Empire of the North Sea founded

Earlier today, King (now Emperor) Thomas I of Hrafnarfjal made an announcement:

To All Who Read this, Greetings!

By my right under Leges Konungrum (The Law of Kings), I do hereby declare my accession to the throne of the North Sea Empire, and as of this date the 18th Day of July in the Year 2019, I do hereby declare the Empire formed.

Furthermore, I do hereby announce the formation of the Imperial titles of:
King of the North Sea
King of the South Sea
King of the East Sea
King of the West Sea
Duke of Helluland
Duke of Markland
Protector of Vinland
Jarl of Bjarneyjar

I hereby claim King of the North Sea, Duke of Helluland, Duke of Markland and Protector of Vinland. All other titles will be held in abeyance until such time as the Imperial Throne sees fit to award them.

This be my will,
Emperor Thomas I, King of Hrafnarfjall, King of the North Sea, Duke Ulfbol, Duke of Helluland, Duke of Markland, Protector of Vinland, Baron of Atovia &c”

This newly formed empire currently consists of two states, the Kingdoms of Hrafnarfjal and Senland, a former Gradonian colony.

A Letter from the King

His Serene and Royal Majesty, William I
King in Gradonia,

As many of you read this, either as a physical copy or electronic, serious changes are occurring within our government. As all of you are participants in these changes, I felt everyone has the privilege to know what is going on just as much as the architects of the aforementioned changes do.

The first and, in my opinion, most influential change is to the election cycle. It has been more than a year since the passing of the Council of Electors Act, and eight months since its amendment. In the Act, it stated that the first election was to happen on the twenty-first of March and the next election would take place six months after that. September twenty-first came and passed and there was no election. Some have placed their blame for this onto an imagined fear or timidity on my behalf. Some have accused their fellow Electors of lethargy and incompetence. Others have, to my personal disappointment, blamed the creation of a popular legislature itself for the lack of an election. Because of this, I will be holding an emergency session of the Konlichstag on the twenty-fourth of this month to debate the solution to the conundrum we find ourselves in. With that said, any solution which includes the abolition of the Council of Electors will be met with my personal opposition.

The next change will include a far more personal effect. I will be working with both houses of the legislature to entertain the idea of ‘activity checks’. As many other unrecognized states have done, these checks are used to preserve an active and engaged population. A crucible of activity, if you will. A means to eliminate the disadvantageous elements, while retaining those who are beneficial. Some claim this is a radical solution to a non-issue. The argument being that our community accepts all of those who wish to be members, regardless of their contributions. The basis for that argument is something I understand, but disagree with. We must continue our experiment with the goal to be able to create a community which is able to sustain both groups of people which contribute and those who do not.

The final change is one which the eagle-eyed may have spotted at the heading of this letter. My style has been changed to reflect the status of my place in the Gradonian political sphere. As of my writing this, I am uncrowned. I sit upon the throne, discharge my duties as per my election, and represent our nation, peoples, and cultures on the international stage. Because of this, I have changed by style to reflect my status: the King in Gradonia. Without a crown, a fancy gilded piece of headwear associated with a certain illustrious, perhaps even majestic, prestige; without all of your presence for a ceremony of paramount importance, I cannot claim to be King of Gradonia. I shall continue to serve you and my God with the same determination and fealty as before. However, this shall come to be as it was during the first year of my reign. Following this Christmas and before the election this coming spring, there shall be the ceremony of coronation to which you all shall be invited. At the end of said ceremony, I shall be again the King of Gradonia.

Great tidings and wishes of good health, to the people of the Kingdom of Gradonia.

Tensions rise concerning ‘re-opening’ Gradonia

Earlier today, a bipartisan petition from the Federalists and Communists was submitted to the king demanding “steps be taken immediately” to re-open the country. Following the petition, the press secretary of the Communist party criticize the lack of a response from the king.

First paragraph of the petition.

The Federalist party, while remaining mum concerning the decolonization movement, has spoken up about the prolonged closure. President of the party, Mason Elliott, told the Press on 20 May:

“[The king] needs to open Gradonia back up soon, he has basically assumed absolute power and we can’t even physically help the economy. Of course we have safety at the top of our concerns, but the state Gradonia is surrounded by, Texas, has opened up a bit and nothing has gotten majorly worse…”

Mason Elliott

The Communist party, however, has adopted the slogan “Not President Wilson again“. This is a call to when the king served as the president from 2018 to mid-2019. The Communist party claims that the king has again assumed an authoritarian stance and has effectively turned Gradonia back into an authoritarian state. This also leads into the party’s insistence that the next president of Gradonia, who serves as head of the Council of Electors, be elected at the next session of the Council.

