The history of Brunant spans several millenniums, starting with the first Roman settlements in the third or late second centuries. Brunant has been under the control of several foreign powers over the centuries and was briefly an autonomous state before gaining its independence in 1427.
- 1 Antiquity
- 2 Byzantines and Visigoths
- 3 Arabian Brunant (817-1244)
- 4 Aragonese and Venetians (1244-1427)
- 5 Dutch arrival and independence (1392-1475)
- 6 Foundation of a kingdom (1475-1663)
- 7 18th century Brunant (1666-1784)
- 8 Carrington's rule (1784-1802)
- 9 Ambroos to Liberal Revolution (1802-1881)
- 10 20th century
- 11 World War II
- 12 Cold War years
- 13 Recent history
For most of its history, the Brunanter islands were largely uninhabited. Almost certainly did the Greeks know of Brunant's existence (islands likely being Brunant are referenced from at least 500 BC), though no records of settlement have been found. Recent archaeological and bibliographic documents both in and outside of Brunant have been giving further credence to the notion of pre-Roman Iberian peoples, the Barsoni.
A changing historiography has began to push back the dates for early Brunanter settlement, indeed witnessed with the history and origin of the etymology of Brunant. Modern scholars have not yet been able to concretely separate the Barzonii of Roman Brunant with the Iberian Barsoni mentioned in earlier texts. Tablets bearing Iberian script have been found, though opinion is divided on whether it was brought over by the Romans (Indigetes origin) or of native Barsoni.
Evidence for Carthaginian presence was found on Mermaid Island, given the discovery of pre-Roman ruins there. Recent discoveries in the 21th century, including at several Byzantine ruins across the Cape Cross Parish, also point to Carthaginian rule in Brunant. Historians widely agree that the islands were likely under Carthaginian or even early Phoenician influence from the 5th century BC. The ruins and archaeological artifacts found, however, do not indicate that Carthaginian colonies existed on the Brunanter islands; the majority of their presence was believed to be of a military nature. The evidences advert to temporary structures and trade posts.
It is generally believed that Carthaginian general Hamilcar Barca (father of Hannibal) took over Brunant around 235-234 BC, though recent evidence points more to as early as 245 BC, taken as part of his Iberian campaign. It is likely that the ruins on Mermaid Island and across the Cape Cross Parish can be dated to this period.
Few Carthaginian documents remain; one small tablet portion mentions "the will of the gods smiting the Bars", perhaps a reference to early peoples on the islands. Historians and archaeologists believe they may have been wiped out by Hamilcar or Hannibal at some point between 240 and 220 BC, with most traces of their culture gone.
The Brunanter islands were annexed by the Romans around 235 BC during the period of the Punic Wars, which Carthage lost against the Romans. Military outposts were maintained in Brunant, with the only solid evidence of one being found near Grijzestad, likely by then famed for its deep port. Marcus Aurelius Florens (fl. 153 BC - ca. 127 BC) was the first known Roman commander. Little permanent remains have been found, but is is quite likely this was an early Roman community.
By the 1st century BC there was an increased Roman presence and very small settlements, such as the one at Hindon, but Brunant was a distant outpost and people in the islands were generally banished or sent in exile to Brunant.
Lucius Gellius Publicola was another Roman militaryman in Brunant, who founded the fort of Carrasium around 29 BC, having too been banished to Brunant.
In 276, the Romans established a colony at Villa Fulvia. Villa Fulvia was long considered to be the only Roman settlement in the islands, as proof of other sites were not unearthed until the early, and even later twentieth century. Others have been found in central Brunant, and in the 21st century there has been a renewed interest in Roman and pre-Roman archaeology due to the discovery of more sites and slowly expanding said history. Around 380, the settlement was abandoned by the Romans, with an earthquake the likely cause.
Brunant was considered a part of Hispania Tarraconensis, though was the furthest part of Roman Hispania. After 285, it was named a part of the new Hispania Balearica province, as it had too few people to be named its own province.
Most Roman settlements were found in the northern and eastern coasts of Brunant, close to the shores. Other Roman settlements in the islands were abandoned around 420-440, with Visigothic and other raids being unanswered with Roman support. There were few inhabitants after 450, falling to a few hundred from a peak of around 2000-3000 around 350.
Byzantines and Visigoths
In the chaos surrounding the Fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476, the islands passed to the Visigoths by 490, though their hold was weak, and the islands were briefly conquered by the Vandals in 525.
