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Motto: Libertas omnia vincit
Liberty conquers all
Anthem: Aucurian name here
Political map of Aucuria
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Runanca|
|Government||Federal constitutional parliamentary republic|
|Independence from Cislania|
• Current constitution
|1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 estimate
|27.511/km2 (71.3/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2015)|| 47.6|
|HDI (2015)|| .775|
|Currency||svāras (₺) (AKS)|
|Date format||dd/mm/yyyy (CE)|
|ISO 3166 code||AK|
Aucuria (Ruttish: Aukurija), officially the Aucurian Republic (Ruttish: Aukurijos Respublika; Runanca: Awkuriya Republika; Kirua: Ripublika Aukuriya) is a sovereign state in Kylaris. Located on the Arucian coast of Asteria Inferior, Aucuria borders Nuvania to the west, Belmonte to the south, and Satucin to the east, and shares sea borders to its north with Imagua and Saint Cyriaca. Its capital and largest city is Kalnaspilis.
The earliest evidence of human habitation in Aucuria dates back to 12,500 BCE. The Pativilkas civilization, which existed from 3,200 BCE to 1,500 BCE, was the first civilization in Asteria Inferior and one of the cradles of civilization in Kylaris. In the following 2,700 years, a litany of subsequent cultures developed, such as the Kiljakoljas, Piura, Tirakvas, and Kulkinčas cultures. The Runanca and Kirua appeared in the 1200s; a series of wars between the two resulted in the establishment of the League of Five Cities, or Cutinsua, by the Runanca in 1344; this polity ultimately came to control much of northern Aucuria. Ruttish explorers first arrived in 1538, and established control over the region in 1543. As the economy of colonial Aucuria shifted from the mining of precious metals towards cash crop agriculture, the area became increasingly populated by Euclean immigrants.
After the conquest of Ruttland in 1721, Aucuria was transferred to Cislanian control. Cislania attempted to impose upon the colony's mostly-Ruttophone population, which provoked widespread discontent; after several decades of rising tensions, Aucuria declared independence in 1785. The ensuing Aucurian Revolution ended in 1794 with the signing of a treaty confirming its existence as an independent republic. Initially a liberal presidential republic, the country slipped into dictatorship under President Fridrikas Dabrauskas until his assassination. A subsequent return to liberal republican governance lasted until the 1880s, when Aucuria's defeat in the War of the Arucian led to the Aucurian Civil War. The country was occupied by the Entente for much of the Great War, but an organized resistance force aligned with the Grand Alliance was able to liberate the country during the closing months of the war. After the war, a democratic government was briefly reestablished before being overthrown in a 1949 military coup. The ensuing military regime lasted until 1980, when it was overthrown in the Velvet Revolution and democratic governance was once again reestablished.
Aucuria encompasses a variety of biomes and terrain, including tropical rainforests along the Juoda River, large stretches of savanna known as pakraščiai, the highlands of the Vaskaranas Mountains, and the alpine tundra of the South Asterian Range. As much of the country's south is dominated by the western reaches of the Sythe Rainforest and the South Asterian Range, most of the country's population lives in the north. Aucuria is home to diverse wildlife, and for this reason is often listed as a megadiverse country.
Aucuria has a population of 44 million people as of 2020; this population is ethnically and racially diverse and includes populations of Euclean, creole, indigenous Asterian, Bahian, Rahelian, and Coian origin. Solarian Catholicism is the predominant religion in the country, though the country's history and ethnic makeup have resulted in a diverse array of syncretistic practices within the Solarian umbrella and the presence of a litany of minority faiths. The country's official and main spoken language is Ruttish, but a significant number of indigenous Aucurians continue to speak native languages such as Runanca and Kirua, which have some degree of official recognition.
A developing country, Aucuria nonetheless boasts a high score on the Human Development Index and a diversified economy. The country's economy has long been based heavily on the export of agricultural products (such as coffee, sugarcane, cocoa, citrus, pineapples, bananas, soybeans, corn, potatoes, and tobacco), meat and fish, minerals (including copper, gold, silver, tin, zinc, and iron), and forestry; however, the country also has substantial light and heavy industrial sectors, which account for roughly a third of the country's GDP, and has seen substantial and rapid growth in the service and tourism sectors in recent decades.
Since the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria has been a federal parliamentary republic, and is widely regarded as having successfully constructed a thriving multiparty democracy after decades of political turbulence and dictatorship; however, the country continues to suffer from issues of economic and ethnic inequality. The President of Aucuria, currently Žygimantas Barauskas, acts as the country's head of state while the Chancellor, currently Petras Uspelevičius, acts as the country's head of government. Aucuria has a unicameral parliament, the Saeimas, and an independent judiciary headed by the Supreme and Constitutional courts. The country is a member of the Community of Nations, the Organization of Asterian Nations, and the Asteria Inferior Common Market.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The etymology of "Aucuria" is disputed. Folk etymology relates the name to a supposed incident involving užkariautojas Jurgis Leikauskas during the Ruttish conquest of the region; following the conquest of a Cutinsuan town, Leikauskas supposedly rededicated the town's temple as "the altar of Jesus Soter", and proclaimed the surrounding land to be "the land of the altar of Jesus Soter" (Ruttish: Jėzaus Soterio aukuro žemė) to Ruttish explorers; this was subsequently reduced to "the land of the altar" (aukuro žemė) and, eventually, simply "Aucuria" (Aukurija). Historians agree that the story about Leikauskas is likely apocryphal, but "aukuro žemė" is attested to in maps from the late 1500s and early 1600s, lending credence to the hypothesis. If this hypothesis is true, Aucuria's name would ultimately derive from the proto-Eucleo-Satrian "h₂ewg-", literally "to grow" or "to increase", but more metaphorically "to honor" or "to exalt", via the old Ruttish auka (modern Ruttish augti).
