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How did the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth become official?

How did the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth become official?


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I believe that they were good allies but were they also at some point became one nation. But it seemed like an unusually long "courtship" that lasted decades, or even centuries. That's why am kinda confused by the whole "Commonwealth" aspect. When and why did a "de facto" relationship become "de jure?" Could someone explain better on what that whole part of history was about.


The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth started as a "personal union" of the King of Lithuanian in 1386, when Jagiello married the Polish queen Jadwiga (who died in childbirth). That is, the same "king," ruled both countries, separately, not as a unified country. Under those circumstances, Poland and Lithuania became "fellow travelers."

Matters came to a head in 1569 for two reasons. First, the king of Lithuania threatened to die childless, ending the personal union. Second, Lithuania was threatened by Russia of Ivan the Terrible. So they sought a permanent union with Poland.

Poland wanted something in return, the de facto takeover of Lithuania. They didn't get quite this much, but the Lithuanians agreed to let the Polish gentry "settle" their holdings in the current western Ukraine, while preserving the core of Lithuania for themselves. This lead to the Union of Lublin in 1569 that formally merged the two nations, and created the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

After the Lithuanian (now Polish) king died in 1572 without heirs, the Commonwealth elected as its new king, a foreign prince, Stephen Batory, the first of many such foreign born kings.

Polish history twists and turns and is a bit "different" from the history of most other countries, which is why it's confusing.


LITHUANIA

Proto-Baltic peoples, ancestors of present-day Lithuanians and Latvians, first began to migrate into the territory of present-day Lithuania in the 2nd millennium B.C. (Lieven, 421). These tribes probably spoke the Proto-Balto-Slavic language, ancestor of Latvian and Lithuanian and itself a descendant of Proto-Indo-European (Wikipedia). The modern Lithuanian language “is of great interest to philologists, being an ancient form of Indo-European, and allegedly [though this is disputed] the closest surviving language to Sanskrit” (Lieven, 40).

The first discernable Lithuanian kingdom appeared in 1316 under the Grand Duke Gediminas, who consolidated the tribes living in the area (Wikipedia). Gediminas established the city of Vilnius and invited Jews to settle, leading to the first significant Jewish migration into the area (Lieven, 10 141). Unlike the less consolidated peoples of present-day Latvia and Estonia, the Lithuanians were able to resist invasion by the Teutonic Knights, and consequently, the country never acquired a significant German population or local German nobility (ibid. 44).

The success of Lithuanian territorial expansion in the 13th and 14th centuries led to the incorporation of large numbers of people who did not speak the Lithuanian language. Consequently, “the language of official documents in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania was not Lithuanian but ‘Chancellery Slavonic’, a dialect akin to those of present-day Byelorussia” (ibid. 47). The process of expansion culminated in the formation of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in the Union of Lublin in 1569, where “all the Slavonic dialects ranging between Russian and Polish and covering present-day Byelorussian and Ukrainian, were collectively described as ‘Ruthene’) (ibid. 47, Wikipedia).

The Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth recognized Polish, Latin, Ruthene, German, Armenian, and Hebrew as official languages (Lieven, 48). This implied the presence of a significant Jewish population as well as Armenian merchants (Kappeler, 138-139). Subsequent demographic changes and the contraction of Lithuanian borders would significantly alter the ethnic makeup suggested by these languages.

Until 1941, Lithuania had by far the largest Jewish population of the three Baltic States. Even within the greatly reduced borders of 20th-Century Lithuania, Jews made up 7.6% of the new republic’s population (Lieven, 139). With the Jews came both the Yiddish and, thanks to the Russian ties of the Jewish intelligentsia, Russian languages. The Jewish population in the wake of the genocide comprises a negligible portion of the Lithuanian population, so that, at present, the principal minority populations residing in the country are the Poles and the Russians. The former make up about 6.7% of the population, compared to 15-18% before the Second World War (CIA World Factbook Lieven, 159).

The Russian community, limited before Lithuania’s annexation by the Soviet Union in 1940, grew substantially under Soviet rule, but never became as large, either in relative or absolute terms, as those in Latvia and Estonia, both due to the larger Lithuanian population and as a result of the Lithuanians’ more aggressive resistance to Russian settlers (ibid. 88-89). Consequently, Russians composed about 9.4% of the Lithuanian population in 1989 – substantially less than the 34% in Latvia and 30% in Estonia, with Poles accounting for another 7%, and Lithuanians themselves comprising 79.6% (ibid. 432-434). In 2001, Lithuanians represented 83.4% of the population, with Russian emigration accounting for the most of the proportional change (CIA World Factbook).

Grand Duchy of Lithuania

By the thirteenth century, the Lithuanian tribes in Northern Europe were united under the Lithuanian duke and gifted military leader, Mindaugas (Kasekamp, 17). In order to stabilize his power and undermine his competition, Mindaugas entered into an alliance with the Christian Teutonic Order, accepted baptism from the Pope, and was crowned King of Lithuania in 1253. Christianity did not remain long in Lithuania, however. Less than ten years after Mindaugas’s baptism, he expelled the Christian clergy from Lithuania and was assassinated. The unified Lithuanian state Mindaugas created survived his assassination and remained the last pagan state in Europe.

For the next century, the pagan rulers of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania faced warfare with the Teutonic Order in the north and west, with the Rus’ in the east, and with the Poles in the south. Under Grand Duke Gediminas (ruled 1316-41), the “poly-ethnic, multi-confessional character” of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania came into being (Rowell, 289). Gediminas welcomed Jews and Hanseatic merchants and tradesmen to Lithuania, and expanded Lithuanian territory to include most of present-day Belarus (Kasekamp, 21). The Grand Duchy of Lithuania continued to grow under the Gediminas dynasty: Grand Duke Algirdas led military campaigns to Moscow’s Kremlin in 1368 and 1372 and added Kiev and most of present-day Ukraine to the territory of the Grand Duchy (Kasekamp, 23).

Algirdas’s son, Jogaila merged his domains with Poland, in the Act of Krewo in 1385, when he “traded Catholic conversion for the Polish crown,” becoming King Władysław II Jagiello (Synder, 17). Jagiello decided to accept Catholicism instead of Orthodoxy because Poland, as a Catholic state, would be able to help protect Lithuania from the Teutonic Order. As such, Jagiello married the Polish Princess Jadwiga and began the Jagiello dynasty, which ruled Poland and Lithuania until 1572. Jagiello’s son Casimir became Grand Duke of Lithuania in 1440 and King of Poland in 1447. Casimir granted significant privileges to the Lithuanian nobles and maintained Lithuania’s independence from Poland in order to secure the crown (Kasekamp, 28).

In the sixteenth century it became clear that Lithuania needed Polish military protection from their eastern enemies. This prompted the 1569 Union of Lublin in which Lithuania accepted Polish terms for an official union and transferred its Ukrainian territory to Poland. This act created the Republic of Two Nations, or the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth [Rzeczpopospolita], and one of the largest and most powerful states in Europe (Kasekamp, 44). One elected sovereign, titled the King of Poland and the Grand Duke of Lithuania, and a joint parliament [Sejm], which met biannually, would rule the Commonwealth. Even though Poland and Lithuania retained their own separate governments, armies, treasuries, and legal codes, this union led to the “cultural polonisation” of the Lithuanian elite who viewed Polish language and customs as superior to Lithuanian language and customs (Kasekamp, 44).

Ukrainian Cossacks in the middle of the seventeenth century rebelled against their Polish lords and sought protection from Muscovy. Muscovy continued its western expansion and captured Vilnius for the first time in 1655, while Sweden took advantage of the Muscovite invasion in Lithuania and successfully invaded Poland. The combined effects of invasion, war, plague, and famine killed almost half of the Grand Duchy’s population (Kasekamp, 50). The Commonwealth was able to get rid of Muscovites in Lithuania but lost Kiev, eastern Ukraine, and Smolensk in the 1667 Peace of Andrusovo.

The Polish King’s limited powers as an appointed monarch combined with the nobility’s refusal to give up their privileges to create a stalemate in the government in which the authority of the monarchy continued to decrease and Russians could interfere. As a result, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth became more of an “object than a subject” in international relations (Kasekamp, 63). In 1772, the first partition of Poland-Lithuania occurred between Russia, Prussia, and Austria each country took some of the Commonwealth for itself resulting in a loss of one third of its territory. This first partition prompted an attempted reform of the government. A constitution was adopted on 3 May 1791, which eliminated Lithuania’s independent status and created a common army, treasury, and executive institutions in an attempt to strengthen the state against its enemies (Kasekamp, 64). These reforms, however, were resisted by many nobles and prompted the second partition in 1793 by Prussia and Russia. The third partition of the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania was undertaken by Russia, Prussia, and Austria in 1795 after a failed Lithuanian uprising in 1794. In the final partition, almost all of the remaining lands of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania were annexed by Russia, effectively wiping the Commonwealth of Poland-Lithuania from the map of Europe.


Poland

Aristocratic structure: ruled by the sejm (parliament of nobles) - gave them authority to liberum veto (veto > corrupt). Prone to foreign influence and bribery as this was enough to disrupt sejm sitting: prevent reform.

Revolt: 30,000 poles to be conscripted into Russian army revolt, 100,000 Russians put them down. Appears a quick success but Poles well organised (guerrilla war), support from Pope, set up prove gov for independence.
BUT unrealistic - relied on revolutionary outbreak in Russia & Napoleon III's support - paretic after Prussia supported Russia who now intervenes and looked negatively at Poles (before thought that uprising wasn't nationalist but associated with social pressure.
Also because split between reds (socialists - lower class more radical) and white (upper middle classes and landed gear) who feared revolution and wanted passive resistance.

Russian stats 396 executed, 18762 exiled, approx. 70,000 imprisoned, land confiscated, income tax 10% on all estates as war indemnity, when serfdom abolished 1863 done in a way to weaken Szlachta: in peasant-rich areas not allowed to give land to szlachta, gov took church estates, funds, abolished monasteries.. All schools taught in Russian. Kingdom divide into 20 provinces each with Russian military government under control of Russians. Congress Poland revoked, separate status of Polish lands now incorporated them directly as western region of Russian empire.

