History of Austenasia
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 13 October, Austenasia's Declaration of Independence was sent to Gordon Brown, then Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, and on 30 December, the Declaration of Independence was once more sent, this time to the UK Home Office. No reply was received from any of these declarations, which was interpreted as tacit consent for Austenasian independence.
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 Austenasian Television Productions were founded, most modern-day Government Ministries 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.
During the Era of Foundation, HIH Crown Prince Jonathan exercised most powers of government, with Emperor Terry I taking on a primarily supervisory role and leaving most active leadership of the nation to his son. 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. 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 said instances of "Royal" to "Imperial", in what was perhaps the first instance of the Austenasian Government implying that the Emperor outranked most other heads of state.
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.
Era of Increasing Glory
The Era of Increasing Glory is dated to have begun on 31 January 2009. This era was 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 the bullmastiff as the Empire's national animal (following the example of several U.S. states, numerous secondary animals - e.g. a "national bird" and even a "national dinosaur" - were also adopted). 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 was annexed as Glencrannog. On 25 April, the Austenasian population expanded for the first time with the annexation of South Kilttown (later renamed Zephyria), the family home of one of Crown Prince Jonathan's friends, Sir William.
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's land area to the largest it would be until 2013.
The Empire continued to gain publicity, being featured in an article in the Italian newspaper City in July. All throughout this era the majority of friends, relatives, colleagues 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 entered battle on behalf of the Empire during the Skirmish of the Treasury, and continued to exercise a supportive advisory role in discussions with the Prime Minister.
Era of Respected Harmony
The Era of Respected Harmony is dated to have begun on 20 September 2009, Austenasia's first anniversary. After a year of domestic consolidation, the Empire began to first play a notable part in the MicroWiki Community, and this era is marked by the establishment of diplomatic relations with small nations both within said community - such as the Republic of Patetopia, the Federal Republic of St.Charlie, and the Slinky Empyre - and outside it, such as the Kingdom of Vikesland, with which Austenasia's first diplomatic treaty was signed during 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. 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. 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.
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, 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. 18 September saw an impromptu coronation for Esmond III at the Imperial Residence, at which he took the Imperial Diadem from the hands of Crown Prince Jonathan and crowned himself; again, an action which stressed his own authority.
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.
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.
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), 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 original Kingdom of Rushymia.
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.
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 final era of Austenasian history to have been given a specific name, 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 after 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 for the first time in November 2012. 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. Austenasia itself would incorporate many aspects of Moylurgian culture, leading to somewhat of a cultural renassiance during this period. Examples of significant Moylurgian cultural influence include the usage of Moylurgian hieroglyphs (which developed a distinct Austenasian form, known as "Carshaltonized"), the introduction of the Papacy of the Proto-Cults and several building projects such as the Orange Pyramid. Most Moylurgian influences have since largely disappeared, with the Papacy being one of the few remnants of this era to survive to the current day, albeit purged from many of its Moylurgian connotations and reformed as the office of the Pontifex Maximus.
Declan would issue over nine direct Imperial edicts during his reign on issues ranging from Austenasian foreign policy (notably its policy of not referring to other micronational Imperial titles without express recognition first) to the banning of the display of the Union Jack in Austenasian territory as a seditious activity. Declan's somewhat autocratic style of governance (compounded by the fact that he would never actually step foot in Austenasian territory during his reign) would lead to a certain level of unpopularity, and his reputation as an "oriental despot" has somewhat sullied his legacy. Declan would ultimately abdicate on 20 January 2013 due to personal and political considerations, with his remaining influence in the Carshalton Nations abolished following what would come to be known as the Liberation of Orly in June of that same year. The last remaining vestigial ties to Declan and New Wessex were cut the following month.
Reign of Jonathan I
On 20 January 2013, Crown Prince Jonathan ascended to the Throne as HIM Emperor Jonathan I. 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". The Wessaxon colony of New South Scotland was ceded to the Empire later that day, followed by Axvalley on 20 February, with both of these territories being annexed with the new status of Crown Dependencies.
