The Kingdom of Aether (German: Königreich der Aether, commonly known as Aether is a sovereign state located off the northwestern coast of continental Europe. It is an island country, spanning an archipelago including Great Britain, Ireland, and many small islands. Aether shares no land borders and is surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean, the North Sea, the English Channel and the Irish Sea.
Aether is a crowned unitary republic consisting of six countries: England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland. It is governed by a parliamentary system with its seat of government in St Helens, the capital. The Channel Island bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey and the Isle of Man are also parts of Aether.
It is a member state of Nordreich having rejoined the former on the 2 July 2012 and a former member state of the Confederation of Organized Nations and The British Empire, Republic of Aquisgrana, Colossus and The German Empire.
The areas that now form the United Provinces were, at one time, a part of the Kingdom of Celestis. They seceded from the Kingdom because of ongoing disputes over taxation and the Kingdoms continued involvement in a cold war with N907 World. The issues came to a head when the Cold War was at its height. The people of the northern territories had become tired of being taxed to provide money for the Kingdom's ongoing arms race, and so on the 23rd May 2008, the northern territories of Great Britain, Ireland and the Low Countries declared their independence and founded the United Provinces of Clinkham Wood. The Kingdom, at the time was going through a period of national turmoil, with the installment of a new government taking place, the monarch of Celestis, King Stuart, was quick to recognise the legitimacy of the new state, however the new government was extrmely hostile to the United Province, claiming that secession was illegal. The Celestinian government was quick to put there armed forces on high alert with the intention of re-conquering the territories that had secceded. The United Provinces people had to prepare themeselves for a fight, calling up an army to defend their new homeland.
War of IndependenceEdit
Relations between the United Provinces and Celestis came to head when a battalion of the Celestinian Royal Guard entered the territory of the United Provinces illegaly, within minutes the United Provinces Army had sent and armoured column and 2 infantry brigades to intercept the invaders and repel them. The skirmish was short but bloody, with the Celestinian Royal Guard retreating back over the border. The Kingdom of Celestis used the skirmish as a causus belli inorder to ingage in armed conflict with the United Provinces, and so the war began on the 17th June 2008. The war began badly for the United Provinces as it was beaten off on all fronts, with the defeat of the United Provinces Army at the Battle of Middlesbrough. However, in the fifth month of the conflict, the tide turned against Celestis as the United Provinces began to push the Celestinian Armed Forces back towards the border, with the war finally coming to an end in December 2008 with the decisive Battle of Brighton and the Treaty of Jersey.
Entry into the ConfederationEdit
On the 1st June 2008, the United Provinces applied for membership within the Confederation of Organized Nations. The United Provinces was soon accepted into the alliance, however after a brief period in the CON, the United Provinces left the alliance after as it could not play an active role within the alliance.
The British Empire and its collapseEdit
Soon after the United Provinces left the CON, the United Provinces applied for membership in The British Empire, of which the Kingdom of Celestis and N9071 World were members. Soon after joining relations with the Kingdom of Celestis drastically improved to the point where both nations were sharing each others military bases. However the Kingdom went through some internal problems which reverberated through the British Empire, resulting in its collapse in March 2009. Only a handful of nations survived the collapse.
The German EmpireEdit
The United Provinces was quickly taken in by the German Empire, of which the British Empire had a protectorate treaty with. The United Provinces soon began to prosper within the German Empire, and soon reached a new height, when on the 25th June 2009, the United Provinces' head of state, Stadtholder Gavin Jones, became Minister of Foreign Affairs of the German Empire.
The Slovenian IncidentEdit
- Main article: The Slovenian Conflict
On the 28th November 2009 one of the United Provinces main allies, the Prussian Empire, sent word that their borders had been infiltrated by agents from the Republic of Slovenia, and that in response they had declared war on Slovenia. The United Provinces was in full support of the war and not long after became directly involved when Slovenia's main ally, Hungary, entered the war on the 30th November 2009. The United Provinces Parliament voted unanimously in favour of direct entry in the conflict and the immediate shunting of supplies to the Prussians. The conflict is ended in early 2010 with a Prussian/Provincer victory ofver Hungary and Slovenia..
