An Audience with Justinian I #4
by Burnham Micronational
Good evening fellow Burnhamites, Micronationalists and onlookers! I, Basileus of the Dominion, Justinian I, am here once more to discuss the happenings of Burnham and it’s membership in the Würtige Empire. However, instead of looking forward to up and coming events, or pressing on with present motions and actions, the body of this evening’s article will be dedicated to the past. As you may or may not have been aware, on the 25th August 2013, the Würtige Empire commemorated the 1st anniversary of the official declaration of establishment of the Confederate States of Prosperity.
The Confederate States of Prosperity (CSP) were a body of nations that were loosely governed by a Confederate authority. The Confederacy itself was born out of a trade organisation set up by the member nations, that had failed spectacularly in it’s few months of activity. It was the St Peters Republic (the Regional Dominion of Burnham’s ancestor state) that led the activities of the trade organisation, and it was I who initially began talks of uniting the member nations in a closer body than just sending backwards and forwards documents every month and calling it ‘commerce’.
This prompted the establishment of what became known as the CSP. The trade organisation’s initial name was the Programme for the Realistic Operation of Secessionist Production – Real (PROSP-R), a peculiarly acronymed group that deliberately riffed on the word ‘prosper’, so it was obvious that the word ‘prosper’ or ‘prosperity’ would feature in the Confederacy’s name somewhere. The final name as the Confederate States of Prosperity was the culmination of about an hour of heated debate, if I recall rightly. But yes, the name was Prosperity, and I think that the name really mirrored our optimism and drive for success.
On from that, but before we went public on the 25th August, we held our first Election, so that we would deliberately emerge as a well-led body, with an efficient lawmaking system. This led to the creation of three political parties; the Order of the Penguin party (led by James Frisch, currently the Doodler of the Eternal Empire of New Winterdown, although he was the Eternal Empire’s Emperor back then), the Green Party (led by Paco Velaszquez, who now is the sole member of the Green party of Burnham, and who’s nation, Agnorr, has been subsumed into the Tsardom of Nolland as a territory), and the Order of Gustavus party, led by myself.
The parties in many cases were at the same time both similar and different. All parties clamoured for gender equity, democracy, military pacifism and a refinement of the failed PROSP-R industry into a national economic effort. However, the ideologies of each were radically different to one another. The Green party was established on the conventional Green lines of democracy and environmental protection, while the Order of Gustavus party was a rabid Imperialist group, with State Corporatist principles underlying the party manifesto. The Order of the Penguin party was decidedly vague in it’s ideology, although centrism could be gleaned from it’s own manifesto. The manifestos too differed, revealing the styles of the party members and their leadership. The Green party had a mid-sized, two-page manifesto with brief points, often not extending beyond a couple of sentences for each promise. The Order of the Penguin had a short, single-page manifesto, with the first third taken up with historical narrative, and the rest being markedly vague and light on actual aims. The Order of Gustavus presented the longest manifesto, with 3 pages full of my ’5 Aims’, lengthy descriptions of plans that were high-handed and, ultimately, out of our reach as a Confederacy. During my tenure as President of the Confederacy, not a single Aim was ever achieved.
Of course, that jumps the gun a little. The Order of Gustavus party won the Election, and I was admitted as President of the Confederate States of Prosperity. However, I must say that the Election was a very close run thing. The Order of Gustavus was one vote behind the Green party by the end of the previously agreed Election time (the Order of the Penguin was…. more than a couple, of votes behind), but as the Empire-Republic of Freedomia under Mark II, who at this point was a reliable individual, had joined the CSP during the election period, the Election time was continued for another 24 hours. There were 2 more votes for the Order of Gustavus party from Freedomia, thus securing my Election victory.
