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Monarchy in New Tarajan
Two Sicilies-Tarajan
The Royal coat of arms of the Kings of New Tarajan

Style

His Majesty

First monarch

Sigismund Heinrich II

Actual monarch

Friederick Wilhelm II of New Tarajan

Formation

1595

Residence

Royal Palace of Astana

Appointer

Hereditary

The Monarchy of New Tarajan (Tarajani Monarchy) is the sytem of government of the Kingdom of New Tarajan, officially established in 1595 with the proclamation of Sigismund Heinrich II Van Vinkel as first King of Tarajan by the Major Houses of the Landsraad.

History and evolution

Although a monarchical tradition was already well established in the lands of Tarajan under Ajanic domination, it was not part of the political culture of the Antanaresian invaders who conquered the country in the XVI century. Coming from a land reknown for its fragmentation and lack of political unity, the Antanaresian lords who established themselves upon the ashes of the Ajanic power considered themselves to be absolute lords inside their own dominions, without any kind of higher authority upon them: it was as pairs that they began to gather inside the Landsraad, the assembly of all Antanaresian lords of Tarajan.

However, the influence of Ajanic political culture didn't vanish, and, together with the cultural influence coming from countries with a strong monarchical tradition like Duresia and Eurasia (from where many of the lords claimed descendancy), it soon developed its own roots inside the new political environment of Tarajan. This new concept found fertile ground particularly in the House Van Vinkel: made up of ambitious rulers, who successfully tried to free themselves from the shadow of House Van Geldern (Gustav, the first recognized leader of the Antanaresian invaders, came from that House) and who finally destroyed the last remnants of Ajanic power in Astana at the middle of the century, House Van Vinkel found in the monarchical ideal a way to give more solid foundations to its rising power and influence among the Houses of the Landsraad.

It was this ideal which triggered the series of internecine conflicts between House Van Vinkel and the rest of the Landsraad, making up a sort of circle: the more House Van Vinkel based itself on the principle of unified leadership, the more the Landsraad was willing to oppose it, and this gave more ground for the Van Vinkels to centralize their power, attracting even other noble Houses. This process eventually culminated in the Second Battle of Himeraa (15th April 1595) where the Landsraad suffered a crushing defeat, and was thus forced to acclaim Sigismund Heinrich II Van Vinkel as first King of Tarajan. The subsequent coronation (1597) didn't mean the end of the feudal system in Tarajan: the new monarchy couldn't survive without the support of the Houses.

Sigismund Heinrich II 3

Sigismund Heinrich II Van Vinkel, the founder of modern Tarajani monarchy.

This intrinsic weakness meant that, at the first sign of trouble, there could be another war between the Crown and the Landsraad, and this was exactly what happened after the death of Sigismund Heinrich II, under Heinrich III (1598 - 1613) and his successors. What saved the young Tarajani monarchy from falling was not only the ability and courage of the sovereigns, but also the opportunity (which they duly exploited) of linking the cause of the monarchy with that of independence from Antanaresian hegemony: indeed, while Antanares was going under a first process of political unification, that also meant that the Antanaresians were far more willing then before to transform their cultural hegemony upon the lords of Tarajan (who still valued greatly their origins) in political domination. The Landsraad exploited the Antanaresians intentions calling for support in their struggle against the Crown. But this move allowed the kings to present themselves as champions of Tarajani independence against Antanares. It was a fundamental event in the political evolution of the monarchy in Tarajan, which created a consciousness of the Crown as a stronghold of Tarajani freedom, while at the same time creating the assumptions for the birth of a true, independent, Tarajani culture.

