|Conventional short name:|
|National motto: Unus pro omnibus, omnes pro uno.|
|Others:||German, Italian, Jovian, Narbonese|
|Other:||Kastelnow, Zürich, Jenaw, Luson, Bäsel, Zuj, Cür, Ciuzatz da Pfäich, Lucirn|
|Area:||41,285 km sq|
|Organizations:||League of Nations|
The Republic of Helvetia or Helvetia is a landlocked state in Europe, which neighbours Jervaine, France, Italy, Austria and Grand Fenwick and the Holy Roman Empire. Helvetia is most famous for its Helvetian Army Tin-Opening Device, a wildly popular line of gadget-laden pocket knives instantly recognisable the world around as a handy and quality tool, and to a lesser extent some of their other handicrafts. Helvetia is most infamous for its cuisine. It seems to consist largely of mushy pickled vegetables. It is said, somewhat tongue in cheek, that Helevtian food pairs well with Jervan wine. Its clocks are also of ill repute, said to frequently be off time and prone to stopping.
Helvetia today reflects geographically the west of the Roman province of Raetia. After the fall of the Roman Empire the province was overrun by Burgundians and Alemanni, and by the turn of the sixth century all land north of the River Ar was part of the Alemannic “duchy” of Suevia, who were agitating to push south-west into the rest of Helvetia, towards Aventicum (Wentzich) and the rich Broje valley.
However, around 536 CE, Theophilus (Zöpfil), dux of the land around Wentzich led a coalition of local forces and drove the Germanic invaders back across the River Rjan (Rhine) and the Lach de Bräntzen (Lake Constance). The Romance-speaking Duchy of Helvetia spent the next five hundred years defending itself from the Teutonic kingdoms surrounding it.
In 1053 Duke Costäntzen died leaving only his daughter Lezetz, who had married Hermann, brother of Berthold the Bearded, the first Zähringen duke of Baden. In 1060 Lezetz died and Hermann became Duke of Helvetia, who then followed her to the grave three years later, leaving the duchy to his brother Berthold. Berthold immediately gave large estates to his followers and families in Helvetia, especially the lands in the Ar Valley and the shores of the Bräntzen.
Berthold’s brother in law, Radbod of the Eburhardings settled at Kastel del Falchön (Habichtsburg in German), near Wendönes. From here and the family’s lands in Alsace, came the Von Hapsburg dynasty.
The Zähringen line ended in 1218 and the Duchy of Helvetia passed to Zächetz, a noble from Kastelnow, related to the Zähringen family by marriage. The duchy was very much subject to the Duchy of Austria. The other Zähringen lands went to the Von Hapsburg family, who now had a powerbase significant enough for the Von Hapsburgs to rise to power as Dukes of Austria (in 1278) and Emperors of the Holy Roman Empire (in 1273).
Intriguingly, this bought about a rather unique situation: Rudolf IV, Count of Kastel del Falchön was nominally subject to Zächetz I, Duke of Helvetia, who was in turn subject to Rudolf I, Duke of Austria (who was in person Rudolf IV, Count of Kastel del Falchön). The following four centuries saw the aristocracy of Helvetia became increasingly Germanicised, while the peasantry remained Romance-speaking. Nobles conducted several petty wars against neighboring states outside Hapsburg control, with full assent from the Emperor. Nobles from the Cür and Laucirn areas amused themselves from 1403 to 1512 by nibbling away at the Duchy of Milan’s posessions in the upper Zecin (Ticino) valley, and in 1520 Jelbazech-speaking Jenaw (Geneva), which had been ruled by the house of Savoy was added to the County of Nödun, on the western shore of Lake Leman.
Reformation and Renaissance
The Reformation in the early sixteenth century had a strong impact on Helvetia. Uldrich Zwingli was born in Santz Johan dela Selb, near Wälen Lake in 1484. After his university studies he bacame a preacher at the Angöreitz, a famous Helvetian site of pilgrimage, where he acquited himself with honour as a defendant of the Pope. Later he became a preacher in the cathedral at Zürich, where he bagan preaching a protestant doctrine inspired by Luther and began his rise to political power. Zürich declared itself a free city in 1925. Ten years later this revolt was put down and Zwingli was executed, but his doctrines lived on and today most of northern Helvetia between Lake Zürich and Lake Bräntzen belongs to the Zwinglian church.
A less successful “Protestant Revolution” happened in 1535 in Jenaw, when the citizens invited Maître Jean Cauvin, a Francien Protestant, to build a new Reformed Church. He implemented a strict moral code based on a literal interpretation of the Scriptures, which proved unpopular among the Janawans, who in 1538 exiled him from the city. From there he went to Strasbourg and there he stayed. Jenaw returned to Catholicism and never became a great centre of Protestantism.
