by Max Barry

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by The Commonwealth of New Frysland. . 10 reads.

The History of New Frysland.

Some countries have long, gilded histories, spanning centuries of strife and intrigue, with roots in the depths of Antiquity. Some countries have a much shorter history, but were forged in the flames of revolution and war, ideals winning out over the oppressive might of the world.

And some countries are New Frysland, an experiment that has taken on a life of its own, and blossomed in spite of its rocky beginnings.

13th of October 1967: Embarkment Day
The history of New Frysland begins in the latter years of the 1960s, where an experiment was launched by various EU countries across the North Sea as an exercise in nation building. A force of about 20000 people from 6 countries were recruited to be shipped to a far off island, to build a state from the ground-up. About 50000 people applied with great interest, but only about 17000 were chosen. The first settlers were made up of students, socialists, bleeding-heart progressives, ecologically-minded hippies and other filth that get in the way of a good, soulless capitalist state, as the "experiment" was actually an elaborate measure to deport these people legally. Nobody in Europe expected them to have much success, hoping they would kill each other as there would inevitably be conflicts and fights. As soon as the settlers were brought to the island, contact was broken off and they were left on their own.
The settlers soon found the remains of an old, abandoned Dutch colonial town, and set out to renovate it and make their own, mooring the great cargo ship that contained their supplies in the harbour and declaring it their town hall. The great experiment was to begin from here, the great capitol of Frydlandsburg.

1967 - 1973: Rough Start and Exploration of the Land
As winter dawned over the settlers with nary a word from home, they soon came to realize that they were stranded here and left on their own. Parts of the populace were terrified, feeling they would never see their home again and them being left to die on a far away island, while others were thrilled at the sheer freedom opening before them. People formed cliques around common interests, and spent the first 3 years of New Fryslandian history fighting for dominance, whether every resource should be put into getting back home or if they should stay and do the best with their situation. On the sidelines of this conflict, people began to farm, to work, to create, to do what people do all the time. A crude electricity network was established through wind generators and the expertise of electricians among the settlers. When eventually the group that wished to stay won the political struggle, New Frysland had already developed a usable, if primitive infrastructure. Once it was decided that they would stay, exploration parties set out to map the island, which turned out to be bigger than anyone would have guessed, being miraculously free of indigenous human groups while also holding a wealth and natural resources. Branching off from Frydlandsburg, small frontier towns pushed against the vast woods and wilderness, spreading the young country wider and bringing it closer to the usual standards of human civilisation. At around this time, neighbouring countries discovered the nascent nation, allowing for trade and access to more expertise and wares than before.

1973 - 1977: Wilderness Years
Having overcome the growing pains of its early years, the young country soon saw itself confronted with the problems of running a country, namely the question of authority, bureaucracy, organization etc. Until now people had lived on their own mostly, bartering for things they needed and otherwise doing their job for the communes. But for a proper economy and a proper country, there would need to be a government. As such, various influential New Fryslander met on the 19th of April 1974 in the town hall of Frydlandsburg to decide the future of the country. Despite a general agreement that compassion, common ownership of the means of production and welfare should be the core principles of thew new state, the nitty and gritty was up for debate. And debate there was a lot of. People living near the harbour still tell tales of shouting matches lasting from sundown to sunrise, as questions of authority and organization heated up the meetings. After 2 years, an agreement was finally reached. A direct democracy, with each current of thought represented by a political party, would form the basis of the new state, with the citizens each able to elect their chosen officials into any government position available. Ministries were founded, state-owned businesses were created to better organize the output of the New Fryslandian economy, and a proper constitution was drafted. A common currency, the kromer named after Piet van Kromer who headed the early meetings, was established, and New Frysland became a country for real.

