The Municipal States of the Pacific (MSP) is a loose confederation of fortified city-states centered around what was once Northern California and Southern Oregon. Once a lawless region in North America, it emerged as a stable nation with the aid of the ANZC and the South American Confederation.
Bisected by a trade and travel route which came to be known as the Siskiyou Trail, the region of the future MSP was one of the last areas of North America to be explored by Europeans and Americans, who did not enter the area until the 1820s, and it was not until the discovery of gold at Yreka, California in 1851 that the first significant American settlement in the area occurred.
Doomsday and after
The area of Northern California and Southern Oregon was spared the worst of the nuclear attack on Sept 25, 1983, because of its small population. That did not save the area from the aftereffects of Doomsday such as radiation, disease and general lawlessness. Today the current population of the region is incredibly low compared to it's pre-Doomsday level.
Those few population centers that managed to survive did so by fortifying themselves within "city walls" and imposing draconian measures against refugees that attempted to find food and shelter inside them. In 1985, a rogue U.S. Marine unit terrorized the area stealing food and kidnapping people to be servants (or more often food) for them. After they sacked the town of Eureka, killing all of the residents and setting the town on fire, the leaders of several towns petitioned a group of Hells Angels to stop them. Weakened from their losses taking Eureka, the rogue Marines were destroyed by the attacking Hells Angels. Afterwards the Hells Angels took up the protection of several cities in the area, fighting brigands in exchange for food and "comfort women" from the city-states. Eventually these Hells Angels became the core group of the Pacific Coast Police Unit (arguably their influence may be why members prefer to travel by motorcycle).
In 1991 the USS Benjamin Franklin visited the area and came in contact with several of the surviving coastal towns, sharing with them information about what was going on with the rest of world. This marked a major change in outlook of the survivors in the area as survivors gave up any hope that the United States government would do anything to save them. Various city-states adopted new constitutions referring to themselves as "Republics" or in some cases declaring themselves the new government of the United States. Attempts by the American Provisional Administration to establish a presence in the area were rebuffed. Persistence by the APA to establish a presence in the area eventually led to the violent Crescent City Crisis in 1993. APA officials were held hostage by "Boss Jones" of Crescent City after they attempted to establish a base nearby. Though rescued by American special forces, some of the hostages were killed during the operation along with a large loss of life among Crescent City citizens. In the aftermath of the crisis, the towns of the region became openly hostile to the APA.
In 1995, when word spread that President Bush announced the end of the United States and said Americans should become a part of Australia, it was generally ignored in the region. Meanwhile the cooperation that existed among the city-states post-Doomsday ended as the city-states began fighting amongst themselves over the remaining resources, with the Hells Angels taking the side of the highest bidder. The city-state governments degenerated into petty feudal dictatorships, any vestige of democratic government gone.
By the turn of the century, life had become unbearable in the area. Years of fighting and diseases led to dissatisfaction among the lower classes. Several attempts were made in different cities to overthrow their tyrannical governments. After a successful attempt in Yreka, California led to a democratic government, several fearful governments enacted reforms to quell the demands of the populace. Meanwhile the power of the Hells Angels began to wane as nomadic "clans", driven into the area by Utah, challenged them for control of the wilderness making travel between the cities almost impossible.
In this atmosphere a "Congress" was called at Crescent City in 2004 and attended by representatives of several of the more powerful city-states. After much debate the leaders agree to finance an expedition to Hawaii to ask for aid from the international community.
Formation of the MSP
The MSP was formed in 2006 when the fortified cities along the U.S. Pacific coast, facing a desperate need for food and medicine, agreed to accept the conditions set up by both the Commonwealth of Australia and New Zealand and South American Confederation: creation of a national government with the main task of coordinating the distribution of the humanitarian aid and unifying the cities' security forces in order to secure the humanitarian transports and infrastructure is fulfilled.
The signature of the MSP Contract takes place on July 4th, 2006 at Crescent City. Eleven years after the “Continuity Act” former Pres. Bush describes his feelings as: “The seed of the spirit of the United States has survived on U.S. soil. Maybe one day our glorious heritage will be continued..."
Crescent City became the official capitol of the MSP and also the center of the aid shipments after a World Census and Reclamation Bureau base was built near there. The "Pacific Coast Police Unit" was formed from the remnants of the Hells Angels and volunteers from the populace. Armed with foreign weapons they immediately began securing strategic points within the MSP to protect food/medicine shipments from nomads, brigands and rogue city-states. Though at first some shipments were lost to these marauders, as the PCPU gained experience, order was brought to the area. The last remaining holdouts among the rogue city-states joined the MSP in 2008 to avoid being "pacified" by the PSPU.
