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|Acadian Overseas Territory of Gilneas
|Anthem: Le Chant des Girondins
(English: The Song of the Girondists)
|Official languages||English, French|
|Recognised regional languages||Latin, Serbian|
|Currency||Acadian franc (
|Drives on the||Right|
Gilneas, officially the Acadian Overseas Territory of Gilneas (French: Territoire acadien d'outre-mer de Gilneas), is an Acadian colony located to the northwest of the United Provinces. It was originally founded by an ambitious group of people looking to found a colony in 1995, who claimed it for Puffle'and. The colony passed hands between Puffle'and and Snowiny for a few years, but after years of little growth, the newly founded Acadia, which was looking to start a colonial empire, bought it for millions of dollars in 2005, and Gilneas became Acadia's first colony.
Ever since its purchase, the island has experienced rapid growth, and is currently Acadia's wealthiest colony, with a high GDP and standard of living. Though previously based mostly on natural resources, the colony's economy has switched to tourism and exports and imports, which are now the largest sectors of the economy. Many visit the economy each year to witness its natural beauty and the famed High Penguin ruins which exist on many places around the island. Gilneas is also the most militarily powerful of Acadia's colonies, second to only Acadia itself.
Ruins across Gilneas suggest that a group of people occupied the island hundreds of years before, and are implied to be High Penguins. The first settlers reported seeing ruins of old towns and writing in an old language that was discovered to be the old High Penguin languages. The Acadian government eventually sent scientists and archaeologists to find out more about Gilneas's past. They concluded that a thriving civilization of High Penguins existed on Gilneas around the middle ages, possibly colonists from the High Penguin Confederacy. For an unknown reason, the High Penguins eventually all left the island.
Gilneas was originally founded in 1995 by a group of Colonial Antarctican entrepreneurs who were looking to set up a colony on new lands to exploit its resources. A team of explorers and scientists began searching Antarctica for uninhabited or undiscovered lands to settle in. After a few weeks of searching, an exploration team discovered a medium sized uninhabited island to the northwest of Snowiny and claimed it for Puffle'and. They quickly radioed the mainland and began setting up camp. After they got in touch with the mainland, they began to start building a colony.
Before any major operations to harvest any natural resources were able to commence, the Colonial Antarctica War broke out in 1999, effectively halting any major operations. Additionally, major Puffish blockades before and during the war prevented almost any people or goods to make it to the colony. Though still considered a Puffish colony during this time as there were no attempts to declare independence from Puffle'and, Gilneas was almost an independent country, with Puffle'and being too busy with dealing with a revolution on the mainland to exert control over Gilneas.
After the end of the war, Gilneas, which was considered a Puffish colony de jure, was ceded to Snowiny, the closest country to it. However, Snowiny was going through a civil war, and saw little use for a colony, which cost more money, and thus Gilneas was neglected. As the Snowinn Civil War was breaking out at the time, many refugees fled to Gilneas from Snowiny, expanding the population from 40,000 to 60,000 by 2003. However, in 2005, Acadia, which had been founded after the Colonial Antarctica War, was looking for colonies, in order to set up a colonial empire, the ambitions of the President at the time, Greg Cleanington. He bought the island from Snowiny for millions of dollars, and Gilneas became Acadia's first colony.
Excited at the prospect of having a colonial empire like the much larger and powerful countries of Castilla, Francterre, and Puffle'and, the Acadian government poured in a lot of money into their new colony, to build infrastructure and encourage development and expansion. A new city was founded in the north of the island to serve as the colony's new capital, which was named Cleanington after the Acadian President at the time, though Greg Cleanington himself disagreed with the naming choice, replacing the old de facto capital, Greenfield, to the south.
The Acadian government poured a lot of money into the construction of Cleanington, and also hired many private companies and builders to help in its construction. By the time President Greg Cleanington left the office of President in 2010, Gilneas was much larger and richer than before the period of Acadian rule, and had a population of around 200,000, having grown greatly from a population of about 100,000 over a period of five years. This investment by the Acadians set the economy of Gilneas on a path that continues to grow to this day.
The following two presidents Dominic Smith, and Brant Esser, have also invested in the growth of Gilneas, but not as much as Greg Cleanington. By 2015, twenty years since its founding, Gilneas reached a population of about 280,000, and is expected to grow even further. Though Acadia acquired four more colonies since then, Alexandria, Alinor, Myr, and New Caseusopolis, Gilneas is the richest colony, and is considered Acadia's most important colony, providing a valuable base for Acadian soldiers, but also controlling local shipping lanes, many of which are recently established.
Gilneas's government is a part of Acadia's, and thus the two government share the same system. The head of state and government in Gilneas is the governor, who is assisted by the Lieutenant Governor and his cabinet. There are also two other branches, the legislative, which consists of the unicameral Parliament, and the judicial, which consists of the Supreme Court of Gilneas. The 25 seats in the Gilnean Parliament are up for election every five years, like in Acadia, while High Court justices are appointed by the Governor should the need arise.
