The Eternal Empire of Mexica, Mexica, is a huge autocratic monarchy occupying the entire body of Meso-Leifia and a large part of Central Leifia. To the North (from West to East) are Tongval, South Yokutland, Shoshoneland , Tsetsehestahesia, Lakota Federation, Poncaland, Omahaghenu, Otoewa, Kawlegawaho, Osageland , Caddoa, Kweshland and Ishakane. To the south is Tawantinsuyu.
The capital is Tenochtitlan and the population is estimated at 135.5 million. This counts for almost half of Leifia's population and is over ten times the population of the second largest, Álengiamark.
The Head of State is Emperor Ahuitzotl IV.
The official language is Nahuatl but various other languages are used in the regions.
It uses the Mexic Quachtli (MXQ). The Quachtli is the largest currency in the world that is not traded freely.
Meso-Leifia had hosted complex civilisations from around 1200 BC. Various cultures such as the Olmec and Maya built fantastical cities then slowly fell into decline. By 1100 AD the real dynamism had passed to those cities in the centre, particularly those in the Mexic Valley who settled into a pattern of shifting alliances between the city states.
When Vinlandic explorers reached the coastal cities in the 1120s they found a well developed civilisation. They had the wheel but no carts, or horses or cattle to pull them. A slow and frequently interrupted trade began, slowly moving domesticated animals and iron working southward and Mexica sending their own foodstuffs†, valuable stones and metals northward. The Mexic also received llamas and potatoes, brought by Vinlandic traders up from Tawantinland whom had long laid beyond the dense jungles separating the two continents. However, the trade unleashed European diseases within the unresistant populations. Some 70% of the Mexic were wiped out by the initial spread of measles. When populations eventually recovered they were hit again by the Black Death. After reports of Mexica and its vast wealth filtered back through Europe and beyond it became the focus of concerted national effort. Portugal sank huge sums of money in building a fleet capable of crossing the Atlantic and therefore breaking the Danish monopoly on Leifian trade, which it managed in 1342 with regular trade feasible (but not reliable) perhaps a decade later. The Chinese managed the longer trip across the Roasjoinn in 1420 and the annual arrival of Imperial trade fleet was a great spectacle.
†The Norse states could not get enough of chili.
As the Aniyunwiyan Empire expanded in the 13th century it started a chain reaction movement of people. This pushed the Nahua from their ancestral homelands on the Mets'ichi Chena (OTL Rio Grande) down into the Mexic valley. Vassalised by the Culhuacans they would rebel against their rule and eventually build their capital Tenonchtitlan in the middle of Lake Texacoco. They allied with the Tepanecs whom they helped expand and received large tracts of conquered land as reward. When the Tepanecs descended into civil war in the 1420s the Nahua formed an alliance with Texacoco and Tlacopan and defeated the Tepanecs. The Triple alliance of Mexica was soon expanding its power far outside the Mexic Valley but it was not long before Tenonchtitlan outstripped its partners and reduced them to minor status.
For a century or so Mexica under the Nahua engaged in so-called 'Flower Wars'. This process saw them send frequent bands of small forces against their smaller neighbours in such as way to wear down resistance without straining the state in a full military venture. So that by the time Europe began trading directly with Meso-Leifia Mexica was a semi-united state dominated by the Nahua. By 1550 it had all but annexed every independent city state between the Mets'ichi Chena and Tawantinsuyu and was in the process of spreading the road network that anchored the core of Mexica to its newly dependent regions and ever busy ports. As Europe began taking over the Taino islands Mexica annexed the King Rudolph Islands (or the Ayotl Islands as they called them). It had eagerly learned ship-building techniques from the Chinese and had built its own ocean-worthy navy in the 'junk' style. From the 1560s onward the extremely grand Mexic trading vessels were a not uncommon sight on the Mediterranean.
