An Examination of Extra-Universal Systems of Government

Hmm. Same color as Canada in the image, I think. So the question is out of all of the pink (ranging from Canada to California to Florida to Cuba, which ones are Subjects of the King/Queen and which are allies? (And then of course the question is allies against *whom*. )
Canada has an outline other pink nations don't
 
French Third Republic
Algiers is often called Paris on the Mediterranean, or the Second Paris. It received this name, not just because it is the heart of the French government-in-exile, but because its large expatriate community has made it a true piece of France outside the metropole. The language on the street is French, with Arabic a rarity in some sectors of the city. The posters, advertising everything from plays to the war against Germany, were in French. The architecture is a blend of Arabic, colonial, and avant-garde: many French architects fled the Petainist regime and established themselves in Algiers. Some of the best wine in the world originates from military-owned vineyards, and within the city limits, alcohol is legal and flows freely.

The people I saw walking down the streets of Algiers were an even mix of Arabs and Europeans. Algiers was the home of many Europeans fleeing Nazi tyranny; it even had one of the largest Jewish communities in the Old World. I was surprised by the large numbers of soldiers on the streets, all dressed in uniform. But apart from guards, none were armed, and they were perfectly relaxed. The soldiers were just as diverse as the regular citizens: men and women, Arabs and Europeans and mixed people, young and old. This was not a city under occupation, nor one in fear of terrorism or invasion.

I was meeting one of the soldiers: Captain Paul Lambert of the French Army. He worked with the French Army's public relations arm, and I was directed to him by the Army when I contacted them for an interview. He met me at one of the French Army’s media offices, one indistinguishable from a civilian skyscraper. The interior was comfortable, post-modern, and resembled that of a civilian office building. The large glass panel walls no doubt offered no protection from eyes or firearms. But for the uniforms of the soldiers, one would easily forget that this was a French military building. Captain Lambert greeted me in the lobby. I commented on the very civilian appearance of the facility.

“Our military involves itself in many fields which other militaries do not, at least not at this level. Other armies have public relations offices, but our office is concerned not only with promoting the Army, but also the Army’s industries.”

The Army’s industries? I asked the captain to elaborate.

“The French military manages groups of military-owned, privately-owned, and mixed ownership companies. They are staffed with both soldiers and civilians, both of whom are paid fairly. This practice began during the active phase of the War, when our local industries needed management in the chaos.”

The French Third Republic was formed from the Second French Empire after the defeat of Napoleon III at the hands of the Prussians, which formed a unified Germany soon after. However, the modern Third Republic would not take its form until its defeat at the hands of another German military, that of Germany under the totalitarian rule of the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. After only six weeks, the once-formidable French bulwark against Germany fell, and its government surrendered. The Germans formed a new government, the French State, which governs metropolitan France to this day. However, not all French surrendered. French forces in Central and West Africa refused to acknowledge the “Vichy Regime” and joined the Free French movement under the leadership of General Charles DeGaulle. DeGaulle promised to lead the French back to liberating their homeland, a promise that would never be fulfilled after the negotiated peace with between France’s allies and the Germans.

I asked Captain Lambert to elaborate further on the military’s role in French society.

“The military takes on many roles. We provide workers to essential private industries which may be failing. We regulate industries as well, and if need be, a failing company can be taken over and the military is put in charge. We provide training and education for all French people, and it is much cheaper than the scams in America.”

But why the military? I pointed out that many other nations use civilian bureaus for these purposes.

“Because of the conditions of the War, the military was the best suited to the task of organization. Civilian bureaucracies were in chaos, and some bureaucrats had split loyalties with the Vichyists. Not so our armed forces! Our troops were all loyal and could be counted on to follow orders.”

How did the French military get so many people? Captain Lambert smiled.

“Conscription, of course. All French men and women must serve to defend France.”

I asked what he thought of conscription being a form of forced labor.

"I have heard of countries elsewhere in the multiverse which practice mass conscription, and they use their soldiers as slaves. I assure you that is not the case here."

Captain Lambert gestured to a group of cadets: teenage boys and girls in military uniform, walking out of a patisserie across the street.

"Our military educates our children, at no additional cost to their parents. That cost comes from the defense budget. The children are educated in civilian courses until they reach sixteen years of age, much like any country. We need good civilian workers, because it is key to national security. But we supplement this education with military training, so they can liberate the homeland from the Boche when the time comes. Afterwards, they have three years of active duty, after which time they can either retire or continue their service."

I asked Captain Lambert why he continued on with the French Army.

"It opened new opportunities for me. By continuing my service, my higher education was paid for by the Army. Most students in our universities are active duty military; those that are not are mostly foreigners who pay a king's ransom to attend."

I assumed that Captain Lambert was allowed to choose his field of study, so I asked him.

"Marketing. I work in an advertising firm most of the year, and it’s not very different from my job in the Army. I only serve two weekends a month, and after only five more years, I can work full time in the civilian sector. "

I asked Captain Lambert whether he thought conscription of the entire population was justified, even if it was only for a portion of their lives.

"I don't see service as any different from taxation. In other countries, everyone pays taxes. In France, only civilians pay, and large corporations pay the most. Our young people can earn two incomes, one from the military and another from the private sector, tax-free. Personally, I am not looking forward to ending my career and having to pay taxes."

I sought out a second opinion, as I endeavor to do for all of these entries. I found it with Aaliyah Clement, a prominent journalist and a leading voice in the French anti-war movement. I met her in the lobby of her apartment building, which she insisted was the safest and most comfortable place for us to meet.

