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Sages, à la Chełm: An Entirely Serious Timeline

Intro + etc.

Caprice

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Welcome to my and Lawful's generally graphical timeline. (Lawful does not presently have an SLP account.) I want my test thread to mostly be OTL, and I want this to be actually visible to the co-TLer before he gets around to making an account, so I'm doing this here. Here's an old EqualA I made, very subject to change and already made obsolete, but generally setting the scene. Suggestions are welcome, though there's a fair chance I will reject them (There's a QBAM but it's in development hell).

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Here's a more up-to-date Europe, though the Middle East is clearly not done yet.

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The Foundation of the Kingdom of Alabama, 1817-8

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The Kingdom of Alabama was founded in 1817 to organize most of the Holy Caribbean conquests of the area in between Tennessee, Mississippi, and Georgia. Some areas had formally been under imperial rule as early as 1802, but the vast majority was conquered between 1814 and 1816. Some attempt had been made at organization under Mississippi in the area annexed from Myskokylki in 1814, but the areas annexed from Tcahta'okla, Tcikacca Įįjaakni', and the Dxalagijehli in 1816 and 1817 were not organized until the Alabama legislature had a chance to meet in 1818.

Until a proper constitution could be set up and a king elected, the Imperial Diet wrote up a bill comprised of a list of reasonably expected situations and how a spherical king in a vacuum might react to said situations. By mistake, due to the word "bill" in the text being capitalized as "Bill", William Bibb was instead appointed king for a term of until the constitution got made.

The bill had a provision via which a copy was to be made and posted to the territorial government in St. Stephens. As cloning technology had not yet reached the point where the new king could be flash-cloned, it was instead decided to send Bibb himself to Alabama. He was thus unceremoniously shoved into an extra-large envelope and put on a mail boat, being tossed ashore at St. Stephens a few days later.

Now that the newly-christened King William was around to do the king things, it was time for him to do the king things. A crown was commissioned from the first person to answer a classified ad, and in the meantime King William set off to put a government together. It was generally accepted that things would work vaguely like Mississippi for the meantime, and a legislature was set up out of whatever former Mississippi legislators happened to be around.

The Assembly, the lower house, was made up of eleven such members, and the Council, the upper house, was made up of a bloke named Jim who'd come all the way from around Huntsville and had put in too much effort going down to St. Stephens to simply take "everybody else died or quit" for an answer and go back home. Therefore, every bill passed by the Assembly had to go through him and him alone before it went to King William to sign. The possibilities for abuse were endless, and Jim completely failed to realize this.

Meanwhile, the crown arrived. As it turned out, the classified ad had been answered by a dentist, and so now they had a fake top of a tooth. It was immediately misplaced, which meant that King William could not actually do the king things, as it was agreed upon that a king needed to have a crown, and if the crown was misplaced that meant nobody had the crown, and if nobody had the crown that meant nobody could do the king things. So they needed to find another crown. After some discussion, somebody glued a five-shilling coin to King William's forehead, and that was that. It was January, 1818, and the government could actually start happening.

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The Kingdom of Alabama upon its foundation
 
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The Organization of the Government of Alabama, 1818-9

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There were two phases in the permanent organization of the government under King William. First, more counties were to be organized. The provisional assembly and Jim met in February and, over the course of a week, established no less than thirteen counties, with two more created in November. However, the conversation was quickly dominated by imperial affairs.

It was decided that, while an election for a single member of the House of Commons would have to be saved for the first general election in the nascent kingdom, Alabama could at least get its voice heard through a member of the House of Rares. John Crowell was acclaimed to the position, as he had the fastest horse around and could therefore arrive to and from Charlottesville as soon as possible. Crowell would align himself (and in extension the entire Alabama) with the governmental coalition.

Another issue that came up was a territorial dispute between Alabama and Mississippi. The act declaring the existence of Alabama stated that "the Kingdom of Alabama shall consist of all those bits of Mississippi laying to the right of the left bit of Washington." Mississippi argued that this still fell along county borders. Alabama, which advocated for a straight line boundary from the leftmost point to the Gulf of Mexico, annexed the relevant land to the counties of Washington, Baldwin, and Mobile. Both sides appealed to the Emperor, who gave the non-answer of "all that belongs to Alabama belongs to Alabama, and all that belongs to Mississippi belongs to Mississippi." This was bloody obvious.

