- This country is part of the Altverse universe.
|United States of Melanesia|
"We Are Free At Last"
Lift Every Voice and Sing
and largest city
|Religion||Melanesian Alithian Church|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|House of Representatives|
|Formation and Independence|
• Settlement by the Melanesian Colonization Authority
|13 March 1851|
• De facto self-governance
|15 April 1865|
|1 January 1877|
• Recognized by League of Nations
|10 August 1927|
|912,867.67 km2 (352,460.18 sq mi) (Nth)|
• Water (%)
• 2018 estimate
• 2010 census
|98.8/km2 (255.9/sq mi) (Nth)|
|GDP (PPP)||2018 estimate|
|$4.306 trillion (Nth)|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2018 estimate|
|$4.094 trillion (Nth)|
• Per capita
medium · Nth
very high · Nth
|Currency||Melanesian dollar ($) (MEL)|
|Time zone||Melanesia Standard Time (UTC-9 to -11)|
|Drives on the||right|
|ISO 3166 code||MEL|
Melanesia was established in the 1850s by the abolitionist movement in the United States, prior to its collapse in 1865, and was led by the Unified Conference for Negro Advancement (UCNA), which sought to establish a free black nation far from the influence of the European powers. An outgrowth of the pre-existing abolitionist movements of the time, such as the American Colonization Society, the UCNA was a far more radical organization which was more aggressive in pursuing its goals, ultimately selecting the island of New Guinea in Oceania as its desired location to set up a free colony of black Africans from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Africa for those who could migrate to the island. In the wake of the American Civil War, and the rash of racist movements and race riots throughout the shattered country, black Americans were prompted to begin migrating from the former United States and settle in Melanesia as benefactors of the UCNA's colonization efforts on the island. Over the course of the next forty years following the collapse of the United States, blacks migrated by the tens of thousands to Melanesia with the support of the UCNA's voucher system, with wealthy sponsors of the organization paying for the ships and transportation needed to aid the hundreds of thousands of black diaspora relocate to New Guinea by the turn of the century. Outreaching to the other black diaspora communities throughout the Americas, Europe, and the Middle East to come to Melanesia was highly successful, and the black intelligentsia sought to contribute to what was then known as the "Melanesia project".
During the first half of the 20th century, Melanesia underwent a massive industrialization program to compete with the local regional powers of Nationalist China, Imperial Japan, and British India. Seeking to attain legitimacy in the eyes of the European powers it had been established to oppose, Melanesia joined the Allies during World War I against the German Empire, and seized several German possessions in the Pacific Ocean and captured hundreds of German soldiers garrisoned throughout the region. This was crucial in attaining the recognition of the major world powers of the time, assuring Melanesia's sovereignty as a nation. As a sign of its rapid industrialization, Melanesia built its first dreadnought of local design and materials in 1926, and along with twenty other local-built warships, on a world tour to demonstrate the advancements by Melanesia on its own terms and resources. With the increased local development within the country, Melanesia underwent a financial and cultural boom known as the Melanesian Renaissance during the late-1910s to the mid-1930s, which saw the blossoming of art, literature, philosophy, religious thought, and fashion throughout the country. The Great Migration was likewise responsible for the success of the Renaissance, as the poor living conditions for blacks in North America saw the arrival of tens of thousands of highly-skilled black Americans to Melanesia, who contributed to the development of the nation's existing human capital.
Following the First World War, and the start of the Interwar period, Melanesia signed dozens of treaties granting free trade rights to its neighbors, such as New Zealand and Australia; securing its financial security through its position as a middle power in the region of Oceania. In 1931, Melanesia adopted the "Black Melanesia" policies, preventing whites and Asians from migrating to the country, and passing laws preventing miscegenation, or interracial marriage, between blacks and non-blacks. Melanesia again sided with the Allies during World War II, this time fighting against the Japanese who had once been their allies during World War I. Melanesian soldiers fought throughout mainland China alongside the Kuomintang, and supported the effort the defend Australia from a land invasion throughout the war. Melanesia itself was attacked during the war by Japan, but successfully defeated the enemy force during the Aitape–Wewak campaign, though at the loss of some three thousand men. The country went on to join the United Nations in 1945, and support the organization's move to repulse the North Korean invasion of South Korea during the Korean War in the early-1950s. Following the conflict, Melanesia took up a neutral stance throughout the entirety of the Cold War, and pursued its own geopolitical goals, such as developing its nuclear deterrence policy which it realized in 1967.
Since the end of the Cold War in 1991, Melanesia has been deeply involved in the War on Terror, and is an active member of the Non-Aligned Movement which is composed of nations who do not side with any of the world's major power blocs. Melanesia has also maintained its racial exclusion policies, along with its outlawing of interracial marriage in the country, which remain highly popular throughout the nation, with more than 93% popular support according to the most recent poll in 2017. Though it remains ostracized for its racial policies, Melanesia has been hailed as a major financial and industrial center, as its pro-business, laissez-faire stance on trade and industry. Boasting a highly-educated and skilled workforce, Melanesia's work-oriented culture is deemed responsible for its development over the last century and a half. Melanesia is ranked as a highly-advanced developed country, and is ranked as the most "technology-ready" nation in the world, with the highest percentage of GDP devoted to R&D within the OECD. Likewise, 4G LTE penetration ranks at 97%, and fiber-optic cables for telecommunications has been promoted across the island. Melanesia ranks highly in ease of doing business, internet speeds, job security, and public safety, as focus on the good of the country and community over the individual, has historically been a strongly valued trait in Melanesian culture.
The name Melanesia, from Greek μέλας, black, and νῆσος, islands, etymologically means "islands of black [people]", in reference to the dark skin of the inhabitants. Melanesia was originally used to define the entire region of islands surrounding the main island of New Guinea to the east, after French writer Charles de Brosses theorized the existence of an "old black race" residing in the area of neighboring Polynesia, who conquered and defeated the local lighter-skinned natives of those islands. Though his theory as to the origins of that conquering peoples were never confirmed in history, a distinct racial group known as the Papuans were found to be native to the island of New Guinea and the neighboring islands to the east. Overtime, however, the European powers began to view the native aboriginal people as a distinct cultural, rather than racial group, but the name as it had been given in 1756 by de Brosses, had solidified itself as the name of that particular group of islands in the Pacific Ocean and Oceania as a whole.
Nearly a century later, the name "Melanesia" was adopted by the Unified Conference for Negro Advancement in the 1850s at the time it was seeking to establish a colony on New Guinea, as it was deemed an appropriate name for the colony and the people who would be its main inhabitants. The Melanesian Colonization Authority was established in 1851 by the UCNA, and the colony operated under the name of Melanesia from that point forward. Though many of the settlers still referred to themselves as "Americans" in the case of the freed slaves from the former United States, or "Black Britons" for those hailing from the United Kingdom and Canada, the term "Melanesian" had soon become the new ethnonym of the colonists by the 1870s. In 1877, the constitution of the new government officially proclaimed itself to be the "United States of Melanesia", or simply "Melanesia", as its new name on the international stage. Though other names such as "Black America" and "New Africa" have been used to describe the country throughout history, Melanesia has stuck as the primary name used by inhabitants and foreigners alike.