The Coronation of Emperor Jonathan I took place at the Imperial Residence on 23 February 2013, attended by various dignitaries and covered by local "macronational" news. Emperor Taeglan I Nihilus of the Reylan Imperial Triumvirate was among the guests, and his visit to Wrythe was used as an opportunity for the two monarchs to sign a treaty recognising each other's claim to imperial rank. The media coverage of the coronation resulted in a spike of interest in Austenasia in the local area, especially at the sixth form college attended by Jonathan I and Orlian noble Countess Eritoshi.
With Jonathan I now holding the Throne, the position of Prime Minister automatically fell to the Deputy PM, Lord Marshal William, who became head of government as Acting Prime Minister. Despite the office of Prime Minister having gradually lost power and authority to the Throne, Jonathan himself still held immense personal influence due to his status as Founder and his long-running role as the "one-man civil service" formalised in the position of Secretary-General; for the first time, these two positions were united with the office of the Monarch. This led to the Throne becoming under Jonathan I more powerful than it had ever been before; the transition seen under the reigns of Esmond III and Declan I from the consultative, moderating role of Terry I to proactive executive leadership was now complete. This new-found activity and influence of the Throne, combined with William's awareness that he had not been elected to his new position, resulted in William while Acting Prime Minister proposing no new policies and taking on little executive leadership, acting mostly as a "rubber stamp" for the Emperor's decisions on matters.
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 citizens 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 with Lord John Gordon as its Acting Representative, bringing the Empire's population to 25. 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.
16 August and 16 November also saw the annexations of New Richmond and Terentia respectively, two land claims the futures of which would be intertwined up to and after their departure from Austenasia in 2020. Both were at the time Crown Dependencies, each consisting of an uninhabited piece of property. New Richmond was the first Austenasian claim on the North American continent and would, in time, grow to be Austenasia's largest and most populated land claim.
A general election was held on 18 November 2013, with the results being announced the following day. Lord Marshal William stood against Lord John Gordon and Countess Eritoshi, with the latter elected Prime Minister with two-thirds of the vote after William dropped out and endorsed her.
Between the ascension of Jonathan I to the Throne and the election of Countess Eritoshi, several legal reforms took place at the behest of the Emperor. 11 February saw the Offences Against the Person Act and the Property Act 2013 passed into law, vastly expanding the comprehensiveness of Austenasia's criminal code. The Empire of Austenasia Act 2013 (passed 4 May) introduced the distinction between Towns, Territories and Crown Dependencies which - with the exception of the minor additions of city status and Marches - has remained to this day. Furthermore, the Armed Forces Act 2013 (28 August) and the Police Act 2013 (8 October) each codified into a single Act the various statutes which had built up the Austenasian military and police respectively, alongside the introduction of minor reform.
Jonathan I also continued to represent the Empire abroad during this period. As well as hosting the two heads of state Taeglan I Nihilus of Reyla and James von Puchow of Landashir at the Imperial Residence for his coronation (see above), the Emperor represented Austenasia for the week-long 2013 Intermicronational Summit in Paris in July, and also hosted Sebastian Linden (then of Francisville) for a visit to Austenasia and the Carshalton Nations on 26 October 2013.
Premiership of Countess Eritoshi
- Privy Council, March 2014
- Speaker, October 2014
- Ondiara unit, April 2014
- MMM 2014, June
- Putney, October 2014
- MicroWiki bought, May 2014
- London International Festival of Theatre event, June 2014
- Sutton Guardian article, July 2014
- Codex Jonathanus, Agust 2014
- Tax Reform Act 2013 (28 November), Inheritance Act 2014 (25 May), Diplomacy Act 2014 (13 June), Contract Law and Magistrates Act 2014 (15 July), Parents, Guardians and Children Act 2014 (15 July), Explosives Act 2015 (12 February)
As Prime Minister, Countess Eritoshi - similarly to Lord Marshal William - proposed no new policies and allowed Jonathan I to take on near total executive leadership. However, unlike the Lord Marshal, the Countess actively took on a role described by some as the Emperor's "enforcer", using her deciding vote and the prestige of her office to have legislation proposed by the Emperor passed more easily through Parliament. Eritoshi reached the height of her power and authority throughout 2014, a year during which she was simultaneously Augusta, Prime Minister, and Consul, with the first of said three positions even giving associations of co-rulership.
