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United States of Europe

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USE Flag

Flag of the United States of Europe

The United States of Europe (USE)[notes 1] was a federation formed in November 1633 from the Confederated Principalities of Europe (CPoE), which was composed of many of the roughly 1800 German political units of the Holy Roman Empire of the 1630s. It was founded by several late 20th century-early 21st century Americans who were displaced into mid-seventeenth century Europe due to an incident involving an Assiti Shard. They based the structure of the USE loosely on the United States Constitution, taking 17th century politics into account, and heavily based the government on the British-style parliamentary system. One difference from that model is that the upper house of the Parliament consisted of the state/provincial governors and the mayors (or equivalents) of the imperial cities. A peculiar side-effect of this was that, since Gustavus Adolphus had made himself Duke of Mecklenburg and Duke of Pomerania, he had two votes in the upper house.

The USE had a Supreme Court, but did not establish a new court for this purpose. Instead, it essentially took over the Holy Roman Empire's Imperial Chamber Court (Reichskammergericht). As of 1634, the Court was seated in the city of Wetzlar.[notes 2] Even under the USE, the Court was known for the extreme length of time it could take to reach a decision.

While the nation was styled "United States", it appeared that only the State of Thuringia-Franconia and (later) the state of Tyrol actually styled themselves as "states".

The capital of the USE was Magdeburg. The first Prime Minister of the USE was Michael Stearns. The first, and so far only, Emperor of the USE was Gustavus Adolphus.

ProvincesEdit

The USE was composed of several provinces and imperial cities. The imperial cities were effectively city-states, and functioned as provinces. Not all provinces were completely self-governing.

Fully self-governingEdit

BrunswickEdit

  • Head of state: Duke George of Brunswick-Lüneburg; managed in his absence by Loring Schultz

Hesse-KasselEdit

MadgeburgEdit

State of Thuringia-FranconiaEdit

TyrolEdit

  • Capital: Bolzano
  • Voluntarily entered the USE in mid-1635, following negotiations between Claudia de' Medici and the USE government.
  • Ruled by a regency council headed by Wilhelm Bienner, acting for Claudia's minor sons.

WürttembergEdit

  • Capital: Stuttgart
  • Head of state: The late Eberhard III, as Perpetual Duke
  • Head of government: An elected "Perpetual Regent", identity TBD.
  • Entered the USE in the latter half of 1635, under the disputed provisions of Duke Eberhard’s April 1635 will.[notes 3]

Self-governing, but with imperially appointed governorsEdit

MecklenburgEdit

  • Capital: Schwerin
  • Head of state: Gustavus Adolphus, in his capacity as Duke of Mecklenburg.

Upper RhineEdit

  • Head of state: Wilhelm Ludwig of Nassau-Saarbrücken

WestphaliaEdit

  • Head of state: Prince Frederik of Denmark

Under imperial administrationEdit

These provinces still elect members of the House of Commons.

Oberpfalz (Upper Palatinate)Edit

  • Capital: Amberg
  • Administrator: (until September 1635) Ernst Wettin; (after September 1635) Christian I of Pfalz-Birkenfeld-Bischweiler

PomeraniaEdit

  • Directly ruled by Gustavus Adolphus, in his capacity as Duke of Pomerania.
  • As of July 1635, Pomerania was technically self-governing, but effectively ruled by direct imperial fiat.

Province of the MainEdit

Imperial cities Edit

After late 1635Edit

Special casesEdit

Brandenburg and SaxonyEdit

  • As of July 1635, these areas were effectively outside the USE. Whether they were officially part of it depended on whether one asked Gustavus or George William and John George.
  • After September of 1635, George William had fled and John George was dead, and both areas were assimilated into the USE. Ernst Wettin was appointed as administrator of Saxony. However, its capital, Dresden, was effectively controlled by its Committee of Correspondence. Brandenburg's capital, Berlin, was the center of Axel Oxenstierna's attempted coup. As of March 1636, its status was uncertain.

SwabiaEdit

  • As of July 1635, Swabia was still under direct imperial administration, and the projected "Province of Swabia" had not yet come into being.

Foreign PolicyEdit

The foreign policy of the USE was predicated on the goal of spreading American-style democracy in Europe. Its primary enemy was the League of Ostend, consisting of Spain (which had been the current enemy of the Protestant German states), France, England, and Denmark. All these countries saw the U.S.E. as a political threat to their national interests. The conflict with the League of Ostend lasted more than a year from 1633 to 1634 when Denmark was defeated and formed, with Sweden, a new Union of Kalmar; and Cardinal Don Fernando severed his connection with Spain, became king in the Netherlands, and established peace between his kingdom and the U.S.E. A ceasefire was declared between France and the U.S.E. while a weakened Spain continued its warring interests.

Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria developed a very antagonistic relationship towards the U.S.E. following the death of his wife Elizabeth Renata, and threatened to kill any U.S.E. nationals entering Bavaria.

By 1635, with the destruction of the League of Ostend, the USE annexed (or re-incorporated, depending on one's POV) Brandenburg and Saxony, and invaded the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.

Accepting the plea of Ferdinand III, the USE sends its forces to aid Austria-Hungary against the Ottoman Empire[notes 4]

State of the NationEdit

After Gustavus Adolphus was injured at the Battle of Lake Bledno, the USE experienced a conflict between reactionary forces loyal to Axel Oxenstierna, and liberal and loyalist forces such as the Committees of Correspondence and the Fourth of July Party. This was not a true civil war, as there were no armed clashes outside of Mecklenburg and Saxony. It was essentially a political conflict, with Oxenstierna's opponents "fighting" by presenting themselves as legitimate.

By 1636, the United States of Europe had become the dominant economic, scientific, and industrial power in Europe. The only power that could challenge the USE was the Ottoman Empire.

FlagEdit

The flag of the USE was the St. Andrews cross (saltire), which had been the basis of the Scottish and other European flags for generations. The cross was black on a red field, and contained individual gold stars representing the states of the USE. In the center, there was a version of the lesser coat of arms of Sweden, with the blue replaced by black. The black, gold, and red colors were historically associated with German identity and nationality, while the use of stars for states/provinces was an up-time American practice.

The red field and use of stars in the St. Andrews cross caused the flag to strongly resemble the American "Southern Cross", especially at a distance.went farther, and more-or-less conflated the two flags. Some American up-timers disliked having a national flag that was visually so similar to the Southern Cross, which, in the OTL, had often symbolized a belief in white supremacy. Many refused to display it. Some went farther, and more-or-less conflated the two flags.[notes 5]

CurrencyEdit

The currency of the USE was the USE dollar, though other currencies could and did circulate freely within the USE. The USE dollar was not, strictly speaking, a new currency; the New United States dollar, complete with Tom Stone's designs, became the USE dollar.

NotesEdit

  1. Google Translate renders the phrase into German as Vereinigten Staaten von Europa. That style is not used in the series, but it is not clear if that is for the benefit of English-speaking readers, or if it is an in-universe concession to up-timer sensibilities, or if the English phrase "United States" was incorporated into Amideutsch.
  2. In the OTL, the Reichskammergericht was in Speyer in 1634, and did not move to Wetzlar until 1689.
  3. This state of affairs is mentioned in the Grid, but apparently has not been written about.
  4. This event has been mentioned as something that is likely to appear in a planned book in the 1632 series and/or as being part of the general outline for that series. However, it has not yet been written about.
  5. While the similarity and reactions to it are noted (Grantville Gazette XXIII, "Turn Your Radio On, Episode Five"), the actual lines of reasoning that went into the design appear to be left as unstated background.

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