Kingdom of Mespalia
Motto: Tællæ zinun omi elædæpæ e côltaba
Ici vous devez vivre et mourir
"Here you must live and die"
Anthem: Iumala sôiâ meden râta
"God Bless Our King"
Royal anthem: Rimmin marcchi
"March of Rimmi"
Map of Mespalia
|Official languages||Mespalian, French|
|Recognised regional languages||Pannonian|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary electoral monarchy|
|Assembly of the Estates|
• Declaration of independence from Ovancia
|4 October 1823|
• Independence recognized
|21 July 1824|
• 2016 census
• Per capita
|Currency||Mespalian sampo (Ms)|
|ISO 3166 code||MSP|
Mespalia (Mespalian: Mechpælæ, /'meʃpælæ/, Ovannois: Mespalie), officially known as the Kingdom of Mespalia (Mespalian: Mechpælæn râcunta, /'meʃpælæn rɑːkuntɑ/, French: Royaume de Mespalie) is a country in northern Artemia. Located on a small peninsula north of the Strait of Mespalia, the country is bordered by Prestonia to the north and Ovancia across the Strait of Mespalia to the south. The country is a parliamentary democracy and an electoral monarchy, with the head of state being elected amongst the nobility.
Mespalia is inhabited by Mespalians, a Finnic people originating from northern Artemia, who settled in present-day Mespalia sometime around 100 BC. In addition, the country has a significant French minority dwelling along its southern coast. For most of its early existence, Mespalia consisted of dozens of small, fragmented pagan chiefdoms and principalities. Ovancia invaded the area starting in 1141 and by 1145, the entire area of present-day Mespalia had become a semi-autonomous part of Ovancia. Ovancian power lasted almost seven centuries, until the country declared its independence in 1804 during the aftermath of the Mespalian War of Independence.
Today, Mespalia is a middle power with a robust social market economy and a relatively high standard of living, though wealth is unevenly distributed and the King along with nobility has broad political powers. Concerns have been raised by some human rights activists regarding the King's right to interfere in day-to-day running of the state as well as restrictions on voting rights imposed on some groups.
Etymology[edit | edit source]
The Mespalian world for Mespalia, Mechpælæ comes from the Proto-Finnic words mëxe meaning land and pælæ meaning side. The compound can be translated to "land's side", referring to the Mespalia's geographic position on the northern side of the Strait of Mespalia.
History[edit | edit source]
Prehistory[edit | edit source]
Archeological findings indicate that humans have lived in present-day Mespalia since 5000BC. Before Finnic Mespalians arrived, Mespalia settled by an unknown group known as the Hamalians. Once Finnic tribes began arriving from the north around 1500C, they quickly displaced Hamalians. At the same time, the first Ovancian traders began settling the southern coast.
Mespalian tribes quickly began organizing various pagan chiefdoms of their own, the largest being Pochiamâ and Neidevæ that controlled large parts of inland Mespalia.
Early medieval era[edit | edit source]
By 1000, Mespalia consisted of countless native states, most of them pagan and tribal in nature, as well as a handful of free cities and principalities along the coast. Mespalia benefited from its geographic position where several important trade routes converged. This brought prosperity to the area, but the increased wealth was mostly controlled by the Ovancian minority living on the coast. Ovancians also used discriminatory laws to expel a significant portion of the native coastal Mespalians further inland, changing the demographic composition of the area.
The Principality of Old Verquinte was conquered and annexed by Ovancia in 1308, followed by the annexation of New Verquinte, Sardenne and Lacolle in 1326. By 1340, Ovancia together with its annexed principalities began a conquest of remaining Mespalian regions. While these areas were not populated by Latin people like the coast was, their strategic location controlling the northern mountain passes as well as important natural resources convinced Ovancian king X that their annexation would be beneficial. The ensuing War of Conquest lasted until 1342 and ended when the final native chiefdoms in Lomeva were subjugated. The failure of numerically superior Mespalian tribes to resist the Ovancian conquest has later been attributed to lack of unity and co-operation between the various tribes.
Late medieval era[edit | edit source]
Following the Latin conquest, Mespalia was divided into two viceroyalties: The Viceroyalty of Verquinte and the Sardennes covered the modern provinces of Old and New Verquinte, Sardennes and portions of Suve and Turu and Churemâ, while the Viceroyalty of Mespalia covered the remaining territory. While Ovancians formed a majority in the former, in the latter the population was almost exclusively Mespalian who did not speak French. The area also suffered from lawlessness, banditry and lack of investment, while Verquinte and the Sardennes, located on an important trading route by the Strait of Mespalia flourished.