Antiquity and settlement
The history of human settlement on New Guinea and the surrounding islands can be traced back nearly 50,000 to 100,000 years, with the arrival of the Proto-Australoid peoples of Africa. These proto-Australoids migrated from East Africa to the ice age continent of Sahul, settling various islands and landmasses on their way east across the Indian Ocean. The Andaman Islands, Sri Lanka, South India, and the Philippines were among the regions colonized by the proto-Austroloid peoples as the migrated to Sahul, where they ultimately ended their migration. On the massive continent, the proto-Australoids established settlements throughout the land, developing extensive hunter-gatherer societies which thrived on the bountiful supply of big game and sea food along the eastern coastline of Sahul. However, as the ice age came to a close about 12,000 years ago, and sea levels rose rapidly across the planet, the lowlands of Sahul were flooded, breaking the continent up into various islands.
The continent of Australia would be formed in the south, with its inhabitants becoming the modern Aboriginal Australians, while in the north, the proto-Australoids of New Guinea would host the Papuans and their extremely diverse cultures and languages. Contact between the various groups of Australoid peoples would be sparse for groups with seafaring capabilities, but as a whole, non-existent across the board. Contact with the Polynesians centuries later resulted in very little intermixing of the two racial gene pools, as the Polynesians settled the various islands surrounding what had once been the domain of the Australoid people. According to the Temple University in 2008, the Polynesians and the Micronesians shared a very little genetic information with the Melanesians as they became known by the 1700s. It was found that once new outrigger canoes had been constructed, the Polynesians left on their way, leaving little in the form of a genetic footprint on either Australia or New Guinea.
Discovery and exploration
The first documented instance of Europeans arriving on the island of New Guinea was recorded sometime during the 16th century. The island had been discovered by the Portuguese explorer, Jorge de Menezes, who recorded the location of the island sometime between 1526-27, while he and his crew attempted to wait out the monsoon season on the Schouten Islands, within the Cenderawasih Bay of New Guinea. de Menezes' discovery would later be confirmed by the Spanish explorer, Álvaro de Saavedra Cerón, who passed through the waters north of New Guinea while en route to Spain. Various other Spanish explorers would likewise sail near to New Guinea, though the Spanish crown would never lay claim to it outright. The eventual name of the island would later be provided by the explorer Yñigo Ortiz de Retez in 1545, after he landed on the island on 20 June 1545 and christened the landmass as "Nueva Guinea". Later maps of the region would indicate the island as "Nova Guinea", which would in time be Anglicized as "New Guinea".
Between the time of its discovery by European explorers in the early-16th century and the time of renewed European interest in the area during the early-19th century, no major effort had been taken by any of the colonial powers to begin colonization of the island. Indeed, no attempt to lay claim to New Guinea had even been considered by the European empires, who focused on the more profitable ventures on the neighboring islands of Java, Sumatra, and the Philippines. The first successful claim made by any of the European powers was that of the Netherlands in 1828, whose government had recently taken over the bankrupt Dutch East Indies Company just three decades prior. Seeking to expand upon the profitable space trade of the islands, effort was taken to secure the eastern half of the island chain within the archipelago. This claim, however, put the Dutch at odds with the local kingdom known as the Sultanate of Tidore, which claimed the island as well, but never took any efforts to colonize the island. Because of these disputes, the Dutch took no further effort in establish a permanent presence on the island.
Groundwork for colonization
In the United States during 1840s, there was widespread consideration for the establishment of a homeland for the black diaspora population made up of freedmen and slaves, as a way of returning them to the land of their origin. Many organizations such as the American Colonization Society and the Maryland State Colonization Society, actively purchased land on the African continent to help expatriate as many freed slaves in the United States back to what the organizations believed to be their true homeland. However, many African Americans did not view Africa as their true homeland, and many resisted the pressure to return by abolitionists and pro-slavery advocates seeking to remove what they thought to be a dangerous opponent, i.e., educated black Americans with the political and financial capital to pressure the government to act in their favor. In the midst of these tensions, the Unified Conference for Negro Advancement (UCNA), was established in 1846 as a counter to the white-dominated abolitionist movement and their affiliated organization, and provide a black voice to the movement for the benefit of the individuals the movement sought to represent.
The individuals would lead the organization would be made up of both educated freedmen and former slaves experienced in the fields of agriculture and industry from their time in the south. Leading the organization were Alistair Barclay, Andrew Reece, Alister Townsend, and Daniel Durrant, elected to represent the UCNA in an official capacity in 1846 during the organization's first conference in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. The mandate for the UCNA's leadership would be to end slavery or find a new homeland for the black population of the United States, that did not play into the hands of the white-dominated abolitionist movement to "return to where they came from". Alistair Barclay, the overall head of the UCNA, stated that while he was "thoroughly committed to the liberation of the negro wherever he may rest his head", that it was paramount that "negroes everywhere congregate in the land that shall set the forever free". Having established himself as an "Exoduster" within the organization – those seeking to leave America rather than seek equality within it – many equally saw the call to action as rational in the light of political events in the United States.
The question of slavery had been driving millions of Americans apart from one another, even within the same families, as individuals took up a position on the topic of black Americans and their role in Western society. The United States Congress was mulling over the possibility of extending slavery to new states entering the union across the country, and the fear of slavery growing was a real danger that many blacks in the north sought to end. On the other end of the issue was the location of a new homeland for blacks in the diaspora, who did not want to return to Africa based on the hostile conditions on the continent, location of dangerous powers such as France, Spain, and Portugal in Africa, and the idea that they had to return to Africa even though they were Americans by birth and in spirit. Finally, the idea that slavery would end within the next twenty years was not viewed as a possible reality that the abolition movement could attain within sparking a civil war, as the southern slave states were extremely reliant upon the forced labor that formed the backbone of all their economies.
With this understanding in mind, Barclay's statements were vindicated in the eyes of his opponents within the UCNA, and it allowed him to push for his ultimate goal of finding and settling a new land for blacks, not just in the United States, but in any location they or their forefathers before them had been forcibly brought as slaves. Because of the wide-ranging scope of the organization's charter under Barclay's administration of the UCNA, he received significant support from free blacks across the globe, from Canada to Brazil, and France to the United Kingdom, all seeking to contribute to a black-run abolitionist campaign that would cater to the needs of the black diaspora according to the goals set forth by that black diaspora. Donations were provided by freedmen throughout the United States thanks to the image of the organization, as well as the goals it aspired too, and because it didn't point to Africa as a "collection bin" for the free blacks of America, effectively trying to push them back to a continent many barely knew or wished to return to, the UCNA had far more popular support and legitimacy than it contemporaries at the time.
