Discussion in 'Alternate History Maps and Graphics' started by ToixStory, Sep 15, 2014.
Florida is something like a confederate remnant state, correct?
Well they split off from the Confederacy in the 1880s but are rather different today.
*Where the Sawgrass Meets the Sky Intensifies*
Far From Any Road: The Republic of Florida
This Wikibox series is set in the same world as my previous Republic of Texas series, based on "Dixie" by @rvbomally and made with help of @Asami . Like the Republic of Texas, the Republic of Florida began as a state of the Confederate States that seceded from the dying republic when internal problems, rebellion, and an earlier boll weevil outbreak destroyed much of the power of the CSA in the mid-1880s. Unlike Texas who secedes on its own, Florida is freed from the CSA via treaty with the United States (who at the same time annexes former CSA states of Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, and Arkansas). However, Florida’s small population, relative lack of resources, and rough terrain makes for a hard rest of the 19th century for Florida, and it’s not until the 20th century with more modern technologies that Florida begins to truly prosper.
The coming of electricity and modern transportation helped Florida greatly, crisscrossing the northern areas of the state while modern shipping spread the new age to Key West, Miami, and Naples, though the rails never extended as far. Electric cooling greatly enhanced the ability for Floridians to brave the worst of summers. Florida at this time also began to become more influenced by foreign events, such as Florida’s joining of alliance with Britain and France and minor participation in the Great War and the subsequent flowing of Spanish refugees from the communist People’s Brotherhood. The subsequent conflicts in central and South America such as the Bolivian War, the Venezuelan Revolution, and the Mexican Civil War all influenced Florida as the Hispanic-influenced Florida was all too willing to take on large numbers of refugees, especially after the League for Peace and Democracy ended the war by force. Florida adopted a new constitution in 1921 as well, which helped enable the nation to brave the 20th century and beyond with such new laws as the adoption of a more Parliament-like Congress and the syncing of House and Presidential elections. Florida soon after joined the League for Peace and Democracy and participated in the Eurasian War which saw the victory of League forces and great prosperity for all nations in North America, which helped buoy Florida into its status as a modern nation in the 21st century.
Modern Florida is a nation that has distinguished itself greatly from the other nations of the former CSA, just as Texas, Louisiana, and Southron Republic did. Florida is a unitary nation with a powerful centralized government and a highly diverse population where Spanish is spoken nearly as often as English in many places, particularly around the sprawling capital of Tampa. The economy of Florida is not quite as large as nations like Texas but quite considerable, and is well-known for its lack of corruption and economic equality. While the rich are not as rich as in other nations, the divide between the rich and poor is smaller and the middle-class is strong and encompassing of much of the population. The nation has a diversified economy that stretches from traditional industries such as cotton and tourism to phosphate mining, medical research and treatment, aerospace (virtually all nations in North America have a stake in the launching sites on the Atlantic Florida coast), and financial institutions. The nation also holds host to many international agreements of American nations as a crossroads of the American culture., as well as hosting many sports teams during the cold winters of North America. Perhaps one of the most notable elements of modern Florida is what has at times been coined Florida’s “stable transparency” or, more often, “Florida’s weirdness”. That is, the government of Florida is transparent, open, and rather stable of the nations of the Americas and as a result some of the worst and weirdest moments in the state are more often to be known than in other nations. So while stories of Florida men fighting gators and politicians having bipartisan parties in strip clubs make people of the rest of the Americas laugh, it is in fact democracy at work: there is little hidden from the public, no matter how great or bad. This helps give Florida it’s particular charm, and Florida residents are notoriously proud and loyal to their little nation.
Politically, Florida is focused primarily on the central government, notably the House of Representatives and the Presidency which make up the largest sections of the government. While the Presidency is typically a fight between the candidates of only the top two parties, the House is a fight between six parties for dominance and coalitions. The parties are below:
The Progressive Party is the current largest party in the Florida House, and thus the party of the Speaker who leads House functions—currently the Speaker is the head of the Progressive Party, Loranne Ausley. The Progressive Party is generally defined as a centre-left party which emerged from the progressive wave of the 1920s and 1930s when the party was able to form itself out of leftist groups as a moderate alternative to the more hardcore, radical leftist politics of the People’s Brotherhood in Europe. The party was influential in leftist coalitions that grew in strength during the 1950s and 1960s in Florida due to the backlash against the monarchist, reactionary politics of the German Empire after the combined victory of German and Anglo-American forces in the Eurasian War. Since their rise then, the Progressive Party has been one of two primary parties in Floridian politics and continues to be to this day. The party was responsible for such victories as Florida’s sophisticated healthcare system, the expansion of the welfare system, and the passage of civil rights acts to guarantee legal equality among all citizens of Florida (though the United States had at least enforced the abolition of slavery and the worst of unequal laws in 1885). Today, the Progressive Party champions strengthening the various elements of Florida’s welfare states, extending more rights to minorities, and the expansion of hate speech laws in public spaces in Florida. However, one of the most influential happenings in the party came in the mid-2000s when the Progressive Party began to break with further left parties due to resurgences of leftist violence not just in the rest of the world but in Florida itself. This, combined with polarization between far left and far right movements in Florida created the famous “Union for Stable Governance”. That is, the Liberty Party and Progressive Party have combined to create a single government twice in the past 3 House elections, including in 2014 rather than the Progressives combining with Labor and Green as they did in the past as the leftists move to the left and the right moves to the right. It is a powerful alliance that has created stability for Florida that is hopefully here to stay.