However, this debate was quickly superseded by the dispute over where the capital should be. Over the summer, the Council relocated to Huntsville, citing ease of travel (seeing as Jim, the sole member, was from there). This made it clear that St. Stephens, all the way in the down bit of the state, was perhaps not the best capital for the entire Alabama. The Assembly decided that it should meet in Tuscaloosa, while King William decided that he would hold court upon the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama rivers.

Because of these three separate meeting places, the fact that any bill managed to become law during the November session is a miracle. Any given bill had to go between Tuscaloosa and Huntsville and be passed by both the Assembly and Council; this was the easy part. The hard part was getting to King William so that he could sign the bill into law.

King William, as previously established, was located on any given day at the confluence of the Cahaba and Alabama Rivers, a couple hundred feet from shore. Because of the edict he had signed, he was able to float perfectly still in the river. Everyone else, however, was at the mercy of the current. After a few incidents in which aides were swept several miles downriver while trying to swim their way to the king, they started using rowboats, as by paddling upriver they could stay still long enough for the bill to be signed. Even then, they had to end up alongside him; many times they ended up missing him by several yards or more, and one time they hit him head on, causing the boat to flip stern-over-bow and throwing everyone and everything directly into the river. Despite these difficulties, they did eventually manage to pass most of the bills that were passed by the legislature.

The next session was held in July of 1819, under reapportionment rules enacted in November. Snap elections were held in May after the realization that there wasn't any sort of general election date. The Assembly set out to create a constitution for Alabama, and produced a long, rambling document that the President of the Assembly, John Walker, declared to be "not precisely such as any one member of this body or perhaps of any individual of this community, would, unassisted, have framed in his closet," as if people were commonly in the habit of framing government documents in their closet.

Per this constitution, every year on the first Monday and Tuesday of August, each county was to elect a count, a backup count, a clerk, a backup clerk, and one or more members of the Assembly. Backup counts and clerks were to undertake the duties of office when the main office-holders were away on official business, lost, stolen, or otherwise misplaced. Every other year, each county was also to elect as many royal electors as it had Assemblers, as well as members of the Imperial House of Commons from however many districts the legislature chose to create. Every four years, imperial electors were to be chosen from the same districts. For imperial elections, each voter was to get one vote and no more. The Council was quietly abolished, much to the relief of its sole member, and a new upper house was substituted: the House of Counts, comprised of every count. Both houses were allowed to meet in Tuscaloosa, but the King was to stay in the river until the legislature said he could leave.

The constitution was formally ratified and signed by King William on Monday, August 2, and the first general election immediately commenced.

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The Kingdom of Alabama as of the general election of 1819
 
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The 1819 Alabama General Election

Caprice

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There are things that happen when an election commences with exactly zero notice. The primary issue was that nobody had registered to be a candidate. For the various county positions, this was not too much of an issue, as candidates could simply nominate themselves before the assembled voters. However, there could be no statewide coordination for the single member of the House of Commons or the single imperial elector. For the former, incumbent member of the House of Rares John Crowell was elected with some 53% over other scattered write-ins, but as the elector had to be someone else, the candidate with the most votes for elector was Henry Chambers, who got some 9% of the vote and immediately resigned, citing the lack of a consensus.

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The vote for Crowell by county

The votes for the various county positions went fairly well, if somewhat disorganized at the start. There was no attempt at any sort of factionalism until September 20, when the various electors converged upon the banks of the Alabama to elect a king. A group of anti-William electors met beforehand, agreeing to vote for Assembler from Tuscaloosa M. D. Williams, whose name was seen as similar enough that pro-William electors would hopefully become confused and vote for him by accident. This did not work, but Williams had already become the anti-William candidate by the time anyone noticed, and he was seen as good enough anyhow.

