After the invasion by Marcomans and other Germanic tribes of the province of Pannonia, emperors Marcus Aurelius and Lucius Verus launched a counterattack to repulse them back behind the Danube. In order to prevent further invasions from this territory, they decided to conquer the territory North of the Danube in 175 A.D. Because *there* it was no peasant rebellion in Aegyptus, followed by the Avidus Cassius usurpation (senator Tercenarius *there* decided to fund the conquest of the new Northern provinces instead of Avidus Cassius), Aurelius succeeded. Rome had two new provinces, Boiohaemica and Sarmantia, both belonging to Senate. The Western border was Czecho-moravian Upland, the Northern border Gesenke (Jeseniky), the Tatras and the Dnester river, and the Eastern border the river Prut. Capital of Boiohaemica was Brennum (Brno), of Samartia Samara (Satu Mare). Because of continuing invasions of new Germanic tribes from the North, the provinces Boiohemica, Sarmantia, and Dacia were abandoned by emperor Aurelianus in 270 E.C. However, the already Romanised population was able to hold successfully, because of their organisation and technologies, for quite a long time.
After 270 E.C., many Germanic tribes moved Westwards through the territory of Central and Eastern Europe, without staying anywere for a longer time, and without devastating the original settlement and their villages. But in the year 434, from Far East, came the Huns, led by Attila. Their devastating presence changed the fate of the region significantly. His troops slayed and burnt almost everything along the way the moved through. Thus, Romanic settlement was separated in the North from those in the South. The Hunic prong also created a corridor on the territory that is now Hungary, through which almost all other invasions from the East came; Alans and Langobards in the 5th, Avars in the 6th, and Magyars and Bulgars in the 10th century.
In approximately the 5th century, the Slavs came from the North-East. They advanced slowly into almost non-inhabited territory, except in the West and South, where they found Romanic settlement. In 6th century they reached the Elbe, the Alps, and the Balkans. During the first five centuries, the Slavs populated vast regions, but without forming any state. According to German chronics, the first formation of a state on the ruins of the short-lived Avar Empire was the so-called Samo's Empire on the territory that is now Bohemia and Lusatia. It was founded in the 7th century by the Frankian merchant Samo. On the same territory the Great Moravian Empire appeared in the 8th century, which gained power conquering neighbouring Slavic settlements. The most important victory of Great Moravian princeps Mojmír I. was defeat of Bribijo (Pribina *here*), the ruler of the first known principate of Pannonians, the Romanic settlement northern of Danube. After he was defeated and his territories were incorporated into GM, his son Kosejo (Kocel *here*) run to hide himself to Bavarian princepses, who pushed Slavs out of territory of nowadays Austria. Slovenians were subdued by Bavarians and Franks in a same way as *here*.
The 10th century shows the foundation of the first national states in Central Europe. Poemyslids found the Czech Kingdom, the Piasts the Venedic Kingdom (Regnum Venedorum, or Rzeń Wenedór), and the Magyars the Hungarian Kingdom.
The first prince of the Veneds was Wars, a descendant of the mythical ruler Pius Iustus. He created the Venedic principality. Marek II Pąpiej, the first non-hereditary king of the Veneds, who was crowned by Konrad II, unified all the Northern Romance peoples by occupying Slevania and Moravia (Marja), but was defeated by the combined forces of the Czech princeps Oldoich and emperor Heinrich II. Moravia became part of the Czech principality, while Slevania was lost to Hungary. He also defeated Przemarz (Premaria, Preimern), Slavic pagan territory until then, and founded the city of Gdańcyk (Danzig). Since these times, Kashubians live on the territory of the RTC. Since 1410, the Kingdom of the Veneds started to push the Order of the Teutonic Knights off the Baltic shore, along with the Lithuanians, with whom it formed a personal union since 1386, the year of the marriage between the Venedic queen Jadwiga za Andżawie (Hedwig of Anjou) and the Lithuanian grandduke Jogaila. Battles were fought at Grünwald (Słuwa Wierdzia), Marienburg (Marzykościół). First, the Order changed to Order of the Swordcross, and later fell apart into Livonia and Prussia (1550).
In 1569 the Union of Lublin was concluded, and Veneda and Lithuania merged formally into one state, the "Republic of Both Nations".
From the 13th century onwards, there had always been a flourishing trade between Venedic and Lithuanian cities along the Baltic Sea coast and other Baltic, North German and Dutch Cities. Several cities on the territory of the Republic were part of the Hansa. The situation changed, however, when Kronborg castle, the place where the Øresund Tax on foreign ships sailing through Denmark was collected, burnt down in 1629. Christian IV, the king of Denmark-Norway who was known for his ambitions architectural projects, rebuilt the castle sparing no expense, and as a result, the Øresund Tax increased quite drastically. As a result, the Hansa cities East and West of Øresund were effectively cut off from each other; the eastern part was more or less out of business due to the blockade (at least, as far as the Western Hansa was concerned), and was mostly neglected by the rest. Ultimately, this would cause a split in the Hanseatic League, and in 1653 the eastern members of the Hansa founded the Baltic League. From the beginning, Gdańcyk and other Venedo-Lithuanian cities formed its nucleus, and even today, the Republic is the largest and most powerful member of the League. From the 19th century onwards it was modernised, and its members would be entire states instead of cities.
The Republic was - and still is - a strange country, that combined Mediaeval feudalist features with one of the world's oldest democratic constitutions. Roman Catholicism and Baltic Paganism coexisted peacefully (well, most of the time...) within the borders of one state, a situation that undoubtedly enhanced the Republic's reputation of being extremely tolerant towards national minorities and political dissidents.
Unlike the name “republic” suggests, the Republic of Both Nations had a king and a royal court. But no one was ever born to become king; instead, from 1573 onwards the king was elected for life by the nobility, thus making his position more similar to presidency. In theory anyone could ascend the throne, but in practice the job had always been the domain of either a few very influential noble families or members of the royal families of other countries. The power of the king was very restricted by the nobility anyway, and it depended much on the character of the king himself how powerful he actually was.
Despite its huge size, the Republic was extremely weak politically. The Sejm was a body democratically elected by the entire nobility, and every individual member of it had the right to veto new legislation (the so-called “Liberum Veto”). Nothing remarkable, that the voting behaviour of most noblemen was guided primarily by self-interest. Usually, that interest had much to do with power and financial wealth; or, as occurred frequently, with the enormous bribes they accepted from foreign countries, in particular Russia and Prussia.
