The Kingdom of North Mississippi controls the territory that currently makes up Minnesota, Iowa and the city of Omaha. One of the successor kingdoms created by the Imperial Commonwealth to rule the formerly independent nations, it suffers from popular discontent, poor leadership, and economic stagnation.
When the Mississippi Empire, controlling all of the territory along the Mississippi and Ohio rivers and some of the Missouri, was being divided into three, there was much debate about how to name the successor kingdoms, due in part to rules set down by the Great Emperor. The central kingdom was eventually named the Ohio, after the river that ran the length of the kingdom. The southern kingdom became Louisiana, after the ancient state that the Locke family originated from.
Several options were presented, including Superior Mississippi, Greater Mississippi, and the United Kingdom of Minnesota and Iowa. The name North Mississippi did not have much support early on, but worked its way into common usage in journals and reports of the Commonwealth, which chose to use Northern, Central and Southern kingdoms for the three successor states until names were chosen. Eventually North Mississippi was selected and enshrined in late 2458.
The conquest of Atlantic America was completed in 2457. Immediately, the Imperial Commonwealth set about rearranging the captured territory into kingdoms. The nations of Minnesota and Iowa, and the city-state of Omaha, were selected to become the Kingdom of North Mississippi. As part of the negotiations that led to the Mississippi Empire changing allegiance, the king of the new territory would be a member of the Santiago-Locke family, rulers of the empire.
The charter for North Mississippi was signed in August of 2458, and the transfer of power from the Imperial Commonwealth Occupation Forces to the new kingdom began immediately. It was not until February 10th, 2459 that Xavier Santiago-Locke was crowned king.
The few few years were a continuation of the draw down and transfer of power. The last Commonwealth regiment left in 2463, the last Mississippi Empire regiment in 2466. Tens of thousands of veterans were released from camps, coming home to find work in new factories, or returning to farmsteads to discover new lords and new rules. Conflict between the population and the nobility was common in much of the kingdom.
The largest incident occurred in 2472, when an attempted rebellion occurred on the Iron Range, traditional home of the Iron Republic of Minnesota. Although the initial attack was surprising enough to embarrass the local nobles and thwart the first responses, the Field Army of the kingdom, under General Prince Stefan, eventually crushed the rebellion. Thousands were killed, and large portions of the population were removed to the south, with thousands of southern families brought north to take their place. This incident became known as the Range Riot.
Since the Range Riot, things have been fairly quiet. Discontent is still commonplace, but other than small outbreaks of anger, large movements have not sprung up. Efforts at organizing ones have fallen to the Inspectorate and its agents. Industry and trade pick up, and things look to have turned around for the kingdom.
The Charter of North Mississippi
Nations that join the Imperial Commonwealth do so under binding treaties, but nations like North Mississippi, that were created out of conquered territories, are created by an Imperial Charter.
The Charter of North Mississippi is not like a constitution, that organizes and empowers organs of government. Instead it does two things: it puts limitations on the kingdom, and establishes requirements for the nation’s membership in the Commonwealth.
Example of limitation: The kingdom is not allowed to use any five-star ranks, such as Field Marshal or General of the Army, and is restricted to five four-star ranks.
Example of requirement: The kingdom must maintain a force of significant size and ability to invade any neighbor found in rebellion. The size and organization of this force is up to the king.
The Government and Politics
The King of North Mississippi, King Xavier, holds a number of responsibilities. As head of state, Xavier sets the tone for the nobility of his kingdom. He commands the executive ministries of the government, and can dissolve the government of the prime minister at any time.
The position of Prime Minister is not a powerful one, in so far that the Prime Minister executed the policy of the king and has limited power to build his own. The prime minister requires a simple majority of the House of Nobles to support him to be considered, but the lack of any true political parties in North Mississippi has yet to make this difficult. as the Charter of North Mississippi specifically allows it, King Xavier currently acts as his own Prime Minister.
The House of Nobles
The House of Nobles is the legislature of the kingdom. The House of Nobles is 100 members strong. Every count, earl, duke and marquess has a position, as do both crown princes and a number of counts at large to round out the numbers. Many of the nobles do not attend themselves, instead sending relatives or licenses proxies to vote in their stead. Votes are rarely debated vigorously, and little happens beyond approving what King Xavier wants.
The House of Nobles is not just the legislature, but is also the pool of individuals allowed to occupy certain government positions. Under the Charter, every head of the ministry must be from the House of Nobles. Important ambassadorships are also taken from the house.
The civilian government is run by seven ministries, which divide the workload of the kingdom between them. Only four are required by the charter, with three others established at the suggestion of King Xavier’s father. Each minister is a member of the House of Nobles, and cannot vote on bills that impact their own ministries.
Nobility and Royalty
The system of nobility in North Mississippi is fairly straight forward. The royal family sits at the top. Then come the Dukes, who rule over important urban centers. Earls and Counts make up the bulk of the nobility; counts rule rural territory, while earls rule territory that includes one moderately sized city. A viscount is a sub-noble, who rules no land independently but often controls important holdings under another noble.
Marquesses stand slightly outside the natural order, responsible for a geographic area that often includes other counts. Gentlemen and Esquires are the lowest rung, non-hereditary awards given to individuals.
The Royal Military of North Mississippi
The Royal Military of North Mississippi is the collective name for all armed forces that answer to King Xavier and his Minister of War.
The Royal Military consists of ten branches that are contained within three broad departments. Following the common trends among Commonwealth nations, the various combat departments share common support services, to avoid duplication of offices and duties.
The Royal Army commands all of the combat troops within the kingdom , from conscripted district troops to the professional body guards. The District Forces, Field Army, Inspectorate, King’s Army, North Watch and Ministerial troops all fall under this department.
The Royal Navy controls all boats and water facilities.
The Royal Service combines the non-combat services that support both the Royal Army and the Royal Navy. The Adjutant’s Corps, Royal Air Corps, and Quartermaster’s Corps all fall under the Royal Service.
This arrangement stems from the first organization at the time of King Xavier’s coronation. Over time, as the departments grew, they were divided into branches, based on geography of their duties (North Watch), the quality of their personnel (District troops from Army Regulars) or internal politics (The Field Army’s independence from Marshal Robinson’s command).
The military units of North Mississippi were originally made up occupying forces from the Imperial Commonwealth and the Mississippi Empire. They immediately began conscripting young men into their ranks, to build a military capable of defending North Mississippi that was beholden to King Xavier.
Foreign volunteers (both Mississippian and Commonwealth) still make up a significant portion of the military’s commissioned officers, warrant officers, and senior noncoms, well over half. They are the bulk of personnel in technical units (Air Corps, Tank Brigade) and guard the royal family.
Local men make up the bulk of the military overall, most coming in through the annual conscription of troops. Most often find themselves in a district training battalion or the quartermaster’s depot, unless special skills allow them into a more selective service.
Slowly but steadily, the Kingdom of North Mississippi has seen a rise in young men enlisting voluntarily. This is attributed to several classes of soldiers being demobilized with stories of how much better volunteers are treated than conscripts. Although conscription is still necessary, several important units can now claim they include no conscripts in their ranks.