Commonwealth of Estmere
Motto: Resurgere velut phoenicem
Rise like the Phoenix
and largest city
|Recognised national languages||Swathish, Flurian|
|Recognised regional languages||Aldman|
|Government||Federal parliamentary constitutional republic|
|Alice Roberts (Ind)|
|Reginald Wilton-Smyth (SDU)|
|Esther Bennett (RFM)|
|Chamber of Peers|
|Chamber of Commons|
• Kingdom established
• Republic established
|1 May 1936|
• Current constitution
|13 June 1938|
• Founded the EC
|1 January 1948|
|284,874 km2 (109,990 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2021 estimate
• 2015 census
|198.40/km2 (513.9/sq mi)|
• Per capita
• Per capita
|Gini (2012)|| 25.4|
|HDI (2014)|| 0.919|
|Currency||Euclo (EUC (€))|
|Time zone||Euclean Standard Time|
|ISO 3166 code||EST|
Estmere (Swathish: Eastmarchon, Flurian: Estme), officially the Commonwealth of Estmere (Swathish: Kinwise of Eastmarchon, Flurian: Républyique d'Estme), is a country in Euclea, bordering Werania and Borland to the north, Alsland, Kirenia and Hennehouwe to the west, and the Gulf of Assonaire to the south and east. The country has an estimated population of 59 million, largely centred in the capital city of Morwall.
Prior to the arrival of the Solarian Empire, the lands of modern day Estmere were largely inhabited by a number of Tenic tribes related to the Gauls. These tribes were assimilated into the Solarian Empire, and the region was considered an important border province by the Solarians. By the fall of Solaria, migrating Weranic tribes, most notably the Swandles, Waxons and Duthes, had occupied most of the region. These tribes eventually coalesced into the Swathish, organising themselves into six varrying petty kingdoms, collectively known as the Hexarchy. These kingdoms were conquered by powerful Verique lords from the Verliquoian Empire, who organised themselves into the Eastern Marches, an elective monarchy under Richard I.
With the collapse of Verliquoia, the Marcher lords fell to infighting in an event known as the Anarchy, which saw the Vernon dynasty ascend to a much neutered monarchy, with a nascent Parliament. This new kingdom would compete with other Euclean powers, most notably during the Amendist Wars, which saw the reformed Estmere as a major Amendist power. Estmere was also a major colonial power during this period, sponsoring colonies such as the Four Sisters in Asteria Superior. The monarchy would be reformed into a far more centralised administration during the 19th century.
Estmere was a major power in the victorious Grand Alliance during the Great War, but the country was devastated by the conflict, and the monarchy was seriously tainted by an image of ineffectiveness. This led to the abolition of the monarchy by the Transitional Authority in 1936. The republican nation which followed became a sponsor of liberal democracy across the globe, helping to found both the Community of Nations and the Euclean Community. The country also dealt with a number of issues in the postwar period, such as the decolonisation of its overseas empire, emergent tensions between the Swathish and the Flurian, and a number of political and economic crises.
The Commonwealth is a federal parliamentary constitutional republic operating under the Northabbey model. It is comprised of the federal subjects of Wealdland and Flurland, the capital territory of Greater Morwall, and a number of overseas territories such as Kingsport. Estmere has a social market economy, which is the second largest in Euclea. It is a member of the Community of Nations, the Euclean Community, the Estmerish Council and the International Council for Democracy. It is one of the few states to operate nuclear weapons.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Government and politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 References
The Estmerish name Estmere is derived from the Early Estmerish term est marchen, meaning Eastern Marches, which was used to refer to Estmere prior to the collapse of the Verliquoian Empire. Eventually the term became a single word, and in Estmerish the -en suffix was dropped. Both the modern Estmerish name and the modern Swathish name, Eastmarchon, derive from this. The Flurian name, Estme, is believed to be instead derived from the Old Verique term est mé, meaning sea to the east.
Human history in Estmere is believed to have started just under a million years ago, but anatomically modern humans arrived in the area far more recently, displacing Neanderthals around 35,000 years ago. An example of these early humans is Bardley man, a male human fossil found in Estmere dating to the Mesolithic. Early humans in the area were hunter-gatherers, hunting local fauna using at first spears, and later bows and arrows. The regional climate became milder after the end of the glacial period, and sedentary cultures emerged in the region that utilised animal husbandry and early agriculture, ushering in the Neolithic. The local cultures were consistently changing, and were effected by waves of migration. There are a number of sites that showcase Neolithic Estmere, such as the Heart of Neolithic Estmere in Longwoodshire and Todton Hill, a ceremonial burial site and monument near St Richards.
