Welland

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Welland
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Country  Vyvland
Capital Wel
Largest City Wel
Population 2,682,801
Area 29,370km²
Population density 91/km²
Government Socialist-Liberal-Green-Rural-Left coalition
Chancellor Frida Vesger (Socialist)
Parliament seats 54
Municipalities 129
Official languages Vyvlander
Number plate code R

Welland (Vyvlander: Wellaan, pronounced /weläːn/) is a province of Vyvland situated in the country's southeast. It is the largest province in the country by area and third-largest by population. It shares a land border with Brudon, Southwest and Plains and a naval border with Islands. The provincial capital is situated in the city of Wel, which is the origin of the name 'Welland'. Welland has the largest agricultural output of any province in Vyvland, as well as being largest producer of dairy products, for which it is well-known.

History

Welland has always been an influential part of Vyvland - this stems from its large size and historical influence, through the Duchy of Wel, which covered an area almost exactly conterminous to today's province from its founding in 940 until 1278. The Kingdom's stability highlights the military power of the kings of Wel, which for many periods was the strongest in Vyvland. Due to its strength, Wel was the last kingdom to surrender to Eylav fi Paavyl of Stanmer, in 1352. After this point, numerous autonomy movements took place in the province, despite its settled and rural nature - for this reason and its connection with the dairy industry, Welland has been known as the revolutezmelkaas (revolutionary cowshed/dairy).

Welland industrialised relatively slowly, due to its isolation and poor transport links. In the nineteenth century, its population expecienced a small decrease due to rural-urban migration to newly industrialising areas such as Jesel and, more distantly, Lyksdal. Only the northern areas of the province saw significant growth in the nineteenth century, with Wel becoming important for heavy industry and mining, Bengsdok becoming a brickmaking centre due to the abundant clay in the area, and Welaagen becoming a major sheltered port, after dredging and land reclamation efforts. Much of this growth was down to an influx of migrant labour, especially Bretians, who were thought to be especially industrious and hard-working. After the Vyvlander Civil War, Welland was placed entirely in South Vyvland. The Bretian community, which had grown large, was treated unfavourably due to local perceptions of them as culturally distinct, un-integrated, and as stealers of local jobs. As such many Bretians were forced to leave or left out of their own choices after suffering persistent discrimination.

Geography

The 20-mile long Boupdam encolsing the Brockelnpoyder, constructed between 1748 and 1787

Geographically, the province consists mainly of lowlands, although mountains rise in the east of the province. The highest of these is the Welkogel to the west of Wel, which rises to 1545 metres, almost 500 metres higher than the prominent Fijral Volcano in Plains province. Large areas of the east and northeast of the province, however, lie on reclaimed land, with the largest area being the Brockelnpoyder (Brockeln Polder), drained in the late eighteenth century. The land reclaimed is used primarily for agriculture.

Economy

Most of the province's land is used for agriculture, although brickmaking and oil refining are major industries in the east, with mining historically playing an important role in the industrialisation of Wel city and Jesel, which lies just outside the province. Fishing is also been important in the south of the province, although it has been eclipsed by other industries since the Industrial Revolution of the nineteenth century.

Politics

The province has traditionally been politically balanced and something of a bellwether; support for various parties is relatively equal to their nationwide support. The current Provincial Diet has been governed by a broad left-wing coalition, headed by Provincial Governor Frida Vesger of the Socialist Party, since 2011. In the 2013 general election, Welland returned a small right-wing majority to Parliament, with the Conservative Party becoming the largest, with 13 of 57 seats. The two parties in second place, with ten seats each, were the Liberal Party and National Party. Support for the Socialists has fallen drastically in recent years, after former Chancellor Alvred Saandfrop was convicted of bestiality in a long scandal beginning in autumn 2012.