On November 15, 2006, a magnitude 8.3 earthquake struck off Atisov Island in the Kuril Islands in the western Pacific. A tsunami warning was issued but rescinded hours later. However, a surge from that quake did hit the harbor at Crescent City causing damage to three docks and several boats, temporarily halting the recently started aid shipments. Luckily ANZC engineers were able to quickly repair the damage.
Interest in the interior of the old United States grew after radio signals once again began to be intercepted from the area. Meanwhile nomads told of survivor communities in the Great Plains who were ignorant of what was happening across the world. In one of the greatest act of cooperation among the city-states since the founding of the MSP, an expedition was created in 2009 to explore the interior of the United States. Made up of members from the PCPU and a few foreign observers, the expedition hoped to get into contract with any American survivors and bring back any resources the MSP might be able to use. The expedition was a success after contact was made with Utah and the North American Union. All three states began negotiations to establish new trade routes between them.
Also in 2009 the Committee to Restore the United States of America opened their first chapter in Crescent City. Currently they hope to encourage a stronger central government among the MSP, but have down played their ultimate goal of reestablishing the United States. CRUSA has offered monetary support to MSP leaders in favor of a stronger central government for the MSP, while offering the general populace free classes on American history.
Many city-states have attempted to clean up their image and offered lucrative contracts in an effort to encourage skilled foreign labor to settle in the area. So far only a bare few have taken the offer as the MSP reputation remains bad to the rest of the world. Despite this there has been an increasing number of adventurous foreign tourists who seek to advantage of the "anything goes" atmosphere of the MSP cities. Some international organizations have taken up the MSP's offer, including the World Wildlife Fund.
On June 5, 2009, the delegates from each city-state in the MSP met in Crescent City to debate the possibility of a new constitution for the MSP to replace the MSP Contract. The constitutional convention was called because of the increased concern among civic leaders of the growing democracy movement among the MSP population. Yreka, the Jefferson Nationalists and CRUSA, are in favor of a strong central government and less independence of the cities. On the other side, delegates from Redding, Crescent City, and members of the Civic Rights Party want to keep the confederation style government of the MSP, but allowing more democracy on a local level. On September 8, 2009 a new Constitution was approved. The "Second Contract", as it is called, provides new freedoms to the general populace that can be enforced on the cities through a stronger judicial system. The Second Contract also requires every member state of the MSP to have a democratic government in power by September 2010. Despite the best efforts of the Jefferson Nationalists and CRUSA, however, the local autonamy of the city-states remains in force.
On January 9, 2010, an earthquake occurred approximately 25 miles west of the former city of Eureka. It was estimated by the ANZC Geological Survey Organisation headquarters in Crescent City to be at 6.5 magnitude. No casualties were reported but there was minor structural damage to buildings in the southern towms of the MSP.
2010 Election and Protests
The first free elections in the MSP happened on September 2, 2010. The Civic Rights Party did surprisingly well in local elections and were able to gain a majority on the Central Committee. Protests soon followed the results of the elections, claiming that the votes were manipulated and the election was rigged. Jefferson Nationalists and others disputed the results by protesting in major MSP cities. Proponents of the protestors called them the "Sons of Liberty" after the American Revolution-era organization.
Some called the controversial election results an attempt to bring back the time where the MSP was a collection of warring city-states. Despite demands by some civic leaders to investigate the claims of voting fraud and irregularities, the Central Committee refused and announced that the election was "completely free." One committee member even went as far as to claim that the victory of the Civic Rights Party represented "the people's demand to be be free from foreign dominance." In response to this statement the delegation from Yreka left Crescent City in protest and predicted that the MSP was "on the way to becoming the next RZA" suggesting that the ANZC and SAC would invade the MSP to restore order.
The Pacific Coast Police Unit suppressed both peaceful demonstrating and rioting using batons, pepper spray, sticks and, in some cases, firearms. Conflicting reports put the death toll somewhere between 25-60 people. MSP authorities have closed universities, censored radios, blocked international mail and banned any further protests against the election results.
Government and Politics
Most of the power in the MSP is held by the leader of the local city-state. Each member of the MSP, however, sends a delegate to the Central Committee located in Crescent City. The Central Committee coordinates humanitarian aid shipments and other projects between the member cities, but each member cannot make any decision without express authority from their city-state. Furthermore each city has a veto power on any proposed legislation, except for the coordination of humanitarian aide shipments. Each year the Central Committee elects among its members a Chairman to head the committee.
- The Jefferson Nationalists were formed in 2007 by the Port Orford Mayor to try and build a strong central government. So far they have only been able to gain power in some of the smaller cities but they have gained some seats on the City Councils of Crescent City and Redding.
- The Civic Rights Party was formed in response to the Jefferson Nationalists. Though agreeing that some limited democratic reforms are in order, the CRP is a firm supporter in the current confederation style government of the MSP.
