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Colony of Burgundie
|Acquired for Medimeria||2034|
Antilles is an overseas possession of the Burgundie, located off the northern coast of Audonia. It was previously owned by Urcea. As of 2030, the population of the island was slightly less than 800,000, representing a major growth since 2020, in large part due to being a major waystation between Urcea and its possessions in Punth, namely New Yustona. Much of the economy of Antilles is devoted to oceangoing activities, and besides its well known position as a Urcean military base, it is a popular destination for Levantine cruise lines. Fishing is also a large industry in Antilles. In 2034, it was exchanged with Burgundie for the island of Medimeria.
Permanent settlement of Antilles began in the third century, but it remained largely isolated until its conquest by the Oduniyyad Caliphate in the 800s, at which point the island became known as Dirikah. Despite its position relatively close to the heartlands of the Caliphate, the island remained sparsely populated and was home to several dozen sleepy fishing villages until the beginning of the Occidental Crusades in Audonia in the 12th Century. Despite the failures of the Crusades to make significant headway against the Caliphate, a Crusader state was established on Dirikah among other areas in Audonia. Crusaders from Levantia easily overcame the disorganized and largely undefended villages of the island in 1201 and joined the island to the newly formed Kingdom of Antillia, a shortlived Crusader state. Although the rest of Antillia was overrun, Christian refugees from the collapsing Crusader states came to the island as the Kingdom's court took residence on the island.
Due to strong defenses of remaining Knights, the Caliphate tried and failed three times to take the island, in 1240, 1291, and 1372, after which point the insignificant island's threat as a Crusader point of attack was lost. A period of relative peace and stability followed as the population grew to about fifty thousand, mostly Catholics. The Kingdom's era of peace ended when trading interests in the Kingdom of Gassavelia reestablished connection between Levantia and the island in 1491, after which point Gassavelian forces subverted the Kingdom before its eventual conquest by Gassavelians in 1519. After a few years of stable Gassavelian rule, the Protestant reformation lead to the Gassavelian abandonment of Catholicism, at which point Antilles largely viewed itself as in rebellion, although several expeditions from Levantia continually reestablished order.
As a consequence of the Kingdom of Gassavelia's destruction and partition during the Great Confessional War, ownership of Antilles passed to the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea, Gassavelia's sole overseas possession. Urceopolis largely consented to self-rule as part of a lack of interest during the late 16th and early 17th centuries, but growing Occidental interests in Audonia and beyond lead to Urcean trade interests taking root on the island.
Antilles was an island of significant strategic importance during the Great War, as control of the island allowed for Levantine access into the Gulf of Kandara. Urcea's naval base on the island, at Fort St. James, housed the Far Eastern Squadron, lead during the early war by the two Restoration-class battleships. The island's strong connection to Burgundie began during the Great War, as it became a large staging area for Burgundie's forces, building a connection between the Burgoignesc and the local population. Antilles also became the site of basing for the Royal Air Service, strengthening the Antilles-Burgundie connection during the period. Some Burgoignesc servicemen decided to settle down and marry into the local communities. A handful of second-generation Burgoignesc and a large number of Burgoignesc-descendants were still on Antilles by the time Burgundie took control of the island.
Urcea's growing interest in New Yustona leading up to and during the War of the Northern Confederation lead to an explosion in population and activity on the island, as military materiel, potential colonists, and diplomatic parties flooded through the island as part of a stopping off point between the Urcean Metropole and Northern Punth. The island remains an important midway point between Levantia and Punth for trade interests in Levantia and Sarpedon. In 2034, Urcea exchanged the island with Burgundie for the island of Medimeria.
In 2034, the governments of Urcea and Burgundie confirmed a reorganization of their overseas territories in the Levantine Ocean to align with their modern interests in Punth. With Burgundie’s continuing interest in South Punth and Urcea’s growing interests in Nothern Punth the swapping of administrative control of Medimeria and Antilles helped both nations. This restructuring was part of the Burgoignesc 21st Century Global Strategic Restructuring Plan, specifically the Pathways to Punth Initiative.