by Max Barry

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[Rio Grande] Was ist des Deutschen Vaterland? Ist's Riogrande?

Title: Freistaat Rio Grande
Motto: Gott min uns
Anthem: LinkHeil der Siegerkranz
Capital City: Neu Berlin
Official Language: German and Portuguese
Demonym: Rio Grandense
Government: Federal, parliamentary, semi-constitutional monarchy (de jure)
Minority-rule corporatocracy (de facto)
Legislature: Reichstag
Population: 8,200,000 (1964)
Currency: Reichsmark
Driving Side: Right

Overview

The Freistaat Rio Grande or the Free State of Rio Grande, sometimes Grandesia, is a country located in South America that was born out of the rubble that was Brazil after the Brazilian Collapse of 1964 and the subsequent anarchy that engulfed the nation that saw the creation of many regional breakaway states in which the German Rio Grande was one of them. The Rio Grande is a semi-constitutional monarchy de jure but effectively, the country is run as a corporatocracy by the Deutsche Südamerika Gesellschaft (DSG) or the German South America Society ruled for the interests of a sizable German minority. As of now, the country suffers from a medium-level insurgency from Brazilian nationalists and communists groups as well as an UN trade embargo (which is often ignored by the West). For this, they are dubbed as the German Rhodesia.


Map of the Rio Grande

The country borders the Oriental Commune of Uruguay to the south, the Kingdom of Argentina to the west, and its puppet state Freistaat Santa Catarina to the north. The capital and largest city of the country is Neu Berlin in which the city used to be named Porto Allegre with a population of 1 million. This Brazilian breakaway state enjoys one of the highest standards of living in all of Brazil when compared to other breakaway states. It has a high literacy rate, low crime rate, the highest life expectancy, and a rapidly-growing urban development to boot. The Rio Grande had enjoyed this prestige well before the Brazilian Collapse. The climate in the country is humid subtropical where the weather is warm and rainfall is quite common.

For all intents and purposes, the Rio Grande is a borderline apartheid state where the Germans are the privileged classes due to their higher economic class status above their Brazilian Portuguese brethren. The few Germans of the DSG reap the economic success of the country while middle-class Germans and Brazilians are left unemployed. Yet compared to other breakaway states ruled by would-be communists and Integralists, corrupt Caudillos and ranchers, as well as ineffectual remnant governors; the Rio Grande is Brazil's last haven of peace and prosperity. Yet that peace and prosperity isn't to last as left-wing and nationalist Brazilian guerrillas are now fighting over control of the government and to take power away from the German corporate and back to the Portuguese-speaking people per revolutionary rhetoric. It is uncertain if majority-rule will bring about both equality and economic development that the Rio Grande so desperately needs.

Aspects of the Nation


Under Vargas and After WWII
Brazil Experienced a Golden Age

Modern History
Before the Brazilian Collapse of 1964, Brazil enjoyed a period of relative economic prosperity and political stability under the authoritarian rule of President Vargas. Argentine compensations to Brazil after WWII and the flow of Marshall Aid precipitated Brazil's period of prosperity. This period that began on 1948 until 1962 would be known as the Brazilian Golden Age by nostalgic Brazilians as Brazil grew to Major Power status and became tightly aligned with the United States. The country became involved in UN peacekeeping missions particularly in the Sinai and the Congo. However, things only went downhill in 1954 where Vargas committed suicide after failing to control the LinkRua Tonelero Incident.

Afterwards, after a few successive interim presidents; Juscelino Kubitschek was elected president on 1956 and he was able to maintain Brazil's Golden Age after Vargas' death. After Kubitschek, Janio Quadros was elected president on 1960 and the country undertook a middle path between the East and West during Cold War politics. Under him, political instability grew and his presidency paved the way for a socialist politician like Joao Goulart to take power after an election in 1961 and Goulart would pass socialist policies in order to increase the welfare of the Brazilian people.


The 1964 Brazilian Coup
The Beginning of the End for Brazil

A military coup occurred on 1964 conducted by rogue elements of the Brazilian Armed Forces (backed by the US government) who feared of a communist takeover of Brazil at the backdrop of Operation Condor. The coup plotters managed to seize Brasilia (the center of Brazil's government) as well as Rio de Janeiro and managed to overthrow President Goulart. Though they controlled the state organs of Brazil's government, they lacked control over many of Brazil's federal states and the governors who still followed democratic rule openly rebelled against the military government and this had thrown Brazil into anarchy and brought great political instability in South America. Thus ending the Brazilian Golden Age and precipitating the rise of political radicalism in South America which indirectly led to the birth of Ancap Chile and Surrealist Patagonia.