The islands soon came under the control of the Byzantine Empire after a naval engagement in 534 off the coast of present-day Carrington Parish forming part of the Vandalic War. The Byzantines were the first to begin colonization attempts in over a century. Around 535-540, they began the foundations of the city of Barzona (present-day Brezonde).
By the year 600, Brunant fell under the control of the Visigothic Kingdom. King Witteric (Witerico) led several campaigns against the Byzantines and in 604 was able to drive them out of Brunant, along with his general, Eusebius of Toledo. Visigothic rule over Brunant was fairly weak, though largely after 650 due to an increased instability in the Visigothic mainland (Iberian Peninsula).
By 685, the islands were back under the control of the Byzantines, though it would only be consolidated until 700. Around 712, some colonists from Barzona moved south and founded Niesium (modern-day Niesburg), the second major settlement on the islands. With mainland Spain falling to Moorish invaders in 711, it was soon feared that Brunant might fall as well, and despite their weakening, the Byzantines were preparing to repel any invasion. Being the only Christian area in Mediterranean Spain, many Spanish came to Brunant to escape Muslim rule.
In 714-15, Umayyad governor Abd al-Aziz ibn Musa of Al-Andalus led an attempted invasion of Brunant but was thwarted shortly after landing his troops on the beaches near Barzona. In 775, Abd al-Rahman I, the Emir of Córdoba launched a second offensive against Brunant, but unfavorable winds and rains led him to lose many ships and call off the attack.
Arabian Brunant (817-1244)
Conquest and establishment
The islands of Brunant were conquered by the Umayyad emirs in Spain around 817-818. By this time Byzantine control was heavily weakened and could provide little in defense against the Muslims. In 817 an Umayyad fleet set in Brezonde harbor and offered the inhabitants their terms for occupation, which were readily agreed. The troops under emir Al-Hakam faced no opposition though a few settlers in Niesburg took up arms in a short skirmish.
Unlike previous conquerors of the islands, the Arabs expanded their area southward and founded other settlements into present-day Carrington, Central and Helmond Parish, with some 15-20 found in northern Brunant. They also contribute by turning Brezonde from a small settlement to a sizable town, with some 5000 people by 900. Around 860 the Swedish king Björn Ironside raided the Brunanter coast and set fire to a number of small villages, though his devastation was not as great as that in the Balearics.
In 1019, weakening Umayyad control over Brunant prompted the Taifa (Kingdom) of Dénia, which had recently occupied the Balearics to conquer Brunant, doing so with a swift naval invasion and a total rout of the local governor Al-Ibris at the Battle of Brezonde.
The rulers of Dénia imposed strict order over the Brunanters and by 1040 had forced many Christians to leave the islands after imposing religious taxation on them and effectively making them second-class citizens. In 1104, the cities of Jabaladar and Bur Taif rose up in revolt against Dénia and it's Brunanter governors. The military commander in Brezonde sent some 500 troops to crush the insurgents, routing them at the Battle of Bur Taif and then attacking anyone resisting in Jabal-Akdar.
Independence in Brunant
While this crushing defeat of locals which resulted in some 500 deaths instilled fear into the populace, there was much resentment against the local rulers. After a few years, a minor nobleman named Mansur ibn Hussein (1070-1125) began openly criticizing the rulers for their opulence and indulgences and slowly gained the support of the Muslim populace as well as the few Christians, by promising them new freedoms. Eventually Mansur raised a peasant army of some 1200 and was able to take the town of Adan (in Helmond Parish), ruled over by the governor's brother. Following this, governor ibn Rashid amassed an army of nearly 2000 and sent his brother back to crush the revolt. At the Battle of Adan, the governor's troops were decimated after vicious fighting, and as he received his brother's head he prepared for a siege. Ibn Rashid was removed as leader by his allies and they surrendered the town.
Ibn Hussein then proclaimed his rule over the whole island, which he named the Taifa of Burzand. This was the first independent Brunanter state, though it was considered to be under the "influence" of the rulers in Cordoba. In the Taifa of Burzand, Christians and Muslims lived in relative peace. The state was initially strong and quite prosperous, but over time the local emirs squandered away their wealth on women, wine and opulence, all the while keeping less interests in running their own affairs. The weakened taifa was conquered in 1175 after an Almohad invasion, putting an end to the taifa.
Around the 1200's the crown of Aragon began mounting attacks on the Muslims in the Balearics and soon they spread to Brunant, signaling the start of the Reconquista. In 1217 they launched an attack but were repulsed. Fearing another attack, the Muslim authorities built Brezonde Castle. Brezonde was beseiged in 1231, but aid from Cordoba saw the siege lifted after two months. A second siege in 1244 would be more successful. While a message was sent out to Cordoba for aid, the increased number of troops and the use of siege weapons led to terrible conditions inside the town, and eventually Brezonde fell after a month.
