|Flag of Belschaft|
|Motto: PAX QUÆRITUR BELLO ("Peace is sought through war")|
|Region||The Eastern Islands of Dharma|
|Leader||William Wareham Walingpole|
|NS NSTracker Sunset XML|
The Federal Republic of Belschaft is a nation with a population of approximately 6.851 billion individuals, organized in the form of a bicameral republic consisting of ten states and two federally administered territories, as well as a number of special administrative regions not considered part of Belschaft itself. It is located in the north-most archipelago of The Eastern Islands of Dharma, centred around the islands of Belschaft itself.
Colonisation to Independence
The nation’s origins date back to 1588 and the issuing of a royal patent for the exploration and colonisation of the new world to Sir Jonathan Bell. He eventually landed on the south coast of the main Island, claiming it for England and Queen Elizabeth, and founding the colony of New London; the future capital of Belschaft. As a reward for his actions the Island was named after him, becoming known as Bellsland, and he was made the first propriety governor of the New London colony. Over the next fifty four years the colony expanded rapidly, and three other colonies were established; Port Elizabeth, Carlisle and Portsmouth. With the outbreak of the English Civil war in 1642 the colonies, possessing a preponderance of merchants and religious non-conformists, were quick to side with Parliament, with only Carlisle remaining loyal to the king. Resistance here was swiftly put down by militia from New London, acting under the orders of the current propriety governor, Thomas Bell. Representatives of the four colonies met in New London in 1644, were they drafted and signed the Declaration of Common Endeavour, a charter stating their commitment to the Parliamentarian cause and establishing a common council of the four colonies to meet in New London, presided over by a Governor of their own choosing, confirmed by parliament. Due to the colonies distance from Britain they played no role of any note in the civil war, though three royalist ships on route to the neighbouring Dutch colony of New Friesland were captured by privateers operating out of Port Elizabeth. In 1660, upon the restoration of Charles II to the throne, the colonies refused to recognize him, with Thomas Bell stating the following;
“Sixteen years ago we, in free association and with no compulsion placed upon a single man, asserted the fundamental right of man to act according to his own conscience in an endeavour of his own choosing. For sixteen years we have laboured after an endeavour of our choosing, free from tyranny or oppression. What right does a distant king, seated on a bloody throne, have to compel us to abandon our endeavour and act contrary to our consciences? We swore to obey and serve the free and righteous parliament that was then established, but it has now been swept away; if there is no free parliament in England for us to serve, why should we not establish one of our own, in the name of God and the Commonwealth?”
The declaration of Independence of the colonies was a relatively simple affair, with the existing Declaration of Common Endeavour being amended to fit its new purpose as the founding document of the nation. At the same time the first colonial parliament also enacted a number decisions designed to break the links with the past, adopting in place of Bellsland the native populations version of the islands name; Belschaft. Similarly, Port Elizabeth was renamed Port Cromwell and the position of Governor being replaced with that of Lord Protector of the Commonwealth of Belschaft.