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For most of human history, the regions which now constitute New Ulster were uninhabited. Even when early Lenaran peoples had one of the most advanced societies for its time on the northern shores of the island, carbon dating suggests modern-day New Ulster was practically untouched. The oldest confirmed remains within modern borders date to around 500 AD, when Lenaran settlements had already been well established on the Impalan mainland and a variety of other islands. Through written and oral folklore, historians suggest indigenous Lenarans avoided settlement in these regions out of fear, with traditional songs telling of shipwrecks along the southeastern coasts of the island and lives lost from brutal winters in the mountains. Even when significant settlement did occur around 1200 AD, it was limited to the northeastern coast, near modern-day Tory, where the most temperate climate can be found.
In 1688, Captain James Matley led the first Lincolnite crew to discover the island. Landing near present-day Southfort, they were met with stormy winter conditions. In his written account, he characterized the landscape as "hostille & barrene, 'twasn't fit for man-kinde." They left quite quickly after gathering what little supplies and food the crew could find in the area.
For around six decades, the empire considered the island unfit for settlement, only occasionally fishing off the rich waters in the east of the island. This was until Alexander Whitby, part of the Lincoln nobility, who had, with little success, started a plantation company on Impala Island, saw potential in the more fertile shores of northeastern Lenara island. He pleaded to the Royal Colonial Society, asking for funding in order to set up a colony on the island. They agreed, and the Lenara Plantation Colony was established in the northeast sector of the island.
In September of 1744, in an attempt to establish more colonial settlements on the island for low cost to the financially-troubled empire, a voyage of 2500 ethnic Ulster men, women, and children set sail from May Port on six ships, which were formerly used for transporting slaves. Known as The First Migration, this initial wave of forced migration had one of the lowest survival rates of any objective in imperial history. In addition to the subhuman conditions of the close-quartered ships during the transport of Ulster people, the situation wasn't much better when they arrived. In December of the same year, the five remaining ships arrived in present-day Calford Bay to find a dense, pristine temperate rainforest, one that extends along the entire eastern coast of the island. This natural beauty also meant settlement was tough, and of the merely two-thirds that survived the voyage, a fourth of those remaining would perish before any real settlement was established.
As the colony developed, seeing widespread disorganization and conflict between settlers and natives, the empire felt a need for a plan which could facilitate its objectives and bring more control to the colony. The 1750 Partition Plan, enacted by Viceroy James Partridge, did exactly that, and fulfilled multiple other colonial goals at the same time. Compounded by the fact that only a small number of Lincoln settlers came to the island, the empire saw its potential as a resettlement colony for the entire ethnic Ulster population. Seen as a nuisance to the Lincoln settlers in Cullham, the removal of the entirety of this population was a popular idea among the oppressive settlers in Cullham. With these goals in mind, in his plan, Partridge demarcated a line between Lenarans in the Northern Colony and Ulster people in the then-named Southern Colony (modern-day New Ulster). In the eyes of the monarchy at the time, any Lenarans remaining in the southern territory would hinder the plans for Ulster resettlement. This meant another forced migration and ethnic removal, which effectively eliminated all Lenaran settlement south of New Ulster's northern border in modern times.
The Second Migration was a more long-term endeavor, which consisted of 34 voyages, the first in 1752 and the last in 1867. This period of migration was the largest, with a total estimated 126,000 relocated―a majority of the Ulster population that was remaining in Cullham. This Southern Colony, along with the Northern Colony, were economic powerhouses for the empire by the turn of the 19th century. On the southern side, forced or dirt-cheap labor in mines, fisheries, agriculture, and forestry provided many raw materials for the growing empire, while the northern side produced many labor-intensive cash crops such as sugarcane and oil palms, using the native Lenarans for labor. The last period of migration, The Third Migration, was a voluntary pilgrimage of Ulster people worldwide, but mainly those remaining in Cullham, to the Southern Colony, and later New Ulster, to avoid religious and ethnic persecution. It started in 1867 and continues through contemporary times.
Towards the end of the second migration, due in part to decades of neglect and Lincoln's focus in other parts of the empire, a number of bloody riots and revolts toward the small number of Lincolnite nobility took place. Fueled by the large share of wealth held by this minority, this period of unrest and suppression, known as Na Blianta Fuilteacha (The Bloody Years), was a significant moment of change in the nation's history, lasting from about 1860 to 1910. It marked a large division between the nobility and the working class, which was evident from the beginning of colonial history, albeit increasing in this era.
Independence and Modern Era
Although many of the wealthy Lincolnites had been leaving the largely forgotten colony for decades, a mass exodus occurred around 1915, brought about by continued pressure from the working class on this nobility. In what was known as An Réabhlóid Chiúin (The Quiet Revolution), many de facto governments were established in multiple regions of the country, forming many ceantair (districts), governed by representatives from each baile fearainn (townland). In 1922, a delegation of the 8 established ceantair was created, named Comhairle an Saoirseoir (Council of the Liberated). This council became the basis of the Oireachtas (Parliament), and soon enough, the country of New Ulster was established and promptly recognized by many adversaries of the Lincoln Empire, and, by 1933, the majority of the world.
Government reforms took place in the 1950s, establishing many social services and firmly presenting the country as a leader in democracy and equity. The country transitioned into a service-based economy in the mid-20th century, and, along with the growth of its fishing, forestry, and mining sectors, has led to the nation's success with large growth in GDP throughout the century. At the turn of the 21st century, the country took a fall financially, with the global financial crisis being the main contributor. The New Ulster Pound (PUN) fell significantly, although the economy rebounded quite well, being a top-ten in GDP per capita today.