The king has yet to reply to the petition, but members of the Konlichstag claim that the king has been focusing on the situation in Austenasia and has yet to see the petition.

Communist Party calls for Decolonization

As Gradonia remains in lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Communist party has been making moves to eliminate antiquated systems and holdings of Gradonia. Recently, the greatest push is being made against Gradonian colonial policy.

Gradonia has historically had ties to colonialism and monarchy. The oldest colony, Jackson, was established during Gradonia’s time in the Imperium Americana, a confederation of nations lasting from autumn 2018 to spring 2019. The only other colony, Francia, which was a former state of the Imperium, was established in the wake of the creation of the monarchist movement.

President of the Communist party, Luis Medina, who also serves as an Elector for Willvian, has been maintaining social distancing while advocating for change as reported my the Communist party press secretary. Mr Medina has also contacted the Charlington Press on the issue.

Official Portrait of Mr. Medina

“It’s not just an ideological opposition to the system, it is also pragmatic. The colony of Jackson was only founded during the ‘war'[sic] with the Republic of Bolson while we were under the Imperium to propagandize our military might. Francia was the result of an unfortunate lack of leadership and a misplaced trust in the formerly President. Both colonies are the result of expansionism and have suffered a lack of development since their establishment. Our government cannot continue to hold onto distant relics of the past which no longer do us any good.

Luis Medina

In mid-April, the Communist party created an online poll to establish the public opinion on the issue. The Federalist party criticized the creation of the poll on the grounds that the active participants in government should focus on policy concerning COVID-19.

The results of the poll (shown above), show 58.3% support for decolonization. The Federalist party has accused the poll results of being faulty, claiming voter suppression due to many Gradonians reporting to having been notified of the poll. As of yet, the Federalist party has not stated any official stance on the issue of decolonization, only that current debates on policy should focus on COVID-19.

COVID-19 and Micronationalism

With case numbers stabilizing, self isolation becoming evermore common, and the international governments of the world entering an evermore desperate position; a question not often asked is “how is the virus effecting members of the micronational community”?

To find the answer to this, one needs only to look at MicroWiki, where a majority of day-to-day operations occur. With travel plans being halted, one of the only ways micronationalists have found to be able to communicate with each other is through the wiki and the forums/Discord servers it provides.

But communication isn’t the only thing being effected by the outbreak, multiple states have echoed the decisions of larger countries by instituting restrictions of their own. In Austenasia for example, multiple individual territories and Crown Dependencies have enacted legislation prohibiting travel outside of the area as well as denying individuals from infected nations entry.

Now as the coronavirus epidemic begins to wind down, micronational leaders must prepare for the long-term and one can only wonder what will become of the online community once quarantine is lifted across the globe.

Results of the Election

It has been two weeks since the first Gradonian Provincial election and things are interesting.

The Monarchist party held the strongest win of the election with an Elector for each province. The Federalist and Communist parties tying with three Electors each. Shortly before the election the Monarchists and Federalists formed a coalition to ensure a council majority.

Election results

  • Aaron Smith (M) Cedarnia
  • Mark Jameson (C) Cedarnia
  • Samuel Garner (M) Cookan
  • Daniel Brooks (C) Cookan
  • Brenden Wheeler (M) Edderton
  • Grant Johnston (F) Edderton
  • Andrew Elmore (M) Haynio
  • Mason Elliott (F) Haynio
  • Allan Green (M) New Hesse
  • Anna Srodkaski (F) New Hesse
  • Benjamin Cerny (M) Willvian
  • Luis Medina (C) Willvian

Gradonia supports local Cattle Show

Recently the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo was shut down due to fears amid the Coronavirus pandemic reported all over the world. Because of the recent actions of the Houston mayor, Sylvester Turner, many Texans and Gradonians have answered the call by having an independent show in Edge, Texas, approximately two miles from Charlington and Nahona, Austenasia. For the past several hours, I have been interviewing exhibitors and event organizers, most notably Mr. Brian Rogers.

In the short time I was reporting and interviewing, almost 150 independent showmen and educational agriculture groups signed up to compete. While the numbers seen from the sign-ups at the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo (HSLR) may dwarf these attendees, Mr. Rogers expects “…about two-to-three hundred more…by this afternoon”.  The independent “BTHO (beat the hell outta) Coronavirus” show was first proposed shortly after the announcement to shut down the HLSR amid fears that many student showmen would not be eligible to further compete and meet the requirements for agricultural scholarships. Shortly after a post was made on Facebook which shortly gained over 21,000 collective shares and reshares.