The Liberty Party is the second-largest party in the House, and the party of the President of Florida, Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The Liberty Party is Florida’s largest party on the right, and is typically referred to as a centre-right party. The party emerged from a combination of Whigs and Democrats in the 19th century who emerged as a cohesive force during the lean years of the Great War and continued to grow until they were the other dominant party in the 1950s and 1960s. The so-called “Golden Era” of the Liberty Party was in the 1990s when the Liberty Party’s balance of government-heavy fiscally conservative policies and social moderation attracted voters en masse to the party and temporarily pushed left-leaning parties to the background. Backlash against some of the party’s failings and a housing bubble popping in the late 90s, however, led to the party’s descent to its current status at failing to achieve a majority and instead combining with the other government-heavy party, the Progressive Party, to achieve strength in government. The sole exception was a major victory in the previous election in 2010 due to failings of smaller third parties, but the 2014 election quickly wiped those gains away. The victory in the Presidential election was a boon to the Liberty Party, but it was narrow enough to cause worry and cast fearful looks at the rising V Movement.
The Labor Party is the premier leftist party of the Republic of Florida. The party emerged during the “New Left” period in the 1950s and 1960s in which the hostility to leftist groups due to the People’s Brotherhood and similar governments had faded and in their place was backlash against the monarchist and reactionary groups of Germany; the new great rival for the Alliance for Peace and Democracy. The “New Left” was made up primarily of industrial workers, wage laborers, university students, and former soldiers who believed that a more powerful central government with strong socialist policies and democratic mores would help lead Florida into a glorious golden age. Though never taking the House for themselves, Labor has since remained a consistently powerful party in Florida’s government, often taking Third Party but at times able to rise to Second, and often working in coalition governments with the Progressive Party. The Labor Party was highly influential in getting the Progressive Party to pass economically leftist policies and preserving the Floridian welfare state among other issues. However, in recent years there has been conflict between the two parties as Labor’s leadership has increasingly leaned economically further left but socially moderate while the Progressives have largely focused on liberal social issues while letting the economic issues of their party remain moderate. This resulted in the Liberty-Progressive coalitions that have left Labor out, resulting in Labor being the de-facto Second Party in government following the 2014 election and looking for a way forward against such a massive coalition.
The V Movement is one of the more unusual parties in the Republic of Florida. Standing for “Victory Movement”, the party originally began as a subsection of the Liberty Party: a movement focused on grassroots outreach and populism for the party. However, the Liberty Party leadership after the problems of the late 90s decided to jettison the organization and expected them to fall back within the ranks of the Liberty Party, but it didn’t end up that way. Instead a few right-wing populists struck out on their own. They were largely unsuccessful until the ascension of Ileana Ros-Lehtinen to the leadership of the party in 2012 from her seat in suburban Tampa. She helped rally the base around economically centrist and left-wing ideals (tempered by the right of course) and right-wing traditions and movements, against unfettered immigration, and in favor of draining corporate influence in Florida from Key West to Jacksonville. The party was wildly popular in the 2014 election and was influential in the Presidential election of the Liberty Party candidate. Though for now they are willing to work with the Liberty Party on matters like that, the eventual goal of the V Movement is to supplant what they see as the corrupt Liberty Party and morally inept Progressive Party to become the dominant party in Florida’s elections. Only time will tell if they can succeed.
The Green Party is, like its counterparts throughout the Americas, a party focused mainly on left wing political ideas mixed with pro-environmental policies. The Green Party in Florida has a longer history than most, however, due to Florida’s unique situation of being filled with vulnerable wetlands, swamps, and exposed islands that are subject to environmental hazards such as hurricanes. Green politicians have historically been helpful in getting policies such as better hurricane relief and the preservation of the Everglades passed through the Florida Legislature, which is a plus. The traditional stronghold of the Green Party is in the Florida Keys, which naturally face many environmental concerns, especially as Key West has continued to be vital for Florida’s economy and political position (often a gateway for Floridians to the Caribbean and South America). The party, similar to the Green Party of Texas, has lightened its policies on nuclear energy in recent years as part of a program to make Florida more energy self-sufficient, though are still critical on any policies that aren’t tightly regulated.
