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1906: Alternative Divergence [AH][OOC-CLOSED]

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:31 am
by Alt Div Admin
1906 : Alternative Divergence



“Men make History, but not at the time he wishes.”

– Karl Marx

But for the sake of argument, what if we could?

Be it a point of divergence or a whole new nation, what if we could make history EXACTLY at the point that we wish?

Hello and welcome to Another Alternative Divergence, an AH/AW RP where the world is your oyster to do whatever you wish. For the sake of continuity, the time now is 1906 C.E., and nations are teetering on the edge of a world war. What would be your vision of a world shaped by the nation that you call your own?

Again, for the sake of continuity, we should set a few ground rules.

  • All apps need a point of start and build-up – Whether you start from the stone age and build it up to 1900 or simply change a few things here and there from the 1800’s is up to you, but I would like for all nations to have an interesting history behind it… to prove you are capable AH/AW Rper.
  • All nations MUST be somewhat original – Let’s try to be a bit more creative than having Great Britain at all its glory. You can keep the name and title, but you MUST have some degree of DIFFERENCE between your nation and the IRL ones.
  • Everything can be excused with reason – I am willing to let anything be possible as long as it is stated clearly in the app with full explanation as to why it has come to be for your nation. … Similarly, I will accept NOTHING without a proper explanation.

Rule on Dreadnoughts
  • No nation will start with Dreadnoughts of any capacity
  • Only great powers with significant maritime power will have the capacity to immediately mention the development of Dreadnoughts from their first post.
  • Once the roleplay starts, all the nations who are willing to start development of dreadnoughts will be added to a raffle
  • The winner of the raffle will be the first nation with a working dreadnought in the IC.
  • The decision as to who will be included in the raffle will be at the discretion of the OP.

Nation Application

Code: Select all
[b]Full Nation Name :[/b]
[b]Majority/Official Culture :[/b] [[What your people identify themselves with… French, Chinese, Iroquois, Touareg, etc.]]
[b]Territorial Core :[/b] [[place where you have absolute control over]]
[b]Territorial Claim :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[region NOT your core where your nation’s ambition lies]]
[b]Capital City :[/b] [[Its IRL location and name]]
[b]Population :[/b]
[b]Government Type :[/b] [[Monarchy, Republic, etc.]]
[b]Government Ideology/Policies :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Militant, Imperialist, Expansionist, etc.]]
[b]Government Focus :[/b] [[Tell me a little bit about what is your government’s focus… be it military, economy, culture, legitimacy, etc.]]
[b]Head of State :[/b] [[highest-ranking individual in the nation according to rule of law]]
[b]Head of Government :[/b] [[highest-ranking defacto ruler]]
[b]Government Description :[/b]
[b]Majority/State Religion :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[It does not have to be IRL religion]]
[b]Religious Description :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]]
[b]Economic Ideologies :[/b] [[Capitalism, Mercantilism, Socialism, Communism, etc.]]
[b]Major Production :[/b]
[b]Economic Description :[/b]
[b]Development:[/b] [Modern, Semi-Industrialized, or Primitive]
[b]Development Description :[/b] [Explain further why your nation is in one of the above categories]
[b]Army Description :[/b] [[Describe your nation's army in as much detail as you can]]
[b]Army Weakness :[/b]
[b]Naval Description :[/b] [[Describe your nation's navy in as much detail as you can]]
[b]Naval Weakness :[/b]
[b]Further Military Description :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]]
[b]National Goals :[/b]
[b]National Issues :[/b] [[what needs to be fixed in order for your nation to achieve its true potential]]
[b]National Figures of Interest :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Are there any Mother Teresas or Moses that we need to know about?]]
[b]National Ambition/Aspirations :[/b] [[OPTIONAL]] [[Not really a set objective, but rather the big picture that your nation is drawing towards]]
[b]History :[/b] [[Can be in paragraph or bulletpoint timeline.]]
[b]RP Sample:[/b] [[Either a link to a past post, or an example written right here.]]
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)


Code: Select all
[b]Nation Name:[/b]
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)
*Note: Reservations will last for 48 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting and removing reservations.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:31 am
by Alt Div Admin

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:31 am
by Alt Div Admin



Announcements from AltDiv Development


Main OP
  • OP was created
  • The roleplay now has a Discord server! The link can be found in the OP.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:36 am
by Tracian Empire

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:37 am
by The Hobbesian Metaphysician
That was fast.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 1:39 am
by Reverend Norv

Looking at the map, it is interesting how Burma seems to be emerging as a borderland between French/Mughal India and the Korean Empire. That will be an interesting pick for someone seeking a smaller nation, down the road.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:17 am
by Oscalantine
Reverend Norv wrote:Hooray!

Looking at the map, it is interesting how Burma seems to be emerging as a borderland between French/Mughal India and the Korean Empire. That will be an interesting pick for someone seeking a smaller nation, down the road.

For the record, Korea is mostly maritime empire, with difficulties staging wars on especially jungles. I do not foresee Korean aggression to interior of Burma and, if anything, rule over what Koreans call "Independent District of Siam" are as loosely governed as Indirect Rule was in our timeline. I cannot imagine Korea mobilizing for the sake of Burma no matter how much resources are there.

Having said that... coastlines may be of interest to connect to maritime trades to India. Will ponder that in the future XDD

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:22 am
by Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:32 am
by Remnants of Exilvania
Tag will turn into app soon.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 2:54 am
by Axis Asteroid
Alt Div Admin wrote:

Was waiting for that map update to drop. :twisted:

Oscalantine wrote:
Reverend Norv wrote:Hooray!

Looking at the map, it is interesting how Burma seems to be emerging as a borderland between French/Mughal India and the Korean Empire. That will be an interesting pick for someone seeking a smaller nation, down the road.

For the record, Korea is mostly maritime empire, with difficulties staging wars on especially jungles. I do not foresee Korean aggression to interior of Burma and, if anything, rule over what Koreans call "Independent District of Siam" are as loosely governed as Indirect Rule was in our timeline. I cannot imagine Korea mobilizing for the sake of Burma no matter how much resources are there.

Having said that... coastlines may be of interest to connect to maritime trades to India. Will ponder that in the future XDD

Nothing like a militant, evangelizing, autocratic theocracy to throw a wrench in the works.

I'll make it official.


Nation Name: Heavenly Kingdom of Transcendent Peace (太平天囯)
Territory: See Map
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)
*Note: Reservations will last for 72 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting reservations.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:09 am
by Intermountain States
Full Nation Name : Grand Republic of Busang (Busang Daegonghwaguk; 부상 대공화국; 扶桑大共和國)
Majority/Official Culture : Although the founders of Busang were of Korean heritage and much of the culture were influenced by the cultures and tradition of Korea (such as hangul, which was used to write the founding documents of Busang's independence), there were already hundreds and thousands, if not millions, of those with non-Korean or mixed ethnicity, such as immigrants from Eastern Asia seeking opportunity in Busang, the European settlers that inhabit the Mississippi River, or the various Native American groups that were absorbed into the territories of Busang. The Busangese cultural identity can perhaps be seen as a form of cultural nationalism in its view that there is no true Busangese race but a nation where men of different stock can be unified by a shared pride of the culture of Busang. However, to call Busang a multicultural nation is an inaccurate statement due to the longstanding governmental policy of assimilation. Immigrants are encouraged to take up Korean names, be versed in hangul, and observe Busangese traditions and holidays.
Territorial Core : Administrative Divisions of the Grand Republic
Territorial Claim : None so far
Capital City : Sinhan (Spokane, Washington)
Population : 61 Million

Government Type : Federal Parliamentary Constitutional Republic
Government Ideology/Policies : Market liberalism, Social conservatism, Silhak
Government Focus : Economic and territorial growth, improvement of relations among neighboring tribe and nations for expansion or for trade, promoting patriotism and market liberalism.
Head of State : Chancellor Wang Jun-min
Head of Government : Vice-Chancellor Kim Yu-jin
Government Description : The government of the Grand Republic functions as a federal parliamentary republic. The bicameral General Assembly is led by the Chancellor who is voted in by the lower house Chamber of Delegates. Delegates are directly elected by the public based on the districts. The National Court is the upper house consisting of representatives appointed by their provinces. The Chancellor’s Cabinet appointed by the Chancellor and confirmed by the National Court.

Majority/State Religion : No official religion
Religious Description : The people of the Grand Republic practices a mixture of religions with the national government abstaining from having any state religion. The major religious organizations are Buddhism, Cheondoism, Christianity, Donghak, Islam, and Taoism.
Economic Ideologies : Capitalism
Major Production : The vast lands of Busang is known for its agriculture, coal, gold, silver, lumber, and petroleum.
Economic Description : Busang is very resource rich with gold found in Mansan, Gobuk, and Daegok, coal in West Deolseong, and oil, silver, and fertile soil found in abundance all over the country. The General Assembly has taken a largely laissez faire approach to much of the economy, standing abide to the wu wei ideals for the sake of innovation and competition. That is not to say that the government has no involvement in the economy; federal regulations are put in place in addition to existing provincial regulations to ensure fair business practices and healthy competition in the private sector. The government also plays a role in the economy through tariffs on foreign goods in order to protect domestic industry from foreign competition in Asia and the Americas.
Development: Modern
Development Description : The Grand Republic is blessed with the same technological base enjoyed by other Oriental empires along with an abundance of natural resources providing wealth to the nation.

Army Description : The Grand Republic Army is a standing army consisting of volunteers. Thanks to industrialization, Busang mass produces equipment for their military and the expansion of railroads allows them to transport troops quickly through the use of trains. The Grand Republic Army is famous for its rifles, artillery, and machine guns. The creation of automatic weapons and mass production of weapons and ammunition created an army on demand. It has an active duty count of 400,000 men.
Army Weakness : The reserved Provincial Force, despite numbering in almost a million, is not as disciplined compared to the active force and with only putting down Native American uprisings in early times, have little experience in combat and may even rout. Reserve officers are not much better, most being graduates with family connections to the Grand Assembly or in state and local governments who use the easy opportunity of being an officer to climb social ladders, their ability to lead is doubted by many. In addition, many of the Provincial Guards have little access to the most recent of military equipment such as machine guns and bolt action rifles, still relying on repeating rifles and multi barreled guns of the 60s-70s.
Naval Description : The Republic enjoys one of the largest and best funded naval force in the Americas ever since the 1880s with the intention of Chancellor Kwak Ji-hu in revolutionizing the Republic Navy into being a proper blue water naval force. The Republic Navy is divided into two major fleets being the Pacific Fleet and the Gulf Coast Fleet. The Republic Navy consists of 4 pre-dreadnaught battleships, 12 armored cruisers, 8 protected cruisers, 20 light cruisers, 7 coastal defense ships, 36 destroyers, 12 monitors, 75 torpedo boats, and 97 auxiliary vessels. 4 submarines are currently undergoing testing in the Navy due to their potential, however, submarines are considered to be secondhand to surface fleets. Republic naval doctrine has been aimed at utilizing the capabilities of its surface fleet to ensure naval supremacy in the region. Each ship in a fleet have specific roles to roles to play when engaging in naval combat. In addition, naval mines are a popular weapon to use in coastal defense and in offensive capability in order to deny areas from enemy fleets and to maintain naval supremacy.
Naval Weakness : Despite the boastfulness of the Republic Navy, their fleets are considered to be inferior in numbers compared to the naval fleets of European and East Asian powers. There is also the worry that the Republic Navy could be split in each fleet and thus could never realize their full prowess in a multi-front war, creating a fear of a divide and conquer situation for the Navy. Although officers in the Navy are selected by a competitive military examination and in theory, captains and admirals would advance through merit and capabilities, most of those currently in the Navy have only seen combat experience against unruly bands of pirates rather than organized war fleets from other empires. In addition, it is not unheard of for some to receive an officer position based on connection.
Further Military Description : While not part of any official military force, be it in the Army of the Grand Republic or the reserve Provincial Force, there is a tradition among the civilian populace which lies on the mass ownership of firearms, a tradition established by ambitious settlers to defend against the natives or to hunt animals and a tradition that won Busang’s independence from the Chuk-Jae-Do. While the military is well funded, there are plenty of everyday civilians willing to pick up their firearms to protect Busang from invasions, much like the Righteous Army formed by their cousins across the Pacific.

National Goals : Consolidate the recently acquired Mississippi Provinces, strengthen trade access to Africa and Europe, and spread Korean cultural institutions throughout the New World, all under the values of the Cheonha Decree.
National Issues : Border conflicts around the Busangese-Mexican border and the Mississippi River.
National Figures of Interest : [[OPTIONAL]] [[Are there any Mother Teresas or Moses that we need to know about?]]
National Ambition/Aspirations : Stability in the Americas

History :

The 17th century was the time of colonization and it was never more true for Korea. Although the Koreans have already developed prosperous colonies in southeast Asia under the Chuk-Jae-Do system, interests were made eastward with the discovery of the Dongmi (North American) coast by celebrated admiral Yi Sun-sin in 1610. Due to the Chuk-Jae-do being focused in Southeast Asia, a sub branch of the Chuk-Jae-Do called the Sae-Dael-Yuk was formed for establishing outposts and colonization of the new world, called Busang (after the mythological land of Fusang in Chinese legends). In 1631, the first Korean settlement in the New World was established at Gobuk, Cheonhae, and Punggaang. Daegok and Mansan were formed later in the early 1700s after violent conflicts with native tribes ended with Korean victory.