Following the passing of the 1445 Charter of Saint-Rémy, X began practicing a policy of Ovancination in both viceroyalties. This led to many ethnic Mespalians to changing their names and ceasing to use their language to increase their social status and by 1750, only two thirds of the population knew how to speak Mespalian. French was used as the sole language of administration and business, whereas Mespalian was only an oral language whose use was restricted to some religious activities. Mespalians also suffered from a system of servage, effectively a form of serfdom, under which native Mespalians where forced to work for free in plantations and fields owned by Ovancian nobles. Ovancians also founded Cisnelieu, modern day Iouzzene, as the capital of Verquinte and the Sardennes in 1428.
Several rebellions took place during this time, most notable of these being the Cudgel Rebellion between 1485 and 1488 and the Upper Mespalian Rebellion in 1706, during which portions of Lomeva and Neidevæ briefly declared independence]]. All of these were bloodily put down.
Revolution and independence[edit | edit source]
Main article: Mespalian Revolution
Most inhabitants of the two Mespalian viceroyalties, including the nobility, had converted to Protestantism during the 17th century. This contrasted with Ovancia proper, whose population was mainly Catholic. Several anti-protestant laws had been passed during the preceding century, restricting the rights of Protestants and angering both the predominantly Protestant nobility as well as the Native Mespalian population.
The two viceroyalties were also not considered equal with Ovancian provinces: though their inhabitants were subjected to taxation and conscription, they could not send delegates to the Ovancian Estates-General, nor become commissioned officers in the Ovancian Army. This heavily upset Ovancian nobility in Mespalia, who were considered to be second-tier by the nobility in Ovancia proper. In the late 18th century, Ovancia's mercantilist policies of also began damaging the economy of the coastal areas that were heavily reliant on trade, further upsetting merchants and tradesmen.
In 1816, a Ovancinified Native Mespalian count Ransis Râcava founded the Order of the Toucan together with twelve other nobles and merchants in Saint-Rémy. The Order was a secret patriotic society whose ultimate goal was Mespalian independence. The Order managed to recruit several high-ranking members of the nobility, as well as merchants, soldiers and peasants, and subsequently began planning for a rebellion. Râcava insisted that the support of the Native Mespalian population was vital to the success of their plan, and they consequently began recruiting members in rural areas of the country as well. During the next five years, isolated attacks against Ovancian troops and officials began to occur. Sabotage and passive resistance also became commonplace, to which Ovancian troops responded with execution and imprisonment of suspected enemies. Rather than stop the attacks, these aggressive actions led to increased co-operation and understanding between the Mespalian Ovancian and Native Mespalian populations.
In 1819, Râcava travelled to Legantus together with Jean-Philippe de Corday, another member of the Order. They managed to secure the support of Legantus for an uprising. President of Legantus, X, promised that the Legantian Navy would block off the Strait of Mespalia to prevent Ovancia from transporting soldiers and supplies across the straits, while also promising the plotters guns and other equipment. During the next five years, Legantus provided the plotters with over 40,000 muskets, cannons, artillery pieces, gunpowder and other materiel. These were hidden all across the country. Though some of these caches were sometimes discovered by the Ovancian military, they did not discover the true scale of the plan.
On 15 March 1823, the Royal Ovancian Gendarmerie arrested the editor in chief of the liberal newspaper Le Mot Libre in Saint-Rémy. He was charged with promoting Protestantism and dishonoring the King, and was subsequently fined 200 Vallies and sentenced two six months of hard labour. Spontaneous protests soon erupted in the city. Râcava decided that the moment was right, and issued an order to begin a general rebellion. The order was disguised as an innocent letter regarding the schedule of spring crop plantings, delivered to various parts of the country by messengers.
While the protests in Saint-Rémy were quickly crushed, almost the entire Viceroyalty of Mespalia fell into the hands of the revolutionaries within the next month. The rebels were in full control of the countryside and only small garrisons were holding out in larger cities. The Viceroyalty of Verquinte and the Sardennes on the other hand mostly remained under the control of Ovancia. In early April, the Legantian Navy began a full blockade of the Strait of Mespalia, preventing Ovancians from sending more troops and thus failing to relieve the besieged garrisons. During the early summer, the rebels managed to advance even further, capturing several important crossings over the River Vôxi.
By July, all remaining Ovancian forces were concentrated in the Viceroyalty of Verquinte and the Sardennes and the Viceroyalty of Mespalia was effectively abandoned. Troops were concentrated in the two major cities of the viceroyalty, Cisnelieu and Saint-Rémy. On 4 October 1823, independence of the State of Mespalia was declared by Ransis Râcava in Neidevæ, the site of the failed Upper Mespalian Rebellion of 1706. The declaration was signed in the presence of members of the nobility, both Native Mespalians and Ovancian Mespalians.
