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United Republic of Belmonte
República Unida de Belmonte (Iustian)
Motto: Non ducor, duco (Solarian)
"I am not led, I lead"
Anthem: Hino Nacional Belmontês
"Belmontese National Anthem"
Belmonte (green) in Asteria (grey)
Political map of Belmonte
and largest city
|Ethnic groups |
-67.4% Solarian Catholicism
|Government||Federal parliamentary republic|
|Chamber of Deputies|
|Independence from Gaullica|
|07 August 1764|
|21 November 1771|
|15 August 1764|
|18 April 1792|
|06 July 1935|
|1,003,144 km2 (387,316 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2020 census
|26.2/km2 (67.9/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2020)|| 36.9|
|HDI (2020)|| 0.784|
|Currency||Cruzado (BEC, ₡)|
|Time zone||UTC+13 (Belmontese Central Time)|
Belmonte (Iustian: [bewmɔnte]), officially the United Republic of Belmonte (Iustian: República Unida de Belmonte), is a country located on the continent of Asteria Inferior, sharing borders with Nuvania to the west, Zaralaja to the east, Aucuria to the northwest and Satucin to the northeast. According to the last demographic census, it has 26,334,190 inhabitants, being one of the smallest countries, both geographically and populationally, of Asteria, as well as the only independent Iustian-speaking country of the world alongside Maracao.
The current Belmontese territory was inhabitated by several indigenous peoples since 10,000 BCE, being discovered by Iustia after an expedition led by explorer Duarte Bórgia in 1503, with colonization beginning years later with the establishment of the first captaincies. In 1683, Belmonte was given to Poveglia on the aftermath of the Iustian-Poveglian War and would be transferred again after the Congress of Cislania to the Gaullican Empire, whose harsh oppression towards the population led to the declaration of independence and a large-scale uprising in 1764 during the Asterian War of Secession. Independence was recognized years later through the Treaty of Vicalvi in 1771, and an oligarchic confederation was established. As republican and illuminist ideas arose, the confederation would be replaced by a presidential republic in 1792 after a short civil war.
Although free at first, the republic would evolve into a one-party liberal-led state, causing dissatisfaction among conservative groups who launched a successful military coup in 1828, putting a conservative authoritarian dictatorship in power. However, this dictatorship would be overthrown by the armed forces in 1836 followed by the creation of a oligarchic parliamentary republic, with an agreement between conservative and liberals leading to long-term stability. This agreement would be broken later, causing a political crisis which led to another military coup and the establishment of a provisional military junta. This junta would, after rigged elections, give power to politician João Berquó, who ruled as a dictator for almost 20 years. Belmonte was invaded and occupied during the Great War through Operation Palmier, with a large-scale offensive liberating the country in 1934. The war made the democratic opposition gain support from the military, which ousted Berquó and allowed the creation of the current democratic republic.
Today, Belmonte is a federal parliamentary republic, with the President acting as head of state whilst the Prime Minister acts as the head of government. The legislature is the bicameral National Congress, which is composed by the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. Its capital and primate city is Castelonovo. Belmonte is a developing country with an emergent economy, having a high Human Development Index of 0.784. Currently, Belmonte is a member-state of the Community of Nations, the Asterian Common Market, the International Council for Democracy, the International Trade Organization and the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 See also
The word Belmonte comes from Iustian and Vespasian origin and means “beautiful mountain.” According to historians, it is likely that the name was first used to designate the St Paul's Mount, which was the first piece of land saw by Duarte Bórgia and his ships in the expedition that discovered Belmonte in 1503, with the name being officialized after the beginning of the colonization process in 1517.
