Free Rasalhague Republic
|Free Rasalhague Republic|
|Time period:||3034 – 3103|
|Controlled systems:|| 80+|
7 after 3052
|Ruler title:||Elected Prince|
|Military:||Royal Rasalhague Army (KungsArmé)|
The Free Rasalhague Republic was a nation born in the wake of the Fourth Succession War, which enjoyed less than two decades of independence before being almost totally overrun by the invasion of the Clans.
In 2330, House Kurita's expansionist Draconis Combine invaded the Principality of Rasalhague, subduing it after enduring more than three decades of guerrilla war. The Rasalhague Military District remained the most restive province of the Combine as its original Scandinavian inhabitants resisted assimilation into the Japanese-dominated culture of their Kuritan conquerors. In 3004, a Rasalhagian bodyguard assassinated Coordinator Hohiro Kurita. During the Fourth Succession War, many Rasalhagians greeted the Lyran Commonwealth troops as liberators and helped them to capture many Rasalhague worlds before the war's end in 3030. However, Lyran Duke Selvin Kelswa wanted to retain the conquered planets in his Tamar Pact, and his heavy-handed treatment of their people thoroughly alienated them.
As part of Operation Rosebud, Primus Myndo Waterly of ComStar convinced Theodore Kurita of the advantages of granting Rasalhague independence. It would relieve the Combine of its most rebellious citizens, create a buffer state on the border with the Commonwealth, pressure the Lyrans to disgorge their Rasalhagian conquests to the new republic, and perhaps inspire secessionists in the Lyran Isle of Skye. She also promised him military equipment from ComStar's secret stocks in exchange.
Rasalhague's proclamation of independence on March 13, 3034 was quickly recognized by ComStar and the Draconis Combine. Some Kuritan troops refused to obey Theodore's orders, but he crushed them in the Ronin War. As foreseen by Waterly, Lyran ruler Katrina Steiner turned over captured Rasalhague planets to the Free Rasalhague Republic (FRR). The new state sought to appease both the Commonwealth and the Combine through scrupulous neutrality, even adopting a policy of equal trade.
However, the gravest threat to Free Rasalhague's precarious independence would come not from these two great powers, but the unexpected Clan invasion of the Inner Sphere. By the time the Clan advance was halted in 3052, most of the FRR was overrun by Clan Wolf and Clan Ghost Bear. The rump state that survived became a virtual protectorate of ComStar.
On the 21st of August 3070 Ragnar Magnusson spoke to the Free Rasalhague Republic government on Orestes; acting on behalf of Clan Ghost Bear and the Ghost Bear Dominion, Magnusson launched what would become a series of negotiations to reach an accord for "all Rasalhagian peoples."
Meanwhile, the Ghost Bears pursued good relations with their subjects, creating the Ghost Bear Dominion. In 3103, the holdout Free Rasalhague Republic merged with the Ghost Bears to form the Rasalhague Dominion.
The Free Rasalhague Republic is governed using a system unique to the Inner Sphere and is directly descended from the government of the old Principality of Rasalhague. All positions of power and responsibility are either directly or indirectly elected by the people, even to the Nobles and Prince of the realm. Express limits on term length and number of terms the candidate may serve are outlined either in the FRR Constitution or the constitutions of the constituent worlds. No position is hereditary save that the son of the current holder impresses the electoral population and is raise to the parents honors.
The Riksforestandare, or Prince, is the political head of the Republic, the Commander-in-Chief of the Rasalhague KungsArme, and the Chancellor of the Riksbank which acts as the government's financial arm. The candidate for Prince must be a member of Parliament and must have the support of at least three-fourths of his fellow parliamentarians to be elected. The people of Rasalhague do not directly elect a Prince, but they do have the opportunity to express their approval or disapproval of the available candidates in a non-binding referendum that occurs in the weeks before the Parliament casts its vote. The successful candidate holds the office for a term of ten years and is limited by law to two terms. Additionally, the Prince has the Royal cabinet to advise him on events which would affect the Republic. This cabinet is comprised of the heads of each of the major government departments. During his term in office the Prince's official home is the KungsPalace in the city of Reykjavik on Rasalhague itself, as well as the use of many other homes throughout the Republic including a beautiful manor at Molnlycke.
