunters sink Hirematiyaale merchant vessel; Hirematia sinks Courelli's St. Albert; the two nations fight a swift war; Hirematia takes Hart Isle.|
The 1700s were marked by a series of international conflicts. As a result of lucrative Courellian trade with its colonies and allies, the waters surrounding Courelli were becoming increasingly prone to piracy. The Republic made it a priority to combat the increased pirate activity, beginning the continuous and frequent Pirate Wars of the 1700s and early 1800s.
The bloodiest of the Pirate Wars occurred at their outset, between 1710 and 1720. Courelli had formed a special navy of pirate hunters and privateers to combat the growing threat to their trade dominion. Famous pirate admiral (and former captain of the Courellian Navy) Perrigrine Young gathered together a force rivaling the size of the whole of the Courellian Navy. The pirate hunting brigade was forced into a decisive conflict with the pirate armada at the Battle of Black Fog, so-called because primary sources claim that the sea was "so choked by the smoke from the cannons it seemed God had decided to send in a black fog". The pirate armada was only broken by the sudden arrival of help from Courellian naval genius, Admiral Wilson Kirkham. While Captain Young himself escaped the end of the conflict and would later retire in Anaaxes, it is said that more than 300 pirates were executed after the battle and dumped overboard to feed "an army of sharks", although the number has been debated in modern times.
As Courelli became more secular, religious groups became more extreme. On December 24, 1731, pagan rebels attempted to assassinate of Governor William Lindsay. The six rebels managed to sneak into the Capitol building under the guise of service staff. Armed with daggers, one of the would-be assassins managed to stab the Governor twice before being taken down by guards. All of the rebels in the Capitol were captured, and the Governor survived the stabbing. This led to the Wheatfield Crisis, wherein known pagans had their rights suppressed and were executed en masse.
In 1742, Courelli faced the Great Slave Revolt. Slaves across the homeland, emboldened by propositions presented by Hellingsford Freeman and Lucas Potvin in their travels across Courelli, took arms against their masters, who were primarily members of the landed gentry. The revolts started in Falceri and rapidly spread across Courelli, particularly to the rice paddies of the south. Homeland agricultural production ground nearly to a halt. By September of that year, the domestic economy faced such a crisis that Governor Zachary Pence issued the Emancipation Order, officially banning slavery in Courelli. While slaves were freed, many wound up signing themselves into indentured servitude over the following years, essentially returning them to their previous standing.
In 1746, pirate forces swept into the Noirmarche colonies. Over the next two years, the most disastrous of the Pirate Wars would be waged, forcing back the Courellian army and eventually ousting the Courellian colonial government. The pirates would conquer the Noirmarche colonies and establish their own nation in 1748.
In order to pay for the increasingly expensive Pirate Wars, the Government once again began raising taxes in the colonies. Colonists took this as an excuse to begin raising armies, and in 1748, revolted against the Courellian government. Local Courellian soldiers were rapidly pushed back to their well-defended ports, which were besieged by the rebels. The rebel navy moved in and trapped the Courellian forces in many of their port cities. According to folk tales, one brave Courellian soldier, John Lockesley, swam past the rebel navy in the dead of night and stole a rowboat, with which he rowed home to warn Courelli. The accuracy of this tale is minuscule at best. It is more likely that loyalist infiltrators of the rebels themselves smuggled Lockesley out of the country themselves. When all seemed lost, the Courellian navy arrived and trapped the rebel navy between them and land, tearing apart the rebel forces. Morale broken, the rebels fell back, and were defeated by the Courellian army in 1753.
In 1804, a Courellian pirate hunter mistakenly sunk a Hirematiyaale merchant vessel off the coast of Hart Isle. This was followed by a retaliatory strike from the United Island Republics of Hirematia, sinking the Courellian merchant vessel St. Albert. The two nations declared war in August of 1804, leading to the Hirematiyaale invasion of Hart Isle later that year. The war was swift and decisive on the side of Hirematia due to the fact that Hart Isle was sparsely defended and Courelli was militarily spread thin across the Empire. Years later, Governor Franklin Elbert's wife, Elizabeth, wrote, in a memoir about her husband's service to the Republic, that he considered the loss of Hart Isle to Hirematia to be the lowest point of his tenure. She recounted that, though he was a man of many words and great stories, he only ever said one thing about the event:
- "It is such a quiet thing to fall... but far more terrible as to admit it."
