Stewardship of Wintergen
Stewardship of Wintergen
|Steward||Nikoláus U.K.I. Fāragen|
|Prime Secretary||Sôren E.L.M. Írgevard|
|Official languages||High Coscivian|
The Stewardship of Wintergen (Kiravic: Ekþaliguv Vintergen, High Coscivian: Ecthaliocuv Vintergescuv) is the Kiravian government-in-exile of the island of Wintergen, which has operated from Valēka since the island's capture by Burgundie in 1823 AD during the Kiro-Burgundian Wars. The Kiravian Federacy funds the government-in-exile and appoints a Steward and other officials to this day in order to maintain the legitimacy of its continued claim to Wintergen, even though the island has remained securely under Burgundian administration for over two hundred years.
Wintergen is not known to have had a permanent population prior to the year 1000 anno Domini, though the Finnic peoples of Koskenkorva were aware of its existence and visited it sporadically for fishing purposes. It became known to Coscivian civilisation when it was sighted by Kedhur Valēkas' flagship during the return voyage of his first expedition to Great Kirav. A subsequent Coscivian expedition established a small settlement on the islands.
By the 19th century AD (XXXth century CC), most of Wintergen's small population lived in a handful of timber camps harvesting wood, most of which was exported to Burgundie to supply its prolific shipyards. Supplementary economic activities included fishing and subsistence farming, though the island suffered from poor soils and weather and a scarcity of arable land. Though some Coscivian families had lived on Wintergen for generations and spoke a unique (and now extinct) Coscivian dialect, most of the population were transient workers from Koskenkorva and the GreatKirav#Far Northeast who lived on the island as fishermen and woodcutters for three or four seasons at most.
The 1820s a devastating bark beetle blight that almost eliminated the remaining forests on Burgundie. Desperate for more wood as the demand from timber producing areas outstripped the locals ability to harvest it, some enterprising Port Diteauxoise shipwrights formed the Burgundian North Levantine Company (BNLC) in 1823 and occupied the timber camps of Wintergen.
In 1836 the Golden Council of Ten decreed the Act of Economic Union, claiming that Wintergen was forevermore an integral part of Burgundie.
Following the island's capture and formalization into the Viceregal Republic, the Kiravian government and population were expelled. The temporary workers returned to their homes in Koskenkorva or elsewhere, and the island's permanent residents were resettled in the village of Gartaþorn, Fariva, now a neighbourhood of Béyasar. The federal government, expecting to retake the island in the near-term, continued to recognise Wintergen as a federal subject and subsidised the salaries of its government officials, under the presumption that they would soon be returned to their duties. However, the conflicts with Burgundie bore on and [for so reason that I will maybe add here if applicable] were ultimately resolved in 1896 without settling the island's legal status.
Wintergen retained a seat in the Stanora (to which it intermittently dispatched a delegate) until [YEAR] when the Federal Consistory ruled in Korlēdan v. Wintergen that Wintergen was not entitled to Stanora representation as it had no voting population. Wintergen continues to hold a seat on the Federal Council, but since [YEAR], after other states levelled accusations that its Councillor had sold his votes on various measures and the Governor of Vôtaska threatened to challenge Wintergen's status in court, the Board of Estimate adopted a standing resolution instructing all future Councillors to abstain from voting in most cases. The Councillor from Wintergen is still permitted to vote on internal measures related to the Council's rules and administration, measures with salient relevance to Wintergen and to regaining control of the island, and measures that are expected to pass unanimously.
The Kiravian Union and Kiravian Remnant both maintained the Kiravian claim to Wintergen. The Stewardship's offices on Tandhurin Island came under the control of the Kiravian Union, which briefly used them to house its Wintergen Regional Administration. After the Kiravian Union took control of Koskenkorva, Wintergen Region was abolished and merged into Koskenkorva Region. Wintergen House was subsequently repurposed into the Museum of Burgoignoix Bourgeois Imperialist Aggression.
