|Governor-General of the United Imperial Crownlands of Hulstria and Gao-Soto|
Governor-General since 4430
|Crowns||Franz Leopold and Okatori Kanjiro|
|Official Title||Governor-General, the Elected Representative of His Imperial and Most Illustrous Majesty the Emperor of Hulstria and His Imperial and Heavenly Majesty the Mikado of Gao-Soto|
|Inaugural Holder||Karl van Gessel|
|Term Length||At the pleasure of the national electorate; no term limits imposed|
|Governor-General List||List of Governor-Generals|
The Governor-General of Hulstria and Gao-Soto, also known as the Governor-General of the Imperial Crownlands and officially known as the Governor-General, elected representative of the Emperor of Hulstria and the Mikado of Gao-Soto, is the elected representative of the Emperor of Hulstria and the Mikado of Gao-Soto of the United Imperial Crownlands of Hulstria and Gao-Soto in national and legislative affairs. The position was created in April of 2647 under the reign of Rudolph V of Hulstria while keeping Greater Hulstria a Consitutional Monarchy. Governors-General are considered the political leaders of Hulstria, unlike the Monarchy who are apolitical, and are usually fairly active; they help set policy and usually have a cause set out to accomplish, in some instances they venture into international affairs. The Governor-General also works with the Head of Government, the Staatsminister in Greater Hulstria, in policy making and overseeing Ministerial affairs on some occasions.
Compared to the other Head of State reigns in the history of modern Greater Hulstria, let it be elected or hereditary, the Governor-General position has remained one of the longest, most undisturbed Head of State time periods in Hulstria since the Dual Monarchy which lasted for over 107 years.
As of 3010 there have been a total of 48 Hulstrian Governor-Generals since its formation in 2647 with Heinrich I presiding over the first 10 over a span of 70 years; however Emperor Rudolph V was Sovereign over Karl van Gessel for a few months until his assassination in August of the same year the Governor-General was created and Heinrich II became the Sovereign over Wolfgang Reinhardt after his grandfather's death in 2714. The current Sovereign is Alexander II.
The Governor-General was not the first attempt in the history of Greater Hulstria to have an elected Head of State or a representative-like post for the Monarchy; the "Lord Protector of His Imperial Majesty's Government" was a position created after the formation of the 2nd Imperial Crownlands of Greater Hulstria by a royalist coalition led by the Imperial Hulstrian Party, restoring the Monarchy in the Congress of Kien, and replacing the republican Hulstrian Union government in 2551. The Lord Protector was also the first elected Head of State under a royalist banner in Greater Hulstria, as all previous positions such as Archon or Comrade Premier was under a communist or republican regime. The Lord Protector had similar job functions as the present Governor-General; worked with the Staatsminister, set policy etc but was looked upon as mainly ceremonial since the citizens during this time were mainly focused on the newly restored Monarch and Emperor rather than who was exactly Lord Protector. They did take part in electing Lord Protectors but overwhelming support for the Emperor overshadowed the position. This was one of the several reasons or perhaps stepping stones in 2607 for a measure to replace Lord Protector office with the Emperor himself, Rudolph V at the time, leaving the whole of Head of State completely hereditary. It was agreed by the majority, if not all, of the political parties and citizens that the Monarch would better help stablize the country. The "Lord Protector of His Imperial Majesty's Government" only lasted for about 57 years and was mainly dominated by either the Progressive Liberal Party of Hulstria or the Imperial Hulstrian Party.
The Head of State of Greater Hulstria would remain hereditary for the early and mid 2600s; during that era under Rudolph V saw the resurgence of the republican Patriciate Coalition and other Gao-Showa republican parties however Hulstria had an overtly royalist atmosphere that blocked virtually any attempts by them to undermine the Kaiser. However by the year 2640 the idea of re-opening Hulstria's Head of State to political parties was being debated in the Imperial Diet, the national legislature. The country as a whole stablized through the years, rose in prominence in international affairs, and had seen great economic prosperity, making Greater Hulstria one of the main business centers on Dovani. Hulstria was looked upon as a great example of a modern Constituional Monarcy though that did not stop the debate; even though Hulstria was dominated by royalists, the majority of them agreed that something along the lines of a representative for the Monarchy, like the Lord Protector, would not only attract more political activity but in the end keep the Emperor as the Soverign or the main ruler/central authority in the nation. It pleasured both sides by bringing in more democracy but at the same time kept the Monarch in place and limiting republicanism.