Prince Haakon Magnusson traces his lineage to the original rulers of the Rasalhague in the 23rd century as well as the legendary Norse kings of ancient Terra. Some fear that he may attempt to overturn the constitutional limits on the office of Prince in an attempt to make the title hereditary. He has also made a habit of inviting close friends to the Cabinet meetings so that he can elicit their input on governmental policy decisions.
The other Nobles of the realm have similar limitations on their terms and powers. The Valdherren (World Leaders) and Hertigs (Dukes) are positions in the government rather than traditional hereditary titles. Holders of these positions can lose them as easily as they earned them.
The Valdherren are appointed world leaders and their terms of service vary depending on the constitutions of the worlds they govern. They are assisted in their duties by the Hertig, which are directly elected by the people of the worlds they serve. The Hertig have no specific duties other than assisting the Valherren and attending sessions of the Riksdag.
The First Estate is comprised of the Valdherren and the Hertigs. The leader of this Estate is the Landtmarskalk, or Marshal of the Lands. It is his responsibility to set the agenda to be considered by the Riksdag as a whole. As such it is the second most powerful position in the Republic behind the Prince.
The Second Estate is composed of the Planetary Representatives. These officials are elected by the disparate worlds of the Republic to ten year terms of office, which gives rise to its unofficial though popular designation of the Peoples Parliament. Each world elects five representatives to send to this Estate.
The Third Estate representatives are the leading clergy of the major religions within the FRR. This Estate historically follows the lead of the Second Estate when it comes to decisions regarding policy or finances, though they will take the lead regarding the moral, spiritual, or social issues affecting the Republic. 
The Fourth Estate is the province of the Republics most important business leaders. The representatives are invited from a pool of individuals whose businesses have a net worth of greater than 100 Million R-Bills or own more than 10,000 hectares of land.
It is the duty of the First and Second Estates to draft the bills that are presented to the Riksdag as a whole to consider and vote upon. To become law, the presented bill must be passed by three of the four Estates and then signed by the sitting Prince. A veto by the Prince may be overturned if the legislation is passed by all four of Estates.
Meetings of the Riksdag are scheduled to begin on January 1st of each year and last until at least July 1st. However in times of crisis these sessions may be extended or convened outside the scheduled times. The home of the Riksdag is the Palace Hall on Rasalhague.
Born and tested by war and rebellion, the Free Rasalhague Republic treads a fine line in the politics of the Inner Sphere. The Prince must balance the needs of his state against pressure from the two great nations that lie along his borders. The neutrality that was the byword of the Principality of Rasalhague is the professed goal of the current government, but it is a neutrality that must be measured against the political demands of the leadership of the Draconis Combine and the Lyran Commonwealth.
Prince Magnusson, first Prince of the new Free Rasalhague Republic (FRR), is a shrewd politician known for being careful to not anger any of the multiple special interest groups that reside within the FRR. He has formed a government that professes to represent all aspects of Rasalhague identity, but lacks in number many of the Tyr that resided in the worlds conquered by House Steiner. The positions of power have been given to those that he knows and trusts. One such staunch supporter from the ex-Draconis planets is Tor Miraborg, Military Commander of the Radstatt Province and Varldherre of Miraborg. This disparity of representation has been perceived by some as a snub and in response a party has been created of those so disaffected, the Motsatt Stalining Parti, or Motpart for short.
The Motpart consists of members of the Riksdag who oppose the Prince, either on principle for his policies or in reaction to his perceived treatment of the Tyr from the ex-Lyran conquered worlds. The leader of this party is General Christian Mansdottir, first leader of the Tyr BattleMech Regiment.
General Mansdottir was, until he won the right to lead the Tyr Regiment, an officer of the LCAF. He was viewed by many as the logical leader of the new Rasalhague nation until Magnussen came forth with the treaty from the Draconis Combine that caused the initial impetus for the creation of the Free Rasalhague Republic. Though thwarted in his desire to become the new nation's Prince, the fame he won as a regimental commander made him a man that could not be ignored by the new government. The Prince appointed Mansdottir as overall commander of the KungsArme and the Riksdag appointed him to the office of Landtmarskalk in 3042.
