The Aksumite Empire is a large parliamentary monarchy in North-Eastern Africa, covering the entire territory of OTL Ethiopia, Eritrea and Djibuti and large parts of the territory of OTL Sudan, South Sudan, Uganda, Somalia and Kenya.
Its Northern neighbour is the Roman Republic, its Western neighbour is the Ljama`a of the Imaziyen, and its Southern neighbours are the Kirinyaga Alliance, Burundi, Ankole and Kyamutwara. In the East, Aksum stretches along the coast of the Indian Ocean along almost the entire Horn of Africa, with the exception of the exclaves of Opone, Mosylon, Barawa, Merca and Kismayu.
The land presently occupied by the Kingdom of Aksum has been at least partly inhabited by human beings for as long as humans exist; especially its Southern provinces are among the possible places where the formation of the human kind has taken place.
The Western regions and the Horn provinces suffered from progressive climate changes and desertification, which began with the end of the Ice Age and continued into the 18th century CE.
In the last milennia BCE, the civilizations of Kerma, Kush, Punt and D´mt existed in the Northern provinces of the present-day Aksumite Kingdom.
The foundation of the Kingdom of Aksum is historically uncertain. It is assumed that the contact between indigenous Semitic polities and Southern Arabian, probably Sabaean, newcomers catalysed the coagulation of a kingdom, which at first only comprised a small stretch of land between Aksum and a port town controlled by Aksum, perhaps Adulis or a precursor town.
During the 4th-6th centuries, Aksum became a thoroughly Christianised country. It seized the opportunity of the disintegration of the Meroe Kingdom and incorporated Meroe`s successor states (Nobatia, Alodia and Makuria) one after the other, as well as subduing and pacifying the warlike Blemmye nomads on Rome`s behest. Trading links with the Roman Empire via the Nile and the Red Sea contributed to a positive economic development. During this period, the crafts in the cities developed, absorbing Roman innovations and technologies. Aksum became Rome`s no. 1 source of raw glass, and later also the prime provider of manufactured and blown glassware. Aksum`s growing power and poulation, along with emerging administrative structures for a large empire, facilitated and necessitated its expansion onto less populated territories in the South. Here, the Aksumites encountered resistance from transhumant and agropastoralist peoples (Luo, Nuer, Dinka, Oromo, Massai, Kikuyu, Nandi, Okiek and others). Aksum managed to subdue most of these tribes, pitting some against others, until they suffered a substantial defeat against an indigenous alliance, which had appealed to Sheba for help. This First East African War stopped Aksum`s expansion along the Swahili coast. It also brought the formation of a strong democratic federation of black peoples inimical to Aksum at its direct border: the Kirinyaga Alliance, which would compete with Aksum for control over the Great Lakes.
Aksum`s new focus was on controlling the Nile and the abundant agricultural resources which its client kingdom, Kitara, controlled in the Great Lakes region.
The 9th century also saw a transformation of Aksum`s kingdom into a constitutional and parliamentary monarchy.
The non-agriculturalist Nilotic populations within the Aksumite Empire were politically marginalised in this era, though, and subjected to several Christianisation campaigns, which remained relatively futile. Limited settlement campaigns stabilised Aksumite control over these regions in the 10th and 11th centuries, until further political reform of the empire made a better integration and coexistence of indigenous Nilotic herders with the rest of the empire possible.
During the Age of Industrialisation, Aksum faced direct military confrontations with Rome due to its dam-building projects on both Niles, which rendered the millennia-old established ways of agriculture in Rome`s Egyptian lands impossible. Aksum`s confrontation with Rome required active alliance-building on Aksum`s part to withstand aggression from its powerful Northern neighbour. In this context, Aksum developed more friendly relations with its Western Simonist neighbours, which were also threatened by the European empires, and various Bantu kingdoms.
Aksum is a parliamentary monarchy. The Emperor ("Negus Nagushat") has a merely representative and symbolic role. Dynastic succession privileges male heirs, but female succession is also possible. Dynastic changes are decided by the parliament ("Shengo").
The Shengo is a bicameral parliament, which combines Roman with Indian influences:
- The lower chamber consists of (presently 360) representatives of territorial constituencies elected in free, equal and secret elections according to the first-past-the-post system. Like its model, the Roman Senate, it tends towards a two-party system, but ethnic, cultural, religious and economic differences across the various provinces of the Empire often bring forth small third parties.
- The upper chamber consists of (presently 216) representatives of churches, professional associations, indigenous groups, non-governmental associations etc. They are nominated by their respective groups in ways defined by the group in question. Which social groups may send representatives, is decided by the Emperor. Like the Indian Assemblies of Confederate Sanghas, the members of this chamber stress their expertise and see themselves more as social than as political leaders.
The upper chamber must be consulted in every legislative process, it may initiate laws or suggest modifications, but the lower chamber has the exclusive right to pass or repeal laws and decide upon the public budget.