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The only target in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan was K. I. Sawyer Air Force base, garrisoned by the 410th B-52 Bomber Wing. Shortly after the nuclear-armed bombers took off for their flight over the North Pole into the Soviet Union, all remaining base personnel fled from what was deemed a certain target. One Soviet missile did hit the base in an air burst, completely destroying everything within a ten-mile radius from the epicenter. A missile steered for Mackinac Bridge veered five miles to the east and instead crashed into Lake Michigan, causing mild floods in Mackinaw City. Marquette itself suffered significant damage from flying debris and heat, but most of it was repaired quite easily. No other major settlements on the peninsula were seriously harmed by the detonations.
Known targets in southern Michigan included Wurtsmith Air Force Base near Oscoda, what is believed to be several strikes in and around Detroit, eliminating the Canadian city of Windsor in the process, and the cities of Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, Ann Arbor, and Flint. Fallout was also detected in the peninsula from what was later discovered to be a strike on Duluth, Minnesota. It is unknown what happened to the state government, but they are believed to have perished with the flood of refugees from the ruins of Detroit. Local rumors state that several government officials quietly took control of a small town in upper-central Michigan or on the coast of Lake Michigan, while others state that they live among the populace of the Republic of Superior under fake names. Nevertheless, they failed to establish control over the Republic of Superior leaving local county and city leaders to create and elect their own government from scratch.
Mayor Robert S. Stowe Sr. of Marquette, John O. Harrington of Sault Ste. Marie, and delegations from Escanaba and Marinette-Menominee met to discuss the way forward. They determined that in order for their communities to survive, the borders with the former states would have to be blocked off. This meant sending those with experience as soldiers to block off the Northern and Southern ends of the Mackinac Bridge.
Birth of the Republic
On May 19th 1984, knowing that there was little likelihood that the American government survived the war and that all contact with the state government had been lost, Robert S. Stowe declared the formation of the Republic of Superior, claiming that it was time to put aside the idea that the United States, the Michigan or Wisconsin State governments, and the Ontario Provincial governments still existed. Though there was some opposition to this idea, which was considered secession by some, but many agreed that a government of their own would be best until communications with the outside world could be re-established.
Each of the cities and towns on the Peninsula, along with some of the nearby ones in Ontario and Wisconsin, sent delegations to the constitutional convention in Marquette, held on the 4th of July of the same year. There, they adopted a virtual copy of the American Constitution. The only major exception was that in order to be a considered a citizen of the Republic, one must be born on national soil, and also be the child of another citizen of the Republic. Though this was controversial, the more radical elements prevailed, claiming that by keeping out refugees they would avoid the risk of internal conflict. This would later be modified to include most citizens of the former nations of Canada and the United States being eleigible after a number of years, if they met certain conditions.
The Years of Stabilization
It was quickly assumed that the county lines would form the basis of the new "states" of the republic, each of which would elect Representatives and Senators to a Congress in Marquette. Due to the difficulties of holding a general election across county lines at the time, Robert Stowe was elected by the provisional Congress to be the first President of Superior.
There were two major problems immediately facing the Republic upon the formation of the government. One was that there were refugees leaking through the patrols along the former border with Wisconsin, fleeing chaos further south. The other was the expected food crisis which would occur once the stockpiles within the cities ran out. Under the direction of President Stowe, Congress quickly passed the Kerin-Casey Act. The Act pressed former seamen and fisherman into service operating what remained of Michigan's fishing fleet, in order to establish a reliable food source for the nation's population. Farming would also be expanded, though it was considered more a temporary measure as there was little possibility that the crops would thrive in the local environment for long without seriously depleting the soil.
The Act also established a National Army to regulate the immigration of refugees into the Republic. At the same time, a major refugee camp was established at the Southern end of the Mackinac Bridge, in former Mackinaw City. Seen as a way to possibly stem the flow of the refugees, it only made matters worse as word spread in the Lower Peninsula of its existence. Eventually, the situation got so bad that they had to start turning refugees out from the camp. Those in the camp deemed to have skills that would be useful to the Republic, such as doctoring, teaching, etc., were allowed across the bridge into Superior Proper and sent through a naturalization program. Those who had formerly been in the army or in law-enforcement were immediately put into the military. Each of these "probationary citizens" received supplies on loan from the government that they would have to repay by working at their assigned jobs.
