Bayreuth is the capital of a confederation of survivor communities in the former Bavarian district of Upper Franconia, known as the Franconian Confederation, and is often used to refer to the entire confederation as well.
Until the 6th century, the region of today's Franconia was probably dominated by Alamanni and Thuringians. After the Frankish triumphs over both tribes around 507 and 529–534 CE most parts were occupied by the Franks.
East Francia was made up of four stem duchies, one of which was the Duchy of Franconia. The historic duchy of Franconia extended further west than modern day Franconia and even included Frankfurt. Sometime around 906, Conrad of the Conradine dynasty succeeded in establishing his ducal hegemony over Franconia. At the failure of the direct Carolingian male line in 911, Conrad was acclaimed King of the Germans, largely because of his weak position in his own duchy. Conrad had granted Franconia to his brother Eberhard on his succession, but when Eberhard rebelled against Otto I in 938, he was deposed from his duchy. Rather than appoint a new duke from his own circle, Otto now divided the threatening power of the duchy among the great ecclesiastics with and through whom he ruled, and who had remained faithful to his cause.
In the High Middle Ages, Franconia came to be divided into two distinct regions, though these regions were not coherent territories with distinct governments. Rhenish Franconia was the western half of the historic duchy of Franconia, immediately east of the Rhine. This territory however, did not comprise parts of modern Franconia, which is situated further east. In 1115, Henry V awarded the territory of Eastern Franconia to his nephew, who used the title "Duke of Franconia." The Bishop of Würzburg was formally ceded the ducal rights in Eastern Franconia in 1168. The name "Franconia" fell out of usage, but in 1500 the Franconian Circle was created. Also the bishop of Würzburg had revived it in his own favor in 1442 and held it until the reforms of Napoleon Bonaparte abolished it.
Most of modern day Franconia became Bavarian in 1803 thanks to Bavaria's alliance with Napoleon. Culturally it is in many ways different from Bavaria proper ("Altbayern", Old Bavaria), however. The ancient name was resurrected in 1837 by Ludwig I of Bavaria. During the Nazi period, Bavaria was broken up into several different Gaue, including Franconia and Main-Franconia.
The region of Franconia was devastated on Doomsday, due to nuclear strikes on U.S. Army and other NATO military facilities in the area. Cities and towns destroyed in the region include:
In the weeks after Doomsday, fallout would fall in small doses from the west; eventually, it would be discovered that this was from strikes around Frankfurt.
Upper Franconia was spared the worst of Doomsday. While several cities along its edges had been hit, its main population centers had not been.
However, as with many areas of Germany, the number of blasts in the general region was enough to fry most electronics, immediately isolating the cities. In the weeks afterwards, fallout would be felt in the northern districts, from what would be eventually determined to be strikes in and around the city of Frankfurt, resulting in an even greater refugee problem than had already begun.
As early as the end of September, refugees began to appear around the regional capital of Bayreuth, fleeing a trio of strikes in and around the former city of Nuremberg - and more had already arrived from Bamberg. As many as could be taken in were allowed to stay - the remainder were forced out. In the years after the establishment of the Confederation, it would be determined that other refugees from these strikes had essentially depopulated the other regions of Franconia.
Similar situations were occurring at the same time elsewhere in the region. With all of these refugees in the region, and after a couple of weeks, those forced to leave their homes for the cities because of fallout from Frankfurt, and to a lesser extent Nuremberg, a fair amount of the countryside reverted into barren land.
And while the cities were able, for a time, to maintain some sort of contact with each other, this soon went out the window as more and more of the refugees outside the control of the various cities turned to armed actions.
By 1985, the region had, through a lack of contact and conflicts with the former refugees, now essentially bandits, in the area, devolved into a series of small city-states, the largest being the city of Bayreuth. While in little danger of being overrun, except for a couple of the smaller villages, it was difficult for the city-states to expand their territory either.
