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The term Licentian civilisation (also the Licentian microcivilisation) is used to describe the defining historical, cultural and social patterns or other Human phenomena shared by all former and existing micronational states that owe their ancestry to the Kingdom of Licentia. It is commonly used to refer to the greater Licentian community, which is notable for it's comparitively rich collective culture and social diversity, rather than to describe any of the three specific groupings of the Licentian people. As is the case with many aspects of micronational society and culture, the history of Licentian civilisation reflects the condensed evolution of a complex society, and the timeline of the microcivilisation can be divided into a number of historical periods.
It is generally agreed that, as of April 2009, the Licentian microcivilisation is at the height of it's cultural and political influence and power. The population of the Licentian people is at an all-time high and all seven Licentian countries remain in existance today, in addition to an eighth country that seeks to restore Classical Licentian culture and politics. The cultural achievements of the Licentian people have been praised by other micronational figures within the MicroWiki Community and Licentian civilisation stands out within the community as being one of very few microcivilisations with a strong and distinct micronational racial identity. The Union of Socialist Micronational Republics, the largest and most successful of the Licentian states, has legally recognised the existance of a Licentian civilisation.
Most Erusian scholars have agreed that the history of the Licentian civilisation begins in 2004, three years prior to the founding of the Kingdom of Licentia, when the concept of the Licentian civilisation first began to develop and the earliest known communities of Licentians evolved. As such, it is generally agreed that the history of the Licentian civilisation is best divided into the following stages:
- Old Kingdom Period
- Pre-Dynastic Era
- Early Dynastic Era
- Late Dynastic Era
- Intermediate Period
- Second Dyansty
- Modern Period
- Erusian Era
- Unification Era
- New Kingdom Period
The Old Kingdom Period is, by accepted academic conventions in the USMR, the longest in the history of the Licentian civilisation. It has no definitive beginning but spans a period of more approximately four years, beginning in 2004 and coming to an end only in late 2008. This period in history marks the beginning of the Licentian civilisation itself, from it's humble beginnings as a cultural development project to the rise and eventually the fall of the Kingdom of Licentia. Some regard the Old Kingom as the First Golden Age of the Licentian civilisation, all though this belief is typically only shared by supporters of the original Licentian Monarchy.
The Pre-Dynastic Era, also known as the Era of Genesis, began sometime in early 2004 and lasted until October 2007. The Pre-Dyanstic Era marked the beginning of the Licentian civilisation when it's spiritual father, P. J. Gaffney, first began to plan the construction of a rich and vibrant culture that he hoped would one day become independent from macronational cultures and be recognised by the world. Around 2006, nearly two years into the Pre-Dynastic Period, the first distinct community of Licentians emerged with the purpose of promoting the project and working towards establishing the new state - at this time however, the concept of establishing a micronation had not yet been fully contemplated and as such the original community of Licentians is different to the founding members of the Kingdom of Licentia.
The most notable achievements in the Pre-Dynastic Era come in the form of the cultural foundations of the Licentian civilisation. Most notably, the now-lost Traditional Licentian language was developed during this time, a language that would be used and developed well into the following Early Dynastic Era. Many of the social and cultural norms of later Licentian society were established during this period of the Old Kingdom, making this age the era of Licentia's cultural genesis. The Pre-Dynastic Era comes to a close formally on October 26th 2007 with the establishing of the Kingdom of Licentia, beginning the Early Dynastic Era.
Early Dyanstic Era
The Early Dynastic Era marks the foundation and the rise of the Kingdom of Licentia, beginning on October 26th 2007 with the official coronation of King Colum II of Licentia and his subsequent ascension to the Throne. During this time period, the Kingdom of Licentia consisted of three Principalities - Kalin, Skia and Payon - and was also part of a Royal Union with the Royal Kingdom of Galekenna, ruled by the King's father Colum I of Licentia, who is also regarded as the first King of the McKenna Dynasty by Licentian custom.
For much of the Early Dynastic Era, the Kingdom of Licentia prospered. All though the nation had been established as a Constitutional Monarchy, King Colum II resincded this constitution merely days after his ascension to the throne and ruled over the nation as an Absolute Monarch. All though Communist propaganda from later periods often paints this era as one of decadence and widespread corruption, many Licentians - including many Socialists - now agree that the reign of King Colum II was generally a good time for the Licentian people in contrast with many other monarchies. During this time much of Licentia was ruled by members of the Nobility appointed directly by the Crown and there was no such thing as a civilian government - the vast majority of the population were, however, content with this system. The first months of the era saw the continued development of the culture of the Licentian people as new social customs and traditions began to emerge amongst the Nobility and general population, and many of these cultural principles (such as selfless community service, thrift and good naturedness towards one's countrymen) can be seen in modern Licentian states.