The first archaeological evidence about the presence of the homo sapiens in Belmontese soil dates back to 60,000 thousand years ago, but permanent human habitations only exist for at least 10,000 years. The indigenous population was based around tribes which had an extended knowledge over pottery cultures and had a complex political system based around the image of the tribe's leader, the cacique, and its religious and spiritual chief, the pajé, along with societal ranks akin to a nobility system. Before the arrival of Duarte Bórgia's expedition in 1503, it is estimated that the indigenous population living in Belmonte was comprised of two million people, which the majority of them being part of two ethnolinguistic groups: the Tupi-Guaranis and the Macro-Jês. These two ethnolinguistic groups are divided into the Tupis, Guaranis, Jês, Tupinambás and Tupiniquins, which, in turn, are subdivided into smaller groups based on local cultural and societal differences.
Regarding their expertise on the region they lived in, the natives knew extensively about their local fauna and flora and lived through the subsistence of hunting, fishing and gathering, with tribal boundaries being demarcated through war. Slavery was widely practised, although under a different meaning than the used by Euclean powers, and religious rituals involving cannibalism was common. Religion was characterized by being polytheist with each tribe having its variations, while leadership was hereditary and decided among the tribe's warriors.
Since the discovery of the Asterian continent by Assim Asteris in 1488, many Euclean major powers, including Iustia, launched several expeditions to colonize and explore the newly discovered lands. In 1503, after two failed attempts to colonize the Arucian, the Iustian Crown decided to launch another expedition to the southern tip of the continent, being lead by the admiral and explorer Duarte Bórgia. Bórgia's fleet, composed by 17 caravels, departed from Guardiã in January 1503 and, throughout the travel, lost 3 ships after a severe storm in the Vehemens Ocean, reaching the St Paul's Mount near Pinheiros six months later on June 29th.
The crew stayed in Belmonte and left a few days later, with other expeditions being launched in 1506 and 1509. At first, the crown didn't have any interest of populating the area but, after Hennehouwe and Auratia started to proclaim land nearby (which is today the countries of Nuvania and Zaralaja) as theirs, Iustia was forced to establish the first settlements in 1517, although true colonization only began two years later. In 1521, the colony was divided into captaincies and shared among the nobility, which was empowered to act as local governments. At first, the colonization process was slow and costly, leading to further disinterest by the crown who gave more powers to the captaincies and religious orders such as the Jesuits to act autonomously. Slavery was officially introduced in 1532 to the natives, with the first black slaves from Bahia coming years later.
By the end of the 16th century, most of the Iustian settlements were located entirely in the coast, with native attacks and slave revolts being a constant threat to the settlers. The own population, without the help of its metropolis, launched several expeditions, called bandeiras, to expand its territory and explore mineral resources and to capture Indians to use them as a slave force. Over the years, the colonial society was shaped and based around the bandeirante and its expeditions. Although intense conflicts between Eucleans and Indians existed, miscegenation was widespread, contributing to the creation of an early Belmontese identity and people. After several bandeiras, the captaincies' territory grew and extractivist activities towards the local fauna and flora led to the creation of inland cities such as Castelonovo and Riachuelo as well as a surge in new settlers.
In 1683, after the Iustian defeat at the Iustian-Poveglian War, the country was forced to give some of its colonial holdings, including Belmonte, to Poveglia. The Poveglians kept some of the power to the bandeirantes and to the well-established elite and even allowed the continuation of the Iustian language and culture in the colony, but it centralized power towards a new central government and launched efforts to make the region a trade outpost in Asteria Inferior, leading to the expansion of merchant cities and the establishment of a large commercial fleet, expanding the Vehemens slave trade.
The aftermath of the Ten Years' War and the Congress of Cislania made Gaullica, the major Asterian colonial power, annex Belmonte. Unlike the Iustians and Poveglians, the Gaullican colonial administration was widely unpopular among the population, fueling nationalist and illuminist movements in the country. The harsh oppression and high taxes were a reason for both the rural aristocracy and the lower classes to ignite a large-scale rebellion in 1764, thus starting the Asterian War of Secession.