"Everyone in this building knows I live here and is as interested as you and I in keeping the peace. They will not bother us, and more importantly, they will not let anyone else disturb us."

Arriving at the building, I instantly saw what she meant. Somehow, word got out that a visitor from another universe was going to interview Ms. Clement. A small crowd of protesters gathered around the entrance to the apartment complex, holding signs calling Clement a fascist sympathizer and urging me not to grant her an audience with the wider multiverse. Thankfully, they made no attempt to physically prevent me from entering.

"The government and the military have successfully sold the population on the myth of us returning to the 'homeland.'" Ms. Clement explained to me when I asked her about her reputation. Judging by her exasperated tone, she both feared and expected this outcome.

"Decades-old propaganda recycled in print and on broadcasts every day. The very essence of the Third Republic has become 'eternal resistance.' The common citizen cannot even visit the metropole until the 'Day of Liberation.'"

I asked Ms. Clement why she was so against reclaiming metropolitan France.

"It is ridiculous! We could not possibly defeat the Germans, and even if we could, what good would that accomplish? France is not my homeland. It is the homeland of some of my ancestors. But I was born here, in Algeria. My father and mother were born here. And I can say the same for General Moreau! We are Algerians, and it is past time that we abandon this myth that we are French."

What exactly did Ms. Clement want?

"An end to the war and a peace treaty with the European powers, without giving up our independence. An end to conscription and the military's monopoly on power. A new, Algerian constitution, respecting the individual liberties of every man and woman and protecting their equality before the law and each other."

Doesn't the military provide an even playing ground? Couldn't Algerians rise the same as the French? Ms. Clement scoffed.

"Yes, but to congratulate ourselves for being more racially just than the German Reich is damnation by faint praise, no? I have French and Algerian blood, as do many others in the country. Nobody cares, thank God, about this other than actual fascists. The problem is this: the military has taken on the key responsibilities of the state. This is fundamentally immoral. It is asking - no, demanding - that people risk their lives and kill others to get basic services."

I explained the argument that mandatory service is no different from taxation.

"Military service cannot be equated to paying taxes. Taxpayers in other countries cannot be coerced into action in exchange for government services, only in tyrannies does that happen. And this does not account for what is lost in corruption."

Couldn't democracy account for corruption? Ms. Clement scoffed again.

"Not in our system! The elected officials, they are only puppets of the military, and military officers promote each other. The careerists, the officers in the military, they have used their positions to enrich themselves. They have become a new nobility, little different from the party elites in Germany or the plutocrats in America."

I asked Ms. Clement if she believed that the system would ever change. She nodded.

“The younger generations understand that the War is over. Metropolitan France is another country, one they never want to live in and never want to be a part of. One day, they may even elect a new generation of civilian politicians who will take control from the generals. But I do not expect that day any time soon.”

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Free France in perpetuity. And I like the reinterpretation of "army with a country".
Thanks. I struggled with this because my original idea was too close to what I originally picked for Paraguay.

That was a nice one, @rvbomally . Very thought-provoking. Is France-in-Algeria's military involved in any overseas wars?
Ironically enough, no. The Free French are too obsessed with the myth of preparing to liberate France that they haven't been involved in overseas wars since the wars in Central Africa in the 1960s.
 
Ironically enough, no. The Free French are too obsessed with the myth of preparing to liberate France that they haven't been involved in overseas wars since the wars in Central Africa in the 1960s.
What is the status of non-French peoples? Are there sharp economic differences between French and non-French, or has the military bridges those divides?
 
Does Free France control France's OTL Overseas Terrtories?
No, otherwise it would be shown on the map. Those are now under British control.

What is the status of non-French peoples? Are there sharp economic differences between French and non-French, or has the military bridges those divides?
Universal military service has actually done a lot to educate and train non-French, which not only includes Algerians but refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. Plenty of top French generals are fully Algerian, for example.
 
Universal military service has actually done a lot to educate and train non-French, which not only includes Algerians but refugees from Nazi-occupied Europe. Plenty of top French generals are fully Algerian, for example.
This type of government seems pretty....OK-ish.

A militarized society is troubling, but at least they unite around kicking the arse of the Master Race.
 
This type of government seems pretty....OK-ish.

A militarized society is troubling, but at least they unite around kicking the arse of the Master Race.
Bare necessity simply proved more important than any sense of racial superiority. They needed Africans to fight alongside Frenchmen, and that eventually had to come with equal rights and opportunities (but through the military, of course). Further, given the propaganda that was coming out of the French State, the Third Republic had every reason to reject racial superiority.
 
Bare necessity simply proved more important than any sense of racial superiority. They needed Africans to fight alongside Frenchmen, and that eventually had to come with equal rights and opportunities (but through the military, of course). Further, given the propaganda that was coming out of the French State, the Third Republic had every reason to reject racial superiority.
So race relations in TTL Algeria are more like a dysfunctional yet loyal family?

"Only WE can discriminate against each other! No one messes with mes frères and souers!"
 
Any details on this?
It's a Nazi puppet state, so it's unsurprising racist propaganda. There are plenty of OTL examples you can research at your leisure, but I am not reposting that material here.

So race relations in TTL Algeria are more like a dysfunctional yet loyal family?

"Only WE can discriminate against each other! No one messes with mes frères and souers!"
At first. Nowadays, race and religion are considered very taboo things to discriminate over. Opponents of the military system/continuing the war is what gets people in deep shit.
 
How closely tied are West and Equatorial Africa to Free France?
Close. They share the franc (distinct from the French State, which uses the reichsmark like every other European state under Germany’s control) and both have military regimes, albeit more conventional military dictatorships.
 
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