Northern Development

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Northern Development
Luftbild Davos2.jpg
One of the many "new towns" built in the Namorese north during the Northern Development program
Date NMR 2320 - NMR 2336
Location Northern Namor
Cause Underdevelopment of northern Namor
Outcome "New North" with a more developed economy, drastic demographic changes, settlement of Southerners in the North

Northern Development (Пеибу Фаджин) is the name of a policy carried out by the administration of Namorese President-General Gelai Antelope and his successor, Kong Jo, throughout the NMR 2320s and into the NMR 2330s with the goal of creating a "New North" - a more industrialized, populated and developed Northern Namor so the region may contribute to overall Namorese economic development.

Gelai Antelope initiated the policy in NMR 2320, announcing that the government would invest billions of ramon in developing northern infrastructure. Much of the money went to building "new towns (as part of the New Town Policy)," schools, roads, factories and hospitals. The government encouraged people from the densely-populated south to move to the north by offering land for free, promising a wider range of opportunities and giving migrants a reduction in taxes. These encouragements led to what became known as the "Great Northern Migration (Дапеи Чанйи)" in which over 20 million people from southern Namor moved and permanently settled in the regions of Arra and Shanpei in the course of twenty years.

The Northern Development resulted in a more economically competitive north, as its GDP rose from P3500 ($450 in NMR 2320 dollars) to P21,000 ($2,500 in NMR 2340 dollars). The populations of Arra and Shanpei combined nearly doubled, with almost half the population of the north by NMR 2340 consisting of southern migrants. Besides its advantages, it also had drawbacks, such as heightened social and ethnic tensions in the north. The south remained the center of Namorese economic activity.

Background

Northern Namor (considered the region encompassing Arra and Shanpei) is historically the less developed region in Namor. Southern Namor, through which the Nozama River flows and most major cities are located, has been the hub of Namorese civilization. The Northern Mountains, which separated north and south, made it difficult for the north to be accessed by people down south. As such, a few, but not many migrated northward and their families lived there for generations. Negligence for the north left many of its resources untapped and kept it sparsely populated.

When the People's Republic of Namor was founded, the central government's boundless power allowed it to develop the north without interference. However, little was done by the Liberationists to genuinely develop the north during the first years of the People's Republic, and thus the north lagged behind the south still. The north was used for prison camps that held political prisoners before, during and after the Green Fever. It, along with West Namor, was used for multiple nuclear bomb tests.

Several events encouraged the government to develop the north. East Luziyca's increasing aggressiveness and the rebellion in Txotai aroused fears that an underdeveloped north would benefit forces hostile to Namor. Also, there was an abundance of natural resources in the north, including wood, oil, soil and coal. This means that by developing the north, these resources can be used and more jobs could be created.

Northern Development Act

When Gelai Antelope came to power in NMR 2315, he talked of a government program to move people northwards to foster economic growth. In a NMR 2316 meeting, he said: "Northern Namor has been waiting thousands of years so it can be developed. Let us do it intrepidly for all of our countrymen." In NMR 2318, Gelai mentioned the idea of a "New North" for the first time in a piece written in the Liberator: "We must carry forth a policy that seeks to create a New North that offers opportunities for millions of Namorese. The New North will be as equal as the south: developed in all fields and having high standards of living. When the New North becomes reality, it shall mark a monumental victory for our revolution."

In NMR 2320, the Northern Development Act was introduced to the Namorese Central Council, which unanimously passed it. Gelai then signed the bill into law. The Northern Development Act made the government reserve 20 percent of its GDP to developing infrastructure in Arra and Shanpei.

New Town Policy

The government built thousands of "new towns (Шинджен)" of variating size. The new towns were located outside of cities (effectively becoming suburbs) or in remote areas (near the Northern Mountains). To encourage people to move to these new towns, the government provided free electricity and gas.

From NMR 2320 to NMR 2330, over 800 "new towns" were built, with 200 of them having a population of 200,000 and over. From NMR 2330 to NMR 2335, another 100 new towns were finished, and the total number of new towns reached 900 with 300 of them having a population of 200,000 and over and 100 of them having a population of 500,000 and over.

Transportation

In addition to building new settlements, the Namorese government invested in the construction of new roads and highways in the north to facilitate transportation between the cities and new towns as well as between the new towns themselves. Namorese Inderdistrict 75 connected Vetpei, Shayen and Ngam in Khao. Separate highways that ran across the northern Namorese coastline were combined to form Interdistrict 95, which to date remains one of the longest highways in Namor.

