Foreign settlements in Montrei

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There are several settlements in Montrei that were settled in the early days of Montrei, or even as far back as independence of Alta California from Méjico. These towns were often settled for a variety of reasons, the chance for land not available in the home country, economic reasons, or to escape undesireable weather.

What all of these have in common is that they were settled by one ethnic group or nationality, with other ethnicities moving in later. They were usually established on large land grants in places that were often out of the way or not the first choice for those who are native citizens of Montrei (such as New Helvetia which was not settled by Méjicans, Castilians, or Montreianos first, but Helvetians).

New Helvetia

New Helvetia or as it was known when it was established, Nuevo Helvetia, was a small Helvetian colony established near the banks of the Sacramento River in 1839 during the period of Mejican rule over Alta California, shortly before Alta California declared Independence from Méjico (and of course, before the territory was eventually given to Montrei). John Sutter, an immigrant from Helvetia received in that year a land grant from the Mejican government of roughly 50,000 acres, or a property roughly 78 square miles. Sutter immediately called it "Nuevo Helvetia", and began to build an agricultural empire. Sutter planted an orchard, raised cattle and sheep, and established a small town. More settlers arrived from Helvetia and established (at the time) one of the biggest colonies of Helvetians outside of Helvetia.

During the years of unrest between Méjico and Alta California, Sutter saw how Méjico was suffering from wars to the south and with Alta California and Tejas, and decided to side with the Californios. This decision probably saved his property, as Californio militias tended to take capture lands of those who remained loyal to Méjico. In 1847 John Sutter Jr. arrived to help his father manage his farm, fort, and the small town. However, much to John Sr's dismay, John Jr. formed a partnership with Sam Brannon, a citzen from the NAL who had headed west, and set up the first store in New Helvetia. John Jr. and Sam Brannon established the town of Sacramento several miles to the west of New Helvetia.

When the Tratao de San Carlos was signed, all lands belonging to John Sutter fell within the jurisdiction of Montrei. John Sutter did not protest, because he knew that if he had, there was the great possibility that his lands could be forfeited and New Helvetia seized by the new Montreiano government. The new government on the other hand understood how important New Helvetia had become, as it was now the major trading post within Montreiano territory, and the "gateway" into the country from the northern Alta Californian lands. Alta California established a new town within their territory on the other side of Rio California named Nuevo Sacramento.

By the early 20th century, Sacramento and New Helvetia had increased beyond their original boundaries and the two settlements met. Unfortunately for New Helvetia, Sacramento was the first of the two to incorporate, and before New Helvetia could incorporate, Sacramento annexed it, and it became the neighborhood if Nuavo Helvetia. It has now been preserved as a historic neighborhood of Sacramento. Many of the original Helvetian families still have descendants in the neighborhood, and they are quite proud of their history. John Sutter is considered one of the founding fathers of Sacramentio due to his association with New Helvetia, although John Jr. and Sam Brannon formally established Sacramento.

There isn't a lot to indicate that you have stepped into New Helvetia except signage. As a tribute to its Helvetian roots, the signs within Nuavo Helvetia are written in Jelbäzech, along with Montreiano and Castilian. Helvetian style shops generally have their main signs written in Jelbäzech with smaller Montreiano and Castilian signs underneath or near the entrance to indicate what the shops are. There isn't much Helvetian architecture, although there are a few houses which feature Helvetian design (unlike the city of Solvang on the coast of Montrei which is almost like an amusement park version of a Danish town).

Sutter's original home and compound have been preserved as a national park due to their historic importance.


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