Mespalian troops refrained from attacking during the winter, while Ovancian troops slowly depleted their supplies in their besieged fortresses. In April 1824, Mespalian troops began advancing south towards Verquinte and the Sardennes. Mespalian troops were commanded by two field marshals: Ovancian Mespalian Armand de Monteil advanced from the west while Native Mespalian Alexanter Oczi Tœquellêr advanced from the south. De Monteil decisively defeated the forces led by Ovancian general X in the Battle of Valquise, while Tœquéllêr advanced to Saint-Rémy and laid siege to the city. When de Monteil's troops arrived to reinforce Tœquéllêr, the military governor of the city, X surrendered. The remnants of the Ovancian troops subsequently fled to Porte-du-Roy in the Sardennes.
With the control of the two viceroyalties in rebel hands and the Strait of Mespalia blocked by Legantian ships, Ovancian king X was forced to accept the independence of Mespalia. The Treaty of X signed on 21 July 1824. confirmed the independence of Mespalia and affirmed its control over both viceroyalties. The treaty also stipulated that Ovancia would have to withdraw its few troops still holding on to Sardennes by 1 August 1824.
19th century[edit | edit source]
The new state was formed by a coalition of unlikely allies with wildly different interests: Native Mespalians, mostly uneducated and poor peasants and serfs who comprised about 80% of the population, and Ovancian Mespalians, who were wealthy royalist nobles, burghers and large landholders who mostly lived in major cities and along the southern coast. Immediately after the declaration of independence, the question of what the form of government should be arose. Mespalians favored a republic with universal suffrage, land reform and equal status for the Mespalian language, whereas Ovancian Mespalians wanted to establish a monarchy and hold on to their privileges. To resolve the form of government and to draw a Constitution for the new nation, a constitutional convention was called in 1825.
Both sides had to compromise. Mespalian Ovancians, although in an economically powerful position, were small in number and realized that they could not look down on Mespalians as second-class citizens, especially after the dramatic rise of Mespalian nationalism in the aftermath of the War of Independence. Mespalians on the other hand knew that most of them had little education and even the Mespalian language did not have proper words for most situations that did not involve day-to-day chores. In the end, a compromise solution was agreed upon: Mespalia would become an electoral monarchy, with a National Assembly consisting of nobles and democratically elected delegates would elect the King. Mespalian and French would have equal status, but French would remain the de facto language of administration. Universal suffrage was guaranteed, but a bicameral parliament would also give representation to nobles. Minor redistribution of land would also occur, primarily from the lands of those people who had supported the republican regime. The Constitution of Mespalia was finally ratified in Iouzzene on 4 October, 1825.
The first national assembly held in 1826 was convened soon after the ratification of the Constitution. Initially there were over 200 candidates for the new King, but the election soon became a two-man race: Ransis Râcava, a native Mespalian noble who took part in the War of Independence and Étienne de Mortemart, a Ovancian noble and a wealthy landowner. While most of the nobles supported de Mortemart, the elected delegates overwhelmingly voted for Râcava. In the end, Râcava won the vote by a margin of 19 votes (485-466) and on 20 September 1826, Ransis became the first King of Mespalia, choosing the regnal name of Francis I.
Francis I reigned until his death in 1833. He was successful in forging a new, Mespalian identity that consisted of both Native Mespalians and Latin Mespalians, which is to this day considered to be his greatest achievement. Francis discouraged the use of the term "Ovancian Mespalian", instead using the term "Latin Mespalian". He was succeeded by a Latin noble and former field marshal Edward I, who died only four years later in 1837. In that year's extremely contested election, Francis I's grandson Francis II was elected King. The election caused a small-scale rebellion known as the Red Flag Revolt by republicans who saw it as a sign of the state becoming a de facto hereditary monarchy. The rebellion was quickly put down, but it initially smeared the new King's reputation as a heavy-handed ruler. He watched over the beginning of industrialization in Mespalia and slowly gained the trust of the population. He reigned for another 34 years until dying in 1871. He was succeeded by Francis III, the first Native Mespalian king not from the Râcava dynasty, whose greatest accomplishment was switching the official language of administration from French to Mespalian. During his reign, the country almost went to war with TBA due to TBA Crisis, but this was resolved due to skillful negotiations of his Minister of State, Costia Tœviliacca. Francis' successor, Charles I was elected in 1889 and became a vocal opponent of the rising socialist and republican tendencies among the population. As the head of the Church of Mespalia, he formally excommunicated all Mespalian socialists in 1898. He was assassinated by an anarchist in 1901 and would thereafter be known as Charles the Martyr King.