By beginning of 1985, the food crisis had been solved via the expansion of the fishing fleet. However, the farming expansion was a disappointing failure. At that time, control over the Western Frontier was strong enough to stop almost all illegal immigration. Several minor refugee camps were established as well. However, problems were only growing in Camp Mackinaw. Despite the military presence, crime and murder rates began to soar, as did the feeling of resentment toward the Army for keeping them in such squalid conditions while letting others cross the bridge into Superior.
Camp Mackinaw Riots
As dissent increased in the Mackinaw Refugee Camp, so did the nervousness of the camp's administrative officials. Orders were soon sent out giving emergency powers to the military, hoping that would be enough to stem the riotous behavior that was increasingly common before revolts could occur. Col. Lewis Poulat infamously fired into an open crowd after they rushed a food convoy heading to the east sector. Despite calls for his court-martial by some Congressmen upon their hearing of the incident, nothing ever came of it.
On April 23rd, 1985, a squad of RSA soldiers moved in to close a warehouse. Several refugees, including a women and her child, approached and begged the soldiers for food and blankets. Nobody knows who fired first, but according to a military spokesman, two of the refugees pulled guns on the soldiers and tried to force themselves inside. Of course, civilians that had been present in the camp claim the opposite occurred. The soldiers immediately opened up on the group, killing them all. A few seconds after this, the refugees rushed en masse upon the squad and overwhelmed them, taking them captive. The warehouse was broken into and picked clean of all of its holdings. The 14th Company was rushed to the area, and demanded the release of the squad. Fighting broke out when these demands were refused.
By the end of the day the riots had spread throughout the entire Southern sector of the camp, but by order of the President the Army moved in to contain the uprising within the Sector. Robert Stowe hoped that the situation would cool off enough within two days to allow the redeployment of military units in the area. As a precautionary measure, dissenters in any other part of the camp were immediately ejected in hopes of containing any further thought of rebellion.
On April 25th, the 2nd Army moved into the ruins of the Southern sector, expecting little to no resistance. Surprisingly, the rebels were well fortified and well armed. It was later learned that they had somehow managed to break into one of the minor weapons caches hidden within the sector, hidden specifically in case such a riot occurred. It would take until the next day before the riot was finally crushed.
In all, some 12,000 refugees were killed or wounded during the riots, with about half just fighting amongst themselves. 87 Superior Soldiers died, with another 265 wounded. The main squad that was positioned to guard the warehouse was later found hanging from the lampposts along the main street. Their bodies had been riddled by bullets, and there was not much left for identification. Public opinion of the camp dwellers fell dramatically, and it would take another ten years before a bill for the proposed representation for the camps in the government would be passed.
Return to Calm
Shortly after the riots in Mackinaw, support for the refugee camps plummeted among the public. Votes came just short of a full withdrawal of support for camps both in Mackinaw and along the Western Border, even with the veto from President Stowe. Fears of further rioting died down after rationing limits were lifted marking the end of the food crisis, and law and order had been re-established by additional deployments within Mackinaw. By 1990, Mackinaw itself would develop into a fledgling city, unrecognizable from the slums that had dominated five years previously. As a result, Mackinaw had become one of the most populous and most prosperous settlements within the Republic. The refugee zones were then moved outside of the city.
As the city grew more successful, demands for representation in the Republic's Congress increased. However, public opinion was still largely against Mackinaw's admission as a full state, and that swayed Congress into doing nothing. One of leaders of the opposition, Conservative Robert P. Griffin, claimed that the refugees had yet to earn back the right of being citizens of the Republic, and it would be better if they were apart. President Stowe disagreed, and campaigned endlessly across the nation in favor of Mackinaw's admission. The initiative would fail throughout the remainder of the Stowe administration, but it would remain a major issue within the nation into the next decade.
