Massive roleplay ahead (3,395 words), divided in spoilers according to issues debated and certain characteristics. Also, orders updated. Spoiler Introduction : Several hundred people were walking in and out of Barcelona’s Citadel. Some of them were servants, others were engineers and builders. There were several armed guards, the members of an embryo of a police force. But there were also a few hundred gentlemen. Lawyers, priests, merchants, doctors, university professors, old noblemen, they were the members of the Mediterranean Parliament. The parliamentarians gathered at Barcelona because of it being the most centric city of the country, the capital nearest to equidistance from Seville and Marseille in days of journey by land. They were gathering at the city’s Citadel, erected by the first Bourbon king of Spain, the infamous Phillip V. It was the biggest building in the city, and they met there both to discuss the future of the new country and to symbolise the passage to a new era. The Citadel was going to be demolished soon, only some buildings would be kept and refurnished as seats of political power in Catalonia. The first debates were already taking place in the form of discussions among little groups of parliamentarians. The new country had no real armed forces, but policemen and militias, and prime materials were either scarce, of poor quality, or too expensive to extract with up-to-date techniques. Trade routes had to be reopened, and new ones had to be found. There were news of marvellous advancements in science and engineering in Britain. All of this and more would be further discussed in that day’s session. Administrative questions were yet to be solved, and the people needed a tour-de-force to show them that this wasn’t another transitory failed state, unable to protect them or to survive in these unstable and convulse times. When the city’s churches all ringed their bells simultaneously, announcing the advent of a new hour, nine o’clock; the gentlemen had all entered the Citadel’s arsenal, which had already been furnished with rich woods and velvet seats especially for that occasion. They all took their seats, and five magistrates, each one the oldest representative of their region, sat on a podium made of fine wood and profusely decorated with varied carvings. The oldest among them, the Andalusian magistrate, sat in the middle, on a chair taller and richer than those of his fellows. After sitting on his chair for several minutes, looking at the parliamentarians taking their seats, talking, and staring with disapproving glances at the most talkative ones, the room went completely quiet. He then stood up and, with a grave voice and deep accent said: “Empieza la primera zezión de la primera lehihlatura de lah Corteh Mediterráneah.” Of course, the Provencal representatives were outraged at that first sentence. Although nearly everybody in the room understood Spanish and French, it was never agreed which one would be the language of administrative use. That first incident was about to rip off the entire country, but luckily a few of them had brought servants taught in both languages, who served as translators. For convenience and comfort of the audience, all conversations and interventions will be transcripted here in English, omitting the redundant translations and all the bickering on languages. Only the most remarkable interventions would be transcripted here, as the whole session had a span of several hours. Starting with that first sentence, the session occurred as follows: Spoiler Actual orders' spending : “Now starts ze first sezion of ze first tewm of ze Meditewanean Couwts” After a bitter argument over official languages, it was agreed that all representatives to the National Courts should fluently speak the three languages official to the country: Spanish, Catalan and French. The discussion was then resumed when the magistrate, again with a grave voice and with his deep accent, said: “Stand up to receive the Executive Council”. As he said so, five men entered the chamber. They were the leaders of the executive branch of the regional governments, and they composed the confederal Executive Power. They sat in the front row, which was still empty. Everyone stood up as the honourables took their seats. Jérôme Malheur, Joan Calvet, Francisco de Berdún, Vicent Borja and Julio Herrera were their names. A French merchant, a Catalan priest and philosopher, an Aragonese noble, a Valencian bourgeois descendant from a family of nobles that included two popes (known worldwide as the Borgia for the political intrigues of the second pope Borja and his children) and a lawyer from Andalucía. They were there to discuss the allocation of funds for the year of our Lord of 1815, and to discuss their foreign policy with the Parliament. Once everybody was sitting down again, the Speaker loudly read the first point to discuss in the session: “The first point to be discussed in today’s session is the allocation of the confederal budget. It’s now the turn of the Speaker of the Council to talk.” Jérôme Malheur stood up