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KRONENBURG VIRGIN ISLANDS

The (Kronenburg) Virgin Islands (Dutch: De (Kronenburgse) Maagdeneilanden; Kronenburgish: De (Kroneborgske) Joffreig; Danish: De Kroneborgske Jomfruøer or Jomfruøerne for short) have been an independent Element of the Kingdom of Kronenburg since 2016. Before that, they were an autonomous overseas province of the Kingdom of Kronenburg. On 1 January 2011, there lived approximately 14,000 people, 6,500 of whom lived in the capital of Frederick's Bay (Dutch: Frederiksbaai, Danish: Frederiksvig). Dutch and Danish are the official languages of the islands. The king of Kronenburg is represented by a governor (currently Ditmar Bosman van Hoogeveen, since 2006); the council of ministers of the Virgin Islands has been chaired by chairman Frank Hausgaard since 2014.

History
The Virgin Islands were originally inhabited by Ciboney-, Carib- and Arowak Indians. The islands were discovered by Christopher Columbus during his second voyage in 1493. They were named Virgin Islands, after Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgins. In the following 300 years the islands were colonised by many European powers, such as Spain, England, the Netherlands, France, the knights of Malta, and Denmark. The Danish West India Company established a settlement on Saint Thomas in 1672, St. John followed in 1694, St. Nicholas and St. Raphael in the 1702 - 1705 period, and Saint Croix was purchased from the French West Indies Company in 1733. In 1754, the islands were sold to the Danish king, Frederick V of Denmark, becoming royal Danish colonies.

Laws and regulations in the Danish West Indies were based on Denmark's laws, but the local government was allowed to adapt them to match local conditions. For example, things like animals, land, and buildings were regulated according to Danish law, but Danish law did not regulate slavery. Slaves were treated as common property, and therefore did not necessitate specific laws.

In 1733, differentiation between slaves and other property was implied by a regulation that stated that slaves had their own will and thus could behave inappropriately or be disobedient. The regulation also stated that the authorities were to punish slaves for participating in illegal activity, but many owners punished slaves on their own. There was a general consensus that if the slaves were punished too hard or were malnourished, the slaves would start to rebel. In 1755 Frederick V of Denmark issued more new Regulations, in which slaves were guaranteed the right not to be separated from their children and the right to medical support during periods of illness or old age. However, the colonial government had the ability to amend laws and regulations according to local conditions, and thus the regulations were never enacted in the colony, on grounds that it was more disadvantageous than advantageous.

When Denmark abolished slavery in 1848, many plantation owners wanted full reimbursement, on the grounds that their assets were damaged by the loss of the slaves, and by the fact that they would have to pay for labour in the future. The Danish government paid fifty dollars for every slave the plantation owners had owned and recognised that the slaves' release had caused a financial loss for the owners. However, the lives of the former slaves changed very little. Most were hired at the plantations where they had previously worked and were offered one-year contracts, a small hut, a little land and some money. As employees, former slaves were not plantation owners' responsibility and did not receive food from their employers.

During the First World War, the United States of America purchased some of the islands from Denmark out of fear that they could be conquered by Germany and used by the latter as a submarine basis. At the same time, Kronenburg bought the islands of Saint Nicholas and Saint Raphael for 34 million guilders. Kronenburg became involved in this transaction, due to the conclusion of the Treaty of Providence of 1917 between the USA and Kronenburg, which was basically a non-agression pact. The purchase of the two Virgin islands by Kronenburg was dealt with in the same treaty. The real reason why Kronenburg would want to buy the islands, remains a mystery because several paragraphes of the treaty are classified to this day.

From 1917 until 1941 the Kronenburg Virgin Islands were a traditional colony, ruled by the minister of colonies of Kronenburg. Although Kronenburg was occupied by the United States from 1941 to 1947, the Virgin Islands weren't, although the US appointed Erwin Caderius Hoijtema governor of the islands without consulting the Kronenburg government in exile. In 1949 the islands got the status of an almost normal municipality of Kronenburg, led by a mayor. In the national parliament, two seats were reserved for the Virgin Islands, which continued to emphasise the special status of the islands.

In 1992, this situation was changed drastically: the islands became an Autonomous Overseas Province, with their own government, chaired by the Chairman of the Council of Ministers. The Virgin Islands may decide in certain foreign matters. They may for instance choose to not be part of an international treaty the Kronenburg mainland concludes; the islands joined the AGL only in 2010 (Kronenburg joined in 1999) and they have announced that they won't join NATO if Kronenburg chooses to do so. In 2012, the Virgin Islands didn't join the Exumbran Convention. The islands cannot however join organisations of which Kronenburg itself isn't a member.

In 2011 and 2012, the White Islands and the Virgin Islands asked for a change of the treaty dealing with the relation between the autonomous overseas provinces and Kronenburg. This resulted in the 2015-2016 constitution change, which gave the Virgin Islands the status of Element of the Kingdom, making them a near-independent nation.

