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The History of Human Civilization

posted May 29, 2012, 12:37 PM by Timo Liimatta   [ updated May 31, 2012, 9:55 AM ]


Greetings dear readers and sincere apologies for you who have waited for the first article of the Steamfolk Tales. The Independent Weekly has received a fine article about the history of the civilization from Professor Cunning of Albertshill University, and our dear editor-in-chief has decided that this is more important that our freshly announced Steamfolk Tales. Of which we have received a remarkable amount of letters from you, our dear readers, by the way.

We will try to make this up for you next month as we will have an interview of the famous inventor-genius Dr. Dominic Johnnel, the inventor of the Crystal Intelligence Clockenspiel. He will tell us of his background and of his inventions and plans. We might hear a bit of his travels in the mysterious Crimson Empire.

I hope you enjoy the scientific article about the history of civilization.

Introduction by: Harold T. Chapman, the reporter of Steamfolk Tales

The History of Human Civilization in Erthair

Essay by: Sir Edward J. Cunning, Professor of History and Anthropology, Albertshill University
Written: 20.5.1797

Until about 10,000 years ago, most humans lived as hunter-gatherers, usually in small nomadic groups. The advent of agriculture led to the formation of permanent human settlements, the domestication of animals and the use of metal tools for the first time in history. Agriculture encouraged trade and cooperation, and led to a more complex society than before.

About 4,000 years ago in the southern part of the continent, the tribe of Kheim united the whole area under their rule. The whole Empire of the Sun was formed in less than 200 years' time. The Kheimani spread their language and their religion all over the Empire. The Kheimani were more developed than other tribes in the area. It is presumed that it was bronze weaponry and swords that allowed the Kheimani to conquer all of the southern continent and spread the newly formed Empire of the Sun effectively.

About 3,000 years ago a new philosophy started spreading in the eastern Empire of the Sun. The local historians point to a prophet whose teachings had become popular in the area. This led to a civil war lasting several centuries and a feud between the Empire of the Sun and its eastern rebellious areas. The Empire of the Sun was then divided to two: the western Kheiman Empire and the eastern Crimson Empire.

While the southern part of the continent was in a state of civil war, the loose tribes of the northern part of the continent were united under a single banner of the Empire of Frost. Many of the tribes kept their areas and traditions but were united under the same rule. The tribal languages were forgotten and the ancient version of the Northern language was born.

Not much is known of the reasons for the great war, but it started about 2000 years ago between the three empires that ruled the world; the northern Empire of Frost, south-eastern Crimson Empire and the south-western Kheiman Empire. It is known that the majority of the war was fought with iron weaponry, but there has been discussion in the scientific community whether all of the three empires knew the art of smelting iron before the war or whether the knowledge spread during the first years of the war. The war lasted at least 200 years and its end was marked in all of the empires as the year 0. This is known as the Treaty of the Emperors. From this point on there are records of peaceful interaction between the nations.

Around the year 500, the six western provinces of the Empire of the Frost united, starting a civil war to gain their freedom from the Empire. The Empire lost five of the western provinces and much of the islands in the Western Sea. The remainder of the Empire was renamed as The Empire of Wulffgart according to the ruling emperor Bronislav Wulff. The five western provinces that gained independence stood together against the common enemy in the east but became small separate kingdoms: Cailea, Rocksborraugh, Neven, Chardiel and Hanseburg. The sixth rebellious province, Gardsburg, remained under the Wulffgartian rule.

In the year 1367, after several decades of pressure and danger of war from Wulffgart, the four western kingdoms united under the common rule. The four former kingdoms were renamed as duchies with the former kings named as dukes, ruling their own areas under the rule of one king. The newly formed kingdom was named The Great Kingdom of Victora as an omen to be victorious in the future years. The war with Wulffgart was avoided and the foundation for the modern Victora was laid. The duchies were not renamed as they are known today but until later. Soon after this the islands of the Western Sea were united to Victora as a duchy of Seahome.

During these times, the Kingdom of Hanseburg changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Hanseburg, following the Victoran way, but remained independent. Hanseburg held good relations to both Victora and Wulffgart. The protective mountains around Hanseburg have made this peaceful existence with the two large neighbouring nations possible.

After the 16th century, revolutionary ideas and technologies changed the world. Technological innovations such as the printing press, steam engine, railway, steam wagon and gunpowder have led to the industrial revolution and industrialization. The grown industrial factories have drawn people from the countryside to the overpopulated cities. The printing press has changed the way of thinking, education, and the spread of knowledge and innovation. This has naturally affected the culture and life in the whole of Erthair.

Victora built a railway to the Kheiman Empire and past it to the distant and secluded Crimson Empire around the year 1700. This, among other political disputes led, to the war between Victora and Wulffgart in 1702. The war lasted for almost eight decades, ending in 1781, and is now known as the Great War. During the war years many inventions were made to fuel the wheels of war: cartridge-firing weapons, revolving mechanism, flying airships, armored battleships and combat automatons among other things. In 1774 the western islands united under a common flag and joined the war to gain their independence. In the peace treaty written in 1781, the Union of the Free Islands was recognized by all the other nations, thus forming the first democratic nation in Erthair.

Wulffgart suffered many losses in the last years of the war and surrendered to Victora, thus ending the war it had started in the first place almost 80 years ago. Wulffgart agreed to pay war reparations to Victora. The Tzar Ivan IV of Wulffgart started transferring funds and men from the military to civilian industries to cover the reparation costs. A few high ranking military officers turned against the crown and overthrew the Tzar in a quick revolution. The Tzar disappeared during the events, and the newly-appointed Marshal General Friedrich Krause announced military rule in Wulffgart.