The Industrial Revolution
|The Industrial Revolution|
|c. 1805 CE - c. 1900 CE|
|1811||Bradley Shipping Company becomes Bradley Machinery Company.|
|1849||Womens' Rights Act enacted; established full and equal political, civil, and property rights for women.|
|c. 1850s||Courellian Silver Rush; inundated with cruel practices from the Leoncavallo Mining Corporation in the first sign of corporate power overreach in Courellian history.|
|1855||Marijuana boom as National Assembly passed stiff taxes on alcoholic beverages.|
|c. 1860s||First Courellian Rail Network constructed, making it possible to travel from Leoncavallo to the westernmost tip of Courelli on a single ticket.|
|c. 1880s||Cholera outbreak; massive medical infrastructure improvements.|
|c. 1890s||Hart Isle fights bloody revolution against Hirematia with Courellian support; Famine, war, disaster causes the "Great Misery"; Hart Isle reintegrated into the Empire.|
On the homefront, Courelli was focused on the development of its interior. Courellian culture, which had always been centered on the ideals of work ethic and efficiency, were swift to embrace industrial reform, and began an industrial revolution in the early 1800s. This movement was guided by the highly influential Bradley Shipping Company, which over the first decade of the 19th Century would shift from its trade dominance to manufacturing, becoming the Bradley Machinery Company in 1811. The internationally accepted "Courellian identity" was cemented at this time: hard-working, financially motivated and resourceful.
This period of rapid industrialization brought with it systems that would remain entrenched for the coming centuries. The indentured service, workhouse and debtors prisons systems came to be intertwined in an intrinsic fashion. Banks and large-scale, nobility-owned corporations started coming into existence. The national interest in manufacturing exploded. The city of Leoncavallo’s population tripled in a period of five years as its factories became central to the Courellian economy.
1848 saw reforms in voting rights, as the battle for women's suffrage began. Women marched on the National Assembly, one of the earliest examples of non-violent protest in Courellian history. In 1849, the Women's Rights Act passed, and women were given full and equal voting, property ownership and employment rights as men. This sowed a seed for further rights reforms in coming decades, and was the first glimmer of anti-aristocratic sentiment that would come to grow over the next century-and-a-half.
The 1850s were marked by the Courellian Silver Rush. While silver had always been available, a particularly large vein was discovered in 1852, which led thousands to rush eastward in the hopes of capturing their fortunes. Mining corporations began selling prospecting licenses for land owned by their holdings, and developed legal teams for finding and prosecuting illegal prospectors. Known as Pellmans, after Louis Pellman of the Leoncavallo Mining Corporation, their ruthlessness and brutality was well-noted, and some historians point to this moment as the first sign of corporate power overreach in Courelli.
From 1840 to 1860, marijuana growth and usage came to prominence in Courelli. Known as "soft opium", its use was common among the lower classes, particularly factory workers. It's usage exploded in 1855, when the National Assembly passed large taxes on beer, rendering the beverage unaffordable to most people. Marijuana became the post-work relaxant of choice in Courelli, far surpassing alcohol and tobacco in that regard. While its use dwindled in the late 1860s and 1870s, its use would be considered normal thereafter.
The 1860s also saw the completion of the original Courellian Rail Network, with it then possible to travel from Leoncavallo in the southeast to the western-most tip of Courelli non-stop on a single ticket. The run became famous when it was raced by six men on horseback, leading to the death of two engineers in a rockslide, and one of the horsemen to drowning during a river crossing.