Expeditions of the UCNA
By the time the organization collected enough money to fund its goals, a series of regions had been selected for the project of colonization by members of the black diaspora. Any location in Africa was immediately disregarded, and the continent itself was banned as a potential region for settlement. The rationale for the harsh view of the continent, had everything to do with the dangers in the area beyond just poor publicity. The European colonial powers were eyeing the black continent for themselves due to its vast size, untouched resources, and the potential to establish new centers of trade and resource extraction in Africa. Any black homeland there would be, as was the case with dozens of other non-white nations around the world, conquered and incorporated into some random colonial empire the Europeans were keen to expand. To move to Africa would be to willingly invite the danger of being annexed within but a few short years. As such, for the sake of the mission at hand, other regions would be considered, far from the reach of the European nations and their superior militaries. Asia and Oceania were thus the two finalists to make it into the consideration for a UCNA-sponsored expedition.
Of the regions considered, Australia, New Zealand, Borneo, and New Guinea were selected as possible area to begin operations. Australia was quickly eliminated from the list, due to the large white population occupying all the fertile lands in the east, and the hostile climate and terrain in the west, preventing a successful colony from being established. New Zealand nearly made it into the finalist list due to the lack of European colonization, and a weak native population that had nearly wiped itself out during the island's so-called Musket Wars. However, the British were beginning to ramp up development of the island, and would be hard-pressed to give it up to black migrants seeking a homeland on recently-acquired virgin territory. Borneo was immediately dropped from the list when the Dutch and British began passing the island off to one another ad hoc, making any sort of administration and negotiation impossible to carry out. As such, the only area left on the list would be the island of New Guinea.
Historically, neither the Dutch nor the British spent much time on the island, and disregarded it as an outback possession worth more as a political chess piece than a serious contender for colonial development and government funding and resources. With hostile natives lurking in the dense jungles of New Guinea's various mountains and highlands, it was considered too dangerous to bother exploring the island, and devoting the manpower needed to turn it into a major center of trade, especial with the island of Java and the continent of Australia being in the same region, and far more profitable for the Dutch and the British respectively. A decision was thus made that New Guinea would be selected to serve as the destination for the UCNA's expedition, to survey the land and prepare plans for colonization. A group of thirty men, led by Othello Williams, a senior member of the organization, would be sent to New Guinea to prepare the report for the UCNA, and help guide the plans for the organization based on their discoveries. The expedition would set out in March of 1850, and would spend the next six months residing in New Guinea as they explored its interior.
Setting down on the shore of what would become its future capital of TBD, the expedition immediately began setting up base camp and surveying the land for the future colonization of the island. Williams and his team charted the interior from the far-eastern peninsula back to their base camp, and established contact with several peaceful tribes within the interior of New Guinea. The first of these were the Motu people, who aided Williams and his men in finding edible foods and safe drinking water. Williams later utilized the New Zealander method to convince the Motu people to sell their land in exchange for guns, which led to warfare between the tribes in the interior, killing hundreds of natives for the future settlers, sparing them of the effort of stopping a native insurgency. The land's soil quality was recorded by Williams to help the settlers develop a method of dealing with its stony soil and phosphate retention issues, and would prove invaluable in the coming years and decades. Detailed information of the activities of the group were sent back to the UCNA headquarters in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, updating the organization of Williams' progress, and when to begin sending settlers to New Guinea.
By August 1850, the original goal of the expedition had been realized, with at least 60% of New Guinea's coastline well-surveyed and good harbors pinpointed. Likewise, 30% of the interior on the eastern half of the island had been mapped with the aid of the natives, and the team's mission completed. With the information gathered by the expedition team, the UCNA had developed some potential solutions to the issues that would be faced by the black settlers moving to the island of New Guinea. Ships that would be traveling to the island would be phosphate-rich manures to counteract the axion fixation problems faced by more than a third of the island. Heavy plows and equipment to dredge drainage canals to deal with flooding and remove large stones were also shipped thanks to the information gathered by the team. All of the equipment required would be paid for the wealthier members of the organization, who saw the project as the start of something grand for the black diaspora. Williams himself would be a contributor, and he and his men returned to the United States victoriously, and would return at the head of the first team of settlers by 1851.
Exodus to New Guinea
In the early months of 1851, Othello Williams sent the go-ahead to the UCNA to begin advertising tickets to begin moving to New Guinea. Though some within the UCNA feared the legal ramifications of migrating to an island controlled by the Dutch, Alistair Barclay and his fellow leaders within the UCNA stated that the Dutch claimed, but did not control, New Guinea, and had far more to gain from the western-half of the Dutch East Indies. Likewise, they knew of no valuable minerals on New Guinea that could be easily exploited, and were thus content to allow the island to exist as it was for the time being, allowing the UCNA to move onto the island unopposed. Though this lax way of thinking exposed the lack of political experience within the organization, it would be sometime until this miscalculation would effect it. Until then, the entire venture would advertised as "a virgin island" with "untamed beauty and fertile lands", and natives "as noble as they were beautiful". As a consequence, more than 30,000 tickets were sold – many at half price – within the first month of advertising in February, to members of the black community in the United States, Canada, and Great Britain.
Because of the lack of passenger carrying capacity, the tiny fleet of four ships purchased by the UCNA would have to make the trips in groups of two until the fleet could be expanded, and more passengers accommodated. The town of TBD would be established in line with UCNA city planning, ensuring that only the most logical street grid for the area was constructed, and that the most people could be introduced with sanitation, clean water, and lighting. Plans for a series of roads and a railroad were also drawn up, but would not be implemented until 1857 when the funds had become available for such a grand scheme. Prior to colonization by the black diaspora, Williams estimated that a population of some 750,000 native peoples and Europeans, mainly in the far western side of New Guinea, resided across the island. At least 80% of the population resided within the interior. Because of this, the rest of the land was easily occupied and without having to fight with the locals, allowing colonization of New Guinea to proceed without issue.
Within a five-year period following official colonization by the UCNA in 1851, more than 200,000 individuals had migrated to the island of New Guinea, with at least 100,000 recorded births within the same period of time. The UCNA could not cope with the vast demographic boom on the island, and thus established the Melanesian Colonization Authority (MCA) to manage finances, infrastructure development, law enforcement, and security. The UCNA would exist back in the United States as the advertiser for the land, charter ships, sell tickets, and organizing migration flow to New Guinea. Alistair Barclay would appoint Othello Williams as the head of the MCA, and a leading member of the UCNA, Daniel Durrant, as the head of the MCA's migration and housing departments. The two men would, with their knowledge and resources, establish a series of towns across the New Guinea peninsula in the east, and direct the flow of settlers to them all, helping to relive population pressures along the coast, and populate other regions of the island.
American Civil War
Troubles at home
As Melanesia began to coalesce into a proper colony under the aegis of the UCNA, back home in the United States, the debate about the morality of slavery and its future in the country began to enter into a most hostile forum of discussion. In 1854, the U.S. state of Kansas had begun the process of becoming a formal state of the union, notifying the United States Congress of its desire to join the rest of the country as a state in the 1850s. However, debate over the status of Kansas within the union, namely as a slave state or a free state, was sparked by interested parties on both sides prior to Kansas' admission to the Union in 1861, a spin-off of the earlier Missouri Compromise of 1820. The two sides of the debate were the Free-Staters and the Southerner settlers who had migrated to the state with their slaves. The gridlock over what had at the time been considered a simple process of voting the state's stance on slavery prior to entry into the Union, had been compounded by the Kansas–Nebraska Act, which opened up thousands of farms for settlement for the benefit of railroad companies seeking to pass through the land.
