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History of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna (1983: Doomsday)

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Nuclear-explosion This 1983: Doomsday page is a Proposal.

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This is a detailed history of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna. It runs from September 1983 to the present.


None of the territory under Susquehanna's current control was attacked although there were several nuclear detonations nearby. Fallout blew east and northeast from the strikes on Wilkes-Barre, Scranton, and Bethlehem. A small amount of radiation blew over what would become the southern portion of the territory from the ruins of Harrisburg.

Over 20,000 people from the three counties, which would later unify into the basis of the Commonwealth of Susquehanna, fled west toward State College and further away from the nuclear blasts. In the total territory that Susquehanna controls presently almost 80,000 people fled.

Approximately 6000 people died in car crashes, the gas explosion in Bloomsburg, and fighting with the police and each other. Most were buried in mass graves outside the local communities, or their bodies were burned in mass funeral pyres. This occurred relatively soon after their deaths to prevent the spreading of disease or viruses from the corpses. The loss of life would have a relatively large toll on the present population of the nation and communities.

Former Pennsylvania Counties (Susquehanna or nearby)

Name Largest City Pre-Doomsday Largest City Post Doomsday Population Pre-Doomsday (1980 Census) Population Post-Doomsday Current Control
Carbon CountyLehightonLehighton (Survivor independent city-state)53,285971 (Susquehanna), ~7000 (Leighton), ~2000 (rest)Carbon Territory, Lehighton, Abandoned
Columbia CountyBloomsburgBloomsburg61,96716,049Columbia County, Federal District
Lackawanna County*Scranton*N/A227,908~1000Abandoned (Claimed by Susquehanna)
Luzerne County*Wilkes-Barre*Hazleton343,07937,816 (Susquehanna), ~3000 (rest)Wyoming County, Luzerne Territory, Carbon Territory, Abandoned (Claimed by Susquehanna)
Montour CountyDanvilleDanville16,6755668Montour County
Northumberland CountySunburySunbury100,38110,274Northumberland County
Schuykill CountyPottsvillePottsville (Reading)160,6302,859 (Susquehanna), ~60,000 (Reading), ~18,000 (unclaimed)Schuylkill County, Susquehanna; Schuylkill County, Reading
Sullivan CountyLaporteColley Township6,3941,369Sullivan County

* if struck by a nuclear weapon


Post Doomsday (September 26, 1983- July 1984)

The only targets near the Commonwealth of Susquehanna were Wilkes-Barre, Scranton and the Bethlehem Steel Mills.

Since there was not much time between the emergency and the actual attacks, barely any refugees made it to Susquehanna. The few that did were given housing and jobs.

Bloomsburg, Danville and Berwick dealt with fleeing citizens, cutting the population by over half. The remaining people raided grocery stores, and convenience stores. Local police as well as Bloomsburg University security and National Guard units set up perimeters around several grocery stores as well as the courthouse, hospital, and municipal building.

The streets were packed with panicking citizens and mobbed the places that the government had set up to defend. Once the power went out people began to become more violent. The original groups of people attempting to get food and water turned into mobs armed with firearms and improvised weapons.

Many of the National Guard units were made up of ROTC and JROTC students hastily given assault rifles and gear. Nobody knows who fired the first shots, but Danville and Berwick devolved into violence. Bloomsburg was able to prevent looting by quickly spreading food distribution points around the town, splitting people up into smaller groups, and a mutual unspoken decision to work with each other.

In Berwick, after a police officer was shot, the police opened fire with pistols and shotguns and the crowed returned fire with an assortment of firearms and Molotov cocktails. The National Guard opened fire on the crowed after the first volley. Soon the crowds charged the troops, leaving ten dead and 23 wounded, as well as two wounded police officers and one wounded National Guard soldier.

Danville lacked a National Guard unit, so the police were quickly overrun, and soon the town council and mayor was dead. Due to rioting the second and third ward of the town were damaged. Most of the panic in Danville was caused from people attempting to raid grocery stores for food. This caused mobs and people became violent to gain access to supplies which would soon become scarce.

Approximately 7000 were killed in the months following due to illness, infighting, and raids. Another 1000 died of exposure over the winter, and 8000 had died by spring from starvation.

Berwick and Bloomsburg went to war in January over a supply of propane for heaters in each town. The militias each has around one hundred militia members. Most failed to return, and many of the casualties were from frostbite, pneumonia and the flu. Only ten people were killed on either side through violence, and another four were injured.

