|The Belfrasian Republic
République de Belfras
|Government||Federal presidential constitutional republic|
|-||Vice President||Juliette Bidault|
|-||Speaker of the Senate||Sicuro La Barbera|
|Legislature||The Republican Senate|
|-||Upper house||Upper Senate|
|-||Lower house||Lower Senate|
|-||Constitution of the United Belfrasian States ratified||1797|
|-||Articles of the Republic signed||1814|
442,096 sq mi
|-||estimate||60,250,450 (mid 2012)|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|Drives on the||right|
((OOC NOTE: New region move, everything is going to be rewritten.))
Pre-Settlement era Edit
The earliest human artefacts found in modern-day Belfras are the remains of a city in NAME which were radiocarbon-dated to 2,000 BCE. Confirmed archeological digs and findings suggest that hunter-gatherer societies in the area managed the domestication of maize and animals circa 5000 BCE, allowing the first permanent settlements in the area to emerge around that time zone. Subsequent formative eras saw a complex change in cultural traits and the mass cultivation of maize in the northern plains of the country
The first traces of the Hilowayan civilisation are dated to 1500 BCE with the ruins of what's believed to have been their capital city, Oaxacon. This civilisation flourished along the coastal areas in particular, with the creation of a vast religious and artistic structure around the same time period. Their culture transferred to other tribal groups in the area further out west, with the more commonly known Weseja tribes' language stemming directly from the Hilowayan dialect. The Hilowayan's met two focal points of historical significance prior to contact with settlers. The 72 BCE eruption of Laconis saw the depopulation of most the surrounding area, which is evidenced to have been fairly densely populated due to the high fertility level in the area. Recovered scriptures indicate to several wars breaking out with relocating tribes fighting for the more valuable land parcels in a period of war that lasted until roughly 45 BCE.
The religious structure of the Hilowayan people changed dramatically following the 72 BCE eruption, with it eventually being known as the earthly embodiment of their god of death Laconis (hence it's modern name) by 250 CE. A series of temples were constructed in the area between the aftermath of the eruption and 900 CE devoted to the deification and worship of the active volcano and saw ritualistic sacrifices to appease what became known to the Hilowayans as the god of death in return for long life and fortune in military conflicts.
The second focal point to hit the Hilowayan people came around 800 CE when the Teohuacan people came together to form a military empire, causing almost a hundred years of on-and-off warfare between the two people.
The first encounter that the northern tribes had with settlers was when Sieuxerr colonists began venturing south from the villages they had established in modern-day Cherogado in the late 1620s. The first expedition south into what would be known as Côte d'Or, modern day New Charmoille and founded the cities of Frauenberg and New Survie shortly thereafter. The Sieuxerrian expeditions from these two staging points encountered the indigenous Weseja Tribes, with most along the border speaking relatable dialects to those previously encountered. Troubles with the Weseja Tribesmen and logistical difficulties meant that whilst the first expedition entered in the late 1620s, the colonisation of the area did not begin in earnest until roughly 1642. By this point a slow and steady method of attrition has brought the areas now defining the rest of New Charmoille under Sieuxerrian control.
Growth of settlements predominantly occurred along rivers or areas of resource abundance, which dictated the growth of the Sieuxerrian colonies and led to the first settlements in East Chekonda and Partheson within the first ten years of the colonisation process.
1658 saw the first settlers from Etruria arriving in the form of XXXX and his Rigeneratori that landed on Edrastes' Point, deep inside of Hilowayan territory south of the growing Sieuxerrian territories.
Colonial wars and Revolution Edit
The turbulent peace between Etruria and Sieuxerr's colonies in Belfras came to a cataclysmic end following months of arguments over trade and the sharing of resources on 1776 when Sieuxerrian forces marched over the border and into the Etrurian colonies.
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The overall costs of the war, combined with fighting rebellions in both Brigantica and Cherogado meant that Sieuxerr needed to start recouping the costs any way possible. This led to the raising of taxes throughout it's now turbulent empire and, more particularly, the raising of taxes and outright conscription of settlers within it's war-torn territories.
--Spots to be added--
A rebellion began against the crown in 1783 when Jean-Claude Bupiete led an uprising against the city government after a fresh round of drafts were announced for the war. The city was captured by the rebels three days later and on the fifth day the revolution was declared in full earnest on the steps of the city hall.
