New Courland

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New Courland, officially the Duchy of New Courland, is a country in the Caribbean, close to Trinidad and Tobago. Originally a colony of the duchy of Courland and Semigallia (together with a part of Tobago), it was occupied by several other colonial powers, including the Dutch and the Spanish, before it became part of the British Empire in 1814 as part of the Trinidad and Tobago colony; the main island of New Courland was renamed Carolina. In the interbellum and after the second world war, many Latvians and Lithuanians settled on Carolina and when the colony became independent in 1962, Carolina left Trinidad and Tobago, forming its own duchy within the Commonwealth of Nations.


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New Courland
country in America
Official name: Duchy of New Courland

Capital: Louise Charlotte

Area: ca. 450 km2

Population: 173,000 (2011)

Population density:
ca. 384.44 inh./km2

Form of government:
constitutional monarchy

Demonym: New Curonian

Official languages: English (administrative),
Latvian, Spanish, etc.

National holiday: 15 September

Currency: Thaler

News: New Courland Observer

Flag:

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Etymology

The name New Courland is obviously derived from the original European country of Courland, that however continues to exist only as a region in modern-day Latvia. In Latvian it is called Jauna Kurzeme, in Spanish Nueva Curlandia, although only the English version of the name is official. The official demonym is New Curonian, although New Courland and locally variants without New are used as well. Similarly, the inhabitants of New Courland are called (New) Curonians or (New) Courlanders.

Under British rule, the main island was known as Carolina, the smaller as The Far Island; since 1962, the islands are called respectively Grand Island (in Latvian Liela Sala, in Spanish Isla Grande) and Little Island (in Latvian Maza Sala, in Spanish Isla Pequeña), although Far Island (Tāla Sala resp. Isla Remota) is still used locally as well.

History

Referencearrow.png Main Article: History of New Courland

Demographics

On 1 January 2011, New Courland had approximately 173,000 inhabitants. The population growth rate is -0.24%. The life expectancy of females is 72.34 years, of males 68.28 years. Emigration from New Courland has been rather high in recent years. Most emigrants go to the United States, Canada, Europe or Brazil.

Although the main administrative language is English, several ethnic groups live on the island who speak their own, sometimes mixed, languages: Balts (Latvians, Latgalians, Lithuanians) 38%, Spaniards and Venezuelans (21%), Britons (13%), Africans (9%), Indian/South Asians (8%), Caribs (4%), French Creoles (2%), other (5%).

The main religions of New Courland are Anglicanism (28.7%) and Evangelical Lutheranism (26.2%). Other religions include Roman Catholicism (17.5%), Hinduism (8%) and Islam (5%).

Administrative division

Each of the eight major towns forms its own municipality.

Name Inhabitants Mayor Party Since
Louise Charlotte 61,000 Harry Griffith Conservative Party 2005
Zelta Kalni 33,000 Andris Volperts Progress and Development Party 2015
Yeovil 25,000 Thomas Seneviratne Progress and Development Party 2009
Jauna Piltene 19,000 Everett Bailey Progress and Development Party 2015
Penllergaer 14,000 Maxwell Becerra independent 2012
Kettler's Port 11,000 Benjamin Urquhart Conservative Party 2008
Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Dolor 7,000 Jorge Liñan independent 2015
Maza Osta / Little Harbour 3,000 Roger Halkett Progress and Development Party 2007

Before 1962, the capital Louise Charlotte was called Port Carolina. Louise Charlotte (1617 - 1676) was a duchess consort of Courland.

Politics

Referencearrow.png Main Article: Politics of New Courland

Since its independence in 1962, New Courland is a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth of Nations. The British head of state is also duke or duchess of New Courland. The executive consists of the prime minister and his government. The legislative is a unicameral parliament of 29 members, the Diet.

Foreign relations

New Courland is a member of ACP, the Exumbran Convention, the Commonwealth of Nations, Caricom, CDB, ECLAC, FAO, IADB, IBRD, ICAO, ICCt, ICRM, IDA, IFAD, IFC, ILO, IMF, IMO, Intelsat, Interpol, IOC, ISO, ITU, ITUC, LAES, NAM, OAS, OPCW, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNU, UPU, WCO, WFTU, WHO, WIPO, WMO, WTrO.

Current foreign minister is Andrejs Berķis, since 13 December 2013.

Economy

New Courland is a modestly wealthy country with an economy based on a small petroleum industry, tourism and manufacturing, but financial services can also be found in the country. However, in many aspects New Courland stands in the shadow of Trinidad and Tobago. Export goods include petroleum and petroleum products, LNG, ethanol, steel products, cereal and cereal products, sugar, cocoa, coffee, citrus fruit, vegetables, flowers. The country's main export partners are the U.S., the E.U. and South American countries. Import goods include machinery, transportation equipment, manufactured goods, food, chemicals, live animals. The main import partners are the US, Brazil, China, Canada and South Amercian countries.

