God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 10

Author: ElvenAshwin
Published: 2017-02-06

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 9

Images: 76, author: ElvenAshwin, published: 2017-02-06

Political Hegemon
Every great hegemon has been regarded to be impossible to beat: until someone did it. The world exists in a constant state of flux, and no golden age lasts forever.

But as the second term of Consul Primo carries on, the Socialists have managed to create for themselves a hegemonic position over the Consulship, with the other parties unable to match their demographic advantages or the charisma of their leader.

Furthermore, capable socialist slander machines combined with hidden ties to the criminal underground mean that even without a majority in the Senate, Primo is able to push a socialist agenda without any major form of resistance.

This is an era of good feelings for socialists, and the rest of the Republic flounders in their wake.
Free Healthcare for all!
The Roman Health Service is expanded once again following the conclusion of the Second Roman-Ethiopian War, with healthcare now free for all. Whilst this leads to rather long wait times, the Socialists refuse to compromise and add the option for private practitioners to operate. The government also begins investing huge amounts of money into ripping off medical advances in other countries, because there's no money for innovating when you're running a non-profit.
The Second Colonial Legion
The newly founded Abyssinian Protectorate has a Roman Governor appointed to it, and the creation of another colonial legion consisting of men from Abyssinia and South Sudan is approved by the Roman Senate.
The Liberals Rise
Women's demonstrations begin to spring up across the Republic: the Christian Socialists, however, decry these movements and refuse to budge on women's rights. Swooping in, the Liberal Party now courts those who feel disenfranchised by the social conservatism of the Socialist Party.
The Second Heligoland War
The German and British navies engage each other near Heligoland, an island annexed by the British during the Napoleonic Wars, that Germany holds claim to. Germany argues that the island gives Britain a dangerous position to command the western access to the Kiel canal, and also considers it to be rightful German land.

The British Navy sends several ships to defend the isle, and the conflict devolves in a stalemate.
The First Wave of Colonization Complete
The Uganda Protectorate and the Congo Protectorate are formed as we establish ourselves deeper into the Congo basin. Primo authorizes further expeditions into the basin, believing there to be rich resources ripe for Roman exploitation in the region.

Austria-Hungary expresses some reservations about our African expansion, worried about the balance of power in our relationship.
Germany ain't nothing to fuck with
The German army size has ballooned in recent years, making them effectively unbeatable by any state other than Russia, or Britain if they could use boats well.

This prompts Consul Primo to begin holding talks with the Germans - not for any particular alliance, but rather to improve relations between the two states and guarantee Roman safety in Europe.

This, naturally, prompts outcry from the Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister.
The Red Flag Rises
Following the crushing defeat of the French armies in the Italian War of Unification, as it has become known, a communist revolution rises up throughout the French countryside, concentrated in the south where the French were forced to demilitarize.

Consul Primo quietly funnels resources across the Savoyard-French border and into the hands of the revolutionaries.
Generalplan Arabia
Primo begins the next phase of his colonial ambitions: establishing a strong Roman presence on the Arabian coast. He introduces the idea of seizing Oman (which had already lost Zanzibar to the Germans) to serve as a gateway to the rest of the Indian Ocean (of course, French control of the Suez Canal meant that the Indian Ocean was always at risk of being cut off) to the Roman Senate.

The plan has strong support, but Senator Alescio suggests that Rome turn her attention back to Europe, to defeat her enemies at home. Primo brushes this aside, content with the peace in Italy.
Europe really doesn't like us
The creation of a Roman protectorate directly next to the British protectorate of Yemen alarms the British administration, which is presently still busy bombing German beaches. Nonetheless, the plan continues.
The stage is set
Oman is now largely defenseless, as no European state cares sufficiently to oppose our expansion in Arabia.
We'll take the oil too
Even before our very first troops land on the beaches of Oman, Consul Primo immediately begins drafting plans for an annexation of the Trucial States, on the basis of protecting them from British hegemony.
Racking up infamy
The proposal meets harsh criticism, including from the Austro-Hungarians, who are now worried about us dominating the middle-east and east africa. The Ottoman Empire, fearing encroachment, denounces the invasions, but Consul Primo assures them that they will not invade the Ottoman Empire.