Independence and Civil War Edit
With the liberation of Etrurian Belfras at the end of 1797 bringing independence to both of the colonies, they were faced with fresh issues to tackle. Their years under Sieuxerrian and Etrurian control had left both former colonies with significantly different ancestry, culture, and languages that would have a difficult time merging with eachother. Arthuristan assistance ensured the creation of a constitution for what was termed the Belfrasian United States. The leaders of the north, south, and Arthurista hoped that the creation of this constitution and the half-way points it created would ease the merging of the two halves.
Between 1805 and 1810 tensions began to mount as small culture-related clashes between the north and south began. Arguments over trade and distribution of resources began to take over other talk within Alexandria, something that is commonly said as mirroring the collapse of peace between the Sieuxerrian and Etrurians years before. Mario Uiorito de Nuovo Wachini, the head of the Etrurian-majorities within the south, began to voice discord against the Sieuxerrian northeners and began to raise both racial and religious tensions. He wanted to unify both states under a singular, italian nation and intended to launch a cleansing of the north to 'purify' the nation. His extremism was matched by many other southern politicians to the point where by 1811 a conflict or divide was inevitable. On the 7th of March 1811 the politicians sitting in meeting within the Alexandrian hall were massacred by southerners posing as northern, giving Mario justification to essentially dissolve the United States and declare war upon the north.
In the following weeks of the dissolving of the United States, the Sieuxerrian north steadfast kept themselves known as the Northern State of Belfras whilst the south became known as the Nuovo Etruriana, or New Etruria. Despite the insistence of the north on keeping their name, many places in the world began to see them as the Nouvelle République de Sieuçaise, the New Republic of Sieuxerr. The first stages of the Belfrasian Civil War trace back to the massacre conducted in Alexandria. The first two battles occurred within Alexandria itself as forced of both sides arrived to seize control of the neutral city and at New Townsend, a rising industrial city further inland along the Fanwerth River. While the battle at Townsend ended in a decisive northern victory three weeks after it had begun, the battle at Alexandria continued for months and only ended when a truce declared Alexandria a free port against the war.
Despite the early successes of the north, the Nuovo Etruriana armies, led by Mario Uiorito De Nuovo Wachini, made an all-out assault that overtook both New Townsend and a string of townships between that city and eventually into UNNAMED. Their advance was only stopped when Northern armies, reinforced by emigrating Sieuxerrians from Cherogado who signed into the army with the promise of full citizenship, halted them through strength of arms. The bloody stalemate between both countries throughout a cold, harsh winter forced the southerners to withdraw to safer grounds.
Since the conflict began, Arthuristan diplomats that resided in Alexandria since it's creation had been hatching a plan to enforce peace upon the fractured nation. Thomas Thornton, a renowned diplomat and the official ambassador for Athuristan within Belfras, managed to bring both parties to the table almost two years after the war began in 1813.
Expansion and early contemporary history Edit
Modern History Edit
Government and Politics Edit
The Republic is a federation of semi-autonomous states, a mixture of territories once held as colonies and those gained following independence. The aftermath of the colonial wars saw the constitutional republic being signed and each state being given representation in an overarching body, the Republican Senate. The government is regulated by both the Senate and a series of regulations defined by the constitution, the Articles of the Republic. The Articles serves as the country's supreme legal document, with everything from governmental jurisdictions to peoples rights being recorded within them and act as a regulatory document for the overall Republican government.
Citizens of the country are subject to three levels of government: Republican, state, and local. Each level of governance is elected by vote by citizens of either their district for lower levels of government or nationally. The local government is typically split between towns and city districts to larger counties and entire cities. This level of government handles direct day-to-day running of their areas and is considered the lowest level of government. State-level governments maintain their areas as semi-autonomous dominions, with the governor of each state being directly elected by citizens of that particular state for a term of five years. That governor is required to outline his cabinet during the election and is maintained by that particular states' legislature. The governor has control over the states police forces, Republican Guard units and - for coastal states - has a level of control over the coast guard.
