Republic of Bulkh
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Motto: Freedom at last
|Official languages||Umardi (Bulkan dialect), Burgundian|
|Recognised national languages||Umardi (Bulkan dialect), Burgundian|
• Prime Minister
• Co-Prime Minister
|297,046 km2 (114,690 sq mi)|
|5.05/km2 (13.1/sq mi)|
|Time zone||Punthite Central Time|
• Summer (DST)
|Driving side||right side|
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Prehistoric era
- 2.2 Classical Antiquity
- 2.3 Golden Age
- 2.4 Early modern era
- 2.5 Colonial Era
- 2.6 Early Modern Era
- 2.7 Operation Kipling and aftermath
- 2.8 21st Century Bulkh
- 3 See Also
The Bedouin peoples of the Bulkawan Peninsula were resistant to the spread of Islam and conquest by the Oduniyyad Caliphate. While the Caliphs claimed the land as their own, they were never able to formalize the government and taxation system to bring the Bedouin peoples to heel. During the 900s the Caliphate attempted to migrate some Umardis to the area to remove them from southern Audonia and also to make the recalcitrant Bedouins someone else’s problem. The Umardi princes brought their culture to the area, but following the Shia schism they remained Sunni, one of the few ethnically Umardi ruled areas to do so. The Bulkawan Peninsula remained segregated between a Umardi ruling class and a Bedouin population until the fall of the Caliphate. At this point the Umardi princes were expelled back to Umalia and the various Bedouin tribes retired back into their nomadic lifestyles.
Early modern era
Following the collapse of the Caliphate the various Bedouin tribes retired back into their nomadic lifestyles. The area remained untouched until the arrival of the Kiravian and NATION colonial efforts in the 15somethings.
The area being arid was of little use to colonists. They moved on and found other more temperate sites for settlements in the late 1570s. From 1578-1614 there was no recorded colonial activity in the area. However in 1615 a Burgundian West Punth Trading Company surveyor mapped the salt flats of the Chott al-Rezid and the company made a mad dash to secure the area.
Due to their nomadic lifestyle and their disinterest in engaging the occidentals, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company largely left the Bedouins of the Bulkawan Peninsula alone and built their colonies around them. By the 1630s timber from Majanub was being brought to build a sprawling complex of fortified towns and salt mining operations. Businesses to support the efforts became very lucrative and wainwrights, shipwrights, and engineers flocked to the area. Beyond the Chott al-Rezid the Company build operations at the Chott al-Mouza and the Ben Ghilli Salt Flats. These operations brought millions into the Company’s coffers and is one of the primary financial activities that allowed for unfettered expansion in Audonia and South Punth. The salt mines brought tens of thousands of colonists from Burgundie, the Levantine Protestant communities on Levantx and Medimeria, as well as from other parts of Audonia. The port cities of Avelie and Sant Marten both surpassed 20,000 residents in the 1690s making them bigger than Vilauristre and NordHalle. The back breaking work and the blistering heat made for a seedy type coming to seek work in the colony of Bulkawa. This led to rapid development of the vice sectors like prostitution and drinking halls. It also required the establishment of a vast drinking liquid network. This drove the development of the tea plantations in Vitale, Puhkgundi, and other parts of South Punth. Becoming the most profitable colony of the Company also made it the most important and the center for the formation of the Burgundian West Punth Trading Empire. Seeking to exert more control on the political environment the fed into its colonies and to which it exported, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company formed a government in Avelie and formalized its army, navy, and diplomatic corps. This was met by outrage in many nations both in Audonia and the Occidental world, however fear of embargo brought most countries to recognize the sovereignty of the empire in 1757.
In the Presidency Act of 1771, the Presidency of Bulkhawan was announced, covering much of the colony of Bulkhawa but ceded some of the western interior to the nomads as they were pushed out and forced to renounce their nomadic traditions. This led to intense bad blood between the colonial state and the locals. Colonial Battagnuuri knights were brought into to escort the Bedouins from their villages but clashes erupted in a number of areas leading to the massacre of the tribal peoples. In the 840 recorded Bedouin encampments in the area with an estimated population of 969,000 people, only 694 encampments and 539,000 people were successfully relocated. The remainder were assumed killed or dispersed into the vast desert waste. The brutal effectiveness of this dispossessions of tribal homelands become a model for colonial powers post-independence powers for centuries afterwards. These “Trails of Trauma” paved the way for a huge boom in colonial growth and land redistribution. Vast areas formally reserved for the Bedouin were settled and huge irrigation projects were started to reclaim parts of the desert that were adjacent to littoral areas. There was even an ambitious plan to dredge a channel to the salt stripped Chott al-Mouza in 1793 that was never realized.