Early Beginning Edit
After years of deliberation and debate in the legislature, it was finally decided that the position of "Governor-General, elected representative of the Emperor of Hulstria" would be created, and was put to vote in 2645. The measure passed with a clear majority of 490 Imperial Diet members voting yes, 84 members voting no, and 76 members of the Imperial Diet abstaining. Elections were set for 2647 and it would be first time in 40 years the citizens of Greater Hulstria would cast their vote in Head of State elections. Many expected the elections to be very close and the voting to be split since because Hulstria had over eight active political parties, creating a possibility of several outcomes. Major contendors were Karl van Gessel, Spenzer Roderick, and Nicolaas van der Burgh, who all of them coincidently would become Governor-General later on in their political careers. The follow up to the elections was fairly tense and the candidates of their respective parties campaigned diligently across the Crownlands trying to convince the citizens that were the bust suited to represent the Monarch (and Greater Hulstria) in affairs and each candidate had their own reason why; it was one of the most talked about and anticpated elections in recent times in Greater Hulstria. Karl van Gessel himself and his party, the Hulsterreich Sozialdemokratische Partei was one of the leading advocates of (successfully) creating the post of Governor-General while Spenzer Roderick instead successfully lead the resurgence of the Fascist Authority Party and Nicolaas van der Burgh revolutionized the Hulstrian Nationalist Party by extensive reforms within; all these parties had large representation in the Diet and were the main three contenders. In the end result in the elections of April, 2647, Karl van Gessel and Spenzer Roderick made it to the last round of voting only for Gessel to prevail becoming the first Governor-General of Greater Hulstria. Gessel had the largest winning percentage for Governor-General up until the year 2662, when elections were being held, where Nicolaas van der Burgh received over 61%.
Hulstria Goes to Gessel Edit
Not much was known about Karl van Gessel until he became Governor-General; he was born in Kien and attended basic public schooling until he went to a University in Kien obtaining a degree in accounting. He did not enter politics right after graduating but worked as a public accountant in the Hulstrian capital and became weathly during his time there. It was only until he became interested (and then became a registered member) with the Hulsterreich Sozialdemokratische Partei when it was formed in 2634. Gessel became active in the political party and started to become their main finance consultant and eventually their candidate or party Minister of Finance of the HSP. He rose quickly and soon became the HSP chairman in Feburary 2644 when it went under substantial domestic reforms; Gessel had no huge political experience prior other than his Finance position, which members within questioned, but nonetheless he did gain a seat in the Imperial Diet shortly after he became chairman and become the forefront of the Governor-General creation debate.
His calm demeanor, commonsense politics, and Kien-business backround made him popular with Gao-Showans and even Hulstrians, despite him being a chairman of a majority Gao-Showa political party and their voter base being so as well. Karl van Gessel in the first months in office portrayed what a Governor-General should be and set the tone of what it should do; he was bi-partisan, worked closely with the Staatsminister, regularly got involved in Imperial Diet sessions, and strayed away from international affairs. Even the Emperor himself (Rudolph V) praised Gessel and in August of 2647 invited Gessel to a massive banquet in Kien at the "Kaiserin Heleneplatz", right across from the Imperial Diet main building to formally install him as Governor-General and give a speech afterwards. Representatives from all the political parties were at the banquet, including Klemens von Flieder of the Imperial Hulstrian Party.
His first few months would bring positive light to his image but the events following would define his time as Governor-General; historians and political scientists agree that if the events that transpired next did not happen, Gessel could've had a bit more success during his reign.
Assassinations Rock Country Edit
The public's "honeymoon" with the Governor-General would end with a bang, litterally. Up until August of 2647, Hulstrians embraced Gessel while at the same time praising the Monarch for allowing a post like the Governor-General to be created and the Emperor's popularity at that time was overwhemingly positive. Attendence at the banquet in Kien was expected to be high and several activities/celebrations were planned when Rudolph V was done with the formal installation and others were done with speeches although no such plans were ever carried out.
When Rudolph V was done with the formal installment of Karl van Gessel, he along with several royal family members/political delegates, von Flieder too who held a formal title, and Gessel himself, went on the steps of the "Kaiserin Heleneplatz" to give a speech honoring the new Governor General and praising his efforts in front of thousands who attended. Suddenly an assassins bullet rang out from a building opposing the Imperial Diet main offices and hit Rudolph solidly in his left shoulder immediately causing him to collapse to the ground. Seconds later a second shot was fired from the same location although missing the downed Emperor, instead hitting Imperial Hulstrian Party chairman Klemens von Flieder, killing him instantly. The Imperial Guard without hesitating carried the wounded Emperor to his limousine to rush him to the Imperial Military Hospital in Kien while the building where the shots rang out were being stormed by other Imperial Guards. Gessel and other delegates with Rudolph at the time he was shot were unharmed and placed in an undisclosed location; Karl van Gessel was obviously shaken entirely by the incidents and in a private journal, discovered after his death, he wrote that "it was one of the most terrifying days of my life". Efforts at the Imperial Military Hospital to get the rifle bullet from Emperor Rudolph V shoulder was unsuccessful and died from an immense amount of blood loss. Till this day, the assassins or possibly assassins were never caught; the killers of both Rudolph and Klemens remain a mystery in Hulstria. There are however suspicions about the unruly House of Kennedy and the young New World Order having something do with it though nothing has been offcialy confirmed.
