Lithuanian colonies

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Lithuanian Colonialism started later and ended earlier than that of most other countries, and of itself was quite unique. The first ideas to acquire colonies came during the time of "nationalist" rule, and were promoted largely by geographer and intellectual Kazys Pakštas. By his views, Lithuania at the time could not remain long, wracked as it was with internal conflicts and surrounded by so many mighty countries. In order to protect at least a portion of Lithuanian culture, which he felt was in danger, he suggested colonization.

By establishing colonies, the outflow of increasing emmigration from Lithuania to the Americas and other places would be directed, creating an "emergency Lithuania", a country populated by Lithuanians should Lithuania itself would be taken by Russians, Germans, fall into another union with Veneda (which Pakštas saw as foreign occupation), or have its government overthrown by Belarussians. In this way, should such evils arise, the "emergency Lithuania" would be a stronghold of Lithuanian culture and would maintain the wishes of Lithuania should it be occupied a foreign power.

See the history section of Lithuania

Contents

Foundation of the Lithuanian colonies

Tejas

At first, prior to the 1926 coup, Kazys Pakštas was not supported by the government. There existed, however, a large and rich Lithuanian elite, of whom he managed to convince a few to financially support his ideas. Kazys Pakštas brokered an agreement between King Georg Friedrich of Tejas, which was then a poor agricultural country, to allow Lithuanians to settle there. According to the Lithuanian lease agreement, certain lands on and near the coast of the Mejican Gulf were to be granted autonomy. In exchange for this autonomy the Lithuanians would have to pay a certain tribute to the king. While Kazys Pakštas understood the agreement to be a precursor to full independendence of Lithuanian-majority areas, the Tejan government did not.

In returning to Lithuania, Kazys Pakštas established the Foundation of Emergency Lithuania; his rich supporters saw this as a bolt-hole for their own retreat, should Lithuania be occupied, and eagerly endowed their money on the Foundation. The declared plan of the foundation was first to secure the lease, build settlements, and strengthen agriculture by buying materials for farming and ranching. As the number of Lithuanians in Tejas increased, the colonists were expected to shoulder more and more the cost of the lease. The settlements, after being established would repay the "loan" with which they were founded, and the Foundation would thus remain financially solvent. Over the course of years, the Foundation would repay its "stockholders," the rich Lithuanians.

The first colonists arrived in Tejas in 1922. Colonization was more popular among educated people who found themselves unable to get enough land in the more populated Lithuania. They also balked at the bureaucracy, assuming that in Tejas it would be easier. The poor were not as interested, as they did not want to enter this form of indentured servitude; they were also stopped by the requisite 50% payment of their ship fare.

Several townships were eventually founded by Lithuanians on the Tejan coast, including Paįlankys, Žemumai and Bizoniškis.

Africa (Maasai)

After the 1926 coup d'état the view of the government towards Pakštas's ideas of colonization changed. The government of Antanas Smetona and Augustinas Voldemaras disapproved of Tejan colonization, as Lithuania had very little power to direct its colony, and the land still officially belonged to Tejas. Pakštas felt sure of eventual self-rule, Voldemaras and Smetona weren't sure that the situation of Lithuanians in Tejas would lead to an independent Lithuanian state. Impressed by his past performance, the government hired Kazys Pakštas as the "Minister of Colonization" and he was charged with finding new lands for Lithuania to rule directly as colonies. Kazys Pakštas looked to Africa, where some states were still weakly ruled by natives, unlike South America, and without the distance of Oceania. The only difficulty was that many of the coastal regions had been colonized.

The Smetona/Voldemaras government wished to use this colony as a place to dispose of politically untrustworthy citizens and as their own retreat, should Lithuania would fall. Unlike Tejas, the African colony was to be a means of removing and elevating the poor, giving them small lots of free land and assuring their survival there. As with the political disposal, Smetona and Voldemaras did not advertise that it was their intention to dispose of the Slavic minority within Lithuania.

Kazys Pakštas decided upon Maasai [1] as the best prospect, given the local conflicts and other civil unrest. The majority of soldiers sent to subdue the region were ethnic Slavs. Many of them died in the war over Maasai and this slaughter was later used as snorist propaganda against Lithuania. Eventually, Maasai, which at the time had a small coastline on the Indian ocean, was subdued, and after 1931 the colonization began in earnest. A segregation developed, the Lithuanian rulers and rich land-owners, who controlled all were separated from the Slavic workers and small landowners. The local Masai population served as slaves working the land. A colony was named "Masaja" in Lithuanian, but this was formally changed in 1934 to Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis. Few people managed to get rich, including some Belarussians. Ethiopian and Chinese pressure and subversive support for local anti-Lithuanian Mijikenda, Swahili, Maasai, Luo and other groups triggered coups and other conflicts.

