|Dominion of Willemstad|
|Type of Government:||Parliamentary Monarchy, Later Constitutional Monarchy|
|Leader Title:||Various Royal Titles|
|Motto:||"Deus, Pacem, Felicitatem"|
|Headquarters:||Van Der Heijden Estate|
|Humans and Ghouls:||approx. 1500|
|Founded by:||Wilhelm Van Der Heijden|
|Goals:||Preservation, and promotion of ethical, moral values.|
|Enemies:||Raiders, Liberals, Reformers, Atheists.|
Foundation and Reign of King Wilhelm
Wilhelm Van Der Heijden, the man that was to become King Wilhelm the Pious, was not always the noble character he is remembered as among the inhabitants of post-war Curacao. King Wilhelm was born into the Dutch royal house of Oranje, and by the time he was 23 he was set to be married to a distant Duchess of the Spanish Bourbon dynasty and was to claim a relatively important position within the Houses of Oranje, however young Wilhelm was not well. He was afflicted with a most depraved disorder, which, unfortunately for the young prince, came to light in early 2074 when he was exposed and convicted of pedophilia. Wilhelm only managed to spare himself of a prison sentence through the efforts of his own family's legal team and the influence his father held in the Dutch government. However Prince Wilhelm was publicly shamed, and was promptly disowned by his family who cast him from the House of Oranje. He left the Netherlands, angry and ashamed, for the Dutch Antilles, where he hoped to live out the remainder of his life in isolation and peace.
He would spend the next several years living on a large sugar plantation, seeking therapy and help from the local Catholic church. However, he wouldn't have to go through this trial alone, as he collected a group of friends and confidants to support him through the process, the first and foremost was his Sister and older Brother Amala and Karl, both of whom refused to break contact with him after his banishment. Then came his Therapist, Doctor Aart Stokkerman and the local Catholic Preist, Henri Du Mont. This group of people helped ensure that he remained of the straight and narrow up until the time of the Great War.
Upon the onset of nuclear armageddon, the island of Curacao was hit by a single Chinese warhead, leveling much of the islands oil refineries and balk plants, and setting the rest of the island aflame. For three months the island burned, as the civil authorities struggled to maintain control over the island and stave off anarchy. Yet the Great War and resulting chaos took its toll on Wilhelm, during the detonation Dr. Stokkerman had been killed tending to patients in his clinic, and his older Brother Karl was later killed by a group of thugs as he was escorting his wife and young daughter Anna to safety outside of Willemstad, leaving Wilhelm with Father Henri and his sister Amala and her young son Adriaan. Wilhelm went into mourning for the loss of his friend and brother, and secluded himself for nearly two months within his personal quarters, barely eating or sleeping, he was heard to weep from time to time.
Yet within his quarters he spent a good deal of time reading the various books at his disposal, among them were collections of poetry, essays and great classic novels, along with tracts on politics and philosophy. Among these tracts were John Locke's Two treatises on Government, St. Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologica, St. Augustine's City of God, among various other works from the likes of Aristotle, Plato, Cicero, Xenophon, and Machiavelli. The ideas and teachings of these various thinkers had a profound effect on Wilhelm, enlightening him to the philosophies of Natural Law and Rights and the importance of them in a fair, republican society. It was said that his emergence from his mourning on June 1, 2078 followed a night of restlessness for the entire manor, as the entire house was kept awake by screams of pain and anguish coming from Wilhelm's locked room. In the morning he emerged, pale, weak but determined to bring peace to the island. In his quarters there was discovered a bloody cleaver, and a large pool of blood at the foot of his bed, but there were no physical wounds upon Wilhelm and he refused to speak of the night before.
Wilhelm immediately offered his services to the the local civil authorities who, in conjunction with the small military garrison on the island had been trying to maintain control over the island, offering to mediate between the civil authorities and the gangs that had formed in opposition to the government, for the next year Wilhelm negotiated with, exchanged letters with and worked with the various gangs and government authorities to try and maintain order on Curacao. He made many enemies, but gained a great deal of respect from his colleagues and foes alike, and helped contribute to the survival of the island's civil government in the aftermath of the great war. However in 2080 the tense peace that existed was shattered by the destruction of the islands city hall, killing most of the governmental leaders in the process. Once again the island sank into chaos, and in the power vacum, the military and police took over, ruling the island at the end of a barrel. Yet seeing the utter relatively republican civil government replaced by militaristic despotism was too much for Wilhelm, who called for the overthrow of the government.
