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The State of Mississippi is located in the northeast part of the former U.S. state of Mississippi. Its capital is Corinth. Other major towns include Tupelo and Oxford, home of the University of Mississippi. The 2011 population estimate was 210,000.
It was a founding state of the post-Doomsday revival of the Confederate States of America in 1985 and remained part of the country until it and the other two remaining members voted to secede in July 1999.
Mississippi continues to maintain relations with the other former states of the Muscle Shoals-based CSA, as well as with East Tennessee, Blue Ridge, Piedmont and the nations of the Dixie Alliance. Early on the Corinth government claimed the entire state; currently, it claims only the portion of the former state down to the Yazoo City village located about 120 miles NNW of Hattiesburg .
In the weeks after Doomsday in September and October of 1983, several towns in the mid-south region along the Tennessee/Alabama/Mississippi borders banded together for survival. Not wanting to give in to despair, civic, political and religious leaders began to take numerous steps to ensure the short- and long-term survival of the people in the region.
They also began to take steps for some type of regional government to replace the U.S., as everyone suspected that the events of what they knew as World War III had likely destroyed the government, if not the rest of the nation. Somewhat surprised that they had survived the initial days and weeks of WWIII (Doomsday), these leaders knew that life would be drastically different, starting with a need to set up a regional government. Running a country on the size and scale of the pre-war United States was out of the question for the foreseeable future, but with hard work and ingenuity they believed a much smaller, regional nation could be established and, perhaps, one day grow to include at least the American South.
Meanwhile, scouts were sent out to find out what had happened at least to the rest of the southeastern United States (and, if possible, the federal government itself). By mid-December, the destruction of several major cities and major military bases in the region had been confirmed. Scouts from Corinth - which had become the go-to place for relief efforts in northern Mississippi - confirmed the loss of the state capital, Jackson, and Columbus Air Force Base near the Alabama border.
Other than the strikes on Columbus AFB and Jackson, and Memphis, Tennessee, north Mississippi was for the most part unscathed. In late November, scouts confirmed that survivors from the Memphis blast were migrating west into Jackson, Tennessee or into Arkansas. Mississippi-area residents were finding their way not just to Corinth but also to Tupelo.
Corinth and Tupelo leaders met up on December 1 and discussed the regional situation, along with disturbing reports of violence and "despair" in the college towns of Oxford (home of the University of Mississippi) and Starkville (home to Mississippi State University). Town and university leaders were working to keep both towns stable in the wake of the ongoing emergency, and apparently were losing the battle.
Oxford and Starkville
The chaos of Doomsday brought conflict and violence to the two college towns of Oxford and Starkville, yet town leaders managed to maintain enough order to keep what food and medicine was available to the town locals, university residents and refugees alike. Starkville was close enough to the blast over Columbus Air Force Base that the town was struggling to keep order amidst the damaged town.
The two universities were archrivals, both part of the Southeastern Conference collegiate athletic group. Yet university leaders and students alike realized that their best hope of survival was to work together, as much as possible, despite the distance between them and the difficulty in communications between the two campuses.
Scouts' arrival from Corinth and Tupelo greatly encouraged people in both towns, and led to town and university leaders meeting with leaders from Tupelo and Corinth at the University of Mississippi. As Oxford was the more stable of the two college towns, it was decided to relocate all salvageable resources from Mississippi State to the University of Mississippi. The other decision was to form a provisional state government, although Governor William Winter and Lieutenant Governor Brad Dye were presumed killed in the blast that took out Jackson.
The Provisional State of Mississippi
Town leaders from Batesville, Booneville, Corinth, Eupora, Fulton, Grenada, Holly Springs, New Albany, Okolona, Oxford, Starkville, Tupelo and Winona met in Corinth on December 13, 1983 and in a matter of hours formed the Provisional State of Mississippi. The constitution of the state of Mississippi that existed pre-Doomsday was adopted as is, and the founders put in a clause subjecting the provisional government to the authority of the bonafide state of Mississippi or its legitimate successor (which never emerged). There was no public vote on the matter, but leaders correctly assumed that people were concerned about greater matters than politics or referenda for some time to come.