Aragonese and Venetians (1244-1427)
Reconquista and Aragonese rule
1244 saw the largest army at the time amass in western Brunant to begin the Crown of Aragon's Conquest of Brunant, led by their king, Jaime. This force of some 13,000 marched north and faced many difficulties, including several battles, a treacherous crossing of the Central Ranges until eventually taking Brezonde following a terrible siege. Further Arab opposition was easily defeated and Brunant was incorporated into Aragon.
Brunant became a county (Condado de Barzona), with Antonio Miguel de Larria and his descendants as count. De Larria encouraged the resettlement of Brunant after the Muslims had been expelled, as nearly 20,000 Muslims left Brunant between 1244 and 1248, almost all the population of the islands. By the year 1300, there were an estimated 65,000 people in Brunant, coming from Aragon, southern Spain, Occitania but especially Catalonia.
Brezonde had grown to a burgeoning city of over 25,000 and Niesburg (Necia) now had some 15,000 inhabitants by 1320. By that time settlers went south and west, founding the towns of Pabella (Donderstad) in 1260, Narvas (Rosetown) in 1296, Miltona (Middleton) in 1350 and San Marcos (Carrington) in 1368. By 1400 it is estimated there were 100,000 people in Brunant, mostly concentrated in the northern half.
During this period Brunant prospered as a major trade and merchant center in the Mediterranean Sea. Goods from the Levant often passed though Brunant, European goods were stocked in Brunant before heading to Africa and goods from Hanseatic cities passed by ships through Brunant before heading east. By the early-mid 14th century, the local population began to face increased attacks by North African pirates and were becoming discontent with the local government's mismanagement of the situation.
Venetians in Brunant
The strategic positioning of the islands, coupled with weak Aragonese presence on the islands, at least militarily, became the perfect opportunity being looked for by several regional powers. The Genoese and Venetians were the ones most interested in the islands in the 14th century. Genoese sailors visited the northern Cape Cross in the early 1300s, and through trade Venetians began to acquire a presence in Brunanter cities.
With Venice's alliance with Aragon against Genoa in a war in the 1350s, a number of Venetian merchants and traders settled in Brunant, increasing their influence in local affairs. The War of Chioggia (1378-81) had even greater consequences at the period. While the actual fighting occurred only in the eastern Mediterranean, the subsequent Venetian dominance and end of Genoese naval power saw them venture into Brunant and slowly begin to exert their dominance over the County of Barzona.
After 1380, the Republic of Venice began to take a more active interest in having outposts in Brunant, not only for trade purposes but also to deter and counter Genoa from building up naval power. Juan II, Count of Barzona began secretly working with the Venetians. In 1382, the Venetian admiral Carlo Zeno and several hundred soldiers landed near Pabella and were received by the count. Backtracking over their arrangement, in 1385 the Venetians forcibly occupied San Marcos (Carrington) and by 1390 had ensured control over Brunant. The Aragonese were unable to send much support due to pressing engagements against Granada.
Venice quickly exerted political and military control over the islands, but were unable to encourage much settlement to the islands. By the 1420s there were an estimated 1000-2000 Venetians, as opposed to 95,000 Aragonese and Dutch "Brunanters". But, the Venetians occupied most of the high-ranking military and political posts in the islands and often abused their power. While some of the populace welcomed a change in leadership, the Venetians mantained strict rule, clamped down on any sign of popular discontentment and soon alienated any support from the locals.
Dutch arrival and independence (1392-1475)
The first Dutch came to Brunant at the end of the 14th century and in the early 15th. Many Dutchmen had come to Brunant as mercenaries, having fought in conflicts during the Hundred Years' War and in the Spanish peninsula. Others, such as Laurens van der Holdt, were sailors and merchants and were vital in maintaining Venetian trade with Brunant.
Initial Dutch movements in Brunant were very minimal (by 1420 there were just 20,000 Dutch as opposed to 70,000 of mixed Spanish origin). But, the Dutch were very good in business and found success in Brunant. Most of these man married local Spanish women, creating the basis (genetic and culturally) of many modern Brunanters, Dutch-speaking but with many Spanish traits. While intitally in the service of the Venetian government, many became discontent with their handling of Brunant and were usually unable to advance far, treated as secondary citizens along with the majority of native locals. Some went off and founded the cities of Grijzestad and Brunantstad, to remain out of the reach of the government.