As a consequence of the act's adoption by Congress in 1854, primarily pushed by the Southern Democrats, thousands of Americans from the north and south began flooding into the territory with the hope of swinging the vote for admission into the Union as a free state or slave state. This ultimately led to the beginning of the decade-long era known as Bleeding Kansas, which set the stage for the upcoming American Civil War. Only two years later was the issue compounded further by the infamous Dred Scott v. Sandford case in the United States Supreme Court. Dred Scott, a slave from Virginia, had attempted to purchase his and his family's freedom from his owner, who refused, prompting Scott to unsuccessfully sue for his freedom. The case had become a brenchmark for future incidents of its kind, and ultimately resulted in an increased fear that no matter where a slave escaped too, his or her master could simply call upon the state to return their slaves by force.
Ever wary of the increasingly hostile atmosphere in the United States, Alistair Barclay and the UCNA quickly moved to prepare a contingency plan to prevent the loss of progress on their "Melanesia project" as the colonization effort had become known as, nor lose potential colonists for the campaign to establish a free nation for blacks in Oceania. Barclay and his associates thus reached out to other members of the abolitionist movement in the United States and Canada, and set up a secret escape route for free and enslaved blacks alike to move out westward to California, where they would later be moved to Melanesia. This movement, known as the Underground Railroad – already in force since the late-1700s – would prove instrumental to the cause of the UCNA as tens of thousands of black Americans were aided in their flight westward to the free state of California. As the American Civil War enter into its opening stages in 1861, the UCNA began the process of moving its offices from Lancaster, Pennsylvania to San Francisco, California, far from the frontlines of the conflict.
With the support of the Underground Railroad, the UCNA was responsible for providing the funding and transportation for the slaves at designated waypoints along the Mississippi River and out west, while the members of the Railroad itself would be responsible for getting the slaves away from the plantations and guiding them to safety. Using the war as cover, the UCNA was able to traffic more than 20,000 slaves from plantations from throughout the rebellious Confederate States of America by 1865. Needless to say, though the organization's operations in the south were carried out clandestinely, opposition to the movement was rampant as a consequence of its encourage of the movement in public discussions. Barclay made no apologies for his support for the movement, making him a target of various pro-slavery advocates throughout the United States. Because of his stern position on the topic of slavery, and the success his organization had in combating slavery in the war-torn United States, blacks in the United States and Canada regarded him as a hero and leader of the black diaspora throughout the continent, and looked to him for guidance on how best combat the issue of slavery.
End to slavery
As the American Civil War reached its apex in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln issues his famous Emancipation Proclamation on 1 January 1863, declaring the federal government's abolition of slavery throughout the loyalist territories of the United States. Effectively, any slave who escaped the Confederate States would be legally recognized as a freedman by the United States government. Seeing the potential in this momentous act by President Lincoln, the UCNA actively increased its efforts to move as many slaves from the south into the north, and utilize the Proclamation's edict to openly transport them from the United States to Melanesia without having to fear any legal ramifications from slaveowners operating in within the slave states in the north. As Union troops tore through the defenses of the southern rebels, UCNA agents followed closely behind them and provided instructions to the freed slaves how to migrate to the colony of Melanesia with the help of the organization. Though many critics considered the UCNA's actions to be "predatory poaching", Barclay once again made no apologies for his actions, believing that the cause of freedom without fear was of the highest priority.
Tens of thousands of black men, women, and children accepted the offer given to the by Barclay and the UCNA, and left the United States behind them as they sought to attain a better life overseas. These freed slaves, left in droves across the American West, taking with them their meager possessions, whatever money they had saved as slaves, and the few weapons they took off of the battlefields they passed as the victorious Union Army marched deeper and deeper into the Confederacy. So as to expedite the movement of freedmen across the vast American plains, the UCNA negotiated a compromise with the major railroad companies, allowing the UCNA to move thousands of its patrons across the continent at half-price, in exchange for a single lump sum to pay for the extension of the railway in the western United States. By the war's end in 1865, some 100,000 black Americans had left the United States, with many thousands yet to come, as they saw no future for them in the nation that had held them hostage for more than four centuries.
In 1865, an unforeseen event would shake the world and provide a major boon to the UCNA and Melanesia as a whole. At Ford's Theatre in Washington, D.C., President Abraham Lincoln would be assassinated by a former actor and southern sympathizer named John Wilkes Booth, who proclaimed that Lincoln's actions had killed slavery movement and had been a major blow to southern pride. A constitutional crisis erupted throughout the post-war United States, leading to the collapse of the government and the rise of secessionist movements throughout the country. Seeking revenge upon the individuals who they felt were responsible for the start of the civil war and defeat of the south, whites throughout the country – primarily in the south – began attacking blacks throughout the region and killing hundreds of them. Seizing a golden opportunity, Barclay declared himself a "champion of the negroes" and sent in militias which had been formed by the UCNA to protect their assets in the United States from pro-slavery supporters. These militias would defeat thousands of former Confederate veterans, and rescue thousands of freed slaves from their pursuers.
With any hope of reconciliation gone for good, hundreds of thousands of blacks both in the United States and Canada, decided to commit themselves to the Melanesia project, which had by 1870, gained widespread attention for its actions during the American Civil War. Abolitionists throughout the globe saw the movement as a legitimate torchbearer for their cause, and donated generously to the UCNA and its colonial wing, the Melanesian Colonization Authority, allowing them to transport the tens of thousands of black families from devastated United States overseas to Melanesia. The UCNA headquarters was moved once again from San Francisco to TBD, so as to better oversee the colonization effort, and coordinate the migration work globally. Within the span of a few years, Melanesia witnessed, a single year along, an influx of some 70,000 black American immigrants to the island in 1872. These immigrants, calling themselves Exodusters, were fleeing the rampant race riots in the United States as the country collapsed, and establish a new life for themselves in Melanesia. Consequently, Melanesia found itself having to form a proper government to oversee the development of farmland, infrastructure, and resources in the colony. Between 1870 and 1880, the population of Melanesia increased nearly twofold, from 1.9 million to 3.1 million, as more and more black people migrated to the colony.
In 1883, the UCNA was officially disbanded and all operations transferred over to the Melanesian Colonization Authority, with Barclay remaining the president of the organization. With the increase in population, a militia was formed to protect the colony from external and internal threats, primarily from the Dutch and the British, who had grown wary of the Melanesian experiment on their doorsteps. A call to arms for men between the ages of 18 and 40 was put out by the MCA to form a permanent militia for the colony, with up to 20,000 volunteers sought after by the colonial administration. Likewise, a small flotilla of armed vessels was established by the colony to prevent piracy by the natives of Java and the Maluku Islands, seeking to prevent raids on the colony's coastal settlements in the west. As colony's population continued to increase rapidly, it be became apparent that rapid development of the island was required, and the need for other social policies were a necessity. As the island's population was projected to double within the next decade alone, measures had to be taken to prevent a catastrophic collapse of the colony due to lack of arable land or resources.