Many successive and breakaway states were formed over Brazil's corpse amidst the Brazilian Civil War and this started the era of the Brazilian Anarchy or the Warlord Era. A rump state of the Republic (Republic of Rio) was formed along Rio and Espirito Santo while the Braganza monarchy was re-established in Sao Paulo and Parana (Kingdom of Sao Paulo) with the two fighting each other for dominance and legitimacy in the Brazilian Civil War. Riograndese governors declared independence on 1964 and the country was briefly ruled as an illiberal democracy with ties to the Republic of Rio until the German minority interest group DSG seized control over the economy then the Rio Grande's government after an ultimatum was issued. That same year, the DSG anschlussed Santa Catarina and established a puppet state ruled by the same German corporation albeit directly. The first Chancellor is the conservative Maximilian von Weiszacker of the Christian Democratic Union after an election in 1965.


The Brazilian Collapse and Anarchy
Marking the End for Brazil

The new country called the Freistaat Rio Grande was established on 1965 initially as a republic before they became a semi-constitutional monarchy in order to gain legitimacy in the eyes of the international community. Until 1967, it was ruled by the Regency Council (another front for the DSG) with the throne empty as the Council attempts to search any German prince or princesses interested in becoming the King/Queen of the Rio Grande. That was until a German Hohenzollern Princess by the name of Princess Wilhelmina von Hohenzollern - the granddaughter of Kaiser Wilhelm II and conspirator in the Valkyrie plot of 1944. Due to her anti-fascist credentials, the DSG managed to brush many of their members' Nazi pasts in the eyes of the international community.

By 1967, a medium-level insurgency was waged against the German-dominated government in Rio Grande by nationalists and communist Portuguese Brazilians as well as Afro-Brazilians. The government has for the most part, managed to contain the insurgency but it is uncertain if the Rio Grande would continue to exist in the future amidst trade embargoes and continued terrorist attacks that would erode public support for the DSG.

Demographics and Society


The German Community in Brazil
The Privileged Few in the Rio

The Rio Grande has a population of 8,200,000 people and the country has a high urbanization rate of 81% with most living in coastal areas. The population density is 38.53 inhabitants per square kilometre (99.8/sq mi) with a population growth of 1.2%. Although the country's population has 71% European ancestry, 14% African, and 13% Amerindian ancestry; the country has a rich cultural background and is considered as the melting pot of Brazil. The country has a gaucho culture where so-called Gauchos (South American cowboys) roam the interior on horseback and they still do to this day - forming a proud community that persists for decades in spite of modernization. The land that would be called Rio Grande was initially populated by the Guarani people with the first European settler to come into the country being the Jesuits then settlers from Azores. A massive wave of European immigration occurred in the country in the 19th century with the Germans and Italians being the most notable in the Rio Grande's massive demographic shift.

People of Portuguese – mostly Azorean – background predominate in the coastal region. The Southwest, on the other hand, was originally populated by Pampeano Indians. Like the other Gauchos from the La Plata Basin the population there was a result from the mixture of Spanish and Portuguese men with Amerindian women with a possible predominant Spanish ancestry and also a significant African contribution, resulting in a population that is 81.20% White. People of German descent predominate in the Sinos Valley (Novo Hamburgo, São Leopoldo, Nova Hartz, Dois Irmãos, Morro Reuter, etc.) and in the center-eastern part of the State (Santa Cruz do Sul). People of Italian descent predominate in the mountains (Serra Gaúcha: Caxias do Sul, Bento Gonçalves, Farroupilha, Garibaldi, etc.). The Northern and Northwestern parts of the State also have significant numbers of people of both Italian and German descent. There are sizable communities of Poles and Ukrainians across the state, notably in the northwest. People of African ancestry are concentrated in the capital city and in some cities in the littoral, such as Pelotas and Rio Grande.


The Marxist Brazilian Guerillas
Fighting for Equality and Freedom

The official population statistics shows that 60% of the Rio Grandense population is of Italian descent, 20% are German, and then the rest are made up of Afro-Brazilians and Amerindians which are equally divided between each other. The Italians are well-integrated into Luso-Brazilian culture and they stuck to speaking Portuguese while the German had maintained their culture for decades and formed some kind of elite socio-economic class as landowners and industrialists. Besides the Italian-turned-Lusophones and Germans; there are a sizable minority of Jews, Japanese, and Polish people - with their business communities ironically aligned with with the DSG. After WWII, many German refugees moved to the Rio Grande as well as former Nazis under the guise of CIA's Operation Fjord who would make up the ranks of the DSG. There has been a population exchange between Germans and Luso-Brazilians lately that saw many Germans moving to urban areas and the coast while the Brazilians retreated to the interior as a reaction to German dominance in the country and the Luso-Brazilians pushed aside by German interest.