After the Famine of 1936, some of the colonists moved from Massai over Lake Smetona to Buganda, where they signed a deal with local rulers permitting them to settle. Most of these colonists were Slavs and a Slavic-ruled unrecognised state was established. This "state" however formally remained a part of Bugandan kindom. It was supported Belarussians in Lithuanian-controlled Massai and the Snorist countries, and granted land to any Slavs leaving the country as well as many newcomers from Russia. This caused an instability in the social order in Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis, but because of other focuses, the Lithuanians did not attack Buganda, although plans were laid.

The Famine of 1936 also triggered uprisings of local people of African race, as they believed that the government took only care of the Lithuanians and Slavs and not them. A much larger percentage of locals of African race died. Although these uprisings were quelled, they triggered some friction between the Lithuanians and Slavs in the colony, leading to frequent Slavic uprisings.

Lithuanians established a major city on Lake Smetona, called Naujasis Vilnius and another, Naujasis Kaunas, on the coast of Indian ocean. Naujasis Vilnius is still a capital of Massai state, however its name has hence been changed to Osiligi.

New Lithuania, Antarctica

After the Famine of 1936 greatly weakened Massai and with the worsening international and domestic situation, the Smetona/Voldemaras Government became increasingly desperate; it was quite clear that in case of war, Massai wasn't a good place to retreat, a clarity reinforced by the revolt of the Massai that same year. Kazys Pakštas was murdered in December of 1936 by Belarussian militants, and the planning of a new colony fell to the leadership of Lithuania themselves, who had proven themselves poor leaders since they came to power. It was decided however, that in order for colony to succeed and to establish a new center of Lithuanian culture, an uninhabited place must be taken, so as to avoid any conflict with local inhabitants. The only such uninhabitted place remaining was Antarctica.

Following brief research the decision was made to found this colony exclusively with ethnic Slavs and political prisoners. After arriving in Antarctica, many of those people died due to the harsh conditions. Pictures of the colony with its harsh working conditions were taken secretly and later used as further fuel for the SNORist propaganda machine against the Lithuanian government.

Called New Lithuania, and first settlement - Voldemaravas, after the prime minister of Lithuania, the colony was started in 1937. The second city was completed about 6 months later and called Smetoniškis after the president. After the infrastructure was built, the colonisation started very reluctantly in 1938, despite the money promised by the government to the settlers. In early 1939, only several hundred of people lived in Voldemaravas, and only about 70 in Smetoniškis. The propaganda of the government suggested that there was oil in Antarctica which would soon be found. Claims of research by a Lithuanian geologist to support the idea of Antarctic oil were not well received and neither were promises of safety in the antarctic colony did not speed the population of the New Lithuania.

In the case of this colony, the government was reluctant to forcibly ship its people there aside for construction purposes, and instead wanted to make it an enclave of Lithuanian nationalism, the very ideology that was facing a down-turn in Lithuania itself. Plans to build additional cities in Antarctica, all of which were to be named after Lithuanian leaders, were shelved. The creation of this enclave created friction with other nations claiming portions of Antarctica, most noteably the Scandinavian Realm. This ill-feeling was compounded after the Scandinavian Realm gave asylum to a group of Belarusian workers who managed to cross Antarctica and rescued by Scandinavians. Their stories of harsh treatment and conditions kindled a strong reaction against New Lithuania.

New Lithuania was used in nationalist propaganda and was common on posters seen in Lithuanian cities in the late 1930's, often captioned "Lithuania - stretching from pole to pole," accompanied by a picture of happy Lithuanian farmers or workers in either Lithuania, Massai, the autonomous zones in Tejas, or New Lithuania. This propaganda did not improve the support for the government however, as the majority thought that money sent to New Lithuania was a waste. Supporting the colony became increasingly costly as the years went by. The need for day-to-day materials were quite costly to transport over such long distances.

The propaganda was undermined further as word of the working conditions the Slavs faced came to light. The promised wealth of seal hunting and oil were not realized, as fishing rights were hotly contested by the Scandinavian Realm and the neighboring countries of South America, and there simply wasn't the population to maintain such industries.

The end of the Lithuanian colonies

Tejas

The Lithuanian community in Tejas did not grow as Pakštas had envisioned. This was due in large part to the shift of colonial focus to Massai and Antarctica. Lithuanians also seemed more drawn to the North American League and other countries. During the 1930's Lithuania had paid the portion of the lease the colonists could not, but with the occupation in 1939, Lithuania failed to pay the missing portion of the lease. Georg Friedrich was benevolent, and didn't require the missing portion of the lease. While they planned at the onset to live as they had in the past, paying only what they could, with the expectation of full repayment in several years time, the plan failed. King Georg Friedrich had been benevolent, knowing the Lithuanians to be industrious folk who had created jobs for many Tejan citizens. At the time of occupation, the Lithuanian cities were inhabited by nearly 40% ethnic-Tejans. With his sudden death in 1940 his daughter Maria Luisa succeeded him.

