Dominion of Royal Australia and New Zealand
Capital: Adelaide (Royal Australia), Wellington (New Zealand)
Not all of the inhabitants of Australia supported the rebellion against Britannian rule that occurred in the early 1840s. The states of Western and South Australia declared outright for the crown Indeed, Lord Dinsley and the loyalists established their headquarters and the strongly fortified city of Adelaide, capital of Australia.
Here they awaited reinforcements from New Zealand, which remained loyal, capitalising upon their control of Adelaide’s excellent harbour. The rapidity with which those reinforcements arrived, securing the island state of Tasmania on the way, contributed much to the halting of the rebels before they had a chance to heavily influence the remaining states.
In truth, the rebellion saw very little bloodletting. What conflict did occur took place mostly in Victoria. Victoria’s government had declared for the Free Australians in mid-1842, but the people of the strategically important state thought otherwise, and a general rising failed to occur.
Free Australian forces promptly moved into the state from New South Wales, intending to seize Victoria’s capital, Melbourne and its large harbour to deny them to the Britannians. However, Australian loyalists, supported by troops from New Zealand and ships from the Britannian naval squadron based in Wellington managed to repel the rebel attacks.
The Free Australians, short of heavy equipment, were forced back across the state lines into New South Wales. Knight hardliners in the loyalist Australian camp – mostly Britannian émigrés – urged Dinsley to mount a full offensive to crush the rebels. Dinsley however, believed that a united Australia could not be won with blood, and the rebels showed no signs of backing down, despite their setback.
Even as Victoria joined the loyalists, Dinsley went to the negotiating table, wanting to profit from a position of strength. The scandal of the revolt had brought down Prime Minister Lord Gosford and brought the amenable Rook Lord Charles to the fore.
Charles authorised Dinsley to hammer out a peace settlement with the rebels, and Australia split into independent and loyalist states. The three states which remained loyal to the crown, plus Tasmania, became known as Royal Australia This situation remains to this day.
Royal Australia and New Zealand are governed as one Dominion, with one Governor, but with two Prime Ministers and local governments. Lord Dinsley, now in his late seventies, still occupies the position of Governor.
In addition to agricultural and mineral resources, the Dominion provides fighting troops for the Britannian Empire. Due to the political situation, Royal Australian regiments always serve abroad – this results from a clause in Dinsley’s original settlement, and is designed to avoid the prospect of Royal and Free Australian troops coming to blows – something which would do Britannia’s position on the continent no good at all.
However, Britannia’s world-spanning Empire is not short of active warzones, especially with the onset of European war. Royal Australian and New Zealand troops are currently serving with distinction in the North African theatre, where their survival skills are proving to be invaluable in the harsh environments.
Commonwealth of Free Australia
Head of State: First Minister Anna Hargreaves
Australia began to experience cracks in its unity in the early 1840s. Queensland and New South Wales were approached by agents of the Empire of the Blazing Sun who wanted to employ mercenary troops in order to cover military shortfalls caused by their war in Korea.
This was the climax of a political rift between the Australian Government and Britannia. Civil war broke out in 1842, with Queensland and New South Wales, along with the Northern Territory, declaring independence from Britannia. Under the leadership of Roger McConnell, formerly a senior administrator in the Queensland state government, the three dissident states formed a union called the Commonwealth of Free Australia.
The remaining states, Western Australia, South Australia and Victoria, remained loyal to the Crown, but their inhabitants were unenthusiastic about the idea of fighting their own countrymen. Lord Nigel Dinsley, the Britannian Governor-General, requested aid from Britannian forces stationed in New Zealand to hold the line.
Dinsley, conscious of what had happened during the American Revolution, did not think military action would lead to a viable long-term solution. Instead, after much politicking in London, he sought and obtained permission from the Britannian government to negotiate a ‘peaceful division’.
The Commonwealth would be permitted to ‘go it alone’, on the assurance of two points: first, they would not attempt to coerce or force any of the states of ‘Royal Australia’ to secede and second, they would not provoke war on the continent, or with New Zealand. In turn, Dinsley offered assurances that the Kingdom would not use military force to attempt to reunite the country, and would not interfere in its affairs.
The plan was eventually accepted by all sides. By 1844, the separation was complete.
The Free Commonwealth has developed into a nascent republic, with a First Minister as head of state and a Commonwealth Assembly made up of representatives from all three of the member states. Under the leadership of First Minister Anna Hargreaves, the Commonwealth conducts its own affairs in all matters.
Although possessing a modest agricultural and industrial base, mercenary soldiering remains a speciality among many of the Commonwealth’s inhabitants. Currently, the Commonwealth’s largest patron is the Empire of the Blazing Sun, which employs many mercenary Commonwealth Free Companies in its battles against the Britannians in South East Asia.
This had led to some considerable friction in the region. The Britannians are aware of Australian mercenaries fighting against their forces, but do not wish to widen the war by attacking the Commonwealth, especially since the opening of hostilities with France and the Prussian Empire. The Free Australians in turn do not wish to provoke this outcome either.
Consequently, permitted a high degree of autonomy by their Blazing Sun paymasters in return for their service, the Commonwealth Free Companies operate mainly against the forces of the East India Company and rival Portuguese mercenary outfits, rather than targeting Britannian regular forces directly. The Free Australians also provide invaluable logistical support to Blazing Sun forces operating in the South Pacific.
The Britannians, in turn, do not employ Royal Australian forces in theatres where Free Australian forces are likely to be encountered. Thanks to generations of hard living on the continent, Australians on both sides believe in the principle of blood being thicker than water, and will not fight each other unless conflict is absolutely unavoidable.
Apart from the Blazing Sun, the Covenant of Antarctica has been known to employ Commonwealth Free Companies on occasion. The Covenant maintains an embassy in Canberra, the only one outside of the The Gateway that now remains open following the closing of the Covenant’s borders.
The Commonwealth also is a common stopping-off point for people from all over the world who wish to migrate to the secretive new nation. As with passage via The Gateway, at the moment, this is strictly a one-way venture.