At the same time, a series of cholera outbreaks ran rampant across the mainland of Courelli. These outbreaks reached epidemic levels over the years between 1880 and 1883, before finally subsiding. Following the epidemic, Courelli began large-scale infrastructure development to combat future disease. Huge building projects began, including construction of then-modern sewer systems, hospitals and transport systems. Courellian infrastructure was so impressive that the nation’s engineering and industrial expertise was the envy of many other nations around the globe. At the same time, the resources, troops and will to hold onto colonial holdings in Harndon simply no longer existed. Courelli made the bitter decision to withdraw entirely: families, soldiers, and workers were moved from the relative safety of their fortified settlements into the forests and the mountains, in order to make their way to the ports. The Harndonians had a field day - entire communities were murdered whilst on the march. None were spared; not women, not children, not the unarmed, and those that managed to avoid or escape the local tribespeople left Harndon forever, permanently scarred by what they had been exposed to.
In the early 1890s, Hart Isle faced revolution from a group supporting independence from Hirematia. With Hirematiyaale support, the territorial government began a bloody purge, cracking down on those engaged in or suspected of abetting revolutionary activity. Refugees from the Isle swarmed back to Courelli and were welcomed with open arms into both the culture and workforce. Courelli sent military support for the rebels, claiming to be motivated by "a brotherly love" between the Isle and the Republic, and "a desire to see death come to tyrants." However, scholars agree that the driving force behind Courellian interventionism was economic incentives from holding Hart Isle.
In 1895, a powerful earthquake struck Hart Isle and caused a tsunami that swept across portions of southern Courelli. In a single decade, the population of Hart Isle had declined from an estimated 73,000 to below 24,000, as result of emigration, disease, famine and disaster. This period is called the Great Misery.
The Twentieth Century
|The Twentieth Century|
|c. 1900 CE - c. 1980 CE|
|1909||Courelli invades and recaptures Noirmarche; driven out by guerilla tactics from natives later the same year; Governor Charles Springer deposed by National Assembly.|
|1921||Sparked by the unequal treatment of soldiers of color, the Racial Equality Act was passed.|
|1928||Workers' Party of Courelli attempts armed revolt, inspired by the Revolution in the North American Republics.|
|1949 - 1961||Fascist coup in Hirematia; Courelli lends support to government-in-exile.|
|c. 1950s||Economic boom spurs rapid technological development.|
|1972 - 1978||Property bubble collapses, market crashes; depression ensues.|
The early 20th century was mostly peaceful for Courelli. It found itself in an economic upswing as a result of its shift to heavy manufacturing. Courelli was seen as a powerful and important neutral trading partner by nations around the world, concerning itself with business rather than international politics. This engendered increased nationalism and a wave of increased imperialism, sometimes considered the "last death spasms of the Courellian Empire."
Sparked by these sentiments, Governor Charles Springer pushed for what he called a "reconstruction of the traditional Courellian identity" through recapture of old territory. The first push was to reinvade and recapture Noirmarche. Initially successful, the Courellian invasion of Noirmarche in early 1909 faced little resistance. The Noirmarche forces were small and ill-prepared for the modern Courellian military force. The Noirmarche militias lost cohesive organization and Courelli was able to capture large swaths of Noirmarche, including the capital. Some of the Noirmarche government managed to escape with militia leaders to form an underground movement loyal to Noirmarche. This movement began a guerrilla war against the occupying Courellian forces. More suited to the traditional combat of the 1800s, the Courellian army was not ready for these tactics, and lost ground quickly. The underground movement recaptured many cities, but the largest shift in the war came at sea. The last remnants of the Noirmarche navy got a major windfall when they caught much of the Courellian navy at harbor. Blocking escape, the two ships unloaded upon the Courellian forces and sunk many ships, leading to a ceasefire and surrender negotiations. The terms were generous to the Courellians, with the Noirmarche knowing that Courelli still had the advantage if the fighting resumed. Noirmarche allowed them to pack up and leave.
Embarrassed by the loss to "underequipped colonials," the National Assembly ordered Courellian forces withdrawn, and removed Governor Springer from power due to the incident -- the first time in Courellian history where the National Assembly took such a step.
Sparked by the unequal treatment soldiers of color faced upon returning home from the invasion, the time following the war was one of discontent. Non-white soldiers had fought side-by-side with white soldiers, equal on the battlefield, but returned home to find their rights limited by a white aristocracy, with a disproportionate black population in indentured servitude, workhouses or debtor's prisons as a result. This discontent erupted in 1920, as race riots began throughout Leoncavallo. In 1921, the National Assembly passed the Racial Equality Act, giving non-whites in Courelli the same rights as white citizens.
