The first of the terrestrial governments into the Caeliverse, the Anglican Empire is the most powerful trans-world government claiming almost three dozen planetary colonies outright, and have a administering presence on several dozen more. The eminent Queen Victoria has presided over the Empire ever since formal expansion began in the late 1830′s and is the very definition of the expansionist age.
Originating as the Earth bound island nation of Britain, the Anglicans were the first into the fold, and immediately brought their pervasive institutional aptitude for exploration, colonization and trade, setting a robust foundation for their role as the prime power in the Caeliverse. Augmenting their expansion with the stoutest air fleet of any of the governments, the Anglicans have a determined resolution to maintain their empire by all means necessary. This position has inevitably lead to a variety of conflicts with other major powers, each moving through the Caeliverse to make claims of their own. Their strongest political ties have been with the Federation, having similar cultural origins and existing robust diplomacy machine. Additionally, after Civil war broke out within the Federation, the Anglicans were one of the first to embrace the Confederation, a traditional regional supplier to their factories of raw materials.
By far the most adversarial relations has been with the Republic, with each nation confronting one another at almost every turn. This has lead to hundreds of minor skirmishes, dozens of small scale conflicts, all culminating in a current, far flung war that rages across dozens of world in the Caeliverse.
Originally from the north American Continent on Earth, the U.F.W. or colloquially known as the “Federation”, is currently lead by President Robert Todd Lincoln son of the infamous Abraham Lincoln, patriarch of the modern Federated Republic and infamously referred to as the “Architect of Peace”. While the Anglican Empire was the first to achieve a viable technology to cut the fold and exploit that technology for colonial expansion, the Federation was very close behind. Plans for the first test ready models of the Faraday Capacitor were smuggled out of what was then Britain, to the infant American government by Horace Westmoreland, a junior assistant to Faraday’s laboratory, who followed Francis Cabot Lowell’s example of over two decades before, by memorizing the design and then drawing plans of it once out of the nation’s borders. With the technology secure, the then United States began to develop it rigorously, following the Anglicans into the Caeliverse little more than a decade and a half behind.
It was this first expansion, that the nation’s schism began to show, with expeditions sponsored by northern states declaring their discovered worlds as ‘abolitionist’ domains while the southern supported colonial worlds continued their plantation tradition, conquering and enslaving the aboriginals of newly encountered worlds. In 1855 the tension grew too much for the republic to bear, and the Union Civil War (or the Great Secession as the Confederates refer to it) erupted across the Caeliverse. Hundreds of thousands of men died in colonial conflicts on dozens of worlds as the Confederated Colonies seceded from the republic and slugged it out with the United Federation of Worlds. The war lasted until 1861 when the newly elected President Abraham Lincoln of the Federation convinced the Confederation’s President Jefferson Davis to engage in armistice talks.
The talks lasted 2 tumultuous years as hostilities flared up and subsided while territories were divided up, until finally the two sides had an agreement. It is generally believed that the Federation came out the better, claiming the more industrialized worlds, while the Confederates clung desperately to the heavily populated fertile provinces where they could continue their agrarian traditions.
The Federation is second only to the Anglicans in industrial production and as a result, has also constructed the second most populous military machine to defend their territories. They maintain strong relations with the Anglican Empire and while also working very hard to keeps firm ties with the Republicans, despite the current conflicts between the two.
The Confederation came out of their Civil War with a firm popular grasp on a handful of worlds and a military machine that comprised nearly 70% of their adult male population. A newly formed colonial power whose strength was in agriculture, the Confederation has rather been historically looked on as the disgruntled little brother of the Federation. Following the Great Secession, the Confederates acted very schizophrenically immediately engaging in an aggressive campaign of diplomatic relations with other governments (since the original Federation administration had held all previous discussions) on the one hand, and embarking on minor territorial claims against the smaller colonial powers on the other. Knowing they needed strong alliances to support their fledgling government, the Confederacy made a series of very obliging treaty negotiations with all of the major powers.