The assassination threw the Imperial Crownlands into mourning. Many were in complete shock and disbelieve that the man they had come to admire was killed by a cowardly assassian. Every major political party at the time released statements of condolences and became united. Both royalist and republican parties set aside political differences in argeement to a smooth formal Succession from Rudolph to his son Heinrich I.
Focus of the national government and the Imperial Diet turned to keep the country sustainable after the assassinations. The rest of Karl van Gessels remaining years as Governor-General were overshadowed by these events and would ultimately define his years there. He remained private and was not as active in legislation as he used too. In 2650 Karl van Gessel was not re-elected to a second term and was defeated by one of his past opponents, Nicolaas van der Burgh. He did not even make it to the second round of voting for Governor-General, only receiving 18% of the total vote. A few months later when he was defeated, he died peacefully in his residence in Kien; a queit end for a man surrounded by massive events.
Karl van Gessel is mostly remembered for the events that happened during that August day in Kien that year in 2647 but the months before, he did set the tone for what a Governor-General should be and how it should act; many Governors-General followed his way of governing for a long time after he was gone.
Transition to van der Burgh Edit
Greater Hulstria's attention then turned to Nicolaas van der Burgh, the chairman of the Hulstrian Nationalist Party and former Finance Minister of Hulstria. Taking the HNP chairmanship in July of 2631, van der Burg was able to revolutionize his party by taking a new approach to political policy (reversing their long time far-right stance to a more moderate position) and preaching "progressive nationalism" in the Imperial Diet. The moves became popular with Greater Hulstrians and helped the HNP gain bigger representation in the 2630s and early 2640s. His popularity however did not show well in the 2647 national elections where the HNP lost over 18 seats and van der Burgh himself failing to go into second rounds of Governor-General voting; possible reason for the loss could have been because of the fact the HNP voted against the creation of the Governor-General while Gessel on the other did fully. It was a very different story in 2650; the nation was still in mourning, Karl van Gessel became politicaly inactive, and people were looking for different leaders. Though many believed that Spenzer Roderick, the Fascist Authority Party chairman, would pull off a win because of his success of his party's increasing influence in the nation and staunch activity, Nicolaas van der Burgh pulled a massive upset in 2650 beating Roderick by over 21 million more votes for Governor-General with 54% overall. His win was hailed by supporters as a huge victory and was labeled as a new turn for Hulstrian politics, many hoped that van der Burgh would ease the wounds created by the assassinations and become more of a politically active figure. Nicolaas van der Burgh was also expected to take on more of a workload as Governor-General; since Heinrich I, when he was conorated, took the thrones in over 3 nations, increasing the amount of work for van der Burgh when the newly crowned Emperor would travel elsewhere, and would have to keep the country together minus the Sovereign. Hulstrian society did not take offense to this new job description for the Governor-General since it did not border republicanism and because the Imperial Hulstrian Party, the Monarch's direct representation in the Imperial Diet, was still intact despite the loss of their chairman years eariler.
Historians suspect that his finacial backround, like Gessels, appealed to citizens, and his interest in economic measures plus his time as the Finance Minister boosted his visibility. The only thing people had against Nicolaas van der Burgh was his opposition to the creation of Governor-General but as time went on and he began to accept the fact it was beneficial, people let his past opposition slide. He regularly attended economic summits in the country and was fairly involved in the media. His tenure as the Governor-General was to be marked by political instablity however, Hulstria's political scene soon after his win began to clash within breaking up into two factions called the "Right" and "Anti-Fascist" Coalitions. One coalition represented the big-government, unitarist right-wing conservatives while the other represented federalist, small government/devolutionist agendas, respectively.
Greater Hulstria Splits Into Two Edit
The series of events that followed the Hulstrian Nationalist Party Governor-General victory can only be described as possibly one of the largest political battles in Hulstrian history that didn't involve republicans or communists. Greater Hulstria this time around did not split up into two Hulstria and Gishoto nor split up into communists/royalists but between two completely different types of conservative bases in the country who had their own vision about how the government and economy should be run. The "Right Coalition", headed by the Fascist Authority Party, preached central government empowerment and the "Anti-Fascist Coalition", headed by the Hulstrian Nationalist Party preached small government and limited, if none at all, regulation of the economy. Eventually through time that would become what the two coalitions would define themselves but those were not exactly the founding princples of these two political factions. Their creations date back to a year before van der Burgh was even elected.
