This article belongs to the lore of Esquarium.

Ambrose

Ambrosian Confederal Republic

Ambrosian Loosebound Commonwealth (Anglish)
Flag of Ambrose
Flag
Coat of Arms of Ambrose
Coat of Arms
Motto: For Wye or For Frith
"For War or For Peace"
     Ambrose's location in Northern Nordania.     Ambrosian claims over Glencamber, the Seather, and the Tower Islands
     Ambrose's location in Northern Nordania.
     Ambrosian claims over Glencamber, the Seather, and the Tower Islands
Capital
and largest city
Elsbridge
Official languagesAnglish
Recognised national languagesNorthumbric
Ethnic groups
(2015)
Harwicker (73.2%)
Northumbrian (24.3%)
Other (2.5%)
Demonym(s)Ambrosian
GovernmentFederated presidential republic
• President
General John Frederick Cleburne
Alistair Hammond Fish
LegislatureHouse of Burgesses
Establishment
• Unification
1142
1672
1848
• Current Constitution
1988
Population
• 2016 estimate
18,400,000
• 2015 census
18,323,902
GDP (nominal)estimate
• Per capita
21,845
HDI (2016)0.766
high
CurrencyPound Sterling (APS)
Time zoneUTC-5 (Nordanian Eastern Time)
Date formatdd-mm-yy
Driving sideright
Calling code+67

Ambrose, formally known as the Ambrosian Confederal Republic, is a sovereign state located on the Váli Peninsula of the Nordanian continent of Esquarium. It shares its borders with Endynru to the northwest and Vasturia to the southwest, as well as being bordered by the Hyperborean Ocean to the north and the Sea of Njord to the east. It's population of 18 million people is governed by a federated parliamentary republic from the capital of Elsbridge, which is also its largest city. It is split into 27 thanedreds which make up the autonomies of Harwick and the Northumberland, each with their own language and culture.

The area that is now Ambrose was primarily inhabited by proto-Northumbrians in the north and Braesian Celtic tribes in the south. The Lothicans, migrating north into the region in the late Iron Age, developed a fragile relationship with both the Celts and the Northumbrians. This would last until the 800s, when the Picto-Lothicans were either driven south or assimilated by migrating Anglo-Saxons. The crusades ushered in the Kingdom of Ambrosia, with the Northumbrians dominated by the Anglish-speaking Harwickers. Conflicts between the Angles and Celtic nobility lead to the Despenser War in the 13th century, which brought the Sjealandian House of Lyksborg to power. Ambrose would largely be under foreign rule for over 300 years, a period during which it would extensively develop a self-sufficient economy and a unique national identity. The regency period would last until the 1670s, when the Harwicker landed aristocracy, opposed to proposed wide reaching reforms and centralization, launched a war of succession, with the House of Duncansby successfully securing independence and its own supremacy over the nation.

The tumultuous era of the Nordanian Reformation and the ensuing Religious Wars prompted the further withdrawal from the world stage, allowing the noble classes to retain manorialistic feudalism until the Emancipation Proclamation of 1789. Despite this attempt to placate the increasingly discontent peasant classes, in 1848 the weakened Kingdom was overthrown and replaced by a fragile republican government. With the Great War of the North, Ambrose became the preeminent maritime and military power of Nordania. It would hold this position for over half a century until the disastrous Continental War, the aftermath of which saw the loss of nearly a third of its territory and the death of upwards of a quarter of its population, as well as a long period of political instability known as the Black Revolution. Ambrose would return to representative democracy, however the catastrophic defeat caused the country to grow much more insular. Struggles with postwar revanchism and a concurrent rise in separatist sentiment dominated the latter half of the 20th century. Both nationalist movements and pillarization between the country's different ethnic groups has been described as on the rise in recent years.

The frigid republic has been described as an isolationist country, with a history of controversial protectionist and autarkic policies. Nevertheless, it is a founding member of both the Nordanian League and the Nordanian Space Agency, and is an observer of the International Forum for Developing States. Ambrose is considered the archetypal "Nordanian petrostate" due to its oil production, although large sectors of the economy are also dominated by logging and agriculture. Ambrose fields one of the largest and most powerful militaries in Nordania, partially due to its previous status as a global power and partially due to military threats (including the low-level Northumbrian insurgency and its isolation and opposition by NOSDO). As a result of the military's pervasiveness in social and political spheres, many foreign commentators have labelled Ambrose a quasi-stratocratic state. Others have argued that it is more accurately categorized as an illiberal democracy, with criticism by organizations such as the Esquarian Community, the Organisation of Esquarian Nations, and others in the international community for its political repression of journalistic dissent and opposition parties.


Etymology

The name Ambrose is derived from the Old Anglish words hām (meaning home) and bræs (meaning bronze). The latter term (or variations thereof) was used by Germanics to describe the group of nomadic farmers known as the Braesians, renowned for their advanced metallurgy skills. For unknown reasons, the group settled in present day Ambrose and Vasturia in the early-to-mid Iron Age, which became known as the "hām" of the Braesians. When the Anglo-Saxons invaded Ambrose in the 800s, they adopted this name for themselves.

