Marc-Alexander of Knootcap
|Marc-Alexander of Knootcap|
Der Angst occupation forces
|Steward of Knootoss
Maurice of Knootcap
Marc-Alexander of Knootcap (Marc-Alexander the Strong) was born as the eldest son of the last Knootian Stadtholder. He fled from Knootoss with his family in 1800, only to return after the invasion in 1810. By then his father had died. Taking advantage of popular opinion (which was with the House of Knootcap more then ever) as well as the weakness of the decimated and impoverished mercantile elite his claims to the title of ‘Steward’ of all the provinces were accepted. Thus he created a Republic with a strong hereditary autocrat at its head.
He ruled like a liberal autocrat, centralising power (more specifically, to himself). While the Staten-Generaal were restored he considered it to be an advisory body only as he wanted to prevent it from (again) becoming the instrument of the merchantile olirachy to oppose his house and to keep all power to themselves. In his vision, the self-satisfied corruptness and nepotism of the merchant elite had been what had destroyed the Knootian East India Company and, ultimately, the old United Provinces. As a leader, the Steward promoted unfettered entrepreneurship and free trade, appointing Liberals in important government positions. Under his guidance a plan was also drawn up for a more systematic exploitation of the Knootian East Indies (see the main article). Helped by the booming world economy, he got the Republic back on its feet.
Marc-Alexander, while an absolute ruler, believed in some of the enlightenment ideals and initiated some democratic reforms on the local level and extended more civil rights to the population in a new constitution in 1814. He died a year after the new constitution was adopted. While his rule had only lasted about five years it had profoundly altered the nation.