During Countess Eritoshi's time as Prime Minister, the Empire continued the expansion it had seen under the early reign of Jonathan I. April 2014 saw the expansion of Emperorsland into the Town of Lichtenstein as the neighbouring house was annexed to the claim; Wrythe itself expanded with the annexation of East Wrythe; and the Crown Dependency of Shineshore and the Territories of Glencoe and Iostan na Beithe were claimed. The Town of Porthbokon and the Crown Dependency of Oregonia were annexed in June 2014, followed by the Crown Dependency of Heischierland in July, the Caldari March and the Crown Dependency of Achem in December 2014, and the Town of Harenfall and Crown Dependency of Enfriqua in January 2015.
Austenasia's rapid and uninterrupted growth engendered a general attitude of openness and inclusivity. An unwritten rule that "overseas" land claims were to be Crown Dependencies by default, based on the historical status of Austenasia as a "British-based nation", was abolished on 7 September 2014. On this date, New Richmond and Shineshore were both transitioned into Towns, followed by Terentia (which expanded to include a neighbouring house and its residents) the following month.
Countess Eritoshi's premiership also saw the expansion of New Richmond - both geographically and in terms of influence and political prominence - with new claims being annexed to it in January, June and September 2014. New Richmond's founder, Lady Dux Brooklyn Hewitt, quickly became a popular and influential politician, and was appointed to the rank of Caesar by Jonathan I to serve as his deputy in North America, holding jurisdiction over the Crown Dependencies there on his behalf. At the start of Eritoshi's term, New Richmond was an uninhabited Crown Dependency; by its end, New Richmond was the most highly populated local administrative division of the Empire, with fourteen residents living in five different houses comprising a Town the Representative of which would be her successor as Prime Minister.
This period saw the government also increasingly willing to grant non-residential subjectship, a status which had previously been bestowed very sparingly. 2014 saw five different people given subjectship despite not living in Austenasia, four of whom were Governors or Governing Commissioners who administered uninhabited Austenasian land claims and for whom it was considered appropriate to be Austenasian nationals (the fourth, James von Puchow, was intended to act as a high-ranking diplomat and so was likewise considered a suitable candidate for Austenasian nationality). Early 2015, however, saw non-residential subjectship granted for somewhat less necessary matters, as 28 February saw Parliament grant the status to the father and to a teacher of Countess Eritoshi at her request; the same Act of Parliament empowered the Monarch to grant the status to any two people nominated by her electoral rival Lady Hewitt in order to "balance out the numbers" for the upcoming election.
By the start of 2015, the Austenasian population had tripled since the start of Eritoshi's premiership. Multiple national figures expressed the opinion that a general election was necessary, as the electorate that had chosen the Countess had become but a small portion of the Austenasian population. The Emperor concurred, and announced on 3 January 2015 that an election would be held in two months' time. On 4 February, two candidates were approved: the incumbent Countess Eritoshi, and the Caesar and military officer Lady Dux Brooklyn Hewitt, founder and Representative of New Richmond. The election saw Hewitt elected Prime Minister with 68.3% of the vote.
Countess Eritoshi's premiership was eventful in terms of foreign affairs for the Empire. Locally, 2 April 2014 saw Emperor Jonathan I officially crown Emma I as Queen of Copan and 28 June later that year saw the bestowal of the Zone to Renasia, both events emphasising Austenasia's role as the bestower of legitimate authority within the Carshalton Nations. Further afield, Austenasia gained two new protected states, most notably the Kingdom of Wilcsland on 31 December 2014 after Declan I was officially deposed by and replaced with his brother Ptolemy II, but also the Principality of Sabovia on 27 January earlier that year.
