March of the Empire
|• Emperor||Yu Jiangshi|
|• Grand Chancellor||Li Shen Kang|
The Bai Empire (Babelic: 百帝国 bai diguo, Gohangukian: 백 제국 baekjeguk, Niwanese: 百帝国 hyaku teikoku), officially the New Great Bai Empire and the Heavenly Realms (新大百), is a country in Northern Archanta. Located on Archanta Minor, the empire is one of the largest countries in the world and among the most populous nations. A semi-constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary democracy, the state exercises jurisdiction over Bai Proper and several territories known as the 'Outer Realm'. The current monarch of Bai is Yu Jiangshi, who has reigned since 1989, and the Chancellor is Li Shen Kang. The capital of the Bai Empire is Xiongjing (雄京) with other major urban areas of the empire included key financial centre Jincheng (今城) and largest city Port Dunghoi (东海港).
The empire has its origins from many separate kingdoms until they were first unified under Fu Huang in the 3rd century AD. The short-lived Fu Dynasty was then succeeded by a series of dynasties, with brief periods of civil conflict alongside advancements in technology and culture. The various princely states were reunited under the First Bai Empire in the 13th century, but the Empire was subsequently conquered by the Ninwans in the 15th century. Under the Ninwan-led Suo Dynasty (索朝), the Bai began its mass expansionism and colonisation of the kingdom beyond Northern Archanta. After the collapse of the Suo, the weak Lin had to face off Ulethan powers and its proxies seeking control over the region. Through the Bai Strengtherning Movement, the Middle Bai Dynasty was established in 1798 as a semi-constitutional monarchy, ending absolute dynastic rule in Bai.
At the turn of the 20th century, tensions between the socialists and the fascists led to a brief end to dynastic rule through a Fascist Coup in 1922. The Fascist regime under Yu Shanliu led up to the devastating War of Fellow Brothers, as the Fascist Republic sought to expand its influence against its socialist neighbours. Although the socialists eventually emerged victoriously, the Bai eventually fell into a period of anarchy known as the Warlord Era as various factions fought for power and control. In the 1960s, the New Bai Dynasty was established through the Eastern Expedition. Under the regent Yu Zeming, he implemented the Weixin (维新) programme which contributed to the growth of the empire's economy.
Today, besides the Bai, there are also known native Kazhals, Gohangukians and Niwanese in the country. The national language of the empire is Baiyu, which about 90% speaks. Many of its citizens live in densely populated cities on the northern and eastern coasts, while the Empire has vast areas of wilderness that support the world's highest levels of biodiversity. A regional power in Northern Archanta, the Bai Empire has one of the largest economies in the world and one of the most developed nations in the region. However, the empire still faces prevalent gender inequality, economic inequality and certain restrictions on civil liberties and political rights.
Fu Dynasty and subsequent dynasties
The end of the Meng Dynasty led to the establishment of smaller states that will exist for the next few centuries, known as the Era of Fragmentation, or the Princes' Era, with each state ruled by a "Prince" or "Lord". While there were no large-scale regional conflicts during the era, the various states continued to fight each other over resources, territory and influence through a series of brief skirmishes. About 80 states emerged during this period, though many of them were vassals of the ten larger and more influential states: Deng, Gong, Huan, Mei, Pang, Sheng, Song, Sun, Wang and Yuan.
By the 12th century, two rival alliances emerged - the Northern States and the Southern Communes - during the War of River Valleys. The first major regional war since the Meng, it erupted over the sudden drought of the rivers that flowed in the region. The Northern States, led by the State of Pang, led the attack against the south. The Southern Communes, led by the States of Dan and Gong, managed to fend off the attacks and push back the Northern invasion. The South managed to defeat the Northern States in the Battle of 朝安 Chao An. The leading general and the Prince of Dan, Dan Huxing, proclaimed himself the Emperor of the Hundred Lands in 1149, uniting the conquered Bai states and reestablishing the Bai monarchy.