20th century[edit | edit source]
Charles' successor, Edward II took a more moderate approach, negotiating with representatives of the labor movement and granting them representation in the National Assembly. At first, his efforts to abolish or decrease the power and privileges of the nobility were hampered by the conservative-dominated Parliament. In 1914, he managed to alter the electoral laws in order to suppress the conservatives by switching the electoral system from first-past-the-post to proportional representation and abolishing the requirement for the Council of State to hold the confidence of the Assembly of the Estates. Edward's sudden death in 1915 prevented most of his reforms from being enacted, and his successor, Charles II initially preferred not to intervene in political affairs, in effect maintaining the status quo.
During the early 1920's, Mespalia experienced a severe economic downturn. High unemployment and the miserable situation of destitute tenant farmers and smallholders that led to the rise of both socialist and fascist groups that opposed the traditionalist, monarchist old order. Communists demanded establishment of a republic and nationalization of large estates owned by Latin Mespalians, a goal shared by the fascist League of the Toucan. Mespalia was plagued by constant strikes, riots and protests for most of the early 1920s. This culminated in 1925 in an attempt by the League of the Toucan to march on the capital to depose the government. However, urged by his advisors, the King made a personal intervention and rode to the city gates on his horse, demanding the marchers to turn back. They complied, and the League faded into irrelevance soon thereafter.
By the late 1920s and the early 1930s, Mespalia had recovered from the economic downturn, aided by the booming economy of neighbouring states. Mespalia continued to industrialize and modernize during this time and several changes to the Constitution were made, including the reform of the National Assembly in 1941. The influence of the Latin upper-class also began to diminish as their large holdings became less and less profitable and the educated native Mespalians began participating in the political scene more actively.
Following the death of Charles IV in 1951, Edvard IV was elected King. Edvard presided over a time of radical changes in Mespalian society. Peasants and small landholders began to move to the cities, leaving the countryside empty. Women began demanding for the right to vote, civil rights issues regarding structures that discriminated against native Mespalians began to be discussed and radical movements both on the right and the left changed the traditional balance of power. Two national assemblies were held on the issue of female suffrage, in 1960 and 1973, but they were both rejected.
In the 1960s and 1970s, radicals within the Socialist Left Party, Social Democratic Workers' Party and various enviromentalist movements organized protests and acts of civil disobedience, which in turn prompted the rise of a cross-party organization of right-wingers, the Mespalian Organization of Patriots that attacked the leftist protests. Following a terrorist attacks targeting a railway station and a conservative newspaper and a revenge attack on an office of an anarchist group in 1972, Edvard IV declared a state of emergency, adjourned the Parliament and ordered the arrest of both left-wing and right-wing extremists in what became known as the Hot Summer of 1972. The state of emergency lasted for three months and were followed by a general election that was won by a coalition of moderate parties and an unofficial gag rule was placed on discussing the issues that had caused the events.
Edvard IV died in 1976 and was followed by Francis IV, the fourth member of the Racava dynasty to hold the office. The late 1970s were a time of economic growth in Mespalia, with new industries growing and Revontuli becoming a large manufacturer of automobiles. This period of growth was halted by the Recession of 1980 that led to bankruptcies of two major banks and hundreds of other businesses. However, Mespalia recovered from the recession in the late 1980s, spurred by increased international trade and co-operation.
In 1992, a national assembly was held where the issue was discussed for the first time since the 1970s. Since the membership was conditional on approving female suffrage, a majority of the 24th Mespalian National Assembly approved it.
Modern times[edit | edit source]
Mespalia has faced new issues in the 21st century. The 200-year old Constitution has been called out for being undemocratic and outdated. New populist movements opposing immigration have risen in popularity, while deindustrialization has caused unemployment and social problems in some areas.
Tensions between the Latin Mespalians and native Mespalians have also occasionally arisen. An increasing separatist movements in Sardennes and New Verquinte demanding independence have also caused occasional outbursts of violence. Segregation and pillarization between two groups has become a major issue recently.
Geography[edit | edit source]
Administrative divisions[edit | edit source]
According to the Constitution of Mespalia, the country is an unitary state, though many powers have been devolved to local governments.
The first-level administrative divisions consists of fifteen provinces (Mespalian: provencci) and the metropolitan city of Iouzzene (Mespalian: metropolitânilitna) that also acts as a municipality. Each province has its own provincial assembly that is responsible for issues related to health, social welfare and public transportation.