By the 1410s, there was increased unrest among the populace in Brunant. The arrival of new, more liberal northern ideals with Dutch and Germans became a catalyst for action. Brunanters, as a multicultural people (the elite spoke Venetian but most spoke Catalan, a Catalan-based creole and now Dutch) began to speak up against the heavy hand of authority.
The Spanish people living in Brunant (the Barzuna) were initially distrustful of the Dutch, being seen as another ruling class seeking to replace the Venetians. What they seeked was greater representation in government, and if Venice was unwilling to give it to them they would act to do so. In 1407, peasants near Sint-Markstad refused to work for their Venetian masters and began the first act of defiance against them.
War of Independence
A few more protest and revolts sprung up between 1407 and 1409, but these were violently crushed. Things soon got to the point that the authorities were detaining and even torturing anyone remotely suspected of being against the regime. The death of 25 Venetian soldiers during an altercation in Niesburg in 1415 sparked the first armed insurgency against Venice. Led by legendary strongman Mateus Brasefort, they would work to maintain a de-facto independent Niesburg for the next ten years, while attempting to advance the rights of all the Spanish peoples, now known as the Barzuna. By robbing Venetian supplies and money, harassing government supporters and engaging Venetian troops in quick attacks or skirmishes, they were able to disrupt the efficiency of the authorities. By 1420, the Dutch were beginning to fund Brasefort and others, and from Spain began to acquire weapons. The Dutch were also engaged in economic warfare. Merchants frequently began to rob their own cargo to be used for the effort against the authorities and by 1423 stopped paying taxes, threatening a total economic blockade if they were forced to pay.
By 1426 peasants were being trained by a few Dutch military experts, such as Hieronymus van der Ecke and Philippe de Bryas. In May 1427, Venetians would destroy the town of Zatram and kill both its muslim and christian populace. Within days the Dutch and Barzuna declared war, soon coordinating their efforts to combine strength. What was initially a war of self-defense grew to a movement for independence, especially with the meeting of the Convention of Grijzestad. 39 important Dutch and Spanish militarymen, merchants and leaders met at Grijzestad to coordinate the direction of the war. Soon, it was determined that total independence was the best course (over demanding autonomy) and they set forth drafting such a declaration. The direction of the government remained a difficult issue, with the delegates divided between wanting a monarchy or a republic. Eventually the delegates agreed on a republic and drafted a basic constitution. On 9 June 1427, the announcement of Brunant's independence was made and the Brunanter Republic was proclaimed.
On the fields, upholding the declaration proved to be difficult, especially due to the technological superiority of the Venetian troops. The shock tactics used by Venice, such as the burnings and killings after the fall of Niesburg and the destruction at Sint-Markstad were meant to scare the rebels into submission, but instead it fortified their desires to get rid of their brutal overlords. Venetian landings in Hogeberg Island and the fall of Carona nearly saw the capturing of Grijzestad and of the revolt's leadership, but the arrival of Swiss mercenaries on the Brunanter side and war in Lombardy saw a turn in fortunes. By November 1427, there were nearly 13,000 in the Brunanter combined army, which marched north from Niesburg and took Brezonde in a three month siege of attrition. The fall of the city signalled the effective end of the war, with only minor engagements in Cape Cross coming after.
The nascent Brunanter Republic became the first fully free and independent state in the western Mediterranean, without being under the overarching dominion of a greater power. The republic was one of the oldest democracies in the south of Europe, even if not considered a real democracy by modern standards. But, the republic faced many financial issues and bad leadership very nearly saw it's destruction by foreign powers.
There was initially much hope, as Marten Sneijder took power as leader, confirmed president for life in 1428 while under the constitution all subsequent leaders would be subject to fixed terms. Sneijder kept heavy-handed control over all aspects of the government, simultaneously president, head of finances and appointing himself head of the few soldiers in 1429. Sneijder and his close allies dominated government for a decade, until his death in 1439.
In 1439 the Republican Estates elected Hans Niehorster to the president, a wealthy merchant prominent during the War of Independence. As president he began increasing trade, with the Netherlands, Genoa and Spain. Niehorster's rule was marked with an increased influence of merchants and in the later part of his term was actually under the control of several rich merchants. Niehorster was considered by some contemporaries as a dictator, if not certainly today, wielding power greater than that of Sneijder. His term was marked by an increase in taxation on the people, though the government was still unable to keep a large treasury. A significant lack of funds forced them to get rid of their 300-man army and cut back expenses, especially following the scandals involving the disgraced Fredrick van der Haas.