In this situation, the Republic's strongest neighbours, Prussia, Russia and Austro-Dalmatia, could easily take advantage from its weakness (1). In 1772 the First Partition took place, in which the three annexed portions of its territory: Prussia took Przemarz (known as Royal Prussia, thus unifying West and East Prussia; Russia annexed parts of the Grand-Duchy of Lithuania, which today belong to Belarus; and Austro-Dalmatia seized Galicia (which then consisted not only of today's Galicia, but also of Little Veneda). In the Second Partition (1793), Russia took the rest of Belarus (including most of those parts that today are part of the RTC) and Ukraine (except for Volhynia), while Prussia took Grand Veneda and the surrounding lands; Austro-Dalmatia did not participate in the Second Partition.
Preparations were already being made for a third partition: Russia planned the subsequent annexation of all Lithuania, including Volhynia; Prussia intended to take the territories East and South of East Prussia, including the Republic's capital Warsina; and Austro-Dalmatia hoped to get expand its territory further north. At this point, with a third partition hanging in the air that threatened the Republic in its very existence, the nobility of the RBN finally woke up and decided to gather its forces. In 1795, king Głurzan II Poniatyk was dethroned and replaced with August IV, who successfully built an alliance with Scandinavia and Bohemia. Thus, he managed to prevent a third partition. However, pressure from both Prussia and Russia remained strong.
After August's death in 1803, a strongly democratized Sejm made a master move: it chose Napoleon as the new king. Napoleon accepted happily, because this would give him an important stronghold in Eastern Europe that would enable him to attack Prussia from both sides if he wanted. However, Napoleon was much more realistic and much less belligerent than he was *here*, and instead of attacking Prussia or Russia, he went for a diplomatic solution: he organised the Congress of Vienna (in 1815) in order to restore peace in Europe and to consolidate his power. One of the conditions he dictated was that Prussia had to give back all it had taken in the second partition, while Austro-Dalmatia was forced to return Galicia. Furthermore, Royal Hungary, which had been annexed by Austro-Dalmatia in 1766, became a semi-independent French protectorate, and Prussia was forced to return Silesia to Bohemia. Russia refused to participate in the congress, and although Napoleon repeatedly threatened to attack Russia, he never did so.
Understandably, the two partitions are a key event in the history of the RTC/RBN. First of all, because they gave rise to the modern post-Napoleontic state that it is now, and more or less to it current borders. Furthermore, they laid the foundation for the Republic's future relations with Prussia/Germany and Russia. Many in the RTC still think of these times with much regret, but what they fail to understand is that the partitions, hadn't they taken place at the end of the 18th century, would have taken place at any other time anyway, and otherwise the Republic would have completely imploded by itself.
No matter what, the partitions allowed Napoleon to become the father of contemporary Europe.
Napoleon's reign over the Republic lasted till his death in 1825, and led to numerous innovations, including a strong decrease of the power of the nobility in favour of the king, and a new constitution that was adopted in 1821, in which the Liberum Veto was abolished. Needless to say that it wasn't easy for Napoleon to convince the nobility to give up so much of its power. However, as a result of both his military strength and the credit he had gained for saving the Republic and reconquering the territories lost to Prussia and Austro-Dalmatia, he finally succeeded where previously king Anton of Bohemia had failed.
Internationally, the 19th century is known as the Long Peace, the period when there were hardly any wars in Europe between the Council of Vienna and the guns of August - the first time that had happened since Roman times. Despite this quiet, however, Russia and Prussia (close friends at the time) were still hungry for more RBN territory. In the case of Prussia this hunger was motivated by frustration about the territories it had been forced to return to the Republic after Napoleon's interference, and its general drive for expansion. In the case of Russia it may have been a combination of its self-assumed role as protector of the Orthodox and nationalism.
The Republic itself had completely fallen back into its old practices. Napoleon, although he had been a very strong king, never introduced absolutism in the Republic, and the Venedic nobility maintained much of its power. Weak kings were elected, who could easily be manipulated. Its position was particularly strong in the east, which was almost exclusively owned by rich Venedic landowners. These landowners, the so-called Podolani, were particularly unpopular with the poor Lithuanian, Belarussian and Ukrainian populations. Several peasants' uprisings took place (1848, 1850, 1860) and where smashed down with brutal violence on the part of the authorities. The name "Republic of Both Nations" had become obsolete by then; most of the time it was simply referred to as "Veneda". The once-proud Lithuanian nation had been reduced to peasanthood.
A huge popular uprising in Volhynia in 1863 spread out over the Belarussian territories, Lithuania, Courland, and ultimately over Veneda proper. What started as a small peasants' revolt grew into a true revolution. This caused a chain of events: in 1864 the duke of Courland, afraid of all the unrest, placed himself under Russian protection. In the meantime, Veneda's harsh treatment of the peasants particularly enraged Russia, and in 1866 Russia invaded the Republic from the east. Volhynia and the remaining parts of Belarus were incorporated into the Russian Empire.
Prussia, freshly after two wars with Scandinavia over Schleswig-Holstein (1849 and 1864), originally had nothing to do with the situation. But Bismarck himself was not only very interested in acquiring some more territory for Prussia, he also was worried about Russia becoming much too strong in the region. With Veneda's armies occupied in the east, the Prussian armies encountered little resistance when they marched into Grand-Veneda. Thus, something that was meant to become neither a partition nor a war, became both.
In 1867, the international community decided to interfere, and troops from France, the Federated Kingdoms and the Scandinavian Realm even landed on the Baltic shore. As a result of this external pressure, the conflict was at last settled with diplomacy. The Republic granted several rights to the peasants, and what was left of Lithuania gained enough autonomy to become a state within the state. Russia and Prussia pulled back, but managed to keep some of the territories they had acquired. Courland, previously a semi-independent Venedic fief, remained part of Russia.
The second half 19th century also shows a shift in the concept of the “nation”, and along with it, the birth of the modern Venedic and Lithuanian nations. Previously, the “Venedic nation” consisted of everyone who participated in the political life of the Republic, which practically was the nobility. As far as it was considered necessary to give representatives of other social categories, like peasants or members of the middle class, an ethnic label, this was mostly done according to regional lines. Thus, a Venedic farmer was a contradiction; instead, he was called a Mazurian, a Ruthenian, or a Grąwened. On the other hand, a Saxon-speaking protestant or an Orthodox Ukrainian could be part of the Venedic nation, provided that he belonged to the ruling class. This caused the strange situation that someone could actually consider himself a Vened and a Ukrainian or a Vened and a Lithuanian at the same time, as the phrase gente Ruthenus, natione Venedus shows. During the 19th century, however, the concept of the nation as an ethnic entity made its entrance. Slowly, the Venedic nation went through a paradoxical development: it enlarged itself with all layers of the population, but on the other hand, the picture was narrowed, and the old political nation, which included several nationalities and religions, made place for a nation of Venedic-speaking Catholics only. In Lithuania, a similar development took place, although the religious element was less strong there. Along with the rise of modern nations, the 19th century also witnessed the rise of modern nationalism.