Trzeciakowski - idea of Poland sustained through religion - nationalism through religion - no loyalism in religion - affected relationship with Catholic Church - alignments began to form not on religious basis but on national basis - government and clergy and faith of German descent joined against Polonism. Understandable because differences between 2 nationalities intensify. Close union emerges between German people and their clergy - shown through Centre Party, results in conflicts with Polish clergy (emerging nationalism transcended into religion).

Poles an insignf. minority in an imperial Germany, minimal representation in representative bodies.

Bismarck followed aggressive policy against Church 1870-3 gave state decisive role in appointments of clerical posts.

Resulted in Poles moving towards Loyalism (but NB Bismarck's settlement laws were unsuccessful).
Poles - Loyalism was not a result of concessions but a course with conservative Polish leaders felt compelled to take.


History

Golden Liberty

The political doctrine of the Commonwealth was: our state is a republic under the presidency of the King. Chancellor Jan Zamoyski summed up this doctrine when he said that Rex regnat et non-gubernat ("The King reigns but [lit. 'and'] does not govern"). ⎫] The Commonwealth had a parliament, the Sejm, as well as a Senat and an elected king (Pic. 1). The king was obliged to respect citizens' rights specified in King Henry's Articles as well as in Pacta conventa, negotiated at the time of his election.

The monarch's power was limited, in favor of a sizable noble class. Each new king had to pledge to uphold the Henrician Articles, which were the basis of Poland's political system (and included near-unprecedented guarantees of religious tolerance). Over time, the Henrician Articles were merged with the Pacta Conventa, specific pledges agreed to by the king-elect. From that point onwards, the king was effectively a partner with the noble class and was constantly supervised by a group of senators. The Sejm could veto the king on important matters, including legislation (the adoption of new laws), foreign affairs, declaration of war, and taxation (changes of existing taxes or the levying of new ones).

The foundation of the Commonwealth's political system, the "Golden Liberty" (Polish: Złota Wolność , a term used from 1573 on), included:

    of the king by all nobles wishing to participate, known as wolna elekcja (free election) , the Commonwealth parliament which the king was required to hold every two years
  • Pacta conventa (Latin), "agreed-to agreements" negotiated with the king-elect, including a bill of rights, binding on the king, derived from the earlier Henrician Articles.
  • religious freedom guaranteed by Warsaw Confederation Act 1573, ⎗]
  • rokosz (insurrection), the right of szlachta to form a legal rebellion against a king who violated their guaranteed freedoms
  • liberum veto (Latin), the right of an individual Sejm deputy to oppose a decision by the majority in a Sejm session the voicing of such a "free veto" nullified all the legislation that had been passed at that session during the crisis of the second half of the 17th century, Polish nobles could also use the liberum veto in provincial sejmiks
  • konfederacja (from the Latin confederatio), the right to form an organization to force through a common political aim.

The Republic at the Zenith of Its Power. Golden Liberty. The Royal Election of 1573.

The three regions (see below) of the Commonwealth enjoyed a degree of autonomy. ⎬] Each voivodship had its own parliament (sejmik), which exercised serious political power, including choice of poseł (deputy) to the national Sejm and charging of the deputy with specific voting instructions. The Grand Duchy of Lithuania had its own separate army, treasury and most other official institutions. ⎭]

Golden Liberty created a state that was unusual for its time, although somewhat similar political systems existed in the contemporary city-states like the Republic of Venice. ⎮] Both states were styled "Serenissima Respublica" or the "Most Serene Republic". ⎯] At a time when most European countries were headed toward centralization, absolute monarchy and religious and dynastic warfare, the Commonwealth experimented with decentralization, Η] confederation and federation, democracy and religious tolerance. ⎰]

This political system unusual for its time stemmed from the ascendance of the szlachta noble class over other social classes and over the political system of monarchy. In time, the szlachta accumulated enough privileges (such as those established by the Nihil novi Act of 1505) that no monarch could hope to break the szlachta's grip on power. The Commonwealth's political system is difficult to fit into a simple category, but it can be tentatively described as a mixture of:

    and federation, with regard to the broad autonomy of its regions. It is, however, difficult to decisively call the Commonwealth either confederation or federation, as it had some qualities of both , Η] as only the szlachta—around 15% of the population—had political rights
  • democracy, since all the szlachta were equal in rights and privileges, and the Sejm could veto the king on important matters, including legislation (the adoption of new laws), foreign affairs, declaration of war, and taxation (changes of existing taxes or the levying of new ones). Also, the 15% of Commonwealth population who enjoyed those political rights (the szlachta) ⎱] was a substantially larger percentage than in majority European countries even in the nineteenth century ⎲] note that in 1820 in France only about 1.5% of the male adult population had the right to vote, and in 1840 in Belgium, only about 5%. ⎱]⎲] , since the monarch, elected by the szlachta, was Head of State , since the monarch was bound by pacta conventa and other laws, and the szlachta could disobey any king's decrees they deemed illegal.

Shortcomings

The Troelfth Cake, an allegory of the First Partition of Poland. Contemporary drawing by Jean-Michel Moreau le Jeune.

The end of the Jagiellon dynasty in 1572—after nearly two centuries—disrupted the fragile equilibrium of the Commonwealth's government. Power increasingly slipped away from the central government to the nobility.

When presented with periodic opportunities to fill the throne, the szlachta exhibited a preference for foreign candidates who would not found another strong dynasty. This policy often produced monarchs who were either totally ineffective or in constant debilitating conflict with the nobility. Furthermore, aside from notable exceptions such as the able Transylvanian Stefan Batory (1576–86), the kings of foreign origin were inclined to subordinate the interests of the Commonwealth to those of their own country and ruling house. This was especially visible in the policies and actions of the first two elected kings from the Swedish House of Vasa, whose politics brought the Commonwealth into conflict with Sweden, culminating in the war known as The Deluge (1655), one of the events that mark the end of the Commonwealth's Golden Age and the beginning of the Commonwealth's decline.

Zebrzydowski Rebellion (1606–07) marked a substantial increase in the power of the Polish magnates, and the transformation of szlachta democracy into magnate oligarchy. The Commonwealth's political system was vulnerable to outside interference, as Sejm deputies bribed ⎳] ⎴] by foreign powers might use their liberum veto to block attempted reforms. This sapped the Commonwealth and plunged it into political paralysis and anarchy for over a century, from the mid-17th century to the end of the 18th, while its neighbors stabilized their internal affairs and increased their military might.

Late reforms

The Commonwealth did eventually make a serious effort to reform its political system, adopting in 1791 the Constitution of May 3, 1791, which historian Norman Davies calls the first of its kind in Europe. ⎤] The revolutionary Constitution recast the erstwhile Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth as a Polish–Lithuanian federal state with a hereditary monarchy and abolished many of the deleterious features of the old system.

Adoption of the Constitution of May 3, 1791 by the Four-Year Sejm and Senate

  • abolished the liberum veto and banned the szlachta's confederations
  • provided for a separation of powers among legislative, executive and judicial branches of government
  • established "popular sovereignty" and extended political rights to include not only the nobility but the bourgeoisie
  • increased the rights of the peasantry
  • preserved religious tolerance (but with a condemnation of apostasy from the Catholic faith).

These reforms came too late, however, as the Commonwealth was immediately invaded from all sides by its neighbors, which had been content to leave the Commonwealth alone as a weak buffer state, but reacted strongly to attempts by king Stanisław August Poniatowski and other reformers to strengthen the country. ⎬] Russia feared the revolutionary implications of the May 3rd Constitution's political reforms and the prospect of the Commonwealth regaining its position as a European power. Catherine the Great regarded the May constitution as fatal to her influence ⎵] and declared the Polish constitution Jacobinical. ⎶] Grigori Aleksandrovich Potemkin drafted the act for the Targowica Confederation, referring to the constitution as the "contagion of democratic ideas". ⎷] Meanwhile, Prussia and Austria used it as a pretext for further territorial expansion. ⎶] Prussian minister Ewald Friedrich von Hertzberg called the constitution "a blow to the Prussian monarchy", ⎸] fearing that a strengthened Poland would once again dominate Prussia. ⎵] ⎹] In the end, the May 3 Constitution was never fully implemented, and the Commonwealth entirely ceased to exist only four years after the its adoption.


Geography [ edit | edit source ]

More of the Baltic coast, viewed instead from northern Poland.

View from the peak of Mount Rysy, Poland-Lithuania's highest point.

Another photo of Kashubia in north-western Poland.

More woodland typical to Poland-Lithuania.

The countryside of Ruthenia in eastern Poland.

The Vistula River, Poland-Lithuania's longest river, near the Tyniec Abbey in Kraków.

Poland-Lithuania as a state spans several different geographical zones, each of which, as a result, has its own distinctive physical and cultural features. The country's northern coast has a largely oceanic climate and is located on the Baltic Sea, being characterised by frequent inland lakes and spits, of which the Curonian Spit forms the largest and most prominent. To the south and east of the Baltic coast, Poland-Lithuania is dominated by the North European Plain, a vast smooth grassland formed by glaciers during the most recent ice age. The east and north-west of Lithuania is dominated by moderate highlands, as is the south of Poland, which borders the Carpathian Mountains and is home to the highest point in the country, the Tatra Mountains. Poland-Lithuania is also known for its various lake districts, particularly in Masuria and Kashubia, as well as Courland-Semigallia and central Lithuania, all of which attract a large number of tourists for their geographic beauty and water sports. A number of large navigable rivers also divide Poland-Lithuania, including the country's longest river - the Vistula - as well as the Bug, Narew, Neman, Neris, Venta, Prypyat, Daugava, and Lielupe most of which empty in the Baltic Sea.