The emergence of bronze-working and wider metallurgy near the end of the 3rd millenium BCE within the dominant Bell Beaker culture saw the region transition to the Bronze Age. Changes in the climate led to migrations from the defendable hills to the fertile valleys, which contributed to increased population growth. The emergence of iron-working around 400 BCE led to the start of the Iron Age in the region. By this time, the region was inhabited largely by Weranic peoples in the far north and Tenic people in the south and midlands. These peoples were divided into a number of tribes, the territory of which shifted greatly over time. The Tenics in the region were related to the close-by Gauls, and were known as the Albans. Prominent Tenic tribes included the Boudicii and the Gangrels. There are numerous examples in Estmere of records made using ogham and Weranic runes carved into stone tablets.
The coast of Estmere was explored by ancient Piraeans, and there is evidence of trade between local tribes and the Piraean city states. The region was first recorded by Piraean explorer Asphalion of Sidydon around 800 BCE, who visited the Estmerish coast and described the Bright Cliffs of Branset in vivid detail. The Albans remained the dominant group in classical Estmere until the conquest of much of the south and midlands of Estmere by the Solarian Republic in 32 CE. In the ensuing Albannic Wars, Boudicii leader Andrasta stalled the invading forces for some time, but the region eventually fell under Solarian rule. The river Mor and the Longwood range formed natural boundaries between the northern expanse of the Empire and the area known as Ouranica. The region was largely comprised of the province of Albannica.
As the Solarian Republic transformed into the Solarian Empire, Albannica was a key province in support of the Augustus faction, with the Legions of the province all being under the command of the would-be Emperor. A number of Solarian colonies were founded in the region, most notably Marinium, Ballo and Claudodunum. Gradually, the local Tenic population adopted a local form of Vulgar Solarian, known as Alban Vulgar Solarian, and eventually they emerged as Solaro-Albans, adopting a great deal of Solarian culture alongside the language, subsuming the earlier Albannic traditions. Despite this assimilation and achievement of Solarianitas, the province remained a Praetorian Prefecture throughout its existence, due to its strategic location as a border province, and the consistent threat of Weranic tribes to the north.
By the early 400s CE, rising instability in Solaria and changes in the climate gave rise to a migration of Weranic tribes, most notably the Swandles, Waxons and Duthes, who crossed the border at the Mor river and successfully conquered the region from the Solarians, who were preoccupied with the instability at the capital. The migrating armies would continue to rampage throughout the Solarian Empire, eventually sacking Solaria in 426 and causing the transition to the Verliquoian Empire. Everywhere except for a small southern pocket controlled by Verliquois, the Solaro-Albans were assimiliated by the emerging Old Swathish, who heavily settled in the country.
The Weranic tribes which had migrated to Estmere settled, and a unique Old Swathish culture emerged from the intermingling fo the Swandles, Waxons and Duthes, and the estmerisation of the Solaro-Albans, many of whom integrated into the culture and even became leaders. Estmere during this period was divided into a number of petty kingdoms, which eventually coalesced into six distinct states with unique cultures, during a period known as the Hexarchy. The six major states of the Hexarchy were Northmoria which dominated the north, Agenland which was prominent in the east, and the kingdoms of Wesren, Midricia, Cynricia and Domuc. These states were joined by a number of smaller kingdoms, such as Beatland, most of which were eventually subsumed by the larger entities.
Sotirianity had appeared in Estmere under Solarian rule, but it wasn't until the time of the Hexarchy that the religion became widespread. The Old Swathish were initially followers of a distinct Old Swathish paganism, venerating deities such as Woden, Thunor and Tiw. Efforts to Sotirianise Estmere began in earnest in 554 CE, when the Laurentine mission to the country was organised by the Solarian Catholic Church. In 567, Æthelstan of Domuc became the first Old Swathish monarch to be baptised. Most of the kingdoms had been Sotirianised by the 7th century. Cerdic of Wesren was the last pagan king in Estmere, and was ultimately defeated by the neighbouring Sotirian kings in the Battle of Bostan in 672. Across the Hexarchy, the Old Swathish created a robust bureaucracy and legal system, such as the first records of a modern trial by jury, which was considered impressive in comparison to other systems at the time.
