History of Austenasia

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The history of Austenasia refers to the history of the Empire of Austenasia and the land it currently consists of. A house in England, now known as Wrythe, declared independence from the United Kingdom in 2008 as the Empire of Austenasia. Since then, dozens of people from around the world have claimed their properties for the Empire, expanding its presence around the world.

On 31 December 2011, the Era Names Act 2011 (IV Dec. I 2011) was given Imperial Consent, establishing a system of era names similar to the Chinese system. This system remained in force until February 2017, when Emperor Jonathan I decreed that era names would apply only to his predecessors.

Reign of Terry I

Era of Foundation

The Era of Foundation is dated to begin on 20 September 2008 - the day when, at 11:30am (BST/UTC+1), the town of Wrythe declared independence from the United Kingdom as the Empire of Austenasia. Emperor Terry I was unanimously proclaimed the nation's first Monarch, and his son Crown Prince Jonathan was unanimously proclaimed the first Prime Minister. Crown Prince Jonathan then wrote a Constitution, which after being accepted by every Austenasian resident was sent with a Declaration of Independence via e-mail to the MP for Carshalton and Wallington, Tom Brake. On Monday 13 October 2008, Austenasia's Declaration of Independence was sent to Gordon Brown, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and on 30 December 2008, the Declaration of Independence was again sent, to the UK Home Office, as no reply had been received from any of the previous declarations.[1]

A huge fifty two Acts of Parliament were passed during this era, which lasted for just over four months - the most legislation passed during any era. It was during this time that the legislative process was properly codified, laws regarding titles and honours were first made, the Austenasian Star was declared the national flag, provision for emergencies and abdications was made, the Austenasian Police and the ATP were founded, all modern-day Government Ministries except the Environmental Office and the Ministry of Defence were formed, and the first attempts at diplomacy were made with the establishing of friendly relations with Molossia and the appointing of an Ambassador to the United Kingdom.[2]

During the Era of Foundation, HIH Crown Prince Jonathan exercised most powers of government, with the consent of Emperor Terry I willingly given whenever it was needed[3] - the Crown Prince was properly elected to the office of Prime Minister on 1 January in the first ever General Election when voters rejected the option to return to the United Kingdom.[4] Relatives of the Emperor had been known as the Royal Family before 10 January, and held the style of Royal Highness - the passing of Act 47 on that day changed this to Imperial,[5] the first instance of the Austenasian Government implying that the Emperor outranked most other heads of state.

A photograph published in the Sutton Guardian for an article on the Empire's founding

The surrounding British town of Carshalton began to become aware of its new sovereign neighbour, when on 22 January an article was published in the Sutton Guardian, a local newspaper, on the founding of the Empire.[6]

Era of Increasing Glory

The Era of Increasing Glory is dated to have begun on 31 January 2009. This era is characterised by cultural advancement and territorial gains for the Empire. It also saw the Empire hit by the Great Snow of 2009, the first severe weather event to affect Austenasia since its founding.

Act 64, passed on 7 March, adopted St. John the Apostle as the Empire's patron saint, and various national animals (the main one being the bullmastiff). A national anthem, God save the Emperor, was adopted on 4 April, and a coronation was held for Terry I on 20 May.

On 21 February, a square foot of land in the Scottish Highlands personally owned by Crown Prince Jonathan was ceded to the Empire, and is now known as Glencrannog. On 25 April, the house of one of Crown Prince Jonathan's friends, the now Lord Marshal William, joined the Empire and was named South Kilttown (now known as Zephyria).[7] The Austenasian Army was founded on 23 May, and took part in its first conflict a mere two days later when it was forced to defend Wrythe from British attackers which had infiltrated the Imperial Residence. The Austenasian Army was also mobilised on 28 August when it occupied and annexed Commius Flats, extending the Empire to its then-largest territorial extent.

The Empire continued to gain publicity, being featured in an article in the Italian newspaper City in July.[8] All throughout this era the majority of friends, relatives, colleauges and classmates of the Imperial Family became aware of the young nation.

