Johann, Kaiser von Frievolk
"The Empire is not just a name, we have changed. we have evolved, as our home has evolved around us. We are one, now, we are United in our differences, and United we Stand!"
- The Emperor, on his first speech after his coronation
Emperor Johann von Berun, born John Donovan is the first Emperor of the latest incarnation of the Empire of Frievolk. known also as Father of Frievolk, Light of the West, and his royal title West-Star, he was for a long time an European Nationalist political activist in Dakia, Standing as a pinnacle against Collective Tyranny, and a defender of All Europeans, Johann Bruan is a popular man in both Frievolk and Europe as a whole, though somewhat disliked in the Middle East (at least, by the governments) and the Netherlands. Johann von Berun has remained a controversial figure, though somewhat respected by most of the world, for his stoic stance against Fascism, his neo-Imperialist and Expansionist -and yet, not oppressive- policies, and his identity as one of the few Frievolker Monarchs who were born a commoner before being admitted as a Crown.
The Emperor is officially styled as "His Royal and Imperial Majesty Johann the West-Star, Emperor of Frievolk", or in Frievolker "Sin Koniglik und Kaiserlik Majestat Johann de Westlikstern, Kaiser von Frievolk"
The Donovans have been a long-standing family of British Immigrants to Dakia, finding their origin in the Frievolker invasion of Britain during the Occupation of Norfolk in the British War for Canadian Union, when a Frievolker Soldier married a British civilian and the two returned to Frievolk following the failure of the occupation -and later, the establishment of peace. John himself was born in Dakia, at the earlier years of the Decolonization. Most of John's young life was spend being scared of the rising tensions between France, Germany, Frievolk, and Netherlands, just as the Decolonization threw Europe, Asia, and Africa in chaos as colonies declared independence one by one. Aware of the international threat state-capitalism (and in particular, French Communards) could bring, John's life in High School was spent in activism, bringing awareness of The Left and modern Political Science to the province of Schfruß and the city of Dakia in particular. Following the Islamic-Syndicalist revolution in Iran and then the Eight-years war between Iraq and Iran, Donovan's fierce Nederstjill Nationalism died and changed, with the onslaught of Kurdish, and Persian refugees that traveled to Frievolk, his opinions on "Schfruß for the Nederstjill" was forced to become Civic, something that gave his activism higher merit, as most of Schfrußers have been Civic Nationalists, historically speaking.
Donovan officially joined the political warzone of the 1990s Frievolk as soon as he'd received his PhD on Poli-Sci. With the dissolving of the French Commune, the fall of the Apartheid Regime, and the failed American Invasion of Libertalia, The Occident had fallen into disarray. Despite his own personal hatred for Communalism and the French, Donovan was one of the French Republic's greatest supporters at the time, arguing that despite their previously crude behaviour, the French were undeniably Europeans, and therefore their brothers. His activism may have been part of the reason why Frievolk did not veto the French Republic's request to join the European Union in 1997, and also why the French-German and French-Frievolker Treaties of Friendship came to pass.
In the 2010s, the Frievolker Regency declared that since there were no members of the House of Berun eligible for a throne (most of them did not have Frievolker Citizenship, for example), a Race for the Throne of Frievolksland -and by proxy, the President of the Frievolker Confederation- would have to be held. Donovan was one of the many who volunteered as candidates. The Race for the Throne coincided with the 2011 Nordbo-Baltic War, when the Nordbo, trying to take more land and "unify all Nordbo Peoples", invaded the United Baltic Republic.
This decision was met with open hostility from the Baltic Republic's allies in the Seigerpakt and condemnation by the rest of the Internationale. Donovan's campaign soon changed to take that into acconut. Folknoren soon became Donovan's new enemy. The National hatred of Abrahamism, their anti-interdependency, as well as a high possibilty of the destruction of one of Frievolk's weaker allies got him the support he needed among the people of Schfruß, Mittelhalt, and Berun. Eventually, he joined the 'Race for Kingship' along with four more people from each province of the Kingdom of Frievolksland.
When the German Empire eventually joined in the war and stopped a Nordbo invasion of Iceland, which would have led to a genocide if suceeded, he had garnered the popularity he needed to bring himself to the top of the race for the Throne. Fearmongering of the Nordbo Government, calling for its destruction as a punitive action, and appealing to the anti-Collectivist and anti-Socialist national spirit of the Frievolkers, he managed to become popular enough that after the totally accidental death of the other four members he was elected as the new King.
Coronation as the Emperor of Frievolk
As the new King in Berun, Donovan had much to do. Making amends to other nations in Europe and opening ties with various formerly indifferent nations all over the world, Donovan would garner the attention of the Seigerpakt to hold against the "open threat" of Folknoren, particularly with the aid of Nordbo neighbors in The Baltic Republic, Germany, and France.
