Hulstria and Gao-Soto, officially the United Imperial Crownlands of Hulstria and Gao-Soto (Dundorfian: Vereinte Kaiserliche Kronländer von Hulsterreich und Gao-Soto; Hulstro-Mikun: Barento Kaisaritchu Kuronrenda bon Harusotoraik undo Mikuni; Kunikata: ホルソトラリア＝御國帝冠領; Horusotoraria-Mikuni Tei Kanryou), also referred to as the Crownlands or the United Imperial Crownlands for short, is a nation on the northwest coast of Dovani. The demonym used for citizens is Crownlander (Kronlander; Kuronranderu; 冠領人 Kanryoujin), although the colloquial Hulstrian and Gao-Showan is also used. Because of its multi-ethnic nature, the government actively requests the use of the dual name "Hulstria and Gao-Soto" rather than the shorthand "Hulstria".
The second state of the same name, the Second United Imperial Crownlands share many of the characteristics of the 1st United Imperial Crownlands of Hulstria and Gao-Soto. It was established in the wake of the Second September Revolution as the successor state to the Imperial Crownlands of Hulstria, a segregationist regime that had perpetrated acts of genocide and apartheid against the Kunihito and Hulstro-Showan populations of Hulstria and Gao-Soto. This sparked a resurgence of the 15th of September Movement, which formed the provisional government that functioned as the direct predecessor of the current state. The Constitution is of heavily Septembrist inspiration, among others restoring the dual monarchy which characterised the first United Imperial Crownlands, and many other of the characteristics of the original Septembrist Constitution drafted by Thomas Michels.
The United Imperial Crownlands were briefly overthrown by a Yukio-Labsburg restoration, which was itself replaced by a short-lived Federal Republic. In 4406, the people voted to restore the Basic Law of 4310 in its entirety.
Government and Politics Edit
The Basic Law of Hulstria and Gao-Soto hearkens back the state structure of the 1st United Imperial Crownlands as originally envisioned by Septembrist founding father Thomas Michels, the "Father of the Constitution". Under its provisions, Hulstria and Gao-Soto is a constitutional dual monarchy with a parliamentary system of government. The centrepoint of this democratic system is the legislature, a bicameral body known as the Reichsversammlung. This legislature consists of two houses: the lower house known as the Imperial Diet (Reichstag or Mikoku-gikai) and the upper house known as the Council of the Lands (Länderrat or Kanryou-hyogikai). The system is weakly bicameral, meaning that most power rests with the popularly-elected Imperial Diet, which possesses the right of initiative, the right of budget and the right to ratify treaties, as well as conducting most scrutiny of the government. The Imperial Diet is elected every 5 years subject to dissolution, with half its 643-strong membership being elected from constituencies known as Wahlkreisen and the other half being supplemented from party lists to maintain proportionality. Occasionally, proportionality can give rise to the necessity of a larger house, the so-called Überhangmandaten.
Executive power flows downward from the Crowns of Hulstria and Gao-Soto: a dual head of state consisting of the Emperor of Hulstria (the Kaiser) and the Emperor of Gao-Soto (the Mikado). Like in the original Septembrist constitutional order, the purpose of the Crowns is to symbolise at the highest level the stake of the Hulstrian and Gao-Showan peoples in the national state. They are represented politically by a Governor-General of the United Imperial Crownlands, who, by accepting political responsibility for their counduct, conducts the duties of the head of state on their behalf. Unusually, though, the Governor-General is not a presidential head of state, but rather reminiscent of the President in a parliamentary republic. Real executive power rests with Their Imperial Majesties' Government, headed by the Staatsminister(in) (Kokumudaizin), which has to maintain the confidence of the majority of the Imperial Diet. The Ministers are collectively responsible for the conduct of government policy.
Judicial power is held by an apolitical system of courts and its therefore not normally considered part of H&GS politics.
