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|Francesco de Palma|
|9th President of the Danubian Federation|
|Preceded by||Jovan Lilic|
|Succeeded by||Lukáš Banik|
|5th and 7th Vice President of the Danubian Federation|
|Preceded by||Imre Than|
|President||Gabriel Soukup Valenta|
|Preceded by||Wojciech Gomułka|
|Succeeded by||Imre Than|
|Minister of Finance of the Danubian Federation|
|Preceded by||Crepko Obradovic|
|Succeeded by||Crepko Obradovic|
|Deputy for Lombardia|
|Born|| Francesco de Palma|
29 May 1823
Milan, Austrian Empire
|Died|| 11 June 1886 (aged 63)|
Vienna, Danubian Federation
|Resting place||Milan, Danubian Federation ; Crete (heart)|
|Political party||Constitutional Union|
|Spouse(s)||Caterina Karykes, Duchess of Candia (common-law)|
|Children||Basil, the Former Duke of Candia (adopted)|
|Residence||Milan, Cisalpina, Danubian Federation|
|Alma mater||University of Vienna|
|Years of service||1845 - 1848|
|Commands||Austrian Artillery Corps|
Francesco de Palma is an Italian politician in the interactive AAR "A Federation of Equals".
The son of a Milanese bureaucrat, Francesco received a strong, though informal, education; when a wealthy aristocrat noticed that the young man had an aptitude for science and math, he pulled a few strings and soon Francesco was attending the University of Vienna, which is where he became acquainted with many liberal and radical ideas. He graduated in 1845 and promptly enlisted in the Austrian Army as an artilleryman; by the time of the 1848 Revolution, he was a Captain.
At the onset of the fighting, de Palma initially sided with the Royalist forces, but in April, 1848, he (and the majority of the men under his command), announced their support for the rebel cause. He and his men would serve in most major battles of the conflict, from Vienna to Prague.
Immediately after the civil war ended, de Palma returned to Milan and was appointed a Deputy for Lombardia (with the support of his wealthy patron), after the capture and execution of several Royalist deputies opened a few positions. He joined the DLA shortly after his appointment, and was quickly seen as a moderate member of government with close ties to the Italian Independence Party.
At the behest of future War Minister Domenico Mocenigo, he later joined the IIP, and followed several backroom deals (which today are still debated rather heavily amongst Italian political scholars) established himself as its new chairman. Remaining a rather quiet member of the government for several years, he announced in 1856 that the IIP would be renamed Republican Alliance and that he would be running for President of the Federation; during the Alliance (a collection of independent centre-left parties) primary, he defeated his rival and fellow Lombard, Rodrigo Vertucci, which would spawn years of fighting between the two men. Vertucci got his revenge for losing the primary by aligning himself to Viktor Kraus (often referred to derisively as King Silvertongue), who trounced de Palma and the liberals decisively. During the Kraus Administration, and the de Sanctis Coup, Francesco met his future fiancé and common-law wife, Caterina Karykes, surprisingly enough one of the leading supporters of the Danubian Empire (which de Palma himself was highly critical of); the two would best be remembered for their long engagement.
Despite his defeat, de Palma remained a potent political force; indeed, his defeat may well have strengthened his position, as he formed a coalition called the National Reform Union between his own party and the Radical Union of the Federation; the NRU’s presidential candidate, Gabriel Soukup-Valenta, won the 1860 election by a comfortable margin, and de Palma entered his first (of many) terms as Vice President. Through Soukup-Valenta’s first term, de Palma acted as the diplomatic face of the Federation, and traveled across the world, garnering support for one cause or opposition for another; he, with the help of American Ambassador Charles Francis Adams, successfully kept the British Empire out of the American Civil War, which de Palma would later regard as one of his greatest accomplishments. Due to these foreign policy successes, and popularity at home, the NRU won another decisive election in 1864 (with Soukup-Valenta becoming the Federation’s first two term president, and de Palma the first two term Vice-President).
After another successful term in office, Soukup-Valenta declined to run for a third term, and the Independent Wolfram Liberalen, with the support of the NRU, was elected to the presidency; de Palma, despite being a strong candidate for Foreign Minister, was instead made Finance Minister, which he served ably, though unhappily, throughout the Liberalen Administration.