His call sparked a revolt, and after evading death at the hands of an army death squad he promptly joined the island's populace in its revolt against the military government, and in December of 2080, at the head of the provisional government of Curacao, Wilhelm toppled the military dictatorship, those soldiers and cops who surrendered to the rebels, were disarmed, stripped and placed in confinement. Wilhelm later oversaw trials of all the captured military officials and later their executions.
In the aftermath, Wilhelm attempted to establish a working government in conjunction with the rest of former shadow government, however with the unifying force of military coercion gone, the once unified provisional government split up into violent and bickering factions, all vying for their own ends. Having read the histories of the petty Greek and Roman republics, Wilhelm realized that this division would soon destroy the republic before it was even formed, and thus decided it best that for the time being the island be ruled over by a single, benevolent monarch. Whether this decision was made out of any true benevolence or simple lust for power is a detail largely ignored by historians. With the support of the Catholic church, at this point helmed by the Archbishop of the Antilles, Henri Du Mont, and those he had swayed over to his side he declared himself the Regent of Curacao.
Almost immediately this declaration caused a stir among the other factions in the provisional government, and within a day what had remained of the former coalition disintegrated. Although some resigned themselves to supporting the new "Regent" many more, put off by his rhetoric of tradition, Catholic values and authoritarianism, broke off and fled the capital of Willemstad. As Wilhelm estblished himself as king, the first step he took was to tame Willemstad, although a relatively small city, the ruins themselves teemed with ghouls, mutants and gangs of criminals. This combination of adversities, combined with the relative inexperience of the monarch's soldiers and the diminishing supply of provisions and supplies quickly made this task a nearly impossible feat to accomplish. Thus the new monarch was forced to turn to the dozens of former soldiers and policemen held in captivity for help, offering amnesty for service to the new realm, many soldiers accepted the proposition, if for no other reason then to escape the disease ridden prison. Many of these soldiers, many of whom still had families living within the monarchy, fought loyally alongside their former adversaries, others chose to defect rather then serve their oppressors.
By the end of 2085 the ruins of Willemstad were for the most part cleared of mutants and ruffians. This allowed much of Willemstad to be opened up to resettlment by the citizens of the realm. However, wanting to stave off the chaos of anarchy, yet wanting to preserve the right to private property, Wilhelm immediately claimed all the lands in Willemstad to be the possessions of the king, and immediately declared that the lands would be sold to interested buyers (of which there were many) for private ownership and use. The land auction began, with former army officers, heads of government and the church getting first pick, they were sold whatever land they could improve upon but no more than such, this was both to ensure that some property was reserved for the citizenry and to ensure that no one person could create virtual monopolies over resources. Next came the citizenry whom bought up the remainder of the lands. Yet there still existed a group of unlanded individuals who, despite the increasingly cheap cost that land was sold at, couldn't afford to own land. In order to remedy this, Wilhelm established a series of public works projects, using some of the land Wilhelm had reserved for himself, he established fields in which crops were to be grown, and the corralled boars of the island were to be raised, these unlanded folk were to be put to work on these fields and they would be compensated in kind. Yet this led to yet another problem for the developing country, money.
The issue posed a serious issue for the realm, now being called the Dominion of Willemstad, and one that thoroughly perplexed Wilhelm. The question arose, what should be used as species, there were plenty of old pre-war money floating around in the island, and it was still highly traded among the populace for its intrinsic or percieved value. Thus Wilhelm consulted with his advisors, namely his sister Amala and Archbishop Henri Du Mont, Amala supported the repurposing of the old money, while Henri argued against even having a currency system. Henri argued that currency would naturally lead to hedonism, greed, and libertinism, all of which he said, couldn't exist within a pious society.
