What's with all the chapters in the table of contents which don't have links?
Interesting.The Republic of Louisiana
République de Louisiane
República de Luisiana
New Orleans in the summer is humid, no matter where in the multiverse you are, and this summer it one of the hottest the Republic of Louisiana has ever seen. The air conditioning on the New Orleans Metro is hardly sufficient for the weather, and by the time I step out onto the campus of the National University of Louisiana I’m sweating bullets. My first meeting with Dr. Esteban Delacroix, an expert on political history.
The Republic of Louisiana was born out of the grandiose ambitions of one Aaron Burr. A former Vice President of the United States Burr’s domestic political hopes were destroyed by a combination of his feud with President Thomas Jefferson and his killing of Former Treasury Secretary Alexander Hamilton in a duel. So he resolved to create his own nation in the west, which had at the time a tenuous connection with the government in Washington. Although Burr was unsuccessful in convincing states such as Ohio to join his cause, he found more success in Louisiana, recently purchased from the French. Provoking a crisis with the Spanish in Texas, Burr found an impetus to raise himself an Army and carve out his own country, promptly named “The Republic of Louisiana.” British warships would secure the young Republic’s independence. Everything South of Saint Louis was delivered to the new Republic, with its capital of New Orleans.
“Initially,” says Delacroix “The Republic was modeled after the American one with three balanced branches of government. But Burr saw plenty of success in his early years. As Spain’s new world holdings collapsed he was able to carve out much of the Gulf coast, and in 1812 he sided with the British in the Second Anglo-American War, which secured Louisiana’s northern and eastern flanks. With that kind of success, and a lack of Washington’s scruples, he quickly became de facto President for life.”
Burr’s rule was at times heavy handed, but generally ones of prosperity. The Founding Father died peacefully in 1836. However his successor, Harman Blennerhassett Jr, was a much crueler man and no patience for even cowed opposition. He was able to use the loyal military to dispense of Congress after a few years in power, but he alienated both the Spanish Speaking and Francophone portions of the nation. In 1849 an economic downturn and inspiration from Europe led to the downfall of the Blennerhassett regime. Barricades went up in all the major cities and in the countryside the largest slave revolt mainland North America had ever seen erupted. Unfortunately for the latter group, their success was short lived. Once Blennerhassett the white rebels made common cause with the remaining establishment, and crushed the insurrection.
“Having established themselves, the new government than had to decide upon its structure. The power of the states was strengthened, and since dividing the legislature had weakened its unity against Blennerhassett the new Congress man made unicameral. Due to the slave revolts, there was a need for executive, but obviously one man rule was unacceptable. Hence the triumvirate.” Delacroix explains.
Taking inspiration from the Romans, a three man committee was set up to replace the President. Although they were given ranked numbers, First, Second and Third, in practice they were all equal in authority. Two votes were required to pass a law coming out of the National Congress, the same to veto the bill. The signature of one could refer a bill to the Constitutional Court. Unanimity was required for cabinet appointments, declarations of war, and constitutional amendments. A somewhat cumbersome system, but one that has worked well enough for nearly two hundred years. A Triumvir would be replaced each year, but each with a different method of election.
The system of electing the Third Triumvirs is similar to how many Prime Ministers are elected. After their own triennial elections (elected proportionally since Constitutional reform in 1967) the National Congress elects someone as Third Triumvir, typically as the result of a great deal of coalition building and debate in the smoke filled rooms that at times dominate the Republic of Louisiana.
“Now, technically speaking the Third Triumvir isn’t...ah what’s the word? Beholden? No ‘responsible’ to the Congress, the way German Secretary is. He could ignore them if he wanted. But that would be the height of bad character. If the Congress votes to censure you, the only proper this to do is resign and let them select a replacement.” My next contact says with a deep drawl.
Edward Washington is a plump man, and drinks bourbon as we speak in his lavish office. As leader of the Congressional Conservatives, he is a likely candidate for Third Triumvir should the right emerge victorious in the next year’s congressional elections. Congress remains a powerful institution in Louisiana, with a tight grip on the budget and Byzantine rules. Members of Washington’s family have served in Congress since 1881, and he is very proud of this fact.
“The Romans, they had a word for the power of tradition, the informal rules that help life go smoother. ‘Mos maiorum.’ We have a bit of that here. You scratch my back, I scratch yours. You work things out with the Old Regulars instead of in the streets.” He says.