The addition of South Kilttown to the Empire in April brought an end to the paramount leadership of Crown Prince Jonathan. He now had a fellow Representative, and although he still held the deciding vote as Prime Minister, it became convention that both Representatives had to agree for a law to be passed through Parliament. Emperor Terry I became increasingly withdrawn from politics, becoming an almost completely ceremonial Monarch, although he notably did enter battle on behalf of the Empire during the Skirmish of the Treasury.

Era of Respected Harmony

The Era of Respected Harmony is dated to have begun on 20 September 2009. The era is characterised by the real emergence of the Empire in the MicroWiki Community, and the establishment of diplomatic relations with influential nations within the community such as the Republic of Patetopia, the Federal Republic of St.Charlie, and the Slinky Empyre. Austenasia's first diplomatic treaty was signed during this era, with the Kingdom of Vikesland on 24 October. Informal friendly relations were built up with a number of other nations, such as New Europe and Landashir, and the Empire became a member state of the Grand Unified Micronational on 11 October.

Domestically, this era saw laws regarding the Monarchy, nobility, and elections being codified in greater detail, as well as the Empire being hit by the Big Freeze of 2009/10. In January, Tincomarus Department was ceded to the Slinky Empyre as a diplomatic gift, with the then Empress Margaret as its Vicereine.

Sole reign of Esmond III

Era of the Consolidation of Imperial Power

The Era of the Consolidation of Imperial Power is dated to begin on 16 February 2010, with the ascension of HIM Emperor Esmond III to the Throne. It is named after the Austenasian Civil War, the distinguishing event of the era.

On 15 February 2010, Emperor Terry I had announced that he wished to abdicate the Throne. HIH Crown Prince Jonathan refused to inherit the Throne so that he could remain Prime Minister, and so it passed to the second in line, Dark Lord Esmond (the Supreme Companion of the Heir, who had been made second in line to the Throne by Parliament as a symbolic honour). He ascended to the Throne at roughly 14:40 on 16 February.[9] This caused tensions with Princess Caroline, who maintained that she should have been second in line instead. She officially claimed the Throne on 3 March, and four days later the Vestry Conference was convened in an attempt to negotiate a compromise for the Princess, but ended in failure with the declaration of a civil war upon the Emperor's government by Lord General William, Representative of South Kilttown.[10][11] Wrythe remained loyal to the Emperor, whereas South Kilttown recognised Caroline as Monarch. Both sides recruited soldiers from the United Kingdom to fight in any prospective battles - two did take place, one in Carshalton Park and another in modern-day Orly, both victories for the government, but involving relatively small numbers of soldiers. Realising that the war would not be ended through military means, both sides organised the Austenasian Monarchical Referendum, which proved that the Austenasian people wanted Esmond III to be Monarch. Princess Caroline then withdrew her claim to the Throne and Lord General William surrendered - the war formally ended on 24 May with the signing of the Treaty of Ruskin Road.[12]

The Civil War brought about a decisive change to the location of political power in Austenasia. While Parliament constitutionally remained the supreme authority, more power began to be held by the Monarch, with Esmond III actively wielding those powers which Terry I had exercised only on the advice of the Prime Minister. Nearly all soldiers recruited from the United Kingdom in support of Esmond III attended Stanley Park High School along with the Emperor and Prime Minister, with whom they were friends and classmates - the area in which they often met for what would usually be general social conversation became what was practically a military HQ, with war strategies and diplomatic policies being considered and decided. With most decision making now taking place in this unofficial HQ, the role of the Prime Minister began to decrease - the military officers looked more to the Emperor for leadership, as it was on behalf of his right to the Throne that they had enlisted.

The Empire was exposed to a large amount of publicity during this era. In March, the major South Korean newspaper The Chosun Ilbo published an article on Austenasia,[13] spreading knowledge of the Empire's existence to thousands of readers. Awareness of Austenasia also spread locally to a huge degree thanks to the civil war, especially in the schools of both Esmond III and Lord General William, with over a hundred local British citizens (mainly students) being recruited or volunteering to prospectively fight for either the Emperor or Princess Caroline.

Only four Acts of Parliament were passed during this era (two directly in response to the Civil War) - by rebelling against the Emperor, Lord General William lost his position as Representative of South Kilttown. Although William's father Lord John was appointed Acting Representative, he exercised no effective authority and for all intents and purposes Crown Prince Jonathan was once more sole Representative. He therefore found it necessary to pass some Acts through Parliament with his deciding vote as the Prime Minister, but refrained from doing this too much out of respect for democratic principles.