First Bai Empire (1150-1327)
The First Bai Dynasty, as it was called, was a confederation of Bai states. After Dan's sudden death in 1155, his attempts for centralisation were halted as his successor, Dan Qiuhe, preferred to retain the princely-system, as lobbied by other princes at the time. A central government existed but the Imperial Court was largely powerless. Hence, the unification was all but in name, as the princes still had more autonomy to handle their own affairs, while the title of Emperor was rotated among them. Still, the Bai Kingdom was largely stable during its first decades of existence, due to open trade routes between the states and victories against the Kazhal, Neeg and Ninwan tribes with a united military force. However, in the late 13th century, differences in ideology and distribution of resources resulted in conflicts between states that stagnated the dynasty later on.
The dynasty's demise started when Emperor Han of the influential Sheng State took control. When the Emperor took over, the empire was in debt funding the empire's expansions to the south. The Emperor exacerbated the economic crisis in the empire by raising taxes among the poorer states. This resulted in the declaration of secession of the southern states, who have long felt mistreated under the Dynasty. The attempts to retake the states (later known as the Southern Campaigns) drained the remaining resources of the Empire. The empire was then unable to defend itself from the Ninwanese Invasions in the early 14th century, and the dynasty seized to exist in 1299 when Ninwanese barbarians captured the capital and assassinated the Sheng Emperor. With the removal of the Bai noble families able to resist the Ninwans, they formally took control of the Bai region in 1312.
Suo Dynasty (1327-1671)
With the conquest of Bai, the Ninwan Emperor Takasahi Haru proclaimed the establishment of the Suo (Miru) Dynasty in 1327. Upon establishing the Suo, he imposed a new unified constitution, centralising the region and effectively abolished the princely states. The Suo, though greatly unpopular since it was imposed by foreign invaders, was in fact one of Bai's most peaceful eras, and it was during this time the region greatly prospered. The Ninwans went on to construct new ports and ships for trade, and new armies to strengthen the defence of the empire.
Under his successor Yuji Haru, the empire embarked on a series of mass exploration and colonisation. Constructing 2000 ships and assigning a team of soldiers led by his eunuch Kan She, the Suo Empire made its first expedition to the Saeian Islands on 3 April 1364. Subsequent expeditions under Kan She and later his son Peng Li saw further explorations to Khaiwoon and today's Adaria in the latter half of the 14th century. The Bai managed to establish a base in today's Mecyna, which further its explorations to Astrasia (Federal States). In the 15th century, the Empire successfully crossed the Asperic to the Lycene region and established a trading route between Archanta and the region.
The empire profited from the trade, conquests and relations with the outside world, allowing the rise of the merchants and trading clans. In the later years of the Suo, the imperial court was largely influenced by such trading clans and the aristocracy. This brought resentment among the peasants, who revolted in 1574 through the White Dragon Rebellion. Although it was brutally suppressed, those involved fled to the Muinon Peninsula and continued their rebellion on the peninsula. Later, in 1605, when Emperor Yishen carried out a great purge against the merchants, many of them began to flee to the rural areas and joined the rebels. Due to the monetary support of the nobles and the corruption of the Suo government, the rebellion began to flourish.
In 1623, with the support of the native Kue, the Bai on the Muinon Peninsula proclaimed the Yuet Dynasty to rival against the declining Suo. The failure of the Suo to retake the peninsula encouraged other secessionist movements and rebellions, and the Ninwans retreated to their home islands in 1631 after various rebel groups stormed the capital and major cities. The Suo then formally collapsed in 1643 with the assassination of the last Suo Emperor and his heirs.
Lin Dynasty and foreign colonisation (1643-1798)
With the Suo's collapse, the Yuet Dynasty attempted to take formal control over the Bai region. However, several former Suo generals, led by Mai Longban, resisted the Yuet invasion and instead proclaimed the Lin Dynasty. This led to the Peninsula War between the Yuet and Lin. During the war, both sides began to experience Western imperialism as each accepted intervention by Ulethan forces in the conflict. As the war led to severe losses between both sides, the situation resulted in a stalemate – the Yuet retain control of the peninsula under the protection of the Ingerish, Castellanese and Lentians and the support of the Kue lords, while the Lin continued to rule over Bai with the support of the Franquese and Kalmish.