Following the start of the Great Slavers Bay Rebellion a similar call to arms led the Bedouins to unite under Ali Malik, becoming known as Malikites, a proto-communist who wanted to rid the Bulkawan Peninsula of colonial influence and establish a collective paradise. Malik gathered a force of 20,000 Bedouin cavalry and rode west to forcibly gather support for his attempts. The following year, 1824, he returned with an army of 250,000. It is unclear if these reports are just of combat troops or included his train but regardless it was a sight to behold. The colonial troops balked and retreated with each engagement and the few occidental soldiers and officers did their best to forestale the inevitable. Fearing the loss of their imperial capital and the salt mines, the Burgundian West Punth Trading Empire hastily made treaties across Audonia and South Punth and redirected its troops to Presidency of Bulkhawan. A force of 45,000 colonial and imperial troops was formed and force marched through the desert to meet the Malikites head on. Arriving in the western edge of the desert in March of 1825, the Imperial army set about building a camp and reinforcing its supply lines. The massive, cumbersome western styled army immediately fell prey to the sprightly and spirited, lightning fast raids of the Malikite army. Their supply lines disrupted and their supply of food and water dwindling, they made a forced march to the northern coast. 540 men died of starvation and thirst along the way, but the remainder were met by the navy and brought back to Sant Marten. As equatorial winter set in all they decided to wait. Garrisons were established at the salt mines and some recently created farming communities were forcibly abandoned and the men impressed into a militia. January of 1826 saw the first attempts by the Malikites to probe the defenses of the colonial forces. The Ben Ghilli Salt Flats came under attack January 12th. A small detachment of Malikite calvary attacked the forward watch posts and where met with cannon fire from the fortified town. A squadron of Battagnuuri knights and Umardi Sipahis were dispatched to try to find the main Malitike force.
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Imperial entities of Punth
Upon the arrival of the Burgundian West Punth Trading Company in 1616, and their establishment of the Colonie de Punth Occidental (Eng. Western Punth Colony), the area that is now Bulkh was defined as unique from its immediate environs. While the most northern parts of the Colonie de Punth Occidental are now part of Umardwal, much of the original colony remains sovereign to the modern nation. The colonial administration established a permanent headquarters in alIhamir at the purpose-built Viceroy House, in 1624. While it remained one of the smallest Burgundian Colonies in Punth, being merely 90,558 sq. km. (56,270 sq. mi.) at its height in 1794, its westernmost capital on the subcontinent and the fact that many of the colonial transcontinental roads and trade routes terminated in alIhamir meant that it was an incredibly important and rich colony. The viceroy house was expanded in 1659 and then again in 1738 to become a massive palatial fortress that served as the seat of government, culture, and military power in the region.
The Colonie de Punth Occidental, due to its inherent wealth and sophistication, was never subjected to slavery unlike most of the other countries on the coast of Slavery Bay. The native Umardi of the region had long been trading partners with the Pukhtunkhwan merchants and courtiers, sharing much of their intellectual and cultural pursuits and hed developed a higher level of urbanized living than most in the area. The colonial administration built on this to establish alIhamir as the gateway to the Burgundian Empire in Punth. The port in alIhamir was the entry port for many protestant Levantines fleeing the Great Confessional War and through the transportation provided by the Burgundian fleets, a regular trip from Vilauristre to alIhamir was scheduled. From the port, the protestants fanned out across the continent proselytizing and developing the empire before them. Their work ethic led to an era of productivity and success, unprecedented in the world up to that point. Unfettered by religious prosecution the Levantine Protestants became the bannermen of empire for Burgundie. In Punth Occidental, their pursuits were seen both in their drive for progress, but also in their respect for the existing culture. The Viceroy House, was built to mirror the local architectural climate, and many scholars agree that it is the crowning achievement of the southern Umardi style of the early modern era. The colony was one of many that practiced religious tolerance but offered conversion to those who sought it. Of the 540,000 natives estimated to have lived in the colony at the time 14% chose to convert to Merchantile Reform Protestant and another 8% converted to other forms of Christianity. The primary religion at the time, Zoroastrianism, and long presupposed the monotheist tradition and scholars attribute the high rates of elective conversion to this fact.
In 1704, a minor effort between Umardi tribesmen in Colonie de Punth Occidental and Nord Kandoora to rise against colonial rule resulted in a governmental policy to create two unique identities to keep any further ethnically based insurrection at bay. Using an ancient term for the lowlands that permeated Colonie de Punth Occidental, the Balakh ethnicity was created by the colonial government. While genetically and culturally identical, the Balakh peoples were taught a created form of the Umardi language that was unique enough that it was hard to difficult to understand by uneducated native Umardi speakers. The colonial government were great champions of the Balakhan culture, promoting it as superior and more civilized than the standard Umardi. Many Balakhan intellectuals were sent to Vilauristre to be educated and returned to further inculcate the myth of the Balakh. By the Great Rebellion of Slavery Bay, the Balakh consciousness was firmly entrenched and in the aftermath of their independence in 1805 they created the Balakhan Empire, which encompassed modern Bulkh, parts of southern Umardwal, and the Bulkh People's Republic.
Early Modern Era
Great Rebellion of Slavery Bay
Operation Kipling and aftermath
In 1964, communist insurgents from Kandara spilled into the eastern provinces of Bulkh and established a People's Republic. Federal forces attempted to route the insurgents but the deep forests and lack of development in the region led to a long and tedious campaign of attrition. A formal People's Republic of Bulkh was accpeted by a referendum of the people of the eastern provinces in 1968. At this time the Burgundie extended Operation Kipling to beyond just Kandara to include the Bulkh People's Republic.
Unsatisfied with the results of Operation Kipling, the Republic of Bulkh started a series of operations of their own, which has become known by the neolog the Bulkhan War, to bring the Bulkh People's Republic back into the republic. From 1974-1982 the Bulkhan War raged and by 1979 expanded into Umardwal.