Senator Alescio criticizes this, arguing in the Roman Senate for the "annihilation" of the Ottoman state and the capture of the entirety of the Middle-East. This, needless to say, harms international reputation and results in a reprimand from the Socialist Supreme Council.
Onwards!
The Roman Navy was carefully placed in the Red Sea before Primo introduced the idea of the invasion, thus preventing the French from blocking Roman access to the Suez Canal and delaying the invasion.

A colonial legion is hence gathered together, and shipped to Oman, and the declaration of war is issued.
On the beaches of Salalala
Our legion storms the beaches of Oman, where it faces little opposition. We begin taking cities and towns with only meagre resistance from local police forces. General Turrisi, in charge of the Masterplan for Arabia, offers to leave citizens unharmed if they surrender willingly.

In the face of massive guns and overwhelming numbers, the Omanis willingly accept the generous offer.
Onward, to the automobile age!
Roman engineers begin to experiment and develop the combustion engine, which they try to attach to carts and have fun riding around their homes. The idea cannot be developed further, nor can it be easily mass produced, but it sure was fun.
Black August
Following Alescio's speech and continual imperialist and purist rhetoric, many Senators go on the offensive against the Socialist party.

Consul Primo hits back. Over the course of August, six prominent Senators are found dead. Furthermore, Primo removes several magistrates from office, replacing them with former partners of the Socialist Party. Dominus Molinelli calls for an investigation into the breaches of magistrate independence, but the press is silenced on the matter, with the largest newspaper's heads bought off by Primo's associates.

Alescio attacks those who claim Primo is responsible for creating a "violent political atmosphere", rejecting any notion that the Socialists are responsible for murdering Senators. Primo finds Alescio's easily swayed personality and naivete to be useful.
The Minimum Wage Act
Primo and the Socialists use Black August and their violent campaigning methods to push forward a minimum wage act, thus winning back the hearts and minds of numerous everyday Romans.

Senators not belonging to the Socialist Party now fear for their lives. Molinelli uses his considerable means to get the message out that the Socialists are "destroying" Roman democracy.
Into Oman
As the conditions in Rome deteoriate, the oblivious army in Oman keeps marching towards the capital.
Rerum Novarum
The Pope strikes back. In the wake of Black August, the Pope issues an encyclical condemning all forms of Socialism, including the Christian Socialists, and criticizes them as being "against God".

This plays a critical role in swinging the religious vote slightly towards the moderates, but Primo cleverly plays off the event and refuses to comment. With his effective control of the largest press companies, he is able to silence dissent.
American Interventionism
The United States of America, interested in pursuing her own affairs in Middle-East, and angry over events occuring within the Roman Republic, intervenes in the attack on Oman, promising to defend "liberty for all".

The Roman Republic is decried in American newspapers as a "dictatorship in disguise".
Austria-Hungary annuls the alliance!
In the wake of considerable military build up, extreme Roman expansionism and imperialistic, "New Roman Empire" rhetoric emerging from the Roman Senate, the Austro-Hungarians refuse to renew our alliance, in a shock affair.

Primo, of course, always has a card up his sleeve.
The Romano-German Alliance
Primo meets the German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck in Berlin, where he proposes an alliance between Germany and Rome, focused on defeating British interests in Africa and abroad.

Bismarck accepts this proposal, resulting in Austria-Hungary being surrounded by her enemies.
Sweet mother of Germany
This is the behemoth herself.
The Moralist Surge
Afraid of recent papal remarks and the growth of liberal movements, the Socialists are pleased when a preacher kickstarts a national conversation on "degeneracy", hopefully kicking the Liberal Party as they attempting to claw their way back into relevance.