Once their position was secure in Meso-Leifa, though periodic revolts still occurred, the Mexic turned their attentions to the states to the North. Due to the larger distances and arid conditions they had to adapt their Flower War tactics bringing in a far larger cavalry element. By the early 1600s the southern tribal states of both Western and Eastern Leifia were experiencing regular annual raids as fast moving Mexic warrior bands began preying on the semi-nomadic peoples of central Leifia often ranging as far north as the Nakota and as far East as the Atlantic. This spurred the growth of the Patwin Tribal League (See Chinese Leifia) in the West as the myriad of small tribes banded together to collectively defend themselves. In the East, Aniyunwiya and the Norse states regarded the less developed nations to their south as being in their area of influence and gradually the cries for assistance could not be ignored. From the 1570s onward a large mercenary army drawn from various North-East Leifian nations would gather close to the Mississippi crossings ready to protect those willing to pay. The development of well fortified towns alongside lightly armoured and maneuverable cavalry soon reduced the Mexic raids from dire menace to a manageable nuisance. It entrenched the feeling that it was the 'civilised East versus the barbaric South'. Whereas the Mexic believed it was the exact opposite.
The First Mexic-Leifian War
By the time Mexic delegates visited the Congress of Cahokia in the Inokian Confederation in April 1622 the yearly raids had been suspended for three years. Instead of arriving to trade or enjoy the pageantry of the congress the Mexic delegation arrived to deliver a letter. The letter, of which copies still exist, is formed of a list of complaints directed at various Leifian and European nations. They decry the greed witnessed during the general scramble for the Taino Islands. They round on Iceland for annexing Rolgurfolkland. They blame the Black Death that still erupted periodically throughout Leifia on the Norse and Portuguese. They blame Europe for not reigning in the piracy that was wrecking their own trade. Eventually the letter concludes that certain states were not civilised enough to deserve the land they claimed and that the 'Eternal Mexic Empire' would wage war on them until they had been removed from Leifia.
Three weeks later they crossed the Mets'ichi Chena with a huge army. This was not a Flower War but an all out assault on Leifia. Thanks to their raiding they had a good idea of the relative strengths of the various Leifian nations and were confident not only that their armies would outnumber those that Leifia could raise but also that they could quickly overcome the tried and trusted tactics usually used against them. They also hazarded a guess that Europe would be tied up for a year or so fighting what would become the Fifty Years War and so would be unable to assist. The largest single army every seen in Leifia had so far been the 5000 Portuguese deployed during the Leifian Wars of Religion but now the Mexic army that headed northward dwarfed that, numbering some 12,000 men. The mercenary force that quickly assembled at the usual gathering points proved useless and was unceremoniously crushed. Several tribes beyond the Mets'ichi Chena were captured whole, eradicated or enslaved whilst many others simply upped and fled their homelands.
By June however the Mexic army had moved closer to the Gulf coast to be near its supply ships. The overwhelmingly infantry based army was used to the excellent road network of Mexica and floundered slightly when faced with the untamed wildernesses of Leifia. A desperate struggle by Eastern Leifia to contain the vast army began. Vinland crippled the Mexic navy at the cost of its own to defend the Mississippi delta and the Inokia worked hard to destroy any bridge that the Mexic managed to erect. The small Mexic groups that did cross the river were mopped up by the bloated and ill-disciplined armies now roaming the Eastern shore. Eventually this strategy was abandoned and the main force moved northward toward the Fraeburt Votnum (OTL Great Lakes). At the huge Battle of Kahoka on 18th July 1623 the main Mexic army, still some 9000 strong, met with the Vinland/Abernakriga forces. The superior Vinlandic cannons kept the Mexic from delivering a knock out blow long enough for a large Aniyunwiyan army group to join in and drive them off. The defense of the Lakes would continue for another two years even as Mexica sent another huge 12-15,000 strong army into the Mississippi arena. It would only be famine that gave the the upper hand to the East. In the ruined and depopulated West the Mexic had trouble supplying their huge armies whereas those smaller and lighter Eastern forces had the benefit of the coasts and rivers. Even so, by the time the allies had fought their way to the Mets'ichi Chena in June 1632 they were at breaking point. The rushed Peace of Havna handed several thousand sq mi and the entire Inde tribe to Mexica.
