|United Commonwealth of Indiana|
Motto: Una stamus, dividui cadimus
(Latin: "United We Stand, Divided We Fall")
Anthem: Chimes of Indiana
|Government||Unitary constitutional republic|
|Baron Avery (F)|
|Francis Wilson (M)|
|Legislature||Assembly of the United Commonwealth (Unicameral)|
|From the United Kingdom & the Confederate States of America|
|July 4th, 1776|
|April 12, 1861|
|April 14, 1865|
|August 4th, 1870|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
|$5.4 trillion (3rd)|
Error: Invalid Gini value
|Currency||Commonwealth Dollar (Ȼ, Ȼ$) (COM)|
|Drives on the||right|
The United Commonwealth of Indiana, commonly known as the United Commonwealth is a sovereign state in the Conference of American States and is a constitutional republic with a strong centralized government located east of the Mississippi River, bordering the Atlantic Ocean, with several claims of territories across the world, including Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. It borders New England to the northeast, Hudson Republic and Michigan to the north, Federal Republic of Missouri to the west and the Confederate States of Dixie to the south.
Its primary function is through a unitary state system which prohibits the formation of large subdivisions. The most important government polity is the county, which generally controls local taxes, prohibiting the sale of alcohol, and funding for public amenities. It abolished the previous governing system by the United States in the aftermath of the American Civil War. Established by the Declaration of Unification, the former states of Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Pennsylvania, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois, were subjected to forceful unification by the Republican Party in response to the War of Contingency and the the Assassination of Abraham Lincoln.
With the Second Burning of Washington the government fled to Louisville, Kentucky, which would temporarily be designated as the capital until 1897 when it would be moved to Indianapolis. Its legislature operates as a unicameral body, which is subject to the constitution. Its executive branch is headed by the Executive Secretariat, who's cabinet controls the various functions of the government. The Supreme Court is given original jurisdiction over various areas and is the final interpreter of Commonwealth law. Because of the various divisions of power within the government, the state is among the most stable among the American republics. Its naturally been a cold respondent to the various monarchies on the continent due to its strong belief in republicanism.
It has the largest gross domestic product in North America, with 5.4 trillion, but it has one of the lower GDP per capita, placing third on the continent and 13th in the world. Relative to the other members of the Conference of American States, the United Commonwealth does not process an influential economy and is not home to many large multinational corporations. Its the center of manufacturing in North America, and has a strong agricultural sector. It is the largest producer of soybeans and corn in the world, a title which typically changes every year in relation to Missouri's powerful agricultural output. Currently Johnson & Johnson is the largest company in the United Commonwealth, a leader in pharmaceuticals and healthcare. It has a relatively balanced mixed economy with the public sector accounting for a large portion of employment. Since the 2008 Recession, the economy has bounced back significantly, it was one of the hardest hit economies in North America due to its reliance on manufacturing.
The United Commonwealth boasts 107,413 square miles of land, located entirely on the North American continent. Several geographic features have dominated its political, economic and cultural development. The United Commonwealth is the 106th largest nation in the world making larger than Iceland yet smaller than Guatemala. Virginia controls the southern portion of the Delmarva Peninsula, e which contributes three small islands. Among the strangest borders in North America, the Kentucky Bend is an exclave created by the New Madrid earthquakes.
Created by the Kentucky Dam, the largest reservoir in the country was created, the Kentucky Lake which holds the title as the largest artificial lake in North America. Along with Lake Washington, the two rivers created the Royal Natural Reserve, the private government recreational estate for the royal family. Along the Potomac River, the largest conglomerate of the Commonwealth's population rest, it also creates the border with the Barony of Baltimore. The Ohio River creates the nations longest continuous border with the United States and along its banks, the city of Louisville, Kentucky (the largest city of the commonwealth) sits.
Generally, the nation is divided among Eastern Virginia, Western Virginia, Eastern Kentucky, the Bluegrass region and Western Kentucky. Eastern Virginia is dominated by the Tidewater, part of the Atlantic coastal plain which is spotted by lowland marshes and swampland. Most of the rivers in the Tidewater empty into the Chesapeake Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. One of the only two natural lakes in Eastern Virginia is located in the Great Dismal Swamp, known as Lake Drummond. Separating the Tidewater and the Piedmont region, is a series of highlands known as the Southwest Mountains, this transitional region is known for its heavy clay elements.
Located centrally within the nation that divides Kentucky and Virginia is the cultural and region of the Appalachian Mountains, which also includes the Great Appalachian Valley and the Shenandoah Valley. Western Virginia and Eastern Kentucky comprise of this region, home to the nations influential coal mining, Appalachia culture and the socially conservative backbone. The Appalachian's experience typically moist seasons, which have resulted in heavy snowfall and dangerous flooding conditions. In the predominately Virginian section of the Appalachians is the Ridge-and-valley feature, while in Kentucky the Appalachians turn into the hilly Cumberland Plateau.