Independence and confederation
Soon after the first uprisings in Belmonte and other Gaullican colonies through Asteria broke out, the rebels were organized into a single army composed by regional militias from the captaincies which were led by Sebastião Mascarenhas, Nuno Calixto and Clemente Bignoli, all of them being members of the rural aristocratic elite. The first years of the campaign were harsh for Belmontese revolutionaries due to the lack of ammunition and experience, but the tides of the war changed in 1766 with the Battle of Humaitá, where Belmontese soldiers defeated a major Gaullican army. The war would only end with the Treaty of Vicalvi signed 5 years later in 1771, with independence being guaranteed by Gaullica and other major world powers.
A confederation system of government was adopted and the Confederation of Belmonte was officially established, with Mascarenhas serving as its first Captain-Regent during the war and resigning soon after it ended. After his retirement, Bignoli succeeds him, expanding the Belmontese Navy and merchant activities, especially slave trade, throughout the Asterias and Bahia whilst giving power to merchants and rural oligarchs. He was succeeded by his aide Francisco Noronha, who was overthrown by federalist rebels in 1792.
The confederation was marked by being an autocratic oligarchic regime ruled by slave traders and the rural elite. This led to disaffection between former revolutionaries and members of the army and navy who fought for a democratic republic similar to Halland, causing the creation of the Liberal Party which supported a new constitution and a federal presidential system of government. In 1788, after a series of repression crackdowns against liberal leadership, a series of high-ranking generals mutinied against confederal rule, erupting into the Federalist Revolt. After 4 years of civil war, federalist troops entered in the capital Castelonovo, abolishing the confederation and establishing the First Belmontese Republic.
Following a provisional government responsible for enacting a new constitution and stabilize the country, the first elections were held in October of 1792, with revolutionary Jorge Aranha becoming the country's first president. During his tenure, Aranha consolidated liberal rule throughout Belmonte, created the bicameral National Congress, abolished slavery and expanded voting rights to literate males, causing him to be re-elected for a second term in 1796. During this time, the Belmontese society was realigned and passed through a series of reforms to solidify the new presidential system, incommodating the rural aristocratic classes. These elites would organize themselves as the Conservative Party years in later, in 1801, after losing again to liberal candidate Zacarias de Moraes a year ago.
Failed military coups supported by conservative sectors of society and armed forces made liberal leaders repress conservative activities, making Belmonte a de facto one-party state. Further oppression towards conservative groups made by the presidents Felisberto Morais and André Mendonça plagued the country with economic and political instability until in the 27th of September of 1828 a conservative-backed military coup successfully removed president Plínio Veríssimo and put the conservative politician Joaquim Durão in charge, officially ending the liberal democratic rule.
Intended to be a provisional government, Durão closed the National Congress, cancelled future elections and abolished the 1792 constitution, effectively becoming a dictator. His dictatorship was characterised by a state of perpetual unrest followed by violent responses of the army towards political opposition, with many former liberal politicians being forced to flee the country to avoid persecution. By 1836, however, his position became unsustainable as he lost the support of moderate conservatives, and a coup led by General Augusto Cintra overthrew his government and sent him to political exile, re-instituting the electoral democracy and establishing the Second Belmontese Republic.
To avoid the errors that led to the end of the first republic, conservative and liberal politicians met and created the Riachuelo Agreement, a political pact to ensure that the government would be led by one of the two parties, creating an oligarchic rotative system where both conservatives (nicknamed Caramurus) and liberals (nicknamed Luzias) would always stay in power, impending the creation and growth of other political groups. A new constitution was drafted the same year, establishing a parliamentary system of government and having Cintra as its first prime minister.
The stability of the Riachuelo Agreement made it possible for Belmonte to industrialize, with many landowners now investing in the construction of new factories and railroads, causing a massive immigration of Euclean peoples. Between 1867 and 1901, almost two million immigrants from Auratia, Etruria, Caldia and Werania went to work in Belmontese camps and factories, with another half million of Senrians, Miersans and Gaullicans coming in the following years.