Starting around 850 CE, Estmere became a target of Ghaillish Marauders as the Marauder Age began. The raiders were drawn to Estmere due to its expansive coastline, the infighting of the Hexarchy and the large number of unprotected monasteries in the country. Tolbyrig, a major city and the historical capital of Northmoria, was sacked by Marauders once in 859 and again in 872. The most notable Marauder activity in Estmere was the foundation of the city of Dún Lonrach in 911, under the leadership of Seárlas White-Eye. This city grew into a sizable kingdom and launched raids across Euclea, as far south as Gaullica.
In 1010, Cenhere Wynstanson of Agenland snubbed or slighted the Emperor of Verliquois. The exact details are unknown, but the snubbing was used as an excuse by the Verique to intervene. Records show that the Verique had been eager to invade Estmere for decades. The Verique launched two attacks into the region, through the Hennish counties and the Gulf of Assonaire. The other Estmerish rulers had marital ties to Cenhere, and rallied to his defence, but the Old Swathish were ultimately defeated in 1011 at the Battle of Wimney, cementing the Verique conquest of Estmere. Cenhere and much of the Old Swathish nobility were slain, while Éadweard of Northmoria and a small number of other surviving lords pledged allegiance to the conquerers.
The Verique established the Eastern Marches, and Richard of Harcourt was elected from among their number as the first King of Estmere. The Verique co-opted the existing legal system and bureaucracy to aid in the consolidation of their control over the country. North of the river Mor, most land remained in Swathish hands, but in the south the Verique settled extensively and Swathish lords were stripped of their land.
Richard launched an invasion of Borland in 1047, but he was killed in 1049 and the majority of Borland remained outside of Estmerish control. Though the Marches functioned as an independent kingdom, Richard and his successors paid lip service to the Emperor, until 1182, when a backlash to taxation led Robert IV to fight the War of Estmerish Independence against a weakened Verliquoian Empire until 1191, leading to the emergence of the Kingdom of Estmere. The House of Harcourt largely remained on the throne until the Anarchy, though there were exceptions such as the election of Laurent the Pauper in 1202.
A period of lawlessness known as the Anarchy gripped Estmere from 1267 to 1281. A series of poor harvests plagued the country for five years, but royal authority was first shaken in 1266. Philip II attempted to introduce a new poll tax, in order to fund another war with Borland. The tax was unpopular, and the famine had left most peasants unable to pay regardless. A peasant revolt quickly spread out of control. After a surprise victory against the king's diminished forces, the peasant army stromed the royal residence of Castle Harcourt in 1268, and Philip along with most of the heirs of the Harcourt dynasty were killed.
Peasant leader Kit Archer briefly declared a peasants' republic in the castle, but the peasant army was decisively defeated in the same month by Count Clovis. Clovis was elected king, but faced an immediate challenge to his rule with the Counts' Rebellion in 1276, which was fermented by lords who had supported the rival candidate and advocated for greater autonomy from the crown. Clovis defeated the disloyal counts by 1281, effectively bringing an end to the Anarchy.
To prevent further discord, Clovis instituted primogeniture, ensuring that his successors would be of the same Vernon dynasty and hoping to avoid a repeat of the counts' rebellion on the next succession. Clovis' rule also saw the emergence of Parliament, by this time comprised mostly of the nobility, but over time it also came to include the growing merchant class. The two classes were represented in the Chamber of Lords and the Chamber of Commons respectively.
Government and politics
Since the ratification of the Estmerish constitution in 1938, Estmere has been a constitutional republic operating as a federation with a parliamentary system. The country is the birthplace of the Northabbey model of government, which is characterised by the presence of a parliamentary official opposition, an executive branch comprised of members of the legislature, responsible to that legislature, in addition to a ceremonial head of state different to the head of government. In Estmere, these roles are occupied by the President and the Prime Minister, respectively.
The legislative branch of the Estmerish government is the Parliament of Estmere, which is a bicameral institution comprised of two houses; the elected Chamber of Commons and the appointed Chamber of Peers. Estmere adheres to the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, meaning that the legislative branch is considered supreme to all other branches of government, holding absolute sovereignty. Due to this concept, the judicial branch is largely independent of political control, with judges on the High Court appointed by independent committees, but has limited powers of judicial review.