As each county's electoral delegation stood forward and cast its vote, it became clear that the election would be close. Before Madison's eight electors voted, the vote so far was tied 12-12; everybody expected the delegate to vote as a bloc and swing the election towards one candidate or the other. Instead, the delegation split evenly, and the vote was now 16-16.

Washington was last, with two electors. Twenty-five votes had been cast to reelect King William, and twenty-four had been cast to elect Williams. One of the two electors stood forward and declared his vote for Williams. It was at this point that everybody realized that the other elector had been lost, stolen, or otherwise misplaced, and now the vote was tied.

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The vote for King as it stood upon the close of this chapter

To be continued.
 
The Series of Events Leading to the Ascension of King George, 1819-20

Caprice

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On July 10, 1820, 16-year-old George Bailey Bibb became the second King of Alabama when the Alabama river swept him up and deposited him at its confluence with the Cahaba River, where a rowboat awaited manned by a man bearing glue and a five-shilling coin, which was unceremoniously applied to the forehead of the new King George. To explain how this happened, we must first return to the royal election the previous September.

The vote stood tied, 25-25, as the fifty-first elector, Count William of Washington, was missing. He was known to be rabidly against King William, largely because he believed that he should be the most important William in the state, and King William was significantly more important than he was. It was thus assumed that he would vote for Williams, as Williams' first name was not William, and thus he was not William, but Williams, which was different from William. What stood between Williams and the crown was the fact that Count William was, as has been said, missing.

Count William was eventually discovered to be in the nearby town of Cahawba, where he had been taken hostage by the townspeople. They were concerned that, if Williams was elected king, he would move out of the river, which would hurt tourism. Before the other electors could write down the count's vote anyway, a delegation arrived from Mississippi with a message for the king, telling him to fall off his horse and die. This meant that when the king heard this message, he would fall off his horse and die.

Count William, upon hearing this, declared his vote for King William, and volunteered to bring the message to the king personally. As soon as King William was declared reelected, Count William took the note, waded into the river to bring it to him (as he was on duty being in the river), and was promptly swept several miles downstream. When the message was finally relayed to King William, he did not die, as he was not on a horse.

The legislature, meeting in October, set to figuring out what else needed to be done. It was decided that the King needed some good advisors, people who could advise him, and who could be found indoors on any given day and not in the middle of the Alabama River. As such, the Assembly and House of Counts met together to do some appointing.

On October 27, it was decided to throw a couple more people at the House of Rares to accompany John Crowell. On the first ballot, former anti-William Assembler William King was chosen, on recommendation by Count William, who figured that King could not be the most important William in Alabama if he was in Charlottesville and not Alabama, because the most important William in Alabama had to be in Alabama, or else they wouldn't be the most important William in Alabama. John Walker, fellow former Assembler, was a distant runnerup. Thomas Crabb, failed candidate for Count of Cotaco just a few months earlier, got two votes, one of which came from Count Gabriel of Madison, a budding figure who had been elected count of the biggest county in the kingdom with the highest margin of any contested comital election that year (nearly 60%).

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The first ballot for member of the House of Rares

Another ballot was held, and most of the legislators voted for Walker, as he had been runner up anyhow. Crabb was a distant second place. Count Gabriel and an Assembler voted for George Phillips, who probably existed. Finally, an Assembler from Lawrence voted to give William King a second seat in the House of Rares.

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The second ballot for member of the House of Rares