A new Confederate States
After not having had any contact from any representative of the U.S. military or federal government outside of those already in the area, political leaders in the region met in Florence, Alabama on January 5, 1984. The sense was that they were virtually independent of the United States and therefore able to proceed however they wanted or needed to. But how would they proceed?
Several factors converged over the next several months to lay the foundation of the formation of the CSA, among them being:
- The actions of actual and self-appointed federal agents in the area that were deemed detrimental to the public good and the long-term survival of the region. Namely, increasing denouncement of anything relating to southern and regional culture and incessant praise of U.S. culture, followed in later months by the development of a militia and terroristic-sounding threats to public safety.
- Long-standing area pride in "southern" culture, reflected not in anti-U.S. sentiment but more in popular culture, including music (Lynyrd Skynyrd, Hank Williams Jr.) and television (Dukes of Hazzard). Symbols of the old Confederacy, mainly the "Dixie" flag, were seen as heavily influential among the populace in support for the new nation to be called the Confederate States.
- An opportunity to start fresh, with a nation governed by laws seen as superior to the bloated, unaccountable entity that some thought the United States government was becoming.
- Most of the leaders did not believe they were worthy to establish their relatively small group of towns and states as the legitimate successor to the United States. They believed they were better off starting an entirely new nation.
Sentiment grew throughout 1984 for the prospective nation to adopt the name of the Confederate States of America. The designation came with baggage, but leaders felt they could re-establish the nation without the stigma of racism, and in the spirit of democracy and civil rights modeled by such U.S. historical figures as Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King, Jr.
In Mississippi, whites and blacks were working together generally well, but leaders were sensitive to racial issues nonetheless, especially as it was learned that small bands of white men (possibly Klansmen) had made raids on black-owned farms and homes.
Some in the region - including blacks, liberal whites and "pro-American" conservatives - resented the popular momentum towards the re-establishment of the Confederacy, and saw it as an affront to the United States and everything it stood for.
Mississippi was not the first state government to be re-established in the region - a Missouri government in the former state's "bootheel" preceded it by nine days - but several others followed suit, starting with Alabama and Georgia in January and far western Kentucky in February.
Members of a group called the Sons and Daughters of America became known to law enforcement officials in early 1984; locals from the Corinth and Tupelo areas began training in boot camps outside Corinth they thought were shielded from public view. After intelligence from Tennessee revealed their methods of hiding and activities in these 'boot camps,' the Corinth camp was easily spotted in the Tishomingo County Game Reserve.
Locals learned that on May 8, 1985, 49 delegates signed the Declaration of Independence from the United States; the next day, locals noticed Sons and Daughters-type activity in Holly Springs National Forest. Security was beefed up around the governor in Corinth, and also at the UM campus in Oxford.
On August 1, 1985, leaders from 27 towns and cities in the Tennessee-Alabama-Mississippi region gathered in Muscle Shoals as part of a Constitutional Convention. Over the next 17 days they went over both the constitution of the 19th-century CSA and the United States constitution. What they settled on was a hybrid that mostly resembled the 19th-century CSA constitution, with additional amendments reflecting those added onto the U.S. Constitution since the Civil War.
At the last minute, Tupelo's delegate - acting on orders from Tupelo city officials - refused to sign the constitution; he was later discovered to be a member of the Sons and Daughters, although he was also concerned about their increasing militarism and possible terroristic tendencies (and ended up working as an undercover agent on behalf of law enforcement).
Tupelo town leaders finally told the state government that Tupelo residents still considered themselves part of the United States, throwing a curveball into what Mississippi leaders expected to be a smooth transition into the new Confederacy. In fact, Tupelo ended up voting to secede from Mississippi and not join the CSA (while continuing to trade and do business with any and all CSA-related states and towns). Hundreds of black residents ended up leaving Corinth, Oxford and other area towns to immigrate to Tupelo.
Independence did not suit Tupelo, and after a short spell as a CSA territory, ended up rejoining Mississippi in 1989.