By the time the First Great War broke out in 1914, the Republic had again become a politically very unstable state. Nominally, the elected king was in charge, but in fact most power was in the hands of the Senate, a relatively new political body that had been created in the Napoleontic years. It was elected by the nobility, and every individual member of it had the right to veto new legislation. This is not exactly the same as the Liberum Veto, that had previously allowed any member of the nobility to use it, but can at least be considered a variation on the same theme. Of course, most members of the Senate were primarily guided in their voting behaviour by their own aspirations for power and wealth. Huge bribes from the German and the Russian government were still common practice; quite famous were the extravagant parties in the Russian embassy in Kordyn, where some members of the Senate were regular guests.
At the very beginning of the war, the Republic did nothing and remained neutral. Not so much as a result of a conscious decision, but rather because of its inability to take one. Most nobles advocated an alliance with Germany against Russia, traditionally the Republic's worst enemy. They had numerous reasons for that: some of them, especially those rooted in the more wealthy North and West of the country, were afraid of damage to their flourishing trade with Germany through the Baltic League, basically a leftover of the once-so-glorious Hansa; others, mostly in Lithuania, Little Veneda (Pieskłoweneda) and Galicia, hoped to acquire huge territories from Russia for themselves or their families; and at last, the political motivation of reacquiring those territories previously taken by Russia as a matter of national pride played a role as well.
On the other hand, however, a huge part of the Venedic nobility had been under French cultural influence for a least 200 years; they felt more at ease with the Latinate culture of the Allies than with the Germans. Some of the more enlightened minds among them hoped to liberate the Slevans, a people closely related to the Veneds, from Hungarian hegemony, en passant conquering them in the genuine conviction that they would be better off in the Republic. Of course, not a few nobles sympathised with the Allies for the simple reason that they were high on the Russian paylist.
This situation came finally to an end in 1915 after a number of incidents near the German border: with the help of the army, king Witold II and his government dismissed the Senate, and declared war on Germany. Russian troups were, much to the discontent of many members of the local nobility, allowed to cross the Republic's territory in the struggle against Germany.
However, the Republic's defenses were weak and old-fashioned, and it did not take long before its territory was almost entirely under German or Hungarian occupation. The king was imprisoned. What followed was chaos: part of the nobility seized the opportunity to appoint a new, pro-German king, Klemięć II, and to join forces with Germany, others remained loyal to the former king and continued their fight against Germany and its collaborators.
Russia's bad performance in the war ultimately caused its defeat against the combined German/Austrian/Hungarian armed forces. In November 1917 the Bolsheviks took over in Russia and signed Russia's surrender. The result was the peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk, signed in March, 1918. The conditions, dictated by Germany, were disastrous for both Russia and the Republic.
Before the war, the Republic had been much smaller than it is today. Most of Belarus belonged to Russia at the time, and as a result, Lithuania was in comparison with Veneda like a midget in comparison to a giant. Nothing remarkable, that the Germans blamed (and punished) Veneda for the Republic's declaration and acts of war, and not the Lithuanians, whom they called “a subjuged minority”. The Republic was effectively split in two parts. Lithuania became an independent kingdom that also included most of Belarus (only the areas around Smolensk and Bryansk remained in Russian hands). Along with Estonia, Livonia, Courland, Ukraine and the Crimea, it became part of a chain of buffer states, all of which except Lithuania itself had been taken away from Russia. Veneda, on the other hand, became more or less a rump state: not only lost it Lithuania, but Germany also incorporated Przemarz and parts of Grąweneda, giving Prussia a direct connection over land with East Prussia. Veneda's pro-German puppet king remained in power, assisted by numerous German “advisors” and supported by the German army.
When the peace treaty of Versailles ended the war with the conclusion that the pre-war situation should be restored, this happened only in the west; in Eastern Europe, the status quo as established in Brest-Litovsk remained untouched. Germany withdrew its hands from the numerous territorial conflicts and civil wars in the countries east of it. When Veneda's pro-German government lost its main source of support, Klemięć II and his ministers were overthrown within a week. A new, pro-Western temporary government was installed, supported by the Venedic army, and Głurzan III became the new king. Under strong pressure of notably Scandinavia and France, a new constitution was adopted in 1923, that limited the power of the nobility even further (more specifically, its veto right within the Senate was abolished) and the Senate lost most of its power to the democratically elected Sejm. The principle of the elected king was maintained, but his role became a purely decorative one. In the same year Galicia, which consisted of the three predominantly Ukrainian provinces Leonina, Olwarzyn and Hałycz, was granted an autonomous status within the Kingdom. (2).
The new constitution introduced after Great War I undoubtedly brought Veneda more democracy, but definitely not more stability. Despite the fact that the Republic had had one of the world's longest democratic traditions, its institutions had always been weak and its habits old-fashioned. The nobility, although it had lost much of its formal power, continuously dominated political life. Partly due to a low degree of industrialisation, neo-feudalism and clientelism flourished. Another destabilising factor was the huge number of political parties: almost every thinkable political orientation was represented by one or more parties. As a result, every Sejm consisted of at least 25 parties, and the elections of 1937 brought no less than 61 (!) parties into parliament. Most governments were occasional coalitions of many parties (at least four, but sometimes up to eleven) and they rarely lasted more than a year.
The most powerful grouping over the years has been the Neutral Bloc for Cooperation with the Government (Blok Niutrały pro Kooperacenie ku Gwarnamiętu, BNKG), founded in 1926. This was not strictly a party, rather an unstable coalition of many different parties of various political orientations, united only in their support for king Głurzan's government and in their desire to bring stability. It was dominated by the moderately conservative Republican Bloc (Blok Rzejpybiełkany, BR). Another party that played a role in the formation in the NBKG was the ultra-conservative Union of Venedic Conservatives (Unień Konserwacistór Wenedkór, UKW), a party that represented the interests of the nobility. The BNKG did not recognise the forced separation of the Republic of Both Nations; hence, for various reasons the participants in the BNKG endeavoured a reunification with Lithuania.
Also most of the leftist parties, notably the Venedic Socialist Party (Wenedka Partia Soczaliska, WPS), the Venedic Workers' Party (Wenedka Partia Łowuratorzór, WPŁ), and the Venedic Communist Party (Wenedka Partia Komuniska, WPK) wanted a restoration of the union with Lithuania, although they never participated in the BNKG.
Not everybody favoured a reunification with Lithuania. The Kingdom of Veneda had its own fascists and radical nationalists too, and they were quite satisfied with Veneda's resurrection from the war as a national state.
