Ouisconsin

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Province of Ouisconsin
Flag of Ouisconsin
Subdivision of: North American League
Cities:  
 Capital: Saint Francis
 Largest: Chicago
 Other: Milwaukee, Creve Coeur
Languages:  
 Official: English (language of administration)
 Others: Othaakiwaki, Bodewadmi Zheshmowen, Ho-Chunk, Francien, Brithenig, Scots
Viceroy: H.E. the Rt. Hon. Ben Nighthorse Campbell
Lord Governor: Gweniffer Lloneir (CL)
Speaker: Tomos Bernardd (CL)
Admission to NAL: 1835

Ouisconsin is a province of the North American League that touches Lake Mishigami and the border of Louisianne.

Contents

History

Black Hawk, Ouisconsin's first Lord Governor (1835-1840)

Ouisconsin takes its name from a river whose name origins are obscure (believed to derive from a word that means "red stone place"). However, beyond doubt the earliest European settlers in the region were French. A diverse group followed, including Kemrese and Scots as well as Native peoples from regions to the north and east. Interestingly, the ethnic differences were more-or-less soothed by the spread of Cambrian-Rite Catholic Missionaries. At least this allowed for several trading posts to spring up under the auspices of monastic Missions, such as those in Peoria, Chicago and Milwaukee. The fur trade proved very profitable and attracted many more settlers from Les Plaines and Ontario as well as Illinoise and Miami.

Like the North American League as a whole, the province first arose as a coming-together of Native tribes and Newcomer settlements. Ouisconsin during the early NAL era consisted of semi-independent communities, with loyalty split between NAL loyalists, partisans of the nascent Louisianne, and some who wanted to remain neutral. The moment of decision came in the late 1820s. During the 1828 War, the region was invaded by France and Louisianne, which sought to occupy the old Highlands colonial region, comprising the Great Lakes. Black Hawk, leader of the Sauk-Fox, rallied the tribal and settlement leaders to resist the explansion. The Ouisconsin Alliance, as it was called, fought alongside League forces and drove the Louisiannan forces west, occupying Les Plaines in the process.

After six years of discussion, the nations of Ouisconsin became satisfied with guarantees of autonomy and petitioned for provincehood in 1834. Ouisconsin was admitted the following year, and Black Hawk ran unopposed for the new office of Lord Governor. For more detail, read the History of Ouisconsin.

Geography

Map of Ouisconsin

Major subdivisions

Ouisconsin is divided into five regions called fifths or fithings [1], along with four cities not part of any fithing. The fithings are Othaaki- Meskwaki, Bodewadmi, Kiwikapawa, Ho-Chunk, and Four Nations. The cities are St. Francis, Chicago, Milwaukee, and Creve Coeur.

The fithings originally had lots of autonomy, reflecting the confederate nature of early Ouisconsin. As time went on, and the fithings' populations became more diverse, they gradually surrendered more of their autonomy to the provincial government, or devolved local powers to the counties and municipalities. Today their role is largely administrative and ceremonial. They are each led by a small elected Council, which elects a chairman still called a Chief. The four northern fithings' Councils maintain a considerable amount of tribal pomp. The Council of the Four Nations, which lacks a tribal heritage, is considerably less interesting.

The cities

  • St. Francis [2]: St. Francis (Rockford *here*) was a tiny mission settlement on a strategic ford of the Rock River [3] when it was chosen as the province's capital in the early 1830s.
  • Chicago: What can be said about Chicago that has not already been said? It is the commercial and (for better or for worse) cultural center of modern Ouisconsin. Originally a Potawatomi trading village, the city whose name in Miami means "stinking onions" grew rapidly with an influx of European immigrants.
  • Milwaukee: Chicago's "little brother," Milwaukee was also former Potawatomi territory, also changed by large numbers of Germans and Veneds.
  • Creve Coeur: The city of Peoria was long disputed between Ousiconsin and Illinoise. The city was a condominium between the two until 1968, when it was split in two; the Ouisconsin half later changed its name to Creve Coeur

The fithings

  • Kiwikapawa: The Kickapoo territory is a small and sparsely populated fithing stretching along the northern border of the province. Administered from the small town of Prairie-du-Chien.
  • Ho-Chunk: The northeastern fithing is best known for its hibercrosse team, the Stinkers of Baie-des-Puants, the fithing capital.
  • Othaaki-Meskwaki: The Sauk-Fox fithing is home to perhaps the most vibrant Native culture in modern Ouisconsin. It is administered from Saukenuk (*here*'s Rock Island), capital of the old Othaaki-Meskwaki confederacy.
  • Bodewadmi: Administered from Assiminehkon (*here*'s Paw Paw, Illinois), the area is a mix of Potawatomi, English, Scots, and Brithenig speakers. Northern Bodewadmi is located between the metropolises of Chicago, Milwaukee, and St. Francis.
  • Four Nations: A small fithing in the narrow stretch of land between the Mississippi and Illinoise Rivers. It was established by French, English, Chomro, and Scots who moved into the vacant land following the fall of the Illini confederacy. Four Nations is administered from the city of Lustbader (*here*'s Quincy, Illinois).