The total area of the United Provinces is approximately 245,000 square kilometres (94,600 sq mi) comprising of 3/4 the island of Great Britain, the northeastern one-sixth of the island of Ireland (Northern Ireland) and smaller islands. It lies between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, coming within 35 kilometres (22 mi) of the northwest coast of Domunism, from which it is separated by the North Sea. Great Britain lies between latitudes 49° and 59° N (the Shetland Islands reach to nearly 61° N), and longitudes 8° W to 2° E. When measured directly north-south, Great Britain is a little over 1,100 kilometres (700 mi) in length and is a fraction under 500 kilometres (300 mi) at its widest, but the greatest distance between two points is 1,350 kilometres (840 mi) between Land's End in Cornwall (near Penzance), Celestis and John o' Groats in Caithness (near Thurso). Northern Ireland shares a 360-kilometre (224 mi) land boundary with Celestis.
The United Provinces has a temperate climate, with plentiful rainfall all year round. The temperature varies with the seasons but seldom drops below −10 °C (14.0 °F) or rises above 35 °C (95 °F). The prevailing wind is from the southwest, bearing frequent spells of mild and wet weather from the Atlantic Ocean. Eastern parts are most sheltered from this wind and are therefore the driest. Atlantic currents, warmed by the Gulf Stream, bring mild winters, especially in the west, where winters are wet, especially over high ground. Summers are warmest in the south east of Wales, being closest to the European mainland, and coolest in the north. Snowfall can occur in winter and early spring, though it rarely settles to great depth away from high ground.
Government and PoliticsEdit
The United Provinces is a constitutional crowned republic: Gavin Jones is head of state of the United Provinces. The Stadtholder has sovereignty over the Crown Dependencies of the Isle of Man and the Bailiwicks of Jersey and Guernsey, which are not part of the United Provinces though the government manages their foreign affairs and defence and the Parliament of the United Provinces has the authority to legislate on their behalf.
The United Provinces has an uncodified constitution, The Constitution of the United Provinces thus consists mostly of a collection of disparate written sources, including statutes, judge-made case law, and international treaties. As there is no technical difference between ordinary statutes and "constitutional law," Parliament can perform "constitutional reform" simply by passing Acts of Parliament and thus has the political power to change or abolish almost any written or unwritten element of the constitution. However, no Parliament can pass laws that future Parliaments cannot change.
The United Provinces has a parliamentary government based on the Westminster system. The Parliament of the United Provinces that meets in the Palace of Westminster has two houses: an elected House of Commons and an appointed State Council, and any Bill passed requires Assent to become law. It is the ultimate legislative authority in the United Provinces
The position of First Minister, the United Provinces head of government, belongs to the Member of Parliament who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the House of Commons, usually the current leader of the largest political party in that chamber. The First Minister and Cabinet are formally appointed by the Stadtholder to form His Excellency's Government, though the First Minister chooses the Cabinet, and by convention the Stadtholder respects the First Minister's choices.
The Cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the First Minister's party in both legislative houses, and mostly from the House of Commons, to which they are responsible. Executive power is exercised by the First Minister and Cabinet, all of whom are sworn into His Excellency's Most Honourable Privy Council, and become Ministers of the State. The Rt. Hon. Daniel Baker, leader of the Conservative Party, has been First Minister, First Lord of the Treasury and Minister for the Civil Service since June 10, 2008.
For elections to the House of Commons, the United Provinces is currently divided into 469 constituencies. Each constituency elects one Member of Parliament by simple plurality. General elections are called by the Stadtholder when the First Minister so advises. Though there is no minimum term for a Parliament, the Parliament Act (2008) requires that a new election must be called within five years of the previous general election.