During the 2640s the resurgent Fascist Authority Party, who just came from a 41 year absence period following the death of their founder, soon began to rake in several legislative victories in the Imperial Diet, and by 2644, only 3 years after their re-founding, became Hulstria's majority party. Spenzer Roderick, the party chairman, implemented several pieces of legislation focused on the empowerment of the central government, and attempting to create a balance in the levels of power in the national government. With support from the Triad Coalition and the Hulstrian Reactionary Party, the three parties were able to pass reforms relatively easily. Citizens began to give these parties larger representations in the Diet and with that gave other federalist parties smaller ones; van der Burgh did not take their successes too kindly at all. He felt that the policies inacted by those three political parties were dangerous and went against everything he stood for. van der Burgh was known to be a rabid devolutionist and free-market advocate, so seeing these big-government right wingers pass legislation made him cringe. His party and the FAP already exchanged bricks at eachother eariler in the decade and both had a history with eachother dating back to the 2590s.
So what Nicolaas van der Burgh did was he conceived a new plan to reverse any further progress made by Roderick or his political allies by creating the "Anti-Fascist Coalition", a political faction consisting of all the liberal and/or federalist parties at the moment in Greater Hulstria to counter every single piece of legislation proposed by opposition. The AFC would then pass a national cabinet coalition excluding the FAP, the TC, and the HRP furthering their powerhold on the nation's domestic policy. In response to the creation of the AFC, the FAP and the Traid Coalition creating the "Right Coalition" composed of all the parties on the right-wing spectrum of Hulstria; these series of events would split the Imperial Diet in half and only encouraged further political fighting for years to come. Political scientists agree that while the coalitions sparked massive interest in politics and revived the dead news service, it did halt progress at points with lawmaking because of the clear party lines drawn between the two groups where unification could have worked instead. Credit is given to van der Burgh by choosing to make the office of Governor-General more political than ceremonial and really re-defined what a Governor-General in terms of political affairs; this was a turning point for the office and from van der Burgh on, Governors-General not only became the voice of the Monarch but the central voice of their political party.
Federalism Takes Focus Edit
Nicolaas van der Burgh not only formed the Anti-Fascist Coalition to create a barrier to the far-right specturm of Hulstria's political scene but to advance his own points of view; federalism. He was a federalist all his life and advocated such policies during his tenure as the country's Finance Minister. Nicolaas van der Burgh believed in a strong, regional government, and a small central government; when Governor-General, he pushed for major pieces legislation to turn over such power to individual Crownlands. He also tied in these new federalist policies in with his passion for the private enterprise and distaste for the public sector in Greater Hulstria. van der Burgh's party, the Hulstrian Nationalist Party, was already the main voice for private business in the Imperial Diet, and now with them controlling Governor-General, many within that party saw it as an opening to put their free-market/laissez-faire in a wider scope. For example under the Governor-Generalship of Nicolaas van der Burgh, the national grid system (held by the central government) was turned over soley to private enterprise, the national pension system was turned over to the private sector, and the energy production industry was removed of regulations. There were many more proposals van der Burgh pushed through but not all of them passed because of the opposition coming from the Right Coalition and some moderate members of his own coalition.
Along with those measures that passed, van der Burgh as well pushed for massive tax cuts, and removing all corporation, luxary, and food taxes on Hulstrians. This was meet was open arms surprisingly from almost every party in the Imperial Diet, Anti-Fascist or Right. To answer concerns about this decrease in income coming into the government and the decentralization of government, Nicolaas van der Burgh assured citizens by leaving responsibilities to Crownlands and the private sector plus eliminating taxes, the country as a whole would not only save a ton of money but create a more powerful economic nation. Some called these bold moves dangerous while others called it the resurgence of capitalism in Greater Hulstria. The citizens would respond well to his rhetoric and elected him to three-terms as Governor-General.