With the Lin weakened, it was forced to cede the Kaosha Region (today's Sin Se) to the Kalmish, while the Yuet formalised the Castellanese and Lentian takeover of the northern region of the peninsula (today's Fayaan). The Lin Dynasty also saw a mass migration of Ulethans coming to exploit the region's resources and labour. Mired in corruption, the Lin was powerless to reestablish formal control over its territories and was eventually forced to lease its ports and territories to foreigners through a series of Unequal treaties. Internal unrest continued, as resentment against the Ulethan powers grew.
The Bai Strengthening Movement, started by a few overseas Bai scholars led by Prince Hu Fengyao, began to take shape in the early 18th century. The Movement drafted a plan for the establishment of a more democratic and open system – a united semi-constitutional monarchy consisting of an elected legislature and an independent judiciary. In addition, it called for reformations such as building a modern education system, applying principles of capitalism to strengthen the economy, modernising the military and rapid industrialisation, listed on a document later known as the 20 Reformations. These Reformations, supported by the Prince, later proved to be essential for the modernisation and prosperity of the Bai Empire.
Middle Bai Dynasty (中百)
The Huifu Revolution brought an end to the Lin Dynasty in 1798 as the last Lin Emperor Hu Rentong abdicated in favour of his nephew Prince Hu Fengyao. Upon taking power and implementing the 1802 constitution, the Empire saw its first national elections for the legislature in 1805. However, under the controversial Peace Preservation Law (which was enacted to target political groups that were counted as radical or detrimental to national security), only the Prince's allies were allowed to contest. Ying Ma Sun, a fellow ally of the Prince, became the first elected Imperial Chancellor with his Bai People’s Democratic Party (BPDP) dominating the Imperial Senate.
Under Ying's tenure, and the support of the emperor, the Empire successfully managed to renegotiate treaties with Ulethan powers to regain control over some of its ports and cities. The empire underwent rapid modernisation and reformation as the Senate, led by the BPDP, faced little opposition in its early years. The government drastically modernise and standardise the education system, implemented land reforms, improve public health facilities, legislate against traffic in narcotics and mass industrialisation and development. Despite much opposition among the male population, the Senate managed to pass the Women Rights Charter in 1809, elevating the status of women by allowing them access to education and jobs.
In 1818, through the historic Zhigu Conference, some of the colonial powers (Kalm, Castellan, Karolia and Florescenta) agreed to surrender their remaining extraterritorial rights in exchange for compensation and permission to trade freely with the Emperor. Others, however, who were on closer terms with the rival Yuet Kingdom, were unwilling to give up their control over their ports to the Bai Empire. The Ingerish Ardentic Settlements, which included Bangluo (Vang Ngat), Donghai (Port Dunghoi), Tangang (Tan Kong), Xinyi (Sun Yee) and Xuyang (Tsui Yeung), were handed over to the Yuet Kingdom instead in 1823. Regarding the handover as unacceptable, the new Emperor Guangzhi 光治 ordered the invasion of Donghai on 24 May 1829, with the aim of securing a naval stronghold to expand the Empire's naval outreach. Despite fierce opposition, the invasion was successful but came at a huge cost of many resources and lives.
The sudden and mysterious death of the Emperor soon after put a halt to these imperialistic ambitions, as the new Emperor sought to improve relations with other nations such as the Federal States and the Demirhan Empire. Meanwhile, under Chancellor Dong Yeyang, the empire embarked on a "self-sufficiency" programme, harvesting more of its own raw materials to power its industrialisation programme in the rural areas. This resulted in the settlement of several new enterprises that emerged in the 30s and 40s. Various companies began to claim pieces of land for development, and as a result, towns and cities were developed in these areas. These developments helped in the population boom of the empire in these decades, and by the 70s the rural countryside population account for about 30 per cent of the empire's population. Lobbying for more autonomy over these areas, after a heated debate, the Senate reluctantly approved the decentralisation of the empire and created "Federal Regions", ruled by elected regional legislatures led by regional governors. Since 1878, the Bai Empire became a federated entity.