A system of taxation was implemented by the MCA, pegged at a modest 5% tax on all goods sold and traded within Melanesia. Likewise, a grid-based land development system akin to that in the former United States was also drawn up to oversee the distribution of land. Looking to avoid the disasters that were Haiti and Liberia, namely, uneducated blacks taking over the agricultural needs of the state, the colonial administration carefully implemented educational policies to prevent the rise of subsistence farming in Melanesia. With effective teaching of the farming population in how to care for crops other than cotton or rice, Melanesia was able to develop its small plots of arable land effectively. Likewise, thanks to the land surveying and development that took place three decades ago, the once inhospitable tropical island of New Guinea was slowly transformed into a habitable island that was able to support a larger population. Flooding was counteracted by the introduction of canals and levees, draining soil of high water content and allowing it to support crops. Furthermore, exploration of the island's mineral resources revealed vast deposits of iron, gold, and copper across the island, though the MCA wisely kept this information hidden until it could extract and exploit these resources on its own.
Formation of government
With the collapse of the United States government in 1865, the Melanesian Colonization Authority no longer had a guarantor to protect the small colony of Melanesia from foreign powers such as the British and Dutch empires in the region, which formed the bulk of the European influence in Oceania. Barclay himself had long held the belief that it was never Melanesia's place to be the puppet of some foreign power, regardless of its location, and that Melanesia – as had long been the goal of the colony – should be free. With Melanesia having developed a character of its own, molded from the hope and determination of its black diaspora inhabitants, who had witnessed and experienced racism and slavery from all sorts of people throughout the globe, it would be a great injustice to allow them to fall into the hands of their former oppressors in the eyes of their colonial government. Consequently, as it became more and more apparent that the Europeans were looking to encroach upon what they deemed the remnants of a failed republican experiment in the Americas, Melanesia's political elite determined it was the time to take action and defend the "Melenesian project" from the overzealous burden of the white man.
In 1876, Barclay and the government of the MCA commissioned the drafting of a constitution for the future government that would establish itself in place of the MCA. TBD was selected for the drafting of the document, and select a number of literary experts who had migrated to Melanesia to aid him in the effort. The constitution of Melanesia who contain clear and direct statements on the position of the state, the role it would play in the lives of its citizens, it duties toward all other black Africans, and the effort to preserve the goals of the old United States for the pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness for all the inhabitants in Melanesia. Over the course of several months, TBD and his team sharpened the wording of the constitution, leaving no room for interpretation by future members of society, and preventing the decay that had resulted in the collapse of America in 1865. In October of 1876, TBD presented his completed version of the constitution to Barclay, who immediately scheduled a constitutional convention for the following month to allow for the gathering of delegates, officials, and social elites to come and witness the birth of the country's foundation.
In the capital city of TBD, the delegates to the Melanesian constitutional convention unanimously voted in favor of the adoption of TBD's constitution. In line with the agreements laid out by the delegates, Barclay would be designated as the first President of Melanesia, as befitting of the man who's dream for a truly free nation made Melanesia's success a reality. TBD would be his Vice President, and TBD the Speaker of the House of Representatives. An executive cabinet would be formed before January 1st, at which time the constitution would enter into full effect, replacing the Melanesian Colonization Authority with the officially titled United States of Melanesia. Slavery would be outlawed as the first act of the new government, which Barclay wished to be his first act as president so as to establish Melanesia as a free state the moment it was born. Naturally, many of the neighboring pirate and maritime states under Dutch oversight found the act to be threatening to their survival, but given the size of Melanesia, it was deemed impossible to force them to change this stance.
Disputes with the Dutch
Though Melanesia had undergone all of the steps necessary to become a fully-independent nation-state, it was not immediately accepted into the international community. Melanesia had still be founded on Dutch territory, as New Guinea had originally be claimed in entirety by the Dutch East Indies government, which had allowed the Melanesians to develop without interference based on misgivings of their intentions there. With their efforts more directed toward the western islands of the East Indies, such as Sumatra and Java, New Guinea was never truly given much consideration until the UCNA established a foothold on the island. For years, Barclay and his team had successfully persuaded the Dutch to let the issue go each time it was brought up, arguing that the colonists were simply refugees, and that they were helping contribute to the development of the eastern half of the island chain by developing agricultural lands and paying Dutch customs duties. As long as the Dutch got a cut of the profit from Melanesia, it was content with the development of New Guinea. Melanesian merchants paid an excise tax on goods imported to the island, and Melanesian militias aided the Dutch in their anti-piracy campaigns in the rest of the archipelago. The system was deemed a useful one for both parties given the political and geographical realities of the time.
However, the declaration of independence by Melanesia had been an unforeseen event that the Dutch government refused to accept, viewing it as a violation of their sovereignty over the islands of the East Indies. Fearing that they would bring other regional powers into the debate, President Barclay sent a delegation under the supervision of TBD to the Dutch East Indies capital of Batavia, to request an audience with Johan Wilhelm van Lansberge, the Governor-General of the Dutch East Indies. TBD and her team were granted an audience with Lansberge, who demanded indemnity payments for the actions of Melanesia and its citizens. TBD firmly expressed that the Melanesian government would not pay the indemnity, as it had come to the knowledge of her and her team that the Dutch had never officially laid claimed New Guinea, and had simply taken for granted that their occupation of the western half of the East Indies meant that they owned the eastern half as well, which had no bearing in international affairs. She also made note of the fact that in the more than two and a half centuries of consistent Dutch presence in the region, no effort to colonize New Guinea had ever been taken, and the Dutch themselves had only laid claim to the island in 1828 as a political move than a long-term colonial one.
Based on that knowledge alone, and the fact that Melanesia had laid claim to the island itself in an official manner, the Dutch could not legally claim occupied land. The Dutch were infuriated, and refused to let the matter go, and threatened to pursue the issue militarily. However, given the political climate in Europe with the ongoing Franco-Prussian War, and the danger posed by the Belgians as a potential ally for the French, the Dutch were in no position to push their hand. The Melanesians, aware of the stage set before them, refused to play along and stood their ground, laying claim to all of New Guinea. Lansberge expelled the TBD and the Melanesian delegation from Batavia, and barred future negotiations with the country. However, in spite of the fluster from the Dutch, TBD and Melanesia were confident in their position, and their ability to hold onto their land, as the Dutch could not pursue a war with Melanesia in its current political state. The Netherlands would not recognize Melanesia until 1927, during which time Melanesia joined the League of Nations, and forced the Dutch to compromise in exchange for protecting their colony from an expansionist Empire of Japan.