Along with the massive publicity, the local cities of Franklin, Hearne, Bryan, and College Station have seen companies donate thousands of dollars in prizes, utilities, food, and advertisement. There have also been some international donations from Canadian and Australian cattle breeders and ranchers. The money donated for the event is “…all going to the kids, every cent made on our [ranch] it’s going to the kids showing out there”, says Mr. Rogers, “…and we can’t thank the judges enough who have all volunteered to officiate this event so these [kids] can do what they love”.

Shortly after arriving, the royal family, among members of the nobility, began unloading their livestock and assisting with event managers to provide directions for the incoming exhibitors. During this time, the Dukes of Cedarburg and Haynio requested an emergency session of the Konlichstag. At 10:43 a.m. local time, the session was called with 13 of the 19 members in attendance. The first order of business was to donate 2% of the Royal coffers, or about $50, to the event. At 11:00 a.m. the votes were unanimous ‘yeas’ and assent from the king. The second order of business was to begin advertisement efforts to gain donations from the micronational community. The motion was amended to include both advertisement for BTHO Coronavirus and the Global Giving Coronavirus charity fund. At 11:12 a.m. the motion passed and was granted assent.

King William I in his ‘cowboy’ attire at the event

During the event the king released several statements regarding the impact of CONVID-19:

“We are all gathered here because of a legitimate fear, and perhaps the electoral paranoia of a politician. I support [Mr. Turner]’s intent: to keep more people from becoming sick. What I cannot support is putting thousands of young people’s futures in education into jeopardy.  Many [high school] seniors, a few among our nobility, depend on the Houston Livestock show as a means to gain money, scholarships, as well as business and social experience. It is with a gratitude second only to God, that I praise the efforts of Mr. Rogers and all the other organizers for their efforts. This may not be Houston, but it damn near feels like it”.

Shortly before the first Hereford show.

As well as:

“…my Lord Peers, it is during this time that we must continue efforts to fight and aid those fighting the virally[sic] scourge our world faces. With the elections drawing near, I must ask each of you your support in such a trying time: one government for the benefit of our people”.

In the Konlichstag

Campaign Season Started!

William I – Yesterday, I opened the campaign season leading up to the first Gradonian Provincial election and the second Presidential election. Even though just last year this nation transitioned from an authoritarian regime to a constitutional monarchy, I believe that this election will be the most important political act in the history of Gradonia. An elected legislature will allow for a much greater common influence in the government than ever seen before. And so, without further ado, let’s get into the very first actions of this season.

As with most thing political the Federalist and Communist parties are going hard this first day with many asking for endorsements from members of the Konlichstag. The Monarchist party is running slower than the other two dominant parties, but members have started local campaigns for individual provinces.

The main question from many candidates is whether to focus on the provincial or presidential election. Some have already answered this for themselves, such as Mr, Medina of the Communist party, and have right out of the gate started their campaigns for President.

Luis Medina promotional material

The Monarchist and Federalist candidates, like Landen McGough (F-Willvian) and Aaron Smith (M-Cedarburg) are running unified front campaigns with their respective counterpart parties.

However, campaigning has taken a hit with the precautionary measures I put in place with the State of Caution. The inability to hold campaign events, give out flyers and other promotional material, and start physical opinion polls. With all of this, I think all the candidates can agree the health and safety of the Gradonian populace is more important than garnering a few more votes. So, this has been the first 24-hour recap of the March 2020 election campaign season. For any foreign enthusiasts and ill-informed Gradonians, I will be doing a one week recap next Monday.

Government declares State of Caution following suspected Coronavirus infection.

At 5:00 p.m. (CT), 23 January, the Gradonian government declared a State of Caution. This follows the news of a suspected Coronavirus infection in Brazos County, Texas. The suspected infection was announced by the Brazos County Health District.

The unidentified patient recently traveled from Wuhan, China, where the current coronavirus outbreak originated, back to Brazos County but Texan authorities have declined to provide a specific timeline for his travels.

Following this announcement and declaration, a closed emergency session of the Konlichstag was held “to determine the Gradonian government’s next course(s) of action”. After the session, Duke Brayden stated:

“We will be working with the Brazos County Health District and Center for Disease Control to inform everyone if the infection is confirmed and if further actions are to be taken.”

Duke Brayden

Later the threat level was increased from Amber to Orange. The threat level was previously set at Amber due to the increasing tensions between the United States and Islamic Republic of Iran.

William I later made the announcement that all other nations in Texas, including externally located nations with territory and citizens within Texas, would be notified and provided with healthcare by Gradonian officials.

The State of Caution, only issued once before preceding the tornado which struck last April. This announcement, however, has included that a bookletis being written to “accurately assess threats to Gradonia”. It has been titled “Gradonian Advisory Guide of Assigning/Assessing Threats” or GAGAT. Despite the horrendous acronym, this booklet will be issued to every Gradonian citizen upon creation.

Lex Gradonum ratified and it has…dueling?

