Talaharan Civil War
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|Talaharan Civil War
Anarchist woman at the Second Battle of Rušadar
|Third Talaharan Kingdom
|Republic of Talahara
|Commanders and leaders
Medur IV N'Zaraba
Mawli N'Rušadi †
Warmaksan Kabil †
Ili Kinawa †
Zidan Misibsen †
|Casualties and losses
|100,000-150,000 civilian deaths
The Talaharan Civil War, also known as the Talaharan Revolution or the Talaharan Anarchy was a war that erupted in 1834 between three factions in Talahara. The conflict began with the overthrow of the monarchy of the Third Talaharan Kingdom by the republicans; a faction spearheaded by the affluent liberal merchant class. The conflict rapidly evolved to include the anarchists; a nascent movement of commoners and slaves demanding an upheaval of the social and economic order. After four years of war, the anarchists ultimately emerged victorious over both the republicans and the monarchist remnants.
The Civil War left a lasting legacy on the world, with the new United Communes of Talahara forming the world's first revolutionary socialist republic. To Talahara's immediate east, popular unrest would result in syndicalist uprisings and eventually revolution within several decades. Future, writers including Arthurista's John Werner and Tsurushima's Kamikawa Yukichi, drew on the theory and lessons of the Civil War and its core thinkers.
In the centuries leading up to the Civil War, the merchant class of Talahara began to eclipse the ruling nobility in terms of material wealth and soft influence. On their part, the merchant class began to clamour for additional political power while the vast majority of slaves and commoners languished under exploitative conditions. Despite the attempts of the nobles and the merchants alike to repress the lower classes, improved infrastructure and the displacement of peoples from their traditional crafts and environments resulting from industrialization expanded the commoners' abilities to communicate and mobilize. Further unrest and revolts throughout the 18th century put increased pressure on the nobility which responded by criminalizing vagrancy and vagabondism at the beginning of the 19th century.
The criminalization of vagabondism led to conflict with the minority population of free Kel Hadar who had maintained nomadic pastoralist lifestyles for several millennia. The cultural and religious elite of Talahara, which included a large portion of the military, supported the preservation of the Kel Hadar’s rights to nomadism which caused internal strain in the regime. Several clashes occurred between the nomads and authorities before the law was amended to carve out an exception for the Kel Hadar. These exceptions had two major effects: Firstly, there were mass protests among the Kel Aman (nobles, merchants, and commoners alike) who begrudged unequal treatment in the context of a developing conception of universal rights. The second effect was that many otherwise repressed Kel Hadar adopted nomadic lifestyles ostensibly as covers for fomenting unrest and revolutionary sentiment. Over the ensuing decades, violent outbursts and independent repression by merchants spread as the Court of the Lions began to lose its grip over the state.
Slavery was a relatively commonplace institution in Talahara from antiquity to the early modern era. By 1830, roughly 35% of the country's inhabitants were chattel slaves. Slaves were typically drawn from Kel Tenere or Kel Hadar clanspeople captured in internal conflict or thereafter born into servitude. The majority of slaveowners were traditionalist Kel Aman noble landowners. A further 45% of the population was estimated to have worked in indentured contracts which were increasingly common arrangements between free lower-class Kel and liberal capitalists.
Liberal and revolutionary ideologies had become the dominant discursive forces in the nation among the religious, military, and common classes by 1833. Across all corners of the kingdom, the acceptance of the kings’ authority was rapidly waning. The liberal landowning class used their resources to spread their influence and agitate politically for abolishing noble privileges. While the affluent merchants would be the primary beneficiaries of a new liberal order, their dogma was popular with many commoners as well, particularly those who were sold on narratives of opportunity and class mobility. While the anarchists agreed on abolishing privilege, they also sought to definitively end slavery and recentre the labourer as the core unit of society and redistribute wealth such that the merchants could not buy their own privileges at the expense of the poor.
The Talaharan Civil War was a conflict between three ideological groups: the declining traditional forces of monarchism, the rising industrial liberals, and the nascent socialist movement of Talaharan social mutualism.
Unlike other monarchies in the world, the Talaharan monarchs of the modern era had no philosophy of divine right to rule. Rather, the investiture of autocratic power in the hands of a single monarch was seen as a reflection of natural law. The beginning of the Third Talaharan Kingdom, wherein the throne was awarded to the senior-most member of the eminent Talaharan clans, explicitly dictated the monarchy as an element of the natural order of the world and a function of life's mechanisms, but not that any given individual was divinely ordained to rule.