Politics
The Virgin Islands have their own parliament of 23 seats. The political parties often form electoral alliances to enter parliament as a bloc. Most coalition governments are formed by parties that are members of the same bloc, but that isn't always possible. After elections, the King's Governor appoints an Advisor General who will try to form a government. Most often, the Advisor General becomes the Chairman of the Council of Ministers, but that too, is not a rule.

Since the 4 October 2014 elections, the seat division in the Virgin Islands parliament is as follows:
 - Communistische Partij (CP, Communist Party) - communists, 7 seats
 - Sociaal Voor Allen! (SVA! Social for Everybody) - social democrats, 6 seats
 - Constitutionele Partij (Const., Constitutional Party) - christian conservatives, 3 seats
 - Betere Keus / Bedre Valg (BK/BV, Better Choice) - social liberals, 3 seats
 - Onafhankelijkheidspartij (OP, Independence Party) - separatists/moderates, 2 seats
 - Milieu en Democratie (M&D, Environment and Democracy) - democrats/greens, 1 seat
 - Democraten voor de Maagdeneilanden (DvdME, Democrats for the Virgin Islands) - democrats, 1 seat

The parties of Democratische Partij (DP, Democratic Party), Verbindingspartij (Verb., Union Party), Nieuwe Democraten (ND, New Democrats) and the Cultuurpartij (Culture Party) have no seats in the present parliament.

Mayors of the Kronenburg Virgin Islands and New-Stavoren:

1949 - 1954
1954 - 1966
1966 - 1969

Erik Bultena
Frans Oosterheerd
Foppe Jaltada Huizinga

1969 - 1984
1984 - 1990
1990 - 1992

Durk Jaltada Huizinga
Ellen Råsløff-Gaastra (f)
Maarten van Groothuizen

 2015

 
Chairpersons of the Council of Ministers (as of 2016: Prime Ministers) of the Kronenburg Virgin Islands:

1992 - 1996
1996 - 2002
2002 - 2003
2003 - 2007

Maarten van Groothuizen (Const.)
Ellen Råsløff-Gaastra (f, SVA!) first time
Francis Caderius Hoijtema (Verb.)
Ellen Råsløff-Gaastra (f, SVA!) second time

2007 - 2010
2010 - 2014
2014 - 2018

Thaeke Dallinga (Const.)
Murk Netjes (SVA!)
Frank Hausgaard (CP)

 2015

 
King's Governors of the Kronenburg Virgin Islands:

1992 - 1999
1999 - 2006
2006 - 2013

Frans Hendrik Bijlsma Tadema
Edwin Starkenburg
Ditmar Bosman van Hoogeveen
   

 2015

 

Tourism and Film Industry
Tourism is the most important source of income on the Virgin Islands. Of course there are many Kronenburgers who visit the beaches every year, but there are many visitors from other countries as well. Most tourists go to the island of Saint Nicolas (Sint Nicolaas), where holidays are organised perfectly and where you can spend your days with a book and a cocktail under a parasol or a palm tree. Swimming and snorkeling are possible activities too.

Who doesn't like sand too much, can go to Frederick's Bay: a typical Caribean colonists' settlement with many low-rise buildings painted in pastel shades. Although the city map suggests a square pattern of streets, random roadside plantings make the roads coil and cars often have trouble driving through them. Notable buildings are the Royal Theatre and the Governor's Palace. The Royal Theatre was built in 1968 after a design of the Virgin Island architect Søren Bjerregaard (1907 - 1984) and has, seen from the sky, the form of a hexagon; the roof is a point getting more upright towards the top, which makes the nearby St. Stephen's Church (Stefanuskerk) look a bit humble. The stately white Governor's Palace on the top of the Absalom Hill (Absalomberg), a hill on the east side of the town, was built in 1919 - much smaller then - as accomodation for the representative of the minister of colonies. In the years that followed, the building was expanded; the last reconstruction took place in 1993, after the Virgin Islands became an autonomous province.

Towards the east is Mariaburg (Mariaborg). Not a very interesting place, apart from the slavery museum that is located there.

The island of Saint Rafael (Sint Rafael) is the paradise for the Kronenburg film industry. The island seems to have everything: beach, tropical forest, bare rocks, and a calm, insignificant little town where normally nothing ever happens, apart from between the beginning and the end of shooting films. The popular Kronenburg soap opera Forbidden Fruits (Verboden Vruchten) has been filmed here since 1979, but more serious films and series also have their origins here: Extremes (Uitersten) a 1988 success film by director Edzo Lycklema remains one of the most offered films on Kronenburg television, but also The Blue Death (De Blauwe Dood, 1994) by Jon Everard Richardson can still be found in the top 10 of popular Kronenburg films.

Goede Vrijdag (Langfredag in Danish) is the capital of Saint Rafael and uses the film industry by adapting its souvenirs accordingly: numerous artifacts (mostly fake) of possessions of Kronenburg film stars, pieces of sets, etc. are sold here to naïve tourists. The calm and insignificant little town is not so calm and insignificant at those moments, but this aspects is never shown in films.