Iron Republic

The Iron Republic of Minnesota was a nation-state of Atlantic America. Growing from the original Iron Range Republic of the mid-twenty first century, the Iron Republic eventually came to control most of Minnesota, the eastern parts of North Dakota, and some territory in Wisconsin. The Iron Republic fought against the Imperial Commonwealth and was one of the last nations conquered at the end of that war.


The Successor States

The Republic of Minnesota was an amalgamation of several successor city-states.

The state considered the direct ancestor of the Republic was the Iron Range Republic, or the Iron Republic. A spartan and dedicated society, the IRR gained support among the unassociated communities by adhering to their agreements and coming to their aide even when there was little to be gained by doing so.

Other successor states that began the Minnesota Republic included:

  • The Red River Dominion, an agricultural focused union of powerful farmers.
  • The Metropolitan Confederation, made up of the communities of the former Minneapolis-St Paul area, initially formed to lower the likelihood of violence in the urban area.
  • The Saint Cloud Union, an authoritarian republic.
  • The Saint Louis River Compact, a technologically adept society based around Duluth.
  • The State of Mankato, a harsh dictatorship with a conqueror’s mindset
  • The Rochester Community, a Roman-Catholic theocratic state.

The Wars of the Saints (2180-2212)

The Wars of the Saints is a period between 2180 and 2212 that saw the IRR come to dominate northern Minnesota.

The War of the Saints is a conflict started in 2180, initially between the Saint Cloud Union and the Saint Louis River Compact over farmlands between the cities. Eventually the SLRC invited the IRR and the RRD to join the Northern League, fighting the SCU to a standstill in 2183.

The War of the Angry Saints was fought between 2192 and 2196. The IRR had gained a lot of influence over the unassociated communities and one large region was voting to join the IRR officially. This lead the SLRC, SCU and RRD to form the Southern League and attempt to destroy the IRR. The Southern League did not do well. By 2195 both the SLRC and the RRD had dissolved and the SCU had to call in the Metropolitan Confederation. The IRR sought and fought a large inconclusive battle in 2196 that forced the states back to negotiations. The IRR became simply the Iron Republic, controlling Northern Minnesota from Lake Superior to the Red River.

SCU spent the next fifteen years plotting against the Iron Republic, working to destabilize it with hired raiders, propaganda campaigns and other unconventional forms. When this was uncovered in 2210, the SCU lost the protection of the Metropolitan Confederation, and the Iron Republic went to war. The War of the Lone Saint lasted until 2212, when the SCU was conquered and annexed into the Iron Republic.

Growth and Cold War with Iowa (2212 – 2271)

The Iron Republic controlled more than half of Minnesota. The closest nation that compared was the Waterloo Confederacy of Iowa. The Iron Republic focused on building itself into a proper nation but kept an eye on the growing and belligerent Iowans. In 2254 Iowans managed to annex Mankato and end the dictatorship there, which brought them into direct conflict with the north.

The Iron Republic organized the Stillwater League – the Republic, Confederation, Eau Claire and Rochester. This league opposed the Iowans, whose hard line leaders led the nations to war in 2262.  The Iowan army crashed against the defenses of Rochester and the Metropolitan Cities, leading to years of trench warfare.

This war became known as the War of Iron Wills, in that it was a contest to see who could give up first, rather than a war of conquest. Attacks were made with a mind to attrition instead of position. The Stillwater League had better troops; the Iowans had more.

For several years nothing much changed until the Iowans managed to breakthrough in 2268, capturing the Confederation and besieging Rochester. Eau Claire made a separate peace, leaving the Iron Republic as the sole remaining fighters. The Iowans, now weighted down by garrison duties, were unable to land a killing blow.

In 2271 the Iron Republic launched a grand offensive, swinging out of the west and forcing the surrender of the cities garrisons and relieving the drained Rochester defenders. In August they defeated the last Iowan field army at Blue Earth and forced the moderates to depose the Iowan hardliners. A new treaty was forged between the two nations. The Iron Republic was now the sole remaining government of Minnesota.

A Golden Age (2275-2365)

The Iron Republic recovered from the War of Iron Wills quickly, in part because the government used the resources gathered for the war – particularly the troops assembled – to rebuild the war-torn lands. Recovery was quick, and the country went from wartime economy to golden age in a few short years.

With Iowa no longer blocking the Mississippi River, trade began flowing, and Minnesota started exporting and importing a sizable amount of goods. Railroads returned in the 2280’s. The rescue and patrol craft of Lake Superior bloomed into a sizable fleet to combat piracy.  The number of universities rose from a handful to more than forty. Art appreciation grew. It was almost a full century of peace.

Arming for War (2365 – 2440)

Minnesota avoided being drawn into the War of the Three Fools, but the nature of the war changed the political landscape of Atlantic America. Quebec and Michigan started eyeing the unaligned territories around them, both expanding westward into Ontario and Wisconsin respectively. The Ohio states became the UCOV, and the Mississippi Empire became a threat.

Minnesota lost a significant amount of trade, and worry of conflict with neighbors lead to modernization and revitalization efforts for the army and navy. Threats off the Dakota territory, some purchased by outside agents to harass the republic, cause a number of skirmishes and punitive expeditions. For decades, war scares and diplomatic incidents cycled regularly across the headlines.

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