In 1872, Liberalen was replaced by the RUF favourite, Aetios Spiros, on the NRU ticket; due to him being a socialist, he offered the Vice-Presidency to de Palma (who had already gained a strong reputation as a moderate); the NRU chalked up yet another victory, and de Palma became the first man in the Federation to serve as Vice President for three terms. The Spiros Administration would immediately get off to a rocky start, as the issue of monarchism reared its ugly head; the more extreme members of the NRU, such as the Mad-Man of Bratislava, openly encouraged the violent overthrow of any state monarchies, whilst de Palma aligned himself with the conservatives, who argued in defence of states’ rights. All the while, this occurred in the backdrop of the constitutional convention in over two decades, and alongside a crisis in Cisalpina (the latter of which de Palma was an instrumental figure in de-escalating). Despite these issues, Spiros was re-elected in 1876 and de Palma became the first ever four-term Vice President.
However, due de Palma’s increasingly conservative bent, largely inspired by his late fiancé and common-law wife, the Duchess of Candia (whose murder drastically shook Francesco’s mental state), he became more removed from the NRU. It was also during the run-up to the election that Francesco formally renamed the Republican Alliance the Constitutional Union, which he felt was a more appropriate name for the increasingly pro-monarchy party. On the eve of the 1880 elections, sought to work with the ADCP; however, due to scheduling conflicts, de Palma was unable to meet with any conservative party leader and instead struck out with Jovan Lilic, a man Francesco cared little for, largely due to the latter's autocratic behaviour and cool demeanour; however, the DPU-CU coalition won and de Palme became Vice President a fifth time. Throughout this term, Francesco largely remained outside the Federation, acting as a dignitary to most courts in Europe, as well as being a common guest at the White House.
His first term under Lilic was uneventful, with the most significant action undertaken by the Vice President being a tour of the entire nation to drum up support for the government; shortly thereafter, de Palma left once again for America. He spent the majority of the next election year there, and was almost as surprised as everyone else when he was announced to be the Vice Presidential candidate of both Lilic and his chief opponent, Banik; as he was certain to remain Vice President, de Palma contentedly remained in America with little concern with affairs at home, until the breakout of yet another war, which prompted him to Great Britain to either draw British support for the Federation or neutrality.
Following the crisis that emerged following the announcement of former presidential candidate Lukas Banik's opposition government (and the likely outbreak of civil war), Vice President de Palma left London and made his way to Rome, hoping to gain support from the Pope (de Palma was officially the Vice President for both governments, so his official stance was to maintain Papal neutrality; in actuality, many believed he was seeking support for Banik); however, his arrival at Ostia came with unexpected news: the Hofburg had collapsed and President Lilic was assumed dead. De Palma quickly changed course and rushed towards the Federation's borders; he had only just arrived in Milan when Lilic's body was found, and de Palma was now the ninth President of the Federation. After a brief speech calling for a return to normalcy, he took his oath of Office before the Cathedral of Milan, and made his temporary seat of government in Sforza Castle.
During his brief presidency, he was forced to contend with multiple crises, ranging from a revolt in Romania, a peace deal with France, to the recovery of the Albanian Crown Prince; all the while, he was under severe scrutiny in the weeks before his trial concerning possible crimes he committed under Lilic. At said trial, he was arrested and convicted, which soon destroyed what little patriotism he had left (and cut short his presidency: Lukas Banik entered into the office in late 1885, but wasn't inaugurated until the fifth of January, 1886); whilst waiting for his sentencing, he began work on a manifesto, which ultimately became part memoir, part dressing down of imperialism, and part declaration for Italian independence. With work on it almost completely done, he was sentenced to death, a was hanged on the Eleventh of June, 1886, the thirty-eighth anniversary of the Revolution. His manifesto was published on the Ninth of November of the same year, the same anniversary for the Revolution's triumphant conclusion.
His was buried alongside his forbears in a simple grave in Milan, save for his heart, which was buried beside the grave of his fiancee, the late Duchess-Dowager Caterina. His death caused an outcry against Commissioner Faber and the Banik administration, and his manifesto won him broad support among the colonies and particularly in Italy, which soon began hailing him as a martyr and a hero. Following the end of the Faberist terror, as it was called popularly, President Banik posthumously pardoned de Palma, saying "this is not how his life should have ended." First Consul of Italy Niccolo Donato honoured the former president with a statue in the newly formed Patriot's Square.
- Captain in the Austrian Artillery Corps (1845-1848)
- Deputy for Lombardia (1848-present)
- Alliance Presidential Candidate (1856, received 35% of the popular vote)
- Vice President of the Federation (1861-1869)
- Minister of Finance (1869-1873)
- Vice President of the Federation (1873-1885)
- President of the Federation (1885)