Louis I of Sierra
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Charles V & II
|King of Sierra|
|Reign||August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927|
|Coronation||January 10, 1894|
|Emperor of Hani|
|Reign||June 4, 1905–June 23, 1927|
|King of Alaska|
|Reign||October 18, 1912–June 23, 1927|
December 11, 1858|
San Francisco City, San Francisco, Sierra
June 23, 1927 (aged 68)|
Porciúncula, Gold Coast,
Kingdom of Sierra
June 30, 1927|
|Royal house||House of Columbia|
|Mother||Rachel of Sierra|
|Monogram||Louis I 偉人 Charles V & II's signature|
Lewis was born into the Royal Household as the heir apparent in December 1858, a little less than a month after his father, Charles I, the first king of Sierra, assumed the newly established throne of the Kingdom of Sierra. In his youth, Lewis pursued a generalized education before attending The Presidio and served in the Royal Navy, acquiring a fascination with oceanography and boating. Witnessing much of Sierra's early development while Crown Prince, including the Sierran Civil War, the Second Industrial Revolution, and the rise of the Sierran empire, Lewis ascended the throne following his father's death in 1893. Under his reign, Sierra saw a profound change in society and culture, various reforms on civil liberties for minorities and the working class, child labor restricted, rapid urbanization, technology modernized, and the maturation of the Sierran military.
At the time of his death, Lewis had overseen the military victories of Sierra in the Spanish–American War, the Han–Sierran War, and World War I as Sierra emerged as an international power. Domestically, Louis I saw the expansion of civil rights for minorities, improved labor laws, the development of the modern Sierran welfare system, the modern taxation structure, the rise of the coastal cities, and closer ties with Sierra's Anglo-American neighbors. Lewis has been hailed as a progressive monarch who was open to change and reform, and steered the Kingdom away from chaos, but was criticized for his support of Sierran imperialism in the Pacific, particularly in the nation of Hani.
Lewis was born on December 11, 1858 at the Palace-by-the-Sea in San Francisco City a little less than a month into the reign of his father, Charles I. The eldest son of Charles I and Rachel, his father was the son of the Duke and Duchess of Napa, both of whom were entrepreneurs from New Jersey. His great-grandmother, Charlotte Stuart, was a direct descendant of Charles I, the last king of Britain, and the daughter of the last head of the now-defunct House of Stuart, Charles Edward Stuart. As the firstborn child, Lewis was the first in the line of succession to the throne as its heir apparent and was styled as His Grace Crown Prince Lewis of Mojave at birth.
He was baptized into the Catholic Church as "Lewis William Andrew" at the Cathedral of Saint Mary of the Assumption in San Francisco City about two months after his birth. The baptism caused controversy among many Protestants in Sierra who constituted a majority of the nation. Opposing the entrenchment of a Catholic monarchy, religious leaders and followers fueled by anti-Catholic sentiment demanded that the Royal Household overturn internal protocol requiring all members to be Roman Catholics and that the prince be able to freely choose his religion by his thirteenth birthday. Lewis' father, the King, flatly refused the demands, and wrote privately a day after the ordeal, "It is astounding that the innocent baptism of this child have caused hellfire beneath to rupture before the earth".
When the prince reached schooling age, he attended St. Stephen Preparatory School for Boys, a private Catholic school alongside with his brother, Prince Mark, Duke of Tahoe. In 1872, when the prince was only 14, the capital of Sierra was changed from San Francisco City to Porciúncula in response to demographic shifts, and as a result, Lewis and his family moved into the city to the Occidental Palace. Just two years later, the Sierran Civil War broke out, threatening the safety of the Royal Family, and consequently, Lewis was pulled out of public education, and continued his education through private tutors at home. As a young adult, he attended Mulholland University where he studied law, political history, philosophy, and art. As a young man, Lewis enjoyed boating, fishing, and equestrian activities like his father, and was able to play four different instruments: the piano, the violin, the flute, and the harp. In addition, Lewis was a polyglot and was able to hold conversations in Russian, Spanish, French, and German.
After Lewis completed two years of study at Mulholland University, he returned to his hometown, San Francisco City, to attend The Presidio, which had been restored after having been captured by the Republicans during the civil war. At the military academy, the prince received military instruction, and was referred to as Midshipman William during his initial induction, and was a member of the Farallon Platoon. After a year of training and service with high marks and performance, he was commissioned as Ensign on the HMS Red Lion, and the following year, Lewis was promoted to sub-lieutenant. Upon his twenty-first birthday in 1879, Louis I made his first transcontinental tour during Christmastide as heir apparent to the throne and dignitary of the Sierran crown, meeting with foreign leaders including Hoosier Executive Secretariat Nathaniel William Hill and Brazorian Chancellor Lawrence Ross.
Upon Lewis' return from the tour in February 11, 1880, he was officially invested as Prince of Mojave at the Occidental Palace in the presence of the Prime Minister, Lord Steward, chivalric peers, and members of the Royal Family. Shortly after his investiture, Lewis was promoted to Captain and embarked on his first voyage on the HMS Red Lion across the Pacific (which doubled as his official military tour), touring the Sierran territories of the Channel Islands, Hawaii, Bénieîle, and Rapa Nui, which were secured by his father and his supporters. The tour lasted for seven months, although the Prince spent most of his time at sea, and each land excursion lasted for no more than two weeks at a given time. Although he frequently experienced episodes of sea sickness and bouts of fevers, Lewis was enamored with the ocean, and documented his experiences onboard.
Prince of Mojave
Returning home from nearly a year of travel, he was formally introduced to the inner workings of the Sierran government, attending his first meeting with the Privy Council in December 1880. During the King's Address to Parliament on January 1, 1881, Lewis delivered his first speech before both houses, remarking on his tour, and praising his father's ambitious plans to continue expanding Sierra's imperial endeavors across the Pacific, and into the Asian continent.