Riograndense Women in the Beach

Despite of its conservative outlook, the society of the Rio Grande is fairly liberal and progressive for its time and when compared to other breakaway Brazilian states. Women's rights are enshrined, the presence of a gay community is tolerated, there's a clear separation between church and state, and there is some semblance of racial harmony. The primary concern for Rio Grande and the cause for the insurgency is that the fact that a large segment of the population suffers from voter disenfranchisement based on ethnic and class lines. The ordinary German, the business community of Jews, Japanese, and Poles as well as a few wealthy Luso-Brazilians could vote while the majority of Luso-Brazilians, Africans, and Amerindians are barred from voting due to their lower economic and social status as voting is reserved for the German people, the DSG's token Honorary Germans, and the wealthy with property ownership.

Currently, the country is undergoing a Counter-Culture phase and euphoria that has marked the late 1960s. There's a rise in liberalism and socialist values in the country while the stiff-headed conservative DSG struggles to maintain the loyalty of the youths who have banded together in student activists groups in university. Most of the youth called for the end of minority rule while the DSG argues it would only bring about further political instability and the rise of communism in the country. A generational divide is present between the older generation of Germans who either once lived under Nazi rule or were Nazis themselves as well as the younger generation who had grown up living through the Golden Age and the Brazilian Collapse. The older generation want to maintain the present order while the youth are pessimistic about the future of the country and demands reforms for the government if the Riogrande were to survive for the 21st century without Brazil.


The German Counter Culture
Movement in the Rio Grande

Due to the high levels of insurgency occurring in the country, people have become paranoid and the Germans armed themselves in case of a guerilla raid against their farms and property. Curfews are instilled and martial law is effectively declared in the countryside while urban cities remains untouched by the general chaos. This way of life filled with violence, cruelty, and hardship created some sense of rugged individualism among Germans and gave the world the impression that the Riograndense Germans are well-armed, hardy pioneers amidst all of this chaos engulfing Brazil. Violence and ethnic tensions between Germans and Lusophones have become a part of ordinary life in the Rio Grande regrettably so.

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Economy and Politics


Neu Berlin/Porto Allegre in the 60s

The industrial sector is the largest component of GDP at 43%, followed by the service sector at 41%. Agriculture represents 16% of GDP. Rio Grande exports: footwear 18%, soybeans 14%, tobacco 13.6%, vehicles 8%, frozen meat 7.2%, chemicals 6.8%, and leather 5%. Major cities such as Neu Berlin, Bage, and Wilhelmstadt have high levels of infrastructure and large international airports to facilitate economic growth in the country. The GDP PPP of the Rio Grande is $350 billion with a GDP per capita of $6,400. One of the largest in South America - ranking fourth behind North Argentina. Its largest trade partner is the US followed by North Argentina, Paraguay, and Britain.

One of the most prosperous Brazilian states, Rio Grande do Sul is known especially for its grain production, viticulture, ranching, and for its considerable industrial output. Industrial activities is present in urban cities in the interior while the coastal cities like Puerto Allegre is a commercial trading hub which is one of the largest in South America. The Rio Grande is dubbed as the breadbasket of South America and agricultural activity takes place in the interior. The Rio Grande is relatively self-sufficient in producing foods which is why the UN trade embargo had little effect on the country.


A Plaza in Wilhelmstadt

The government follows a free market capitalist type of economy where private business and foreign investment are encouraged accompanied with relaxation of trade restrictions, some tax cuts, and heavy governmental oversight over trade union activities. Wealth is concentrated on the German populace, the minority's business community, and officials within the DSG while the rest of the lower-middle and lower-class suffer from high unemployment rates and rampant wealth inequality which became the cause for the rise of socialist sentiments.

In theory, every man can set up business and pull themselves by their bootstraps. In practice, there's a heavy prejudice against Africans and Luso-Brazilians in business and the economy is controlled by the DSG who maintains a monopoly over business in the Rio Grande. So much so that they now resemble something of a South American German VOC. Corrupt, over-bloated, and their business practices exploitative in nature.


The Queen

The Chancellor


Queen Wilhelmina von Hohenzollern


Chancellor Maximilian von Weiszacker


Märchenville - The Residence of the Queen

The Freistaat Rio Grande is a semi-constitutional monarchy ruled by a Königin or Queen. The Queen of the Rio Grande is Königin Wilhelmina von Hohenzollern from the Hohenzollern family that once ruled Germany. She accepted the throne after the Regency Council listed her as a potential candidate and she was useful to the DSG due to her antifascist credentials which would only bolster the legitimacy of their regime and get rid of their association with the former Nazis. Rio Grande has a Head of Government which is called a Chancellor who is elected after every 4 year with two term limits. The Chancellor of the Rio Grande is Maximilian von Weiszacker of the Christian Democratic Union who was elected in 1965 and served as its first Chancellor.

