Duchy of Grand Fenwick
The Duchy of Grand Fenwick, the smallest country in the world (15 square miles / 40 square kilometers), is nestled in the French Alps. The country, with a population of 6,000 (estimated), featured three valleys, a river, and a mountain with an elevation of 2,000 feet (610 m). On the northern slopes are 400 acres (160 ha) of vineyards. The hillsides where the ground is less fertile support flocks of sheep that provided meat, dairy products, and wool. Most of the inhabitants lived in the City of Fenwick, which clustered around Fenwick Castle, the seat of government.
The Duchy took its name from its founder, the English knight Sir Roger Fenwick who, while employed by France, settled there with his followers in 1370. Thanks to Sir Roger, the national language is English. The only location where one can place a five mile by three mile (8km x 4.8km) Duchy, (longer on the North/South axis), and have it touch both the Swiss border and the Pontarlier - Baume-Les-Dames highway and have a river, is at Les Gras in the Franche-Comte region in eastern France.
Being as isolated as it is, its life is a throwback to olden days. It was a happy, peace-loving country. Its economy solely rested on export of its only wine, Pinot Grand Fenwick, to the US. When a California vintner started producing and selling a knock-off of the Pinot Grand Fenwick at a lower price, the Grand Fenwick economy went into a crisis situation, the country was on the brink of bankruptcy.
Three protests to the US went largely unanswered. Grand Fenwick's Prime Minister, Rupert of Mountjoy, believed the solution is to declare war on the US, and promptly lose the war in less than a day with no casualties on either side, after which the US, which it had historically done, will provide vast financial aide to rebuild the country. Grand Fenwick's monarch, the Grand Duchess Gloriana XII, ultimately supported this concept. The plan was to send an official declaration of war to the US, have a small army of approximately twenty sail from Marseilles to New York City, and the army immediately surrendering when they can't enter the US without visas. Although seen as a hapless man, the person to lead the mission was Tully Bascombe, who inherited the roles of Grand Fenwick's head forest ranger, head field marshal and grand constable of the armed forces.
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