A powder keg had already been lit. Hateful of the aristocracy, a growing group of dissenters were inspired by the Workers' Revolution in the North American Republics. In 1928, the Worker's Party of Courelli attempted an armed revolt, which lasted six months before ending in the dissolution of the party. This revolt saw extreme violence on both sides, to an extent not seen in more than a century on the Courellian mainland. It finally ended with the public execution of several WPA leaders on the steps of the Capitol. The remnants of the party began an intellectual, anti-aristocratic movement more in line with Courellian cultural tradition.
HIREMATIA FASCISM COUP BEGIN WIP However, trouble was brewing in neighboring Hirematia. In the early 20th century, major reforms were made: women could now vote and hold office, workers gained protections, and the upper classes were losing a grip on the Hirematiyaale economy. After the Workers' Party won a second term in office, the Conservative opposition cooperated with the military to oust Parliament and enact military rule. Parliament was officially disbanded in 1949.
There was a massive resistance from the get go, and the country plunged into civil war. Both sides (but mostly the fascists) used scorched earth warfare and plunged the nation into a famine. However, the military administration began to lose support from within, as the economy tanked, foreign powers began to aid the democratic resistance, and rank and file soldiers became dissatisfied with their place in the new regime.
The democratic resistance recaptured the country over a period of 8 years and forced a fascist surrender in 1961, after which, the coup leaders were executed and a new Hirematiyaale constitution was written.
HIREMATIA FASCISM COUP END WIP
The post-war boom created a general increase in personal wealth, which brought with it a never-before-seen luxury commodities market. Televisions became widely available and adopted. Courelli became a regional leader for television production, development and broadcast. Television news and journalism became a major facet of Courelli's culture and foreign policy. Music, advertising, and the already successful film market all surged in response to the increased interest in television through the 50s and 60s. The interest in manufacturing and industry, combined with the accompanying growth in an early electronics market of the era, flourished into Courellian futurism: the obsessive need for technological and artistic development into futuristic fields. This boom in technology and industry created large demand for workers, and as such, women began to find their place outside of the home, with many women working in the engineering, design, and manufacturing industries. At the same time, science fiction and speculative fiction became popular genres, representing an optimistic view of the future and the possibilities of technology.
The seemingly-limitless potential for growth of the Courelli economy came to a peak in the early 1970s. Property values had sky-rocketed and the value of Courelli products had grown massively and, arguably, unsustainably. In 1972, the bubble popped. After 30 years of expansive growth, the property bubble collapsed, causing sudden and many losses across the Courellian economy. Market values of Courellian goods dropped, and with them opportunities for investment diminished. International shareholders and domestic investors began pulling their support of Courellian assets and currency values dropped. Unfortunately, the Courellian government was so committed to their sentiments of an free market that they refused to take proactive measures to limit the effects of recession. Instead, they assumed that the market would level out and correct itself. However, decreased confidence in the market caused it to collapse further. Currency rates plummeted, and by 1974, the recession had settled into a depression. Poverty increased and many of the gains created over the last 40 years were lost. Infrastructure stagnated and many businesses closed their doors. The depression lasted three years, while the government scrambled to adjust its economic policy to fix the problem. While the economy began to bounce back in 1978, the damage had already begun. Public trust in the government was at an all-time low, and the Fascist movement within the military had garnered a powerful foothold.