Poland-Lithuania's geological history has largely been defined by the collision of the African and European continents, which collectively formed both the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains, which stretch along Poland-Lithuania's southern border. Approximately 70 mountains with an altitude of more than 2,000 meters above sea level exist within Poland-Lithuania, all of which are found in the Carpathians. The highest of these is the spire of Mount Rysy, part of the region of the Polish Carpathians generally known as High Tatras. These mountains form a dramatic part of the Polish-Lithuanian geographic landscape and generate large amounts of tourism to admire the mountains' natural beauty and winter sports. Conversely, much of Lithuania and northern Poland is very flat, dominated not by mountains but by rolling meadows and farm land, divided by the country's extensive river and lake network which render the surrounding flatlands one of the most fertile in Europe.

As a result of Poland-Lithuania's relatively flat geography (with the exception of the south of Poland) and extensive river and lake system, much of the country is also forested, covering roughly 30% of Poland-Lithuania's overall territory in dense deciduous woodland. Much of this woodland is now protected as part of Poland-Lithuania's extensive national park system, which was revamped and grown following the country's ascension into the European Union in 2004 and subsequent further commitments to environmentalism and the reduction of global warming. In terms of land use, Poland-Lithuania remains a large agricultural producer and exporter, with most of its non-forested flatland being used as farmland. Furthermore, Poland-Lithuania's coast and rivers remain an important means of transporting goods, with many coastal areas also subject to environmental protection laws to prevent their degradation through continued use.

Climate [ edit | edit source ]

Poland-Lithuania has a temperate continental climate typical to much of Eastern and Central Europe, with mild summers and severe winters that are influenced largely by polar Scandinavian and Russian winds from the north, oceanic air currents from the Atlantic to the west, and occasional subtropical currents from the south. Poland-Lithuania is further divided into two climate regions by the Köppen climate classification system - Dfb in the Carpathian Mountains of the south-east of the country (having their coldest months less than -3 degrees Celsius) and Cfb everywhere else in the country (a temperate continental climate with its coldest months less than 18 degrees but warmer than -3 degrees Celsius).

As a result of Poland-Lithuania's physical geography, its climate tends to range from being mild to very cold, with severe winter months and snowfall. In winter, polar continental cold fronts dominate Poland-Lithuania, resulting in frigid weather with temperatures oftentimes far below zero and heavy snow, which itself forms roughly 5-10% of the total precipitation in the country each year. Late summer and Autumn sees the appearance of warmer sub-tropical fronts from the south which result in significant more hours of sunshine and more pleasant daytime weather. Throughout the year rainfall remains consistently high, although generally peaks in mid-summer (around July). In Lithuania, rainfall is more constant than in Poland, where rainfall generally increases in the summer and decreases during the colder winter months.

Climate data for Poland-Lithuania
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F 32 32.9 41 54.5 65.3 68 71.6 71.6 60.8 52.7 37.4 33.8 51.8
Daily mean °F 28.4 29.3 35.6 46.4 56.3 60.8 63.5 62.6 53.6 46.4 34.7 30.2 45.5
Average low °F 24.8 24.8 30.2 37.4 47.3 53.6 54.5 53.6 46.4 39.2 31.1 26.6 39.2
Average precipitation inches 15.43 24.29 14.09 16.77 17.6 24.8 34.72 22.4 19.65 17.76 17.4 15.98 240.91
Average high °C 0.0 0.5 5.0 12.5 18.5 20.0 22.0 22.0 16.0 11.5 3.0 1.0 11.0
Daily mean °C −2.0 −1.5 2.0 8.0 13.5 16.0 17.5 17.0 12.0 8.0 1.5 −1.0 7.5
Average low °C −4.0 −4.0 −1.0 3.0 8.5 12.0 12.5 12.0 8.0 4.0 −0.5 −3.0 4.0
Average precipitation cm 39.2 61.7 35.8 42.6 44.7 63.0 88.2 56.9 49.9 45.1 44.2 40.6 611.9
Source: Krajowe Biuro Meteorologii (Białystok)

Biodiversity [ edit | edit source ]

Poland-Lithuania is home to both natural and anthropogenic (ie, urban and agricultural) environments, each of which form the habitats of their own unique flora and fauna. Much of Poland and western Lithuania forms part of the circumboreal (or Central European) ecological region, with its boreal flora ultimately inherited from the ancient supercontinent of Laurasia, as with many other regions of northern Eurasia and North America. As part of these boreal floral environments, many primeval forests have remained relatively untouched by human geographical change throughout history, resulting in Poland-Lithuania possessing some of Europe's last remaining untouched woodland. Of these, the Białowieża Forest in central Ruthenia forms the most important, and remains one of the best preserved pristine temperate woodlands in contemporary Europe. Many animals now extinct throughout the rest of Europe now continue to survive solely within these woodlands, including Europe's last wild bison (or wisents).

Poland-Lithuania is also an important breeding ground for many large migratory birds, including, most culturally significantly, the white stork (itself a national emblem of Lithuania). Other large animals also inhabit Poland-Lithuania, including some of Europe's last Brown Bears, the grey wolf, the Eurasian lynx, European moose and beaver, many species of deer (of which the roe deer is the most prolific), and predatory foxes. Anthropogenic alteration of the landscape has unfortunately resulted in a drastic reduction in the level of wild biodiversity within Poland-Lithuania, largely as a result of the expansion of agriculture, felling of woodland, and draining of wetland biomes (particularly in Western Lithuania and Courland-Semigallia). This human impact on the biodiversity of the country has had a negative impact on population sizes, particularly in the aquatic biomes of aforementioned northern Lithuania, although continued efforts on the part of the Polish-Lithuanian government and environmentalist activist groups aim to reduce levels of biodiversity reduction in Poland-Lithuania by as much as 50% by 2040 in order to maintain Poland-Lithuania's reputation as a last haven for Europe's primeval flora and fauna.

The Ringed White Stork (C. Cicona), a breed of stork common to Europe and a national emblem of Lithuania.

The Brown Bear (U. Arctos) is native to the Carpathian Mountains of southern Poland.

The Grey Wolf (C. Lupis) is an endangered species of canine also native to Poland-Lithuania.

The Eurasian Lynx (L. Lynx), a rarely seen species of lynx native to eastern Poland-Lithuania.

Elk (A. Alces) may also be found in small numbers throughout Poland-Lithuania.

Roe Deer (C. Capreolus) native to Poland-Lithuania.

A Red Fox (V. Vulpes) on a road in Poland-Lithuania.


History of Livonia (Lore and History)

"The fields will be sowed with the seeds of our revolution, blooming eternally evergreen, growing in unyielding strength. For the earth has been watered from the bloodshed in the face of unjust oppression and the land has grown hungry, yearning for more. We shall answer it's call, but not with our own. Not any longer."

-Kosma Danoowski (Spring of Nations 1848) Speech after the defeat of the local Prussian Guard in the Capital

Livonia (Ливониа), officially known as the Kingdom of Livonia (under the Queen Elisia Casamir I), is located in the Baltic Regions between the states of Russia (next to Kaliningrad), Belarus (To her south-east), Lithuania (to her north-east) and Poland (to her south-west). A rather small region known for their mass open fields and illustrious forests with the river Biela and Krust with a territory of 45,300 km² and a population of an estimated 7 million people living in the country. Livonia is seen as Europe’s 33rd largest country.

Here is a map representation of were Livonia is located in Europe:

This is the modern-day variant of the Livonian flag. The tricolour of the flag (blue, white and yellow) was first seen in the initial uprising of 1848 during the spring of Revolution, each representing a symbol of Livonian aspirations and desires. The royal insignia of the House of Casamir is a modern-day adaptation and was implemented with the Casamir Restoration of 1992. The blue represents their desire for liberality and independence, a common trait throughout their history. White for harmony and desire of unity of the north and the south and the gold to represent the wealth of the Livonian lands and people.

Capital: Andrzejow


Border neighbors: Lithuania(North East-ish), Belarus(East, a little South), Poland (West/North), Russia (Kalingrad) (North West)

Language: Polish / Russian / Lithuanian and Small pockets of German

Official script: Latin, Cyrillic

Major Religion: Catholic

Landmarks: The Biela River and the Krust

Ethnic groups:

  • 73% Polish
  • 15% Lithuanian
  • 6% Russian
  • 4% German
  • 2% Other Ethnic Groups

Goverment type:
Constitutional Monarchy

  • President: Antoni Nowak (Partia Demokratycznej Wolności (PDW) (Democratic liberal party))
  • Queen: Elisia Casamir I (With King Gaj Casamir)
  • Legislature: National Assembly
  • Population: 6.895.309
  • Currency: Euro (Formerly the Polish złoty (PLN))

The people of Livonia have a vast and long history within their lands. While there is little to no information on the Pre-Dark Era, the earliest known written document about Livonia along with Lithuania was in the Quedlinburg Chronicles. These were done by Saint Bruno where they were quoted as the “Litua” in Latin. These people were groups of multiple different tribal groups: “Old Prussian/ Sudovians and some early Lithuanians. The modern day name of Livonia and the Livonian people was first seen by German scholars from the HRE (Holy Roman Empire) for the crusader state known as the Livonian Order and the later known as the Livonian Confederation (They have very little to do with the Livonian order besides their ties to the Teutonic order). However, it was originally seen as part of the territory of the Teutonic Order.

The Sudovians were known as fierce folk, often used as mercenary forces for many nations around the area and especially for the early first “Rus” along with other Germanic clans against the Romans after the fall of the Roman Empire. They were heavily skilled in warfare along with a strong hunter/gatherer upbringing due to the vast forestation and wildlife in the Livonian region, even taking an active part in the Prussian Uprising against the invading Teutonic Crusaders.

