Esselenmark, Ex’selenec, is a authoritarian monarchy in Western Leifia. It is bordered by Ohlonemark to the North, South Yokutland to the East and Chumashmark to the South. The capital is En'nesen and the population is around 207,300.
The Head of State is Chief Lenajan.
The official language is Esselensk
The currency is the Chinese Leifian Yuan (CLY).
Like most of its neighbours the tribes of Esselenmark were not arranged into a unitary state until around 1400. Similarities in language and customs meant they were normally grouped together with the Ohlone tribes to their north. Under constant pressure from Patwin and their allied armies the southern portions slowly dropped away from the main Ohlone state and their semi-independence was indulged by the Patwin League in return for military service. These erstwhile Ohlone states soon cultivated their own identities with almost every village or valley able to raise an armed force forming their own microstate with unique laws, customs and monarchies. Natural attrition, marriage and practicalities had reduced the host of states to around six or seven stable entities by 1730.
The Second Patwin Ohlone War (see Wars of Patwin Partition) saw Ohlonemark finally commit to reconquering the Esselensk lands it considered rightfully theirs. The small states, with backing from the Patwin League proved remarkably resilient and resisted outright conquest from 1734 til Christmas Day 1737. From that point until 1803 the Esselensk territories were an integral part of Olhonemark. New landowners, often European, flooded in, beginning mining projects, building permanent public buildings or draining the extensive swampland for productive farmland. Forcing the separate states into working with each other properly the new regime drastically improved the health, wealth and education of the average Esselensk worker. The population of those regarding themselves as Esselensk increased seven-fold during the Ohlonesk occupation.
It also fostered a small self-determination movement which grew in strength as the Patwin Wars continued and Ohlonemark slowly lost the ability to control the main towns as its military superiority slipped. Defeat by Chinese Leifian forces forced it to grant and recognise Esselensk independence on 1st December 1803 and the new united country was proclaimed.
In 1866 it forciably ejected all of the foreign Esselensk who had settled during the Ohlonsk occupation. Comprising some 15% of the population and destroying many mixed families the mines and farms confiscated from those ejected were handed to a narrow section of Esselensk society. In many cases the actual workers noticed little difference between the two working regimes but in general productivity dropped away significantly. It was probably only due to Chinese Leifia's underwriting of Esselenmark's independence, and a need to keep a united front against Mexic pressure, that prevented Ohlonemark from taking drastic steps against it.
Despite having a lengthy coast most of Esselenmark's access to the sea is blocked by a substantial mountain range. Its only viable port is at Sargetaruc on its northern border but regular fishing disputes with Ohlonemark mean that this port's potential has never been fully exploited. Heavily dependent on agriculture the government is finally making headway in draining the remaining swamps that place significant barriers to production and travel and finally build a railway through the country. In the meantime the population has been in terminal decline for decades as infrastructure decays without being replaced, and those who can emigrate to the booming cities to the north or south.
Esselenmark operates as a elected monarchy with chiefs reigning until death. A successor is then elected out of the six 'royal' families by the small council. Originally envisioned as a model democratic republic by the self-determanist rebels the country was setup with a small council chamber, democratically elected. However the narrow franchise has never been reformed and the council is essentially a captive body for the old ruling families. The office of First Minister lapsed in 1943 and in general the Chief governs directly. The current chief is Lenajan.