At the time of the Melanesian disputes with the Dutch in the late-1800s, the newly-formed German Empire had not been sitting idle. Having recently defeated the French in the 1870s, the Germans were actively seeking to displace the British and the Dutch as regional powers in Oceania, the Germans had been making a series of moves throughout the area, taking over several islands in the Pacific Ocean to serve as coaling stations for their navy. Because of its strategic position within a wider scope as a point of refueling, Melanesia had become a target of the Germans for colonization. While the Dutch themselves could and would not pursue a military adventure in the Pacific, Germany was more than happy to do so itself. German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck sought to expand German power and influence across the globe, as apart of the increasingly coherent and manifest German concept known as Weltpolitik, or "world politics". Prior to the end of his term as the chancellor, Bismarck had indicated that Melanesia would be an "excellent jewel for Germania's new crown"; ultimately highlighting the island nation as the potential German equivalent of British India or the neighboring Dutch East Indies–the crown jewel of their burgeoning colonial empire.
German influence in the region of Oceania expanded rapidly with the focus of the imperial government on quickly annexing as many islands and territories as possible so as to secure their place on the global stage at the expanse of the British, French, and increasingly expansionist Japanese. With the start of the Scramble for Africa in 1881, the Melanesian government feared the potential acquisitions of the Europeans in Oceania as the Germans spearheaded colonization of their region. In line with their goals for a colonial empire, the Germans finally made their move on Melanesia. In 1884, the Germans attempted to land on William Lee Island with some 350 marines, but were repulsed by the local Melanesian army contingent that had been tracking the German naval movements in the area for weeks. It was hoped that the island would have been too lightly defended for the Melanesians to resist a German intrusion on their lands, but having feared subjugation in the wake of inaction, President TBD ordered that no inch of soil be given so as to establish early on the clear lines of engagement between the two nations; not one an empire and another a suzerainty, but as dual sovereign nations on equal grounds.
Needless to say, the German government was not at all pleased with the opposition to their attempts to establish a military outpost on William Lee Island, and subsequently shelled a coaling station on the northern half of Melanesia as retribution. However, seeking to avoid an international incident that would no doubt see the British and French rally behind Melanesia to establish a buffer zone against German influence, the latter wisely limited their barrage to a single volley before sailing to the nearest German port in Africa. Further attempts to destabilize Melanesian authority at home by the Germans saw them supplying weapons to the native Papuans, who had been dispossessed of their lands by the black diaspora migrants, and fostering a war on the island that would draw the attention of the Melanesian government away from future German encroachments. This period of native unrest, known as the Quiet Wars for the clandestine German operations and press blackout enforced by Melanesia, saw the destruction of nearly all the Papuan tribes by the unrelenting campaigns of the Melanesian government. With their Papuan pawns all but wiped out by 1900, the Germans attention pulled to more important goals in Africa, their intrusions into Melanesian affairs waned by the turn of the century.
The final attempt by the Germans to colonize Melanesia came in 1903, when an abortive attempt to invade the island nation took place at the city of TBD. Some 2,000 German marines operating out of the Kiautschou Bay Leased Territory in mainland China, were sailed to Melanesia by a German admiral Max Rollmann seeking to expand Germany's influence and prestige in Oceania. The expedition had no official back in Berlin, and Rollmann's unilateral actions were condemned by his government who demanded his immediate withdrawal from Melanesian waters and report for a military court martial, though the admiral refused. Rollman and his flotilla of loyal sailors had been looking for a weak target to attack for "German pride", and thought Melanesia to be a viable option. Though Germany hadn't warned Melanesian authorities of the matter to see how things would unfold, the latter was aware of the issue via British diplomatic cables seeking to escalate the matter and possibly bring Melanesia into its fold. Rather than turn to the British for aid as hoped, the Melanesians dealt with the matter independently, using smaller and faster torpedo boats sank most of the eager German vessels, killing hundreds of men. The rest were extridiated back to Germany, but Rollman chose to drown rather than return to Germany as a traitor and an embarrassment to his nation.
Securing national sovereignty
By the turn of the century, Melanesia's independence was recognized by only a handful of nations in the world, with countries such as Argentina, Brazil, Liberia, and Mexico being one of the few where the national governments acknowledged Melanesia's sovereignty. Though the Germans of the years past had been ousted from the immediate surroundings of Melanesia, anyone with any cursory knowledge of European geopolitics and the rampant predilection toward nationalist ideals of the time by the average citizen of any nation in the world, knew that the Germans would return in force one day. If not the Germans, then potentially the French, the Dutch, or the British. Understanding the fragility of its existence, and the proximity of far more powerful nations within the area such as Japan, China, Hani, and even Australia, the Melanesian government was hard-pressed to secure the country's survival only three decades after its declaration of independence from the now-dead United States of America. With this in mind, the government embarked on what it termed the "Fortress Sovereignty Plan" (FSP), an ambitious development and militarization scheme aimed at securing Melanesia's independence in a world full of predators.
A plan was drawn up that would ensure that the Melanesians were prepared to protect their new homeland from any opponents in the immediate surroundings, and make the more powerful colonial empires pay a heavy price for attacking the island, even if the Melanesians ultimately lost. The first act passed under the plan was the Federal Militia Act of 1907, which required all men between the ages of 16 and 45 to serve four weeks out of the year in their state militias, with either a half-rate pay from the job they were currently employed at and protection of that employment; or for youth, extra credits for their studies and preferential employment for those who serve all of their required time in the militia and did not dodge their responsibilities. According to the records compiled at the time, some 65,000 men volunteered for the militias in 1907-08 fiscal year, while another 80,000-100,000 additional men (excluding returning personnel) volunteered for the 1908-09 fiscal year. So as to better organize the militias and reap the full benefit of the organizations, the President TBD passed the National Guard Act of 1910, establishing the Melanesian National Guard as a permanent entity and branch of the armed forces.
The second stage of the FCP outlined by the government was the... TBD
World War I
British mandate era
Road to independence
World War II
Miracle on the Sepik
Geography and climate
Melanesia (excluding New Guinea)
- Population: 2,286,706
- Area: 86,522 km2
Biodiversity and environment
Melanesia's government is a multi-party constitutional republic with a presidential system, with an array of checks and balances enshrined in the constitution, hearkening back to the government of the former United States. Melanesia is one of the oldest democracies in the world, with a long history of republicanism beginning with the self-governance of Melanesia during its colonial period during the mid-1800s. The President of Melanesia is both the head of state and the head of government, and is elected to a four-year term of office, with the possibility of re-election to a second successive term. There are no term limits, though the only limitation is that the president must wait four years before seeking re-election to a third, non-consecutive term in office. The president appoints members of the Cabinet, who aid him in enforcing federal laws, policies, and regulations. As of 20XX, the current president was TBD. The President wields the power to pass executive orders within the structure of his or her constitution rights, and appoints members to the Supreme Court and the various federal agencies of the government. As with the members of the legislature, the President is elected by direct vote, with a simple majority required to win the office.