Since 2016, Estmere has been governed by a coalition government comprised of the Sotirian Democratic Union and the Reform Party. Since 2018 this coalition has been led by Reginald Wilton-Smyth, who was elected as Leader of the SDU to succeed the outgoing Richard Graham. The Social Democratic and Co-operative Party has acted as the Official Opposition, and Zoe Halivar as the Leader of the Opposition, since 2016.
Sotirian Democratic Union (217)
Reform Party (101)
Official opposition (189)
Social Democratic and
Co-operative Party (189)
Other opposition (93)
Estmere First (35)
Party of the Swathish (16)
Estmerish Section of
the Workers' International (11)
Aldman Democratic Alliance (2)
The Estmerish legsilature is the Parliament of Estmere, a bicameral institution comprised of two houses. The Chamber of Commons forms the lower house, and is elected using the additional member system, with Members elected either to represent a constituency or as part of a party list. Parliamentary terms can last for a maximum of four years, after which another election must be held. Parliament is considered to be an example of imperfect bicameralism, as the Chamber of Commons is considered supreme among the two chambers, drafts all legislation, and is capable of overruling the Chamber of Peers.
As Estmere operates in line with the concept of parliamentary sovereignty, the executive branch is assembled from members of the Chamber of Commons, and is subsequently responsible to it. The Prime Minister is officially appointed by the President, based on their ability to command the confidence of the Chamber of Commons. The Prime Minister is therefore usually the leader of the largest party in the Commons. The Prime Minister appoints members of the Commons or Peers as ministers in their Cabinet, which is shadowed by the Leader of the Opposition and their Shadow Cabinet. Cabinet members generally oversee a department within the Estmerish government, such as the Department of Defence, and are subject to parliamentary accountability.
The upper house is the Chamber of Peers, which acts as a house of review. Peers are appointed to the chamber to serve for a single ten year term, after which they are ineligible to serve in the chamber again. One third of the seats are appointed by the President; these appointments are required to be politically neutral experts who sit as crossbenchers, while the remaining two thirds are appointed by the devolved administrations of the constituent entities, and are not required to be non-partisan. Appointment to the Chamber of Peers is considered the highest reward in the Estmerish honours system.
Parliament is currently comprised of members representing eight parties. The current governing coalition is comprised of the centre-right Sotirian Democratic Union, which espouses Sotirian democracy, conservatism and economic liberalism, and the centrist Reform Party, which is considered social liberal and strongly pro-Euclean. The centre-left Social Democratic and Co-operative Party is social democratic and democratic socialist, and serves as the Official Opposition. Estmere First, a right-wing populist and soft-Euclosceptic party, and the Greens, an environmentalist party, are the largest and most relevant of the minor parties. Other minor parties include the far-left Estmerish Section of the Workers' International, which is council socialist, and the Party of the Swathish and the Aldman Democratic Alliance, which are both regionalist parties that espouse civic nationalism for Wealdland and the Aldmans respectively.
Estmere is a federation, comprised of three constituent entities, two of which, Wealdland and Flurland, are known as the sister republics and one of which, Greater Morwall, is known as the greater capital region. There are also the Estmerish overseas territories, of St Roberts and Fleming and Kingsport, which are not considered constituent entities, but nevertheless have devolved administrations. There is campaigns for both to be admitted to the federation; there have also been suggestions to create a constitutent entity for the Aldmans, and to transfer the Estmerish-speaking counties to their own republic. Each constituent entity has a devolved administration operating under the parliamentary system, which has authority over many internal affairs, such as education, infrastructure and tax collection. Below the constituent entities, the second and third tier of adminstrative divisions are named depending on their region; counties or shires, and then parishes or ridings.
|Greater Morwall||Morwall||7,290,934||Mayor||Greater capital region|
|Flurland||St Richards||23,717,451||First Minister||Sister republic|
|Wealdland||Tolbury||27,933,124||First Minister||Sister republic|
|Kingsport||Kingston||54,581||Chief Executive||Estmerish overseas territory|
|St Roberts and Fleming||New Harcourt||98,360||Chief Executive||Estmerish overseas territory|
Estmerish law is considered to be a hybrid system. Though resting largely on common law principles, starting in the 15th century the legal system adopted a number of features from civil law. These were largely taken from Solarian law, but also from the Gaullican and Weranic traditions. Legal precedent, legislation, custom and specific academic writings are all recognised as sources of law in Estmere. Since the foundation of the Euclean Community in 1948, Estmerish law has also been subject to Euclean law, and with it to the Euclean Court of Justice and the Fundamental Rights of the Euclean Community.