The monarchist faction was predominantly led by twenty ruling clans, ten Kel Aman and ten Kel Hadar, and their elder kings who sat in the Court of the Lions. Members of the Court of the Lions obtained their positions via seniority. The ruling clans each had dominion over a set of sub-clans, usually controlling a subset of tradespeoples across a nebulous geographic area. In principle, the clans ruled over peoples and not territories, so the jurisdictional boundaries between clans could be nebulous, especially in cases of intermarriage between clans. The different clans also had a great disparity in wealth. Since the foundation of the Third Kingdom, taxes were excised uniformly across the clans and budgeted by the King-President of the Court of the Lions. However, many Kel Aman clans obtained independent wealth as merchant houses, as slavers, or as planters.
As the power of independent merchants and business owners who were not members of the ruling clans grew in the early-modern period, the legitimacy of confining the natural right to rule to a number of historical clans became increasingly suspect. The material capital of the merchant class eclipsed that of the rulers by the mid-18th century. The right to rule thus became a question of political and economic expediency, efficiency, and appeals to tradition. With industrialization and a changing world, the monarchists appealed to a sense of romanticism, arguing that burgeoning industrialization had to be tempered by the natural order.
Despite protests, material conditions made the censuring or limitation of the merchant classes almost impossible without starting a war. The turn of the 19th century also saw the success of liberal republican movements across the world which fueled further discontent among liberal Talaharan merchants.
Liberalism is a social, political, and economic philosophy that asserts a theory of universal rights and freedoms. According to liberalism, all individuals are equal within the natural world and deserve equal rights. In a political sense, liberal ideology called for popular representation in government and the elimination of traditional socio-political hierarchies. In an economic sense, liberalism asserts the right to private property and freedom of commerce as extensions of personal rights and freedoms.
The philosophy of liberalism emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries, with some earlier precursor thinkers. Its emergence was largely correlated with industrial development and the radical socio-economic upheaval that accompanied it. Revolutions in transportation and communication technologies also facilitated the exchange of new, radical ideas and conceptions of broad, modern, democratic ideals. Social clubs such as the Ten Thousand Citizens Committee based in Ifurša became important circles for networking, sharing assets and ideas, and building furor against the restrictions imposed by the ruling kings.
The extent of liberal philosophy has been variable even within broadly liberal societies. The definition of universalism has historically been varied, with some theorists and societies only conferring rights among a limited subset of humankind - namely men, individuals with property, or people of a certain ethnicity or religion. Numerous liberal societies have justified the practice of slavery or the limitation of political rights to the unpropertied based on a limited theory of personhood or a question of an individual's stake in society. After Sante Reze abolished slavery in 1712 CE, there was increasing international and commercial pressure against slavery. In Talahara, the liberal movement grew to oppose the institution of slavery in the latter decades of the 18th century, but promoted the use of indentured labour as an ostensibly free market alternative. This endorsement put Talaharan liberals at odds with other liberal societies of the era.
Social mutualism and anarchism
Talaharan social mutualism was the first explicitly revolutionary and self-ascriptive socialist movement in the world. Developed by a developing group of working-class intelligentsia, social mutualism understands itself as the next step in socio-economic development from the conception of universal rights developed by liberal ideology. In addition to the liberal revolution in Ludvosiya and the theories of the Talaharan liberal class, early Talaharan socialists such as Mass Ziri Akli were inspired by communalist societies in northeastern Norumbia.
In terms of its objectives, social mutualism seeks to abolish all unjust hierarchies, both political and economic. The core tenet of social mutualism is that resources essential to life ought to be distributed evenly across society, with no private property or primitive accumulation of resources to the deprivation of others. Economic exchange ought to be based on need and resource use based on usufructuary rights. Unlike ordosocialist theories, social mutualism calls for a decentralized economic organization along a free albeit socialist market, rather than a centrally-planned command economy. Social mutualism also called for extreme emancipation and social revolution, guaranteeing freedoms for different expressions of gender, sexuality, and racial identity.
Social mutualists opposed both the liberals and the monarchy on the grounds that both political systems relied upon unjust hierarchies to impose order on society. In the case of the monarchy, this hierarchy was based on a so-called natural order which placed certain individuals above others. In the case of the liberals, economic hierarchies dominated the lives of individuals in the capitalist system and despite egalitarian philosophy, poverty remained inescapable due to the structural economic hierarchies imposed on the lower classes.
