Federal Republic of Girkmand
Motto: ""Freedom and Order""
Anthem: "So That We May Be Free"
|Federal parliamentary republic
• Vice President
• Speaker of the Tribunate
• Federal Constitution
• 2018 census
• Per capita
|FRG Dollar (FGD)
|UTC -3 (West Argic Time)
Girkmand, officially the Federal Republic of Girkmand, is a country in Western Argis. The territory of Girkmand is composed of 13 autonomous member states, one of which is a federal district. Girkmand's closest neighbors are the Tsardom of Eurofuhrer to the east and the Republic of Cavunia to the southwest.
Girkmand was inhabited by ancient hunter-gatherers approximately 26,000 years ago. The later tribal settlers arrived in the 6th century B.C.E. The political landscape of Girkmand has changed radically over the years. Tribal trading kingdoms were succeeded by the First Girkmandian Empire, followed by the transitory Descendant States, Girkmand Republic, Second Girkmandian Empire and finally the Federal Republic of Girkmand which was under the control of a military government for many years. Ethnic Girkmandians are related to Germanic tribes of Saxon origin. The de facto language of Anglish was chosen as the official language in the Federal Constitution of 1898.
Girkmand is a federal parliamentary republic. Its capital is the city of Girk where the majority of its 6.2 million citizens live. The current head of state is President of the Federal Republic Gerald Webb. All males aged 18 are required to serve in the Federal Armed Forces for the duration of one year as per the Universal Male Conscription Law. In order to qualify for public office in Girkmand, applicants must have completed their compulsory military service.
The free market economy of Girkmand is backed by the copper mining industry which the federal government maintains through the Federal Copper Corporation. Girkmand's many business-friendly policies and low taxes attract a wide variety of industries both foreign and domestic.
Gircmand was the name given to the region by its early Saxon settlers, as evidenced by historical notes and chronicles from that era. Historians speculate that the "Girc" were one of the Saxon tribes migrating to the area around the 5th century C.E. The word "mand" is generally thought to mean land or home. People from the Girc tribe referred to each other as “Gircman” (man of Girc) or “Gircmend” (men of Girc). It's believed that contact with other tribes through trade and commerce led to the slow anglicization of the tribes' name, and by extent, the entire region's. By the late 16th century, "Girkmand" had entirely overtaken the word's old Saxon roots.
The temperate continental climate of Girkmand has four seasons of near-equal length. Average temperatures range from 16.0 °C to 20.0 °C. The cool, humid winters reach average temperatures of −3.6 °C to −8.2 °C. Girkmand's vast coastline against the Mediargic Sea stretches over 2,000 km. Steep granite cliffs and borages of mixed woodland terrain and pasture occupy roughly 15% of the coast. The two major rivers in Girkmand are the Rhein and the Kraken. The Rhein river stretches out some 300 km to the city of Alavelak, passing Bric, Girk and Saint Anna before merging into the Mediargic Sea. It is the largest river in Girkmand and holds noteworthy cultural and historical significance: the river was a navigable waterway that was widely used to bring trade and commerce deep inland. It was vital to the region's technological and cultural development and had many fortifications and settlements built along it. Today, the Rhein is considered a symbol of Girkmandian culture. The Kraken is another Mediargic river that intersects into three smaller rivers or "tentacles". It covers the eastern cities of Kantiina, Stoffel, and Kapuso, being nearly 500 km in length. The river received its name due to its octopus-like form, furthermore, it is said to be the birthplace of the mythological "Kraken": a legendary sea-monster of enormous size that supposedly attacked ships in the Mediargic Sea.
Girkmand is divided into 13 autonomous states, one of which is a federal district. The states enjoy a vast amount of autonomy, and local governments are left to rule without much interference from the federal government. The states are Girk, the Federal District of Girk, Luwidg, Annabell, Serens, Uurman, Vanisten, Kerlia, Orde, Untenvik, Kannas, Jugen, and Varma.
