Kesselbourg

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Principality of Kesselbourg
Fürstentum Kesselbuerg
Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "esto perpetua"
"Let it be perpetual"
Anthem: Un der Freed
"Ode to Joy"
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Kesselbourg (dark green) in Euclea (light green and light grey) and in the Euclean Community (light green).
Capital
and largest city
Kesselbourg City
Official languages Kesselbourgish
Demonym Kesselbourger
Government Unitary parliamentary
constitutional monarchy
 -  Prince William II
 -  Prime Minister Emmanuel Schmit
Legislature Chamber of Deputies
Independence
 -  Otto vu Kesselbuerg, Count of Kesselbourg elevated to Prince by Pope 985 
 -  Kesselbourg granted town rights 1189 
 -  Independence from Hennehouwe 9 June 1815 
Area
 -  Total 8,000 km2
3,089 sq mi
Population
 -  2016 estimate 2,849,000
 -  2015 census 2,801,226
GDP (nominal) 2015 estimate
 -  Total $280 billion
 -  Per capita $100,010
Gini (2011)27.2
low
HDI (2013)Steady 0.939
very high
Currency Euclo (€)b (EUC)
Drives on the right
Calling code +352
Internet TLD .kec

Kesselbourg, officially the Principality of Kesselbourg, is a small, landlocked city-state in eastern Euclea, in Kylaris. It is bordered by Werania to the north, Virap to the west, Hennehouwe to the east, and Gaullica to the south. The capital is Kesselbourg City, which is the seat of the Community of Nations and the Euclean Community, among other organisations. It is a founding member of the Euclean Community and has played a major role in Euclean politics for much of the twentieth and twenty first centuries.

As a ceremonial constitutional monarchy, it is headed by a prince, currently Prince William II from the House of Klopp (Wëllem II vu Klopp), and is among the world's few remaining principalities. As a country, Kesselbourg has been independent for just over 200 years. For most of its history, it was an independent principality under the House of Kesselbourg until the house died out and the country was inherited by the monarchs of Hennehouwe. It was granted to the then landless House of Klopp by Hennehouwe on 9 June 1815.

It is also a founding member of the Community of Nations, the Non-Aligned Council and an inaugural signatory of the Treaty of St. Ragnarstad. The Kesselbourgish government has been a vocal proponent of world peace and nuclear disarmament. Kesselbourg is a developed country, with an advanced economy and the world's highest nominal GDP per capita, according to the Community of Nations in 2016.

Etymology

It is believed that the name of Kesselbourg (Kesselbourgish: Kesselbuerg) comes from Solarian: castellum, meaning castle, and Kesselbourgish: Buerg, meaning castle; thus, the name of Kesselbourg essentially means "castle castle". However, "castellum" is different to "Buerg" in that "castellum" is a diminutive of a purely military fortification, while "Buerg" has the connotation of city. A more contextualised analysis of the etymology of Kesselbourg may therefore suggest its name refers to a fortified town on the site of a Solarian fort or encampment. This is supported by the fact that the original Kesselbourgish settlers would not have been able to analyse the Solarian language to deduce that it was already named castle (thus appending the suffix meaning castle), and archaeological evidence which suggests a fortified town did in fact grow on the site of a Solarian fort, rebuilding the fort's walls and towers entirely in stone to form the citadel which is today colloquially the Old City area.

History

The territory of modern day Kesselbourg was annexed sometime around the 1st century into the Solarian Empire.

Records indicate a small Solarian fort was built on the site of modern central Kesselbourg City in the 3rd century, presumably to defend against barbarian raids, built of both wood and stone. The fort was maintained for less than a century before being abandoned; in the following centuries the Solarian presence faded entirely with the fall of the Solarian Empire. Fragments of carved maps suggest the fort may have been called Julia Viridium, roughly translating to "City of Julius/Julia in the Green", though this is only one interpretation (others posit that the fragments were an appellation for the region, or only describing the land as green).

In 566, St. Bermudius (also known as St. Ebermud) visited the area of modern Kesselbourg. He describes an episode in which he preaches to two small warring tribes to cease their fighting, and persuades them to bury all the weapons which they have used in their conflict thus far beneath the branches of a certain elm tree, near a fort inhabited by a third tribe. A cache of Weranic-style weapons was discovered by builders renovating a house just outside the Old City of Kesselbourg in 1956, believed to be the weapons described by St. Bermudius. This confirms that by 566, the fort was inhabited, though whether it was continuous inhabited from this time to the next historical mention of it is unclear. St. Bermudius also wrote about the area in general, providing much information about the region. He made several more trips attempting to convert those in the area but died on one of these trips in unknown circumstances in 578.