The plentiful resources of the new continent were valuable to the Korean government and efforts were made to develop the colonies with people from Joseon moving to the Commanderies of Busang for a chance of living a new life (or to pay off their debts). However, the Joseon court has taken a “hands off” approach to governing the colonies and much of the colonies acted with near independence to the Joseon court and the Chuk-Jae-Do, regularly selecting their own officials from the populace to manage government functions for the colonies. The colonies that were given more liberty became more independent over time with a small but growing number of colonists seeing themselves identifying more with their colonies than with Joseon or the Chuk-Jae-Do as a whole. However, this was a minority view as much of the colonists still see themselves as dutiful subjects of Joseon.

In the early 19th century, the Chuk-Jae-Do was looking to expand its dominion over the colonies and set up new taxation systems and regulations. Most of the taxations were opposed by the colonists, who felt that the taxes they're burdened with only benefits the colonial authorities instead towards their colonial governments. During this period, the ideals of independence became widespread among a growing number of intellectuals, merchants, and officers living in the American colonies, forming an organization called the Independence Association that had members in the Five Commanderies of Dong-mi.

Later tensions between the Chuk-Jae-Do authority and the colonial governments had grown to which the commanderies sent delegates in Sinhan and formed the Provisional Assembly of the Five Commanderies to act as the greater representatives of the colonies. After months of debate and back-and-forth between the Provisional Assembly and the Chuk-Jae-Do, the Provisional Assembly officially declared the commanderies’ independence from the Chuk-Jae-Do under the formation of the Grand Republic of Busang in 1812. The Provisional Assembly prepared for war, assigning Cheonhae delegate and experienced military officer Dae Song-su as the Supreme Commander of the Provisional Army.

War between the Chuk-Jae-Do and the Grand Republic lasted for five years, with much of the fighting taking place in the more populated areas of Cheonhae, North Mansan and South Mansan, and Punggaang. Thanks to the political mastermind of Provisional Foreign Secretary Yang Hyun-jun (and the desire of the Korean Imperial Throne to curb Chuk-Jae-Do’s authority), Busang received backing from the Imperial Crown and eventually won its independence in 1817. The Provisional Assembly soon established political reforms, establishing a bicameral system of the reorganized General Assembly, institutionalizing the office of the Chancellor as an elected executive position, and with the support of the more influential liberals, a set of rights guaranteed to all men, including universal male suffrage. The General Assembly later appointed General Dae Song-su as the first Chancellor of the Grand Republic.

The Chancellorship of Dae Song-su from 1817 to 1837 were focused on territorial growth and major population increase. The Dae Song-su government promoted immigration, advertising its vast lands across Busang as ways for folks to come and settle eastward. The Dae Song-su government also expanded eastward, bringing the territories of Inji and West and East Dolseong into the Republic, later becoming individual provinces. Dae Song-su, after leading the country for 20 years, stepped down from his position, believing that he had accomplished his goal as Busang's caretaker. He was succeeded by Vice-Chancellor Choe Kwang-jo, setting an unofficial guideline for future Chancellors in the country. Choe Kwang-jo's chancellorship was from 1837 to 1855. Choe Kwang-jo's administration continued the policies of then-Chancellor Dae Song-su by using its wealth of resources and vast lands to encourage immigration. A major increase in migration occurred during the North Mansan Gold Rush from 1848 to 1855 where hundreds and thousands of people scrambled to the trade focused North Mansan in hopes to gain wealth from the valuable mineral. This had quickly made North Mansan, already moderately populated, the largest province in Busang. New developments in Daegok brought forth a silver rush in the province, bringing more attention to the landlocked province, even while the North Mansan Gold Rush was still in full effect. The Choe Kwang-jo's chancellorship also saw a four year war between the Busang Republic and the Mexican Empire from 1851 till 1854. With the support of the Koreans, Busang was victorious and Mexico ceded the now provinces of Daegok and Taejas (still called Tejas by locals) to the Republic. The Province of Daegyeong also joined the Republic under Choe Kwang-jo's administration.

Choe Kwang-jo's chancellorship was succeeded by Vice Chancellor Han Yul 1855 to 1868. The Han Yul administration was known for his expansionist policies, diverting troop resources eastward to gain access to the Mississippi River, bringing war with the Republic's new neighbor: the Iron Order of Adamia. At the start of the war, the Iron Order proved to be a strong foe against the Republic, who entered the Mississippi unprepared. The Adamites won victories after victories while the Grand Army saw little gains if any. Later in the war, with the Grand Navy making its way to the Gulf of Mexico, fortune has turned in favor of the Republic. Coupled with the mobility of the Grand Army along with the implementation of newer weapons such as the gatling guns and the repeating rifle, the Republic was able to make significant gains over the Adamites. However, the Mississippi War continued as a stalemate until the end of the war in which delegates from the Grand Republic and the Iron Order met and declared the Mississippi River as the border between the two nations. The strip of land west of the Mississippi River ended up forming the provinces of North Mississipp, South Mississippi, and Louisiana.

The Han Yul chancellorship ended in 1868 after the ruling Federalist Party lost to the opposition People's Party lead by In Seong-hyun, ending five decades of the Federalist Party domination and the rise of the People's Party as one of the major party besides the Federalists. In Seong-hyun's chancellorship lasted for nine years from 1868 to 1875. His administration saw some legislative achievements such as implementation of civil rights for Native Americans and high tariffs. He was succeeded by Kwak Ji-hu of the Federalist Party from 1875 till 1890. The Kwak Ji-hu focused on naval reforms, believing that prior administrations had neglected the navy despite its role in the Mississippi War. He aimed to improve upon the obsolete Republic Navy with newer, stronger warships and vessels with his goal being to create the Great Steel Fleet of the Americas. He was soon replaced by So Yo-han of the People's Party from 1890 to 1905. At the time, the country was filled with political movements pushing for various progressive reforms such as universal suffrage, efficiency in the workplace and in government, minimum wage laws, worker's compensation, and so forth. The So Yo-han government pushed for additional political and economic reforms, although failed in some policies due to strong opposition from pro-business legislators.

As Busang enters the new century, a sense of optimism rises among the general populace. There were plenty of good reasons for the optimism: the Taejas province experienced a massive oil boom and trade running smoothly in the Pacific Ocean and along the Mississippi and the Gulf Coast. Through its strong economy and previous military success, Busang has affirmed itself as one of the major powers in North America. With the election of Federalist leader Wang Jun-min as Chancellor in 1905, only the future could tell for this world whether or not the Grand Republic's fortune would continue.

RP Sample:
- It's like Alternate Divergence but made by the Cobalt Network and has set nations (Tales of Two Horizons II)
- War, what is it good for? (Back to 1935)
- Rednecks and post-apocalyptic America (Fallout: Damn Dirty South)
- Red Dawn but Asian (Crane Ascendent)
- Generic late 19th century Alt-history RP (Voice of a New Age)
- War, war never changes (Fallout: Republic of Dusts)
- Alternate history taken all the way (1900: Alternate Divergence)
- Anime Vietnam Flashbacks (Operation Gatelord)
- When the Spanish Flu wiped off 50% of the world population (All Quiet on the Front)

#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:10 am
by Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States

Nation Name: Kingdom of Angelond
Territory: British Isles, Cuba, Guyana, Southern Argentina, The Gold Coast, Horn of Africa, Yemen, Oman, Sri Lanka, what remains of Indonesia, the City of Antwerp.
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)
*Note: Reservations will last for 72 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting reservations.

What is Britain? Well, whatever France isn’t.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:19 am
by Tracian Empire
Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:

Nation Name: Kingdom of Angelond
Territory: British Isles, Cuba, Guyana, Southern Argentina, The Gold Coast, Horn of Africa, Yemen, Oman, Sri Lanka, what remains of Indonesia, the City of Antwerp.
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)
*Note: Reservations will last for 72 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting reservations.

What is Britain? Well, whatever France isn’t.

Will get back at you in terms of the Horn and Arabia, there was a player in the previous thread with an interesting concept but he has to answer a question or two that I asked him in the morning, if he does take those territories I will compensate you colonially with other lands.

The rest looks alright though, accepted

Oh, and Antwerp will be making the situation of any player in the Benelux area more complicated, so I assuming that it's important for the core/history of your nation.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:31 am
by Reverend Norv
Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States wrote:

Nation Name: Kingdom of Angelond
Territory: British Isles, Cuba, Guyana, Southern Argentina, The Gold Coast, Horn of Africa, Yemen, Oman, Sri Lanka, what remains of Indonesia, the City of Antwerp.
#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)
*Note: Reservations will last for 72 hours. The OP board reserves the right to be subjective in regards to accepting reservations.

What is Britain? Well, whatever France isn’t.

Now, this I am very excited to see.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:41 am
by Reverend Norv
Hah. As expanded to encompass France's role in India, my app is going to be over the character limit. I will need to split it over two posts, with the history standing alone.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:58 am
by Tracian Empire
Updated the map - with the notice that European colonies in Southeast Asia will depend on whether we'll get a Japan or not, in light of that, I've left New Guinea free. Colonial claims are going to have to a bit flexible until we get all the potential colonial players in the game, but I am always open to suggestions.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 3:58 am
by Plzen
Full Nation Name: The formal name of the polity is the Northern States Association (sk: Norðurríkjasambandið), with the Northern States and the Associated States both being accepted short names, but Scandinavia, after the dominant ethnic group of the polity, is a popular albeit incorrect alternative.
Majority/Official Culture: Scandinavian is the dominant culture of the Northern Association, but Finnish, German, and Sami hold official recognition on a regional basis.
Territorial Core: The territory of the Northern States consists of Scandinavia (including associated islands, such as but not limited to Svalbard, the Orkney Islands, the Shetland Islands, the Faroe Islands, and Jan Mayen), including South Jutland/Schleswig, Finland (to the extent of its Grand Duchy era territory), and Iceland. The Northern States also has, as a colonial dominion, Vinland (Atlantic Canada and Anticosti Island).
Territorial Claim: The Northern States hold no official territorial claim in any particular region, the occasional national-romanticist dreams of a Baltic liberation to the contrary.
Capital City: Copenhagen (sk: Kaupmannahafn)
Population: The total population of the core territory of the Northern States Association is 14.08 millions, breaking down into Swedish Republic 4.42, Danish Republic 4.07 (including Skane 0.98 and South Jutland 0.37), Finnish Republic 2.94, and Norwegian Republic 2.64 (including 0.09 Iceland and 0.04 Northern Isles). Culturally, this population is 79% Scandinavian, 19% Finnish or Sami, 2% German, with smaller Russian, Jewish, and Scots Gaelic minorities. In addition to this, there are colonial populations of South Vinland with 0.94 millions, North Vinland with 0.24, and Greenland with 0.01, for a grand total of 15.27 million subjects of the Association.

Government Type: The Northern States Association is a federal, parliamentary, and democratic republic.
Government Ideology/Policies: Nordic politics broadly falls into three camps - the national-conservatives, the liberals, and the socialists, with a broad coalition of conservatives and liberals in power and largely focused on containing or appeasing the increasingly popular socialist movement. It remains committed to free trade, to interventionist-capitalist economics with a strong focus on promoting industrial development, a secularised society and government, a relatively closed approach to citizenship with rather difficult administrative barriers against immigrants, and a broadly anti-militarist, yet economically assertive position in foreign affairs.
Government Focus: The government of the Northern States holds a broadly defensive, futurist, culturally exclusionary, and reformist outlook on politics. After the military humiliations of the 1700s and the 1800s, and the disintegration of its colonial empire, any expansionist or imperialist ambitions of the Associated States have been heavily curtailed. While some circles, even in national leadership, remain interested in the idea of rebuilding its network of commercial outposts or reclaiming the Baltic territories, with each passing decade these voices shrink from an already small minority, and the armed forces of the Northern States remain focused on the defence of its homeland. Chancellor Dagursson’s government, furthermore, has been heavily invested into maintaining peace in Central and Eastern Europe, investing heavily in establishing cordial relations with all of the Associated States’ neighbours and assertively promoting a free trade policy across the world. The Associated States maintains a futurist attitude towards national development, holding a "modernised" society as a key virtue. Generous funding is provided to high-technology industries and towards scientific institutions, with the government obsessed with maintaining the country's position at the bleeding edge of the Industrial Revolution. The government of the Associated States is also culturally exclusionary, and generally maintains a dismissive attitude towards the more Christian, hierarchical cultures of the Continent and abroad. Finally, the society and government of the Northern States is broadly reformist, with relatively non-confrontational political tradition and a long custom of containing social and political dissent to within the legitimate avenues of redress.
Head of State: Sigurd Níelsson, Speaker of the Northern Assembly (sk: ræðumaður Norðurlandaráðsins)
Head of Government: Adrian Dagursson, Chancellor of the Association (sk: kanslari Sambandsins)
Government Description: The Northern States is a federal polity. The autonomy of its constituent republics in their own internal affairs is firmly entrenched, with the Association responsible for defence and foreign policy, as well as a few integrated institutions like the Northern States Central Bank. The Northern States is a parliamentary polity. The sovereignty of the state is invested in the legislative assembly of the Association, the Northern Assembly (sk: Norðurlandaráð), at the pleasure of which the government serves. The Northern States is a democratic polity. The composition of the Northern Assembly is determined by elections held regularly every four years under proportional representation by region and universal male suffrage. Finally, the Northern States is a republic, recognising no monarch or hereditary nobility and guaranteeing the legal equality of all of its citizens.