The government of the Early Dynastic Era was powerful but largely decentralised. Each Principality had absolute authority in dealing with it's own internal affairs, and this authority was transferred down into the lower divisions of land. Power in national government - specifically the Cabinet of Royal Ministers - was concentrated in a group of extremely powerful nobles known as High Lords. They were not permitted to rule over land but helped in the governance of the nation as a whole and only the Monarch could over-rule their decisions. Unlike the Monarchy, High Lords were appointed by the Crown and their children did not inherit their titles, as was the convention for all senior members of the nobility who were not Royals. The High Lords were generally competent and extremely proficient in their duties, directing political and economic work through their Ministries and through the Royal Court itself, which was the closest institution Licentia had to a national legislature. The most prominent of the High Lords during this time was High Lord Grimshaw, who became the executor of the Crown's will in both internal and foreign affairs.
The government and society of the Early Dynastic Era did have many flaws however. Social mobility was painfully low - with power being concentrated in a complex hierarchy of appointed nobles, the number of political positions available quickly diminished and denied normal citizens the opportunity to contribute direct to the nation. The legal system of the Old Kingdom was also in dire need of overhaul and this became increasingly apparent as time wore on - the judiciary was synomynous with the executive and the administrative branches of government. Social equality was also low, with homosexuals and foreign nationals being denied (albeit unintentionally) certain fundamental rights, with the holes in the legal system going as far as to legalise rape and murder in certain circumstances.
In the penulimate month of the Early Dynastic Era, the former Royal Advisor and the creator of Licentia - the micronational Communist P. J. Gaffney - lead a small revolution against the Crown and established the Democratic People's Republic of Bzan from his estate. A number of Licentians elected to follow him to this new nation, dealing a hard blow to the Monarchy of the Old Kingdom. This marked the end of the Early Dynastic Period and the beginning of the Late Dynastic Period, which saw the rapid decline and eventual collapse of the Old Kingdom. It is worth noting that most articles of cultural and historical importance from the Old Kingdom originate in the Early Dynastic Era. There are more than 30 unique cultural treasures in the archives of the USMR's culture agency from this time period.
Late Dyanstic Era
The Late Dynastic Era begins with the seperation of Bzan from the Kingdom. The opening days of the era mark the beginning of the downfall of King Colum II and his Kingdom as a whole. The loss of Licentia's spiritual father, who had been the force driving it's cultural development, lead to stagnation in all aspects of Licentian development. Social unrest in the Kingdom rose noticably and the popularity of the Monarchy began to decline significantly. All though Bzan inevitably collapsed in May 2008 (scholars remain divded as to whether or not the Kingdom was responsible for this), the damage to the Old Kingdom was done and Licentian society began to collapse on itself. The unrest of the Late Dynastic Kingdom culminated in a second Socialist revolution within the Kingdom itself, attempting to depose the Monarchy and establish a Soviet Republic in it's place. All though the Kingdom itself persisted as an independent state, this revolution was the death blow for the Monarchy.
All though the King never formally abdicated, the duties of the Crown passed on to Queen Deanna I of Licentia, the consort to the Royal House and an extremely popular figure in Licentian society to this date. She is generally regarded as being the third Monarch of the dynasty and the second to rule the Licentia, despite never being crowned Queen as a Monarch in her own right. She attempted to revive the Licentian State with little to no success and, inevitably, the Kingdom collapsed on itself alongside the Socialist Republic, bringing to an end the Old Kingdom.
Many today regard the Late Dynastic Era as the most tragic in the history of Licentian society. The divide caused many cultural treasures to be lost as both sides fought one another for social dominance. The language of the Pre- and Early Dynastic Eras, Traditional Licentia, was destroyed forever as a result of the infighting and to this date no record of it's original translation matrix exists. Many valuable cultural items were intentionally destroyed by Socialists and Royalists alike in an effort to assert their dominance over the opposition. It was thought that New Licentian, a language developed very late in the Early Dynastic Era, had also been lost during this time - recently an Erusian citizen rediscovered the original translation matrix for the language, prompting a revival.
The Intermediate Period bridges the gap between the Old Kingdom and the Modern periods and witnessed a number of attempts to revive the Old Kingdom and the Socialist Licentian states alike. For much of the Intermediate Period, little was done to preserve Licentian culture and social customs, with active preservation and revival only beginning towards the end of the Period. Despite this, the spirit of the Licentian civilisation remained alive in the communities that had emerged after the Late Dynastic Era, and Licentian culture was surprisingly well preserved by the time of the Modern Period despite the events of the preceding eras.
The Second Dynasty is a term used to describe the two most notable attempts to revive the Kingdom of Licentia, all though the Monarchs involved were strictly speaking part of seperate dynasties being completely unrelated to one another.