Most of the chaos was caused by the rapid turn of events that even government officials were focused on the survival of their local populace. Although there was panic and fighting, current histories believe that the actual fighting might have been exaggerated in post-Doomsday tensions.

The two towns apologized to each other in 1997 over the infighting.

Dark Times (August 1984- June 1987)

Not long after Doomsday, bandits and other groups began to attack groups of people living between the towns, and raiding farms, often killing the inhabitants. Every day a new farm would be reported burned. Before that, local police, security, and surviving National Guard units provided security, but soon the communities each formed a militia, with Bloomsburg's being the strongest.

At the time, the communities also had an alliance with Milton, which in the present is under the control of State College. It had one of the larger populations, with nearly 7000 people. But on December 25th, 1984 communications ceased with the town.

Bloomsburg and Danville both sent militia members to Washingtonville to protect it, and a scout party to Milton for information. The men found the entire community sacked and burned, with at least 2000 dead. Less than 300 survivors were brought back to Bloomsburg, and the towns realized that they needed to solidify their holding more.

The communities suffered a rough summer one year with drought in the area destroying 20% of that year's crop yield. This led to extremely strict rationing and many died of starvation. Several communities began to use irrigated water from the river which had slowly risen over the years. People were unsure if it was radioactive or not, but figured it couldn't hurt the plants.

Due to the lack of food, each community turned on one another and began raiding for food and supplies. This caused tension throughout the region and almost prevented any unifying government from forming.

Most hoped that 1986 would be a better year and would receive more rain. Which they did, but this time more rain than needed came down and washed out dozens of fields, heavily damaged lower Bloomsburg, and washed radioactive stagnant water downstream into the area.

The governments all declared states of emergencies and again began to raid each other for needed supplies, food and water. Water was limited to wells and creeks throughout the nation, a limitation still in place today. It also attempted to contain the waste of water. As soon as the flood waters receded, the area began to rebuild. It took several years to rebuild those portions of Bloomsburg.

By spring of 1987, the area had suffered much. Hopes looked to Easter and a new year of planting. Over 2000 had died from starvation, radiation poisoning, heatstroke, and the flood. Others became ill with dysentery, pneumonia, the flu, and other illnesses. This caused an additional 5000 casualties.


Provisional Government (October 1989-1992)

In October of 1989, the communities began to work together more. There were talks of unifying into a provisional government. Bloomsburg was the heart of these talks, being the largest and most stable community. Some were skeptical, wanting to wait for definite confirmation that the United States was gone.

Bloomsburg called a convention at the former Cadbury Conservatory to discuss a possible limited provisional state. All the local boroughs and communities sent at least one representative.

The conclave started on October 6th, 1989. These men would debate for almost a year over whether to secede or declare a provisional government. Some claimed it would be treason. Others wanted to stabilize the region and form the government to make more concise decisions.

About halfway through, leaders from Ringtown and Shenandoah as well as those from southern Sullivan County joined the debate.

In late September of the following year, the communities were still debating the situation. Finally, Lou Barletta, one of the delegates from Bloomsburg stood up and said: 'The United States was a great nation. Pennsylvania was a great state. But those days are over. There has been no contact with the United States or Pennsylvania for almost a decade. We have been on our own for nine years.'

This speech gave the delegates enough to decide. After a few days of negotiations, the group came to an agreement. Then there was the planning phase. On March 31st, 1991 the referendum was held in all the local communities. The ballot had three options on it. It asked: Do you want to form the Provisional Government of Pennsylvania in Susquehanna, an independent nation, or remain part of the United States?

Anyone over the age of 16 was allowed to vote. When the referendum came back, the votes were counted. A final count showed 61% for a provisional government, 26% for independence and 13% for remaining in the United States.

Elections were held in November of the same year, with only the Democrats and Republicans fielding candidates. The polls were close, but the Democrats won by less than 2% of votes.

After that it took approximately a year and a half to completely consolidate the small community governments and county governments into a centralized power based in Bloomsburg. The constitution was the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Constitution of 1968, with the only revision being that the government was provisional and would turn over power if they regained contact with a 'legitimate' surviving government that the locals felt could represent their interests as well.

The new government took over the Columbia County Courthouse and the Cadwell Conservatory and relocated the main branches to Bloomsburg. There was talk of taking over parts of Bloomsburg University as the capital, but officials rejected it, hoping to reopen the university.

