|(Federated States of Faeland)|
|Motto:||Cedant arma togae.|
(Let violence surrender to law.)
|Anthem:||Beethoven's 9th Symph., 4th Mov.|
|Official Languages:||de jure:|
|Government:||Federal Parliamentary Republic|
|Federal Chancellor:||Faelan Blair|
Harry S. Donnelly
Vicki Cavazos Elizondo
Joshua L. Faulkner
Adélaïde Pelland (VC)
Isaac L. Perry
Kian B. Ryan
|Last Election:||March 10, 2011|
2 February 1921
48,911.12 sq. mi.
Faeland, officially Fáel, is a country in Western Europe. It occupies the entirety of the island of Faeland and its smaller surrounding islands, bordered to the west and north by the Atlantic Ocean and the Celtic Sea respectively, and to the east and south by the Bay of Biscay, approximately 150 miles from both France and Spain. The territory of the country covers the entirety of the island and the surrounding islets, totaling 20,594 sq. miles and has a temperate seasonal climate. Faelish territory also includes the Corioles Islands in the North Atlantic. With approximately 18,040,756 inhabitants, it is a densely populated country for its size.
The island of Faeland has been inhabited since prehistoric times. There was a large population surge in the 5th millenium BCE; around 2000 BCE, however, the population dropped inexplicably and remained extremely low and sparse until the 3rd century B.C. Since that time, many different ethnic groups have established a presence. The result is a culturally diverse country that until modern times only rarely saw peace among its inhabitants.
Faeland is a directorial federation comprised of nearly autonomous states, considered to be constitutionally sovereign and independent of each other. While the states do operate nearly independently, there is much cooperation between all polities, and citizens of any state are granted full rights to travel to any other Member State of the federation.
While the constitution provides the only official name as "Fáel" (the ancient indigenous name for the island), a constitutional act provided an official description of the country as the Federated Republics of Faeland in 1935, amended in 1955 to the Federated States of Faeland, to account for the re-establishment of a monarchy in one of the member states (cf. Kingdom of Faeland).
Faeland is a member of the United Nations but, as a staunchly neutral country, has opted out of inclusion in the European Union. Despite this, it has adopted the Euro alongside its national and local currencies, and conforms occasionally to many of the economic practices of the E.U. It should be remembered, however, that where some states may conform, others may not, creating for a patchwork of economic laws (Oddly, free trade within the country largely negates the ill effects of some states' practices). While some in Faeland see joining the E.U. as a necessity to progress, no steps can be taken until there is unilateral consensus among the member states, which is not easily achieved.
The Federated States have a long history of neutrality— they have never been in a state of war internationally since 1925. Faeland comprises several linguistic and cultural regions. Faels, Vallones, Irish, Spanish, English, Portuguese, Norwegians, and French are all present. The Federated States therefore do not form a nation in the sense of a common ethnic or linguistic identity. The strong sense of belonging to the country is founded on the common historical background, shared values (socialism, direct democracy, neutrality) and a proud sense of self-determination for their long-occupied island. The establishment of the Federated States then, was an act of anti-colonialism and sodality more so than nationalism.
The earliest recorded name for the island of Faeland (as a whole) was listed by the Greek geographer Hecataeus of Miletus in the 5th century BCE in his Περίοδος γῆς ("Travels round the Earth" or "World Survey') as "Bounessos," meaning "mountain-island." This name was given over by the Massaliotes —Greek colonists of southern Gaul— as a calque from the Gaulish name Đliapoelen.
During the period known as The Washing, Celtic tribes called it Fhaehlann (gen., "of the"), after its common totem, the wolf. This term led to the Latin name Valania and medieval names for the island (Fáel, Fohln, Fel, Foálnah, etc).
With the coming of the British in the early nineteenth century, the English term "Faeland" became increasingly popular, and has currency there even today, as English remains a lingua franca for the diverse population.
When independence was achieved from the United Kingdom in 1925, the constitution referred to the new country as Fáel. It was thought that this would help forge a common link among all the various ethnicities that currently inhabit the island. Later, by further constitutional acts, the official description of the state was agreed to be the Federated States of Faeland.
The wording of the description is meant to imply that the whole of the country is really not in itself a complete body politic, but in fact an amalgam of sovereign and separate nation-states. The federal government sees itself as the administrative apparatus of a federation, not a fused and unitary government for a nation-state.