Majority/State Religion: The majority religion of the Northern States is Norse polytheism, with a significant minority of Finnic animists and smaller but still notable minorities of Jews, Reformed Christians, and Chalcedonian Christians.
Religious Description: With the exception of the small Chalcedonian minority, religions in the Associated States, whether Christian, polytheist, or animist, are disorganised, lacking a coherent church hierarchy or codified religious doctrine. Ancient faiths survive, rather, primarily in the form of oral traditions, cultural practices, and certain institutional customs. The majority of the non-Christian population are largely lapsing in their faith, with their religious practices falling into the grey area between true belief and a way of life - they seek to have their new ventures blessed by the gods and celebrate their ancient Nordic holidays not because they truly believe in the great spirits, but because that's what their fathers and their fathers' fathers have always done.

Economic Ideologies: Like many other liberal polities, the Northern States generally maintains a free approach to international trade, with relatively little in the way of import controls or tariffs except as retaliatory measures towards protectionist countries that themselves maintain high barriers to trade. The Associated States' foreign policy is extremely aggressive with regards to economics, with diplomats around the world working to open up trade and protect Nordic foreign investments. Internally, the Northern States maintain a broadly interventionist-capitalist economy, which does vary somewhat between its constituent republics. The Association does guarantees the right of its citizenry to primary and some secondary education. Many areas of public economic policy including minimum wages, public health insurance, working conditions, and even unemployment benefits are, however, maintained mostly by the efforts of labour unions with little input from the government.
Major Production: The Northern States maintains a diverse and efficient industrial economy, exporting chemicals, machine parts, consumer products, pharmaceutical products, and more. Due to its expansive albeit sparsely-populated northern provinces and colonies, it is also a major producer of forestry products and base metals.
Economic Description: The Northern States is a highly developed, broadly market-liberalised, export-focused economy aided by its generous provisions of natural resources. It is geographically quite dispersed, with its many smaller industrial cities tied together into a coherent national economy by a strong commercial fleet and shipbuilding industries.

Development: Modern
Development Description: Due to the geographical expands of the Associated States, its level of infrastructural and industrial development varies considerably between its provinces, with many villages in the north and the east still maintaining a fundamentally agrarian lifestyle served by dirt roads, if even that, with Sami tribes in the far north still maintaining their herding economy. Most of the population of the Associated States, however, live in the southern provinces and along the coasts, which feature sophisticated railway, harbour, sanitation, and telegraph infrastructure. The great cities of the Northern States - Copenhagen, Stockholm, Gothenburg - are as developed, if not necessarily as large, as any other great city of Western Europe.

Army Description: The Army of the Northern States is mostly organised in a modern divisional structure, with divisions of 12,000 divided into four brigades of 3,000, each three regiments of 1,000. The Army has as its core four infantry divisions, consisting of one artillery brigade and three infantry brigades (which also contains some supporting artillery), and three rifle divisions consisting of four infantry brigades. This core is supported by one guards brigade, three ranger regiments of light infantry specialising in reconnaissance and infiltration, three garrison regiments guarding the nation's coast and cities, two cavalry regiments, and a dragoon regiment for a total paper strength of 96,000. There are no dedicated reserve units, but the Army does maintain another 20,000 to 25,000 reservists to replace casualties on the front. The military leadership of the Northern States very much believes in meeting neighbouring threats by making each soldier count for more. The Nordic Army is extremely heavily in automatic weapons and, as can be seen from the above-mentioned order-of-battle, similarly heavy in artillery. The Army is also a highly professional force, with personnel excellently trained with specialties in delivering supplies through rough terrain and combat under poor weather and harsh terrain conditions, strategic deception, and delaying/ambushing tactics.
Army Weakness: The downside of maintaining an excellently-trained, excellently-armed army is, of course, sheer expense. For a nation of its population and stature, the army of the Northern States is definitely on the small side, with a lacklustre army budget struggling to keep even a percent of its already small population armed. It is not an army capable of standing strong on a set-piece field of battle, and will struggle to replace losses in any serious war of attrition. Furthermore, the reliance on a defensive doctrine and tactics that rely on familiar grounds makes the army rather ineffective at combat amid hostile populations or unfamiliar terrain, making offensive operations against an organisationally sophisticated enemy, even one which is smaller or poorer than the Northern Association, a daunting prospect.

Naval Description: The Navy of the Associated States is by far the branch of pride in the Nordic Armed Forces. Having absorbed the majority of the country's defence budget - to the detriment of the army - the Navy fields 4 battleships, 10 battlecruisers, 12 heavy cruisers, 32 light cruisers, 50 destroyers, and 12 submarines divided into three fleets: the North Sea Fleet, the Baltic Fleet, and the North Atlantic Fleet. All considered the Navy fields 125,000 personnel, including both personnel on board and ashore, of which about one-half are reservists. It is a fleet very much focused on rapid response, with ships being designed for speed, range, and survivability, able to quickly react to incursions on its coastline, to find and chase down isolated enemy task forces or damaged ships, shell civilian targets on hostile coastlines, raid convoys, or bind itself to an allied navy even thousands of kilometres away. Crews are well trained to respond efficiently to new demands. Although, like the army, the technological and engineering competence of the Nordic Navy is excellent, the nature of navy ships, namely that they can and often do stay in service for decades on end, largely blunts this technological edge.
Naval Weakness: The downside of a navy focused on versatility is that it is relatively lacking in sheer power. The Nordic navy cannot stand up in a traditional battle-of-the-line against a hostile navy of equivalent size and quality, counting on its speed to avoid and make unnecessary such engagements, nor is it able to seriously challenge well-designed coastal fortifications.

Further Military Description: The doctrine of the Armed Forces in general, is heavily dictated by the realities of being surrounded by much larger, more militarily powerful states. The military leadership of the Associated States sees little point in trying to go ship-to-ship with the British and the French, or in trying to fight soldier-to-soldier with the Russians. The focus is not on holding the field of battle and winning by conventional definitions of victory, for such is nigh-impossible, but rather deterring an invasion in the first place by turning any invasions into a costly, protracted, and bloody affair that would be unattractive to any would-be invader.

National Goals: The Northern States Association seeks to defend itself from external threats, develop its internal economy, protect its democratic liberties, promote free international trade around the world, and maintain its status as a major power at least in the scientific arena.
National Issues: Possibly the largest issue facing the Northern Association is that of national security. Russia, a far larger power with a stronger military, has territorial ambitions into the Association's territory and while the Central European Empire officially has no designs on Scandinavian territory, significant German minorities in the south nonetheless raise questions of German nationalism and German unity. The nation's economic and cultural potentials are also inherently constrained by the region's small population, with the Association struggling to make up for this through overseas ties.

I. Prehistory
The areas that would later develop into the Northern States Association was at the dawn of history in this era inhabited by Scandinavians and Finns. Scandinavians are a northern branch of the Germanic peoples, which is itself a cultural branch stemming from the great Indo-European migrations of the 4th and 3rd millennium BCE. It is thought that the people who carried the material culture that would later develop into Scandinavian Norse arrived at what is now eastern Denmark and southern Sweden from across the Baltic Sea. By the first systematic historical record-keeping in the region, c. 600~700 CE, the Scandinavians had spread themselves throughout Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, with some ties to and both cultural and economic influence from the Roman Empire and its successor states. The Finns have more ancient ties to the region and, by the dawn of history and the first systematic historical record-keeping in the Finnish languages, c. 1300~1400, was spread throughout Northern Fennoscandia, Finland, and the northern parts of what is now Russia.

II. The Viking Age and Early Scandinavian History
The first centuries of written Scandinavian history leading to the viking age paint a rather grim picture of life in Scandinavia. The scattered tribes of the area consolidated themselves into larger and more centralised kingdoms undermining the traditional freeholder-peasantry of the region, as the region's ability to support itself started to be heavily strained probably from population growth. These factors, combined with increasingly sophisticated maritime customs from the recovery of European trade the dark age following the partial collapse of the Roman Empire and increasing hostile pressure from the proselytising Christian kingdoms of the south, as well as a perceived weakness of the scattered European kingdoms that succeeded the Romans, resulted in a wave of Scandinavian seafarers across Europe starting from late 8th Century onwards, with people taking to the seas for peaceful commerce, exploration and settlement, violent raids, or conquests. This period saw a wide spread of Scandinavian culture. Scandinavians settled across the North Atlantic islands, including Britain. The northern border of Holsten was established as the boundary that separates Christian Saxony from Norse Jylland, a boundary that still forms the basis of the border between the Northern Association and the Central European Empire today. The growth in maritime activities and overseas settlements produced a profound change in Norse society. With the influx of overseas wealth, independent pirate or merchant captains grew into increasing prominence in Scandinavian leadership, reversing the slow trend towards monarchial centralisation of the centuries prior, although the absorption of smaller polities by larger ones continued. By 1050 CE, by which point the consolidation of powerful, fortified, and militarily centralised kingdoms in western Europe largely put an end to large-scale raids or conquests, the region had consolidated itself into four merchant principalities: Denmark, Geatland, Sweden, and Norway. While the viking age also saw strong Christian influences and proselytisation efforts from the south, and these efforts did succeed in converting a few principalities in the 10th and early 11th Centuries, the inability of regional jarls to impose their religions over the constantly unstable and restless society of the viking age and the inability of Christian families to keep themselves in power in a predominantly polytheist society doomed these efforts to failure. The death of Magnus the Good in 1047 and the nomination of a Norse successor as Prince would re-convert the last Christian state in the region back into Norse.

III. The Northern Crusades and Scandinavian Unification
Constant religious tension between the Chalcedonian minority and the Norse polytheist majority in Scandinavia and the constant violence suffered by the Christian kingdoms of the south at the hands of Norse Scandinavians prompted the degradation of relations between the Norse principalities and the Christian kingdoms throughout the 10th and 11th Centuries. While some small-scale efforts aimed at the conversion of Scandinavia by arms thus took place throughout the high middle ages including a notable series of minor border wars in the early 11th Century, the creation of an independent German branch of the Chalcedonian church in 1155 and the beginning of the German Northern Crusades in the 13th Century ignited this religious turmoil. The First Scandinavian Crusade of 1239 and the Second Scandinavian Crusade of 1251 saw the conquest of Gotland by the Teutonic Order, but it did also see the Norse principalities united by common cause for perhaps the first time in history. A tentative agreement in 1240 created an organisation known by modern historians as the Scandinavian Alliance, aimed at resisting Christian imperialism from the south, with the new alliance taking the initiative to reclaim Gotland and raze several villages on the German Baltic coast in the Baltic War of 1266-1271. A period of diplomatic and military tensions between the German Crusader Orders and the Scandinavian Alliance defined regional politics in the 13th and 14th Centuries, with the continuation of the Northern Crusades into Estonia and Finland bringing these regions into the fray. The decisive Swedish victory over joint Teuton-Livonian forces in the Siege of Viborg in 1410 CE largely ended these struggles with the supremacy of the Scandinavian Alliance firmly established over both the open waters of the Baltic and over the Finnish tribes. Due to the association of Christians with the Christian states against whom the principalities of the Scandinavian Alliance was at war, this period also saw the harshest persecutions of Christians in Scandinavian history, with a few hundred killed in mass executions and a few thousand more converted both voluntarily and by force, permanently diminishing the fledgling Chalcedonian minority of the region. Throughout this age of religious wars and even thereafter, furthermore, Scandinavian merchant seafarers were in heavy competition with their Continental counterparts. Much wealthier and more populous than the colder lands of Scandinavia, wealthy and influential German merchants began exerting large influences in Scandinavian trade in the 14th and early 15th Centuries. The rather plutocratic Scandinavian principalities, whose leaders were seriously concerned over the prospects of losing its former dominance in North Sea and Baltic trade, began to feel that a closer basis for cooperation than the purely military was necessary, and as a result arranged for a series of marriages and pacts of honour between the great families of all three principalities, slowly tying their respective states together until, in 1422, a single Prince was nominated to the thrones of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway. The Northern Principality thus created is considered to be the direct predecessor of the Northern States Association that exists today.

