weclome vistior

welcome to the home of Oronegro, a land that not so long ago was a peaceful and prosperous place but by the mid 2020's it was engulfed in a violent civil war! The whole world watched doing their bit in the conflict. the story is one of a small country stuck in superpower politics

Thursday, November 15, 2012

colonisation and expansion part1

in 1492 Columbus sailed the ocean blue... unaware that his ideas about the size of the world were completely wrong, leading to native Americans being known as Indians. However he was not the only one to set sail that year. Juan Carlos de Costa y Andalucia, he was from a group known as "Los desperados" (the desperate ones) they were made up of atheists, Jews and Muslims and other "heretics" who since the end of the riconquista had been hunted and prosecuted by the inquisition. Hoping that perhaps they could reach the east indies they set out after Columbus half expecting that they would have to donate him food once his supplies ran out, knowing that he had underestimated the size of the world. instead one night they travelled under an aurora in a tropical region, when dawn came the next day they passed by a large volcanic island but did not land assuming that it would be devoid of life so far out in the ocean, then they saw land and lots of it. they headed for wide river mouth that came into view before them, it was almost wide enough for the 13 ships to sale abreast however the 13th the one in which the old pagans and witches sailed in grounded itself on the spit, this land would become known as "la Tierra Del Diablo", because of the practices that went on there, and its wind swept nature.

the fleet sets out across the sea

of the remaining ships there were several groups
  • 3 carries Muslims from the south of Spain and Morocco, El Árabe, El moro and El Profeta
  • 2 carried Jews escaping from persecution these were Israel and Solomon
  • 2 carried catholics who were unhappy with the churches policies in Spain, the ships were the El Jesús and the El San Martín
  • 3 for the atheists life away from Spain was becoming more and more inviting! their ships were La Ley which was the largest ship on which Juan sailed, El Pobre and El Futuro
  • 2 smaller ships carried christian soldiers and the sons of soldiers who had fought alongside the moors in Spain and now were being hunted down. these were El Mensaje and El Caballero
the ship that got grounded was La Fuerza.

then when they came to a great bend in the river behind the long spit they decided to set up a settlement. The ships then landed in several places on the western bank of the river the Catholic ships and one of the smaller ships landed on a large island. while the Jews atheists and Muslims all sailed behind another island to set up a camp on the mainland. From this day forth the city of La Ley was established. the catholics took apart their ships and built houses and a church on the island. this was the beginning of La Ley's old district. while in the mouth of a small tributary river the Muslims and Jews took apart their ships setting up a town that would become the major port of La Ley for many hundreds of years to come.

in between them was a large island they named La Isla Rica which would become a neutral meeting place where people of all religions, cultures and backgrounds could meet under the palm trees, it would remain that way until the 17th century when it was built upon by the wealthy, it would remain a place of wealth until the present day.
On the spit La Fuerza was torn to bits by the crew and its passengers, who had to use it all for setting up some houses as there was very few trees there. Fortunately riders from El Caballero which had landed on the island with the catholics had crossed the river and brought the people much building materials from the catholic ships which were surplus from the constructing of the Church. This moment forever made Oronegro a symbol of equality and tolerance, catholic and witch could talk together while Arab and Jew could live in peace.

A few ships were not dismantled, La Ley was the only real warship a grand Carrack and so it remained in case they were assaulted by the locals who had not been sighted and would not be for a few weeks to come, El Mensaje also was left, it was a fast ship and was crewed and with the plentiful supplies which were not even a quarter used up could be spared for a return journey of the craft! El Mensaje set out the next day passing under the aurora once again that night. when they reached Spain they found Columbus had returned and was being celebrated. This worked to their advantage, they went around in secret and gathered more people, mostly catholics who missed the priests who had gone. Also they ran into a British and Italian merchant who were willing to supply many ships in return for their own place in La Ley.

So the second fleet set out.
a drawing of one of the dhows that was part of the second fleet
the Italian merchant brought the whole of his native village... 137 people who went off in 3 ships. the British merchant went one better and brought his whole town with him, 517 people in 7 ships and not to mention a further 18 ships which came together from France, Spain, Morocco and Italy.  which brought the total amount of people setting out on the second voyage to 2147 people. lead by El Mensaje they set out on the 15th of November 1495 under the cover of darkness. it was called the expedition of Carracks and dhows due to the number of people coming from Morocco.  11 weeks later they arrived in the Colony. The Italians and some of the Spanish joined the others on the island while the people from Morocco went to the port. 3 of the ships that came carried soldiers who were set to work guarding the settlement. However many of the French and Spanish did not like the site and sailed off north to another river mouth. and after sailing inland for a day and a half they settled in a large plain between the hills. this was named after the only armed ship which was able to go up the river La Esperanza. so Oronegro's larger city was founded, and immediately they came in contact with some friendly locals who gifted them with the thing that could cause Oronegro to expand in years to come coco beans

In La Ley the natives had been trading with the settlers for the last few years at first they had been frightened by the strange men, and even more by the fact they spoke different languages to each other, they feared that these were several different tribes which might suddenly fight each other and destroy the forests and plains around them. But after the first month they came mimicking the language they had heard, to the great amusement of the settlers, it was not long before they were able to understand each other and when disease broke in the tribes the settlers helped as best they could to save them, with mixed results but still far better than what happened else where.
In fact the settlers managed to save hundreds, as many of the Muslims had a good understanding of medicine from studying in the great libraries in the Muslim world. this formed a bond between these first tribes and the settlers that would last until La Ley grew so large that the tribes were assimilated into the city.

In 1517 a third fleet from Spain of 15 ships brought the law of the King to the Colony, though shortly after another fleet of ships came from England to bring the law of the English monarch. So began Oronegro's story of Spanish and British co-history. the British decided then that Oronegro was not theirs though they had many settlers there, but Spain was unhappy when they colony said that the king could not control them through force and that he could only rule through advice... the Kings men agreed leaving behind 10 ships full of Conquistadors who were then joined by the British ships and the soldiers on them.
Oronegro would keep this type of hands off government by Spain until the mid 19th century which was the cause of Oronegro's war for Independence in the 1860's. So began the story of Oronegro and on the 15th of November 1555 the Nation was named as such as the Coco plantations of the Natives and settlers produced so much Coco that it replaced gold as currency in La Ley.

in the next installment of Colonisation and expansion we discuss the story of Oronegro in the 16th and early 17th centuries as it starts to establish itself as a strong, democratic power.


  1. This is a well written and well researched piece of history Gowan. You'll do well in your exams with work like this.

  2. Better reading than many 'academical' historical works! And a cheering, in perhaps overoptimistic, story and situation.
    Looking eagerly forward to enjoy more!

  3. PS: if I may ask a naive question, *where* exactly Oronegro is located, with reference to 'our' geography?