Girkmand was inhabited by ancient hunter-gatherers approximately 26,000 years ago. Numerous arrowheads and stone tools have been unearthed by construction workers near the capital of Girk.
Later settlers in the area arrived in the 6th century BCE Settlements began to appear on the coast, with prominent tribal leaders assuming charge of most cities. The cities along the coastline prospered through commerce, fishing, and agriculture. Nomadic peoples invading the region prompted cities to create alliances with each other that eventually led to the birth of unified trading kingdoms.
First Girkmandian Empire
In the late 5th century CE, the Saxon king Henry founded the First Girkmandian Empire after his exhausting campaign against hostile tribes and the political juggling of rich city states into becoming the junior partners of his military alliances. Dependent on the protection of his empire, most of the coastal trading states bartered their freedom for safety and became autonomous subjects under Henry. The rapid growth of the empire resulted in unrest and civil war. Plague and failing crop harvests coupled with heavy taxes to fund the empire's campaigns killed thousands of Girkmandians. Later dynasties failed to quench the fires of revolution, and Girkmand was once again divided between its counts and lords.
Descendant States and Merchant Federation
Following the fall of the empire, some of its previous subjects remained unified and developed into independent kingdoms. These descendant states fought among themselves and their foreign rivals for land and resources. Girkmand witnessed a significant growth in population after the 6th century CE thanks to the warming climate. Art and the sciences flourished in the rich trade cities. The access to old and new technologies from around the world assisted in the development of society. Advancements in technology allowed the coastal trade cities to prosper and amass great wealth. People flocked to the cities for work and education. The trade cities sought each other for protection and mutual assistance, resulting in the founding of the Girkmand Republic: a loose federation of merchant republics. To ensure equal representation, a Council of leaders was formed to discuss the state of the republic and to vote on popular issues. By the 11th century, the election and voting process of the republic had been codified by the Council to ensure the continuity of its government and to provide it with a basic constitutional structure.
Early modern period
Kimberly Diet and Early Republic
A series of reforms known as the Kimberly Diet transformed the loose merchant federation into a parliamentary republic over the coming years. The election of the prime magistrate was left to the Council, which was composed of the magistrates of their respective cities. Term limits for prime magistrates and laws to combat hereditary succession of the city magistrates by denying the association of the office with their family members were introduced. Common law, public offices and citizenship were defined in the Constitution of the Republic. The great financial and social success of the republic gravitated nearby cities to its sphere of influence. A standing army called the Republican Army was formed to replace the mercenary bands in charge of the nation's security, much to their dismay. A period called the "Mercenary Wars" began. Mercenary companies disillusioned with losing their livelihood turned into organized raiding parties that shook up the countryside for years.
Late Republic and Denial
In the dawn of the 17th century, economic stagnation, inflation, corruption, and the revival of ethnic nationalism surged. A small dynasty of oligarchs had risen up to control the government by continually holding the prime magistrate's office. Several autonomous states of the republic revolted after accusations of ethnic discrimination and lack of representation in government. Religious extremists began to arm themselves in order to pick old bones with past rivals. These insurrections were violently put down by the auxiliary police forces tasked with the protection of their cities. A series of invasions by foreign powers further weakened the dying republic. The grand republican navy was reduced to a mere 200 merchant ships.
Imperialism and Oligarchy
By the 19th century, the last elected prime magistrate John H. Beyer began a systematic extermination of his fellow oligarchs in order to consolidate his power. The riddance of the oligarchs was welcome news to some, but with it came the destruction of the republic; John H. Beyer crowned himself the emperor of Girkmand with the support of his followers, thus founding the Second Girkmandian Empire. Emperor John's economic reforms were largely unsuccessful, but his military campaigns to recover territories with their lost resources managed to garner him limited popular support. After the 40-year reign of Emperor John, the lack of any real progress towards economic stability coupled with the severe attrition of the army led to the overthrowing of the monarchy through a military coup. The Republican Army assumed total control through the use of emergency powers. Field Marshal George Watson and his fellow officers held a public referendum in Girk following the coup to choose the new form of government. After an extensive voting process, the federal system was implemented. The Federal Council was assembled, and a new constitution established that granted the states extensive autonomy. The Federal Tribunate reserved its place in the lower house.
