Alternate History

Boriken (The Kalmar Union)

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Grand Duchy of Boriken
Timeline: The Kalmar Union
Flag of Boriken (The Kalmar Union) No coa
Flag Coat of Arms
(and largest city)
Language Castillian, Boriken Taino
King Philip VIII
Director Agüey de Lara
Population 2,383,500 
Currency CSP

The Grand Duchy of Boriken, Boriken, is a autonomous island dependency of Castille. It is situated in the Taino Islands between Quisqueyanos and the Danish Taino Islands. The population is around 2.3 million and the capital is Yagüecas.

The Head of State is King Philip VIII. His representative on the island is Grand Duchess Joanna.

The official languages are Castillian and Boriken Taino which is closely related to the Taino dialects spoken on other neighbouring islands.

The currency is Castillian Peso (CSP)


The Boriken islanders were, like their neighbours, relatively undeveloped until visited by Vinlandic traders in the 12th century. Norse technology went hand-in-hand with disease and the population was much damaged by further contact, however eventually the improvements brought by settled agriculture meant the population would rebound stronger than ever.

It was a minor player in the Transatlantic trade between Europe and Mexica during the 15th century but it suffered a debilitating civil war in the 1490s between the most powerful tribal kings which prevented it fully enjoying its potential. When Granada initiated the scramble for the Taino Islands by seizing Coabana in 1552 Castille landed a force at Yagüecas, deposed its king and claimed the island for the Castillian crown.

For two centuries the rights of the native population was essentially subordinated to the desire by Castillian settlers to maintain profits, both of the farms they had appropriated and the trade that flowed through the island. The descendants of around 20,000 Castillian settlers (the largest single European emigration to Leifia during this period) directly controlled all the organs of state and the majority of the island's wealth wound up back in Castille to fund its wars and its increasingly corrupt and weakening state. The island's economy was fuelled by sugar farming, to the detriment of much of the rest of the economy. However the blockade by Mexica during the drastically reduced their power as lines of credit dried up and they were forced by riot and revolt into sharing out their power and the island narrowly avoided occupation by Mexica.

The next threat came from within. The Iberian Revolution that started in 1817 would sweep away the elites of Castille and with them the backing for Boriken's government. The local army soon contracted the 'Iberian Disease' and staged a coup to remove the remaining Castillian leaders. As the revolution accelerated and widened in Europe the island's new republican rulers were tasked by del Olmo to wipe out Kalmar and Portugal's military and naval presence in the region. Attacks on the Danish Taino Islands were repeatedly rebuffed and eventually Portuguese and Danish Taino forces invaded Boriken. The Treaty of Milan awarded the island to Portugal however the understanding was that it would return to Castiallian rule once it had satisfied European powers that it had sufficiently quashed republican attitudes at home and this led to a complete freezing of reform. It was with a great relief and hope that the island was returned to Castillian rule in 1864. The Castillians quickly introduced autonomy to the island, with only the executive offices of King and Grand Duke beyond the reach of 'the ambitious Borikenese'. That further reform was not immediately implemented was of great disappointment to the population and has led to much of the corruption and resentment that now fuels, or restrains, Boriken politics.


Calls for outright independence are sometimes accompanied by significant military action and the island's own army regularly swallows a huge percentage of the budget. That most of this probably disappears into the officer's pockets only fuels more resentment against the state. The Director, Agüey de Lara, is seen by most Leifian states as a despot.

The Crown of Castille's representative, Grand Duchess Joanna, is well liked by most of the population as she is seen as bipartisan and not self-interested like the majority of the island's elites. King Philip VIII has visited Boriken twice and on both occasions was warmly welcomed. Joanna is quoted with having said 'I would support a Boriken Republic in a heartbeat if I thought it would improve the standing of a single citizen by even the smallest amount'.

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