Another topic that began to dominate Congress was when an expedition was going to be sent into the outside world. Some communication was being picked up, but nothing that was understandable. James Whitney Dunn, a Conservative Congressmen from Escanaba, eventually proposed that an expedition be sent into the Lower Peninsula in order to see if any other government had been developed, or in fact if anything remained at all. A similar expedition would be sent east, into what had been the former Canadian state of Ontario. Several outposts had been established on the coast of Lake Superior, but there had been only a few patrols into the interior of the former province. Another, “RSREF Wisconsin”, would explore inside the former state of Wisconsin, where reports from refugees stated that there was some forms of settlement, though more recent refugees from the area said that any form of government had since left or been eliminated by bandits. A final expedition would be sent from Marquette westward to skim the coasts for any other signs of human government. President Stowe publicly supported the plan, but in private voiced doubts that anything would come of the expeditions.
Results of the RSREF
Each group of the Republic of Superior Recon Expeditionary Force (RSREF) were given 500 men each, with enough supplies to travel for about 6 months round-trip. They were encouraged to increase their supplies whenever they could. The bulk of the force left on April 3rd, 1991.After engaging a group of pirates (who were promptly executed and their bodies dumped back into Lake Superior) off the coast of Wisconsin, RSREF West managed to find a local functioning government in Thunder Bay, in the former Canadian state of Ontario. The RSREF might have missed it if the locals had not sent out a boat of their own to determine what the new ships they saw on the horizon were. When the men docked, it became apparent that the city had fallen under the control of a fascist government, led by a Canadian Army Captain known as Giraud Leppe. The RSREF was greeted graciously, as Thunder Bay had lost all communication with the world outside the city, and was having trouble both in terms of resources and level of morale. The possibility that they were the only human settlement left was not sitting well with either the soldiers or the people, so the existence of Superior was welcome news. However, the tyrannical tendencies of Leppe, as well as the lack of freedom in the city itself, disgusted more than a few of the RSA soldiers and officers. The RSREF left Thunder Bay on May 29th, and returned to Marquette on Jun 17th.
RSREF South expected to find little, if anything in the Lower Peninsula of Michigan. Fewer and fewer refugees were coming in from that direction, and many stories were told of horrific acts of survival. Some tales involved what was considered a rogue group of National Guardsmen, known as the “Night Watch”, led by someone known as “Sarge”, based in Lansing. Many attacks upon refugee convoys trying to reach Superior were attributed to the Night Watch. As a result the convoy was prepared for military action, expecting to engage the group at some point on its way past Lansing and Detroit en route to former Chicago.
As it happened, Detroit and Lansing were found to be almost if not completely de-populated, the cities having been reclaimed by nature where radiation was not still too strong to allow passage. Sarge’s grave was found in the ruins of Lansing surrounded by many of his spoils, with signs that the Night Watch had since disbanded. By records, it appears as if there had been an attempted coup among the leadership, in which Sarge had been killed.
Yet, RSREF South made an amazing discovery before heading to the ruins of Detroit and Windsor. Arriving at the city of Sarnia, just over the old international border, they were shocked to find it intact. Under the control of a provisional government based out of the city of London, Ontario, they had weathered the destruction of Doomsday, as had other areas of Southern Ontario, namely Norfolk, Waterloo, and Niagara Falls, which had declared their own provisional regimes. The RSREF made a quick detour to London to meet representatives from these states, and then preceded towards the remains of Detroit-Windsor, joined by a small amount of soldiers from London who were to investigate the ruins of Windsor. After a few days here, the Republic forces moved onwards to Lansing and points westward.
In former Indiana, the expedition came across several nomadic clans that traveled over most of the Midwest, and were told that there were many such groups both South and West of their current location. Meetings with the “Rico” clan did not go well, as a soldier by the name of Pvt. Neville Gregory had apparently fallen in love with, and removed the virginity of, the Chief’s daughter. A firefight ensued as warriors of the clan tried to take both Pvt. Gregory and the daughter, now disowned, back to the camp. As a result of this incident, strict rules were put upon the members of the expedition with regards to their interactions with natives, and Pvt. Gregory was removed from active duty.