Some scholars reject the aukuras hypothesis as too improbable, noting that aukuras is used far less in Ruttish than the more-common altorius, and argue that it is more likely that the country's name derived from a native term. Most scholars in this camp argue that "Aucuria" derived from the Runanca awqa, literally "hostile" or "enemy", possibly given to Ruttish užkariautojai by the indigenous population and then unknowingly adopted by the former group as an appellation for the country; some, however, propose a link to the Runanca and Kirua term awkisuyu, roughly translatable as "the principality" or "the territory". Critics point out, however, that these hypotheses struggle to explain how awqa or awki- became "Aucuria".
Proposals of an etymological link between Aucuria and the name of the Arucian Sea are heavily debated.
The term "Aucuria" was first applied officially to the region in 1621; before this point, Aucuria had been formally known as the Colony of New Ruttland from 1538 to 1543 and the Colony of New Ruttland and Cutinsua from 1543 to 1621.
Prehistory and Pre-Asterian Aucuria
Human presence in Aucuria can be dated as far back as 12,500 BCE, with human remains and stone tools in the Čiklajus valley providing some of the earliest discovered evidence of human habitation in Asteria Inferior. The domestication of the potato occurred in Aucuria some time between 8,000 BCE and 5,000 BCE; the cultivation of corn and cotton spread to the region between 5,000 and 4,000 BCE, and the domestication of quinoa occurred in roughly 2,000 BCE. Indigenous Asterians also domesticated the llama, alpaca, and guinea pig in Aucuria in roughly 6,000 BCE.
The Pativilkas civilization, the first civilization in Asteria Inferior and one of the cradles of civilization in Kylaris, emerged in central-western Aucuria in 3,200 BCE. Pativilkas sites are marked by the presence of central pyramids and monoliths, irrigation systems, and terraced farms; these features suggest a relatively high degree of centralization and social complexity; they are also marked by an unusual absence of visual arts, which archaeologists have struggled to explain. Pativilkas sites also contain knotted strings that some archaeologists argue are early examples of khipus. The production of ceramic pottery, gold, and copper in Aucuria can be dated to roughly 2,000 BCE, within the Pativilkas period, and their civilization continued to thrive for centuries before steadily declining from 1,800 to 1,500 BCE.
The Pativilkas civilization was succeeded by the Kiljakoljas culture, which thrived from 1,300 to 300 BCE. The Kiljakoljas people developed more sophisticated systems of irrigation and social stratification, as well as more refined masonry, textiles, and metalworking, and the first widespread, recognizable artistic style from an Aucurian civilization; archaeologists also believe that this period saw an increased prominence for religious rituals and figures, which would sharply influence subsequent cultures. Following its decline and collapse, the Kiljakoljas culture was succeeded in western Aucuria by the Piura culture and in east-central Aucuria by the Tirakvas culture, both of which existed roughly from 100 BCE to 800 CE. The Tirakvas are famous for their unique monochromatic pottery, patterned textiles, and ornate metalworking, while the Piura are known for their construction of geoglyphs, monumental structures, and subterranean aqueducts. In the 800s both the Tirakvas and Piura cultures were subsumed into the Kulkinčas culture, which thrived from the 800s to the 1200s and oversaw a further flourishing of textiles, metalwork, and monumental construction, as well as the development of vibrant multicolor pottery and murals.
The disappearance of the Kulkinčas culture in the 1200s corresponds with the appearance of groups clearly identifiable as the Runanca and Kirua peoples. The links between the Runanca, Kirua, and preceding cultures are disputed among archaeologists and historians; many scholars have argued that the Runanca and Kirua migrated to Aucuria from a different part of Asteria Inferior, linking their arrival to the collapse of the Kulkinčas culture, but others have stated that certain cultural continuities make it more probable that the Runanca and Kirua evolved organically from and eventually superseded the Kulkinčas culture. The Kirua Kingdom of Oruras is known to have existed historically by 1252, and, in the subsequent decades, came to control a large area of western Aucuria. This rapid expansion worried several Runanca city-states near Oruras's borders, who were becoming the next targets for Oruran expansion. In 1344, five of these city-states - Andavaila, Čačapojas, Suljanas, Lambajekė, and Akarajas - formed a defensive alliance formally called the League of Five Cities, and commonly known as Sunquntinsuyu (literally "the middle territories" in Runanca) or Cutinsua, to resist Oruran expansion; in a series of subsequent conflicts, Cutinsua repelled and ultimately conquered Oruras.
Though nominally an equal alliance between the five cities, Cutinsua was largely dominated by Andavaila, as it was the richest and most populous of the five. Following the conquest of Oruras, Cutinsua embarked on its own campaign of expansion. Cutinsuan leadership sent envoys to cities and towns encouraging them to become members of the League of Five Cities in exchange for luxury goods and local elites being allowed to retain their titles; subsequent members of the League held a lesser status than its original five members, but nonetheless could count on benefitting from Cutinsuan infrastructure and protection from Cutinsuan armies. Cities which refused to join willingly were conquered and plundered, with local leadership deposed or executed and replaced by appointed "stewards", typically chosen by Andavaila. Through this method Cutinsua came to control the majority of northern Aucuria by the 1500s.
Conquest and colonial period
While Hennish explorer Johannes van Twiller had travelled along the Aucurian coastline in the 1510s as part of his efforts to determine if Asteria Superior and Asteria Inferior were separate continents, the region saw little further contact with Eucleans until 1538, when a party of užkariautojai sent by the Ruttish Asterian Company and led by Jurgis Leikauskas landed at the mouth of the Pautė River, establishing a fortified settlement they named Apvaizda. Finding the soil to be fertile, Leikauskas dubbed the area "New Ruttland" and ordered word sent back to Ruttland that the land was suitable for settlement; the first settlers arrived two years later, in 1540, alongside military reinforcements.
