Lauchenoirian Communist Revolution

Lauchenoirian Communist Revolution
Date12 July 1952 - 21 July 1952
Location
Result

Communist victory

  • Establishment of communist government by Mateo Villanueva
  • End of devolution to provinces
  • End of 1922 constitution
Belligerents
Federation of Lauchenoiria Communist Party of Lauchenoiria
Commanders and leaders
  • Mateo Villanueva
  • Sophie Ross
  • Strength
    5,000 - 6,000 soldiers 20,000 soldiers
    Casualties and losses
    1,000 dead, rest imprisoned 100 dead, 200 injured

    The Lauchenoirian Communist Revolution (sometimes known as the First Lauchenoirian Civil War) was a revolution in Lauchenoiria by members of the Communist Party of Lauchenoiria, led by Mateo Villanueva and Sophie Ross. The conflict began on the 12th July 1952 after Communist supporters stormed the Lauchenoirian Parliament, and ended nine days later following the surrender of forces loyal to the overthrown Liberal government.

    The revolution marked the start of 62 years of Communist rule, ending only after the election of a Liberal government in 2014.

    Background

    In the late 1940s, support for independence from the Lauchenoirian state had grown in the provinces of Aeluria, Costeno, Yervia and Melissa, where unemployment was high. The Lauchenoirian government responded by clamping down on free speech for independence supporters. The Communist Party targeted these disempowered groups by giving out free propaganda with food and claiming they would provide greater powers to the provinces. These promises were not kept. This led to a surge in support for the Communists.

    In the run up to the 1950 General Election, the Communists looked set to gain a majority, however many Communist candidates were disqualified at the last minute by the Liberal-dominated Supreme Court, who cited 'financial irregularities' and 'suspicious electoral activity', grounds for disqualification under the Electoral Regulation Act 1933. One of these candidates was Mateo Villanueva, who was then elected Party Leader.

    In February 1952, opinion polls showed the Communist Party leading with 61% of public support. This led the ruling Liberal government to offer concessions to Villanueva in a closed-door meeting. Villanueva rejected their terms and publicised the contents of the meeting, in violation of his agreement with the Liberal administration.

    After the Communists rejected the offered terms, the Liberal government proceeded to increase their crackdown on free speech, introducing the Public Demonstrations Act (1952), which required governmental approval to hold any public demonstrations. The Communist Manifesto was also banned from being distributed, and permission requested for a demonstration by any organisation sympathetic to communism was rejected.

    Organised in secret, the Communist Party organised an illegal demonstration outside the Lauchenoirian Parliament on the 12th July, which was attended by over 20,000 Lauchenoirians. During the demonstration, Villanueva called upon those present to storm the Parliament and take power by force.

    Insurrection

    Planning

    Publicly, Mateo Villanueva continued to advocate for a peaceful solution up until the 12th July, however private Communist Party records show he was involved in planning the insurrection as early as May. The public voice calling for revolution was Sophie Ross, Deputy Leader of the party, and one of the individuals involved in storming the Parliament.

    Most records of the Communist plans were lost or destroyed, however around 1000 people in the crowd were armed, which suggests the uprising was planned well in advance as weapons were acquired. The Liberal government had no advance warning of the plot, meaning plans were a well-kept secret within the Communist Party and their allies. Some have speculated the Communist Party had international help, however this is widely disputed.

    Storming of Parliament

    After Villanueva called for his supporters to storm the Parliament, armed members of the crowd immediately moved towards the building, followed by many other members of the crowd. Parliamentary security offered some limited resistance, however the Communist militia was inside the building within twenty minutes. Government ministers barricaded themselves inside the Cabinet room, while other MPs were shot or taken prisoner by the Communists.

    Of the 120 Members of Parliament, 76 were killed, 39 were imprisoned and 5 were Communist Party members who had supported the revolution. Among those killed was Josephine Gardiner, a former Liberal MP who had been expelled from her party for being perceived as sympathetic to communism. Prime Minister Thomas Horsburgh was imprisoned in Summersea Federal Detention Facility, where he died in 1967 during a heatwave where over 60% of inmates died in the poor conditions of the prison.

    Three hours after the beginning of the uprising, the Parliament building was under Communist control, with all non-Communist MPs either dead or imprisoned. President Lucas Boag was captured and given an ultimatum to resign or be executed by the Communist forces.

    Civil War

    Communist forces immediately took control of the communist-leaning provinces of Costeno, Yervia, Melissa and Aeluria. In Ulinaria, Ecanta and Fleura, forces loyal to the deposed government resisted the Communist takeover. Pro-Liberal forces in Elopolis came under siege by Aelurian and Costenian Communist forces, while those in Fleura were forced out of the province by the forces gathered in Buttercity. In Ecanta, anti-Communist forces retreated towards the Malabran border on the third day.

    By the seventh day, the only remaining anti-communist troops were surrounded in Elopolis. On the ninth day, they surrendered, producing a Communist victory. Boag signed his resignation letter and Mateo Villanueva was declared President of Lauchenoiria.

    Aftermath

    The 1952 revolution paved the way for 62 years of Communist rule, ending only with the election of the Liberal Party in 2014, under Prime Minister Laura Moore. The Revolution greatly changed Lauchenoirian society, and is credited with preventing the secession of various provinces from Lauchenoiria.

    Political freedom was vastly reduced following the Revolution, as support for capitalism and the various independence movements were made illegal. Power to the provinces was withdrawn, despite pre-revolution Communist promises to increase their power. Lauchenoirian culture became increasingly homogenised during the early Communist years.

    All of the 39 Members of Parliament imprisoned during the initial revolution died behind bars, including former Prime Minister Thomas Horsburgh. Former President Lucas Boag was killed six days after his resignation, attempting to escape while being transferred to a prison in Summersea. Human rights activists have claimed that the treatment of these prisoners was inhumane and led to premature death in many cases.

    Capitalist parties were outlawed until 1993, with electoral restrictions in some form remaining in place until 2004. The Communist Party remained in power until 2014. While Lauchenoiria was constitutionally a democracy during this period, historians have shed doubt upon how free this so-called democracy really was.

    The present-day constitution and political structures are directly related to those from the Communist era, and the influence of Villanueva is still felt in present-day Lauchenoiria, with institutions named after him and statues in many cities. The 1959 Constitution was still in force, although amended, until June 2018 when it was temporarily suspended by Suleman Chaher.