Kingdom of Caldia
Ríocht na Ghlítteann
Motto: "Do Rí agus Saoirse"
"For King and Liberty"
Anthem: "Glaoch na Ghlítteann"
and largest city
|Ethnic groups||no official statistics|
|Demonym(s)||Caldish · Caldian|
|Government||Unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Stiofán Mac Suibhne|
• A unified Ghaillish kingdom established
• Kingdom of Caldia established
• Joined the EC
|1 January 1955|
|222,029 km2 (85,726 sq mi)|
• 2019 estimate
• 2013 census
|41.69/km2 (108.0/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2013 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2013 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2012)|| 29.7|
|HDI (2012)|| 0.917|
|Currency||Euclo (EUC (€))|
|Time zone||Euclean Standard Time|
|ISO 3166 code||GLT|
Caldia (Ghaillish: Ghlítteann), officially the Kingdom of Caldia (Ghaillish: Ríocht na Ghlítteann), is a sovereign nation located in Northern Euclea. It is completely surrounded by water, made up by the Caldish Isles. Caldia has an estimated 9.8 million inhabitants. Consequently, it has a low population density of 41.7 inhabitants per square kilometer (108/sq mi), with the highest concentration on the country's southern coast. Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban areas. Southern Caldia is predominantly agricultural and urban, while the north is heavily forested and mountainous, particularly in the Highlands.
Tenic peoples have inhabited Caldia since prehistoric times, emerging into history as the Ghailles. Caldia emerged as a unified country for the first time in the 11th century. Since unification, it has been involved in several major civil wars and has participated in a number of Euclean and colonial conflicts. Due to its historical adversary with Solarian Catholic Church, Caldia was one of the first to break with Solaria during the Amendist Schism. It fought during the Amendist Wars on the Amendist side and had to quell domestic unrest during the Dejarlist Wars. Caldia was a colonial power, establishing oversees dominions in Asteria Superior during the seventeenth century.The last war Caldia was directly involved in was the third and final Gilded War. Democratic governance was first introduced in a limited capacity in 1814 and was universally expanded in 1857 through the Silent Revolution. Though it was formally neutral throughout the Great War, Caldia was occupied by the Grand Alliance. Despite the occupation, the nation still partook in humanitarian efforts, such as taking in refugees from Gaullican-occupied Euclea. Caldia joined the Community of Nations in 1936 and became a member of the Euclean Community in 1955. Throughout the Great Game, Caldia has maintained its official policy of neutrality despite membership in the EC. However, in recent years the country has moved closer to Gaullica and the EC.
Today, Caldia is a constitutional monarchy with a unitary, parliamentary system of governance, consisting of twenty six counties. The current Monarch is Kenneth IV, who acts as the head of state. Its capital city is Spálgleann, which is also the most populous city in the country with an urban population of 1,372,565. Legislative power is vested in the bicameral Tionól. Executive power is exercised by the government, chaired by the taoiseach, currently Stiofán Mac Suibhne.
The country is well known throughout the world for its long record of promoting extensive civil and human rights and its bold steps in order to create equal opportunity for all throughout the world. The nation takes a multilateral approach to foreign affairs, working within the structures of the international organizations to which it belongs. The government pursues an active foreign policy and is frequently involved in peace-building processes around the world. It is a leading advocate for nuclear disarmament. It maintains an official policy of neutrality in foreign affairs and is not a member of a military organization. Caldia has one of the longest records for peace in the world, having not been in a stater of war for over 300 years. The nation is an active member of the Euclean Community and is a member of the Euclozone. It is also a member of the League of Oil Producing States, the International Trade Organisation, and the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs. It hosts a number of international institutions, including offices for the Community of Nations.
Caldia is also renowned for its natural beauty, and as such is a tourist destination for nations all over the world. The Caldish Highlands are one of the most visited regions of the countries. The island of Holyhead also sees thousands of visitors each years and is known for its beaches and gambling industry, centered in Pennsea. The climate and environment varies significantly throughout the country. In the south, the climate is mild due to maritime influence. It has warm continental summers and cold, snowy winters. The north is characterized by its mountains and sea lochs.
The country ranks high in several metrics of national performance, including government transparency, civil liberties, economic competitiveness, and human development. Many adult citizens tend to be among the wealthiest in the world in both financial and non-financial assets. The Caldish education system is a major component in the country's status in global prominence and contributes to the growth of the economy as well as the overall quality of life for the Caldish. It is is considered one of the happiest countries in the world and boasts the second highest life expectancy in the world. Major cities, such as the capital of Spálgleann and the city of Invertwinc, have been ranked among the top cities with the highest quality of life in the world. Caldia is often regarded as a tax haven for foreigners and foreign businesses.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Economy
- 7 Culture
Caldia is derived from the tribal name Caledones (or Calīdones), which is etymologized as "'possessing hard feet', alluding to standfastness or endurance", from the Proto-Tenic roots *kal- "hard" and *φēdo- "foot". The Caledones were a tribe living on the southern coast of the main island. They were encountered by the Solarians, who in turn named the island chain after them. It was Solarianized as Calidonia, which was later Estmericized to Caldia. This is reflected in the Solarian-influenced languages. The name Calidonia is rarely used in modern contexts, but it is used to describe the religious denomination of the Church of Caldia. Historically, a person from Caldia was referred to as Calidonian in early Euclean written records. Overtime, this was shortened to Caldian but this has mostly fallen out of use. People from Caldia are today described as the Caldish.
The Ghaillish name for the country is Glítteann. There is some disagreement about the meaning of the name. It is widely speculated to have been derived from "shinning land" in old Ghaillish. The modern Ghaillish word glioscarnach means "shining". It is believed the first three letters are used to form the first component of the name: Glítt-. The second component is believed to come from lann or ferann meaning "land". It is also believed that -eann is a genitive suffix for either lann or ferann.
However, this theory is criticized by some academics who note the lack of explanation for the additional letters in Glítteann not found in either component. Others note that glioscarnach was not commonly used until middle Ghaillish. Caindlech and lainnerda were commonly used as the words for "shining" in old Ghaillish. The exact origin of the name Glítteann remains disputed, but no alternative theory with wide backing has emerged. The first time Glítteann was seen in a written source was the 9th century.
The first time the country was mentioned in a written source was in 96 CE. The Solarian author Jermone describes the Caledones and Calidonia in Borealia. A 9th Solarian manuscript from the Verliquoian court used the name Calidonia while an Embrian chronicle from the late 11th century mentions Caldia. This is the first time the name Caldia appears in a written source. Weranic sources from the 7th century used Nordlant as the name for modern-day Caldia.
The earliest evidence of human settlement in Caldia dates back to the arrival of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers some time after 8000 BCE, when the climate had become more hospitable following the retreat of the polar icecaps. Archaeological evidence indicates that these people sailed from Ordennya before reaching Caldia. Some possible Paleolithic tools have been found, but those excavated are not convincing of Paleolithic settlement. Caldia was mostly covered in ice until around 9000 years ago, making it harder for human settlement. Following the retreat of the polar icecaps, the Caldish isles became more hospitable.
In around 4500 BCE, Neolithic settlers arrived introducing cereal cultivars, a housing culture, and stone monuments. It was at this time a more advanced agriculture developed, with the inhabitants of Caldia moving away from hunter-gathering. The Chéide Fields show how agricultural practices evolved over time. A high neolithic culture began, resulting in he appearance of pottery, polished stone tools, rectangular wooden houses and communal megalithic tombs. Technology used by the islands' inhabitants changed significantly during the Bronze Age. Practices such as harnessing oxen, weaving textiles, brewing alcohol, and skillful metalworking emerged during this period. Evidence of crafted jewelry and the use of the wheel can also be traced to Caldia during the Bronze Age. Burial practices also changed, with a shift away from communal tombs to the use of small stone cists or simple pits.
The Tenic language and culture emerged during the Iron Age. Tenic peoples from the Euclean mainland migrated to Caldia, bringing with them Tenic languages, Ogham script, and culture. Evidence indicates there were four separate Tenic invasions of Caldia, with the Laighin, Euerni, Belgae, and Caledones migrating at different points. The Caledon invasion took place in about the sixth century BCE. Caledones is the first recorded name given to the Ghailles. These groups These early Tenic societies organized themselves into tribes, which are often labeled by historians as confederacies.
Caldia is first described in a written source in 96 CE by Jermone. In Borealia, the Caledones are described as a powerful tribe that dominated the Caldish islands. They are noted for their use of longa fada and differential marital practices. It is the first time that the name Calidonia appears in a written work. Borealia is also the first recorded instance of what could be considered a same-sex marriage. Little is known about who ruled over the Caldedones is unknown, but Ghaillish mythology presents a long line of legendary and semi-legendary monarchs going back for thousands of years. While the Solarian Empire never established itself in northern Euclea, there are written accounts that show interaction between the Solarians and the Caledones.
During the sixth century the various tribal confederacies had begun to move away from their tribal based societies and instead began to become organized into various túatha. The term refers to both a geographical territory and the people who lived on that territory. The túatha shared their names with the most powerful clan in a specified area. They were separated into the In the High Túatha large groups of clans sworn to one High Clan, and the Low Túatha, smaller groupings of clans or singular clans. In the High Túatha, leaders were referred to as the rí/ríon while leaders in the Low Túatha were known as the mór, Among the túatha four powerful Ghaillish over-kingdoms began to emerge: Aerach, Diabhal, Mumgialla, and Laithraid. These dominate over-kingdoms often warred with one another and the smaller realms around them.
Sotirianity first arrived in Caldia during this period. Tradition maintains that Saint Adomnán first arrived on the island of Holyhead, then known as Dhùn Ghlais, in 711. Soon after, he established a monastery in Inagh and worked to convert the Ghaillies. Adomnán is traditionally credited with preserving and codifying Ghaillish laws. The introduction of the Solarian alphabet by Saint Adomnán allowed monks to preserve large swathes of the extensive oral literature, law, and history which had existed in the Caldia. The monastic order he established was met with great success and the religion began to spread to the other islands, taking hold in large coastal settlements.
A marriage pact between Aerach and Diabhal resulted in an alliance and later unification. Togther, Daireann of Aerach and her husband, Torán of Diabah, launched a campaign to unite the Caldish isles. In about 718 Daireann, with the support of her husband's forces, began rallying her armies and launched a campaign to unify the islands. She first took the southern islands of Dhùn Ghlais and Mannhain, uniting all of southern Caldia. After a series of victories, she a number of the túatha pledged fealty to Daireann. This solidified her victories and bolstered her armies. Following a harsh winter, her armies launched a campaign to conquer the highlands and islands in spring 720. After a series of clashes with the Clan Mac Coinneach, who rallied a number of minor clans to their cause, Daireann successfully unified Caldia under her rule. In June of 720, Darieann declared the Kingdom of the Ghailles, with herself as Queen. Chluaitch, the ancestral seat of the Mac Ailláns, was declared the capital of the new kingdom, with the monarchs residing in Dun Seoda.
The Kingdom of Ghailles
The kingdom established by Darieann was a largely de-centralized realm. The existing clan structure was mostly retained, with the larger, more powerful clans swearing allegiance to the monarch and lower clans serving as vassals of the high clans, or as direct vassals of the crown. Clan chieftains enjoyed significant freedoms over the territory they governed. Darieann's direct influence was limited to the lands surrounding the capital. Elsewhere, her role was mainly as an arbitrator in disputes between clans. Taxes were limited, and most clans paid them in the form of cattle. The traditional Tenic practice of tanistry was adopted and use to name the tanist. The déisi, a council of the clan leaders, convened at Liathdruim to name Darieann's eldest daughter, Niamh, as her heir. Her selection saw the beginning of Clan Ní Darieann as the ruling dynasty. This began a long tradition of conventions in which the chiefs would vote for a member of the ruling house to serve as the next monarch. The déisi met every ten years and a sitting tanist would have retain the support of the majority in order to remain as heir. Tanistry was solidified as the Caldish law of succession during the rule of Darieann and a modified version is still in use today.
During the reign of Ailbe I, the first bishop was sent by Solaria to serve over the newly-created diocese of Caldia. Saint Bono arrived in worked in 785 and worked closely with the monarch and Sotirianity continued to spread. Going against the precedent set by Saint Adomnán, Ailbe began to enforce a version of Sotirianity that was much more in line with Solaria. Same-sex relationships were forbidden, women could no longer be named as the tanist, Bono was murdered by a pagan mob in 789 and Ailbe responded with force, leading a campaign of violence against the pagan population of Caldia. Clan leaders, who were opposed to her adoption of a hard-line form of Sotirianity, named her daughter, Morcan, as the tanist, at a meeting of the déisi. Her refusal to recognize Morcan's selection as the tanist resulted in Ailbe's assassination in 791. Reversing many of her mother's policies, Morcan sough to restore the balance between Caldia's native pantheon and Sotirianity. She introduced one of the first taxes levied by the crown, placing a tax on non-Sotirians which in turn guaranteed their freedom from persecution. The tax resulted in a significant increase in conversions to Sotirianity. However, it did not begin to fully replace paganism until the 12th century. Paganism was widely practiced in the Caldish Highlands until the end of the 12th century.
First starting under Morcan, several villages grew into large cities. The expansion of the population required additional resources, which were at times limited. Evidence indicates groups of Ghaillish pirates began to conduct raids along the coasts of Ordennya, Fierenland, and northern Werania. Raids brought resources, livestock, and slaves back to Caldia, allowing settlements to grow further. Some of these raiding groups established entirely new kingdoms in along the eastern coast of Ordennya and in northern Fierenland. To a lesser degree, some new realms were established as far south as Estmere. Raiding activity reached its peak under Lughaidh I, who personally commanded a fleet of raiders that targeted settlements in northern Euclea Caldish galleys have been recorded reaching Tsabara and Kansasto. Folklore surrounding Saint Brendan of Caldia suggests he lead of raiders to a land in the far east, which could be Asteria Superior. However, there is no conclusive evidence to suggest Ghaillish pirates reached the Asterias during this period. The practice began to decline in the eleventh century following the introduction of feudalism in southern Caldia.
The first recorded instance of a monarch in a same-sex marriage occurred in 878 following the ascension of Lughaidh II. He had been named as tanist despite strong opposition from rivals within the righdamhna and from orthodox Sotirian members of the déisi. Lughaidh was married to Breasal, a prominent warrior from the powerful Mac Raith family. Crónán Mac Darieann, a prominent cousin of the king with several close alliances, launched a rebellion in order to usurp the throne. Lughaidh was successful and executed many of those who had risen against him. He named Barnabas as bishop of Caldia and as anti-pope. Cultural clashes between Caldia and Solaria had risen significantly following Lughaidh's accession and a rift emerged. His victory in the rebellion is considered significant by historians, as it allowed same-sex relationships to remain a norm within Ghaillish society and began the long process of Caldia's split with Solaria.