The main difference between the ruling party and the Motpart lies in their attitudes towards the governments on either side of them. The ruling party wishes to appease all and tread lightly, while the Motpart would prefer to distance themselves from the giants to either side. The Motpart specifically distrusts the motives of the Draconis Combine and fears the Kuritans will one day return to conquer the worlds they ceded. The Motpart advocate a stronger military and seeks to pursue closer ties with the Federated Commonwealth, even if this would anger and possibly provoke their Kuritan neighbors.
Internally the FRR is divided into three Provinces named after their capital worlds, Skandia, Radstadt, and Rasalhague. The policies of each of these provinces, and even the worlds within, varies widely from region to region and from one world to another. Many of the Military Governors that are assigned to these worlds have become Varldherren, though some continue to hold power by suppression of the local civilian governments.
The political reality of the FRR is that of a man on a tightrope over a bed of broken glass. The Prince must balance the needs of his people to the reality that his decisions may cause issues with his larger and more powerful neighbors. The vaunted neutrality that is so precious to the people of Rasalhague must be balanced on the perceptions of the warlike leaders that populate the other nations of the Inner Sphere
Rasalhague KungsArmé (Royal Rasalhague Army)
The Royal Rasalhague Army has the capability to field almost 150 Regiments of BattleMech, Armor, and Infantry as well as having ultimate command of 62 local Militia Regiments and five Mercenary BattleMech units
The organization of the KungsArme is patterned after the LCAF, with twelve departments that are headquartered in the Citadel, a large military complex on Rasalhague established under the old Principality and later expanded by the Draconis Combine as the headquarters of their Rasalhague Military District. The Citadel has a fully-featured satellite command headquarters based in the capitals of each of the Provinces. 
Twelve departments are responsible for the day-to-day operations of the KungsArme. These are the Command Council, Administration, Medical Corps, Warriors' Ombudsmen, Mercenary Relations, Reservist Readiness, Strategy and Tactics, Intelligence, Transportation, Justice, Quartermaster, and Military Education Departments.
The Chief of Staff of the Command Council and Provincial Commander of the Rasalhague Province is General Christian Mansdottir. The Prince is the Overbefalhavare, or Commander in Chief, though the current Prince does not take an active interest in military concerns or decisions. Each of the Provinces also has a regional commander responsible for military decisions within their jurisdiction. These seconds are Generalmajor Margrethe Minuit of the Skandia Province and General Gustaf Mannerheim in the Radstadt Province.
Though the current government has made some mistakes in their economic dealings and policies, their record in dealing with the business community has, on the whole, been remarkably. The Prince has used incentives, such as better pay and conditions for the laborers, hereditary positions for management, and seats on the Riksdag for executives, in particularly successful and critical industries. Tie this to severe penalties for individuals and industries that were non-responsive or resistant to the changes that were being implemented and the result is a carrot-and-stick system that has increased industrial growth and production in the Republic.
Industry in the FRR is as much a balancing act as the relations between it the neighboring giants to either side. Many of the corporations within the FRR are either a subsidiary of a Draconis corporation or have been damaged by the nearly universal fighting. 
One such company with split affiliations is Metals of the Earth. MOE is a mining, chemical, and synthetic production conglomerate located on Nox. MOE has done well under the new Republic policies, but half of its production is earmarked for the Combine. The rest has gone a long way towards repairing the war damage on Republic worlds. Though, if all its output could be funneled to war repairs it would go farther and speed up recovery on war-torn worlds.
Another company that has done well in the new corporate environment is Swedenborg Heavy Industries, a manufacturer of heavy industrial robots. Under the Combine this industry was always in debt and had constant labor unrest, while now the factories have almost tripled output. The company is also contemplating setting up a factory on Kirchbach for either BattleMech or Aerospace production.
Though there have been many successes under the new governmental policies there have also been some failures. One prominent failure is Amau Electronics. Attempts to convert the major production facilities on Trondheim to support the military electronics production has met with failure, though it does still produce low-end consumer items. At this time the future of the military production lines at this facility are uncertain and it is unlikely this will change without major investments.
