| Federal Republic of Gudland |
République Fédérale de Gudland
Styrka i enighet; enighet i tron
Swedish: Strength in unity; unity in faith
Map of Lower Columbia in early 1884 with Gudland highlighted
|Languages||English, French, Swedish|
|-||Lower house||House of Delegates|
|-||Unification||27 March 1753|
|-||Annexation (by Lower Columbia)||13 June 1887|
|-||1760||297,206 km² (114,752 sq mi)|
|-||1880||426,494 km² (164,670 sq mi)|
|Density||1 /km² (2.5 /sq mi)|
|Density||7.2 /km² (18.7 /sq mi)|
|Today part of|| Escambia|
Kingston and Boyce
The Federal Republic of Gudland was a semi-presidential republic in the Pacific Northwest region of North America that existed between 1753 and 1887. Formed when four previously independent commonwealths united under a federal government, Gudland existed for 134 years as the only republic in the Pacific Northwest before being conquered and annexed by the Federal Kingdom of Lower Columbia, its neighbor to the south and east, in the Gudland War.
Prior to the formation of Gudland, a wave of European settlers arrived in the area in the 17th and 18th centuries. They established many permanent settlements, which eventually banded together to form regional governments. Four such governments, styled as "Believers' Commonwealths" due to their overwhelmingly Christian populations, formed in the area that would become Gudland: Olympus, Puget, Fraser, and Vancouver Island. These commonwealths did not accept Edward du Loup as their king when the three commonwealths to the south did in 1712, instead choosing to remain independent.
The inhabitants of the four northern commonwealths felt that their independence was threatened in the late 1740s, when King David I of Lower Columbia embarked on his first military campaign to expand Lower Columbia's territory. Although he focused on the area to the east and south of his kingdom, the commonwealths worried that he might eventually turn his ambition against them. Since they were individually too small to mount an adequate defense against a potential Lower Columbian invasion, a convention of delegates met in Vancouver in the autumn of 1752 to decide how they could best support their mutual defense. They concluded that the only way to ensure their safety was to form a single country.
Having reached this conclusion, the delegates proceeded to debate the best form of the new country's government. As they represented independent commonwealths, the vast majority of the delegates agreed that a federation was preferable to merging their commonwealths into a unitary state. However, there was disagreement over whether the federation should be a monarchy (like neighboring Lower Columbia, as well as practically all nations at the time) or a republic (like the commonwealths themselves). They eventually settled on a compromise system: the federal government would be a semi-presidential republic, with an elected president holding some executive powers, and a prime minister elected by (and answerable to) the federal Congress holding others.
The delegates codified this system in the federal constitution and chose Gudland (from the Swedish for "God's land") as the name for their new federation. Within a few months of the convention's approval of the constitution in December 1752, each of the four commonwealths ratified it and became the first four provinces of Gudland on 27 March 1753. Elections for the new Congress and the federal president followed soon after, resulting in Erik Helbig becoming Gudland's first president and George Picard its first prime minister.
Within a few months of unification, British diplomats arrived by way of Kingston to negotiate a resolution to a territorial dispute that Gudland had inherited from Fraser. That commonwealth had claimed a wide swath of land north of its settled area, extending into the upper Yukon basin. This claim overlapped with British claims to the North-Western Territory, into which the British intended to expand their fur-trapping enterprises. However, the Gudlander government did not want to cede its northern claim without reasonable compensation. To mollify them, the British diplomats proposed a territorial exchange: Britain would cede its colonies on the islands of Mainland and New Normandy to the Republic, which in turn would relinquish its claims north of 54°40' N. Satisfied with this offer, the Gudlander government signed the Treaty of Vancouver on 20 September 1753, and took possession of what would eventually become the provinces of Mainland, Escambia, and Lisieux.