Chicago was quickly found to be in the same condition as Lansing and Detroit. The city and its environs were heavily damaged and irradiated, not many Americans remained near its ruins, and those who wished to come with the expedition back to Mackinaw were allowed. RSREF South returned to Mackinaw City on September 11th by way of the western coastline of the Lower Peninsula.
RSREF Wisconsin was simple in its objective and left Ontonagon on May 20th. However, suspecting that the situation in the city had deteriorated based on stories from refugees, the expedition was well-armed for any possible combat with the locals. By the time the expedition arrived at the former state capital of Madison on June 13th, they found the entire city in a state of civil war, but little intelligence on the situation could be obtained. This was almost entirely due to Colonel Jeremiah Perry’s policy to avoid interaction with the locals. Locals who wished to escape the fighting were taken back and they explained that several mobs had developed within the city, though only three were left in existence. After a soldier was killed when a patrol in the city’s suburbs came under fire, Colonel Perry ended the mission and ordered a return back to Ontonagon. The RSREF Wisconsin arrived back on August 3rd.
RSREF East encountered more peaceful communities. Marching north of Lake Huron, after leaving Sault Ste. Marie, they encountered militia claiming to be from the City of Sudbury southwest of the little village of Webbwood, in former Ontario. The local government, while in dire straits from food shortages, had managed to survive, though barely. A deal was quickly agreed on in which the Sudbury government would send Superior raw materials in exchange for food supplies. From Sudbury, the force would continue southeastwards, where they would find the survivor government based at the city of Midland, Ontario. While small in number, the RSREF was able to assist the locals in fighting off an attempt by bandits to take over. An offer that shortly followed to join Superior was rejected, though the Midland government would continue to trade with Superior. From there, they would continue eastwards to the ruins of Ottawa before turning back. RSREF East returned to Superior on August 11th.
The Thunder Bay Question
Two major issues arose by the time 1992 came around. The first and most important was the 1992 Presidential Election. Robert Stowe had won the last two elections largely unopposed, in 1984 and 1988. However, he was bound by term limits within the constitution, and was forced out of office. As a result, the Conservative and Liberal Democratic Parties both held mini-primaries within the Republic to find nominees for the Presidency.
The Conservative Party eventually nominated Lewis Poulat, then a General in the RSA. Running on a platform of expansion and strength, he advocated that relations between Thunder Bay and Superior be formalized, and that a military force should be sent south to liberate Madison. The Liberal Democratic Party quickly found its candidate in Vice President Joseph O’Hara of Escanaba. Though relatively conservative, he believed that taking Madison would be a needless waste of lives and resources, for little gain.
Polling between the two candidates almost always had Poulat ahead by five to six points, and it appeared that he would win the election by a comfortable margin. However, The Mining Journal, published in Marquette and the biggest newspaper in the republic, released information regarding his term of duty while serving in the Mackinaw Refugee Camp, specifically the infamous “February 3rd Massacre”. Despite attempts to remove the issue from the election, Poulat plummeted in the polls, and O’Hara won by a margin of about 54% to 40%, with the Socialist candidate gaining about 6%.
President O’Hara regarded the government in Thunder Bay as being nothing more than “a Canadian version of Hitler’s Nazi Germany, and Mussolini’s Fascist Italy!” The Conservative Congress tried to pass legislation that would aid the government there, but the President’s veto power, along with Liberal Democrat opposition, resulted in the measure being defeated. Eventually, Secretary of State Russ Feingold convinced O’Hara that it would be better if they tried to change Thunder Bay by offering aid, promoting Democratic reform and a return of basic civil liberties. Congress quickly passed a relatively large aid package, at the same time formalizing relations with the Thunder Bay government.
Cpt. Leppe, however, was against any form of Democratic government being created in the nation. Instead he promised to increase civil liberties, and promised that a Parliament, albeit weak and virtually powerless, would be formed. O’Hara almost canceled the deal, but Feingold and many Conservative Congressmen convinced the President that the seeds of Democratic government had been planted, and it would be better that Thunder Bay were an ally rather than an enemy. In late 1993, an RSA convoy arrived, completing a transit link between Thunder Bay and Merille Base on Lake Superior. A embassy was constructed in the city, though an embassy would not appear in the Republic until 1996.
