The Kingdom of Gothenland, Götaland, Gothenland, is a medium sized constitutional monarchy in the south portion of the Scandinavian peninsula. To the North it is bordered by Svealand and to the West and South by Denmark. The detached portion of Pomerelia on continental Europe borders Danish Pomerania to the West and Poland-Lithuania to the South and East.
The capital is Göteborg (or Gothenburg in Anglian). The population is around 1.9 million with another 950,000 in Pomerelia.
The Head of State is King John VII.
The official language is Götamål. Pomersk is given equal status in Pomerelia.
The currency is the Gothenlandic Krona (GLK).
Forming a cohesive kingdom in the mid 8th century, Gothenland narrowly avoided being swallowed by its Northern neighbour Svealand in the 970s. As Norway fell apart and embarked on vicious wars Gothenland became a haven for those Norwegians in exile and in those days it could rely on a body of mercenaries at any point to assist in holding off the advances of Svealand and Denmark. As Scandinavia solidified a little over the next century Gothenland, recognised as a separate crown, was held in union with either Denmark or Svealand. This lasted until the murder of King Sverker I permanently ended the union of the two East Scandinavian crowns in 1157. Gothenland then became the centre of endless succession plots as the exiled or disinherited gathered support to retake their kingdoms, leading to increasing clashes with the Danish Estridssons, the Svealandic Ericssons and the Hordalandic Maddadssons.
Gradually, however, Scandinavia began to redirect its energies elsewhere. Denmark headed south into Pomerania, Svealand eastwards into Finland and Hordaland westwards into Ireland. Feeling surrounded Gothenland ploughed its energies into crusading in Prussia. This put it at odds with the Teutonic Order who felt they had a monopoly on the Baltic crusades. However, by the 1250s Gothenland held a string of fortresses on the Baltic coastline and managed to capture Memel in 1271. Supported with the annexation of the mid-Baltic island of Gotland in 1269 and a booming period of domestic growth at home it was confident about being able to push the Knights further.
It also buried the hatchet with Denmark, supporting it in the desperate struggle to hold on to Rugia in the face of William of Holland's Imperial armies. However, in general, the country remained peaceful and prosperous. A civil war in 1312 was averted after the claimant died only five days after announcing his presence to a rapturous welcome in Jönköping. The House of Sverker gave way to a branch of the Polish house of Piast via marriage in 1318 and this connection allowed it much more leeway with its activities in Prussia but lessened its ability to influence policy in Scandinavia.
It eagerly went along with Olaf III's conquest of Svealand and further campaigns in Germany and was rewarded with land north of Lake Vanern for its troubles. Olaf allowed, or at least turned a blind eye to Gothenland expanding their holdings through Prussia, taking advantage of the faltering Teutonic Order. Poland, recently taken over by the Lithuanian Jagellion dynasty became hostile to the Piasts of Gothenland and used Hussites as proxies to reduce the Gothenlandic fortresses that ringed their coasts. At the same time the dynasty ran out of heirs as all three of John IV's children died in quick succession in the early 1400's. Gothenland would be convulsed by political intrigue and civil war. Once dust settled on this the kings looked abroad once more to deflect attention from the succession crises. Although the threat from Poland soon passed, as the Empire had largely contained the Hussites by 1430, Gothenland again felt surrounded. Events in the rest of Scandinavia were to give it the support it desired.
The early death of King Erik VII of Denmark in 1426 had left his widow, Elizabeth of Viken in control of Denmark, Svealand, Finland, Estonia and Viken. To assure the smooth succession of their son Erik VIII to all the territory Elizabeth sought to secure the agreement of her neighbours. The resulting treaty was signed in the Gothenlandic town of Kalmar in 1431. Both Gothenland and Hordaland agreed to respect Erik VIII's right to succeed in all his territories in return for Denmark's confirmation of the current borders and guarantee of its support during any defensive wars.
Gothenland subsequently campaigned on Denmark's behalf defeating several revolts in rebellious Svealand, holding down Pomerania while Denmark fought Luxembourg during the War of Anglian Succession while Danish assistance improved their standing in Prussia. Together they carved up Eastern Pomerania (Pomerelia) by 1441 and Samland was added in 1485. By the time the combined Kalmar navy wiped out its Prussian equivalent in 1501 it had added West Prussia. The rump Teutonic Order limped on until 1622 whereupon the final Prince-Grandmaster died without heirs. The War of Prussian Succession then broke out between Gothenland, Brandenburg and Poland as each attempted to force the others out. The 1635 Treaty of Danzig left Gothenland holding Prussia, as a fief of Poland, whilst Poland took the other parts as crown land. Brandenburg, denied what it saw as its rightful inheritance would fight Gothenland several times over the next two decades, even though they were meant to be allies in the ongoing Fifty Years War.