Main Article: History of Faeland
The History of Faeland can be divided into five major periods based on political developments. The first is the Classical Period, running from prehistoric times until the 3rd century BCE; the second is the Revival Period marked by colonization from La Tene culture through to the collapse of the Roman Empire in the west (some scholars put the end of the Revival Period nearer to the 10th century A.D. with the coming of the Vikings); the Medieval Period, following through until the early 16th century; the Colonial Period, which lasted from the first Spanish settlements until independence from the United Kingdom in 1925; and finally the Modern Period, marred by costly Civil War and followed by rapid growth and modernization that continues today.
Geography, Climate, and Environment
Main Article: Geography of Faeland
Coastal mountains surround central plains, and the northern of the two largest peninsulas is mountainous nearly to its coast. The highest peak is Mt. Ryan in the Faelca Mountains in the Riocht Fíl (Kingdom of Faeland) at 4,712 ft. The River Verdan, which bisects the Great Faelic Plain, is the longest river in Faeland at 320 miles. The island has lush vegetation, a product of its mild climate and frequent but soft rainfall. There are many lakes in a crescent formation from the northwest of the island to the north-northeast. The largest of these is Lake Athlóa.
Faeland's least arable land lies in the southeastern Vincennes Basin. This area is largely mountainous and rocky, with dramatic vistas overlooking dry plains.
Main Article: Climate of Faeland
The climate is generally one of cool winters and mild summers, with mild winters and warm summers along the southern Biscay coast. There is much regional variation, however, as the island on its western shore borders the Gulf Stream and polar Jet Stream.
Main Article: Environmentalism in Faeland
Faeland is ranked 3rd in Europe and 9th globally on the Environmental Performance Index. After unification in 1935, the Kingdom of Faeland initiated a far-reaching land reform initiative aimed at dismantling the British plantation system that had been imposed on the interior. As the cultural mores of the 60's began to unfold, the land reform took on an somewhat radical environmentalist character, and ever since the Kingdom has led the way within Faeland in environmental protection, preservation, and restoration. Many of the other states have also begun their own initiatives. As they catch up to the Kingdom's standards, Faeland could likely supersede its European rivals for environmental responsibility. Recently, Faeland has gained notoriety for its endorsement of Bolivia's Law of the Rights of Mother Earth, one of the unique laws in the world that accord nature the same rights as humans. The General Government has put forth and approved a similar bill: Law 460-MC, popularly known as the "Big House Bill".
Faeland is a federal parliamentary republic comprised of eleven Member States. The system is highly decentralized, and the top level government functions more as a coordinating and administrative body between autonomous regions than as a legislating government. Faeland's political system operates under a framework laid out in the 1935 constitutional document known as the Organic Law. By calling the document Organic Law, rather than Constitution, the authors expressed the intention that it should be understood as a binding cooperative agreement between sovereign nation-states. Although ambitious, this bottom heavy framework has had some drawbacks, with sovereign states having the ability to veto "federal" legislation. Amendments to the Organic Law generally require a three-fifths majority of the Diet. The articles guaranteeing fundamental human rights, the federal structure, and the right to resist attempts to overthrow the constitution are valid in perpetuity and cannot be amended.
Main article: General Government
The Federal Chancellor, is the head of the General Government and exercises executive power, similar to the role of a Prime Minister in parliamentary democracies. Federal legislative power is vested in the Diet and the Directory, which together form a unique type of legislative body. The Diet is elected through direct elections in the various states, yet abiding proportional representation. The members of the Directory represent the governments of the eleven autonomous states and are generally members of their respective governments. The respective state governments have the right to appoint and remove their envoys at any time (how this is done varies from one state to another).
Although laws binding on all members can be created, in general the Diet discusses matters of finance related to funding the initiatives of the Directory, which coordinates internal activities and external relations (e.g. transportation, defense, diplomacy). Matters such as health care, education, taxation, and to some extent even military matters, are generally the province of the autonomous states within the federation.
More recently, in 2006 Faeland and all of its member states agreed to bring the government "online." Since then, most elections and legislation can be accessed via the internet, facilitating near universal access to government data and services. Additionally, this has reduced the paper waste of the government significantly.
Devolved national administrations
Main Article: Member States
Faeland comprises 11 states which are classified as Pages or Forals, and a territorial protectorate: the Corioles Islands.