As expected, the issue of Representation for Mackinaw again became a major issue in the Republic. Adding a new state to the nation did create some excitement, but there was also a certain level of resistance among the old guard who remembered the Mackinaw Riots. President O’Hara, however, agreed with many fellow Liberal Democrats that Mackinaw was culturally a part of Superior now, and that they had no right to run their lives while denying them citizenship. As a result, Congress passed the Mackinaw Status In Regard to Superior Act. Basically, a referendum was set for July 4th of 1995, where residents would determine whether Mackinaw was to become an independent nation or a state in the Republic of Superior.
As the date for the referendum approached, both President O’Hara and Mackinaw Mayor Fredrick Cullen campaigned in favor of statehood, which was chosen overwhelmingly, 67%-33%. The debate in Congress was more heated and controversial, however. Veteran Congressmen Robert P. Griffin threatened to lead a filibuster against Mackinaw’s admission, but Liberal Democratic gains in the 1994 Congressional Elections, combined with the pro-statehood Conservatives, were enough to win closure on the issue. A star was added to the Flag of the Republic a month later on August 6th, the day Mackinaw was officially admitted into the Union. Elections were held during the next month to elect Senators and Representatives to Congress, among them Representative Dennis Kucinich, a member of the Socialist Party.
Another major issue that was arising was overpopulation, especially in Mackinaw. There wasn’t a problem with food or resources, it was simply a lack of space. Congressmen James Dunn quickly proposed that the government give people incentives to move into the now open countryside just outside of Mackinaw City along the Upper Portion of the Lower Peninsula. Other Congressmen included the establishment of enclaves on the now abandoned Manitou Islands in Lake Michigan, on the Leelanau Peninsula, and then the outposts and surviving communities established or found intact on the coastlines of the Great Lakes throughout the region. Known as the Dunn-King-Theriualt Act, it was passed in September of 1994. Settlements then expanded to cover much of the western Great Lakes region, though most would remain within close proximity to the Upper Peninsula. Provisional territorial governments were also established, and a process was set up to allow the creation of more, or the disbandment of others should the need arise.
Another major Act passed in 1995 was the Capital Relocation Act. The idea was that, due to the rapid expansion of the Republic, a central Capital would be required other than the state of Marquette, which still had trouble accommodating the large Congress of the Republic. Despite his initial refusal, the capital was named after former President Robert S. Stowe, in honor of his guiding the Republic through the difficult early years.
The site chosen for the new capital was the hamlet of Naubinway, on Lake Michigan, which was torn down and rebuilt according to the new plans. Following a building plan reminiscent of the Washington D.C., the capital was not entirely completed until 1998, though Congress and the Lake House were completed by early 1997.
Intervention in Madison
President O'Hara's popularity, along with the support of the electorate from Mackinaw, ensured that he would be able to serve an additional four years as the President of Superior. However, the Conservatives were able to recapture Congress after a short period of Liberal Democratic dominance. With Robert P. Griffin now in position as Speaker of the House, he asked that an intervention force be sent to liberate Madison from its state of civil war, and to establish a new republic allied with Superior. Many Liberal Democrats, along with Socialists like Dennis Kucinich, regarded this nation-building as imperialism, as the goals were not in line of those within humanitarian means. O’Hara’s view of the war in Madison had since changed, however.Since the RSREF South’s failed attempt to retrieve vital Intel on the ongoing conflict within the city, stealth recon patrols had been authorized by both Presidents Stowe and O’Hara. Apparently, three mobs were fighting for control of the city, using old National Guard equipment and weapons made in the few reactivated factories of the city. Somehow, the population in the area had managed to remain fairly stable, but the number of casualties was staggering. Reports of child soldiers were even more common by the late 1990’s as able-bodied men became scarce. After a meeting with Chief of Staff Charles Danforth, O’Hara asked that congress authorize a military force be sent into Madison in order to stabilize the city. On June 2nd, 1997, Congress gave its authorization, despite some opposition from Liberal Democratic and Socialist Congressmen.