See Also: Ajacán Mission
Virginia was designated as the oldest claim of the British Empire in North America when Sir Walter Raleigh sent two explorers to explore the Outer Banks. Philip Amadas and Arthur Barlowe explored the coastal shores and discovered a local native tribal leader who went by the name of Wingina, which would later inspire the name of Virginia. Sir Raleigh's sanctioned exploration was the for the longest time was considered by scholars to be the first European exploration of the Chesapeake Bay, but recent documents have pointed to that a suspected Spanish venture by Jesuit priest Juan Bautista de Segura, who was the vice church custodian of Havana, was the first to explore Virginian shores. The exact location has been undetermined, but some clues have pointed to Queen's Creek as being the settlement. Don Luis, who was a captured Virginia Indian and was educated by the Jesuits and accompanied Segura and ventured with the religious group as a translator was the ultimate downfall of the group. Within days of landing, Don Luis located his native village of Chiskiack and returned to the eight priests and massacred them, confiscating their clothes and food supplies. While disputed by many scholars, this story has carried itself as a folk story among White Virginians who have portrayed Native Americans as traitorous, vicious and were not the likeness portrayed during Thanksgiving.
Promoting colonization and development of the North American coast, the London Company was incorporated under the Charter of 1606 and was given land rights to the Virginian mainland. Financing the first permanent English settlement of the New World, the city of Jamestown was founded on May 4th, 1607 as "Fort James" along the James River on Jamestown Island a 1,561 acre island connected by a causeway. It was almost entirely a wetland, including several swamps and marshes. Because of the climate and setting, it was breeding ground for mosquitoes. Continuously members of the colony continued to die of typhoid, dysentery and scurvy and the population peaked at several hundred and fell sharply to around 60 members by 1610. John Smith became an influential leader of the colony and was instructing the practical establish of the colony. The colony began to fall even further into disarray when famine plagued the encampment and caused Smith to force compliance from the Indian chieftain Powhatan to provide food to the starving settlers thus begging tensions between the white settlers and local natives. John Smith's tale was further romanticized by his relationship with Pocahontas who was the daughter of Powhatan, and the leader of the Powhatan Confederacy. When John Smith was captured by the Powhatan due to decayed relations, he was sentenced to death. Before being clubbed to death, Pocahontas's intervened and saved Smith's life. This tale was recounted in a letter to Queen Anne 1616, but its accuracy is still questioned by historians.
In 1624, the Virginia Company was officially revoked of its charter by the British crown with authority being transferred to royal authorities as a crown colony. This transfer of power from private to royal authorities eventually speed the growth of the colony, and the creation of local governments was created. Eight shires were established, which held responsibilities in comparison to that of present day counties. Among the oldest surviving local government positions was the sheriff, which still to this present day conducts law enforcement in rural counties. With the transfer of power from local private authorities and to the crown, the political nature of the colonies became intertwined with that of Britain. During the English Civil War, those of Virginia were mostly loyal to Charles I, the current ruling monarch of England at the time; but this loyalty would not prevent the replacement of Governor Berkeley by Oliver Cromwell. Cromwell, who ensured the creation of the Commonwealth of England installed Richard Bennett, a moderate Puritan who decentralized the colonial government and finalized the creation of Maryland. Virginia's underlying support of the British monarch allowed for a heavy stream of staunch supporters of the monarchy to arrive within the colony. Because of Virginia's defiant support for the monarchy, Charles II who was reinstated during the Restoration of the Crown, bestowed Virginia with the nickname of "Old Dominion", a name which it still bears today.
Virginian attitudes towards the crown first began to sour when Berkeley was reinstated as the governor after previously serving a popular first term. His second administration was polluted with issues ranging from hurricanes, hostile Indians and economic strife. Attempting to implant his power against the odds of unpopularity, he suspended elections and established a autocratic authority over the colony. Nathaniel Bacon began his own militia of locals to defend themselves against the Indians, and became increasingly popular in Berkeley's Virginia. Bacon became the popular champion against Berkeley, which eventually lead to his election to the House of Burgesses. With lack of reform and gridlock within the legislature, Bacon took it upon himself to dispose of Berkeley's authoritarian regime.
Nathaniel Bacon successfully took control of parts of Virginia, and rejected the authority of the colonial government and pleaded with the Crown to investigate the situation. Refusal to intervene against the influential landowners of the Piedmont, the crown called up the English Militia to assist Berkeley to put down Bacon and his accomplices. The ensuring conflict, now known as Bacon's Rebellion, was historically the first rebellion in the American colonies. Stemming from the differences between the frontier and the plantations, indentured servants and the wealthy ruling class the rebellion has become a novelty among those of Kentucky, who have been sympathetic of the lower working class. Joining the rebellion were those of African slaves who rebelled alongside that of the white indentured servants. This united cause, fueled by forced servitude, was seen as a future means of destruction of the social caste of Virginia. Attempting to divide the lower white working class and the African slaves, the Burgesses passed the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705. Bacon, along with his brigade in Jamestown declared the "Declaration of the People of Virginia" which outlined the dissent with the corruption, nepotism} and unfair taxation on the lower class. Before leaving the capital, the men burned down the capital in anger, Bacon along with his forces left Jamestown to secure other towns; but his campaign was cut short with his death in 1676 by dysentery. Leadership inside the rebellion was given to John Ingram, but without Bacon; followers soon became uninterested. Those who remained most faithful to the cause were executed by hanging. Frontiersmen who fought in the effort fled to the Appalachian Mountains and Kentucky and eventually created the powerful support for abolitionism within the western state.