Era of Mighty Imperium

The Era of Mighty Imperium is dated to have begun on 24 May 2010, with the entering into force of the Treaty of Ruskin Road. It is characterised by the zenith of Esmond III's political influence both within Austenasia and over the Carshalton Nations, which first began to be grouped together in this way during this era.

With the civil war over, the military HQ which had developed in the playground of the Emperor's school became more of an unofficial imperial court, where Esmond III would sign Acts of Parliament into law and discuss politics and policies with the Prime Minister, military officers, and numerous "advisors" and "courtiers". Although his powers were defined and limited by law, the influence of the Monarch had now become so great as to have the Throne the most powerful that it would ever be under the 2008 Constitution. The imperial nature of the Monarch had been stressed more and more during the civil war, and Esmond III was now seen by many as the successor to the Roman Emperors, with the Empire adopting a new political theory at the behest of the Imperial Court, which supported this view. Sentiment amongst the public and military was such that Parliament passed two Acts which further increased the power of the Monarch - Act 124, passed at the start of July, removed Parliament’s power to call a Vote of No Confidence on the Monarch to establish a Regency (this was repealed in March 2011), gave the Monarch immunity from prosecution, and bestowed upon him the power to grant the titles of Caesar and Augusta (highly symbolic of the emphasis now placed on the imperial nature of the Monarch’s title). Act 127, passed in September, gave the Monarch the right to issue Imperial Edicts - although limited in effect to Crown lands and unable to overrule Acts of Parliament, this was the first time that the Monarch could legislate independently of Parliament.

A map of the location of the Imperial Court

Around the end of June, many British citizens who had supported Esmond III during the war without enlisting in the Austenasian Army began demanding to have their own nation. Led by Sir Calum, a few days later they declared the local Grove Park independent from the United Kingdom and, in accordance with the theory of the Austenasian Throne's suzerainty over the entire former Western Roman Empire, asked Esmond III to appoint a leader for them with what they saw as legitimate authority. Esmond III gave Sir Calum the title of Caesar, and gave him authority to rule over the newly founded nation of Orly. Orly split into the Kingdom of the Grove and the Kingdom of Copan later that month, but both Kingdoms initially viewed Esmond III as their overlord due to the view that their leaders derived their authority from his Throne. The Midget Nation-in-Exile had also become a de facto vassal of Austenasia by this date, and in October the nation of Rushymia was nominally resurrected, with Esmond III as its titular King. By the end of this era, the Empire held suzerainty over all of the Carshalton Nations.

During this era, diplomatic relations and a military alliance between the Empire and the Kingdom of Moylurg were established, and a protectorate over Dorzhabad was set up. Diplomatic relations were also established with Calsahara, Gishabrun, and NottaLotta Acres. Domestically, South Kilttown was renamed to Zephyria and Lord William once more became its legitimate Representative after being granted amnesty for his actions during the civil war.

In December 2010, Esmond III announced a plan to transform Austenasia into a "communist dictatorship", with him in absolute control. Later that month, the Empire went to war after being threatened by the Midget Nation-in-Exile over the claims of Esmond III over the Tsardom of Orly (Copan and the Grove reunified) in the War of the Orlian Reunification. This war had been planned by Crown Prince Jonathan, intending to remove Esmond III from power before he could enact his plan of communist revolution, and ended with the capital city being surrendered to the local supporters of King Declan I of Wilcsland, who was then appointed as a jointly ruling monarch. Foreign nations and all Austenasians outside of Wrythe were informed that the capital had been invaded and forced to surrender, rather than have the plan revealed while Esmond III was still in power. The true events were revealed by the Crown Prince a year later.[14][15]

Joint reign of Esmond III and Declan I

Era of Joint Imperium

The Era of Joint Imperium is dated to have begun on 19 December 2010 with the ascension of HIM Emperor Declan I to the Throne, ruling alongside Esmond III. The era is characterised by the decrease in the power and influence of Esmond III at the expense of that of Declan I, as the aftermath of the War of the Orlian Reunification.