and walked up a slightly lower podium to address his audience. “The Council has decided that this country must take actions destined to ensure its current position in the global scenario if not to make it stronger. Following this decision, it has been decided to integrate the partisan militias into a regular army, purge it and place a command hierarchy in it. Men found unsuited for service will return to their occupations prior to the Napoleonic Wars or whichever conflict dragged them to form militias. “Also, to ensure the safety of our ships and naval convoys, part of the budget will be allocated to materials and workforce to build several warships or convert or reform old ships. “The Council has also become aware that despite the support of the people to the new system, there is still fear of the old overlords, and some regions, as Gibraltar, have refused to join the Confederation and are at the moment autonomous states. This cannot be tolerated, at risk of motivating secession which would, in these times of distress, mean that this country would dissolve and their members be possible objects of assimilation by the old mother states. As such, it is not only imperative that it is shown to the population that this country will stand unite, but also that it can stand old dangers and rivals by itself, and that it is powerful enough to drag others into it. “Furthermore, the commercial balance is negative to us. That means, there is a need for more resources to export, or this country will face bankruptcy. The Council has had news of a revolutionary technology that is being developed in England. It’s called <<railroad>>, and it’s based on steam engines that power vehicles on iron rails. It is a possibility that this technology will carry with it a whole new way of managing logistics, and iron and coal will be certainly important. As such, the Council envisions the acquisition of sources of any of these materials as a great stimulus to exportations. Trading with cheap sources of these resources will also be acceptable if we manage to keep commercial balance on our side in exchanges with the countries controlling those enclaves. “There is yet a last issue with the country and excuse me, gentlemen, for not mentioning it before, that in order to empower the culture of our peoples, literary contests will take place in each region, and there will be a jury of erudites who will decide which one of the winners of each region is better, that is, which one is the best of the country. These contests will take place each year. The council is also designing a plan to make basic education compulsory, and is studying to include teaching on all three official languages. “That, gentlemen, is all what the council has decided. The budget is currently allocated in the next fashion: “At least ten thousand gold ducats are estimated needed for the integration of the militias. Costs will surely rise, as it is a logistic task of gargantuan proportions, but this will support the first stages of the conversion. “Eleven thousand four hundred sixty-one ducats is the esteemed cost to build two fine ships and reconvert three more, at varying costs and with different final purposes. “A mission will be sent to England. It will dispose of roughly nine thousand gold ducats to study the technology, hire the best experts and engineers and import the technology. This money is available also for the building of a prototype here in Mediterranea. “Lastly, twenty thousand ducats will be spent in the logistic organisation of the literary festivals, the refurnishing and building of schools and the hiring of teachers and the jury of erudites. “As for the matter of foreign policy, the Council considers that the existence of an independent Gibraltar is inacceptable, and that it must be retaken in order to grow our people together and to show that secession makes us weak. It is also the opinion of the Council that this country must seek natural resources where they are known to be, for the nation is still poor soon after its creation, and spending can’t be made on mining prospection.” Spoiler Discussion on expansion : When he finished the speech, there was a low humming all across the room, as people were commenting the decisions of the Council and which would be their stance on foreign affairs. It was clear to the Parliament that Gibraltar would be invaded and assimilated through the power of arms, and also that the country had to expand its influence beyond its borders, seeking for the resources needed to turn the balance on favour of the nation. But where would the expansion take place; that was still unknown. Then, the Speaker of the Parliament gave the word to the parliamentarians. A group of noblemen from Aragon and Andalusia talked among themselves, and one of them stood up to reply. “Honourable members of the Council, most respected members of the Chamber” He saluted first of all. “The words of monsieur Jérôme are just. We do believe that the Council has decided in a most just manner, and we support its decisions.” There, the members of the Council sighed