I ask if that doesn’t lead to stagnation and decay, keeping the old ways forever.
“I didn’t say things remain the same son, I just said you have to do things proper like. If change is needed, we’ll make it. See how we reformed the Second Triumvir elections after three years that Bobby White fiasco. We got ourselves a nice little two round system after that lunatic.”
The position of Second Triumvir is elected by nationwide popular vote. It used to be simply nationwide first past the post. In 1996, the Workingman’s Party’s candidate, Bobby White, one in a divided field and became Second Triumvir. He was the first member of the party to win high office, and the first black man. Although outnumbered he raised a constant ruckus during his three years in office. He referred laws he found suspect to the courts, and used every trick in the book to obstruct the government, in hopes of forcing some kind of reforms to the system that favored white insiders over everyone else. Naturally, when his term was up the powers that be united to boot him from office and amended the constitution to prevent a repeat performance.
“That boy was the worst damn thing that ever happened to this fine country.” Opines Washington.
My final interviewee would disagree quite strongly.
“Bobby was the only Triumvir to ever confront the race question head on,” says Joyce Jennings. “This country was the last in the world to abolish slavery, and blacks were not given the right to vote until the 1970s. Black voters still face extreme hurdles to voting and jobs, and have a much higher chance of being killed by the police or imprisoned unjustly than any other group.”
I’m meeting with Jennings, an activist lawyer working for the Workingman’s Party, in Nash Square, the beating heart of New Orleans. And she has a point. Louisiana prides itself on a harmonious relationship between its language groups, Hispanic, English, and Francophone, as opposed to the messy situations in Bohemia and Indochina. However the substantial black population of Louisiana does not fit easily into this dynamic, and remain far worse off than the rest of the country.
“Four of the seven states still have poll taxes, and discrimination based on race is still legal for private businesses.” Jennings explains. “Blacks make up just over a quarter of the population but remain second class citizens.”
Jennings is in the square (named after a slave owner) campaigning for candidates in the Orleans State Legislature, which has elections this year just like every other state in the republic. The states of Louisiana retain substantial autonomy in certain areas, such as education, transportation, and income taxes. The state legislatures also hold the power to elect the First Triumvir, much in the same way the US Senate used to be composed. Each state gets a vote, determined by the legislature, and the person with the most votes out of 7 will win.
“Every level of the process is filled to the brim with corruption and backstabbing. Orleans is the only state where we have a real chance to win a majority in the legislature.” Jennings explains. The Capital State is the only one ever to have elected a black governor.
I ask if that will help them select a Third Triumvir, she shakes her head
“We could be a swing vote if the other six states deadlock. But otherwise the Workingman’s Party is too small. It’s about building a local organization.”
I ask if there are any long term prospects for meaningful change. She gives a shrug.
“Maybe? I certainly hope so. But these days sometimes it’s hard to keep the faith.”
I read this while listening to Cajun music.The Republic of Louisiana
République de Louisiane
República de Luisiana
God slapped down Hard In the 1812 Equivalent, and by the time they stumbled back to their feet Oregon was gone.I can sorta get how Louisiana absorbing Texas prevented the US from taking the Southwest, but what butterfly kept them from taking the Pacific Northwest?
I wonder if Oleh Lyashko is a prominent NatPop politician in Russian Ukraine.The Grand Alliance (or informally, the Saratov Pact) is clearly led by the Russian State, forged by Boris Savinkov (named the “Horseman of the Apocalypse” by his cult of personality) and the National People’s Republican Party under Savinkov’s ideology of “National Populism”, based out of Savinkov’s personal beliefs of an authoritarian “peasants’ republic”.
What caused the Hungarian rebellion, exactly?Danubia, Germany’s number 2 in maintaining peace and order in the Europabund, is a diverse federation forged by Emperor Karl I (the Blessed or the Great) after the defeat of the Hungarian rebellion in 1937 with their idea of National Personal Autonomy being a system which has been applied by many post-colonial federations to some degree or another.
Gee, I wonder if any of them would be worthy competitors to the Persephone Foundation.In this world, the American Wayland Tech, Germany's Schneider Group (led by Helena Schneider) the Russian Nabatova Group (led by Stella Nabatova, a close ally of Vozhd Antonova), and South China's Bao Group led by Xun Liuxian being amongst the main tech companies in the world.