IV. Scandinavian Golden Age
The discovery of the New World and the expansion of European commerce across Africa and Asia in the late 15th and 16th Centuries saw this united Northern Principality, based firmly on maritime foundations with healthy mercantile and banking societies, participated in this push outwards with as much vigour as any Christian kingdom. While it largely failed at building a vast American colonial empire as other colonial powers did, the Northern Principality did manage to re-settle Greenland and establish a small colony on the North American coast by 1600, accompanied by a vast global network of outposts and forts. With a state-sanctioned monopoly on trade with the vaguely and expansively defined "Orient," the Northern Oriental Company established trade routes across the Atlantic and Indian Oceans, established port facilities and trade depots to facilitate these routes, built forts with agreement of local powers in order to defend these expensive facilities, and in many cases expanded these forts into entirely new towns and cities. The Northern Principality also saw territorial expansion in its European homeland. When neighbouring Novgorod collapsed into civil war in 1599, the Northern Principality moved to finally secure a Baltic Sea free of meddlesome Russian interference, earning a crushing and decisive victory while the Russians were concerned with matters at home and unable to mount a successful defence, seizing some Karelian territories and the entire Russian Baltic coast. This was not, however, an age merely of Scandinavian generals and Scandinavian merchants. This age of prosperity, almost unmatched elsewhere in Europe, produced a strong renaissance of Scandinavian culture and, with the global influence of the colonial empire, disseminated it to nations far and wide. This was especially prominent in Britain, where many aristocratic or wealthy descendants of the Danelaw or the Norwegian settlers of the Southern Isles suddenly found, in the 1600s, great significance in their family heritage and took strong interest in adopting Scandinavian styles of art, music, and architecture.

V. The Aftermath of Empire
By the early 1700s, however, it was becoming clear that the Northern Principality was hopelessly overextended. A global empire meant global threats, and not even the wealth of holding a prominent seat at the table of intercontinental trade could stave off all of them. Constant brush wars and border struggles between the outposts of the Northern Oriental Company and the Korean colonisers of the region continued to mount expense after expense on the Company's budget, with the hire of expensive mercenary armies to defend its isolated and disparate commercial outposts. By the 1740s, the situation in Southeast Asia was completely untenable, with the Oriental Company finding itself with enormous debt repayments and, thanks to the loss of almost all key trade outposts in the region to the Koreans, a much-reduced trade revenue to pay them with. In 1746 the Northern Principality was finally forced to step in and nationalise the Company in order to salvage what remained of Scandinavian influence in the Indian Ocean. A resurgent and stabilised Russia emerging out of a period of intermittent civil war invaded the Principality in 1749 and, after about twelve years of Russian occupation of Finland known as the Deluge, reclaimed Neva and Ingermanland from the Northern Principality. With Swedish interests heavily weakened by the military situation in the east, Dano-Norwegian resistance against what western interests saw as Swedish dominance in the Principality's affairs flared up. These events and the decline of Scandinavian prosperity greatly weakened the stability of the Northern Principality, which soon found itself overwhelmed by the Enlightenment sweeping across Europe fueling demands for reform from below. With the state weakened both financially and militarily and with its legitimacy thrown into question, the 1750s and 1760s saw a series of completely ineffective attempts at reform and government reorganisation. This weakness was immediately taken advantage of by the Northern Principality's rivals, with the French seizing the Northern Indian possessions at Tranquebar and Serampore in 1759 and the Russians marching into Estonia and Northern Livonia the year after. A bloodless coup in 1766 and the establishment of a new, decisive, and, most important of all, popular administration would finally see the conclusion of this period of domestic turmoil - and with it, the end of the Northern Principality.

VI. The Industrial Revolution and the Northern States Association

RP Sample: [[Either a link to a past post, or an example written right here.]]

#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:40 am
by Oscalantine
Before anyone says anything: yes, Busang and I have collabed in the past. Yes, everything has been triple-checked by me and my history fits with his somewhat. And also yes, I am completely fine with him using every Korean person in that app that overlaps with my history.

Thought I should put it out there. History-wise, Busang is pretty much my little, semi-rebellious U.S. of A. I kind of like that XDDD

Work in Progress

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 4:57 am
by The Hobbesian Metaphysician
Full Nation Name : The Revolutionary Compact of Columbia


Majority/Official Culture : Columbians [English, Scottish, Welsh, Irish].

Territorial Core : New England, Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Virginia, West Virginia
Territorial Claim : As of now the revolution is content to be contained within Columbia.
Capital City : Liberation, Workers Communal Capital (Formerly city of Hartford).
Population : Total Population: 33,648,909

A) New England: 7,400,909
B) Virginia: 2.347 million
C) New York: 10.28 million
D) Pennsylvania: 8.74 million
E) New Jersey: 3.198 million
F) Delaware: 219,000
G) Maryland: 1.464 million

Government Type : Revolutionary Compact

A system inspired by anarchism, leftist nationalism, council style governance, and theodemocratic elements.
Government Ideology/Policies : Revolutionary Compact

Official Policy: Neutrality of Revolution: Content to work on its own society, the compact while supportive of revolutionaries abroad sees no logical benefits toward actively expanding to support an international revolution. To do so would violate the principles of autonomy since it must be the people in those areas themselves rather than an outside force that ferments a revolution.

Government Focus : Stability- traditional socialist factions, and more extreme authoritarian ones vie for a chance to return to their old days of glory, but in a greater sense, the government wants stability enshrined as a virtue for the benefit of its citizenry.

Head of State : Assembly of the Governed

Head of Government : The Directory
Government Description :

Majority/State Religion : The Universalist Temple of Brotherhood
Religious Description : [[OPTIONAL]]

Economic Ideologies : Market Socialism backed by religious charity, and a heavy focus on social welfare.
Major Production : Industrial Goods
Economic Description :

Development: Modernized.
Development Description : [Explain further why your nation is in one of the above categories]

Army Description : [[Describe your nation's army in as much detail as you can]]
Army Weakness :
Naval Description : [[Describe your nation's navy in as much detail as you can]]
Naval Weakness :
Further Military Description : [[OPTIONAL]]

National Goals : Cultural Revolution in One Society
1] Protection of the Revolution
2] Extreme Autonomization
3] Racial, Economic, and Social Justice for All
4] Anti-imperialism, and colonialism.
5] Republic of the Everyman
National Issues :
1] The Red Guard of Vermont-Practitioners of wartime socialism, and believers of modeling the revolution by an army with a state they are a remnant of an old government. They are content to sit in Fortress Vermont, but many people suspect they may hold ambitions for the rest of the compact just as their wider branch cousin groups once held power..they may seek it back.
2] The Office of Strategic Information-Formerly secret police turned insurgents once they found themselves out of a job, and purged from the government after massive reforms by the compact structure.
3] The Rightists- Practitioners of socialist orthodoxy that now have found themselves out of a job following the collapse of the Peoples Republican government.

[[what needs to be fixed in order for your nation to achieve its true potential]]
National Figures of Interest : [[OPTIONAL]] [[Are there any Mother Teresas or Moses that we need to know about?]]
National Ambition/Aspirations : [[OPTIONAL]] [[Not really a set objective, but rather the big picture that your nation is drawing towards]]

History :

The Enlightened Revolution
1776-1783: The Enlightened Revolution occurs within the colonies that would one day become Columbia but despite the defeat of the Independent Coalition of Provinces the Kingdom of Angeland is utterly exhausted by the war effort. Due to the economic recession it is suffering, and the low morale of the home islands the government on behalf of the king signs a moderate treaty and forms a dominion arrangement with the rebellious provinces.

A) The government of the Independent Coalition of Provinces dissolves.
B) The leading government figures are granted pardons in exchange for lifelong oaths barring them from politics.
C) The provinces will renew their governments, and be allowed to resume normal economic business with the home islands.
D) The Acts of Religious Toleration would finally end-state the persecution of fellow Christians from different sects.
E) The soldiers involved in the Provincial army are granted amnesty and allowed to return home as a sign of goodwill.
F) The "Albany Plan of Union" proposed by the assassinated peace delegate Benjamin Franklin is put into place.
G) In a moment of extreme irony the Scottish house of Stuart (former anti-Rome kings of Angeland until their deposition by roman loyalist forces in 1688) is chosen to fill the position of Grand Duke. The current head of the house had fought for the loyalists not out of loyalty for the king so much as a planned restoration of order in the colonial provinces. Charles Edward Stuart had matched the provincial army commander George Washington in the third, and final battle of Jamestown, Virginia (named for the celibate princess Elizabeth exiled here following her renunciation of the "roman faith").

Early Period of the Grand Duchy of Columbia (1783-1788)

Charles Edward Stuart [Charles the 1st]: His reign as Grand Duke is both a mixture of irony and frustration. Irony as despite his allegiance to the king of Angeland he disavows the romanized faith of Britain for the homegrown Protestantism in Columbia. The very issue of taxes that started the war become a non-issue while Charles the 1st short, but important reign sees the institution of a moderate version of the "enlightened principles articles" the provincial rebels advocated. The provincial legislatures and governments acted pretty much as they had before the war with little interference from the Grand Duke. Other than the annual collection of war reparations that were sent to aid the economic recovery of the homeland things continued normally.

Middle to Late Period of the Grand Duchy of Columbia (1788-1807)

Henry Benedict Stuart [Henry the 1st]: The odd son out, an extremely religious man he focused on integrating much of the principles from the articles of the independent coalition of provinces. He began to distance Columbia further, and further from the home islands while also working on several key social reforms the country needed. The last generation of slaves was born at the start of Henry's reign as he would work to convince legislatures one by one to ban the practice. Seeing himself as an "enlightened sovereign" he worked constantly to improve the lives of the citizens of Columbia, and in the process began to ferment a national identity separate from the "Anglish". Henry promoted the myth of the resilient Romano-Briton, the forbearer of the true civilizations of the Christians on the home islands...not the uncivilized Danes. As a result, the term English began to appear in journals written on the Grand Duke's opinions on the matter.

In the final year of the Grand Duke's reign, he withdrew all obligations remaining to the Anglish masters. Years in the making the war reparations payments got smaller as did the garrisons of Anglish troops, and the government attaches grew to a nominal skeleton crew. By 1800 the Grand Duke officially stopped talking with the king using a freedman to deliver messages on his behalf. By 1807 a final letter was sent titled "the Union is separated, Columbia is free", by this point the 82-year-old grand duke decided to abdicate, and abolish the position of Grand Duke entirely. To a surprised crowd in Williamsburg, Virginia he announced the proclamation from his palace, and then left for the nearby woods on a religious retreat.

The Conservative Republic (1807-1823)

1823-A militia lead by the Province of Pennsylvania seeks to end the "Tax Breakers" protests led by philanthropist Robert Owen. This results in the death of dozens at a utopian community following their declaration to "secede from the province of Pennsylvania due to their illegitimate authority".

1844-Governor of the Province of New York Joseph Smith, an avowed Christian leftist is assassinated while on a tour of the provincial jails. He intended to demonstrate the success of his reforms in regard to the rights of convicts.

RP Sample: [[Either a link to a past post, or an example written right here.]]

#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:05 am
by Great Confederacy of Commonwealth States
Tracian Empire wrote:Updated the map - with the notice that European colonies in Southeast Asia will depend on whether we'll get a Japan or not, in light of that, I've left New Guinea free. Colonial claims are going to have to a bit flexible until we get all the potential colonial players in the game, but I am always open to suggestions.

If there are so few colonial players left, I might want to ask for a few more stretches of land along the Gold Coast and Guyana, just to stretch everything out a bit. But that's up to you.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:34 am
by Reverend Norv
Norse polytheism! I look forward to reading your history, Plzen.

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 5:48 am
by Plzen
Reverend Norv wrote:Norse polytheism! I look forward to reading your history, Plzen.

Oh dear, now I have an expectation I can't disappoint. XD

The French Commonwealth (Part 1 of 2)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:02 am
by Reverend Norv

Full Nation Name : Res Publica Francorum. formal/legal; La République Française, French; The French Commonwealth (not the "French Republic"), English. France, colloquial, or "la République." There is a strong political antipathy toward the idea of empire, and so France's overseas possessions are usually euphemized as Greater France, or La Plus Grande France.

Majority/Official Culture: "Metropolitan," or European, France is united by a shared French culture, though this embraces myriad regional subcultures from the Basque Country to Wallonia; notably, the homogenizing influence of Paris is much less pronounced than in our timeline, and so French regional dialects and traditions remain vibrant. Nor is the Commonwealth's French culture identical to the culture of the France that we know. True, this France is characterized by many familiar features: a love of fine food and wine, a devotion to art and literature, an appreciation for beauty and a care to nurture it, a proclivity for argument and controversy, and a demanding commitment to good taste in all matters. As in our world, French culture is seen internationally as a benchmark for sophistication and elegance.