The limited role of the crown in the political affairs of the realm slowly degraded over time. A period of decline first began under Morcan IV and continued to the reign of Tomaisin II. By his ascent to the in 987, many of the clans had stopped paying their duties and those sworn directly to the monarch established themselves as mostly independent. His reign was characterized by lavish expenditures and vast corruption, draining the treasury and driving the crown to bankruptcy. The royal herd, the largest in Caldia, was gradually bartered off in order to maintain Tomaisin's lifestyle. The king did not fulfill his role as arbitrator, which saw disputes between clans escalate to war. A revolt against Tomaisin's rule by uncle, Mánus, was in the process of being organized by 989. In order to prevent civil war, Tomaisin was murdered by members of the court loyal to the tanist, his daughter Ailbe. She ascended to the throne and made peace with her uncle, naming him head of her armies and granting him new territories. Ailbe issued a number of reforms at the start of her reign in order to reestablish the influence of the crown. The reformed the kingdom into the Kingdom of Caldia on 20 May 1017. Economic reforms were also implemented. For the first time, the crown levied a feudal tax Incentives were introduced to encourage a shift towards mercantilism, resulting in an increase in merchants and traders. The Kingdom of Caldia was organized as a feudal monarchy that granted new authority to the monarchs they were previously unable to exercise. Power was solidified in the south, isolating the clans in the mountain highlands. The densely populated and resource-rich lowlands surpassed the highlands in wealth. A confederacy of highland clans rebelled against Ailbe to secure independence, but were defeated in 1021.
A diplomatic mission from the newly-established Verique Kingdom of Embria resulted in a cultural exchange between Caldia and Embria. Fiona I received several prominent Embrians at court and aligned herself closely with them. On their advice, Fiona implemented the first Papal Taxation register, resulting in the first Caldish census and list of properties. For their service as advisers at court, they were awarded territories on the island of Holyhead. Verique influence grew further under the reign of Coinneach I. He was a controversial choice as tanist due to his marriage to Teagan of Brocbach. He was a member of a cadet branch of the House of Ní Darieann, the MacIconnichs. Clerics in the déisi conspired with familial rivals of Coinneach to overthrow him. They revolted in 1082 in support of the king's uncle, Tairrdelbach, who was crowned king by the Bishop of Caldia. On the advice of the Verique, Coinneach hired Embrian mercenaries. They defeated Tairrdelbach's rebellion following the Battle of Scillimona, which saw the pretender slain. Coinneach imprisoned and executed many of those who revolted against him and appointed Cathal Crobhdearg of Spálgleann to serve as the next Bishop of Caldia. Due to papal support for the rebellion, the king also named the new bishop as his anti-pope. The Verique were granted additional lands on the isle of Mannes and their leader, the Laird of Kilrowe. was elevated to the Earldom of Holyhead. This marked a period of Verique cultural influence on the isles of Holyhead and Mannes. Overtime, the Verique nobility became culturally Ghaillish and adopted many of their customs.
Relations with the papacy continued to deteriorate during the reigns of Medb I and Fiona II. Both monarchs continued the practice of free investiture, angering the popes. The line of anti-popes also continued, with the Catholic Church in Caldia effectively operating entirely independent of Solaria. Amid the crusades, Pope Some Guy IX issued a papal bull endorsing the invasion of Caldia. The bull purported to grant the right to Ludwig IV, the emperor of the Ahnemunde Confederation and king of Blattenberg to invade and govern Caldia and to enforce papal supremacy on the semi-independent Soitrian Church in Caldia. The Crusade for Caldia was launched in 1157. Fiona II organized the defenses of the country, but faced a series of devastating defeats. In 1159, Fiona, her husband, and several of her relatives were killed in battle. Niamh IV ascended to the throne but was killed in battle in 1160. At the time of her death, most of western Caldia had been occupied by Blattenbergish forces. Niamh's uncle, Tomaisin III, was tanist and was named king after she died at the Battle of PLACE. He reorganized his armies and fortified Garrafrauns. A diplomatic mission to Wittislich (also a member of the Ahnemunde Confederation) resulted in a marriage alliance, and Caldia secured the entry of Wittislich forces into the conflict. Following a successful campaign to liberate the islands, the crusade ended in 1162 with Tomaisin as victor. He implemented reforms to raise the taxes needed in order to build major population centers that were left devastated by the fighting. His reforms included charters for the four largest settlements and the end of papal taxation. Tomaisin successfully rebuilt Spálgleann, which was left in ruin after a lengthy siege.
The reign of Tomaisin initiated a golden age later called Splendid Centralization. This continued through the reign of Morcan VI and Alastar the Great. Alastar issued a number of his own reforms, introducing the Caldia's first standard currency. Coastal cities expanded as investments were made into ports, increasing foreign trade. Alastar's reign also saw expansive patronage of the arts, inspiring numerous cultural works. His daughter Morcan succeeded him. Her ascension was disputed by her brother, Sionann, who usurped the throne and imprisoned his sister. Their mother, Natalie of Estmere, and, younger sister Princess Fiona fled Spálgleann and were welcomed to the court of the Fitzgeralds of Holyhead. Morcan VII was executed after his mother and sister refused to return to court and a civil war soon began. A number of other rebellions also began, with many nobles revolting against the heavy-handed rule of Sionann. Both Fionna and Sionann were killed during the war. A meeting of the déisi convened to pick a new monarch. Natalie was named tanist and became queen, the first foreigner to hold the title.
In 1253, a succession crisis broke out following the death of Morcan VIII who died without direct issue. At the time of her death, there was no designated tanist as the déisi had not convened since the death of the last heir. After lengthy debate, the déisi was unable to name a new tanist. Instead, it gave power to a regency council. An interregnum was soon established during which the Guardians of the Realm oversaw the succession dispute. The Earl of Holyhead, The Earl of Benbaun, and the Archbishop of Caldia, who served as the three guardians, decided that Morcan's nephew, William Bettencourt of Estmere, had the strongest claim. His status as a Verique noble influenced the decision and made him a popular candidate. He was only eleven years old and was in Estmere at the time of his selection. As such the guardians maintained their positions until William came of age in 1258. He was the first of five Bettencourt monarchs. Upon the birth of his first son, William II, the house was Ghaillisized as MacWilliam. Numerous Estmerish reforms were issued during the reign of the Bettencourts. More royal burghs were issued, taxation was made more efficient, property laws were amended to prohibit women from owning land, and same-sex relationships were prohibited. There were no anti-popes set up by the Bettencourt monarchs, breaking with a long line of anti-popes set up by the native houses which preceded them. Relations with the papacy were improved and cognatic primogeniture hereditary law was introduced. The abandonment of tanistry brought stability but angered the Ghaillish aristocracy which preferred the native system. The unexpected death of William III in 1359 left the six year old William IV on the throne. Discontent led by the MacIconnichs, who had been out of power since the arrival of William I, spread throughout much of the kingdom and a brief uprising saw Coinneach II sack and seize the throne for himself. William IV and the Bettencourts were executed by Coinneach II and the royal line of the house went extinct.
Following the first MacIconnich restoration, Caldia remained economically backward country. Despite the existence of a national currency, the Crown, barter was the means of exchange. Despite this, the nation's leading ports and cities grew significantly. Feudalism never developed in Caldia as it did in the rest of Euclea. As a result, the peasantry largely remained a class of free farmers throughout most of Caldish history. Slavery had become much rarer, as the spread of Sotirianity and the end of Ghaillish piracy ended the slave trade. In the middle of the 14th century, Caldia was struck by the Black Death. The population of Caldia, like most of Euclea, was seriously affected. The national population did not reach the same numbers that existed before 1348 until the beginning of the 19th century. Nearly one third of the population died during 1349–1351. Some viewed the plague as having been sent by God to purge the nation of the ungodly. This message was routinely advanced by priests who were aligned with Solaria and that opposed the Caldish anti-popes.
Morcan IX was named as tanist began following a tense meeting of the déisi. She became queen in 1395 and began to issue a number of reforms that aimed to bring Caldia back in line with Solaria. As a part of her attempts, she had her father's anti-pope arrested and executed for blasphemy. This allow the pope to appoint the next Bishop of Caldia, Tomás Ó Fiaich. Ó Fiaich was named Laird Chancellor by Morcan and launched an inquisition, purging the Caldish church of unorthodox clergy. The church was granted significant legal authority. Sodomy was made a crime punishable by death and known same-sex couples were arrested and tried in ecclesiastical courts. Women also lost their right to own property, which had been reinstated following the first MacIconnich restoration, and they could no longer inherit noble titles. Reforming the déisi, Morcan allowed members of the clergy aligned with Ó Fiaich to sit alongside the nobility. The queen's brother, Prince Séamus had earned significant support during the last meeting of the déisi and was almost chosen to succeed his father instead of his sister. The déisi named him as Morcan's heir soon after her ascension. Séamus had several well-known relationships with several courtiers. To eliminate him as a threat to her rule, the queen issued a warrant for his arrest. The prince was able to escape and raised an army, triggering the Siblings' War. Following a campaign that lasted just over a year, Séamus defeated his sister and her supporters. After seizing the throne, he had his sister and Ó Fiaich executed. He was excommunicated and established his own anti-pope. Morcan's reforms were reversed and serfdom was abolished.
Fiona VI and her tanist died of smallpox in 1457, triggering a succession crisis. An inclusive meeting of the déisi saw no candidate secure enough support to become tanist and in turn monarch. A regency council was formed as factions of the MacIconnich family began skirmishing with one another. Hoping to prevent a civil war, the council petitioned the Ordennyan king to serve as an arbitrator. Edvard VI chose Còiseam of the cadet Mac Cellacháin branch of the MacIconnich dynasty. Còiseam was married to Edvard's sister and was easily influenced by the Ordennyan king. His rule lasted last than a year before he named Edvard as Laird Regent and abdicated. Caldia became a de facto client state of Ordennya and Edvard ruled over Caldia as regent until his death in 1489. There was a significant revolt in 1465 that was suppressed. However, anti-Ordennyan sentiments continued to linger and many of the nobles wished for a return to native rule following the suspension of the déisi. Resistance continued and the Caldish War for Independence began in 1486. Medb II was crowned queen and led the revolt against Ordennyan rule. Edvard died in 1489 and his successor sued for peace. The Ghailles regained control of their kingdom following the Shanbally Agreement, which is considered to be the world's first documented declaration of independence. The second MacIconnich restoration began and Medb II ruled over an independent Caldia.
Early modern history
During the 16th century, Caldia became an Amendist nation. The long history of confrontation between the Caldish monarchs the Catholic Church in Solaria made the ongoing schism appealing to Ellen I. The anti-pope pope established by her father was still in place and the Catholic Church in Caldia was de facto independent from the authority of the pope in Solaria. As the Amendist Schism spread throughout Euclea in the 1530s, Caldia converted in 1541. Calidonism was confirmed as established church following the meeting of anti-Catholic church officials at the Spálgleann Synod. All property and wealth of the Catholic Church was transferred to the Church of Caldia. In 1548, prominent Catholic nobles plotted to assassination Ellen I. Their conspiracy failed and they were executed. Religious unrest was largely quelled by the end of the 1550s and Calidonism was the dominant faith in Caldia. It participated in the Amendist Wars and fought against the Catholic League of Heaven.
Caldia entered a period of prosperity known as the Ellenian Age. The peace of Ellen I's rule resulted in growth in trade and the population. The population is estimated to have increased by 20% between 1530 and 1580. The Caldish merchant class also began to emerge during this period, increasing wealth. This was also a significant era for architecture in Caldia. Many new estates and palaces were built. Cities also expanded to accommodate the growing population. Developments in philosophy, literature, and science were also made at the nation's universities. Ellen I's rule had progressive tendencies. She pressured the nobility the grant greater autonomy to the peasants, which had not been enserfed since the 14th century. The benefits of the period were also felt by the peasant class in addition to the landowning and merchant classes. For the first time, burghers were invited to sit in the Déisi.
During the 16th and 17th centuries, Caldia founded overseas colonies throughout the Asterias. Assim Asteris charted the coastline of Asteria Superior for the Caldish crown. His expeditions resulted in significant developments in cartography and Euclean understanding of the Eastern Hemisphere. The earliest Caldish settlements were established in on the island of Imagua. Trade posts were established by Asteris and overtime grew into colonial settlements. A string of Caldis forts and trading posts were establishing along the coast of Asteria Superior during the late 16th century. New Caldia was established on the northwestern coast of Cassier in 1606 and Sheah was founded in 1614. Colonies provided Caldia with a new source of wealth.
The Caldish participated in the Gilded Wars during the late 17th and early 18th centuries. Caldia was allied to Estmere and fought against the Gaullican Empire. Before the First Gilded War, a Gaullican-backed coup resulted in a Catholic seizing the throne. This triggered a series of civil wars known as the Dejarlist Wars. They were fought between supporters of John of Caldia and Rory I. The first Dejarlist war ended with John's exile to Gaullica. Following the outbreak of the First Gilded War, he returned to Caldia with a Gaullican army and launched an invasion. John was captured in battle and executed in 1654. With the support of Estmere, Caldia successfully repelled Gaullican attempts to invade its colonies in the Asterias. The religious strife was reignited during the Second Gilded War during a failed Gaullican attempt to install John's half-brother Louis Dejarlis as king of Caldia. It lost all of its overseas territories following defeat in the Third Gilded War and in 1708 the Caldish empire were captured by Gaullica.
Caldia's defeat in the Gilded Wars resulted in a period of decline. The economic benefits of its overseas colonies had been lost. Caldia returned to being an economically poor, agrarian nation. The upheaval caused by the loss of its colonies and the expenses of nearly 50 years of conflict resulted in a period of rebellion. A number of powerful Highlands nobles converted back to Catholicism and launched a revolt in 1719. They were defeated within two years. The resulted in the exile of the nobles and the mass deportation of Catholics and suspected Catholics.
19th century and early 20th century
Caldia's constitution was written and implemented in 1814. It was implemented at a time when many Euclean monarchies were transitioning to parliamentarism. The constitution was in response to the spread of political thought, successful revolts throughout the Euclean colonies in the Asterias, and the republican revolution in Etruria. Caldia's semi-parliamentarian Déisi was replaced by the Seanad Glítteann (Senate of Caldia). It was the first body for elected representation at the national level. 45 per cent of the population was enfranchised, a high figure compared to many other democracies at the time. Caldia was the first nation to give women the right to vote at the same time it gave the right to men. Mary III played a central role in the adoption of the constitution. She supported the efforts of political liberals and accepted the constitution as written. Despite the changes, there was still a desire for reform and increased parliamentarism. The new system was dominated by conservatives who pursued little change. This resulted in the Silent Revolution in 1857, resulting in significant changes to the constitution and the introduction of a fully elected lower house. The nation's first elected head of government was Dónall Ó Conaill. The two main political forces were the Caldish Democrats and the National Conservative Party. This two-party system would last for over 75 years.