The currency of New Courland is the Thaler, divided in 100 Groats.

The estimated unemployment was 4.3% in 2011.

In 2011, the estimated GDP was 2,487.57 million US$ (14,379 US$ per capita). By sector: agriculture 0.7%, industry 49.4%, services 49.9%. The estimated GDP growth was -2.1% in 2011.

Transport and infrastructure

The transport system of New Courland consists of a network of roads across the main island, ferries connecting Louise Charlotte with Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Dolor and Little Harbour as well as with towns in Trinidad and Tobago. Near Louise Charlotte, the 'Willem Mollens' international airport is located. Public transportation include public buses, private taxis as well as trains between Louise Charlotte and Zelta Kalni.

New Courland's infrastructure is developing steadily; around the capital the roads are of good quality, but further remote much still needs to be improved. All major towns on the Grand Island can be reached by car, but the way to Nuestra Señora del Perpetuo Dolor makes a significant detour; therefore most people prefer to take the ferry to Louise Charlotte instead of driving. The international airport has been too small for the traffic that it processes for several years, and expansion has been planned but has not started yet. In the '80, a railroad was built between the capital and the town of Zelta Kalni (resulting in the building of the country's only tunnel as well), much to the dismay of many, as its necessity was (and according to some remains) questionable; Zelta Kalni has however grown slightly faster than expected since the railway was put in use, as it has proven a much more reliable connection than the roads that connect it to Louise Charlotte.

New Courland's internet code is .dn

Geography and climate

New Courland consists of two inhabited islands and several smaller uninhabited islands. Geologically, the country is part of South America, but the language and culture of New Courland are generally considered closer to the West Indies. The country exists of one large island (aptly called Grand Island), one smaller island (Little Island), both of which are inhabited. There are several uninhabited smaller islands, the most prominent of which are the three lying in between Grand and Little Island: the Three Kings, individually called Caspar, Balthasar and Melchior (from south to north).

The country's highest point is the Mount Elizabeth, which is 815 metres above sea level. Other ultras of New Courland are Sunshine Peak (771 m), Mount Relief (702 m), Mount Beatrice (638 m) and Sievasmāte (485 m), the last of which is the highest point of Little Island. The climate is tropical. There are two seasons annually: the dry season for the first six months of the year, and the wet season in the second half of the year. Winds are predominantly from the northeast and are dominated by the northeast trade winds. Unlike most of the other Caribbean islands, New Courland has frequently escaped the destruction of major hurricanes.

Culture and sport

Popular sports in New Courland include cricket and rugby, but football/soccer and basketball are also played a lot.

National identity

Since the country's independence, many governments have tried to revive some of the Courland aspects of their history, although more than 150 years of British rule has formed some sides of the country almost irreversably. English remains as administrative language one of the most important bridges between the country's several ethnic groups and the connection with the British crown isn't likely to be broken neither any time soon. Names of several towns that are mostly inhabited by Balts, were changed however into their original Curonian names after 1962. The fact that the country is a duchy also reminds of the original duchy of Courland, as do other symbolic names and institutes (the parliament: 'Diet', the currency: 'Thaler').

Names

Due to the multiethnic character of New Courland, given names of various ethnic groups regularly appear in other groups, throwing overboard rules, if any, which are connected to certain languages. Baltic names often loose their final -s (for masculine names) and family names keep only one form in stead of adopting a feminine form as is customary in the Baltic languages. The spelling of names may also differ: often the spelling of the language is chosen in which the name has ended up. On the other hand, families that aren't of mixed origin tend to stick to the naming system of their original languages.

New Courland in other languages

  • Adzhatic: Нăве Кўʀзіе (Năve Kŭŕzie)
  • Danish: Ny Kurland
  • Dutch: Nieuw Koerland
  • Estonian: Uus-Kuramaa
  • Finnish: Uusi Kuurinmaan
  • French: Nouvelle Courlande
  • German: Neukurland
  • Harrawi: New Kuurku
  • Hungarian: Új-Kurföld
  • Italian: Nuova Curlandia
  • Kaupelanese: Nyukurlan
  • Latvian: Jauna Kurzeme
  • Lithuanian: Naujasis Kuršas
  • Luxembourgish: Neikurland
  • Polish: Nowa Kurlandia
  • Portuguese: Nova Curlândia
  • Russian: Новая Курляндия (Novaya Kurlyandiya)
  • Spanish: Nueva Curlandia
  • Swedish: Nya Kurland
  • Tarmoryan: نوفة کرلاندة (Kurlande Nufe)
  • Voskian: Neē Kurōnia
  • Yukkish: Njé Kúrlænd
  • Yutyraman: Kurywy Pyjaú

Links

Official website