In 1541, Leikauskas met with envoys sent by Cutinsua, who invited him to Andavaila; Leikauskas made the trip, accompanied by 350 užkariautojai. In addition to meeting the qhapaq of Andavaila, Leikauskas met envoys from Čačapojas, Suljanas, and Akarajas and learned that the leaders of these cities resented Andavailan dominance. He arranged a subsequent meeting with their leadership in Suljanas; here Leikauskas formed alliances with the three city-states and agreed to aid them in a rebellion against Andavaila. After defeating Andavailan forces at Laurikočas, the allied forces seized and brutally sacked Andavaila in October of that year. Some surviving Andavailan forces fled south to Oruras and attempted to continue the fight, but were defeated at Kulkapirvas shortly thereafter. In March of 1542, after their victory at Kulkapirvas, the forces of Leikauskas and his allies moved to return to Andavaila. On the way there, near the town of Kailjomas, a dispute emerged between Ruttish and native forces over the alleged disrespect of each others' religious symbols; the dispute escalated into a battle which saw the bulk of the native armies destroyed and the qhapaqs of Čačapojas and Suljanas murdered. Following this, the Ruttish conquered and plundered their former allies, seeking to ensure their control over the region; by 1543, the Ruttish conquest of Cutinsua was complete and the entirety of northern Aucuria was under Ruttish control.
The colony was officially renamed as the Colony of New Ruttland and Cutinsua in 1543. News that the colony was rich in gold and silver triggered a flood of fortune-seekers and explorers known as vėliavininkai, who increased the colony's Euclean population and expanded its colonial frontiers. To further encourage settlement, the Ruttish government provided manorial grants called dvarai; dvarai were ruled through the patikėtinis system, in which the settlers, known as pradininkai, were granted indigenous people to use as forced laborers and to educate in the Ruttish language and Sotirian religion. This system proved immensely lucrative and the colony quickly became a major producer of cash crops such as sugarcane, coffee, and chocolate; it also proved effective in Sotirianizing the area's population. The severe abuses associated with the patikėtinis system, and the introduction of epidemic diseases from Euclea, devastated indigenous populations; in spite of this, there were several native rebellions against Ruttish rule, the largest and last of these rebellions being the Great Cutinsuan Revolt of 1608-1612.
Prosperity attracted further immigration, and coastal or near-coastal settlements such as Apvaizda, Naujoji Šilokrautė, Biržuventis, Kalnaspilis, Velykopolė, and Katniava quickly grew in size. The colony was officially renamed the Colony of Aucuria in 1621. Seeking to further expand Aucuria's population and the wealth it brought to Ruttland, the colonial government tacitly permitted intermarriage between white settlers and indigenous women and began to import Bahians as slave labor. A caste system developed in the colony, with perjūrai (Eucleans born in Euclea) at the top, iškeltai (Eucleans born in the Asterias) below them, maišytiai (individuals of mixed race or ethnicity) below them, and indigenous Asterians and Bahians at the bottom. The colony was granted its own saeimas, albeit a largely symbolic one, in 1699 by governor Silvestras Žukauskas.
In 1721, following the conquest of Ruttland, Aucuria was placed under Cislanian control. Many Ruttish nobles fleeing the mainland's fall headed to Aucuria, bringing their wealth with them. During this period, Cislania undertook a variety of policies unpopular with the Aucurian population, dissolving the Aucurian saeimas, increasing taxes on several goods, encouraging Cislanian settlement and providing favorable treatment to Cislanian settlers, and trying to suppress the Ruttish language in favor of Weranian. The colony's traditional Ruttophone elite was further antagonized by Cislanian efforts to establish a new, Weranian-speaking elite in Aucuria, and feared marginalization and a loss of their position. In addition, the colony's increasingly large iškeltai and maišytiai populations felt less and less connection to Euclea and began to develop a uniquely Aucurian identity.
As the 1700s progressed, Cislanian efforts to impose unpopular policies on Aucuria were met with increasing hostility, and, following the 1783 Velykopolė Massacre, intermittent violence. In 1785, rumors that Cislania was preparing to implement another round of taxes on goods imported to Aucuria from Euclea and issue a total ban on Ruttish language publications provoked a series of riots commonly regarded as the start of the Aucurian War of Independence. A "Revolutionary Saeimas", based in the city of Kalnaspilis as Apvaizda remained in Cislanian hands, was established by leading figures in the colony shortly thereafter; the Revolutionary Saeimas, headed by Bendiktas Klimantis, ratified the Declaration of Perpetual Sovereignty and the Declaration of the Rights of the People and organized colonial militias into an army headed by Juozapas Kairys.
Cislanian forces were better-trained and better-supplied than their Aucurian counterparts, but Aucurian forces had better knowledge of local terrain and proved capable of using guerrilla tactics to inflict attrition on Cislanian armies. Cislanian forces won initial victories at Pakasmajos and Širvintos but were forced to fall back after the Aucurian victory at Daujėnai. A subsequent Cislanian offensive saw the Aucurians suffer a serious defeat at Suljanas, which allowed the Cislanians to threaten Kalnaspilis; they proved unable to capitalize on this opportunity, however, and ultimately fell back again after Aucurian victories at Tokepalas and Laižuva. Combat largely ceased following the 1792 Battle of Čavajtiris, but peace was not formally concluded until 1794, when a worsening domestic situation forced Cislania to formally recognize Aucurian independence.
Aucuria's first constitution was written in 1792, establishing the country as a federal presidential republic, with suffrage extended to property-holding males. The young republic was dominated by two political factions: the Federalists, who emphasized limited government, free trade, and agrarianism, and the Republicans, who favored centralization and modernization through protectionist policies. The Federalists rallied around figures such as Bendiktas Klimantis, Izoakas Poškus, and Antanas Endrijauskas, while the Republicans rallied around Klemensas Brazauskas and Juozapas Kairys. Intense partisan acrimony between the Federalists and Republicans hampered the establishment of democratic norms and allowed for the steady proliferation of corruption and patronage systems within national and state governments alike, weakening the early republic's political system. An 1828 auto-coup initiated by Fridrikas Dabrauskas, Kairys's military and political protégé, saw the country slide into a period of presidential dictatorship; Dabrauskas abolished property requirements for suffrage in 1828 and banned participation in the international slave trade in 1835, but corruption and a period of recession sapped his popularity and he was assassinated by members of the army sympathetic to his opponents in 1843.