War of the League of Arcachon (1743-1752)
Little reported at the time, in 1700 a Mexic trading convoy sailing from Constantinople back home was set upon and captured by pirates almost certainly sponsored by the Caliphate. During the Fifty Years War it had lost much ground as Aragon and Byzantium began to dominate the Mediterranean, the loss of its Taino fleet during the previous war and unrestrained piracy on the African coast led its trading position to collapse. Europe quickly filled the gap and soon Portugal and Kalmar had a controlling grip on Mexic trade.
Rebuilding its fleet, Mexica sought to regain its position and clear the Taino islands of foreign control and from 1743 indescriminately targeted foreign ships. The Taino Sea and the coasts of Portugal became battlegrounds as Mexica began capturing foreign held islands leading to the capture of Quisqueyanos in 1746 and Xaymaca in 1748. There would be extensive planning to take Coabana too and use that as a launch pad northward to take Myrland. However the plan never came to fruition. Reacting to the fall of Quisqueyanos a number of European and Leifian nations formed the 'League of Arcachon' (named after the Aquitainian fishing village where the compact was signed). The Mexic occupiers were driven from Quisqueyanos by Portuguese forces in 1750, narrowly held off an actual land invasion by the combined Vinlandic and Álengsk army, and eventually sued for peace after Portugal captured the Ayotl Islands and its considerable arsenal.
The Second Mexic-Leifian War
Blocked from regaining power over the Atlantic trade routes Mexica reacted by blocking the access of European ships to their ports in the 1760s. By 1770 only the Byzantines and Wessex had official permit to operate out of Mexica but could only carry a certain limited quota per year. Any other limited trade was carried by the small Leifian nations on the Mexica Gulf to various ports around the Taino Sea. The sudden loss of goods from the mainland drove many nations to seek trade with Africa and India instead. However some nations wanted to force the ports open again. In February 1774 Vinland attempted to force open the port of Tochpan but their navy was shelled in return and forced to retreat. The reaction was swift; Mexica declared war on Vinland. Citing the desire to 'protect' the central Leifian states from continued interference from the Eastern powers it headed northward, quickly overrunning the weak independent states and reaching the sparsely populated Cree and Keewatin territories. Vinland and many others were becoming reliant on wheat grown on the plains and faced a deep crisis if Mexica could cut the supplies.
The freshly united 4th Kalmar Union alongside most of the Eastern Leifian states came to Vinland's aid however. With money, conscription and the promise of European troops it secured the direly needed wheat plains. Meanwhile Mexica avoided direct confrontation with the ever swelling Leifian army. The 'Long March' saw the two massive forces criss crossed the continent, each hoping to deliver the fatal blow. China and its allies joined the war in 1790 while Mexica looked the stronger side evening the field out again, however it would be famine that really forced an ending to the war. With the central Leifian states in complete disarray and their farmlands ruined, neither side could hope to properly operate. A ceasefire was signed in 1792. China carried the war on for another year but sued for peace before their position collapsed completely. Mexica annexed several tribal regions on the Western coast but the strain had damaged it more than most of its enemies.
As Mexica fell into a period of famine and plague it exploded into civil war. The regular army fought the elite corps for influence for six years. Eventually a more moderate clique came to power with limited democratic reforms and a liberalisation of the economy. However the moderates were unable to lessen the army's grip on society and the army was quick to remove any politician who attempted to change their status.
While the wars with Leifia and Europe captured the imagination of the wider world it was the relationship between Mexica and Tawantisuyu that perhaps did more to shape the current state of the 'New World'. Separated by tropical, disease ridden jungles, the two areas developed in isolation from each other. It was only when the Norse contacted both civilisations in the 12th century that trade and cross pollination of technology, food and animals occurred. While the two areas remained divided into a multitude of city states relations appear to have been cordial. However once a more unified Mexica and Tawantinsuyu had coalesced relations between the two nosedived. The two regions engaged in sporadic warfare as they extended their influence closer to each other. When the Chinese began trading in earnest with both empires in the late 15th century it became the unofficial neutral party in their dealings as diplomatic delagates were usually executed. In 1536 the largest naval battle ever fought raged for four days between the huge Mexic and Tawantin 'junk' navies off the Roasjoinn coast.