The provinces are in turn divided into 846 municipalities (Mespalian: commûne) that can be divided into cities (Mespalian: litna) and districts (Mespalian: pîri), though in practice the division is purely cosmetic. Municipalities are responsible for urban planning, education, utilities and rescue services.
| Somme Islands
Îles de Somme
| Turu and Churemâ
Turu e Churemâ
Turu et Chouréma
| New Verquinte
| Old Verquinte
Climate[edit | edit source]
this shit needs a rewrite
Ecology[edit | edit source]
Politics[edit | edit source]
Monarchy[edit | edit source]
Mespalia is an electoral monarchy. The current King is Francis V, who has reigned since 1983. Despite being a constitutional monarchy, the King enjoys far more power compared to most other Anterran monarchs. These powers are broad and consist of executive, legislative and judicial powers that technically break the principle of separation of powers. Whether the King can realistically use all of these powers is a matter of debate, although the current King Francis V has tended to take a more active role in politics compared to his predecessors.
The King is the head of the executive branch and governs through the Council of State, whose members are appointed by him, although they must enjoy the confidence of the General Assembly of the Parliament of Mespalia. In case the Parliament passes a vote of no confidence, members of the Council must resign. The King has the right to veto any legislation passed by Parliament as well as to dissolve or adjourn it for a maximum of six months, as well as to nominate judges, ambassadors and other high officials. All bills must be signed by the King in order to become a law.
The King's legislative powers include the right to send bills to the Parliament as well as to issue royal decrees, though the latter can be vetoed by a majority of both houses of Parliament. Finally, the King also has the right commute or suspend criminal punishments. Besides these powers, the King also acts as a symbol of Mespalia itself, representing Mespalia abroad and undertaking various ceremonial duties. The King also traditionally acts as a patron of various charity organizations and is the supreme commander of the Royal Mespalian Armed Forces.
Unlike in most other monarchies, the King of Mespalia is not a hereditary position, but an elected one. While the method of election has varied over the years, since 1985 it has been conducted under a complex system of electoral college. Under the current system, when the previous King dies or abdicates, the National Assembly is summoned to elect a new King. After a candidate gets at least two-thirds of the vote, he is duly elected and crowned as the King of Mespalia. Laws state that the future King must be a native-born Mespalian citizen, male, at least 35 years of age and of noble blood.
Executive branch[edit | edit source]
The executive branch consists of the King, who exercises his powers through the Council of State whose members are appointed by the King. Though in theory these members can be anyone, in practice the members are all parliamentary deputies. The Council consists of various ministers and is chaired either by the King or the Minister of State. When the King is unable to attend the meetings, the Regent, usually some other member of the royal family, attends the meetings on his behalf. Presence of the King or the Regent is necessary for the Council to exercise executive power.
The members of the Council of State must enjoy the confidence of the General Assembly of the Mespalian Parliament. If a vote of no confidence is passed, the government must by law resign. In this case, the King has a right to appoint a new, caretaker government until a new one is formed.
Conservative Party (90)
People's Party (73)
Party of the Latin Minority (22)
Legislative branch[edit | edit source]
The legislative function is performed by the bicameral Parliament of Mespalia. The Parliament is bicameral and consists of the General Assembly and the Assembly of the Estates. The General Assembly consists of 350 members known as deputies and is directly elected every four years by Mespalian citizens over the age of 21. Its members are elected from 43 constituencies that each send between five and twelve members to the Assembly using a system of open-list proportional representation. The Assembly of the Estates on the other hand consists of 578 nobles whose seats are hereditary and 50 bishops of the Church of Mespalia. Parliament of Mespalia is an example of imperfect bicameralism, as the General Assembly has far more power compared to the Assembly of the Estates. The latter cannot pass votes of no confidence, nor can it initiate budget bills. It can, however, reject bills passed by the General Assembly.
All bills that are passed by both houses must recieve royal assent before becoming a law. If a bill is refused royal assent, it must be approved with a two-thirds majority in the General Assembly and a majority in the Assembly of the Estates.
In addition, there is an unique legislative institution known as the National Assembly. The National Assembly is usually not in session and usually only meets 1-3 times in a decade, most recently in 2015. As of 2018, the National Assembly consists of 1,240 members and include all members of the Assembly of the Estates, delegates that are both directly elected by the populace and appointed by various charitable and non-profit organizations and interest groups, bishops of the Church of Mespalia, rectors of all Mespalian universities and representatives appointed by the reigning or former Kings. The duties of the National Assembly include electing a new king, altering the Constitution and passing legislation that is considered to be so important that it warrants an opinion from the entire nation. As referendums are banned by the Constitution, the National Assembly is often seen as their Mespalian version.
