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The Most Serene Republic of Genoa (Ligurian: Repúbrica de Zêna) is a state in Northwestern Italy whose security is guaranteed by the Alpine Confederation, who maintains garrisons in the area.
Genoa's history goes back to ancient times. It was allied to Rome, and it was destroyed by the Carthaginians in 209 BC. The town was rebuilt. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, Genoa was occupied by the Ostrogoths. For the following centuries, Genoa was little more than a small, obscure fishing center, slowly building its merchant fleet which was to become the leading commercial carrier of the Mediterranean Sea. The town was sacked and burned in 934 by Arab pirates but it was quickly rebuilt.
Before 1100, Genoa emerged as an independent city-state, one of a number of Italian city-states during this period. The Republic of Genoa extended over modern Liguria and Piedmont, Sardinia, Corsica and had practically complete control of the Tyrrhenian Sea. Through Genoese participation on the Crusades, colonies were established in the Middle East, in the Aegean, in Sicily and Northern Africa. The collapse of the Crusader States was offset by Genoa’s alliance with the Byzantine Empire, which opened opportunities of expansion into the Black Sea and Crimea. Genoa's political zenith came with its victory over Pisa at the naval Battle of Meloria in 1284, and over Venice, at the naval Battle of Curzola in 1298. However, this prosperity did not last.
In 1768, Genoa was forced to also cede Corsica to France. With the shift in world economy and trade routes to the New World and away from the Mediterranean, Genoa's political and economic power went into steady decline. In 1797, under pressure from Napoleon, Genoa became a French protectorate called the Ligurian Republic, which was annexed by France in 1805. Although the Genoese revolted against France in 1814 and liberated the city on their own, delegates at the Congress of Vienna sanctioned its incorporation into the Kingdom of Sardinia. With the growth of the Risorgimento movement, the Genoese turned their struggles from Giuseppe Mazzini's vision of a local republic into a struggle for a unified Italy under a liberalized Savoy monarchy. In 1860, Giuseppe Garibaldi set out from Genoa with over a thousand volunteers to begin the campaign.
Doomsday and After
Like the other members of NATO, Italy was hit on Doomsday by several strikes. The only one in the vicinity of Genoa was on the base at La Spezia, in easternmost Liguria.
In the aftermath of Doomsday, Genoa suffered some fallout from strikes in southeastern France, as well as the strikes on Milan and Las Spezia. However, it was fairly small amounts, though the regional authority did lose its power over both the eastern and western edges of Liguria due to refugees.
Yet in the months after Doomsday, even after seizing the goods on the ships left in the port of Genoa, the government still had to deal with food shortages, and famine was barely avoided over the winter of 1983-1984. The resulting instability led to a fairly shaky government, which always seemed to be in danger of falling. Still, after hearing nothing from a higher authority, the leaders of the Ligurian region declared a new "Republic of Genoa" to govern the area, on June 21st, 1984.
The next winter, as food from the area had actually stayed after the harvest, went much better, and all had the food they needed, though it was definitely not going to make any overweight. By 1986, the government had managed to stabilize itself once again, though its authority, while technically extending through much of Liguria, was in practice only worth much within the region right around Genoa itself.
Over the next couple of years, the government out of Genoa managed to re-institute its authority over central Liguria once again. But in 1988, naval vessels, professing to belong to a "Sicilian Republic," arrived in the harbor entrance. The commander of this small fleet of vessels, while outnumbered by what ships Genoa had operational, still demanded that they submit themselves to his authority. His fleet being naval vessels, not what were still effectively merchant ships, he did not think he would be refused - and if not for a few sound minds in the higher echelons of the Genoa government, they would have agreed. As such, they refused, dumbfounding the Sicilian commander. Knowing that he was faster and better armed than the Genoans, he remained in the region, blocking off what little trade there was to be had firing at ships in the harbor, and even occasionally lobbing shells at the city itself. Unable to do much about it themselves, they spent the winter months of 1988-1989 forming a defense league with the Venetians, San Marinos, Tuscans, and what intact parts of Northern Italy were left, backed up by the Alpine Confederation. Not only was this league successful in stopping the Sicilian advance and forcing them back in Italy itself, but it also meant the expulsion of the Sicilians from the Venetian islands, and allowed Alpine heavy artillery to be moved to Genoa, where it was used to drive off the Sicilians once and for all.
A ceasefire was soon offered by the Alpine Confederation, and it was accepted by the Sicilians. Alpine soldiers stayed behind in Genoa, helping to repair damage and to man new defense batteries for the harbor. Troops were also set aside for defense purposes in general within the republic. The officers in charge of these troops eventually became a power in Genoa, though the republic was left with much more independence than the Venetians.
Still, the damage and chaos caused by the Sicilians hurt the republic greatly. Any control in the Western part of Liguria was lost. Monaco eventually gained control over that region, which has been a large source of contention between the two nations. This aside, the damage and havoc prevented Genoa from expanding much into the surrounding region, like Venice has been able to do.