The earliest signs of Venedic fascism can be recognised as early as the 1850s, and they were caused by discontent among reactionary members of the once so powerful nobility, who blamed Napoleon for having limited their power, and especially for having recognised the loss of huge territories in the East (including Ukraine) in favour of peace with Russia. Their ideas would later spawn a strongly anti-democratic movement, the Movement for the Fatherland (Mumię Pro Potrze, MPP) that considered Russia as its main enemy. During GW2 the MPP was ready to collaborate with Germany in order to regain the lost territories. After GW2, this group was of course disbanded, although nowadays a small party, the Movement for the Republic (Mumię Pro Rzeipybiełczej, MPR), still represents its ideas.
An important current was Venedic nationalism. It has constantly been present in Venedic politics since the awakening of national consciousness in Europe, in the second half of the 19th century. In 1891 a party, called Demokracja Noconała (National Democracy) was founded by the diplomat Ignac Dynacz. He emphasised the Venedic identity in a way it had never been formulated before, and identified it tightly with both the Venedic language and the Roman Catholic religion. He wrote: “Katolicyzm nie je odzieceń o wenedyctać, niec kołoraceń lej en mód czartany, uta fiże en lej ziścięce.” (“Catholicism is not an addition to Venedicness, nor a colourisation of it in a certain way, but sticks in its very existence”). The main source of his discontent had was the multinational character of the Republic of Both Nations; in his opinion the alliance with the (pagan!) Lithuanians had brought the Veneds nothing but trouble. Instead, he advocated an independent, ethnically homogeneous Venedic state. Not surprisingly, Dynacz could not swallow the status of Lithuanian and Low Saxon as co-official languages of the Republic: “Nie pociemy oszczatar sytuacenie, en kwalej dźwiemy sprzymier świe pięzie profędzieśmie en lęgwie straniej” (“We cannot accept a situation in which we have to express our deepest thoughts in a foreign language”). The DN has played an important role in Venedic politics since its foundation; during the Interbellum Dynacz himself served several terms as prime minister of the Kingdom of Veneda.
A third current, closely related to Dynacz and his DN, appeared during the 1910s, and was initiated by the writer Stefan Wrocz. He was a nationalist of the same type as Dynacz, and for roughly the same reasons advocated the idea of breaking up the Republic. But Wrocz had another ideal. What he was hoping for was not an indepedent Venedic Kingdom, but a full restoration of the ancient Roman Empire instead. One of his main inspirators was the Italian Benito Mussolini. He maintained contacts with people with similar ideas in Slevania, Dalmatia, Muntania, Italy, Helvetia, France, and Kemr. The Roman heritage has always been an important element in the Veneds' national subconsciousness, and that is probably why he enjoyed some moderate support from time to time. After the failure of Mussolini's Roman Republic however, Wrocz got discouraged, and his Fascist Movement of Veneda (Mumię Faszczyski Wenedzie, MFW) disappeared slowly from the scene.
The political chaos and instability in Veneda lasted until 1931, when King Głurzan III Poniatyk, who was posthumously nicknamed “Nieposibły” (the Impossible) because of his difficult character, exceeded his authority as an elected king by taking charge over state affairs in a royal coup d'état. Formally nothing changed: the Sejm remained intact, elections were continuously held, no politicians were killed or imprisoned, and the king held no other official position than that of king and chief commander of the army. But nevertheless king Głurzan became the most powerful figure in political life, and Veneda de facto became a royal dictatorship, firmly supported by the BNKG.
During the 1930s, restitutio ad integrum by means of a reunification with Lithuania was the main item on the political agenda of the king and his government. However, the situation in Lithuania itself was far from ideal.
The peace treaty of Brest-Litovsk had made Lithuania an independent kingdom. Its ruler was the German nobleman Wilhelm Herzog von Urach, Graf von Württemberg (1864-1928), "a Catholic, a well educated man, without any close relationship, political ties or intrigues with any German Dynasty." Berlin was not entirely happy with this choice, as Kaiser Wilhelm had preferred to become king of Lithuania himself. Von Urach was king under the name "Mindaugas II", a reference to the only other king Lithuania had ever had, Mindaugas I (1253-1263). Despite his German background, he was fluent in Lithuanian and felt a genuine desire to become the king of all Lithuanians. When Germany had to withdraw from the region, Veneda's pro-German puppet king Klemięć II was expelled within a week, but Mindaugas managed to maintain himself. In spite of his good intentions, however, he was unable to overcome the problems caused by the nature of the country he was king of.
Lithuania was an artificial and highly unstable state with huge internal differences. While Veneda, apart from a Ukrainian majority in autonomous Galicia, had become an ethnically monolithic state, Lithuania was like the RBN without Veneda as its innovative center. The population consisted of two major nationalities: Lithuanians and Belarussians (along with smaller groups, notably Ukrainians, but also Veneds, Skuodians and Russians). The top layer were the extremely rich Venedic and Lithuanian landowners, who unanimously endeavoured the restoration of the old Republic. Then, there was a middle class, composed mainly of Lithuanians and Jews; all political orientations were represented here, but most of them favoured a restoration of the Republic as well. The lower class, peasants and workers, consisted of the remaining Lithuanians and almost the entire Slavic majority (most of whom lived in the poorer regions Volhynia and Palesse), and among them extremist tendencies were strong. Predominant among the Belarussians, the largest national group in Lithuania, were four political orientations: social-democracy (both mensheviks and socialists-revolutionaries), snorism, communism, and Belarussian nationalism. The Belarussians had a particularly strong native snorist movement, not only because Russia appeared to be a better alternative for them than Lithuania, but also because there was a small Belarussian state east of them, centered around Smolensk and Bransk, which was basically a leftover from Great War I left intact by the Russian SNOR regime for propagandistic purposes.
In this constellation, democracy could never become a great success in Lithuania. Since the ruling class consisted mostly of ethnic Lithuanians and Veneds, who were scared to death for whatever the future might bring to them, they did whatever they could to prevent any kind of true democracy from being implemented, as both snorism and socialism/communism would have had serious consequences for them. As far as any general elections were ever held, they were characterised by violence, terror, and falsification. Eventually, democracy was liquidated after a coup in 1926, and Lithuania became a conservative-nationalist dictatorship, led by Antanas Smetona and Augustinas Voldemaras. As a result, during its whole independent existence Lithuania was ruled by Lithuanian nationalists, who were supported (or at least tolerated) by the rich landowners, and maintained the feudal situation on their behalf. The government understood how hopeless the situation was, and launched a major project for establishing colonies, which they hoped would help to preserve Lithuanian culture should Lithuania be occupied, and serve as a place to send political opponents to as well. However, this campaign costed much and its failures were later used as propaganda against government itself.