Furthermore, this preacher and many others than uphold Christian Socialism as how "Christ would have run a nation".
We have arrived in Muscat
As we arrive in the Omani capital, Primo sends a letter informing General Turrisi to turn around and seize the Trucial States once he is done.
What could go wrong?
The Prague Massacre occurs in December of 1891, just before the Roman Elections, and now Bohemians are clamouring for their liberation from the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
No one cares, sadly
The massacre is largely ignored internationally, as no European power is interested in a war in Europe.

On another note, the 1892 Elections see the Liberals claim 30% of the Roman Senate, resulting in them edging out the Socialists as the biggest party in the Senate.
The Third Colonial Legion
Primo approves further military expansion, a goal supported by all major parties, in early 1892, in an attempt to paint the Socialist Party as "effective" without having to push through a controversial bill.
Someone do something, bloody hell
The Anglo-German stand off carries on in 1892, with the Germans occupying Heligoland by surprise. This isn't enough to force a British surrender, and the British bombard the isle from the sea.
Death to you!
With the Americans refusing the budge over Oman, Turrisi turns around and begins his invasion of the Trucial states before formally annexing Oman into a protectorate.
When did we go into debt?
The high costs of the newfound military plunge the Roman coffers into debt after over a year of sustaining full military spending. Supplies to the war in Arabia are cut in half as Primo attempts to balance an increasingly difficult budget.

Furthermore, high costs of the Roman Healthcare Service and other socialist policies are taking their toll, especially as government revenue has largely stagnated.
Into Dubai
After capturing Ras Gharib, General Turrisi attacks north and tries to take Dubai - from here, he can approach the Strait of Hormuz, near which the Omani Sultan is hiding.
The Trucial States fall
The Trucial states are annexed into the Omani Protectorate, and the Roman Senate appoints a governor to the Protectorate.
Maybe one day the Sauds will build something
The Saudi state has been stuck in frozen conflict for decades now, with neither side actually having an army, interestingly enough.

Turrisi sends a delegate to Nejd to consider an alliance with the Roman Republic. And by that we mean an alliance in our favor. And by that we mean "we'll annex you eventually".
The Omani Sultan is captured
After the fall of Dubai, Turrisi manages to find and capture the Sultan, who agrees to rule over Oman under a Roman Protectorate.
The master plan is proceeding well
Oman is annexed into the Oman Protectorate. The Sultan continues to exist as a figurehead of sorts, thus allowing us to buy the loyalty of local Omanis.
The US gives up
Despite some level of public support in defeating the "corrupt" Roman Republic, after the fall of Oman the US agrees to a white peace deal.
Roman Chad
The Roman colony of Uganda is split into Roman Chad and Roman Uganda.
Persia is civilized?
Strangely enough, Persia appears to be a civilized state, thus foiling Primo's plans of annexing the whole thing.
Do you really need my help?
The last few independent nations in West Africa begin to fall. Meanwhile, the Spanish open up a front in the Congo basin, hoping to cut off the Germans, who are advancing from German Nigeria. The British expand their hold over Congo, leading to minor clashes with Roman settlers as our territory overlaps.

The French, facing rebellions in their colonies, are largely knocked out of the Scramble for Africa. The Sahara and the Sahel remain uncontested, with the last major clashes of the Scramble occuring over the Congo basin.
Become more efficient!
Meanwhile, back home in Rome, we set up a scheme to reward more productive factories and punish those suffering from inefficiencies (since, thanks to corporate welfare, the whole "free market" thing has gone out the window), and several clever individuals realize that they can now hold back workers into the night, thanks to the electric light bulb.

This faces some criticism from Alescio, who is suprised when the rest of his party stays mum.
Black Gold
We, shockingly, find oil in Dubai. Who would've guessed?
A Pension Plan
With the 1893 elections now approaching, the Socialist Party shores up support by placing yet another burden on the state and introduces an eldercare initiative.