Officially (and recognized as such), the provisional government formed on June 1st, 1991. Technically it was able to organized by 1992, and did not begin operations until later that year.

Blizzard of 1993

During March of 1993, a vicious blizzard blew up from the Gulf Coast across the East Coast and through Pennsylvania. Most nations along the coast were able to inform each other of the movement, but Susquehanna was not as lucky. Therefore the country was caught off-guard by the strength of the storm. Three hundred forty one people died during the storm, most from hypothermia. Many animals died and there were two car crashes of emergency personnel driving to help others.

The government declared a state of emergency and mobilized the civilian militias for rescue and repair work. People were told to stay indoors if possible, and conserve fuel, food and water. Danville moved approximately half of its population into the high school and community center, centralizing and consolidating heating and food supplies.

Snow drifts in the Commonwealth blocked up roads as government workers hunkered down in shelters or at home. Average snowfall was 30 inches as was estimated in 2010 by some scientists in Canada. After the storm stopped, it took the government three weeks to completely restore services and dig everything out.

It took the nation until mid-1995 to fully recover from the disaster. The government managed repair damage from the winds and snow drifts.


Stabilization and First Contact (1993-2005)

The government took several years before they were able to completely unify, but by 1993 it was under one jurisdiction and organized. They also authorized the restoration of the school system, and by 1999, most schools had re-formed.

The first project was to secure the roadways between the communities. After several months of fighting, police and militia units were successful in capturing roadways and setting up checkpoints. They also freed farms and secured several more fuel deposits.

The Centralia Mine Fire had been burning since its accidental ignition in 1962. The federal government was trying to force the people out of the community to put the fire out. Unfortunately the citizens resisted, but some voluntarily left, and by the 1980's the population was down to around 1000. By the time the area stabilized, the government in Bloomsburg forced the people out. Military and police teams moved the few remaining people out. Fire and other units began to actively fight the fire, digging up the ground.

After several months of constantly fighting around the clock, the fire was put out and the coal was saved. Citizens were allowed to move back into town and the community was rebuilt.

By the New Year there were enough farms for a stable food supply that people were able to enjoy the turn of the year. In the spring, the government authorized two exploration missions. One discovered State College and North Pennsylvania after several months. The other returned with information about a survivor state in Reading.

Exploration Part Two

After the success of the two expeditions, three more larger teams were formed in 2003, each with twenty men, and given the few working cars and assorted weapons and food supplies. They were also given orders to scavenge whenever possible. The teams were named Expedition North, Expedition South, and Expedition East.

Expedition North

Expedition North headed from Bloomsburg through Columbia County north, and went through State College. Once leaving State College and refueling their vehicles, they entered into unclaimed territory. The team was attacked by a group of raiders and lost one man. They were able to drive off the enemy, but were more wary as they continued.

On August 3rd, 2003 the expedition encountered a group of militiamen from a nation claiming to be from Binghamton, New York. They were taken to the city, and met with the leaders. They stayed in the city until October 12th, discussing trade agreements. But there were no embassies exchanged or anything because Susquehanna still considered itself as part of the United States. Then the team left for Ithaca, New York after Binghamton radioed ahead. North left in the morning and arrived at Ithaca in the late afternoon after having to abandon one of the cars which died.

When the group reached the city, they were greeted by a crowd who were stunned to see a group from Northeast Pennsylvania. Most had believed that that part was toxic rubble. The men informed the government of the current situation in Susquehanna as well as the history.

Once they finished that, they went into North Pennsylvania again, then visited Niagara Falls and saw how successful the area was. The mission stayed in the city until the weather cleared. They were informed of the survivor states of Superior, Toledo, London, Vermont, and several other survivor states in the region. While visiting several of these city states, they were told that the Canadian government survived and had formed a rump state.

When spring arrived, the group refueled and headed back through North Pennsylvania, and State College. The group returned home April 26th, 2004.

Expedition South

Expedition South took boats down the Susquehanna River, leaving July 27th, as far down as was safe. They stopped twice and found some isolated farms where locals told them of the devastation in and around Harrisburg. Once reaching twenty miles north of the former city, the group tied up their boats and left four men as guards. The rest went by bike and on foot down towards a rumored community based around Gettysburg.

On August 3rd, a group of raiders attacked the team. The men retreated and took three casualties. Running low on ammunition, the commander prepared to abandon the mission when a group of unidentified soldiers killed all the raiders.