Jackson, Tennessee was one of the destinations for refugees from the Memphis area in 1983 and soon swelled to three times its normal size. It did not sign the CS constitution in 1985, but maintained relations with the CS and soon-to-be-CS states in the region, and in particular its closest neighbor, Mississippi.
It finally joined as its own state in April 1987, claiming western Tennessee up to the Kentucky border.
Jackson and Mississippi law enforcement had their hands full dealing with white "American patriots" angered over the multi-cultural Confederacy that had been established. The Army of Mississippi had ensured that they could not overthrow the Mississippi government; however, the Army of Mississippi - and Alabama if it came to it - could secure their own state borders and those of Jackson and fight off the bandits which had become an ongoing concern to Confederate leaders by the late 1980s. Jackson still was thought to be a solid Confederate state. However the patriots, many of whom had made alliances with city leaders or had rose into city leadership, increasingly conflicted with President Hall and the Confederate government. In March 1991 Jackson's leaders informed Hall by courier that it would secede from the Confederacy. It shocked national and state leaders who had hoped the government would be able to work things out with Jackson, and rocked the young nation to its core: if it couldn't work out the situation with Jackson, how could it work out its other problems?
Over the next few months news of Jackson after secession became known, of the leaders turning it into an isolationist city-state cut off from even other towns in western former Tennessee and of the increasing violence within its borders. Racist elements soon took over, leading to one last exodus from the town borders by some residents in August 1991.
The end of the Confederacy
The young Confederacy would survive Jackson. It became undone by factionalism.
The 1992 Presidential election came down to two men: Conservative Party candidate Governor Ray Perkins of Alabama and Democratic Party candidate Edward Bishop of Corinth, who was the House Majority Leader. The Democrats ran an two-part attack campaign against Perkins. They initially portrayed him as weak in dealing with the bandits in his own state and not merging Tuscaloosa into Alabama proper. As the Presidential race headed towards the November elections in the fall, Perkins was portrayed as an anti-Southern leader pining to return to the days of the liberal Yankee United States, while Bishop was pushed as a pro-Southern, pro-Confederate candidate.
Despite a record turnout at the polls - overall 83.5 percent in all states - and strong support for Perkins by minority groups and moderates and liberals incensed by the Democrats' campaign strategy, Bishop won the election with 53.4 percent of votes to Perkins' 45.9 percent. The results sparked peaceful but rancorous protests by moderate and liberal whites and blacks through the following January, and Congress split into several partisan groups.
Bishop was sworn in under heavy guard January 20, 1993, before the combined House and Senate; before his swearing-in could begin, 19 Senators and Representatives walked out in protest, and four stood with their backs turned to the platform. In his inauguration speech, Bishop proclaimed the "new day of a Southern nation, of Southern culture, of Southern pride, where men and women of all races were welcomed" and that he would "personally do everything in his power to bring our nation together and make us stronger when the next President takes office."
Bishop's Presidency, from 1993-99, turned out to be a weak term. He was much less successful than Hall in unifying the various factions that began to come into existence and build influence during his administration. At a time when a strong president - such as Hall - may have unified the groups, and even helped spur the new Confederacy to expand beyond its borders and connect with other regional survivor states, the CSA instead began to fracture.
During Bishop's Presidency, various political and state leaders began to push his or her own agenda. Some wanted more power simply for themselves, or for their states or cities. Some pointed to Jackson as the nation's Waterloo, casting doubt on the national government (and promoting themselves in the process). Several Congressmen, governors and pundits argued for a weaker central government, with states having more power and authority; others argued for a stronger central government - like the old U.S. A group of U.S. veterans gained a measure of popular influence and used it to argue for a re-establishment of the United States of America.
These factions were present in Mississippi, though it generally was supportive of the Confederacy. Mississippi's Congressional contingent were not above influence from lobbyists, which sometimes put party members on the opposite side of an issue from other party members.
Issues over trade also divided the various states. Ongoing issues relating to travel, due largely to bandits attacking travelers along portions of the most heavily traveled highways and state offroads, and especially with parts of the nation off-limits due to lingering radiation from the nuclear blasts of 1983, also helped split the young nation.