Both nations would launch frequent small scale attacks at each other but only occasionally went full tilt. In 1702 Mexica reached the foothills of Anitsuyu only to be turned back while in 1850 Tawantinsuyu reached the edge of Maya. It was this very even handed struggle that prevented Mexica from doing worse to the North. The knowledge that Tawantinland had the manpower and will to assist its Leifian and European allies helped prevent Mexica turning its entire focus northward.
The border between the two states is now the most heavily militarised border in the world. The Tawantin are currently building a huge canal connecting the Atlantic to the Roasjoinn some 200 miles from the border not only cutting a huge chunk of time off trade routes but also ensuring their Taino and Roasjoinn fleets can support each other more effectively. There are those who assume Mexica will be willing to do whatever it takes to secure this valuable asset.
After it expelled Chinese settlers from its lands in the 1690s Mexica largely took over its own trade in the Roasjoinn. It was monopolising Leifian trade with Java and Japan by the 1750s. To the south Tawantinsuyu was spreading its influence through the tropical Roasjoinn islands and several naval engagements were fought to control trade routes. It noted the French-Japanese War (1850-53) and slow appearance of European navies and armies in the Roasjoinn with interest and determined that trade was no longer enough to maintain its dominance. It occupied Hawaii in 1856, and would fight both China and Japan for possession of it over the next 50 years. Further expansion is blocked, for now.
From 1799 to 1923 Mexica operated as mild autocracy and for a few years relations with its neighbours improved. However the world quickly saw that very little had changed. It showed no hesitation in taking advantage of the 'Leifian Crisis' in the 1820s to annex several of its northern neighbours which in turn earned it a severe ultimatum from Vinland not to interfere any further. The take over of Hawaii and continued aggression against Tawantinsuyu showed the army was still in control. And when in 1923 the Emperor attempted to remove several generals from power the army simply replaced him with someone more pliable and revoked the constitution.
After the palace coup that ended Mexica's flirtation with democracy the state has become much more secretive. Foreigners are virtually barred from entering. What little information that leaks out comes chiefly from prisoners of war captured by Tawantinsuyu during their periodic wars or those Mexic that have made their way to foreign ports. However many strategists suggest much of the intelligence gathered is rubbish, deliberately leaked by Mexic spies to prevent anyone knowing what the country is actually doing.
What can be safely is that Mexica has a huge and well supplied army technologically equal to the main European powers and is increasingly brazen about showing it off. Propaganda films showing off the military often 'find their way' into foreign hands. The threat many Leifian nations feel has led several states to fund the construction of a vast defensive network to defend the Mississippi (see Nowych Katowice). Many of its Northern and Western neighbours are mere puppet states run by strongmen funded partly or wholly by Mexica.
As far as can be ascertained, after the reversion to complete autocratic rule all democratic practices were suspended and the Head of State, currently Emperor Ahuitzotl IV, became the sole authority in the country. The position is however heavily controlled by the military.
Vastly wealthy, it is believed the military controls large areas of the country which it runs on feudal lines, reducing the local populace to serfdom. The old military structures of the medieval Mexic army still remain and the elite Eagle and Jaguar corps maintain a friendly rivalry. It should be said that though the two corps have slightly differing structures and power bases they do not act as separate military forces. When asked to fight together the entire Mexic army does so with utmost professionalism, leaving any rivalry in the barracks.
Both corps run and maintain their own navies. Eagle Navy Group has control of Hawaii and the Roasjoinn fleet whilst Jaguar Navy Group maintains large tracts of coastal land and the Taino fleet. Both are well stocked with Tyr-style battleships, possibly only just behind Luxembourg in terms of numbers.
The Tlacochalcatl, the highest military office in Mexica, is second only to the Emperor in terms of seniority within government (and many commentators regard it as the superior title). It is not known for sure who holds this title currently though many sources suggest it is the Emperor's uncle, Itzcoatlihuitl.
Flag of Mexica
Mexica adopted the current flag design in 1923 when it added a stylised symbol to the previously plain white and blue banner. The symbol represents the Mexic god Quetzalcoatl devouring a sacrificial victim. While certainly gruesome it is usually explained away as a fertility symbol. Many Leifians however see it as a metaphor and a warning for the Mexic desire to conquer the entire continent.