A loyalist Stewardship maintained by several key members of the pre-Sunderance government continued to operate from the fishing village of Nikóltikorva, Suderavia, which was home to many Wintergen refugee families. The Nikóltikorva Stewardship corresponded regularly with the Remnant government in Æonara, and continued to dispatch representatives to the exiled Federal Council. The Stewardship returned to Wintergen House after Kiravian unification, and ninth-generation refugee M. Ikaruv Svén represented Wintergen at the Restoration Constitutional Convention. Wintergen became the first state to ratify the Restoration Constitution on [DATE], by an unanimous vote of the Board of Estimate.
Politics & Operations
Domestic Political Status
Prior to the Burgundine invasion, Wintergen had a sui iuris constitutional status as an estate of the Emperor, similar to that of a Crown dependency. In the framework of modern Kiravian federalism, Wintergen holds the status of incorporated state and is included in the Overseas Regions theme.
For judicial purposes, Wintergen remains within the jurisdiction of the Suderavia Court Sector and the First Appellate Circuit, just as it did before the Burgundian annexation. Its two internal courts still exist on paper, but have not sat since 1817, six years before the island's annexation.
The postal abbreviation VRG remains in the Kiravian Post's General Manual should mail deliveries to the island ever resume.
Aside from the Kiravian Federacy itself, the Kiravian claim to Wintergen and the continued legitimacy of its government-in-exile are recognised by:
- [[File:|25px]] Alkharvia
Organisation & Activities
The government-in-exile is based at Wintergen House, a four-story stone row building at 12 Wintergen Lane on Tandhurin Island in Valēka, Kiygrava. Wintergen House is technically extraterritorial to Kiygrava and subject to the laws of Wintergen, and although it does not pay Kiygravan payroll or property taxes, it does pay Valēka municipal service fees and accepts the jurisdiction of the local police and courts for all practical purposes. The Stewardship also owns the Wintergen Memorial Cemetery in Béyasar, which contains the graves of 12 of the 1822 expellees from the island and a small monument to its capture. Wintergen owns the land in fee simple and does not claim jurisdiction over it.
In addition to the Steward, Lieutenant Steward, Board of Estimate, and other constitutional officers, Wintergen employs a permanent civil service of three part-time employees, as well as a larger staff of interns and volunteers under the ægis of the non-governmental Wintergen Benevolent Society.
The government's most important activity is managing the Wintergen Permanent Fund, a sovereign wealth fund established by the federal government to help support the Wintergen refugee community. The funds assets are valued at over ◊20 million ($40 million), from which dividends are paid to Kiravian citizens holding Wintergen Refugee Status and to the government itself to support its operations.
Between 21162 and 21169, Wintergen exercised its right to maintain a state defence force composed of Wintergen Benevolent Society volunteers who conducted drills at Bay Barrier Island State Park in Niyaska twice annually. The standing army was disbanded in 21169 due to lack of interest but continues to formally exist as a ceremonial honour guard at state functions.
Like other federal subjects, Wintergen maintains a household registry and issues its own internal passports. Kiravian nationals may register their domicile anywhere in the Federacy, and Wintergen is a popular choice due to the novelty of the proposition. Ordinarily, Kiravian nationals may apply for a passport from either the state/territory where they live or the state/territory where their domicile is registered, but a special carveout in the Pan-Kiravian Passport Compact allows the Stewardship to reserve its passports for descendants of the original expellees.
The Stewardship also issues its own vehicle registration plates. Wintergen licence plates are used on official vehicles belonging to the Steward, Lieutenant Steward, and Prime Secretary, as well as many private vehicles belonging to descendants of Wintergen expellees who hold Wintergen Refugee Status. The registration fees for these licence plates are used to help finance the government-in-exile.
- Court of Arbitration for Residual Jursidictions - A federal court created by an Act of the Stanora in 21136 to hear cases from a handful of small disputed areas and no-state's-lands within the Federacy arising from survey errors or legal oversights.