Now obviously his agenda meet some fierce opposition and roadblocks; it did take time for these laws to get passed in the begining. The Anti-Fascist Coalition during its reign did not hold a supermajority on the Imperial Diet but instead the Right Coalition did and the Fascist Authority Party, the central voice against most of Nicolaas van der Burgh goals, was the majority party in the nation, and often shot down early proposals made by the HNP or other AFC members. Opposition to van der Burgh tried to paint his tactics on growing the economy "dangerous" and "un-constructive". During van der Burgh's 1st term and early in his 2nd, the majority of his proposals did not pass because of opposition brought by the Right Coalition but by his mid 2nd-term and entire 3rd term did he see his laws go through since the AFC saw gains during the mid 2640s elections. Nicolaas van der Burgh did not take kindly to these remarks about his economic policy and already known to not to be afraid confrontatious, went to the media, and bashed the opposing side. He reminded opponents that the economy was doing well (GDP was at its highest at the time) and the Right was blowing air, trying to disrupt economic prosperity. van der Burgh's claims were true; despite it taking 2 years for all of his passed measures to really take any giant successes and the economy was acuatally doing very well. He made this statement in 2656, only a few months after his re-election to a third-term as Governor-General.While it seemed everything was going for van der Burgh (growing economy, his coalition controlled the cabinet etc), in 2657 things began to turn for the worse. The economy took a massive hit in the summer with record job losses and decreases in GDP and national income. Instead of people rising to higher incomes, they were dropping. Many thought in the Imperial Diet some of the laissez-faire economic laws should be reversed to help struggling business and citizens but van der Burgh refused sticking to his absolute free-market idealogy. He tried to assure Hulstrians that the downturn would pass over and opposition was using this moment to capsize on their own agendas, not helping citizens. Not many of the Anti-Fascist Coalition agreed with this and sided with the Right Coalition on reversing some laws to boost the economy. Not only was the Governor-General faced with economic troubles, his coalition the AFC turned against him, and began to open up political alliances with several members of the Right. James Buchanan, the chairman of the VFA, left the Anti-Fascist Coalition to become allies with Spenzer Roderick of the Fascist Authority Party because he dissapproved of the partisan attitude in the Imperial Crownlands and wanted stability. He along with Roderick pushed for a united cabinet in Hulstria and called upon parties to move to "responsible governence". By 2659, the economy did not get better, and the AFC was close to collpase.
Historians argee that Nicolaas van der Burgh was a strong and important figure in Hulstrian politics in that time period. Many consider him a dynamic man with iron beliefs, who launched an highly ambitious plan to bring back free-market ideals to a country that had only 100 years ago had been under communist rule, and re-shaped the job of the Governor-General greatly. His political dominance in that decade resurged political activity in Greater Hulstria and made Hulstria the hotspot for political news on Dovani. However his partisan attitude has drawn criticism to his character and his promotion of political division in the country is still debated upon as if it were benefical or harmful to Hulstrian society. His 1st and 2nd terms are seen positively but his 3rd is not one followers of him wish to remember.
Nation Passes Power to RoderickEdit
With the economy not performing very well and the political atmosphere beginning to move away from partisanship, Spenzer Roderick seized the moment to propose his alternative form of governing to the Hulstrian people at the hopes of becoming Governor-General. Months leading up to the anticipated 2659 national elections, Spenzer Roderick campaigned throughout the Imperial Crownlands diligently proposing his new ideas, and held several political rallies and conventions in each of the Crownland's capitals. The Fascist Authority Party came up with, in what has been dubbed the "All-Crownland Tactic", a strategy to appeal to a mass amount of voters by holding extensive rallies, speeches, and conventions in each Crownland to gain support (and to gain victory) in general elections, in particular in this instance the one coming up in 2659; the FAP also offered a new kind of approach to economic management. To counter van der Burgh's "extreme-capitalist" agendas Roderick once delcared, he proposed that having a mixed-economy (combining both private and public sector industries) would be the best form of economy for Greater Hulstria because of the population and differing economic viewpoints. He believed in a "balanced power" between free-market and planned-economic principles; he told Hulstrians that not only would it preserve private enterprise but create one equal to that ensuring if one would collapse, the entire nation wouldn't go down with it like what happened with van der Burgh. Including economic rhetoric, he pledged to create a unified cabinet in Hulstria with new ally James Buchanan and his party, ending the decade long partisan government of the Anti-Fascist Coalition. Citizens wanted new ideas and change, Spenzer Roderick's message appealed to voters, and despite Spenzer Roderick not having any major government post (unlike van der Burgh) in the cabinet and only had held the chairmanship of the Fascist Authority Party, many people looked past that fact. In 2659, Spenzer Roderick was elected the 3rd Governor-General of Greater Hulstria with over 51% of the vote beating the 3-term van der Burgh in an upset.
The defeat of van der Burgh marked the death of the Anti-Fascist Coalition and the Hulstrian Nationalist Party efforts to exclude the far-right within Greater Hulstria; despite Roderick putting an end to the HNP's partisan agenda, the two parties would eventually make truce immediately following his victory. The election of Spenzer Roderick to the position of Governor General was also the first for the Fascist Authority Party; it was the first time in it's entire history it was elected to the office. In previous elections before 2658, the FAP came always in second place, and at times found itself to win first round Head of State voting but lost during the second rounds by wide or small margins. Party officials and supporters were astounded by the win, as were opposition. Despite the backlash at van der Burgh, no one was expecting him to be ousted. Spenzer Roderick rolled out his unified cabinet proposal he preached and promised on the campaign trail. He layed out the new cabinet including all the major, present political parties (including his formal rival the HNP) during that time; it was named the "United Hulstria" cabinet coalition and served as the national government's ruling body for seven years.