with relief, for they thought that the noblemen would oppose the spending on education and on a navy. But the nobleman hadn’t finished yet. “However, we find that taking into account who our neighbours are, more spending in the military is obliged. We feel that it is unnecessary to educate everybody. It is already just that only the best, who are obviously those who can afford it, can study. We also think that spending on a navy is a superfluous spending. Those ridiculous estimations of yours won’t allow us to get more than five boats armed with less than ten cannons each!” Laughter travelled across the room. The man seemed very sure of himself, and proud as he was he made a dramatic pause. “Furthermore, there are no enemies to threaten us by sea, or who would have any interest on doing so. As a last remark, we are of the opinion that with said increased land army, we should invade Castile. It would secure our position and give us great land extensions and a huge population which will work for us now. Surely we can put them to make the mining prospection and the mining itself!” The room went silent. The man instantly knew he had exceeded himself. In his words, a very clear connotation: enslave Castile. The Council rested worried but at the same time calmed. Nobody else supported such a view on slavery, and the points of the man had been rendered invalid by it. But other people took their turn to speak. An old Catalan merchant spoke for a group of bourgeois from Catalonia, Valencia and Provence coming from low social strata. “We wholeheartedly support the Council! This is the right path to follow, and we agree with it. And we also have our proposition to expand. Castile is too big for us, even now that it has decomposed into several pieces. Navarre is free, Galicia and Asturias fight for their freedom, and we know what has happened to the other bits of it, don’t we?” Most people in the Chamber smiled, and a few laughed. “We do think instead that our focus should be the Meditarranean! Again, as it has been in the past millennia, our wealth has come from the Mediterranean, and we shall regain it! Sardinia-Piedmont is right there, and we must get it! Possession of the islands will grant us advantageous commercial and military naval positions in the Mediterranean, and we will control it! All ours! We also plea to you, gentlemen, that you reconsider the allocation to put more into our navy. We need it to carry out the invasion, if it goes to that and, I’m afraid that our colleague was right. The little money you’ve put into the navy is insufficient to do what you’ve announced.” He sat back, and before Calvet could leave his seat to argue, one of the priests rapidly stood among his fellows to counter the old man’s argument. “I beg your pardon, sir, but we cannot agree less with your words! Sir, you would do well and should remember that Sardinia-Piedmont is Italian territory! That falls within the sphere of influence of his sanctity the pope Pius VII, and thus it shall be untouched. Although we agree that expansion is necessary. The people aren’t really happy; we need somewhere where they can find jobs. Beggars have increased incredibly, lately! "In a convention of the Jesuit order, we met in Navarre to discuss the state of our communities. Apparently Euskadi has iron mines, and their communities are active exploiting them. People are also migrating to Asturias, where the government was sponsoring coal mining. Now, with the rebellion, Navarre is a weak state needed of investments. They lack good shipyards or ports, but Biscay has a great natural port. "This meeting was held several months ago, when Navarre was still part of Spain. The recent secession along with Euskadi has cut the trade, and we’ve received requests of money from the regional branch of the order. They can’t cope with the beggars in some communities.” When the Jesuit sat down, Joan Calvet quickly went to the podium. Hours had passed, interventions had been made on all sides, from all sides and with all possible intentions, and everyone was getting more and more tired. He reached the podium under the scrutinising gaze of the Speaker of the Parliament, the old man with a grave voice and deep accent, and when he reached it, he first sighed and then took a look at the room, at the face of every single parliamentarian. Some were asleep, some were uneasily moving in their seats. Some were anxious, and wanted to leave. He could also see unfinished decorations, unpolished furniture, incomplete sets of panels, which covered the walls, and still some minor details. He looked at everything for a minute, in silence, and then he spoke. “Most dear gentlemen, I believe that we all agree now that the budget would be well allocated as the Council has made it. Are there any objections? If there are, tomorrow amendments will have to be handed to the Speaker. As I believe, there are no objections either to the intervention in Gibraltar. “Having already sorted out these issues, I propose that we focus on the enterprises proposed by the different spokespeople in this