The first recorded use of Ambrose's name within the country itself is found on a series of Anglish runestones believed to have been erected by the armies of Zachary Machan after the Battle of Machan's Lake (c. 810), which had written ᚠᛖᛚᛚ ᚨᛗᛒᚱᛟᚨᛋ, or "Fell Ambroas" (referring to the large mountain overlooking Lake Machan).

History

Early history

Modern-day Ambrose was first inhabited by the proto-Nevanic peoples, who migrated over the Forslow mountains and arrived on the northern Nordanian coast, including the modern day Northumberland, by the late Pleistocene epoch. Around the beginning of the Holocene epoch, land ice began to recede, and it was at this point that the proto-Nevanics split into different groups, with the Nordonevanics migrating south into the continent and the Voragonevanics, who remained on the coastal regions. The Voragonevanics themselves subsisted largely on whales, hunting them in large open boats made from a driftwood or whalebone frame covered by stretched seal or walrus skins. In addition to stone tools, various parts of the whale (such as the bones and baleen) were used to craft dishes, knives, oil lamps, small sculptures, and even game pieces. Extensive rock carvings have been found that substantiate this way of life, also depicting small game such as elk, reindeer, birds, and even bears.

A Braesian-made bronze shield, circa 800 BC

Around 4000 BC, the first Velko-Nordanian settlers arrived in southern Ambrose. These settlers paused there migration at the Forslow mountains and instead took up a sedentary lifestyle. Evidence from the late Neolithic period indicates a thriving agricultural civilization, albeit one primarily tribal in nature. farmers who grew grain and kept cows and sheep. Very little surviving archaeological evidence exists pointing to significant cultural exchanges between the groups to the north and south of the mountain ranges, indicating that meaningful contact between the Nordanians and Voragonevanics was few and far between, and that the two civilizations lived, to an extent, in ignorance of each other.

The Velko-Nordanians were gradually supplanted by (or morphed into) the Celts, who arrived from the southeast in the middle of the Bronze Age. Celtic culture, itself deriving from the Thânes culture of northern Oelia, was widely and apparently peacefully adopted. This civilization, which became known as the Braesian civilization due to their advanced bronzework, continued to organize itself along tribal lines; despite this, the Common Braesian became the dominant spoken language during this time, as did the Braesian brand of Celtic polytheism. Around the 6th century BC, bog iron began to be utilized as a resource and quickly supplanted bronze in the Braesian inter-tribal economic system, with evidence of overseas trade first occurring around the year 250 BC. The seemingly mineral-rich areas of southern Ambrose attracted other migratory groups, such as the Picts, who entered into a fragile coexistence with the Braesians that eventually lent itself to intermarriage.

This state of affairs was abruptly disrupted by the arrival of the first Germanic tribes. Several individual tribes from the area northwest of modern-day Swastria – primarily the Angles but also the Saxons, Jutes, and Frisians – began mounting raids on the southern Njord coast of the country in the early 5th century, and were successful in this. The Germanics, known throughout the Njord as skilled seafarers and fearsome warriors, were at the same time facing encroaching Sacowa horse people from the south; the tales told by returning warriors of an unusually-fertile land to the north convinced many tribes to migrate north. Though there are remains of Saxon villages dated as early as the 500s, there were likely no large-scale settlements until Penda defeated the Tid Braesians at Maserfield in 642. The early 700s saw the unification of the majority of the Anglo-Saxon tribes by the chieftain Hréþhelma, who formed a large tribal confederacy that, in a series of naval invasions from 717 to 725, quickly overran modern-day Harwick. By the middle of the 8th century, the Braesians and Picts had been entirely subsumed into Hréþhelma's confederacy, which itself had splintered into several different fiefdoms by 800.

Middle Ages

  • Nordic tribes unified into Dukedom of Northumbria, 1010
  • Ambrosians can't let this happen, so they invade, replace king with one friendly, 1013
  • Kingdom of Ambrose formed, with Northumbria held in real union, 1116
  • Oops, look like we're in a real union with Kingdom of Albaine now, beginning Regency period, 1263
  • Sir Arnold de Normanby leads rebellion against foreign king, is beheaded but becomes martyr, 1404
  • Alexander the Great unifies Crethia, 1548, but Ambrosians agree centralization sucks
  • War of the Ambrosian Succession, 1550-1552, makes Ambrose independent
  • Hey cool, we have control over Northumbria too

Early Independence Era

Constitution and Modern Era

  • Democratic Reformation forces constitutional government on King Leopold IX (1849)
  • First parliament sucks, military steps in and acts as military government until step down, 1859
  • 1864, President John Arnold Norramby needs military support for govt, invades and annexes the Northumberland
  • Industrialization is big mixed bag, turns out debt also sucks
  • One way to get rid of debt is invading other countries in the Continental War
  • Ooops we lose, and lose Northumbria again
  • Don't worry, Frederic Townsend takes it back in 1940
  • Isolationism, militarism up till communism, counter-culture in 1960s
  • Semi-democratization?
  • Lol the Recession of 1980 puts an end to that
  • Glorious President Cleburne is elected

Geography

Ambrose is situated in the far north of the Nordanian continent, making up the westernmost region of the Valí Peninsula. The country is surrounded by water to the south, west, and north, by the Sea of Njord, the Voragic Ocean, and the Hyperborean Ocean's Celtic Passage, respectively. Ambrose has one of the longest coastlines of all the Nordanian countries, stretching X kilometers. As such, its only land borders are with its eastern neighbors Wosrac and Vasturia. The precise boundary between Ambrose and its neighbors has been long disputed, stemming from the Treaty of Asgård in 1923. Wosracan and Vasturian claims, which are for the most part internationally recognized, place the border on the River Oyre until the Wosracan border, at which point the border turns north up the Seather Divide until reaching the Northwest Passage; this makes up the de facto border. Ambrose, however, has repudiated the 1923 treaty and claims sovereignty over the historically Harwicker-inhabited Glencamber and Seather regions of Vasturia and Wosrac, respectively, despite effectively exercising control over none of this territory. In addition, it maintains claims on the Tower Islands, which gives the nation a de jure maritime border with Sjealand.