Gilneas's government is under the control of Acadia, which has the final decision in Gilnean politics, and has the ability to shut down the Gilnean government and rule the colony directly. However, the Acadian government in Delphi rarely interferes with politics in Cleanington, meaning that Gilneas has a high degree of autonomy from Acadia. The lack of Acadian government interference in Gilneas has led many Acadians to move to Gilneas throughout the years to escape the often authoritarian laws and policies of the Acadian government in Delphi.
Gilneas's economy primarily relies on exports, which are shipped out to the Acadian mainland or other countries. Farming, mining, and manufactured goods are usually shipped from around the island first to the Port of Cleanington, where they are shipped around Antarctica. Additionally, farming and mining are also large parts of the economy alone, though mining has relatively decreased over the years as companies have instead turned towards the resource rich and larger Alinor for precious minerals. Tourism is also a decent part of the economy, but is a relatively small business.
Gilneas is Acadia's richest colony, with a GDP higher than that of Myr, which is a much larger colony, and makes up a large part of the economy of the Acadian colonies as an entity. In the past, many of Acadia's natural resources and farming came from Gilneas, but those industries have begun to decrease as urbanization continues to expand across the medium sized island. While natural resources such as oil and minerals continue to be a large part of the economy, exports and imports, and tourism are now the largest sector of the economy.
Additionally, Gilneas also has the lowest unemployment rate in the colonies, at around 2%, which is lower than the unemployment rate of Metropolitan Acadia, at around 4.3%. However, the failed Acadian involvement in the Bow Tie War and the reparations Acadia was forced to pay after the war dealt a blow on the Acadian economy throughout the country, with Gilneas taking a blow like the other colonies. However, recent trade with the Western Union nations, along with increased oil production helped the Gilnean, and also Acadian economies go up again.
Gilneas's culture is a mix of Puffish and Acadian cultures, since the original settlers were Puffish and Gilneas is owned by Acadia, along with the fact that most of the settlers to Gilneas in the years after Acadia acquired Gilneas as a colony were Acadian. However, the island has a rather large Snowinian influence as well, stemming from when the island was owned by Snowiny. Some pockets on the island still speak Serbian, with some Serbian language signs appearing in some parts of the island, and some towns have Snowinian architecture.
A large Francterran population, escaping the Snoss occupation of Francterre in 2010, settled in Gilneas, influencing the culture of the territory, and Gilneas has also received recent Francterran immigration as well. The largest Francterran population in the territory exists in the district of Lautrec, named after a Francterran city, in Cleanington, which has a population of about 21,347 ethnic Francterrans. Other major ethnic groups in Gilneas include Candvians, most of whom recently immigrated to Gilneas, along with many Yowiens as well.
Gilneas consists of four islands, one main island, also called Gilneas, and three smaller islands. Most of the population lives on the main island, with the smaller islands mainly being a tourist destination. Gilneas is mostly flat, but has some low hills in its interior. There is one major river, the Howe River, which runs from the hills to the ocean at Port Howe, and there are no lakes. Most of the island is dominated by forest, and some fields, though urbanization has led to the amount of forest decreasing in the past few years.
Gilneas, being located farther is considerably warmer than Acadia, and most of the Antarctic mainland, and has warmer winters and warmer summers. The island has a temperate climate, and rains throughout most of the year, causing the green vegetation on the island. This less harsh climate attracted many settlers in the early days of the colony, as it was warmer throughout the year and was better for farming. The island also receives minimal amounts of snow throughout the winter, though much less than most of the Antarctic.
Gilneas is the only territory outside of Metropolitan Acadia to have divided highways built under the Acadian Autoroute system, with the divided highways being built after Acadia acquired Gilneas as an Acadian colony in 2005. As of 2018, there are two divided highways built under the Acadian Autoroute system, Autoroute 1 and Autoroute 11, with Autoroute 1 linking the three major Gilnean cities of Greenfield, Port Howe, and the capital of Cleanington, with Autoroute 11 connects the districts of Cleanington and the airport to each other.
Additionally, air travel has been an important source of travel since the Cleanington International Airport's completion in 2010. Rail travel, however, is a new source of transportation, began only after the Cleanington Metro's completion in 2016. In 2017, an additional rail line, connecting Cleanington to Greenfield, was completed. Two additional lines, which would connect Cleanington to Port Howe, and Greenfield to Port Howe, are due to be completed in 2018. Sea travel is the oldest source of transportation in Gilneas, with it being the most common method of travel in its early days.
Throughout most of the colony's history, defense was provided by the Acadian Defense Forces, with a small force of around 5,000 stationed in the colony. Additional defense was provided by a volunteer militia, the Gilnean Public Defense Forces, which consisted of around 2,000 volunteer members. However, during the Antarctic War on Terror, the Colonial Defense Act allowed Gilneas to found and maintain a professional military force, known as the Gilnean Colonial Forces, which currently has around 2,500 active soldiers as of 2019 and mostly defends Gilneas and the surrounding sea.