Nevertheless, during the 1930s ethnic tension between the Lithuanian ruling class and the Slavic majority rose to such proportions that it jeopardised the state in its very existence. It reached its peak in 1936, during the First Slavic Uprising. Lithuanian nationalism had become discredited because of chronic mismanagement. With a hungry, frustrated bear east of Lithuania, and with snorism as a strong internal and external threat, Lithuania was like a time bomb that could explode any time. Sooner or later, a communist or snorist revolution appeared inevitable, and otherwise a Russian invasion would solve the matter. The Lithuanian regime understood well that it would be unable to prevent such developments without Venedic help, and that the only way to avoid being swallowed by Russia was the restoration of the old Republic.
The first active step toward reunification was made in 1937 by Veneda. After the death of king Głurzan, the Venedic Senate elected the Lithuanian king Algirdas as Veneda's new king.
Needless to say that both Germany and Russia were not happy with these developments. In a secret treaty, the Lipov-Von Korff Treaty, they divided Eastern Europe into spheres of influence, and before any further steps could be taken towards a restoration of the RBN, Germany invaded Veneda on 1 September 1939 and put an end to its independent existence. Slighly more than two weeks later, on 18 September, Russia invaded Lithuania. This marks the official beginning of the Second Great War. By the end of October, both Veneda and Lithuania were conquered (Lithuania in the so-called "Thunderstorm War").
Great War II was essentially a German civil war that indirectly became a world war. It began with the efforts of the German Emperor and his faithful aide Adolf von Hessler to create a unified Germany - not by merging the numerous small states into one, but by creating a strong, central power with all the local dukes and princes becoming mere figureheads under the leadership of Prussia, by far the most powerful German state and the axis around which the Holy Roman Empire turned. Hessler himself was not a born Prussian, but an immigrant from another state who had become more Prussian than the king. He obtained the position of chief of staff in the Prussian army, ultimately becoming more powerful than the emperor. In fact, he overshadowed the latter to such a degree, that he soon received the nickname “Adolf I”.
During the 1920s and early 1930s, Prussia gained total control over the Empire, using a combination of military pressure, political machinations, and false promises to local kings, dukes or princes. Anhalt, Braunschweig and Waldeck were incorporated into Prussia with the international community hardly noticing it. Hannover was conquered without much trouble too. Surely, Prussia was not alone in its efforts: states like Hessen, Saxony, Hohenzollern, and the Rheinland supported it. On the other hand, certain North German states were strongly opposed to Prussian centralism, notably Oldenburg and Holstein, states that belonged not only to the German Empire but also to the Scandinavian Realm, and Mecklenburg, because the Scandinavian queen at the time was the daughter of the duke. It took lots of brutal violence, blackmail, forged elections and the assassination of a duke, before Holstein, Oldenburg, Bremen, Hamburg and Mecklenburg were effectively gleichgeschaltet. The Scandinavian queen, who nominally remained Duchess of Holstein was unable to do much against the situation. The aggression was hardly enough to declare war.
And so, when Austria joined the Empire in 1934 (also through political machinations), it became part of a more or less united German Empire under Prussian hegemony. Proud of what he had accomplished, the Emperor then spoke the historical words: “Look boyos, we almost had Paris last go round; what say we give it the old college try one more time, eh, what?”, and in 1935 the Empire attacked Helvetia. Helvetia wasn't exactly popular among the other countries of the world, because in the not-too-distant past it had been quite belligerent itself; apart from a few official protests, nobody interfered and Germany was allowed to do its thing there. Helvetia was conquered and incorporated in the beginning of 1939.
The Holy Roman Empire had become the most powerful country in Europe. This made it particularly interesting for the frustrated SNOR rulers of Russia, who desperately needed some success abroad to justify their not-too-popular interior policy. In 1936 they formed an alliance with HRE, the Großartige Allianz. Other countries joined the German-Russian axis as well; Greece had been itching to move East and go to war with the Turks since the collapse of the Ottoman Empire in 1922, and in 1936, encouraged by the Germans and then allied with them, it finally did so. Hungary, out for revenge for its painful defeat in Great War I, joined the Allianz in 1937, followed in 1939 by Ukraine, Belarus, and the Danubian Confederation.
In March 1939 the Russian leader Vissarionov concluded a secret treaty with Germany, that become known later as the Lipov-Von Korff Treaty. Central and Eastern Europe were divided into two spheres of influence: a part where Germany could do whatever it wanted without Russian interference, and vice versa. A first effect of this treaty was the annexation of Bohemia by Germany: a pro-German coup in the Bohemian Kingdom on 2 April 1939 resulted in Königreich der Böhmischen Kronländer, which then requested and received full incorporation into the HRE. (3)
Despite the significance of the preceding events, they were mostly neglected and ignored by the Western powers. This would finally change after five months: on 1 September 1939, Germany attacked Veneda on 1 September 1939, and slighly more than two weeks later, on 18 September, Russia invaded Lithuania. In response to these invasions, the Allies (the Federated Kingdoms, France, the Italies) formally declared war on the Allianz, although initially it did not come to any fightings. This marks the official beginning of the Second Great War.
By the end of October, both Veneda and Lithuania were conquered. Subsequently, Russia launched an attack on Nassland on 3 November (4), and by June 1940, Nassland, Estonia, Livonia and Courland were conquered as well. In 1940, Germany had equally little trouble rolling through Batavia and Jervaine: both were conquered in a few days, immediately after which Germany moved on to France. By the end of the year, most of Northern France (Francie) was occupied. In the same period, Oltenia and Muntenia were conquered and annexed by Hungary, and Moldova by Ukraine.
The German attack on Veneda made more sense than it would seem. It was not merely a matter of Lebensraum; a considerable part of the population of the Venedic Kingdom was (High or Low) German speaking, and many of them would rather join the Holy Roman Empire than be part of a country ruled by Venedic nationalists or a half-Catholic, half-pagan Republic of Both Nations. Although they invaded one country after another, the Germans were definitely no nazis like *here*. Unlike the Russian SNOR regime they did not carry an ideology (except perhaps for some vague conceptions about Pan-Germanism, Lebensraum, and building up a huge empire), never persecuted Jews, and never shot entire villages as a repressaille for the murder of one German soldier. They were primarily motivated by power, prestige, and economic benefits. Their treatment of subject countries was relatively humane.
Initially, the Großartige Allianz proved successful. By 1941, it had most of Europe under its control, and China - not officially a member of the Allianz but allied with it anyway - was making similar progress in the Far East (5). All that was left of the Allied Powers were the Federated Kingdoms, Gaulhe, the Italies, the SLC-NAL, Australasia, South Africa, Guyana, and rest of the Commonwealth. Scandinavia and the Iberian countries were still neutral at the time. In 1940, the Federated Kingsdoms had been forced to a humiliating ceasefire with the Allianz, which would only end in 1943.