Following Dabrauskas's death, his opponents reorganized the country as a parliamentary republic, hoping this political reorganization would prevent the centralization of power into one person's hands. This new government oversaw a flourishing of political freedom and economic development, and abolished slavery in 1873, but also permitted the development of large-scale patronage systems at all levels of government. Tariff policy, the power of the Solarian Catholic Church, land grants and land reform, endemic corruption, and widening inequality were major points of political controversy during the period. This period also saw increased Aucurian efforts to explore and control the hinterland regions of the country beyond the Vaskaranas Mountains, including the pakraščiai and the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest. The pakraščiai proved agriculturally valuable, particularly for ranching, and attracted many settlers and immigrants hoping to establish their own homesteads; while the start of a rubber boom in the 1870s attracted some settlers to the Sythe-Juoda region, the hostility of its environment to settlement meant that the rubber boom ended up relying far more heavily on forced indigenous labor.
The country's alliances with marirana replacement and Gapolania saw Aucuria enter the War of the Arucian alongside them in 1883; in spite of some initial victories, however, the war proved a disastrous miscalculation and was ultimately a humiliating defeat for Aucuria, which was forced to cede territories rich in saltpeter and rubber to Nuvania and Satucin, respectively. Blaming civilian leadership for the country's defeat, a large portion of the military led by Eimuntas Lukauskis initiated the Aucurian Civil War in 1885. The country's civilian leadership ceded power to General Žygimantas Ramanauskas, granting him dictatorial powers to defeat the revolt. Ramanauskas exploited increasing factionalism within Lukauskis's forces, and Lukauskis's murder in 1888, to end the civil war in 1891; he refused to fully cede political power until 1895, however.
Economic growth was restored after the civil war by high international demand for Aucurian cash crops and intentional efforts at infrastructural expansion, but weak political institutions, endemic corruption and clientelism, partisan polarization, and widespread economic and inequality precluded any return to political stability. The Great Collapse further worsened the situation, as any serious response to the crisis was delayed for nearly three years due to political conflict between the country's leading political parties, and the response ultimately adopted in 1916 proved too limited to have a substantial effect. The country changed course abruptly with the 1919 election of Leandras Naraškevičius, who pushed for large-scale reforms including debt relief, unemployment benefits, land reform, economic nationalization, and social reform; these efforts were highly controversial, however, and the country was on the verge of descending into violence by the mid-1920s.
At the outbreak of the Great War Aucuria aligned itself with the Grand Alliance, hoping to reclaim the territories it had lost in the War of the Arucian. Aucurian forces struggled, however, and the country quickly found itself being pushed back on both the Nuvanian and Satucine fronts. Civilian leadership once again ceded power to a general, this time Karolis Tarvydas, who capitulated to the Entente and was subsequently permitted by Entente forces to establish a collaborationist regime with the help of domestic functionalists. Opposed to Tarvydas's regime was the National Redoubt Government, a coalition between portions of the army that refused to surrender, left-wing and indigenous organizations, and other resistance forces, which led a campaign of guerrilla warfare throughout the Great War, exploiting the shelter offered by the Vaskaranas Mountains, Sythe Rainforest, and South Asterian Range. As the tide of the war turned in favor of the Allies, the National Redoubt - led by Colonel Feliksas Lupeikis - launched successful nationwide liberation campaign in 1934 and, following the formal end of the conflict, oversaw the transition back to civilian rule.
Aucuria's government was returned to a presidential system by the 1934 constitution. While a series of important reforms - including anti-corruption efforts, the implementation of a minimum wage, and the extension of suffrage to women - were made by Liberal Democratic leader Dominykas Dabrickas, endemic inequality, widespread corruption, and partisanship soon resurfaced. A coalition between the Social Democrats and DIAS saw Adrianas Volpis elected in 1945; Volpis's push for further large-scale social, economic, and political reforms to address these issues antagonized military leaders and the economic elite, and Volpis was deposed and murdered in a 1949 coup d'etat. This coup established an authoritarian military regime under Albertas Kalvaitis; Kalvaitis's repressive actions provoked a prolonged low-level insurgency against the government, which was exacerbated by the 1964 Sugar Crash. Kalvaitis was eventually succeeded by Martynas Sprogys, whose itensification of anti-insurgency efforts and neoliberal economic reforms seemingly restored stability; this stability proved ephemeral, however, evaporating as a result of the 1979 Coian economic crisis, and military rule was ultimately ended in 1980 by the Velvet Revolution.
Since the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria's government - once again based around a parliamentary system - has focused heavily on strengthening the country's democratic institutions and enshrining political pluralism in order to prevent a backsliding into dictatorship, a goal formally shared by all of the country's major political parties, and the country has seen further economic growth and diversification. Nonetheless, issues persist with corruption and with social and economic inequality into the present.
Aucuria's mainland is located on the northern coast of Asteria Inferior, spanning a stretch of land between the Arucian Sea and the South Asterian Range. It sits astride the equator, with roughly equal portions of the country located in the northern and southern hemispheres. Aucuria also encompasses the islands of Saint Casimir and Saint Catherine, located in the Arucian Sea. The country has a total area of 1,098,581 km2 (424,164 sq mi). The country, including its territories in the Arucian, lies roughly between latitudes 8°N and 7°S and longitudes 74° and 99°E. It shares land borders with Nuvania to the west, Belmonte to the south, and Satucin to the east, and sea borders with Imagua and Saint Cyriaca to the north.