The rapid transition of Belmonte to an industrialized society caused a growing dissatisfaction of the working classes towards the oligarchic regime, being met with police brutality in response. It was only in 1909, after a series of riots in the main cities, that prime minister Graciliano Gusmão broke out the Riachuelo Agreement, leading to a political crisis with the dissolution of the Liberal Party into various radical and socialist parties who are unable to form a stable government. Between 1909 and 1913, eight governments from different left-wing parties were formed, causing panic among conservative circles. In 1913, the Socialist Party won both the presidency and premiership for the first time and, with the Great Collapse destroying the Belmontese economy, a military junta took power and closed the National Congress, establishing a military dictatorship.
Claimed to be provisory, the emergency junta abolished all political parties and cracked down on socialists, communists and other left-wing radicals. Two years later, when the economic situation was stabilized, the power was given through a rigged election to nationalist politician João Berquó, who would rule as a dictator for the next 20 years. Berquó unified right-wing groups under his party and banned any opposition, establishing a cult of personality around himself. During his dictatorship, a series of revolts were launched either by the former conservative and liberal elite or by communists or functionalists, all of them without success. Regarding the economy, Berquó also decided to abandon former laissez-faire economic policies in favour of a developmental program to expand Belmonte's national industry and decrease the influence of foreign markets, which showed somewhat positive results in combating the economic crisis.
Although the Berquó regime had some similarities with functionalist powers, the Secretary of Foreign Affairs declared the Belmontese neutrality on the aftermath of the Second Sakata Incident, but it continued its trade with both sides of the war. This, together with Belmonte's constant refusals to join the war as an Entente member, geographic strategical value and allegations of sending arms to the National Redoubt Government led to Operation Palmier, the invasion of Belmonte by Satucin and Nuvania, in February 7th 1932.
The Belmontese Armed Forces, who hadn't see any combat since the end of the War of the Arucian, combined with the invasion day set at the height of the Carnaval festivities, were crucial factors for the fast movement of Entente troops through Belmontese soil. 3 weeks after the initial attacks, Castelonovo was declared an open city and the government set a national redoubt at the city of Paquatinga near the Aucurian border, with the entirety of the remaining army being relocated. In occupied Belmonte, an authoritarian collaborationist government led by functionalist politician Inácio Cohen was established by the occupying forces, but both Nuvanian and Satucin troops stayed for defence the new regime.
Soon after the occupation of Belmonte begun, a series of resistance movements, especially democratic and communist groups against Berquó's dictatorship, were created, leading to the establishment of the Supreme Belmontese Military Council (CMBS in Iustian) which would be responsible to orchestrate future resistance acts of both the government and resistance units.
The first three years of the front were characterised by low-intensity battles among the government and collaborationists followed by medium acts of terrorism and unrest against Nuvanian and Satucin forces. This would change in 1933, when a series of strategic attacks made by the Belmontese People's Front against Nuvanian targets became a crucial factor for the removal of their troops, causing a series of protests and unrests in major cities. During the moving of Nuvanian and Satucin troops, the government, in coordination with resistance cells, launched the Spring Offensive, leading to the total capitulation of Entente forces at the start of 1934.
With the end of the Great War, Berquó's position in power became unsustainable as he lost total support of the armed forces as they refused to maintain a dictator in power after spending years fighting the authoritarian regimes of the Entente. In fact, Berquó had already lost power as early as 1933, when the commander-in-chief of the CMBS Júlio Lobato, alongside liberal-minded generals, took total control of the coordination of the armed forces, but they decided to maintain Berquó in charge until new elections would be realized. However, after a coup from hardline sections of the military failed, Lobato and other conservative politicians decided to overthrow him in January 1935, with General Patrício Cunha leading a provisional government.
The end of the Berquó era allowed the return of many left-wing politicians who fled to avoid persecution, causing a realigment of national politics as two new parties instantly became the major political groups of Belmonte: the National Conservative Union (UCN), a centre-right party composed by former liberal-conservative and moderate nationalists who formed the main base of support of the previous dictatorship and the Social Democratic Party (PSD), an umbrella organization composed by moderate left-wing politicians. A new constitution was ratified, and the Third Belmontese Republic, also known as the New Republic, was established as a parliamentary republic akin to the Second Republic, with the first democratic elections since 1913 ending in a landslide for the UCN and its leader Lobato, who become the country's first democratically elected prime minister.