The "salt-producing" town of "Castelleburgus" is mentioned in a Gaullican manuscript dating to 898 as a town that is "not sinful" due to its "giving alms" (the text resembles a rehearsed sermon).

In 985, the Solarian Catholic Pope wrote to Otto vu Kesselbuerg, styling himself Count of Kesselbourg, granting him the title of Prince of Kesselbourg. Some posit that this was because of Otto's warlike attitude towards local pagans, while others contest that the Pope would not have approved of such aggression or that the pagans in the area would have been too insignificant.

There is some evidence that during the Varangian Age, many fled from coastal regions to inland regions such as Kesselbourg as refugees from raiders.

In 1189, Prince Rolf I granted the town of Kesselbourg certain rights; while modelled off various charters of towns in Werania, it was largely an original document and was adopted by some surrounding towns as they too acquired town rights. In the documentation surrounding the charter, however, it is explicitly mentioned that Rolf I maintains control of the salt mines around the city, establishing that there was significant salt mining in the area by the 12th century.

Rolf I's son, George I, aligned with the Ringian League in 1199, after conceding some bordering vineyards and other assets to Verliquois.

Kesselbourg gained renown throughout the Middle Ages as a notable producer of higher-quality mined salt, and as a local cattle market. In 1236, the main church was ravaged by fire and the large St. Barbara's Cathedral was built to replace it funded half by Prince Albert IV, half by the town's coffers, making the city somewhat of a religious centre. The building was transitional between the Solarianesque and Gaullican architectural styles.

Prince John II created the Estates of Kesselbourg in 1301, creating three bodies which would convene together and advise and consult with the king, with the clergy, the burghers and the peasants represented; he did not grant the nobility an estate as he perceived that he himself was close enough to them that an estate representation was unnecessary. He convened the General Estates around once a year, helping him to raise more revenue and keep discontent down, as he was a charismatic and skilled negotiator.

In 1355, a peasants' revolt broke out in the agricultural countryside of Kesselbourg, and the town refused to help the Prince John III to put down the revolt, withholding the garrison. John III, who had only recently dismissed several members of his retinue, and deeply unpopular due to his perceived arrogance and cruelty, was forced to negotiate with the peasants and the town. He agreed to expanded rights for the town, and to a charter restricting his own powers. He, however, and later rulers largely neglected this charter.

With the beginning of the Fifty Years' War in 1611, Prince Otto V attempted to take a neutral stance but was ultimately dragged in on the side of the Evangelicals in 1619, his hand forced by aggressively Catholic manoeuvering. However, he managed to extricate himself from the conflict by 1626, and despite being Catholic, he declared the state coreligious. His daughter, Angela I, however, revoked the status and entered wars on the Catholic side in the 1630s. She, however, was killed in battle, and her younger brother, Otto VI, pulled Kesselbourg out of all wars and received refugees of all faiths, swelling the wealth, population and importance of Kesselbourg by the end of the wars. At this point, an unofficial policy of avoidance of war was in place, supported by the many refugees in Kesselbourg's population.

Otto VI's nephew succeeded him in 1666. He had no children, nor was there anyone in the vu Kesselbuerg line to succeed him; he made an agreement with the Grand Pensionary of the Hennish Republic that Kesselbourg's princedom should be tied to the Grand Pensionary should nobody of the House vu Kesselebuerg be found, with the caveat that all of Kesselbourg's institutions would be separately maintained. Though he found a wife, she died before bearing him any children, and so on his death in 1689, heirless, the Grand Pensionary took over the title of Prince of Kesselbourg.

As part of Hennehouwe's influence, Kesselbourg was involved in its wars.

In 1815, at the end of the Solarian Revolutionary Wars, the General Estates of Kesselbourg voted to request that the Grand Pensionary relinquish his title to someone of the General Estates' choosing, due to the expense their participation in Hennish actions had caused. The debt that Hennehouwe was in also played a role, as did impending talk of unification, especially along nationalistic lines. They also send a diplomat, Albrecht Stirner, to lobby the powers of Euclea for independence. Ultimately, their actions were successful and the Principality of Kesselbourg became independent again, under William I vu Klopp; the House of Klopp resided mainly in Werania, including their senior member William, but were landless as a result of the mediatisations resulting from the Solarian Revolutionary Wars. Their policies were acceptable to the General Estates, and William, as a young, glamourous man was popular with the public, and furthermore the House of Klopp was ancestrally Kesselbourgish. Therefore, they were installed. This was acceptable to various powers, particularly rivals of Hennehouwe and those who wished to contain or slow Werania and Gaullica, while Werania and Gaullica each saw it as potential land to annex in future. One of the conditions imposed on the Klopp was that the area which the town charter applied to would be extended to the whole of Kesselbourg, hence the modern definition of the entirety of Kesselbourg as Kesselbourg City despite much land being non-urban.

