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Charter on the Formation of the German Empire (Emancipation Map Game)

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The German States signatory to this Charter as listed at the foot of this document hereby enter into this Imperial Charter to create a free, secular federation of German states, to be known henceforth as the German Empire, on the following grounds.

1. Jurisdiction of the Empire, as represented by its supreme bodies shall extend to:

a. Changes in the external borders of the Empire;
b. Contracts for the admission of states to the Empire;
c. A declaration of war and conclusion of peace;
d. Establishment of systems of inter-state and foreign trade;
e. The establishment of the economic systems of the German Empire;
f. Approval of the consolidated budget of the German Empire, the establishment of the monetary and credit systems, as well as Imperial, though not state and local, taxes;
g. Establishment of the principles of Imperial land management and land use, as well as use of mineral resources, forests and waters throughout the Empire;
h. Imperial legislation relocations;
i. The establishment of the principles of the Imperial judicial system and legal proceedings as well as Imperial civil and criminal legislation;
j. The establishment of basic labour laws;
k. The establishment of the principles of public education;
l. The establishment of common measures for the protection of public health;
m. The establishment of a system of weights and measures;
n. Basic legislation of the Empire citizenship rights with respect to foreigners;
o. The right to general amnesty;
p. Cancellation of the Imperial Charter on the decision of the Reichstag, Reichsrat and Governments of the Imperial States

2. The Supreme Organ of power of the German Empire will be His Imperial Majesty the Emperor. His adjutant will be the President (Reichspräsident), elected by the Kurfürstenrat (Imperial Electoral College), consisting of 5 elected delegates from each Imperial State. The Emperor will serve for the remainder of his life, and act as the political and social leader of the Empire, while the Chancellor, serving a four-year term, will serve as the chief advisor and head of the legislature.

3. To assist the Emperor in leading the federated realms of the German Empire, two bodies shall be formed — the Reichstag and Reichsrat.

a. The Reichstag will be composed of 20 deputies from each state of the Empire, appointed through direct elections. Sittings of the Reichstag will occur once every two years for a period of one month, during which time it will conclude resolutions regarding the jurisdictions listed in Article 1. The Reichstag will be chaired by the Speaker, who will be elected by members of the Reichstag through secret ballot at the opening of the Reichstag's term. The term of each Reichstag will last two years, upon which the incumbent assembly will be dissolved and a fresh Reichstag appointed.
b. The Reichsrat will be composed of 10 deputies from each state of the Empire, appointed by the President on the advice of the Electoral College. When the Reichstag is not in session, it will be the Reichsrat which assists the Emperor and President in running the day-to-day affairs of the Empire. The Reichsrat will serve as the Legislature of the German Empire, and will draft binding Imperial laws based on the outlines put forth by the Reichstag's resolutions. The term of each Reichsrat will last for four years. The President, serving in his capacity as chair of the Reichsrat, reserves the right to veto laws proposed by the Reichsrat, as does the Emperor as the head of state. However, the President's veto power can be overturned by a two-third majority vote in the Electoral College. The Emperor's cannot.
i. Following the opening of each Reichsrat a number of deputies will be appointed by the President to the following portfolios to help ensure uniformity in their respective areas throughout the Empire:
1. Central Ministry for War
2. Central Ministry for Internal Trade
3. Central Ministry for Transport
4. Central Ministry for Education
5. Central Ministry for Labour
6. Central Ministry for Finances
7. Central Ministry for Resources
8. Central Ministry for Justice
9. Central Ministry for Health
10. Central Ministry for Immigration
c. Extraordinary Sessions of either body, or both together, may be convened by the Emperor or at the request of at least two of the Imperial States.

4. Should there be in the President a feeling of no confidence in either the Reichsrat or Reichstag, he holds the ability to once a year request that the Emperor review the legislature. The Emperor subsequently possesses the power to dissolve either body and call for fresh elections to replace those in the bod(ies) preceding. At the same time, the legislatures will also possess the power to force the resignation of the President and thus elect a new one should it have a feeling of no confidence in him (through a vote, requiring a two-thirds majority).

5. Legislation passed by the Reichsrat and Emperor will have a binding effect on all constituent states of the Empire; compliance to resolutions of the Reichstag, however, may not necessarily be mandatory, provided action in contradiction to the Reichstag does not also conflict with existing Reichsrat legislation.

6. Should an external enemy declare war against any Imperial State, or the Empire as a whole, all Imperial States are obligated to declare war against said enemy in defence of the State being attacked/Empire.

7. Should an Imperial State commit to any aggressive action against another Imperial State, the aggressor will be suspended from the Empire pending investigation. Suspension means that the State would still be part of the Empire, but all rights pertaining to the status of an Imperial State will be stripped from the suspended State. Its people may not participate in Imperial elections, and its deputies in Reichstag and Reichsrat will be demoted to observer status. The suspended State will not be permitted to withdraw from the Empire until the conclusion of the investigation.

a. If after an investigation the results are in the favour of the suspended State, its full membership will be restored, and the State being threatened by the previously suspended State will undergo a similar investigation process.
b. If after an investigation the results prove a mildly aggressive nature of the suspended State's actions, it will continue to remain suspended for a period of no less than two Reichstag terms and no more than two Reichsrat terms following conclusion of the investigation, depending on the severity. After the term of suspension has expired, a review will be initiated, upon which the suspended State may be readmitted as a full member. Should the severity of the actions of the State being investigated be determined to warrant more harsh punishments, refer to Sections c. and d. below.
c. If after an investigation the results prove a severely unprovoked and aggressive nature of the suspended State's actions, it will be expelled from the Empire, and all Imperial States are obligated to cut all diplomatic ties with the expellee.
d. In extreme cases, all remaining Imperial States, on the orders of the Emperor (advised by the Reichsrat), may be obligated to declare war on the expellee.

8. A unified currency will be established with jurisdiction over the entire German Empire. It will replace all existing currencies currently in circulation.

9. A customs union will also exist between all Imperial States, allowing free movement within the borders of the Empire. However, should war or other catastrophe reach a particular State, neighbouring States will reserve the right to close their borders to protect their own countries.

10. All citizens of Imperial States will also receive Imperial citizenship in addition, with all rights and obligations thereof.

11. Imperial symbols will be decided upon by vote in the Reichsrat upon the first such body's opening. Proposals will be accepted from any Imperial State. Such symbols will include the Flag, Coat of Arms and Imperial Seal.

12. Vienna and Berlin will be jointly designated as the headquarters of the branches of government (The Emperor will reside in Vienna, as will the judiciary; Berlin will be the home of the legislature) and will thus serve as the capitals of the Empire.

13. The adoption of amendments of the Imperial Charter will be subject to the exclusive jurisdiction of the Reichsrat, requiring a three-quarter majority vote for passage. Should the Emperor feel such an amendment is inappropriate, he may veto the amendment without possibility for overturning.

14. Each of the Imperial States, with the exception of those which have been suspended, reserves the right to withdraw from the Empire.

15. Religious freedom shall be permanently established in this Charter, ensuring the German people the right to practise the faith of their choosing. Both the Catholic and Protestant Churches, making the majority in the South and North respectively, are equal in status and may not engage in religious conflict against each other in German territory. Any attempt at persecuting either religious group will result in severe punishment, regardless of social status. This provision also extends to the Emperor and President.

Signatures

  • Prussia
  • Austria: Emperor Franz Joseph I: Triumph is at hand (talk)
  • Bavaria
  • Württemberg
  • Baden
  • Oldenburg
  • Saxony
  • Hanover
  • Saxony
  • Hesse
  • Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
  • Saxe-Altenberg
  • Other German states

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