There was a slow rate of industrialization in Caldia. The nation remained poor and the agrarian economy was dominant well into the 19th century. Despite this, many important changes were made in Caldish agriculture. The introduction of new crops, new technology, a government-sponsored enclosure scheme, and increasingly aggressive efforts to exploit agriculture lands saw Caldia's agrarian economy grow. The Caldish peasantry had not been enserfed since the end of the 14th century. Agrarian laborers played an important role in the economy and Caldish farming culture began to play an important role in Caldish politics after the Silent Revolution.
Between 1750 and 1850, the Caldish population more than doubled. The drastic increase in population is attributed to increasing agricultural production, lack of military conflict, and the successful efforts to reduce disease. Smallpox was nearly eliminated after the smallpox vaccine was introduced to Caldia. The increase in population resulted in significant changes to Caldish society. . The Blight of 1854 resulted in a famine. The government was slow to act, and as a result conditions worsened. There was an uptick in poverty, living conditions worsened, and many agrarian laborers were out of work. The famine resulted in mass emigration to the Asterias. Between 1855 and 1865, over 1 per cent of the population emigrated each year. Emigration continued despite the famines end in 1861 as people looked for new economic opportunities abroad. It is estimated that nearly one million Caldish immigrants arrived in the Asterias between 1850 and 1920. Most Caldish immigrants to Valentir and Nuvania.
Starting in 1870, Caldia began to develop the heavy industry that dominated its economy for much of the 20th century. Factories opened in many coastal cities and their populations grew significantly. Many farm workers found employment in these cities, receiving higher wages. The first railways were built in the late 1850s and were drastically expanded during the 1870s and 1880s. Trade unions first formed in the 1880s and continued to grow throughout the Industrial Revolution as more people migrated from the countryside to the cities. The Social Democratic Party was founded in 1912 and later became one of Caldia's largest parties.
Following the outbreak of the Great War, Caldia asserted its neutrality in the conflict. The country had a long-standing history of neutrality in Euclean conflicts and avoided the web of alliances that had formed before the Great War. Under Estmerish pressure, Caldia closed its ports to the Entente powers. In March 1927, Estmere launched a joint invasion of Caldia with Werania. This violated Caldish neutrality and resulted in occupation. The government of Éamon Ua Buachalla did not resist the invasion and accepted the terms of occupation. The Grand Alliance wanted to secure Caldia's vast iron ore deposits and its northern ports. The occupation was unpopular with much of the population and an insurgency began in December 1928. Rebels conducted operations against Estmerish and Weranic troops until the occupation ended in 1935. Following the Fall of Estmere, the Fighting Estmerish forces relocated to Caldia. The Caldish government came under increasing pressure from occupying forces and agreed to suspend the 1932 election after the Weranic military governor was assassinated.
Following the end of the Great War in 1935, the need to continue the occupation ended. Before Estmere and Werania agreed to withdraw, they negotiated concessions from the Ua Buachalla government. Under the Soirmoor Agreement, the Caldish government agreed to place a ban on the main political agitators and rebels from holding elected office. The electoral system was also altered to replace first-past-the-post with mixed-member proportional representation in order to give parties more control over their candidates to prevent anti-occupation candidates from being elected. The agreement was signed on 24 February 1935. It came into effect on 15 March formally ending the occupation and restoring full sovereignty to Caldia. Estmerish and Weranic forces withdrew entirely by the end of March.
The suspended 1932 election was held in on 20 March. It was won by the Social Democratic Party and Tomás Mag Fhearadhaigh became taoiseach. The Social Democrats were strongly opposed to the occupation. The ban on elected office largely effected liberal and conservative politicians that were affiliated with the Radical Liberal Party, which had ties to rebel groups. The Mag Fhearadhaigh government lifted the ban on elected official for anti-occupation agitators, allowing them to stand for office. Caldia joined the Community of Nations as a founding member in 1935. His tenure lasted from 1935 to 1937 when he was defeated by the newly formed Liberty Party. Eleanore Rosaiteir, former leader of the Radical Liberals, became taoiseach.
Rosaiteir served a record fifteen years as taoiseach, the longest tenure of any holder. Her government was strongly opposed to Estmerish and Weranic policy. Under her leadership, Caldia declined to join the United Nations of Euclea and refused to join the CN intervention force during the Solarian War. The North Sea Dispute between Caldia and Varienland in 1948 raised regional tensions significantly but boosted the Rosaiteir's popularity. Relations with Estmere and Werania began to warm after she was succeeded by Seamus Mac Amhlaidh from the Social Democrats in 1952. A wedding was organized between Kaiser Otto X of Werania and the Caldish monarch's daughter, Princess Margaret. This helped warm diplomatic relations and Caldia was a founding member of the Northern Forum. Caldia joined the Euclean Community in 1955 alongside Varienland and Werania. It declined to join the Euclean Defense Treaty Organization alongside the EC. The Social Democrats also began to implement social and economic reforms, establishing universal healthcare and a welfare state.
The only member of the Caldish aristocracy to hold the office of the taoiseach was the Duke of Holyhead, elected in 1957. He reversed many of the reforms made by his predecessor. He was succeeded by a series of Social Democratic governments between 1962 and 1972. These governments worked in co-operation with the nation's trade unions and industry. Public spending and taxation were both increased significantly during this period. A political crisis in 1965 resulted in changes to the constitution, previously unaltered since 1857.
Oil exploration began during the 1960s and was first discovered at the small Clíodhna field in 1966. This led to more discovers and in 1969 two large fields had been discovered south of Caldia in the North Sea. The state oil company, RPG, was established by the Caldish government in 1971. Starting in the 1970s, Caldia became a major exporter of oil. Despite the size of its petroleum industry, it did not provide a net income until the 1980s. Large capital investment was required to establish the petroleum industry. The development of the petroleum industry resulted in decline in Caldia's industrial and shipping sectors. Economic blight, sometimes called the Caldish curse, resulted in a sharp decline in manufacturing. The decline in these sectors combined with the immense cost of setting up the petroleum industry created fiscal problems for the government. In 1975 the Social Democrats were defeated by the Liberty Party. Economic reforms failed to fix the growing crisis and the Social Democrats won the 1977 election.
As stagflation and decline continued to impact the economy, the overall tax burden continued to rise. Economic growth was low and the economy entered recession, matching the international trend. The government, led by Mícheál Ó Muilleoir, did not cut spending and it came to spend over half of the country's gross domestic product. Anti-unemployment policies were left in place and anti-inflationary policies were not pursued, resulting in a period of sharp inflation. Wages also declined and the Caldish GDP per capita shrunk during this period. Ties to Swetania increased during this time, with Ó Muilleoir hoping to court investment.
Starting in 1982, a conservative government led by Patricia Flowers began the process of replacing Social Democratic policy with economic liberalization. Taxes were cut and eventually a flat tax was implemented. Flowers also initiated privatization of many publicly owned companies. Government spending was cut and welfare and healthcare were both reformed. Economic growth increased and foreign investment was attracted by low-tax special economic zones. The government also began to make a net income from the petroleum industry, providing a new source of income. Caldia was a strong supporter of continued economic integration of the Euclean Community and signed the Treaty of Vesalla in 1983, committing to a single Euclean currency. Heavy industry continued to decline under privatization despite attempts to increase competition. Income inequality also grew.
The implementation of the Treaty of Vesalla established the Euclozone in 1990. The Caldish coróin was phased out and replaced by the Euro, which became the common currency for all EC member-states. The Caldish economy continued to grow during the early 1990s, the resulted of continued economic liberalization and deregulation implemented by the government. Between 1990 and 1993, the GDP grew by 3.6%. The nation's GDP per capita also increased steadily during this period, rising from $28,671 in 1989 to $34,789 by 1995. By the late 1990s, Caldia was one of the world's fasting growing economies.
Patricia Flowers was defeated in the 1992 election by Niamh Nic Uilliam of the Social Democratic Party. She continued the process of economic liberalization started by her predecessor. She also backed many of the traditional concerns of the PSD such as funding social services, education, and healthcare. Under Nic Uilliam, the Caldish education system underwent significant reform. The education system was centralized at a national level, curriculum was replaced, and the school year's calendar was changed. Pay for teachers and staff also increased and the requirements to become a teacher were raised. Nic Uilliam also brought welfare back under government control, phasing out the contractors used since the 1980s. Caldia paid off all of its foreign-held debt by 1997 and established its first sovereign wealth fund in 1993 in order to accumulate income from petroleum production. Previously, political parties and the public were sharply divided on how much petroleum revenue should be spent and how much it should save. Two additional sovereign wealth funds were established in 1995 and 1999. Despite the economic growth and budgetary stability under Nic Uilliam, traditional industries continued to decline. Labor unions affiliated with her party were impacted significantly by this decline. Some pulled their support for Nic Uilliam while some prominent members of her party defected.
In 1997, she lost her majority but continued with her Red-Green coalition government. In 2001, she was replaced as party leader by Séamus Ó Faoláin due to her unpopularity and poor performance in pools. She refused to step down as taoiseach, triggering a political crisis within the Social Democratic Party. Caldia's long-serving monarch, Ellen II abdicated before the crisis was resolved. The new monarch Elton II was convinced by the party leadership to use his constitutional powers and dismiss Nic Uilliam, which he did in March 2002 and caused much controversy.
The Liberty Party returned to government following the 2002 election. Énna Ó Ceallaigh became taoiseach and continued policies of economic liberalization and deregulation. He also significantly reduced state spending. In 2005, the World Financial Crisis resulted in a fiscal crisis. The government was slow to react, continuing its liberal hands-off approach to the economy. A sharp decline in the nation's GDP and a collapse in the Caldish banking and financial services sectors saw Ó Ceallaigh replaced by Alexis Walker. Her government intervened in the crisis by bailing out the failing financial sectors. Under Walker, the Caldish government took a more on a more proactive role in the economy and she invested in public services. The fiscal crisis had mostly ended by 2010 and the Caldish economy recovered and continued to grow. Elton II abdicated in 2010, and was succeeded by Kenneth IV, the current monarch.
In recent decades, Caldia became a more diverse nation due to increased immigration. Change in government policy, humanitarian crises, and new EC-wide programs brought an influx of immigrants. In 2010, it was estimated that as much as 20 per cent of the population was foreign-born. This brought new social challenges to Caldia, which for much of its history was ethnically homogeneous. The popularity of the anti-immigration Free Market Party grew as a result. Immigration to Caldia continued to grow during the 2010s.
In 2016, Caldia suffered a series of terrorist attacks in Spálgleann on the same day. They were conducted by a small group of far-right extremists and targeted the government, the Gaullican embassy, and the city police force. The attacks resulted in 81 deaths and 418 injuries. The government made significant changes to its security apparatus as a result.
Walker stood-down as taoiseach in 2017 and was later elected to serve as President of the Euclean Community. She was succeeded by Jimmy O'Reilly, the nation's first non-white leader. He won the 2017 election and continued many of the policies of Walker. A diplomatic scandal known as the Pietramontecorvino Incident caused his resignation in May 2018. Frank Casarnach became taoiseach and implemented spending cuts and scaled back government intervention in the economy. He was dismissed by the king in January 2019 following a corruption scandal. In the 2019 election, the Social Democratic Party won and Stiofán Mac Suibhne became taoieach. His party won over 48% of the electorate's votes.
Caldia occupies the entirely of the Caldish Isles, an archipelago located off of the northeast coast of Euclea. The archipelago has six main islands with the majority of the population living on the main island. It is bounded to the east by the Vehemens Ocean, the southwest by the Northern Sea, the northeast by the Ghaillish Sea, and to the northwest by the Boreal Sea. The country shares a maritime border with Ordennya, Werania, and Varienland.
At 222,029 kilometers squared (85,726 sq mi), Caldia is one of the smaller countries in Euclea. It is the among the northernmost points in Euclea and is one of the coldest. Caldia's highest point is Mór Ealadha, at 2,111 m (6,926 ft) while the lowest point is Gleann Naofa in Adhmadfiáin, County Holyhead, the lowest point of which is 5 meters (16 feet) below sea level.
Southern Caldia, which is home to the largest portion of both the country's population and agricultural land, is broadly comprised by temperate grassland and mixed forest, while further north boreal forest predominates. In Sudreadharr, the Highlands, and the northern portions of the Lowlands, there is a large Taiga biome and that features concentrated populations of Caldish pine. Mountain ranges are also common throughout the Highlands. The Caldish landscape is marked by the effects of former ice age glaciation, which formed lakes and the characteristic jagged, rocky northern coastline, marked by hundreds of small islands. Sea lochs are common along its northern coastline.
A pasture near Coolnahorna, County Bouladuff
Lú Ethniu, County Sackmannan
Plains of Killeena, County Shillelagh
Mór Ealadha, County Ballina
Uisceard nature reserves in Shangarry, County Taois
The New Quay, Crainnbeagy, County Oileáin Oirthir
The River Twinc, County Folcthagh
Arianaid Bay, off the south coast of County Caithia
Due to its location, Caldia's climate varies based on geographical regions, the Highlands and the Lowlands. The Lowlands has a temperate climate. Along the southern coastline, the country is fully exposed to storm fronts form the Vehemens. This results in more precipitation and milder winters when compared to the country's northern coastline. In the northern Highlands, the coastal mountains are in a rain shadow. This means that there are lower rain and snow totals than in the south.
There are four distinguishable seasons. Summers are warmest and sunniest in the lowland areas near Spálgleann and are coldest in the Highlands. Compared to other places with a similar latitude, the Caldish Lowlands are warmer and drier due to the Vehemens Gulf Stream. This warms the country's east coast in addition to its south, providing warmer weather for Caithia and Oileáin Oirthir. Temperature in the west of Caldia is notably cooler than the east. During the summers, the maxima average is 18 °C (64 °F). The highest temperature ever recorded in Caldia was 32.9 °C (91.2 °F) at Pennsea, County Holyhead, in 2006. Despite the warm and sunny summers in the Lowlands, the region sees snow and cold weather during the winter. The temperature ranges from freezing point and below, with temperatures as low as −15 °C (5 °F) recorded in the northwest.