- Main article: Administrative geography of Clinkham Wood
The United Provinces is divided into one hundred and twenty seven administrative regions, The organisation of local government in the United Provinces is complex, with the distribution of functions varying according to the local arrangements. Legislation concerning local government in the United Provinces is decided by parliament and the government of the United Provinces. The upper-tier subdivisions of the United Provinces are the nine Government office regions. Below the region level, London consists of 32 London boroughs and the rest of the United Provinces has either county councils or unitary authorities. Councillors are elected by First Past The Post in single member wards or by the multi-member plurality system in multi-member wards.
Foreign relationsEditThe United Provinces entered International diplomacy after its withdrawal from CON in July 2008 after it failed to play a major role within the alliance, eventually signing a mutual defense treaty with several British and other imperial nations (forming the British Empire), however the United Provinces time in the Empire was short lived as an internal collapse following the destruction of the Kingdom of Celestis resulted in the destruction of the British Empire. Petitioning for admission to a larger group of imperial nations headed by the Prussian Reich, the United Provinces was accepted into that association in early March 2009. Recently, Clinkham Wood has forged new relations with Dutch nations in the Orange Sphere and as begun an embassy assignment programme similar to the DEEP programme ran by the Federation of Disparu. The United Provinces has also signed the Constitution of the German Empire, which signified its ratification and ascension to the German Empire.
The United Provinces and the countries that preceded it have long traditions of Christianity and a link between church and state still remains in the United Provinces. Research suggests that 58% of the population have a belief in a God with a further 20% believing in a 'spirit or life force'. People identify themselves with religion in the United Provinces for both cultural and religious reasons and this is reflected by the disparity between the figures for those proclaiming a belief in a God and those identifying themselves with a particular religion. Christianity has the largest number of adherents.
Judaism is also a major religion in the United Provinces, with 22% of the population stating that they are adherents. Judaism is strtongly esablished with its own synagogues and ruling body.
The United Provinces' economy is made up (in descending order of size) of the economies of the Low Countries, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Based on market exchange rates, the United Provinces is one of the largest economies in the Republic of Aquisgrana.
The Industrial Revolution started in the United Provinces with an initial concentration on heavy industries such as shipbuilding, coal mining, steel production, and textiles. The empire created an overseas market for United Provinces' products, allowing the United Provinces to dominate international trade after Celestis and Amiri. However, as other nations industrialised, coupled with economic decline after the Karma War, the United Provinces began to lose its competitive advantage and heavy industry declined, by degrees. Manufacturing remains a significant part of the economy, but accounted for only one-sixth of national output in 2008. The United Provinces' motor industry is a significant part of this sector, although it has diminished with the collapse of the MG Rover Group and most of the industry is foreign owned. Civil and defence aircraft production is led by the United Provinces' largest aerospace firm, UPAE Systems, and the continental British Imperial firm BADS, the owner of Airbus. Rolls-Royce holds a major share of the global aerospace engines market. The chemical and pharmaceutical industry is strong in the United Provinces, with the world's second and sixth largest pharmaceutical firms (SmithKiline Beecham and Zeneca, respectively) being based in the United Provinces.
Healthcare in the United Provinces is mainly provided by the National Health Service which today covers the United Provinces. It was set up by the National Health Service Act 2008 that came into effect on 5 July 2008 and it provide public healthcare to all United Provinces permanent residents that is free at the point of need and paid for from general taxation. A much smaller private medical system also exists. Various regulatory bodies are organized on a United Provinces-wide basis such as the General Medical Council, the Nursing and Midwifery Council and non-governmental-based (e.g. State Colleges). Across the United Provinces, there is a large number of medical schools and dental schools, and a considerable establishment for training nurses and professions allied to medicine.