De jure the country is a federal semi-constitutional monarchy but de facto, it is a corporatocracy ruled by the DSG in the name of the German minority interest. It is an illiberal democracy where the government claims to follow the principle of "Responsible Governance" where they view that the Luso-Brazilian order caused the Brazilian collapse of 1964 and that democracy ought to return to a select class of wealthy and high-IQ individuals for they are "capable of voting responsibly". Although the DSG is only interested in reserving voting for Germans only. There are four dominant parties in the Rio Grande which includes the Christian Democratic Union, the Social Democrats, the Grandense Freedom Party, and the Brazilian National Congress. Both the CDU and the GFP are in a coalition while the SPD and BNC are in opposition.


Afro-Brazilians Protesting
Against the Minority Government

The Deutsche Sudamerika Gesselschaft came about in 1954 as a conglomerate of German companies and businesses with the express intent of protecting German community interest in the Rio Grande as the Vargas regime had conducted a forced assimilation program of the German populace in the state by discouraging the use of the German language. They are led by Governor-General Gerhard von Falkenrath and after the Brazilian Coup of 1964; they sensed weakness of the Brazilian central authority and subsequently pressured the Grandense governor to declare UDI (Unilateral Declaration of Independence) and then pressured Rio-loyalists in the government to hand over power to the German minority. Fearing that the Germans would be the target of a genocide in this bloodbath known as the Brazilian Civil War and made a move to prevent it from happening.

Foreign Policy


"Love it or Leave it" - The Remnant
Junta's Propaganda Against Germans

The Rio Grande like any Brazilian breakaway states is unrecognized by the international world body known as the UN or United Nations and are thus not a part of any UN sub-organizations such as the WHO, UNICEF, and much more. Although the UN has had run-ins with the Rio Grandense government in the past such as the shipment of aid to the worst-affected parts of the Brazilian anarchy as well as for providing protection to UN-sponsored NGOs and Red Cross doctors in assisting them to treat the wounded. Beyond the Rio Grandense supportive gesture towards the UN amidst the Brazilian Anarchy in hopes of obtaining international legitimacy, the UN has for the most part refuse to recognize the Rio Grandense government in the same manner that they would treat nations like Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia as pariah nations.

The UN condemns the Rio Grande for implementing policies that only serve to disenfranchise a majority segment of Rio Grande's population from voting in the elections. Although it cannot be helped as the government is at the mercy of the DSG. The UN continues to recognize the Republic of Rio as the legitimate government of Brazil as they are a rump state composed of remnant Brazilian coup plotters. Despite proclaiming itself to be the last haven of peace, order, prosperity, and sanity in the chaos that is the Brazilian Anarchy; the UN instated a trade embargo on the country that has left its economy crippled for the most part yet drove them to be self-sufficient and backhanded dealings between the Rio Grande and Western governments is what kept the Rio Grande to continue have contacts with the outside world.

America recognizes the strategic importance in the Rio Grande do Sul region and they were quick to establish relations with the Rio Grandense through certain diplomatic channels, primarily North Argentina. America, the UK, France, Spain, and the FRG have consulates in the Rio Grande in Wilhelmstadt. Rio Grande was firmly placed under the Neo-Monroe Doctrine and there were talks about including the Rio Grande in Operation Condor by President George Wallace. The UK and Gaullist France both have chilly relations with the country - especially as their monarch is a Hohenzollern - their relations only extends to economic agreements and high volumes of trade.


Ian Smith of Rhodesia in a
Meeting With Rio Grandense Delegates

The FRG under President Krupp initially had warm ties with the country as Krupp empathetically saw them as Volksdeutsche in a faraway chaotic land yet relations have chilled ever since the SPD candidate Willy Brandt took power over disagreements with the Rio Grande's internal policies. Francoist Spain, Chile, Paraguay, and North Argentina are the only countries to ever recognize the Rio Grande while the Brazilian-government rump state Republic of the Rio, Kingdom of Sao Paulo, and Salazar's Portugal ardently refuse to recognize the country as they saw the Rio Grande as rightful Brazilian land in the future.

The Rio Grande maintains a puppet state in the Freistaat Santa Catharina which is directly ruled by the Deutsch Sudamerika Gesselschaft under von Falkenrath's management. It creates a weird paradox where technically the Rio Grande is a much more powerful nation than Catharina as its puppet-master yet the DSG who lord over it have a large influence over the politics of the Rio Grande. Whichever it may be, we could all be thankful that DSG-controlled Santa Catharina haven't devolved into Leopold's level of cruelty in the Congo yet.

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