MotF 245: Sic Semper Tyrannis

MotF 245: Sic Semper Tyrannis

The Challenge

Make a map showing the fall of an authoritarian leader.

The Restrictions

There are no restrictions on when the PoD of your map should be. Fantasy, sci-fi, and future maps are allowed.

If you're not sure whether your idea meets the criteria of this challenge, please feel free to PM me or comment in the main thread.
Entries will end for this round when the voting thread is posted on Monday, November 1, 2021 (extended by a week).
Any discussion must take place in the main thread. If you post anything other than a map entry (or a description accompanying a map entry) in this thread, you will be asked to delete the post.

Don't forget to vote on MotF 244!
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Ultimately, the Kingdom of China collapsed as a result of the same weaknesses in its predecessor which allowed it to rise - excessive decentralization, non-dynamic leadership, and an inability to effectively create an independent response to becoming an object of competition among the powers surrounding it.

Ethnic, religious, and political tensions led to widespread and long-simmering dissatisfaction with the government across the country, while the regime's brutally heavy-handed but inconsistently-enforced repression of dissent created both reason and ample opportunity for the growth of nationalist, communist, and separatist secret societies and guerrilla groups - especially in the mountainous northwest. U.S. support for the Kingdom, which it saw as a useful partner in containing the growth of Soviet influence in Asia, failed to make up for its lack of state capacity or willingness to reform.

By the early 1950s, the most popular of these groups was the Xingzhonghui (Revive China Society), a nationalist and socialist umbrella organization with its roots in the brief period of liberalization of the 1910s. In November 1951, a palace coup led to the removal and arrest of Yan Xishan, the popular and powerful reformist minister of finance, for allegedly being a member. The charge was probably entirely fabricated by his enemies, but led in any case to a wave of student protests in major cities - both spontaneous and organized by the Xingzhonghui.

As in previous cases of street protests, these were met by swift crackdowns by the central government. However, this time several provincial governors and military leaders - perhaps fearing for their own posts - refused orders to suppress the protests. Starting in late December with Yan's native Shanxi, a series of northern provincial governments went further, rejecting Tianjing's authority entirely and declaring their support for a new revolutionary government formed by the Xingzhonghui.

This map was produced at the height of the resulting standoff, as the United States decided how to respond to the mounting crisis. Fears of Xingzhonghui links to the Soviet Union were balanced by the costs of continuing to prop up the tottering Chinese regime. Ultimately, in early February, with the country on the brink of civil war, the American ambassador in Tianjing offered the royal family asylum in the United States in exchange for leaving quietly. By March 12 - less than four months after his arrest - Yan was freed from prison and proclaimed provisional president of a new Republic of China.

Both American fears and Soviet hopes for the resulting government proved overblown. The Republic - which quickly sidelined Yan in favor of old Xingzhonghui cadres, who imposed their own sort of dictatorship over the country - expelled Western military advisers, nationalized Western-held properties, and came to the brink of war with SEATO over during the Hong Kong crisis. However, it also refused Soviet offers to accept elements of the Changchun government into its administration or to recognize the Soviet client states of East Turkestan or Outer Mongolia.
No Kings, No Idols
the Comuneros' Revolt of Castile


The background here could be extensive, but I can't find the time to fully write it, so here goes a general idea.

This is a Castile after a successful Comuneros' Revolt that saw the nascent Habsburg monarchy overthrown and replaced by a republican government. However, the POD goes farther back to the reforms of Cardinal Cisneros, for whatever reason, working out poorly, causing resentment that leads to the formation of a proto-Protestant sector within the Spanish clergy, one that embraces the Reformation once it pops up in Germany, and lends the bourgeois revolt against feudalism and the monarchy a Protestant ideological element.

The republican system, overall, is based around a Junta system in which 11 states (9 kingdoms, 1 principality and 1 lordship) each are given 3 votes, while 33 communes are each given 1 vote, for 66 votes total. The States' votes would be dominated by landowning aristocrats, while the communes would be dominated by urban merchants. Which gives a compromise system possibly stable enough to last until industrialization makes it less attractive. And of course, no archaic parliamentary system would be complete without random enclaves holdovers from the feudal era.

As for Spanish Protestantism, since it'll be headed by the exact type of corrupt clergy that Cisneros fought against and Luther protested against, I imagine it would be very particular in its own ways, and retaining its own wealth and privilege. I also like the idea of it being quite iconoclastic. As to how it would deal with the Catholic population and the (crypto-)Muslim Morisco population, I don't know. Possibly a source of tensions between different regions.

I also imagine the colonial situation would be fun. It would be interesting to see the Junta system extending to the "kingdoms" in the Americas, allowing the colonial elites to send representatives of their own. Or doing an American-style revolution for the sake of "no taxation without representation".

Anyway, I don't know if calling Charles V "authoritarian" is quite correct, but the idea of a republican, Protestant Spain has been in my head for a while, and this seemed like a good opportunity to get it over with. It is a fun concept, and I hope that forgives an eventual toeing of the line in regards to the use of the term "authoritarian".