The Moderate Party faces a frequent issue of Senatorial defections, without any real leadership capable of steering the party line. For all intents and purposes, the moderates are dead.
The Women's Education Act
A massive scandal erupts when a young woman attempts to attend a university lecture. Whilst women are technically not exempt from university, or primary and secondary school education, they are not expected to attend. By breaking this implicitly understood social rule, the indecent woman attending the lecture has now caused a problem for the Roman Senate.

The Moderates, acting for the first time since their collapse following Grifeo's defeat, propose the Women's Education Act, formally banning women from attending state universities, or attending primary and secondary school. The act is passed with heavy socialist support, but soon a lawsuit emerges,decrying it unconstitutional.
The Gender War
The case threatens to make its way to the Roman High Court - as a form of discrimination between Roman Citizens, the act quite obviously violates the rights provided to the people in the Roman Constitution.

The Socialists and Moderates react to this by amending the constitution, guaranteeing all rights only the male citizens, in a massive step back for the state of women. The move is intensely popular among the men who can vote, however, triggering a violent response by the Women's Suffragists.
TIME FOR THE MONEY
The Roman Economic Advisory, in charge of creating state factories, is delighted when they obtain the necessary technical know-how to create electric gear factories: the good is believed to become very valuable in the coming years.
An empty market
At the cutting edge of technology, the market is currently small and severely undersupplied. The Senate approves a huge budget for a mass expansion of Roman factories.
Sweden, yes!
Furthermore, our friend in Sweden is a prime producer of the goods needed to produce electronics.
Here goes all my money!
The electronics industry explodes into existence, with entrepreneurs flocking over the Rome, aware of large government subsidies waiting for them.
Rubber discovered in Sudan!
A breakthrough happens later that year, with the discovery of rubber in Sudan. Roman chemists and industrial experts flock to Sudan to see where else the precious resource can be extracted.
The Roman Elections have begun!
One more, Primo lets his term as Consul elapse, now planning on running for a thus far unprecedented third term. Afraid of Primo's dominance, there is some talk among Liberal circles about attempting to push through a constitutional amendment introducing term limits.

Molinelli expresses support for the idea, to the ire of the Socialists.

The Liberals field Arturo Brenna, a former magistrate, liberal author and women's suffragist. Whilst the party establishment has largely given up on winning Consul elections, they nominated as liberal a leader as possible to cater to their base and energize them to turn out in larger numbers and vote in Senatorial elections.

The Moderate Party, broken and damaged, field Dacio Peppe. Senator Peppe was a former economist with slight liberal tendencies on issues of economics and citizenship. By fielding Sen. Peppe, the Moderate Party effectively removes any and all competition with Primo's base. They hope to savage the Liberal Party's votes, consolidate the non-Socialist forces in the years to come and then strike back - a plan that is becoming increasingly less likely to be effective as the Socialists approach the very first Consulship majority.

Meanwhile, the Liberals also have a separate plan up their sleeve: they consider suing the Socialist Party over the events of Black August and subsequent incidents of political violence. However, they cannot do this while support of the party remains high, lest they risk sabotaging their own brand.
The contest over the dirt
For some reason, with competition in the Congo wrapping up, the Europeans seem to enjoy fighting over worthless land in the Sahel.
The Cairo Exposition
Aiming to promote the success of the Socialist colonial policy, Primo organizes for a colonial exposition in Cairo, detailing how the Roman protectorates are run, as well as the goods produced within them.

Meanwhile, Molinelli begins campaigning for term limits.
Competition rising
The extraction of resource from Sudan has increased drastically, putting us in an excellent position in the rubber market.
The Cairo Exposition Opens!
Featuring goods produced from our colonies, talks by our colonial governors, statements by local leaders in how well the Romans treat them as well as showcases of our colonial education policy that aims to foster an Italian-speaking "Romanosphere", the Cairo Exposition proves to be a major success.

News of the exposition is printed in the papers across Italy, winning the party great support.
The Sixth Roman Convention
Despite fairly heavy campaigning on Molinelli's part against Primo, the Socialists make a slight gain from the previous convention, capturing exactly half the delegates and almost pushing them into a majority.