The Crownlands play a large role in the Crownlander system of government, although it is not formally a federal system. Each Crownland has a structure mirroring the national arrangements of government, with either Kaiser or Mikado as ceremonial head of state represented by a Crowns-appointed Imperial Commissioner. They elect a Crownland Diet (Landtag, Kanryou-gikai) in conjunction with the Imperial Diet elections, which gives rise to a government headed by a Minister-President (Ministerpräsident or Daizin-daitouryou). This impacts national politics because the Crownland governments form the Council of the Lands, the upper house of the Reichsversammlung, which has to consent to bills in matters of Crownland or shared jurisdiction. The configuration of the Council of the Lands depends on the matter under discussion, with the responsible ministers travelling or sending a delegate to Kien.
Political Parties Edit
Political parties in Hulstria and Gao-Soto are recognised in the Basic Law as participants in the formulation of the democratic will, giving them a central role in the political system. However, there are constitutional provisions with which all parties must comply. First of all, they must be democratically organised membership organisations. Secondly, and more importantly, the Constitution bans parties which are openly, either through intent or actions, anti-democratic, racist or which seek to endanger the existence of the state. This echoes an earlier ban introduced in the 1st United Imperial Crownlands by advocacy of Johannes Goddestreu, extended to racist parties.
The party system in Hulstria and Gao-Soto is highly diverse and spans the full breadth from left to right, with most parties originating in the 15th of September Movement and/or subscribing to Septembrist principles. The oldest of these is the Hosianisch-Demokratisches Verbund, which has roots going back over a 1000 years and was considered the natural governing party in the United Imperial Crownlands.
|Hosianisch-Demokratisches Verbund||Hosian Democracy, Septembrism||Right-of-centre||Clemens Heumayr||Oldest Political Party, founded 2992|
|Abetapate||Social Democratic||Centre-left||Rorentsu Somaferudo|
Foreign Policy Edit
Administrative Subdivisions Edit
Hulstria and Gao-Soto are a decentralised unitary state. Though the Basic Law guarantees the autonomy of the Crownlands and their subdivisions, it leaves the enumeration of the powers of both levels of government to primary legislation. Three sub-levels of local government are mentioned in the Basic Law: the Crownlands, the Cantons and the municipalities (Gemeinden). However, the Basic Law leaves it up to the constitutional laws of each Crownland to determine their subdivisions; in practice, this comes down to the decision whether or not to have the intermediary cantonal level or only have municipalities. Thus, only two levels of local government are universal in the Crownlands: the Crownlands and the municipalities.
Although the nation is subdivided into the two Empires of Hulstria and Gao-Soto by the Basic Law, these are purely ceremonial subdivisions based on the Septembrist principle of the multi-ethnic nation. The reasoning for according no political power to the constituent empires by Thomas Michels, architect of the original Septembrist Constitution, was that the empires' empowerment and sovereignty had previously led to a total breakdown in intercommunal relations and ultimately in democracy itself, and had to be avoided at all costs. Thus, while the subdivision into Hulstria and Gao-Soto is recognised by the constitution, in practice it only determines which monarch acts as ceremonial head of state, what the main language on signs is, what royal anthem is sung and what the ceremonial state religion is.
The typical Crownlander local government functions similarly to the national government in a parliamentary way. This is most visible at the Crownland level, where an Imperial Commissioner represents the monarch and a Cabinet headed by a Minister-President has a confidence relationship with the Crownland Diet. On the cantonal and municipal levels, the duties of representing the monarch and heading the executive are combined in the person of the Canton President (Kantonobmann) or Mayor (Bürgermeister), who is elected by the council. The executive of cantons is comprised of multiple governing councillors (Regierungsräter), while the title on the municipal level is alderman (Schöffe). Each canton or municipality has an elected council that acts as its legislature and controls the actions of the College of Mayor and Aldermen or the Governing Council. As the Basic Law does not provide for the exact terms, each Crownland may have slightly different titles. For instance, in Dundorfian-speaking parts of Mitranian, the mayor is referred to in the dialect as a Burgomeister, while in several former Imperial free cities in the Empire of Hulstria, the aldermen may be referred to by historic titles.
