In 1983 following the nuclear bombing of Paris and other French cities, the Préfet of Poitou-Charèntes Christian Dablanc quickly enacted martial law, and contacted neighboring prefectures and regions to do the same.
Some level of control was maintained in the region, but with the influx of Parisian refugees, most of whom were doomed to die within the following months, resources were quickly overwhelmed. Because of the TGV Ligne Est, Poitou-Charentes faced a larger number of the estimated 6 million refugees from the Paris conurbation.
Martial law continued with a heavy-handed curfew until 1987. Estimated re-settlement and treatment of refugees of the Paris/Le Havre/Caen bombings in Poitou-Charentes is estimated nearly 3 million, total, from 1983 to 1987.
From 1987-1995 Poitou-Charentes continued under the former French constitution and forms, many of the citizens calling themselves francouestians, and to some extent unified the survivors within boundaries set by the Paris bombings and the Bordeaux / Toulouse bombings. The massif central served as a natural blockade against the masses of dispossessed from Lyon and Marseille, and the heavy winters following Doomsday protected the mountain passes for much four to six months of the year, especially 1983 and 1984.
While the society of Poitou-Charentes remained largely militarized against invaders from the surroundings intent on plunder, society as a whole returned largely to the French norm, with most folks worrying about where they would get their cheese, their milk, their bread, their sausage. A larger push for agriculture lead to a widening of the class, and farmers being esteemed more than former prestige positions of bankers and such.
Many view this 8 year period as the Golden Age of Pictocharentia. Control of the nuclear power plants in the region, including Chinon to the NNE to maintain the train and electric lines was viciously guarded by the Armée Pictocharentais'.
Depredations from Without, Dissent from Within
From 1995-2000, Poitou-Charentes was faced with consistent attacks to its borders from surrounding survivor groups, at times in a seeming war of attrition. In 1997 Angoulême seceded from the Republic as the mayor, Jean-Michel Boucheron wished to rule his fief as a King in what seemed increasingly to be hell.
President of the Republic, René Monory garnered the support of the Assembly and launched a military strike to reclaim Angoulême, which proved costly in both terms of man power, arms and political currency with the public. Boucheron was killed in the fighting to capture Angoulême, but reprisals and looting did not happen against the population as was feared, and shipments of bread and other goods arrived within days of the end of hostilities, doing much to patch up the hurt of the Angoumoisins. With Angoulême returned to the Republic, René Monory faced a difficult re-election and was replaced by Jean-Pierre Raffarin, who garnered a large amount of his support from the southern reaches of the country.
A Losing Battle
The Southern territory of the Republic became consistently more and more lawless as Spaniard refugees and Mediterannean French refugees have moved inland. Large camps were set up to accommodate the arrivals, but it suspected that there are agents provocateurs in the mix, with word of a rising military power in Sicily. Government efforts to integrate the refugees by the end of 2006 had seen some success, however, much of the existing infrastructure was over-taxed with the increasing stream.
In May of 2006 an envoy of Auvergne reached Poitiers and a discussion of mutual defense was brokered, although both nations knew that should the reputed capacities of Sicily be brought to bear against them, they would easily fold, so overwhelmed by refugees as they were. Further worries built as word of the Alpine Confederation reached them, with conflicting reports.
Government reports indicate that had the situation continued unchanged, the Pictocharentais Republic would have foundered into anarchy before the end of the decade.
In 2009 word of the New League of Nations reached the government in Poitiers from an envoy to Monaco. By July of 2009, the President of the Republic was in negotiations with Auvergne and Monaco to present a united front against Sicily, and work toward a unified government. Freight train service was restored in April of 2010, and passenger rail began operation on a limited scale in May of 2010. By 2014, rail travel had increased as was rivalling volumes seen in the late 1960's, albeit only between points in Auvergne and the Republic Poitevine.
Largely agrarian, the Pictocharentais are now responsible for supplying a great deal of food to neighboring Auvergne, and the restructuring of power-plants to maintain electric production as the current supplies of uranium begin to dwindle to the least usable strands. Contact with ANZC is expected to help alleviate this pinch-point
The census figures for the Republic are spotty at best, due to large numbers of refugees. Since Doomsday most censuses taken have only polled people known to be citizens of the Republic, and refugees have largely been discounted. The Population Ministry suspects that total population including refugees is somewhere between 2 and 3 million.