But strong identification of French identity with the Reformed faith has given French culture a number of features that are unfamiliar in our timeline. The French are reflexively suspicious of absolute authority of any kind, political or religious. They are deeply committed to a Protestant vision of egalitarianism in which all people are equal in their sin, and therefore no man can regard himself as better than another. They are heirs to a cultural tradition in which bourgeois virtues are identified with Christian virtues - hard work, efficiency, progress, literacy, sobriety, piety, moderation - and both paupers and aristocrats are therefore regarded with suspicion. And finally, the French have long regarded themselves as a bastion of Protestant purity and democracy surrounded on all sides by ancient superstition and despotism; they are taught that they were chosen by God to light the world's way to progress, liberty, and moral redemption. And so French culture inculcates an intense national pride, a deep sense of national destiny, and a fiery commitment to the defense of both.

France's overseas colonies, on the other hand, are home to dozens of indigenous cultures ranging from the bazaars of Morocco to the jungles of West Africa. Most of these colonies also host small populations of French settlers - except for Algeria and the Cape, where this population is quite large. French policy for the last century has been to encourage the formation of fusion cultures in its colonies, rather than demanding complete assimilation to French customs, and so most French colonies are creole cultures characterized by a mixture of cuisines, fashions, languages, and even families. The one exception concerns religion, because adherence to the Reformed Church - though not required by law - remains a requirement for advancement throughout Greater France.

Finally, France's deeply complicated role in India means that more than a hundred thousand French citizens - known in polite society as colons, colonists - have lived for three generations on the subcontinent, and are as steeped in Indian culture as they are in French traditions. Millions more have spent at least some time in India, on business or in military service. And there is a growing Indian immigrant population in Metropolitan France itself. The fact that this mostly non-Protestant population is excluded by its religion from elected office and from many forms of public employment is becoming an increasingly divisive political issue.

Territorial Core : Metropolitan France, including Wallonia but excluding Luxembourg; Hispaniola; Algeria, Morocco, and Mauretania; the West African coast from Senegal to the Cote d'Ivoire; the Cape Province (constituting roughly the southwestern half of RL modern South Africa); a number of small islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans that function solely as naval bases. France directly administers much of the southwestern Indian coast and the northeastern Indian frontier, but these territories are technically leased from the Mughal court. The rest of the subcontinent is not part of France's territorial core in any real sense, but its Mughal rulers are deeply reliant on France and tied to the Commonwealth by a variety of unequal treaties. The result is a broad, deep form of influence that, at times, comes close to indirect rule.

Territorial Claim: France regards itself as possessing a European sphere of influence comprising more or less all territory west of the Rhine, including the Low Countries and Switzerland, and extending into the Po Valley and Catalonia. It has never been able to make good on this notion. It also regards itself as the preeminent colonial power in northwest Africa, and the primary naval power in the western Mediterranean. Finally, through its relationship with the Mughal court, France considers itself the preeminent power behind the scenes in the Indian subcontinent. In this much, at least, it is more or less correct.

Capital City: Paris. The medieval city on the Seine was comprehensively renovated between 1850 and 1870, creating a modern, "scientifically" designed metropolis of tree-lined boulevards and elegant plazas, concert halls and libraries. Notably for Europe, Paris is devoid of neoclassical structures, which are too closely associated with Roman tyranny; instead, it has a considerable amount of very modern architecture, with many of the world's first steel-framed, glass-fronted buildings - of the sort that will soon become known as skyscrapers. The last ten years have seen one of the world's first citywide subway systems constructed. Paris is self-consciously and proudly the city of the future, a place of elegance and good taste mingled with industrial ambition and technological audacity.

Population: About 59 million in Metropolitan France; this is considerably higher than in our timeline because, in our timeline, France had by far the lowest birth rate in Europe for most of the nineteenth century. In this timeline, France's comparatively more comprehensive industrialization and its less restrictive inheritance policies encouraged a more typical rate of population growth. An additional 27 million live in Greater France around the world, with the exception of India. The directly French-administered territories in India are home to 34 million people, of whom about half a million are French citizens at any given moment. And the Mughal Empire, with its complex web of connections to France, is home to countless millions more.

Government Type: Federal parliamentary constitutional religious republic. The most distinctive features of French democracy include the role of the Senate, which represents not the general public but instead interest groups like rural départements (states/provinces), labor unions, the Reformed Church, and the military; and the aggressive and extensive judicial review of the national courts, which apply a hybridized form of civil and common law that has evolved over time in a reaction against the perceived authoritarianism of Roman jurisprudence.

Government Ideology/Policies: The French Commonwealth is strongly ideological and moralist in character, and rooted in the political theory of the Reformed Church. It is vehemently anti-monarchist, believing that God alone can be sovereign. All political power, therefore, is illegitimate unless it is wielded to godly ends; this creates a right of revolution against immoral rulers, and therefore a deep progressive impulse toward positive social change. Because power can corrupt even good men, the best way to ensure godly - and therefore legitimate - government is to place final political power in the hands of the public as a whole, through regular elections; the virtue of the many can check the corruption of the few. Since the final safeguard of the state is therefore the virtue of the common people, everything possible must be done to ensure that the French people remain godly and principled; this can be achieved through public education and public welfare as well as through national service and religious observance. Liberty and religious virtue are two sides of the same coin; only the godly have the strength to be free, and only the free are at liberty to be godly. This core conviction is the essence of the French Reformed democratic tradition.

Government Focus: The French Commonwealth, as an ideologically motivated state, is committed to a global moral mission as well as to its own self-interest: it is an exporter of democratic revolution. (This is why France's role in supporting the Mughals is so politically controversial at home.) But France is also the lone Protestant republic on a continent of Chalcedonian empires, and so it is focused first and foremost on its own survival: the extensive militarization of French society and industry is a rational response to being horribly outnumbered in a bad neighborhood. The Commonwealth is committed to providing a decent standard of living for its citizens, but not at the cost of its financial stability; similarly, it takes a conflicted kind of pride in its colonial empire, but treats its colonies more as sources of income than as opportunities for investment. The exception, again, is India: the sheer size of the subcontinent and the depth of France's involvement there create a unique set of incentives that sit uneasily with Reformed political theology. Nevertheless, everywhere but India, France's top priorities are to defend and export its democratic and Protestant principles - no matter the cost.

Head of State: In theory, none; the Constitution asserts that the head of the French state is God. In practice, the Chancellor.

Head of Government: Chancellor of the Commonwealth Paul-Henri Maturin.

Government Description:
The French Commonwealth is governed according to a written constitution that dates back to 1598, though it has been subject to amendment nearly every twenty years. In its essence, it is a parliamentary government of limited powers. It is an avowedly Christian and Reformed state, in which membership in the Reformed Church is required in order to hold office and for many forms of public employment.

Parliament is bicameral. The lower house, the National Assembly, has exclusive powers of the purse and is therefore regarded as the more powerful of the two; it is directly elected by the whole adult public, including (since 1894) women. Elections for the National Assembly are held in single-member districts, by instant-runoff voting. The party that possesses a majority or coalition in the Assembly then appoints the Council of Ministers and its Chancellor, who together constitute the executive. They govern until the next general election, which occurs either after a five-year term or after a vote of no-confidence by the Assembly. At present, the main divide in Parliament is between the Reformed Party (which supports a strong social safety net, an aggressive foreign policy, high taxes, a European focus, and the Army) and the Commonwealth Party (which supports a more laissez-faire approach, a diplomatic foreign policy, lower taxes, a colonial/global focus, and the Navy).

The Senate is an idiosyncrasy of the French Constitution's early era, adopted for the modern world. Originally, it was intended to ensure representation for the nobles and the Reformed Church. As French society grew more democratic, rather than abolish this institution, the nation adapted it: today, the Senate is used to represent all those whose virtue entitles them to a greater voice, and all those whose interests might be neglected by the majority. Its members are appointed by the nobility, the Church, labor unions, rural départements, the armed forces, Indian and Algerian colons, and - most recently - even women's groups. Because of this, and because it does not choose the Council of Ministers, the Senate tends to be less focused on party politics than the National Assembly. It cannot originate legislation, but its consent is required for all legislation passed by the Assembly.

Unlike in our timeline, this France did not emerge as the result of a centralized monarchy; rather, it was an alliance of Protestant nobles and cities. As a result, the Commonwealth is a federal republic, though it has grown more centralized over time. Its 35 départements, ranging in size from the vast and rugged massif of Limousin to the city of Marseille alone, have the constitutional right to collect their own taxes, run their own schools, maintain their own roads, and generally handle local day-to-day administration in any way they see fit.

France is also notable for its court system. Its civil and criminal courts are insulated almost entirely from political pressure: judges are chosen by the French Bar Association and must meet demanding academic standards. Judges on administrative and constitutional courts, by contrast, must be appointed by a two-thirds majority of the Senate - ensuring that they are acceptable to a wide cross-section of society instead of just to a political majority. They have sweeping power of judicial review, which permits them to strike down laws that conflict either with the Constitution or with the "Scriptural principles" that are supposed to justify it; on these grounds, the courts have even sometimes required Parliament to address neglected social problems for which the Constitution does not make Parliament directly responsible.

Finally, France's Constitution does not effectively acknowledge that the Commonwealth now possesses a fairly extensive overseas empire. Some parts of the empire - mainly in North Africa and southwest India - are simply organized into new départements; in these Muslim-majority and Hindu-majority areas, the fact that only Reformed Christians are permitted to hold elected office ensures the continuation of colonial rule. The exception is Bombay itself, which has been under French control for so long that it now has a Reformed but non-white majority; as a result, the département of Bombay sends the only non-white representatives to the National Assembly. On the other hand, India's far northeast is administered by the French Army as a military frontier "on behalf of" the Mughal Empire, and the area's residents are technically outside the reach of most French law altogether. Finally, France's role in the Mughal Empire and smaller Indian states like Nepal is defined by decades of unequal treaties, which vest great influence in French officers and diplomats and administrators, but largely exclude Parliament itself from direct involvement in the affairs of these sovereign states. De jure, the Indian polities are allies, not colonies.

Outside India, the situation is still odder. Many colonies - like Hispaniola, where the majority of the population is Reformed but not "French" - are excluded from representation entirely, because they are technically still organized as joint-stock limited-liability companies in which the Commonwealth owns a controlling interest; consequently, these colonies are legally private property rather than public land, and are responsible for their own administration so long as they continue to turn a profit for the French West India Company, the French West Africa Company, and so on.

Majority/State Religion: The French Reformed Church (Église Réformée de France), sometimes called the Huguenot Church, is both the state church and the majority religion. Protestantism is widely regarded as a prerequisite for true French identity, and the Reformed Church has an immensely influential role in government and politics.

Religious Description: The Reformed Church is the direct descendant of the earliest forms of Protestantism that took root in France in the sixteenth century in response to the writings of Jean Calvin. It represents a sharp break from Chalcedonian orthodoxy, and asserts that Scripture alone is as a sufficient justification for doctrine.

The Reformed Church emphasizes man's absolute and inescapable sin and God's irresistible and all-sufficient grace, which leads to a belief in predestination: God saves and purifies those whom He will, whether they like it or not. These, his godly elect, are then freed to live virtuous and holy lives. Churches should be organized at the most local level possible, with ministers chosen by congregations and representatives to regional and national synods elected democratically. Education is a priority, because there can be no mature faith without a personal relationship to the Scriptures and the ability to think deeply about them for oneself. Religious art, while permissible, is suspect, lest it lure men into idolatry. The Roman churches are regarded as entirely corrupt, because they have been appropriated by oppressive governments to crush the godly; the Reformed Church, on the other hand, is strongly associated with republicanism, since it teaches that there can be no king but God, and all others are equal before His law.

At a cultural level, the Reformed Church is a staunch defender of bourgeois values: it sees nothing wrong with making money, celebrates hard work and innovation, and is surprisingly progressive in its attitudes toward women and the family. Most strikingly, by contrast to its Chalcedonian neighbors, the Reformed Church believes that its faith is and should be constantly evolving as it comes to a better understanding of the Scriptures. This idea of semper reformanda is at the root of the remarkable spirit of innovation and creativity that informs French culture, art, science, industry, and military power.

Economic Ideologies: France is, especially by European standards, a broadly free-market capitalist economy that allows considerable space for individual entrepreneurship and innovation, as required by the principles of the Reformed Church. However, France's besieged strategic position has required it to create a massive military-industrial complex, which is largely privately run but funded with public contracts, and this gives the government a great deal of economic influence over the largest industrial companies. Some of its smaller colonies are still run as the private property of joint-stock corporations in which the state owns a controlling interest, a peculiar and increasingly outdated arrangement that essentially creates a mercantilist state monopoly on those colonial revenues. Despite these issues, France is substantially the easiest place in continental Europe to do business (except for Scandinavia): the Commonwealth is blessed with reasonable tax rates, sensible and streamlined regulations, strong labor unions that produce highly skilled workers, and a culture that values entrepreneurship and innovation. And France has the enormous advantage of having secured highly preferential - at times almost exclusive - access to India's markets: the subcontinent provides massive quantities of raw materials for French manufacturing at rock-bottom prices, and the resulting manufactured goods can then be sold back to Indians at a mark-up, protected by tariff barriers from foreign competition. These trade rules represent a hugely lucrative de facto subsidy for French manufacturing.