Judicial branch[edit | edit source]
The Mespalian legal system is based on civil law. It relies heavily on written legal code and as such, only the decisions of the Supreme Court carry precedent and no juries are used. Death penalty is in effect and regularly utilized, and courts also have the right to temporarily or permanently strip persons of their civic trust, in effect making them ineligible to vote or to run for office.
There are three separate, hierarchical levels in the Mespalian judicial system as well as on various special courts. The Royal Curia acts as the supreme court of the land and consists of nine judges. Its judges are appointed by the King on advice of other judges and the Chancellor of Justice, the member of the Council of State responsible for the Ministry of Justice. All judges serve 10-year terms which are renewable once. Below the Supreme Court are 18 Courts of Appeal and 292 Crown Courts. In addition, there are separate courts for labour disputes (Labour Court) and market law and competition disputes (Market Court).
Military[edit | edit source]
The Royal Mespalian Armed Forces is responsible for the defense of Mespalia. It consists of four branches: Royal Mespalian Army, Royal Mespalian Navy, Royal Mespalian Air Force and the Royal Mespalian Gendarmerie, although during peacetime the Royal Mespalian Gendarmerie is a de facto under the control of the Ministry of Interior and its troops are not included in the total troop strength. Excluding the Gendarmerie, RMAF has a total strength of 69,000 active personnel.
RMAF practices conscription, and every Mespalian male over the age of 18 is required to serve between 6 and 18 months in the military. 40,000 conscripts serve in the military at any given time, and the Armed Forces officially has an reserve of 3,065,000 men.
Economy[edit | edit source]
Mespalia is a highly developed nation with a market economy and a relatively high GDP. However, both the poverty rate and levels of inequality are slightly higher than in neighbouring Conitian countries. The national currency is the Mespalian sampo, which is further subdivided into 100 arjanttes.
Mespalia's main exports are chemicals, electrical goods, foodstuffs, machinery, vehicles and wood products. The largest trade partner is X, which accounts for 29% of all Mespalian exports and 21% of imports. Other major trade partners include X, X, X and X.
Energy[edit | edit source]
Mespalia produces 76% of its energy from nuclear power. This is due to an aggressive campaign in the late 1980s and early 1990s to replace aging coal power plants with more environmentally friendly alternatives. The second largest source of electricity is hydroelectricity. However, during the 2000's there has been an increasing trend to remove old dams to restore aquatic environments that the dams have destroyed.
The remaining 8% of Mespalia's energy is produced using fossil fuels, mostly coal. In 2016, Mespalia pledged to close down all of its remaining coal power plants by 2026.
Transport[edit | edit source]
Due to Mespalia's high population density in the non-mountainous areas, the country has a well-developed transportation network consisting of a dense network of highways, railways and airports.
Around 85% of the railways are operated by the state-owned Royal Mespalian Railways, while the rest, mostly commuter railways, smaller non-electrified and narrow gauge routes are owned by private companies or by municipal or provincial authorities. The pride of the railway network is a high-speed rail network that connects Iouzzene and Rimmi with the northern cities of Chærmæ, Vylævasqué and Viesca. An eastern extension that would connect the network to mainland Artemia via a tunnel under the Strait of Mespalia with branches to Chalôna and Rânporma has been in the planning stages since the 1990s.
The highway system consists of a network of free primary and secondary roads and a system of toll motorways that require motorists to purchase a vignette. The vignette system was introduced in 1999 to fund the construction of the Trans-Salpa Connection, a collection of bridges and tunnels that would connect Pochiamâ with Lomeva.
For its relatively small size, Mespalia has a dense network of regional airports, mostly located in major cities or in areas that are difficult to reach by road or rail. The national carrier is Royal Mespalian Airlines, known also by its acronym "MERI".
Demographics[edit | edit source]
According to the Mespalian government, the Mespalian nation consists of three indigenous people groups. Native Mespalians, form approximately 83% of the population and are also the largest. They are a Nevanic people group who originate from northern Nordania and speak Mespalian. The second largest group, Latin Mespalians form 13% of the population. They are descendants of French speakers who migrated to Mespalia at the same time as native Mespalians. Their population is concentrated along the southeastern coastal areas in the provinces of Sardennes and Old Verquinte, where they form a majority and the cities of Iouzzene and Rimmi. The third group, Pannonians are also the smallest. Distantly related to native Mespalians, they are a Finnic people who live in the mountains of Lomeva and form around 1,5% of the total population. The remaining 2% consists of various non-indigenous groups, including migrants from Kesh.
Language[edit | edit source]
Mespalia has two official languages, Mespalian and French, and one recognized regional language, Pannonian.
Historically, French was the language of administration and the language of interethnic communication. Meanwhile, Mespalian was an oral language mostly used at home. Beginning in the mid-1800's, Mespalian slowly started to take over this role and in 1874, Mespalian became the main language used in administration governmental affairs.