Livonia during this period, took part in a series of uprisings against the invading Crusaders and became one of the main frontmen against the invaders, here we see famous legendary figures such as Eliasz Tarnow and Elisia Sephenov, fighting against the invading forces. They met with initial success against the Crusaders, the early “Proto-State” of Livonia was formed in the year 1237. However after multiple rebellions and conflicts, the Teutonic crusaders managed to get the upper hand against the Sudovians with the killing blow at the “Battle of Stokowsko” between Prussian knights and Sudovian foot soldiers in 1283, where finally Eliasz Tarnow was killed on the battlefield. It is said in local legends that as the battle was ending, the last 50 of the soldiers were offered freedom if they would convert as they were surrounded. They were each offered a cross as a sign of conversion only to see them all drop them on the floor and spit on resulting in the known “Horned Stampede” were the remaining 50 men along with Eliasz charged against the Crusader forces as a last act of defiance. This is the mythical reasoning behind the creation of the modern-day version of the flag of Livonia, representing that defiance and warrior culture and a stag from the Tarnow family line

-Teutonic Knights while charging against the Sudovian Forces at the Battle of Stokowsko (1283)

The battle resulted in the annexation of the lands of Livonia into the Teutonic state and the transformation of these lands into Catholic state. With mass German migration, integration and conversion of the locals and mass exiling to make room for the new Germanic population.

After the Prussian Rebellions, Livonia became part of the Teutonic state from the year 1285, part of the crusader state where fortifications were built against the Luthianian and polish borders against external threats of Christianity. Successful at first and with the adaptation of Teutonic tactics into their warrior culture and Christianisation of the lands even production of a Grand Master (Borislav Ottovisk), however it only lasted for so long. In 1577 the Danzig rebellion hit the Teutonic order resulting in war between Danzig and their allies (Poland) and Teutonic forces. It resulted in a loss for the Order and in Poland annexing the territory of Livonia and formed the Duchy of Livonia under the new The Duke Adrian Branzow as a vassal state for the resulting Polish victory against the Teutonic Order.

Livonia formed part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during their union in statehood. It proved to be a period of prosperity and mass migration for within their territories. While Livonia was never fully annexed into the Polish or Lithuanian kingdoms and maintained their feudal lineage of the “Branzow '' it was respected as a semi autonomous state within the Commonwealth. Having the same rights as both of the other nations had during that time. The Livonians began their fortifications (Castles) against the possible invasion threats of the newly created Prussian’s against their borders, along with training of an advanced military of Pikemen to combat alongside the Polish Winged Hussars. In this period, the castle of Branzow was constructed along with other castles in Livonia on the Prussian Border.

Livonia formed part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth during their union in statehood. It proved to be a period of prosperity and mass migration for within their territories. While Livonia was never fully annexed into the Polish or Lithuanian kingdoms and maintained their feudal lineage of the “Branzow” it was respected as a semi-autonomous state within the Commonwealth. Having the same rights as both other nations had during that time. The Livonians began their fortifications (castles) against the possible invasion threats of the newly created Prussian’s against their borders, along with training of an advanced military of pikemen to combat alongside the Polish Winged Hussars. In this period, the castle of Branzow was constructed along with other castles in Livonia on the Prussian border.

Livonia also in this period became an important trade node within the Commonwealth, a centerpoint between both the Lithuanian Capital and the Polish Capital of Warsaw and the Biela river, connecting important trade-cities such as Topolin and Sitnik. Much of the trade from within the empire had to come from their territories, especially through the newly formed capital of Andrzejow. It was a period of prosperity for the region, where many of the cities would have mass growth and trade roots would be established within the region. Livonia was a major producer of iron/cattle and grain for the Commonwealth due to their vast fields and rich iron sources within their territory. They became a major supplier for the war efforts within the Commonwealth, especially in the territories north near the Lithuanian border and the rich fields of Nadbór.

Soldiers and trade were vital in many wars that went through the region. The infamous northern wars between The Polish Commonwealth, Russian and Denmark against Sweden and also the religious wars in the HRE, Livonia maintained their warrior culture traditions and were infamous for their pikemen and soldiers. Forming mercenary groups such as the Hajduk (not to be confused with the Polish Hadjuk), the Czerwony Orzeł (shot and pike unites) and Zółty Jeleń (mercenary unite directly hired to protect the Duke of Livonia). These were some of the major mercenary groups from within Livonia, well trained soldiers who not only fought for the Commonwealth, but were rather popularly recruited by other states during wars. The Livonian people maintained their reputation as warriors, not on the level of the hussars but with their tactical skills on the battlefield, but in the end, they found themselves along with Poland and the HRE (Holy Roman Empires) on the side of the Catholic League fighting in iconic battles such as the battle of Humenné and the battle of Frankfurt an der Oder.

However, this period of prosperity would only last so long. As the Commonwealth would begin to decline, so would the “autonomy” of the region itself. States such as the newly formed Russian Empire and Prussia would show great interest in the region. Russia due to its trade ties inland and Prussia due to its connections with her mythic Prussian lands. As the Commonwealth began to fall, the lands of Livonia were finally split up with their old rival and a new power in the region (Russia) in 1795. where the north-east would form part of the Russian Empire and the south-west would form part of the new Prussian state.

From the separation of the lands in 1795, Livonia began a cultural identity crisis from within their lands. With their territory split between two major forces, the people were split into two separate blocks. The south block formed part of the Prussian state where the north would form part of the Russian Empire. With attempts from both ends to indoctrinate the Livonian people into each state's culture, there was a common misunderstanding from both ends that believed that Livonia was just another “Polish” territory. However, this division of statehood would only last for a short period of time as once the French revolution hit Europe, as part of the treaties of Tilsit (1807) where Livonia (united) was her own independent kingdom along with the newly formed Duchy of Poland under the ideals of the French Revolution (nation and freedom). In 1808 there was the first ever constitutional monarchy (along with their first ever monarch “Otto Casamir I”) upholding the ideals that revolution. This freedom however only lasted for so long as once the Napoleonic Empire fell, pre-revolution borders of Livonia were drawn once more, resulting in divided people with the elimination of the newly formed constitution.

But the ideas of the revolution and nationalism did not leave the hearts of the Livonian people. Like many other countries that were part of the Napoleonic Empire, the changes implemented into Livonian lands had already taken their toll. The idea of a “united” and independent Livonia stretched through both ends, taking great influence from the Germanic Romanticism movement. The concept of a Livonian state began along with the rebirth of Livonian literature and translation of old “Prussian/Livonian” texts into modern-day Polish/Russian with the idealization of a Pre-Commonwealth Livonia state with local heroes, legends, myths and battles. It was a cultural booming period of writers within Livonia. But this was mainly seen on the German side. On the Russian side, there was a lot of oppression and heavy attempts to “russianize” the territory as they did with many other territories within the Russian Empire.

During the 19th century, there were multiple nationalist uprisings from within the Livonian territories. The most famous was during the Spring of Nations (The revolutions of 1848 were on both ends Livonian nationalists rose up against their oppressors and attempted to formed a liberal Livonian state, led by famous revolutionaries such as Adrian Czar, Kosma Danoowski and Sara Brzoza. With initial success and supporting the Polish revolutionaries, these people wanted to bring back the initial constitution of 1808, along with the restoration of the monarchy under Friedrich Casamir (son of Otto Casamir).

-Flags of the Revolutionary Countries 1848

It seemed that there was going to be a free Livonia. However, once the Polish rebels from within Prussia fell, the Holy Alliance (Russia and Prussia) joined forces and squashed the rebel forces resulting in mass execution for the rebel leaders that rose up against their overlords. Sara Brzoza, a woman revolutionary and lover of Adrian Czar is treated as a martyr till this day in Livonian culture for her participation in the war and her literature during her imprisonment:

“Nations, unity and freedom should not be dictated by Kings and Emperors they should be dictated by equal men.”

-Sara Brzoza, During her imprisonment in Saint Petersburg 1851

Depending on the region inside Livonia, the industrial revolution did not properly hit Livonia like the rest of Europe. Since her territories were split between Prussia (in the future Germany) and the Russian Empire, there was a minor scale industrialisation on the German side of the border. Due to the connection to the Biela river, trade still flew in from Königsberg (now actual Kaliningrad) and the discovery of coal mines near the capital. Coal was transported through the Biela river up to Königsberg. Bit by bit, the south end of Livonia became a coal source for within the German Empire with the first railroads constructed (1861) between the capital of Andrzejow and the mining sector to the south following up to Biela river finally to Königsberg. The first ever city-to-city railroad (the Andrzejow Line) in 1891 was a continuation of the imperial railroad that connected from mainland Prussia all the way into Russian controlled Livonia to the city of Stokowsko and from there up the Baltic coasts. This was to ease transportation between both empires to show off both German and Russian might of the era. It was also seen in the nationalists’ point of view as further unification of the lands and ease of communication and travel for the Livonian people..

-First car production lines in Livionia in the Capital Andrzejow

However, the north end of Livonia did not feel the effects of the industrial revolution. There were some basic iron/steelwork factories that were built to the northern borders to make steel and iron, but much of the production was sent into the Russian homeland. The north focused on a more agricultural effort. Focusing on their cattle (mainly the local breed of cows) and grain and potatoes for the empire, producing 9% of the national grain income and a 5% in the potato production in Russia.

During this period of “industrialisation” within the territory of Livonia, the nationalist/liberal movements inside the country had taken multiple drastic changes. Due to the lack of industrialisation on both sides of the territory, most of Livonia did not have a “strong” Marxist movement inside the country. As most parties were banned from within the Russian border and movements were censored, a lot of the nationalist/workers/liberal movements for Livonia happened from within the German side of the country. Parties such as the Przywrócenie Kazimierza (Casamir restoration A monarchical party trying to restore the Casamir dynasty), the Partia Demokratycznej Wolności (PDW Democratic Liberal Party), Livonian Ruch Społeczno-Marksistowski (LRSM Livonian Social-Marxists Movement) were major players in the south, while in the north -in the Russian controlled territory-there was a heavy anarcho-communist movement. A far more violent movement than in the south end of Livonia such as infamous groups called the Czarna Ręka (The black hand) and the Dzikie Orły (Feral Eagles an extremely strong anarchist Anti-Russian militia)

On the Russian side of the border, they suffered multiple terror themed attacks inspired by Russian anarcho-communism, attacking both ends of the border. The Dzikie Orly being one of the more violent groups in the region, responsible up to 2000 recorded deaths from their initial creation in 1856 to their eventual disbandment in 1901 were they grouped up with the Czarna Ręka focusing more on an anarchist Livonian state, rather than anarcho-communism. This was a period of oppression but steady radicalisation within Livonia, only to finally bear fruit once the great war began.