The MSP is a mostly-rural nation, making its chief economic earner to be farming. Wine making is also popular in the region. With the lowering of radiation, fishing has once again become an important aspect of the MSP economy, at least for the coastal cities. MSP timber is also a profitable business due to the fact it is almost completely unregulated. There is also a small, but growing, wine industry and the MSP, along with the Chumash Republic, are one of the last remaining sources of American wine.
Cut off from international trade, the cities of the MSP became dependent on renewable sources of energy to meet the needs of their populace. Dams, biomass and geothermal sources have all been put into use by various cities. Research into solar energy has also increased. Meanwhile, due to being less complex, steam turbine engines once again become an important alternative to the internal combustion engine.
The MSP position also makes it likely to be the conduit between trade with the Pacific nations and the interior of the old US. Construction is currently happening over a new railroad line that will link the MSP with the member states of the North American Union.
The closest the MSP comes to a standing army is the Pacific Coast Police Unit. The Chief of the Pacific Coast Police Unit is also chosen by the Central Committee for a life term, unless he or she resigns or is impeached. Within the "neutral zones" (territories that no city-states claims) the PCPU has absolute authority, including summary execution. Inside the territories of the city-states the PCPU's power is severely limited and often must defer to local authority.
The military of the city-states usually includes the armed retainers of their respective leaders (often called the "police") and a citizen militia that is conscripted in times of emergency. The ownership of weapons is severely limited in most city-states for fear of revolution, though this has begun to loosen since the founding the MSP. The city-state of Yreka maintains a large and well-trained citizen militia to deter their neighbors from taking advantage of the new democratic city-state.
A few old Famous class cutters from the U.S. Coast Guard have been restored and now serve as a navy and rescue vessels. They are currently based in Gold Beach, but there have been talks of moving them to a better harbor. Gold beach has resisted the moving of the two ships claiming they belong to the city and have made significant investments to there restoration.
Higher eduction in the Municipal States of the Pacific is provided by the University of the MSP, Redding (formerly Shasta College) and the University of the MSP, Medford (formerly Rogue Community College). Both universities are dependent upon support from universities in Oceania and South America, along with volunteer professors from those regions.
The MSP recently started celebrating Memorial Day again on May 31. Though officially its meant to honor the men and women of the PCPU, it also is celebrated by pro-American unionists who wish to remember the former United States.
On April 26, 2009, the Central Committee announced that it would sponsor a new baseball league, the Pacific Baseball League. The league was organized with the help of officials from Mexico's major baseball league and observers from the sports federations of the ANZC and Chile. Member cities are allowed to sponsor teams to compete in the league. It was the hope of the Central Committee that friendly competition between member cities will help promote unity and cooperation in the MSP as a whole.
The inaugural season began on April 5, 2010. The Gold Beach Dodgers beat the host Coos Bay Pirates 10-2. The initial eight teams were:
- Coos Bay Pirates
- Crescent City Giants
- Gold Beach Dodgers
- Grants Pass Athletics
- Medford Padres
- Port Orford Mariners
- Redding Cubs
- Yreka Angels
The PBL season will run through August, and end with a best-of-five championship series between the first- and second-place teams in early September.
Australian rules football, rugby (both union and league) and association football have also become popular in the MSP, due in large part to the influence of Australians and South Americans who helped the locals set up the national government. The MSP has recently become a member of the International Rugby Board and FIFA. Locals are attempting to revive the traditional American sports of basketball and American football.
Many of the MSP city-states operate their own radio stations which dispense both news and entertainment to their citizens. Most of the city-states also have newspapers, which act as mouthpeices for either the Civic Rights Party (ex: The Crescent City Weekly) or the Jefferson Nationalists (ex: Yreka Liberator). Television services, however, have not returned since Doomsday, but plans are already in the works to begin rebroadcast in 2014.
The MSP is a member of the League of Nations. The MSP especially keeps good relations with the ANZC and the nations of South America, since they provide most of the economic aid that the MSP receives. The MSP is also in negotiations with the Republic of Victoria over claims on the former state of Washington.
Attempts to negotiate trade deals with Japan have been rebuffed. Japan has made it very clear that they blame the United States of America for Doomsday and want nothing to do with its successor states.
The MSP has made effort to improve relations with Socialist Siberia, a growing power in Asia. On February 5, 2010 the Central Committee played host to Siberian premier Tuleyev. Talks were marred by angry CRUSA protesters, however buisiness went on as usual and Tuleyev stayed for a conference with MSP officials. The chairman pleged support for the country offering aid to the MSP and closer diplomatic ties.
- State of Jefferson was a proposed American state in OTL that would have covered the region of the MSP.
- Doomsday Plus Twelve by James D. Forman is a nuclear holocaust novel set partly in the area of the MSP.