The Moderate strategy does not pay off, with the Liberals successfully defeating them and continuing the division of anti-Socialist votes.

Furthermore, shockingly, the Liberals lose their Senatorial plurality, and the Socialists now have control over both the executive and legislative branches of government.

The liberals now open up talk of a constitutional amendment to limit terms: in response, Primo cleverly suggests expanding the size of the Roman Supreme Court from 7 individuals to 11, the extra four of which he would be obliged to appoint himself. With the magistrates already captured by the Socialist Party, stacking the court would complete the utter domination of the Roman Republic.
The Saudi Civil War ends
The Nejd Emirate finally raises enough troops to fight back against the other Saud, and the decades-long conflict ends with the reuniting of Saudi Arabia.

Meanwhile, Molinelli aggressively campaigns against the Socialist proposal to stack the court, and insists on Primo being investigated for capturing the magistrates.
Would you be interested in a trade agreement?
General Turrisi, who remains in the Omani protectorate, assisting in the establishment of state institutions, pays a visit to the victorious Nejd Emirate in order to incorporate into the Roman sphere of influence.
The Chad Crisis
A crisis breaks out between the Ottoman and German Empires. Turkish settlers approaching Lake Chad have shot and killed numerous German officials, and in response the Ottoman Sultan refused to condemn the attack or withdraw out of Chad. There is also the larger question of general opposition of Ottoman interference in sub-saharan Africa.
Whole lotta nothing to go to war over
The Roman colony of Roman Chad and the Sudan Protectorate both border the contested region, meaning that Rome has a great interest in who ultimately seizes the region.
Go away Turk
Having Germany seize Chad would not only look better on a map, but would also prevent us from having to worry about hostile territory near our rather defenseless Central African colonies.

The UK, seeing an opportunity to simultaneously undermine both her colonial rivals, supports the Turkish position.
The first bill of the new term
The Senate spends two months in deadlock, as Moderates and Liberals refuse to cooperate with Socialist demands. The Liberals win a major victory in their struggle when, in late February, the CEO of the Roman Times, a popular publication which was pro-Socialist, is replaced by an anti-Socialist former revolutionary. This thus helps weaken the Socialist capture of the media.

In March, the gridlock breaks finally as Senatorial approval rating plummet, and an expansion of the pension plan introduced in the previous term is passed with moderate support.
Aw, fuck
A-H, France and Russia all move against Germany, supporting the Ottoman and British Empires. This is mildly alarming to Primo, who views the crisis as a test of how alliances may form in a future conflict.
The Ottomans win
Germany agrees to withdraw all their settlers, and drop claims to Chad, thus allowing the Ottoman Empire to advance south.
Where the hell did these Jews come from?
Senator Alescio gives a rousing and combative speech in Senate in removing the Jewish and Muslim minorities in Rome, who have been linked with crime and violence and tend to live in poorer ghettos.
The Great Re-Alignment!
In the second half of 1894, Roman foreign policy in Europe suddenly falls apart. A-H signs an alliance with France, Britain and the Ottoman Empire, thus surrounding Rome and trapping her between all her enemies. This dangerously shifts the balance of power away from the German axis and risks conflict in the future.

Senator Alescio criticizes what he views as "weak" European foreign policy, with Socialist "pacifism" allowing for Rome's enemies to unite.
The Liberal Renaissance
The backwards views held by the Socialist and Moderate parties have only continued to help fuel the Liberal fire. In Sicily, a local Liberal Senator introduces the Married Women's Property Act, which the Liberal Party push hard. Protests spring up across the island as the Socialists and Moderates refuse to support it and strike it down.

Dominus Molinelli, now certain that it is finally time to strike, sues Consul Primo for the murder of a Liberal Senator during Black August, and sues the Socialist Party for magistrate capture and slander. He demands a Senate impeachment of the Consul.
The Socialists Strike Back
In one of the most ill-calculated moves in all of political history, on the morning of December 8, Molinelli is murdered outside his home by a man who has never been identified.