Livonia found herself fighting against each other during the Great War. Both sides of the same coin, they found themselves drafted to fight opposite ends both with the promise of freedom. The German side promising an independent Livonian state with the reinstatement of the Casamir dynasty and the Russians promising a new Duchy with a local war hero put as head of state. Livonia found herself as one of the major battlefields in the war in itself. Its territory open fields and very little mountain terrain.

Livonia was a prime example for mobile warfare between the Russian and German states, constantly under attack from the north-west side of the Prussian border and invasions coming from the south. The Biela river had a huge strategic importance for both ends as it was a source into the Prussian homeland and a defensive position for the Russian empire to stop the advance into the Baltics and their iron reserves. The war was a constant back and forth, like most of the eastern front. However, in the year 1915 it was clear, trench warfare was going to be the outcome for most of the war. Towns and cities such as Gliniska and Brena became important Russian strongholds in the region, while cities such as Murantyn and Topolin became German strongholds with the formations of a series of trenches networking all the way from Topolin up to Sitnik.

-The Livonian Forces massing for the Russian Front Tarnow (1915)

Eventually with the outbreak of the Russian Revolution and the moral of the Russian Army flustering, the German Army managed to break through the entrenched Russian forces and push past the river, eventually managing to conquer all of the Livonian territory resulting in finally unification of the Livonian peoples under 1 banner. The formation of the Livonian state became official in the treaty of Brest-Litovsk (1918) resulting in the creation of the Kingdom of Livonia underneath the Great Great Grandson of Otto Casamir (Otto Casamir II) as new king of Livonia. Here they also made the constitution of 1918, following the ideals of the constitution of 1907 but adding universal suffrage (male), freedom of expression, meeting and movement and the recognition of a parliamentary government under the influence of the German State (Parties such as the PDW, PK, LRSM and the newly founded PRC (Communist party)). Livonia’s National independence came on April 18th of 1918 but her official independence day is May 27th. Her first official Party was led by the PDW under their first president Levig Konosow.

The newly formed state also had formed their official national military the LDF (Livonian Defence Force) and began using the German Papiermark (Later known as the Reichsmark) as official currency for Livonia due to her Economical ties to Germany. They were sided on the side of the Central Powers during the war, but did not actively take part in the war due to the creation of statehood.

As the war ended and in the Treaty of Versailles, Livonia was recognised by the Entente as an independent state and was able to keep the borders that were drawn after the treaty of Brest-Litovsk. However from the conception of her independence, Livonia found herself already at threat from external invasion by the newly formed USSR and the invasion of Poland (Polish-Soviet war of 1919-1920). Livonia even though her territories at that moment were not in threat joined with the Polish alliance against the newly formed Revolutionary Army and fought against them in the battle of Warsaw. Supporting their former brothers in arms in a bloody battle that ended in Polish victory. With the war ending, Poland recognised Sovereignty` of Livonia and the forced recognition by the Soviet Union of the Livonian State. Livonia also found themselves after the war with the newly formed USSR as an invited member into the League of Nations.

-Livonian Defence Force (LDF) in the fields of Warsaw before the Revolutionary Army Offensive (1920)

One of the main interesting factors of Livonia is her time during The Great Depression. Like Poland, the country was originally hit hard by the economical crisis however the country itself recovered rather quickly thanks to the support of their fellow Baltic countries and Poland itself coming out of the depression with a stable economy.

Livonia during this period of time became one of eastern Europe's Becons of democracy off the former Russian states. Taking influence on the style of Goverment in Czechoslovakia, however it was not without her troubles during that period. Like the rest of Europe, due to the Great Depression there was a rise in the Radicalisation of both political spectrums. On the Left the PRC (Livonian Komunistyczna Partia) with the support of the USSR found great strides down south in the industrialised sectors of Livonia, especially along the River cities. While up in the north (And some parts of the south) they would see the creation of Paramilitary/Nationalistic/Religious groups that would be radicalised in the defence of Livonia. Groups known as the Wiara i Dziedzictwo (WD "Faith and Heritage"), an extreme monarchical organisation in favour of an absolute monarchy and preservation of the Catholic Faith/Livonian Traditions of the king and the Liga Nowych Ludów (LNL "New Peoples League") A Proto-Livonian Paramilitary organisation that was influenced by Italian Fascism and Germany and the intent in keeping an independent and free Livonia.

Livonia, like Poland was threatened on each end of Europe. From one side, the USSR wished to regain her old borders and reclaim her territories of Northern Livonia and in addition south Liviona also, forming a Communist Republic under the ideals of the USSR. On her western front, she found herself also part of a territorial claim of the newly formed German Reich. With a small population of Germans living on the borders of Königsberg, Germany had promised to protect all Germans and to unite all Germans under one banner also with the ties to the Teutonic Order and the old Prussian lands, German saw Livonia as Lebensraum and a core part of "Greater Germany". With all these enemies from within and outside Livonia found herself allying with Poland in a mutual defensive pact while also finding themselves pushing themselves closer to the Entente and forming an alliance with Great Britain and France after a failed attempt to unite all Baltic states under one strong banner against any external threat.

As the war Began, and with the invasion of Poland, Livonia kept their promise of mutual defence and declared war against Germany also. However, even though the Livonian like the Polish Troops defended their territory with honour due to the far more advanced German tactics and then the future help of the USSR, both Livonia and Poland found themselves fully occupied and annexed into each state. Livonia lasted only a couple of weeks after the fall of Warsaw but finally surrendered as the German Troops were beginning to siege Andrzejow. They officially surrendered on October 17th of 1939. As part of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, Livonia found herself fully part of the official "Greater Germany" and had enforced and placed the Nazi Party in full control of the region itself with the elimination and persecution of all former Livonian diplomatic/Armed forces ties to the country. The King and important political figures had managed to Flee the country thanks to the help of brave soldiers of the LDF and managed to flee to Great Britian, shown as a symbol of a resistance leaders of occupied Livonia.

-Resistance efforts and enforced repression by German troops on an Anarchist Hideout (1943)

However Livonias fight in the war did not end there. Groups such as the PRC, Dzikie Orły, Czarna Reka and ironically the Liga Nowych Ludów found themselves as strong resistance groups against the occupation of Livonia, coursing violence against the German occupiers, destroying infrastructure, communication lines and murder of high value targets throughout the lands. Each with their own course and motives behind it, but united against the German Occupation. The most important uprising was the communist, what had been steadily been growing support through an underground network though the years of occupation, with that there was an uprising in Livonia in September 1944 with support of the Red Army against the Occupiers in the city of Stokowsko what later spread to the Capital as a means of attempt to bring the Communist Revolution to Livonia and join forces with the Red Army, inspired by the uprising in Warsaw earlier that year. Unlike the uprising in Warsaw, the Communists found far greater success in the uprising and managed to capture the cities and hold them until Red Army forces could further solidify their grasp on the Nation. From here, was the birth of the First Soviet Socialist Republic of Livonia (Livonian Radziecka Republika Socjalistyczna) otherwise known as the LRRS)

As the war came to an end in Europe and with the new rise of power in Livonia. Many former Rebel cells inside Livonia (such as the Paramilitary Wing and the Anarchists) found themselves going underneath further oppression and made illegal within Livonia with the new rule of a Soviet influenced Government and with the continued exile of the King and former war cabinet. This did not come without Diplomatic disapproval of the allied nations as the return of the king was a promise of the allied powers to Livonia, but it became a sacrifice in Soviet appeasement after the end of the war, with the King Ending up living the rest of his life with his family in Austin Texas Livonia became a prime example of a state under Soviet control and influence and even formed part of the Warsaw Pact, becoming firmly part of the 2nd world.

Livonia did suffer though through the change of course during this period. Many of the rebel groups inside Livonia where still heavily armed organisations and continued to course extreme amounts of trouble for Livonia during these many years of rule within the Soviet Block. The most active groups (Terror wise) were the Dzikie Orły and Liga Nowych Ludów, both of these groups heavily armed and classified as terror groups underneath the Soviet Regime. During this time-phrame, they would see multiple attacks on the north and also along towns and cities in Livonia. The LNL being the most violent this time period was known as the "Winged Terror" attacks such as the bombing in Kolembrody (1975) or the mass shooting of 12 police officers in Sitnik by the in Dzikie Orły (1984). However the most violent one was carried out in December 14th 1951 by the LNL where there was an attempted coup d'État with the help of former sympathetic generals of the Livonian Army in the Parliamentary building, this resulted in a standoff and firefight between the Soviet forces and the the LRL. In the end after negotiations broke down, the Red Army Forces stormed into the Parliamentary building, but it resulted in the deaths of 23 politicians, 13 army personal, 32 civilians and policeman and 13 members of the LRL with another 23 arrests, all resulting in a swift execution after their attempts in a Coup d'État, to this day the events known as Krwawy piątek (Bloody Friday)

But not every movement inside Livonia was Violent. Many political parties went underground or operated outside the country, many groups setting up newspapers in countries such as France, America, Great Britian and even West Germany at the time. Even through all these hardships, Livonian began a heavy period of industrialisation in their lands. The new communist party taking advantage of the already put in place infrastructure and networking within Livonia, she became one of the more heavily industrialised states within the Warsaw Pact, recovering rather quickly from WWII. This also found the redesign of gridwork cities within Livonia, construction of Soviet Styled and themed building blocks and cities through the Livonian lands, while also trying to maintain their illustrious countryside (Used by the Soviet Union and the Livonian Defence force as practice grounds for training their troops on open tertains). This was a time of progress, slow and corrupt within Livonia, but a stable progress the country had not seen for many years. But every Empire has to fall, and soon it was time fo the end of the Communist Regime.