Major Production: First and foremost, France is an industrial power oriented toward defense; it has very high output of high-grade steel, industrial chemicals, mass-produced textiles, aluminum, locomotives, and other industrial products. It also manufactures huge quantities of arms, primarily for domestic consumption but sometimes for export to trusted partners, and tends to be at the forefront of military innovations like the use of the internal combustion engine and poison gas. French agriculture, though no longer as central as it was fifty years ago, also remains important, and produces world-famous wines, cheeses, charcuterie, and other traditional goods, as well as a considerable amount of grain. From its colonies, France receives large quantities of sugar, gold, ivory, petroleum, rubber and spices, among other exotic goods. India in particular is a key source of cotton, salt, jute, coffee, tea, silk, leather, and other raw or minimally processed goods; some of these products are derived from the French-administered areas of the subcontinent, but many more come from the Mughal Empire, and French access to them is secured by unequal trade treaties.

Economic Description: France is an industrial powerhouse more by necessity than by choice: the imperatives of national defense, for a Protestant republic surrounded by Catholic empires, required early, rapid, and massive industrialization in order to sustain an army capable of fighting multi-front wars against powerful enemies. Its economy is dominated by about a dozen large industrial companies, most of which specialize in related fields of military and civilian manufacturing; Rhône-Poulenc produces both industrial solvents and mustard gas, and Bloch Industries makes both machine guns and home appliances. France is a major exporter of high-quality consumer goods and industrial machinery. French companies are blessed and cursed with a workforce organized by powerful unions, which keeps the cost of labor in France quite high, but which also provides highly trained workers whose skill greatly improves production efficiency. Despite the central role of government contracts in this industrial economy, France's biggest companies are mostly publicly traded, and so France has a very sophisticated financial sector that allows capital to move fairly quickly in response to market demands. This gives France greater economic flexibility and inventiveness than its more dirigiste neighbors; it makes it easier for new companies to access capital and turn good ideas into profits. French agriculture has substantially reduced in importance: its grain production remains adequate to feed the nation with minimal imports, and it still produces more wine than any other country in the world, but it is no longer Europe's breadbasket; most of its proceeds are consumed domestically, not exported. France's colonies are treated largely as sources of raw materials and as markets for French consumer goods; West African rubber and Algerian oil help to keep the French industrial engine running smoothly. And the countless millions of the Indian subcontinent, both those living in French-administered territory and the subjects of the Mughal Empire, provide an enormous market for French manufactured goods - a market that is conveniently closed to foreign competition by unequal trade treaties.

Development: Modern (Metropolitan France); Semi-Industrialized (the Empire)

Development Description: France industrialized early and intensely because of the need to out-produce hostile neighbors. This necessitated efficient production of military supplies and rapid movement of large numbers of troops. These needs were met by massive public investment in canals, railroads, modern ports (especially at Toulon and Brest), telegraph lines, and paved roads, which mean that France's transportation infrastructure is now more dense than almost anywhere else in Western Europe. The French government is also more willing to embrace new technologies on a larger scale than many more conservative regimes; for example, in the 1890s, public funds helped to construct hundreds of Pelton wheel hydropower stations along France's rivers, greatly increasing the electrification of rural light industry. The French Empire, by contrast, remains much less developed, since most French colonies are run with the primary goal of maximizing resource extraction: they tend to have a few carefully planned railroads and canals, but they lack the dense transportation network of Metropolitan France. The crowning jewel of Greater France's infrastructure is the Trans-Saharan Railroad, which runs from Algiers to Abidjan by way of the Ouargla oilfields and Bamako, with a spur line currently under construction to Dakar. And in India, France has invested much more heavily in the subcontinent's infrastructure, both in French-administered territory and in the Mughal Empire itself: while India's network of railroads and canals and reservoirs is not yet as dense as that of Metropolitan France, it is growing steadily every year.

Army Description :
The French Army is a legendary fighting force, renowned around the globe for its centuries of wars against Spain, Zentraleuropa, and the Western Roman Empire. For a Reformed republic born in war and surrounded by hostile powers on every land border, a strong army has been an existential imperative throughout the Commonwealth's history. Many aspects of France's economy, society, and government have been deliberately structured in order to create the most effective possible land force.

Unlike in most other countries, where war is the province of social elites, the French Army is a resolutely middle-class institution. This lies at the heart of its success: it has an institutional culture that prizes innovation over tradition, independent thought over dogma, education over seniority, and efficiency over glory. It suffers from none of the social-climbing or stubborn traditionalism associated with most officer classes. France was the first nation in Western Europe to create a professional general staff: a meritocratic institution guarded by stringent entrance examinations, specializing in the study of war as a practical and industrial undertaking, and responsible for the planning of operations from start to finish. It was the first nation to develop a theory of mission-type tactics, in which every officer is expected to understand the goal of the mission well enough to be able to improvise in the field in order to achieve it - a military approach that has deep roots in the Reformed Church's emphasis on individual education and moral responsibility. And it was the first nation to develop a holistic Plan of National Defense for total war: an hour-by-hour timetable thousands of pages long that set out exactly which troops would be mobilized, which factories retooled, which bridges destroyed, and which passenger or cargo trains run, from the moment when mobilization was declared to the moment when the Commonwealth reached full war footing. This is the French Army's greatest strength: it has a strong claim to be regarded as the most innovative, professionally organized, and systematically planned fighting force on Earth - an industrial army for an industrial age.

Accordingly, France uses a highly organized levée en masse conscription system: all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and twenty serve a two-year term in the Army. In peacetime, this service is usually spent half in training and half in the construction of infrastructure, which helps to explain France's dense network of canals and railroads. Upon finishing this service, most Frenchmen enter the reserves until they reach the age of forty. All active-duty officers are career professionals, and active-duty units mix together young men from all over the country; reserve units are organized from specific communities and are required to train together one weekend per month (one day per week for reserve officers). There are forty active-duty divisions and just over three hundred reserve divisions. Part of the Plan of National Defense is a detailed mobilization schedule intended to allow the organization, armament, and deployment to the frontier of at least three million men in one week.

Like many French national institutions, the French Army is notably innovative and unrestricted by military convention or tradition. The General Staff's constant wargames test new technologies and strategies for practical applications, and weed out relics of the past. Accordingly, in 1906, the French Army has already theorized the use of the creeping barrage, and invested heavily in the manufacture of poison gas shells and individual gas masks; it has also begun to increase platoon-level tactical training and individual marksmanship, and to deemphasize the bayonet. The overriding French military philosophy, strongly conveyed in the training that every young man receives, is that the French citizen-soldier is intelligent, virtuous, and godly enough to exercise independent judgment, aim, and thought in the heat of battle. French doctrine places a great deal of trust in the capacity of ordinary citizen-soldiers, and then attempts to provide the education, equipment, and training necessary for them to rise to meet those high expectations.

The French Army's equipment reflects this approach. It uses a magazine-fed, straight-pull bolt action rifle intended to maximize individual firepower, since French soldiers are trusted to be sober enough not to waste ammunition. The Army has taken the unusual steps of integrating machine gun and mortar teams at the platoon level, rather than treating them as a form of light artillery; conversely, it has concentrated its heavy artillery at the battalion level, with the goal of maximizing intensity of indirect fire. The influence of the General Staff's obsessive attention to detail has paid off in one more notable way: French troops are generally acknowledged to have the best boots in Europe.

Finally, despite being a conscript army in which the only career professionals are officers and NCOs, the French Army has notably strong morale. Active-duty divisions have traditions and battle honors dating back centuries, with their own hallowed hymns and flags. And the French soldier is trained to regard himself as the exemplar of the Reformed Commonwealth's highest values: discipline, hard work, education, godliness, sobriety. He may not be as fanatical as some of his foes, but he is as resourceful, creative, and unflinchingly tough as any fighting man on Earth.

In the last fifty years, France's deep entanglement in the Indian subcontinent has had a significant influence on the organization of its military. The French Army in India is a force of ten divisions of French regulars and forty divisions of local Indian troops. The former, like all active-duty French divisions, are mostly made up of young Frenchmen from the Metropole doing their conscript service; this is why so many Frenchmen have spent a couple years in India. The local Indian divisions are officered by French professionals but manned by volunteers from the warrior yeomen of the Maratha caste that dominates France's colonies in southwest India. The Army in India is primarily stationed in French-administered areas, including the military frontier of the northeast, but a few of its divisions of French regulars are also dispersed throughout the Mughal Empire as evidence of France's guarantee of the Empire's independence.

Unusually, the French Army proper also includes twelve Indian divisions serving under French officers: five of these are Maratha divisions, while the other seven are Gurkha units that serve by special arrangement with the French-aligned government of Nepal. These divisions are trained and equipped to the level of French Army regulars, and can be moved back and forth between the French Army and the French Army in India as the need arises.

Army Weakness : The French Army's primary weakness is strategic. Paris is under 200 miles from the Zentraleuropan border; Marseille is just 150 miles from the Roman border. Accordingly, the French Army's first move in any war must be to attack, in order to create greater strategic depth. This has led to many of the French Army's distinctive strengths. But on the other hand, it makes the Commonwealth strategically predictable: France will always seek to take the offensive, because it must. This imperative has also led to a "cult of the offensive" in the General Staff, in which defensive thinking is largely neglected. Other weaknesses proceed from this: French strategic thought, based around the Plan of National Defense, emphasizes bringing overwhelming manpower and materiel to bear offensively as quickly as possible, with the goal of ending any major war in its first year. Should this fail, the Commonwealth is not as well-prepared to sustain a multi-front war, and especially not one that might have to be fought on French territory with minimal strategic depth or room to maneuver. Finally, the Army's love of innovation sometimes backfires. For example, the General Staff discovered in its war games that cavalry were ineffective on a modern battlefield that included machine guns and barbed wire; accordingly, the French Army dismounted almost all its cavalry in 1902. (Notably, the Army in India dissented from this change). This has left French Army divisions calamitously short of dedicated reconnaissance personnel, so much so that most French reconnaissance is now conducted by bicycle troops, and it has caused logistical issues due to the lack of trained muleteers and coachmen to handle oxcarts and wagons. After all, no one ever said that progress comes easily.

Naval Description :
The French Navy, while a respectable heavyweight force, is very much the second child compared to the famous Army. It is split into two main formations: the Mediterranean Fleet and the High Seas Fleet. Unlike the Army, the Navy is an all-volunteer force that draws heavily from areas of France with a strong maritime tradition, like the Basque Country and Normandy; it is better-paid than the Army, and the naval academy at Toulon is highly selective and demanding, creating an officer corps that is distinctively detail-oriented and technically proficient. French ships are also, unusually, all oil-powered, thanks to France's limited coal reserves and the wealth of the Ouargla oilfields; this meaningfully improves ship survivability.

The Mediterranean Fleet is based at Toulon, and is slightly the smaller of the two. It is generally felt to be sufficient to control the Western Mediterranean - and therefore the crucial sea route to Algiers, the terminus of the Trans-Saharan Railroad - where its main challenger is the Spanish Navy; it is also a very even challenger to the Eastern Roman Navy. The High Seas Fleet is headquartered at Brest, but has major bases at Dakar, Cape Town, and Bombay. Its central role is to control the route from France, around the Cape, to India. Against many foes - Zentraleuropa, Spain, the Lusitanians, and so on - the High Seas Fleet is equal on paper to this ambitious task. But against a true, dedicated naval power, French leaders privately acknowledge that its success is unlikely. Finally, small squadrons of frigates are dotted across the French Empire for trade protection and antipiracy operations, and the French Navy also operates a greenwater fleet of gunboats that works closely with the French Army in India to patrol the subcontinent's great rivers.

Because the requirements of the Mediterranean Fleet and the High Seas Fleet are so different, France actually produces distinct classes of warships for each: Mediterranean Fleet battleships and cruisers are slower, more heavily armored, and better-equipped with small guns to counter torpedo boats, while High Seas Fleet vessels are more lightly armored, faster, and equipped with longer-range heavy guns. Although it currently does not operate any submarines, the French Navy has invested millions in research and development, with an eye to using submarine warfare to balance the High Seas Fleet's weakness in any future conflict with a dedicated naval power.

Naval Weakness: France's navy is simply spread too thin. The project of protecting both the Mediterranean sea route to Algiers and the route around the Cape to India, while simultaneously maintaining an army capable of fighting three European powers at once, is inherently economically impossible. In a war against a true, dedicated naval heavyweight, the High Seas Fleet would have little chance of success. Even a second-rate navy, which the High Seas Fleet could defeat in pitched battle, would likely be able simply to avoid battle for as long as it wanted: the High Seas Fleet just does not have enough ships to locate and corner an enemy that does not want to fight. As a result, it is basically unable to fulfill its core purpose: protecting the long route around the Cape to India.