Arkansas's secession in 1998 began a steady stream of secessions. President Bishop traveled the remainder of the country to rally the people, and even traveled to Jonesboro, Arkansas and Portageville, Missouri in a failed attempt to get the two states to return.
Alabama's secession in early 1999 - shortly after Dick Jordan became the third and final President of the CSA - left the nation with five states: a pseudo-Alabama consisting of the national capital of Muscle Shoals; Kentucky; Georgia; Tennessee; and Mississippi.
Kentucky and Georgia's departures were countered by votes of confidence from Mississippi and Tennessee's governments. Two divisions of the Mississippi Army were assigned to Muscle Shoals to help defend President Jordan, the Congress and the Supreme Court.
Mississippi was also become more reliant on Alabama for medical supplies (the University of Alabama had pharmaceutical and medical facilities that the University of Mississippi did not). On April 2, President Jordan, speaking before the remaining members of Congress, announced the "Confederate experiment" had sadly come to an end. The remaining states would become independent nations like those who seceded.
In reality, most of the nations in the former Confederacy were still and would remain dependent on one another. But that was an uncertainty on July 2 when the Mississippi legislature voted to secede from the Confederacy.
The 21st century
Now the question for Mississippi was how to survive going forward.
The answers came first in the form of several trade and defense agreements with the states of Tennessee (including establishing a DMZ around Jackson for a period of time in 2002), Alabama, Georgia, Arkansas and Missouri. Mississippi in particular advocated it and the other area states working together in various ways as a de facto confederacy, although each were independent.
The second answer was to reach beyond its region, to look beyond its own region as it had since Doomsday.
Neither the CSA nor its member states had much interest in exploration of the former United States, but most people would at least privately argue that at some point such exploration needed to be done.
By 2001 the consensus in Mississippi, and other regional nations, had been that it was time to look for what might be out there beyond the mid-South region...be it other American survivor states, or whatever might have survived in the remainder of the globe.
Those answers would come by the end of the decade, but in 2002 Mississippi decided to confirm lingering rumors of survivor states in south Mississippi, Kentucky, the Carolinas, Florida and beyond.
Scouting expeditions paid off with contact with civilians from Hattiesburg in 2003, leading in turn to learning of survivors from Natchez, Texas and Louisiana. Later expeditions by Mississippi scouts, and those from Georgia and Alabama led to the discovery of Blue Ridge; East Tennessee; Piedmont; Virginia; "Neonotia"; and smaller survivor communities in former South Carolina and central Alabama.
Mississippi's borders were formally extended down to the village of Yazoo City in 2005.
Mississippi leaders questioned how it and other regional nations could be missed by Cuban and Mexican explorers and by the League of Nations; the best explanations are incompetence and the assumption that Doomsday wiped out the entire American homeland, rendering exploration pointless.
One lingering question between the Corinth-based government and those of Hattiesburg and Natchez is the fate of the unincorporated portions of former Mississippi, as well as to whether to reunite as the state of Mississippi or remain split in three nation-states.
More to come....
Like the other CS states, the economy was agrarian-based. Steps are being taken to modernize the economy, but government officials repeatedly say doing so will "take time".
State businesses are based out of Corinth, Tupelo and Oxford.
A Mexican textile company agreed on September 15, 2010 to build a factory in Corinth. State officials called it a "great win for our state".
Law and government
Executive authority in the state rests with the Governor; the next-highest office, that of Lieutenant Governor, is elected on a separate ballot. Both are elected to four-year terms of office. Most of the heads of major executive departments are elected by the citizens of Mississippi rather than appointed by the governor.
Legislative authority resides in the Mississippi Legislature, which is the state legislature. The Legislature is bicameral, consisting of the Senate and House of Representatives. The lieutenant governor presides over the Senate, while the House of Representatives selects their own Speaker. The state constitution permits the legislature to establish by law the number of senators and representatives, up to a maximum of 52 senators and 122 representatives. Current state law sets the number of senators at 17 and representatives at 38. The term of office for senators and representatives is four years.
