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Grahamland was first inhabited by Antarctic Indigenous Peoples, who arrived from South America around 10,000 BCE. From around 900 CE, the area was under the control of the Kingdom of K'athar, and was used by the K'atharans as a base for trading with South America. Toward the end of the 1700s, European colonists began to arrive in the Scotia Sea Islands, and in 1820, the Russian explorer Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen landed on the Grahamlandic mainland, which made him the first European to sight and land on Antarctica.
British explorer Edward Bransfield landed in the region just two days later than Bellingshausen, and claimed it for the British crown. As the Russian colonial efforts were focused in Eastern Antarctica, the British were able to consolidate their control of the region quickly. Unlike in other British areas, such as Eduarda and New Devon, there was little immigration to Grahamland (largely due to the inferior quality of farming in the area), and the indigenous peoples remained a significant ethnic majority. Despite this, wealthy British immigrants were the ruling class of Grahamland, and the indigenous peoples were treated as second-class citizens — much like in India and Africa.
There were some indigenous uprisings against the British, which increased greatly during the late 19th Century, but none posed a serious threat as the British military presence in the area was more than capable of dealing with them.
Early 20th Century
In World War I, British troops and indigenous Mustaks from Grahamland were deployed against New Swabia and Santiago, as well as the growing Katharan Liberation Army, which was trying to expand into Grahamland. During the Russian Civil War, Grahamlanders fought against the Communist and KLA insurgents in the neighbouring colony of Russian West Antarctica.
After the Wars, Grahamland had a new neighbour, the American-controlled territory of Palmeria, which had formed after the American occupation of parts of Russian Antarctica during the Russian Civil War. Grahamland and Palmeria became major allies, as they both faced similar issues and shared a common border.
Moving toward independence
Following World War II, the indigenous Ognians of Grahamland began to get more and more equality with the British. While the colonial administration was still appointed by the Governor (meaning they were all British, rather than indigenous); the local government of each town or village was directly elected, enabling Ognians to enter the political system. In the 1940s and 50s, Ognians began to become more involved in the central government as clerks and accountants; and in the 1960s, the Governor began appointing Ognians with experience in local government to certain government positions.
In 1968, the Governing Council was replaced by the Grahamland Parliament, which consisted of both appointed (ie. British) and elected (ie. Ognian) members; though Ognians were still underrepresented in Parliament. Throughout the 1970s, more and more seats in Parliament were made elective, in preparation for the colony's predicted transition to an independent country. However, with the spread of the Og movement to Grahamland in the mid-70s, British officials became more apprehensive of granting political power to indigenous Grahamlanders, as they worried that the colony would join the Ognian Confederation, rather than become a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, if granted independence.
As British and Ognian politicians in parliament debated the colony's future; three clear divisions emerged: the hard-line loyalists (almost entirely British), who opposed all suggestions of granting the colony independence; the moderates (British and Ognian), who sought an independent Grahamland as a member of the Commonwealth; and the Og Movement supporters (almost entirely Ognian), who favored the colony joining Ognia.
The loyalists were a minor group, and it was clear that eventually either the moderates or the Og Movement would be victorious. For years, the debate seemed unresolvable, but when a handful of moderate British politicians began to defect to the Og Movement in the late 1970s, they gained the advantage.
In 1980, a referendum was held which resulted in the transfer of the mainland portions to the Republic of Ognia. The islands, which were more pro-Commonwealth, remained a British colony until the following year, when another referendum resulted in them joining Ognia as well.