The Flag of the Sovereign Free State of Deandra
In 1811, as Emperor Joshua I of Excalbia was trying to integrate the Highlanders, Lowlanders and North American settlers into his new Christian empire, a group of Freedmen, fleeing racial oppression in North America, landed on an unsettled island in the Excalbian Isles. The Freedmen named their first settlement New Hope. Other groups, including some fugitive slaves, quickly followed and established other settlements. Together, these settlements named their island, located just south of the main island, Deandra.
In 1817, a mixed group of American settlers and Lowlanders began equating their grievances against the Highlanders with the Imperial Government. This loose grouping of disparate groups began demanding a republican government. In order to avoid violence, the Emperor extended a land grant to the republicans east of the Borodea Mountains and a patent to establish an autonomous republican government. The republicans accepted the grant and established the Autonomous State of New Virginia. By 1828, a second settlement, known as Southland and dominated by extremely devout Christians, had been established.
Despite lingering racial prejudices, New Virginia, Southland and Deandra, along with the Lowland settlement of Saxmere and the Highland settlements of Alud and Trondgard, declared themselves independent states and immediately formed a Confederation of Soveriegn States in 1829. The C.S.S. adopted a Constitution based on a modified version of the U.S. Constitution that created a weak central government with strong guarantees for personal liberty.
In the first few decades after its founding, the Confederation operated more as a coalition of nations than as a single country. This led to great disparities between the sovereign States of the C.S.S. and rising civil tensions. The State of New Virginia quickly emerged as the most prosperous and most advanced of the States. This fueled a number of disputes between New Virginia and its neighbors.
In 1856, Peter Courtland, commander of the New Virginia State Militia, was encouraged by many civic and business leaders to force the Governor's resignation and take charge of the State government. The President of the Confederation, however, called for the other States to send their militia's to put down the revolt. The other States, with the sole exception of Deandra, were more than happy to respond to the President's request. Deandra's refusal to send troops to put down Courtland's rebellion set the tone for Deandran exceptionalism, a phenomenon that continues to this day.
The turmoil that had inspired Courtland's failed coup attempt eventually prompted a second Constitutional Conference in 1865. While the Confederation's Constitution remained relatively unchanged, a new understanding of the respective roles of the Confederation and State government emerged from the conference, putting an end to many of the interstate disputes.
In the 20th century, Deandra embarked on an impressive policy of industrialization that led to a a level of relative prosperity, which was used to fund a number of progressive social initiatives in the State. Eventually, high levels of social spending, unionisation and taxation began to negatively affect the State's ability to attract new industries to replace its aging industrial space. Its capital, New Hope, however, has embarked on a radical policy of economic reform encouraged by leading businesswoman Ruth Adeyole, an advisor to President Thomas Caine, and the State's most prominent politician, House Speaker Joseph Sumners. Early in the 21st century, Deandra remains on the cutting edge of progressive social policies. However, trouble may be brewing. While the State's elites are reputed to be adopting the teachings of the Order of the Invisible Hand, a growing percentage of ordinary Deandrans are returing to their traditional Protestant roots and are increasingly ambivalent about the rising tide of materialism.