Two factors would eventually determine the final defeat of the Allianz: mutual distrust between Russia and Germany that would cause a split in the Allianz and finally escalate into a war in 1943, and Germany's failed attack on Scandinavia.
The first signs of a split in the Allianz became visible in 1941, when the Danubian Confederation withdrew from it after some generals had removed the prime minister and abrogated the treaty. This annoyed the Allianz, and soon Germany, Hungary and Greece invaded with Russian support. The Danubian Confederation did not stand a chance; it formally ceased to exist, and in its place several smaller puppet states were established, one of which was the Independent State of Croatia, led Ante Pavelić. This Croatia was rather, or very, fascist, more so than any other member of the Allianz; the Ustaša doctrine regarded all Slavs as subhuman (holding that the Croats were actually Goths who had picked up the language of the local Slavs), and this view clashed heavily with the new snorist regimes of the Kingdoms of Bulgaria and Serbia, which had factually become Russian satellites. As tension between the Croats and the Serbs grew, mutual distrust between Russia and Germany grew with it. By 1943 the Allianz had factually ceased to exist, and in its place two camps stood diametrically opposite each other: Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, Serbia and Bulgaria at one side, Germany, Hungary, Croatia and a half-hearted Greece at the other. When Russia and Serbia finally invaded Croatia, it took Germany less than a day to respond: from Veneda, it launched a massive attack against Russian-occupied Lithuania, and from there rolled quickly into Belarus and Russia proper. Less than a year later the Baltic states, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine, the Crimea, and much of European Russia were occupied by the German-Hungarian armies; the Russian government was forced to leave Moscow and settle itself in Jekaterinenburg, in the Urals.
Blinded by this success, Hessler, who had become Germany's indisputed leader after the Emperor's death, made a capital mistake: in 1945, he launched an attack on Rygen, which was a Danish fief and thus an integral part of the Scandinavian Realm. From a geopolitical point of view this attack made sense; besides, Rygen had been annoying Hessler for a long time, because most people who managed to escape the country did so by crossing the border with Rygen, from where they took the boat to Denmark, Sweden, or other parts of the world. Indeed preparations for the attack had been made much earlier, but were never realised because of the war with Russia. Nevertheless, the attack was the beginning of the end for Germany, as it turned a neutral neighbour into a powerful enemy. First of all, the attack on Scandinavia caused much turmoil within the north German states, in particular Oldenburg and Holstein, who plainly refused to take part in an attack of their own (still Scandinavian) head of state. Besides, Germany's resources were seriously stretched by now, and they were stretched even further by Mecklenburgish loyalist partisans, who seriously complicated Germany's passage to Rygen. Furthermore, Scandinavian defenses had been beefed up considerably since the 1920s. Between Slesvig and Holstein, there were the Danevirke (a wall running along the border), modernized and ready by the early 1930s. In Rygen, a defensive wall had been built along the Peene and Recknitz rivers (using the rivers themselves as moats) and completed by the late 1930s. In the seas, the Royal Scandinavian Navy was by no means an easy target for the German Kriegsmarine either, especially since the Kriegsmarine had only half its strengh (6) and German shipping and ports were constantly harassed by Scandinavian privateers. Thus the attack on Rygen, intended to be a matter of hours by dropping a lot of bombs to clear out the terrain for German ground forces, became a matter of weeks instead. Before Germany had a chance to realise its plans to launch an air campaign against Slesvig and Denmark, a massive Scandinavian counterattack stopped the German troups near the Danevirke.
Germany now had to fight on three fronts, and in addition it had to cope with growing internal opposition. The situation became even worse for Germany when Russia concluded a separate peace with the Allies in 1946. Both sides were tired of the war, and although the Allies were not particularly fond of Russia's SNOR regime, there had never been any direct conflict with it either, which made the alliance significantly easier to swallow for them. And so, when the German war with Scandinavia reached its peak, Germany's progress into Russian territory was finally stopped in the historic battle of Vissarionovgrad. Subsequently, Russia fought the Germans with renewed courage and managed to overrun all the territories it had previously lost to Germany even quicklier than Germany had been able to take them. In the second half of 1947, Russia had recovered all of its own territory, and moved on into Eastern Europe.
This time the Russians followed a different strategy: instead of placing every country under direct military command, they granted them renewed independence, thus assuming the image of liberators. However, most of this independence was merely a façade: every “liberated” country was immediately provided with a local, snorist or at least pro-snorist puppet government, backed up by Russian troops and taking its orders directly from the Russian government in Moscow. The first government of this type had been established in Nassland as early as 1940. Now, even Ukraine, which after a coup by pro-Russian, rightist forces had entered the Großartige Allianz as an independent state, became a Russian satellite after it had been liberated from German occupation, and most of its former leaders were either killed or imprisoned and exiled in Siberia. Thus, Estonia, Latvia, Ukraine, the Crimea, Moldova, and Lithuania were turned into Russian puppet states in 1947, and a new state of Skuodia was established. Subsequently, Russia marched into Hungarian territory, and after Hungary's defeat in June 1948 it was divided in five pieces: Muntenia and Oltenia were restored; the Slevanians, a people closely related to the Veneds who had been fighting Hungarian rule for a long period, received their own quasi-independent state; the same happened to the Karpatia, a territory inhabited mostly by Carpatho-Ukrainians, or Rusyns; and Hungary proper continued to exist as a rump state. All five were ruled by snorist governments.
Meanwhile, the western Allied Powers (in particular the Federated Kingdoms and France) had liberated Helvetia, Jervaine and the Batavian Kingdom, and subsequently moved on into Germany itself. The Scandinavian armies had finally forced a breakthrough in the north and liberated one north German state after another.
The liberation of Veneda was a more complicated matter. On one hand, Russia's SNOR regime clearly had the intention to add it to its collection of snorist puppet states, and by August 1948 most of eastern Veneda was occupied by Russian troops. On the other hand, Scandinavian forces moved eastward from Northern Germany and liberated the northern part of Veneda (which since the First Great War had been part of Germany), while others crossed the Baltic Sea and landed on Veneda's northern shores. These troops consisted largely of privateers; after the Scandinavian Realm legalised privateering upon entering the war, much of the human resources would come from the newly formed privateering companies who would be employing quite a number of foreigners, including people from Central Europe who successfully escaped their countries and joined the privateering forces in the hope that this would allow them to play a part in the liberation of their countries. The Scandinavian forces were joined by the Venedic resistance, who - with Scandinavian help in the form of supply drops (of food, ammunitions, weapons, new technology, etc.) - also attempted to liberate the remaining parts of Veneda.