Earlier today, the Lex Gradonum, a landmark piece of legislation, was passed in the fifth session of the Konlichstag. The law, championed by Consul candidate Duke Brayden of Cedarburg, is considered the closest document to a Gradonian constitution. There are three main sections of the Lex Gradonum, the preamble, Dictatum (Dictations), and Successum (Successes).

The preamble declared that the monarch is bound to the interest of the people “through the grace of God”. Following that statement, an oath is written:

” His Majesty, and any following monarch upon the Gradonian throne, does solemnly swear by the witness of the Lord their God and their government, that this law will not be infringed, for it is to preserve the faith of the security of the Gradonian people. The monarch of Gradonia and their lineage was chosen by the people, through the grace of God, and can be removed by the people, through the grace of God.”

Lex Gradonum, Coronation Oath.

In Dictatum, it outlines the different decrees and actions the monarch can take and how the government can balance a category stated as “Nationale”. The inclusion states that this power comes from the recently passed Council of Electors Act which states that the President can veto a decree and remove a supreme judge appointed by the monarch. But, the ability was defines as not partisan to the President. Lex Gradonum also stated that the Konlichstag could also veto certain decrees.

The most interesting points of the Dictatum section was that both the council of Electors and the Konlichstag could veto and adjustment to the national budget and the declaration of the Großhaus.

These first point seemingly states that the power to adjust the budget is the monarch’s rather than any other figure or body. When asked on the matter Duke Brayden refused to comment.

The second point introduces a new term: Großhaus, German for Great house. When asked on the matter Duke Brayden replied:

“It is…a joint session of both the Konlichstag and Council [of Electors]. Kind of like a joint session of [the United States’] Congress.”

Duke Brayden, 15 November 2019

The following section, Successum, detailes the succession law of the Gradonian monarchy. It states:

” The monarchy of Gradonia shall henceforth practice the succession law of which the male line of the ruling house will be favored over the female line, but the ability of the female line to inherit the throne will not be prohibited. The ability of a King and a Queen to rule simultaneously will not be prohibited, rather encouraged…”

Lex Gradonum, Successum

This solidifies Male-preference primogeniture as the Gradonian succession law. Some members of the royal family, most notably Princess Noelle, objected to this ratification. But the most interesting section of Successum, and perhaps the entirety of Lex Gradonum, is the dueling clause titled Clarigatio (Challenge). In Clarigatio, the basis for any Gradonian to challenge the monarch (as long as the challenger and monarch are of the same sex) in melee combat for right to the throne.

“Any Gradonian man shall have liberty to challenge the king for the throne. Any Gradonian woman may have liberty to challenge the Queen for the throne. In this, the monarch is not held above the people excepting in office. The challenge may be accepted or declined, on the personal honor of the monarch. If the challenge is accepted then a duel shall commence at the liberty of the monarch. The duel will be restricted to the bounds of a circle, twenty paces in radius. The challenge must use weapons of non lethal nature, and the basis of victory will be agreed by both the monarch and challenger. Upon the victory of the monarch, the challenger will be barred from any post he held beforehand and be unable to serve it again. Upon the victory of the challenger, the monarch shall cede the crown and throne to them, but may retain all other noble titles held. A panel of three judges, the President, Consul, and Supreme judge will decide the victor.

Lex Gradonum, Clarigatio

The clause has recently been criticized by Luis Medina as “…a Wakandan wannabe challenge…”. This statement makes a reference to the ceremonial combat depicted in the 2018 film, Black Panther.

Federalist Party convention 2019

The Federalist Party of Gradonia had its first convention today, 8 November, which had a turnout of 8 members out of 10. The convention was held in the Statement Chamber in the Royal Residence. The main speaker of the convention was William I, president of the party.

The convention was officially started at 2:47 p.m. (CT) with the opening speech. The first point of motion was a proposition to join in coalition with the Monarchist party by Mason Elliott. After several minutes of chamber debate the vote was put forth with 5 for, 2 against, and the president abstaining.

The following point of discussion was over the Council of Electors Act, specifically the Federalist candidates for the provinces. The unofficial decision was reached that there would be one Federalist candidate in each province except Willvian, which would have two.

The final point of discussion was over the vote to join in political alliance with the international Whig party which is a current party in Austenasia and Aspen.

The closing speech of the convention by William I was announcement that he would not be running for party president in the new year’s election.

I have had the utmost pleasure being president of both this party and, for a time, Gradonia. But, with the recent development of my becoming King, I no longer have the liberty of being partisan. A king must lead without the ideals of one group over another. With this I announce I will not be running for reelection as president of this party and after the election of my successor I will leave this party. I thank you all for participating in this convention, God bless.

William I, 2019