The 3rd and 4th armies, under the command of 4-star general Jack Yeager, entered the city on Jul 21st, with a force of about 15,000 men. What was expected to be an easy fight quickly turned into a war of attrition, as the three mobs joined forces against the outside threat from the RSA. President O’Hara was shocked when General Yeager asked for additional men, having expected Madison to already be largely under the control of the army. Comparisons from the experience of the former United States in Vietnam were cited by some Congressmen, but still another 60,000 men were deployed to aid the effort. Madison would not come under the control of the RSA until May 28th 1999, and even then would not be stable until the last major mob arrests occurred in August of 2001.
Overall, 6489 RSA Soldiers died in the attempt to liberate Madison from 1997-1999, and another 4576 were wounded. O’Hara’s popularity plummeted, and as a result Conservatives captured super-majorities in Congress, while additional Liberal Democratic seats were lost to the rising Socialist Party. Reconstruction efforts in Madison immediately got underway, despite the occasional firefight with mob remnants that had gone underground.
The Provisional Government of Wisconsin was established on October 14th, 1999 under the leadership of General Yeager, though Secretary of State Russ Feingold handled most of the administrative duties and reconstruction. Feingold also set elections for November of 2000, so that the Republic of Superior could quickly withdraw most of its military, leaving an effective government behind. When the elections finally rolled around, a largely liberal-socialist government was elected, with independent candidate Timothy Lemms being elected President after winning in the runoff election. The Provisional Government of Wisconsin was disbanded in February 8th 2001, which was declared a national holiday (Sovereignty Day), by President DeLeo. The Republic of Wisconsin still suffers from a significant level of corruption, of which Lemms is suspected of aiding, but the nation is in general considered a success in the Republic of Superior’s Foreign Policy.
The Conservative Revolution
The War in Madison had destroyed whatever hope had remained for a Liberal Democratic President to be elected in 2000. The only matter of importance was who the sacrificial candidate would be. That eventually fell to Senator Marvin St. Jean, who was in reality the only Liberal Democratic candidate that had dared enter the race. Future analysts would find that he himself was reluctant to declare, but that this was his best chance of both winning the nomination and the election. The Conservative race was more contested, but the man who quickly came on top was Governor of Marquette, Randy Sarick, who was considered one of the most popular and successful governors of the time. The election was largely considered one-sided, as Sarick defeated St. Jean in all the debates. The analysis proven to be quite correct, with Sarick carrying 14 of the 16 states, including all of the large ones, along with 49% of the popular vote, seventeen percent more than St. Jean. Many Liberal Democrats also found themselves voting for Socialist candidate Arlen Tompkins, who had until recently been on the fringe of national politics, gaining him 17% of the vote and more electoral votes than the Liberal Democrats.
Due in part to to Sarick’s landslide victory, many Liberal Democratic voters failing to vote, and vote-splitting between Socialist and Liberal Democratic candidates, Conservatives also gained super-majorities in both the Senate and the House of Representatives. This would allow for President Sarick to carry out his agenda for the Republic with ease. At that time, a short-lived Conservative Democrat Party came into existence, but it failed to gain much traction and most of its members defected to the Conservative party, holding a single congressional seat for a year before the representative moved to the Conservatives.
”Stowe, we have made contact”
One of Sarick’s most important and desired goals was the establishment of contact outside of the Great Lakes region. The governments in Thunder Bay, Sudbury, and Southern Ontario gave some hope that another might exist elsewhere. However, Chief of the Army Bruce Wayne was particularly adamant that if civilization existed anywhere in North America, it would be in the northeast corner of the continent:
“Mr. President……Canada is our best bet in finding any form of true government…..as most of those coastal settlements……including provinces like Newfoundland and Prince Edward would have survived. Whether they themselves have had any luck in contacting the rest of the globe……however……is the real question. Is the globe still too fractured to reunite communications like it had 20 years ago? Well…..I think we must assume that it is. For the sake of humanity……..I hope that it isn’t.”