During the whole war, Veneda had a well-organised underground resistance. When Veneda was invaded by the German troops in 1939, its army - despite its poor organisation and its old-fashioned equipment - defended the country vigoriously and heroically. Soon after the capitulation, entire regiments fled the country and placed themselves under FK command, while many other military and non-military groups organised themselves into local partisan groups. Soon a central high command was established, and almost all locally organised groups were transformed into one powerful underground army, the Armia Pazana. Its head was general Paweł Żakliny. The AP was joined by most of the Lithuanian underground - although other Lithuanian and Belarussian groups, mainly communist and snorist partisans, fought their own battle on Lithuanian soil. It collaborated closely with the Venedic government-in-exile, the armed forces abroad, and the Allied high command.
Venedic political and military leaders, both underground and in exile, had been brainstorming continuously about possible constellations after an eventual liberation. The common opinion was that the Republic of Both Nations should be restored, which basically was a continuation of the policy pursued before the war. Most Lithuanians - both the government-in-exile and those members of the resistance who cooperated with the AP - shared this view, as they understood that Russian hegemony would be the only alternative; only the most radical nationalists seemed to prefer a snorist Lithuania over a restored RBN, but since Lithuanian nationalism had been thoroughly discredited because of its mismanagement before the war, their influence was very limited. Thus, when king Olgierd II the Unforgotten, who had chosen to stay in Veneda and lead the resistance instead of escaping the country, was killed in 1940, both governments in exile elected another Lithuanian, Witold III the Absolute, as the new king ad interim. Witold led the Venedic and Lithuanian resitance abroad and underground energetically. He laid the foundation for the factual restoration of the Republic of Both Nations, and thanks to his strong lobby, the Republic was already counted as one of the Allied Powers before it formally existed, despite the fact that it was still occupied.
In several parts of Veneda the AP was successful in expelling the Germans. Russia was far from happy with this: it feared a situation similar to the Danubian Confederation, where local communist partisans under Josip Broz had successfully liberated their country without Russian help. To prevent the AP from liberating Veneda themselves, Russia moved further westwards, whereby it regularly came to fightings with the AP. Those fightings also spread to Lithuania, where the same partisans who had been fighting the German occupant for years now continued their battle with Lithuania's pro-snorist leadership and Russian troops stationed there. Nevertheless, by October 1948 Lithuania and almost all Veneda were firmly under Russian control, except for the northern shores that had been liberated by Scandinavians.
As a means to strenghten its position in Veneda, Russia proclaimed a snorist "Grandduchy of Veneda" on 1 September. Officially, it would consist of all prewar Veneda except Galicia, which was given to Ukraine. Practically, it consisted of the Russian occupation zone in Eastern Veneda, because the rest of the country was still controlled by Germany, by the Scandinavians who were marching in in the North, and by the Venedic resistance. Its leader was the Venedic nobleman Henryk Śpiała, a hero from the First Great War and later governor of Little Veneda; his collaborationist government was established in Liublin and consisted mostly of rogue members of the DN and a number of non-political people. Śpiała styled himself "Grandduke of Veneda". He went dressed in a red uniform, loaded with medals, and when he appeared in public he always did so sitting on a white horse. Hie followers greeted each other with "Śpiele sołyć!" ("Hail to Śpiała!"). In spite of this pompous approach, Russia's newly acquired puppet state would not last long, though; it is even questionable in how far this small state has ever been able to function as such.
The next step of the Russian war machine was setting foot on German soil. At this point, Germany's defeat seemed irreversible and Hessler had gone virtually insane. In an act of utter desperation, he ordered the Luftwaffe to drop a nuclear bomb on the city of Łódź, Veneda's second largest industrial city, where the Russian military headquarters were established, on 18 October 1948. Over 55,000 people were killed, and the city's entire historical centre was devastated. The nuking of Łódź was followed by a vast military offensive, which forced the Russian troops to retreat. However, this would only temporarily delay Germany's ultimate defeat.
It had become clear by now that Russia had its own vision about the future of the countries it liberated, and - partly under pressure of Veneda's government in exile - the other Allies decided to interfere. In November a meeting was called in Visby, an old Hanseatic city on the isle of Gotland, where all major Allied leaders - of the Scandinavian Realm, the Federated Kingdoms, France, Veneda, and Russia - were present. After long negotiations, Russia somewhat unwillingly accepted the restoration of the Republic of Both Nations, on the condition that it would become a neutral state. The same went for the Bohemian Kingdom and Nassland. In return however, a large part of Lithuania - territories where the Belarussian popullation formed a decisive majority - was added to the Republic of Belarus, and Russia was allowed to keep a presence in the other countries it had occupied: Estonia, Latvia, Skuodia, Slevania, Hungary, the Romanias, Ukraine, the Crimea, and Belarus. In the small state of Karpatia a referendum was scheduled in April 1949, in which the inhabitants could decide for themselves whether they wanted to be part of Ukraine, Slevania, Hungary or the Republic, or remain an independent state.
As a direct consequence of Visby, Russia was forced to withdraw from Veneda and Lithuania and to abandon both snorist governments. They were quickly overthrown by Venedic and Lithuanian partisans, and the last remnants of German and Russian occupation were cleared away by a popular uprising. By half of December, nothing was left of them. On 4 February 1949, the Republic of the Two Crowns was formally established, as the successor state of the ancient Republic of Both Nations. Its western borders were drawn along the same lines as before 1914, with the exception of a part of Preimern, which became part of the RTC. Furthermore, Germany lost East Prussia, which also become part of the RTC. Lithuania would consist of Lithuania proper, the westernmost part of Belarus, and Volhynia. The Republic of Karpatia was added after the referendum, in which 54 % of the population voted in favour of becoming a part of the RTC.
The Second Great War officially came to an end in May 1949, when a new German leadership signed Germany's ultimate surrender. After the capitulation, the Allies decided to deal once and for all with Prussia, in their eyes the “evil nucleus” of the Holy Roman Empire and the leading force behind all German aggression. All states it had usurped during the 1920s and 1930s were restored: Anhalt, Braunschweig, Hannover, and others. Oldenburg and Rygen were returned to the Scandinavian Realm. Furthermore, Prussia lost large parts of its own territory. Westphalia remained occupied and governed by the Federated Kingdoms, until it became an independent republic within the Holy Roman Empire in 1955. The Prussian province of Hessen was incorporated by the Volksstaat Hessen, which came under French administration, also until 1955. Lübeck was returned to the Scandinavian Realm - the Principality becoming a fully integrated part of Holstein, the City as a separate city state of the SR. Preimern became a separate duchy with a Venedic nobleman as its duke. Prussia proper came under a joint administration of the Federated Kingdoms, France, and the Scandinavian Realm, which would also end in 1955. Russia attempted to get parts of Germany under its administration as well, but failed. The Holy Roman Empire was transformed into a loose confederation of de facto independent states, and Prussia's dominant role within it was terminated.