The country has traditionally been divided into six geographic regions:
- Pakrantė, "the coast": The coastal region consists of a mixture of flatland and rolling hills, and is wide in the country's western and central regions before narrowing to the east. Once dominated by jungle, the region has been heavily deforested since the 1500s, with as little as 18% of the native vegetation cover remaining intact and habitat fragmentation similarly widespread. This region was the first to be colonized and remains far and away the most heavily-populated region of the country today. It is home of the country's most fertile land, valuable for producing both food and cash crops, and also plays host to most of the country's industrial and commercial activity.
- Aukštumos, "the highlands": The highland region, located immediately behind the coastal region in the western and central regions of Aucuria, is dominated by the Vaskaranas Mountains, which are mostly between 2,500 and 3,000 meters (8,200 to 9,800 feet) in height but reach up to ~4,100 meters (~13,400 feet) at their highest point. Several major rivers and tributaries - including the Daulė, Pautė, Čančamaja, Valjaka, and Apurimakas - have their sources in the Vaskaranas. This region was the center of many Aucurian indigenous cultures, including the Cutinsuans, and continues to have substantial Runanca and Kirua populations. The soil in the highlands is not as rich as it is along the coastal plain, but remains valuable for producing food crops; the highlands are also rich in precious metals and mineral resources.
- Pakraščiai, "the hinterlands": Commonly known domestically and internationally as the pakraščiai, the hinterland region is located on the inland side of the Vaskaranas Mountains and consists mostly of semiarid savanna, though the region is also home to the Džukija, a large and highly diverse region of flooded savanna. Though not as highly populated as the coastal regions, the region is regarded as particularly valuable for ranching due to its geographic and climactic conditions.
- Miškai, "the forests": This region, which borders the pakraščiai to the west and the pakrantė to the east, is dominated by the vast western stretches of the Sythe Rainforest that follow the Juoda River, the largest tributary of the Sythe. Largely flat, this region is sparsely populated beyond a handful of major population centers and is home to a vast number of species of plant and animal, though deforestation linked to the timber industry threatens this in some regions. Much of the forest region is formally protected as national or state parks, or as reservations for indigenous tribes such as the Šuaras, Ašaninka, Jaminava, and Varanis.
- Kalnai, "the mountains": Located in the country's far south, this region is both the largest and least-populated geographic region of Aucuria. It is dominated by the South Asterian Range, which serves as the origin for the Juoda, Isana, and Sorimanas rivers. The tallest peak in the Aucurian section of the South Asterian Range, Mount Valeška, reaches a height of 6,768 meters (22,205 feet) and is the highest point in Aucuria. As with the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest, much of this region is located within national parks.
- Salos, "the islands": Consisting of Saint Casimir Island and Saint Catherine Island in the Arucian Sea, this region is mostly flat and, like the coastal region, was heavily dominated by jungles that have since been removed due to the expansion of cash crop agriculture. The islands are notable for their fertile soil, beaches, and many wetland regions.
The main rivers of Aucuria are the Šventasis Steponas (and its tributary the Daulė), Pautė, Čančamaja, Valjaka, and Juoda (and its tributaries the Žavaris, Apurimakas, Isana, and Sorimanas), all of which ultimately drain into the Arucian Sea.
Because of Aucuria's latitude, geography, and topography, the country comprises a wide variety of climates and weather conditions which vary drastically across the country's ecoregions. Following the Köppen system of climate classification, Aucuria is primarily dominated by the tropical, semi-arid, and subtropical climactic groupings, though some regions of the country exhibit desert and mountain climates as a result of topographic factors. In general, the country's climate is wetter in the pakrantė, salos, and miškai regions, drier in the pakraščiai as a result of the rain shadow effect, and colder in the higher altitudes of the aukštumos and kalnai regions.
Because of its location astride the equator, most of Aucuria sees little seasonal variation in weather and climate, though certain regions of the country, particularly the pakraščiai, do see seasonal variations in rainfall. For the same reason, Aucuria experiences little change in the hours of daylight, and accordingly in the time of sunrises and sunsets, throughout the course of the year.
Environment and biodiversity
Due to its geographic and climactic diversity, Aucuria is home to an immense variety of both flora and fauna; as of 2018, roughly 54,000 species are registered in the country, more than 9,000 of which are endemic. Accordingly, Aucuria is typically listed as a megadiverse country.
Aucuria is home to several thousand species of plants; while much of this biodiversity is located within the Sythe-Juoda Rainforest, home to some of the greatest species diversity on the planet, many more species can be found in microbiomes produced by the topography of the Vaskaranas Mountains and the South Asterian Range. Trees native to Aucuria include mahogany, rubber, brazilwood, Satucin nut, Sythe grape, and cashew trees, as well as the country's national tree, the pink ipe. Iču, a type of feathergrass found above the tree line in the Vaskaranas Mountains, was historically used as fodder by indigenous Aucurians. The country is also home to many species of flowering and fruiting plants, including the passionfruit, titanka bromeliad, tamarillo, feijoa, guava, cantuta, patuju, and vanilla; in particular, the country is famous for having the most species of orchid in the world. The country is also home to as many as 1,200 species of fern and 800 species of fungi. Domesticated crops which originate and were domesticated in Aucuria include potatoes, quinoa, cassava, coca, common beans, oca, ullucu, and the chili pepper species Capsicum baccatum and Capsicum pubescens.
