The Region of Sparrow was founded in August of 2002 during the most active period of NationStates gameplay. Sparrow rapidly grew to one of the largest user-created regions in the game with over 400 members and considerable international pull.
While still a growing region, Sparrow achieved notoriety for the Mass Ejections of Christmas 2002 by the Evergreen Republic of Bradfordsburg (also known as Brad the Tyrant), the region's founder and elected president. The ejections were the conclusion of a month-long stalemate between regional members seeking democratic reform and Bradfordsburg's government, and resulted in moderator intervention, an IP ban for Bradfordsburg, and the creation of The Region of New Sparrow.
In the month before the Mass Ejections of Christmas 2002, members of Sparrow's parliament began taking exception to Bradfordsburg's consolidation of power. Several measures to expand the powers of the president were defeated at the ballot box, which resulted in the issuing of an edict from Bradfordsburg creating the position of Executive Lieutenant of Sparrow.
The position of Executive Lt. was granted on appointment from the president only and was filled by The Free States of Pacific Bell, a close real-life friend of Bradfordsburg. In protest, Sparrow's UN Delegate and 5 of 13 MP's resigned and left the region, citing the presidential edict as unconstitutional.
Public calls for reform persisted and a campaign was launched that labeled the user controlling Bradfordsburg as Brad the Tyrant. Furthermore, the Sparrowvian Armed Forces, or SAF, withdrew from participation in Bradfordsburg's government, as well as expelled Bradfordsburg himself, rendering the founder incapable to deliver on international treaty obligations. With the growing pressure, Bradfordsburg's government by suspending the November Elections of 2002 indefinately and filling vacant positions in parliament by appointment. Candidates that had declared to seek the Sparrowvian Presidency were expelled.
Mass Ejections of Christmas 2002
On the night of December 25, 2002, Bradfordsburg released a statement demanding the dissolution of the Sparrowvian Armed Forces. Bradfordsburg's calls were mocked by Sparrow's Former UN Delegate, The Republic of Tygaland, and the military leadership of SAF. Bradfordsburg responded by first ejecting high-ranking members of Sparrow's government. The few nations that had remained loyal to Bradfordsburg remained untouched.
SAF immediately took notice of the ejection of high-ranking members of Sparrow and reached out to other regions for assistance with corralling in exiled members to join The Exiled States of Sparrow. Subsquently, even regional allies of Sparrow, notably the USSR and the North Pacific, cut diplomatic ties with Bradfordsburg's government at the first sign of a government purge.
Only 40 minutes after the first round of ejections, Bradfordsburg began systematically ejecting mass-quantities of Sparrow's member states, effectively crashing Sparrow. Nations that had survived the first round of ejections recieved a telegram from Sparrow's Executive Lt. blaming the general population for the politial crisis and vowing the creation of a region in political consensus around Bradfordsburg's presidency.
Media outlets such as the Seattle News reported that Sparrow's leaders had shifted from tyrranical to "paranoid" and "self-destructive." Once again, nations that remained loyal to Sparrow's government were left untouched.
Reports surfaced that Bradfordsburg had contacted Sparrow's main rival, the Alliance Defense Network. Bradfordsburg telegramed the president of the ADN and offered Sparrow as a puppet region, requesting a position in the ADN Senate in return. The proposal was considered by ADN officials, but ultimately rejected.
The Mass Ejections of Christmas 2002 prompted an immediate response from the game moderators of NationStates. Although ejection is within the authority for any regional founder, the Sparrow situtation was treated uniquely due to the importance of Sparrow in gameplay, the size of the region, and the indiscriminate nature of the ejections.
NationStates moderation deleted the Evergreen Republic of Bradfordsburg while it was still in the process of ejecting members. A rare ban was also placed on the IP used to control Bradfordsburg.
In an unprecedented act, the moderators also replaced Bradfordsburg with the Hegemony of Borogravia Moldavi, General of SAF, as founder of Sparrow. The act is cited as one of the only times the NationStates moderators have interfered with the internal politics of a region.