Below the executive branch is the Congress of Melanesia, which comprises the legislative branch of government. The Congress is divided into two houses; the Senate, which serves as the upper house, and House of Representatives, which occupies the lower house. Both are responsible for passing bills into law, voting on declarations of war and the approval of peace treaties, and hold the power of the purse. The House of Representatives is considered the more powerful of the two houses, in that it can also impeach the president if he or she is found to be grossly negligent in the execution of their duties as the head of state, or incapable of carrying out their responsibilities in the event of serious health or mental issues. The Senate consists of XX members, three from each state, who are elected to six-year terms, while the House of Representatives consists of XX members, elected to two-year terms of office, with each state's number of seats apportioned according to census data collected every ten years.
The judicial branch of Melanesia consists of the Supreme Court, which is responsible for interpreting constitutional law, as well as any federal laws passed by Congress, overturning those deemed to be unconstitutional. The court is composed of ten associate justices, and a single Chief Justice, who heads the court and makes the final ruling on cases. The Supreme Court is regarded as the final interpreter all any judicial decision made in the country, and its rulings are final. All laws within Melanesia are subject to judicial review by the Supreme Court in line with the Melanesian constitution. Any law deemed to be in violation of the constitution by the court is voided by the Chief Justice on behalf of the Supreme Court. The justices are all appointed by the president of Melanesia, and approved by Congress after a prolonged period of questioning and crosschecking to confirm the validity of the president's choice for the Supreme Court. The various lower district courts in Melanesia are responsible for accepting cases which don't require the immediate attention of the Supreme Court. All of its judges are appointed by the President and confirmed by Congress.
Law and justice
- Melanesian Defense Forces
- Budget: $122.763 billion (FY 2018)
- Percent of GDP: 3% (FY 2018)
- Active personnel (Forward deployable): 484,948 (161,648)
- Reserve personnel (Active reserves): 294,611 (98,203)
- Melanesian Army: 172,197 (57,399)
- Melanesian Navy: 130,311 (23,270)
- Melanesian Air Force: 111,695 (61,083)
- Melanesian Marine Corps: 51,194 (14,544)
- Melanesian Coast Guard: 19,551 (6,517)
Melanesia's population as of 2018 was estimated to be about 90 million, according to the Melanesian Census Bureau. This was up 18.8% from the previous total of 75,912,612 following the 2010 federal census. The country's rapid population growth has historically been credited to the value placed on large families and marriage at a young and healthy age to sustain the local communities throughout Melanesia. Melanesians are regarded as uniquely homogeneous in spite of the varied background of its inhabitants, due to the interbreeding of the families who migrated to the country during the mid- and late-19th century, as well as a shared background in coming from the black diaspora generated by the four century-long history of the Transatlantic slave trade, trafficking millions of black Africans to North America, South America, and parts of Europe. Consequently, Melanesians are 80% African, 15% European, and 5% other, typically intermixed with native Papuans during the era of settlement in the 1800s. Black Melanesians make up 98% of the national population, making them the large racial group in the country. The native Papuan peoples of Melanesia make up about 1.3%, while Asians and Europeans make up the remaining 0.7% of the population.
The Papuans were largely wiped out in a series of sustained campaigns by the black diaspora settlers known as the Quiet Wars, during which time tens of thousands of native men, women, and children were exterminated by the militias of early Melanesia, while any of the young women and girls were kept for sexual purposes. The government of Melanesia has never issued an official apology for the atrocities, and given the weakened demographic and political state of the Papuan aboriginals, they do not expect to receive one in the near future. Monuments to the victims of the purges are outlawed, and the government does not recognize that any genocide of native Papuans took place within the country. The white and Asian residents in the country are largely composed of foreign government officials, students, and professionals visiting on a temporary work visa. Citizens from certain countries, such as China, Russia, Israel, Hani, and Sierra, are outright banned from visiting or migrating to Melanesia altogether. Little reason has been given for these immigration bans, though as with most other behavior by the state, official government policies are a secretive matter.
Immigration to the country has been low for non-blacks due to strict government policies in force in Melanesia, namely, the Black Melanesia policy which was introduced in 1931 with more than 94% popular support. Officially, Melanesia bans immigration from non-black countries, but likewise prevents mass immigration and chain migration to the country through the enforcement of one of the toughest immigration systems in the world. Immigration to Melanesia is centered around a merit-based point system, which involves the accumulation of points revolving around one's professional skills, proficiency with English, shared support of Melanesian ideals and customs. Work visas are equally difficult to attain, as the government only provides them to individuals vetted by the state and to individuals with advanced work skills and education. Because of this strict system, only 8,000 foreigners attained Melanesian citizenship in 2017 alone. Miscegenation is officially outlawed in Melanesia, having been in force since the early-1900s, and enforcement is strict and rigorous, with the mixed population in the country consequently being nonexistent.
- 1850: 747,502 – N/A
- 1860: 1,139,941 – 52.5% (colonization campaign)
- 1870: 1,859,244 – 63.1% (fleeing American Civil War)
- 1880: 3,110,513 – 67.3% (Exoduster movement at height)
- 1890: 7,707,806 – 56.8% (first major housing crisis)
- 1900: 9,657,880 – 25.3% (immigration quota and population controls introduced)
- 1910: 12,033,718 – 24.6%
- 1920: 15,330,957 – 27.4% (post-WW1 race riots in Europe and America)
- 1930: 18,826,415 – 22.8%
- 1940: 22,516,392 – 19.6% (World War II losses and demographic contraction)
- 1950: 27,740,195 – 23.2% ("Baby Boomer" generation born)
- 1960: 33,038,572 – 19.1% (population controls re-enforced)
- 1970: 38,622,091 – 16.9% (start of birth control campaign)
- 1980: 43,295,364 – 12.1% (housing crisis and economic slowdown)
- 1990: 51,824,550 – 19.7% (population controls relaxed)
- 2000: 62,604,056 – 20.8%
- 2010: 75,912,612 – 21.2%
- 2018: 90,183,435 - 18.8%
Melanesia's constitution recognizes Christianity as the official state religion of the country, and discrimination against non-Christian religions within Melanesia is rife. According to the census in 2010, Melanesians overwhelming identified themselves as Christians, with more than 98% of respondents declaring themselves as an adherent to one of the various Christian denominations in Melanesia. The other 2% of respondents on the census records identified as "agnostic" or "non-religious". Almost all Christians within Melanesia belong to the Melanesian Alithian Church, which was established in 1907 by executive decree of the President of Melanesia to organize the various Protestant denominations in the country under a single religious authority. MelaStata, a non-profit statistical organization based in Melanesia, conducted a poll in 2015 to determine the rate of adherence and belief in God in the country not measured by the census. The poll revealed that 92% of Melanesian citizens professed that they "believe there is a God", and further indicted that 88% of Melanesians described themselves as "highly religious", the highest rate of religiosity in the region; and 80% of Melanesians stated that they attended church at least once a week.
