The Commonwealth of Arcardian Republics (Arcadia) is a small, environmentally stunning island-nation in the Pacific Ocean. An economically powerful nation, Arcadia is notable for its complete absence of social welfare. Its hard-nosed, hard-working population enjoys some of the most opulent lifestyles in the region, unless they are unemployed or working-class, in which case they are variously starving to death or crippled by easily preventable diseases.
There is no government in the normal sense of the word; however, a small group of community-minded, pro-business individuals is mainly concerned with Education, although Commerce and Religion & Spirituality are on the agenda. Income tax is unheard of. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Information Technology, Beef-Based Agriculture, and Pizza Delivery industries.
The military frequently holds bake sales to raise funds, anti-government web sites are springing up, women earn less than half the salary of men if they can even find a job, and ethnic minorities are often refused admission to some of the nation's best schools. Crime—especially youth-related—is a major problem, and the police force struggles against a lack of funding and a high mortality rate. Arcadian Republics's national animal is the spawn of Max Barry, which teeters on the brink of extinction due to widespread deforestation, and its currency is the shekel.
Advanced indigenous cultures of Polynesian descent flourished on the island of Populonia for several centuries before being conquered by the Australasian armies of Rubanovia, circa 100 A.D. The twelve original tribes of the island—the Wallachians, the Catalonians, the Carpathians, the Crimeans, the Thracians, the Icarians, the Ionians, the Phyrgians, the Bactrians, the Sanoc, the Lucrians, and the Dorians—were vassalized for over a millennia, until 1156, when the Rebellion of the Golden Army effectively ejected the Rubanovians from the more densely populated north and confined them to the southeast. The united Populonians promptly erected the Southern Wall to prevent any future invasion, and to isolate Rubanovia.
Eight independent city-states were established in the ensuing clashes among Populonians, with the city-state of Phyrgi rising as the most economically and politically powerful on the island. In 1707, Phyrgi led a grand army against the remaining Rubanovian enclave on the island, and by 1710 a weakened Rubanovia had ceased to wield any influence over Populonia. Phyrgi had promised the conquered southern lands a semi-autonomous state; however, once conquered, it vassalized the land and enslaved the remaining Rubanovians.
Phyrgi's escalating greed for land and the increasingly cruel and inhuman rule of Phyrgi's kings in the eighteenth century led to mounting unrest and clashes between the public and authorities. The massive rebellions of 1753 were bloodily crushed; the Revolution of 1781 finally deposed of Phyrgi's last true monarch, Urdos XI.
The period between 1781 and 1790 was of constant warfare and mistrust among Phyrgians and all Populonians, as the revolt in Phyrgi caused massive uprisings in every other city-state. Peace finally arrived in 1790 with the victory of the Phyrgian populists, who proposed a united republic among those city-states where the populists were victorious. The same year, the United Republics of Populonia (RUP) was established, with the city-states of Greater Wallachia, the Northern Confederation, Thrace, Phyrgi, Bactria, and Dorania participating; and its first president, Ram Wei Solihaii, was elected for a six-year term.
The RUP existed peacefully until the early 1820s, when internal economic conflict rocked Dorian society and caused its rupture into three states: Bessarabia, Cytheria, and Molia. Molia seceded from the RUP in 1825 and in 1827 joined the Confederacy of Somunia, which included Lucria and Sanoc. This inspired other separatist movements within the RUP, which, though put down, eventually resulted in three peaceful separations within the RUP. Formerly Wallachian Icaria and Ionia achieved statehood, as did Catalonia, Carpathia and Crimea as the Northern Confederation was broken up. The Southeastern Territory also achieved statehood.
The Commonwealth of Arcadian Republics was first brought into existence in 1873, when the president of the RUP, Rurgos In Butri, proposed the Commonwealth to the Parliament and to the Confederacy of Somunia. The Commonwealth was ratified on January 1, 1891, and Phyrgi's president Hu Song Galaiihe was elected its first Prime Minister.
Many Arcadian volunteers fought and died on the Loyalist side of the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939. Although official numbers were not kept, anecdotal evidence places the number at around 1000. This is thought to have caused the ire of the Axis powers; although Arcadia remained neutral during World War II, the Commonwealth was soon involved in hostilities.
On December 4, 1941, in the midst of the Second World War, Populonia was invaded by Japan. The entire island was taken over in a single day, and Arcadia officially surrendered on December 6, 1941. The entry of the United States into the war the next day encouraged the Arcadian Resistance to form. The island was officially liberated on June 7, 1942, with the sudden Japanese retreat after their defeat at Midway.
The constitution of the Commonwealth was largely based on the American constitution, and as such provides a basis for a federal government alongside state governments. The head of state is the Prime Minister, who is elected to a single twelve-year term. The Parliament is composed of 38 senators and 49 deputies for a total of 87 representatives from the 15 states. Justices to the Supreme Court are appointed by Parliament for renewable 17-year terms.