While Spenzer Roderick's term as Governor-General was short, he did institute lots of changes; in his first year in office, Greater Hulstria's national budget saw an increase in Defense, Science, Health, and Infrastructure spending. Thanks to these in spending increases, the nations overall total economic revenue went up 6 billion dollars, and the nation's surplus increased on an average of another 2.5 billion dollars a year (creating over 5 billion dollar profit each year). The surplus in the nation then reached its highest peak since the early 2600s and GDP began to stablize, as did the overall economy.
Spenzer Roderick additionally was able to pass Legislation like that changed Hulstria's economic and social scence significantly; a National Pension System that covered all Hulstrians and a National Defense System that left military equipment production to the public sector were created under his tenure. Up until 2660, Hulstria's had to save up for retirement by themselves but under the new pension system such measures were abandoned and Roderick received wide support from from medium and low-income families for enacting this progressive bill. He did face opposition however from defense industries and other capitalist parties who thought the reforms, especially in the defense industry, would hurt private enterprise; Roderick eventually compromised with those parties to inact legislation that would allow the re-introduction of the private sector in the defense industry, though allowed government inclusion. In perhaps Spenzer Roderick's greatest achievement as Governor-General was the complete elimination and abolishment of segregation in Greater Hulstria, officialy ending the "Apartheid"; Gao-Showans and Hulstrians were no longer separated and ethnic integration became evident following the ban of segregation. Many believe that Roderick's push and eventual success in elimanting Hulstrian/Gao-Showa segregation gave way for future Gao-Showa politicians like Naoki Tsukuda and Tokuro Tanemoto. On the world stage, there was no big international incidents that concerned Greater Hulstria during his term and it was uneventful in terms of foreign relations.
Van der Burgh Strikes BackEdit
The popularity and progressive legislation by Spenzer Roderick did not shadow the fact of his age; by the time of the end of his first term, Spenzer Roderick was just shy of 80. The debate and questioning of his age contributed to doubts on the leadership of the Governor-General; citizens credited and recognized his accomplishments, especially among Gao-Showa circles but feared he may die in office or become incapacitated in another way because of his age. Roderick of course resisted these claims and said he was capable of running for another term, though vowed to note run for a third term if he were re-elected. Hardcore nationalists also showed fierce opposition to the Governor-General, whom of which vehemently opposed his abolishment of segregation, and people who lived in ethnically tense cities were still uncomfortable with the new law. These factors in the end culminated in the defeat of Spenzer Roderick in June 2662 by Nicolaas van der Burgh, his former opponent and former Governor-General, who ran on a capitalist platform; van der Burgh, who was also in his late 70s, still ran as the candidate for the Hulstrian Nationalist Party despite some who called for him to step down and make for a successor for the party, allowing a new candidate for the Governor-General's office. This election shocked political analysts, the media and the people of the nation. Nicolaas van der Burgh was himself noted to be surprised by the win but nonetheless took once again the duties of the Governor-General. While many of the hardcore economic liberals in the Hulstrian Nationalist Party saw this win as a signal that the populace wanted their agenda, Nicolaas van der Burgh was actually not as forceful with his policies as he was once during his first tenure in the 2650s.
Due to the changing political mood in the country, van der Burgh was unable to go after his opponents so fiercely with partisan coalitions and attacks; the Anti-Fascist and Right Coalitions were effectively dead, with the once differing parties uniting in the national government. van der Burgh was a bit reluctant to enter a cabinet with his former enemies, not committing to a united cabinet and did not take part in the debates; as such the HNP was left out of the first united government in the country in almost 30 years. Shortly following of the created united government, James Buchanan, the Chairman of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz that triggered the downfall of the Anti-Fascist Coalition with his alliance with the Fascist Authority Party, committed suicide. The suicide rocked Greater Hulstria and the political establishment in Kien; questions began to arise on the stability of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz following the death of their commanding leader. However, James Buchanan was quickly replaced by Kenzo Noda, a Gao-Showan politician that held Anti-Fascist sympathies. Noda, who was against alligning with the FAP, did not continue the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz alliance with the Fascist Authority Party, then under the control of Conrad Falk. She engaged into a short yet destructive verbal conflict with Conrad Falk with a chain of harsh words and actions that battered both sides. After such an exchange, of which Nicolaas van der Burgh did not take part in nor endorsed, Kenzo Nodo proposed abolishing the united cabinet and kicking out the right wing parties, in particular the FAP. The betrayal of the VFA to the FAP led the latter’s downfall with Falk disbanding the party’s national status and reverting it to a regional party; many parties, like the Imperial Hulstrians and the Christian Liberals, announced they would refuse to work with the VFA as a result of Nado’s partisan rhetoric and Greater Hulstria plunged into yet again another period of political instability in the Imperial Diet. The Hulstrian Labor Party also emerged in opposition to the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz, claiming that were being unfair and destructive. The Hulstrian Nationalist Party, watching the Diet split in half, attempted to gain middle ground but failed. As a result, Nicolaas van der Burgh stepped down from his position as chairman of the HNP due to internal pressure and announced he would not run for re-election in 2665, handing over leadership of the party to Christian van Rensburg, the then Finance Minister for Greater Hulstria.