To remedy the situation, the government began issuing letters of marque to privateers from the 1450s so they would collect treasure for the state. Protected and harbored by the (rather ineffective) republican government, they raided ships and received 30-40% of the loot, with the remainder going to state coffers. While there were often many issues, the government did receive significant funds. But, there was increased pressure by several states on the republic to stop this practice by the 1460s. The real threat of a Spanish invasion around 1462-3 and the inability to defend against one forced the government to stop aiding privateers (which would lead to later raids on Brunant until the 16th century).
The estates, discontent with Niehorster's rule were plotting to overthrow him, but his death in July 1457 saw no need for it. Adrian Bosquera (1457-1463) would be named president and was followed by Jacob van der Ecke (1463-1467), Johannes Neyt (1467-1471) and Leuvis Van Damme (1471). By then all presidents would be limited to a four-year term in office. By the time Van Damme came to office, the Republic was crumbling, with the estates increasingly in gridlock between the conservative and liberal factions. Weak government and personal ambition (especially on the part of his wife, Caroline Koch led van Damme to lead an internal coup in 1475, using his friends in the estates and other important posts to support him. The Republican Estates were dissolved and he was proclaimed King of Brunant. Some members of the estate attempted a counter-coup with support from armed countrymen, but they received little from a populace tired of a failing regime.
Foundation of a kingdom (1475-1663)
Brunant became a kingdom in 1475 though it was still a relatively poor nation. Van Damme was able to create a structured and efficient government, being able to accomplish much with little funds as opposed to the old republic. A legislative body, the Cortes was set up in the 1510s to allow some representation for the clergy and nobility/merchant class. Despite his strict rule the new monarchy was supported by most people, for it brought stability to Brunant. For his part, Leuvis Van Damme did not live a frivolous lifestyle like other European monarchs.
Despite these advances, Brunant still was very weak and ineffective in its regional affairs, and was a frequent target for pirates and corsairs such as Mohamed Reis. Unable to counter this threat (citizens would take up arms but had no training), the government set about forming a standing army. This Royal Guard was a very small force and though considerd the country's elite soldiers, were little more than a basic militia in nature. But the country still depended heavily on the employment of mercenaries, which were used at Middleton on several occasions to fight pirates. Through influence from within his confidants, Van Damme expelled many Jews and increased taxes, which were among some of the most unpopular acts done in this period, which lead to peasant protests, especially in the cities.
By the early 16th century the Kingdom of Brunant consolidated its hold and by then became a stable and strong regime. The military has been able to effectively deal with pirate invasions (particularly with the creation of the famed Veldwachter guards) and the country became wealthier through trade. This was the golden age of the early kingdom, and under King Leuvis II began to forge relations with other nations. Emboldened with confidence and a belief in his country's rising might, he led an ill-fated Invasion of Rose Island in 1533. With 2800 soldiers he invaded the island but was quickly repulsed, sustaining mortal wounds and dying on the island. The collapse of the military in this endeavor and death of the king forced Brunant to sue for peace, forced to pay a large sum to Spain and introduce the inquisition. Brunant and Spain would form a long-lasting economic alliance, which would see the rise of Brunanter banks and even the arrival of a few Brunanters to New Spain.
The period of peace after 1533 brought economic prosperity to the islands due to significant Mediterranean trade. The marriage of Leuvis' successor, Anders I to Clarissa d'Aragona would signal the first of many political marriages with the Royal Family, and early diplomatic ties and alliances. In 1540 the Cortes was given some measures of power to allow the people a greater say in the affairs of the nation. The mid-16th century would see the arrival of the first Anglo-Saxons to Brunant, primarily catholics and soldiers who would join the Veldwachter as mercenaries. At the same time, the government and Royal family were increasing taxes on the people to finance their affairs and the increasingly lavish lifestyles of the kings. The creation of a royal navy in 1613 under Adrian I was a costly enterprise and would become a tax burden on the people. There would also be significant opposition by some figures against the church, in particular it's wide reach into government, free hand at tying anyone by the Inquisition and exemption from taxes.
While the government had courts and official government bodies, the kings would often circumvent them and most people grew increasingly unhappy at the government and monarchy. Under King Adrian and later Willem II, Brunant had seen increased unrest, culminating with the infamous Bread Revolt of 1638, in which Prince Willem personally commanded troops which crushed the peasant uprising. This would then fuel the start of increased opposition to the king, including political and economic action. Karl Van Draak, King Willem's nephew was one of his most vocal critics. He would incite civil unrest against the King and was imprisoned in 1653 and 1657, both times on trumped up charges. In 1658, the Cortes was dissolved by Willem as a final act of removing any opposition to him. Karl then actively joined the armed movement against the king, which increased in size and strength over the years.