Trials in Estmere are conducted in front of a jury, but unlike most other countries, the Estmerish legal system is unique in that "not proven" is a possible verdict in a criminal trial; such a verdict results in an acquittal. There have been calls for the system to be reformed to remove this third verdict.
The High Court of Estmere is the country's final court of appeal. Judges on the High Court are appointed by independent selection committees, meaning that the courts are generally indepedent of political control. Due to the nature of parliamentary sovereignty, however, the High Court has limited powers of judicial review. Any legal decisions made by the High Court in civil or criminal cases are binding on other courts in the same jurisdiction.
Estmere is considered to be a historical great power, with experts placing particular emphasis on its considerable soft power. Since the conclusion of the Great War, Estmere has positioned itself as a supporter of liberal democracy across the globe, and has used its influence within international organisations to promote liberal democratic values. Although Estmere decolonised in the post-war era, it has maintained a costly military presence south of Aurean, retains considerable influence in former colonies such as Bamvango and Sivathra, and is involved in a number of post-colonial conflicts such as the Tsabaran Civil War.
Estmere shares a particularly close cultural, political and economic relationship with Werania, known as the "Alte Bruderschaft". It also shares a close relationship with many of its former colonies, such as Halland and Nuvania, and is a founding member of the Estmerish Council along with other Estmerish-speaking nations. Estmere also enjoys a close relationship with Senria, with the military alliance between the two dating back to the Senrian Revolution.
Estmere is a member of a number of international organisations. It is a founding member of the Community of Nations, the Euclean Community and the International Council for Democracy, which is headquartered in the Estmerish capital of Morwall. Along with Gaullica and Werania, it is considered one of the Big Three within the EC. Within the Community of Nations, it enjoys a permanent seat on all six International Committees, most notably the Security Committee. It is a member of the Global Institute for Fiscal Affairs, the International Trade Organisation, and is one of the B-15 major economies.
Estmere maintains the third largest military within the Euclean Community, behind Gaullica and Werania, and is an active participant in the EC defence component. The Estmerish Defence Force (EDF) acts as the armed forces of Estmere, and is comprised of the Estmerish Army (EA), the Estmerish Navy (EN), including its Federal Marines, and the Federal Air Force (FAF). There is also the Independent Companies (IC), which acts as the special forces component of the EDF.
The commander-in-chief of the armed forces is the Prime Minister, while the Minister of Defence also exercises a number of powers in relation to the military. The President of Estmere has no involvement in the armed forces, and military personnel swear loyalty to the Commonwealth as a whole rather than to a single figure.
As of 2020, Estmere employs approximately 110,000 active personnel with roughly 50,000 personnel in reserve. Estmere's military expenditure totaled approximately €50.66 billion, just over 2% of the country's GDP. The minimum age of recruitment is 16, but active service is restricted to those aged 18 and over. Estmere is a recognised nuclear state, and so maintains a deployed arsenal of 110 nuclear weapons, all of which are sea-based. Estmere operates a blue-water navy, and is home to a number of major multinational arms manufacturers, such as Estmerish Materiel Systems and Aero Products International.
Mandatory conscription was abolished in 1982, and since then the Estmerish Defence Force has been a professional volunteer force. Military installations are maintained on the islands of St. Roberts and Fleming, located in the Vehemens Ocean. The military operates on the principle of collective security with other EC states, and the aims of the military are outlined in the Estmerish constitution as the defence of the Estmerish people, the defence of the Commonwealth, and the defence of allied states.
Estmere has a social market economy, and is the second largest economy in Euclea, with a GDP PPP of $2.882 trillion and a nominal GDP of $3.208 trillion. The Estmerish economy has a significant welfare state, low barriers to trade and generally loose regaulations. Estmere uses the Euclo, formerly the Estmerish Shilling, as its national currency, and the Bank of Estmere acts as the central bank of Estmere within the Euclozone banking system. The Estmerish government has majority shares in energy production, telecommunications, transport, and some manufacturing companies.