Tobacco became increasingly ever popular within English markets, and pushed for the development of the Virginian plantation societal system. Mass slavery was incorporated to maintain production, which would later fuel the flames for the American Civil War. One of the first colonial government inspections standards occurred with the viewing of harvested tobacco. In 1730, the House of Burgesses passed the Tobacco Inspection Act of 1730, which required inspectors to grade tobacco at 40 specific state locations. Government oversight in the economy has continued, and has been a founding principle in the cooperation between state and business.
Colonial KentuckyIn 1541, nearly two years after Spanish explorer, Hernado de Soto started his expedition in Tampa Bay, Florida; accommodated with 950 conquistadors and twenty four secular priests. Several studies have claimed that Soto entered Kentucky through the area around Fort Campbell, and traveled 90 miles (140 km) to the banks of the Ohio River. Along his journey through Kentucky, he entered the town of Quizquiz where he captured an assortment of native women and children while the Indian men were out laboring in fields. In fear of igniting a war between the two forces, Soto released the captives soon after. In 1669, French explorer Rene-Robert Cavelier, Sieur de la Salle, navigated the Mississippi River Valley and claimed the majority of its banks for the French colonial empire; which included Kentucky. During his exploration of the Ohio River, he encountered Jacques Marquette and Louis Joliet; explorers who were exploring the territories now known as Indiana, Michigan, Illinois and Wisconsin.
Among the first attempts by English settlers to explore into the Trans-Allegheny region began in the 1640's under the royal governor of William Berkeley. Exploration was hampered in 1644 when natives continuously killed colonists, with a total of 500 colonists killed within that year. In 1673, Abraham Wood sent Gabriel Arthur and James Needham from Fort Henry, equipped with four horses and several native American slaves, to make contacted with the Tomahittan. These men eventually reached an unrecognized Tomahittan town in Kentucky where John Arthur assimilated to the the tribes customs, assisting the tribes chieftain in revengeful raids on Spanish settlements. James Needham, returning home from the expedition without his confidante was killed in a brawl between him and his Occaneedchi guide. In 1678, the natives returned Arthur back to his English settlement who supplied detailed information about Kentucky.
In the late 1700's, several expeditions were taken to explore and to settle the fertile lands of Kentucky. Among the first was Daniel Boone who passed through the Cumberland Gap while on a hunting trip with his brother, Squire Boone. He would eventually return to Virginia, inquiring the aid of 50 settlers and his own family. Boone was hired by Richard Henderson to map out and clear the Wilderness Road which would allow for the flood of colonists. Henderson chartered the Transylvania Colony as an extra-legal colony that had little backing by the Virginia government. In 1776, his charter for the colony was invalidated by the Virginia General Assembly, declaring that the area would be known as Kentucky County. Being embroiled in the Western theater of the Revolution, the settlers were not only challenged by the wilderness but also by hostile Indians and British forces.
Along with the Colony of Georgia, Maryland and the Province of Carolina, the four royal colonies were under the rule of the Parliament of Great Britain and the rule of George III of the United Kingdom. In this period, the Church of England solidified its position within the society of Virginia, creating the foundations for the conservative religious principles that still exist within the country. Vriginia, along with Zwaanendael Colony and Staaten Colony, the fought the French and Indian War against French Louisiana and French Acadia, which would be latter settled by a ceasefire.
In 1764, dissident among the population became to flare with the Sugar Act and in 1765 with the Stamp Act. Within the General Assembly, they protested on the grounds of no taxation without representation, and in turn passed the Virginia Resolves to defer such taxes. Patrick Henry was the primary member within the Assembly to reject such taxes and delivered a fiery speech that many claimed was treasonous. Coastal Virginians were against Henry's Resolves, claiming it would be disastrous for plantations, but those of the interior claimed that the weight of the taxes were being placed upon those of the middle class. With widespread protest against the Stamp Act, it was repelled in 1768 but additional taxes were created through the Revenue Act.
Instead of spending the revenue on infrastructure or investments in the colonies, the British government sought funding for the transportation of Bostonian rioters to London for trial. When the General Assembly protested the transportation of the accused, Governor Lord Botetourt dissolved the legislature. Several members of the Burgesses convened in Raleigh Tavern and imposed a ban on all British imports. While these initial demands were dropped by the British government, tensions in 1771-1773 began to draw down. In 1773, renewed attempts to extradite Americans to Britain caused the creation of the Committee of Correspondence that would eventually join in solidarity with Massachusetts in the effort to remove colonial rule over America.