As a result of its high latitude, Caldia has experiences notably different sunlight when compared to other parts of Euclea. From late May to the end of July, the sun never completely sets in areas to the north of the Avanaric Circle. Due to Caldia's proximity to the Avanar, parts of the country experience up to 20 hours of sunlight a day. From late November to the end of January, the converse occurs. The sun never rises above the horizon to the north. As a result, daylight hours are brief throughout the country.
The Caldish Lowlands are the wettest part of the country, concentrated in the east. The annual rainfall in some parts of the east exceed 3,000 mm (120 inches). Elsewhere in Caldia, rainfall varies. Some parties of the country receive as little as 300 millimetres (12 inches) each year. Heavy snowfall is common throughout the Highlands, but is less frequent in the Lowlands. Many coastal areas in the Lowlands have an average of fewer than 12 days of snowfall annually.
Wildlife found in Caldia is representative of what is typically found elsewhere in the north-east of Euclea. One notable example is the Euclean wildcat, several thousand of which live throughout Caldia. Several larger mammals found in other parts of the continent have been hunted to the point of extinction. The wolf is one such example, and a population has only returned due to human intervention. Additional human activity has led to the introduction of different species of wildlife. In total, Caldia's environment supports over 60 different types of wild mammals.
One of the largest combined populations in Caldia is that of grey and habour seals. Thousands of seals live along the country's coastline, making up one of the largest concentrated populations in the world. In mountainous areas, the country hosts significant populations of Avanaric fox, mountain hares. lemmings, and stoat. Red squirrel. heather cock, Caldish wildcat, and elk are found throughout the country. A number of native domesticated breeds are native to Caldia, such as the East Highland Terrier and the Caithian pony. There are varying types of birds found in Caldia, of which the Highland crossbill is the only endemic bird. It is thought that there are over 15,000 species of insects in Caldia, with the potential to discover thousands more.
The waters of Caldia have a diverse environment. The largest of which is the sperm whale. In total, over a dozen species of whale are found in Caldish waters. There is also a significant population of dolphins and porpoise. The country has a rich population of fish, with 40 fresh-water species and over 150 marine species. There are also over a thousand species of fresh-water invertebrates and an estimated 3,500 different species of marine invertebrates.
Caldish flora is varied, incorporating both deciduous and coniferous forest species in addition to those found in moorland and tundra biomes. In total, it is estimated that country's total number of species include over 20,000 species of algae, 6500 species of fungi, 1600 species of lichen, 1000 species of moss, and 2,650 species of vascular plants. The most popular plant in Caldia is thistle, which is a national symbol of the country dating back centuries.
Caldia is home to a diverse range of scenery and landscapes. The Caldish Highlands is considered to be home to the most attractive landscapes in the country. It is characterized by mountains and sea-lochs which define Caldia's northern coasts. The country's northern coastline presents some of the most impressive coastal scenes in Euclea, drawing thousands of tourists annually. As a result of its high latitude, the country experiences the natural phenomena of the Aurora borealis (known in Ghallish as the spéir ag lonradh or shining skies) and the Midnight sun (visible during the summer months).
Caldia performs well in world environmental indexes, ranking among the top nations. These indexes are based on the risks the environment pose to human health, the loss in natural habitats and ecosystems, and changes in CO2 emissions. The nation tends to perform well as a result being sparsely populated and policies aimed at curbing carbon emissions. In the University of Warminster's 2017 index, Caldia ranked 17th in the world and fourth in Euclea. However, Warminister's index did not take Caldish whaling practices or oil exports into consideration. it did note over-fishing.
Despite its comparably large size, Caldia is a highly urbanized country. Much of the nation's surface area of 222,029 square kilometres is sparsely populated or uninhabited. As a result, Caldia has a large number of cities. Much of the population is concentrated in population centers along its southern coast, spanning from Shanbally to County Folcthagh. The largest conurbation is the Southern Caldia region, which includes Spálgleann (the national capital), Shanbally, Clyte, Shercock, Fedamore, Corofin, Pennsea, and a number of smaller cities.
Largest cities or towns in Caldia
Caldish Statics Office, 2013 census
Caldia is considered to be one of the most developed democracies and states of justice in the world. From 1812, c. 45% of men and women (25 years and older) had the right to vote, whereas it was far lower in most democracies for the time. Likewise, Caldia was the first nation to allow women the right to vote and was the first to allow women to vote at the same time as men. Since 2010, Caldia has been classified as the world's most democratic country by the Democracy Index.
According to the Constitution of Caldia, which was adopted on 17 May 1814, Caldia is a unitary constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary system of government, wherein the King of Caldia is the head of state and the Taoiseach is the head of government. As defined by the Constitution, the country's supreme legal document, power is divided among the legislative, executive and judicial branches of government.
The Monarch officially retains executive power. The introduction a parliamentary system of government has resulted in the reduction of the monarch's duties. As such, many of the monarch's remaining duties is strictly representative and ceremonial such as the formal appointment and dismissal of the Taoiseach and other ministers in the executive government. The monarch still retains some significant powers, such as the power to dismiss a taoiseach, but this is rarely invoked. Accordingly, the monarch is commander-in-chief of the Caldish Armed Forces, and serves as chief diplomatic official abroad and as a symbol of unity. Kenneth IV of the House of MacIconnich-Sartoux was crowned King of Caldia in 2010. Princess Mary Victoria, is the heir apparent to the throne and the Kingdom. A modified system of tainistry is in place, allowing the monarch to appoint their own heir.
In practice, the Taoiseach exercises the executive powers. Constitutionally, legislative power is vested with both the government and the Tionól, but the latter is the supreme legislature and a biicameral body. The Tionól is the bicameral national parliament composed of the two Chambers of the Tionól: Seanad Glítteann (Senate) and Comhthionól Náisiúnta (National Assembly). The Seanad is composed of sixty members, with fifteen nominated by the Taoiseach, representatives for the significant religious denominations (Lairds Spiritual), the presidents of the four ancient and two Roryian universities (Lairds Academia), three senators appointed by the Chamber of Commerce (Lairds Commercial), two agricultural experts (Lairds Agricultural), and twenty five elected members - each elected by one of Caldia's twenty five counties. The Comhthionól has 399 members (Teachtaí Comhthionól) elected to represent multi-seat constituencies under the system of proportional representation and by means of the single transferable vote. The two houses meet in Carrowdun Palace located in the capital of Spálgleann.
Teachtaí Comhthionól (TCs) and elected seanadóirí serve for five year terms until elections are held once again. The last Seanad election was on 26 May 2016 and the last Comhthionól was on 18 February 2019. The appointed seanadóirí do not stand for reelection and serve their term either for life or until they are dismissed by the taoiseach or the other respective nominating bodies.
The Comhthionól ratifies national treaties developed by the executive branch. Members of government can be impeached if their acts are declared unconstitutional. If an indicted suspect is impeached, the Comhthionól has the power to remove the person from office.
The position of taoiseach Caldia's head of government, is allocated to the Teachta Comhthionól who can obtain the confidence of a majority in the Comhthionól, usually the current leader of the largest political party or the leaders of a coalition of parties. In recent decades, it has become less frequent for a single party to have the sufficient political power in terms of the number of seats to form a government on its own. Currently the Social Democrats are the nation's largest political party and form the current government, which took place following the February 2019 snap election.
The taoiseach nominates the cabinet, traditionally drawn from members of the same political party or parties in the Comhthionól, making up the government. The taoiseach organizes the executive government and exercises its power as vested by the Constitution. The Cabinet is constitutionally limited to seventeen voting members. No more than two members can be selected from the Seanad, and the taoiseach, tánaiste (deputy prime minister), and Minister of Finance must be members of the Comhthionól.
Through the Council of State, a privy council presided over by the monarch, the taoiseach and the cabinet meet at Spálgleann Palace and formally consult the monarch. All government bills need the formal approval by the monarch before and after introduction to the Tionól. All of the monarch's actions as head of state are reviewed and approved by the the council. The privy council is an example of the symbolic powers retained by the king, as all government are parliamentary acts are decided before meetings of the council.
Political parties and elections
Traditionally, the Liberty Party has played a leading role in Caldish politics since its creation in 1936. Since 1937, most governments have been formed by a taoiseach from Liberty. The party has had nine Taoiseachs who collectively held the post for a total of 54 years. They have sparred mainly with the Social Democrats, who have formed several governments and most recently won the February 2019 snap election.
For over 50 years, Caldia had had five parties who continually received enough votes to gain seats in the Comhthionól—the Liberty Party, the Social Democrats, the Centre Party, the Caldish Democrats, and the Labour Party (previously the Left Party)—before the Greens became the sixth party in the 1992 election. The Free Market Party entered the Comhthionól in 2002, becoming the seventh party, and a splinter into PNG added the eighth party in 2005. Further infighting within the Free Market Party saw several of its members expelled, who went on to form the ninth party - the Nationals. The Pensioners Party sent its first TC following the 2017 election becoming the tenth party. The eleventh party, the Caithian separatist Homeland, entered the chamber after the 2019 snap election.
Regular elections are held on a rotating five year schedule. The five-tiered system, known commonly as the cúig vótaí (five votes) system, starts with elections to the health boards in the first year, municipal elections in the second, county elections in the third, Seanad elections in the fourth, and Comhthionól elections in the fifth. Elections to the Euclean Parliament are held every four years, with the last election having taken place in 2019
In the 2007 general election, the Liberty Party lost its majority. As a result, party leader Alexis Walker approached Malcolm Fitzpatrick of the Centre Party to form a majority coalition government. Together the coalition had 203 seats, surpassing the 200-seat majority by three seats. The Liberty Party had 176 seats and the Centre Party had 27 seats. Following the election, Social Democrats formed the formal opposition with a total of 124 seats. New PSD leader Mícheál Ó Domhnaill was installed as Leader of His Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition. Results for the Free Market Party were considered monumental as the party gained 15 seats, giving them a total of 17. The outcome of the 2012 general election resulted in the loss of the Liberty-Centre Coalition's majority, with Liberty losing eleven seats and Centre losing two. The Social Democrats gained five seats but preformed poorer than expected. With 129 seats, the new PSD leader Darragh Ballíck became Opposition Leader. The loss in seats for the government and the PSD was the direct result of the surge in seats for the PSMA, which picked up 27 new seats - bringing them to a total of 44. Taoiseach Walker declined to enter a coalition with the PSMA, but instead signed a supply agreement with the PSMA and the Caldish Dems for budgetary matters.
Following the 2017 general election, Liberty expanded its coalition to include the Caldish Dems and secured a majority government under Jimmy O'Reilly. The Social Democrats faced their fourth consecutive defeat in a general election as the party lose support to smaller parties that targeted its traditional base. The decision of Ballíck to secure an electoral alliance with the Greens isolated many in working-class, union voters who turned to Labour. Following the election, Stiofán Mac Suibhne became opposition leader. The election also saw the collapse of the PSMA, which lost support to its rivals the PNG and the Nationals.
A snap election was called by Taoiseach Humphrey Dumfries following a corruption scandal that forced the king to intervene and sack Frank Casarnach as taoiseach following his refusal to resign or call a snap election after the collapse of his coalition. Liberty faced its worst ever defeat and the Social Democrats managed to secure an outright majority. The Nationals also gained nearly two dozen seats. Many of the smaller parties bled seats, with the PSMA and PNG both losing all of their remaining seats. Mac Suibhne formed the first social democratic government since the 1997 election. Liberty chose Pádraig Mac Piarais to lead the party and he became opposition leader.
Election turnout in Caldia has always been high by international comparison. The 2012 election saw a turnout of 80.11%, which was down from 84.63% in 2007. The 2016 Seanad election had a turnout of 73.07%, which is considered average. Caldish politicians tend to enjoy a high degree of confidence from the citizens. However, this trend was broken by Taoiseach Enda Kenny and the Recession of 2005. In recent years, Taoiseach Walker has experienced high levels of confidence, with 72% of survey respondents say they were confident in her leadership. The tumultuous leadership of taoiseachs Jimmy O'Reilly and Frank Casarnach saw a further decline in public confidence, hitting a period of successive historical lows.
There are three types of counties: commission counties, metropolitan counties, and autonomous counties. The municipal governments of Spálgleann, Garrafrauns, Invertwinc, and Shanbally also serve as their county governments. Caithia has special status as an autonomous county. The counties have a permanent constitutional status. Under the Caldish Constitution, all 26 counties are equal in status. Every country has a legislature (most often the County Commission), a County Executive, and a County Governor. Commissions and executives are elected at a county level while the governor is appointed by the monarch on behalf of the national government. Elections for county government are held every five years. The next county election will be held in June 2020. Counties are responsible for supervising local state administration that is not otherwise assigned to government agencies and for working with the elected health boards and implementing their resolutions. County governments coordinate their political goals with the national government. They are overseen by the Ministry of Urban Affairs and Municipal Relations.
Counties are further subdivided into municipalities, which have different roles from the counties. While counties oversee things like healthcare, public transportation, and culture, municipalities are responsible for education, waste services, and utilities. They work with the national government in order to operate pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary schools. Some municipalities share services and in sparsely populated areas, the county will provide select services on behalf of the municipalities. They were previously responsible for police and emergency services, until they were consolidated on a national level in 2017. The Ministry of Urban Affairs and Municipal Relations works closely with municipalities to ensure public services are provided. All municipalities are governed by municipal councils. In large municipalities, the executive is a directly elected mayor who is elected once every five years alongside the council. In small municipalities, the government is led by the municipal executive. The municipal executive fulfills the same role as an elected mayor and is elected by members of the municipal council. The last municipal elections were held in June 2019 alongside elections to the Euclean Parliament.
Counties are grouped into six regions. These regions have no legal authority, but some retain cultural significance. In recent years, there have been calls for the government to phase out the county system and introduce larger subdivisions. Critics of county governance argue they are inefficient and are demographically disproportionate, making it harder or more costly for the government to deliver services. Some critics also support the number of municipalities must also be reduced for the same reason. However, this would mean that devolved governments in rural and sparsely populated would be responsible for more territory. Supporters of the current system argue merging counties and municipalities would make it harder for the national government to provide services in remote parts of the country.
Foreign relations and international institutions
Caldia maintains permanent diplomatic missions in over fifty countries. Dozens of foreign countries maintain an embassy in Caldia, all of which are located in the capital. There are also a number of consulates maintained by foreign governments in Caldia. When a new ambassador or consul is sent to Caldia by a foreign nation, they are received by the monarch to whom they present their letter of credence. Foreign policy is coordinated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, currently led by Séamus Ó Faoláin.