Eventually armed townspeople in Sint-Markstad raided the town arsenal in 1663 and the King's military response would signal the start of the Civil War. Van Draak, along with his most-trusted aide Bernhard von Reiber would lead the troops throughout the war. The first battle in the war would come in early March outside Nieuw Helmond, which resulted in a significant win for the royalists over von Reiber's men. Desperately low on supplies van Draak organized a raid on Grunbeck and its arsenal. Taking the town and it's weapons cache, he had a clear path to the capital, Grijzestad and the King and court fled the city, allowing for van Draak to make a triumphal entry. His victory at Grunbeck saw him gain the support of the Veldwachter and royalist deserters, which helped him defeat a royalist force at Bosterbeck Field (Donderstad). With the Royalist collapse near-imminent, all he could do was launch a last-ditch attempt at taking Grijzestad, capturing van Draak and the bulk of his opposition. Outside the city he fought a disastrous battle, that although saw the death of von Reiber in combat also saw the king fall.
The few royalists at Donderstad proclaimed his daughter, Maria Amalia queen, but in six days van Draak had her captured and had her abdication, as he was proclaimed king. In order to ensure a check on the government as was wanted long beofre the war's outbreak, van Draak's supporters had him sign a Bill of Rights to establish basic rights for the people.
18th century Brunant (1666-1784)
Following the Civil War, Brunant began to rebuild itself under the rule of Van Draak and his wife, Isabella of Parma. As the 17th century progressed, Brunant's royal family began adopting an increasingly lavish lifestyle, characterized by grand balls, fine dining and splendor. Under Marten I, Brunant was put on the map as a country as wealthy as some of Europe's smaller nations. Work soon began on the Koningsberg Palace in Koningstad, a costly summer residence for the king. This and other large construction projects in Koningstad, Grijzestad and elsewhere totaled in the hundreds of millions of thalers (over £9,000,000 by 1750). Brunant was also forced to ally itself with Spain in the War of the Quadruple Alliance, which would prove disastrous militarily.
While able to offset these costs through trade with other nations, the common people were faced with increased taxation and even forced labor for the large public works. Marten's death in 1744 saw his son Pieter I come to the throne, a rather weak and ineffective leader. Even so, the arts and culture were in a golden age, with painters such as Johannes Neyt the Younger and Gerard Blomefont van Stein leading this movement. Writers and scientists made significant contributions to this renaissance.
Both the Wars of Spanish and Austrian successions led Brunant to heightened fear of war or invasion and a massive program was undertaked from the 1720s to build or upgrade castles and fortresses. Military spending was at an all-time high (moreso than during the Civil War) and by 1750 taxation was at it's highest yet. Between 1741 and 1744 Brunant was passively involved in the war as the French and Spanish pressured the government to allow their ships to take refuge in the country's ports during their Mediterranean campaigns.
In 1756 French forces invaded Minorca as a prelude to war in Brunant. Brunant was at a disadvantage when France invaded Brunant Island, but was not completely unprepared. Pedro Antonio Vergos de Bryas was given command of the Royal Guard in the 1740s and soon implemented a rigorous Spanish military training which made the core of his army well-trained. Thus when France did invade, the Brunanters were better equipped but still lacking in combat experience. Bitburg Castle in Brunantstad was beseiged in August and fell in 15 days and france moved to a siege of Donderstad Castle, which held out and forced the French back to Brunant. 1757 saw a siege of Grunbeck and its castle by French troop, which succeded after three weeks. The French then moved on to Grijzestad, where it was beseiged for over one year from March 1757. The town did fall to the French in September, but with the port and castle still in Brunanter hands forced them to retreat to safer ground.
By the end of the year the French and their Libertan allies were tied up in sieges across Koningstad and Sint-Markstad, 10,000 men being used towards an attrition war meant to be as easy as the fall of Menorca. In 1758 the King was able to acquire 5000 Hessian reinforcement from his brother-in-law, Landgrave Frederick II, and with this fresh fighting force slowly began to retake Brunant. The siege at Grijzestad was lifted in early June and soon Sint-Markstad and Koningstad were taken, though Donderstad was still in French hands. Donderstad fell on January 1759, and the major land battles of the war were over. Several naval conflicts took place until 1760, when a peace was finally signed.
