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The History of New Shetland as taught in schools and universities typically begins with the discovery of the Harvian Islands by Polynesians, but more recently the nations hailing from such regions as Alaska and the Aleuts that moved to the New Shetlandic mainland in prehistoric times have been included as well. The sovereign state of New Shetland itself didn't came in existence until the Declaration of Abolishment of Colonial Rule in 1923, after the merger of the Harvian Islands, an US territory, and the colony of New Shetland, administered by the United Kingdom. In 1946 the Ascension Islands were added, and in 1991 the country gained control over the Bergmann Shoal after a lengthy dispute with the United States. As of 1930, the country officially subdivided itself in 28 —later 30— states, modelling its administration after the USA.

Pre-European historyEdit

It is suspected that Polynesians hailing from Hawaii already inhabited the New Shetlandian islands as early as 400 CE, as archeological findings suggest. Even earlier, settlers from the Aleuts and Alaska entered the country from the northern tip and established a thriving society consisting of Krai, Chutean and Aleut people.

Already in 300 CE, Polynesian settlers made the Harvian Islands their homeland. Archeological evidence proved that there were probably two rivaling "kingdoms" roughly between 800 CE and 1100 CE. From 1300 onwards, almost no artifacts have been found. Scientists suspect that the unnamed culture of the early medieval times ceased to exist because of climate changes or fluctuating amounts of fish.

Around the year 600, an enormous volcanic eruption took place in the islands at the Wellington Site. The scale of the disaster is attested to by the fact that Chinese historians recorded 'a black cloud on the Eastern horizon', which many link to the explosion. The civilisation was destroyed and approximately half the population of the islands was killed.

Colonial historyEdit

ColonizationEdit

The Harvian Islands were discovered in 1804 by British explorer Thomas Harves, and an expedition to the northern Pacific in 1809 led to the establishment of a colony in 1810 comprising contemporary New Shetland and the Ascension Islands. The Harvian Islands, deemed not suitable for both agriculture or large-scale mining were not visited again until 1834, when a separate colony was established. Both colonies attracted colonists in increasingly larger and larger numbers as of 1840, and in 1846 permanent links with other British colonies were initiated as a way of gaining more control over the New Shetlandic Islands. Especially New Shetland received a great amount of interest by the Londong government, because findings of gold close to contemporary Marbella confirmed the expectations of colonial rulers that the land was rich in gold and other ores. Beginning in 1872, focus shifted from the Llamadan settlements built in the 1840s and the 1850s to the southern part of the New Shetlandic mainland.

Gold rushEdit

As of 1890 many central European colonists moved to Marbella and surroundings as the gold rush neared its peak. Indian and Chinese workers from the Gunagdong province immigrated to the colony en masse when the British wanted to expand the existing working force in ports such as Marbella, Yarmouth and Sur. In the mean time, the Harvian Islands experienced a change of ownership when the United States fought a short battle with the British marine in 1870 and took control of the Harvian Islands. Around the turn of the century, the gold rush had died down a bit and colonists were leaving the country again when the economy neared a total collapse. It was during these times that the London government decided to invest in agriculture and fishery to revitalise the economy as a way of assuring themselves that the investments in New Shetland would not be a waste of money. As a result, the annual amount of people entering the country more than quadrupled and by 1911 the population had reached a staggering 2.1 million people, making New Shetland the single most important colony in the Pacific but Australia.

In 1907 new findings of gold more northwards triggered a new influx of immigrants, this time from the United States, Wales and Scotland, as well as new immigrants from central Europe. The Nieves Valley agricultural area expanded rapidly around this time when new cities were founded close to places were volcanic activity had caused the ground to be fertile and able to sustain intensive cattle farming. In the Harvian Islands, still under administration of the United States, independence struggles by the native population alarmed the colonial government residing in Princeton, and revolts in places like Trinity and Stamadri were quickly suppressed, resulting in the deaths of 23 islanders.

IndependenceEdit

In the 1920s, economic growth decreased and the British Empire was disintegrating after WWI. More importantly, the Shetlandian descendants of the colonists of the 19th century became more and more dissatisfied with the distant London administration. Virtually no support was given anymore to the establishment of agriculture, and tax rises prompted the governor to ask for more independence. Surprised citizens learned that talks between the governorate and the government had led to the establishment of the Realm of New Shetland, the first independent nation in the Pacific arising out of the British Empire. The British were happy to ditch the struggling colony and contributing factors to the fast independence were the large indigenous population and the diverse population that was mostly non-British. The independence of the nation was one of the most important reasons for the establishment of the Commonwealth in 1926, and the independence of both Australia and New Zealand.

New Shetland Coat of Arms
Topics related to New Shetland
History: Timeline
Geography: List of most populated places - List of National Parks - List of islands
Government: Senate - New Shetland Legislative Hall - List of political parties (Liberal Democratic Party - Conservative Party of New Shetland - Green Party - Christian Values Coalition - New Shetland Socialists - Workers Party - Independent Party - Native Council)
Society: Alcohol - Demographics - Education - Health care - Native people (Aleut - Asalend - Chutean - Harvian - Krai) - Language
Economy: Transportation (List of UHF routes - List of roads) - New Shetland Dollar - List of largest companies - MSE

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