Rangitake the Great
|Occupation||Emperor of Polynesia|
|Years active||1855 to 1904|
|Title||Emperor of Polynesia|
|Term||1858 to 1904|
Rangitanga-o-te-Moana Rangitake the Great was the monarch of the Oan Isles from 1858 to 1904. His 46 year reign is the longest of any Oan monarch. With numerous achievements which redefined the Oan Isles forever, he is regarded as the greatest Oan monarch in history, second-only to Ahua the Great.
Emperor Rangitake was born to Emperor Tamatea and was raised in Tokapa, Tokamotu.
Morsto-Oan WarRangitake fought for the Oan Isles during the Morsto-Oan War. He heavily disagreed with the way his father, Tamatea II, handled the war. He believed that his father's incompetence, the selfishness of his courtiers and the structural weaknesses of the country were responsible for their humiliating capitulation to Great Morstaybishlia.
Coming to power
Then-Prince Rangitake joined forces with progressive elites and overthrew his father in 1858. He executed his father and all his siblings who were in line to the throne before him. Having erased any challengers to his rule, he was crowned Emperor of Polynesia and took absolute control of the country.
Following his father's government's disastrous handling of the financial crisis which beset the Oan Isles during and following the Morsto-Oan war, he banned the use of gold and silver in daily transactions except when sold to and purchased from the state and used in foreign trade.
He charged the Treasury of the Oan Isles with controlling the supply and distribution of promissory notes and coins which evolved to the former Oan currency, the Oan dollar or tara. This helped stem hyperinflation and balance the national finances. To help the country raise capital for infrastructure and development projects and attract foreign investment, he ordered the establishment of the Bank of the Oan Isles to develop and execute monetary policy.
The educational reforms introduced by the Oan government under Rangitake are credited with the economic progress the nation enjoyed. Education in the Oan Isles was driven by spiritual and subsistence concerns, with only a few elites getting a decent education. This arose because the elites believed that by keeping the rest of the population uneducated and impoverished they would not challenge their power.
Rangitake realized that education was needed to enable the country to make use of its human capital. Thus, he sent the brightest students to study in Great Morstaybishlia and bring back their ideas to help the Oan Isles develop. To modernise the system of education, he amalgamated centuries-old scholarly communities in Tokapa to form the University of Tokapa. The University of Tokapa is the oldest modern university in the Oan Isles. The research and teaching it undertook helped spur scientific innovation and technical skill which helped the nation prepare for the Great War.
Prior to the Morsto-Oan War, the Oan Isles was protected by separate militias and navies under the authority of merchant guilds and island Chiefs. Most soldiers worked for the chiefs and merchants as laborers and served part-time in the military. When Great Morstaybishlia invaded, the Oan Isles was unable to consolidate its military capabilities and marshal them in a coherent way behind the Defence of the Oan Isles. Although these militias and navies had helped the Oan Isles conquer new lands and establish new trading routes, they were grossly inadequate to Defend the nation from attack.
Thus, Emperor Rangitake ordered the establishment of the Oan Defence Forces to protect the nation and develop military technology. This was carried out by amalgamating the militias and navies and confiscating their hardware. This also helped to stem the independence of Chiefs and merchant guilds, helping the Emperor cement his power.