- Federated Dhíall - The Dhíall
- Caudian Republic - Cauda
- Dominion of Litus - Lito
- Federation of the Latin Coast - Pentapoli
- Ríocht Fíl - Kingdom of Faeland/Midlands
- Democratic Republic of the Aroës - Aroës
- A Cidade Livre do Vila do Infante - Vila do Infante
- Sovereign City of New Norwich - New Norwich
- Principauté de Nouvel Aix - New Aix
- Santiago de Fuelaterra - Santiago
- Respublica Falciana - Falx
Law and criminal justice
Main article: Foreign Relations of Faeland
Faeland avoids alliances that might entail military, political, or direct economic action and has maintained official neutrality since 1935. Faeland maintains diplomatic relations with almost all countries and has recently served as an intermediary between other states. Despite unofficial discourse, Faeland is the only European country to not recognize the United States of America as part of its policy towards nations which it deems have or have operated systems of genocide, ethnic cleansing, mass murder, etc. Interestingly, many American Indian and First Nations tribes have embassies in Cathír na Fil.
Main Article: Military in Faeland
The national defense of Faeland is the responsibility of the Directory. Since Faeland is neutral, the top level command structure has not been tested thoroughly in wartime. Each state contributes either money or trained forces to the collective military, with the chiefs of staff being the top level military commanders of the respective nations, headed by the current Chancellor. How well this command structure would work in a large scale conflict has not been tested. Men and materiel sent on joint expeditionary forces are often placed under the command of an allied officer.
Administratively, each state supplies a "regiment," independent in supply, command and training, to the national force. Historically, the Pentapoli and Fíl have provided the bulk of the infantry, Lito and Falx the bulk of the naval forces.
Main Article: Economy of Faeland
Faeland is one of the world's wealthier nations, with a high per-capita income, a member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Faeland is a mixed market socialized state, ranking lower than the U.S. but higher than most western European nations on the Heritage Foundation's index of economic freedom. Since the early 1990s, Faeland’s economy has been growing rapidly with low unemployment and large government surpluses on the federal level. Today Faeland closely resembles Canada in its market-oriented economic system, pattern of production, and high living standards.
The economy of the Federated States is modern and trade-dependent with growth averaging a robust 10% in 1995–2000. Agriculture, once the most important sector, is now dwarfed by industry, which accounts for 38% of GDP, about 73% of exports, and employs 32% of the labor force. Although exports remain the primary engine for Faeland's robust growth, the economy is also benefiting from a rise in the technology sector.
Main Article: Transportation of Faeland
The Bureau of Transportation is the executive agency responsible for trunk roads, motorways, rails, air, and public transit systems in Faeland apart from the locally owned and operated transport systems of towns and cities. The Bureau states that traffic pollution is the most serious concern of the government. According to the Directory-sponsored Wellington Report of 2008, pollution has been dramatically and rapidly reduced, however, the goals for carbon reduction still remain out of reach given the time constraints placed on the Bureau. The main initiatives have been in placing tolls on most highways, extending the train network, and sponsoring and promoting public transit and cycling in cities. One of the main impediments to the latter initiatives has been that the roads themselves have had to be massively rebuilt to accommodate environmental protection laws.
Across the island, there is a radial road network of of some 19,445 miles of main roads with a motorway network of 1,173 miles. The rail network is extensive and carries over 13,000 passenger trains and nearly 1,000 freight trains daily. Urban rail networks are well developed in most of the capitals and other cities.
Unlike most countries which tore up rails with the ascendancy of automobiles, many defunct lines in Faeland were left intact. It is these lines that are being rehabilitated over increased car use.
New Norwich International Airport, located in the city, is the busiest airport and has the most international passenger traffic of any airport on the island. It is the hub for the flag carrier Faellair.
Main article: Demography of Faeland
Census data is collected from all parts of Faeland every ten years. The Directory is responsible for collecting the data from each state within the Federation. How and when the individual states conduct their censuses varies, but all data submitted to the Faelish General Government must be the most recent information available.
According to the most recent census, the total population of the Federated States of Faeland was 18,040,756. Current population growth is due equally to net immigration and a rising birth rate and increased life expectancy. Estimates revealed that Faeland is now home to more people of pensionable age than children under the age of 16 (it is the general opinion of the nation, however, that the country could benefit from a population decrease).
|Vila do Infante||69,435||0.4%|
See also: Faelish People
Indigenous Faelish people were thought to be descended from the varied ethnic stocks that settled there before recorded history; the Celts and then the Romans were the next largest groups, followed by Galicians, English, Irish, and Norse, among others.
