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With an small outlet to the Baltic, Novgorod stretches to the Urals.
Novgorod had different periods of independence followed by annexation by other powers. The mongols invaded Novgorod in the 13th century, but after they retired a first republic was formed. In the 15th century, Muscovy annexed Novgorod forming Russia, but then again, Novgorodian territory was disputed by both Lithuania, Sweden, and Sibiria.
Finally, in late 18th century, Russia was partitioned between the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth, Sweden, the Ottoman Empire, Crimea, Kazachstan, and Sibiria. Most of former territories of Novgorod, including the city itself, were grabbed by Sweden.
After a process of ethnic cleansing, non-Novgoronian ruling classes, particularly Muscovites, Tartars and Cossacks, were removed and prosecuted by the Swedes. The Orthodox church was also targeted by the Catholic rulers in Stockholm. Swedish landowners begin taking the best lands and using local manpower under servitude. (Servitude was forbidden in Sweden proper.)
Since 1805 to 1870, the Novgorod territory enjoyed a peaceful period. Most of the cleansing was already done, and the Swedish power was undisputed by Polish-Lithuanian controlled Russia and by Sibiria, but Novgorodian nationalism grew during this period.
Some extremist nationalists broke the peace in 1870, which brought reprisals from the Swedes. The violence escalated, but no leader could agglutinate all nationalistic or pro-independent movements in Novgorod. The Novgorodian crisis, help precipitating the fall of the Monarchy in 1875, accused of corruption. A civil war erupted in Sweden proper between the royalists and the republicans. Novgorodian parties (including pro-Sweden parties, and the different independentist movements) begun fighting each other.
The royalists surrendered in 1877, but the war continued. Finally the pro-Swedish parties manage to defeat the different independentist parties in Novgorod by 1881, but this year, the unionist fraction lose against the federalist fractions in Sweden proper. In the Copenhagen conference, the Swedish Civil War was over, and Novgorod was recognized as an sovereign nation under a loose confederation called the Swedish Commonwealth.
The Commonwealth would grant a mutual defense pact, and the prohibition to get involved in any other external conflicts. Also, freedom of movement and a tariff union were established inside the Commonwealth. Servitude was abolished and freedom of religion was granted. The new constitution of Novgorod (sharing the first three chapters with the constitution of fellow Commonwealth nations), would promote a democratic republic under a single chamber parliamentary model.
The Constitution was sanctioned in July 1882, which is recognized officially as the Independence and Constitution Day.
In April 1918, a few months after the disintegration of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and the declaration of the Kingdom of Russia, Russia launched an invasion of Novgorod. This action triggered the defense mechanisms of the Swedish Commonwealth, which repelled the invasion by early June. The Novgorodian, Swedish, Finnish, and Estonian troops then invaded Russia and took Moscow by late July. However the neutrality clauses of the Swedish Commonwealth, forbade the permanent occupation or even overthrowing the aggressor's government.
Given that the situation was controlled easily by the northern armies, and that Russia had not ally on her own, the Commonwealth prevented any other nation to attack Russia. The Commonwealth even repelled an opportunistic attack by Sibiria against Russia.
The Tsar surrendered in November. He had been prisoner since August, but had refused to surrender, and the Commonwealth had refused to recognized an abdication. The official surrendering without abdication freed the Commonwealth to sign a pact allowing the de-occupation of Russian territory and the recognition by the Tsar and the Russian Duma of the sovereignty of Novgorod.
This was the last time a Swedish or a Novgorodian army was involved in any internal or external conflict.
Novgorod is the less developed of the Swedish Commonwealth country, but still significantly more developed than Russia and Sibiria. These has attracted a great deal of migration from these two countries, as well as from other Asian countries, which see Novgorod as the gate to industrialized Europe.
Despite some problems, several of them caused by an increasing Muslim population, Novgorod benefits from migration as it offers both qualified work and muscle needed to explore the arctic regions of the country.