|c. 1980 CE - c. 1985 CE|
|1980||A military regiment under control of fascist General Justin Hatch turns on the government; by December of the same year, the conflict had escalated into a Civil War.|
|1981||Fascists capture the city of Falceri in the North, establish major defensive encampment; Fascists capture Courellian naval base in Picci; Most Courellian government operations moved to secluded and highly-fortified Monte Gabrieli due to threats on Leoncavallo.|
|1983||Fascists storm and capture Leoncavallo; 12 Courellian politicians beheaded on the steps of the Hall of the National Assembly; Last Courellian imperial holding in Gudao revolts.|
|1984||Fascists capture three nuclear missile sites on the southern coast; Fascists threaten to bomb Bassano and Monte Gabrieli; the government threatens to bomb Falceri and Picci.|
|1985||General Thatch found dead from drug overdose; Courellian Governor Augustus Pero found dead of stress-induced heart attack; James Fitzgerald installed as Governor.|
In the fall of 1980, a military regiment under the control of General Justin Thatch turned on the government, beginning a bloody military coup that would last five years. Beginning at Leoncavallo in the south, military forces rapidly divided along Loyalist and Fascist lines. The government attempted to reign in the military insurrection with heavy police action, but by December of 1980, the hostilities had erupted into full-blown civil war.
Fascist forces found their strongest foothold in the north, particularly in the area around the city of Falceri. Over the first few months of the war, they focused on digging into their defensive areas. The heaviest combat at that time occurred along the south-east coast, where Fascist holdings were weakest. It seemed as if Courellian forces would easily push back the Fascists, and end the war before it started. This changed with the Fascist capture of a Courellian naval base at Picci. This gave the Fascists a foothold to push east along the coast, forcing back Courellian forces.
By late 1981, the Fascists had moved from the defensive to the offensive, and began pushing east. In the spring of 1983, they reached Leoncavallo. While most government business had moved to Monte Gabrieli due to the threat of attack, some politicians remained in Leoncavallo. On May 19th, 1983, Fascist forces stormed the Capitol and captured twelve politicians, who they beheaded on the steps of the Capitol. This became one of the most infamous moments of the war. At the same time, the Courellian Empire officially came to an end. The burdens of the war and increased nationalism in Gudao forced Courelli to release the last of its holdings.
By this point, both sides had begun to slip into more and more desperate action. Human rights abuses and war crimes were commonplace, including abuse of civilians and POWs. Fascist momentum had slowed into 1983, and as the stalemate grew more entrenched, so too did the continued escalation of violence. The 101 East-West Highway between Leoncavallo and Monte Gabrieli became known as the Highway of Blood, with 90% of the war's most deadly conflict occurring within 20 miles on either side of the highway. Journalist Wesley Philler, with The Courelli Courier, captured gruesome photos of soldiers being hung from the bridge.
This stalemate continued for two years, until late 1984. At this point, Fascist forces mobilized a mass offensive and captured three nuclear missile silos on the southern coast. Fascist forces then threatened to bomb Bassano and Monte Gabrieli if Courellian forces refused to surrender. Courelli, in turn, threatened nuclear retaliation on the Fascist-held populations of Picci and Falceri. Only the intervention of fate prevented nuclear catastrophe.
On January 12, 1985, General Thatch was found dead in his living quarters, along with his 2 mistresses. This news was followed by the death of Governor Augustus Pero due to a stress-induced heart attack in Monte Gabrieli. With both sides leaderless, the coup entered a much more quiet stalemate, from which rose Augustus' cousin, James Fitzgerald. James oversaw a treaty between the two sides, and was installed as Governor on November 5th, 1985.
The Modern Age
|The Modern Age|
|c. 1985 CE - Present|
|1985 - 1990||Courelli undergoes complete nuclear disarmament.|
|2000||All-time high gun violence led to severe overhaul of gun ownership and storage laws.|
|2005||City-wide CCTV network established in Leoncavallo; leads to severe privacy concerns.|
|2015||Governor Michael Wallace dies; Speaker Jacob Hartley sworn in as Governor.|
|2016||Governor Hartley begins seizing extraconstitutional powers and consolidates the legislature and executive, leading to a Constitutional Crisis; Constitutional Convention called.|
|2017||New Constitution ratified; Joshua B. Thomas elected Governor.|
As a result of the coup, anti-nuclear and anti-military sentiment grew. The government, still reeling from the war, could not bring themselves to demilitarize completely, but saw the need to cut their nuclear stockpiles. Over the next five years, Courelli completely disarmed their nuclear program and began rebuilding their infrastructure, which had been delayed by the 1970s depression and damaged by the coup. The nation soon became extreme proponents of global nuclear disarmament.