She quickly pressured the Lithuanian community to pay the lease money in time, threatening to nationalize all Lithuanian property should they fail to make payment. The Lithuanians quickly understood that the Tejans wanted to revoke the tacit autonomy that had existed, and local leadership could see no other way from the situation. Negotiations were arranged shortly thereafter. The Lithaunians were in a very poor bargaining position, and while they lost their autonomy, they retained their property and were granted Tejan citizenship.

With this change Tejans migrated inland. The government encouraged this, feeling that the Lithuanians would bring economic growth there as they had on the coast. A lesser fact was the knowledge that integration would come more quickly as the thick ethnic community dispersed. Initially, an exchange program was created where Lithuanian coastal property was traded and later auctioned off to Tejans. This was not popular, however, and forced exchanges became the standard, under pretense that Lithuanians were alleged to mistreat their Tejan workers.

With the fall of the monarchy and the string of dictators, the Lithuanians have faired relatively well, moving into positions of power throughout the country. Some historians suggest that the inital coup was lead by Lithuanians against the Kingdom as retribution for their forced relocation.

At present, the Lithuanian community has diminished in apparent size through intermarriage with Tejans and the fact of being a minority in foreign lands. Despite this decline, the Lithuanian minorty remains a powerful influence in politics and the economy. Most Lithuanians remain in the coastal areas, retaining anywhere from 17%-25% of the population in their former autonomous cities on average.

Africa (Maasai)

After Lithuania was occupied, at first the local rulers of Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis, appointed directly by the government of Lithuana once, pledged their loyalty to Lithuania; however as they seen that it is unlikely that Lithuania would be liberated soon and with the Russian bombings and invasion, in 1940 Naujojo Vilniaus apskritis declared independence as Pakštuva (named after Kazys Pakštas, in a similar way to Rhodesia) and declared itself a neutral state. It happened according to treaty with Russia after a failed Russian invasion; according to that treaty the area was to become officially a separate state from Lithuania. The government of newly independent country still was made up of Lithuanians however, Pakštuva was not a democratic state. Chinese, from their Chinese East Africa, and Ethiopians both pressured the state much, due to bad conditions of living for local blacks. At the time, people of African race made about 80% of population, Slavs - about 14% and Lithuanians - about 5%. Due to increasing pressure from blacks and from Slavs, the latter supported by nearby Buganda state (see above), and inability to control Lake Smetona from weapons trafficing to local Slavs without the help of Lithuania. Certain groups of natives as well fought against the government. Furthermore, the economy and infrastructure was heavily damaged during the failed invasion of Russia, foreign markets for local products were largely lost and there were many refugees from European part of Lithuania. The economy of Pakštuva went into stagnation, because of internal troubles and loss of foreign markets due to war.

Chinese, doing their landgrabs in Asia too during the Second Great War, decided to strike Pakštuva in 1942; it did not have many natural resources; however Chinese assumed that such act would boost their popularity among blacks in other African countries and that Chinese would be seen as liberators rather than colonists; as well prime target of Chinese was the port city of Naujasis Kaunas, which was allegedly used by some anti-Chinese groups. Chinese, together with Ethiopians, initiated a propaganda campaign showing how the local blacks are badly treated in both Pakštuva and the Slavic areas of Buganda. Ethiopians, unlike Chinese, were also interested in getting more arable land in these areas. Eventually Chinese blocked the port city of Naujasis Kaunas and gave ultimatum to Pakštuva, requiring to give blacks same rights as whites in their country. With loss of port, Pakštuvan economy would go even further down, as the country would not be able to export products (Ethiopians and Chinese also closed their land borders). After a 15 hours long meeting the parliament of Pakštuva made a proposal of new system, which would give more rights to local blacks and Slavs, make Belarusian and Masai official languages in addition to Lithuanian, separate parliament into three parts, a third of members being Lithuanian, a third - Slavic and a third - black. Leaders of local people of African race however, understanding the situation of Pakštuva, required even more, and their requirements were suported by Chinese and Ethiopians. A revolt started probably after an order of Chinese and assurance for local leaders that Chinese would help. Similar disturbances started in Buganda, even though situation of blacks there were somewhat better (however Bugandans protested not only against Slavs, but also against the king of Buganda who was seen to be an obstacle for Panafricanism). Buganda and Pakštuva then formed an uneasy alliance to protect each other as they understood their days might be over; they seeked foreign help too, but unsuccesfully. They managed to obtain some weapons in exchange for good and other locally produced goods however via native states on the western border of Buganda.