The Legislative body of the Republican government is made up of the The Republican Senate and makes national law, treaties, controls the treasury and diplomatic actions such as declarations of war. The Senate also has the power of impeachment, allowing the body to remove sitting members of government. The judicial body of the national government is comprised of the Supreme Court, Republican courts and lower State-based entities. The Supreme court is comprised of judges appointed by the President and are able to interpret laws and ban those they find to be against the Articles of the Republic. The President of the Belfrasian Republic is the head of government and the head of state along with being the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. The sitting president can veto legislature, appoint members of the cabinet and conduct appointments to the Judicial body and is the primary executive body of the government.
The Republican Senate has 600 seats, 500 in the Lower Senate and 100 in the Upper Senate. The Lower Senate represents Senatorial districts and are elected for four-year terms and sitting members hold a vote for legislative and legal action on a national level. The Upper Senate is the final legislative body any law or bill needs to pass before becoming law, and seats of the Upper Senate are elected from members of the Lower Senate with approval of the President. The Supreme Court operates alongside the Senate and is not subject to Senatorial interventions without a majority vote. The court is led by the Chief Justice and has residing members that serve as the country's highest level of lawmaking. Members of the Supreme Court are appointed for life by the President.
Should a sitting president be impeached by the Senate, all appointments that occurred during the time of which the president has been in office are considered null and void. The 1951 Impeachment of President Julian Ryes resulted in the entire Supreme Court along with the cabinet being disbanded. It marks the only time in which the Senate had total control over the government.
Administrative Divisions Edit
Parties and elections Edit
The Republic operates as a Multi-party system as it has done for most of it's history as an independent nation. Political parties must fulfil several requirements before being allowed to participate in elections or political actions officially. One particular requirement for participating in elections is that the party has members within the contested district and the person of which is being put forward to election lives within the area as well. The major parties within the system have been the X1, X2, and X3.
X2 member Frederico Sordeau won the 2015 presidential election for his first term and began his term on January 20 2016. His Vice President Juliette Bidault served in the Belfrasian Army prior to entering politics and is the executive bodies primary representation in the senate. The leader of the Republican Senate is it's speaker, who is the presiding officer and has been Gerald Andrews since 2004. In the event of the President and his cabinet being dissolved, the speaker is the de facto head of government. The leader of the majority party within the senate is ranked directly below the speaker with the leaders of the parties in order of number of seats immediately follow.
Foreign Relations Edit
- Main article: Foreign relations of the Belfrasian Republic
- Main article: Belfrasian Armed Forces
The Belfrasian Armed Forces was formally created at the end of the War of Independence in 1796. It consists of the Army, Republican Navy, and the Air Force. The Marines and the Coast Guard are deputy branches of the Navy, with the coast guard being jointly operated by the Department of the Interior. In 2015 the armed forces employed a total of 361,500 personnel with an additional 250,000 civilian personnel employed to help maintain and operate it's bases and other necessary operations.
The President is the country's commander-in-chief of the armed forces and holds the power of appointment to the Military Council and the Secretary of Defence to oversee the military. The Republican Department of Defence is the primary administrative body of the armed forces and is headed by the Secretary of Defence and the Military Council, of which the former is superior to in administrative decision-making.
Service within the armed forces is voluntary above the age of 18, but employment within the military can begin at 16 with parental permission through the Junior Academy program. Recruits through the program learn necessary skills and earn their necessary High School-equivalent grades alongside necessary military qualifications for their chosen branch prior to reaching the age of 18 and entering the service at that point. Although service is voluntary, the Articles of the Republic legalise the usage of conscription as and when deemed necessary by the government "to protect the Republic and it's people".
The budget of the armed forces in 2013 was $64.570 billion, approximately 2.75% of the country's GDP that year. Template:Clear
Law Enforcement and Crime Edit
The Articles of the Republic establishes five levels of policing for the country: National, highway, transport, military, and civil. The first three are directly controlled by the national government while the last two are subordinate to the military and state governments respectively. The highest level of law enforcement in the country is the Republic Investigation Department, better known as the RID. They have national jurisdiction and work closely with the Gendarmerie in conducting their duties.
Ever since the 1960s the country has had trouble with organised crime in the country. The production and distribution of illegal narcotics such as cocaine is a major factor in crime in the south of the country and gang violence is one of the leading causes of non-natural deaths in 2014. A corruption scandal in late 2016 revealed that one of the largest crime groups in the country had been bribing government officials, leading to a major investigation by the RID and a sweep of arrests. The country's northern neighbour of Cherogado contributes to the importation of narcotics and other criminal enterprises as a result of it's comparably lax laws against the use of narcotics.
