In my story there are two nations both wishing to unify the surrounding areas into one.
One of the nations does this with stopping vital trade (they’re the largest supplier of food stuffs), being mildly threatening with military displaces and mild border skirmishes and finally the promise that the commoners of the old nations are treated equally and allowed to partake in the slightly democratic system. ( each town/city appoints a representative to go to the chamber of commoners to represent the common people and often they oppose the Court and the King)
The commoners hardly ever get laws passed and tend to focus the most on the land claims of other commoners and their problems.
The third house of the government is the chamber of Archdukes and Viceroys. They are also unelected and form from the old royal families of conquered nations and the viceroys are the opposing “party” who represent the Kings wishes. When a nation becomes fully stabilised the Viceroy retires so it is beneficial for a Archduke to stabilise his old nation and assimilate into the new larger country as it makes his voice proportionally bigger as he doesn’t have a Viceroy potentially counteracting his every move (they don’t always vote against each other)
Would this system of government/ conquering other smaller nations be confusing. And would a citizen of the smaller nation prefer assimilation rather than continuing on in an all powerful monarchy.
Also note that if the monarchy is corrupt and deemed greedy by the king a younger member of the family is installed as Archduke but the Viceroy rules as reagent while the young Duke is groomed to be inline with Kings views.
This all sounds a little corrupt but all nations and people want to be in this part of the world as they share a common language and culture and have been on nation before. But those in charge always spilt up. They desire to be one so they’re a stronger force against outside opposing threats.
The other major opposition to this countries Attempt at unification is a total dictatorship type royal family and conquer through purely military might they install their own Keepers to the watch over the area until it has fully assimilated. They’re a prosperous nation and they’re people are wealthy due to the high resource rich area (it’s a strong mining country)
My questions is what could this country do that so upsets their citizens that they’re pleased when near the end of the story the new country resurges and takes back all the stolen land and fully unifies all the countries. How can I make this country “Bad” in the readers view point.