Unlike their neighbors to the southwest, Livonia took a cautious approach to post-Soviet politics. In the wake of Glasnost, Perestroika, and the dissolvement of the Soviet Union, Livonia held its first free parliamentary elections in 1991, two years after other countries in the region began their own political discourse. Previously suppressed political ideologies began resurfacing, though the long-standing rule of communism in the region drove the country towards a rise in democratic and monarchial ideas. This political push in Livonia saw the establishment of a Constitutional Monarchy by the year 1995. Stepping into power together, the Casamir dynasty, under King Gustav Casamir, and the Partia Demokratycznej Wolności began Livonia’s transition from a country crippled by the Soviet Union to a thriving, active democracy.


Following the close of the 20th century, Livonia stepped into the realm of European politics confidently, joining the North Atlantic Treaty Organization on June 4, 2000 in a bid to strengthen their military and their relationships with allies worldwide. In this time, the country also witnessed its first peaceful transition of power, as Queen Elisia Casamir I stepped in to fill the vacuum left by the natural death of King Gustav Casamir. Under Queen Elisia, Livonia thrived whilst undergoing massive change. 2004 saw the country’s admittance to the European union alongside neighbors Poland and Lithuania. Now holding membership in two major world organizations, Livonia’s identity shifted, specifically in the rural areas of the country. Rural towns saw their citizens relocated across the Nadbor region and their buildings demolished, turned into simulated war environments for military training for both Livonian and NATO troops. Economy boomed as the Livonian military was hired out to allies for assistance in external conflicts and membership status in the EU slowly began showing its benefits.


The country also underwent a cultural revitalization. In the early 21st century, Livonians returned to their roots with massive support for the monarchy and a resurgence of the Catholic faith. Ultimately, the country was as strong as ever. The monarchy ruled peacefully alongside Parliament and the Catholic church saw a rise to political power in 2007. NATO and the EU saw militaristic and economic booms in the country. Livonians settled into a peaceful and prosperous life, a far cry from the uncertain and dangerous landscapes of just a few decades prior. However, while the country was mostly at peace, not everyone was satisfied. Pockets of political dissonance appeared across the country and whispers of the past surfaced along with them. This dissonance culminated in the first and only major act of violence in the country since 1991. In 2014, an unexpected appearance by the Czarna Reka was accompanied by a plot to assassinate Queen Elisia with a young member of the black hand trying to shoot down the queen during her annual birthday parade throughout the city. With a couple of the guard hurt and one officer killed, After the dust of this would-be assassination settled, Livonia picked up where she left off: a thriving country in eastern Europe however her dark days of anarchistic movements begin to show flourishing throughout the countryside and the cities, leaving a air of doubt throughout the lands.


Poland-Lithuania bugged?

As soon as I create the Poland-Lithuanian commonwealth and then try to go 'radical left' tree, the Germans basically force me to undo the decision or go to war with them.

Is this intentional? If so how do I become 'syndiclist & co' as Poland-Lithuania?

2) If I stay just Poland there is a focus in the 'national populists' tree that makes a deal between Poland and the Don-Cossacks to both attack the Ukraine.

But again if I do this, I'll declare war on Mitteleuropa and instantly lose. Is this intentional ?

3) I realized that when I pick any king (without creating the commonwealth) but allow elections I can get the benefits of having the king and later switch to the 'national populists' tree or 'syndicalists' tree by allowing said parties to seize control over the state.

4) Are there more perks like this ? Iɽ like to play some more, but Poland seems to be in a really tough spot most of the time and it's focus tree is lackluster.

The second one definitely is. Your only hope is to attack a Syndicalist Ukraine, The first one probably is (because Germany won't stand for Syndies) and the third one. uh. maybe? I forget, are these benefits a national spirit, or are you just talking about the royal focus trees? If the former, than that's bugged, probably. If the latter, then that's not a bug, I don't think. It's just a decision the Devs made (somewhat annoying, because this lets the Poles break out of puppet status, at least if Germany rules them, when they go nationalist or socialist).

but if it is intentional, how do I ever get to a syndicalist Poland-Lithuania? I mean even if it makes sense, why did they bother to implement a focus tree I can't access most of the time?

Ok, so it's basically RNG that decides whether I can use certain focus or not. Well. this seems like rather bad design. If I'm dependent on them going syndicalists I should have the option to boost syndies in the Ukraine. Or am I missing something here?

Not 100% sure now about national spirits, but if taking a Habsburg king you can for example join Austrias faction (when they create one) and demand Galicia (which some/most) of the time they'll give to you. So it's more or less permanent.

Similar story with Saxon king and I believe Polish king has some national spirits.

So you are telling me that once I committed to a Saxon king I shouldn't be able to declare war on Germany?

I believe that once you go Poland-Lithuania and go after the 'Mitteleuropa question' towards Germany and join the Mitteleuropa faction, you can leave at any time (if not in war) and via focus declare war on them. So it is possible here aswell.


Migration and the Roma

Migration can be defined as a one-off movement of human residence from one place to another. Whether it is a pro-active movement in search of resources, trade, new land, labour, or a reactive flight from poverty, persecution or military threat, it disrupts existing traditional structures of civil and political rights and forces a reconsideration, a re-negotiation from first principles, of human status in any area. In this respect, it differs from nomadism, which is a way of life of people who do not live continually in the same place in search of economic opportunities that are geographically limited or temporary, on a seasonal or cyclical basis. Both nomadism and migration are essentially economic phenomena, but they have distinct consequences.

Historically, the cultural impact of the three main forms of nomadism, hunter-gatherer, pastoral and commercial, has been rather different in each case. In particular, pastoral nomads had skills that could be turned to military use and they often built substantial states or confederations, in feudal and early modern eras. 1 By contrast, commercial nomads supplied urban-quality goods and services to the countryside or exploited specialised economic niches in the urban environment. They travelled in small, vulnerable groups and could only exist in the feudal and early modern eras if they had strong, committed and armed protectors, patrons or a symbiotic relationship with another, more powerful nomadic group (such as the Bedu and Nawar or Halebi). 2

Traditionally, post-feudal European historiography in general and Romani Studies (or Gypsy-lorism) in particular, have confused all of these concepts. Their historical explanations for these phenomena were modelled on the ascendant biological and physical sciences of the era and tended to see both migration and nomadism as racially conditioned cultural choices. 3 Gypsy-lorists also projected more modern concepts backwards onto feudal societies, including the relative freedom from private physical coercion that the capitalist state affords, not only to its own citizens but also to some foreigners. 4

This confusion shaped European scholars’ theorisation of Romani history from the seventeenth century onwards. Awareness of the western European genocides of Roma in the sixteenth century faded. Later, under the notions surrounding vagrancy prevalent during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries and under the scientific racist paradigm ushered in by Grellmann (1783) 5 , nomadism was seen as a cultural or ‘racial’ characteristic that was sufficient to explain why Roma had ‘wandered’ from the ‘East’ (the Orient). The hegemony of Orientalist 6 ideology allowed this racial characterisation to be projected onto the largely sedentary Roma communities of the Ottoman Empire in south-eastern Europe. 7 When Roma historians eventually emerged, who questioned this ‘primitive nomadic wandering’ thesis, arguing that the migration from Indian lands, that linguistic and historical evidence suggested 8 , is likely the result of military actions by the Muslim, Ghaznavid Empire (997 CE to 1040 CE), they were accused of being fantasists, seeking to glorify their heritage through an invented military past. 9

We can, however, be reasonably confident that the migration of the ancestors of the Roma from what is now modern India and Pakistan, that took place around or after 1000 CE, was military in character because all migrations in that Eurasian feudal era had to be military in character.

It simply was not possible for groups of people to establish residence in a place far from their birthplace, unless they took with them substantial groups of people with weapons who were organised and competent in using them. The early Crusades to the Holy Land, for example, were rarely peaceable groups on pilgrimage. Crusades were justified, usually by the incumbent Pope, on the grounds that Christian pilgrimages to the Holy Land were allegedly no longer permitted by the Muslim conquerors of Judea and Palestine, or later that the Crusader states were under assault from the ‘Saracens’ (Saldjuk Turks) and Fatimid Caliphs. 10

These Muslim and Christian armies were able to establish empires and states, because – as early medieval armies were “. . . as populous as all but major cities, self-contained societies on the move”. 11 These forces possessed auxiliaries and traders with the skills to facilitate the establishment of rapid, defended settlements, produce and repair weaponry, erect and dismantle camps, manage equine units, herd cattle, goats, sheep, camels and horses, make and repair clothes and uniforms, brew and bake. Although commercial nomadism cannot be seen as the cause of migration, commercial nomads possessed skills as blacksmiths and metal-workers, carpet-traders and textile suppliers, horse traders, grooms and animal doctors, ambulatory musicians and entertainers, dancers, cobblers, tailors, weavers and felt-makers, comb-makers and wood-workers, that were either essential or convenient to medieval armies and not necessarily part of the skills of the active fighting units. And all of them, soldiers and traders alike, needed their families to cook, wash, heal, forage, carry and make them comfortable.

If, then, a military contingent of Hindustani character was involved in the military struggles between different Muslim and Christian states prior to the Ottoman conquests of Anatolia and Rumelia, it is likely that members of the diverse commercial-nomadic castes that we can still find among the Banjara/Ghor and others in the Indian sub-continent, were part of that army and retained these auxiliary and trading skills, even after the military contingent ceased to have any operational autonomy. They might have retained early Ottoman technological superiority over European competitors in such things as the working of gun-metal. This might explain why, even though only a minority of Roma were commercial nomads, Romani people dominated this economic niche in many regions, after the beginnings of nation-state capitalism brought about the demonization of ‘vagrants’ and such states enacted genocidal laws against ‘Egyptians’ across western Europe.