Carrington's rule (1784-1802)
By 1760 the French and Brunanters had agreed a peace and the Seven Years' War ended in 1763. But, Brunant was left ravaged by the three years of occupation, seiges and death. The country was slow to recover and most people were in poverty. The government had acquired massive debt and was unable to pay many soldiers and other costs of the war. Economically the country was at its worst since the republican period in the 15th century, with dwindling funds, most going to support the king's lavish ways. Expenses were through the roof as large constructions such as the Realpaleis ate away at the treasury's reserves. Politically Brunant was in disarray. By the 1770s the King was assessed to be mad by his physicians and he was bing controlled and led by a variety of factions and interests within his court, leading to instability at the core of government. At one point, the military stepped in and were in effective control of the king.
The populace were by no means quiet and soon began protesting food shortages, taxation and the king. In 1778, Borderers, descendants of Scottish and English immigrants rose up against the king for a variety of reasons but were brutally suppressed after initial successes. This soon piqued the interest of Scottish filibuster James Carrington, who soon made it his quest to liberate his "blood comrades" from the tyrannies of the King. He hired an army of mercenaries, both Scottish/English and Prussian troops and invaded the islands in 1784. After several brief engagements his men overpowered Brunanter troops and claimed victory. He declared himself President and changed the country's name to Carrington Island.
Carrington made the king sign a charter removing his political power, and made him a puppet king. Pieter I was deposed that year in favor of his nephew, Adrian II. During Adrian's reign (and Carrington's rule) Brunant resembled a military dictatorship. Troops patrolled the cities and revolts against him were crushed. His frivolous lifestyle was drying up the coffers and in 1800 the king and other Dutch royalists staged a coup and had Carrington arrested. It appeared that change would finally come when Carrington was suddenly freed from prison 4 days later with the help of loyal soldiers. Adrian fled the country disguised as a maid and the "old liberator" resumed his rule. He named Adrian's son Ambroos the new king.
Ambroos to Liberal Revolution (1802-1881)
Ambroos I (1800-1823)
When Carrington died in 1802, his son, David James Carrington succeeded him as President. A few weeks later, he was forced to sign the Constitution of 1802, which ended the authoritarian rule of the Carrington presidency and established a more democratic rule. The Supreme Court was also installed in 1802. Andreas Janszoon was President of the Supreme Court from 1809-1820. Legal historians consider Janszoon to be the most important 19th-century chief justice since he shaped the highest court throughout his presidency.
In 1807, Cetatian forces invaded Brunant and landed in Sint-Hendrikstad. Hélène II of Cettatie was a claimant to the Brunanter throne since Princess Brigitta's death in 1800. The invasion, however, failed as dysentery spread through the Cetatian ranks. The Cetatian queen than signed a treaty with Napoleon and French diplomats, with Cetatian support for Napoleon in Europe and the latter's support for Hélène's claim over Brunant. In 1808, a second invasion was planned, but Hélène suddenly died and her son, Martin, called an end to the invasion plans and repudiated the treaty with Napoleon, leading to the French occupation of Cettatie until 1814. Ambroos and Martin also restored the Brunanter-Cetatian relation.
The young Carrington's rule weakened and he was removed from office following the Coup of 1809, led by Ambroos, Walter van der Ecke and Frans Jordens. Van der Ecke favoured a neutral position in the ongoing Napoleonic Wars as its army was too small and the Brunanter islands would be defended by Great Britain if French forces were to invade. With Britain as Brunant's prime ally, the anglicization of Brunant was increased. From 1814-1815, Brunant participated in the Napoleonic Wars as Ambroos and van der Ecke changed their foreign policy.
In 1815, Brunant participated in the Neapolitan War and the Crimean War (1853-1856).
In 1882, Filip Van Buskirk became the first democratically elected president in Brunant's history, with an amendment of the constitution. 1881 saw King Johan I deposed during armed uprisings in Cape Cross and Koningstad, succeeded by his son Pieter II.
1880s and 1890s
Under Pieter II, Brunant quickly industrialized to become a major arms and ship manufacturer; however, there were still many people who lived in poverty, as industrialization was unequal. Especially in rural areas there was much dissatisfaction, which subsided in the early 1900's.
World War I
In 1914 World War I broke out in Europe. In February 1915, Brunant declared war on German for various reasons, primarily the invasion of Belgium. Thousands of Brunanters went to France between 1915 and 1917. In total 6900 soldiers served overseas, with nearly 4000 dead. This was the highest casualty rate in any war for Brunant, not even surpassed during World War II. The Koningstad Shipyard supplied some ships to the Triple Entente during Brunant in World War I. In 1917 prohibition was introduced, under various pretenses but in reality many of the politicians in favor looked to make a lot of money because of it. Prohibition would quickly be repealed.