The country is an active practitioner of the death penalty, and was criticised in 2004 for the execution of Pamela Sarkov, a nationalised citizen who was found guilty of murdering her family the year in 2002. Inconclusive evidence and testimonies of Sarkov not being in the area at the time of the murders were ignored by the judge and state authorities, who put her to death by hanging after denying a stay of execution plea. A second case in 2006 also attracted international condemnation after three people suspected of being drug dealers were executed on 'loose' evidence that an independent enquiry found to have been planted by personnel involved with the raid.
Tourism in the Republic is both a well-developed part of the country's economy and a key part of it. The country had one of the highest numbers of visitors in terms of international tourist arrivals in 2013 and has featured in the top three tourism destinations index for seven years running as of 2016. Tourism in the country is a combination of ecotourism with leisure and recreation, with people either opting to enjoy the sun and beach of places like Alexandria's pristine-white beaches or the in-land Still Sea. The 2015 Travel Guidance issued globally, the country was listed as #1 for visitation in regards to luxury-related tourism and history, with over 500 battle-fields and 250 museums to visit.
Belfras' main competitive advantage in tourism index is it's natural resources, which was ranked 1st in 2008 and again in 2016. The country ranked 18th for cultural resources, due to it's world heritage sites for pre-colonial civilisations and colonial/independence-era museums. The country's transportation infrastructure was rated as being a bonus toward the tourism industry, with the national road/rail network being completed in 1955. A tourism boom in the 1980s saw prices deflate substantially to the area, causing it's appeal to middle-class families to rise from that point onward and a national law enforcing prices to remain low to keep up a steady stream of tourism to the country. Subsequently ticket taxes and airport charges for tourism firms have remained at 1980s levels, with a government fund bridging the monetary gap for larger tourism firms. This has had the unfortunate consequence of the larger tourism firms in the country, Belfrasian Tourism Deluxe being one of them, establishing a monopoly on the industry. Safety and security in the country's tourism regions remain high, with police forces having special Economic Protection Units (FPU) purposed toward specifically guarding tourism destinations. The primary reason for the foundation of the FPU was the 1997 San Marco massacre that saw several tourists killed. The 1997 attack was the last recorded incident with tourists in the country, causing it's Safety and Security index to rise to 18th in 2011.
With hundreds of historical battlefields, museums, and cultural sites such as the ruins of the Hilowayan civilisation Oaxacon, the country has a lot to offer cultural and historical tourists. The 1930 tradition for an annual celebration on the Hilowayan calender's new year, named after the civilisation "Hilowayan New Years" see's parties throughout the country that brings a substantial amount of tourism to the country for the festivities which last up to a week.
Water supply and sanitation Edit
Education within the Republic is provided by public, private, and home school systems. Public education is operated and regulated by state and local governments with oversight from the overall government itself.
Children are required to attend school from age 6 to 16, with optional free education continuing through college to the age of 18. The initial cycle of education takes the child through Primary school and Secondary school systems, which form a foundation and expands upon it respectively. These schools are typically public with uniform dress-codes and a nationally-instituted code of standards for education and teacher performance. Districts of a state typically have a 'supervisory board' for education within that district. Children entering Primary school are divided into classes, with those class names differing depending on where that school is or it's own history. Basic education creates a foundation for maths, literature, geography and team-working skills that is steadily expanded as the child grows and learns more until they have a 'Basic Grade' for those skills, typically just before entering secondary school at the age of 11.
Upon entering secondary school, the child has their own education 'tailored' around a central static block of literature and maths. This tailored education aims to bring their overall understanding of chosen and mandatory areas to the national standard by the time they reach the age of 16 and take their National Standard Certification, or NSC. This rates them on their areas in an A-to-F scale, with 'A' being the highest and 'F' signifying a total failure of understanding. Those whom fail in an area are not granted any certificate although the grade awarded remains with them. Following conclusion of secondary school at the age of 16 children may continue on in three junctures: They may continue to college, a free education to the age of 18 which will allow them to gain specific qualifications for chosen career paths. They may also enter a career immediately through the aid of a career councillor at secondary school or alone. Finally, they may enter the government-funded military program which will give them rewarding qualifications. The only draw-back from entering the military program is that you are bound to serve until you reach the age of 21.