The Republican Army acted as the training wheels of the young federal republic. In order to avoid civil war, the military systematically silenced political dissidents and censored any public outlets that were "opposing the move to democracy". Field Marshal George Watson enacted a strict border policy in order to crack down on the black markets thought to be arming would-be revolutionaries. Political freedom was in the army's stranglehold, and the transitory military government occupied Girk as its temporary headquarters (Girk would later become the federal capital). The Federal Council was a tug-of-war between authoritarians seeking to increase executive power and those seeking to limit it. The Republican Army, meant to act only as a short-term transitory government, would continue to rule for an indefinite period of time.
The economic miracle (the economic boom or just "the miracle") of the 20th century gave much-needed relief to the harsh economic situation of Girkmand and further solidified the military government's leading position in the affairs of government. Many military men would go on to participate in politics; Field Marshal George Watson became the first president of the federal republic after campaigning on the platform of "strength through unification", which proved to be quite popular. The political atmosphere was mostly dominated by ex-servicemen, who were not entirely inclusive of civilians in government, citing the destruction of the country by "indecent wimpy oligarchs" as their argument. The highly conservative Federal Council instated the Universal Male Conscription Law for all male citizens above the age of 18. Those who had not served in the army or the navy were forbidden from partaking in politics; women were initially forbidden from holding public office until the decision was overturned by allowing female citizens to volunteer in the armed forces. The laws drawn by the military were not popular with left-wing factions, who cited that the government had been overtaken by "fascist elements". Violence escalated after two veterans were shot in public by a group of leftist guerrillas calling themselves the Allied Secessionist Movement (ASM), an allied confederation of anarcho-syndicalists, communists, and liberals disillusioned with the political direction of Girkmand.
The following years would become branded as "The Disorders". Heavy urban fighting against various cells of insurgents began. Field Marshal George Watson was assassinated by a member of the ASM. Vice President Oswald Henry Beyer took his place in office. Beyer appointed General Herbert Walls as the Minister of Defense. The Beyer government divided the country into several operational areas: The West (Operation Oak), The South (Operation Candle), The Midlands (Operation Gecko), The East (Operation Tundra), and The North (Operation Orange). Divided districts would be "cleared out" by waves of security forces. The first wave scouted ahead and moved into their positions by the border. The second wave would then thoroughly search any buildings or personnel in a district and link up with the first wave. The third wave remained in reserve and could be called on if any problems were to occur. Weapons and ammunition would be confiscated. Anyone found in possession of enemy propaganda would be interrogated and promptly executed if found to be involved with guerrilla groups. Garrisons were established in occupied cities to deter any further acts of violence and to protect civilian assets.
Transition to Stability and Federal Republic
The hardened Republican Army defeated the ill-equipped guerrillas after years of conflict. Leaders of the Allied Secessionist Movement surrendered in exchange for both their own amnesty and members of their movement. President Oswald Henry Beyer commended the courage of all freedom-loving Girkmandians in a speech delivered from the steps of the federal building in Girk. The Republican Army held a parade in honor of their fallen comrades, during which several men received awards for their distinguished service during the conflict. The Amnesty Law was enacted shortly after the "Disorders". President Oswald Henry Beyer appointed Peter Wilhelm as the Minister of Finance following his proposal for the "Plutus Plan". The Plutus Plan intended to stabilize the economy after centuries of failed attempts to control inflation. The Republican Treasury was conceived to print the new currency of FRG dollars (FRG$) as part of a broader plan to secure the Girkmandian economy by introducing a common currency between the 13 member states. Government expenses were reduced, and member states were encouraged to accept more foreign imports after the significant decrease in inflation to meet up with the sudden demand. The imports were essential to avoid demand-side inflationary pressures that would otherwise threaten to undermine the entire stabilization plan.