In 1946, the PSD won its first general election and former left-wing resistance leader Cédrico Alvim became prime minister in a tense transition of power after a failed military coup. Alvim's government was characterised by the expansion of welfare services, nationalization programs and the continuation of heavy developmental policies while maintaining a consensus with the armed forces, but resigned after failing to handle a recession.
After a series of short-lived governments, the UCN won a majority in Congress, leading the country for 16 years through four different prime ministers. The heavy military interference in decision-making, especially during the government of Lourenço Guimarães, led to this period being known in the media as the Sword's Republic. In 1963, a series of terrorist attacks performed by the far-left group Belmontese Free Army led to more crackdowns on the leftist opposition, resulting in the Mauás' War and the decrease of political and civil rights. It was only in 1969, with the murder of journalist Anderson Figlioli, that a series of protests caused the end of the UCN government with prime minister Guimarães' resignation.
The 70s were engulfed in a series of short-lived governments and a strong recession. In 1976, the Federal Police launched Operation Catrina, the biggest anti-corruption operation in Belmontese history, further destabilizing the government and causing more social unrests. The political situation was only stabilized in 1979 with the election of a coalition of left-wing parties who elected Félix Bragança as prime minister, establishing a series of social market policies followed by the expansion of the welfare state. It was only in 1994 that the UCN came back to power in a short government led by Pedro Lacerda, coming back to power years later in a landslide in the 2000, 2005 and 2010 elections. In 2015, Rita Maurino became the country's first female prime minister, being succeeded in 2020 by her foreign secretary Graça Fonseca after corruption allegations.
According to the constitution, Belmonte is a federal parliamentary republic, with the president being the head of state whilst the prime minister is the head of government. The executive is formed by the president, the prime minister and its cabinet, the Council of Ministers. The president is the highest-ranking officer in Belmonte and the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, being elected through the popular vote for a five-year term that could be re-electable once. Although it holds most ceremonial functions, it's the responsibility of the president to convoke new general elections, appoint and dismiss the prime minister and its cabinet, enact new laws, appoint ambassadors, represent Belmonte on the world stage, issue pardons and others. It's expected that the president must act non-partisan when dealing with government issues and has as its advisory boards the State Council and the National Defence Council.
The prime minister is responsible for lead the Federal Government and the cabinet and is appointed by the president after general elections, being the leader of the party with the majority of seats in Congress. The prime minister needs parliamentary support to govern and must resign or declare new elections once this confidence is lost.
The legislative power is vested over the National Congress, which is the national legislature of Belmonte. As a bicameral parliament, the congress is divided into the Chamber of Deputies and the Senate. The Chamber of Deputies is the lower house of Congress, being composed by 206 deputies elected for a renewable term of 5 years through a closed party-list proportional representation system. The Senate is the upper house, being composed by 35 senators elected through a single transferable vote system, with the role of representing the provinces plus the federal capital.
Belmonte has a multi-party system, with various political parties exerting significant influence over the national political scene. The three biggest parties are the centre-left Social Democratic Party (PSD), the centre-right National Conservative Union (UCN) and the left-wing Socialist Bloc (BS), with other major parties being the Sotirian Democrats, Citizens' Alliance, People's Centre Union, Social Workers' Party, Green Party and the National Movement.
As a federation, Belmonte is divided between six provinces and the Federal Capital, which corresponds to the capital city of Castelonovo. These provinces are within major subdivisions called regions, subdivisions that, despite don't having any political power, were created to assist in the interpretation of statistics and help the Federal Government in enforcing regional policies. All provinces have its constitutions and governments, with the executive being lead by the province’s governor, the legislative by the legislative assemblies and the judiciary by regional courts. The second and lowest level of administrative divisions is the municipalities, which are led by a mayor and has as its legislature the municipal chambers.
