History of Ataraxia
Ataraxia's history dates to the stone age. The federation process took place over roughly 250 years from 1587 to 183 4 for most of present-day Ataraxia, with the annexation of the Haut-Var in 1915.
- 324: Establishment of Great Axian Empire
- 798: Dissolution of Great Axian Empire, onset of mini-Dark Age
- 1265: Founding of Kingdom of the Var in Port-aux-Princes
- 1587: Political Union with the Régie du Nord
- 1634: Assumption of the crown of Kingdom of the Sher, forming the Kingdom of the Var and Sher
- 1664: Founding of Élisabethville by Ingerish colonists from Wiwaxia
- 1699-1701: Seige of Villefranche-sur-Var and annexation into the Kingdom of the Var and Sher
- 1703: Capitulation of Reino Oriental
- 14 April 1712: Founding of the Federation of Ataraxia, union of the Kingdom of the Var and Sher and Kingdom of the Lux
- 1705-1715: Construction of the Grand Canal linking Oyonnax to Ataraxia City
- 1719: End of the Corsaire period and occupation of Persée archipelago
- 1720: Occupation of the Landec Free State, expulsion of the Ingerish from Élisabethville
- 1834: Incorporation of the Kingdom of the Songe and Marien, Principality of the Dauge
- 1915: Annexation of the Free State of the Upper Var
0: Nomads and trading cities
The early Ataraxian language has spread throughout the land from as-yet unknown sources. Trading cities exist mainly along the coast and large river systems. Outside of these trading cities, no organized government exists.
500: Great Axian Empire
A large empire has spread throughout the land of present-day Ataraxia and into the territories of present-day Kojo, Wiwaxia, Southern neighbor and Carpathia. The capital is unknown and is presumed to have moved according to the season and political/military demands. There are persistent rumors of archeological ruins in the vicinity of Ataraxia City, near Pré St. Germain in the Trois-Rivières province, partially submerged under the Var river near the confluence with the Sonne.
This is the last time that the Haut-Var will form a political union with the rest of Ataraxia until 1915.
1000: Free cities and noble domains
The collapse of the Great Axian Empire due to plague, rival factions and military incursions has left a void in terms of political structures. A number of cities have formalized their "Free city" status into a league and have begun experimenting with democracy, at least among the merchant classes. In the rest of the country, a feudal system has developed and nobles are starting to rival each other to consolidate the most productive land.
1500: Dueling Kingdoms
In 1500, the period of dueling Kingdoms was in full effect. No less than 10 states claimed sovereignty over a part of present-day Ataraxia, along with a number of free cities.
Occaisonal skirmishes erupted, especially around cities that were close to the ever-shifting borders of the kingdoms like Coquilhatville and Lin between the Régie du Nord and the Kingdom of the Var.
In 1587, the largest and most powerful of the Kingdoms, the Kingdom of the Var based in Port-aux-Princes, made Régie du Nord an "offer it couldn't refuse": a treaty proposing an act of union delivered by the advance wing of the Var Kingdom's Royal Army composed of 10,000 cavalrymen.
The king, based in Charlesbourg, consented to a political union and escaped to exile via the Free State of the Upper Var the same night.
1600: Start of (Re-) Unification
An empowered Kingdom of the Var started to flex its political muscle. Incursions into the Kingdom of the Sher became more numerous, as Var nobles eyed fertile farmland in the Sher river system in provinces including Queyrax and Mauzy. Relenting to the inevitable, the Crown Princess of the Sher, Princesse Marie-France, consented to marriage with the Crown Prince of the Var, Prince François-Claude VI, forming in 1634 the new Kingdom of the Var and Sher based in Port-aux-Princes.
At the same time, the Kingdom of the Var couldn't overcome its chief weakness: geography. With a short coastline, it was mainly a land power with a weak navy, susceptible to pirates based in the Perseus archipelago and the wilderness towns north and east of Landec. This formed part of the rational for union with the Kingdom of the Sher: its large, deepwater naval base at Saturnay.
Based on the wrong side of the Axian peninsula from the developing trade routes on the Central Ocean, the Kingdom of the Var and Sher began to collaborate with the Kingdom of the Lux, occasionally sailing under a common Ataraxian flag for trade and colonization missions such as the successful effort to establish an outpost in Akinyaka.
1664 saw the founding of Élisabethville in the far eastern part of Ataraxia by Ingerish colonists hoping to combat piracy in the Sound of Pa.
Political changes in Kojo led the government in Port-aux-Princes to lend more attention to the threat from the east. The government in Port-aux-Princes decided to put an end to the "Free Cities" period, and launched a 2-year siege of Villefranche-sur-Var in 1699.
In 1701, the siege of Villefranche-sur-Var reached its finale, with the merchant class surrendering its sovereignty in return for concessions from the monarch, notably the establishment of a "People's Council" to advise the King, to counteract the existing "Lord's Council" in Port-aux-Princes.
Soon after, in 1703, the Reino Oriental was overrun and incorporated into the Kingdom of the Var and Sher, providing strategic depth between the commercial and political hearts of the Kingdom and ongoing turmoil in Kojo.
