The Flag of the Sovereign State of New Virginia
Despite the efforts of Emperor Joshua I of Excalbia to integrate the Highlanders, Lowlanders and North American settlers, tensions remained for several decades. 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. Another settlement, known as Deandra, had been founded by a group of Freedmen on an island south of Excalbia.
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.
By the late 1840's and early 1850's, many citizens of New Virginia were disgruntled with the State's response to these problems. Many felt that, in the absence of a strong central government, New Virginia needed an assertive State government that would respond to the rising sense of crisis. The Governor and the state legislature, however, believed that the State should continue to pursue a minimalist agenda. They also believed that, since their capital served as the capital of the Confederation, they should maintain a low profile within the Confederation.
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. When Courtland and his troops surrounded the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson, the President of the Confederation called for the other States to send their militia's to put down the revolt. The other States were more than happy to respond to the President's request.
Courtland's coup was defeated and he was tried and convicted for treason for attempting to use the threat of military force to install himself as the new Governor. Before he could be imprisoned, Courtland, along with a number of supporters fled across the mountains to the sparsely inhabited plains of the northwest, known then as the Upper Virginian Plain. The plains had been claimed by New Virginia but had not yet been organized into a territory.
Content to be rid of the troublemakers, the State government opted not to pursue Courtland. By 1862, a number of additional settlements had been established in the region. Following Courtland’s death in 1870, leaders of these new settlements proclaimed the Dominion of Upper Virginia. They named the new nation's capital city Courtland in honor of their founder.
Meanwhile, 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, New Virginia emerged as prosperous and progressive State. Its capital, Jefferson, also serves as the capital of the Confederation and is one of the largest cities in the Excalbian Isles. It is the home of several of the Confederation's largest enterprises and is known as a "city that never sleeps." Early in the 21st century, New Virginia remains on the cutting edge of society in the Confederation, as the home not only of industry, commerce and the media, but is also the home of a growing materialist ethos dominated by the teachings of the Order of the Invisible Hand.