President Oswald Henry Beyer was voted into office for a second term. The peaceful transition of power to the opposition leader William F. Wilson was taken as a sign that Girkmand had finally reached long-sought political stability. William F. Wilson returned political freedom to the population, enacted several anti-discriminatory laws, universal adult suffrage and the separation of church and state. The Federal Council chose Anglish as their official language and began efforts towards public education and healthcare. Furthermore, reforms to the military made the Republican Army and the Republican Navy a part of the newly formed Federal Armed Forces. William F. Wilson was re-elected in 1978.
Alexander Turner assumed his post in 1986. President Alexander Turner founded the Federal Air Force in 1988 following the purchase of numerous multirole fighters. Foreign experts were contacted to provide training for the new pilots that had to be picked from a small pool of qualifying army and naval servicemen. The project cost several million dollars and the federal budget stretched over its limit countless times. President Turner was found to be embezzling project funds and was subsequently impeached by the Federal Council.
The almost unknown Harold Grimes was elected as his successor in 1991. President Grimes served for two terms, leaving office in 1999.
Thomas Kruger assumed the presidency afterward in 1999. Kruger began an aggressive campaign for energy and infrastructure at the beginning of his presidency. Plans for the construction of a national nuclear energy plant were drafted with a deadline of mid to late 2005. Delays due to the quality of the workmanship and supervision led to the plant being commissioned in 2006, with the third unit still under construction as of 2017. A public transportation system and an effort to improve the national railway system started in 2003 and was successfully implemented in late 2005. President Thomas Kruger finished his first term in 2003, was re-elected and ended his presidency in 2007.
Joseph Gage, a distinguished ex-serviceman from Kimberly, was the youngest president in Girkmandian history at the fresh age of 42. He was popular with young and old Girkmandians. The relative late entry of Girkmand into the World Assembly was spearheaded by Gage, who advocated for greater Girkmandian influence in foreign affairs. President Joseph Gage launched several market-oriented reforms toward a free-market economy that saw an increase in domestic and foreign investment. He took great interest in environmental issues and pushed for states' rights. He did not pursue a second term in 2011 and was succeeded by Gerald Webb.
President Gerald Webb took office in late 2011 due to personal health concerns. The Webb administration published a public broadcast following his victory, vowing to uphold the values that Girkmand was based on. The Economic Policy Board was created to combat inflation and unemployment. Webb proposed tax cuts to agrarian industries to cut the dependency on imported products and pointed out the importance of supporting domestic industry. Webb made a visit to one of Girkmand's many copper mines in 2012 and greeted fishers in 2013. Citizen welfare programs for those living in poverty or risking poverty were introduced following Webb's presidency. Webb ran a successful campaign for his re-election and is currently serving his second term as president of the Federal Republic of Girkmand.
The Federal Republic of Girkmand is a federal parliamentary republic. The Federal Council serves as the executive branch to represent the thirteen states at a federal level. The Federal Tribunate is the lower house in Girkmandian politics: the Tribunate entitles its "tribunes" to veto legislation and to summon the Federal Council to propose legislation. State Diets of individual federated states govern themselves at a national level. The President of the Federal Republic is directly elected by universal adult suffrage once every four years for the maximum duration of two consecutive terms. The President and Vice President share chief executive power and traditionally appoint their cabinet ministers with join decision.