Train entering the newly-built Kusef Train Station

Besides Interdistrict highways, National Expressways were also built. Expressway K118, which originally ran from Hoang Sa in Antelopia to Sijo in West Nozama, was extended by another few hundred kilometers so it would run straight through the Northern Mountains and connect northern and southern Namor. Expressways K8 and K18 ran exclusively in the north.

The Nohai (Nozama-Northern Sea) Railroad began construction in NMR 2325. Construction halted in NMR 2336-37, but resumed the following year. It was completed in NMR 2340. The railroad connected Nozama City with Vetpei, in Shanpei. The Arra-Nozama Railroad (whose construction began prior to the inception of Northern Development) was completed in NMR 2330. Railroads already existent in the north were expanded - the Haidi-Arra-Vetpei (Haiarvet) Railroad was extended to Kusef, becoming the Northern Yanhoi Railway.

Incentives and Hindrances

Incentives for moving north

To goad people into moving and settling in the "New North," the government introduced various incentives. A separate tax code existed in the north - the property tax was abolished, and income tax rates were considerably lower, with those making below a certain amount of money even receiving money from the government instead of paying the state (a negative income tax scheme). Tertiary education in Arra and Shanpei was tuition-free, which meant that anyone who attended a northern university did not have to pay.

Besides lowering taxes in the north, the government provided free electricity and gas in the "new towns," meaning that those who lived in the "new towns" did not have to pay utility bills. In NMR 2324, Gelai Antelope decreed that 50% of all proceeds that came from the selling of natural resources in the north must be given directly to each family residing in the north.

Hindrances that discouraged people from moving north

One main hindrance that discouraged people from the south to move north was the north's climate. Given its geographical location, the north is the coldest part of the country. Temperatures reach as low as -10°C (14°F) during the winter, and there is a relatively high amount of snowfall each year. This turned many southerners away as they are accustomed to the humid, subtropical climate in their home region.

Tradition was another hindrance. It is considered customary for members of the same family to live around the same area in which their ancestors lived, as this ensured the maintenance of family ties. Northward migration separated families and relatives and put individual values over family values.

Post-Gelai years

After Gelai stepped down as President-General and Kong Jo succeeded him, the Northern Development policy continued. However, the mass migration that prevailed in the NMR 2320s had already reached its climax, and was declining. The government spent less on building "new towns," although it continued actively building roads. Funding for "new towns" was severely slashed in the onset of the Third Namo-Luziycan War. After the war, the Kong administration focused more on Western Development, which was inspired by Northern Development.

Effects

Economic

By the time Northern Development was considered to have been "discarded," the north had become more developed. The overall GDP as well as the GDP per capita increased. More factories were functioning in the north. Besides domestic trade, the north benefited from increased trade with neighboring countries in the Northern Sea region. However, the south would remain the center of Namorese economic activity.

Social

The Great Northern Migration led to a drastic demographic change in the north. 20 million people settled in the north from the start of the policy to its fading out, doubling the populations of both Arra and Shanpei. The north became more densely populated - in NMR 2320 the average population density was no more than 10/km2. By NMR 2340 it had grown up to 30/km2.

Demographic changes caused increased social tensions between northerners and southerners. The influx of southerners put northerners at a disadvantage, as there was more competition and more people became unemployed. This resulted in anti-northerner sentiment and increased northern regionalism. Some northerners began to see southerners as dirty and impolite; southerners saw northerners as selfish and unpatriotic.

In some places, particularly Txotai, influx of "newcomers" heightened already-incensed tensions between Kannei Namorese and non-Kannei ethnic minorities, stimulating radicalism. The Otekian government-in-exile and Knights of Saint Luther continued indiscriminate attacks on "newcomers (although northern Kannei were targeted too)" in trying to keep Otekians the absolute majority group in Txotai, but these efforts proved futile as Kannei made up half of Txotai's population by NMR 2340.

In popular culture

Northern Development was the subject of several contemporary Namorese novels. Ming Huang, who moved to northern Namor as a child during the initial years of Northern Development, wrote many novels about growing up in the north, particularly Horizon, which detailed the life of a teenage boy who endures various challenges to achieve a successful life in the north.