Almost all of the country lies to the north of the Hyperborean Circle. Despite this, nearly 40% of the population lives in the approximately 10% of land that is situated below the Circle; this area, which comprises much of the historical Kingdom of Harwick, is itself divided into the coastal regions and the interior farmlands. The interior is characterized by the river valleys that make up the drainage basins of the River Tid, the River Arles, and "the Great River", the River Els. As such, the vast majority of the country's arable land is located here, which produces nearly 90% of the country's food exports. The coastal regions, on the other hand, are the locations of many of the country's major population centers, such as Elsbridge, Tidsmouth, and Farranday. In particular, the western coast of Cape Scarfskerry is dominated by massive firths, many of which have been in existence since the end of the Ice Age.

The Forslow mountain range, as well as its tributaries, dominate south-central Ambrose. Despite the lack of significant tectonic activity in the modern day, the orogenic mountains are both some of the oldest and largest in Nordania, with The Ettin being the tallest mountain in continental Nordania, at 6190 m. The rest of the Ambrosian interior's wilderness is made up of vast boreal forests, most of which are protected from over-exploitation by the National Reserve park system. The North Slope, considered to make up much of the Northumberland (including the thanedreds of Tyemara, Ulfstead and Collmagorscoye, as well as the northern fringes of Northumbria) is also a distinct geographic region. Though there are some boreal forests in the south of Northumberland, it is made up of primarily tundra, with widespread permafrost making agriculture next-to-impossible in some areas. The majority of Ambrosian oil reserves can be found in the North Slope.

Climate

The most prevalent climate in Ambrose is a subpolar climate. The entirety of the North Slope, however, is usually covered by a polar tundra climate, while the Badcal Isles have been described as having a subpolar oceanic climate (though the latter classification is disputed among climatologists).

Ambrosian summers in the interior tend to be relatively warm and humid at times with low-to-moderate precipitation, usually in the high 20s °C or low 30s °C, with the highest temperature recorded being 36 °C. Meanwhile, in the winter months, the temperature has been known to fall below −35 °C, with the lowest being −43 °C, recorded in Cros-ny-Cuirn. Precipitation is sparse in the north, often less than 10 in (25 cm) a year.

Biodiversity

Caribou are a prominent species of land mammal.

Ambrose is home to an exceptionally diverse ecosytem for its northern subarctic latitude. Despite a period of overhunting in the 18th and 19th centuries, it has over 120 different species of land mammals. Ambrose is one of the few locations in the world with large populations of brown, black, and polar bears, whose numbers are controlled by managed sport hunting. Caribou and moose roam the northern tundra, both existing in both wild and domesticated forms. Smaller species include red and Borean fox, Badcal hare, and rodents such as lemming. Additionally, there are populations of pinnipeds such as ringed seals on the Hyperborean coast.

Marine life is one of the most significant groups of Ambrosian fauna, which has contributed to the historically-prosperous commercial fishing and whaling industries. The waters of the Sea of Njord are rife with cod, capelin, and Hyperborean salmon, with beluga and bowhead whales are still common offshore sights. The freshwater rivers and lakes of the country are also home to species of freshwater salmon, white sturgeon, trout, and northern pike, as well as the Northumbrish, which is endemic to the Tid and Umbre river basins of northeastern Harwick and southern Northumbria.

In terms of avian life, Nordanian wrens, plovers, and skuas predominate, as well as larger carniverous species such as eagles and snowy owls. Seabirds, particularly Borean puffins but also eider and black guillemot, are commonly visible around coastal regions.

Government and politics

Ambrose's governmental structure is rooted in the Fundamental Articles, the country's constitution. While the original Fundamental Articles promulgated after the Ambrosian Revolution in 1850 have since been superseded by five separate amended texts (1874, 1888, 1925, 1938, and most recently, 1986), the current Articles are still largely modeled off of the initial text.

Since 1986, Ambrose has been governed through a semi-presidential system with checks and balances and a limited separation of powers between the three branches of state. Executive power is exercised by the President and his Cabinet, made up of the Prime Minister and the departmental secretaries of the confederal bureaucracy. The President, who may be elected for two six-year terms, serves as the commander-in-chief of the Confederal Armed Forces, may veto legislative bills, issue executive orders, appoint the Prime Minister (dually accountable to the administration and the House of Burgesses), and nominate the secretaries (accountable to the administration only). The incumbent president is General John Frederick Cleburne, non-partisan, while the incumbent Prime Minister is Alistair Hammond Fish, of the Conservative Party.