Within the government, the Department of the Treasury and the Secretary of State for the Treasury are responsible for developing plans for government spending, and for implementing financial policy. The Ministry is assisted by the National Economic Development Organisation - affectionately refered to as Neddy - which brings together representatives of trade unions and business management, to organise economic planning and allow for social dialogue.
The Estmerish economy is dominated by the service and industrial sectors, which comprise 68% and 30% of GDP respectively. 32 of the world's 500 largest companies are headquarted in Estmere. Exports are important to the Estmerish economy, accounting for 42% of national output. Major exports include automobiles, transit equipment, machinery, chemical goods, electronics, pharmaceuticals, basic metals and plastics.
During the 1800s, Estmere became a leading force in the industrial revolution, giving rise to a strong manufacturing sector and laissez-faire philosophy of Embrian liberalism. After the Great War, the abolition of the monarchy saw the country drift leftwards, as successive governments adopted a post-war consensus that combined ordoliberalism with the theories of the Knowlesby school, creating the foundation for the modern economic framework. This would allow for economic growth until the 70s, when stagflation became a major issue. The social market would be cemented in the following decade, when major reforms were enacting to combat staglfation, which allowed the economy to then grow until the 2005 recession, which saw the government institute austerity, weakening the social market.
Estmere is noted for its prominent manufacturing sector, which includes major automotive, aerospace, arms and steel companies; the Estmerish automotive industry is the fourth largest globally, one of the most innovative in the world, and is famed for brands including Marcus Anton, Sheaford Automotive, Harcourt and Du Peupl'ye. Large natural gas reserves were found in Estmerish waters starting in 1951, and the sale of this natural gas has become a major source of government revenue. The Caldish curse was largely avoided as Neddy demanded that profit from natural gas was spent to ensure the development of other economic sectors. Tourism and ports are other major contributors to the Estmerish economy; the twinned ports of Bouley and Dunwich are among the largest in Euclea.
Science and technology
Estmere has a strong scientific heritage, and remains a global leader in science, technology and research. Estmerish univerisites, such the prestigious institutions at Morwall, Damesbridge and Tolbury, are world-renowned, and have one of the highest numbers of graduates in science and engineering in the world. These universities attract students from across the globe. Many scientists and researchers from Estmere have received recognition and awards for their work.
The country has been home to a number of prominent thinkers since the 17th century Scientific Revolution. These include Albrecht Döuer, who is credited with establishing the field of psychology, and other major figures such as William A. Salter, Philip Warren, James Douglass, and Samuel Harding. Estmere has also engaged in scientific exchange with other states throughout history, particularly with Gaullica. Despite the historical rivalry, scientists from both countries regularly collaborated as early as the 18th century. The most notable outcome of this collaboration was the discovery of deoxyribonucleic acid by Joseph Poole and Noël Touchard in 1949.
Estmerish inventors and industrialists played a leading role in the Industrial Revolution, shaping the modern Estmerish economy. Major developments in transportation were also made in Estmere. The first railways opened in Estmere during the 1830s. Stephen Talbot, Charles Mortimer and others made major contributions to rail, automotive, and air travel. Esmtere also had a long naval history, with major contributions dating back to the 15th century.
In modern day Estmere, research and development remains important, particularly in universities. These often cooperate with industry and government. Estmere is home to a number of scientific journals, such as Estmerish Medical Review, The Psychologist and Chemistry Quarterly. Estmere had a 9 per cent share of scitific citations between 2010 and 2015, the second-highest in the world. The Federal Scientific Society acts as Estmere's national academy of sciences. In addition, a number of learned and professional societies exist, such as the Estmerish Psychological Association and the Society of Estmerish Chemists.
Estmerish is the sole official language of Estmere, and is by far the most widely spoken. It is estimated that 66% of the population speak Estmerish as their first language, while close to 94% are estimated to have a high level of proficiency in the language. Estmerish is spoken in a number of other countries, such as Halland, and is considered a global language, second only to Gaullican. It is one of the six official languages of the Community of Nations.