The judicial branch is headed by a Supreme Court, located in Corinth, that has statewide authority. The lowest level consists of Justice Courts, which then progress to Circuit Courts, then to the Court of Appeals, then to the Supreme Court.
Military and law enforcement
Mississippi maintains a standing Army, established by an amendment to the pre-Doomsday constitution in 1984. The Army is headquartered near the state capitol in Corinth, and is responsible not only for the defense of the state and helping keep the peace in times of 'strife', but also maintaining a Coast Guard, an Air Corps and a Marine Corps.
Law enforcement is the responsibility of each town. The state government maintains a state police force, to patrol and keep the peace in unincorporated areas between towns.
The University of Mississippi, located in Oxford, is the result of a merger between the pre-Doomsday University of Mississippi and Mississippi State University, located in Starkville. After Starkville was abandoned, much of its assets were transferred to the Oxford campus.
The University of Mississippi has been recognized for its work in research on the effects of long-term radiation and fallout on survivors, and for its findings in examination of the ruins of Memphis, Tennessee, in regards to eventual resettlement of nuked cities and towns.
The Mississippi Department of Education maintains a secondary school system, Grades 1-12, for children 17 years old and younger.
Football remains part of local culture. The University of Mississippi Rebel football team was popular in much of the state, its rival Mississippi State University Bulldogs also getting a large following.
With Mississippi State no longer functional, most residents by default support "Ole Miss", which began play in September 2010 in the newly reconstituted Southeastern Conference. The football team plays its home games at Oxford's Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
High school football was the most popular spectator sport for years in Mississippi, with the single-class league dominated by teams from Corinth, Tupelo and Oxford.
High school and amateur basketball and baseball were the other popular sports in the state.
More to come...
Though many of the state's best musicians were lost on Doomsday, the people kept the various forms of popular music alive.
Eventually, strong country music and blues scenes developed, with country musicians centering in Corinth and blues musicians in Tupelo and Oxford.
The Elvis Presley Museum in Tupelo opened to much fanfare in 2010; it is the largest known depository of memorabilia dedicated to the 20th-century American pop and rock'n'roll artist and Tupelo native, and state and museum officials hope it becomes a prime tourist attraction.
The Mississippi Eagle-Journal, with a West Edition located in its Oxford Bureau; a Capital Edition located in Corinth; and an East Edition located in Tupelo, is the state's newspaper of record.
The Mississippi Radio Network, backed by interests out of the Commonwealth of Kentucky, went on the air February 9, 2011 in Corinth (94.5 FM), Yazoo City (107.5 FM) and Tupelo (99.9 FM). The MRN carries music (country, standards, religious), news, farm reports, talk, religion, comedies, dramas and sports seven days a week.
More to come...
Mississippi has solid relations with all of the former Confederate states other than Jackson, as well as the other nation states in the former South. Reports have some interest by government leaders in talking with officials from the United States government in the western part of North America, as well as officials from Piedmont and Kentucky about some sort of alliance between the Dixie Alliance, the Appalachian states and the former CS states.
There also has been dialogue as of late with representatives from the League of Nations.
Mississippi maintains good relations with Hattiesburg and Natchez, two survivor states from the southern portion of the former U.S. state of Mississippi. There is little interest currently in reuniting the state; a study commissioned by the University of Mississippi in Oxford and the University of Hattiesburg will look at the topic and is scheduled for release in the fall of 2011.
Mississippi has gone on record as saying the recent Jackson War was "overkill", although the Virginian Republic has taken more offense to the disagreement than Kentucky has.
Pamphlets, presumably written and published by a previously unknown group called 'Citizens of the Southron', were found around Corinth in late August 2010 asking 'Is the time right for a Union of Southern Republics, stretching from the Mississippi River to the Atlantic, from the Ohio River to the Gulf of Mexico?'. The group subsequently opened offices in Corinth and Tupelo, and representatives told interested bypassers (and law enforcement) the group was interested in the Southern states joining together "like South America".