This volume of "History of Azalfia" is set purely within the universe of Hartfelden, the region that, as of the writing of this, Azalfia as a whole is residing in. It is a constantly changing narrative and, if the nation of Azalfia moves regions or changes due to external circumstances, this history is purely in the Hartfelden extended universe and all of it's inhabitants. This is not a permanent guide, but simply a factbook set within this universe. Time required for updates between events. Thank you for understanding.
Chapter 1: Beginnings
The entire idea of a regional alliance; between Harbot, Rethertab, and the Eastern Mountains, was relatively recent when Azalfia came to be.
Azalfia is a federation, effectively formed out of a fear of the larger nation up north; Whitehall. Whitehall had made it's ambitions clear in that it was willing to expand greatly and increase it's ring of influence across the continent. The 3 nations alone: Harbot, Rethertab, and the so called "Mountain Men" in the Eastern Mountains would be defenseless as a whole against this influence. It could take a single invasion to knock 3 of them down at once. So when a young Nicholas Leon; an up and coming diplomat from Harbot saw there expansionism, he immediately began a so called "Unification Campaign" through a diplomatic strategy to unite these 3 groups. Arguing that if they stood alone, they would fall; but if they stood together, the region could be preserved, and defended.
The region had a mixed history. Harbot and Retherab both had both bitterly fought several wars, and the Mountain Men effectively were mostly bandits who had taken control of a power vacuum, taking swaths of the mountains. But they did all have two things in common; a love of Pashaism, a religious movement (more on them here) and a fear of Whitehall. So, after several months and years of negotiation, a treaty came to be; the Treaty of Azalfia, signed at the beginning of 1791, a unification pact, promising itself as a vanguard against growing Whitehall influence. Annd so, Azalfia was born.
Immediately afterwords, rejoice filled the air, and the first national elections were held; the election of Nicholas Leon, and the election of a 5 member council, referred to as the National Defense Council, to be both the governing bodies. Immediately after taking power, Nicholas Leon lead a campaign of terror nationwide against former nationalist of former nations, so called "bandits of the east", and a silent creation of the army. The terror campaign, lead by the new army, mostly targeted political opponents and nationalist groups within Azalfia, most of whom proceeded to become prisoners, get executed, or banished. This was the so called "cleansing" process of the nation. Hundreds died; thousands were imprisoned. It is controversial nationwide, and political repression for the first 4 years of power was widespread. The rise of 3 major groups came though in terms of who held the power; Trade Associations, consisting of workers organized by there skill in order to bargain for there own conditions; Pashaite Orders, religious councils that oversaw local affairs and were generally popular among the religious; and the Army, a key to power, holding up the government structures. The nation effectively was governed as a war council; in a permanent state of alert against so called "imperial elements" in the north.
By 1795, Nicholas Leon finally agreed to a new liberalization process, lead by him. Knowing he could not hold onto this forever, and knowing very well that a monarchy would anger the several nationalist movements within the nation, Nicholas Leon formed up a new plan; the plan to create Azalfian politics into the hands of a so called "Citizens Republic", spearheaded by his reforms, and to create a functioning democracy, with the military beings it's checks and balances, to prevent radicalism from destroying the nation and letting it fall apart. Citizens who have served in the army for 4 years are guaranteed the right to vote; whether they are still actively serving or not. Political autonomy and democracy is given purely to those who have served in the army, which would generally support military interest; however, it allows for a degree of political pluralism. The announcement came as a shock, but the second election was scheduled to be held in 1796, a little over 5 years since the creation of the nation.