In a landmark piece of legislation, President Sarick asked Congress to authorize the creation of the 2nd RSREF, tasked exclusively with exploration for any forms of government along the St. Lawrence or within the former American states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York. Despite opposition among Socialists due to the finding of the last expedition, both Liberal Democrats and Conservative gave unanimous support.
The RSREF was assembled at Midland, Ontario, this time. Almost exactly retracing the path of the RSREF East, the RSREF came across the ruins of Ottawa once again. Nature had almost entirely reclaimed the former Canadian capital, with few recognizable features shown from pictures taken only 10 years prior. Continuing southeast, towards the American border, they encountered forces from the rumored survivors at Kingston, who considered themselves as part of Canada, despite not having had official contact with them for quite some time. From this government they finally heard of the flight of the Canadian government eastward, towards the Maritime provinces, though were left with the impression that they were hiding something from them, after the Superior forces told them of their annexation of parts of Ontario. Moving in that direction, they encountered bandits - the same ones as encountered ten years previously near Ottawa - were found along the St. Lawrence River in the former Canadian state of Quebec, and several pitched battles were fought. Talk of a Republic known as Saguenay was heard from captured bandits, but not much thought was put into it as they were drugged when they revealed this.
On July 19th, the expedition came across a patrol of what appeared to be American Soldiers, yet wearing an insignia reminiscent of the former US state of Maine. In a friendly meeting with expedition leader, Col. Cage, they revealed that they were members of the military force of the Provisional Republic of Aroostook, which occupied much of the former state of Maine and parts of New Brunswick. When asked if contact had been made with other parts of the globe, the soldier, now identified as Sgt. Oliver, simply said:
“Sir……..if you mean if I can talk with someone from here to Tokyo…..hell no. If you mean that we are in contact with other governments around the globe…..who are themselves trying to survive…then yes.”
Shortly after this exchange, Col. Cage sent the following message, now famous throughout the Republic as meaning a dawn of hope:
“Stowe……we have made contact.”
More Contemporary Times
Many citizens of the Republic were saddened to hear that the government of the United States had disbanded seven years earlier, as despite President Robert Stowe’s comments during the Republic’s formation, there had been an undying hope that somehow the government that had represented the free world would fail to die. Sadness turned to pride, however, as the Republic of Superior was considered by most residents now as the successor of the United States. This was true in many regards, as it had largely held onto the American political system, while also remaining very similar culturally. In recent years, a desire among a minority of citizens for the rebirth of the United States has lead to the Committee to Restore the United States of America existing in the area as a minor organization, but not a major one by any means.
Other than the 2nd RSREF expedition, President Sarick did not accomplish much of note during his first and second terms in office. The economy boomed as settlements continued to develop along the shore communities of the Great Lakes, though this eventually presented a problem of how to govern them. Many wanted to obtain immediate statehood, though this was problematic as they were far apart and not heavily populated. What eventually was passed was the Carey-Feingold Act, which removed the "provisional" status from the territories and established a process by which they could join the union. A panel would determine, first in 2010, and starting on May 19th or the nearest date to that one each year, whether any of the territories were ready to be granted statehood, and every two years after that the panel would make another review. Admission would come on July 4th for any candidates that are found acceptable. In compromise to those who wanted immediate representation, a council of delegates from the territories would be established in Stowe. Though they would have no power in the actual proceedings of Congress, they would be able to make it clear if they supported the path taken in regards to any bill or law that affected them. The first such territory to join the union was the Beaver Archipelago, on July 4th, 2010.
The 2008 election was easily won by Conservative candidate Terrance Newman, who simply rode on the popularity of President Sarick, over Liberal Democratic candidate Russ Feingold. However, in a surprise move, President Newman made Senator Feingold his Secretary of State, a position he had held in the O’Hara administration. Though this was decried by some Conservatives, the move was largely met as a good will gesture to a respected politician in the Republic.
With the opening of relations with the outside world in 2001, things began to take a turn for the worse diplomatically. The rump Canadian government at St.John's was overjoyed to hear of the surviving city-states in Ontario. However, they were also angered by the annexation of Canadian territory by the Superior government, which lead to many disputes between the two nations. Partly in response to this, the government began to fund and arm their former opponents in the St.Lawrence River Valley, the Lawrence Raiders, taking care to hide their actions from the various Ontario governments. They also began to grow closer to the nation of Saguenay diplomatically, which was having similar issues with the Canadian government.
