The Nui-tan Apartheid usually refers to a period of time between A.O 975 and A.N 80, when apartheid on ethnic and class lines was legally enforced, although some historians extend the time-frame of apartheid from A.N 80, which was the legal end of apartheid, to A.N 104, which was the year in which the Nui-tan Partition ended. In the latter definition, there is often a distinction between legal and social apartheid, colloquially called hard apartheid (legal) and soft apartheid (social).
Beginning of Apartheid
During Zanzeanic Occupation of Nui-ta, the Zanze instituted a systematic series of purges, in order to eradicate elements of Nui-tan culture that were deemed incompatible with the Zanzeanic state. Among these purges was the extermination of clan-leaders (adult males) in the clan-based, patriarchal Nui-tan society, and the forced marriages of Nui-tan women to Zanzean men. By introducing Zanzeanic blood into the clan-based structure of Nui-ta, the government of Zanzes hoped to force Nui-tan society into loyalty through the newly-established blood ties that were produced.
The occupation lasted several hundred years, erasing the lineage of a majority of Nui-ta's clans which existed before Zanzeanic occupation.
At the end of the Second War of Nar'ha-tal, in which Nui-ta regained independence and started a new monarchial line, Emperor Vincentius di-Amori I instituted a class system based on ethnicity as well as the power of the remaining clans within Nui-ta. Those of traditional Nui-tan ethnicity were considered nobility, with those who could trace lineage from a powerful clan ranked above those who were of "pure-blood" status, but had lost their family history.
Those descended from Zanzeanic influence in Nui-ta, who tended to be of clans which had been eradicated during the occupation, were deemed to be "commoners", and given less civil and political rights within society.
After Nui-ta's independence from Zanzes, it went on to annex the nearby country of Hadin, as well as the islands of Kavia and Tuvia, which were considered Zanzeanic land, but had been abandoned by the Zanzeanic government after the war. Persons of origin from these annexed territories were deemed colonists and had little to no political freedom whatsoever.
During the reign of Vincentius di-Amori I, the monarchy wielded absolute power over the nobility, commoners, and colonists. The nobility had minimal power in that they were the only population allowed to marry into the royal family, as well as the population from whom appointed officials, high-ranking military officers, and the Emperor's own advisers were chosen from.
The reign of Vincentius di-Amori II is the one most associated with legal, or "hard" apartheid. Under his father's reign, the nobility and common-blooded class were nearly equal in their civil rights, and while the nobility had increased advantages on political and economic levels under Vincentius I, it was Vincentius II that would exaggerate those differences and extend the restrictions of apartheid to levels that had been previously unseen.
When the nobility demanded increased political freedoms (such as the right to run for office, and the establishment of an elected body within the government), Vincentius II reacted by enacting laws that gave the nobility the ability to establish such a system, but barred all other classes from having such power. As dissent among the commoner and colonial classes grew, more restrictive measures were put into place jointly by the Emperor and the new, nobility-led government, to further isolate commoners and colonists from the nobility.
Among such measures included:
- The barring of non-nobility to hold office, which remained in place until A.N 74.
- The barring of non-nobility to hold military ranks past Colonel, which was removed during the Apartheid Riots. In most, but not all areas of Nui-ta, a non-noble could not start his military career as a commissioned officer, while a nobleman could be commissioned upon the start of service as a Lieutenant.
- The banning of marriages outside of class lines: marriages between different ranks of the nobility were permitted, to prevent inbreeding in the population, but marriages outside of this exception were not permitted.
- The non-recognition of mixed-class individuals under the social rank of either parents. Such individuals were instead classified as trivada, literally meaning corrupted.
- Residence in the state of Sangaur becoming exclusive to the nobility or those under their direct employ.
- The banning of anyone classified as trivada to live outside of the state of Ocini.
- The enactment of insubordination laws, in which a lower-class individual could be fined or jailed for refusing to submit to a command given by a higher-ranked individual.
- Colonists being forced to either live outside of main-land Nui-ta, or to relocate to Hephazi. Alinia was not yet considered sovereign Nui-tan territory, despite being on the same island. It was instead considered Hadinian territory.
Many of the rules were loosened in A.N 75, at the end of the Apartheid Riots. The riots themselves were a period of wide-spread uprising on a national scale in Nui-ta towards the end of the reign of Vincentius II.
Legal apartheid was abolished in Nui-ta on December 5th, A.N 80, not long after the ascension of Vincentius di-Amori III to the throne. Although the legal barriers in society had been abolished, the social stigma and cultural separation of the classes for so long made it difficult for much of the populace to assimilate to a more integrated society. Laws meant to bring about greater levels of egalitarianism between the classes were sporadically enforced, and social separation between the classes fueled and persisted until the Nui-tan Partition.