Borders

To the west is Les Plaines. To the East is Lake Mishigami and Miami. North is Mascoutensi. To the south is Louisianne and Illinoise.

Government

The provincial government is headed by a Lord Governor elected every five years. A provincial legislature known as the Ouisconsin Council faces election every two years and numbers 146. 80 of these are elected by the first-past-the-post system, riding-by-riding, then the remaining 66 are nominated by the parties so that the proportion of seats held by each party are as close as possible to the proportions of votes. This is, then, a PR system. A Supreme Tribunal is the highest provincial court, with nine members nominated by the Lord Governor and approved by the Council. In general the cities tend to be strongly dominated by the Whig Party while the outlying regions are strong with the Progressive Conservative Party.

The current Lord Governor is Brion Martens (W, Milwaukee), elected in a hotly contested election in 2005. The current government is dominated by the Covenant Loyalists, who swept both mainstream parties out of power in 2009. The CLs are in a coalition government with Ecotopic Party. The current Speaker is Tomos Bernardd (CL, Milwaukee).

For details on recent elections and party politics, see Political life in Ouisconsin.

Flag

Lord Governor's flag
Provincial jack for ships originating in Ouisconsian ports

The three stars on the flag's shield represent the three broadest ethnic groups: Natives, Newcomers at the time of incorporation, and more recent immigrants from other lands. The wolf represents tribal authority and the shield, Newcomer and League authority. The field of green and blue represents land and water, especially the Great Lake.

The original flag of Ouisconsin, carried into battle during the 1828 war, was black with eight gold stars or suns representing the eight allied nations. This flag, plus a gold border, was later made the Lord Governor's flag. A ninth star was added in 1863 to represent all newer immigrant groups. The nine stars can also represent Ouisconsin's nine subdivisions.

Languages

Ouisconsin is the proud home of "eight nations" speaking seven different languages: Potawatomi, Sauk-Fox, Ho-Chunk, French, English, Scots, and Brithenig. All have official status, but English (American standard) has been adopted as the lingua franca of administration and trade. The many immigrants who settled in Ouisconsin, especially from Germany and Veneda, added their own voices to the mix, but generally learned English and perhaps one other language, besides keeping their own at a much greater rate than *here*. Today the province sees many immigrants coming from Florida, so Castilian can be heard as well.

The border of the uvular R Sprachbund runs through southern Ouisconsin. Speakers of the European (and to a lesser extent, the Native) languages use the uvular trill for their R sounds. La Queue and the area closest to Louisianne is more influenced by Louisiannais pronunciation and lies outside the Sprachbund.

Economy

Sometimes called the "Cheese Capital of the NAL," Ouisconsin is mostly a province of farmers, with however a few large metropolitan areas and surrounding suburbs. Chicago is a major trading nexus, including rail and air and water-traffic. This is true as well, but to a lesser extent, of Milwaukee and Creve Coeur.

Saint-Louis Foire Agricole

Fromages Ouisconsinais are featured in the Saint-Louis Foire Agricole each year, and tariffs are relaxed on purchases made there, a great boon to the Ouisconsin cheese-makers, as Louisianna is a large importer of cheeses. Cheeses must be certified of Francophone origin, which has lead to many cheese-makers hiring francophone personnel to at least one key position in their efforts to thus qualify for the strictures.

This has lead to some resentment among Ouisconsin cheese-makers, but most make the small change to their production structure and thus comply, and garner the benefit of a somewhat cornered market.

Transit

Ouisconsin's primary TGV line connects from Alton/St. Louis to Chicago.

Conclusion

Ouisconsin is nothing if not diverse. Following the legacy of the great Black Hawk, its people have a long history of thriving together despite their differences and prejudices.

Notes

[1] If a "thirding" becomes a riding and a "fourthing" a farthing, then might a "fifthing" become a fithing? Not necessarily, and I'm open to other suggestions.
[2] The name St. Francis is QSS, but it is uncertain which St. Francis it refers to. Francis of Assisi might have some ecological appeal to Native Americans, but as an Italian, might be an odd choice for Cambrian Rite Christians. He might be a local missionary or convert.
[3] Undoubtedly it has a different name *there*.
Provincial flag   Divisions of Ouisconsin   Provincial flag
Fithings
Kiwikapawa | Ho-Chunk | Othaaki-Meskwaki | Bodewadmi | Four Nations
Cities
St. Francis | Chicago | Milwaukee | Creve Coeur
The Old Blue Sheet   Provinces of the North American League and Solemn League and Covenant   The Old Blue Sheet
Provinces
Alba Nuadh / New Scotland | Aquanishuonigy | Bahamas | Carolina | Castreleon New / Nieuw Batavie | Cherokee Nation | Connecticut | East Florida / Florida Oriental | Illinoise | Jacobia | Jamaica | Kent | Kentucky | Les Plaines | Mascoutensi | Massachussets Bay | Miami | Mobile | Mueva Sefarad | New Hampshire | New Sweden | Nýja Ísland / New Iceland | Nunavik | Ontario | Ouisconsin | Oxbridge | Pennsylvaania | Rhode Island | Tenisi | Ter Mair / Maryland | Utawia | Virginia | West Florida / Florida Occidental
Territories
Unincorporated Territories | Beaver Island | Dry Tortugas
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