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The Free Republic of Los Angeles, also known as Free Los Angeles, or simply the Free Republic, is a provisional government republic and fierce rival of the Democratic Republic of Los Angeles, located in the south side of Los Angeles County, and parts of neighboring Orange County. Its capital has been temporarily designated as Santa Ann, although the nation has laid claim to the city of Los Angeles as its capital.
The nation was born out of the bloody civil war that began in late 1936 and stretched onward for almost a year, in which supporters of a democratic Los Angeles fought against the police state of Frank L. Shaw, former mayor turned dictator of the majority of Los Angeles.
The history of the Free Republic of Los Angeles largely begins with the city of Los Angeles, followed by the Democratic Republic of Los Angeles. The city of Los Angeles was first settled on September 4, 1781, after being claimed for the Spanish Empire decades earlier. The city was the site of a prominent Spanish missionary, and became a moderately large settlement of mestizo or mulatto, with a mixture of African, indigenous and European ancestry. The city of Los Angeles and the entire region of California would become part of Mexico in 1821, followed by the United States in 1848.
The regions of Orange County and Southern Los Angeles County that would one day comprise the Free Republic of Los Angeles were lesser damaged than further east. Buildings all across the area however would be destroyed, killing thousands from smoke inhalation, collapse, and fire.
The area would be reached by the Los Angeles Fire Department under R.J. Scott a little more than twenty four hours after the eruption, making contact with the 40th Infantry Division which had attempted to control the area until further orders could be received. Major Shaw would controversially order the 40th Infantry Division from their post in Orange County into the city, where they would remain until the outbreak of the civil war.
The Los Angeles Civil War was the first major conflict in the area after the eruption, encompassing the city of Los Angeles and the surrounding area. The civil war would include Shaw's Democratic Republic of Los Angeles police state at war with the People's Party of Los Angeles, which later evolved into the Free Republic of Los Angeles.
Relative control over the city had been established by July 25, allowing the city council to create a more permanent government, which was believed to be increasingly necessary in the coming months. The city's council assembled and decided to vote in Shaw as governor of a sovereign state. This provisional government would later evolve to become the Democratic Republic of Los Angeles.
Shaw unleashed a swarm of loyal police and military personnel on the city, instituting a police state-like government loyal to him. Over the next few weeks several people accused of being traitors or speaking up against the regime were killed, adding to the growing death count. Shaw would order the seizure of several landmarks across the city, including several Hollywood studios which were occupied by military personnel, supposedly in the name of preserving Los Angeles' national icons. This policy would allow Shaw to turn several valuable properties into government properties, being put to use for a number of purposes.
Following the eruption the city of Los Angeles was cut off from the Midwest, were much of the region's agricultural imports originated. With the Midwest farmlands now destroyed the city underwent a crippling food shortage. The area around the city and to the east was also badly damaged, making the initial creation of sustainable farmland nearly impossible. Over the next few months thousands would die of starvation in the streets of Los Angeles, creating a serious government problem.
With the death toll rising, starvation and violence widespread, and the oppressive government infringing on the personal freedoms of its people, many Los Angeles inhabitants began to protest the current regime. In late 1936 the People's Party of Los Angeles was founded by a group of protesters in southern Los Angeles, organizing protests across the city.
The government responded by cracking down on rival political parties. Many relatively peaceful protests were met by government violence, escalating the situation immensely. With many civilian casualties Shaw began to lose military support. By 1937 the violence had escalated into full scale civil war, with many citizens siding with the rebel People's Party. On January 12, 1937 delegates from across the city met in secret to discuss the future of the rebellion. The delegates concluded and declared the Free Republic of Los Angeles to be to an independent nation.
Large portions of the Los Angeles military, particularly from the 40th Infantry Division, declared their allegiance to the free republic, causing a schism in the military. As desertions began Shaw declared the rebellion a military coup, executing many caught traitors.
Finally after almost a year of violent urban combat the two belligerents declared a truce, with the Free Republic of Los Angeles controlling its occupied territory, with Santa Ann as its temporary capital. Technically still in a state of war, the two states have since organized massive defenses on either side of the city, in a heated competition for supremacy.