Though young, the Prince was politically active and keen on helping his father rule. Outspoken and strong-willed, he began attending more Privy Council meetings, and sparred with civilian leaders on policy issues. Boisterous and unrestrained, House Speaker Frank Leslie Coombs wrote in his account of the prince in one occasion:
The Prince of Mojave ... his eyes and lips always moves quickly, searching always an opportunity to speak his mind. He is resolute and brash, and is wont to speak uncouthly to anyone he disagreed with. He is proud, typical of his youth, and admittedly, a royal nuisance.
Sociable and outgoing, Lewis' young adulthood was surrounded by women whom he pursued. He had several girlfriends as a young prince, including Alice Morgan Bachelor, the daughter of Prime Minister Frederick Bachelor, Jr.; Lady Maria del Carmen Sutter, the daughter of John Augustus Sutter, the 2nd Duke of Coloma; and Henrietta Valdez, the daughter of the Sierran ambassador to Mexico. Although he displayed himself a bold and intelligent prince, privately, he partook in illicit activities including drinking and gambling in Porciúncula's nightlife. Open and frank of his romantic endeavors, the Prince's womanizing lifestyle and reckless behavior was the subject of much concern and shame within the Sierran Royal Family, and Parliament, who took issue with the Prince's life choices, and feared that the Prince would tarnish the reputation of the monarchy, which had been tersely preserved through the recently ended civil war.
Although King Charles I loved his son, he was deeply disappointed and disgusted by his son's behavior whom he groomed as his successor. Born into royalty, Lewis was fascinated with the life of commoners, and despite rigorous training at The Presidio and a year at sea, the Prince was noted by many close to him as free-spirited. Embarrassed by Lewis' various romantic affairs, Charles I told a house attendant that he favored his eldest daughter, Princess Charlotte, as the successor to his throne. "Dear Charlotte is the prince who should have been first," he said, "and acts what her brother ought to be."
Members of Parliament, religious leaders, and social conservatives all followed the Prince closely, viewing him as a worrying sign that the Royal Family had no control over the boy. Lloyd Harrison, the King's personal envoy, believed, "It is though the young prince has acquired some perverse desire to bring great dishonor to his father's name and kingdom." While the Prince insisted on attending every political meeting, and attending by his father's side, the atmosphere was always tense, as private matters of the Prince's doing were widely known nationwide yet discussion of it was always discouraged in official functions. Mainstream media also downplayed or ignored Lewis' scandals, while alternative news sources and satirical magazines frequently published the Prince's "next lustful follies". With no one other than those within the Royal Household able to comment on his scandals, Lewis nonetheless deviated from his family's desires, and often tried to leave the Palace during the weekends. Although the Prince was always personally accompanied by a royal attendant on palace grounds and beyond, he often bribed them with money and culinary delicacies from the palace kitchen, or feigned interest in going fishing along Santa Monica.
Engagement and marriage
Seeking to "pacify" the prince and finding him a suitor who would bear the next monarch, his mother, Queen Rachel, introduced him to Lady Martha Wellington, who was the eldest daughter of James Wellington, 1st Earl of Claremont, the wealthy owner of the Royal Pacific. Lady Martha, who had just returned home from her studies abroad in Switzerland, was described by her companions as charming, warmhearted, and beautiful. Taking interest immediately, the Prince courted Lady Martha, inviting her into the Royal Court. After two tumultuous years of the Prince's bachelor life following his return from tour, the Prince renounced his escapist adventurism, desiring to not only please his betrothed, but to reorient himself as the future king. While he was a bachelor, he had ceased attending church, and had reportedly lost interest in faith, much to the dismay of his parents. However, after meeting Martha, who was a devout Catholic, the Prince returned to the faith. "She has inspired me and pointed me back to Calvary," he wrote. "For I was led astray by earthly desires, but Christ Almighty has redeemed this lost soul. Bless that beautiful woman!" Within a year of meeting each other, the two were officially engaged, and King Charles I gave permission for Lewis to marry the young woman. Rejoicing on the Prince's new, "faithful" relationship, the Queen wrote, "It brings me great pleasure that God by His grace, has quelled the rebellious demon that gnawed on Lewis' heart with this fair maiden girl."
On April 2, 1883, the two married at the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana. The wedding was the first of its kind in Sierran history, and was initially open to the public but due to the relatively small size of the church, commoners were forced to stay outside while the procession was held. Foreign dignitaries, ambassadors, noblemen, and businessmen were in attendance, and the royal couple received over $2 million worth of gifts on their wedding day. The wedding established some precedents which have since been observed by all Sierran weddings from henceforth, namely, that the bride and groom perform a tea ceremony, both came in separately by a horse-drawn carriage led by a herald, and the newlyweds would make a formal, public appearance at the steps of Parliament Building.
The Prince and Princess had four sons: Stephen, Christian, Ivan, and Lance, where they lived at the Château Frémont, a large manor given to the Royal Family as a gift by former Prime Minister John C. Frémont in the city of Santa Monica.
Charles I began to experience frequent health complications towards the end of his life, and in 1887, he created the title, Duke of Newark, for the Crown Prince, to signal the pressing need for Lewis to become ready to take his father's place. As the Duke of Newark, he became King Smith's liaison, representing the sovereign in Privy Council and Executive Council meetings. As his father made less public appearances, the Duke and Duchess of Newark attended most official functions in the name of the King. The Duke openly supported labor reforms, and lauded legislators who introduced minimum wage laws, and abolished child labor. In 1889, after a visit to a factory in Glendale, he remarked, "As I grow older and wiser, I become all too aware of the misfortunes that my people suffer, and when I shall become king, these ills must be eradicated." Controversially, he held a meeting with James E. Landon, one of Isaiah Landon's sons, and other Democratic-Republican leaders on September 19, 1890, where they openly discussed the ramifications of the civil war that still affected the Styxie, and the concerns of the working-class. After the meeting, he urged the Royalist government, under the premiership of Frederick Bachelor, Jr., to enact more reforms. The Royalist government criticized the Duke of meddling with state affairs, and refused to heed to his word on the account that Lewis was not yet king.