In 1919 Brunant fell into an economic slump, due to a general slowdown of industry. The economy found it hard to rebound from wartime production and many prewar businesses collapsed. The depression affected business as a whole and has been compared to the German economic crisis in 1922. The economy rebounded by 1923 but subsequent growth was rather minimal. Communism and socialism began to rise as a credible force under Maarten Dolmatoff, who was elected prime minister and was able to survive a whole term in office. He would be elected president just before the Great Depression. The depression only struck Brunant in 1930 and 1931 but would hit Brunant hard. With conservative Prime Minister Andrew Reading from 1929 to 1931 and a moderate leftist succeeding him till 1933, there was much political conflict with the president. Dolmatoff enacted some nationalization policies through special measures but the economy suffered hard and his initial support fell. Subsequently the economy was hit hard due to much mismanagement, but under conservative Johan Meier, the economy was somewhat revived due to decentralization and abandoning the gold standard.
For most people these changes were not really felt. Unemployment fell to record levels of 21% in 1934 and ushered in the Liberals for two years, after which the conservatives returned to power.
World War II
Brunant declared its neutrality in the late 1930s but began preparing for war in 1940, following the invasion and occupation of Denmark, Norway, France, Belgium and other countries. Despite this there was still much hope and belief that small Brunant would not be invaded.
In May 1941, Nazi Germany invaded the island. Minimal preparations had been undertaken that day, only after word of a German invasion of Cyprus. German paratroopers were landed near the capital and easily conquered it. The Royal family fled overseas and much of the Army and Navy was sent to Alexandria (where they would later take part in Allied operations).
A puppet government was set up, but the German Army, commanded by Heinrich Schneider, were really in control. The Underground Revolution movement was the main group opposing the Nazis and from 1941 on they were sabotaging military supplies and hunting down collaborators.
Cold War years
Brunant took some time to recover from the effects of the war. From 1945 to 1973 the country would be led by a succession of leftist to centrist governments who enacted a variety of social and economic programs that proved vital in kick-starting the economy.
During the Cold War, Brunant was officially unaligned with any major power, though not a member of the Non-Aligned Movement. But, most government tended to lean more towards the west and in particular western European nations. During the cold war Brunanter companies built vessels and equipment for the militaries of Italy and Greece, both aligned with NATO. During the 1970s the Soviets began "investigating" Brunant, most famously in 1975, and it is believed they had spies in the government. Brunant set up the Intelligence Office as a counter to this. The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of the extremist Barzona Libre movement. Following early armed robberies and kidnappings they moved on to higher-profile assassinations and violent attacks, gaining condemnation from most. In 1977 they orchestrated the Ambroos Station Bombins, killing fifteen bystanders. Heavy response, including the formation of the antiterrorist AMTACT unit led to better opposition and the eventual ceasefire declared by BL in 1983.
Brunant also began a period where the arts and sports flourished after the war. Film, literature and art were led by The Exiles group who led the foundation for the modern arts culture in the country. Sport was also further developed with the improvement of the domestic football league, the creation of the Brunanter Basketball League and the Brunant national football team's two World Football Championship titles in 1980 and 1984.
Brunant was rocked by several protests in 1968 by students and workers, mostly in Koningstad. A quick and sudden flare in violence practically spelled the end of the protests in just over a week but had great impact. The government was able to reform education and workplace regulations and implemented better and reformed the education system. Further reforms brought about a national healthcare plan and the beginning of the modern "welfare state" in Brunant.
By the 1970s Brunant was looking into European integration. A number of tariffs were removed and saw cheaper goods come into Brunant but led to the end of much of Brunant's manufacturing, in particular the automotive industry. In 1982 Brunant joined the European Union, becoming the 11th nation to join the organization. Brunant adopted the Euro in 2002.
Brunant participated in the War in Afghanistan from 2003 to 2008, being one of the smallest participant nations. Brunant was also involved in the Burenian invasion of Lovia, with only naval participation. Both of these engagements, while primarily non-combat have seen significant opposition by many who feel that military spending and activity should be curtailed.
Recession and recent years
The 2008 recession did not affect Brunant heavily until 2009, and a broadly leftist government coming to power saw the introduction of welfare measures to boost the economy. By 2014 the government has been forced to cut back on spending due to a dipping economy; while Brunant is formally out of the recession now it wants to mitigate the chance of economic uncertainty for the recent future.