After the war over Orly, the Austenasian Throne no longer held direct suzerainty over the Carshalton Nations. The Midget Nation-in-Exile was a vassal of Orly, which was a vassal of Declan I's native country of Wilcsland. Declan I ruled all Carshalton nations in personal union, and for a short time the throne of Orly was even viewed by some as higher in precedence than that of Austenasia. However, this state of affairs did not last long, and by February at the latest it was once more acknowledged by most that the Austenasian Throne is highest in precedence.

The initial reaction of Esmond III to the news of Declan I ascending the Throne was to attempt a communist revolution - although deterred from this course of action, it provoked the 5 January Austenasian coup attempt, in which two simultaneous coups (one by the Crown Prince trying to trick Esmond III into abdicating, and another by Esmond himself aiming to overthrow the constitutional government with the military) both failed. Parliament (which had supported the Crown Prince's attempted coup) viewed with concern the control that Esmond III had over the military, and so enacted a set of military reforms, renaming units and the titles of officers to model the Empire's military more on the imperial Roman than the British military. This served as a reminder to the Austenasian Army that it was ultimately controlled by Parliament and the Ministry of Defence, and not the Emperors. Most officers also approved of the structural reforms to the military which had been enacted, increasing their regard for Declan I - with whom they associated the "new" army - over Esmond III.

Domestically, the Empire regained control over Tincomarus Department, occupying and then annexing it after the fall of the Slinky Empyre left it vulnerable to fall back under British sovereignty.

Era of Respected Glory

The Era of Respected Glory is dated to have begun on 31 March 2011 with the deprivation of Esmond III from the powers of the Throne after Parliament passed a Vote of No Confidence against him after being assured that the Austenasian Army would not react negatively. This effectively left Declan I as the only Monarch (Esmond III retained his titles only),[16] and led to a massive decline in the influence of the Imperial Court - it lost the ability to exercise even this influence after 13 May 2011, when it no longer met due to the year in which Esmond III and Crown Prince Jonathan were in departing for study leave, finishing their exams, and the majority of them leaving the school.

Barely a week after Esmond III was removed from power, on 9 April, the Midget Nation-in-Exile (a local militaristic nation in personal union with Declan I, still the nominal government-in-exile of the once mighty Midget Empire) was annexed by Austenasia. As they had no land claims, the Empire did not physically increase in size, but the Austenasian Army was joined by five new Midget recruits. The Empire from then on began to claim the status of a successor state of the Midget Empire, and therefore of the Kingdom of Rushymia.[17][18]

On 20 May, Crown Prince Jonathan met with the local British MP, Tom Brake, to whom the Austenasian Declaration of Independence had originally been sent, and discussed the stance of the United Kingdom towards the Empire. Tom Brake MP wrote to the British Foreign Office on behalf of Austenasia, beginning ongoing negotiations between the Austenasian Foreign Office and its British counterpart regarding acknowledgement of Austenasian autonomy.[19]

The Austenasian Star flying from the Imperial Residence on Independence Day 2011

An Acting Prime Minister was appointed for the first time during June. Between the 5th and 22nd of the month, Lord Marshal William exercised the powers of the office while the Crown Prince undertook GCSE examinations. In July, the Imperial Standard of Austenasia, the Austenasian Coat of Arms, and a state motto were adopted through Acts 153 and 154 - national stamps were also produced for the first time in early September.

This era also saw a period of increased diplomacy. Although no new formal bilateral ties were established, the Empire became active once more in the Grand Unified Micronational, and sent Crown Prince Jonathan as its delegation to the 2011 Intermicronational Summit. The Empire established increasingly friendly informal relations with a large number of MicroWiki nations, through the 2011 Summit, casual online conversations between Crown Prince Jonathan and various international leaders, and the prominent role which Austenasia played in the mobilisation of widespread dissatisfaction amongst the community with the OAM in June (resulting in an ultimately unsuccessful vote of no confidence - by one vote - against the OAM's leader and a mass withdrawal of many nations, including the Empire, from the organisation a week later).