On foreign policy, Lewis like his father, believed that Sierra's prosperity and continued growth was dependent on expanding its empire. Although he viewed Brazoria as a faithful ally, he was wary of the United Commonwealth which both Sierra and Brazoria defeated during the War of Contingency. He viewed the United Commonwealth's open hostility towards monarchism as a threat to Sierra's security, and supported the creation of the Royal Intelligence Agency, which conducted espionage and other illicit activities in foreign countries. Feeling indebted to the Royal Navy with the experiences he had had as an officer, he wanted to improve funding towards Sierra's naval forces, and negotiated a $35 million plan to enlarge the national fleet. He saw the construction and commission of two ship of the lines, one of which he named the HMS King James II, in honor of his ancestor, the last Stuart monarch of the United Kingdom recognized by the Jacobites, and the other the HMS Duchess of Albany in honor of his great-grandmother, Charlotte Stuart.
King Charles I died on August 15, 1893, and Lewis succeeded his father as the next king of Sierra. He was at his father's side side during the final hours, and was urged by his father to "do whatever is best for the nation and for the people". Grief-stricken and shaken by his father's death, the new king did not attend his own ascension ceremony until two days after his father's death. He wrote in his diary on the morning after Charles I died, "I feel as though my dearest father has left all too soon, and I am most regretful of my years as a young man whose conduct was inexcusable to him. Oh God, comfort his ascended soul."
Reluctant to take the Crown, Lewis and Martha's coronation took place on January 10, 1894 at the Porciúncula Episcopal Cathedral of St. Paul, and a nationwide weeklong festival was held to celebrate their coronation. The King and Queen began their first official tour of the Kingdom as monarchs, which lasted for a month, before they traveled to Hawaii for five days where they received a warm welcome and festive display of celebration by the locals.
Having had extensive experience and exposure to Sierran politics while in his capacity as Duke of Newark, he ascended the throne at a time of rapid industrialization and urbanization, which had already undergone way since after the civil war. Lewis' ascension coincided with the peak of the Royalist Party at the time when it was in control of both houses, benefiting from the fallout and rejection of the Democratic-Republicans from the war just twenty years prior. Under the Royalist prime ministers however, economic progress stagnated and urban poverty became a major nationwide issue. The ministries under Frederick Bachelor, Jr., and now Joseph Starling, were laden with corruption as major posts were filled in through the spoils system. Government officials also actively colluded with powerful businessmen and noblemen in developing massive projects with little input from the people, leading to social unrest and the rise of labor unionization.
Indignant of the widespread corruption and severity of life conditions in the cities, the King declared in his first address to Parliament after his coronation in March 1894, his intention to serve as the "people's King", and voiced his support for the common man. In his speech, he outlined goals that Parliament should attain, which included shortening the work-day to eight hours, forcing employers to provide safe working conditions, and the right for employees to go on strike without financial repercussion. His address was met with rancorous uproar from members of Parliament, and the collective response of the legislature was so forceful, the King briefly secluded himself in the palace quarters out of anxiety. He wrote, "Though [members of Parliament] claim to be Royalists–supporters of the Crown–they spit at my face and have no faith in me anymore than they do in our God whom they claim to profess." Lord Paul Gladstone, a Royalist senator from Kings, explained to a friend that the opposition to the King was primarily stemmed from the stigma attached to Lewis from his younger years as a bachelor. "No gentlemen can render his respect unto a king unfit for the title who has the appeal of a dried toad, and the purity of aqueous urban drainage. The party will never forget the shame the Prince brought to his country." Others offered more politically-oriented reasons, with many fearing the King would encourage popular uprising and unrest, and lead to a crackdown on common practices which had grown commonplace in the realm of national politics.
Lewis, realizing his unpopularity and lack of respect among legislators, shifted his attention to the provincial governments, the judiciary, and the public for leverage. His visit with the Gold Coast legislative leaders in July 1894 marked the first time a monarch visited a provincial legislature, and would be the first of several visits he made to provincial-level governments. Imploring them to implement the policies he had suggested to Parliament, the Gold Coast Royalists were more sympathetic and receptive to the King, and forged the San Gabriel Agreement, a promise to the people of the Gold Coast from party leaders that they would, among other things, punish corrupt officials, promote government transparency, ban lobbying, and provide reduced priced housing to the poor. Although the Agreement would ultimately be only partially implemented, the declaration of such document alone received national attention. Union members, steel workers, immigrants, and farmers rejoiced to the Agreement as it signaled the beginning of the end of what many had begun to call the "Gilded Age". The King would travel and speak with the legislatures of Kings, Laguna, Orange, the Inland Empire, and San Francisco, all of which passed similar resolutions. As more provinces joined behind the King's reforms, Lewis' popularity among the people exploded, which was a departure from the near-universal negative public opinion of him while he was prince. While Parliament Royalists continued to resist the King, Lewis developed warmer relations with the Democratic-Republican Party, which had historically been opposed to the monarchy. His involvement in expanding the rights of the working class however, impressed the party, who had considered dropping political republicanism from its platform altogether. "King Lewis has been doing more to bring meaningful change for his countrymen in the span of two years than Landon could in all his years," a paper in Bernheim ran.