The skills and life-cultures of nomadic groups may be preserved and continue to be used, even after the immediate economic triggers have disappeared. For example, if we look at the nomadism prevalent among the rich and powerful in modern capitalist societies, we can see some examples of families, such as the Murdoch media sub-caste, or the Trump property sub-caste, where residential nomadism remains a harsh but valued economic necessity for the kin-group members, to retain control of their economic empires. For the royal family of the United Kingdom, however, the medieval imperative to ‘progress’ around their kingdom in order to maintain control and extract surplus from their leading landowners and nobles, is a thing of the distant past. Nonetheless, nomadism remains a cultural value, evidenced in the regular circuit of the British royal House of Windsor to their various castles, palaces and mansions and is perhaps even more extensive now than among their feudal ancestors. Similarly, a minority of Roma today, like the Trumps and Murdochs still pursue temporary economic opportunities, while for some others their nomadic culture is, like that of the Queen of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, a cultural residue.

Thus, we can see how a particular medieval migration from India and the complex role played by those of commercial-nomadic occupation or heritage, could have stood at the very root of the development of an ethnic identity amongst those who consolidated the Romani language, in the eleventh century CE unlike most modern European ethnic identities the Romani one was not linked to a particular territory. 12 As the Ottomans consolidated power after 1453 CE, the military capacity of Romani speakers became, to a large extent, irrelevant (though not in Ottoman armies, where they remained part of the mehter or military band), as the economically viable Romani sub-castes found other protectors, established trades and guilds, or became employed by the state within the Ottoman Empire. 13 Others, in the Christian principalities of Wallachia and Moldavia and on monastic properties throughout the Serbian lands, were reduced to slavery. While slavery was a status with rights within the Muslim core of the Ottoman Empire (including owning and operating businesses, eventual manumission and adoption), it was not based upon ethnicity, unlike in vassal Christian states where Roma chattel slavery existed without any status or rights. It is from these war-torn fringes that we find relics of militarily organised Roma seeking to migrate to western Europe at the end of the fourteenth and early fifteenth centuries CE, as they sought to escape enslavement by Christian princes, who increasingly enserfed the peasantry. They presented themselves, or were perceived in some cases, as refugees from ‘Saracen’ conquest, and their leaders sought alliance with local feudal rulers, asking their help in supressing mutiny by their followers. 14 In other cases, migrating Roma (most often described as ‘Gypsies’ in the sources) were treated with great suspicion, as spies, deserters and undesirable vagabonds. 15 Western observers have commented on the sharp social divide within these groups (a great contrast to descriptions from the seventeenth century onwards). Despite occasional friction, this migration strategy was relatively successful during the last, turbulent century of medieval Christendom.

It failed disastrously, however, as the rise of the nation-state, agricultural capitalism and the bourgeoisie as a political force, revolutionised the social order in sixteenth and seventeenth-century Europe. Xenophobia became the social glue that held the competing kingdoms together internally all ethnic minorities in Europe Roma, Jews, Arabs (Moors) and Africans, suffered persecution, frequently legitimised by religious difference. The established Roma leaders in western Europe were either killed or fled back to the Ottoman Empire, leaving their followers to try to survive genocidal measures. In the Ottoman Empire and the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the recognition by the state, of Roma as organised, taxable communities survived elsewhere communities were largely atomised, enslaved or exterminated. 16 Although non-conformist minorities sought to defend the original values of Christianity, institutional Christianity, controlled by the states, became the prime legitimator of religious persecution, war and national aggression.

Migration within the Europe of nation-states, from the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries, was limited to religious refugees such as the Huguenots and some political exiles. European economic migration went overseas, to Asia, Africa, the Americas and finally Australasia, initially taking the form of trading exploration and later followed first by religious refugee colonialists and then by military imperialism. These seventeenth and eighteenth-century European migrations to the Americas and later Australia included Roma, who sometimes formed the earliest Roma communities in those continents. Despite their small numbers, this Roma migration is of great historical interest. It is, however, not until the nineteenth century, that mass migration again became a major factor in shaping or changing the economy and identity of Roma communities.

The technological development at the root of economic change, which revolutionised not only the situation of the Roma but of the whole world, was the invention of the steam engine in the eighteenth century. First, it provided power for the factories, urbanising Europe and giving rise to a continuous process of migration from the countryside to the cities, that has not ceased for the past 250 years. The fact that steam-powered ships could bring cheap American agricultural products to Europe accelerated this process and both undermined the rural, commercial nomadism that sustained west European Romani communities and, arguably, fatally undermined the slave and servitude-based economy of Romania 17 , as it did that of the southern United States 18 and Caribbean.

These economic changes led to massive westward migration, from eastern to western Europe and from western Europe to the Americas and other European colonial territories. Although only the English, Spanish, Portuguese, German, French, Italian and Dutch communities set up colonial states, dozens of other European nationalities were able to establish communities in the United States, which benefited from their racialised ‘white’ status, compared to Native Americans and imported slave or indentured labour from Africa and Asia. As in Europe, Jewish and Roma communities were uneasy, ambiguously rationalised exceptions to the binary, i.e. black or white, racist distinctions of the imperialist era. These distinctions remained conceptually unchallenged until Richard Henry Pratt coined the term ‘racism’ in 1902. 19

In Europe, the overlay of sixteenth-century settlement patterns, by nineteenth-century migrations, produced the ‘mosaic’ 20 of differing Roma communities in Europe. While these communities are aware of one another and interested in their commonalities, they do not necessarily feel any solidarity, except as a dim reflection of prevailing European, racial nationalism. This situation has, however, produced an awareness among Roma that their history must be something more than gadjé (non-Roma) supposed it to be. This mosaic is reproduced in the Americas, as Roma of all communities sought a new life there. There was huge, British Romanichal emigration to North America between 1870 and 1914, a movement whose beginnings Silvanus Lovell observed as early as 1880. 21 Yet they numbered fewer than the Vlach Roma and significant Manouche, Kalé (Calo), Khorakhane (Xoraxane) and other communities that established 22 themselves in the region.

World War One (1914–18), put an end to this half-century of easy migration at the same time, however, the disruptions of war led to some specific cross-border movements. The Russian Revolution (October 1917) led to the flight of some Roma capitalists to China, Sweden, France and the Americas. During World War Two (1939–1945), some English Romani migrated to Ireland and a second wave of Roma emigrated to Australasia. 23 Service in the US armed forces reacquainted some American Roma with their European relatives and, like Roma serving in some European armies, these soldiers were among the troops who liberated the concentration camps, in Nazi-occupied territories.

In the post-1945 period, alongside the growing general rejection of the racism that had been conventional wisdom before the 1930s, a small number of internationally-oriented Roma became aware both of the world-wide distribution of Roma and of the catastrophic failure of pre-war Roma survival strategies. It is no accident that alongside the home-grown activism born of Holocaust survival and the post-war state repression of nomadism, migrants such as Irish Travellers in England, Romanian Roma in Paris and Polish Lovari in Germany were prominent among the early Roma civil rights activists. The activity of the Comité International Tzigane, up until the First World Romani Congress in 1971, marked the first time in 400 years that Roma had travelled across state borders for political purposes of their own. Although the COMECON countries, apart from China, actively repressed emigration, there was a steady flow of Roma westwards they benefited at that time, from the status of being ‘refugees from communism’, nonetheless keeping in contact with Roma back home. Meanwhile, within the Soviet bloc, members of the Romani nomenklatura, who often travelled to Moscow for education and training, were able to present their contacts with western European Romani movements, as a possible alliance with helpful progressive forces. 24

This early welcome for east European Roma not only evaporated after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, but even the memory of it was written out of the European collective historical narrative. 25 Hundreds of thousands of Roma took advantage of existing European and American asylum provisions, to escape the recrudescence of racism and the very real repression of Roma in post-communist societies. Measures to stop them and a strategy to avoid mass migration, following the enlargement of the European Union (2004-2007) failed dismally, based as they were on fantastic misconceptions about Roma migration being a kind of conspiracy organised by people-traffickers and major criminals. 26 The United Nations agency responsible, the International Organisation for Migration (IOM), in 2003 summed up its perceptions of this state of affairs:

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On 1st January 2002, Romania became associated with the Schengen area, prompting the migration of numerous people to the EU, many of them ethnic Roma. These migrants are often exploited by criminal networks involved in organized begging. The handicapped are frequently the main actors and victims in this human traffic. Freedom of movement in the Schengen area makes it impossible to estimate the number of people involved with any accuracy . . . 27

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

The belief that Roma ethnic demography is peculiarly unreliable, is a consequence of the belief that normally statements of the numbers of ethnic groups should be precise. This belief 28 is a hangover from the habits of scientific racism, which generally vitiate ethnic demography and wreak havoc on Roma demography in particular. This analysis of the literature suggests that for the UK, at least, it is possible to produce meaningful contextualised estimates of numbers of Roma migrants, treating ethnicity as a non-parametric variable (like voting intentions). Depending on the context in which respondents are asked to identify themselves or others as Roma, we can specify the circumstances under which between 110,000 and 500,000 individuals would identify or be identified, as Roma migrants. This is not imprecise! The 500,000 individuals all exist and if ethics permitted, they could be identified (as indeed they were under a totalitarian racist regime). What varies is the identity question and the circumstances under which it is asked, and we can quantify these circumstances. Such a contextualised analysis has not been carried out at an international level and therefore we can only speculate that different methods would estimate the post–1989 Roma exodus from eastern Europe, at between one and three million.