After a cabinet was constructed for King William, a variety of ministers were chosen, but including a map for every one would make this post way too long. Here is a list instead:
  • Thomas Rogers was elected Minister of Affairs with 54 votes to John Campbell's 16.
  • Samuel Pickens was acclaimed Minister of Truth with 70 votes.
  • Jack Ross was acclaimed Minister of Money with 71 votes.
  • Carter Harrison was acclaimed Minister of Keeping King William Off a Horse So He Doesn't Fall Off and Die with 56 votes; two more were for random candidates.
  • William Peacock was elected Minister of Nothing with 36 votes to George Shackleford's 16 and Fianagin's 2.
At this point, the voting was adjourned for the day due to legislative attrition. When the legislature met the next day, the following ministries were filled:
  • Henry Hitchcock was elected Minister of Figuring Out the Holy Caribbean Judicial System with 45 votes, with 14 votes for D. Sullivan and 10 votes for John Jones.
  • Abner S. Lipscomb was elected Minister of Coming Up With More Things to be Minister Of with 63 votes, with 5 votes for Henry Toulmin.
  • Reuben Saffold was acclaimed Minister of Sandwiches with 68 votes.
  • Henry Webb was acclaimed Minister of Being Named Henry with 70 votes.
The vote for Minister of Pointless Divisiveness had four ballots. Here is the map for each ballot, because I made them and I need to do something with them in order to get reimbursed:

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The first ballot

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The second ballot

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The third ballot

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The fourth ballot

  • Clement C. Clay was acclaimed Minister of Comedic Juxtaposition with 68 votes.
  • John Gayle was acclaimed Minister of Door-to-Door Salesmen with 69 votes.
  • Constantine Perkins was elected Minister of Fundraising with 44 votes, 22 going to Sion Perry.
  • Peter Martin was elected Minister for Birds and Mustelids with 69 votes.
  • The ballot for Minister of Something went on for two ballots, as follows:
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The first ballot

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The second ballot


After the ministers were shoved into the cabinet, a bunch of county judicial liasons were also elected, but I cannot be bothered to go through them all. Seven counties were also provided for, to be formally organized primarily when they could be allotted formal representation after the upcoming census.

In May of 1820, negotiations began with Mississippi regarding the border dispute. It was decided to, very roughly, split the disputed land down the middle with a straight line, effective July 9. This would also signify a return to full diplomatic getting along. The day after the compromise went into effect, King William waded out of the river and got on his horse, confident that he was no longer bound to falling off his horse and dying. He immediately fell off his horse and died, and his son George inherited the position of King.
 
The Reign of George I of Alabama: 1820-21

Caprice

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The first thing King George did as King was sack Carter Harrison. Luckily, elections were only a few weeks away. Unluckily, the next royal election would not be for another year.

Nothing all too interesting happened in the general election of 1820 besides a comital election for the County of Jackson, comprising the previously unorganized land in the top right bit annexed from the Dxalagijehli in 1819. Jackson also held an election for four Assemblers, causing a protracted debate in the Assembly on whether to admit them (it was later decided not to admit them that session). There was also a comital election in which Nicholas Davis was chosen Count of Limestone to replace Count Thomas.

In the 1819 session, the House of Counts, upon meeting, had taken it upon themselves to ascertain who would preside over them. It was decided that obviously a Duke must preside over the Counts, and so Count Thomas had been acclaimed Duke as well. He dropped out of the 1820 election to mourn his brother's recent fall off a horse and death which had happened at the beginning of King George's reign, and was thus replaced; when the Counts convened that November, they needed to find a Duke. Unfortunately, the ducal vote deadlocked.

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The ballot for duke

Even though some saw it likely that Count Gabriel could be elected if they waited for the two newly-elected Counts to arrive, Gabriel himself put forward a compromise: Alabama would be divided into two duchies, split along these electoral lines. The one on the top would be presided over by Gabriel, and the one on the bottom by Count Thomas. This would be revisited in the next year's session, so as not to accidentally break Alabama.

The cabinet was reduced to just three members: a minister for truth (Samuel Pickens, once again acclaimed), a minister for observing one's former lover (Jack Ross reelected, though with 48 votes over Willis Roberts' 26), and a minister for anything to do with paper (William B. Allen being elected over Augustina Parsons 46-30).

It was around then that a letter arrived from Charlottesville asking for the government to send their imperial elector over so they could lock him in a room with the rest of the Imperial Conclave and have them vote for Emperor. Henry Chambers had won the 1819 election with some 9% of the vote and resigned the post immediately. So they needed to choose someone quickly. A few volunteers were grabbed off the street and voted on on the spot before the entire legislature.