Christian van Rensburg SucceedsEdit
Christian van Rensburg served as the Finance Minister for Greater Hulstria during the 2650s and early 2660s, becoming the chief engineer for carrying out van der Burgh's capitalist and trade policies during that time. Christian van Rensburg was a member of the powerful Rensburg family, a powerful political dynasty that saw their height of power in the late 2500s, the 2600s, and early 2700s; Christian was a decedent of Willem van Rensburg, who served as Lord Protector of His Imperial Majesty's Government from 2573 to 2578. Christian von Rensburg was also a noted civil rights advocate and headed a faction within the HNP devoted to expanding civil liberties. Rensburg's strong support of van der Burgh's capitalist policies propelled him to the height of power within the Hulstrian Nationalist Party and his public speaking skills made him a favorite to host HNP-hosted press conferences. Christian van Rensburg was an active member in the party during the Anti-Fascist and Right coalition period, attacking the economic policies of the right-wing in the Imperial Diet quite often. When the Hulstrian economy began to fall in the late 2650s, public opinion of Rensburg decreased, and suddenly the parties he verbally attacked were coming back to do the same to him over his faults in managing the economy. As a result, Rensburg remained quiet during Spenzer Roderick's tenure, and due to the HNP's incapicated state during united cabinet debates, was removed from his position at the Finance Ministry. During this time, he started to take a more active role within his party and became a serious candidate to take van der Burgh's place; with van der Burgh refusing to step down and winning the Governor-General, Rensburg's hope was put off for the next two years. Surprisingly, during the tense conflict between the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz and Fascist Authority Party, he arose as a voice for moderation though failed to initiate any peace. With the disbandment of the FAP, growing instability in the Imperial Diet, and political tension, van der Burgh stepped down from his position and called for a special election to take place; with this opportunity and Rensburg's standing with the party, he was confirmed as the new chairman of the HNP and became the party's new candidate for the Governor-Generalship. With Rensburg's message and the endorsement of the Liberal Party of Hulstria, Christian van Rensburg was elected Governor-General in 2664, receiving over 75 million votes, beating Hannes Baudissin Snr of the Labor Party and Jana Rothenberg of the Christian Liberal Party.
Shortly following his win, the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz disbanded due to high political pressure and major internal problems concerning leadership. Cornelia Pietersen, the then Staatsminister of Greater Hulstria and the head of the Hulstrian Nationalist Party caucus in the Imperial Diet, saw this as an opportunity to create a new government in Hulstria. Pietersen, unlike Rensberg, was not quite a moderate though like Rensburg was involved in the AFC-Right period; she regularly involved herself in political fights during that period, regularly fighting with Spenzer Roderick and the other right-wing parties. However she did not turn to moderation during the early 2660s and remained with her hard nationalist policies; the Hulstrian Labor Party, who had stood against Pietersen in both media outlets and in the Diet, was subsequently left out of a new cabinet called the "Liberal-Nationalists", compossed of the Hulstrian Nationalist, Christian and Liberal parties. Labor leadership proclaimed this move and their exclusion from the cabinet more of the same, crying foul in those parties actions. Chairman Hannes Baudissin of the Hulstrian Labor Party then called on the return of the Fascist Authority Party, who was still then inactive. Falk, who still head the FAP, refused to return the party to national status and to take part in the Imperial Diet, leaving the Labor to fend for themselves against the new partisan government led by Pietersen. Throughout 2665 Greater Hulstria witnessed further political instability as party factions refused to work with eachother; by Christmas, the legislature was again the site of parlamentary warfare. However, during this time as well, Spenzer Roderick Jr and Franklin Howard Roderick, the sons of the former chairman of the Fascist Authority Party, were planning a daring coup in attempt to take the leadership of the party from Conrad Falk. On December 25th, 2665, the Roderick brothers led a daring takeover with 80-100 people of the FAP National Headquarters and without bloodshed, Falk and more than half of the Fascist Authority Party leadership resigned, giving it to the Rodericks. On December 26th, the Fascist Authority Party returned to national status in Greater Hulstria and quickly alligned themselves with the Labor Party while stressing new unity among Imperial Diet parties. Christian van Rensberg was quick to try to reconcile with Spenzer Roderick Jr though with Cornelia Pietersen's opposition, no deal as able to be put into place. The Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz a little after the Roderick coup returned to Hulstria as well, still under the leadership of Kenzo Noda in 2665. The return of two political parties and a skeptical electorate made the general elections, scheduled to take place in 2667, a toss up.