Spanish-American War and Tondo
Towards the end of the 19th century and on the brink of a new century, Sierra had amassed an empire of several holdings in the Pacific which were obtained under Charles I's reign. At the time, other imperial powers including the United Kingdom, Germany, and France, were actively expanding their territorial empires in Asia and Africa. The Sierran public's interest in imperialism was mixed, and the business community was similarly divided on the issue of imperialism. Hawaii, Sierra's most valuable possession at the time, produced sugar, pineapples, and coconuts, which were rare in Anglo-America, and generated high demand. Realizing the worth of overseas, tropical territories, many were in the opinion that a maritime empire would bring back greater prosperity to the Kingdom. Lewis had vigorously supported Charles I's foreign policy, and personally visited all of Sierra's territories at the time when he was prince. Desiring to form his own international legacy, Lewis believed that imperialism was essential to the Kingdom's continued success, especially if it was to compete with the larger, more powerful European powers.
Tensions rising between Brazoria and Spain provided a window of opportunity for Lewis to achieve his goals. During the 19th century, Spain's empire suffered greatly, starting with the Peninsular War, which led to the Spanish American wars of independence, and subsequent loss of most of Spain's colonies. Battered by three more wars, Spain strengthened its grip on its remaining colonial possessions, Cuba, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the Spanish East Indies. Although Sierra had no established presence or permanent interest in the Caribbean, it had a substantial history of trade and contact with the Tondolese archipelago, and was already heavily involved in its politics through various unequal treaties. Determined to acquire Spanish Tondo, and aware of the mounting pressure for war in Brazoria against Spain, Lewis advised Prime Minister Joseph Starling to position the Royal Navy outside Moro Bay on standby to protect Sierran interests in the area in January 1898. When the Spanish relayed a communiqué, inquiring the Sierran embassy on why there were Sierran military ships around Tondo, Prime Minister Sterling, under the King's advice, formulated the embassy's response, which was that Sierra was merely navigating the open waters, and assuring the safe passage of Sierran ships. Lewis however, wanted an intentional altercation to occur between the Spanish and the Sierran navies which he could then use as a pretext for war with Spain. Prime Minister Sterling and his Cabinet opposed such measures openly during their Privy Council meeting, and the Anglo-American business community in Manila largely opposed such an escalation.
The following month, on February 15, the Brazorian ship HBMS Brazos was sunk in Havana Harbor, resulting in the death of 250 Brazorian sailors. News of the incident surprised Lewis and the Sierran government, who had not anticipated such an event to occur so abruptly. Sierran public reaction was generally sympathetic towards the Brazorians, with imperialists actively using it as a rallying call for Sierra to honor its alliance with Brazoria against Spain. Anglo-American news, including Sierran, placed the blame of the ship's sinking squarely on the Spanish, although the public was mostly cautious on response. Many desired an immediate response to Spain, but felt it could be resolved diplomatically. Sierrans had imagined it could function as a mediator between Spain and Brazoria, but Lewis had been waiting acutely for war. By the end of April, the Brazorian Parliament demanded the Spanish to withdraw from Cuba, and authorized military action against it. After Spain severed ties with Brazoria and declared war, Lewis issued a royal edict, declaring that Sierra would come to defend Brazoria in honor of the Sabine Pact. In response, Spain declared war on Sierra, to which Lewis used as authorization for the Sierran navy to attack Spanish Tondo and Guam. In the following week, other Anglo-American nations followed suit, including Dixie and Huron, making the war appear more as a joint Anglo-American defensive, rather than a war of aggression on Sierra's own part.
After Sierra defeated Spain in the Battle of Moro Bay, Sierran forces drove out the Spanish with relative ease, before joining with Han warships in Hanyang Bay with Spanish prisoners of war. Lewis hoped that he would be able to not only acquire Spanish-controlled Tondo, but eventually, gain eventual control over the whole of Tondo (under the Southern Ming dynasty) which had by that point, operated as a largely semi-colony under heavy Western (including Sierran) influence. Overwhelmed by the military display of strength and numbers, the Tondolese government agreed to loosen its policies on foreign nationals under the condition that the Sierrans stay true to its promise of aiding the former's modernization attempt.
Within three months, Spain surrendered, suffering crushing defeats in the Pacific and the Caribbean. A ceasefire was declared on August 12, 1898, and peace negotiations were settled through the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898. The treaty gave Cuba and Puerto Rico to Brazoria; Guam, Puerto Princesa, Spanish Mindanao to Sierra. Spanish Mindanao (except the port of Zamboanga) was given to Tondo under the agreement, though the Tondolese government agreed to give further extraterritoriality to the Sierran government.
Although most Sierrans were either supportive or indifferent to the new territorial gains made from the treaty, the treaty had mixed reception among the Han public, and was near universally opposed by the Han aristocracy and the conservative court who felt that Sierra's increasing entrenchment in the Han state was a threat to the Empire's sovereignty and identity. When the Han emperor Li Hwang died, his seven-year old son succeeded him. Too young, Li Hwang's wife, the Empress Dowager Mei Ling became the regent of Hani. Li Hwang was a prominent conservative and stauch opponent to modernization, and sought to restore the Sarado isolationist policy the Empire traditionally had before the Sierrans first established presence in the islands in the 1850s. When Louis I had a diplomatic legation sent to Hanyang to negotiate terms with the Han government, the Empress ordered the emissaries executed on February 28, 1900. Lewis, who had wanted to acquire Hani through gradual, diplomatic means, used the incident to justify war against Hani. Public demand for war was high as news of Sierran diplomats killed extrajudicially was seen as a violation of international diplomatic protocol and honor. News circulated depicting the Empress as a barbaric, oppressive warlord, and urged a war to "liberate" the Han people, and modernize them. On March 17, 1900, both houses of Parliament unanimously voted to declare war on Hani, starting the Han-Sierran War.