Throughout the 20th century, Caldish foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. The government pursued an independent course of non-alignment so that neutrality would be possible in the event of war. Caldia does not participate in any military organization. However, it is required by the common defense clause of the Treaty of Kesselbourg to come to the aid of EC member-states should one be targeted by a declaration of war. While this breaks with the policy of non-alignment, Caldia is politically and economically integrated into the Euclean Community. As a result, the government has at times considered issues of Euclean security to be matters of national security. Caldia's doctrine of neutrality dates back to the early 18th century. The country has not been at war since 1709 and celebrated 300 years of peace in 2009, one of the longest records in recorded history. During the Great War Caldia maintained its policy of neutrality. However, it was violated following the joint Estmerish-Weranian invasion of the nation. The occupation created a sense of distrust of Estmere and Werania that lasted until the early 1950s.
Traditionally, Caldish diplomats have been advocates for the creation and use of international institutions. As a small state, the government relies heavily on these institutions to to carry out its foreign policy goals and ensure its security. Caldia is an advocate for inclusive international processes that bring national governments together. Foreign policy is centered around multilateral solutions and the use of international institutions to carry out its foreign policy goals.
Caldia was a founding member of both the Community of Nations and has played an active role in the organization. The Caldish military frequently participates in CN peacekeeping missions. It has long been committed to upholding human rights and was one of the first signatories of the Declaration of Universal Natural Rights. The Caldish government supported de-colonization and is a major advocate for nuclear disarmament. The Treaty of Shanbally was negotiated and signed in Caldia. It joined the Euclean Community in 1955 and has been a supporter of Euclean institutions. Starting first under Alexis Walker, Caldish foreign policy became more in line with the positions Euclean Commission and frequently cooperated with Gaullica. This shift in policy caused controversy and has mostly been reversed, with Caldia reasserting its independence from the rest of the bloc in foreign affairs. Caldia is a member of the Atomic Energy Commission, Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, the International Council for Democracy, the International Trade Organisation, the League of Oil Producing States, and the Northern Forum.
A number of international institutions maintain offices in Caldia, including the Community of Nations. Spálgleann has a large international quarter and organizations also have offices in Garrafrauns. Organizations headquartered in Caldia include the AEC, ITO, and LOPS.
Judiciary and law enforcement
In Caldia, a civil law system is used where laws are drafted and amended in the legislature. The system is regulated by the nation's court system. There are four tiers to the court system, known as the Ceithre Chúirt (Four Courts). The High Court, the national courts, county Courts, and municipal courts. The judiciary is independent from the executive and legislative branches and has high levels of judicial independence. The national government reserves the right to nominate judges for all four tiers. These are then confirmed by the lower-house of the legislature, the Comhthionól Náisiúnta.
The High Court serves as the nation's supreme court. It has 11 permanent members who are nominated by the executive and confirmed by the legislature. It is led by the Chief Justice who is elected from among its members for a permanent term. Its mission is to interpret the constitution, determine the constitutionality of legislation, and regulate the national judiciary. Decisions of all lower courts can be appealed to the High Court, who has the power to overturn their rulings. Through its judicial reviews, it has significant authority over both the government and the legislature. It monitors both branches to ensure they compliant with both the constitution and provisions of existing legislation. The High Court meets at the Fitzwallace House in Spálgleann. The current Chief Justice is Bríanna Ni Flaithbheartaigh who has held the post since 2011.
National courts are courts that have jurisdiction over the nation. There are six national court districts in which counties are grouped. The authority of national courts supersedes that of both county and municipal courts. Each court consists of five members nominated and appointed by the national government. The rulings of county and municipal courts can be appealed to national courts, who have the jurisdiction to overturn or place a stay on rulings from lower courts. County Courts operate at a county level. They play a similar role to the High Court as they ensure county governments are compliant with the law. Municipal courts handle the legal affairs of municipality. Their size ranges significantly with larger cities employing over two dozen judges while the smallest municipalities have only one judge. Metropolitan counties in Caldia have county courts that include the functions of municipal courts.
There is also an unofficial fifth tier of the judiciary made up of the Court of Familiar Arbitration. This was established in the fourteenth century and is specifically for the nation's clans. It was previously used as a way to solve land disputes between clans to prevent armed conflict. Today, it only has legal jurisdiction over familiar tartan and arms.
The law in Caldia is enforced by the Caldish Royal Police Service. Formed in 2017, it is made up of 47 police districts and several specialist agencies. Each district is led by a commissioner while the entire service is overseen by the Royal Police Board, headed by the Royal Police Commissioner. The Royal Police Board reports directly to the Ministry of Justice and Equality. Prior to 2017, police services were handled on a municipal and county level. Municipalities maintained their own services, operated joint-services, or had services provided by the county police agencies. Caldia is a member of Euclean Law Enforcement Cooperation Organization (ELECO) and Global Information, Security, and Police Organization (Glopol). The country maintains extradition treaties with most nations, but frequently declines to extradite those seeking political asylum. This often results in tensions with other governments, who have at times suspended agreements with the Caldish government.
The judicial and law enforcement systems are generally considered to be transparent, accountable, and to have low-levels of corruption. The system is operated under the pretext of innocence until proven guilty. Prisons are widely viewed as humane.
The Caldish Defense Forces are made up of the Caldish Army, the Royal Caldish Navy, which includes the Coast Guard, the Royal Caldish Air Force, and the Home Guard. Compared to most Euclean militaries, it is small but well equipped. Currently there are almost 15,000 full-time active personnel and over 10,000 in reserve. The head of the defenseforces is the Chief of Staff (Ceann Foirne - CF), the most senior commissioned officer in the country. The monarch is the pro forma Commander-in-Chief, but in reality it was clearly understood since the onset of the 20th century that the monarch would have no active role as a military leader. However, there is a trend among monarchs, as well as other members of the Royal Family, to serve in the defense forces. Kenneth IV performed military service in the navy from 2007 to 2009 and remains a reservist.
Caldia is a neutral country and rules governing the participation of Caldish troops in conflict zones must pass the "triple-lock"- system, obtaining the approval of the Comhthionól Náisiúnta, the cabinet, and the monarch. The nation own domestic arms industry which helps supply the defense forces. Some of these companies have come under foreign control since privatization of publicly owned companies began in the 1980s. Equipment is also imported from nations in the Euclean Community, such as Gaullica and Estmere.
Since the mid 20th century, Caldia's military has actively participated in a host of peacekeeping operations. Caldia has also contributed to or led peacekeeping operations elsewhere in Couis and the Asterias. The nation has been at peace for over three-hundred years. The last war it participated lasted from 1701 to 1709. While it was occupied and faced insurgency during the Great War, Caldia was not at a formal state of war and officially remained neutral in the conflict.
Until the late 1970s, nearly all males and females reaching the age of military service were conscripted for at least a year of service. As of 1979 conscription was abolished. All soldiers serving must by law be volunteers, unless otherwise required for defense readiness. Recruitment has generally shifted towards finding the most motivated recruits, rather than solely those otherwise most fit for service. Many Caldish volunteer to serve in the Home Guard, the national reservist force. Members of the Home Guard are paid on a monthly basis for their service and are required to attend training on the the third weekend of every month.
The Riarachán Eolais Glítteann (Caldish Information Administration - REG) is responsible for supplying the Defense Forces, the Ministry of Defence and the government with intelligence regarding foreign matters. The Seirbhís Faisnéise Baile (Domestic Intelligence Service - SFB) is tasked with supplying the same groups with domestic intelligence. They both operate under the Ministry of National Security.
|Source:Caldish Statistics Office|
According to government released by the government, the total resident population of Caldia was 9,862,108 as of 1 September 2019. This is a significant increase from 2013, when the last census was conducted. In 2013, there were 9,257,180 residents. The population grew 6.5% between 2013 and 2019. Immigration has played an important role in Caldia's population growth. In 2013, 25.7% of the population had a foreign background. Every fifth (19.4%) resident in the country was born abroad and every fourth (26.7%) had at least one parent born abroad. Almost 75% of the population was born in Caldia with two parents who were also born in Caldia. As such, three in four residents are thought to be Ghaillish.
The population density is 41.7 people per square kilometer (108 per square mile). It is much higher in the south of the country than it is in the north, which is sparsely populated. Approximately 85% of the population lives in urban area. Caldia's main cities have large urban areas and overlapping metropolitan areas. The largest conurbation is Southern Caldia, which has a population of over 4.8 million. The area along Caldia's eastern coast and the agricultural areas surrounding Garrafrauns, the second-largest city, also have a high population density.
The part of the country with the lowest population density is the Highlands, which has few major settlements. The Highland region covers approximately 50% of all Caldish territory. It has a very low population density (fewer than 8 people per square kilometer). The mountain areas and much of the northern coast is almost unpopulated. Sudreadharr, which is located on Caldia's western coast, also has a low population density.
The government does not record statistics on ethnicity. Rather, it records national backgrounds. The last official estimate in 2013
The official language of Caldia is Ghaillish, which is spoken by the vast majority of the inhabitants as their first language. Ghaillish is a Tenic language of the Goidelic branch. It has been spoken in Caldia in some form since the 5th century. The first form was Ancient Ghaillish which used the ogham alphabet. This evolved into Old Ghaillish in the 8th century. Unlike its predecessor, Old Ghaillish used the Solarian alphabet that was introduced by Sotirian missionaries. In the 10th century, Middle Ghaillish emerged and was spoken until the 13th century when Modern Ghaillish developed. As a result of colonialism and emigration, Ghaillish is also spoken throughout the Asterias. The Sudric dialect is spoken in Sudreadharr and has influences from Old Ordennian. Caldia does not recognize any minority languages.
The most widely spoken foreign languages are Gaullican and Estmerish. 72% of the population indicate they are able to converse in Gaullican and 48% in Estmerish. There are also a notable portion of the population (29%) that can converse in Weranian,
Gaullican is a mandatory course in all secondary and tertiary schools. In most secondary school educations, one additional modern foreign language is required during the final two years. In tertiary schools, two additional modern foreign languages are mandatory during the first three years. Only during the last two years in pre-university tertiary education one foreign language is mandatory. In addition to Gaullican and Estmerish, the standard modern languages are Floren, Pardarian, Senrian. Weranian, Xiaodongese. Students are also required to take a modern foreign language at all major universities in Caldia.
Forms of Sotirianity have dominated religious life in the Caldish Isles for around 1400 years. Before the 8th century, Ghailles adhered to Ghaillish mythology which was widely practiced. Tradition maintains that Saint Adomnán was the most prominent Sotirian missionary, successfully converting powerful chieftains and establishing several monasteries. Following Sotirianization, worship of other deities fell out of practice but many other traditions continued. This caused disputes with the Church in Solaria, resulting in religious conflicts and a series of anti-popes. After the Amendist Schism, the authority of the Solarian Catholic Church was abolished and the Church of Caldia became the established church. Catholicism was still practiced until the 18th century when it was effectively outlawed. Liberalization during the 19th century allowed for the free practice of other faiths. The Church of Caldia was disestablished as the state church in 1965 and freedom of religion was officially enshrined in the constitution.
According to data from the Caldish Statistics Office from 2017, 49.2% of the population identified as irreligious. This includes people who identify as atheist, agnostic, or otherwise non-religious. Caldia has one of the highest irreligious populations among historically Sotirian nations in Euclea. As a result of high rates of irreligion, Caldia has been described as a multi-faith, secularized, or post-Sotirian society. Sotirians account for 45.1% of the population. Among those who identify as Sotirian, 25.8% are belong to the Amendist Church of Caldia, 17.6% are Solarian Catholic, and 1.7% belong to other Sotirian denominations. Irfan comprised 3.9% of the population and other religions (including Atudism, Taojiao, and Tenkyou) comprised the remaining 1.8% of the population.
Independent research conducted jointly by University of Spálgleann and Spálgleann Public University in 2010 found that 36% of the Caldish population identified as Sotirian. In 2015, this decreased to 25%. Researchers concluded that it is likely some people in Caldia may be agnostic, but prefer to identify as Sotirian and are comfortable remaining officially in the Church of Caldia. A 2015 survey conduced by the universities found that only 1 in 10 regularly attend religious services.
Despite its role as the established church for over 400 years, the Church of Caldia has seen a sharp decline in its membership starting in the 1990s. Between 1990 and 2017, membership declined by almost 1.5 percentage points annually. It was disestablished by a constitutional amendment in 1965 and requirements that the majority cabinet ministers come from the Church of Caldia were removed. Despite its decline, the the church continues to play an important cultural role. The Caldish royal family is strongly associated with the Church of Caldia. It was established by Ellen I in 1541 and monarchs have played an important role in the church. The current monarch, Kenneth IV, is the Supreme Governor of the Church. Most members of the royal family are members of the Church of Caldia, but Princess Margaret, Dowager Kaiserin converted to Catholicism after the birth of her children. She is the first prominent member of the royal family to practice Catholicism in centuries.
Other faiths have grown as a result of immigration. Much of the Catholic population has an immigrant background, migrating from majority Catholic countries in Asteria Superior, Asteria Inferior, and Bahia. Religions native to Couis have also grown as a result of immigration. The first Irfanic congregation opened in the 1972 and the population has steadily grown since as a result of further immigration. The Irfanic population is estimated to be 485,000 as of 2017. Only about 120,000 regularly attending services or belonged to a congregation. Immigration from Tsabara has resulted in an increase of the Atudite population, which as of 1950 was estimated to only have 10,000 adherents. One estimate placed the number of Atudites in Caldia at 90,000 in 2018.
During the 19th century, millions of people migrated from Caldia to the Asterias. Most migrants moved to Valentir and Nuvania. Others moved to Cassier, Imagua, and Satucin where existed Ghaillish communities existed as a result of colonial settlement. Between the 1850s and 1920s, over a million people are estimated to have emigrated from Caldia. Some estimates place the number as high as 1.75 million, but this is disputed. Millions of people living in the Asterias identify as having Caldish ancestry.
In recent decades, people have relocated from Caldia to other nations inside the Euclean Community.
Immigration has been a significant source of population growth for Caldia since the 1990s. This has resulted in cultural change as the nation has transitioned from a nation with net emigration to a nation of net immigration. Immigration has become a major political issue, while the economic, social, and political effects of immigration cause controversy and debate. The political question of immigration is largely centered around issues regarding ethnicity, religion, economic benefits, employment, crime, and voting behavior. Since 2007, anti-immigration parties have continued to make gains in elections. Immigration law was last altered in 2017 by the government of Jimmy O'Reilly. The number of people who can enter Caldia was increased and a new citizenship test was introduced.
