Councilor Samuel Morrow
Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota
Councilor Henry Wallace
The People's Collective is a Christian Communist nation composed of the former US states of Iowa, Nebraska, North and South Dakota, and Kansas, as well as a portion of Canada. The PC is ruled by Councilor Samuel Morrow, its founder, who heads a 6-member Council of unelected officials, one from each former territory. The PC was formed with Soviet assistance, but has since broken from the USSR due to Morrow's distaste for Soviet atheism. The official state religion is Protestant Christianity, and adherence to "The Faith" is enforced to the point of theocracy.
As the horrors of the Great War gave way to the excesses of the 1920s, many Americans found themselves left out of the economic boom of the post-war era. While the stock market reached new heights and industrial production ramped up, America's working classes and racial minorities found themselves ostracized and exploited. On the other end of the spectrum, wealthy investors and executives saw their incomes multiply extravagantly. This ever-growing iniquity sparked the formation of numerous Socialist and Communist groups in the United States, including the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Samuel Morrow, who had served as a chaplain in the Army during the War, was elected Chairman of the IWW chapter in Omaha, Nebraska in 1921. Morrow was arrested several times in the 1920s for his involvement in strikes and protest marches. Morrow's combination of religious fervor and revolutionary zeal made him a potent enemy of the authorities, and the Pinkerton Detective Agency maintained a large file on him for most of his life. Throughout the decade, Morrow worked on expanding the IWW's reach in the Plains States through alliances with farmers, agitation for the end of the gold standard, and a controversial policy of racial inclusion. The Omaha IWW headquarters was visited frequently by notable figures, including Minnesota gubernatorial candidate Floyd Olson and businessman-turned-Socialist Henry Wallace, who would later represent Iowa in the People's Collective Council. In 1929, the economic conditions of the United States came to a head when the stock market crashed and the Great Depression began. Hungry workers and cash-strapped farmers alike began rioting in major cities across the Midwest and Great Plains, and the Governor of Nebraska declared a state of emergency. National Guard units forcibly closed the IWW headquarters, prompting Morrow to call for a general strike across the country. In late 1929 or early 1930, agents of the USSR contacted Morrow in Carney, Nebraska, and offered monetary aid and arms if Morrow were to lead a revolution. Morrow claims to have taken 40 days to reach a decision on the matter, saying later: "The Holy Scripture says, 'Thou Shalt Not Kill,' and I have long sought for a peaceful resolution to the problems of capitalism...however, after much prayer and meditation, it was made clear to me by our Lord that, like Joshua in Canaan, our enemy would destroy us if we did not destroy him first. And the Lord made it clear that he was with us in our time of need." Morrow accepted Soviet aid, and began distributing weapons to groups of farmers and laborers throughout 1930 for a planned 1931 revolution.
Revolution and Break with USSREdit
Morrow had planned for the revolution to begin on May Day, 1931; however the actions of then-Governor Arthur J. Weaver precipitated this action. A gubernatorial election had been slated for November 1930, however, the secession of several states including Texas, New York, and California gave Weaver an excuse to cancel the elections. In fury, labor associations across Nebraska rose up, and Henry Wallace called for a general strike in neighboring Iowa. Weaver retaliated by ordering the National Guard to assualt the temporary headquarters of the IWW in Carney, Nebraska. 35 IWW members were killed and over 100 wounded in what would be called the Carney Massacre on December 12, 1930. In response, Morrow gathered a group of farmers and laborers, armed with weapons from the USSR, and marched to Omaha, where they besieged the Governor's Mansion and Statehouse Building. This turned into a pitched street battle between the laborers and guardsmen, but several Guard units refused to fight their fellow Nebraskans. One such unit, the 134th Infantry Regiment, lowered their weapons and allowed IWW members to enter the Governor's Mansion on January 17th, 1931. IWW members captured Weaver and his family, and under duress he ordered the National Guard to stand down. Samuel Morrow was declared Governor of Nebraska on January 19th. Frightened governors called up National Guard units and declared IWW chapters illegal, but it was too late - Morrow deployed Guard units into Iowa and Kansas and incorporated those states in February of 1931. In March, worried industrialists in the Great Lakes region agreed to unify and form the Industrial States of America, seceding from the USA and forming a heavily-armed capitalist nation immediately adjacent to Morrow's territories. That same month, North and South Dakota's legislatures voted overwhelmingly to join with Morrow, not least because of the growing masses of armed farmers assembling in the state capitals. On March 23rd, 1931, Morrow officially declared the creation of the People's Collective, with Omaha as its capital. Running skirmishes with ISA troops to the east and Republic of Texas forces in the south were, and remain, commonplace, but Morrow shrewdly kept the National Guard forces intact and has so far been able to rebuff the threats. On May 1, 1931, Morrow declared a public holiday - Workers' Day - and a week of celebrations commenced across the country. On May 8th, these holidays culminated with the "trial" of Arthur Weaver and other "enemies of the Lord's Revolution," who were judged by the raucous crowd in Omaha. The affair lasted a mere 45 minutes, after which all the accused were found guilty and drowned before the cheering crowd in a glass-walled tank, in what was referred to as a "Last Baptism." This gruesome method of execution remains popular for those convicted of treason or apostasy. In 1933, Morrow infamously refused (over the objections of Henry Wallace) the Soviet ambassador sent to Omaha, saying (in a possible reference to a similar Lenin quote) that the USSR were "useful fools, but fools nonetheless, who have said in their heart that there is no God and thus have no place on the People's soil." Since this point, the People's Collective have had no diplomatic relations with the USSR. Thus, the PC remains something of a pariah state, at war with all its neighbors and ignored by foreign powers - which may have been what Morrow intended.
Magic and DemographicsEdit
Unsurprisingly, given the bible's strictures against witchcraft, the tactician traditions of the world have been forcibly excluded from the People's Collective (not that many were interested in the territory, truthfully). A few miracle-workers are sanctioned by the state, but such gifted individuals are extremely rare. The extremist political and religious views of the People's Collective hold little appeal for most outsiders, and so the area is perhaps even more homogenously human-and-epesi than it had been before independence.