Now lead by fiery career politician Robert Love Taylor, and with the wording in their treaties now nearly forty years on, have been viewed as putting a strain on the government which no longer sees itself as a minor player on the world stage. Taylor has appealed to their alliances and certain governments, such as the Republicans and the Empire of Greater Prussia, were willing to modify their treaties giving the Confederacy a more prominent position in inter-world trade, while prominent powers like the Anglicans and The Five have held firm to their original agreements. This has had the effect of driving a wedge between them and the Confederacy, and there has been much speculation if the Confederacy may well join the Republic outright in their war against the Anglicans.
While there is no evidence that the Confederacy seeks conflict with the Anglicans, they have continued their regional skirmishes with small governments, many of which allied to the Anglicans, seeking to further expand their territorial claims. Recent comments by President Taylor include his declaration: “In the next cataclysm we should be strong enough to protect our rights & hold the balance of power in compelling peace.” spoken to the assembled House and Senate at this annual State of the Confederation address.
With a lack of consensus between the disparate German fiefdoms, the ancestors of the great Teutons largely missed out on the first great charge toward colonialism that the French and British excelled at as they carved up the known reaches of Earth, thus expansion into the fold was just the opportunity the German states needed to unify themselves into a united power. In 1841, immediately after ascending to the throne, King Frederick William IV of Prussia began talks to form a German Confederation for communal power so that the motley unity of culturally German peoples could collectively work to muster similar resources as the greater powers.
Each of the German nation states were very outspoken about what they wanted from trans-world colonialism, and the pact made many efforts to accommodate all of them. The treaty was extremely shaky at first, with squabbles between the nation states frequent, but as their technology developed and their outstanding military became one of the most well armed in the Caeliverse, the union began to reap much gain. Effectively, each of the original nation states became the administrators of a new colonial world within the overall jurisdiction of the German Confederation.
It was the current Emperor Wilhelm I (known as Wilhelm the Great) who, with the managerial brilliance of his Chancellor Otto von Bismark (up until the latter’s tragic death in a Zeppelin accident in 1865) brought all the competing powers together more formally as the Greater Prussian Empire in 1862. The Empire is currently lead by his grandson, the indomitable Emperor Wilhelm II.
Each planet within the Prussian Empire is treated as it’s own kingdom all in a very traditionally medieval sense, with local aboriginals acting as the serfs alongside indentured servants serving great monarchies of kings and other noble landowners. The Prussian Empire is often likened to a many headed dragon, strong and powerful, but with often undermined by internal interests and ambitions.
The central Imperial government, however, is in command of the military, and apportions resources to each of the internal governments. The Prussians have done very well for themselves in the Age of Expansion becoming the most technologically advanced of the primary nations. Airship technology, while largely invented by the Anglicans and further developed by the Federation, has achieved it’s golden age because of the brilliant work by Prussian scientists. Prussian made airships are the envy of every military, and most private corporations employ their vessels for the most important shipping tasks.
The Prussians are not currently at open hostilities with any nation, although at one time or another they have taken up arms against each of the other greater powers by way of their expansion. The Confederated Colonies has become very close to the Prussians recently, supplying their military almost completely with Prussian manufactured machines.
(The Republic Consortium)
With the fall of the Bourbon Restoration which had sought to restore a constitutional monarchy to France, in 1830, ushering in the more liberal monarchy of Louis-Philippe I. This event coincided almost exactly with mankind’s contact with the Caeliverse, focusing the attention of the whole world on this new realm of colonization. Though liberal, Louis-Philippe I and his ministers where not visionaries and did not fully understand the potential of this discovery, and failed to apportion appropriate resources to contend with the efforts of the Anglicans and the Federation in their early days of trans-world colonial expansion. Reformists, lead by the indomitable Odilon Barrot, marched on Paris, demanding that the government concede to a democratic republic. Such popular discontent put extensive pressure on the regime, and in 1839 Louis-Philippe I and the July Monarchy (as it came to be called) crumbled.
Odilon Barrot became the first President what was then called the French Republic, where he immediately began to steer the considerable country’s industry and intellectual capital towards colonization. Other smaller nations, fearful of being let out of the process for lack of resources, like Belgium and the Netherlands, very soon after began negotiating with the Republic to establish treaties of mutual interest. The dedicated Republican colonization of the Caeliverse catalyzed the Anglicans into stepping up their efforts as well, creating rather a race for colonization. Since that time, the two nations and their allies have waged minor and major conflicts against one another, contending almost every claim as they moved through the Caeliverse.
