Alternate History

Communist Union of Michigan (The Many Nations of North America)

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Communist Union of Michigan
Flag of the Communist Union of the Great Lakes
Official language
English (de facto)
Capital Ann Arbor
Largest city Detroit
Premier of the Michigan Worker's Assembly Dennis Archer
Area 369 889 km² Michigan and Ohio; excludes areas in conflict in Wisconsin and Illinois
Population Approximately 21 000 000 (1998)
Independence September 8, 1997
Annexation February 25, 1999 by the Great Lakes Confederation

The Communist Union of Michigan was a short-lived state in the Great Lakes Confederation in North America, created during the Great Lakes Civil War of 1997-1999. Its primary base was in Michigan, although it managed to occupy Ohio, northern Wisconsin and parts of Illinois during the war. The Communist Union of Michigan was defeated by a Canadian-GLC force in 1999, although much of the GLC was heavily damaged.


The creation of the Communist Union of Michigan was largely due to the global recession of the 1990s; exports fell and chaos in the Rocky Mountain Confederation after the Wyoming Incident disrupted vitally needed shipments of food and raw materials. The Great Lakes Confederation fell into a great depression as factories went idle. Large numbers of workers were left without a job or a safety net. General strikes began throughout Michigan and Illinois resulted. The central GLC government resorted to a declaration of martial law. However, soldiers refused to fire upon their fellow citizens and lead to a general military revolt. Detroit was the first city to formally declare independence on September 8, 1997, under the leadership of its Worker's Collective. The rebellion soon spread to the other cities and states. Michigan was independent within a month, and Ohio had been taken over by the newly named Red Army by the beginning of December. Faced with these intense early defeats, the remaining GLC loyalist forces fell back to Wisconsin and Illinois. The Red Army entered northern Wisconsin in early 1998, capturing Green Bay.

In order to help their erstwhile ally, the GLC, Canada began to mobilize an expeditionary force to stabilize the region and defeat the Communist Union of Michigan. The Loyalist government in the GLC enacted conscription in its remaining territory in a desperate move to stop the Red Army, and prepared for its last stand in Chicago. Gary, Ohio became the first casualty of the Battle of Chicago as both sides' artillery and air power rabidly reduced the industrial metropolis to rubble. Four months of extensive street fighting followed, before the Red Flag of Michigan was hoisted over the ruins of its city hall on August 2, 1998. Chicago proved more difficult to conquer; a steady stream of reinforcements came to defend the city from both southern Illinois and Wisconsin; its defenders had enough time to stockpile supplies; and the city itself had been prepared for a long siege. On August 23, the Red Army attacked the city. Artillery bombarded the city, while infantry and armored vehicles attacked the city's strong points as they advanced towards the city’s north side.

However, the Canadian expeditionary force was finally ready for combat. A three week long air war ended with the destruction of most of the Communist Union Air Force. Landings were being soon being conducted in the Upper Peninsula and northern Michigan, starting on 7 November, 1997. It was during this time that one of the combatants released a potent bio-weapon into the environs of Chicago, killing anywhere from a third to a half of its population and ravaging both the defenders and invading forces. This was followed up by extensive biological and chemical weapons usage in southern Illinois by the rapidly crumbling Communist Union. In early 1999, a series of targeted Canadian air strikes destroyed much of Michigan’s military and political leadership. The Communist Union finally surrendered on February 25. Millions of lives were lost during the Civil War, and reconstruction is still continuing.


The Communist Union of Michigan was a one-party communist state under the Communist Labor Party of Michigan. The head of state was the Premier of the Michigan Worker's Assembly, elected from amongst the representatives to a five-year term. Dennis Archer was the only Premier before the Union's collapse. The Premier appointed a Cabinet, which exercised most executive functions.

Legislative functions were held by the 500-member Worker's Assembly, elected for four-year terms by the Worker's Councils. In practice, the Worker's Assembly served mostly as a rubber stamp for the decisions of the Premier.

The Communist Union of Michigan was a communist state, and exercised extensive redistribution of wealth. Most business owners were imprisoned or executed, and all private land was confiscated. Hundreds were killed in purges of 'enemies of the state'. All factories were handed over to the control of Worker's Councils, which were set up in all factories and towns. The Worker's Councils were elected by universal suffrage, although only candidates of the Communist Labor Party were allowed to stand for election.

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