The first of these attempts was the establishing of the Kingdom of Saorsa by Deanna I of Licentia, more commonly known now as Deanna the Great for her valiant work to keep the Old Kingdom alive. Saorsa gained the support of a number of former Nobles from the Kingdom of Licentia but inevitably failed to revive the Old Kingdom and, all though never officially dissolved, simply disappeared from history. Many now agree that this failure was because the Kingdom failed to live up to the ideals of the Old Kingdom and instead attempted to survive as a new micronation in it's own right.
The second and more popular attempt resulted in the formation of the United Royal Kingdom of Licentia and Bzan on October 20th 2008. The former King Colum II had attempted, at first successfuly, to unify the Bzanite and Licentian communities with the intention of building up a new land for both of them. This experiment lasted for only seven days however - on October 27th, the one year anniversary of the founding of the Kingdom of Licentia, the Kingdom was replaced by the Sovereign Royal Kingdom of Erusia, under the rule of King Peter I (not to be confused with P. J. Gaffney) - by Licentian custom, this makes him the fifth Monarch in the history of Licentia, and the second Monarch of the Second Dynasty by accepted academic conventions. The new Kingdom was shortlived however - the coalition with the Socialist Bzanites collapsed rapidly and lead to the First Red Reformation in November 2008, with the Communist Erusians dissolving the Kingdom and establishing the Democratic People's Republic of Erusia.
The Modern Period represents the resurgency of the Licentian microcivilisation and it's climb to power once more. It is generally agreed that the Modern Period has seen the civilisation thrive and prosper like never before, becoming a major political influence as well as a major cultural one. Whilst previous time periods in the history of the Licentian civilisation have been dominated by the Royalist faction of Licentian politics, the Modern Period marks the ascension of the Socialist faction to power, taking on the dominant leadership in Licentian society but also becoming the leading Communist force intermicronationally. Because the two eras within this period are not yet long enough ago to be documented historically, and because the effects of it's events are ongoing, they are not explained here.
New Kingdom Period
The New Kingdom Period is the regarded as the current period in Licentian history. The beginning of the New Kingdom has been marked by the refounding of the Kingdom of Licentia as an independent, seperate political entity to all the other Licentian states, with the support of the Socialist nations. Many believe that this acceptance of a new Royalist State, which is unprecedentent in post-revolutionary Licentian history, symbolises the healing of the Royalist-Socialist divide. In it's current form, the Licentian civilisation has reached the apex of it's political and cultural glory - the Union of Socialist Micronational Republics (which unifies Erusia, Bzan and Socialist Licentia) has achieved a position of prominence and respect within the MicroWiki Community. The re-establishment of the Kingdom comes at the same time as the Union government has committed itself to enhancing Erusian culture, sparking a LicentianRenaissance.
The Licentian microcivilisation has a long and distinguished linguistical history. The Licentian people have had some form of distinct language since the Pre-Dynastic Period, a traditional that has continued into the New Kingdom Period. Over the years, four distinct Licentian languages have emerged, all though it is worth noting that there is evidence of underdeveloped dialects of all four languages, the exact creators and origins of which are unknown.
Traditional and New Licentian
The earliest language, and the only language of the Pre-Dynastic Period, is the now-"extinct" Traditional Licentian, originally known simply as Licentian. Next to nothing of this language now remains. It was known for it's complex grammar rules (all though these rules are not as complex as though of Bzanish or Erusian), a common trait in all four languages. Traditional Licentian was fairly well developed over it's history, all though it was only truly finalised at the beginning of the Early Dynastic Era and was in use until the Late Dynastic Period. The original translation matrix had been lost in a devestating technical fault mid-way through the Era. Only one copy of the matrix remained in existance in the State Archives - during the Licentian June Revolution, one of the factions - either intentionally or inadvertently - destroyed the only surviving copy of the matrix and much of the translated material, killing the language. To this date it is unknown which party was responsible, as both were eager to keep the language alive for their own political platforms, indicating that the loss of data was accidental.
At the end of the Early Dynastic Era, a new form of Licentian - one more suitable for common use - began to emerge. This was termed New Licentian and came to dominate the Late Dynastic Era, gradually phasing out it's predecessor. Due to it's short life as the main language of Licentia no comprehensive translation system was ever created and the basic matrix was thought to have also been lost in the turmoil of the Late Dynastic Era. On April 18th 2009 however, an Erusian citizen discovered that he had the original translation matrix for New Licentian, having saved it during his time in Licentia. The rediscovery of the New Licentian language is regarded as one of the most, if not the, most important cultural discoveries from the Late Dynastic Era. Both Royalists and Socialists are committed to restoring the language for common use in both the Union and the New Kingdom.