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The Republic of San Juan is a small nation in the San Juan Islands of Northern Washington. The populace of the islands have had little contact with the outside world but have traded with some cities in the Municipal States of the Pacific and survivor communities in British Columbia. It is almost 100% self sufficient, but requires fuel from the outside world. In recent months it has become a haven for those who are strongly against the absorbtion of Washington State by the Commonwealth of Victoria and the population is seeing a large boost. This influx of immigrants has essentially killed the movement for annexation by Victoria.
The San Juan islands were in the unique position of witnessing the devastation of both Vancouver, and the Seattle/Tacoma/Bremerton area and, other than the loss of power and telecommunications, were mostly unaffected. They were aware of the situation earlier than many of the inland populations, and therefore were prepared to take things into their own hands more quickly, where most of the inland populations tended to wait for word, sometimes for years, before attempting to build themselves a society. With no phones or electricity, the Mayor of Friday Harbour gathered volunteers to form a sort of messenger service to maintain communications between the various islands in San Juan county. Plans were worked out to establish a militia in the event of an invasion, as well as increasing food production from fishing and agriculture. Over the next few days, several refugees arrived from the mainland, bringing news of the devastation and chaos, and within a week a ship arrived from British Columbia to check on the status of the people of the islands. The population managed to maintain a semblance of order over the next few years, and, due to the surprisingly excellent leadership of the Friday Harbour mayor and council, established a sustainable society in the few years following Doomsday.
Sometime in 1987 rumors of large armies of raiders lead to panic amongst some of the coastal communities of mainland Washington. This lead to an influx of refugees to the island and the beginnings of small raids on the outlying islands. With such a small population, the relatively small amount of refugees caused all sorts of chaos. Lack of food, medical attention, and accommodations being the main problems. The refugees were put to work according to their pre-doomsday professions, with the majority being delegated to construction and food gathering. During this time a group of raiders from the Washington coast began to raid the outlying islands. Communications and food supplies to these islands became scarce and once again the leadership of Friday harbour stepped up to take action. A selection of the larger pleasure craft were outfitted with makeshift weapons and sent to patrol the waters around the islands. This reduced the piracy for a while until August when several of the pirate groups banded together for a raid on Friday Harbour itself. A small group managed to get ashore under the guise of refugees and took control of one of the dock buildings in order to secure a landing space for more of their group. The islander's patrol then blockaded the harbor, while the Friday harbour militia held the landed raiders in their makeshift fortress. The standoff lasted 3 days until the pirates surrendered from hunger. This event galvanized the population and boosted nationalistic feelings. Being 4 years since doomsday with no contact from the US government, the people of the islands decided to establish their own republic based on the ideals of the United States, but with a few island twists.
Contact and Prosperity
In 1988 representatives of the Commonwealth of Victoria arrived in Friday Harbor. They brought news of civilization surviving in Washington State and the Victorian government's efforts to aid them. They offered San Juan the opportunity to join the newly established Washington Protectorate, submitting to Victorian authority, although with local autonomy, in exchange for aid in rebuilding. With the Republic of San Juan being only months old the islanders were not so quick to accept the offer, opting to give their nation a chance before being absorbed by another state. They left on amicable terms, establishing a weekly ferry connection between the two nations.
With nearly all of coastal Washington being absorbed officially into the Commonwealth of Victoria, San Juan has become the last holdout of the United States in the region. This has led to an increase in immigration, and a shift in political thinking. Whereas the islands had been moving closer and closer to Victoria politically, with talks of adopting the Victorian Crown as the official currency of the islands, as well as unification, these movements have largely stalled. A new wave of American nostalgia swept the islands, leading to a new flag incorporating some of the imagery of the old US. With the possibility of the Provisional United States declaring itself the successor to the United States, a small group of islanders have brought up the idea of applying for statehood should this occur.
Government and Politics
The President is elected for five year terms and controls every aspect of the government. The government's main role is to operate the island's police force, maintain infrastructure, and interact with foreign nations on an official level. The government has recently tried to have so other services too like a postal service and medical care. There has also been discussions of funding an expedition to find more about what has happened to the rest of the world. The capital and largest city is Friday Harbor. The Government was formed in 1987 after the islanders fought off a group of scavengers who attacked the islands.
- 1999-2004 Jeff Vogel
- 2004-present Mark Stone
San Juan is a member of the League of Nations.
Fishing is the major industry of San Juan, making up 40% of employment. Whaling has grown to become a significant industry in the islands as well, as the small population of the islands requires only a small hunt that has been deemed sustainable. A growing industry is finished luxury goods. The islanders have become adept goldsmiths, silversmiths, carvers, and weavers, etc. over the years, and these goods have become the primary export of the nation. The people of San Juan accept the American Dollar and the Victorian Crown as currency, though with Victoria growing to surround the islands, controlling most of major transport to and from the Friday Harbour, and being nearly the sole trading partner with the islands, the Crown is quickly dominating the US Dollar and there are talks of adopting the Crown as the official currency.
Electricity had been abandoned in the Republic for years following Doomsday, because of this, there was a lack of refridgeration and most meats and fish had to be dried, salted, or smoked. Diesel powered boats and cars were still used by some of the population. Some farmers on the islands had been experimenting with the concept of bio-fuels and until recently the lack of any scientific knowledge or equipment has made it very difficult to accomplish this goal. With the islands being dependent on the sea for food, and no new supplies of fuel for boats, the islanders became quite adept sailors. With regular contact with Victoria, and access to their universities and colleges, many islanders have left to be educated and have returned with new techniques which have greatly enhanced life on the islands. Wind turbines have been constructed to supply the islands with electricity, and bio-fuels have largely replaced diesel. Though the long years without such luxuries have lead to unique cultural developments. San Juan cuisine, for instance, has developed many dishes using smoked, dried, or salted meats and fish, that has a surprising amount of variety.