At the time of the 2013 census, there were 9,257,180 living in Caldia. There were 2,286,523 inhabitants with a foreign background, either having been born abroad or the children of migrants. Around 26% of the Caldish population was categorized as having a foreign background. 1,792,340 persons living in Caldia were born in another country. This was a significant increase from the 2003 census, where only approximately 17% of the population was identified as having a foreign background. Migration to Caldia is expected to have increased after the 2013 census, with one estimate by the government now placing the percentage of inhabitants with a foreign background at over 35%. Immigration has helped offset the impacts of Caldia's aging population, increasing both the birth rate and rate of replacement.
The Caldish government does not collect data on the ethnic background of immigrants or the children of immigrants. The government does not base any of its statistics on ethnicity. As a result, there are no official records regarding ethnicity. The government does record the national backgrounds of migrants. It also records their religions.
Immigrant populations are mostly concentrated in the urban areas of Southern Caldia and Central Caldia. Spálgleann has the concentration number of foreign-born persons in the country. Approximately 43% of the city's 1,372,565 residents have a foreign background. Immigration has mostly been the result of refugee migration and family reunification. Since the 1970s, most immigrants have come from countries in Badawiya, Bahia, and elsewhere in Coius.
According to the Caldish civil registry, the ten largest groups of foreign-born persons in 2018 were from:
Healthcare in Caldia is similar in quality to other developed nations. Caldia ranks in the top five countries with respect to low infant mortality. Average life expectancy in Caldia is 83.4 years, making it one of the highest in the world. A person seeking care first contacts a clinic for a doctor's appointment, and may then be referred to a specialist by the clinic physician, who may in turn recommend either in-patient or out-patient treatment, or an elective care option. By law, every citizen is required to be registered with a practicing clinical physician, something typically arranged by their healthcare provider.
Unlike many developed nations, both public and private healthcare providers in Caldia cover the costs of products such as birth control, condoms, and tampons. While some clients may be required to make co-pays, the practice is credited with Caldia's low unintended pregnancy and STI rates. Healthcare providers also cover the costs of abortions and STI screenings. After the AIDs crisis, the Caldish government began to allocate funding to AIDs research. Several prominent AIDs and HIV research laboratories are headquartered in the Caldia.
The Caldish government provides healthcare to every citizen through the Roghapoiblí (public option). Every citizen is covered by the Roghapoiblí by default. However, private healthcare options are available and those who purchase private healthcare opt out of the Roghapoiblí system. For those on the Roghapoiblí, an additional 5% was once added to their income tax. When Caldia had a flat tax, those with healthcare coverage through the Roghapoiblí system paid an income tax of 15%. Those on public assistance had their costs entirely covered by the state and did not have to pay the tax. Some patients covered by the Roghapoiblí may have to pay nominal fees and co-pays depending on the services.
Hospitals and other medical centers are administered by county health boards. County health boards are part of the Ministry of Health and consist of up to 15 members. Eight of these members are elected by the public every five years while a minimum of three are appointed by the Minister of Health. These appointments are largely to balance the board's expertise as deemed necessary by the government. Voting for public-elected board members occurs through the ranked-choice voting system, and elections take place at start of the five-year schedule for regularly-held elections. CHB elections have the lowest voter turnout.
The county health boards are given a set of objectives by the Ministry of Health, but have a degree of autonomy in how they choose to achieve these. CHBS are non-profit providers. The performance of individual CHBs is monitored by the CHB Funding and Performance Bureau, which is also part of the Ministry of Health. CHBs are responsible for allocating funding to primary health organisations (PHOs). There are two parties from which board members are typically chosen: the Alliance for Public Health and the National Health League. The APH tends to support higher spending and the allocation of more resources to the primary health organisations. It is politically aligned with the Social Democratic Party, which does not stand in CHB elections. The NHL tends to support less spending and privatization. It maintains loose political ties to the Liberty Party and other centre-right political parties. Parties that contest CHB elections and hold seats on various boards include: the Centre Party, National Party, Labour Party, and the Pensioners Party. The electoral system is considered controversial as some healthcare experts and advocates are concerned about the politicization of the county health boards while others have concerns over the level of political party influence.
Schooling in Caldia is mandatory for all children between age 5 and 17. The compulsory Caldish education system follows a three-tiered model that includes primary (bunscoile), secondary (meánscoile), and tertiary (treascoile) education. Typically, primary education lasts from ages 3-7, secondary from ages 8-12, and tertiary from ages 13-17. After completing ísleoideachas (lower education), a student moves on to completely his or her ardoideachas (higher education). Depending on the path chosen, students can either attend a trade school or university after completing Grade 13. Higher education typically starts at the age of 18. While it is not mandatory, the government strongly encourages students to pursue ardoideachas. Small tuition fees were once charged for trade schools, universities, as well as pre-schools, but were abolished in 2018. The Caldish education system is globally renown for the quality of its instruction, its small teacher-to-student ratio, and its progressivism. Students receive instruction on subjects such as women's issues, LGBT issues, reproductive health, and multiculturalism from a young age. However, this is not without criticism. In recent years opposition to the liberal instruction has grown.
The school year begins on the third Monday of January and ends on 30 November. Should 30 November fall on a Saturday or Sunday, the school year ends on the last weekday of November. There is a school holiday for the entire month of June, as well as other school holidays throughout the academic year. The school year is divided into semesters, with the First Semester taking place from January to May and the Second Semester from July to November.
All schools, in both ísleoideachas and ardoideachas, are operated by the state and are part of the Ministry of Education. The annual education budget is over €23.2 billion, with €2500 being spent per capita. Schools are run through the joint efforts of municipalities and the national government. Private schools are prohibited and homeschooling is allowed but is closely supervised by the government and seldom allowed.
There are a number of prominent universities in Caldia. There are the four Ancient Universities: the University of Spálgleann, the University of Garrafrauns, the University of Invertwinc, and St Cuchulain's University all of which have been open since the fourteenth-century. There are two other major universities, the Roryian universities: King's University Scariff and Shanbally University. Some of the universities rank among the most prestigious in the world. Caldish universities have educated many notable alumni, both from within Caldia and elsewhere.
Caldia is among the richest countries in the world in terms of GDP (gross domestic product) per capita and a high standard of living is experienced by its citizens. It is the second-wealthiest country by GDP per capita in Euclea and has the fourth-highest GDP per capita in the world. Caldia ranks among the wealthiest countries in monetary value, with the one of the largest capital reserves per capita of any nation. Caldia is an open economy, ranking highly for "high-value" foreign direct investment flows. Comparatively, Caldia is a small globalized economy and the wealth of foreign owned companies flows out of Caldia. Foreign multinational companies are a driver of the Caldish economy, employing a significant portion of the private sector workforce and paying the majority of business taxes. International companies from inside the Euclean Community and from countries such as Lorcania, Nuxica, Senria, and Xiaodong operate major offices in Caldia. Despite the strong presence of foreign wealth, the country's high GDP per capita is bolstered by a strong resource market. Attempts to achieve diversification of the economy has led to concerns of industrial blight regarding finance and oil industries.
Caldia adopted the euclo in 2000 alongside the rest of the Euclean Community. Previously, it used the Caldish crown (coróin). Spálgleann is the country's main financial center and one of the largest in northern Euclea. It is home to the Spálgleann Stock Exchange, where many Caldish companies are listed and traded. The Caldish central bank is known as His Majesty's Treasury, which has a prominent role in the economy.
For many industries, Caldia is an export-oriented mixed economy. Timber, oil, and iron ore constitute the resource base of an economy with a heavy emphasis on foreign trade. Caldia's engineering sector accounts for nearly half of output and exports, while telecommunications, the automotive industry, and the pharmaceutical industries are also of great importance. It is also among the leading arms exporters in the world. Agriculture is a significant sector of the economy, accounting for 5% of GDP and and employment. Imports of foreign material goods are common. Caldia has a trade deficit with major export-economies such as the UZIR, Senria, and Xiaodong.
Interest in fashion is strong in Caldia, which is home to famous brands such as Fir & Mná (meaning Men & Women, operating as F&M). It began in the years following the Great War, with Ellen II and her sisters serving as prominent symbols of fashion. Before its own domestic industry emerged, fashion trends and styles were largely imported from Gaullica. Caldish fashion companies sell to buyers who import clothing from throughout Euclea and the Asterias. Several domestic companies are vendors themselves.
Traditionally, the egalitarian values of Caldish society have kept wage differences between the lowest paid worker and company executives lower than other developed economies. However, neoliberal economic reform beginning in the 1980s has resulted in a widening gap between the lowest paid workers and the highest paid workers. Many industrial workers have had their jobs outsourced to cheaper labor markets or have seen their sector downsized significantly. Post-industrialism has led to urban decline in former industrial centers like Spálgleann and Shanbally. However, in recent years Spálgleann has seen a process of revitalization.
An estimated 6.5 million Caldish residents are employed and around a third of the workforce completed tertiary education. The structure of the economy favors a large, knowledge-intensive export-oriented manufacturing sector and a large business service sector with an international focus. There is a strong trade union culture in Caldia, though industrial decline and political reforms have seen their influence decrease. Changes made to the unemployment system in the wake of the 2005 Global Financial Crisis considerably raised fees to unemployment funds, followed by a substantial decline in union density and density of unemployment funds occurred.
The unemployment rate was 5.5% in May 2018 while the employment rate is 69.1%. The workforce consists of 6,495,300 people while 517,000 are unemployed. In recent years, Caldia faces a growing domestic labor shortage and has an aging population.
Caldia's economy was transformed in the 1980s by the creation of a 10% low-tax "special economic zone", known in Caldia as the Global Financial Services Area (RSAD). The policy was implemented in 1985 by Taoiseach Patricia Flowers. Initially, only the cities of Spálgleann and Garrafrauns were designated as RSAD zones. Following their success, the Flowers government expanded the program in 1991 so that the entire country was effectively turned into an RSAD when the Caldish corporation tax was reduced from 34% to 12.5%. It accelerated the country's growth from a predominately agricultural and manufacturing economy into a knowledge economy. Changes in the corporate tax system attracted multinationals from high-tech, life sciences, and financial services.
Flowers also abolished the progressive income tax and implemented a flat tax rate of 10% for those above the poverty line. In 2019, the policy was abolished an a two-tiered system was introduced by the current government.
Changes in the country's tax system helped fuel significant economic growth, building on the wealth the country gained from its oil industry. It resulted in a shift away from the agricultural and industrial sectors and under Niamh Nic Uilliam education policy was amended to reflect the demand for a highly-educated workforce that had resulted from the tax policy.
Dividends earned from Caldia's sovereign wealth fund help the government supplement its low corporate and income taxes. Funds from the SWF are often used to ensure the national budget is balanced. During the Global Financial Crisis of 2005, the Caldish financial services and banking sectors faced collapsed. They were controversially bailed out by Alexis Walker's government, using money from the country's SWF.
The successful low-tax model has opened the country to accusations that it is a corporate tax haven. It is particularly an issue within the Euclean Community. Some Euclean companies have relocated to pay less in corporate taxes while the Euclean Commission has concerns many foreign corporations are being awarded tax benefits that are not in line with EC policy.
Science and technology
Research and development has its origins in the late 19th century, following the onset of the Industrial Revolution in Caldia. The country's major universities became heavily involved in global scientific studies, making significant contributions to the fields of astronomy, chemistry, mathematics, and medicine. There are dozens of internationalists Caldish scientists. Following the outbreak of the AIDs crisis, Caldish research made significant advances with government support.
Starting in the 20th century, Caldish academics have also made many notable contributions to the social sciences. Sociology and peace and conflict studies have been pioneered by academics in Caldia. There are also a number of prominent economists, many of which are part of the Caldish School of economics. Deirdre Nic Innes is considered to be the founder of the modern school and was closely involved in Caldish economy policy of the 1980s and 1990s.
Caldia is a high-tech economy with a number of developed industry. Caldia's engineering industry is a major source of inventions for Caldia and the Euclean Community. In recent years, the decline of the traditional manufacturing sector has seen the rise of Caldish tech companies. The country has a small but robust gaming sector and is home to prominent gaming companies such as Tírnaill and Donald-Douglas.
The public and the private sector in Caldia together allocate over 2.5% of GDP to research & development (R&D) per year Caldia's investment in R&D as a percentage of GDP is among the highest in the world. After the Great War, the Caldish government has prioritized scientific and R&D activities. The Ministry of Education is responsible for overseeing R&D in Caldia. Cuts to government spending has seen government support for R&D decline, while private contributions have grown.
There are a number of significant mineral resources found in Caldia. Many are found in and extracted from the country's mountainous Highlands. The Sudreadharr region is rich in iron and nickle, which are extracted and transported by rail to the nation's leading ports for export. Other valuable resources include limestone, nepheline syenite, and titanium.
Caldia is also a minor exporter of liquefied natural gas, extracting, refining, and exporting natural gas found in its exclusive economic zone.
Export revenues from oil and gas have risen to almost half of Caldia's total exports and accounts for more than 20% of the GDP. Caldia is the fifth-largest oil exporter and third-largest gas exporter in the world, and is one of the leading exporters in Euclea. Ríoga Pheitriliam na Ghlítteann (RPG) is the state oil company and accounts for the country's strategic petroleum sector. It is one of the few publicly owned companies in Caldia, escaping the trend of privatization. Its profits have been used by the government to balance the national budget. In 1993, the government established its first sovereign wealth fund - The State Pension Fund. It was funded with all oil revenue, including sale revenues, taxes, dividends, and licensing fees. It was done to oil revenues from overheating the economy, reduce uncertainty caused by the volatility of oil prices, and help the country deal with its aging population. There are two additional sovereign wealth funds: the State Investment Fund and the State Expenditure Fund.
The nation's petroleum resources are managed by the government through a combination of state ownership. It owns 75% of the shares of RPG as of 2015 and fully owns Peitreal, which is responsible for of exploration and production licenses for petroleum and natural gas. RPG the operates oil fields while Peitreal does not operate any fields and does not directly own the licenses. The Ministry of Petroleum oversees the operations of all government-owned oil and gas companies and the sovereign wealth funds associated with oil revenue. There is a state monopoly of the Caldish petroleum industry.
From 1965 to 2010, RPG has drilled 5085 oil wells, mostly in the North Sea and the Ghaillish Sea. 3672 wells are are táirgeadhrialta (regular production) and 1413 are taiscéalaíochtatoibreacha (exploration). 1405 of these have been terminated (toibreachacríochnaithe). Oil fields not yet in production phase include: Wistling Central—calculated size in 2013, 65–156 million barrels of oil and 10–40 billion cubic feet, (inghnóthaithe) of gas. and the Caithian Northern Field —calculated size 540 million barrels of oil, and 2–7 billion cubic meters (inghnóthaithe) of gas. Both oil fields are located in the North Sea.