The national legislature is the House of Burgesses, a unicameral body with 146 seats elected through a first-past-the-post system every three years. Each thanedred has a House delegation of thirteen burgesses, which are elected on an at-large basis. The House is imbued with the powers of taxation, the purse, treaty ratification, and declaring war, as well as confirming the cabinet and judicial nominations. The presiding officer of the House is the Speaker of the House, and is a non-partisan burgess (by convention) elected by the House to a six-year term; the current Speaker is Daniel Higginbotham.

When the President's political party or supporters control the legislature, the President is typically the dominant player in executive power, with the Prime Minister acting in deputy capacity. However, an unfriendly House may force the President to appoint a Prime Minister from the opposite faction (after midterms this is achieved through a motion of no-confidence in the incumbent Prime Minister). This cohabitation, which may force the President to adopt more favorable policies to the legislature, has occurred thrice: during both terms of Montgomery Meags and the second term of David Kettering.

The country's highest court is the High Judicature, first established by the Fundamental Articles of 1874. It consists of thirteen members, nominated by thanedred governments and confirmed by the House, and serving lifetime tenures. Central to the High Judicature is the concept of judicial review, allowing the court to strike down legislation and executive orders deemed inarticular.

Law

The Ambrosian legal system is one of the few in Nordania to use common law, which evolved from the Celtic and later Anglo-Saxon legal principles; its roots in common law mean that law may be both codified and uncodified, with courts utilizing legal precedent (stare decisis) and applying it to civil, criminal, and administrative cases.

Codified law (i.e. non-case law) is divided up into articular law, statutory law (defined as including regulatory law), and both inter- and intranational treaties. Most confederal statutory law is passed by the House of Burgesses, which, in the words of President and House Speaker Fordwin Lyle, "must follow the principles of necessity and proportionality." In other words, confederal statutory law is conventionally limited in scope (though it has progressively expanded since the late 19th century), though it does supersede any thanedred law as legal precedent established after the Nullification Rebellion of 1852.

Administrative Divisions

With the exception of the direct rule period between 1925 and 1938, Ambrose has always officially been known as a confederal republic. Sovereignty is shared between the confederal government and the governments of the second-level divisions, the thanedreds; the latter retain plenary power over local legislation and all responsibilities not expressly designated to the former by the Fundamental Articles.

The first-level divisions are the two constituent autonomies of Harwick and the Northumberland, reflecting the two ethnic groups that make up the country's unique cultural heritage. However, unlike the thanedreds, these autonomies are largely ceremonial and have administrative power solely over cultural issues. Jurisdictional conflicts between the confederal, autonomy, and thanedred governments are resolved in the High Judicature.

Many commentators, have called the country a de facto federated state, as, since 1986, thanedreds have required unanimous consent to secede from the Union.

Map Autonomy Thanedred Capital Population Burgesses
Template:Ambrose labelled map Brunswick-Flag.png Harwick Boxford-Flag.png Ballamirth Kirkleas number 6
Flag of Caithwick.png Caithwick Herefoss number 6
Caerbannock-Flag.png Caerbannock Kilstrand number 6
Flag of Connaught.png Connaught Bercough number 6
Flag of Elsbridge.png Elsbridge number 1
Flag of Fife.png Fife Croshbyrdon number 6
Brunswick-Flag.png Harwick Harford number 7
Hawin-Russaugh-Flag.png Hawin Russaugh Peel Godred number 6
Badcal-Flag.png Kindeighan Falcroft number 7
Flag of Milliknockett.png Milliknockett Islands Vicksburgh number 6
Rappahannock.png Rappahannock Arlesburgh number 7
Greek Independence 1821.svg Rheneas Pembroke number 6
Lynswick-Flag.png Tidsmouth Waverley number 7
FlagOfHertfordshire.PNG Trelawney Kirkleas number 7
 Northumberland Collamagorscoye-Flag.png Collmagorscoye Saelcopentre number 6
Template:Country data Northumbria Farranday number 7
Cros-ny-Cuirn-Flag.png Tyemara Noyteame number 6
Ulfstead-Flag.png Ulfstead Vicarstown number 6
 Ambrose Elsbridge 18,210,902 78

Military

Soldiers of the 44th Trelawney Regiment during the 2016 Elsbridge Union Day parade.

The Ambrosian Confederal Armed Forces are the largest per capita in Nordania, and the second-largest overall. Since 1938, the military budget is outside of the House of Burgesses' power of the purse, and is set by exclusively by the President and approved by the cabinet. The components of the Confederal Armed Forces include the Army, Navy, Aerial Corps, and the Home Guard, all of which are headed by the President of the Republic as commander-in-chief, represented by the Secretary of War. The Army and Aerial Corps are both immediately under the control of the Combined General Staff (the oldest general staff in Nordania, dating to 1858), while the Navy falls under the control of the Admiralty; the Home Guard is under the direct control of the executive branch and the Department of War.

The Confederal Armed Forces largely operate under a policy of conscription known as Confederal Service, with all males and females over the age of 18 required to present themselves for service; at the end of a three-month training period, approximately two-thirds of Ambrosians are demobilized as reservists, called up for periodic training, while the rest remain on active service. The enlisted service is largely made up of middle and lower class workers, while the upper class may pay a commutation fee to send a substitute in their place; upper class young adults, however, are expected to pursue an officership in one of the nation's military academies. Academies in Ambrose, considered some of the most prestigious in Nordania, include Port Logan Military Academy, Wight Naval Academy, and the Harwick War College.