Genetic research suggests that the first settlers of Faeland came through migrations from Iberia following the end of the most recent ice age. After the Mesolithic, the Neolithic and the Bronze Age, migrants introduced Celtic La Tene culture and languages. These later migrants from the Neolithic to Bronze Age still represent a majority of the genetic heritage of the native Faelish people. Culture spread throughout the island, and the Gaelic tradition became the dominant form in Faeland. Today, Faelish people are of various ancestries, including some of Italic, Norse, English, French and Galician ancestry, as well as Irish. Faelic culture forms an important part of national identity, especially in the Kingdom of Faeland.
Research also suggests that the Faelish natives broadly share a common ancestry with the Etruscan people.
Faeland has a history of small scale, regional immigration, with the coasts having the oldest and most extant non-native concentrations, dating back to at least the Iron Age. Small numbers of African migrants are recorded as living in the area of Lito and Cauda during Queen Elizabeth's reign. In 1950 there were probably fewer than 20,000 non-white residents in the F.S.F., almost all born overseas.
Since 1945, substantial immigration from Europe has ebbed to a trickle, mostly from the Benelux. Migration from new EU member states in Central and Eastern Europe since 2004 has resulted in growth in these population groups, but, as of 2008, the trend is reversing and many of these migrants are returning home, leaving the size of these groups unknown. As of 2001, 96.1% of the population identified themselves as white, leaving 3.9% of the population identifying themselves as of mixed race or ethnic minority.
Main Article: Education in Faeland
Education in Faeland varies widely. All member states are, by right, in control of their own educational systems. While this provides extreme variance in curricula, all of the member states enjoy high literacy rates and excellent school systems.
The country has several noted universities, most dating from the 18th and 19th century, but a few from as far back as the late middle ages.
Globally, Faeland is known for producing excellent graduates in the fields of environmental research, political science, linguistics, international communications, information technology, and archeology. Less glamorous but equally acknowledged, Faeland has also produced a large number of renowned Classical scholars.
Faeland did not exist as a state until the country's unification in 1935. Due to this comparatively late unification, and the historical autonomy of the regions that comprise the island of Faeland, many traditions, customs, and cultural attributes that are now recognized as distinctly Faelish can be identified more accurately by their regions of origin. Despite the political and social separation of these regions, Faeland's internal intercourse is very affable. A native poet once wrote, "At home I am Cadiano ([sic] cf. Caudiano), abroad, I am Fáel."
Languages of Faeland
Main article: Languages of Faeland
The term "languages" is used because unlike many countries, Faeland has no unifying common root language that is used across all of its lands. The lingua franca of the nation, English, is in fact an import. The Faelish language is native only to Ríocht Fíl, elsewhere it is considered a second language.
The constitution of Faeland states that all languages have equal value and protection, therefore all languages are granted freedom of use and propagation. Even though there are official languages, Faeland has become a virtual archive of languages, with minority communities establishing themselves across the island. This is due to a strong government policy of language preservation.
Language preservation strives to prevent languages from becoming unknown. This can happen when a language is no longer taught to younger generations, and the elderly people who do speak the language fluently die. In cases where there are not enough children for a language to be taught in schools, and the government sees that less young people are learning a language than older people passing away, state "banks" are set up to archive as much written and oral material as possible, and typically offer free classes for most comers.
Main article: Religion in Faeland
See also: Freedom of religion in Faeland
The government is legally prohibited from recognizing any religion (except for legacy statutes like those of military chaplains). Instead, it merely recognises religious organizations, according to formal legal criteria that do not address religious doctrine. Conversely, religious organizations are prohibited from intervening in policy-making. Tensions occasionally erupt about alleged discrimination against minorities.
The best estimates for religious affiliation in Faeland show that the number of Vians in Faeland is 62%, representing the largest and last "pagan" population of Europe (in reality Vianism is a henotheistic). However, these estimates are based on people with an association with the religion, rather than the number of people truly following the religion (i.e. cultural association, not necessarily spiritual belief). Professor Robert Martin suggests that only 30 percent of the entire population profess belief in the traditional Abrahamic-style "all-powerful" and wrathful deity.
By far Roman Catholicism has had the largest Christian influence and impact on Faelish beliefs and customs since the departure of the Romans until the advent of Christism. Nevertheless, religion in Faeland tends to be syncretic in nature, and this results in a variety of practices, such as parents and children celebrating Vian rituals, attending Mass, couples holding a wedding at a Christian church and funerals being elaborate and ceremonial in Vian nature. The Roman Catholic church officially disapproves of the syncretism, but has been inaffective at stopping the tradition of tolerance and incorporation, which is integral to Faelish culture.