The country is also home to a massive number of animal species, including at least 1,600 bird species, 500 mammal species, 500 amphibian species, and 400 reptile species. Carnivorous and insectivorous mammals native to Aucuria include the jaguar, puma, ocelot, spectacled bear, maned wolf, culpeo, kinkajou, giant otter, giant anteater, armadillo, and coati; herbivorous mammals native to the country include the tapir, capybara, chinchilla, viscacha, vicuna, marsh deer, and pakrashchia deer. The country is also home to more than three dozen types of primate, including the capuchin monkey, tamarin, and marmoset. Birds native to Aucuria include the harpy eagle, condor, caracara, Asterian barn owl, Vaskaranan goose, Vaskaranan flamingo, tunki, potoo, frigatebird, Aucurian booby, and rufous hornero, as well as several species of macaw, hummingbird, vireo, and toucan. Reptile species native to Aucuria include the green anaconda, boa constrictor, fer-de-lance, iguana, Asterian crocodile, black caiman, red-footed tortoise, and gold tegu. With regards to amphibians, Aucuria is particularly famous as the home of more than two dozen species of poison dart frog, most of which are endemic to the country. The country is home to more than 1,200 species of freshwater fish, mostly concentrated in the Juoda River and its tributaries, and as many as 2,000 species of saltwater fish in its territorial waters. The country is also known for its many species of butterfly and beetle. Domesticated animals which were domesticated in Aucuria include the llama, alpaca, and guinea pig.
Environmental degradation is an issue in many parts of Aucuria, and poses a threat to the country's biodiversity. Deforestation has resulted in massive loss of habitat and habitat fragmentation in the coastal regions of the country, and increasingly poses a threat to the Sythe Rainforest as the region's timber industry expands; the expansion of cattle ranching and monoculture agriculture in the pakraščiai poses a similar threat to the natural ecosystem of that ecoregion. Other threats to biodiversity include increased water and air pollution as a result of economic development, infrastructural expansion into previously remote regions, runoff from mining operations, oil exploration efforts, overfishing in the country's waters, and several proposed hydroelectric dams.
In response, the Aucurian government has moved to bolster environmental protection regulations, increasing fines for violations, expanding the country's national parks, national preserves, and wildlife refuges, implementing stricter rules for operations in sustainable use areas, and pausing several controversial infrastructural projects for review. It has also implemented stricter emission regulations and subsidies for companies which can prove their adherence to principles of sustainable development, and some Aucurian states have banned fracking, though federal initiatives to ban fracking have thus far been unsuccessful. While these efforts have been praised, activist organizations and environmental monitoring groups have stated that their implementation and enforcement has been subpar.
Aucuria is a federal parliamentary democratic republic with a multi-party system. The current liberal democratic system was established by the Constitution of 1980, implemented after the Velvet Revolution overthrew a thirty-year-old military regime; the fundamental principles of the constitution include respect for civil liberties and human rights, rule of law, political pluralism, equality before the law, and separation of powers. Amendments to the constitution require the assent of both the president and the chancellor, a two-thirds majority of the national legislature, and the assent of at least half of the country's states.
The President of Aucuria serves as the country's head of state. While the presidency has some tangible powers and responsibilities - the president accredits foreign diplomats, must sign treaties in order for them to be ratified, must sign laws in order for them to be passed and has the right to veto laws which they consider unconstitutional, and has the ability to grant pardons - it is mostly symbolic in nature, with the president typically approving any treaties or legislation that are approved by the Saeimas and granting pardons at the recommendation of the chancellor or legislature. By and large, the president is expected to serve first and foremost as a unifying figure and a symbol of the legitimacy and unity of the state. In practice, it is also common for the president to use their position to influence public debate by highlighting causes and policies they consider important, beneficial, or necessary, though the nature and extent of this advocacy varies from president to president. The president is elected for a six-year term, and is limited to two terms in office, though no president has been successfully elected to a second term under the 1980 constitution. The thirtieth and current president is Žygimantas Barauskas of the Social Democratic Party.
The Chancellor of Aucuria is the country's head of government. While the president holds the authority to formally nominate the chancellor, law dictates that the nominee must be a member of, and should be the leader of the largest party or coalition of parties within, the country's legislature. The nominee then becomes chancellor with the support of a majority of the legislature. The chancellor then nominates a cabinet, typically drawing a majority of its membership from the Saeimas, which must also be approved by majority vote. As the head of government and chief executive, it is the chancellor who oversees the day-to-day business of running the country and attending to governmental affairs. The chancellor is also the commander in chief of the Aucurian Armed Forces. The chancellor serves for a three-year term corresponding to the terms of the Saeimas, though they can be removed earlier by a vote of no confidence, with a legal term limit of four terms and an informal term limit of three terms. The twenty-fifth and incumbent chancellor is Petras Uspelevičius, who heads a coalition between the Social Democratic Party, of which he is a member, and [tbd when i work out the saeimas's membership and governing coalition].
Aucuria has a unicameral legislature, the Saeimas, which holds all legislative authority at the national level. The Saeimas consists of [tbd] members directly elected for a three-year term using a mixed-member proportional representation system, in which some members are elected for smaller single-member constituencies and the remainder are elected for party-list seats corresponding to Aucuria's states. The day-to-day proceedings of the Saeimas are managed by the Speaker of the Saeimas, currently Sulislova Petraitytė, chosen from among its membership by a majority vote. [tbd] parties are currently represented in the Saeimas: [this will be fleshed out when i properly do the saeimas and rework aucuria's currently barebones party system]
The Aucurian federal judiciary is constitutionally established as independent from the other branches of government, and generally follows the precepts of the civil law system. Aucuria is comparatively unique among civil law countries in that it routinely and primarily utilizes trials by jury rather than bench trials. Civil and criminal laws are codified at the national level by the Civil Code and Penal Code of Aucuria, respectively. Aucuria has two apex courts; the Supreme Court of Aucuria acts as the highest court of appeal for the overwhelming majority of criminal and civil cases, while the Constitutional Court of Aucuria holds extensive powers of judicial review and rules on matters pertaining to the interpretation of the constitution. The Supreme Court and Constitutional Court have eleven members each; members of the court are nominated by the chancellor and approved by a two-thirds majority of the Saeimas, and serve until they voluntarily retire, reach the age of 70 and are legally required to retire, or die.