Unlike most modern militaries, the Ambrosian Navy is the only unified component of the Confederal Armed Forces. Both the Ambrosian Army and Air Forces are unique in the fact that they are made up of units raised in and contributed by the thanedreds up to the regimental and the squadron level, respectively. While these units share an integrated command structure (with its apex at the General Staff), they are legally the defense forces of the individual thanedreds and may be recalled from national service at any point (though doing so in the modern day would trigger a constitutional crisis). These units are typically referred to by their number and thanedred, such as the No. 11 Rheneas Pursuit Squadron or the 34th Trelawney Regiment of Foot. The brigades of the Home Guard are exclusively raised by the thanedreds, and their only coordinated command is the Department of War.

Many commentators have noted the considerable influence that the military wields in Ambrosian politics and society. This is in large part due to the wide acceptance of Crovanism among Ambrosians, a political doctrine which holds that a strong military is essential to the survival of strong republican democracy. Consequently, active duty military officers are often found occupying positions in the confederal bureaucracy and civil service, both through appointment and election; most strikingly, since 1888 the Department of War has been permitted to unilaterally appoint four burgesses to the legislature. Critics allege that the Armed Forces' privileged position undermines nominal civilian control of the military, with some even deriding the Confederal Republic as a "quasi-stratocratic illiberal democracy". Despite this, the military remains the institution with the highest approval rating among Ambrosians.

Foreign Relations

Economy

Science and technology

Transport

Rail transport continues to maintain a significant presence in Ambrose

The Ambrosian expressway network, known as the Njord System, is small and relatively new compared to those of its neighbors. Covering X kilometers, the latest motorway was completed in 2014, linking Farranday with several other towns on the Hyperborean coast. A proportionally-large number of rural country and bush roads remain unpaved, though new motorways are still under construction. Ambrose drives on the left.

Rail transport is the most common form of transportation in Ambrose. The Confederal Republic's combined railway network makes up X kilometers of track, one of the largest in Esquarium and the largest on the Valí Peninsula. The railways played vital roles in the country's industrialization and northern expansion in the 19th century, with this contributing to thriving freight and passenger services today, compared to those of other Nordanian countries. It is also one of the few completely-privatized largely-deregulated national rail networks in Esquarium, with over twenty-five different rail companies in operation; they are traditionally broken down into "the Big Three": the Tidsmouth, Caithwick and Elsbridge Light Railway, the Bannister and Milliknockett Railway, and the Scarfskerry and Rock Island Seaboard Railway..

Ambrosian airports in 2014 served X million passengers, with the largest airports being Elsbridge's James Wickersham International Airport (X million passengers) and Farranday's Walter Northman International Airport (X million passengers). Commercial airlines have been steeply regulated in comparison to rail companies (stemming from railway interest lobbying in the 1940s), and are comparatively less popular, with most airports acting as international hubs rather than domestic ones. Despite this, hamlets in the Northumbrian Bush not served by the motorway or railway network can be reached by the region's extremely well-developed private air services, ranging from small airlines to charter flights.

Demographics

Ethnic Groups

According to the Ambrosian Census of 2015, the country's population numbers approximately 18,323,902. The majority of this population is made up of white Harwickers, whose lineage mainly descends from the Anglo-Saxon peoples from modern-day Sjealand that settled the country in the Dark Ages, but also is mixed with the pre-Despenser War ethnic groups of Celtic Picts and Gaels as well as descendants of Oelian traders. These make up approximately 73% of the population, at 13,376,448 in .

25% of the population is made up of various Voragonevanic peoples (the largest concentration of this group in Esquarium), who migrated from the Nevanic urheimat in the central Valí Peninsula to the northern coast of Ambrose around 400 BC. 97% of this group is made up of the Northumbrian people, who numbered 4,435,546 people in the 2015 census (24.25% of the total population),and the group as a whole is often referred to simply by the name of their dominant ethnicity.

About 2% of the population is neither Harwicker or Northumbrian; most of these are ethnic Vasturians or Wosracans living along their respective countries' border regions; however neither are recognized by the Census Section of the Department of the Interior and are labelled under "Other Nordanian".

Language

First Languages in Ambrose
Language
Percentage
Anglish
90%
Northumbric
9.2%
Andrian
0.6%
Other
0.2%

Ambrose has two official languages; Anglish and Andrian (known as Angloandrian in Ambrose). Andrian was historically the traditional language of the government and public institutions (along with Tynic) up to the early 1800s, but following the Republican War the language fell rapidly out of use, replaced with Modern Anglish; it is kept as a ceremonial official language "in the name of tradition," however it is only widely used in the southern hamlets of Hawin Russaugh, along the Endynrian border. Anglish is by far the most common language both in public and private settings.

The status of the Northumbric language is heavily controversial both domestically and internationally. Northumbric, the most-widely-spoken Voragonevanic language in Esquarium (with significant Germanic influences as well), was the historical lingua franca of the Voragonevanic Northumbrian people. It officially remains a regional language in Ambrose, despite calls for elevation to official status. Though it has also fallen out of extensive use as of late, many linguists, both Northumbrian nationalists and international observers, have pointed to past and present Harwicker Ambrosian governments' campaigns of pro-Anglish language politics, intended to minimize the use of Northumbrish in public settings. Northumbrian nationalists have even accused the government of "cultural and linguistic imperialism," though these allegations have consistently been rejected by Ambrosian authorities.