The grudge that they have borne against Sicily since the late 1980s has been a primary motivator in recent years, and funds that would have otherwise been spent on expanding have been used to build up a navy.
Despite this, they have begun working on expanded into the eastern parts of Liguria, as well as northwards from it.
Recently, however, their involvement in the IPA, and Sicilian aggression, has led to their involvement in the Second Sicilian War, in which they recaptured the Tuscan Islands for Tuscany, landed troops on the mainland to help the Tuscan Army, and supported the ADC invasion of Sardinia in June. They were also responsible for freeing the main settlements of New Rome at Santa Marinella, in an amphibious operation, during mid-November.
The government of Genoa consists of a unicameral legislature, the National Council, which, in the spirit of the old republic, contains both representatives of the larger merchants and companies active in the city, and representatives elected by the people, in a roughly 5:1 ratio in favor of the people. This is headed by the Consul, who is the leader of the largest coalition.
The legislature elects from itself a Doge, who is the chief executive of the republic. While they remain a member of the body, they generally abstain from votes after their election to the position. A Doge can serve as many terms at the position as they are able.
Most merchant representatives are fairly conservative in how they vote on economic matters - in many cases, they are directed in how to vote by their employers. They are normally allowed to vote their own minds on other matters, however. This creates an unusual setting where economically, Genoa is one of the most conservative states there is - but also one of the more liberal ones socially. Most of these representatives are considered to be aligned in some way with one political party or another as a result, though they are not counted as such. There are currently a dozen of these representatives.
The elected representatives on the Council, some sixty members in all, are elected from a combination of proportional districts, and single member constituencies. Forty of them come from the four proportional districts, and twenty from the constituencies. Vote-splitting tends to mean that the constituencies often elect more conservative candidates, and the proportionately elected members tend to be more left-wing. In the last elections to the Council, on April 11th, 2012, eight parties received seats:
- Christian Democracy - Christian Democrats and Centrists, 6 seats
- Genovesi Republican Party - Left-Wing Republicans, 4 seats
- Genovesi Socialist Party - Socialists and Genovesi Nationalists, 14 seats
- Italian Communist Party - Communists and Italian Nationalists, 10 seats
- Italian Social Movement - Fascists and Italian Nationalists, 6 seats
- Ligurian Union - Conservatives and Genovesi Nationalists, 15 seats
- Monarchist Alliance - Conservatives and Monarchists, 5 seats
- Rainbow Greens - Greens, 1 seat
Of special note in this was the new seat won by the Monarchist Alliance, in the city of Savona. Prince Amedeo, Duke of Aosta, the claimant to the defunct Italian throne and a recent candidate in the election for the Greek throne, was the candidate there, and won handily. He is thought to have benefited from his position on Sicily, which he fled the city of Florence ahead of when they invaded the north of Italy in the late 1980s.
The governing coalition of the Union and the Socialists retained control over the government, though they managed to lose twelve seats between them. As a result, they had to bring Christian Democracy and the Monarchist Alliance into their coalition - and both of them held conditions. The Alliance wanted the Prince to be named Doge when the new session opened, and Democracy wanted a formal invitation for the Pope to take up residence in the city issued. Both were agreed to, with the prince being named Doge on May 1st, along with the invitation - which the Pope politely declined.
The next election is scheduled to be held on April 11th, 2016.
The Military, in a fairly unusual scheme, has set itself up into the Genoan Marines, and the Genoan Navy. While each ship has its own marine contingent, they are also responsible for the security of the Republic itself on land.
The navy, while consisting of nothing that could be called stronger than a pre-1983 destroyer, is fairly large for a state the size of Genoa, which may very well be a big mistake in the long run.
Most of the economy of Genoa has to deal with its position as a port. While relatively few goods actually enter the port, it is the best-equipped port remaining in its area of the Mediterranean.
Besides this, extensive trade in both wines, and in mineral products from inland, does occur.
Recently, economic growth has been stagnating, as naval expansion uses up more and more of state funds.
Contact with the city-state of Venice was made in 1985, as both sent out expeditions to try and find other survivors. While they could find survivors, the Venetians were the only other organized state south of the Alps they could find, north of Tuscany. In the years thereafter, the two have grown fairly close, even holding discussions over what should be done will the territory between the two, but south of the Alpine domains. These, however, have been put on hold until the Second Sicilian War has been dealt with.
Contact with the Alpine Confederation occurred in 1987, after Alpine forces finally began to expand outside of their Alpine fortress-valleys. The Republic will be forever grateful for their intervention against Sicily, despite having begun to resent the garrisoning of their territory by Alpine troops.
Genoa is an member state of the League of Nations.
It is not a member of the Atlantic Defense Community, although it remains good relations with all of its members. It looks forward to joining in the future.
Genoa is part of the Italian Peninsula Alliance.