The Defense industry in the Republic is healthy if rather limited.
The company of Gorton, Kingsley, and Thorpe Enterprises (GKT) has BattleMech lines running at facilities on New Oslo and plans have been laid to add the production of Archer and Panther 'Mechs at this site. A second factory is being contemplated on Rasalhague but no definitive plans have been released at this time.
The second largest military manufacturer, Benson and Bjorn, has expanded its lines for personal weaponry and armored vehicles on Spittal to handle the increased demands of the Republic. The Axel Mark I and Mark II tanks have been added to the production lines at these facilities. These tanks are internal combustion engine variants of the Lyran Rommel and Patton, and have been a welcome addition to the vehicles available to the KungsArme and militia forces.
Due to the rather unique circumstances facing the FRR, trade relations with other powers in the Inner Sphere are fraught with unintended consequences. The current government pursues an Even Scale Policy in all dealings with either the Lyran Commonwealth or the Draconis Combine. Under this policy every transaction with one state has to be balanced by a transaction of equal value with the other state. Though simple in concept it has proven to be difficult if not outright impossible in practice. However, considering the records and reports needed to track and monitor all economic traffic, imports and exports to these two nations has proven to be beyond the capabilities of the bureaucracy to manage. 
One interesting feature, as far as the Republic people and government are concerned, is that though this policy has caused issues in trade with their closest neighboring realms, but this policy has no impact or limitations on trade with other Inner Sphere nations. This has caused a marked increase in trade traffic with both Free Worlds League and Federated Suns, as well as closer diplomatic ties with these two realms.
Though the close alliance between the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth may cause problems with FedSuns commerce in the future, it currently is not an issue in the minds of the Rasalhague government.
The culture of the Free Rasalhague Republic is an amalgam of the original settlers from the Scandinavian regions of old Terra and the Japanese dominated culture of the Draconis Combine that conquered them in the early 24th century. The Combines attempts to dilute the native culture of the Rasalhague worlds were somewhat successful, but failed to completely supplant the local attitudes and culture.
The official language of the Republic is Swedish, but the dominant language of everyday life is a mix of Kurita Japanese and Swedish called Swedenese. This language has slowly evolved from a pidgin amalgam to a fully-formed, living language over the years of the Kurita occupation of Rasalhague. Today it is a rich language with a deep history and respectable body of literature. Swedenese is difficult for non natives to learn as a good foundation in both root languages is a requirement for fluency.
The state religion of the Republic is the Lutheran Church or Radstadt Synod. One third of the population of the FRR are members of this faith, though other Christian religions, as well as Hinduism, Islam, and Buddhism, have substantial numbers of followers as well. The Modern Norse faith, a reinterpretation of the ancient Norse polytheism, is a growing sect and other small minor sects such as the One Star Faith also have a presence.
While the blatant racism of the past has largely been extinguished in the Republic, there still remains a subtle bias against anything Oriental. The leading politicians of the Republic, including Prince Magnusson and General Mansdottir, have worked hard to end any trace of racism however people of Oriental heritage continue to have barriers, either actual or perceived, that keep them from achieving positions of importance.
The short term goals of the Republic are to simply survive as a nation. The long term goals involve increasing its military and establishing strong interstellar political alliances so that the FRR is no longer seen as an inviting target of conquest and raiding. Some of the current policies, such as the Even Scale Policy, do little to strengthen the position of the Republic but no change is foreseeable as long as the current leadership is in power. Though a minority, specifically the Motpart, would like to see a change in leadership, their influence is not strong enough to force the Prince to step down before his term of office is complete in 3054. At this time the Republic is surviving and in some ways thriving, though discontent with the current leadership is a constant and slowly growing concern among policy leaders both in and beyond the borders of the Free Rasalhague Republic.
- Jihad: Final Reckoning, p. 48, "The Jihad In Review"
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 160
- Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 66, 99
- 20 Year Update, p. 47
- 20 Year Update, p. 46
- 20 Year Update, p. 48
- 20 Year Update, p. 50