More and more worlds fell under the dominion of the Republicans, but they saw the chaos the Federation had fallen into with their Civil War, and fearing similar schism with their alliances crippling them in the face of their enemies, the nation formalized their mutual assistance treaties in 1856. Nearly a dozen countries, as well as former Earth-bound colonial powers were established into a single democratic republic now known as the The Republic Consortium. Currently governed by President Émile François Loubet, and the reigning power on almost twenty worlds, the Republic is a powerful and formidable player on the great stage.
Possessing firm historic ties with the Federation, the Republicans are otherwise generally not hostile to any but the Anglicans, though they are quick to show force against any who would challenge their dominion.
(The Union of Five Nations)
Lead by the well respected statesman President Amancio Alcorta, La Unión de las Cinco Naciones (or Los Cinco , “The Five”, as it is commonly called) is a minor yet well established player in trans-world colonialism.
Sitting on the only know reserves of crystal liquidic plasma on Earth was a strategic advantage that South American governments didn’t realize until the secrets of the Faraday Capacitor were leaked to the Americans and the process became more widely known. While governments were able to leverage their resources for monetary gain, none of the other governments would share the fold cutting technology with them. In the summer of 1847, the governments of Argentina, Peru, Bolivia and Chile (their territories comprising 98% of the raw crystal liquidic plasma) united together, demanding the technology from the prominent governments of the time. The British countered by bombarding Buenos Ares with their airship fleet, leading to the outbreak of the Thirty Day War. With the outbreak of hostilities, it was Spain, herself an orphan of the newly discovered technology (though competing countries like France and Prussia had, themselves acquired it from the British or Americans) threw their hat in with the South Americans and began attacking British shipping lines. At the end of the fray, through the diplomatic organization of the Spanish, the five countries were able to come to a federated agreement and each acquired the folding technology.
The political ties already established, the five nations combined their efforts for research and development, building a united fleed of airship able to explore the Caeliverse. Within five years it would come to pass that the colonial powers would begin to find crystal liquid plasma on other habitable planets, severely reducing their dependency on the South American reserves. It was a fortunate happenstance that the five nations had already begun to acquire a very solid foothold on colonial worlds of their own. In 1856 the governments made their union official and drafted a communal constitution in which they officially named their new government La Unión de las Cinco Naciones.
The last of the greater powers to mount any significant exploration into the Caeiliverse, the Russian Empire, lead by Czar Nicholas I, began leasing technology from the Anglicans in 1838, and colonized their first world soon thereafter. Their homeworld of Alexandrovia was originally settled in 1845 when is was named for the Czar’s newly born grandson Alexander III Alexandrovich. While the empire holds much fewer worlds than many other powers, their luck has been that several of their have been rich in natural resources vital to expansionism, including coal and the crystals essential in producing lyquidic crystal plasma.
Border wars with the Republicans, the The Five, and the Prussians have raged through the years, but only the Trier Interfold became a protracted conflict. Beginning in 1867 and fought over three border worlds, the Russians, with the aid of Asiatic militias who had established several dozen settlements in the are in question, fended off a Republic-Prussian alliance bent on obtaining the expansive natural resources. Flush with their victory, the Russians proceeded to land grab in the territories of both aggressors, seizing a handful of minor worlds, before an armistice was signed in 1878.
Having extremely ill economic ties with the Prussians, it is generally agreed that Imperial Russian Airship technology is the least qualified of the major powers, though the Empire has sought to make up for that shortfall by way of sheer numbers. The current leader of the Empire is Czar Nicholas II, who has only been in power these last five years. Less confrontational that his predecessors, his rule seems to promise a new age of enlightenment within the Empire.
Tensions still run high between the Russian empire and their former enemies, but they enjoy cordial relations with the other powers with very strong ties to the Anglicans who provided the Empire (indirectly through the Asiatic militias) arms and equipment.