by Max Barry

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Peerage in Las Palmeras (WIP)

The history of the Palmeran nobility is a long one which began shortly after the Spanish Conquest over the Cat Empire in 1519 and steadily progressed all to the end of the 19th Century.

By the 19th century the Spanish Empire saw the majority of its power weakened by its rival countries -Great Britain and France- it also saw many of its "Mainland" colonies in America being influenced by the republican ideologies of the recently independent United States. In an effort to strengthen its holdings, the Spanish Crown decided to grant titles of nobility to much of the colonial aristocracy in the Palmeran Islands. This bestowing of royal grace made the recipients loyal to the Crown, and more assimilated to the Iberian titled nobility. No other Spanish colony received as many grants of noble titles as the Palmeran Isles, jewel of the Spanish Empire.

The rank system from most to least status went as followed:

  • Duke (Duque)

  • Marquis (Marqués)

  • Count (Conde)

  • Viscount (Vizconde)

  • Baron (Barón)

  • Lord (Señor)

Many new nobles of administrative persuasion rose in rank, as did the old -but mostly low ranked- petty military aristocracy. The two groups were opposites; the "Civil Nobles" rose quickly and were mostly ethnically either LinkSpanish creoles or other European-descended immigrants. The Military Aristocracy was present since the 16th Century but they were bogged down by a glass ceiling previously- most were ethnic neko or mixed-race human-neko whose traditions were occasionally more in line with the old Cat Empire's customs.

The political projects of these two distinct groups were just as opposite: the "civilians" favored an investment in the cities to kickstart more services. They wanted to attract investment through building things and creating services; the Palmeran "civilians" had always attempted to create a second Paris or Madrid in its main cities. Elegant, rich decorated manors, governmental buildings, opera houses, play houses, palaces, etc. were all to cover the streets of the capital of La Habana. In the long term, this group wanted to solidify Las Palmeras as a financial and agricultural hub for Spain and for friendly European investors. This group was fairly europhilic and was open to more democratic and liberal ideas (for the white minority) in theory.

The "militarists" thought of industry and capitalism as a means to fund potential war efforts; which they were re-structuring and re-arming as they perpetually begged Spain to re-modernize its Navy, which would soon become obsolete by the mid-1870s. In long-term geopolitics, they envisioned a preventative and decisive naval attack against the CSA or the USA and the annexation of the Panama region for more direct access to the Asia-Pacific region -and the Philippines in specific- all to be administered though the old Cat Empire's symbolic capitol in Pine Island. This group was culturally conservative and dogmatically traditionalist, it only occasionally responded to Madrid.

This move was intentional by part of the Spanish, who bet that even if Las Palmeras tried to rebel that the "civilians" and the "militarists" would destroy each-other first or be bogged up in debates to effectively rule, making Las Palmeras more open to direct Spanish rule than ever.

The initial winners of the rivalry -in the eyes of the general populace- were the "Militarists", whose fears were confirmed in 1898 amidst the Spanish-American War. Apart from the fact the masses identified with them ethnically and not the mostly European "Civilians", the defeat of the CSA was seen as an achievement of the "Militarists" -who after installing a bloodless coup 'in the name of the Crown' to direct the war effort- prolonged their autonomous interim government to face the USA's intervention.

After the costly victory that was the Tohorinese-American War (1898-1899), the Military factions, and the Navy in particular, were sobered up to accept the fact that Las Palmeras was far too small to win a long-term war of attrition and many overseas ambitions were culled as the creole "Civilians" won public support even among the ethnic Tohorinese majority and within the provisional government which now had the Navy in it's hands. With it came some degree of de-politization of the nascent armed forces even if they were overwhelmingly booked by the mixed-race nobility, whom were no longer the loose cannon they used to be.

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