Conflicts soon aroused between the regional and central governments over certain issues such as taxes, regional security and stakes in development projects. Over time, the BPDP became split with the creation of the Gongrenhui, a political organisation seen as a rallying front for the disgruntled rural populace. At the same time, separatism sentiments in parts of the rural areas began to rise due to increasing dissatisfaction with the Central Government. Following allegations of "attacks" with the Yuet and Ingerish forces, the northeastern states of Kaosha and Simbi declared the intention to raise their own army in 1893. This sparked the Kaosha Defence Crisis, as it was viewed as a subversion of the federal constitution by the central government. After a brief deadlock that encouraged the rise of local militias within the empire, the Crisis ended in 1897 when Chancellor Huang Huisheng took action by removing the militias in the region and dissolving the state legislatures. The Kaosha Incident, which resulted in the deaths of many civilians, generated discontentment among the Kaosha nationalists and further distrust between the central and other regional governments.
The empire continued to be undermined by political stagnation at the turn of the 20th century. Two radical political factions – the Bai Fascist Solidatory Party (BFSP) and the Bai Communists' Committee (later the Bai People's Communist Party) – began to emerge, urging reforms in the government for the future of the empire. The Fascists advocated for more power at the central level, while the communists proposed more decentralisation, in addition to their communist agenda. As the communists organised strikes and riots in the outer areas, the urbanites (those of the middle class) in these areas began to back the BPDP or the fascists instead of the Gongrenhui, as they were perceived to be too close to the communists. The rise of the pro right has led to further dissatisfaction among the workers, with the rise of corporations and private companies aimed to improve the national economy at the cost of workers' welfare.
The fascists and the Nationalists enjoyed close support with Emperor Chang Xiuyong (Emperor Mengjin 猛金) in the 1910s. However, with the split between the Nationalists and the Fascists, the liberals and the pro-left managed to defeat the pro-right faction in the 1918 elections with the support of Emperor Chang Meiyou (Emperor Yongren 永仁), who succeeded Emperor Mengjin in 1916. Not willing to concede, and with the support of the urbanites, Yu Shanliu, the leader of the Fascists, managed to rally the military in preparation for a coup against the Emperor. In 1922, the Middle Bai Dynasty ended with the Baijing March as the troops surrounded the palace, forcing the Emperor to flee as the Fascists took power.
Fascist Era and War of Fellow Brothers
Upon seizing power, the Fascist government proceeded to purge those considered a threat to the new regime. Many former Senators, members of the royal family, royal officials and civil servants who served the former regime were detained through Operation Fengniao and executed through numerous show trials after being charged for "treason against the state". In October 1923, Yu proclaimed the Bai Democratic Republic and was unanimously voted as the new president. The Congress was reinstated as the New National Assembly through the rigged 1923 December Federal Elections in which the Fascist Party won all of the seats. A rubber-stamp parliament, real legislative power flowed to the Revolutionary Council of Generals, which continued to dominate Bai politics.
In the absence of any major opposition, the new regime thrived in its early days and was greatly welcomed by many urbanites who desired the end of civil conflict and street fighting that plagued the waning years of the Middle Bai. Many others, particularly in the rural areas, silently opposed the new regime but few dared to take action as the Fascists greatly militarised the nation and strengthened its security forces, abandoning all past peace treaties signed during the previous decade. While many (including the ousted Emperor and his two daughters) fled the country, communist guerillas remained and continued to resist the Fascists. In an attempt to uproot the guerillas and their "sympathisers", the Fascists launched a brutal bombing campaign on many villages and towns in the southern border regions. At the same time, the Fascists launched border raids against Kanglapo while reclaiming islets in the contested waters Bai claims over.
In 1925, with the help of its ally Cinasia, Bai reacquired control over the Kaoshan region which declared secession from the Fascist regime in 1922. Through the ________ Convention, Bai occupied the Kazhal Region in 1927. In 1928, Yu's government successfully negotiated a pact with communist Kanglapo to defuse tensions in the region. This detente with Kanglapo did not last long, as in March 1930, Chang Meiyou reemerged and proclaimed the formation of his resistance movement — the Alliance for the Restoration of the Empire — while endorsing the communist guerillas and other resistance cells operating in Bai. His endorsement roused demonstrations among the rural populace, who had held Chang to high esteem. The Fascists responded with a harsh crackdown while imploring Kanglapo to extradite the former Emperor back to Bai. Relations further worsened when Fascist agents assassinated the former Emperor and kidnapped his two daughters on 13 February 1931 in Kanglapo.