Religion

Religions in Walmignhaven
  Annwynist (89%)
  Fírrinist (3%)
  Other (1%)
  Irreligious (7%)

Ambrose has been consistently ranked throughout history as one of Esquarium's most religious countries. Though the trend towards irreligion has been growing in recent years, those professing agnosticism or atheism accounted for a mere 7% of the population. Of the remaining 93%, Annwynism is overwhelmingly dominant. The religion, rooted in Braesian polytheism with significant Anglo-Saxon and Northumbrian influences, held the position of state church until 1923. It accounts for an estimated 16,376,000; or 89% of the population. Those professing other religions (mainly Fírrinists on the Vasturian border) account for 4%; however, some have claimed that both those irreligious and those adhering to "foreign faiths" are systematically stigmatized by society.

Annwynists are split between two denominations; most Ambrosians, including the vast majority of Harwickers, identify as Orthodox Annwynists, whose loyalty is directly to the episcopal church and the Archbishop of Elsbridge. However, Annwynist Presbyterians, subordinate but autonomous from the church in Elsbridge, are also prominent, particularly in the Northumberland and the surrounding regions. Outside observers have contended that this divide has contributed to the sectarianism between Harwick and Northumberland.

Culture

Cuisine

Ambrosian cuisine has been known to encompass a wide variety of cooking styles and traditional recipes throughout the country's history. It has previously been characterised by it's robust reliance on natural resources. It is known for it's wide use of plants (particularly berries), dairy products, and seafood. The ingredients for various breads, pancakes and cereals are provided by predominantly-Northumbrian crops of rye, and to a lesser extent wheat, barley, and millet, from which alchoholic beverages, such as Aquavit, are distilled. Meat of animals such as yak and reindeer is also much more common than elsewhere in Esquarium, although legislation has been made to protect both of them from further overhunting.

Seafood is a major part of both Ambrosian cuisine and economy, with Harwicker fishermen being credited for first bringing the region to economic prominence in the 11th century AD. Along the eastern seaboard coast withe the Northern Sea, there are numerous large fishing towns, and herring processing is a sizeable industry there; by contrast, ice fishing is especially prominent in the northern regions. Ambrosian halibut is famous across Esquarium; other types of fish include cod, capelin, Hyperborean salmon and sharks, particularly sleeper sharks. In terms of mammals, both seal hunting and whaling are large industries, despite falling under international scrutiny in recent years.

Ambrosian meals consists of breakfast, Elevenses, lunch, and dinner/supper. As snacking between meals is somewhat culturally frowned upon, most meals are large in nature. What is known internationally as a full Ambrosian breakfast is an example of this aspect (although the name itself is somewhat of a misnomer as prior to the late-20th century only the elites were privy to such a meal). The main course usually includes at least a serving of meat, such as seafood, steak, or lamb or mutton (often smoked), vegetables/a salad, and bread, while side dishes can vary by region/location. Meals conclude with a dessert such as Ambrosian ice cream, cheesecake or flan, which is sometimes accompanied by tea.

Architecture

Stave churches are considered remnants of the Nordic presence in Ambrose

Ambrosian architecture is considered to be relatively traditional compared to its neighbors in Esquarium. Early Ambrosian architecture is notable for its prolific use of timber, given it was a readily-available resource at the time. This is seen in the prominence of stave churches, as the predominant form of church following Christianization. Several hundreds of these were constructed around the turn of the 13th century, many of which still survive to this day. The vast forests of the southern Northumberland led to a particular emphasis being placed on wood buildings such as log houses, log garrisons, and the emblematic painted wooden terraced houses in modern Northumbrian architecture.

Stonework architecture became the dominant form of construction in Anglish-speaking Harwick in the latter half of the Middle Ages. It was useful in defense against Viking raids as well as plentiful and practical. Though Romanesque styles was only adopted in limited forms, its Gothic successor became popular almost immediately after arriving from Luziyca around the turn of the 16th century, mainly in the forms of abbeys and cathedrals. However, the nobility began to see this as emblematic of the reach of the Lutheran Catholic Church; as anti-Catholicism reached a fever pitch during and after the Nordanian Religious Wars, many prominent architects began turning to alternative styles such as Palladian architecture.

The Marblehead House is a prominent example of Georgian architecture

Ambrosia began to further move away from wooden architecture following the Great Tansborough Fire of 1684, leading to the advent of brick architecture. These was reflected in the clean, sharp, Palladian-inspired buildings in the Phillipian, Stripped Classicist, and Georgian styles, the latter two of which remains popular today. The revolutionary Bessemer steel process, introduced to Ambrose in the 1890s, allowed massive skyscrapers to be constructed through the use of fireproofed steel-frame structures. This led to the Elsbridge school of architecture and later to Art Deco.