American Civil WarAbraham Lincoln lead the Republican Party to victory in the 1860 presidential election, his sweeping victories caused fear in the southern establishment. The Republican Party was composed of influential abolitionists who supported banning of slavery in all newly established U.S territories. Before Lincoln was inaugurated, seven states seceded to form the Confederate States of America. Former Democratic President James Buchanan rejected the calls for secession, but members of his party, including Jefferson Davis, ignored his pleas and proceeded to form a government in Montgomery, Alabama. Lincoln and the Republicans explicitly called for peace and assured that the administration would not use force to interfere with the institution of slavery in the southern United States. Lincoln's attempt to calm the Southern states failed and the individual state governments seized several federal forts without any resistance.
On April 12, 1861, Confederate forces fired upon Fort Sumter in the bay of Charleston, South Carolina, demanding the United States Army relinquish the facility in the harbor. Brigadier General, P. G. T. Beauregard, the commanding officer of the Confederate forces, focused the strengthening of the siege batteries around Charleston and berated the Fort until Robert Anderson, after 34 hours, surrendered. Lincoln immediately called for 75,000 volunteers to quell the rebellion; resulting in an additional four southern states declaring their secession. The war progressed relatively quickly, in the Western Theater the Union forces made significant gains, while in the Eastern Theater the battles remained inconclusive.
Confederate campaigns launched that same year into Maryland and Kentucky, waning popular support in the North. While the campaigns failed, the close proximity of Confederate forces damaged the North's public support for the war. By the summer of 1862, the Union had wiped out the Confederate naval forces and much of their western forces; allowing for Northern forces to seize New Orleans. At the Battle of Perryville, General Buell successfully repelled Confederate troops during their aggressive campaign in central Kentucky, the tactical victory was essential in controlling the heartland. Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation on January 1, 1863, changing the federal status of more than 3 million enslaved African-Americans; designated from "slave" to "free". This proclamation solidified support from the abolitionist bloc of the Republican Party and gave a moral importance to the war.
Robert E. Lee's offensive into Pennsylvania was ended at the Battle of Gettysburg, with the loss of nearly 46,000 cumulative souls, the largest loss of human life during the war. It was the turning point of the war, with Southerners losing hope in the cause of a free Confederate States. With the strengthening of its naval blockade, Confederate ports became depleted of military and industrial goods, and were unable to export its highly valuable cotton to oversees consumers; crumbling the economy. In 1864, the Union mustered its resources and manpower to push for the final attack on the Confederacy, a shock and awe campaign to finish the war. William T. Sherman lead his march to the Georgia coast after the Burning of Atlanta. On April 9th, at the Appomattox Court House, Robert E. Lee surrendered, signaling the end of the war.
Death of Lincoln, collapse of the Union
Main article: Assassination of Abraham Lincoln
On Good Friday, 1865, pro-confederate and Knights of the Golden Circle member, John Wilkes Booth assassinated President Abraham Lincoln with a Philadelphia Deringer pistol at point blank range at the Ford's Theater in Washington, D.C. during the showing of Our American Cousin. Major Henry Rathbone attempted to prevent Booth from escaping but was brutally assaulted with a knife. Booth before dropping from the private box shouted "Sic semper tyrannis!", and in the process tore an American flag draped as decoration and damaged a framed portrait of George Washington. Major Joseph B. Stewart an attendee at the theater pointed at Booth as he dashed across the stage, shouting "Stop that man!" The crowd since the beginning thought the occurring events had been part of the play, but after the shouting from Stewart, the theater went into mass pandemonium.
Lewis Powell entered the residence of William H. Seward, the current Secretary of State and his son, Frederick W. Seward, Assistant Secretary, at around the same time the chaos was ensuring at the Ford's Theater. Powell entered the home under the guise of delivering medicine to the Secretary, and before entering the room in which the Secretary slept shot the Assistant Secretary point blank in the frontal lobe, instantly killing him. Powell then entered the room, pushing the secretary's daughter aside and viciously assaulted William H. Seward while he was laying in bed. He was struck in his jugular vein, causing the secretary to bleed out purposefully, dying within several minutes. George F. Robinson ran into the house, resulting in a scuffle with Powell on the staircase before Powell escaped by horse.
George Atzerodt was assigned to kill Vice President Andrew Johnson, who was staying at the Kirkwood House in Washington on April 14th. At the approximately the same time as the shooting of the President and the Secretary of State, at 10:15, Atzerodt entered the room of Johnson and shot two shots at the Vice President in his abdomen. Security at the hotel rushed to the room to find the Vice President unconscious, along with the window opened. Several men attempted to pursue Atzerodt through the streets of Washington but lost him in the woods in the southern half of the district. Atzerodt rendezvous with the two assailants to an outpost along the banks of the Potomac River.In response to the three attacks, Edwin M. Stanton took control of the situation and established a temporary government in the parlor outside the room where Lincoln lied. At around 11:50, reports began pouring to Stanton that several groups had arose in the south, with Richard Launcelot Maury and Matthew Fontaine Maury, returning from Sierra to continue war against the Union, with several thousands of men. An elaborate conspiracy had infiltrated the government, allowing for Maury and his men to circle the city of Washington. Gideon Welles and Stanton broke out into an argument over the next course of action, and causing the cabinet of the former President to scramble in moving the President and his family out of the capital building. Nathaniel William Hill, the residing commanding general in Louisville, Kentucky, outlined plans to the cabinet to move the government to the western city. General Hill instructed Stanton to recall the entirety of the Union forces in the south to the North.