Higher education within the country is expanded from the free education college a student may enter at the age of 16. This system allows the student to earn a degree or qualification for a chosen skill or to increase their NSC in literature, maths or anything they 'tailored' for themselves in secondary school. A 10-year advertising program from the government from the 80s to the 90s brought more public awareness of this possibility and has increased educational standards as a result.
The period between the age of 16 to 18 is better known as the 'Free Education Period' within the education system, or EDP. During the EDP for pupils they are encouraged to keep standards high and mid-education ratings (A overall grade of how the pupil is doing in EDP) at a good level as to appeal toward the government and large organisations to 'sponsor' them into advanced education, such as university or academies such as the Academy of Medicine. These sponsorships will pay for their entry and stay at campus facilities for them to gain the qualifications. The difference between a government sponsorship and an organisational sponsorship is the latter tends to be aimed toward you having a job within their organisation at the end of their education, whereas a government sponsorship does not. Organisational sponsorships also tend to be viewed as more prestigious than government ones by the public, especially for larger and better known organisations. The exception to this rule is that the government-run health system may sponsor future medical practitioners and the legal system may sponsor future members of it through the Academy of Law.
Private education in the country allows private schools to formulate their own curriculum, as long as it obeys basic standards for national education and maintains cultural integrity for the country. Private Schools tend to be in two versions, one that is almost identical to public primary and secondary schools but with a much higher limitation on membership. The other version are 'academic' institutions that house the pupil and continues to provide education from the age of 6 to 16 in one place. The military also operates a private school from 11 to 16, with pupils sometimes continuing into the military education program thereafter. Public and private colleges and universities also maintain a parity in standards, although private universities are viewed as far more prestigious and tend to create the leading echelon of the country.
Science and Technology Edit
- Main article: Belfrasian Space Agency
Healthcare in the country is currently at the highest level it has been in living memory. It has a system of private and publicly funded health care with complementary treatments, aftercare, and hospice care. Public healthcare within the country is provided by the Republican National Health Bureau, or RNHB. The RNHB operates public hospitals and clinics around the country that provide a paid-for health service to permanent residents as and when needed. This service is free for medical treatment with the exceptions of non-life threatening prescriptions, dental charges that are not causing pain, and standard charges for most surgical procedures as necessary. Clinical visitations cost money to book, although hospitals utilise a walk-in service for people of whom have suffered an injury but are mobile.
Hospitals and clinics throughout the country operate within set, district-dependant organisations to better oversee day-to-day operations of each hospital. This has allowed medical aid to be transferred from one to another quickly should one hospital find itself short of one kind of medicine and allows for a better, fluid function of the hospital system. Cross-district transfers are also fairly common, with patients often being transferred to Monrael Place hospital, which is a specialist childrens hospital and the best in the country. Most transfers are done with privately chartered flights, although it has been known for the military to assist as necessary, such as when children suffering burns from the 1993 Downsridge School fire were flown in an Air Force transport plane directly to Monrael Place within hours for immediate surgery. The government at the time called this "Two government agencies working together to accomplish both of their primary objectives; To serve the Republic."
Permanent residents of the Republic or those born in the country and passport holders (such as expats) are entitled to free medical treatments with the exception of non-urgent dental treatments and non-life threatening prescriptions. People within the country that are not permanent residents are also entitled to free treatment by the RNHB at time of use and with clinical aid as well for emergency non-admission treatment. Non-emergency treatment will require the patient to undergo an eligibility interview to establish eligibility and legitimacy. The Bureau has in the past refused to provide treatment to individuals they feel have entered the country with the purpose of exploiting the health service provided or to commit 'health evasion', or to use the service and flee before paying. Regulations for charging non-permanent residents for medical treatments were brought into use in 2016.
Individuals entering the country for a temporary stay that will last more than six months are required to pay an immigration medical surcharge that will entitle them to medical treatment on the same basis as a permanent resident. The surcharge, brought into service in 2004, is $200 a year with exemptions for those arriving on diplomatic visas.
Private healthcare in the country is readily available, although not a free service. These institutions can involve private surgery and aftercare, full hospitals for wealthier residents or alteration specialists, better known as 'plastic surgeons'. Privately-run organisations are also heavily involved in the RNHB to provide on-hand security, cleaning or supplementary staff as well as to provide and maintain the majority of the Bureau's medical equipment.