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|The Republic of Folksland
|Motto: Better War Than On Our Knees|
|Status||Partially recognized state|
|Utility languages||National Newreyan|
|Government||Single-Party Representative Democracy|
|-||Declaration of Independence||2018|
|ISO 3166 code||N/A|
|a.||Rough external estimate; Folksland has released no demographic information.|
Folksland, officially the Republic of Folksland, is a disputed territory in northern Asura, in the southern region of Newrey. It has a population of over 12 million people, primarily in Cyningburgh, the state's capital. As a separatist polity, the Republic of Folksland has almost no international recognition and has been in a state of war since its declaration; however it enjoys relative de facto independence due to the Kingdom of Newrey lacking control over the region. Folksland has territorial recognition from a single sovereign state, the United States of Vrnallia, which recognised it to facilitate a declaration of war. No state recognises the legitimacy of the government of Folksland.
Historically speaking, there had previously been little to no interest in independence in this region, especially during the Great War in which a majority of the fighting had occurred, while the region was also the scene of the Newreyan Revolt that saw the Midrasian-installed Republic destroyed and the monarchy restored. However, increasing political issues, such as the discovery of rampant corruption in the Newreyan government of which the region is the seat were worsened when King William III dissolved the government and withdrew the voting rights of those in the region, prompting a takeover in Cyningburgh and an ousting of Monarchist supporters and forces, and the declaration of an independent republic. The declaration immediately led to the outbreak of the Newreyan Crisis, often referred to as the Civil War within the Kingdom of Newrey and the War of Independence by those within the Republic.
The Republic of Folksland claims to be a unitary parliamentary representative democracy, much in the style of the Newreyan System, however many of those still in government have been in government since the declaration of independence, with no public vote being held for the election of government, much less on whether the people wish to be independent. The country itself is also in one of the flattest and most fertile regions of Newrey, excluding the Aesealf Region in the Kingdom, to the point where the region is officially referred to as the Basin and was previously one of the most economically developed and wealthy regions in all of Asura, however the outbreak of the Crisis and the lack of economic or international support has led to many considering the region among the poorest in developed Aeia.
From 1011 to 1036, the region that makes up Folksland was often nicknamed 'the Bishopric' due the the fact it was the seat of power for the Patriarch of the North, the ruler of Newrey under the Bishop's System and was where the Patriarch drew much of his support, so much so that during the Newreyan Revolt of 1113 much of the male population actively fought against King Harlen and, even when the Patriach was forcibly ousted from power in 1036, much of the Aesealf River Valley (which was controlled by Newrey at the time) was in open rebellion against the new king. It was not until 1125 that the region stabilised, but the population still remained actively pro-Patriach for the rest of the century. Such was support for the Patriach in the region that numerous traders merchants in the the area actively refused to open trade with Edreland due to Harold II, the King of Edreland, establishing authority over the Patriarch. It was not until 1342 that relations were normalised and Edrish traders were permitted to enter the city again.
The region began to rise in prominence again following the creation of the Newreyan-Cuirpthean Commonwealth, with Cyningburgh and Wayt being considered the two political and economic centres of the nation, a policy encouraged by the Commonwealth in an attempt to dislodge the Lhedwinic cities that had long reigned over the country in the north, while Wayt was promoted to draw business away from Midrasia. The region was also the scene of much of the fighting in the Mydro-Commonwealth Wars, with Cyningburgh coming under siege in the final war, and also becoming the seat of the Newreyan Republic following Midrasia's victory in 1722. Political tensions against the Republic culminated in the Newryan Revolt of 1782, coinciding with the Midrasian Revolution, which led to the toppling of the Republic and the re-establishment of the Kingdom of Newrey. However, this victory was short lived when it became clear that Elsouf could not be reclaimed from Midrasia, which led to a significant crippling of the agricultural industry in the region, leading to a rise in anti-Midrasian sentiment as well as a campaign to remove any and all Midrasian, and Fiorentine, influences in the Newreyan language.
The outbreak of the Great War saw extensive militarisation in the region, due to the fact the only land border with Cuirpthe is in the area. As such, many decisive and indecisive battles were fought in the area until the Newreyan victory in 1899 saw the border radically restructured along the Aesealf river, as well the militarisation of the border in preparation of any future wars the two states may undertake. For the majority of the early 20th century, the Basin experienced surprising levels of liberalisation and development in comparison to the other regions of Newrey, which were often hampered by neglect of the Great Northern Asuran War, however an economic depression, spurred on by the economic nationalisation of Midrasia saw any liberal advances waste away.
