A continuation of the background for the stories:
Timeline - the end of “Tinsel Fortress Time” America
The Failings brought with it the first batch of secession movements. The resumption of national elections were partly to blame, said detractors. Maybe people saw the coalition of political parties in the “Resumption Party” (Insurgent Republicans and Leftist factions in the Democratic Party) as a source of weakness, and recognized an opportunity to declare independence. Maybe the idea of a fusion ticket between the two major political parties merely suggested nothing - business would continue.
There would be no reform.
Either way, the first batch of "recognition movements" began. President Harrison’s administration came to a belated, and long overdo end, roundly defeated because of the JQA Society Scandal, but most likely by a nation groaning at the thought of a continuation of the Mandate Acts. Governor Morris’s run for office could not take advantage - he was seen as just a continuation of the state governors who’d let the Front get out of control. The split vote went to the “Resumptionists.”
The state referendum in Montana marked the meteoric rise of the free-statists led by Doug Coswell. Voters in a nearly 3 to 1 count soundly chose the declaration of independence. One of the former "American Redoubts" became the Montana Free-state overnight.
Free-statists and dissentionists flocked to Montana, hoping to learn the secret of successful secession. Throughout the rest of the United States, all sorts of imitations flourished.
Of all the dramas that were to take place, the launching of the First War of Recognition - and the worst to follow - not many stories can rival what took place in the megaregion known geographically as the Pacific Northwest, but called by its residents, "Cascadia."
Here, a conflict arose over what shape free-statism might take. Many factions proved in the beginning to be the most vociferous. They were a disparate lot. All sorts of strains of separatism were in attendance, always asking the same questions: “what borders will our communities take?” “What will our governments be?” “Who will make up our national character?”
Two powerful voices rose up with competing visions of what shape the Pacific Northwest would take.
The Astorian Republic of Oregon. This idea of nation looked back at the American history of the former "Oregon Country." Its national character, more in line with the nation-state, expressed the desire of a “Greater Oregon.” With Montana liberated and proclaiming its own determinism, with Idaho in the orbit of Coswell’s free-statism, Great Oregon looked to expand into Washington state and northern California.
Another path beckoned, however, and it is with that story that this study concerns itself.
An idea shared by both parties, as evidenced by their adoption of the colors and flag.
A major difference lay in the idea of bioregionalism, however. The love of place was the same, but not their commitment to principles. The Cascadia they envisioned shared the same borders, but it was not organized the same way as “Greater Oregon.” The leaders of this revolution looked beyond the idea of nation, in order to decolonize the land and promote values that rewarded thoughts of interdependence.
Still, a battle would rage for the heart and soul of Cascadia. What form would it take? Would it emulate its sister republic of Montana and the rest of the western free-states? Or would it choose a different path?
No person best represented these tensions than Ian Michaels. Drawn into the “Greater Oregon” camp through his connections to the (most disagreeable) free-statist militias, and partly receptive to the idea of the Astorian republic, Ian soon found himself the center of attention.
How could he not? After all, he was the first of the "Oregon Men." Cascadia may have never asked to be defended, but it was by, maybe, the most fearsome forces of the Recognition Wars, whose foes feared to hear their battle song…