The initial Chambers of the Houses of Congress for the New England Republic were finally completed and able to house both Representatives and the Senate on the 11th May. Despite the fact that the speakers had to compete over sounds of construction at times, the completion of the Chambers was seen as a great day for New England. The first session in the Chambers was commemorated by a ceremony with both Houses taking their seats and revealing a plaque with their names inscribed into it. The plaque was later put on display for all to see in the entrance hall to the Houses.
The first issue to be brought up in the new Chambers was the ever freezing relations between the USA and the NER. With the newly commissioned forts constantly draining money from the country’s treasury and the need for more money to constantly upgrade the defensives, any further military spending was unpopular to say the least. Several members of both Houses were for pushing, if not cordial, then workable relations with their Southern neighbour.
The relations between the two nations were still so bad that neither had even bothered to apply for an embassy on each other’s soil. The borders were only really open to merchants on either side and even then none were felt welcome due to high tariffs. The New England Senate agreed to send a diplomatic envoy to the US in order to find some way to establish a half decent relationship and perhaps lower the tariffs somewhat.
The envoy was sent and was allowed to speak to the Senate with all members attending. The envoy however, wasn’t even given a chance to speak as he was overwhelmingly jeered and shouted down by the members of both the Houses. The Senator to New York even physically tried to attack the envoy, the threat of New England had greatly militarised New York the last few years. With any speech impossible, the envoy was forced to return to New England with relations between the two nations still lower than low.
The Yorkshire Academy of Warfare was formally opened on the 22nd with the Duke of Wellington, the Duke of York and various other Military and political figures being given a tour of the building. The visitors were impressed by the scope of the Academy as it was completely unique in British architecture by actually looking someway decent, a German architect having been hired to build it. Built in the Neo-Classic design, the Academy was built with many classrooms, dormitories and various stables.
The faculty were made up of a mixture of British officers (One being Picton who was delighted to have an opportunity to lord it over future officers), French officers who had travelled to Britain after the Treaty of Madrid and Prussian officers who were eager to witness this new stage of British military. The requirements for each member of the faculty included having a fairly unblemished military record and at least three recommendations. As the school had something of an international flavour about it, it was open to a much more varied idea of how to fight a war.
There were over 200 students who were to begin the first year of studying, which was out of a four year course at the Academy. Among the 200 students were three from the Shawnee Nation who were sons of the three most powerful and influential Chiefs who had been given the blessing of the Shawnee Parliament to go to the Academy. The British government was pleased at this development, seeing it as the Shawnee becoming more and more reliant on British influence, little realising the Shawnee were sending their people to the Academy for practically the opposite reason.
In Germany, the nations who had been under the thrall of Napoleon not so long ago, began to look for a way to strengthen themselves against the increasing efforts of both Prussia and Austria to bring the nations under their own influence. While many of the smaller Kingdoms were quite content to quietly choose one side of the other, several of the larger Kingdoms were agitated by the pestering of the German powers and France who still wanted to retain some influence in the area.
To this end, the Kingdoms of Westphalia and Bavaria began plans to reform the Confederation of the Rhine to gather their strength. Gaining the support of three other German Duchies, a Treaty was secretly drawn up between the nations to fully lay out the terms of the new Confederation. Negotiations were to take months as they needed to be done in secret to avoid gaining the ire of Prussia and Austria while also investigating the possibility of gaining more German nations to their cause. It was expected that only a few from the north and west would join due to their distance from the two German powers.
As 1819 drew to a close, clashes between white settlers and Shawnee border guards became ever more common. While protecting their legitimate borders, many Shawnee were guilty of attacking people who were merely American traders or settlers looking for supplies. Xenophobia against Americans was largely based from the refugees from the south who had lost their land thanks to Andrew Jackson. Tension between the Shawnee Nation and America stemmed from the clashes of settlers and Shawnee people and also the fact that some escaped slaves were allowed to live on Shawnee land when white settlers were forbidden.
The freezing relations between the three North American Nations (NER, USA, Shawnee Nation) were constantly overseen by the British as they tried to make relations more cordial. The sheer difference between the three made this next to impossible however and as a new decade dawned, it seemed unsure if the delicate balance would hold…