Several governors in New England believed it to be a coup, announcing they would reject any orders from Hill or Stanton. Bordering states, along with several Midwestern states loyal to the Republican Party followed the removal of troops. Thomas E. Bramlette of Kentucky and Oliver P. Morton of Indiana left for Louisville in order to help assist the move of the federal government. Ten of thousands of obeying troops departed for Kentucky, Indiana and Illinois, while a few thousand Northeastern troops remained defiantly. On the morning of April 6th, Maury and his men marched upon Washington sacking the cities federal building, burning the newly built capital building and White House. Chaos gripped the Eastern seaboard and the south in the weeks following, and the South rose up against the remaining troops left by the Northeastern governors.
War of Contingency
Having been appointed as the United States Ambassador to Russia in 1863, Cassius Clay returned to Kentucky after receiving messages from Bramlette that the United States had fallen into chaos after the assassination. Clay returned on September 8th, 1865, noting that the city of Louisville had boomed with the extreme influx of solider and their families loyal to the Union. Clay outlined in his journal the bustling scene that the city had become and the chilling realization that the many patriots of the United States had fled to the birthplace of their beloved leader.
"Having spent two years in the Russian Empire, it was of great woe to return to a broken union. I had come through New York City where the star spangled banner was noticeably absent. Travelling with four armed men, the country's integrity was so fractured that the general populace's had lost all morality, willing to kill any man for bread. Departing on boat from Pittsburgh, we traversed the calm Ohio, it waters soothed my soul and the flickering lights of the now populated banks lifted my soul. At around dawn, we laid our eyes on the city of Louisville. The city was adored with a new skyline and chimneys now churned pillars of smoke. Then I gazed upon it; a massive star spangled banner flying over the downtown. It was as if God dedicated the rays of the sun to illuminate it, it was an assurance that our divine union would be preserved."
- Cassius Clay, 1865, September 8th
Clay entered the makeshift capital building in the West Main District, meeting with the Secretary of War, the two governors of Indiana and Kentucky and General Hill. The Kentucky General Assembly coupled with the Indiana General Assembly along with Lincoln's former cabinet and the remaining loyal members from the Federal House of Representatives and Senate declared that Cassius Clay lead the provisional civilian government while Nathaniel Hill and Warren secretly formed to use all necessary powers to reclaim the former United States and to eventually bring to heel the nations of Brazoria and Sierra under the doctrine of American unionism. The states of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, West Virginia, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Tennessee provided the initial bulk of the 100,000 volunteer soldiers. The Confederate States of Dixie was the first to detect the massive build up, and in Richmond, Virginia the government tried to assemble the remaining coup regiments, but with most returning to their home states, Virginia and North Carolina were forced to deployed their own state defense reserves.
General Ulysses S. Grant invaded New Jersey on March 18th, deposing the Democratic Party that was sympathetic to the Confederacy. The Hudson Republic and the New England Confederation deployed nearly 20,000 to defend New York City where a several month siege occurred. Grant fortified Newark so well that the Hudson feared the eventual loss of Manhattan. On October 2nd, Grant and his forces attempted to cross the Hudson River but were repelled quite easily. With the efforts in the west and south becoming more dire, Louisville reassigned several of Grant's troops to the other theaters. Cassius Clay reasoned that the Northeast would eventually rejoin the Union if the rest of the country had been reunified- pressuring the army to focus primarily in the deep south and in Missouri. Grant was instructed to lead peace talks in Buffalo where the conflict was officially resolved on Christmas Day, 1866.
General Hill's offensive into Virginia was disrupted by a cholera outbreak while in the Tidewater region, forcing him to retreat on June 2nd, 1866. Cassius Clay along with the joint Assembly enacted conscription, deploying every able body male above the age of 16. Hill provoked Robert E. Lee and his forces to follow him through the New River Valley, defending against a possible counterattack by Virginian and North Carolina forces into the heart of Kentucky. On April 1st, Hill and his troops escaped from a devastating battle through the Cumberland Gap. Because of Lee and Braxton Brag's confidence that the remaining regiments could be destroyed before returning to Louisville they continued to follow Hill into Kentucky. General George Warren with his 40,000 Hoosier volunteers and several tens of thousands of conscripted men had surrounded the bowl that was the Kentucky entrance to the Cumberland Gap- silently waiting for all of the Virginian and North Carolina troops to enter the city of Middlesboro. On April 15th, at approximately 2:30 AM the Battle of the Gap, with the firing of cannons and the deployment of flammable bombardments. Citizens in Claiborne County, Tennessee reported that they were awaken to a "fiery hue" that had engulfed the skies towards Middlesboro, with many claiming that the apocalypse had begun. The smoke caused the North Carolina and Virginia forces to surrender, which Hill and Warren accepted at 9:30 PM. Those who admitted to assisting in the coup against Lincoln were executed by hanging for treason.