Recent presidents of Girkmand include:
- Field Marshal George Watson (year-year, assassinated)
- Oswald Henry Beyer (1966-1974)
- William F. Wilson (1974-1982)
- John Doe I (1982-1986)
- Alexander Turner (1986-1991, impeached)
- Harold Grimes (1991-1999)
- Thomas Kruger (1999-2007)
- Joseph Gage (2007-2011)
- Gerald Webb (2011-2019)
- John Doe II (2019-present)
Girkmand’s foreign policy has been described as the “Girkmand Doctrine” by some political writers. Foreign relations were kept in the background to allow greater freedom of action to stabilize the domestic situation in Girkmand. The relative late entry of Girkmand into the World Assembly was spearheaded by President Joseph Gage, who advocated for greater Girkmandian influence in foreign affairs.
Girkmand maintains embassies in several countries, including but not limited to: the Republic of Iverica, the Radiant Republic of Sunset Sea Islands and the Tsardom of Eurofuhrer. Furthermore, Girkmand is one of the founding members of both ATARA (Argic-Thalassan-Alharun Regional Association) and TRIDENT (Tricontinental Defence Treaty).
The Federal Armed Forces are the armed forces of Girkmand, composed of the following branches:
- Federal Army
- Federal Navy
- Federal Air Force
Universal male conscription for all males aged 18 is in place. Women are allowed to volunteer in any of the military branches, including special forces. An estimated 600 women choose voluntary service in the armed forces every year. The Federal Army is the backbone of the Federal Armed Forces, maintaining the bulk of active wartime personnel. The Federal Navy is capable of mobilizing 31,500 personnel and currently has 6,000 personnel active in various duties. The Federal Air Force has 3,600 active personnel as of 2015. The armed forces have a combined total of 900,000 reservists. Military service consists of field exercises, maintenance duties, civic education, asset protection and weapons training. After the conclusion of armed service, conscripts are moved into the federal reserve pool with their wartime rank and file.
The free market economy of Girkmand is backed by the copper mining industry. Other raw minerals such as iron, silver, and gold are also excavated. The state-owned Federal Copper Corporation (FedCorp) accounts for 60% of domestic copper production; mining exports represented 46% of all exports and 6.7% of the country's total GDP in 2010. Agriculture and allied sectors like forestry, logging, and fishing account for roughly 4.9% of GDP. Fisheries operate in the Mediargic Sea and are the primary producer of domestic food: crustaceans are the most consumed type of seafood in the country. Crabbing industries make up 51% of aquaculture exports, the top export being the Girkmandian emperor crab. Freshwater fish and pelagic fish are a close second. Beef, chicken, and sheep are the dominant meat products. Wheat and buckwheat are the most common type of grown cereal among food crops like potatoes, cabbages, and onions. Farming is mostly reserved for private businesses, which also contribute most to overall output. Independent farms receive tax incentives and subsidies to promote domestic production. 34.7% of the total Girkmandian land is currently being cultivated, with an estimated 34.1% of all land being arable. Other significant contributing industries are metals, engineering, and manufacturing. Girkmand exercises a flat income tax rate of 20% (real value) for individuals and corporations alike, which can be adjusted to compensate for inflation. Business both private and commercial is encouraged with tax incentives and deductions; Girkmand is host to many multinational corporations thanks to its free market-friendly policies.
The Girkmandian railway system was rebuilt in 2005. Several modern metro systems were built in cities with large urban populations. Rail transport has the reputation for being comfortable, clean and convenient. Passenger trains are operated by the federal government's private Federal Railway Company (FeraCo). Students and conscripts can apply for a transit license that grants free usage of all public transit services in their respective state.
Girkmand’s first state-owned nuclear energy plant was commissioned in 2006 in the Port of Goodwill. Units 1 and 2 consists of two BWRs each producing 880 MW of electricity. Unit 3 is still under construction as of 2017. Three additional plants are in an early planning phase. About 15% of Girkmand’s power is produced through hydropower and natural gas. The energy market (excluding nuclear) is predominantly owned by private companies. Due to the lack of exploitable fossil fuel reserves or alternate energy sources, most energy is imported to support domestic need.