In 1705, the Kingdom of the Var and Sher and the Kingdom of the Lux began construction of the Grand Canal, linking the Lux river system near Oyonnax to the Var river system near Villefranche-sur-Var. This was designed to facilitate trade, especially helping merchants from the interior of the Kingdom of the Var reach ports and trading partners on the Central Ocean without having to go through the treacherous Sound of Pa and circumnavigate the Axian peninsula.
In 1705, the two Kingdoms secretly began negotiations on forming a broader political union. Since the Kingdom of the Lux was strategically important, with Oyonnax the largest city in the two kingdoms at the time, the Kingdom of the Var and Sher found it hard to impose its terms as it had previously in Charlesbourg and St. Éloi. In return for retaining the "Head of State" title, Kingdom of the Var and Sher consented to a "federation" of kingdoms into the new Federation of Ataraxia, whereby neither monarchy would exercise executive powers as had been done before. A federal government was to be created in the new capital, Villefranche-sur-Var, renamed to Ataraxia City. The "People's Council", created not 10 years earlier, was to be enlarged into the People's Council of the Federation, the main democratic and legislative body with equal input from all citiens and all parts of the new country.
The Federation of Ataraxia was declared on Monday, 14 April 1712, after benediction by the Eastern Orthodox Church on the preceding Sunday, 13 April. 14 April is celebrated as Federation Day in modern-day Ataraxia, to commemorate the founding of the country.
It was on this occasion that the federal regions were created, roughly representative of the four kingdoms that existed some 125 years earlier. The Centre region representing the Kingdom of the Var lost several provinces to neighboring regions in an effort to limit its political weight with respect to other regions, notably granting the Domaine Royal with the seat of royal government to the South region. As the Grand Canal was the result of collaboration of the Ataraxia City and Oyonnax governments, the Center and West regions set their border with the South region 5-10km south of the canal to maintain control of all economic development related to the canal.
The new entity determined to put an end to piracy and show its control over shipping lanes in the Sound of Pa. While they were once tolerated in the era of dueling kingdoms, the Ataraxian army and navy invaded and occupied the Perseus archipelago in 1719, putting an end to the corsaires and the age of piracy.
In 1720, the Ataraxians' attention continued east. The Landec Free State was occupied and annexed and a short-lived military campaign drove the Ingerish from Élisabethville not long before they were expelled from Wiwaxia further east.
1800: Eastward expansion
While the "federation process" continued, most of the then-lightly populated Kingdom of the Songe and Marien, and the associated Principality of the Dauge, watched from the sidelines. The kingdoms were not large enough to have an expansionist foreign policy and mainly served as buffer states from colonizing forces to the east.
By the 1830's, over a century of increasing pressures began to weigh on the monarchy in Ambeyron, including demands to build a railroad across the Axian peninsula. In 1834, the Kingdom of the Songe and Marien agreed to become the 5th federal region of the Federation of Ataraxia, in exchange for ceding the Saturnay area to the new Great East region, the completion of a northern railway and the construction of a new southern rail route through the heart of the former kingdom.
1900: Annexation of the Haut-Var
The last expansion of the territory of Ataraxia happened under still-contested circumstances. With the collapse of raw materials and mining prices in the global economic slump of the early 1910's, conditions reached a nadir in the Free State of the Upper Var. Where citizens had once enjoyed high living standards and one of the oldest democracies in the world, a famine was setting in because the mountainous territory produced very little of its own food and could no longer afford food imports. While help had been offered from the Federation of Ataraxia, the States-General of the Upper Var knew it came with strings.
In the bitter winter of 1914-1915, Free State citizens increasingly turned to food rations distributed by the government in major towns including Ginex. By the Saturday, 13 February 1915, food rations were reduced, with government and army depots telling citizens to return Monday for further distributions, closing that Sunday to take stock. Furious, citizens returned on Sunday the 14th to demand their remaining rations. At the main depot in the center of Ginex, troops opened fire on unruly mobs, killing 13 in what became known as the Valentines Day Massacre.
Once word got out, the trickle of migrants seeking to move to Ataraxia became a flood of refugees lining up at border checkpoints. Overnight, the Ataraxian Armed Forces had occupied the fort overlooking Ginex and within a week assumed control of the borders of the Free State. The Ataraxian government began distributing food and assumed internal control of the economy, replacing the Free State's franc with the Ataraxian Couronne and offering free exchange to the Ataraxian currency. While the States-General had voted the week before to allow the organization of a referendum on further integration with the Federation of Ataraxia (the two had previously coordinated in some areas like transportation policy), the Ataraxian military and government claimed that no referendum was called for and that a second "emergency vote" held that weekend by the States-General acceded to Ataraxian prerequisites for intervention and was sufficient to begin annexation.
Annexation continued over the following months and years, though once the Free State recovered from its economic situation, it was able to negotiate a status as a Specially Administered Region instead of becoming the 6th federal region. This increased autonomy allowed it to reinstate residency requirements along with financial and tax secrecy laws that allow it to effectively act as a tax haven for the rest of Ataraxia and neighboring countries, greatly increasing the standard of living. Still, no popular referendum was ever organized on the annexation of the Haut-Var and the subject remains contested, with some political parties advocating for independence today.
2000: Present Day
The current borders of Ataraxia remain unchanged since 1915, though with continuing questions over the political status of the Upper Var.