Dixie and Hudson both agreed to terms of peace, opening talks of being readmitted to the United States through gradual admission. The Federal Republic of Missouri called it reserves when news reached that Saint Louis, Missouri had been targeted by the Louisville government. United Commonwealth troops crossed the Mississippi River on August 27th, 1868, seizing the capital and held the governing administration under arrest. Cassius Clay became aware of the extensive cabal on the eve of the invasion and claimed it to be the "moment of failure" for the cause of reunifying the Eastern Seaboard. News of the invasion was headlines across the world, it was an unsettling grab for power against the western powers of North America. Sierran and Brazorian informants had discovered the cabal and relayed the conspiracy to their respected capital. Warren and Hill ordered the military departments to cut communication lines to Sierra and Brazoria after receiving a damning message from Clay.
With the capturing of Kansas City, the Prime Minister of Sierra, Royalist Richard Trist opened a special secession with the parliament, pushing for intervention. In his speech to the legislature he outlined that Sierra in cooperation with Brazoria would seek to prevent the United Commonwealth's imperialist gains. By sending ammunition and rations to insurgents in Missouri, Trist showed initial reluctance to send Sierran men to battle. In October, goods had reached Missouri troops, igniting anger in the military administration of the United Commonwealth. Warren sent letters to Trist, demanding he remove his support for the "traitorous states that usurped the president and the most holy union..", but most of the letters were ignored the letters and Trist continued to try and contact Clay who was still in a isolated bubble in Louisville. In September, members of the Sanctuary of Isachul destroyed tracks going through Colorado derailing a Royal Pacific freight train, killing 13. In response, Trist deployed 6,000 troops to reestablish routes through Colorado and quell the activities of the Canaanites.
Brazoria, Dixie and the Hudson simultaneously launched offensives into the United Commonwealth. The Sierran Crown Armed Forces began their deployment into Kansas and Missouri and began aiding militias against United Commonwealth forces. Dixie and the Hudson lead intensive naval battles in the Atlantic Ocean along the coasts of New Jersey and Virginia- with the United Commonwealth effectively dismantling the two nations naval capacities. Local militias were the only defenses along the borders of the eastern states, with the actual armed forces continuing to fight in the west. Clay began formulating plans to begin peace talks with the opposing forces, but the military administration continued to push for war, even with dwindling resources. New Orleans and the Mississippi River were blockaded and the effects on Louisville became more evident with each passing day.
It was at the Battle of Salina that officially ended the United Commonwealth's will to continue its advances in North America. 6,000 Sierran and 4,000 Brazorian troops engaged with Warren's troops in a massive wheat field on the outskirts of Salina, Kansas, this was the first time modern armed forces used trench warfare on a scale unseen before. Warren died in battle, completing the decay of the morale of the nation. Upon hearing the defeat of the Warren, General Hill began leading the retreat to the east, relinquishing control of the Great Plains back to Missouri. While there wasn't any official surrender, Clay successfully regained control of Louisville from the military administration and began peace talks with the various nations, ending the War of Contingency.
Declaration of Unification
Because of the taxes levied on the economy to pay for the economy, the once robust market had collapsed in 1870, causing factories and farms to close. On August 4th alongside the Banks of the Ohio River, 2,000 men of the various state governments of the United Commonwealth convened and pledged loyalty to the centralized government of the new "United Commonwealth of America". Swearing to uphold the newly created Constitution of the United Commonwealth, an incredibly progressive document, created by the Federalist cabal and the Clay administration built a government heavily centered in Louisville. Within the Constitution, it provided that African Americans would be guaranteed the right to vote, along with giving women full suffrage. Powers granted to the government were much more extensive compared to that of the previous Constitution of the United States. States were abolished entirely and counties became the primary polity for the country. While the Federalist supported strict centralization, they understood the challenges faced when coming to administrate such a large country. The centralized government delegated the creation of nine districts that would be voluntarily formed by adjacent counties, allowing for tensions to be settled through leaving and joining other districts. Counties were given control over local taxes, but unlike the governments of the previous states, counties are not considered sovereign and could be reorganized by the central government at any time.
The Federalist Party organized itself on the principles of protecting the new union, standardizing the centralize government and promoting American nationalism. Federalist declared "...unconditional hostility against monarchism and a undying love for the republic...", creating a narrative in support of the continuation of the War of Contingency. During the 1870 secretarial election, General Hill was selected for the Federalist ticket, campaigning against Cassius Clay who ran as an independent, creating a long history of independents holding office. Clay won the election on the promise to redevelop the economy, removing tariffs and rebuilding relations with the other nations of North America. These promises created resentment within the Federalist bloc, and in 1878 swept into power with the aid of the changing demographics of the country. African-Americans, along with Roman Catholics and city dwellers voted in droves for the Federalists, who supported the parties plans of centralized planning and anti-temperance. In this period, Kentucky bourbon flourished and the nation began its long tradition as the worlds largest producer of whiskey and bourbon. In 1890, the Kentuckiana Tobacco Company was founded by Helena Michelson of New Albany, her company would eventually becoming the largest producer of tobacco goods in the world.