In early September, an Act was placed before Parliament to organise a referendum in which the population of the Empire would vote on whether to keep the original Constitution or to adopt one of two proposed replacement constitutions. The 2011 Austenasian Constitutional Referendum took place on 18 September, with the "Wrythian Constitution" recieving 86% of the votes and entering into force two days later.

Sole reign of Declan I

The previous - and, so far, longest - era of Austenasian history, the Era of Majestic Imperium, is dated to have started on 20 September 2011 with the adoption of the Austenasian Constitution of 2011. This new Constitution increased the powers of the Monarch, reformed the judicial system, and brought together a large amount of already codified laws on government together in the same document. Another consequence of the new Constitution was that Esmond III was removed completely from the office of Monarch, leaving Declan I as sole Emperor.

Austenasia began to recommence the establishment of formal diplomatic relations. A large number of nations - the Republic of Egtavia, Sandus, Arborea, Bethania, Überstadt and Florenia all entered into diplomatic relations with the Empire between September 2011 and January 2012, and Austenasia signed treaties of mutual recognition with the Kingdom of Juclandia and the Reylan Imperial Triumvirate in January 2012 and with the Kingdom of Überstadt in May 2012. The Great Socialist Union of Adjikistan and the Federal Republic of Domanglia both became protectorates of the Empire (Austenasia assuming responsibility for their defence and foreign affairs) in late October 2011, and Crown Prince Jonathan was elected to a quarterly term as Chair of the Grand Unified Micronational on 13 December 2011.

In November, a General and a Local Election were called, which took place on 23 December 2011 and resulted in Crown Prince Jonathan being re-elected Prime Minister but losing his position as Representative of Wrythe to Princess Caroline. On 14 January, the Political Parties Act 2012 was given Imperial Consent, resulting in the Empire's first political party, the Theodorist Party of Austenasia, being founded two days later, joined by the Social Democratic Alliance in early April.

2012 saw some turmoil amongst the Empire's protectorates. Domanglia was deprived of its status as a protectorate on 6 April in response to various racist comments by its head of government and it having removed Declan I from his position as titular King of Domanglia. On 29 April, New Balland became an Austenasian protectorate, but relinquished this status when it transitioned into the State of Dakrit less than a month later on 19 May. On 31 May, the Union of Draegan Republics (Dorzhabad's successor state) was formally deprived of its status as a protectorate after having effectively dissolved two days earlier, leaving Monovia - Adjikistan's successor state - as the only remaining Austenasian protectorate. Monovia's status was changed from a protectorate to a protected state in October, with the Empire still responsible for its defence but relinquishing control over its foreign affairs.

The summer of 2012 saw the Empire's government continue to focus on foreign affairs. Crown Prince Jonathan was re-elected to a (non-consecutive) second term as Chair of the GUM in June, and in July the 2012 Polination Conference took place, with the Crown Prince meeting numerous politicians and diplomats from around the world and Wrythe hosting Austenasia's first domestic state visit. In August, the Empire entered into foreign relations with Erephisia and Tatsumiya, and also officially recognised Landashir and Francisville, these latter two nations hosting an Austenasian state visit on the 14th of that month.

The influence of Austenasia abroad continued to grow throughout this era, being voted the most influential nation in the MicroWiki Community in November 2012.[20] This was helped by Declan I assuming several foreign thrones, bringing the Empire into personal union with many other nations. He became monarch of Amager and titular monarch of the Erephisian nation of Erauqs in April 2012, and also temporarily ruled over Domanglia, New Balland and Southern Burkland at various points over this era.

Reign of Jonathan I

On 20 January 2013, Crown Prince Jonathan ascended to the Throne as HIM Emperor Jonathan I.[21] This took place a few minutes after Declan I announced his abdication, stating that he was abdicating for "personal reasons" as his life had been "going in a different direction for some time".[22] The Wessaxon colony of New South Scotland was ceded to the Empire later that day, followed by Axvalley on 20 February - both these territories were annexed as Crown Dependencies.

Another acquisition, Corinium Terentium, was annexed on 4 May later that year from the British county of Gloucestershire. Corinium Terentium was given the new status of a Territory along with Glencrannog, land fully under Austenasian governmental control but with no inhabitants. Continuing the rapid spate of annexations, a third Town - Thanasia - joined the Empire ten days later, with Countess Eritoshi of Memphis appointed its Acting Representative, and another Territory, Emperorsland, was annexed the following month.