After five years of conflict, Hani surrendered and the Treaty of Hanyang was signed, which had the Han government transfer all authority to Sierra as a territory. In addition, Louis I was proclaimed the new Emperor of Sierra, with the dissolution of the House of Li. Through the 1905 Act of Imperial Succession, the new Han Diet under the Sierran colonial government declared that the Sierran line of succession would also apply to the Han throne, thus ensuring that Lewis' successors would become emperors of Hani as well.
Sierran Cultural Revolution
Louis I's reign saw the rapid political advancement of civil rights progress for non-white Sierrans and women, and an unprecedented change in cultural customs, norms, and attitudes that occurred during the Sierran Cultural Revolution. The continued immigration of Asians, Latin Americans, and African Americans into Sierra led to the Kingdom's development into a more multiethnic and multicultural country. Under Charles I and Louis I, both were open to unrestricted immigration, a policy that was at odds with many labor unions and political organizations. Louis I and his prime ministers resisted efforts to curb immigration from Asia, which sent a net gain exceeding the native population growth. As more foreigners arrived and began to assert their rights as fellow citizens, Lewis welcomed them, and rebuked opponents to his attitude towards the changes. "Am I not the emperor of an Asian nation," he wrote to Johnathan Edison, his state councilor in an 1907 letter, "and do we not live in an empire of many races and colors who are all under the eyes of God, His children?"
On February 9, 1908, he made his first meeting with Asian-Sierran leaders when he joined Walter B. Feng and Richard Xiong at the 3rd Annual Asian-Sierran Advancement Society (ASAS) convention. Lewis promoted Sierran sociologist Mark Culler's Comparison of Western and Oriental Thought, and pledged his commitment to supporting citizens of all races, and urged community leaders to move towards a more inclusive society. He found himself at odds with the Royalist Party, who continued to resist the King's agenda, and Lewis found himself relying more on the Democratic-Republican Party, which officially dropped its republican platform in 1903 in favor of a party that emphasized on progressive policies. For the remainder of Lewis' reign and life, he was solely served by Democratic-Republican prime ministers, who agreed and carried with Lewis' message and plan for a united, multiethnic nation, and a stronger, more effective government that supported its citizenry.
In 1906, a disastrous earthquake in San Francisco City resulted in over 5,500 deaths in and around the city, and over $800 million in damages ($13 billion in today's dollars) making it the deadliest natural disaster in Sierran history. Lewis provided much needed relief and support for the nation as they reeled in from shock of the devastation in what was then Sierra's second largest city. His famous San Francisco City address just weeks after the event marked the beginning of intensive rebuilding efforts made by the government into restoring the city. The mere appearance of the King tolling alongside construction workers under the late spring sun "uplifted the spirits of everyone whose hearts were still heavy grieving from that fateful day," wrote Samuel Williams, an author who wrote extensively about the experiences of San Francisco City residents after the earthquake. The disaster led to changes in infrastructure policy and the introduction of modern building standards across the nation to prevent another disaster from reaching the near-catastrophic effects that occurred in San Francisco CIty that day.
In 1912, Parliament passed the Alaskan Home Rule Act which recognized the independence of Alaska, which had been a territory of Sierra since its purchase from Russia in 1867. The purchase, which was deemed a financial loss for the Kingdom, proved to be a highly lucrative asset as the land was in abundance of silver, timber, gold, fur, and oil. Alaska was mostly comprised of Russian-speaking citizens however, many of whom were colonists or descendants of colonists from Russia. Louis I, sympathetic to the call for independence, was supported by the Democratic-Republican Party which argued for Alaska's self-determination while the Royalists remained opposed. To compromise, Louis I worked with the Alaskan transition government which agreed to retain Louis I as their nominal head of state, and his successors as their leader whilst they would remaining fully independent from the affairs and interference of the Sierran civilian government. After a tenuous battle to pass the bill in Parliament, it was enacted into law on October 18, 1912. On that same day, Louis I was declared the first king of the newly independent Kingdom of Alaska, becoming monarch in three countries simultaneously.
World War I
When World War I began, Louis I initially supported an official policy of neutrality, believing that the war posed no immediate or serious threat to Sierra's own well-being. Although he privately supported the Allies, he was primarily concerned with the humanitarian aspect of the war. On the rare occasion, both the Democratic-Republicans and Royalists opposed military involvement in Europe, and cited the fact that no other Anglo-American nation, with the exception of Canada and Rainier (which were at the time both dominions of the United Kingdom, a participant), had chosen to enter the conflict either.
While Sierra was a non-participant, it sold tens of thousands of military equipment and material to the Allies that were used on the battlefield. In addition, the general public itself was divided, with war hawks pressing for war to defend democracy in Europe, and to bring Sierra glory, and pacifists urging the government to remain neutral. Most political organizations and businesses rallied against a war, fearing that military spending would divert funds away from domestic programs and services as a result. Prime Minister Philip Judd echoed these concerns, and frequently met with Lewis at the Occidental Palace privately to discuss news and matters from the war.
Through the course of the war, Lewis and other non-interventionists found it increasingly hard to maintain neutrality and to ignore Germany's disregard of international agreements. Despite Germany pledging to the international community that it would not utilize unrestricted submarine warfare, its navy continued to attack and target civilian ships. In March 1917, after several civilian ships carrying Anglo-American citizens including Sierrans were shot, Lewis met with a joint meeting of Privy and Executive Council members. Lewis met with other Anglo-American leaders at an international convention on March 20, and concluded that the nations needed to join in the war effort on the sides of the Allies.
After Parliament officially issued a joint declaration of war against Germany and Austria-Hungary with Brazoria, Dixie, Huron, Missouri, Michigan, New England, and the United Commonwealth, in April 1917, Lewis declared to his wife, "We have given peace a chance but peace can wait a little longer with war at our very door." During Sierra's brief involvement in the war, Lewis met with outgoing and returning servicemen, thanking them for their service, and providing himself as morale boost.