Music

George Clifford Winfield, one of Ambrose's foremost composers of the 19th century

Traditional Harwicker instruments include the goat horn, the lur, and the Northumbrian drum, which have been all been used since antiquity. The predominant form of music was religious; psalms and hymns, oftentimes adapted directly from chapters of the Annwynist Great Adight. These hymns were sometimes accompanied by traditional stringed instruments such as harps, fiddles and lutes, and many today form the basis for the country's modern day church music. Instrumental music, however, was seen as dance music (particularly in Northumbria, with its history of paganism0, and for this reason was controversial until as late as the early enlightenment; it was outright banned at several points in Ambrosian history, most famously during the Puritan Restoration (1678—1706) following the War of the Ambrosian Succession.

However, the country is most famous internationally for its classical music. The Ambrosian classical tradition, which grew rapidly after the end of the Restoration era, is said to have originated with, and influenced heavily by Sjealandic and Vasturian classical music during the late Baroque and the Classical periods. Frederick Henry Rasmussen, of Sjealandic birth, is credited with popularizing classical music in Ambrose. David Work Clay, arguably the most prominent composer of the Baroque period, wrote over 300 works during his lifetime, many of which would have a lasting effect on future classical music. Richard Kavanaugh Webster was a major composer of both the Classical and Romantic periods; as were Peter Halifax and Mahlon Wilheard.

In the mid 19th century a new form of music emerged and quickly became popular; the military march. Reflecting the wave of republican nationalism in the mid-to-late 19th century, George Clifford Winfield, also known as "The March King", composed dozens of marches from 1848 to his death in 1895, which have endured in the popular consciousness as the "Great Ambrosian Symphony" and are often used at military and governmental events. During this period, Ethelward Marion Beech composed "Bring the Jubilee", which was derived from a popular tune carried by the soldiers of the Great War of the North; despite its simplistic melody, it was recognized as the national anthem in 1940.

Literature

The earliest surviving Ambrosian written works consist of Annwynist manuscripts dated to the fifth century AD. However, the bardic poems of the Braesian people (and later of the Anglish) are generally accepted as the first emergence of non-religious literature; these poems are notable for being written predominantly in "courtly meter", a name reflecting their composition as odes to the bards' patrons. Gradually, these poems and stories were passed along from generation to generation and would grow into national myth, which would later be compiled together into the Matter of Ambrose. The unification of Ambrose in the early 12th century led to a rapid development of Old Anglish literature, which was reflected in works like the Book of Kings, a condensation of the Matter of Ambrose published in 1170 by Stuart of Tythe. This was followed by works such as the heroic lay The Song of Pendragon, the allegorical cycle Blackwulf, and the pinnacle of Ambrosian medieval literature, Cynn Archold's Book of Ipswich.

Following the events of the Despenser War, the language of the nobility became Tynic, and Anglish-language literature would fall into a decline over the next few centuries (the Annwynist monasteries continued writing in Old Anglish, which has since become the religion's liturgical language). During this period, relatively few works were produced in Ambrose, as most of the literate population was educated in Tynic, and most printing presses in the country were imported and operated by Tynics. However, during and after the War of the Ambrosian Succession, both sides began printing texts in Anglish to rally popular support; for the Duncansbists in particular, the resurgence of Anglish literature was pushed as an example of the distinct Ambrosian culture. The first prominent Anglish works from this period were the morality plays such as those by Eadmund Buchan, made to set aside Ambrose from the "morally-decadent" Tynics.

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Ambrosian literary figures. Clockwise from top left: Osbert Hyde;Baxter Godric; Cuthbert Eliot Brereton; Wilbur Perch

The 18th century, which was known as the Restoration period after the restoriation of the House Duncansby, saw the country move away from the metaphysical poetry of the past and more towards satire and the picaresque; this was reflected in both the prolific work of the essayists as well as drama such as the "hard comedies" of Osbert Hyde, who wrote dozens of works and is considered the preeminent Ambrosian playwright. The novel also saw its first incarnations during the late 18th century, in the form of the picaresque; this would continue to be the predominant form of Ambrosian prose for decades.

The Romantic movement had a significant effect on the course of Ambrosian literature. From its predecessor in the Counter-Enlightenment Boreal Tide movement, it caused a stir in Ambrosian sentiment, increasing popular feelings of national pride and patriotic heroism. This ranged from the literature of Baxter Godric, whose groundbreaking short story collection Sketches of the Nayord is accepted as the first accurate depiction of the "common man" rather than the nobility, to the poetry and essays of Cuthbert Eliot Brereton, the preeminent literary figure of the Ambrosian Idealists. This would dominate the country's literary scene as it entered it's golden age in the mid-to-late 19th century, with internationally-acclaimed works such as the satirical comedy A Tale of Today and the war novel Twelve Fishermen.

The national catastrophe that was the Continental War immediately saw a shift in the national literary attitude; the new generation of novelists were largely disillusioned and pessimistic, and this was reflected in the bitter nihilism of the Minimalists, such as in Wilbur Perch's The Ice Packers. The massive demographic shift caused by the war's aftermath saw women first enter the literary scene, such as Leifleide Hurst. The Minimalists dominated the Ambrosian literary scene for much of the 20th century, despite the gradual return of the Romanticists (in the form of neo-romanticism) since the late 1940s.

Philosophy

The earliest roots of Ambrosian philosophy were borne out of the country's Annwynist religious tradition. Particularly, the first philosophical texts were published during the buildup to the War of the Ambrosian Succession, largely as a reaction to alleged Atrunathorian proselytism by the Sjealandic-born court at the time. In time this largely spiritualist approach would grow and evolve into its own school of thought distinct from orthodox High Church theology, with many thinkers considering the validity of concepts such as providentialism and its relation to freewill.