Flurian and Swathish are widely-spoken minority languages, with their speakers centred in Flurland and the Weald respectively; both of these languages are enshrined in the Estmerish constitution as co-official national languages. Speakers of the two languages have the right to be use their native tongue in government and business across the country, and the languages are used on signage alongside Estmerish in their respective regions. Flurian is estimated to be the first language of 12% of the Estmerish population, while the figure is estimated to be 17% for Swathish.
In Estmerish schools, it compulsorary for students to learn Estmerish and their national tongue of either Flurian and Swathish, in addition to one foreign language up to the age of 14. Gaullican, Narodyn, and Weranic are the three most commonly taught second languages.
There are other minority languages spoken alongside Flurian and Swathish. Aldman, spoken in the northwest, is recognised as a regional minority language, and a number of languages have been brought to the country by immigrant communities. According to the 2015 census, 4.9% of the population speaks a foreign language. The most widely spoken of these include Subarnan, Rahelian, weRwizi and Xiaodongese.
Since the 5th century, Sotirianity has been the dominant religion in Estmere. Early forms of Sotirianity in Estmere were loosely-organised, with many creeds such as Arianism and Gnosticism being practiced. By the 9th century, the Solarian Catholic Church solidified control over the country, and it remained the most influential church in Estmere until the 16th century. Since the Amendist Schism, Estmere has been considered a traditionally Amendist country, playing an important role as a leading Amendist power in the Euclean Wars of Religion. The Embrian Communion, a union of a number of Amendist churches in Estmere that largely operate on presbyterian lines but acknowledged the supremacy of the monarch, was the established church of Estmere between 1536 and 1938.
The Communion was disestablished following the Great War, when the Estmerish constitution established a secular state. The constitution also guaranteed freedom of and from religion. In 2006, religious affiliation, and lack thereof, was declared a protected characteristic under the Equality Act. While a majority of citizens continue to identify as Sotirian, church attendance in the country has been in decline since the 1960s. The number of irreligious and non-Sotirian people has also rapidly risen since the middle of the 20th century. The country has been labelled as secularised and multi-faith as a result. Despite this, religion still plays an important role in Estmerish life. In politics, the governing Sotirian Democratic Union counts Sotirian democracy among its founding tenets, while both the co-governing Reform Party and the official opposition Social Democratic and Co-operative Party emphasises the Sotirian routes of their parties and ideologies.
Just over half of the country identifies as Sotirian, with the majority of these being Amendist, largely belonging to the Embrian Communion. Irreligion is the second largest affiliation in the country, and there are large Solarian Catholic and non-mainstream Amendist minorities across the country. With 5.9% of the population, Irfan is the second largest religious grouping in Estmere. There are also a number of small minority religions; Witterism is the oldest continuing minority religion in Estmere, while other large minorities include Atudaists, Tulyatans and Badists, with most of these growing in Estmere since the decolonisation of the Estmerish empire.
Religious identity in Estmere is tied to ethnicity and national identity. In Wealdland, the majority of Sotirians identify as belonging to the Low Churches within the Embrian Communion, which generally espouse Kasperist, Westmarckian and dissenting creeds; this is in stark contrast with Flurland, where most Sotirians belong to the High Churches of the Communion, which are Embrian, sometimes Embro-Catholic. Those who speak Estmerish as their first language are also more likely to identify as irreligious than those who speak Swathish or Flurian. Those to whom Estmerish is a second language are more likely to practice a non-Sotirian faith.
Largest cities, by urban area, in Estmere
2015 Estmerish census
|Rank||Constituent entity||Pop.||Rank||Constituent entity||Pop.|
Music is considered an important part of Estmerish culture, and a variety of genres are popular in the country. The folk music of Wealdland and Flurland played an important role in the early culture of Estmere, and has experienced a recent revival. Estmere also became a centre of classical music, producing a number of renowned composers such as Robert Adams, Oliver Sutton and Joshua Holmes. Estmere is home to many famed orchestras, most notably the Damesbridge Symphony Chorus. Estmere has also produced a number of prominent composers of musical theatre, with Albert Lucas Winson and Louis Matthew Montgomery both considered to be the most important composers in Estmerish theatre, together dominating the Globe theatre district.
Estmere is considered pivotal in the development of rock music, with Estmerish artists pioneering a number of subgenres, such as The Regent and art rock, Rickie Downer and glam rock, and Brunnie and new wave. Punk rock and progressive rock were also developed by Estmerish acts such as Outbreak and Down, while dubstep was pioneered by Estmerish artists such as Skum and Jo Smith. Emo also originated from Estmerish acts, such as Doozie and Alex Eats the World. More recently, grime has emerged from inner-city Morwall as a major musical genre, with a number of artists such as Crazzee Madman, Gustzy, Suspa and Koyote originating in Estmere.
