THE WORLD - AUSTRALASIA
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France has claimed and settled the east and south of real world Australia, having 'skipped ahead' of the Dutch, discovered the east coast and settled it. The British at the time did do not have the reach to maintain colonies that far from home. Though there were one or two British landings and claims there, they did not last.
L'Australis has a significant population of people descended from the Tuareg of the North African deserts. Most of these live something resembling the traditional Tuareg life in the dry interior of the continent, but there are also significant numbers in the more hospitable coastal regions. In the nineteenth century the French government encouraged Tuareg to emigrate to L'Australis to help develop and exploit the colony, and also as a means of reducing the level of trouble the Tuareg caused in France's North African holdings. This worked to some extent, and many Tuareg have played a significant role in the life of L'Australis. However, despite the best efforts of the French government, after immigrating many Tuareg continued their traditional practises of enslaving and interbreeding with the locals in their new home, so that many Australisian Tuareg are now physically indistinguishable from Australisian Aborigines. As part of this, many Tuareg have also been influenced by the Aborigines, leading to the formation of a new hybrid Tuareg-Aboriginal culture with strong Islamic roots.
The ecosystems of L'Australis (and Nova Holland) have suffered from the introduction of alien organisms [much as in Australia of the real world]. In particular feral camels brought to L'Australis with the Tuareg have caused problems for the native ecosystems [more so than in the real world].
The capital of L'Australis is the city of Louisopolis [on the site of real world Sydney].
The small Zulu colony on the west coast of Australis around the mouth of the Swan River [real world Perth]. It is a struggling place, often used for the internal exile of those out of favour with the Zulu regime.
An independent Pacific nation that has remained so due to its being not very strategically useful in this world. Even so, it is devoutly neutral, with a western-educated monarchy, and has defensive treaties with France, the Union and the Dutch.
With rising sea levels the inhabitants of a number of low-lying Pacific islands, now submerged, have come to Hawai'i as refugees, something that has caused tensions and occasional outbreaks of violence between them and the local Hawai'ians.
The Dutch Colonies in the East Indies [real world Indonesia], the Nederlands-Indie also includes Nova Holland, the Dutch holdings in the north of Terra Australis. It forms one of the three represented foreign provinces within the federal structure of the Dutch government.
Originally run by the Dutch East India Company, with the fall and nationalisation of the Company in the early nineteenth century, it came under the direct control of the Dutch government.
The political structure of the Nederlands-Indie is similar to that of French India. That is, where local rulers of a sufficiently large area exist, they rule the area under Dutch suzerainty, with a Dutch Resident in place to liaise with the Dutch government. Where such a ruler does not exist, for example in parts of Borneo, Papua and Nova Holland, Dutch Governors rule directly (such areas do not exist in French India). Because direct Dutch control tends to be less sensitive to the feelings of the local people, directly governed areas tend to have more unrest than the indirectly governed regions.
The Nederlands-Indie are run very much for the benefit of the Dutch at home, and money from it underpins the entire Dutch economy. Because of this, there is a large Dutch military presence in the Nederlands-Indie with warning stations and bases in many locations. A large fraction of trade from the Nederlands-Indie is with Russia via Russia's Persian Tongue; other major trading partners include France and Kaliforniya, with some additional trade with the Spanish Philippines. The Dutch would like to have closer trading ties with the OSU and the Alyesko-Siberian Federation, but the poor relations of these nations with Russia precludes this, though as much trade as possible occurs through intermediaries.
The Nederlands-Indie have large agricultural, mining and manufacturing industries, all of which contribute to the economy of the province. A side effect of the industrialisation of the Nederlands-Indie is that some areas are scarred from mining, polluted by industry, or have been damaged by over-farming.
Despite the efforts of some reformers, the Dutch maintain strict control over the native peoples of the Nederlands-Indie, much more so than for the ruling Dutch population. As part of this the Dutch feel it necessary to maintain relatively high levels of taxation on and Dutch ownership of all East Indian industry; this makes the East Indian states rather more impoverished than they might otherwise be [this is the major difference between the Nederlands-Indie and French India, where although France is still the suzerain, they are more generous with the Indian people, making them more prosperous and satisfied with their lot].
Although once justified on (now discredited) racial grounds, the second class status of the native people is now justified on economic and political grounds to maintain Dutch control of their Empire. The Dutch government classes most East Indians as citizens of their client states rather than of the Netherlands itself, excluding them from the otherwise democratic Dutch system. Although cynical, this has been done because if the East Indians were allowed full representation, their numbers [perhaps four hundred million people in the year 2000] compared to the numbers of native Dutch people [perhaps 25 million people in the Netherlands as a whole in the year 2000] would dominate the Dutch Empire. Many East Indians realise this, and know of the fully democratic systems of the other Dutch provinces. Despite the best efforts of the Dutch authorities, their increasingly repressive policies, and playing the different East Indian states off against one another, unrest is slowly growing, with different native groups wanting reform of the Dutch system, or independence from it.
Most long-distance transportation with the Nederlands-Indie is run by the Dutch state. Because the Nederlands-Indie consists of so many islands, the largest transport network is the shipping network, which ranges from huge slow cargo ships, to fast passenger hydrofoils and everything in between. Skylines link the larger cities. There are railways on many of the larger islands.
As part of their close ties with Russia, Russia leases a small number of bases in the Nederlands-Indie.
Its capital is the city of Batavia [Jakarta].
Neuer Hanover (New Hanover)
The northern island of what was New Zeeland, initially a Union penal colony with major problems with the Maoris, it is now a member of the Union and ruled by a government modelled on that of Hanover with a member of the Hanoverian Royal Family as the head of state. Its capital is Georgstadt (Georgetown) [on the site of real world Wanganui].
Neues Prussia (New Prussia)
The southern island of what was New Zeeland, initially a Union penal colony, it is now a member of the Union and ruled by a government modelled on that of Prussia with a member of the Prussian Royal Family as the head of state. Its capital is Neues Berlin (New Berlin) [on the site of real world Lyttelton].
The Dutch north and west of the continent of Terra Australis, colonised down from the Nederlands-Indie. It is divided into a number of regions, administered as part of the Nederlands-Indie, each run directly by the Dutch government through an appointed Governor.
The majority of the population are East Indians 'encouraged' to move there by the Dutch government as workers to develop the region. As part of this, the indigenous people have been increasingly pushed to the margins of society and the economy.
A number of railway lines link the settlements of Nova Holland. Most of these run roughly parallel to the coast, where most of the settlements are located, but some also run deep into the interior to settlements, mines and so on there.
A number of schemes for irrigating the dry farmland of the region have been put in place in Nova Holland. These generally consist of trapping the Monsoon season rainwater in the north of Nova Holland and channelling it to where it is required. These schemes have made Noda Holland a significant agricultural producer.
The deep interior of Nova Holland is also home to a number of prison/labour camps where particularly intransigent criminals from around the Dutch Empire are sent to live out the remainder of their days while performing reasonably constructive work. Conditions in the camps are rumoured to be appalling.
The Union settlement in south-west Terra Australis, now a full-fledged member of the Union, a parliamentary democracy with an economy largely based on mining. Its capital is the city of Kinjarling [real world Albany, Western Australia]. It is quite insular and not terribly welcoming to people from other parts of the Union, let alone foreigners. Because of the isolation of Sophiasland and its borders with French l'Australis, the population of Sophiasland is quite heavily armed, with most households owning at least one gun. Despite this, there is quite a high degree of trade between Sophiasland and l'Australis.
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