Edwardson Theoldred, widely regarded the father of Ambrosian philosophy

By the early 18th century, however, Ambrosian philosophy gradually moved away from purely theological concerns; as the newly-independent country found itself openly trading with Nordania, Ambrosian intellectuals would react to the philosophical currents underway in the rest of the continent. Many Ambrosian thinkers rejected the largely rationalist consensus of Sjealandic philosophers. Instead, they largely took up the empiricism movement that had originated in Vasturia. in particular, the writings of the 18th century Ambrosian empiricists would set the foundation for skepticism, a major pillar of modern epistemology. These thinkers included Caedgard Caedmundstan, George James Thornewald, and Edwardson Theoldred; Theoldred's extensive writings blending religion and epistemology such as Dialogues on the Soul have led to his being considered the father of Ambrosian philosophy.

Despite living as an expatriate for much of his life, Theoldred was also instrumental in the development of political philosophy in Ambrose. His 1762 Treatise on an Open Society, inspired by writers of the Aucurian Enlightenment such as Oskaras Daukša, was the introduction of concepts like utility and the social contract. Often called the first classical liberal, Theoldred's pragmatic utilitarianism and his emphasis natural law influenced the Aucurian and Aininian Revolutions, and was a major source of inspiration for the Ambrosian Revolution in 1848.

The Romantic movement in Nordania, and the swelling of nationalism and republicanism in the 1848 revolution, led to the growth of Ambrosian Idealism: emphasizing Theoldredian skepticism of institutions and individualism. While the perceived anti-establishment nature of the movement led to persecution by the military governments of the early Republic, Ambrosian Idealism has grown to form one of the most important philosophical sects of the country. Existentialism, propounded by authors such as Wilward Farris, also gained popularity in the early 20th century, particularly after the national catastrophes of the Continental War and the Black Revolution. While these two currents of thought make up most of the modern Ambrosian philosophical scene, there are also large elements of modernism, psot-modernism, and neo-spiritualism.

Sports

Rounders is a particularly popular sport in Ambrose

In Ambrose, the market for organized sports is relatively high. Baseball, called rounders, has been regarded as the national sport since the mid-19th century. Rounders, thought to have originated with Unolian traders, saw it's first club incarnation with the Tansborough White Stockings in 1860, and the game has been dominant in sports culture since. The Rounders Cup exists both as the annual championship and as the qualifier for the Esquarian Club Baseball Cup. Association football closely trails behind it as the second-most popular spectator sport; the Ambrose national football team regularly competes in Esquarian Football Association and Northern Sea Football Association tournaments, having won the inaugural tournament of the Esquarian Football Classic, the predecessor to the modern Coupe d'Esquarium.

Ambrose's climate makes it conducive to winter sports, which is the focus of an increasingly-growing sports tourism industry. Snowboarding, skating, glacial ice climbing, and skiing are some of the most popular, as is ice hockey, which is revered alongside rounders as a traditional national pastime. The Ambrose men's national ice hockey team is one of the oldest national teams in existence, having won international titles several times throughout the 20th century. The Confederal Ice-hockey League fields 20 teams, the most fielded by any domestic professional league. Ice fishing has also evolved from being a manner of subsistence in Northumbria to both a recreational and competitive sport.

Bear hunting has been seen as both a sport and a solution to the expanding bear population.

Other sports are also prominent, such as the team sports of cricket and association rugby, as well as golf, tennis, and horse racing, the latter of which is considered by some to be an unofficial national pastime along with rounders and ice hockey. Darts is not professionally recognized, however it is widely practiced informally as a pub game. While gridiron rugby is less popular in Ambrose, both game attendance and general popularity has increased dramatically over the past century. Given Ambrosian cultural attitudes towards gun ownership, shooting sports are massively popular, as well as hunting (particularly fox and bear hunting), which evolved from historical subsistence practices into a recreational sport.

Professional teams in all major team sports operate as franchises within a league. All major sports leagues use the same type of schedule with a playoff tournament after the regular season ends. In addition to the major league-level organizations, numerous sports also have professional minor leagues, active in smaller cities across the country. In Ambrose, sports and physical fitness in general are also associated with education, with nearly all high schools and universities having some form of organized sports. College sports competitions play an important role sporting culture, and certain college sports — particularly college football and college baseball — are almost, if not equally as popular as professional sports.

Media

Cinema

Holidays

Date Name Public Holiday Notes
1 January New Year's Day Yes
movable Friday Good Friday Yes The Friday before Easter Sunday
movable Sunday Easter Sunday Yes
24 April National Day Yes Celebration of the Peace of Tilwal
movable Sunday May Day/Labor Day Yes
movable Sunday Pentecost No 49 days after Easter Sunday
movable Monday Thanksgiving Yes Gives thanks to the harvest
7 December St. Ambrose's Day Yes
17 December Union Day Yes Commemorates the soldiers who serve and have served in the Armed Force. The date is also the anniversary of the end of the Northumberland War
24 December Christmas Eve Yes
25 December Christmas Day Yes
26 December Boxing Day No
31 December New Year's Eve Yes