Further Military Description :
The troupes coloniales and the Mission Militaire à l’Inde are the final components of the French military. The French Army has responsibility for the protection of Algeria and Morocco, and indeed includes three reserve divisions of native personnel from those départements; likewise, the French Army in India has primary responsibility for the defense of French territory in the subcontinent. But the rest of the French Empire - including the joint-stock company colonies in Hispaniola, the Cape, and the West African Coast - is protected by colonial troops who answer to the local administrations, not to the government in Paris.

These troupes coloniales overwhelmingly comprise white or creole officers commanding native troops, and vary substantially in quality and discipline. But their one distinctive feature is that they know, in wartime, that the High Seas Fleet may not be able to reach them; there will likely be no relief from Europe. And so most colonial troops are specifically trained for unconventional warfare: the goal is not to defend the frontiers of French colonies, but to take to the hills and jungles and slums, and from there to wage a preplanned guerrilla war of attrition that will eventually cost any occupier more than the colony is worth to hold. They are the most creative and ungentlemanly members of an already innovative and ruthless military establishment.

The Mission Militaire à l’Inde is an equally unconventional force. While the French Army in India and French Navy gunboats both have some presence in the Mughal Empire, and while both would be the first line of defense in any conflict in the subcontinent, France contributes to the defense of the Mughals primarily through the Military Mission. This is an arrangement that allows professional French officers to hold dual commissions from Parliament and from the Mughal Empire at the same time, which means that they can directly command Mughal troops and hold rank in the Mughal army. Thousands of French officers are assigned to the Military Mission, many of them General Staff veterans, and they contribute immense expertise to the Empire's armed forces. The Military Mission also has a material component: surplus French weapons and equipment are sent, free of charge, to equip Mughal forces. Because France is so quick to embrace new technology, its arms become outdated every decade or two, guaranteeing a steady supply of fairly modern equipment for the Military Mission.

National Goals: France intends, first and foremost, to survive as a forward-looking Reformed republic on a continent dominated by backward-looking Chalcedonian monarchies. In order to do this, it sees a need for greater strategic depth, and will look to create a buffer zone or sphere of influence in the Rhineland, Catalonia, and the Po Valley. It will also seek to maintain its preeminent position in India, which has become centrally important to the French economy. In the largest sense, the French generally believe that they have a special world-historical destiny, which is to spread republican government and the Reformed religion around the globe. This sense of holy mission informs most aspects of the nation's policy, often in unpredictable ways.

National Issues: While France's political system is fairly stable - there are few riots, and no potential revolutionaries - its politics are not. The Commonwealth is structured so that the Senate and the courts can check the parliamentary majority and the government, and they do this regularly and enthusiastically, with the result that it is extremely difficult for the French government to attempt any policy that is remotely controversial without getting stuck in political gridlock. France is also diplomatically isolated - especially within Europe, where its religion and political ideology have long made it a bogeyman for its neighbors - but also globally, where even other democracies often find its Reformed vision of republicanism eccentric and distasteful. It has a few allies of convenience, but no true friends. France also is beginning to see birthrates decline, as widespread unionization catches up to industrialization and increases family incomes while eliminating demand for child labor; this is a problem, since France is already smaller than Zentraleuropa. Finally, many of France's colonies are more or less restive. This is least the case in Hispaniola and the Cape; the latter has a French colonist majority, while the former hosts a centuries-old fusion culture that enjoys a great deal of autonomy. But it is quite pronounced in the central Sahara, where Touareg tribes have never acknowledged French authority, and where their raids have become a major annoyance for critical infrastructure like the Ouargla oilfields and the Trans-Saharan railroad. And the question of India looms over French politics as it has for decades: the central problem of a Reformed republic supporting a Muslim monarch has no obvious solution, for no amount of money can reconcile the situation with Huguenot principles, and no amount of principle can convince Parliament to turn its back on all that money.

National Figures of Interest: Jean Calvin, 16th-century religious reformer and founder of the Reformed Church; Ambroise Champion, 16th-century military and political leader who unified the Protestant French polities and led them to victory over the Catholic polities and the Western Roman Empire; Émile Fleury, primary author of the Union of Tours, the original document that became the French Constitution; Henri Guerin, early 19th-century military leader and then Chancellor who won France's greatest victories to date over Spain, the Romans, and Zentraleuropa before dying at 41; Alban Brodeur, late 18th/early 19th-century trader/diplomat/adventurer/director of the French East India Company who secured the southwestern coast of India for France and laid the foundations for French hegemony in the subcontinent; and a vast number of famous artists and painters, most of whom are familiar from our own timeline.

#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)

The French Commonwealth (Part 2 of 2)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:02 am
by Reverend Norv
The historical roots of the French Commonwealth lie in the centuries after the fall and subsequent reestablishment of the Western Roman Empire. The preservation of Roman power in Italy exercised a decisive influence on the development of Gaul. In the north, the successors of Clovis maintained their feuding kingdoms, and frequently jockeyed for the support of the Western Emperor; but in the south, Roman law and Roman education remained far more common, and the great cities of Provence governed themselves under the theoretical suzerainty of Rome. Imperial authority did not stop sharply at the Alps; rather, it petered out slowly among the independent Gallo-Roman cities and Franco-Burgundian kingdoms of old Gaul. And so the Dark Ages were not quite so dark as they were in our timeline; many aqueducts continued to flow, and in great libraries the wisdom of the ancients was preserved.

The invasion of Islamic forces from Spain in the eighth century brought an abrupt end to this period of political division and vague Roman hegemony. The Gallo-Roman city-states and Visigothic kingdoms of the southwest fell one by one. Charles Martel, the bastard son of an Austrasian nobleman, successfully assembled a coalition of petty kingdoms and independent cities through guile, force, and persuasion, and defeated the Umayyad invasion at the Battle of Tours. This barely-united kingdom survived for two generations through the skill of Charles' son Pepin and grandson Charles II, known as Charlemagne. The latter successfully expanded the Frankish realm to include all of Gaul and most of the Germanic-speaking lands to the east. Charlemagne also set a crucial precedent by declaring himself an Emperor and the equal of the Caesars of Rome and Constantinople. This would come to be regarded as the legal foundation of the independence of both France and Zentraleuropa.

But Charlemagne's empire did not survive his death. It clung on, at least in name, east of the Rhine. But in Gaul, it soon collapsed back into its constituent petty kingdoms, duchies, and city-states. This does not mean that the people of these various polities - who came to call themselves French, in recognition of their cultural debt to the Frankish Empire - were living through a dark age. In fact, from the twelfth century on, the disunited French lands became one of Western Europe's richest, most densely populated, most culturally advanced regions. Universities appeared and then multiplied; classical traditions of arts and literature were rediscovered; agricultural techniques became steadily more advanced, supporting larger and larger populations. Even political division contributed to the growth of an early bourgeoisie of merchants and diplomats. Conflict was constant, but rarely terribly destructive; the Norsemen conquered Normandy, for example, only to transform into yet another petty state. The French polities were proud of their differences - Norman ferocity, Occitan minstrelsy, Parisian erudition - and their many dialects of French all flourished. But they still retained enough shared identity to band together in the face of any external threat - and though his authority was mostly only ceremonial, the Emperor in Rome provided a convenient judge for the peaceful resolution of disputes. French crusaders even played a major role in the great drama of the Crusades, and sacked Constantinople.

By the fifteenth century, the High Middle Ages in France were on the wane. Powerful forces, unleashed by the new printing press, were beginning to sweep across Europe. Most importantly, in an era of larger standing armies and primitive cannon, the Western Empire began to assert its traditional authority over the petty kings and city-states of old Gaul. More and more Frenchmen, despite their different dialects and cultures, found themselves sending tithes to Rome. The burden fell heaviest on the bourgeoisie: craftsmen and merchants, literate men who had worked hard for what they possessed, and who were strongly influenced by the humanism that educated men in France had begun promoting as an alternative to Roman conservatism. But these bourgeois humanists found themselves at an impasse: no French state could resist Rome on its own, and no one since Charlemagne had been able to unify France for more than a few years.

The catalyst that broke this impasse was the Reformation. From its Lutheran roots in Germany, the Reformation came to France through the teaching of Jean Calvin, a lawyer, theologian, and humanist from the Petty Kingdom of Picardy. Calvin preached that all human beings were equally and inherently sinful, and that only God's irresistible grace could save men from themselves, and set them free to live godly lives. In the face of this grace, all indulgences and offerings, masses and relics, saints and icons were irrelevant. The whole church of Rome was a scam, intended to prop up worldly tyrants instead of leading men to God. And perhaps most radically of all, no king had a divine right to rule; political power was legitimate only insofar as it was exercised in accordance with God's law, for God alone was sovereign. The king was God's servant - and if he disobeyed God, then the people had the right and the responsibility to overthrow him.

Calvin's doctrines spread like wildfire across France. The country's fractured politics meant that no one state had the power to effectively crack down on the new Reformed Church. Soon, seeing an opportunity to escape their tithes to Rome, the dynastic heads of petty kingdoms and the elected leaders of city-states began converting to the new creed as well. While it remained most popular with the middle classes, Protestantism came within a single generation to pervade public life across France.

Two years after Calvin's death in 1564, the Western Empire crossed the Alps and invaded southern France, with the goal of restoring the French states to religious and political "union" with Rome. This was the start of the Forty Years' War. For several decades, French cities and kingdoms switched sides, fought each other, fought the Romans, and generally bogged down the Western Empire in a conflict of impossible complexity with no clear end. That bloody chaos forged a new generation of leaders: born and raised in the Reformed faith, filled with a burning hatred of Roman imperialism and authoritarianism, and accustomed to thinking of themselves as Frenchmen - not Picards or Normans or Occitans or Provençals - suffering under foreign invasion. The greatest of these young leaders was Ambroise Champion, a commander of the Lyon militia who forged the forces of dozens of southern French states into a new kind of army on Reformed principles: sober and disciplined, egalitarian and meritocratic, innovative and efficient. Champion defeated the Roman legions at the decisive Battle of Saint-Étienne, inspiring the leaders of the French petty kingdoms and city states to gather at Tours to discuss a new, general alliance that could defeat Rome once and for all. There, the brilliant lawyer and theologian Émile Fleury convinced the assembled dignitaries to sign the Union of Tours, creating a kind of polity never before seen in Europe: a federal republic, the French Commonwealth.

Admittedly, that early Commonwealth was far from the state we know today: only wealthy landowners could vote for members of the National Assembly, the départements were almost as strong as the central government, and the ruling dukes and petty kings and city mayors sat in the Senate themselves. But it was radical for all that: the first national republic Europe had seen since the days of Julius Caesar, founded on a new religious tradition in the most wealthy and densely populated area of Western Europe. And with Ambroise Champion at the head of its army and Émile Fleury as its first chancellor, the Commonwealth was strong enough to defeat the legions, break through the Verian Wall, invade Italy, and capture Milan. Even an Eastern Roman intervention failed to swing the tide; Champion defeated both empires while outnumbered two-to-one at the Battle of Pavia. In 1601, the Commonwealth traded Milan to the Western Emperor in exchange for his formal recognition of French independence, and the Forty Years' War came to a close. The map of Europe had been changed forever; henceforth, the central conflict in the West would be between monarchy and republic, between reformation and reaction.

That conflict flared up roughly once every twenty years for the next two centuries. When Germany plunged into religious war in the seventeenth century, the Commonwealth intervened to defend the Lutherans, and its troops rampaged through the Rhineland for a decade before being narrowly beaten. Spain, which had amassed a mighty colonial empire, soon emerged as a more prosperous rival for the new republic; in two wars in the late seventeenth century, France first suffered a tactical defeat, and then returned to strip Spain of Roussillon and the island of Hispaniola. In the early eighteenth century, conflict with Rome returned, and French troops wrested Nice from the Western Empire before being brought up short at the Verian Wall. By the 1760s, France was powerful enough to fight Spain, Germany, and Rome simultaneously, and while it did not win and could not penetrate the Verian Wall, neither did it lose any territory when it was finally defeated. With each war, the Commonwealth's differences from its neighbors grew more stark: its army became a disciplined force of motivated citizen-soldiers, not of mercenaries or legionary professionals; its central government gradually absorbed powers from the départements in order to run ever-larger campaigns. Even France's finances moved inexorably toward more progressive models of taxation, so that the aristocracy rather than the powerful bourgeosie were gradually bled white by wartime expenses - allowing the economy to remain dynamic despite frequent strife. By the end of the eighteenth century, it was clear that France had adopted a civilizational model - civic republican politics, Reformed religion, bourgeois capitalism, egalitarian society - that placed it on an entirely different trajectory from the rest of Europe.