The end of the eighteenth century saw an upsurge in Helvetian national feeling, coupled with resentment towards the Austro-Dalmatian opressor. In 1795 the citizens of the city of Ciuzatz da Pfäich (Fribourg) rebelled, killed the Count of Sären whose seat was at Ciuzatz da Pfäich and declared the county to be a republic. They invited Napoleon to “liberate” the rest of Helvetia, and so in 1798 Napoleon marched in almost unopposed. On the 23rd of August 1798 the Helvetian Republic was declared, the first time there had been an independent Helvetian state in over five centuries. Austro-Dalmatia reacted to this seizure of her western Territory with indifference, as they were distracted by Dalmatian dissidents and dynastic squabbles. There were some movements in the family to regain the old family seat, but they amounted to very little.
Unfortunately the First Republic was extremely short-lived, and in 1803 a coup by disaffected nobles regained control of the country, and Karl Josif, Duke of Stantz en Silb, leader of the aristocratic party claimed first the title of Grand Duke (1804) and then “King of Helvetia” (1808).
Karl Josif and his sucessor, Zächetz IV, ruled absolutely, with no popular representation at all. This caused unrest among the rising middle classes, especially among the urban elite in the south-west, whose nobility had largely fled before Napoleon. This agitation for some measure of democracy led to the Civil War of 1845-47, which ended with the king compromising and establishing the Diet (Diätz) in 1848.
The Diet, however, was not granted enough power to make a difference, and the Stantzian dynasty suffered from a surfeit of weak and ineffectual kings into the twentieth century, and Helvetia underwent a succession of military coups between 1871 and 1913. During the First Great War, Helvetia declared total neutrality, which she stuck to throughout the conflict. As soon as the war was over, however, this pose of neutrality faded and taking advantage of Austria and Germany’s weakness the military government of Helvetia began a series of petty border conflicts, most notably taking Schaffhausen from Baden in 1920 and Bregenz from Austria in 1921 (which they ceded back to Austria after only three months).
The Second Great War
After 1934 Austria and Germany united into one Empire, and Helvetia’s machinations became annoying. Thus the country was invaded in 1935, the Empire claiming it as “historically German territory”. Their invasion and annexation was complete by the beginning of 1939 and King Geröntz I fled to Gaulhe. Helvetia took no further significant part in the Second Great War, although the communist resistance grew popular at this time- after the French liberated the south-west in 1945 a short-lived Helvetian Soviet Rupublic was set up.
The whole of Helvetia was liberated in 1947, and King Geröntz was restored. He continued the policies of his predecessors, and the already shaky Helvetian economy did not significantly improve until the late sixties. During his reign, Geröntz suspended the Diet three times, the last from 1964-1971. In 1971 the Partei da Leiberzatz da Jelbatz (PLJ, the Helvetian Freedom Party), a socialist democratic anti-monarchial party was formed, but did not do well in elections, as the Diet became dominated by the corrupt Partei Rejälist (Royalist Party) until 1980, when the PLJ swept to power. Geröntz, then 79 years old, suspended parliament and ruled by decree until his death five years later.
His son, Geröntz II did not reinstate parliament until 1995, simply in order to ratify his abolition of the Minimum Wage Act, in a desperate attemt to check Helvetia’s burgeoning unemployment problem. The PLJ, who formed the second largest majority called for greater democratisation and (not too subtly) the end of the monarchy. In the 2000 elections the PLJ won with a huge majority, capturing almost 89% of the vote. Geröntz refused to assent to the parliament, declared the PLJ illegal and put out a warrant for the arrest of Johan Elchäsch, leader of the PLJ.
The following year Geröntz was assasinated during his May Eve speech in Wären and his family were later found dead in the forest near a ski resort. The army leader General Delföntz seized power in a military dictatorship, immediately inaugurating a regime even more oppressive than that of the monarchy. Investigations later revealed that the royal family had been assassinated on Delföntz’s orders, and in order to divert attention from this Delföntz accused the Dalmatians, who were at that time on the brink of a conflict with Sanjak and unable to do much more than protest.
Delföntz was extremely unpopular among the Helvetians, and after only two weeks a PLJ-led popular rising removed Delföntz from power and established a republic in his regime’s place. It seems that the rising had been planned since 2000, and Geröntz’s coup destabilised the country giving the revolutionaries the perfect oppurtunity to strike.
Johan Elchäsch became President of the new Republic on May 30th 2001. The new government publicly apologised to Dalmatia, and in return Aurial Ybl generously lent his support and promises of aid. Since then, the Dalmatians have been heavily involved in repairing Helvetia’s tattered economy, repairing and updating the antiquated infrastructure network and investing in Helvetian companies (particularly Fäurech Locomotiv Jelbäzech, the Helvetian Locomotive Works, which supplies the "class 443 electric locomotive" to Dalmatian industrial areas).