Keen to protect its Prussian holdings from Imperial interference it followed its neighbours and co-religionists into the Schmalkaldic League. But faced with a seemingly never-ending series of battles Gothenland's enthusiasm for Danish ventures began to wane. When Svealand revolted for the final time in 1551 Gothenland refused to put it down. It would be occupied by Denmark in response but peace, and Svealand's independence was signed in time to save the Schmalkaldic League from destruction. The result of the League's victory in 1558 was the creation of a rival Protestant Empire. Gothenland was raised to an electorate and devoted a vast number of troops and money to fighting the Fifty Years War. Its wars with Brandenburg consumed a lot of its effort, however, and it rarely operated as anything other than in a supporting role to Denmark.
As the Kalmar Union faltered out of usefulness in the later 17th century Gothenland disassociated itself from Denmark. Compromised by its Prussian holdings it did little to aid Denmark in its occasional wars against Poland or Empire.
And neither did it care too much when Svealand embarked on a period of expansion in the 1760s. During the long reign of Christian II, its army and navy were allowed to fall into disarray and the autocratic monarchy squandered the wealth of the country on vanity projects, exemplified by the vast opulent splendour of the Jönköping Palace and Christinehof Castle. However, the picture soon changed. As Svealand took on and beat Novgorod, Poland and the Empire during the Great Baltic War (1761-1774) Gothenlandic observers could only wonder how soon it would be before they would be next. As Svealand overstretched its ambition and resources Denmark and Anglia invaded it. The depleted Gothenlandic army could only stand aside and watch, to great embarrassment. Civil revolt followed and the monarchy's power reduced. As the 4th Kalmar Union agreement was signed the newly empowered Riksdag soon plowed money into a reformed army and united Kalmar navy.
Trading forts in Africa and India followed, along with the New Oland colony in Australia in the 1860s.
Gothenland would be given full reign in Prussia in 1785 (i.e. it no longer had nominal fealty to Poland) after it promised not to join in the 3rd Hungarian War and renounce the residual Piast claim to the Polish throne. It would hand Prussia full independence in 1894, though it held on to Pomerelia after it voted no to independence.
Gothenland is governed by a bicameral Riksdag which is elected every five years. The head of state is King John VII and his Prime Minister is Erik Gyllenhielm.
The country is divided into eight Län as follows:
|Västra Götalands Län||Vänersborg|
PomereliaUnlike its volatile neighbour Danish Pomerania, Gothenlandic Pomerelia is peaceful and largely uninterested in developing as a separate entity. Gothenland offered it independence in 1894 and again in 1951 but on both occasions a majority voted no. Largely rural, the main city is Gdansk which has become rich from handling large amounts of Polish trade. Though the majority of the countryside is Pomersk there are large minorities of Poles, Gothenlanders and Germans in the towns and cities.
Pomerelia does not have a separate Diet, despite Gothenland's offers of giving it local autonomy, and instead sends representatives to Gothenburg. It is, however, a member of the Holy Roman Empire and also sends delegates to the Imperial Diet in Frankfurt. Gothenland has no real strategic interests in the Empire so allows the Pomerelian delegates free hand in their voting patterns (much to the annoyance of Denmark) though they normally vote to preserve the status quo.
Eagerly joining in the scramble for Australia in the 1860s Gothenland occupied a section of the Central Eastern coastline between the claims of Svealand and Denmark. The border with Danish Australia was soon agreed. However, Svealand founded its major fort Rebekkastadt within the Gothenland claim. A standoff resulted and armed conflict narrowly averted. Eventually Svealand would be handed the territory, as a consolation for the loss of Finland. The border between the two colonies was shifted by two degrees southwards.
Named New Oland after the large island in the Baltic, the colony attracted many Pomersk settlers from both Pomerelia and Danish Pomerania with promises of plentiful cheap land. In many parts Pomersk is more widely spoken than the official Götamål. The capital, unlike every other Australian capital, is in the interior of the region. It is named after the Gothenlandic general Fredrik Koskull, the first governor of New Oland. The population is around 2.2 million.