The men surrounded the expedition and confiscated their weapons. Then they were escorted into Gettysburg. Once in the community, the men were taken to the government where they told the leaders all they knew about the situation. After ascertaining the men were not a threat, the officials informed the group of Virginia and the fate of Maryland.

The expedition commander viewed the information on Virginia as too much of a threat at the current time. Instead, the team explored the surrounding area around Gettysburg and went west as well. When the weather cooled down, the expedition headed back to where they left the boats.

Once arriving there, they found the guard group had found a few M16 assault rifles in an abandoned National Guard truck. Then the crew headed back north using the few motors left. They arrived back in Danville on November 3rd of the same year.

Expedition East

Expedition East left the same day as Expedition South, but left from Bloomsburg and headed towards Reading. When arriving, the mission stayed in the city for several weeks, arranging trade compacts and territorial lines.

They also decided to link roadways and rail lines to ease transportation and communication.

They also were informed of the survivor state of Delmarva, which they left for in late September. The team turned and headed west to avoid the ruins of Philadelphia which rumors had was still a radioactive mess.

After some minor exploration of the surrounding area, the group entered into former Maryland where they discovered several settlements. When entering the town, the crew entered into a standoff with local police, before a diplomat from Susquehanna managed to defuse the situation.

They were able to meet with government officials from Delmarva, although not the top leaders. After spending several weeks, the group left and returned to Bloomsburg from the east on November 10th. The group was also told of Canada's survival by the officials.

Contact with Canada

After contact with North Pennsylvania, and other regional nations, the government of the Commonwealth was informed of Canadian survival. From 2001 to 2004 there was sporadic radio contact, and contact through Niagara Falls and North Pennsylvania. Most contact was simply information on the global situation.

In late 2003, the Provisional Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Bloomsburg received terrible news: the United States of America had disbanded in Canberra, Australia eight years previously. This information would trigger events leading to Susquehanna's independence, as well as the formation of the Unionist Party and protests around the nation over the next move of the provisional government.

New Nation (2005)

This news stunned the nation, with government officials as split as the population over what the next move would be. Although there was evidence that State College was a legitimate successor state to the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there was reluctance to hand over authority to a rump government which may or may not have their best interests in mind. There was also a proposal to offer the remnants of the United States government, which had integrated into Australia, control over the Commonwealth of Susquehanna. Finally it was agreed that now was not the time to attempt contact, due to distance and actual feasibility of the plan.

Finally an agreement was made to hold a new Constitutional Convention at the Caldwell Consistory. A meeting was held in Bloomsburg, similar to the one held over a decade prior, but this was to write a new constitution and form a new nation from scratch.

After several weeks of debate and representatives from Danville walking out twice, the communities agreed on a constitution based on the former United States Constitution and the Pennsylvania State Constitution. It had a similar basis to the Provisional Constitution, though there were many differences, mainly in the way elections were held, civil rights and other minor changes.

Later the communities argued over which community would be the capital city. The main sticking point was that the counties felt hosting the capital would give them more legislative power. It was finally agreed that it made the most sense for Bloomsburg to continue acting as the capital, as it already was hosting the provisional government, was centrally located, and was the largest city in the Commonwealth (at the time).

There were some more negotiations to finalize the constitution, but it was signed on September 12th, 2005 by the heads of each county's constitutional delegates. The counties had agreed to hold elections in August of that same year though, so the new federal government took over on September 13th, 2005 and the Provisional Commonwealth of Pennsylvania was disbanded officially on that same day, with the Commonwealth of Susquehanna taking over all the responsibilities.

Scouts had discovered a survivor state based around Hazleton in the late 1990's that was unstable as it had only formed an official government in 1987 and was dealing with raiders and gangs that were still in the region. What would become Susquehanna began trade with the city-state around 2003 and formed diplomatic relations in 2006. When the Provisional Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in Susquehanna declared independence as the Commonwealth of Susquehanna, city officials were interested in joining, but wanted raiders in the area cleared out. Susquehanna agreed to attack the raiders and Greater Hazleton joined as the County of Wyoming on June 1st, 2014.

Officials from Sullivan County declined to participate at the time, dealing with raiders that were attacking the county, forcing them back into Davidson and Colley townships. They felt that a change in government would cause even more destabilization at the time, but wanted the ability to join at a later date. All previous agreements were left intact, and after an agreement, the Commonwealth of Susquehanna National Guard forced the raiders away from their borders. The county government signed the Constitution on April 14th, 2014 and sat their first senators and representative that same day.