Roman Catholicism began to grow ferociously after the Civil War, with the onset of immigration quotas being removed. Prominently arriving from Ireland, Switzerland and Germany, the groups brought their distinct traditions and political beliefs that would pave for the city political machines. Louisville attempted to rekindle its industrial heart, but the city continued to boom and bust in increments that became toxic for growth. Because of the incredibly unreliable growth, many turned to the Federalist cabal and its radical foreign policy for return to prosperity. In 1878, the general populace elected former General Nathaniel William Hill as the Secretariat, along with Thomas E. Bramlette as the Vice-Secretariat (attempting to appease the Southern states still within the Union). The two were incredibly opposed in racial relations and in ideology, causing for some tense situations. In 1879, Hill attempted to form the Simmons College of Kentucky, the first historically black university which caused conflict with former Democrats in the legislature, but was eventually passed by means of an executive order.
World War I
Main article: Appalachian Revolution
Since the election of Eugene V. Debs, the Coal Wars in the Appalachian Mountains had reduced in severity, returning the region to a peaceful status. In response to the impeachment of Debs, workers began to organize quickly to protest the political coup, quickly escalating. Victor L. Berger tried to control the situation but was quickly ousted from the position as Executive Secretariat by Aaron Reynolds in part of a character assassination in connection to his homeland of Austria-Hungary. Reynolds quickly transformed the administration into an authoritarian state in support of forced industrialization; throwing government support in favor of the various monopolies.
Reynolds alongside with major coal mining companies, quickly deployed several private investigation companies into the region to remove the dissenting workers. Among those employed were the Baldwin–Felts Detective Agency. Baldwin-Felts terror was recognized by many locals, as it was well documented that their dominance of small towns were typically driven by extreme force. On May 19th, 1920 agents for the private detective agency bribed the town of Matewan, West Virginia mayor, Cabell Testerman, in exchange for allowing the agents to deploy machine guns on the rooftops of the city; the was ultimately dismissed by Testerman as absurd. The agents had been turned away from the town of Matewan, forced to return to company property. Venturing down the route to the company property, a steady rain began, and thus prompting the agents to evict a woman and her children from their home by gunpoint out into the rain. This action was witnessed by several miners, who brought it to the attention of Sid Hatfield the police chief of Matewan.
Sid Hatfield along with Cabell Testerman confronted the Baldwin-Felts agents and informed them they were under arrest. Felt and his men then served Testerman a warrant for his arrest, to which the mayor claim was fraudulent, resulting in a shootout. Known as the Battle of Matewan, the gun fight resulted in the deaths of seven of the Balwin-Felts agents, and the deaths of two miners and mayor Testerman. News of the massacre quickly spread and energized the tensions within the region.
Government and politics
The United Commonwealth is a constitutional republic, and a representative democracy with an executive branch, a strong presidential system working in the goals and aims of the sustainability of the government, effective enforcement of laws, and the protection of its citizens from domestic and foreign forces. Through the constitution the powers of the judicial, the legislative and executive branches are established in relative vagueness, with some degree of separation of powers. Because of tradition, this separation of powers, government responsibility is amplified. Focus on the Executive Secretariat, regarding his position as commander-in-chief, and ability to veto important legislation, along with shaping the foreign and domestic policy of the government makes him the symbolic face of the United Commonwealth.
With the Civil War being the defining moment in the creation of the government, the constitution gave extensive powers to the Executive Secretariat to allow them to do as Abraham Lincoln did, preserve the integrity of the union. Some powers include, the declaration of war, the raising of funds for the military through taxation and the enforcing conscription. Some controversial powers have been enacted by the Executive Secretariat, including the suspension of habeas corpus during times of war and rebellion, and the signing of executive orders. The Executive Secretariat also retains state secrets privilege and the power to pardon individuals. Other important duties also include the appointment of individuals for the Supreme Court, as ambassadors, to local appellate courts and the several military commands.
The United Commonwealth utilizes a mixture of civil law and common law, where the laws are supported by Roman principles, where statues and legislation are regarded highly, although interpretation with a high degree of consistency may be applied to the legal framework of the judicial system.
Political parties and elections
The United Commonwealth has operated under a multi-party system which has typically required one of the parties to join with another party to form a coalition in order to hold a majority in the legislature. Avoiding the spoils of the first past the post voting system, the nation adopted instant-runoff voting with the ratification of the Declaration of Unification. Coupled with primaries, the selection of candidates and victors is a lengthy process. Gerrymandering had been a problem in the early United States, and in the 1870's, the United Commonwealth created a special redistricting commission that would provide for effective redistricting practices that would provide appropriate representation to regions.
Three political parties hold a majority of the seats within the Assembly, the Federalist Party, founded in 1870, the Moderate Party, founded in 1901 and the Liberal Party, founded in 1969, and the remaining 35% of the Assembly being represented by independents. Governing coalitions are typically composed of various ideologies and political parties, and since 1988, no political party has been able to effectively hold majority power without the aid of other parties or independents. The most common coalition in the country's history has been between the Moderate and Federalist Party, known as the Administrative Coalition, which typically supports center-left policies.