chamber. “First of all, the noblemen proposed that we should adventure ourselves in a conquest of Castile, taking advantage of its poor situation. If well it is certainly true that the independence of Navarre with Euskadi has weakened them; they are still a relevant power. We still have no real army to oppose them in their land, only the partisans who will fight for the land they live in. We cannot expect them to fight Castilians in Castile. Their army is also quite more professional than ours, we would be no rival in a campaign of conventional warfare as it would be required if we were to subdue them. Therefore, I consider this proposition unfeasible and so discarded. “Secondly, our merchant and seafaring colleague has proposed that Sardinia-Piedmont would be a natural way to expand, for it is in the history of this nation. First of all, this nation is trying to get away from its most recent past, not to revive the older one, but to face a new time and a new era in a new way, the way of democracy. But, excuse me for going off-topic. The Mediterranean is now nearly irrelevant. The route of Silk has been closed for centuries to us, and the Atlantic has substituted it. The Mediterranean is a sea of exchange, but now the Atlantic has opened our view of these exchanges. America is where wealth lays, in the African coast there are plenty of marvels yet to be discovered, and the route to Asia has been opened through it for three hundred years. Besides, England is now a superpower, or it was. It still has a dynamic economy and plenty of resources, and has given birth to greatly renowned scientist. Thus it is my opinion that, although the Mediterranean is still a relevant place, the weight on the balance is overwhelmingly heavier on the Atlantic side. Therefore, we should forget about Sardinia-Piedmont. On top of that, as our fellow pointed out, it belongs with the Italian sphere of influence and so under Papal influence. “Finally, we have the proposition of said fellow and colleague of mine. He said that Navarre/Euskadi has mines of Iron Ore, and interesting enough ports to trade. These Atlantic ports would be greatly invaluable and, as the report of this Council points out, the availability of sources of iron would definitely be a great asset to have. With these ports, trade can be extended to lands as far as Scandinavia, and trade with England, already a preferential partner and ally, will be more regular. Surely we can use the iron to even the commercial balance and incentivise exports. “Excuse me for not attending other claims such as the expansion to Morocco or to Aquitaine, but obviously they are ridiculous enterprises to try given actual and current geopolitical situation. If anybody else has an objection, gentlemen...” Spoiler Actual orders : Nobody had one. As Calvet returned to his seat, a low humming could be heard once again in the room, when the different people within each group discussed their stance on the matter. Soon thereafter, the Speaker spoke again, in his grave voice with a deep accent. “Now the Chamber will vote on the budget as allocated by the Council. If it does not pass, all groups will be able to present amendments until tomorrow at sundown. Votes for the motion?” Support to the budget was nearly unanimous. Except for a few noblemen and random merchants or priests who voted against or abstained, respectively, everyone voted for it. The Speaker took notes, and an usher took the act and gave it to each of the Council members for them to sign it. The Speaker then signed it as well, and the four other magistrates signed as witnesses. Then, the Speaker called for people to motion any votes they wanted to put forward. Francisco de Jaca went to the podium. “I propose that the army is sent to Gibraltar to suppress the rebellious movement and integrate it to the Confederation again as part of Andalusia. I also propose to this chamber to authorise the Council to send a diplomatic mission to Navarre and Euskadi to convince them to join the Confederation by peaceful means.” Again, the humming was audible everywhere in the room. Again, the Speaker silenced the most pro-active chatters with his glares. Tired as everyone was, the parliamentarians still awake poked their neighbours to wake them up. They were briefed on the intentions and purposes of the motion, and an usher once again carried a paper around. The scribes sitting in a table in the centre of the room, between the seats and the podium, had been frantic writing the motion following the dictate of Francisco de Jaca, who had a translator running constantly between him and the scribes. Finally, the motion was voted and approved by a wide majority of the Chamber, and orders where immediately sent throughout the country to implement the policies, find the diplomats, raise the funds and organise the logistics. Sorry for the misuse of any words or any mistakes. This is the longest text I've ever written in English, and the longest narrative text I've written. On top of that, I usually don't use a certain vocabulary that I did use here , because context.