In 2007, the federal government managed to secure western Luzerne County, and created a military advised territory to stabilize it until the area was stable. The territory was stabilized by late 2009 and became a civilian territory that same year. It officially signed the constitution on June 1st, 2015 becoming the most recent county to join the union.

On Easter Sunday in 2008, a priest, minister, and other clergy performed a mass funeral ceremony for the victims of the nuclear destruction in Wilkes Barre and Scranton.

Raider War and Reconstruction

Susquehanna launched a military operation in October of 2011 against raiders who had been attacking and pillaging towns for several decades. It was a prolonged conflict with territory changing hands and many casualties, but eventually, Susquehanna wiped out the raiders by November of 2014. Since then, the nation's military has been policing the captured territory in preparation for it to be organized into a territory.

Most recently Susquehanna has decided to reallocate funding from the military since the war ended to rebuilding the economy, bridges, buildings, and expanding the transportation infrastructure.

The government has invested one million dollars into the railroads, planning a line into northern Columbia County, and adding commuter rail between Danville, Bloomsburg and Hazleton.

There are additional infrastructure plans including replacing all the roadways and restarting industry that had been disabled on Doomsday.

New Industry

In 2008 after eradicating gangs to the west (With aid, weapons and support from State College), the Commonwealth begin to invest heavily in repairing infrastructure, industry and communications. The first coal mine opened in March of 2009 and the first iron mine in June of the same year.

The Montour Coal Power Plant had been abandoned after Doomsday but, after looking into it, much of the equipment is still there. Work is gaining speed and is expected to start production in the next few years, with full power production by the mid 2020's.

As more money is available the government is slowly repairing what it can in the nation. The first revitalization project was the railroads, with most of them being intact.

Roadways have not reached pre-Doomsday levels of quality, and many are being replaced with gravel and dirt. This should make them easier to maintain and easier for horses and wagons which are more common today.


New Flag

In 2013, the government decided that the old flag no longer represented Susquehanna completely, and decided to hold a contest to replace it. There were four entries into the contest. On June, 2014 the new flag was unveiled and replaced the old flag. A runner up was chosen by the Defense Forces as a replacement for the old flag. It was selected because it will be easier for soldiers to distinguish the flag.

The American Flag is still flown prominently, due to patriotism, and the lack of any law opposing it.

North Pennsylvania

Since the Amish Party won the elections in 2012, relations with North Pennsylvania has taken a nosedive. With the destruction of Kinzua Dam and the governments refusal and hindrance to rebuild and refurbish the dam, Susquehanna has begun closer relations with Reading and State College. Plans were brought back to repair the coal-fired Montour Power Plant and begin local power production.


Susquehanna has very strong relations with Reading, having cooperated in the past militarily and economically. There are some political pundits who have released statements saying that unification between the two nations is possible over the next twenty five years or so. Currently the two nations are clearing raiders and gangs out of the rest of Schuylkill County to secure a safe border. The two nations are collaborating in law enforcement as well, with an extradition treaty signed, and the Susquehanna State Police turning "the Don", who was wanted in Reading for numerous crimes in Allentown, over to the Reading police, as well as aiding Reading officials in scouring through documents to find his true identity.

United Communities

On January 1st, 2015, the Commonwealth of Susquehanna joined the international community by gaining admittance into the United Communities, a regional organization to promote dialogue between member states. It gained membership with support from North Pennsylvania, State College, Toledo, and Niagara Falls. There was some dissent from Saguenay and Superior over the Saguenay War, but most members supported its admittance. It is currently on the board for reconstruction and has used information gained to plan a cleanup and reconstruction of Nanticoke, which was damaged in the strikes on Wilkes-Barre and Scranton.

Expamsion of territory and New Counties

Susquehanna has seen rapid expansion of the controlled territory, in part due to the ongoing raider war, and partially due to two smaller nations (more like city states) joining, encompassing Northumberland County and the southwestern portion of Luzerne County as well as two former territories becoming full members in the Commonwealth.

Wyoming County joined after a long period of negotiations between Hazleton and Bloomsburg regarding defense, infrastructure, manufacturing, and agriculture. It was agreed to permit counties to form local militias which could be called up in times of emergency. Northumberland County joined after negotiations with State Collefe were finalized in 2014.

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