The National Party or Florida National Party is the newest political party in Florida and one of the most unique in its party base and situation. Though the leader of the FNP has his seat around Tampa, most of the support for the party—as with the V Movement—lies in the Florida panhandle, and the party was born largely due to the unique situation in the panhandle. While central Florida and the east coast have been stable for years as far as immigration, culture, and politics (Tampa the progressive capital and Jacksonville the big moderate city), the panhandle has recently been the biggest site of growth for Florida which has driven large amounts of instability. One of the biggest drives of growth has been immigrants from the Southron Republic drifting into the panhandle; sometimes legally and sometimes not. Reaction to this situation has spurred much of the traditional Floridian population towards the right, and some of them have gone towards the FNP. The party does not classify itself as far right like most nationalist parties, however, and instead claims it stands for Floridian border security, right to refuse immigration until it’s on “acceptable” terms (though what that means varies from voter to voter), and negotiation of North American border laws in the proposed union of North American nations. With its small vote share, though, just about anything goes and it will be a while yet to see if their message resonates or whether they’ll continually play second fiddle to the more popular and mild V Movement.
The 2014 Florida Elections were a wild set of elections that reflected the significant changes and issues that have faced the Republic of Florida in the new millennium. Issues of immigration, corporate influence, the proposed North American Union, foreign policy clashes with other states in the Americas, welfare reform, and more created deep dividing lines between voters. The differences between Jacksonville and Tampa have always been great, but it was this election that really highlighted them and brought home the feeling of Florida being a nation uncomfortable with the current situation it faced. The election was particularly significant as the 2010 elections had given people the idea that a moderate centre-right policy for Florida would serve the republic well in the future, but the subsequent results put that idea to rest. The Florida National Party, new on the scene, made many controversial statements and picked up popularity in the popular media while the V Movement held whirlwind tours that stretched from Panama City to Jacksonville, and from Tallahassee to Key West. County elections were particularly bitterly fought as well, and retiring President Marco Rubio, unpopular due to scandals in his final days, bowed out of the race rather early.
The results of the election indicated a shift in Floridian policy. Rather than Florida politics being a fight between the conservative and liberal parties, it seemed now to become a fight between moderates and extremists as the Progressive and Liberty parties squared off against Labor and the V Movement. In the end, the presidential election would go to Liberty by only a hair’s breadth, mostly on the popularity of centre-right conservative and philanthropist Carlos Lopez-Cantera among the conservative Hispanic population, but the House fell to the Progressive Party. Without a majority, however, the Progressives faced a tough decision on how to rule as the Floridian Constitution of 1921 heavily favored the creation of official majority coalitions for the assigning of committees and other roles. With that in mind, the Progressives only further demonstrated the divide between moderate and extreme mattering more than conservative and liberal by offering coalition to the Liberty Party, who gratefully accepted. The resulting coalition is powerful and gives Florida yet another moderate government that seeks to slowly but surely enact needed reforms to Florida, and so for now at least things are well. Yet, there is still a feeling of unease in 2017 as the 2018 election grows on everyone’s minds. The ruling coalition still maintains a fair bit of popularity, but how much longer, people wonder, can moderation hold out against more extremist parties who see themselves as the last hopes of Florida in a changing world? It’s a question that divides counties, communities, and families, and one that hopefully can be resolved easily and peacefully.
Very cool wiki box, loving your treatment of rvbomalley's concept!
- What's the ethnic make-up of Florida like? Is it like OTL only more Hispanic, is the Freedman population larger, etc.? And,
-Who is more of a regional player, Texas (awesome update there too) or Florida?
I left it out on purpose as Florida does not make a huge count of the ethnic make-up. To answer the question, though, the population is heavily Hispanic-leaning, both white Hispanic speakers and non-white Hispanic speakers. English speakers are split between white and black, with migrants from Spain, the Balkans, and Russia as well as the MENA region. Very diverse, to say the least.
Texas is more of a regional player than Florida, with the larger economy, more natural resources, and a traditionally heavy focus on being a strong bulwark between Mexico and the United States. That is not to say that Florida is weak, but that Florida focuses more on integration with the Caribbean and Central and South America while Texas definitely tries to stand on its own as a power. Florida's military, for instance, has traditionally been designed as a force made to hold back any Confederate forces just long enough for the United States to intervene and drown the Confederacy in men and material until they cry uncle. However since the CSA transitioned to the far more egalitarian and even Southron Republic, Florida's military has mostly been a disaster response force and international aid force than anything else, while Texas still maintains a significant military presence.
That's one interesting Florida you've designed there. Shame the OTL US doesn't have such a diverse set of (actually successful) parties.
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