The end of the struggle between Crown and aristocracy was achieved only in 1652, when the Major Houses and Sigismund VI signed the Second Capitolum Pacis, which recognized the importance of the landed aristocracy as a pillar of the administrative structure of the Kingdom, while making the Crown's existence no more questionable. With the end of the so-called Sigismundian Age and the subsequent Heinrichian Age (also called the Age of Expansion), the Kingdom of Tarajan was involved in an incredible growth of its economic, political and military power; the new era of prosperity contributed to the increase of the power and prestige of the Crown. However, a new challenge rose with the explosion of the Liberal Revolution in 1789: the attempts of Conrad I (1790 - 1808) to use the revolution as a way to get rid of the Landsraad as a political actor, which culminated in the crushing defeat suffered by the Landsraad forces at the Second Battle of Horatstadt (5th - 13th December 1791), soon proved to backfire against the monarchy. It was during these years that there has been the first, serious, effort to substitute the House Van Vinkel on the Tarajani throne: although this attempt (led by Rudolf De Ruyter, famous revolutionary and military leader) proved unsuccessful, it also demonstrated how, in Tarajani general consciousness, the idea of a consolidated monarchy was no more reversible. House Van Vinkel survived the challenge only thanks to the change of side made by Friederick Wilhelm I (1808 - 1814) in favour of the Landsraad, a decision which definitely linked the Crown and the aristocracy to a common fate.

Conrad III

An official portrait of Conrad III, the restorer of Tarajani monarchy. Under his reign, the Crown increasingly reenacted the ceremonial and symbols of the ancient Ajanic imperial power, which was ideologically used to support the absolutist policies of the sovereign.

The XIX century saw the stabilization of the cooperation between the landed aristocracy of the Major Houses and the Crown, under the auspices of the new liberal regime reigning in Tarajan. A negative demonstration of how the link between these two fundamental components of Tarajani culture and politics was so strict, was the Tarajani Revolution of 1914, when the monarchy was abolished together with the Landsraad. The subsequent struggle for the restoration of the ancient regime (the Tarajani Civil War) sealed once and for all the aristocracy and the Crown in their common attempts to come back to power, finally coronated by success in 1944. From that moment on, despite the absolutist policies enacted by Conrad III (1940 - 1975), the aristocracy and the Crown have lived in alliance and constant collaboration, and a stable, well-defined, regime, which establishes the monarchy as the unifying force of Tarajan, leaving the Landsraad as its political and administrative (maybe also social) backbone.

The Monarchy today

As mentioned above, the reign of Conrad III marked a significant change from the past: casting aside the alliance between monarchy and liberalism which had reigned in Tarajan for the whole XIX century, the king adopted an absolutist style of government, believing it to be the only antidote in order to overcome the remnants of the communist regime and to avoid the repeat of the events of 1914. This new absolutist way (well represented by the decision of the sovereign to personally detain also the rank of Chancellor and Prime Minister) found an unsuspected ideologically support in the constant reenactment of the ceremonial and symbols of the ancient Ajanic imperial power, which were never used by Tarajani kings before, even after the proclamation of the Empire in 1864. It was during his reign that the kings of Tarajan adopted the title of Shah of all the Ajans in their official titolature.

The situation began to change after the coronation of Conrad IV (1975 - 2007), who abandoned some of the most absolutist elements of the previous regime, and was finally reverted under Friederick Wilhelm II (2007 - ), who restored the alliance between monarchy and liberalism on the new grounds offered by the XXI century. His first move in this sense was the renunciation to the rank of Prime Minister, thus inaugurating a new series of independent executives, followed by the approval of the birth of the first post-war socialist party in the Kingdom, a general amnisty, and a continuous support for the enactment of liberal policies in the country.

All of this was followed, in 2008, by a widespread political reform, which gave the Diet a more important role as legislative body and representative of the non-aristocratic elements of Tarajani society. Although no official opposition was brought by the Landsraad, the reform created ground for dissatisfaction among the lords, with fears that the king was going to dissolve the political alliance between Crown and Landsraad. These fears, however, soon proved to be unnecessary, since Friederick Wilhelm always kept his action well inside the limits of Tarajani political constitution, while keeping going ahead with his Liberal Project.

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