1977 - 1993: Rise and Fall
A young and eager socialist state, free from the quarrels of the Cold War, New Frysland began to expand the responsibilities of itself. Welfare was grown and fed by an ever expanding economy. The crude electrical and traffic infrastructure was slowly replaced with a more efficient and modern one, with long-forgotten frontier town re-connected to the capitol and allowed to share its wealth. The rich land offered ores and woods to make furniture and iron, feeding the economy, with trade bringing in the resources not found locally to allow the country to produce everything a modern state needed, from cars and refrigerators all the way to musical instruments. Arts and culture flourished in the free and open society, as people were free to express themselves and follow their interests. However, as the Paradox of Tolerance states, if everything is tolerated, eventually the intolerant win. The happy amateurs who strove to be open and accepting found themselves exploited by those with less than savory interests, crime syndicates undermining the government and coups happening almost once a year. The loving state saw itself eaten up from inside by the worms it wanted to kill, but could not bring itself to destroy. Everything came to a head on the 1st of August 1991, the so called Day of Infamy, where the entire leadership of New Frysland was assassinated by Violetist extremists who disagreed with the secular policies of the state. Like a beheaded chicken, the country now ran around aimlessly, with one leader following the other as the country descended into chaos. Cities declared independence and had to be brought back into the fold through military action. The situation grew so dire that people were willing to trust whoever could bring order back to the land. This person was to be Jean-Luc Rosseau, future leader of the People's Republic of New Frysland.

1993 - 2019: People's Republic of New Frysland
When Jean-Luc Rosseau and his Neo Marxists marched on to Frydlandsburg, they promised to bring peace back to a country in disorder. Feeling that the open policies of his predecessors allowed anti-revolutionary elements to take over, Rosseau promised to eliminate delinquency and bring prosperity back to New Frysland. Modelling his state on the Marxist Leninist state of the East Bloc, Rosseau and his All-Frisian Communist Party took the open state and centralized it, turning the police force into an intelligence service and putting every branch of New Frysland under the control of a new ministry. Rosseau's first action was to declare war on anyone who would dare to harm the revolutionary achievements of New Frysland, sending secret police to destroy crime rings and putting the people under close surveillance. Rosseau's new state culled the compassion out of the state, but no one could deny that under him, order returned to the land. Many people consigned themselves to the new order, but Rosseau remained opposed by the Velvet Underground, a guerilla group naming themselves after a famous band that hid in the deep jungles and fought for the ideals upon which New Frysland was founded. A cold Civil War between them and the government broke out, as Rosseau began to expand New Frysland across the island, founding new cities and expanding the electricity, information and infrastructure network. While no one could deny that Rosseau had good intentions when he took power in 1993, over the course of the 00s and 10s he and his party began to fall to complacency and paranoia, growing more trigger-happy and belligerent, putting people to death for more and more spurious reasons and even planning to spread New Frysland beyond just the island. If he was to contine ruling, he might lead New Frysland into war.

2019 - 2021: Vinyl Revolution, Civil War and Reconstruction
Everything came to a head on the 8th of May 2019, the day that came to be known as the Vinyl Revolution. Doggerlandia, the second largest city of New Frysland, had recently turned towards the ideals of the Velvet Underground, giving leaders of the organization shelter and openly criticizing Rosseau's government. Infuriated by this, Rosseau ordered an airstrike on the city, claiming that such anti-revolutionary crimes could not be tolerated. Shaken awake by the shock of its own government bombing them, even the most detached in New Frysland rose up in anger, claiming that Rosseau had gone too far. In return, Rosseau declared war on anyone who opposed him, raving in paranoia that they were all overseas agents sent to destroy the revolution. New Frysland was ravaged by civil war, as the Velveteens and the Rosseauists waged war over the control of the island, a catastrophe that brought calamity and destruction. After months of desperate fighting, the Velveteens managed to storm Rosseau's Palace of the Proletariat on the 24th of December 2019, and took him alive, seconds before he was to drive a dagger into his own throat. This event marked the end of the Civil War, and the end of the People's Republic. Declaring the Commonwealth of New Frysland from the Great Tower of the University of Frydlandsburg, the Velveteens effectively took control of the country. The old ideals, which had disappeared during the past decades, were back once more, scarred and aged, but alive as ever. A system of direct democracy, as there had been long ago, was re-established, the ministries of the People's Republic were either dissolved or retooled, and billions of kromers were mobilized to rebuild the ravaged country and to stamp out remaining cells of Rosseauists. For the first time in a long time, New Fryslanders looked to the future with hope.

2021: New Frysland returns to the world stage
Despite its turbulent history, the ideals that had created New Frysland had prevailed. Those that had been alive to witness Embarkment Day had seen them fall apart, but in the end, they proved stronger than anything. But they had learned, that only blind faith in human nature was a recipe for disaster. The new New Frysland did not naively hope for the best, a system of control assured that the freedom of its people would remain, and that corruption and malicious thought would be rooted out. With its newfound, old confidence, New Frysland rose back from the ashes like a phoenix, and was ready to forge its path once more.