The most significant event in terms of foreign affairs during the premiership of the Countess was the 2014 New South Scotland crisis, during which Queen Astrid of Zealandia invaded New South Scotland (NSS) whilst initially pretending she had been forced to do so by mutinous Zealandian officers, who later transpired to have been following her orders. A massive community-wide diplomatic backlash against Zealandia - both for the invasion and for the Queen's lies - resulted in Zealandia backing down. A compromise offered by Jonathan I was accepted whereby Astrid - who already autonomously administered NSS as its Governing Commissioner - was permitted to govern NSS as a de facto part of Zealandia whilst it remained under de jure Austenasian sovereignty.
Premiership of Lady Admiral Hewitt
The premiership of Lady Admiral Hewitt - who would serve as Austenasia's longest-running Prime Minister (from March 2015 to February 2020, just short of five years), would be marked by several significant constitutional reforms within the Empire, such as the four amendments passed via the 2018 Austenasian Constitutional Referendum, which established Christianity as the official state religion of the Empire (with the requirement of the Emperor to be a baptised trinitarian Christian), established the Senate, defined marriage as between a man and a woman and made the Deputy Prime Minister appointed by the Prime Minister. Hewitt would further strengthen the office and scope of the premiership by ensuring that cabinet members were appointed on the advice of the Prime Minister, rather than directly by the Emperor. Hewitt would also be directly responsible for the recreation of the Imperial Navy, although it would be once again abolished following the secession of New Virginia. The Hewitt Premiership would oversee a large expansion in the territorial scope of the Empire, with seventeen new territories being annexed to the Empire in some capacity, while 15 territories would be lost, including several formerly significant parts of the Empire, such as Thanasia and Zephyria - a key site of the Austenasian Civil War, through the Empire of Austenasia Act 2017.
Hewitt was also the first Prime Minister to operate her own website, although this does not seem to have been updated past late 2015. Other prominent achievements during Hewitt's premiership include the establishment of both the Ministry for Culture and Ministry of Justice, with Lord Adam von Friedeck serving as Austenasia's first Attorney General. The Hewitt premiership would also oversee the introduction of a formal system of political parties via the Political Parties Act 2018, with Hewitt leading the Imperial Party. The Government Accountability of Act of 2017 would also introduce new political processes, such as a Parliamentary Gazette and quarterly ministerial reports and questions to the Prime Minister, a tradition that does not seem to have persisted past Hewitt's resignation. In terms of foreign policy, the Hewitt premiership oversaw the final resolution of the New South Scotland Crisis, with Austenasian de facto authority being restored over the territory in September 2016, with Sir Hugh McFarlane appointed as Governing Commissioner.
It could be argued therefore that the Hewitt premiership was instrumental in the development of modern Austenasian identity - the loss of once key territories around Carshalton such as Zephyria, compounded by the growing transcontinental nature of the Empire and the various constitutional reforms enacted under his tenure resulted in an Empire far more wedded to its sense of Roman identity and outlook and less centered around its historical base in the Carshalton Sector. The role of the Prime Minister - which had become more of a supportive role under the tenure of Countess Eritoshi, once again took on a more active and executive role in Austenasian politics, which became substantially more democratized under Hewitt. Many of the democratic processes and reforms introduced by Hewitt, such as the introduction of formal political parties and his accountability measures, would however not long outlast his premiership. Ultimately however tensions would arise as through her tenure Hewittwould become increasingly socially liberal in outlook, arguably causing a degree of friction between himself and an Empire that was becoming more culturally conservative, ultimately leading to his desire to split from Austenasia altogether.