The postwar period has been a relatively quiet one for the RTC. It kept its promise of becoming a neutral state, and so it has been surrounded by members of the snorist bloc (Skuodia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, Hungary) at one side and neutral or western states (the Holy Roman Empire, the Scandinavian Realm, the Bohemian Kingdom) at the other for the next forty years. Its position as a kind of buffer state between Russia and the West gave it the occasion to take on a mediatory role, and allowed the Republic to serve as a go-between in East-West relations. Lithuania's capital Vilnius became a common neutral meeting place for talks between European countries, a position it has preserved until today. The relation with snorist Russia has been varied over the years. King Marcin I (1951-1960), who ascended the throne after the death of king Witold III, sometimes came so dangerously close to a slavish pursuit of Russian interests, that he was later nicknamed “the snorist”, even though he never sympathised with any of the snorist dogmas. His successors August VI and Witold IV on the other hand were far more western in their policy.
The Baltic League has been rather inactive during the years between the end of Great War II and the fall of the SNOR in the early 1990s, although it was never officially abolished. Estonia and Latvia were ruled by pro-Russian juntas, and their economies were completely subordinate to Russia's. On the other hand, the League was joined by two new members: the state of Nassland, which had declared strict neutrality to avoid future events similar to the Ice War, joined the League in 1953, while the Duchy of Preimern was allowed to become a member in 1955. In the same period, the German states of Mecklenburg and Schleswig-Holstein would also resume their activity. During most of the postwar period, the activities - as far as there were any - were restricted to trade and commerce; only during the 1990s other tasks, like mutual defense, would expand its scope.
According to its new constitution, the RTC is a federation of two semi-independent states, Veneda and Lithuania. Both have their own governments and parliaments, and the institutions of the RTC are mostly a super-structure over those of its two constituents. Both are subdivided into provinces, thirteen in Veneda and five in Lithuania. Galicia, despite renewed efforts of its Ruthenian politicians to raise it to the status of a third semi-independent constituent, remained an autonomous area within the Kingdom of Veneda, although it was expanded with Karpatia in 1956. During the whole post-war period, the status of Galicia has been a sensitive issue in the Republic's politics, and still is. The largest Ruthenian party, the RNDO, has always promoted Galicia to become a separate kingdom within the framework of the RTC, although its long-term objective is unification with Ukraine. Most Veneds, especially those in Galicia itself, are strongly opposed against this idea, because they consider Galicia an “inseparable part of Venedic soil, spirit and history”, and besides, there is a large Venedic population in the western areas, particularly in the capital, Czytać Leoniór. Lithuania is unhappy with it too, because it fears a significant reduction of its influence on republican matters. The situation is obscured by the fact, that a national reawakening is taking place in the (Lithuanian) province of Volhynia, where the vast majority of the population is Ukrainian. In November 2004 a referendum took place in Galicia and Volhynia about their political unification, and despite the athmosphere of violence, intimidation and fraud, the plebiscite ended in a huge majority in favour. Should this decision be implemented, this would de facto turn Galicia-Volhynia into a condominium between Veneda and Lithuania, and its ties with Veneda and Lithuania would be loosened up considerably. Notwithstanding its official status, Galicia behaves pretty much like the “third crown” it desires to become; the charismatic chairman of the Galician High Council, RNDO leader Darko Popczuk, occasionally refers to himself as “viceroy of Galicia and Lodomeria”.
Politically, the RTC has been as unstable as it always used to be. In a way it became even worse: not only is virtually every possible political stance represented by a political party, but most Venedic parties have some kind of Lithuanian equivalent or counterpart, and vice versa, so that almost every spot in the matrix between political current and nationality is filled with one or more parties. As a result, the RTC numbers over 700 parties, and every Sejm consists of a huge number of parties (currently 48, not to mention the 119 non-aligned MPs). Most governments are coalitions of many (sometimes up to fifteen) parties and usually don't last longer than a year (7). It is only thanks to centuries of experience that Sejm and government still manage to govern the country at all.
Nevertheless, the first years after the war were a period of relative stability and unity. Political life was dominated by a broad mass movement of former members of the resistance, prewar politicians and non-political people, the Kongres Wyńtacie Noconalej (Congress of National Unity). Its leader was the former chief of the Armia Pazana, general Paweł Żakliny. He led seven successive governments, which successfully rebuilt most of the devastated country. Żakliny personally supervised the restoration of Łódź. After a few years, however, the KWN would fall apart into numerous factions, until it finally ceased to exist in 1965.
In 2004, the RTC officially put an end to its official policies of neutrality, during the Floridian War. After Florida-Caribbea's junta, led by general Silva-Gonzalez, set off an atomic bomb in Charlotte Amalie, capital of the Cruzan Islands, on March 23, the Republic joined the camp of its enemies. As a result, the RTC is currently in charge of its own Zone of Occupation in Southeast Florida.
(1) Austro-Dalmatia was a state quite different from *here*'s Austro-Hungary. It included only a small portion of Hungary, roughly the same as current Slevania, which it had taken from Bohemia only four years earlier. The rest of Hungary was occupied by the Ottoman Empire. The latter had a common border with the Republic of Both Nations too, but the Turks were weak and not interested in further expansion in any direction: the Scots of Egypt were blocking them in Africa, and Europe was effectively in stalemate.
(2) More details about this period in Galician history can be found here.
(3) See this page for a more accurate description of the events in the Bohemian Kingdom.
(4) Lithuania was conquered by Russia in the so-called "Thunderstorm War", more about which can be read here, and Nassland in the so-called Ice War, more about which can be read here.
(5) China?! Yes, indeed! Find out more about it here.
(6) Only the Baltic fleet was intact during the attack. Part of the Atlantic fleet, which was based in Oldenburg, had
escaped to the SR. This is not so strange as it would seem: Oldenburg was a German-Scandinavian condominium with a fleet
that consisted of both German and Scandinavian ships. Initially, this situation worked in favour of Germany; none of the
Allies would have ventured to attack Oldenburg, because such an attack would automatically have turned the Scandinavian
Realm into a German ally. However, immediately after Germany invaded Rygen, the Atlantic fleet split in half and started
to do battle right there in the middle of the naval harbour of Friederichshaven. During this battle, some of the German
ships fought on the SR side as well; after they mutineered, they simply dipped the German ensign and raised the Dannebrog
or the Oldenburg Bars.
How interesting a condominium situation between to countries at war with each other can be, is illustrated by the following apocryphal quote from the Duke of Oldenburg: “As of today, a state of war exists between the Scandinavian Realm and the Holy Roman Empire. I have been told that due to our political situation, I will have to declare war on ourselves. Twice.”
(7) More about political parties can be found here, more about the Sejm here.