When the war ended with an Allied victory, the national mood was jubilant and filled with patriotic fervor. On the evening of November 11, 1918 when the armistice between the Allied powers and Germany was announced, a large crowd of citizens celebrated outside the Occidental Palace. Lewis and the Royal Family greeted the celebrators, who in return, responded with repetitions of "Long live the King" and "God save the King" to the monarch. Lewis visited the Sawtelle National Cemetery and delivered a commemorative speech honoring the soldiers who fought in the war on the one year anniversary of the war's end. He later personally awarded over two-hundred medals and honors to veterans who distinguished themselves on the battlefield for their exceptional or exemplary actions.
With the war ended, Lewis spent his final years experiencing the Roaring Twenties which accelerated the political and social changes of the Sierran Cultural Revolution, and saw a burst in economic development, creative energy, and urban expansion. He embraced new technologies, and made his first speech over a radio broadcast on December 25, 1921. Delivering a Christmas address to his citizens, as much as 100,000 listeners tuned into the address, and was likely the first time many normal citizens heard the voice of their king. Within the Occidental Palace, electricity and modern appliances were installed, and Lewis' full embracement and promotion of them were signs of the transition of Sierra towards an advanced, post-industrial society. "A bulb in every house, a switch on every wall," he declared before Parliament on his last address to Parliament in 1927, urging them to provide funding for reduced-cost electrical installation in urban homes.
Illness and death
Although throughout his life, the King was a very active and outgoing individual, his frequent travels took a toll on his health during his later life. The physically demanding and emotionally draining trips became overwhelming, and the King complained, "My legs tremble after only a brisk walk. What life is good when one cannot even walk?" During a trip to Panama in 1924, he contracted yellow fever and had a slow recovery, leaving his son, Stephen, the Duke of Newark, to carry on the responsibilities of monarch while he was recovering. He was physically weak even after his full recovery, and spent most of his days sitting, and developed arthritis, and often complained about walking or standing. In an effort to improve his health, Lewis' doctors recommended that he move to the Sierra Nevadas in Tahoe during the summer to move away from the polluted air of Porciúncula and breathe in "the fresh, alpine air for long-lasting recuperation". Refusing to leave, his physical condition worsened and became hypochondriac, taking extra precautions to protect his health, and began to decline offers to meet with people outside the Royal Household. Lewis fell into episodes of hysteria when he believed he had contracted an illness, and insisted that a physician accompany him at all times, even allowing the personal doctor to sleep in his own bedroom at night. On May 29, 1927, Lewis fell seriously ill with a severe fever and grew restless upon discovering his illness. Twice in one night, physicians were required to restrain him to the bed as he tried to leap out. Over the course of a few weeks, Lewis would lapse from a calm demeanor to anxiety sporadically each day. He also frequently complained about chest pains, and was constantly thirsty. Prime Minister Poncio Salinas recalled on his final visit to the King:
His Majesty was in a state of delirium during the entire length of my stay. It was tragic to see his numbered days filled with mania. He constantly asked if he was dying and we assured him 'no'. The King was aware however, and before I left, he rose from his bed, serene and quiet. He bid me farewell and reclined back slowly, drifting away slowly into slumber.
On the evening of June 22, Lewis was on the verge of dying. He began showing breathing difficulties shortly after sundown, developed a fever, and sweated profusely. The windows to the bedroom were opened to allow cool air, and the nurses applied wet towels to cool Lewis down. By midnight, after falling in and out of consciousness, Lewis rose up for the final time, asking for a cup of water. With a fever still running, Lewis was told to take off all but his underwear by the house doctor, but the King refused, complaining that he felt "chilly". After he was administered fever medicine just before dawn, Lewis fell back to sleep for the last time. By three in the morning, when a nurse came to check on him again, Lewis was dead. Not wishing to stir up the Royal Family, the medical staff withheld news of Lewis' death until eight in the morning. Prime Minister Salinas was however, phoned in shortly after Lewis was declared dead, and was briefed on the details of his death which the doctor attributed to fever of unknown origin. Leading physicians later concluded that he may have likely died to complications caused by Takuyasu's arteritis, a rare disease that was not typically found in people of Lewis' ancestry and ethnic background. The royal coroner however, agreed with the palace medical staff's report of cause of death, and did not perform a thorough autopsy.
Lewis' body was transported to Parliament Building where his father had also been lain in state underneath the Rotunda for public viewing. Dressed in a black suit and an ermine robe, hundreds of mementos from family, friends, and others were laid before the coffin, as well as items and pictures of the King that he cherished. Thousands of Sierran commoners lined up to pay their respects, and Lewis' body was lain in state for three days before his body was carried in a horse-drawn carriage away from Parliament Building.
As Lewis, a Catholic, was unable to receive the Last Rites, a Requiem Mass service was held at the Cathedral of Saint Vibiana shortly before the King's funeral service was held there. His children, including the new King Lewis (formerly Prince Charles, Duke of Newark), all delivered remarks of their father. Various ministers and officials were in attendance, and delivered their own eulogies. After the service concluded, the final funeral parade was commenced from the Cathedral back to Parliament Building where he would be buried beneath the building alongside his parents in the Kings' Crypt. His carriage was transported by a black riderless horse named Harold the Magnificent, and was accompanied by several platoons from the Royal Navy, in honor of his service and time with the branch. During the parade, a line of uniformed men carried all of the flags of every province and territory in Sierra, and as the carriage passed each flag, they were dipped. Controversially however, when it passed the flags of the Styxie, the servicemen refused to dip the flag in accordance to the region's traditional republican stance. Considered offensive and hugely disrespectful, no disciplinary action was taken however, and it was passed off as minor incidents. This tradition of the Styxie's refusal to dip the flag for a monarch would continue for future events, and has been cited as inspiration from within republican circles. After the coffin arrived to its final destination, it was carried by six heralds who were led by Sir Joseph Tyndall, Lord Herald King of Arms into the Crypt where his body was serviced in the midst of a priest who administered the Lord's Prayer, before the coffin was lowered into the Crypt floor and sealed by a silver plaque.