Declaration of Independence
On the 1st of January 2018, details emerged following the publication of the Wingham Papers that implicated much of the sitting Witenagemot, many members of which had been sitting members for nearly a decade following the accession of Raymond Holt as leader of the Conservative Party of Newrey. Much of the crimes the Witenagemot were implicated in involved voter fraud and purposefully covering up crimes committed by members of the Witenagemot. In response to this news becoming public, crowds gathered outside of the Winter Palace in Barford, demanding a response from King William III. As such, William, utilising his constitutionally granted powers, dissolved the sitting Witenagemot, allowing for their arrest, as well as demanding the capture of Raymond Holt.
Instead of the successful capture of Holt, much of Cyningburgh, by the 12th of January, became unreachable by people who were not already residing within the city and, with the assistance of the Cyningburghe Selfstandende Weardemiht (CSW), the city was forcibly seized by the Witenagemot. Following the securing of the city, Holt gathered members of the Cyningburgh press and government, declaring both the independence of Cyningburgh, as well declaring the Republic of Folksland in its stead. The next week consisted of driving monarchist factions within Cyningburgh out of the city, which demonstrated a possibility that the new state could defend itself.
Mere days after the declaration of independence, the Landmight launched Operation Union, with the intent to retake the city with the assistance of militia units that resided within Cyningburgh. However, instead many of these units rebelled against the king and fought against the loyalist factions of the Landmight, successfully defending the city and landing a major diplomatic victory for the new Republic. Due to this, the Kingdom of Wayt, whose king, Edwin III, was outside of Newrey at the time, declared that it had joined the new Republic, with many of its military units deserting the Monarchist aligned ones. Following in quick succession, Alager, Sutton, Croken, Dempsby, and Earlinglic, quickly announced their accession to the Republic, causing concerns both in and out of the Republic that the declaration of the Republic had been considered for much longer than had first appeared. However, these rumours were disavowed and instead replaced with nationalist fervour as more and more Landmight units deserted the Monarchist faction and joined the Republic, resulting in an organised military that was on par with the one the Kingdom possessed.
The first major battle of the war, however, proved decisively in favour of Folksland who possessed a weapon the Kingdom did not. In an attempt to avoid the long process of training and equipping regular army units, the Republic instead relied on irregular all-volunteer militia units to fight alongside the regular Republican military, allowing for a greatly expanded pool of manpower. So great was this advantage, that the Republic was able to push back a monarchist advance in Barrowton, despite the technological advantage the Kingdom possessed, allowing for the complete conquest of the Kingdom of Dempsey by the end of February and further tarnishing the Kingdom's reputation and the likelihood that the war would end quickly.
Eager to capitalise on these victories, the Witenagemot issued numerous war bond drives as a means to afford the continuing war, due to the lack of outside funding. Additionally, many supplies, such as oil, food, and other industrial
Attacks on Cuirpthe and Vrnallia
In October Folksland activities began to spread outside of Newrey proper. On October 7, Folksland forces occupied various locations within the Eamouth region of the Republic of Cuirpthe, located to the east of the River Elsouf (Eallsabh in Cuirpthean), including the provincial capital of Ballinamuck. This territory has long been a point of contention between Cuirpthe and Newrey, and Folksland justified the invasion as "recapture of rightful territory". Cuirpthe responded with a declaration of war against Folksland in alliance with the Kingdom of Newrey. Cuirpthe also issued a call for aid from its allies in the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations.
One of the nations to respond to this call was the United States of Vrnallia. Constitutional law forbids Vrnallia from having a military operating during peacetime, and prevents Vrnallia from declaring war without having faced an act of aggression. As a result, Vrnallia provided no military aid, but sent a neutral hospital ship, the VHS Milafacha, to be stationed in the Lhedwin Channel for the treatment of any injured personnel, be they Cuirpthean or Newreyan. The ship set out for Cuirpthe on the October 11.
On October 14 the Milafacha came under fire from a vessel which was flying Cuirpthean colours, leading to the crippling of the ship and the deaths of sixty two people, five Cuirpthean and the rest Vrnallian. A Cuirpthean vessel, the Innean Rí, intervened and returned fire upon the other ship, later identified as the HMS Matteo, a ship under control of Folksland. The Matteo's captain ordered the ship be scuttled to avoid capture, though many members of the crew took to lifeboats and were taken as prisoners by the Innean Rí.
In response, the Vrnallian Parliament was called to an emergency session. Within a few hours two controversial votes were held in which the Chamber voted to recognise Folksland as an independent territory and then to declare war against it, this being the first war in Vrnallia's history as an independent country. The latter vote was tied, with twenty four votes for and against with twelve abstentions. As a result, the Vrnallian Council intervened in a tie-breaking vote, in which all four Councillors voted in favour of the motion.