There are two undersea pipelines that connect Caldia to mainland Euclea, running from County Holyhead to Werania's northern coast. A third has been proposed by the government, but has been met with opposition from environmental movements.
Sovereign wealth funds
The Caldish government operates three major sovereign wealth funds: the State Pension Fund, the State Investment Fund, and the State Expenditure Fund. All oil revenue generated by state oil ventures. The funds were established to help the government manage the rising influence of oil revenue over the Caldish economy and it help ensure its use in the state budget remained stable. In all funds, holdings are invested in a broad portfolio.
The oldest and largest of the funds is the State Pension Fund. Established in 1993, it has surpassed a value of €900 billion - equal to €98,000 per capita. It is the largest sovereign wealth fund in the world and controls about 1.5% of all listed shares in Euclea and over 1% of all publicly traded shares globally. A rule implemented in 2008 by the Walker government allows the fund to invest up to 60% of its capital in shares, an increase from the previous 40%. The rest is to be placed in bonds and real-estate. The rule came amid the Global Financial Crisis, starting in 2005, as the fund was able to buy more shares at low prices.
The State Investment Fund was established in 1995. It is smaller than the pension fund, with a value of approximately €400 billion. It is used by the state to invest in developing economies as part of the state's international aid program. Holdings can be found throughout West Euclea, Coius, and the Asterias. Critics of the fund have accused it of preying on developing markets. The smallest of the three sovereign wealth funds, the State Expenditure Fund, was established in 1999. Its holdings are valued at over €150 billion. Earnings from this fund are specifically used by the government to help fill gaps in the national budget, resulting from a low taxation rate. It was controversially raided by the Walker government in 2007 to bail out the Caldish financial services and banking industries.
The Ministry of Petroleum, in conjunction with the Ministry of Finance, oversees the three funds. The Caldish Central Bank is tasked with directing the investments of the funds. It operates investment offices in Verlois, Na Naoimh, and Jindao.
Agriculture and fishing
Agriculture accounts for over 50% of the total land area in Caldia, primarily based out of the southern regions of the country. Despite the mountainous landscape of the Highlands, agriculture is a significant sector there and accounts for a significant portion of the economy and employment. For much of its history, Caldia was an agrarian nation. The industry receives subsidies from the government, which were recently increased in 2017. It is part of the Common Agricultural Policy and receives subsidies from the Euclean Community. Caldia is a net food importer and has been since 2000, after a decline in the agricultural sector as the country moved towards a knowledge-based economy.
Caldia is also one of the world's largest exporters of fish, and the second largest in Euclea. Fish from fish farms and catch accounts for the second largest export product measured in value, behind oil. It is a member of the EC's Common Fisheries Policy, which was initially strongly resisted by the Caldish government until it was able to secure concessions to protect its fishing industry. As a country with a small domestic market, the policy was set to place heavy restrictions on the Caldish fishing industry. Whaling has a long history in Caldia. It is a major industry in Oileáin Oirthir and in Caithia. There are over 500 catches a year, with a quota of 600. Some governments have made attempts to curtail whaling, angering parts of the country involved in the trade.
Together, agriculture and fishing account for 5% of GDP and employment. They are overseen by the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs.
The country's three main international airports at Spálgleann, Garrafrauns and Shanbally serve many Euclean and intercontinental routes with scheduled and chartered flights. The Verlois and Spálgleann route is the second busiest international air route in Euclea, with 3.6 million people flying between the two cities in 2013 down from the 4.4 million who flew in 2003. Aer Glítteann is the flag carrier of Caldia, although Crownair is the country's largest airline. Crownair is one of Euclea's largest low-cost carriers, the 2nd-largest in terms of passenger numbers, and the world's largest in terms of international passenger numbers.
The main railway services in Caldia are provided by Córas Iompair Glítteann (CIG - Transport System Caldia). The majority of domestic passenger services are operated by Iarnród Ríoga (IR). Spálgleann is the centre of the network with its terminal, Grand Central Station (Stáisiún Lárnach Mór), linking to the country's cities and main towns. The Iarthuaisceart Iarnróid (II), which operates independently of CIG, provides passenger services from Shanbally to towns and cities along the country's northwestern coast.The country's high-speed rail is operated by IR between Shanbally, Spálgleann, Garrafrauns, and Invertwinc. IR operates long-haul trains, including night trains while its parent company, CIG, provides regional services. Examples of regional services are the Greater Spálgleann Commuter Rail, the Oileán Iarnród, and the Highland Line. Several companies operate freight trains, the largest of which is II. Investment in new infrastructure and maintenance is financed through the state budget, and subsidies are provided for passenger train operations. The Caldish railways underwent privatization in the 1980s after the Caldish State Railway was dissolved and parts of it were sold off to different ventures. An underwater rail tunnel connects Mannes with the mainland, while Piernás and Éirness are linked via over-sea bridges. A tunnel from Shanbally to Holyhead has been proposed several times, but one has yet to be constructed.
Motorways, national primary roads and national secondary roads are managed by the National Roads Authority, while regional roads and local roads are managed by the local authorities in each of their respective areas. The road network is primarily focused on the capital, but motorways have been extended to other cities as part of the Transport 19 capital investment program, as a result modern motorways have been completed between Spálgleann and a number of other major Caldish cities, linking the country's main population centers by road.
Caldia is home to several major warm water ports, such as those in Shanbally, Spálgleann, and Invertwinc. The largest port is in Shanbally, which has also been the center of the Caldish shipbuilding industry. There are also over fifteen smaller ports throughout the country. Historically, Caldia has acted as a way point between Euclean nations and their Asterian colonies, resulting in the establishment of thriving port cities and a mercantile class. The nation's ports played a crucial role during the Great War and were a leading factor for the occupation by Allied powers. Caldia's ports have played a crucial role in the establishment of the nation as a leading oil producing and exporting nation.
There are several car ferry connections offered to Ordennya, Varienland, Werania, and Azmara. The lines leave from Pennsea Harbor on the island of Holyhead, the Royal Port Spálgleann, and the Port of Shanbally. The routes from Spálgleann and Shanbally are also served by shipping lines. The Port of Shanbally is the busiest in Caldia when it comes to number of transported weight with lorries. The Shanbally - Riksdähl line originated during the 19th Century as a steam ferry route for trains, and today's ferries still carries the trains of the Shanbally to Västdal rail line during the summers, linking up Caldia to the Euclostar service for the season. Caldia has two domestic ferry lines with large vessels, connecting the islands of Holyhead, Mannes, Piernás, and Éirness to the mainland. Goeldonia and Royal Caldish operate out of the highlands and lowlands respectively. Smaller car ferries link up the nation's many islands and are operated by small companies or local government authorities.
Caldia's energy market is largely privatized, a process beginning in the 1980s. According to government data from 2010, there was a total electricity production of 139 TWh. Electricity from hydropower accounted for 61 TWh (44%), and nuclear power delivered 65 TWh (47%). At the same time, the use of biofuels, peat etc. produced 13 TWh (9%) of electricity, while windpower produced 1 TWh (1%). Despite its strong oil industry, the government has favored exporting oil and gas and as such has not viewed it as a sustainable way to generate energy. An oil-phase out was achieved in the 1970s. The Ministry of Energy manages government energy policy.
In recent years, the government has acted to phased out the use of nuclear power. The legislature banned the construction of any new nuclear power plants in 2013, in favor of expanding hydropower and wind power. The government also began to implement energy taxes. Plans to introduce a carbon tax were widely unpopular and met with opposition within the government, from the public, and from trade unions. By 2017, electricity produced by windpower mills had increased to 11.5 TWh, a 115% increase. In the same year, Caldia was a net exporter electricity by 16 TWh.
Caldia's culture is one of Tenic origin, and is referred to as Ghaillish. It is one of the principal Tenic nations. Following the arrival of the Verique during the 11th century influenced Ghaillish culture, while the Verique themselves were largely integrated. The Ghaillish diaspora, resulting as a mix of colonial activities and forced migration, has resulted in the internationalisation of Ghaillish culture. The most notable population of Ghaillies outside of Caldia is found in Sheah, Lorcania. Ghaillies in Caldia and throughout the world have been leading figures in art, music, governance, and science.
Art and literature
For an extended period, the art scene in Caldia was mostly dominated by artwork from continental Euclea. The agrarian economy prevented a strong domestic art scene from emerging, leaving the country's nobility to look to foreign artists. During the 19th century as the Caldish economy begin to expand beyond agriculture, a truly Caldish era began. First, portraits emerged as popular followed by impressive landscapes. The first prominent Caldish artist was Bairre Ó Seanacháin, who was well known for his popular paintings of the Caldish Highlands. His work inspired many others, such as Áine Ní Sheoigh and Tairdhealbhach Ó Cuinn. As the art scene expanded, so did the methods employed. A famous realist painter was Órla Ní Chaonláin, known for paintings of prostitutes while Fearghus Ó Ceanndubháin was a famous symbolism and expressionist. Other artists of note is the Romantic painter Fionnuala Ní Sheoigh and Éamonn Ó Domhnaill, a prominent neo-romanticist.
Caldia has a long literary tradition, dating back to pagan Cruthan Cycle, a series of anonymous poems detailing the deities found in pre-Sotirian Caldia. The first copies date back to the sixth-century. Other major cycles recorded in similar manners are the Tailtarda Cycle, the Fianna Cycle, and the Túatha Cycle. The poems of these cycles focus on conflict on earth between humankind and mythical beings, the origin of Caldia's ancient clan system, and the legendary and semi-legendary ancient monarchs of Caldia. In the eighth-century, the process of Sotirianization brought Caldia into contact with Euclean learning in the years after the fall of the Solarian Empire. Caldish monasteries became centers of learning and the introduction of the Solarian alphabet allowed monks to preserve large swathes of the extensive oral literature and history which had existed in the Caldish Isles. They also made copies of hundreds of books from mainland Euclea, preserving works that would have otherwise been lost.
Caldish literature once again began to emerge during the Alastarian period, however it would again decline as conflict engulfed the islands between the twelfth and fourteenth centuries. A renewed focus on literature began during the Caldish Reformation, resulting in the dissemination of new religious texts and cultural works sponsored by Ellen II. The two most prominent writers of the period, Mánus Ó Flanagáin and Mairéad Ní Cheallaighe, wrote dozens of pieces that were widely popular in Caldia and northern Euclea. Ó Flanagái's The Reverend of Dunmore detailed the life of a fictional clergyman during the Reformation, providing a fictional account of changes in Caldish society as the country broke away from Solarian Catholicism. Modern Caldish fiction emerged during the nineteenth century when Eilís Ní Chorráin first published her famous series, Inverhoe. It presented a Romanticized account of life in Caldia following the Dejarlist Wars. For her prominent works and famous peoms, Ní Chorráin is often considered to be Caldia's national author. Other prominent authors of the period included Máire Nic Coinnich, Bairre Mac Eochaidh, and Tadhg Mac Conmara. This is often considered the Golden Age of Caldish literature, led by the aforementioned "Big Four". During the twentieth century, Caldish writers have also contributed a number of significant works. There was also a renewed interest in the ancient Ghaillish cycles, many of which were adapted into period pieces.
Civil and human rights
Caldia is widely considered to be a progressive country, due to its long-standing acceptance of homosexuality and the status women have enjoyed in Caldish society. These are the results of lingering influences of Caldia's native Tenic pantheon and ancient customs.
For the majority of Caldia's history, women have enjoyed the same rights and legal status as men. They were allowed to own and inherit property and suffrage was introduced to both sexes at the same time. There is also a notable trend of matriarchy in various Caldish dynasties, which is often reflected in who was traditionally chosen from among the ruling dynasty to serve as monarch. In total, there have been 37 female monarchs of Caldia, more than any other country in the world. In recent times, there have also been nine female heads of government, another world record.
Homosexuality has a long and comparatively open history in Caldia. Dating back to the pre-Storian period, same-sex relationships have been common among both sexes. It was also not uncommon for concubines to be used to couples to reproduce, something often used by homosexual members of the nobility to continue the family line. However, the biological mother or father maintained no role in the upbringing of the children, which was left to the couple. Following the Sotirianization of Caldia, there have been several attempts to curtail homosexual activity, but all have failed. Bisexuality is also common in Caldia and generally sexual identity is non-controversial. Transgender people have also traditionally been accepted, as many of the gods in the Caldish pantheon were considered to be both male and female. There is a greater debate in Caldia over whether or not members of the Caldish LGBT community should participate in pride events, as they have not faced discrimination in Caldia as the community has elsewhere in the world. This is a debate that is ongoing within the LGBT community in Caldia as well as mainstream society. Caldia was the first country to legalize same-sex marriages, which have been legally sanctioned since the sixteenth century. There have been seven monarchs who were members of the LGBT community. The current monarch, Kenneth IV, is gay and is in a same-sex marriage.
The country's long history of progressivism has influenced its foreign policy. Caldia is a prominent advocate for the rights of women and the LGBT community world-wide. It has also advocated for the rights of ethnic and religious minorities and is a signatory of the Declaration of Universal Natural Rights.
Social values and etiquette
Caldish society is egalitarian and modern. Generally, there is an aversion to the non-essential and of discussing economic status. However, these values at times clash with government economic policy. There is a worsening wealth gap in Caldia, but the stigma surrounding talking about income has frustrated attempts bring the issue into the public sphere.
In Caldia, it is considered polite to be open and direct with others, adopting a no-nonsense attitude. Generally, there is often the desire for others to adhere to what is considered basic behavior though this is more informal and less overt in nature. At times, the directness of the Caldish will come off as rude or crude. The Caldish openly discuss many sensitive topics. There is an openness about sex, which children begin instruction on from a young age.
It is considered impolite and at times offensive to ask about religion or economic status, as both are considered to be private matters that should be discussed in the home. Nearly 50% of the Caldish population identify as irreligious per a 2017 study. The high rate of irreligion is part of why many consider asking about religion to be impolite.
Ghaillish music is a significant aspect of the nation's culture, with both traditional and modern influences. A famous traditional Ghaillish instrument is the East Highland Bagpipe, a wind instrument consisting of three drones and a melody pipe (called the chanter), which are fed continuously by a reservoir of air in a bag. Bagpipe bands, featuring bagpipes and assorted of drums, have spread throughout the world. These bands often showcase Ghaillish music styles while creating new ones.The Royal Spálgleann Military Tattoo is the world's largest display of bagpipe bands, featuring preformers from the Caldish Armed Forces, Tenic League, and International military bands. The clàrsach (harp), fiddle, and accordion are also traditional Caldish instruments, the latter two heavily featured in Ghaillish country dance bands. Ghaillish music is often considered to be part of the larger Tenic music genre.