Secession of New Virginia
In spite of Hewitt being overwhelmingly re-elected with nearly 87% of the popular vote in the February 2019 general election, there was a growing sense of political and cultural distance between the territories of Terentia, Augusta and New Richmond (of which Hewitt was a resident and representative) and the rest of the Empire, especially on social issues. This issue was compounded with the refusal of Emperor Jonathan I to give Imperial assent to legislation to provide for the institution of civil unions for same-sex couples, a policy that had been strongly supported in all three territories. By mid-2019, discussions had began to take place between Elizabeth Lewis, Brooklyn Hewitt and K. Riley Hewitt regarding the secession of their three respective towns, with the date of secession proposed for early 2020.
On 27 September 2019 Prime Minister Hewitapproached the Emperor and informed him of the desire of the three towns to secede and form an independent republic. On Christmas Day that same year the Emperor announced the upcoming split, with the date of secession later announced as the 11th of February 2020. A dedicated ministry was developed to manage the secession, which occurred peacefully with the establishment of the Commonwealth of New Virginia at 00:00 EST on the 11th of February 2020. Hewitt would formally resign from the premiership two days later. Relations remain amicable between the Empire and its former territories in New Virginia.
Territories gained under the Hewitt premiership
- Green Gate
- Campo Del Sol
- Peach Ponds
Territories lost under the Hewitt premiership
- New Richmond
Premiership of Prince Dionisiy
Having the shortest term of any Austenasian premier yet (13 February - 1 June 2020), Prince Dionisiy is most famous for his role in the political crisis that engulfed Austenasia between May and June 2020. The crisis, triggered by a set of controversial political reforms proposed by Dionisiy that included abolishing the office of Prime Minister itself and replacing it with the Consuls, as well as a promise to put an end to "political barbarism". Amid significant internal controversy, as well as the voiced opposition of several foreign heads of state such as the Emperor of Adammia and the Sôgmô of Sandus, the situation intensified to the point where Dionisiy himself prepared for almost all of the Austenasian territories associated with his Fatherland Party to secede from the Empire - over half of the territory of the Empire. With divisions deepening, Emperor Jonathan temporarily adopted emergency powers on the 25th of May. Prince Dionisiy would attempt to continue on in order to heal divisions, but would ultimately find the challenge insurmountable and would subsequently resign from the office of Prime Minister on the 1st of June. Most territories linked to Prince Dionisiy would likewise leave the Empire following his resignation.
In spite of the political chaos that consumed his short tenure as Prime Minister, Prince Dionisiy's time in office would ultimately prove consequential for the office, as well as Austenasian politics more broadly. In light of the crisis that emerged as a result of his proposed reforms and in an attempt to curtail growing partisan feeling and political polarization, political parties themselves would be formally abolished within the Empire. In spite of his short tenure, some Austenasian political feeling remains sympathetic to Dionisiy, seeing his reforms as being unfairly made to seem unduly controversial by foreign actors.
Territories gained under the Dionisiy premiership
Territories lost under the Dionisiy premiership
Several of these territories were relinquished on the same day as Prince Dionisiy's resignation, with the unilateral declaration of independence of Dragovina also being a direct result of the political fallout of the 2020 constitutional crisis.
Premiership of Lord Gordon
One of the most notable changes to occur in Austenasia during the opening months of the Gordon premiership would be the abolition of the Austenasian Army on the 17 of June 2020 due to the Armed Forces Act 2020. With many Austenasian soldiers having being recruited over a decade earlier in the Austenasian Civil War, with many perhaps unaware they were even still enlisted, a comprehensive reconstructuring of the Austenasian Armed Forces was felt necessary. In place of the army, a system of Imperial bodyguards and small local units able to be raised in the event of attack was instituted. Other significant legislative changes brought into place by Lord Gordon include the Succession to the Throne Act (2020), which deferred control of the line of succession to the Senate, the Elections Act (2020) which required elections to take place every four years and the Nobles Act (2020) which clarified the position and inheritance of titles of Austenasian nobility. Lord Gordon is also the first Austenasian Prime Minister to have visited the capital city of Wrythe since Countess Eritoshi.
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