Yet Wilhelm realized that a system based completely on bartering would be a chaotic system, and thus understood the necessity for an established monetary system. Thus one of the first acts he initiated during his reign was the Species Decree, recalling all paper and bullion currency. The idea was that the bullion currency would be withheld from general circulation, instead paper money would become the common currency, which could be turned in at a government office for an equal sum of bullion coins. It wasn't long before a wealthy group of land owners pooled their resources and applied for a Royal charter to open up a bank, Wilhelm granted the charter and in turn created the First Royal Bank of Willemstad.
Over the next decade a series of political and economic developments occured. In 2090, not long after changing his title from Regent to King and awarding titles to his family and advisors along with select land owners, Wilhelm enacted the Conscription Decree requiring all men to serve a year of military service upon their eighteenth birthday. This was passed in order to counter the increased amount of raider and outlaw activity on the outskirts of the Dominion. In 2092 the Foreign Trade Decree was passed, as merchants and early Rafters began to arrive on the island, Wilhelm permitted local vendors to not just buy goods from these foreign merchants but to sell their goods abroad as well. However this didn't come without certain stipulations, all goods imported and exported were taxed at a rate of thirty-five percent, tax collectors were commissioned and the state's police force was compelled to thoroughly inspect all imports before they were allowed to be opened to purchase. Once again this movement towards a more liberal economy angered the Church, especially the aging Archbishop Henri Du Mont who declared that the allowance of such market functions to exist within their domain was to invite hedonism, sin and vice into the souls of the populace. In order to placate his old friend and advisor, Wilhelm banned the selling of chems and alcohol within the kingdom.
In 2099, the Chamber of Deputies was created. By 2099 there were several clearly formed social classes in the Dominion, the highest stations in the dominion were held by the Soie, the label given to the landed aristocracy of the Dominion for the silk that they made their clothes from, occupying the middle strata were the Gentry, made up of the various merchants, church officials and powerful land owners who hadn't been awarded a noble title by Wilhelm. Finally, making up the lowest station were the poor farmers, laborers, coloureds and anyone defined by the state as being detrimental to society (atheists, Protestants, pagans, homosexuals, and anyone possessing Socialist or Marxist ideals.) The Chamber of Deputies was instituted in order to properly represent the various stratas equally, with the Chamber being divided between the Popular Council and Representatives, the Council being made up of the Gentry and Lower class, with the Representatives being made up of the Soie. The idea being that both houses, consisting of five members each would naturally conflict with one another, thus preventing any sort of unilateral faction to form, with the hope being the two sides would come together for expediencies sake. Yet it would soon prove that the only force ensuring the two sides to work together was the threat of dissolution by the King.
It was in 2110, that King Wilhelm, having suffered for many long months from pneumonia passed away in his sleep at the age of 91. He was supposed to be succeeded by his sister's son, Duke Adriaan Van Der Heijden, but the Duke had some months prior sailed to Aruba to make contact with the settlements the merchants of the Dominion often traded with in order to establish trade deals. For a brief time there existed a power vacuum, into which Archbishop Henri Du Mont, now nearly 89 years old stepped in and declared himself Regent.
Regency of Henri Du Mont
Initially there was a certain amount of optimism about Henri taking over, he had after all been a part of the original group of revolutionaries that had overthrown the military government, and had a hand in writing the Kingdom's constitution upon the death of King Wilhelm, and it was fully expected that Henri's regency would simply be a continuation of Wilhelm's rule until his successor, Adriaan showed up. However, while Wilhelm had been educated with the same Catholic philosophies as Henri, Henri had never mixed in Enlightenment philosophies with his Thomist and Augustinian literature. As a result he developed a very moralistic view of the world, with many of his political and economic beliefs driven by these beliefs. One text that had a particular effect on Henri was Pope Leo XIII's encyclical: Rerum novarum the founding document of Distributism. It was from these principles that Henri operated from, and would go on to define his regime.
