Jonathan I speaks on the fifth anniversary of the Austenasian Civil War
Writing this, Our Imperial Majesty sits in a room where, five years ago today, we were as Crown Prince immediately before the outbreak of the Austenasian Civil War. We are in the Park Annexe of Carshalton Methodist Church as our sister Crown Princess Caroline sets up an event in the church hall next door. Five years ago today, however, she attended the Vestry Conference, called to arrange a peaceful solution to her claim to the Throne, which had passed the previous month from our father Terry I to Esmond III. Of course, the conference failed, and we came into this room to confront our sister after negotiations broke down. It was immediately after leaving here that she announced an intention to overthrow the Emperor and the Austenasian Civil War was declared.
Despite the small scale of the war in military terms – only two “battles” being fought, neither truly deserving of the title – it left a permanent mark on Austenasia. What was in theory a victory for parliamentary sovereignty and the rule of law over untempered hereditary right became a victory of the Throne over the Representatives.
Some have pointed out what could have been; had Esmond III been made Regent for an Empress Caroline, he and his army would have left Stanley Park – the school at which most government business took place after his ascension to the Throne – mere weeks before Caroline would have come of age to rule herself. Overlooking this solution cost the Empire much in terms of stability, and the reign of our predecessor likely would not have happened should Esmond have only been Regent.
However, neither would many other things immensely important to the modern-day Empire have taken place had not the civil war. We cannot change the past, but we must reflect on and learn from it. On a positive note, the war brought many benefits to the Empire: a massive increase in local knowledge of Austenasia, a military which functioned in practice as well as in theory, a balance between the power of the Prime Minister and of the Throne, a “golden age” of court culture, and ultimately the foundation of our friends the Orlian nations.
Despite an increasing tendency towards eccentric ideas once his power was secure, Esmond III showed himself to be a great leader during the Austenasian Civil War and the months after it. He is almost single-handedly responsible for the making of the modern day Austenasian Monarchy and for the position of the Empire among the Carshalton Nations; one can only image what great things he would have had a chance to do had his first three months on the Throne not have had to have been dedicated to holding on to it.
As we commemorate the fifth anniversary of the Austenasian Civil War, let us not only mourn the tragedy of a nation divided. Let us also reflect upon and appreciate the dynamic new order of things it brought in. Had the war never occurred, Austenasia may never have expanded beyond a small community of seven people. It was the war which resulted in us first reaching out to the wider world, and that, if nothing else, can only have been a positive outcome.
Park Annexe of Carshalton Methodist Church, 7 March 2015