Aucuria is divided into nineteen states (Ruttish: valstijos, sing. valstija). As Aucuria is a federal republic, these states have some degree of autonomy in administration; they have their own constitutions, can collect their own taxes, and have the ability to pass their own civil and criminal laws (though state laws are constitutionally established as subordinate to federal law). The governments of Aucuria's states are generally modelled on the structure of the national government - each Aucurian state has its own directly-elected saeimas, its own chancellor (chosen by the state saeimas in the same way that the federal chancellor is chosen by the national saeimas), and its own judiciary headed by a supreme court - but there are some distinctions; state governments have no position akin to the Aucurian presidency, and most have no institution equivalent to the Constitutional Court, with the state supreme court serving as the highest court of appeal in all situations.
Each state is further subdivided into counties (Ruttish: apskritys, sing. apskritis), which are further subdivided into municipalities (Ruttish: savivaldybės, sing. savivaldybė). Counties and municipalities have some limited powers of legislation and taxation, but primarily exist to provide certain necessary administrative or public services at the local level. Counties are typically headed by a county council, with municipalities run by a mayor and municipal council. The lack of power accorded to county and municipal governments has been criticized by some, who have argued that devolving more power to county and municipality governments could allow them to act as a source for grassroots initiatives responding to local problems, though there has been little talk of altering the current situation at the state and federal levels.
Largest cities or towns in Aucuria
Aucuria's 1980 constitution states that the government should be committed to the principles of "coexistence and cooperation between states, the fostering of good relations with other countries, the international promotion and protection of fundamental rights, and support for the generally-recognized principles of international law" in the conduct of its foreign affairs. While the country's Ministry of Foreign Affairs is accountable to the chancellor, who is thereby de facto in charge of the country's foreign policy, the Saeimas does exercise powers of oversight and must approve of any diplomatic appointments and of any accession to an international treaty, while the president formally accredits foreign diplomats and ratifies those treaties approved by the Saeimas.
Aucuria is a member of several regional organizations in the Asterias, including the Organization of Asterian Nations and the Asteria Inferior Common Market; it is also an observer of the Arucian Cooperation Organization. The country is also a member of the International Trade Organization, an active member of the International Council for Democracy, and a founding member of the Community of Nations; Aucurian professor and minister of foreign affairs Vytautas Šeduikys served as the tenth Secretary-General of the Community of Nations from 1994 to 2003.
The country is typically considered to be historically friendly towards Belmonte, Gapolania, and marirana replacement, though the actual status of relations has varied in the past as a result of regime changes in these countries and in Aucuria itself. Similarly, Aucuria has historically been considered a rival of Nuvania and Satucin, though relations between these countries are by and large pleasant in the modern day. It is also commonly described as a friend, partner, or ally of Halland, and has built strong, though mostly informal or cultural, ties with Ruttland. Many analysts consider Aucuria to be generally if informally aligned towards the North Vehemens Organization and Euclean Community on the international scene.
Since 1980, the Aucurian government has been known for its support for human rights groups and non-governmental organizations - human rights groups based in the country include the Feliksaitys Institute, Barauskas Foundation, and Sergėtojai International - and its policies on political asylum.
Military and law enforcement
The Aucurian Armed Forces consists of three branches - the Aucurian Army, Aucurian Navy, and Aucurian Air Force - and is formally tasked with preserving the country's sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Ministry of Defense handles the day-to-day operation of the army while the chancellor serves as the formal commander in chief of the armed forces. While the country's constitution contains provisions permitting the conscription of male citizens between 18 and 25, the military currently operates as an all-volunteer force. The country is a signatory of the Treaty of Shanbally.
The Aucurian military tradition dates back to the Aucurian Revolution, when various colonial militias were organized into a formal army capable of meeting and defeating the forces of Cislania in combat. Military figures and the army itself have historically played an outsized role in Aucurian politics; several military leaders, including Juozapas Kairys, Fridrikas Dabrauskas, Aleksandras Vilkauskas, Žygimantas Ramanauskas, Feliksas Lupeikis, Albertas Kalvaitis, and Martynas Sprogys have acted as the country's head of government, and the armed forces or a portion thereof played leading roles in the 1828 Aucurian self-coup, the Ides of July, the outbreak of the Aucurian Civil War, and the 1949 Aucurian coup d'etat. Following the overthrow of the Kalvaitis-Sprogys regime in the Velvet Revolution, Aucuria's civil government undertook a substantial program of restructuring the army in order to depoliticize it and prevent any future interference in civilian politics by the armed forces.
The country's gendarmerie, the National Guard, and National Police are under the authority of the Ministry of the Interior. Aucuria's primary intelligence agency is the National Intelligence Bureau, though the Aucurian military also operates its own intelligence service.
Generally considered a developing economy, Aucuria has a GDP PPP of $695.149 billion as of 2015 and an above average Human Development Index score of .775. The country has been historically dependent upon exports, mostly of agricultural or mineral goods; while these exports provided hard currency and substantial revenues in times of international prosperity, they left Aucuria dependent upon volatile global market trends, limited self-sustaining economic growth, and resulted in a highly unequal distribution of income. As a result, many Aucurian governments have sought to expand the country's industrial and commercial sectors, efforts which have been aided by a general trend towards increased urbanization. While the economic situation in Aucuria has generally trended positively in recent years, inequality in the country remains high, with an estimated Gini coefficient of 47.6 in 2015; the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs estimates that, as of 2018, roughly 21.6% of Aucuria's population lives on less than $5.50 a day. The country's unemployment rate was estimated at 3.8% in 2018; however, this figure fails to account for underemployment, which is also a severe issue in the country. Aucuria has a mixed market economy, having generally though not exclusively trended in this direction due to the perceived failure of neoliberal policies adopted by the Kalvaitis and Sprogys regimes between 1950 and 1980.