One of the policies put in place, however, by the same parties which influenced Kesselbourgish independence was that of eternal neutrality, adopted by both the new Prince, the General Estates and public opinion; this would leave Kesselbourg out of future devastating Euclean wars, in theory, which it generally did not want to be part of or did not have an interest in being part of. Significant Kesselbourgish wealth was put towards lobbying for neutral independence.

Kesselbourg, already a trade hub of sorts, became further a diplomatic centre as one of the new neutral states for meetings and negotiations; a number of skilled princes furthered this reputation and helped use some of it to impart their own influence on matters. It also increasingly became a cultural centre in this era. Reforms were also passed increasingly passing power from the monarch to the General Estates.

Kesselbourg was among the first states to industrialise, it building water-driven mills and mining small coal deposits within its territory, which many salt miners transitioned to as the salt deposits ran out or became uncompetitive with salt from other places.

In the 1920s, socialist and trade unionist movements caused unrest. This was ended by the state endorsement of unions and all workers being unionised, and suffrage being extended to women in 1921 (it reached all men in 1909). The General Estates, however, still decided to increase the size of the military and build some fortifications, in recognition of increasingly radical, militant and expansionist regimes in the area, and the potential for a socialist uprising.

In the Great War, Kesselbourg was invaded from the beginning by Gaullica; its army quickly mobilised and fell back to form a line with Weranian forces. Its forces were noted for fighting well as part of the line. When the war was over, the remnants of the Kesselbourgish Army quickly retreated to Kesselbourg, where partisans awaited to join them, securing Kesselbourgish independence. The Prince George II (crowned only in 1925 at the age of 26) had fled the city when it was taken, but had quickly attached himself to remaining units of the Kesselbourgish Army, albeit not at the front line, providing a great morale boost for the troops, creating a diplomatic presence for the Weranians to recognise (without which Kesselbourg may potentially have been annexed), and greatly increasing his own popularity. He was minorly wounded a couple of times but managed to reenter the occupied city of Kesselbourg with the troops. His actions, however, resulted in Gaullica's decision to execute anyone with the surname Klopp, eliminating many members of his small extended family; this resulted in a guilt that stayed with him for the rest of his life.

The status of Kesselbourg was greatly boosted by the decision to make it Euclean Community capital, as well as Community of Nations capital, which was supported by most including the government. This further legitimised its nationhood (challenged by some, especially socialists, as only a feudal leftover) and influenced its policies. Kesselbourg, while not destroyed, had been considerably damaged in both the speedy conquest of the city by Gaullican forces and its slower retaking, and so an era of rebuilding began. However, the rebuilding was conscious of the potential future importance of the EC and CN, and so the city was planned with considerable growth in mind. This growth came as the increased economic openness of DITO and the EC allowed Kesselbourg to become a tax haven, and also as its hosted IGOs grew in size and importance.

Prince William II (born 1934) came to the throne after the death of his father, George II, in 1960, as his father's only son. He married Mary Thorn, a Kesselbourgish commoner, in 1964, which might have been scandalous in earlier eras but which endeared him more to the public as helping reduce the image of the monarchy as outdated and pompous. Queen Consort Mary gave birth in 1967, but she was hit by a van crossing the road and killed in 1968, while the baby died from SIDS in 1969, which Prince William II reportedly blamed himself for, saying his grief had kept him from caring for the child well enough. He went through a period of personal turmoil, at one point seeming to express approval for the death penalty (illegal since 1950 and not carried out since 1889) and at another seeming to be considering suicide, according to rumours. However, by the 1970s he had stabilised, his approval ratings ever high after spiking after his personal tragedies and only slightly dipping at his turmoil. He issued a statement in 1979 saying that on his death, the principality should become a republic, and reiterated the statement in 1996, with the reservation that it would be unless the people wanted another monarch. While William II ruled only as a ceremonial monarch, he was partially responsible for the rapid introduction of advanced computerised traffic lights in the 1970s, with the world's first countdown timers.