It was clear to all that massive overhauls would have to be done to the economic system if Courelli was to pull itself from the depths. Thankfully, Governor Fitzgerald was as effective an economist as he was a diplomat. Between 1985 and 1990, he began implementing policies that increased manufacturing and construction jobs, and began opening trade with foreign nations. While the Courellian economy initially took a hit due to decreased revenue from lowered tariffs, by 1990, the economy had begun righting itself.
Courelli was swift to grab onto the trends of the information era. The government pushed for massive expansion of modern technology, and huge projects were put in place to overhaul Leoncavallo from the ground-up. In a reflection of its time in after the coup, the Courellian economy exploded, rapidly increasing through the ‘90s and into the early 2000s to resemble its glory days.
The ‘90s and 2000s were a time of economic and foreign policy adjustment. Courellian neutrality became paramount to the people, who did not wish to see the nation thrown into wars. Governor Fitzgerald ruled on a platform of respect for sovereignty, refusing to become involved in matters not seen to directly involve Courelli or its foreign trade concerns.
1998 saw a massive scandal involving then-Speaker of the National Assembly Marcus Vitta, who was caught embezzling National Assembly appropriation funds under the cover of a government charity. The government used the case to invoke severe and stringent oversight policies on the National Assembly, which would reduce their public powers significantly. Marcus Vitta resigned, leading to early elections.
In 2000, a wave of gun-based crimes in Leoncavallo led to severe overhaul of gun ownership laws. The crimes, which were mostly muggings-gone-wrong in various parks and public spaces of the capital, led to a six year debate on public safety measures and privacy concerns, which would lead to the creation of the Bastion Network in 2005. The Bastion Network was a city-wide CCTV network created and monitored by Bastion Technologies. The implementation of the system would see a marked decrease in crime throughout the city. However, stringent regulatory and bureaucratic laws meant that the system's effectiveness at actually preventing crime were severely limited.
In late 2015, civil unrest began as a result of the Courellian Succession Crisis of 2015. When Governor Michael Wallace died, there were conflicting constitutional provisions for his replacement. In one section, the Constitution provided that the Lieutenant Governor should assume the powers of the Governor in the event of resignation, incapacitation, or death. In another section, the Constitution established that the National Assembly could, at any time and for any reason, remove an incumbent Governor and appoint a person of their choosing as a "dutiful caretaker of the office of Governor." Using this provision, the National Assembly declared that Speaker Jacob G. Hartley would be inaugurated, under much public scrutiny. This culminated in an extra-constitutional power grab by the new Governor, where Gov. Hartley declared that, since he was only administering the duties of the Governor, he could continue to serve as Speaker of the National Assembly. Over the protests of the opposition coalition, the Governor's coalition approved this unprecedented measure. Now firmly in control of both the executive and legislative branches, Gov. Hartley proceeded, over the next year, to steer the business of the government in favor of his own personal gain. With his unchecked power ensured by a National Assembly that had rapidly devolved into a rubber-stamp legislature, the Governor ruled with little regard for public opinion or precedent. As the months turned into years, anti-government protesters rioted, leading to an explosive conflict in the capital as rebels became armed and attempted an uprising. The rebels were defeated, but the instability caused the overturn of the constitution as a result of rampant corruption. A quorum was established and a new Constitutional Convention opened, leading to the overhaul of the 300-year-old Courellian political system.
That same year, an earthquake struck Hart Isle, leading to a tsunami which would damage both the Isle and the Courellian mainland. The National Assembly authorized relief aid and troops, which, for a time, eased tensions between the natives of Hart Isle and the Courellian mainland. Courelli would later release blacklisted documents that revealed its complicity with various illicit activities in Ramelia during the 1970s and 1980s. At the same time, terror attacks would become more prevalent internationally, and the government would expand security measures. Most obvious amongst these was CIS, the Courellian Identification System, a biometric ID and civilian identification card system which allowed users access to government services like public healthcare and public transport.
In 2017, the first post-reform elections were held. The incumbent Liberal Party sustained major losses, while the United Left Party would see strong degrees of success across the nation. A new Governor, Joshua B. Thomas, was elected, and under his rule, Courelli entered into a time more prosperous than ever before.