The Royal Caldish Philharmonic Orchestra enjoys international fame and regularly tours Euclea. Notable composers include Dónal Ó Braonáin and Peigín Nic Chonmara.
Caldia has participated in the Euclovision Song Contest since the competition began and it is ranked among the best performing nations, securing its first win in 1965 when Ashling won with Sétanta, a romance song. She was one of the first Ghaillish musicians to gain an international following, in large part due to her Euclovision success. Her four albums have sold millions of copies internationally. Her ability to sign in both Estmerish and Gaullican helped her internationally, as few outside of Caldia and its former colonies speak or understand Ghaillish. Her success transformed the Ghaillish music industry, which began to export music at increased levels. As of 2018, the country was the fourth-largest music exporter after Gaullica, Estmere, and Werania. The industry reported over 500 million euclos in revenue that year.
Ghaillish music is featured on the popular show the Yes Factor, helping native performers gain international prominence. Today, there are many successful Caldish preformers in varying styles including Annie MacDouglas, Caoimhín Wiles, Eithne, Me2, No Direction, Purple Day, Tenic Women, and the The Duchess.
Theater and dance
There are three opera organisations in Caldia. the Royal Opera produces large-scale operas in Spálgleann, the Opera Theatre Company tours its chamber-style operas throughout the country, and the annual Royal Opera Festival, which promotes lesser-known operas, takes place during September and October, as part of the Spálgleann September Cultural Festival. The Royal Opera regularly performs at the opera house at St Ellen's Palace. The Royal Opera Festival also takes place at the palace.
Traditional Ghaillish dance is often characterised as performance dance, usually referred to as stepdance. Ghaillish stepdance, popularised by the show Gleandance, is notable for its quick leg movements, while both the body and arms remaining stationary. The solo stepdance is generally characterised by a controlled but not rigid upper body, straight arms, and quick, precise movements of the feet. The solo dances can either be in "soft shoe" or "hard shoe".
Ghaillish dress is often characterized by tartan (plaid in Asteria Superior) patterns in some form. Most often this is determined by familiar relations through Caldia's ancient clan system. Clans are thought to have first adopted a familiar tartan in the late 17th and early 18th century. Through the Royal Court of Familiar Arbitration, Caldia maintains an official registry of tartans.
Male Ghaillish dress includes a kilt (or trews), sporran, sgian dubh, and ghillies. Ghillies, or ghillie brogues, are traditional thick soled shoes without tongues and long laces. The long laces are wrapped around and tied above the ankles. This is done so that the shoes do not get pulled off in mud. The shoes lack tongues in order for the wearer's feet to dry more quickly in typically damp Caldish weather.
Female Ghaillish dress includes women's shoes, also called ghillies, that are tied in the same way. However, some women's ghillies have but have thin soles for indoor wear and dancing. Traditionally, women and girls do not wear kilts but may wear ankle-length tartan skirts. However, females serving in the armed forces often wear kilts. A tartan sash or shawl may also be worn.
Modern dress can vary from region to region, but generally consists of:
- Plain or tweed Aerach-, Cobh-, and Taois-style jacket
- Belt and Buckle or Five-button waistcoat in matching, complementary or tartan material,
- Shirt with a turndown collar
- Long tie
- Black brogues
- Tartan, argyle, diced, or dark hose (white and off-white hose should be avoided)
- Flashes or garter ties
- Day or horse hair sporran
- Day Dress sgian dubh. Again less intricate than a full dress one, these are typically made of horn or antler
There are also the semi-formal, evening formal wear, black tie, and white tie versions of the dress. Many members of the aristocracy wear either the modern dress or evening formal dress on a regular basis. For formal events, such as banquets and weddings, it is not uncommon for the vast majority of attendants to wear the black tie or white tie versions of the dress.
There is also a separate dress for pipers and those in the armed forces, originating in their military uniforms.
The oldest structures in Caldia date back to the Neolithic period. These largely stone structures have been preserved to different capacities. Many of the Neolithic structures served a religious purpose, either as ritualistic sites or burial tombs. Stone structures from this period are mostly concentrated in the country's south, while wood structures were build in the north. There is a large amount of architecture from the Iron Age, much of which has been preserved. There are no known examples of Piraese-Solarian architecture in Caldia as its remote location meant the island was never conquered. In Caldia's northern regions, there is a long tradition of building with timber that was consistent in both the Neolithic and Iron Ages.
This was dominant until the arrival of Sotirianity in the 8th century. This resulted in the construction of an expansive network of monasteries and large monastic complexes made of stone. The Sotirian influence and unification of the islands under a single monarch resulted in the arrival of Solarianesque buildings. The nobility lived in ringforts and crannógs. As Caldish monarchs consolidated their power, stone structures were built throughout the north. The traditional styles of Highland woodworking were incorporated in many of these buildings. Ba Permanent settlements formed around monastic communities, forming proto-towns. Significant urban settlements developed after the onset of Verique influence starting in the 11th century. Solarianesque architecture grew steadily under Verique influence. Basic stone forts and and towers were largely replaced by structures that more closely resembled continental castles during the 12th century. This was the result of the Weranic crusade, which saw many of the island's simple fortifications easily occupied and destroyed. The most famous medieval castle in Caldia is Clochnoc Fortress, which dates back to the late 11th century. Castles and planned walled trading towns were built throughout Caldia, drawing inspiration from the planned towns built under the guidance of the Verique in the 11th century.
Throughout the post-crusade period known as the Splendid Centralization, the number of planned towns in Caldia more than tripled. Spálgleann was also rebuilt with significant continental influences. The expansion and development of cities resulted in the issuing of charters by Caldish monarchs. These gave select settlements special legal status and rights towns without charters did not have. Charters also determined the design and planning of towns. The Bettencourt monarchs continued to build castles and market towns in the Solarianesque style, drawing strong influences from architecture in their native Estmere. A large number of cathedrals were built between the 12th and 15th centuries. Garrafrauns Cathedral has the oldest known foundations of Caldia's preserved cathedrals, dating back to the 1230s. It took over 250 years to complete. Saint Adomnán's Cathedral in Spálgleann was founded in the late 12th century, but construction on the current church building began in the 14th century. Many of Caldia's cathedrals are built in the Verliquoian style. Due to the availability of limestone, Verliquoian architecture in Caldia frequently features the material. This is style is known as Limestone Verliquoian and is sometimes called Caldish Verliquoian.
Throughout the Ellenian period a significant number of mansions, castles, and fortresses were built. These were largely influenced by styles of Etrurian architecture. Baroque structures also became increasingly popular, and St Ellen's Palace was built in the style. Many examples of Baroque architecture are found in Spálgleann's New City, which was built during the 16th and 17th centuries. Over-time, these structures were used as a way for the Caldish monarchs to project new power in the post-Reformation period. They reflected their position as enlightened despots. Starting the the 19th century, the Neoclassical and Estmerish styles became dominant. Many government buildings were built in this style as Caldia underwent the process of democratization in the 19th century. Industrialization and urbanization resulted in new demands for architecture, and the Practicalist and Internationalist styles became increasing popular. These styles provided new opportunities for affordable living in large apartment complexes. More recently, Postmodern and Contemporary styles have been dominant. The most famous examples of Contemporary architecture in Caldia are Spalgleann's Barcodes and Teach-an-Chultúir.
Teilifís Raidió Náisiúnta (TRN) is Caldia's public service broadcaster. It is funded by a television licence fee, commercial advertising revenue, and additional funds provided by the Ministry of Culture. TRN also raises money through donation drives supported by viewers. TRN operates seven channels, with the most popular being TRN Amháin, which is the broadcaster's flagship channel and the oldest television channel in Caldia. Other independent national television networks include Cainéal 10, COXX, Gael TV, GBF, and YOG. A number of prominent Euclean television networks have dedicated channels in Caldia, however access is usually limited by subscription. Subscription-based television providers include Cooper-Mac Fearghusa and Television Caldia.
There are a significant number of national, regional, and local radio stations available throughout Caldia. TRN Radio operates six radio channels and GBF Radio has two channels. Regional and local programs are funded through the Ministry of Culture and by local government authorities. A 2016 survey showed that over 80% of Caldish people listened to a mix of national, regional, and local radio on a daily basis.
Traditionally, Caldia has had a competitive print media market. It is largely dominated by four competing national daily news papers, Státaire (The Statesman), An Teileagraf (The Telegraph), An Iris Spálgleann (The Spálgleann Journal), and An Náisiúnach (The National). In recent years, a fifth newspaper, An Tírghráthóir (The Patriot), has emerged onto the national scene. Regional weekly papers are also printed, as are national Sunday editions of select papers. A number of popular tabloids are also printed, however in recent years their circulation has steadily declined.
In 2015, the Ministry of Culture reported that 87% of Caldish households had access to the internet while 71% had broadband access. Starting in the late 1990s, government sponsored programs helped expand internet access in the country's remote regions.
Caldish culinary traditions show the influence of the long farming and seafaring traditions of the country. Salmon, codfish, and other seafood are balanced by beef, cheese, dairy products, and breads. This is also supplemented by vegetables and other stretches. Examples of popular Cladish cuisine include bacon and cabbage, Cloghel beef, Skryne ham, smoked salmon, and rumbledethumps. Traditional breads include the Caldish flatbread, the prátaí tanaí, a potato bread, and rolla iascairí. A popular pastry is the cón na ríon, a waffle cookie. In recent decades, Euclean and global influences have begun to transform Caldish cuisine. Many in Caldia enjoy foods from other cultures as international and specialty restaurants have opened throughout the company.
Tea is the most popular beverage, however in recent years the popularity of coffee has grown. The most popular carbonated drink is Copar-Brew. Alcoholic drinks associated with Caldia include ginger wine, Caldish whiskey, Highland whiskey, and the Caldish stout.
The two main spectator sports are Euclean football and Ghaillish football. The All-Ghaillish Football League is the Caldish national league. There are sixteen women's teams and ten men's teams. In a break with most other Euclean countries, the women's football league is more popular than the men's league. Caldia has a strong women's national team having won a number of international titles including the gold medal for the 2018 Invictus Games. In recent years, the men's league has been growing in popularity. Successful Euclean footballers include Deirbhile Ní Sheanacháin, Bríd Nic Chearbhaill, The Earl of Corofin, Éamonn Ó Maoldhomhnaigh, and Niamh Nic Cheallach. Ghaillish football, which is native to Caldia, is also popular. It is governed by the Ghaillish Royal Athletics Association. Other Ghaillish games organised by the association include hurling, curling, and rounders - all of which are native to Caldia.
Rugby is another popular spectator sport and is organized under the Ghaillish Rugby Association. The Caldish Elite League is the domestic competition for rugby league teams. Caldia has competed well in international rugby contests, regularly making it to the semi-finals or finals for championships.
Golf is also a popular sport played in Caldia. It was invented in the nineteenth century and its popularity has grown beyond Caldia. The country hosts a number of major international golf tournaments and has over 300 golf courses. Horse sports are also popular in Caldia, especially among women and the aristocracy. Skiing is a popular winter pastime in the Highlands. Other popular sports include biking, shooting, swimming and track and field.
Caldia hosted the 2018 Invictus Games. It has participated in the games since their modern revival in 1898. While the country is small, it has a strategy of increasing its medal count by investing heavily in women's teams. It is a member of the International Football Federation and participates in the Coupe du monde championship. The Caldish's women's football team has performed well at the women's coupe, winning four titles. It is also a member of the regional Four Nations football championship, along with Azmara, Buckland, and Varienland.
The Highland games are a major sporting event native to Caldia. Sporting events held as a part of the games include the caber toss, sheaf toss, stone put, tug-of-war, and the weight throw. Dance competitions are usually held alongside the games, which also serve as celebrations of highland and Caldish culture.
Caldia ranks high among other nations in terms of the amount of tourists it receives. In 2014, it was estimated that tourism contributed to nearly 5% of the nation's gross domestic product. There has been a sudden growth in the industry, and it is estimated to have increased almost 20% since 2000. The country's notable landmarks and scenery attracted over 8 million visitors in 2015. The Caldish Highlands and the nation's historic cities are home to the most visited attractions. Spálgleann hosts a number of famous festivals, including the popular September Cultural Festival. Pennsea is home to a popular casino industry, attracting thousands of tourists each year.
The tourism industry employees a large number of workers. Tourism is largely seasonal in nature, with more than half of the tourists received visiting during the summer months. However, many tourists also visit during the winter months. People travel in order to see the polar night in the winter and the Aurora borealis which can be seen throughout the year. Tourists also visit to see the midnight sun during the summer months.
The country has a number of outdoor activities, which range from skiing, golf, boating, hiking, and fishing among many others. Ski resorts in the highlands attract thousands of visitors annually and are a major source of revenue in the tourism industry. Wildlife watching is popular due to the high number of animals. Hunting is also traditionally popular, though its popularity has declined in recent years.
Commercial cruises are increasingly popular in Caldia. These travel between major coastal and port cities located on the nation's southern coast. River cruises are also offered to Garrafrauns, the nation's second largest city. A large number of coastal cruises sail along the nation's jagged northern coast, offering sights of the Highlands and their famed sea-lochs. Many cruises arrive from ports in Werania and Estmere and are increasingly popular with retirees.
The national symbols of Caldia include the nation's flag and coat of arms. These include the traditional symbols of the unicorn and thistle. Purple and white are the national colors of Caldia, drawn from the nation's royal house. The personification of Caldia is Mother Caldia, alternatively known as Calidonia and Galidonia. The nation's patron saints are Saint Adomnán and Saint Ellen.
|1 January||New Year's Day|
|2 January||New Year's Holiday|
|1 February||Imbolc||Also known as St. Patrick's Day|
|12 February||Liberation Day|
|movable Friday||Good Friday||The Friday before Easter Sunday|
|movable Sunday||Easter Sunday|
|movable Monday||Easter Monday||The Monday after Easter Sunday|
|1 May||Labour Day||Also the culturally significant holiday of Beltane|
|20 May||National Day|
|9 June||St. Adomnán's Day|
|12 June||Election Day|
|1 August||Lughnasadh||Also known as St. Daireann's Day|
|7 September||St. Ellen's Day|
|11 October||King's Birthday||Celebration of the birthday of King Kenneth IV. (If 11 October falls on a Sunday, the holiday is celebrated on the 12th)|
|31 October||Samhain||Also known as St. Brendan's Day|
|30 November||Latreadha||Also known as St. Andrew's Day|
|6 December||St. Nicholas Day|
|24 December||Nativity's Eve||Also known as Noel's Eve|
|25 December||Nativity||Also known as Noel|
|26 December||Boxing Day|
|31 December||Oidhche Challainn||Literally translated as the Night of the Calends. Also known as New Year's Eve|