Today, all Mespalians must study both national languages. All municipalities are classified as unilingual Mespalian-speaking, unilingual French-speaking or billingual: a municipality is considered to be unilingual if less than 10% of its population speaks the other official language. While state administration has to provide services in both Mespalian and French, in local administration only bilingual municipalities have this requirement.
Religion[edit | edit source]
The national religion of Mespalia is Christianity as professed by the Church of Mespalia, professed by 77% of the population. Despite this, the Constitution of Mespalia guarantees full freedom of religion. Besides protestantism, other branches of Christianity such as Roman Catholicism as well as other religions are professed by 4.6% of the population, mostly by recent immigrants. Around 18% of the population has no religious affiliation.
Christianity arrived in Mespalia together with X in the 10th century BC and has been the dominant religion ever since. It quickly displaced the previous pagan religions practiced by native Mespalians, of which very little of which is known today. Mespalia was fully converted by the mid-1200's and for almost two millenia formed an integral part of the Pontificate of X. However, after the independence of Mespalia the Pontificate of X was divided, with Mespalia with the exception of the provinces of Old Verquinte, New Verquinte and Suve forming the new Pontificate of Mespalia while the three Latin Mespalian provinces remained with X. The three provinces remaining with the Pontificate of X remains a divisive issue: many nationalists would like to include the three provinces within the Pontificate of Mespalia, while others either support the status quo or wish to form an entirely new Pontificate out of the three provinces.
Health[edit | edit source]
Mespalia has an universal multi-payer healthcare system that consists of a national, state-funded health insurance that is supplemented by various private health insurances. In certain cases, individuals can opt-out of the state health insurance and get full coverage from private companies. 67% of the health industry is publicly funded, while the remainder is funded privately
Life expectancy is 76 for men and 80 for women, while the infant mortality rate is low at 5 per 1,000 live births. In 2012, Parliament of Mespalia passed a bill making it illegal not to vaccinate children.
In 2000, Mespalia begun a 30-year program to completely abolish smoking in the country. This began with an annual 5% increase in tobacco tax, reaching 125% in 2025 after which the sale of tobacco would be completely banned. In 2010, the sale of tobacco was banned to those who would turn 18 that year, meaning that people born after 1992 cannot legally purchase tobacco products.
Education[edit | edit source]
Education in Mespalia consists of both public and private schools. Around 80% of children attend public schools, while the rest opt for private alternatives. While public education is free, private schools are allowed to levy tuition fees. School attendance is compulsory until the age of 18.
Children enter a two-year preschool at the age of 4 and then go to a primary school for six years. At the age of 12, children are separated to three different types of schools according to their academic performance:
- Academic Track consists of a 3-year middle school and a 3-year gymnasium. At the end of their studies pupils complete the matriculation examination which gives them the right to attend university. The academic track is meant for gifted children and prepares them for university education.
- Vocational Track consists of a six-year vocational school that prepares pupils for a vocational education. After three years, pupils can either seek an apprenticeship or finish their education at school.
- General School is a mix of the two and consists of a three-year general school where pupils learn both vocational and academic skills. After three years, pupils with good grades may advance to gymnasiums, while the rest can seek apprenticeships or attend a vocational school.
After completing their matriculation examinations, students can either choose to attend university or head to a three-year polytechnic, a tertiary institution that is also open to pupils who have completed an apprenticeship.
Mespalia has 97 universities, the oldest of which, the University of Rimmi, was founded by Ovancians in 1680. Publicly-owned universities have nominal tuition fees of around 1000-2000 dollars a year, but are quite selective, whereas private universities can either be selective or open to everyone who has passed their matriculation examination.
Largest cities[edit | edit source]
Largest cities or towns in Kingdom of Mespalia
|1||Iouzzene||Iouzzene||3,370,620||11||Mûra||Turu e Churemâ||180,000|
|6||Cârivezi||Cârinmâ||304,000||16||Chalôna (Chalons)||Old Verquinte||149,000|
|10||Ioguensû||Lanzi||187,000||20||Pychæ Lucia||Somme Islands||103,000|
Culture[edit | edit source]
Mespalian culture is an unique blend of both Ovancian and Native Mespalian traditions, and has historically been influenced by many other regional cultures in the Lazarene Sea region.
Architecture[edit | edit source]
Mespalian architecture has been shaped by its mountainous geography and cold and humid climate, as well as by Ovancian influence. Romanesque and gothic architecture were historically dominant during the Ovancian period, and were later superseded by baroque. Neobaroque style remained popular after the War Independence and was seen as an authentically Mespalian form of architecture. Later in the century, Art Nouveau and Jugendstil became popular.