The other Abrahamic religions – Islam and Judaism – were officially outlawed in Melanesia in 1937, while the East Asian religions of Buddhism, Hinduism, and Confucianism, among others, were banned two years later. The influence of the Alithian Church in Melanesian politics was historically blamed for the act of religious discrimination by foreign observers and religious authorities of the outlawed religions. In 1943, TBD, the Secretary of Faith for Melanesia, defended the actions of the government, stating: "If a people find themselves in favor of a way of life threatened by the pagan teachings of false 'prophets' and 'sages', then the people have the right to determine for themselves the manner in which their leaders represent those concerns". Likewise, Christianity's role in Melanesian nationalism is powerful influence, and all of the major leaders in Melanesian politics, finance, and industry, were members of the Christian right in Melanesia. Most Melanesians have been supportive of the actions of their government, and acts of religious-based violence against foreigners visiting the country and worshiping in private, have increased over the last two decades, especially toward the predominately Confucian Hani visitors to Melanesia.
The particular variant of Christianity in Melanesia, known as Alithianism, boasts a number of doctrinal deviations from the mainstream denominations of Christianity such as Catholicism and Protestantism. Melanesians are overwhelming members of the Nontrinitarian teachings of the Bible, believing the concept of the Trinity to be based in pagan beliefs and Byzantine political infighting. Other topics upon which the teachings of Alithianism vary for the other major denominations in the world, involving issues such as incest, polygamy, and capital punishment. Many Melanesians believe that following the adoption of the teachings of Jesus in 33 CE by the early Christian church, the Law of Moses, which prohibited many acts by its adherents, were removed as per Jesus's command to the Christians to adopt new standards and practices. As such, Melanesians are perceived to follow a more "libertine" version of Christianity, though certain acts such as homosexuality and adultery remain outlawed by the church and the state based on scriptural statements by Jesus in the Gospels. As a consequence, Melanesian Christians are accused of "flip-flopping" by other Christians, though the Alithian Church has repeatedly stated that it is clear on what its doctrines are.
The promotion of atheism and agnosticism were traditionally restricted by the government, which declared such movements to be "harmful social actors" within the general population. However, the Melanesian government loosened its hand during the 1980s, as advised by the Alithian Church itself, which proclaimed that "iron cannot be hardened without flame, nor cement without the dissolving power of water". The ultimate implication of the church's statement was that the devout behavior of the Melanesian people could not be strengthened without challenges to their faith. Thus, prominent atheists such as Richard Dawkins, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens, along with atheist authors such as Salman Rushdie and Noam Chomsky, were invited to make their cases against religion within Melanesia free of persecution. In spite of spirited attempts by major atheist organizations to promote their cause within the country, most Melanesian citizens have expressed disdain for the concept of irreligion, with online forums and chat sites often making fun of the idea as well as producing well-written counterarguments to the claims made by atheists.
Melanesia been classified as a high-income and highly-developed country, being defined as such since its industrialization in the 1920-30s, and is likewise considered the most industrialized member state of the OECD. The country is defined as having a fully free market economy with little to no government intervention, and few regulatory blocks preventing corporate growth and investment. Melanesia's economy according purchasing power parity, stood at $4.306 trillion as of 2018, while its market exchange rates stood at $4.094 trillion. Accordingly, the nation's FDI abroad was $1.183 trillion while its received FDI was about $1.014 trillion. Significant economic strides have been made in the country due to the government's pro-business attitude toward investment and development, and consequently, Melanesia had the largest number of startup companies in the world thanks to the low regulations and bureaucracy required to setup a new company in the country. Focus on local initiative and innovation have played a major role in the growth and flexibility of the Melanesian economy in the last thirty years. In 2017, Melanesia was ranked 1st in the world by ease of doing business, and 3rd by share of people performing highly-skilled work.
Melanesia boasts some of the most advanced automotive, aerospace, shipbuilding industries in the world, and is generally regarded as a global leader in the production of high-quality precision tools and equipment. Melanesia is also considered a leader in the production of technologically advanced electronics, machine tools, superconductors, steel and nonferrous metals, and textiles. Though originally regarded as a poor region for agriculture, most of Melanesia's land was developed and worked to make it more hospitable for crops and livestock. Though employing less than 3% of the population, Melanesia's agricultural sector accounts for about 14% of the national economy. The country's unemployment rate has historically remained low, at around 3-4% as of 2018, while workforce participation rates have remained high for the entirety of the country's history. In 2017, Melanesia's labor force consisted of about 0.0 million workers, most of which were employed in the services industry. Mining and processing of raw minerals is another part of the economy which has been performing well in Melanesia. Despite limited natural resources, the country's intensive development of its existing industrial sector, balanced out its deficiency in resources.
Traditionally, the Melanesian work ethic has long been credited with the success of Melanesia as a pro-free market nation, with a culture of hard work and personal success driving its citizens to devote themselves to the advancement of the financial capacity of the state. Competition in the market is encouraged by deregulating the process of starting up a company, while upward mobility and startup companies prevent conglomerates from holding onto highly-skilled employees, and thus preventing the rise of deeply-entrenched monopolies. Melanesia was one of the few developed economies in the world to avoid the harmful effects of the 2008 financial crisis, and the resulting Great Recession, which impacts virtually every single developed economy on earth. Melanesian economists had been responsible for predicting the effects of the American housing bubble of the late-1990s and early-2000s, and encouraged Melanesians to either avoid investing in the housing market, or at the very least diversify their portfolios just in case. Those recommendations were heeded by the federal government, allowing Melanesia along with Australia to be the only two advanced economies not to experience an economic recession.
The federal government of Melanesia follows a strict free trade, laissez-faire policy, allowing market forces to move without the direct intervention of the government. The country's location in a relatively calm and stable region, as well as sound fiscal policies by the government, have allowed Melanesia to be among the few countries with a "AAA"-credit rating. However, major corporate entities dominate the economy of Melanesia in the same manner as the chaebol of South Korea, wielding a high degree of political influence over the government and its organs. However, a balance does exist within the country, in which the Melanesian people and consumers are traditionally more involved in both their government and economy as investors and entrepreneurs. Due to the high number of start-ups and small businesses across the island, the influence of major conglomerates and corporations is checked by the gestalt entrepreneurial electorate that comprises much of Melanesia's population. Because of the competition within the economy by both sides, Melanesia benefits from a large variety of products and services, and relatively low cost of living thanks to the "self-regulating" economic competition between the small and large businesses.
The overwhelming majority of Melanesia's energy needs are meet by the production of nuclear power throughout the country. Large investments made by the federal government and various private energy production companies such as Arkes Energy and Kelidren, have resulted in most of the energy consumed in Melanesia being generated by a total of 132 nuclear power plants, which collectively supply about 83% of the nation's energy needs. However, in spite of the iron grip nuclear power companies hold on the market share for energy supply in Melanesia, renewable sources of energy have been promoted by the government through initiatives taken by the Department of Science and Technology and the Department of Energy. Wind and solar power have become highly popular sources of energy thanks to government support of the projects and private investment in renewable energy in Melanesia. Various wind farms were constructed in the highlands, and altogether, renewable energy supplies Melanesia with 3% of its energy. Elsewhere, hydroelectric dams in the interior highlands of Melanesia were constructed during the 1950s and 1970s to help diversify the energy supply, and cover 9% of the energy needs of the country.
Science and technology