Agitators against both the monarchy and the liberal class were often labeled as anarchists who opposed any system of governance or imposing order altogether. Social mutualist movements began to adopt this label, including those who sought a more harmonic reorganization of society along non-hierarchical lines rather than strict abolition of all government structures.
The Talaharan Civil War began as an intense conflict between republican and monarchist factions which devolved into a country-wide civil war that claimed the lives of at least 150,000. The conflict involved various forms of warfare, from conventional line battles, skirmish tactics and guerilla warfare, and ideological conflict. The conflict began with a series of uprisings led by conventional forces and the realm was ultimately thrown into chaos following the mass assassination of the monarchist leadership. Thereafter, anarchist forces gathered momentum and overcame the other two factions to emerge as the victor of the war.
The conflict also featured foreign interventions, including the Yisraeli occupation of the northern regions of Kirthan and the formation of the Protectorate of Taršiš. Rezese mercenaries were enlisted by the republicans in the early stages of the war, but several Rezese houses also offered indirect support to the anarchists, motivated by opposition to the chattel slavery and the indentured labour endorsed by the monarchists and republicans, respectively.
In October of 1833, prominent liberal ideologues and business owners met over three weeks at the Ten Thousand Citizens Committee in Ifurša, devising a plan to overthrow King-President Medur IV and the Court of the Lions and to establish a liberal republic. The Committee created a draft of a new liberal constitution and laid plans for a coup. By the end of the three weeks in Ifurša, an agricultural magnate named Zemrassa Waguten was acclaimed as the shadow president of the new republic, and the first concrete steps of the coup plot were put into motion.
Among the republican conspirators was Warmaksan Kabil, a retired colonel from the Royal Talaharan Army who had entered into business manufacturing arms in Mutafayil. Kabil was nominated as shadow minister of defense and placed in charge of assembling a military force to execute the coup and contend with the Royal Talaharan Army until the legitimacy of the republic could be assured. To that end, Kabil made contact with several Rezese mercenary companies from the Nine Cousins and procured their services with the collective resources of the liberals. In fact, Kabil assembled a much greater force than he'd been authorized to with credit, concerned that the coup would not proceed as smoothly as planned.
In February of 1834, the Warchief of the Court of the Lions, Karim N'Tsabunar, was advised of large mercenary movements into the country and privately alerted King-President Medur and the rest of the court. Several mercenaries were bribed to change their allegiances and divulged information regarding their previous employment contracts. The court was unmoved by the limited information provided, accepting that the mercenaries were being hired for commercial ventures to southern Scipia, unaware of the true numbers or intentions of the forces.
On March 29, 1834, the Court of the Lions was in session when a large group of assassins struck, killing sixteen of the twenty members in addition to several dozen guards and retainers. The coup plotters nevertheless took control of the central palace and proclaimed the Republic of Talahara. Parallel uprisings in Ifurša, Mutafayil, and Rušadar granted the republicans a firm hold in the country's northwest, but Maktarim itself remained disputed territory, with a major contingent of the Royal Army successfully deployed to combat the republican mercenaries.
The republicans' plans were further embattled on March 31, when it was revealed that King-President Medur and Warchief Karim N'Tsabunar had escaped the assassination attempt in the Court of the Lions and fled east to gather border garrison forces and to issue a general levy in the agricultural heartlands around Takalt and along the Qeshet River. With a sizeable militia raised to support the professional soldiers of the Royal Army, the royalist forces had secured an east-west front along the Rubric Coast and avoided ceding momentum completely to the republicans.
As the country was plunged into civil war, anarchists began to coordinate and mount their own resistances to both the liberal republicans and the traditionalist royalists in farming towns, factories, and ports. The loose ideological network began to coordinate to build a wider movement and civic, philosophical, and military leaders began to converge in the port city of Almunaxdri. Ideologues and philosophers who had been travelling abroad were recalled to the country, including Ziri Akli who immediately booked passage on a ship from Norumbia when news arrived of the war.
Protectorate of Taršiš
Collapse of the monarchy
Siege of Maktarim
Formation of the United Communes
- Abolition and re-establishment of legal codes
- Decline of social mutualism
- Syndicalist movement
- Anti-corporatist movement
- Civic syndicalist synthesis
- Kamikawa critique on authority/bourgeois compromises