Lewis was always an active force and participant in the public Sierran sphere. Devoted to the Kingdom and the people, he helped lead numerous, immutable changes into fruition. An avid writer and a deep intellectual, Lewis has written over 20,000 pages of personal letters, diary entries, and memos over the span of his lifetime, with half of his writing occurring during his reign. An abridged collection of his letters has been compiled by the Royal Household Library, and originally compiled by Royal Historian Sebastian D. Wilkes.
Through Lewis' reign, he cemented the acceptance of the monarchy as a proactive, influential force in Sierran politics. He is remembered for his heavy involvement in political and economic reform, social change, and public policy helped transform the Kingdom radically through the course of his reign. Lewis established a model for future monarchs and royals to follow which included an active concern in the plight of their subjects, and an undeterred approach in working with Parliament and the Prime Ministry. He also stood at the fount of a system of new customs, beliefs, and mannerisms adapted from East Asian cultures that emerged during the Sierran Cultural Revolution. His public embracement of Confucian values and ideas made it more possible and fashionable for the upper middle-class to accept the ideas of the Revolution, which eventually made its way down to mainstream society.
Numerous memorials and statues of Louis I include the one by Thomas Becker at the National Mall, just outside of Parliament Building in Porciúncula, and one by Augustine Leduc by Fisherman's Wharf, San Francisco City. The King Louis I Royal Library and Museum in Santa Monica is the official library commemorated in honor of Louis I, which includes Sierran artifacts, technology, art, and items of Lewis' reign and era. In addition, various places have been named in his name, including King Lewis National Park in Plumas, Lewis Bay in Hawaii, and more. The Royal Navy has named one of its airship carriers, the HMS King Louis I. A large section of the Interprovincial 405 through the Gold Coast is named the King Louis I Freeway.
Lewis was a devoted family man and spent most of his time in the company of his wife and four sons, and later, his grandchildren at the Occidental Palace. He mused in an 1899 diary entry, "I enjoy being as King nearly as much as I do as being the loving husband to Martha, and the father of my dear, beloved boys." He had a special fondness for the sea, and preferred to travel by sailboat rather than the standard yacht as he enjoyed fishing and swimming. Lewis kept over eighteen pets throughout his life including eight dogs, four cats, and a boa constrictor named Benson, whom he showed to entertain and frighten guests. Although he and his wife often hosted parties at his residence, Lewis abstained from alcoholic beverages, citing his beliefs and objections to drinking. Similarly, he forbade gambling within the Palace so much so that a popular legend purports he kicked out an important duke (usually the 2nd Duke of Claremont) once for wagering in the presence of the King at a dinner party.
When he was younger and was known as the Crown Prince of Mohave, he was widely known for his philanderous lifestyle as a bachelor, whose numerous relationships caused the source of great controversy and embarrassment for the Royal Family. As much as five women have claimed they bore a child to Lewis during his lifetime, all claims of which have been rejected by the Royal Family. The most famous allegation was made by Rosa Medieros in 1873 who claimed her two-month old infant was the son of Lewis, and demanded financial support for the child. Parliament led a full-on investigation to the claims, although it lacked the technology at the time to draw any conclusive evidence. Dominated by overzealous Royalists who wanted to force Charles I to delegitimize his own son, the case was ultimately dropped after Medieros was implicated for perjury, and the boy grew blonde hair, which no one in the House of Columbia possessed.
As a prolific traveler, Lewis traveled to 47 countries in his lifetime, 39 of them during his reign, including 22 in Europe, 11 in Asia, and 7 in Africa. Of the countries he visited the most, he traveled to France a total of 6 times (twice as Prince, and the other 4 as King), Great Britain a total of 5 times, and Russia a total of 3 times. He had his own yacht, the HMS Sea Queen, which he used frequently during his international travels, and owned three personal sailboats which were docked in Venice Beach. Two of his sailboats have been housed at the King Louis I Royal Library and Museum while his other sailboat, and his yacht remains in commission and directly owned by the Royal Family.
Lewis was born and raised into the Catholic faith of his father and mother. As a Catholic monarchy in a predominantly Protestant country, their faith was the source of contention. Lewis' own baptism as an infant stirred controversy among the country's Protestants who took issue with the practice. He however, did not develop a more serious commitment to Catholicism until after he met his wife, Lady Martha of Claremont, who was a Catholic herself. Before meeting Martha, Lewis was a known philanderer and engaged in many activities considered vices at the time including alcoholic consumption, gambling, and smoking. As King, Lewis often cited the Gospels of Jesus Christ as his inspiration in the concern for the welfare of his people. He wrote lengthy essays and poems dedicated to God and the Church, and always dedicated his mornings in prayer and deep meditation. At all times, he kept rosary prayer beads with him and insisted that he wanted to walk and live with God throughout his life.