Fascist forces began to invade Kanglapo through Operation Honghua on 22 June 1932. While initially successful in its campaign, to the point when the forces surrounded Nandacheongfu by the end of the year, the invasion stalled as Kanglapo cut off supply lines to the Fascist forces. The Fascists were forced to retreat to pre-war lines. Kanglapo proceeded to openly assist the Alliance in ousting the Fascist regime, sending its forces which captured the southern border regions. With the rise of Chen Yijing as commander in 1936, the Alliance, previously fractured with internal strife, was able to unite and coordinate the resistance movement.
By the 1940s, the Fascists, having overspent on the military and extravagant monuments, faced a rapidly deteriorating economy. The economic situation further worsened when Alliance forces sabotaged key industrial infrastructure of the Fascist Republic, while more workers went on strike against the Fascists. At the same time, the Fascists struggled to maintain their control over Kazhal and Sin Se as rebellions erupted in these regions. With Yu advocating more brutal force such as chemical warfare, the Federal States, a long-time ally of the Fascists, withdrew support and imposed sanctions on the regime. By 1941, the Alliance successfully captured 60% of Bai territory and were mounting campaigns to capture the capital. After seizing control of main transportation routes and supply bases, Alliance forces launched the Xiongjing Offensive, which was one of the hardest and most devastating battles during the war. Following Yu's suicide on 12 August 1942, the Fascist government surrendered and signed the Changgang Concordance which officially ended the War.
The defeat of the Fascists, however, did not bring Bai back to recovery and stability. Although the Fascist government had formally surrendered, many former Fascist regiments and their commanders did not accept the surrender and went on to form their own remnants and factions. Meanwhile, the Alliance reorganised into Provisional Bai Recovery Administration as it took power in Xiongjing. Kanglapolish and foreign forces remained in certain regions of Bai to provide security and stability in the region.
As a result of power struggles among the various leaders who disagreed on the nation's political future, the Administration quickly collapsed and ceased to rule Bai proper. Various communist factions emerged, with the largest faction, the People's Governorate, ruling over the southern portion of Bai supported by Kanglapolish forces. What remained of the Administration evolved into the Central Clique (formally the Bai Central Authority) led by Zhang Jushan. While recognised by many nations, it exercised little power beyond the capital and its immediate regions, as other parts of Bai fell under the control of rival former Alliance commanders, Fascist remnants, Communist factions, self-proclaimed independent city-states and regions and other assorted militias and criminal organisations.
During this period, various national and provincial positions frequently changed hands, as the various commanders fought each other through a series of battles, many of which were limited in scope. Attempts were made to broker peace and properly reunify and stabilise the country; none of which were successful due to conflicting interests. In the late 50s, Yu Zeming, who was exiled over differences with his father Yu Shanliu, returned to the region and rallied the factions in the southwestern region together to form the New Alliance for National Reconstruction and Restoration. Due to his background and his ties to the former royal family, he quickly drew the support of the various armies and eventually reunified Bai under his control in 1962, through a series of military manoeuvres and battles collectively known as the Eastern Expedition.
The Central Clique, which held power as the legitimate government of Bai, quickly surrendered to the New Alliance in the aftermath of the Battle of Xiongjing that ended the Warlord Era in 1962. Despite some opposition from his fellow commanders, Bai was reorganised into the New Bai Dynasty through the 1962 Constitutional Referendum which gave huge support for restoring the Bai monarchy. However, Yu did not take up the post of Emperor and served as Grand Regent while reserving the post for his son. New nationwide elections were held for the newly-restored Senate in 1965, which was won by....
The Bai Empire is a federal semi-constitutional monarchy. The emperor of Bai is acknowledged as the absolute ruler of the empire. A form of parliament exists but the Prime Minister and the Royal Cabinet of Bai are still answerable to the king. Nevertheless, the cabinet and parliament are able to propose laws.
The Bai parliament follows a multi-party system and the government is elected through a first-past-the-post system. Parliamentary elections are held at least once every five years. Registered voters of age 21 and above may vote for the members of the House of Representatives and, in most of the states, for the state legislative chamber. Voting is mandatory.