The Federation of Free States: Helping Atlas Shrug

After federating with 51 polities, with one round of peaceful federation happening in 2025 and another in 2045, life in the compound republic got real good, for everyone.

In 2055, diplomats, politicians, and policymakers from the federation began targeting wealthy provinces and countries for membership, a new development that was sparked in part by an alarming rise in despotism (democratic and authoritarian) and in part by stagnant economic growth in the non-Philadelphian interstate order. German, Indian, Brazilian, Italian, and Chinese polities were recruited to join the federation. The Netherlands and the United Arab Emirates were also recruited to join.

The military of the republic is relatively small compared to polities like Russia and China, but far more lethal and technologically advanced, so recruitment was bold. Poaching the rich provinces of second-tier regional powers was not welcomed by the second tiers. They felt bullied. China threatened war, as it did in 2025 when Taiwan joined the federation, but there was nothing the CCP could do about it.

A bunch of separatist regions applied for membership, too. This is probably the most important difference between Westphalian sovereignty and Philadelphian sovereignty. When the Westphalian interstate order was hegemonic, separatists wanted independence; the Philadelphian interstate order gives separatist movements an incentive to join the compound republic instead of trying to go it alone. Westphalian states do not much like the compound republic’s courting of their separatist regions, either.

So between the active courting of wealthy provinces and the active courting of secessionist movements, the stage has been set for a less-than-peaceful round of federating with polities that wish to join the federation of free states.

Many poor states continued to apply for membership, too.

In 2055, here is what the Philadelphian interstate order looks like:

The red “states” have been part of the Philadelphian union since at least 2045, and the orange “states” joined in 2055.

Lagos and Los Angeles joined New York, Tokyo, and London as major financial centers. The people in Canaan, England, and Wales, taking a page out of the Ashanti playbook, let their nationalist sentiments wane to a cultural level rather than a politico-legal level. The people in these “states” had finally come to terms with their place in the Philadelphian interstate order.

The German states of Bavaria, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia (how ironic!), Baden-Württemberg, and Rhine-Hesse (a combination of the current states of Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate) all joined the federation.

The Netherlands joined as is. The Dutch provinces have a long, proud history of republicanism, and it was not an easy choice to make. But by themselves, they were just too small to join the federation, so they banded together a la the Nigerian states of 2045, and joined as a single unit, where they enjoy two Senate seats and roughly the same amount of representatives in Congress as New York or Pennsylvania.

Five Italian provinces joined: Veneto, Lombardy, Trentino-South Tyrol, Piedmont, and Liguria. Piedmont’s membership in the Philadelphian union is all the more remarkable given its role in forming Italy as a nation-state.

The Baltic states and many parts of Poland applied for membership, but the Baltic states could not, in the end, give up their Westphalian sovereignty, and the Polish voivodeships, too small to be admitted on their own, could not come up with a suitable agreement for merging and forming new “states” to join the Philadelphian union.

The United Arab Emirates joined as is.

Three of the wealthiest Indian states joined the federation: Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, and Maharashtra. India was upset, but it’s long history of democratic and federal government, along with its close relationship with the West and relative military weakness compared to the union, prevented a war over the three states leaving for the compound republic.

War did not come to China, either, when the federation of free states poached five southern provinces and two special administrative units: Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Fujian, Guangxi, and Guangdong (which merged with Macau and Hong Kong). The provinces were in almost open rebellion against the CCP. They had grown tired of the Party’s paranoia and broken promises. Street protests were massive. There is a history of violent uprisings in the region. The CCP, which had turned inward when Taiwan joined the Philadelphian union in 2025, had impoverished the country. Beijing had a massive military but it was outdated, ill-disciplined, and corrupt. China had no means to fight a war over the wealthy provinces that joined the compound republic. Unlike the 19th century, when China was humiliated by the West, only the Communist Party of China was humiliated in this confrontation.

Six of Brazil’s wealthiest states also joined the Philadelphian interstate order: Rio de Janeiro, Minas Gerais, São Paulo, Paraná, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Atlas shrugged, and the compound republic responded.

Lebanon gave up its sovereignty, too, but it joined Canaan so no new Senators were added. (I didn’t do the math, but Canaan might or might not get another seat in the House of Representatives.)

Secessionist movements have flowered since the experiment in self-government under the Madisonian constitutional order went global. It’s a counter-intuitive notion: the larger the Philadelphian union gets, the more secessionist movements flourish. In 2055, there were 26 more “states” that joined the compound republic, giving the union 127 members overall.

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