As of 2019, it is estimated that roughly 54.3% of Aucuria's gross domestic product comes from the country's service sector, which employs roughly 51.1% of the Aucurian workforce. Agriculture now only makes up 8.2% of the country's GDP, but still employs 23.8% of the labor force; manufacturing and industry compose 37.5% of the GDP and provide employment to 25.1% of the Aucurian workforce.
Aucuria's currency is the svāras.
Agriculture has traditionally been Aucuria's most important economic sector, with the country's geographic and climactic diversity permitting the rearing of a wide variety of plants and animals. The overall importance of agriculture to the Aucurian economy has shrunk consistently over the past several decades as the country has industrialized and diversified economically, with agriculture now only representing 8.2% of Aucuria's GDP, but it continues to provide more than a fifth of the country's jobs and constitutes 28.5% of the country's exports as of 2018.
Aucuria is a major producer of several lucrative cash crops, including sugarcane, coffee, cocoa, cotton, and tobacco, and of important staple crops such as potatoes, soybeans, corn, and cassava. The country is also a major producer of bananas and plantains, citrus fruits (including oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes), and pineapples. Other crops produced in Aucuria include beans, chili peppers, onions, asparagus, rice, grapes, mangoes, guavas, papayas, melons, acai, wheat, barley, quinoa, garlic, cashews, peanuts, Satucin nuts, and coconuts. Livestock and animal products also represent an important sector of Aucurian agricultural production, particularly in the country's inland savanna areas, which are greatly conducive to ranching. Poultry, beef, fish, shellfish, and pork are all produced in Aucuria, as are eggs, dairy products, wool, and leather.
A noteworthy portion of Aucurian agricultural products continue to be produced by family farms, particularly with regards to the raising of staple crops and livestock, but the proportion of Aucurian agricultural production controlled by foreign and domestic agribusiness has grown in recent decades. This has sparked concerns as to the livelihood of family and traditional farmers, as well as environmental concerns related to habitat destruction, monoculture, and the use of pesticides and synthetic fertilizers.
Mining and forestry
Mining is a major sector of the Aucurian economy, rivalled only by agriculture for most of the country's history; precious and non-precious stones represent roughly 14% of Aucuria's exports and minerals represent roughly 17.5%, with the mining sector as a whole constituting approximately 31.5% of the country's exports as of 2018. Aucuria is a leading producer of gold, silver, and copper, and an important producer of zinc, lead, and tin. Other minerals and precious metals produced in Aucuria include tungsten, iron, platinum, and molybdenum. There are proven reserves of both petroleum and natural gas, within Aucuria; combined they represent about 15% of the country's mineral exports. The country also exports slate, granite, plaster, ceramics, glass, feldspar, chalk, phosphates, potash, petroleum coke, and quicklime.
Forestry, in particular the felling of trees for timber, is also economically important for Aucuria; the country's geographic diversity allows for the growth and harvesting of a variety of trees, though many of the most valuable types - such as mahogany and brazilwood - are found exclusively within the Sythe Rainforest. The felling of trees to produce charcoal is also economically relevant in some rural regions, and Aucuria is also a noteworthy producer of pulp and paper. Efforts to expand the country's timber industry further are contentious, with opponents arguing that these efforts would result in serious damage to Aucuria's natural environment.
The expansion of Aucuria's domestic industry has been a goal of many Aucurian governments since the country obtained independence since Cislania, though this was often accompanied by efforts at protectionism and the industrialization of the country did not truly take off until the 20th century. Aucuria's industrial sector currently comprises 37.5% of the country's GDP and provides employment to 25.1% of its workforce. While the growth of industry in the country has been linked to economic development, concerns exist about the links between Aucuria's industrial sector and both water and air pollution in the country.
The industrial sector in Aucuria is highly diversified between several forms of light and heavy industry, including textiles, furniture, refined metals, chemicals, vehicle manufacturing, production of heavy machinery, and electronics manufacturing. Aucuria's natural mineral wealth means that metalworking - including the refining and working of copper, zinc, tin, lead, iron, and steel - represents a particularly important area of Aucurian industry; however, it by no means predominates. Similarly, Aucuria's status as a major producer of agricultural goods means that food processing composes a noteworthy proportion of Aucurian industrial production. By sector, textiles represented roughly 2% of the country's exports, metals roughly 7%, chemicals roughly 5.5%, vehicles roughly 6%, machinery roughly 4.5%, and electronics and consumer goods roughly 1.5%.
Commerce and finance
Commerce and finance have traditionally represented a relatively small portion of Aucuria's economy, though the substantial expansion of the country's service sector in the past four decades, enabled by general positive economic performance since the end of the 2005 economic crisis, has changed this. Financial services represented just over 20% of the country's GDP in 2016. The country's premier stock exchange is the Kalnaspilis Stock Exchange; certain Aucurian governments, notably the government of Chancellor Daumantas Lapinskas, have campaigned to increase the prominence of the Kalnaspilis Stock Exchange as compared to other Asterian stock exchanges, though these efforts have met with mixed results.
Media and telecommunications
[media is pretty free and diversified since 1980]
[state of telecom infrastructure in the country]
[vast amounts of green energy, mostly in the form of hydroelectricity taking advantage of the juoda and its tributaries; this has its benefits but also environmental issues]
[fossil fuels, in particular oil, are also relevant, but aucuria's domestic refining ability cannot meet demand so it has to import]
[aucuria also has some wind power and, in recent years, has focused on using its geographic position to expand its solar capabilities]
Tourism is one of the fastest-growing sectors in Aucuria, with approximately 11% of the national labor force employed in tourism as of 2015; tourist revenues composed roughly 9.5% of total exports when expressed as such as of 2018. This rapid growth has been fueled by the variety of options presented to tourists by Aucuria as a result of its geography and heritage, and by deliberate efforts to promote the sector's growth. [i will go into a tourist ad about specific tourist attractions in each type of tourism - leisure, adventure, cultural, ecotourism and voluntourism, gastrotourism, etc. at a later date.]
[tbd total rework]
[tbd total rework]