Arcadia had in the past pursued mostly isolationist policies. As recently as 1989 there was little trade or communication with the outside world; however, the 1990s were characterized by a great increase in trade with other nations, and in 2005 the Commonwealth joined the United Nations.
The Prime MinisterEdit
The Commonwealth of Arcadian Republics is divided into fifteen states, or republics (capitals are in parentheses):
- Bactria (Basinis)
- Bessarabia (Dorania)
- Carpathia (Bardi)
- Catalonia (Lombardy)
- Crimea (Maser)
- Cytheria (Juno)
- Icaria (Bythnia)
- Ionia (Ingria)
- Lucria (Turiak)
- Molia (Vania)
- Phyrgi (Kish)
- Sanoc (Enicia)
- Southeastern Territory (Ampurias)
- Thrace (Pelopon)
- Wallachia (Walla Walla)
The island of Populonia is located in the Line Islands chain in the Pacific Ocean. It possesses three distinct geographic regions. These are Gassana, the central mountain range; Camasta, literally "coast", the coastal areas; and Popul, the outlying islands.
Arcadia's stable and robust democracy, along with the recent liberalization of trade, tax, and investment law in the Commonwealth, has made it a haven for foreign direct investment. The island is currently enjoying a boom in its banking sector. The well-educated and hard-working population has attracted a great contingent of companies in the information technology sector. The fertile plains of the Southeastern Territory make it an ideal location for its thriving beef-based agriculture, and beef is the Commonwealth's number one export. In addition, the island is rich in minerals such as copper and bauxite, which it also exports. Arcadia has also recently become a preferred tourist destination for wealthy travellers.
The majority of Populonia's inhabitants are of Polynesian descent; specifically, of Polynesian tribes migrating from the north around 2000-3000 BCE. However a small minority is descended from the Rubanovian faction from the south, of Australasian descent.
Most Arcadians today live in urban settings, with only about 30 percent living rurally. About 65 percent of the urban population lives in coastal cities, and the mountains are sparsely populated.
The 2005 census records a population of 9,394,179. This is an 3.36% increase (1.13% annualised) from the 1995 census, with a figure of 9,089,211.
Arcadia's public education system was abandoned in 1991. Although schooling remained subsidized for the very poor, attendance rates fell from 99 percent to around 85 percent in fourteen months. Some recovery was noted starting in 1998, and the latest 2005 census showed a healthier 93 percent attendance rate. Ministry figures place the mean number of schooling years completed at 10.3. About 65 percent of Arcadians go on to higher education institutions, most in Arcadia itself, but increasingly to Australia, Europe, and North America. The Commonwealth possesses twelve universities and an estimated 80 percent of faculty possess Masters or Ph.D.s.
The island's traditional religion is a collection of animist beliefs combined with Christian influences propagated by Australian evangelists in the mid-nineteenth century. Though the majority of the population is said to practice, the 2004 census found that less than 40 percent of all heads of household attended any religious service more than once a year, down from around 55 percent two years earlier.
Recent evangelizing attempts by Christian groups, mostly from the United States, have had some success in Arcadia. In 2004, the Mormon faith boasted around 1 million members, up from 750,000 two years earlier.
Although popular lore holds that each of the twelve original tribes came from different corners of the world and carried with them twelve distinct cultures, archaeological and linguistic evidence tells a different story. While it is probably true that there were at least twelve migrations into Populonia, there is only evidence of, at most, eight different cultures and languages—nine, if Rubanovian influence is counted. These are the Bactrian, Dorian, Lombardian, Lucrian, Phyrgian, Sanoc, Thracian, and Wallachian cultures. The current scientific consensus is that as the Dorians, Lombards, and Greater Wallachians gradually expanded in numbers and geographically and lost touch with each other, they became differentiated into three distinct groups each. Thus by the time of the Rubanovian invasion, the Lombards had separated into Catalonians (literally Desert-Dwellers), Crimeans (Grass-Eaters), and Carpathians (Swamp-Dwellers). The southern Dorians had split into the Molians (Western People), Bessarabians (Miners) and Cytherians (Wealthy Ones). Finally, the Greater Wallachians had drifted apart into northern, southern, and eastern factions—Wallachia, Icaria, and Ionia respectively. The great convergence of culture and language that has occurred since the founding of the Commonwealth makes it extremely difficult for modern anthropologists to correctly assess how these eight original cultures were related before migrating to Populonia.
Since abandoning its isolationist stance towards foreign relations in the 1990s, western popular culture has had a great influence on Arcadian culture and language. English is now the de facto lingua franca of the Commonwealth.