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Thomas Michels, Graf Michels from Bad Phönixspring
MichelsProvisionalGG

Official Portrait of Thomas Michels as Provisional Governor-General


Governor-General of Hulstria and Gao-Soto
In office
January, 3416 – 3426
Preceded by
Cornelia Stadtfeld (as official Governor-General)
Succeeded by

Chairman of the National Council of the 15th of September Movement
In office
September, 3411 – 3424 (dissolved)

Chancellor of Heinrich University
In office
3426 – 3432

Born
5th of December, 3366
Kien, Hulstria
Died
5th of May, 3442
Bad Phönixspring, Greater Kien, Hulstria
Political party
Spouse
Laurentine Weintorf Michels
Children
Egon Michels Hosianne Michels
Residence
Bad Phönixspring, Kien, Hulstria
Alma Mater
Heinrich University
Occupation
Academic
Religion
Ethnicity
Hulstrian

 Herr Professor Doktor Thomas Michels, Graf Michels von Bad Phönixspring is a retired Hulstrian Hosian Democratic politician who gained universal recognition for his deeds as the Chairman of the National Council of the 15th of September Movement and the first post-Septembrist Governor-General of Hulstria and Gao-Soto, officially representing Their Imperial Majesties, the Emperors of Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Before entering politics, Dr. Michels was a renowned constitutional law professor at Heinrich University, Kien, to which he, after his retirement and ennoblement, returned as Chancellor.

After his death on the 5th of May, 3442, Michels was buried in a state funeral at Kien's National Cathedral in the presence of leaders from Hulstria and Gao-Soto and across the world. Universally recognised for his peaceful democratic activism as leader of the Septembrist movement, he became one of the most influential figures of the early 35th century. For his reform and restoration of the Constitution of Hulstria and Gao-Soto, Graf Michels is also remembered and honoured in Hulstria and Gao-Soto as the Father of the Constitution (Hulstrian: Verfassungsvater) and the founding father of Septembrism.

BiographyEdit

Early life and academic careerEdit

Thomas Michels was born in 3366 to a lower middle-class family in Kien. His father was a small business owner, whereas his mother was a stay-at-home mother. It became apparent, early on, that young Thomas was highly intelligent and he was therefore educated on a scholarship at Heinrich University's Faculty of Law after finishing his studies at the local Gymnasium in Kien. In 3378, he graduated summa cum laude from the University, obtaining his degree in law, going on to getting his PhD in constitutional law 5 years later.

Dr Michels became a renowned constitutional lawyer at the end of the Greater Hulstria era, when large constitutional changes swept the country's politics and eventually reformed the nation into Hulstria and Gao-Soto. Michels gained renown internationally with ground-breaking studies on the way the transition from a constitutional to a dual monarchy had been handled. As early as 3390, he expressed doubts about the stability of the new regime in light of the rising power of Gao-Showan nationalism. In 3407, his rising eminence in academic circles led to Michels being appointed as Dean of the Faculty of Law at Heinrich University.

The 15th of September MovementEdit

Michels has always been an unlikely politician. A shy and rational man, he preferred to remain aloof from politics for all his academic career, content just to inspire debate by his contributions to the field of constitutional law. It was largely chance that ended him in a position that would later lead him to take his place in the history books. In 3411, the Imperial Socialist Party took over the country and started enacting increasingly oppressive measures. When Michels, in a well-publicised speech in the Academy Building, protested these, he was warned that he should not presume to criticise the regime again. The restriction of academic freedom affronted the academic so much that he agreed to join in a protest march on the 15th of September. The protest march was brutally suppressed by regime forces who opened fire on the protestors, sparking outrage across the country and indeed the whole of Terra. In this hour, it was the unlikely figure of Thomas Michels who brought the survivors together in a Hosian church on the university grounds. In this meeting, the survivors of the march on the 15th of September united into a single democratic opposition movement: the 15th of September Movement. Thomas Michels became the Chairman of its National Council.

The persecution of the regime soon meant that Michels and his comrades had to flee underground. Michels used the pretext of a sabbatical to resign his office as Dean and disappear underground. Soon after, the University was closed and its buildings were used to found the new Proletarian School of Dialectical Mysticism. In what, in his memoirs, he describes as a difficult time for himself and his family, he led the growing 15th of September Movement, quietly and peacefully building its internal and international support. At the same time, Michels was increasingly involved in thinking ahead of the kind of Hulstria and Gao-Soto to be created in the aftermath. His writings on this subject, found in his personal collections, form the first versions of many of the ideas that would later become known as Septembrism.

When Okatori Kurosawa escaped captivity and joined forces with the Septembrists, and Sebastian Goddestreu's international diplomatic efforts yielded more and more international support for the movement, the end at last seemed near. The National Council under Michels' leadership decided to run nominal candidates as write-ins, abusing the formal democratic shell of the ensuing election campaign under a policy of absenteeism. The names of the candidates were spread on pamphlets across Hulstria and Gao-Soto.

Governor-General (3416-3426)Edit

The elections couldn't have been a greater success for the Septembrists. In all but Crownland Hulstria , the write-in candidates overwhelmingly got the support of the public. The same day that the results were announced, Septembrist supporters marched through the streets of the capitals of all 5 Crownlands in which they had won. As the police refused to fire on them and defected to their side, it became clear that this was Michels' hard-fought liberation. The most important march of the day took place in Miyako, the Imperial Capital of Gao-Soto and Crownland Hilgar. Accompanied by Crown Prince Kurosawa, Thomas Michels marched to the Imperial Palace and then the Crownland Diet where, the self-same day, a provisional government was proclaimed, and he sworn in as his Governor-General. Just months later, Hulstria was retaken by Septembrist and international forces, and Michels took his oath of office to Kaiser Klaus Gustav.

Michels led the provisional government first of all to restore and reform the constitution of the Imperial Crownlands to address the defects that had led to the power-grab of the Imperial Socialists: many of his ideas were incorporated in this new Constitutional Restoration Bill, for which Michels is still remembered as the "Father of the Constitution". He led the Government for the next 10 years, executing many of the promised liberalisations.

In 3424, the Septembrist Movement dissolved, its successor parties being the Befreiungspartei, the Sozialdemokratische Arbeiterpartei, the Hosianisch-Demokratisches Verbund and the Allianz für Freiheit. Michels, a life-long Hosian Democrat, was offered the leadership of the HDV, but instead he refused and went into retirement, back into academia, allowing his protégée Hosianne von Metten to take the leadership and his friend Sebastian Goddestreu to be elected as the new Governor-General.

Retirement and deathEdit

After his retirement from politics, Michels returned to the university and was appointed its new Chancellor, a position in which he served for 6 years. After retiring from the university, his health progressively grew frailer, until he died in 3442 in his sleep at the age of 76. He was buried not much later in a state funeral at Kien's National Cathedral, a rare honour.

LegacyEdit

Thomas Michels has received universal acclaim in Hulstria and Gao-Soto and across Terra as one of the greatest politicians of his age. In Hulstria and Gao-Soto, he is considered to be the "Father of the Constitution" for his role in securing the new Hulstrian and Gao-Showan Constitutions. Septembrists in Hulstria and Gao-Soto hold Michels in universal high esteem as the father of their ideology. Across Terra, leaders have lauded Michels for his contributions to democracy, setting him apart as a shining example of leading a democratic opposition movement.

His great-grandson, Klaus Michels, was eventually elected as leader of the HDV and Staatsminister of Hulstria and Gao-Soto, with absolute majorities in the Imperial Diet. In the 36th century, the name and legacy of Thomas Michels is still often invoked when a statement about pluralism or democracy is made.

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