The murder results in a massive uproar across the country, occuring just a few weeks before Senatorial elections. Allegations against Primo now stick, and several more families of dead Senators now demand prosecution for the death of their loved ones. The Senate agrees to launch an investigation, and soon after the impeachment process is begun.

All at once, allegations from times past come spilling forth. the Socialist Party and Primo, having lost control of the Roman Times, are unable to stop the onslaught. Numerous papers, previous supportive of the party, now desert them.

Within the Senate, a shocked Senator Alescio falls apart as his idealized God is disgraced. Alescio betrays the party line and demands Primo's immediate resignation, resulting in him becoming a pariah within the Party.
The Collapse of the Socialist Party
Whilst the Socialists hold on in the South, they see their support vanish elsewhere, with the Liberals surging ahead to 34% of the Senate. Many of their senior Senators had come from the North and Sicily, and are replaced by the strong anti-Socialist sentiment.

Primo now desperately needs to hold on, delaying where he can as he searches for a way out. In a hearing in the Senate, he invokes his right to remain silent.

As this scandal occured early into the Consul term, if the Socialists weather the storm they conclude that they can still win the next election, although it is likely to be far more competitive,
Hey, at least we have electric gear dominance?
The Economic Advisory reports excellent returns on their investment into the electronics industry. The Consul's office gives them a thumbs up as they are busy trying not to burn down in the chaos of the murder of Dominus Molinelli.
Well, it's not rock bottom yet
As Italy engulfs itself in the Socialist scandal, across the colonies massive unrest is observed in response to poor government treatment. In particular, the investment by the Radical Socialist Party in developing a communist base in East Africa has paid off.

Primo is effectively incapacitated, and unable to react to the events. He refuses to resign, knowing that the Socialists would lose a Consul Election (which, by law, must be held immediately after the previous Consul steps down).

Welcome to the Romanosphere
General Turrisi manages to court the Saudi Sultan, furthering the goals of the Arabian master plan.

Back in Rome, the scandal has evolved to encompass multiple Socialist Senators, numerous Magistrates and the CEOs of several news companies. Primo attempts to level with the Senate, offering to step down once his term elapses, but not immediately, so as to keep Rome stable.
Onward, to the North!
The Roman Academy of Science outfits an expedition to the North Pole. Their request for funding is accepted by the Senate, which is slightly preoccupied.

The Moderates and Liberals jockey over impeaching Primo immediately or towards the end of his term. The Moderate Party believes an immediate conviction of the Consul would result in the Liberals winning the ensuing election - they would stand a greater chance in later years.

The extremely slow response of the Senate - having been ten months since the murder - is routinely criticized.
The military is getting better, hey?
The Senate, on October 28 (Revolution Day), votes to impeach Consul Primo on grounds of abuse of power after an investigation about the magistrate independence and Senator intimidation concludes. A separate criminal trial, regarding Molinelli's death, also begins.

The date of the trial is set to January 15 1896, under the new Senate, where the Socialists are likely to lose more seats and a conviction (which requires a supermajority and hence some Socialist support) would become more likely.

He is the Dictator for Life
Sometimes, in history, things get thrown out by little chance encounters that no one could have predicted. Opportunistic men, such as Consul Primo, are always on the look out for such events, and they can drastically alter the course of history by doing so.

In early January of 1896, the Spanish-American War breaks out over Cuban independence. Spain issues a call to arms - the Consul accepts, thus issuing a declaration of war on the USA.

With the Republic now at war, the requirements are fulfilled for Primo to pull his trump card. As per the Roman Constitution, Consul Primo unilaterally proclaims himself Dictator, suspends impeachment proceedings and drops all criminal charges against himself.

The Senate is left in shock as once more their Socialist enemy slips past them.

Senator Alescio, meanwhile, resigns from the Senate in anger at the obstruction of justice. What use is a democracy, if it can merely be suspended at will?

And that is the question that will ultimately determine the fate of the Roman Republic.

Next chapter:

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God Wills It - A HPM Roman AAR - Part 11

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