The country has participated in every iteration of the Euclovision Song Contest since its inception in 1959, but has secured few wins in the contest. The most notable Estmerish victor of Euclovision was What?, who won the contest in 1965 with their song Talkin' Bout, which went on to become a hit.
Estmere continues to produce a number of popular musical acts, with YBRV, Just Tell Me, Vivi, Desert Apes, Radioactive Teddy Bear, Safe Place, Single Ladies, Pick n Mix, Periodic Ways, Party on the Moon, Mist, Baba Baba and Anna Harrington all being prominent examples. These acts are considered pioneering in their genres, and most have large international followings. Estmere is a major exporter of music as a result.
Estmerish cuisine has been influenced by the climate, by Estmere's position between the Weranic and Solarian worlds, and by the legacy of empire. Special stewing techniques were developed by the Swathish, and the arrival of the Verique allowed for these to be combined with exotic spices to create a unique palate. The availability of spice was further enhanced by the growth of the empire, which brought more spices from Satria and the Far South.
Immigration from Estmerish colonies allowed for a flourishing of Estmerish cuisine in the mid 20th century, with new hybrid dishes such as tikka masala drawing from both Estmerish and Satrian culinary traditions, being seen as an example of the multiculturalism of modern-day Estmere. Tikka masala has been described as Estmere's national dish, and was voted in 2011 as the most popular meal in the country.
Another well-known Estmerish dishes is the roast dinner, which is traditionally served on a Sunday, and comprised of red or white meat, a selection of vegetables, Wealdland puddings, stuffing and gravy. Gravy is considered a staple of Estmerish cuisine, and is served in a wide range of dishes, such as gravy and chips. Estmerish dishes tend to be high in fat and salt content, possibly contributing to the relatively high levels of obesity in the country.
Estmere is known for its high tea consumption; the beverage has been popular since its introduction in the 17th century. The most popular alcoholic beverages are beer, specifically pale lager, and wine. Alongside these, cider is also popular, particularly in the east of the country; a number of spirits are also popular, most notably whiskey and gin. The Weald is home to a number of renowned breweires, while vineyards are widespread in Flurland. Estmerish beer has been influenced by the Weranian beer industry, incorpoating wheat beer and schafners alongside the more traditional real ale.
Estmere is home to a diverse media landscape, with a high level of press freedom. There are a number of prominent newspapers in Estmere, which are divided into "low-brow" tabloids and "high-brow" broadsheets, and most newspapers are considered to have a political alignment. The highest-circulation broadsheets in Estmere are the centre-right The Standard, the centre-left The Chartist and the business and economic-focused Economic Review, while the highest-circulation tabloids the populist The Express, right-wing Daily Times and the left-wing Red Sunday. Newspaper circulation has declined heavily since the turn of the century, with newspaper sales having fallen by 25% since 2000. The Standard is considered the national newspaper of record.
The Estmerish media sector is centred mostly in Redwoods area of Morwall, and most media company headquarters are here, but other sizable cities for the industry include Harbrough and Bouley. Swathish-language broadcasting is centred in Tolbury and Sheaford, and Flurian-language in St Richards.
Estmere's public broadcasting is largely handled by EBS, which has operated radio, television and internet broadcasting since its foundation in 1925. These include three major televsion channels; EBS 1, EBS 2 and EBS Extra. All EBS channels are publically-funded and do not run advertisements, but advertisements are present on EBS Online. EBS is one of the largest and oldest public broadcasters in continuous operation, and is funded by Estmerish taxpayers. Alongside EBS, other major broadcasters include National Independent Television and the Eye Broadcasting Group, both private companies. Alongside the most widely-consumed Estmerish language broadcasting, most services are also available in Swathish and Flurian. Legally, all broadcasting companies must provide either distinct Swathish and Flurian channels, or provide suitable Swathish and Flurian subtitles and dubbing in 60% of their total broadcasting content. EBS Wealdland, EBS Flurland, NITV d'Estme and NITV Weald are the largest channels to broadcast exclusively in Swathish or Flurian.