The official declaration of the establishment of the CSP came on the 25th August 2012, at a Micronational gathering in London, UK was attended by a citizen of the St Peters Republic (a fine lass who, at that point, I was dating. She was in the Order of the Penguin party though, so we all know how that ended! That was a joke. Laugh.). My citizen/consort made the announcement to such individuals as Mr. Puchowski of Landashir, and His Majesty Haakon 1st of Zealandia, as my mind would have it, while eating scones and drinking tea in some London cafeteria near the Museums. Simultaneously, I posted on the Microwiki Forums about the CSP’s foundation, and others in the Confederacy’s leadership began work on a Microwiki page for the nation.
I have always looked back on the CSP, as some others have done, as the golden, glory days of Micronationalism. It was my heyday. I have never been prouder Micronationally (apart from perhaps during the May 31st Revolution) than I was when leading the Confederacy. It is surprising then to consider that, despite the masses of activity in the Confederal Parliament (I think that was the name of it, it has completely slipped my mind), there was so much that the CSP never actually had.
To my knowledge, we never had a permanent National Anthem. We never had a Constitution, or a proper log of all events passed in Parliament. We didn’t have a cohesive foreign policy, written laws, a judiciary body, or even a National Flag for a while. We were, despite our successes, leaving ourselves woefully overstretched.
Come November 2012, the time had come for us to reap what we had sown. Skype logs for our laws were becoming ridiculously hard to find. A month-long religious debate was inspiring a sense of disunity in Parliament. I, over late October and November, must have unofficially resigned in a fit of rage at least three times as delegates sought to rehaul the entire legislative system of the CSP without my permission. As President, I felt powerless against those I should have been able to control. But alas, there were no laws to aid my case. When December rolled around, the Confederacy had all but fell apart. Amager had withdrawn the two cantons it had pledged to the CSP, and everyone was now aware of the bitter tang that was the taste of failure.
It was at this time that the Würtige Empire came into being. Emperor Arthur I, who I had become friends with in previous months, made the offer initially as a joke. With the CSP sinking like a waterlogged ship, I took him up on his offer.
The referendums for whether the member nations were to stay with the CSP as it became the Würtige Empire were nerve racking, as I can recall. I, now in a position of power that I understood, did not wait for a referendum, and the Regional Dominion of Burnham (having changed name from the St Peters Republic on the 6th October 2012) became the Empire’s first Autonomous Member State. Nolland’s (then Knoll Island) referendum came back with a slight majority wanting to join the Würtige Empire, although I can remember waiting with baited breath until the results came in. New Winterdown’s referendum was against joining the Empire, although over the past fortnight, after approximately eight months of independence, Doodler James Frisch (following the Trevorlutionist movement in New Winterdown) and New Winterdown became clients of the Würdigeland.
Freedomia gave the most problems, with Mark losing his rag, refusing to join the Würtige Empire, and denying the Freedomians the right to a referendum. He was however, a citizen of Knoll Island, and there he began a serious hate campaign against Würdigeland, Burnham, Nolland, and anyone he could slander. This led to the controversial ‘Mark II Trial’, when Emperor Arthur I and myself (with some naming choices by Sebastian Linden of Pristinia) quickly knocked up a judicial system, and hired three impartial Micronationalists from the Micronational community who would do Jury Duty for us. Mark was banished from Knoll Island and the Empire, and his hate campaign has continued well into today, which has already been documented. The Mark II trial did resurface a few months ago, when Tsar Thomas I of Nolland criticised the Trial, as Nolland had not been admitted as an Autonomous Member State when the Würtige Imperial Court trialled Mark II. It was an example of Judicial Imperialism, after a form. However, a Nollandish led retrial never emerged, after it was put off by the Tsar, for a rainy day perhaps.
So, with my long story over, I hope you will all now have the beginning of an understanding of what the Confederate States of Prosperity was like. In retrospect, the CSP was hideously flawed in it’s administration and lofty aims. However, it was a shining beacon to all of those involved Micronationally, and it will stick with us for a long time.
The likes of the Confederate States of Prosperity will never be seen again by my eyes, that’s for sure.