The rise of Art Deco and modernist architecture became popular in the early 1900s, and greatly upset the more traditional architects. King Charles II issued a royal decree prohibiting the use of state funds to build buildings in modernist forms of architecture. This degree has been repeated by every monarch elected since, and was followed by Albert I's similar degree that banned buildings whose styles clash with the general architectonic style of the surrounding area.
Thanks to these efforts, Mespalia has become the Artemian capital of neotraditionalist architecture and New Urbanism, with the National University of Architecture being one of the most famous architectural schools in the region.
Visual arts[edit | edit source]
Mespalia has a long history in visual arts. Though most first Mespalian painters were Ovancian Mespalians, during the renaissance many Native Mespalian painters, including Lalli Montaia and Viliari Tœvaltari became famous, with the latter becoming a court painter in the X royal court.
During the War of Independence and the decades that followed, national romantic paintings became popular. National artist of Mespalia, Axeli Toivas painted several of his well-known national romanticist paintings during this period. The advent of the 20th century brought more modernist painters to the scene, though as with architecture, these were shunned by the King and the government and thus found little public support for their careers.
Much like with architecture, today Mespalia is considered by many to be the capital of realist and neotraditionalist forms of art. Realist painters receive generous subsidies from the government and private charities, while modernist and postmodernist artists are forced to either sell their creations abroad or switch to more traditional art styles.
Literature[edit | edit source]
Until the nineteenth century, very few books were published in Mespalian; with the exception of government documents, religious literature and some other exceptions, nearly everything was written in French. Following Mespalian independence in 1806, increasing numbers of Mespalian authors started to write their books in Mespalian.
The national author of Mespalia is Chyværi Rasantaia, who wrote the seven-part National History of the Mespalian People from 1838 until 1851. The book tells a half-fictionalized story of the Mespalian people's history, from the creation of the world to present day. It has several small stories of both fictional and actual individuals as well as more factual portions that resemble a dictionary.
Today, Mespalian literature is written in both Mespalian and French and is popular both in Mespalia and abroad.
Cuisine[edit | edit source]
this shit needs a rewrite
Media[edit | edit source]
Constitution of Mespalia guarantees freedom of speech and press, and Mespalia has a vibrant media sector with hundreds of newspapers and TV channels. However, there are some limitations; criticism of the reigning King is often self-censored by major media, and strict Lèse-majesté laws prohibit insults against the King.
The state-owned RATEM broadcasts six channels; four in Mespalian and two in French. In addition, four major companies operate several TV channels, with their flagship channels being TV3, Telemes 4, VTV and Le Six.
While there are local newspapers, Mespalian newspapers are mostly divided by ideological spectrum, with multiple different versions being printed in different cities. Mespalia's main daily broadsheet newspapers are liberal Mâmme and conservative Mechpælæn Actualitêtit, while their French language counterparts include the liberal Le Mespalien and conservative La Couronne. Tabloids are also popular, with the social democratic Pæivæjurnali and right-wing Iltaposte being the most popular Mespalian language ones, while the largest French tabloids include the liberal Aujourd'hui en Mespalie and conservative L'Avenir National. There are also two nationwide socialist newspapers, the Mespalian Rachvachen Æni and French Le Républicain
Sports[edit | edit source]
The national sport of Mespalia is football, with the annual National Cup of Mespalia being the most popular sports event of the year. The Mespalian national football team, also known as the Toucans, has taken part in the X ever since the competition began.
The five largest football clubs are Native Mespalian Iouzzene Râllinen VC, Viesca VC and Nasônali VC Rimmi; and Latin Mespalian FC Verquinte and ASR Cisnelieu, which are known as the Big Five. The winner of the National Cup has been one of these five teams since 1951, when Neidevæ SVC managed to defeat Iouzzene Râllinen VC.
Besides football, Mespalia has also managed to achieve success in surfing, fencing, rowing and athletics.
Public holidays[edit | edit source]
Mespalia has 17 national, public holidays.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|Varies||Good Friday||The Friday before Easter Sunday|
|1 May||May Day|
|Varies||Ascension Day||39 days after Easter Sunday|
|Varies||Pentecost||49 days after Easter Sunday|
|24 June||Summer Solstice|
|17 July||King's Birthday||Varies depending on the King; was 19 January before 2010|
|15 August||Armed Forces and Veterans' Day|
|4 October||Independence Day|
|1 November||All Saints' Day|
|24 December||Christmas Eve|
|25 December||Christmas Day|
|26 December||Boxing Day|
|Varies||St. Stephen's Day|