Few days after the start of revolt, Chinese and Ethiopians intervened to help the local blacks and both Buganda and Pakštuva were occupied. The coast and south of Pakštuva was annexed to China, the west and north of Buganda was annexed to Ethiopia, and in the rest of land the new black-ruled puppet states were established (name Maasai was given back to the independent portion Pakštuva) and Chinese with Ethiopians perpetrated themselves as liberators, and the annexed lands supposedly weren't inhabitted by Maasais or Bugandans anyways.

Many Lithuanians and Slavs emigrated to other colonies in Africa of other countries or America afterwards; after the war ended, some more repatriated to their original homelands, Lithuania and Belarus. This was due to policies against people of European race done by governments of Maasai and Buganda; in Maasai Lithuanian and Slavic lands were confiscated and many of them executed as war criminals; in Buganda the situation was better, but still whites had to pay larger taxes as "reparation fee", which was meant to be used to help victims of Slavic rule, but actually was mostly taken by the corrupt leaders.

Currently there is about 2% of Slavs in Buganda. In Maasai there is about 2% of Slavs and less than 1% of Lithuanians; the old rivalry between the two communities is already gone and they are united for single goal of more rights to the people of European race, as they both feels discriminated against. Lithuania and Belarus were called after war by them to help many times, but up till now the governments aren't interested in this small and unimportant tract of land, although some politicians in Lithuania would want an intervention.

New Lithuania, Antarctica

After Lithuania was occupied, many of Lithuanian leaders ran away to the New Lithuania. As well, most of nationalists who would have been persecyuted in case they remained home went there too; they also insulted people who fleed their homeland elsewhere as being non-patriotic, and assumed that they themselves would come back and rule Lithuania once again once it was liberated. Some Latvians and other eastern European nationalities also fleed to New Lithuania. The population of New Lithuania quickly raised from several hundreds to several thousands, but this did not raise troubles as the cities originally were built for about 2500 residents each. New Lithuania was supported by rich Lithuanians from Tejas and elsewhere, and also started to do seal hunting despite of protests from others. At first, the leaders, who were still considering themselves to be leaders of whole Lithuania,did not want to work and this lead New Lithuania to have a huge government machine; almost all the government of Lithuania. This made the dissatisfaction to grow and the government was deposed by people in 1942. The new government was formed and it was styled "temporary government", to work until Lithuania is liberated. It was much smaller and consisted only of few people, new constitution was adopted, which estabilished the concept of direct democracy, first time since the anthics. This was possible as both towns were small and so all inhabittants could meet at a single place to do decitions. Also, this was not very risky for the government, as absolute majority of inhabittants were Lithuanian nationalists anyways. The direct democracy more or less removed the disconent at first felt by former rulers of Lithuania that they were removed from power.

New Lithuania continued to exist; after Lithuania was recreated as part of RTC however, it refused to join it and seen it as Venedic occupation. New Lithuania still sees itself as the "real" Lithuania; Lithuania finds New Lithuania to be too weak and too useless to be worth doing anything about it however. In 70s New Lithuania changed it's name to Free Lithuania. The ammount of inhabittants is decreasing however as youth generally does not want to live in this remote place; many people of the youth emigrates to Lithuania; however, there is a reverse process too - some nationalist Lithuanians, after loosing hope that Lithuania would leave RTC or such, emigrates to the Free Lithuania. The population overally gets older with time however.

Currently in Free Lithuania there are about 2700 inhabitants; tourism (especially for penguin hunts, condemned by enviroimentalists, but liked by some European and American rich), seal hunting are most important sectors of economy. Non-fish food and other things needed for day-to-day life are usually imported from South America and Africa.

Writing systems

Due to the colonialism of Lithuania in the interbellum, an interesting situation arose with the writing systems used for Lithuanian language. Until the coup d'état by Smetona and Voldemaras in 1926, the Lithuanians had been using an orthography based on Wenedyk; as colonisation in Tejas started before that, the Lithuanians in Tejas still use Wenedyk script. A language reform in 1928 changed the orthography, and various letters were changed; the Lithuanians in Maasai and their descendants still use these letters, the so-called "Smetonian alphabet", to write Lithuanian.

In Lithuania proper orthography was changed after the Second Great War; the new alphabet retained some of the more favourite features of the Smetonian alphabet, although some other features were taken from the original Wenedyk-based alphabet. It is still in use in Lithuania. As for New Lithuania, in the 1950s the people there decided to change the alphabet altogether into something they called the "Original Baltic Alphabet". This is not a Latin script. Instead, the letters of this alphabet are based on various ancient Baltic symbols, found painted on or engraved in various items or buildings during archeological digs. Most probably, these symbols were never used as an alphabet before.

Commentary

While in the real world Kazys Pakštas also had same ideas, most of them were discouraged as in real world Lithuania was a small country at the time, not powerful, and as well not nationalist. In Bethisad however different thing was the case.

This page was created by Abdul-aziz.
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