Varying political cultures dominant several regions, with areas along the Atlantic Seaboard and the Great Lakes are typically socially liberal, with support for centralization. In the interior, regions are typically socially conservative and support a more localized government. In the 1980's, unadulterated laissez-faire capitalism became feverishly popular, causing a faction of both the Moderate and Federalist parties to form the Liberal Party, leading to a election realignment. Supply-side economics became a driving policy within the United Commonwealth through the 80's and 90's, until the Federalist Party regained control of the government in 2008.
See also: Economy of the United Dominion
The United Commonwealth has undergone several cycles between favoring free market capitalism or a regulated mixed economy. Within the Conference of American States it consistently ranks as the largest economy, with a GDP around $5.4 trillion dollars. Ranking 3rd in the world, the United Commonwealth falls behind the People's Republic of China and the European Union as the third largest economy in the world, and the largest in North America. With a developed economy, the United Commonwealth is designated by the World Bank as a high-income economy, with an strong credit rating. The United Commonwealth ranks 6th in total imports and 4th in total exports, with integrated circuits and military hardware claiming 23.3% of the countries total exports, and other manufactured industrial goods at 21%. Petroleum, is the most imported commodity, with more than 75% originating from Brazoria and being refined at the Catlettsburg Refinery in Kentucky. Virginia's powerful technology sector is coupled with Sierra's Silicon Valley, where a majority of software is developed. In the regions of Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania, the steel industry has recovered significantly since the 2008 financial market crash. Pittsburgh and Gary, cities initially supported by the United Commonwealth Steel Corporation have diversified, creating a relatively more stable employment in those cities.Monetary policy is controlled by the Central Bank of the United Commonwealth, which controls the national interest rate, attempting to controlling inflation and unemployment by raising or lowering rates. Along with the responsibilities of the central bank, the Central bank mints the coinage. Government institutions used to dominate the real estate, where the Housing Authority provided generous tenant rates to low income families; but such powers were revoked from the monarch in 1980's. In 2008, large private banking institutions failed in the Virginian and Illinoisan markets, causing thousands to foreclose and without government support caused many to go homeless.
Among the United Commonwealth's most important industries, agriculture is the most versatile sector. Tobacco, which has seen a recent decline in consumption has made up lost markets with raising prices. Corn, which is used to distill bourbon and whiskey is a traditional sector that has gained world recognition. Although the United Commonwealth generates nearly 95% of the worlds bourbon, national prohibition still remains enforced with severe punishments for those found with an open container. Coal has been the primary source of electricity since the 1920's and has been protected numerous times by both major political parties; even in the face of raising concerns from the environmentalist movement. Shipbuilding has been a core industry in the Hampton Roads, with the Norfolk Naval Shipyard employing nearly 24,000 people. Along with military ships, the shipyard also builds private oil tankers and container ships.
In 1892, the Norfolk Southern Railroad along with Louisville and Nashville Railroad consolidated into the United Commonwealth Railroad with further purchases of CSX Transportation in 1984, in a 25 billion dollar deal. Railroads are maintained and ran by the National Railroad Authority, and must guarantee competitive pricing against regional divisions. In 2015, UCRailroad carried nearly 80 million tons of freight, and had an annual revenue around 30 billion dollars. Railroads in the United Commonwealth employ nearly 50,000 people and has produced one of the most productive shipping systems in the world. The United Parcel Service, one of the world largest international shipping services maintains its air fleet, UPS Airline at the Worldport located within the Louisville International Airport. Employing nearly 20,000 people, Worldport is one of the city's largest employers.
In 1914, the United Commonwealth Department of Revenue was founded to collect taxes from various sources to finance schools, canals and the national defense. According to the Department of Revenue, the national mandatory tax on payroll remains at 5% of the national GDP, which is legally set aside to pay for the national defense and infrastructure. According to the Department of Defense, nearly 200 billion dollars are being funneled to national defense; and a remaining $70 billion from the tax going to infrastructure. In Kentucky, Virginia and Carolina, counties levy a 6% sales tax, which accumulates nearly 10 billion, which are allocated to key interstate sections. Corporate tax is tied in with shareholders income, and where business is primarily conducted. Within the United Commonwealth, the state allows for municipalities to levy property taxes to generate revenue for local works.
Corporate taxes are 10% nationwide, with 4% being able to be deducted if the companies meets several standards, which include; employing locally, using materials created within the commonwealth and providing pensions. It is against the law within the United Commonwealth to match a employees salary in retirement, but instead a stable pension system is ran nationwide called the National Pension Appropriations Program, which guarantees a livable fixed income for those over the age of 64; this is supported by a 8% payroll tax. Governments of individual counties and cities may substitute the tax in any shape, be it through special taxes, corporate taxes or payroll taxes. Because counties in Maryland, Delaware do not support national prohibition, the counties have chosen to enact a 13% alcohol tax which would be allocated to funding the National Educational Subsidiary. Along with the alcohol tax, several smaller taxes are incorporated to fund Dominion wide programs, including a poll tax, fuel tax and a tariff placed on countries outside of the Conference of American States.