Effective Austenasian suzerainty over the Carshalton Nations was reasserted on 24 June. A group of Orlian citizen dissatisfied with the rule of Declan I over Orly declared him deposed and asked Emperor Jonathan I to appoint monarchs of the Grove and of Copan. Returning Orly to its state before Declan I reunified it in December 2010 (that is, the Kingdom of the Grove and the Kingdom of Copan, each with a monarch appointed by the Emperor), Jonathan I was confirmed as Orly's suzerain by its citizens before appointing new monarchs to rule over it.

A fourth Town, Palasia, was annexed on 12 July, bringing the Empire's population to 24. July also saw the cutting of relations with New Wessex, with the Emperor relinquishing his Wessaxon titles and giving notice that the Empire would withdraw from its alliance with New Wessex in August.

The most recent elections were held on 18 November 2013, with the results being announced the following day. Countess Eritoshi was elected Prime Minister with two-thirds of the vote. The Empire further expanded on 13 April 2014, when the two Territories of Beith Craobh Iostan and Glencoe along with the Crown Dependency of Shineshore were annexed at the same time that the former Territory of Emperorsland transitioned into the Town of Lichtenstein by annexing an adjacent house. The following day yet another piece of land joined the Empire, with a garden being annexed as East Wrythe.

A crisis in New South Scotland arose at the end of May 2014 and lasted into the start of the following month due to a movement in Zealandia which wished to annex the crown dependency. A compromise was reached whereby the already autonomous land was given over to full Zealandian administration whilst remaining under de jure Austenasian sovereignty. Yet another expansion took place mere days after the conclusion of this crisis, with the Town of Porthbokon joining the Empire on 5 June.

References

  1. "History of Austenasia", Empire of Austenasia, Retrieved 15 October 2011
  2. "Former Acts of Parliament", Empire of Austenasia, Retrieved 26 January 2012
  3. "Terry I, Emperor of Austenasia - Emperor of Austenasia", MicroWikia, Retrieved 26 January 2012
  4. "Crown Prince Jonathan of Austenasia - Reign of Emperor Terry I", MicroWikia, Retrieved 26 January 2012
  5. Act 47 (The Imperial Family) of the Parliament of Austenasia, Retrieved 26 January 2012
  6. Barnes, Kevin (22 January 2009) Carshalton home declares itself independent state, Sutton Guardian. Retrieved 26 January 2012.
  7. "Towns", Empire of Austenasia, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  8. City - Summer 2009 (Page 97), Retrieved 6 February 2012
  9. "Esmond III, Emperor of Austenasia - Becoming Emperor", MicroWikia, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  10. "2010 - Spring 2010", Austenasia News Archives, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  11. MicroWikia Newsfeed Revision as of 15:23, March 7, 2010 by Friedebarth, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  12. MicroWikia Newsfeed Revision as of 15:27, May 24, 2010 by Austenasia, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  13. Chosun Ilbo 16 March 2010, Retrieved 9 January 2012
  14. "December Confession", MicroCommons, Retrieved 19 December 2011
  15. "2010 - Winter 2010", Austenasia News Archives, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  16. MicroWiki Newsfeed as edited by Austenasia at 19:41, 31 March 2011, Retrieved 4 November 2011
  17. Act 150 (Assimilation into Austenasia of the Midget Nation-in-Exile) of the Parliament of Austenasia, Retrieved 6 November 2011
  18. MicroWiki Newsfeed as edited by Austenasia at 06:10, 10 April 2011, Retrieved 6 Novemer 2011
  19. Sutton Guardian, 23 September 2011,"Carshalton "micronation" pushes for independence from Sutton", Retrieved 6 February 2012
  20. Nobilissimus Caesar, Jonathan (18 November 2012) Austenasia voted most influential MicroWiki nation, Austenasian Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013.
  21. First Imperial Edict of HIM Emperor Jonathan I
  22. Augustus, Jonathan (20 January 2013) Declan I abdicates - Jonathan I ascends to the Throne, Austenasian Times. Retrieved 22 January 2013.