Superior applied to join the international organization in the area that was established in 2007, the United Communities, in 2009. This organization, founded by the various Ontario city-states as well as the American states of North Pennsylvania and Toledo, which Superior found out about from the Ontarian states in 1992, was meant to be an international organization on the same level as the pre-1983 UN. Their application would be accepted on early 2010.
With the death of Leppe on Jan. 7, 2009, the Thunder Bay government soon degenerated into civil war. Seeing a chance to finally rid themselves of the fascists there, Superior forces intervened on the side of the democrats, who would win with the support, though anti-Superior feelings would linger. A referendum on the status of the city-state was scheduled for April and July, 2010, with the area voting in the end to rejoin Canada.
Saguenay War and Beyond
In the war between Saguenay and Canada which broke out in early September, 2009, both President Newman and the Republic of Superior Congress voiced open support for Saguenay. The House of Representatives voted on the 15th on whether or not they would enter the war in an alliance with Saguenay, following the refusal of the Canadian government to back down as Superior demanded. The vote was in favor of war.
With the declaration of war on the 15th of September, 2009, Superior forces moved into position inside Saguenay to support their forces, and as per their relationship with the Lawrence Raiders, began to move up the St. Lawrence River Valley to support the Saguenay invasion of Gaspe. They would be forced out of the area alongside their allies by the ADC counter-offensive from late January to late February. The remainder of the war would consist of scattered fighting in the St.Lawrence River Valley and along the Saguenay-Canada borders until a ceasefire negotiated through the LoN came into effect on April 12th.
Negotiations hosted by Vermont and the LoN would result in the signing of the Treaty of Manchester on May 28th, which put limits on Superioran expansion, forced Canada to drop its veto over them joining the LoN, recognized Saguenay and its borders, recognized Canadian "control" of the St. Lawrence Valley and Southern Quebec, and started several investigations into conduct of Superior, Saguenay and Canada in relation to the war and its beginning.
The Investigations would clear the ADC of wrongdoing in response to the bombing of civilians, condemn Saguenay and Superior for their arming and supporting the Lawrence Raiders, and condemn the ruling political party in Canada, the Canada First Party, for rogue elements of their party having assassinated the Prime Minister of Saguenay. Due to the findings, no reparations were demanded of anyone, though the Canadian government fell as a result, leading to a new party coming to power there.
Political ripples from the investigations are currently snaking their way through the politicians of the Republic, and it is thought that someone will pay for the results - President Newman is the person who most blame for the events. The Liberal Democratic and Socialist parties, having opposed the war, have been vilified.
However, with expansion into Ontario now blocked, Superior is looking into further expansion into the former American states of Wisconsin and Michigan, where outside of parts of the Detroit region and Madison, no authority holds much sway. Plans are also underway to annex the American parts of Lake Superior not already under their control, towards Minnesota.
On August 5th, 2011, President Newman announced in Marquette that he would not be seeking re-election, citing his health. It is suspected, however, that the decision has more to do with incredibly poor showings in opinion polls comparing him to the leading declared Liberal Democratic and Socialist candidates, and even to members of his own party.
Indeed, his administration, overall, had become so unpopular that his Vice-President could not even secure the Conservative nomination for the presidency, losing the nomination battle to a former senator, James Kelleher. The 2012 election only served to heighten this, when Kelleher - along with the Socialist and National Republican candidates - was trounced by Liberal Democratic Governor Frederick Cullen of Mackinaw. Conservative candidates were also trounced throughout the nation, in a very bad year for that party.
On January 21st, 2013, Governor Cullen, along with his VP candidate, Congressman Michael Lahti of Houghton, was officially sworn into office. His first move was to announce that Secretary of State Feingold had agreed, despite all of his time spent in service to the republic already, to stay in office until 2014, and to name Congressman Casey A. Viegelahn of Mackinaw to had the Defense Department, pending approval from the Senate.