Bayreuth, given its Pre-Doomsday role as the local capital, was the polity most active in attempting to expand their control. With some knowledge of surviving cities in their area, and continued hearsay from captured raiders, they and the others did possess a pretty accurate picture of where survivors could be found in the district.
In mid-1987, bandit numbers finally began to drop off, as the groups began to fight each other, and die off. By the end of the next year, enough had perished in the fighting that the city of Bayreuth was finally able to start forcing them back.
It would take most of 1989, but by the fall, the authorities in Bayreuth had re-established contact with the cities of Coburg, Kulmbach, and Pegnitz. However, they refused to put themselves back under the district authority, having gotten used to their independence over the last few years.
The 1990s and Confederation
Yet, the other cities did agree with the Bayreuth government on one thing: they did need to band together to survive. It would take more than a year of negotiating, but eventually they were able to reach an agreement in the spring of 1991.
This agreement, known as the Franconia Pact, established a loose overall government for the cities, called the Franconian Confederation and based in Bayreuth itself, as per its previous administrative position for the district. The Confederation was very weak in its early years, proving itself unable to expand its area of control much, if at all.
However, they did manage one success, as in 1995, farmers near Coburg spotted a group of horsemen gingerly making their way southwards. The farmers, remembering the hard days when the bandits were strong in the region, quickly set up an ambush using skills learned during the previous decade - most had received their land for military service - and were able to surround the horsemen and force their surrender without any casualties. Taking the riders to Coburg - after confiscating their horses - the farmers were rewarded for their actions. But, after a short interrogation, the Coburg authorities were able to quickly determine that they were actually scouts from another small survivor nation to the north of Coburg, a new Republic of Wiemar.
Riders were sent out to the other cities, with instructions to send representatives to Bayreuth to meet the scouts. There, in addition to the existence of Wiemar, they were told of a new Saxon state to its east, and that some sort of Czech survivors existed to their east, though had not contacted anyone, or even tried to do so. Rumors of Austria and Bavaria surviving were also reported, but could not be substantiated at all. They spoke of some sort of expedition from further north, claiming to have come from Berlin - like they could believe that, for surely it had been destroyed - having passed through Saxony the year before in a hurry, and likely barely avoiding territory held by the Confederation.
The knowledge that they were indeed not alone in the world was a relief to the Franconians. Yet, at the same time, it provided an impetus for beginning to centralize the Confederation, as none of the city-states could honestly say they would be able to survive independently on their own with the other survivor-states in the area.
In 1999, a detachment of armored troops arrived in Pegnitz from the southeast, some in what looked at first glace to have been Austrian uniforms, but wearing odd symbols, and the remainder were wearing a combination of those uniforms and old Germany ones, wearing an assortment of Bavarian symbols. The party had left Regensburg in the spring, hoping to establish a fairly secure line of communication with Berlin, far to the north, and to investigate rumors of survivor states in the region. Still surprised to hear the rumors of the survival of that city were true, they were happy to finally hear of the outside world, though unhappy over the extent of the events of Doomsday.
With the end of the millennium, things had changed for the Confederation immensely - trade was returning, and they were no longer alone.
The resumption of contact with the outside world finally meant that the Confederation could expand its territory, finally. While slow, and only barely productive, by the end of the decade they had managed to gain control over most of the former area of Upper Franconia, expanding to meet up with the no-longer isolationist Czech survivors in Bohemia to their east and most of the way to the ruins of Bamberg, west of Bayreuth itself. Small portions of the Upper Palatine were also annexed.
Currently, the confederation is working on expanding its borders towards Saxony, in order to secure a land connection with that nation. They are also in the process of exploring areas of Franconia to their west, which they claim.
The dominance of the Confederation by Bayreuth, as the other cities had dreaded early on, has also led to it being referred to as simply "Bayreuth", or even the "Bayreuth Confederation" in many foreign powers. This remains a bone of contention for the city-states, no matter how trivial it may seem to outsiders.