Approximately 2.4 million Jews live in Faeland, primarily in New Norwich and the surrounding area. Less than one percent in Faeland profess other religions, including Bokononism.
Main article: Faelish Literature
Faelish literature extends thousands of years, from the earliest recorded court archives to the mature fictional novels that arose during the Renaissance to entertain the masses of literate Faels. The introduction of widespread printing by movable type rapidly spread written knowledge throughout hte island's history and culture. In more modern times, the literature has been analyzed as a cohesive unit where previously the linguistic divisions were recognized academically; but the fact is that many authors and readers are multilingual, thus influencing each other.
The literary traditions represented on the island vary widely, and each region has its own attributes and volume of work that has uniquely contributed to the Faelish corpus. Even though there is a disproportionately high amount of literature produced in the English language, a certain Faelish perspective can be found in the literature of all the states of the island. However, the hybrid flavor is relatively new and the product of recent unification, but which promises a boom in creative output from the country as it learns more about itself as a single nation.
Main article: Faelish Science and Technology
The education of Faelish society as a whole was a goal of the first government of the unified country. As early as the 2nd century, however, Roman Faeland became one of the most educated areas in Europe. The Faelish National Library catalogue shows that in the early 12th century Faelish intellectuals had access to ancient European literature as well as their native writings. The University of Falcatta, founded in 1246 is one of the longest running research institutions in Faeland. In 1773 King George III of the United Kingdom established the Royal Commission of Faelish Scientists, the first state ministry of its kind in Faeland.
In the early 20th century many Jewish scientists immigrated to Faeland. In the second half of the 20th century, Faeland became a flourishing center of environmental research. Outstanding scientists formed the Faelish School of Environmental Studies and New Norwich Research School for the Geosciences.
Today Faeland has more than a hundred tertiary education institutions; traditional universities can be found in its major cities, as well as technical, medical, and economic institutions, employing around 61,000 workers. There are around 300 research and development institutes, with about 10,000 researchers. In total, there are around 91,000 scientists in Faeland today.
Main article: Faelish Cuisine
Faelish cuisine is at the heart of its culture, influenced by the wide gamut of ethnic communities who have made the island their home and the excellent produce from the sea and the land. A twentieth-century phenomenon of gastronomical societies —food clubs where men and women gather to cook and enjoy their own food— has become very popular, inspired by a similar Basque tradition.
Main article: Music of Faeland
Artists from Poland, including famous composers like Kowołski or Henderson and traditional, regional folk musicians, create a lively and diverse music scene which continues traditions from all over Europe. As of 2006, Faeland is one of the few countries in Europe where rock and hip hop dominate over pop music, while all kinds of alternative music genres are encouraged.
Popular sports include football, and in certain regions Gaelic football and hurling. Stadio di Laurentio is the largest stadium in Faeland and was the venue for the 1987 FIFA World Cup final. Faeland also hosts the annual Faelish Tour, a road bicycle race modeled on the three Grand Tours. Faeland is also famous for its Cafe Racing Association (the only cafe-style motorcycle racing association in the world).
Although varying widely due to external cultural influences, traditional Faelish dress dictates that men almost always wear headgear and layers.
Traditionally, men and women both wore cloaks and/or capes that denoted status. Throughout the centuries these have taken many forms and styles, and often, within institutions (such as the military), they were highly distinct and reflective of rank.
- Faeland is perhaps the only modern country that still walls its cities. Due to a long tradition of civic independence along the lines of the continental "right of crenelation" and more recent developments in environmentalism, many cities have historic or modern walls. While usually not defensive in nature, they traditionally signify the city's status; and in modern times provide a sharp boundary beyond which urban sprawl is not permitted. Unlike most urban landscapes, Faelish municipalities end abruptly. One can often walk a dozen yards and encounter at first urban, and then natural environments.
- Zoos are so unpopular in Faeland that at the most recent opening in 1968, it was burned down in protest.
- The shade of green known as "lime" was invented in Vintum, County Sloan, in April of 1913. Funds from licensing have paid for the town's expenditures since the 1980's, when the color's popularity skyrocketed. Town residents have no local taxes because of this.
- The Omri Caves are the only apparent example of a "time tunnel" on Earth.
- There are 261 articles about Faeland on this website, a number of no significance whatsoever.
Main article: Philosophy in Faeland