The Hanseatic Republic, also known as the Hansa is a state located in Western Europe. It is bordered by Denmark to the north, the Grand Duchy of Brandenburg to the south and east, The Rheinland Federation to the south, and the Kingdom of the Netherlands to the west.
In 1525 the Hanseatic diet met to discuss a common defense treaty in Lübeck. This proved to be the first step in a more unified Hanseatic League. Common defense began to draw many of the closer towns together, sharing intelligence and such, especially the Wendish circle. In 1554, the diet decided on annual dues to be collected for various expenses, and while many of the Dutch, Prussian, and Swedish towns lapsed in their dues, the northern German towns, grown closer due to their mutual defense and the recent increase in league meetings, paid in good faith. This strengthened the league as a whole, paying the tariffs for smaller towns and increasing their prosperity as well as other things. In 1556, the position of Syndic was created to give a unified voice to the league, being responsible for legal advice and international negotiations.
In 1557 another meeting was called on the establishment of a confederation. This confederation would create a unified region of law and defense to further aid in the hanseatic towns aspirations for trade and independence. The confederation was to last for 10 years, with the option of extension after those 10 years. In 1567 the vote on extension of the confederation was called. Instead Lübeck proposed to further strengthen the bond between the league establishing a more centralized federation to oppose the growing powers of the north German and Nordic princes. A committee was established to draft a charter governing the powers of this federation and later that year the Hanseatic Federation was established. Though many chose not to sign the charter, including most of the Prussian, Dutch, and Nordic towns, as well as many southern german towns who believed signing it would put them at odds with the more powerful german princes nearby, most of the Wendish and northern Saxon circles were major supporters. The charter laid out further powers for the Syndic, who would now be elected every 10 years, as well as a unified Hanseatic military. All signatories of the charter were bound by the laws established by the Hanseatic Assembly, made up of representatives of each member of the federation. The old league and Diet continued, but the needs and issues of the federation members took precedence over the other towns of the league.
The New World and Road to the Republic
In 1579 with word of the riches from the Spanish and Danish colonies in the New World and Britain and France's growing interest in these lands, the Federation decided it was in their best interests to stake a claim in these new lands. Bremen, Lübeck, and Hamburg, the largest and most prosperous of the Hansa cities outfitted expeditions to establish footholds on these new resources to ensure the Hansa's future prosperity. In 1588 the Bremen expedition landed in the north of the continent known as Cortés, establishing the colony of Neu Bremen. The Lübeck and Hamburg expeditions reached further, beyond the Strait of Panama. Lübeck landed south of the Spanish claimed lands of New Andalusia, establishing the colony of Neu Lübeck, while the Hamburg expedition went north, finally settling in a lush chain of islands in what they called the Westhansa Sea, establishing the colony of Neu Hamburg, later renamed Westhansa.
As these colonies grew and the resources they produced, including gold, filled the coffers of the cities of Hamburg, Lübeck, and Bremen, their influence in the confederation grew as well. Many of the independent towns in the league soon fell under their thrall, and in 1621 the Hanseatic Assembly voted on a series of amendments to the original confederation charter. It divided the confederation into three districts, with Lübeck, Hamburg, and Bremen each controlling one of these districts. The assembly would now be made up of representatives from each district, rather than the individual towns, though the towns had a say in those representatives. In 1634, the 15 Years War broke out between the Margrave of Brandenburg and the Archduke of Austria, pulling the Holy Roman Empire into civil war. In the chaos of the war, the Hanseatic Federation decided to increase its influence, and conquering the Duchy of Holstein, and forcing the duke to sign the Federal Charter, joining the Duchy of Holstein to the Hanseatic Federation. Shortly after, fearing an invasion of his own lands, the Prince-Bishop of the Bishopric of Bremen signed the charter as well. In 1654 rebellions arose in Vinland, the Danish colonies, requiring war to stamp out the rebellion. Such a committment of troops, and the effort of crossing the Atlantic proved a huge strain on the Danish crown, and in 1655 the Syndic of the Hansa approached the King of Denmark with a proposal. Sale of the Duchy of Schleswig to the federation in exchange for mercenary troops and funds for the war. As the Vinlandic colonies were much more valuable than the lands of Schleswig, the King agreed, and the aid provided by the Federation allowed a Danish victory in the rebellions.
With the territory held by the federation now including a great deal of territory not in any of the three districts, the Hanseatic Assembly met in 1657 to discuss the adoption of a constitution and unification into a single republic.
Formation of the Republic and colonial empire
With a growing sense of Hanseatic nationalism and the growing power of the Netherlands and Brandenburg, as well as dissent in the newly added lands of Schleswig and Holstein, many believed the obvious path was full and formal unification of the towns of the Hanseatic Federation. A comittee of representatives met in Kiel to iron out the specifics of a constitution before presenting it before the Assembly in Lübeck in 1658, where a vote on its adoption passed by a large margin. The constitution was then presented for signature for the entire assembly. The Hanseatic Republic was born.
After a period of reorganization the republic began focusing on administrative efficiency, establishing colonial assemblies in the colonies of Neuhansa capitoled in New Bremen, Königinland capitoled in Neu Lübeck, and Westhansa, capitoled in Neu Hamburg. These assemblies would allow the colonists a say in their running, reducing unrest, as well as being able to quickly handle arising situations without having to report back to the mother country. Each colony would also send a representative to the Hanseatic Assembly in Lübeck. With the success of the New World colonies, the Republic then set its eyes on Africa and Asia as new sources of wealth. With growing McGregorist influences in the Republic due to its tolerant policies towards religion, many arcanists were being hired by the colonial companies in order to aid in speeding ships to their destinations as well as aiding in colonial establishment.