The first administrative divisions were adopted during colonial times by Iustia, which divided Belmonte intro three captaincies: Anchieta, Laranjeiras and Juazeiro. These captaincies would be donated to private landowners, all of them from the Euclean aristocracy, to develop the region. Soon after time, these captaincies would become in charge of more responsibilities such as defence and trade, resulting in their expansion as the colony grew. This system was briefly extinguished during the Gaullican rule of the region, but it was re-established with the declaration of independence and the creation of the Confederation of Belmonte. After the Federalist Revolt and the establishment of the First Republic, the captaincies were officially dissolved, with provinces being created but having their borders based on previous boundaries.
Judiciary and law enforcement
Belmonte has a codified legal system based on the civil law, an Iustian judicial heritage, and has as its fundamental law the Constitution, which has been amended 17 times since its promulgation in 1935. Provinces and municipalities also have their constitutions, but they couldn't contradict federal law. The highest national court is the Supreme Court, which acts as a court of last resort and as a constitutional court. The legislation also allows the creation of regional courts to federal subdivisions, being subject to provincial law.
The Civil Guard is the law enforcement agency of the country, being under the responsibility of municipal governments with provincial and federal assistance through the National Public Security System. With 100,000 officers, the Civil Guard is one of the biggest law enforcement agencies of the Asterias and acts as a preventive, detective and forensic police force. Other law enforcement agencies are the National Force, which is under federal responsibility and is used in cases of national unrest to restore public order, and the Federal Police, which is responsible for combating crimes against federal institutions, drug trafficking, terrorism, organized crime and others.
When compared to international levels, Belmonte has above-average levels of violence, with CON and ICD reports showing a homicide rate of 12 deaths per 100,000 inhabitants in 2019. Homicide levels have been decreasing since the turn of the century except for a violence outbreak in 2003, year which remains as the most violent one in history. Currently, the Belmontese prison system is under a major crisis due to its overcrowding, having a shortfall of almost 100,000 accommodations.
Belmontese foreign policy is based on the principles of non-interventionism and international cooperation with foreign countries and institutions, principles which have been used since the establishment of the New Republic. Since the end of the Great War, Belmonte has as its most important allies Halland, the North Vehemens Organization and the Euclean Community, and has been a major sponsor of bigger integration among Asterian countries. Due to its opposition against South-South cooperation and support for Northern Powers, many specialists see Belmonte as a middle power due to its efforts of impending a Satucin-based hegemony in Asteria Inferior.
Currently, Belmonte is a member-state of the Community of Nations, the Asterian Common Market, the International Council for Democracy, the International Trade Organization and the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs.
The Belmontese Armed Forces are divided into three branches: the Army, the Navy and the Air Force. Together, they have 175,000 personnel, both effective and reserve soldiers, one of the smallest of Asteria Inferior. The Armed Forces have as its commander-in-chief the President of the Republic but is subordinate to the Secretary of Defence and its secretary. Conscription was officially disbanded in 1982 and is in no longer use since then.
The Army is the biggest and most powerful of the three branches due to its influence in Belmontese history and politics, having a total of 75,000 personnel by 2019. Since the 1990s, the army has been undergoing a massive reform as more tanks and armoured vehicles are adopted into regular forces. The Belmontese Army also has, when compared to other Asterian countries, various command units, specially trained for separate times of biomes and activities. In 2013, the Secretary of Defence said that have plans to reduce the Army's contingent and announced a massive mechanization program to adjust itself for 21st century's demands. The National Force is officially described as part of the Army, but it's entirely over presidential authority.
The Navy is the second biggest and most respected branch of the armed forces. It is considered to be a green-water navy, being capable of performing military activities slightly beyond the national EEZ. Most of its component are made of corvettes and is one of the few navies in the Asterias who has an aircraft carrier - the MB Bórgia.
The Air Force is one of the biggest of Asteria Inferior and has about 200 manned aircraft in service, despite many of them being considered to be outdated.
Since the last time Belmonte fought was invaded was during the Great War in 1929, the Armed Forces shifted most of its operations to anti-terrorist activities and humanitarian missions worldwide, being present in various CON-mandated peacekeeping missions.