With the Imperial Diet crowding with both new and returning parties, the 2667 general elections were seen as a toss up and could either change the political landscape drastically or would enforce the status quo. Christian van Rensberg was worried that the Hulstrian Nationalist Party would see losses in the election that could result in costing him the Governor-General despite him not being on the forefront of the ongoing political battles. If the landscape was not already dividec, another shakeup before the 2667 general elections was the implosion of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz yet again; however this time they did not fully disappear. Instead, Axel Fredriksson, who led an agressive communist faction of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz, took over the leadership of the party, and named himself the new leader; Fredriksson also changed the name of the party to the Revolutionary Republican Party. The rise of a new communist party had the potential to change the political landscape and this was another factor Rensberg worried about for his chances. However, Christian van Rensberg was spared in the 2667 general elections to much of his surprise, as well as the other parties. Rensberg won with about 52% of the vote against the 47% held by Hannes Baudissin of the Labor Party; Rensberg's party did not share the same fate as him. The Hulstrian Nationalists lost over 126 seats in the elections, losing their majority; the rest of the Liberal-Nationalist coalition lost under just 100 seats, though nonetheless through a blow to the ruling cabinet. The Fascist Authority Party became the new largest party with over 150, slicing the Liberal-Nationalist majority in half; however seats the Labor Party did not see as much success as their new found allies, losing a signicant amount of seats, about 127. The communist party led by Axel Fredriksson failed to even put a dent into the electoral landscape of Greater Hulstria, contrary to worries held by many before 2667; the Revolutionary Republicans won just over only 65 seats and won in the Crownland of Kuratha, though this was by a very small margin. The election, while changed the political landscape of Hulstria, proved to be well for Christian van Rensberg who saw this as a surprise yet a showing of trust within his style of governing as Governor-General but was worried about confidence in his own party because of the bundle of seats lost, weakening his voice within the legislature and limiting ventures he wanted to take. His re-election has been credited to the crowded political arena of Greater Hulstria at this time and relatively weak opponent, Hannes Baudissin of the Hulstrian Labor Party, still an unknown to the larger scope of the public.
Rensburg’s victory would be short-lived. Not even a month after his re-election, Hulstria would turn down a violent path, and would test the strength of both the Monarchy and the will of the political parties to unite against an abhorrent movement spearheaded by Axel Fredriksson. The years of political tension and infighting would come to a formative end though not without another round of imbalance.
Monarchy Comes In Crosshairs of RepublicansEdit
Axel Fredriksson's accession to power brought with him a new problem for the nation of Greater Hulstria to deal with. With Fredriksson's motives out in the open, it was clear his militant Revolutionary Republican Party was determined to overthrow the Monarchy, then under the widely popular Heinrich I of Hulstria, and to install a republic, though many believed such a new government would eventually just result with Fredriksson becoming an authoritative dictator. However, noting by the RRA' poor showing in the previous elections, political parties believed their radical rhetoric had put a bad taste into the mouths of Greater Hulstrian electorate and party leaders did not expect the Revolutionary Republican Party to bring in more big gains electorally; nonetheless, these parties were still focused on not letting Axel Fredriksson or his party gaining ground to overthrow the monarch. Also former members of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz who were ousted due to the Fredricksson coup, began to speak out publically against the RRA, and even began a movement to re-establish the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz, a party that supported the constitutional monarchy before Fredriksson's coup. Additionally the new Chairman of the Fascist Authority Party, Spenzer Roderick II was also going out publically saying the RRA's main goal was to establish a dictatorship, discrediting the republican party even further. These factors made it difficult for the Revolutionary Republican Party to really break any sort of ground in the elections; realizing that the odds were against them the RRA started to take a new route to accomplish their gaols. This "route" came in the form of violence and throughout the following months, sveral unlawful, and violent acts took place performed by RRA members. One of the more memorable, yet very horrific, of these acts was the execution of the former party spokesman for Foreign Affairs, Michael Markell, of the Vereinigte Freiheit Allianz and several of his associates in the Crownland of Hilgar. Again, shortly following this, a car-bomb went off in a border-town in western Hilgar, badly damaging an office building. The Revolutionary Republican Army also went up against the Black Legion of the right-wing Republican Coalition, another paramilitary organization, as the latter saw the RRA as a threat to order and stability. As a result, these two paramilitary organizations began fighting, mostly in the Eastern Territories, which resulted some civilian and law enforcement deaths.