In 2111, Henri attempted to enact his first legislative act. Henri had always pitied the poor masses of unlanded laborers that made up a majority of the lower class, and thus he resolved to enforce one of Distributism's key axioms; Three Acres and a Cow. This essentially defining the distributist belief that no one should be forced to subsist by working on another person's property, thus each person should be possess three acres and a cow in order to subsist on their own. Henri went before the Chamber of Deputies and requested that he be allotted 150,000 guilders to purchase land from the wealthiest landowners to be given to the poor working class laborers. The Chamber almost immediately balked on this, the Popular Councilmen who were of the Gentry, opposed the motion, stating it violated the property rights of the citzenry and thus the Dominion's constitution. The Soie themselves stated they should not be coerced into selling their land to the government for redistribution, arguing that distributism sounded more like Marxian economics than anything a good Catholic would believe in. It was only those Popular Councilmen that came from the poor working class that supported the motion to allocate funds, stating the purchasing of land wasn't a violation of the citizenry's property rights and reminding the other deputies of their obligations, as Catholics, to help those in need.
Unphased by this rebuke, Henri simply turned to the Constitution and enacted the right of the Monarch to dismiss the Chamber of Deputies at any point. Henri then went through with his plan, simply allocating the funds necessary from the Royal Bank and beginning the purchasing process. As expected many of the wealthiest land owners balked at having to sell their lands, and despite generous offers for large tracts of generally unused land, the Soie continued to balk. This frustrated Henri to no end, who spent days exchanging angry letters with the land owners, eventually he could take in no longer and enacted his power of Arbiter and issued warrants for the arrest of those land owners who refused to sell. Immediately there were cries from among the populace about violations of the the Constitution, but Henri ignored these, stating he was acting for the "greater good of the commonwealth." He placed many of the land owners on trial, and immediately afterwards had them imprisoned. The lands seized from the arrested land owners immediately were handed out to the poor laborers, along with a piglet, as there were few if any cows on the island.
What followed was a complete revolution in the manner that the island was governed. 2112, the First Royal Bank of Willemstad was broken up, and reformed into a Credit Union. That same year the Statute of Ethics and Morality was enacted, essentially declaring that all acts that went against the teachings of the Catholic Church, or the Common Law of the realm, went against the King and thus would be tried as treason, and be punished with death. Furthermore, a Property tax was enacted, with an emphasis on extracting more from those of the upper class.
All these encroachments and new regulations culminated in a general discontent among the populace of the Dominion, not only among the wealthy landowners, and businessmen but also among the Dominion's Protestants, Liberals and other members of the undesirable strata. The Religious freedoms promised to the people were infringed upon, their right to their own property was gravely threatened, and their basic natural rights were all around be abridged by Henri's emphasis on morality and pure, Catholic teachings. Yet this discontent simmered for months, until there was finally a catalyst to spark off a general revolt.
Not long after the issuance of many of the new royal directorates, many of the discontented citizenry chose to express their displeasure with the current state of affairs through writings, there was founded the Willemstad Inquirer a small publication that operated below the Dominion's two primary papers, the government run Vox and its contemporary; The Willemstad Gazette. The Inquirer ran a series of essays and editorials criticizing the actions of the government and the betrayl of the founding principles of the Dominion, Henri, unwilling to allow such dissent to exist under his reign ordered the paper shutdown. On June 4, 2113 a cadre of Royal Policemen raided the paper, warrant in hand, and arrested everyone in the building, then promptly destroyed the printing press and torched a stack of fresh papers.
This event was witnessed by dozens on the street of Willemstad, and promptly caused an uproar among the populace. There arose a demand for the release of the reporters and the workers and demands for the government to answer for their actions. Instead, policemen were ordered to breakup the protests and to place its leaders under arrest. For the next three days the city streets were alight as police and protestors fought on the streets, and mass arrests occured. Henri, by this point 92 years and likely suffering from dementia, declared that all those who protested the government's actions were sinners and that the actions of the police were justified in order to preserve the moral base on which the dominion was founded. Thus in order to further reinforce their efforts to keep order, he gave clearance for the use of deadly force on rioters by policemen. This final order proved too much for even the policemen to carry out, and all but the most jaded officers plainly refused to carry out Henri's orders. On June 10, Henri was wheeled out off the throne and placed under house arrest until his trial, and the government was taken over by a new Regent, a young Councilmen by the name of Mateo Cerva, who promptly named Prince Adriaan Van Der Heijden the new King of the Dominion.
Reign of King Adriaan
Reign of King Wilhelm II
Reign of Queen Amelia
Collapse of the Monarchy
Chamber of Deputies
Royal Police Force
Society & Culture