Alemannia`s official and only language is Švebiana, a language which evolved during the 4th-10th centuries as a blend of Herminonic German dialects, which were just undergoing the second Germanic sound shift, and provincial Latin. (Its genesis can be compared to that of OTL French as a synthesis between Istvaeonic German dialects and provincial Latin.)
As in OTL, Alemanni are Germans of different tribes migrating into the Agri Decumates around the middle of the 3rd century CE. In OTL, they slowly expand into the Alps and across the Rhine, but do not unite and are finally subdued by the Franks.
In this timeline, the different fate of the Gallo-Roman breakaway empire influences Alemannic history. Its relative stability prevents the Alemanni from crossing the Rhine.
In the chaos of Roman revolution, Gallo-Roman secession and civil war, the Alemannic petty king Huno of the Neckar Suebi knits an alliance with Gallo-Roman Caesar Postumus. He unites the Bucobantes, Suebi Nicrenses, Brisgavi and Lentienses and defeats the Juthungi, then redistributes Roman latifundia among the tribes, delineating their territories and defining their Ting districts ("Gaue"). He leaves the remaining provincial Roman population of the towns relatively untouched and allows them to keep a bit of land in their perimeters.
Huno`s reign stops the migrations of the Alemanni and lays the foundation of considerable population growth over the next century. His kingdom falls apart after his death, though. As the petty Gau kings begin to quarrel among themselves, and Burgundians also push into Alemannian territories from the North-East, the Latinised population of the towns seeks external support. In a period of relative stability and strength of the Gallo-Roman Empire, its Caesar Sapientius restores imperial Gallo-Roman control over the towns in the Rhine valley, re-establishing castra there as well as along old roads, and adding more bridgeheads to the fortification of the Rhine. In Eastern Alemannia, Aquileia (OTL Heidenheim) associates itself with the Roman civitas of Augusta Vindelicorum and slips under its military protective shield.
While the Burgundians are led Eastwards by their King Gundaric after defeats against Alemannic Gau kings, Southward-migrating Hermundurians along the Moenus peacefully Alemannise themselves, copying the model of territorially delineated "gaue" with their own kings and tings.
Both Alemannic gaue and provincial Roman towns are overwhelmed by the tide of refugees from the East, who flee from the Huns in the 360s. A decade of chaos ensues, in which neither the Gallo-Roman Empire, which is destabilised by Bagaudae revolts, Pictish invasions, Priscillian Christian sectarianism and the secession of its wealthy Baetican South, nor the Roman Republic, which is plagued by an earthquake on Crete and focuses its military efforts on eradicating the Hun danger in the Pontic Campaign, intervene and help restore order in Alemannia.
Alemannia`s restoration is linked to the name of Serapio, a leader of the Bucobantes who had spent his youth in Narbo. Amidst the chaos, he manages to has himself elected Gau King of the Bucobantes and assumes the Alemannic name Agenarich. Then, he knits a very large alliance of loyal followers from each gau (not necessarily the present kings) AND from among the provincial Roman elite from the towns. He and his followers proclaim the conversion to the Lausai faith, frequently "invented" by Fritigil, Queen of the Markomanni. Agenarich Serapio and his supporters gather a large force which puts an end to the violence and looting, defeating dozens of warlords and bringing the New Order to all corners of Alemannia.
The new Alemannia is a confederacy of Roman towns and Alemannic gaue. Its leaders are elected by a Concilium Municipiale or a Gauting - for life, if they are not recalled, but not as hereditary monarchs. All these leaders regularly convene in a high council named Senatus Foederationis in Latin and Bundsting in Alemannic, which in turn elects the High King (later: the Kaisar), also for lifetime, but recallable and non-hereditary. All members of the confederacy swear an oath of eternal peace. Should the Ting peace be in danger or Alemannic lands be under attack by foreign forces, then a common intervention force would be commanded by the High King / Kaisar.
Agenarich Serapio also signs contracts concerning the borders and eternal peace with the Alliance of Five Nations and the Roman Republic. After helping the Gallo-Roman Caesar Marcus Vasco out against the Franks, he obtains the recognition of Alemannia`s independence, with the Rhine as their border.
Throughout the 5th century, this new Alemannic Confederacy or Empire becomes a unique story of success in the Germanic world. Each gau and town has its own law, and these laws are codified now. The gau kings are endowed with the rents / taxes from large public estates which allow them to maintain armed forces and magistrates, while the towns finance their own public administration and their own soldiers through taxation. Slowly but constantly, roads are renovated and expanded and canals are built to facilitate transportation across all of Alemannia.
Especially the towns and gaue in the Rhine and Neckar valleys, where wine and tobacco are grown, develop superbly, engage in trade with Romans and Gallo-Romans and amass wealth. Alemannic and vulgar Latin begin to blend into a new language during this period.
Alemannia expands further towards the North, incorporating the Chatti, who sought Serapio`s help against Saxon slave-hunters, and later the last Hermundurians in OTL Southern Thuringia and South-Western Saxony, whose lands had been invaded by Anglic, Saxon, Warnian and Jutian refugees after the Gallo-Romans` Anglo-Saxon Campaign.
From the beginning of the 6th century, the Alemannic Tings witness increasing conflicts between guilds of craftsmen, who demand the secession and self-government of their towns, and the gau kings, who want to hold on to these towns and to the tax income generated by the guilds` mining works etc.
After Saxon raids and invasions have been repelled in the North, the conflicts between guilds and gau kings escalates once again in the 7th century, with the town councils increasingly taking the side of the guilds. They erupt in several local military confrontations, which do not turn into a full-blown civil war like in Saxony, though. As a consequence of these events, several gau kings discontinue the Tings and suppress the guilds, while the towns ally themselves, increase and professionalise their armed forces and form a bloc of their own - the "Inter-Mayorate".
The gau kings manage to impose Kaisars who pursue policies favourable to them until the late 8th century. In 780, Kaisar Karl ascends the throne and reforms his empire:
- restoring the Gau tings
- abolishing servitude and slavery
- granting the guilds monopolies and imperial recognition
- abolishing the gau kings and bereaving all other nobles of their power and lands
- and centralising the armed forces and turning them into a mass army of yeomen conscripts.
By 750, Alemannia is by far the most powerful Germanic state. Its various urban and rural dialects begin to converge into a new language, which is written in the Latin alphabet. Slowly increasing literacy strengthens the process of standardisation. Alemannia is the first Germanic country with a lively newspaper market.
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Constitution and politics
Alemannia is a democratic republic. Its political system shows strong Roman influences: The heads of state and leading magistrates are two Consuls, who are elected for three years. The legislative power lies with the parliament (Bunting), whose 120 members are elected for three years in universal elections. Similar to Franconia, Alemannia has a social-democratic party, which is dominated by powerful guilds, and a socialist party, which is backed by much of the non-collegialised population. In the current Bunting, the social democrats have a narrow-margin majority. The Consuls are traditionally bipartisan: Henrichu Pfistoru is the social-democratic Consul, while Iulia Cherraru is the socialist Consul. Supreme judiciary power lies with a Constitutional Court and a Federal Court of Appeal.
Alemannia is divided into 14 districts (Breisgau, Alpegau, Lintzigau, Craichgau, Gartachgau, Ufgau, Sungau, Enzgau, Alcmungau, Norgau, Rangau, Iagasgau, Mulachgau and the capital district of Lopoden), which decide about local matters in general assemblies (gauting) and elect local magistrates who run the local administration. Each gau also has its judicial court.