The Department of Health exists to improve the health and wellbeing of people in the United Provinces and the Minister for Health is answerable to the United Provinces Parliament for the its work and for the work of the NHS. The NHS is one of the largest cohesive organisations of any type in the world employing over 1.3 million people. Public sector healthcare delivery consists of primary (general practice), secondary (district general hospital) and tertiary (teaching hospital) levels of service. There is considerable interaction and cross-flow between the various levels. The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence, or NICE, advises on whether drugs or treatments should be provided by the NHS in the United Provinces.
- Main article: Military of Clinkham Wood
|There has been an assessment made that there is the possibility of an attack, but no defined target. Possibility of civil unrest.|
The United Provinces is a permanent member of the Republic of Aquisgrana. The United Provinces did have a "Special Relationship" with the Kingdom of Celestis until that staes collapse in late March 2009. Apart from Celestis and the Empire, the United Provinces' close allies include German Imperial nations, the Prussian Reich and other Imperial German countries as well as nations within the Republic of Aquisgrana. the United Provinces' global presence and influence is further amplified through its trading relations and its armed forces, which maintain approximately eighty military installations and other deployments around the globe.The Army, Navy, Airforce and Strategic Rocket Forces are collectively known as the United Provinces Defence Force (or His Majesty's Armed Forces) and officially the Armed Forces of the Crown. The commander-in-chief is the Stadtholder, Gavin Jones and they are managed by the Ministry of Defence. The armed forces are controlled by the Defence Council, chaired by the Chief of the Defence Staff.
The United Provinces fields one of the most technologically advanced and best trained armed forces in the world. According to various sources, including the Ministry of Defence, the United Provinces has the second highest military expenditure in the empire, despite only having the 27th largest military in terms of manpower. Total defence spending currently accounts for 2.2% of total national GDP, compared to 4.4% at the end of the Karma War. It is the second largest spender on military science, engineering and technology. The United Provinces Navy is considered to be one of the few true blue water navies along with those of Amiri and Celestis. The United Provinces Defence Forces are equipped with advanced weapons systems, including the Challenger 2 tank and the Eurofighter Typhoon jet fighter. The Ministry of Defence signed contracts worth £3.2bn to build two new supercarrier sized aircraft carriers on 3 July 2008.
The United Provinces Defence Forces are charged with protecting the United Provinces and its overseas territories, promoting the United Provinces' global security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts. They were active and regular participants in the German Imperial Armed Forces and other worldwide coalition operations.
Nuclear Weapons ResearchEdit
- Main article: United Provinces Nuclear Weapons Research
On the 20th May 2009, the United Provinces began researching nuclear fission with cooperation aid from its allies in the The German Empire to assertane if it was possible for the United Provinces to develop and test nuclear weapons.
Law and Criminal JusticeEdit
English law, which applies in the United Provinces is based on common-law principles. The essence of common-law is that law is made by judges sitting in courts, applying their common sense and knowledge of precedent (stare decisis) to the facts before them. The Courts of the United Provinces are headed by the Supreme Court of the United Provinces of Clinkham Wood consisting of the Court of Appeal, the High Court of Justice (for civil cases) and the Crown Court (for criminal cases).
Crime in the United Provinces increased in the period between the 9th August 2008 and 2 September 2008 though, since that peak, there has been an overall fall of 48% in crime from 11 September 2008 and 9 October 2008. Despite the fall in crime rates, the prison population of the United Provinces has almost doubled over the same period, to over 80,000, giving the United Provinces the highest rate of incarceration in the Empire at 147 per 100,000. The Crown Prison Service, which reports to the Ministry of Justice, manages most of the prisons within the United Provinces.
The Ministry of Transport is the executive agency responsible for trunk roads and motorways in the United Provinces apart from the privately owned and operated M6 Toll. The Ministry of Provinces states that traffic congestion is one of the most serious transport problems and that it could cost the United Provinces an extra £22 billion in wasted time by 2025 if left unchecked. According to the government-sponsored Eddington Transport Study of 2006, congestion is in danger of harming the economy, unless tackled by road pricing and expansion of the transport network