Recent communications with Prussia have led to a movement existing that favors turning the Confederation into a centralized nation, and making the Prussian monarch their king called the Bayreuth League. They formally declared the formation of a political party on June 30th, 2012, and competed in elections the following October, where they won a majority of votes in Bayreuth itself, and about twenty percent nationally.
Government and Politics
"Bayreuth," as the Confederation is usually known, is based on an alliance fashioned by the surviving cities of eastern Franconia. Over time, this turned into the nation in existence today, as they became increasingly politically and economically intertwined.
The Confederation is governed by both a Federal Chancellor, and a Federal Council, much like the Alpine Confederation is. The Chancellor is elected at large, with the local political organizations for each political faction nominating a candidate, who then runs for the position across the Confederation. Each city-state elects someone to the Federal Council, who holds the final say on decision-making overall, though they can be vetoed by the Chancellor. If they have enough votes they can override his veto, however, though this takes a three-quarters majority of the Council. These delegates chose from among themselves a Council President to be in charge.
The Federal Chancellor is elected to a single four-year term. Members of the Federal Council can be elected to that body without limit.
Currently, the Council President is Thomas Hacker, a fairly moderate representative of the Bayreuth League from Bayreuth, who was voted into the role over socialist member Inge Aures in 2012. The Chancellor is Jurgen Heike, a conservative politician from Coburg, who replaced outgoing conservative Chancellor Michael Hohl, of Bayreuth, in 2012.
There is also a growing movement within the Confederation to unify it further, though the size of its support is very debatable. Many of them favor some sort monarchy under the King of Prussia as well. This movement is represented by the Bayreuth League, which is especially popular in and around Bayreuth itself.
Overall, there are four main factions in the Franconian government - conservatives, socialists, liberals, and those affiliated with the Bayreuth League. no one faction has absolute control at the national level, though each city-state does tend to have one of these groups in power most of the time. The conservative faction, however, does tend to hold a plurality of delegates to the Federal Council.
Terms in office are for a three-year period.
The Confederation, as part of reforms undertaken in the naughties, abolished the local currencies that had been in use since 1991. Yet, they could not agree on a currency name, or format, or anything. Eventually, another proposal, which had at first been ridiculed, was passed - the adoption of the Alpine Franc as the currency. It was not, however, supported by the Alpine nation, which has grudgingly accepted it.
Major industries in the area largely involve around farming, mining, and the production of beer. So much beer is produced in the area, in fact, that Franconian beers are among the most common in the Alpine Confederation and even Bavaria. The largest brewery is the Kulmbacher Brewery in Kulmbach, founded in 1895.
Overall, in an interesting counter to the political situation, where many lean towards Prussia, the Confederation is under the economic influence of the Alpine Confederation.
With the establishment of contact with their northern neighbors in 1995, and the Alpine Confederation - and thus the world - in 1999, the Confederation has a least heard about most of the world. Currently, they have ambassadors in Bavaria, Saxony, Wiemar, the Alpine Confederation, Bohemia, and recently Waldeck-Hesse and Prussia.
In April of 2003, a exploration party from the Northeast arrived at the small farming village of Weidenberg, within the Bayreuth city-state and just east of Bayreuth. After convincing the local leadership that it wasn't an invasion, a few German-speaking members of the party were permitted to travel to Bayreuth, where it was determined that they were from a Czech Remnant that called itself the Republic of Bohemia. The explorers were told of other surviving areas, and relations were established between the two. They have been quite cordial ever since.
Prussia remains a very odd area of the Confederation's international relations. Overall, they are quite good, though distance makes it fairly rare. However, there is also a belief that they will try to forcefully conquer the region, as much of it was once part of that kingdom. Yet at the same time, there is a growing segment of the population, usually supporters of centralizing the Confederation, who believe that the Prussian King should be their king as well, in some fashion. It is thought that this is a fair ways off, irregardless.
Relations with the other German states where they have ambassadors are usually average.