Titles, styles, honors, and arms
Titles and styles
|Monarchical styles of|
Louis I of Sierra
|Reference style||His Imperial Majesty|
|Spoken style||Your Imperial Majesty|
- December 11, 1858–February 11, 1880: His Highness Crown Prince of Sierra
- February 11, 1880–April 27, 1887: His Royal Highness Crown Prince of Sierra and Prince of Mojave
- April 27, 1887–August 15, 1893: His Royal Highness Crown Prince of Sierra, Prince of Mojave, and Duke of Newark
- August 15, 1893–June 4, 1905: His Majesty The King of Sierra, Protector of the Sierrans
- June 4, 1905–October 18, 1912: His Imperial Majesty The Archduke and King of Sierra, Emperor of Hani, Protector of Sierrans
- October 18, 1912–June 23, 1927: His Imperial Majesty The Archduke and King of Sierra, Emperor of Hani, King of Alaska, Protector of Sierrans
Official grand title
His Imperial Majesty,
Lewis the First,
By the Grace of God, The Archduke and King of Sierra and Protector of Sierrans, Sovereign of Bénieîle, and of the Channel Islands, and of the Deseret, and of Hawaii, and of Los Pacifícos, and of the Gilbert and Ellice Islands, and of Rapa Nui, and of the Sierran Samoa, and of All Other Loyal Lands and Islands; Emperor of Hani, Archduke of Hanyang, King of Tondo, Duke of Lusong, and of Bisayo, and of Shonanmin, and of Palawan and Cuyo, and of Solwoun; King of Alaska, Grand Duke of Sitka, Duke of Juneau and of Nome, and of Anchorage; High Lord Superintendent of the Realm, Head of the Realm, et. al
Coat of arms
- Sovereign Grand Master of the Celebrated Order of the Golden Poppy
- Sovereign/Member First Class of the Royal Family of King Charles I
- Sovereign/Member First Class of the Royal Family of King Louis I
- Sovereign/Member First Class of the Order of the Tricolor
- Sovereign/Member First Class of the Order of the Encircled Star
- Sovereign of the Order of Merit
- Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Rose of Sharon (posthumous)
- Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Order of the Navel (posthumous)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Harmonious Kingdom (posthumous)
- Grand Cordon of the Order of the Pacific (posthumous)
- Sovereign of the Order of Ursa Majora (Alaska)
- Sovereign of the Order of the Peacock (Hani)
- Honorary President of Mulholland University
- Honorary President of the National Botanical Gardens
- Duke Marshal of the Royal Oceanographic Society
- National Cultural and Artistic Enrichment Award, Political (1921)
- Sierran Philanthropic and Humanitarian Society Provider of the Year (1967, 2005; posthumously)
- Doctor of Law (LLD), University of Sierra, Bernheim
- Doctor of Law (LLD), Mulholland University
- Chancellor of the King Smith University
- Knight of the Most Noble Order of the Garter (United Kingdom)
- Knight of the Order of the Elephant (Denmark)
- Knight of the Order of the Most Holy Annunciation (Italy)
- Grand Cross of the Order of the Redeemer (Greece)
- Grand Cross of the Order of Malta (Malta)
- Member 1st Class with Brilliants of the Order of Osmanieh (Ottoman Empire)
- House Order of Hohenzollern (Prussia)
- Knight of the Order of the Black Eagle (Prussia)
- Order of St. Andrew (Russia)
- Knight of the Order of the Rue Crown (Saxony)
- Knight of the Military Order of St. Henry (Saxony)
- Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece (Spain)
- Knight of the Order of the Seraphim (Sweden)
- Member 1st Class of the Order of the Double Dragon (China)
|Name||Birth||Death||Spouse and children|
|Stephen, Prince of Mojave
later King Louis II of Sierra
|June 7, 1888||September 18, 1945||Married Princess Maylene of Michigan (1917–1945);|
2 sons (1 illegitimate), 1 daughter (including King Louis III of Sierra)
|Prince Christian, Duke of Sonora
later Prince Christian, Duke of Anoka
|September 8, 1889||October 19, 1977||Married Anna I, Queen of Superior (1920–1939);|
|Prince Ivan, Duke of Colorado
later Prince Ivan, Duke of Santa Barbara
|June 15, 1892||June 26, 1982||Married Lady Jane Charlotte of Tempe (1919–1981;|
1 son, 3 daughters
|Prince Lance, Duke of Tahoe
later Prince Lance, Lord of Farallon
|May 13, 1893||October 1, 1988||Married Helena, Countess of Marshall (1919–1988);|
2 sons, 4 daughters
|16. Sidney Miller|
|8. Captain James Miller|
|17. Mary Montpelier|
|4. Gregory, Duke of Napa|
|18. Charles Edward Stuart|
|9. Charlotte Stuart|
|19. Clementia Walkinshaw|
|2. Charles I|
|20. Robert Walter Clemens|
|10. Jack Clemens|
|21. Emily Walkins|
|5. Anna, Duchess of Napa|
|22. Richard Montgomery|
|11. Elizabeth Montgomery|
|23. Sarah McClellan|
|1. Louis I|
|24. Henry Bates|
|12. Michael Bates|
|25. Carrie Johnson|
|6. Matthew Bates|
|26. Mitchel Cornwall|
|13. Amy Cornwall|
|27. Danielle Douglas|
|3. Rachel of Sierra|
|28. Abraham Stewart|
|14. Franklin Stewart|
|29. Naomi Adams|
|7. Bonibelle Stewart|
|30. Ezekiel Sherman|
|15. Caitlin Sherman|
|31. Ruth Walpole|
Louis I of Sierra
|Preceded by|| King of Sierra
August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927
|Preceded by|| Emperor of Hani|
June 4, 1905–June 23, 1927
|New title|| King of Alaska|
October 18, 1912–June 23, 1927
|Preceded by|| Pretender to the British Throne|
August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927
|Preceded by|| Protector of All Sierrans|
August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927
|New title|| Crown Prince of Mojave|
December 11, 1858–August 15, 1893
|New title|| Duke of Newark
September 9, 1887–August 15, 1893
|Preceded by|| Duke of Albany|
August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927
|Preceded by|| Duke of York|
August 15, 1893–June 23, 1927