Thus, the period between 1601 and 1798 was also a time of gradual but sweeping cultural change. France's new national and religious identity, once so revolutionary, gradually became a treasured heritage. Certain puritanical impulses relaxed; France became one of Europe's great centers of painting and music, of literature and drama. It was the country of Jacques-Louis David and Jean-Baptiste Lully, Francois de la Rochefoucauld and the great Molière. The French Reformed ethic became a delicate balance between freedom of thought and purity of spirit, between gorgeous paintings and whitewashed churches, between sensual poetry and Puritan self-discipline. This tension found its fullest expression in the Enlightenment of the eighteenth century, when an entire generation of brilliant French philosophers and authors and scientists and economists embraced a radical empiricism in the pursuit of rational truth - all, somehow, without denying the Reformed faith that had become essential to their identity as Frenchmen.

Even so, the Enlightenment's effects were profound. The Commonwealth allowed military service as well as property to qualify men for suffrage, transforming the National Assembly into a vastly more democratic institution and unleashing modern political parties upon Parliament. And as brilliant Enlightenment scientists churned out a constant stream of useful inventions and devices, the French merchant class's ready capital applied them to the mass-production of military and consumer products: gunpowder factories and waterwheels, steam engines and machine tools. The Industrial Revolution began in late eighteenth-century France. And yet, at exactly the same time, Reformed missionaries fired by the old dream of a world purified of Roman idolatry continued their work beyond the Commonwealth's borders, so that by 1800 most of Zentraleuropa's territories west of the Rhine followed the Reformed faith.

This Enlightenment impulse had another result: the establishment of the French East India Company. French traders had been present in India since the Forty Years' War, but the increasing importance of the Indian trade in the eighteenth century - and the increasing risk of competition from other powers and domination by the rising Mughal Empire - led these traders to pool their resources and establish a single joint-stock company in 1742. The wisdom of this became apparent several decades later: as southern India slipped into chaos in the late eighteenth century, a young Company official named Alban Brodeur ably played the Mughals and the Marathas against each other. In the end, the Company was able to secure control of a swathe of ports in southwest India - including Bombay - in exchange for its assistance to the Mughals. At the same time, the Company won the reluctant support of the Marathas, who saw Paris as marginally preferable to Delhi. France would never again be able to disentangle itself from the subcontinent.

Despite this success abroad, the contradictions of the Enlightenment boiled over at home in a period of sustained unrest beginning in 1791. More and less puritanical factions within the Reformed Church, départements that had benefited more or less from the Commonwealth's nascent industrialization, the growing masses of the urban poor and the thriving middle class - all turned on each other, provoked by a series of failed harvests and a massive corruption scandal that forced the National Assembly to hold three general elections in a single year. Riots swept the cities, businesses failed, the national synod of the Reformed Church collapsed, and barricades appeared on the streets of Paris. Civil war seemed imminent.

The man who prevented that catastrophe, though in ways that remain deeply controversial, has cast his shadow over Western European history for a century. His name was Henri Guerin: a pastor's son and artillery officer from the Ardennes, a brilliant military commander whose ruthless pragmatism was tempered only by his steely religious conviction. Guerin rose to prominence in 1798, when Spain, Germany, and the Western Empire all invaded the Commonwealth in an attempt to exploit the ongoing political crisis. Placed in command of a makeshift army after a last-minute field promotion at the age of 29, Guerin won three battles in a row against poorly organized German forces, all while heavily outnumbered. He exploited his popularity to promote a radical policy: mandatory conscription of all able-bodied men between the ages of eighteen and twenty. This would not only transform French society; it would also, by the previous law that veterancy conferred the vote, institute universal manhood suffrage. Under internal and external crisis, Parliament assented. When Guerin presented a series of bills calling for the creation of new, unprecedentedly centralized armaments factories, Parliament passed those measures too. Guerin would personally supervise the training of his enormous new army, the first of its kind in European history; many of the French Army's modern songs and banners date directly to this period, and so does its emphasis on the individual initiative and judgment of competent and trustworthy citizen-soldiers. Guerin also demanded the Army's representation in the Senate, practically at swordpoint.

In 1801, having fought a holding action at the frontier for three years, Guerin unleashed this new army upon Europe. For the first time, instead of moving an army from one border to the next, the Commonwealth possessed the numbers, logistics, and tactical sophistication to fight on all fronts simultaneously. One army wiped out the entire Spanish army in fourteen months before finding itself mired in counterinsurgency operations characterized by futile attempts to stamp out the Catholic Church. Another army marched so far into Germany that Vienna had to be evacuated before Guerin reached the city; a third punched through the Verian Wall, cut its way down Italy, and sacked Rome before retreating to set up a puppet republic in the north of the peninsula. In 1804, Guerin stood for a seat in the National Assembly, and was immediately made Chancellor upon his election; the next year, he became the first - and thus far only - Chancellor to command French troops in battle, and defeated a coalition of Eastern Roman, German, and other forces at the Battle of Stolp - one of the greatest victories in history, taught in military academies to this day. Traumatized, Europe waited for the next blow to fall. Instead, like Attila, Henri Guerin died abruptly in his sleep of a stroke. He was 41 years old.

Guerin's death was the end of an era, but it was not a convenient end: there was no winner and no loser, for the defining figure of the age had simply vanished. The coalition that had assembled to contain him fell apart once Guerin's threat was removed, and once the Commonwealth hastily withdrew from most of the territory that he had occupied. In France, after a month of mourning, many politicians and business leaders quietly noted that Guerin had come closer to destroying the Commonwealth than anyone in history, and they pushed through a number of amendments creating a new and independent system of constitutional courts, intended to restrain the power of any future demagogue.

But Guerin's legacy cast a long shadow. By embracing the new techniques of machine-based production on an industrial scale, he had transformed the French economy; as peace returned, the textile mills that had made millions of uniforms and the armaments plants that had churned out gunpowder by the ton remained active, testimony to France's transformation from an agrarian to an industrial society. So did the system of universal conscription, with its political consequence: every adult Frenchman could now vote. And because it was obliged to find work for a peacetime army of half a million men, Parliament embarked on a massive, decades-long project of infrastructure development, building tens of thousands of miles of railroad and canals.

That only accelerated industrialization. By midcentury, a new kind of corporation had became dominant in the French economy: a massive industrial concern that operated dozens of chemical plants or steel mills or armaments factories, and that made its fortune on government contracts worth millions of francs. An entire financial infrastructure of stock markets, investment brokers, and speculators sprang up to feed the new corporations' endless hunger for capital. By the late 1860s, the immense wealth and power of these new industrial companies had provoked its natural response: French workers, backed by the Reformed Church and the Reformed Party in Parliament, began to organize labor unions and bargain collectively for higher wages. A decade of intense labor unrest followed, during which French troops were deployed to contain riots for the first time since the Guerin era.

But in the end, thanks to their sheer numbers at the ballot box and the support of the Church, the workers prevailed: not only were collective-bargaining rights guaranteed by law, but the labor unions also won the right to appoint representatives to the Senate - just like the Church, the Army, and the nobility. And workers' rights proved the gateway for women's rights. No sooner had the labor unrest concluded than the suffragist movement took to the streets of French cities, demanding the vote for women on the grounds that: "there is no more godly, longsuffering, uncompromising, and liberty-loving servant of Christ than the wife of a French solider." Though the support of the Church was slightly more tepid, once again, the reformers prevailed. In 1894, the franchise was extended to women, and suffragist organizations even won the right to appoint four members of the Senate.

In the midst of this rapid economic, political, and social change, France has for the last century enjoyed a flourishing of culture. The Impressionist movement, led by Monet and Renoir, has revolutionized painting. Debussy and Saint-Saëns embody musical elegance and sophistication for aficionados around the world. Authors like Balzac and Flaubert, Hugo and Zola, have made the recent decades a golden age of French literature. Paris has been sweepingly renovated, creating a new and forward-looking city of pioneering architecture, broad boulevards, and elegant cafes. As it was during the Enlightenment, French culture is once again characterized by the creative tension between Reformed principle and Gallic joie de vivre.

But the long nineteenth century that followed Guerin's death has brought external challenges as well as internal ones. For one thing, it has seen France gradually and almost accidentally acquire a fairly extensive colonial empire. While the Commonwealth has controlled Hispaniola since the late seventeenth century, the rest of France's colonies were acquired in the last hundred years. In the 1820s, the Commonwealth invaded Algeria to halt the raiding of the Barbary Pirates; its attempts to stabilize its position there eventually led it to conquer Morocco as well. But those entanglements paled by comparison to India, where Alban Brodeur expanded the East India Company's territory to encompass almost the whole southwest coast, turned Mysore and Cochin into de facto French protectorates, and insinuated Company representatives into the heart of the Mughal Court. He then died, and the Company promptly went bankrupt. Parliament, not seeing any other option, assumed the Company's obligations and territories - and with them, the Company's role in Mughal politics. Over the course of the nineteenth century, that relationship would deepen steadily: France leased concessions in Mughal cities, secured unequal trade treaties that made India critical to the French economy, ensured that the French consul would be a high official of the Mughal court, and ultimately guaranteed Mughal independence, establishing a new French Army in India to make good on its word. By the second half of the nineteenth century, France found itself the preeminent power in the Indian subcontinent - at the cost of supporting a monarchy that violated every principle of Reformed, republican politics. The "Indian Question" has tormented French politics ever since.

But no one can deny the immense economic value of France's position in India. In order to secure the crucial trade route from the subcontinent, French companies established a powerful presence on the Cape and in Senegal, which ultimately led French troops to occupy both territories. By the 1880s, most of the rest of the French Empire had fallen into place, as colonial administrators undertook independent campaigns to connect the Commonwealth's various territories in northwest Africa. Most Frenchmen are not at all sure how they feel about this development. Algeria, where three generations of French colonists have now lived and died, is axiomatically assumed to be part of France; and certainly, everyone appreciates the oil of Ouargla and the rubber of Abidjan and the sugar of Hispaniola. But the shadow of Rome has tainted the whole idea of empire for France, and so it struggles to rationalize its colonial role. In India most of all, France's role is controversial: for there, not only is France itself an imperial power, but it is supporting a true monarchical empire that many Frenchmen see as no better than Rome itself.

Finally, though Henri Guerin's death ushered in almost forty years of shell-shocked peace, the nineteenth century still witnessed two major French wars. In the 1840s, Franco-Roman tensions in North Africa boiled over into yet another major conflict pitting the Commonwealth against both Roman Empires. By this time, France's levée en masse had been copied by many of its enemies, and the fighting was much more even than anyone in France had expected. Shockingly, the vaunted French Army failed to penetrate the Verian Wall, lost a series of close-fought battles in the foothills of the Alps, and finally found itself surrounded and blockaded in a campaign on Cyprus. In the end, the Commonwealth was forced to make a negotiated peace to rescue its trapped army. Over the next thirty years, young officers and politicians applied the lessons of that defeat to shake up the French military establishment, which had changed hardly at all since Guerin's death. The modern French military's key institutions - the meritocratic General Staff and its constant wargames, the Plan of National Defense to schedule industrial and military mobilization down to the hour, the research-and-development contracts aimed to encourage continual military innovation - all date from this period.

When war came again in 1876, the French Army had reestablished its qualitative advantage. At issue was Alsace-Lorraine and parts of Wallonia, which had followed the Reformed faith for generations but remained under Zentraleuropan rule. This time, thanks to the work of the General Staff, the Commonwealth was able to mobilize a million men in ten days, faster than any of its neighbors had believed possible. When French troops encountered Western Roman, German, and Spanish forces, they used techniques and technologies that had been developed in wargames but never before seen on the battlefield: flexible mission-type tactics, massed breachloading artillery, aimed individual rifle fire instead of volley fire, and field construction of narrow-gauge railroads to move supplies and men directly to the battlefield. Spain - already troubled by unrest at home - was forced out of the war in six months, and Germany sued for peace in eighteen months, by which time French troops had occupied Nuremberg and cut Zentraleuropa nearly in half. The disputed Reformed territories passed to France, and an uneasy peace returned to Western Europe.

In the decades since, the Commonwealth has appeared focused mostly on labor rights and women's suffrage, arts and music, electrification and technological advancements, and other pursuits less likely to alarm its monarchical neighbors. But every summer, hundreds of thousands of men still take to the field for massive wargames, and the bespectacled experts of the General Staff watch, and take careful notes, and plan the constant reforms that will keep France ready for the one constant in its history: the next war.

RP Sample: See my sig for my credentials.

#AltDiv (do not delete this, it's for keeping track of the apps)

PostPosted: Thu Mar 19, 2020 6:04 am
by Reverend Norv
There is the app. Obviously, references to India are subject to change if Krugmar wants; this is mostly derived from our conversations, but there is some new spitballing there too. Otherwise, this history represents the final version that I worked out with the two Romes, Germany, and Spain in the last iteration; if those players change, I will of course revisit those sections of my history as well. And I suspect that once Angelond is done, that nation may also play a new and crucial role in the Commonwealth's history.