The culture of Hulstria and Gao-Soto is strongly marked by the country's nature as a melting pot between the Western Hulstrian culture and the Eastern Kunihito culture. Each of the two historical ethnic groups have their own culture which is celebrated across the nation. The Hulstrian culture, having been dominant while the country was known as Greater Hulstria, has a longstanding history, leaving its imprint in architecture and culture in most parts of the nation. Hulstrain "high culture" is marked by many famous composers of classical music, grand architecture, and a particular love of coffee and certain meat dishes. Intricately linked with the nation's monarchical heritage, Hulstrian culture contains many subtle Rothingrenist overtones even among those who are less supportive of the Rothingrens. This also links it to Kunihito culture, which carries the heritage of the medieval Empire of Gao-Soto, revived under the Okatori Clan. Kunihito high culture has brought forth famous poets, a distinctive Eastern cuisine and its own typical architectural and cultural forms. It is also tied up with elements of the Kamist faith and to a lesser extent with Jienist traditions. The elites of both cultures, united by certain aristocratic, monarchist and traditional values, have always felt some kinship going back to the period of the first dual monarchy.
Cultural understanding and interaction at all levels of society between Hulstrians and Kunihito hit its full swing after the September Revolution of 3416, giving rise to a shared culture and ethnicity. A cultural exponent of the national ideology of Septembrism, this culture takes pride in the high cultures of both Hulstrians and Kunihito, but also gave rise to several distinctly mixed forms of cultural expression. Most famous around the world, the depiction of Hulstrian myths, legends and stories by Kunihito artists gave rise to the art forms known as manga and anime, which has become popular throughout the world. It has also led among others to the video games developed by the Tenkoun corporation. This culture is visible throughout the Crownlands, but is particularly concentrated in the urban areas of the multicultural Crownland Mitrania.
- Hulstro-Showans: 30%
- Hulstrians: 28%
- Kunihito: 26%
- Gisoten: 5%
- Mikuni-Sekowan: 3%
- Draddwyr: 1%
- Istapali: 1%
- Llaqta: 1%
- Welang: 1%
- Others: 4%
- Irreligious: 38%
- Hosianism - 21%
- Tenshism: 15%
- Daenism: 11%
- Kamism: 7%
- Hulstro-Mikun New Religions: 4%
- Morokism: 1%
- Thetanism: 1%
- Aretism: 1%
- Other: 1%
Geography and Climate Edit
As a country in the far north of Terra, the Crownlands are quite a cool country and during the long winter temperatures are generally below freezing causing impressive snow storms. During the summer however the climate is pleasant with the south of the country often becoming quite warm due to the ocean currents bringing warm water up from the equator.
Hulstria and Gao-Soto is a fairly mountainous nation because of its location on the Schnee-Berge Mountain range, the local name of the Great Barrier Range. The coastal Crownlands of Budenlar and Kuratha are quite flat with the land slowly rising from the coast into the rolling hills of the interior. Further inland the Crownlands of Hulstria and Mitrania are dominated by picturesque snow-capped mountains. Most cities are in the foothills to the west of the Crownlands with the east being dominated by the Schnee-Berge Mountains, too steep in many cases to build on or farm, although its farming communities in the valleys feed much of the Crownlands. Much of the Crownland of Hilgar lies on the other side of the barrier mountains and it flattens out into the Great North Dovani Plain, which continues into Ostland.
The Basic Law of 4318 declared the former Septembrist milita, the Reichsbürgerwehr (Imperial Civil Defence Force), to be the armed forces of the state. The former militia was transformed with the aid of allies into a new army with navy, armed forces and airforce wings incorporating the bulk of the previous Hulstrian armed forces.
Landmarks of Hulstria and Gao-SotoEdit
Hulstria and Gao-Soto is a nation legendary and internationally acclaimed for its many landmarks. Due to the nation's history and its infusion of both Hulstrian and Gao-Showa cultures, many unique structures dot its landscape. Equally impressive is the landscape itself. Hulstria stretches from the beautiful beaches of Luthorische Bai and Marchau to the rolling hills of Rothingren and Graaffsberg and all the way up into the scenic mountains surrounding the capital of Kien in the Kiennese Plain. Hulstria is, of course, most known for its Imperial history and castles and palaces, like Fliederbrunn Palace, are popular for tourists to visit, while others like, Phönixstein Castle, are famed landmarks even though they are not open to the public.