Wisconsin was first recognized as a state in 1848, when its first settlers, attracted by its fertile black soil, voted for admission into the United States. Their numbers were soon buffeted by German settlers fleeing central Europe in the wake of the failed revolutions of 1848. Wisconsin was a staunchly republican state and contributed many volunteers toward the Union during the 1st Civil War although the outbreak of veterans fever would keep many of them from ever seeing combat. Even in the wake of the Union’s defeat Wisconsin continued to prosper through both agriculture and mining. Wisconsin’s population exploded in a deluged of even more homesteading Germans, Swiss, Norwegians and Swedes. During this time period, Milwaukee emerged as the states principle metropolis becoming a center of great lakes industry, transit and commerce while taking on a subtly German character. Wisconsin was one of the birthplaces of progressivism, with Wisconsin native Robert Lafollette becoming a major reforming in both state and national politics. Unfortunately though such progressive reforms were only truly implemented in parts of the Midwest and Great Plains as the industrial barons fought savagely to keep them from being put into place. In the years before the fall of the GLC, Wisconsin immigration took a radical turn with Slavs, particularly Poles replacing Germans as the states largest incoming immigrant group this trend would continue even under the GLC as the polish dysphasia continued to flee Russia, Germany and Austria for American soil. As the united states collapsed, Wisconsin vainly attempted to support the existing government, but the state found itself cutoff and surrounded and could only watch as it found itself incorporated into another power.
Wisconsin in the GLC
Out of all the GLC states Wisconsin was the most reluctant to join. Ultimately it took a series of dubious elections along the industrial Lake Michigan coast and the deployment of “GLC” peacekeepers to bring the state into line. While Madison remained Wisconsin’s capital, the state was effectively ruled from Milwaukee due to its proximity to the GLC capital of Chicago. As a means of bringing Wisconsin into line the GLC strongly encouraged the end of hyphenated Americanism amongst the state’s sizable German-American population. Thanks to this governmental pressure, this form of separate ethnic identity had largely ended by the early 1950s. During this time period the urban ties between the two cities grew particularly strong and remained so even after the GLC new GLC capital ) located between the borders of Ohio and Indiana.
Wisconsin along with southern Illinois ended up becoming the GLC’s domestic breadbaskets, extensively cultivated as security against a general Great Plains grain embargo. Its great lake cities continued to prosper as industrial centers while the interior was largely ignored with the exception of Madison, which thanks to its university became a regional center of learning and research hub. Madison would eventually emerge as the GLC’s biotech center producing countless varieties of genetically modified crops and more infamously, many of the biological weapons that populated the GLC’s arsenal.
There were two Wisconsin “Revolts” during its period of GLC rule, the occurring in 1967 in Milwaukee in the wake of yet another crackdown on labor Unions, workers rather than calling a general strike, marched on the city capital and imprisoned the mayor and proclaimed a new city government. While the new council passed an extensive list of reforms, it was overthrown within a week by the intervention of the Pinkerton guard and all surviving leaders of the uprising were given lengthy prison terms.
The second occurred on the eave of the revolt in wake of the disruption of Great Plains grain production. Southern Wisconsin farmers refused to ship their crops and livestock to the GLC’s heartland for the government mandated prices, troops were brought in seize the production. The farmers resisted but were ultimately powerless in the face of overwhelming force.
Wisconsin during The Great Lakes War
While the Communist uprising in Michigan prompted similar revolts throughout many of Wisconsin’s largest cities, they were largely put down before they could grow into anything larger by the garrisoning troops. The state was immediately put into an emergency wartime economy with food and fuel strictly rationed and industry quickly retooled for military use. As the communists won victory after victory Wisconsin was forced to become one of the view remaining pillars that propped up the GLC government. The Communists invaded northern Wisconsin eventually capturing Green Bay until a defensive line stabilized that vast and densely wooded front. Mandatory conscription was called with the states youth hastily being armed and trained for urban combat. At least half of these soldiers were sent to the Chicago front and another quarter sent up north in a drive to retake both Green Bay and the UP. The remainder were based in Madison with the intention of being used as the GLC’s last reserves. As a result of these measures, Wisconsin suffered horrible casualties and deprivations, when governor Thompson, normally a staunch conservative, complained to the GLC government he was immediately executed and replaced with a less outspoken individual. With the Canadian intervention and the grime conclusion of the Siege of Chicago, Wisconsin found itself in an interesting position. Most of the GLC’s government was dead, the communists were collapsing and they controlled most of the GLC’s remaining military assets. The GLC government in Madison and Milwaukee was simultaneously overthrown in a nearly bloodless uprising with a provisional government soon being assembled in Madison. Canadian peacekeepers and foreign volunteers were surprised to find themselves joined by the native Wisconsinites when they came to shut down the GLC’s nightmarish camp 2. Although most of the camp’s researchers fled, several of its leading scientists were captured, given show trials and then executed, frustrating the Canadain expeditionary force. The new Wisconsin government was formed out of military leaders, local politicians and university experts and is centered around a bicarmal legislature and an executive of theoretically moderate power (presidential elections have yet to be declaired given Wisconsin’s ongoing conflicts) The provisional government, seeing that its neighbors and rivals were effectively leaderless, they decided to immediately seize and fortify as much territory as possible hoping to keep most of the spoils long after peace returned. Chicago and northern Illinois were soon taken, with guerrillas soon penetrating the UP with the Madison reserve driving northward in order to aid the unexpected uprising in Minnesota’s Twin Cities. While the excursion into UP faltered due to the presence of superior Canadian forces, its border with Wisconsin is still incredibly contentious. Northern Illinois has become a disputed territory centered around the ruins of Chicago, due largely to the absence of competing GLC authority, the fate of the city remains Wisconsin’s big bargaining chip with its former masters. The conflict in Minnesota on the other hand was truly an unequivocal success. After an unexpectedly easy victory, Wellstone allied himself and his supporters with Wisconsin, hoping to incorporate his native Minnesota into the new nation rather than allow it to be torn apart by civil war in the Iowa Free state. Wellstone himself has become increasingly popular in Minnesota and Wisconsin alike especially after the liberation of Duluth and widely expected that he will head the nation’s new government after it receives more widespread international recognition.