He quickly became the most influential man in the country, and a popular man by the people of Frievolk. The House of Berun, the family controlling all aspects of Frievolk's society -as of then- felt threatened by him. In order to secure the future of the country and prevent a possible Civil War, Graf Brian von Berun, the Head of the house -at the time-, decided to take John and his family, as well as the Donovan Line as a whole, int othe Larger Dynasty, christening the Donovans as "Bruan", which is the Schfrußer word for Brown, and thus Donovan. Through accepting this, John was christened Johann Gottfried von Berun, and slowly began gathering more of the very house under his influence, eventually becoming the Head of the House once Graf Brian passed away in 2014.
Eventually, Johann's politicking led to the secession of Canada from the Imperial Federation of Britain and later its addition into the Frievolker confederation as a "Crown Realm". Johann officially proclaimed himself the Emperor in 2015 in Palast von Weißkron, becoming the third person to be "The Emperor of Frievolk"
Reign as the Emperor
Johann was dubbed "West-Star" by the Reiksdiät four months after his coronation as the Emperor of Frievolk in 2015. His reign, while relatively short, was filled with anti-authoritarian and anti-theocratic policies across the world. He aided and abetted the Revolutionaries in Iran and Syria, aided Israel in destroying the last Arabian remnants of opposition, stood steadfast against Fascism in the American Continent, and against Spain when it began breaking human rights regarding its protestors in 2017.
2018 saw the greatest rise in territories for the Frievolker Empire's history. He first annexed the Persian Isles formerly under Frievolker Control that had been given to Iran during the Constitutional Revolution era, and later enforced Libertalia to agree to a peace to their 200 years long war, securing a small number of Islands in the Pirate Archipelago as a second Imperial Colony. Later, when the Persian-Arabian war of 2018 begun, he joined the war on Iran's side, crushing Arabian and African forces one by one, and taking swathes of land in South Africa, The Middle East, and the Horn of Africa from the two losing countries. Frievolk became the effective overlord of the Middle East under his guidance, taking a Protectorate in South Arabia and an unofficial puppet in The Arabian Empire itself.
Johann's political ideology can be summarized as Prussian Constitutionalism. He believes in the right of the People to decide their own fate and represent their interests in the National politics, but he does not agree that the office of a monarch should be ceremonial or without power. Instead, he believes a crown is the arbiter between the Commoners and the Nobility where politics is concerned, and that he exists in order to protect the interests of the People against that of the Nobility.
This makes his economic ideology to be closer to Rhine Capitalism, and more accurately a 19th century style Welfare State. In order to keep the people satisfied and to support their interests, he puts a higher tax on the Nobility, using it to provide welfare for the population of his country. This has made Frievolk see an increase in the quality of Transportation, Welfare, Public Education, Healthcare, Employment, and an overall impressive rise in the country's HDI.
Johann is not very staunch on his religious practice. While he may be a Christian, he is in truth closer to a Secular Humanist in action than an actual Christian. He values Secularism and control of the State over Religion highly,
While his ascendance to the throne of Frievolk and his family's susequent rise in the Empire from a lower middle class family into the highest possible rank of nobility in the Empire essentially meant an alienation of his old friends, Johann did not lose his sense of workingmanship, nor his easy charisma in finding friends. While he was not regal, nor haughty like most royals are, he was part of a generation of rulers that appeared "a man of the people", giving a better name to the term popular monarchy.
Johann is an avid football fan, he is not well-read, but he has a life's experience of dealing with haughty superiors that helps him read between the lines of what his court tells him, having quickly risen out of the von Beruns' clutches, and after becoming a member of the house, playing them against eachother masterfully until his own injectee branch could take control of the House in every aspect.
He has friends in most of Europe's governments, being a personal friend of Chancellor Merkel and President Macron, and has tried to ease and calm the centuries-old Dutch-Frievolker enmity, though to mixed success. Unfortunately, and despite his own personal wishes, Johann is not able to mingle with the average Frievolker, though he has been trying to make the Crown more friendly to the commoners through a series of reforms that are, still, under debate in the Diet.
One of the most important things about Emperor Johann is his hatred of fascism. While Frievolk's official policy towards fascism has been outright hostility and open war since King Bernard in the Interwar period, Johann takes that to a higher level. While he allowed a Dietary reform to lower the punishment for fascism to a life in prison, he personally does not see fascists as human, does not recognize fascist states as legitimate or sovereign, and has openly warned The United States of their growing fascistic policies, expressing that Frievolk would not tolerate a Fascist America.
“People of Frievolk! Schfrußers, Beruners, Hineans, Fadarkians, Mittelhalters! we are one! in our differences, we find strength, in our rivalries we find similarities, in our hearts, we are one! We are Free Folk! We are Frievolkers! One united Frievolk, to return to our former glory!”[/i]
"My son, you are now a grand duke. The highest title one can attain in the Empire. You are a noble, and liege to a proud people. But remember, Your titles do not give you feudalite power. You answer to [i]De volk, De diät, und De konig"
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