The 2018 IOM World Migration Report barely mentions Roma and still makes no attempt to disaggregate them. Nonetheless, a 2018 overview for Europe and Central Asia suggests:

In the sphere of social inclusion and integration, specific reference should be made to the mobility of minorities. The need to ensure the protection of Roma victims of human trafficking has also been increasingly recognized. IOM’s migration initiatives in Europe will work towards the promotion of adequate and targeted EU resources to support the inclusion and integration of Roma in Member States and candidate countries in line with the agreed priority areas of the Decade of Roma Inclusion 2005–2015 in terms of health, housing, employment and education. 29

International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

There is a curious disparity between the IOM’s philanthropic projects for most migrant groups and those for Roma. Generally, the IOM helps groups who are ‘migrant’ in the sense that they have migrated from one country to another. The minimal largesse offered to Roma by the IOM (for example, 120 emergency hygiene kits for Roma flooded out of homes in Bosnia 30 , twelve apartments in India and a few €1,500 start-up grants for businesses in Niš, Serbia 31 ), however, is directed entirely at Roma who have stayed in their own countries, who somehow count as migrants by being classed as ‘internally displaced persons’. It is as though the IOM has bought into the racist stereotype that Roma are inherently migratory but can easily be bribed to stay put.

Fortunately, the stereotyped illusions of the IOM and the European security establishments have meant that their efforts to limit Roma migration flows have been largely self-sabotaging. While a few hundred ‘traffickers’ have been arrested, hundreds of thousands of Roma families have successfully re-settled, keeping their heads down, often disguising their ethnic identity, working many hours to secure accommodation, sending their children to school and making a better life for themselves. A sample survey of immigrant Slovak and Roma children in the UK 32 showed that while 81% of them had been placed in special schools in the Czech and Slovak Republics, in mainstream schools in the UK, they were generally successful, with their overall attainment levels only a little below the averages for all children. There can be few more stunning illustrations of the continuing insidious racism in these countries of emigration and the reasons why courage and the determination of the migrants, have defeated anti-migrant polices.

Nonetheless, the strategies of the European Union and the IOM, though unsuccessful, have not been entirely harmless. The crimes of ‘pimping’ and enforced labour have been cunningly rebranded as a sort of immigration offence called ‘trafficking’, so that while the perpetrators (redefined to include almost anyone involved in unlicensed migration) can be given well-publicised exemplary sentences, the victims can be dealt with by being shuffled back to their countries of origin, out of sight and out of mind. Dozens of children have been abducted from Roma families by police and immigration officers, before being shamefacedly restored to their parents and carers, when professional social workers were brought in 33 to properly assess the cases, leading to a situation where Roma, Gypsies and Travellers are fearful of admitting their ethnicity. 34

Nonetheless, the energy of these Roma migrants and the struggle for the human rights of migrants, have been key contributors to the emergence both of local Roma struggles for civil rights and the creation, by Roma intellectuals, of a pan-Romani consciousness. This has evolved since the 1960s and has slowly internationalised the struggle for Roma civil rights, despite international organisations, such as the IOM framing Roma migration as a problem, and superficial European politicians, such as Tony Blair and François Hollande, demonising Roma migrants outright. Migration is, in itself, an actualisation of the human right to the pursuit of liberty and happiness, an outcome of the creative force of human desire and a confrontation of the dilemmas of colonialism and post-colonialism. Migrants’ remittances sent home to Roma families, have probably been more useful than EU grants given to possibly corrupt local government office-holders. It is not the ineffectual writings of pro-Roma, gadjé intellectuals and well-meaning bureaucrats, but the struggle of Roma migrants to claim for themselves the fundamental European Union ideal of the free movement of labour, that has cracked the age-hardened structures of Roma subordination, inherited from four centuries of earlier settlements.

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Realism and Minsk II

One explanation that has been advanced to explain the collapse of the protocols has been the international relations theory of realism. Realism is an international relations theory that focuses on states as actors, their security fears due to uncertainty, and their desire to dominate each other.[39] Living in an anarchical world, they can never be sure of each other’s intentions, and are always worried about their security since there is no world government to act as the police that could be called for help.[40] Many have applied this theory to the Ukraine conflict to argue that all great powers tend to naturally dominate their surrounding areas out of desire for physical security. Therefore, because Ukraine has traditionally been a part of Russia’s sphere of influence, Russia would naturally want to keep Ukraine as a friendly buffer state. After all, in modern history, Russia has been invaded three times from the West- by France under Napoleon and twice by the Germans. These devastating wars left tens of million dead and etched a deep fear for national security into the Russian populace and leadership. The expansion of NATO into former Soviet and Russian territory also adds to this paranoia.[41]

This means that Kiev can hope at best to be neutral and that any attempt to turn to the West by integrating itself into major institutions such as the European Union or North Atlantic Treaty Organization are red lines that Moscow can never allow because to do so would bring the military might and influence of opposing powers closer to its borders. This is a line of thinking advanced by many different policymakers and commentators, including President Richard Nixon’s former Secretary of State and National Security Adviser Henry Kissinger, Carter’s former National Security Adviser Zbigniew Brzezinski, historian Niall Ferguson,[42] and the Brooking Institution’s Fiona Hill who currently serves on the National Security Council as Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director of European and Russian Affairs.[43] This is also substantiated by Moscow’s numerous actions, from getting Yanukovych to abandon the EU trade deal, to invading Crimea, and continuously providing well-supplied personnel to fight along with and command the separatists.[44]

The realist argument here is that the agreement failed because it did not explicitly address the security concerns of Russia by having Ukraine declare itself neutral and that it would not seek EU or NATO membership. Although Minsk II did include points to grant the breakaway regions greater autonomy, amnesty, and the promise of elections, for realists such concerns are important but misses the point. For scholars of realism, any accord that ignores the threat and fears of hard power and geopolitics, or worse pretends they don’t exist, is doomed to failure. The unfortunate fact is that the fear over the security dilemma drives national policy for, as Thucydides wrote in the Melian Dialogue, “the strong do what they can and the weak suffer what they must.”[45]

That being said, as any good student of conflict resolution or peace studies knows, it is also important to consider all the actors on the ground. The field of conflict resolution prides itself on looking at cases from a multilevel and interdisciplinary perspective. Towards that end, the conflict resolution theory of watching out for spoilers will be used as an additional explanation for Minsk II’s failure alongside realist theory.


The History of Livonia

Livonia, the name was originally applied by Germans in the 12th century to the area inhabited by the Livs, a Finno-Igoc people whose settlements used to refer to nearly all of modern Latvia and Estonia. Remnants of their civilisation can be found at Branzów Castle, North West of modern day Bielawa.

At the start of the 12th century, Southern Livonia was an area of economic and political expansion by mainly Danes and Germans. Viking relics can still be be found in the South of Livonia, particularly around well known densely forested, hunting locations and the magnificent Dolnik castle.

The land hosted multiple crusades over the course of centuries until a Polish republic and a re-established democratic Lithuania was proclaimed in 1918, its capital, Andrzejów. The countries had little time to celebrate their independence though because World War II was closing in.

When war inevitably began the Nazi Germans invaded Poland-Lithuania and laid their eyes on the Soviet Union (USSR). After years of war, the Soviet Union defeated the Germans in their last stand in the North. It may still be possible to find German flecktarn uniform around the favoured, farmland battlefields.

The Soviet Union then took the Poland-Lithuania Commonwealth under their arms in the Warsaw Pact and created a satellite state during the beginning of the Cold War. The Soviets focused heavily on the industrial areas of Livonia as they saw industrial growth as a pillar for military advancement. This occupation and control of industrial areas was a principle concern for the Soviet Union for many years.

Following the occupation of Livonia by the Soviet Union, Nadbór had become a breeding ground for anti-Soviet resistance. Partisan activity followed World War II for decades to come until they were all but stomped out by the Soviets in the mid-1960s. Partisan Militia fatigues and weaponry may still be found in the town of Nadbór. Partisan resistance that were captured were held and likely tortured by Soviet troops in the Kopa Prison facility, South of Gliniska.

Subsequently, the Poland-Lithuanian Commonwealth was free of Soviet control in 1989 and sought help in rebuilding their nation from the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and the United Nations.

With a shared commitment the UN drafted a "sector" map to isolate areas of concern for mission purposes. Each sector was suitably named based upon it's history and what was known about those areas.

Shortly after, Livonians saw the arrival of the first Canadian, American, Swedish, British and French troops and the start of the country's economic re-growth and stability. Canadian and American forces were jointly responsible for urban and military areas. Swedish troops supported the coastal towns and bridges along the Biela river and other waterways. British forces were the medical arm of the operation bringing better medical care to those in need. French forces oversaw agricultural growth in the many farms across the land.

While the rebuilding of cities began, some of the war-torn towns were left to rot, leading to masses of empty decaying buildings being taken back by the environment. These decayed buildings were thought to have housed partisan groups back in the mid-1900s due to the fact that military clothing, weapons, and ammunition can be found throughout these buildings.

The infection most likely arrived from the South and migrated North due to Chernarus's location to Livonia. Since the towns are so rural, it can also be noted that the virus did not spread as fast. There is also a possibility that the virus spread through water or by train from Chernarus to Livonia sometime between 2018 and 2019. This timeframe is estimated because of the potential halt in economic growth from Soviet rule.

When the infection arrived many of the cities were caught off guard, and the severity of the disease was underestimated by the government in the capital Andrzejów. It was known that Livonia was fairing well against the infection and the lower population in destroyed cities and spaced towns helped slow the infection. The Northern towns and airfield were easily secured due to the Biela river.

The military locations North of the river were the command centre for the fight against the infection. NBC (nuclear, biological, chemical) protective clothing now litters these locations and is seemingly tossed away as useless.

Unfortunately, the limited military that was left to help and fight were evacuated or went AWOL which led to mass looting and civil unrest. The Livonian Defence Force was then tasked with fighting off the infected, but since they were only made up of forest rangers not much order was ensued.

In many places, you can find remnants of resistance to infected and quarantine procedures conducted by the British military and Livonian government.

POST OUTBREAK

After the outbreak, the local military and civilian defences were overwhelmed. The majority of inhabitants fled the area to a more supplied region that was able to sustain their needs. The survivors who refused to flee either starved or were turned into infected. With this lack of structure, Livonia fell into civil unrest, leading to banditry and lawlessness. Factions started to emerge from the apocalyptic chaos and before long they battled each other for land and resources.


Watch the video: Η ενόχληση της Βασίλισσας Ελισάβετ (May 2022).