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The ballot for elector

James Walker, after announcing his vote to just keep the current Emperor, was chosen and immediately sent off to Charlottesville to make that official. The legislature went about the rest of its regular session, creating an additional county to take effect upon the next reapportionment, renaming Cahawba to Bibb, and renaming Cotaco to Morgan. In January of 1821, nine electoral votes were cast from Alabama to reelect the Emperor, with eight coming from super-electoral votes (four from Crowell, two each from King and Walker).

There was a comparatively larger attempt to put together some sort of statewide campaign for king and especially for member of the House of Commons. The MHC election was primarily contested between Duke Gabriel and George Owen, Speaker of the Assembly from the County of Monroe. In that sense, there was both a sectional component to the race and a bit of a state vs. county aspect, though the sectional aspect was by far superior. Duke Gabriel, now civilian Gabriel Moore, was elected MHC and sent to Charlottesville to relieve John Crowell of exactly one of his duties.

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The vote for the Imperial House of Commons

In regards to the royal election, the distinction between supporters and opponents of King William was pretty useless, as he had been dead for about a year at that point. Opposition to King George's reelection was universal, being primarily headed by King George himself. The question thus naturally drifted towards who should succeed him.

Vague factions began to arise in some places. Most notably, in the County of Madison, an eight-member "Ticket for the Benefit of Our Kingdom of Alabama" was elected by a couple hundred votes over a "Ticket In Support of Our Holy Caribbean Emperor". In September, when the electors met on the banks of the Alabama River, Count William of Washington, having been reelected, was kept under close guard, as nobody wanted to repeat the previous election's fiasco.

As the votes were counted, two candidates emerged: the aforementioned Henry Chambers and former MHC Israel Pickens. Pickens came ahead in the early counties, though Chambers pulled ahead when the Madison delegation cast all its votes for him. When Monroe cast all five votes for Pickens later, however, the vote became tied. Voting remained close, and when it came time for Washington, the two-member final delegation, to vote, the vote stood 27 for Pickens, 26 for Chambers. Count William stood forward and cast his vote for Chambers. It was then that the electors realized that, having spent all their attention on making sure Count William was not stolen again, they had lost the other elector from the county.

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The royal ballot as it thus stood
 
In Which the Kingdom of Alabama Does Some Redistricting, 1821-22

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After a lengthy search, the elector for Washington was discovered, having been stolen by the residents of Cahawba, who had just sort of assumed that this was part of the electoral process now. Unfortunately, while eating a sandwich that had been prepared by one of his captors to make him comfortable, he had accidentally bitten his tongue and died. So now the vote was tied.

The method of royal election could not be changed without the consent of the King, and there was no longer any King as King George's term had ended with the royal election. As he had thus lost legal immunity to the current, he was immediately swept downstream and would be fished out at Mobile later that day.

The legislature met that November, and the two duchies were merged after Count John of Marion was acclaimed duke. The whole legislature met, and set about electing the ministers:
  • James Pleasants was elected minister of affairs with 40 votes over Jesse Beene (17 votes) and Waller Bickley (13 votes). The vote was fairly sectional, with all but four of Pleasants' votes coming from the former Upper Duchy.
  • Samuel Pickens was, for a third time, acclaimed minister of truth.
  • John Perry was elected minister of chess boards originally meant for another game on the second ballot, with 36 votes to Pascal Harrison's 35. The vote was somewhat sectional as well, with Perry leading 32-12 in the Upper Duchy and Harrison leading 23-4 in the Downer Duchy.
The census had happened somewhat recently, and things had almost gone well. Unfortunately, a fair number of census takers quit due to not getting paid enough, and, as such, the official total population of Alabama was 103,816 people as of 1820; estimates suggest up to a quarter of the population was overlooked. Despite this, the state was formally afforded twelve members of the House of Commons and twelve popular electors, effective upon the 1823 general election.

It was decided to expand the Assembly, and thus the number of royal electors, to an even number, so that if the residents of Cahawba stole another elector there would not be a tie. The state was also divided into three duchies, each tasked solely with choosing four MHCs and four electors via whatever rules they decided upon.

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The reapportionment, effective with the 1822 and 1823 elections
 
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