The majority of the 6.2 million Girkmandians live in the federal capital city of Girk. The second-largest city is Kimberly. Other cities with a population above 100,000 are Noray, Bric, and Beyer. As of 2016, there were 300,000 people with a foreign background living in Girkmand. A 2006 census revealed that 85% of the population identified themselves as Girkmandian: 10% chose to identify by their state's historical nationality, and the remaining 5% chose to view themselves by their foreign background. The Girkmandians are an ethnic group of Germanic and Anglo peoples descending from a subgroup of Saxon tribes that migrated to central Girkmand in the 6th century B.C.E. The Jugeniles, Kerlians, Luwidgians, Uurmans and Sereni competed for regional dominance and formed multiple kingdoms, duchies, republics and federations throughout history.
The de facto official language of Girkmand had been Anglish for most of its recorded existence. Old Girkmandian Anglish was the lingua franca of the peoples living within the country's modern borders. Slightly varying regional dialects were more pronounced than they are in the present.
Girkmand has no official state religion. The freedom of religion and its practice are guaranteed by federal law. 75% of Girkmandians consider themselves religiously unaffiliated, according to a census poll conducted in 2004. Catholic and Orthodox Christianity are the two most commonly practiced religions in the 13 states.
Girkmandian culture has been shaped by the diverse pool of Saxon and Slavic tribes inhabiting the region historically. The Federated States of Kerlia, Luwidg and Jugen were annexed into the Second Girkmandian Empire in 1897, following a series of expansionist wars propagated by self-proclaimed Emperor John Henry Beyer. Their language and customs were vastly divergent from their Girkmandian counterparts due to their delayed migration to the area. Kerlian and Jugenilian tribes exhibited the Slavic influences of their ancestors from the east. The northern island peoples of Luwidg shared their lineage with the Nordic merchants and seafarers from northern Argis. There have been attempts to revive the pagan cultures and languages of Girkmand as part of a broader search for national identity, most notably during "The Disorders" (1937-1967) when communist rebels took up arms against the military government. The rebels appealed to separatist ideas of breaking away from the provisional state of Girkmand and rebuilding the ethno-nationalist borders that had existed before.
The duty to serve the Federal Republic in the armed forces is seen as a rite of passage by many. Conscription is viewed as a tradition by the vast majority of men who serve. 80% of Girkmandian conscripts finish their mandatory military service. The center is preferred over extremes, left or right. Girkmand ranks in the top 10% of Argic nations by political apathy and secularism. Girkmandians are educated on most other countries' languages, customs, and borders. Foreigners are treated with natural curiosity but are easily accepted after the relationship warms up. Girkmandians do not often tell jokes, but instead, use a variety of different idioms to express themselves, e.g. "Things went as well as Christ's Easter". Idioms are used similarly to comment on the actions of others, especially by the elderly population and people working in service or retail jobs. Most Girkmandians are quiet and reserved, however, unless in the company of well-established friends. Most Girkmandians hold fairly pluralist views of religion. Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter are widely celebrated. Public schools are secular by law, but religiously oriented schools are allowed to operate separately from the public education system.
Art has a long history in Girkmand, beginning since the first settlers moved into the region in the 6th century B.C. Cave and rock paintings are the earliest works of art that have been discovered. The definitive mixture of futuristic and realistic styles is native to the 20th century Girkmandian artists such as Uuno von Magner (1910-1989), whose works have only very recently garnered popular attention in the artistic scene. The Museum of Girkmandian Culture in Girk displays von Magner's works among other classical painters like Kirka Rosesteed (1846-1870) and Boris Dumle (1860-1899).
The New Wave-genre of the 1980s defines the Girkmandian music industry. Independent music, synthesizers, and lo-fi aesthetics continue to be immensely popular among Girkmandians. Some popular bands and performers from Girkmand are Mannfred & Friends, Albert, Tina Reyman, Kinoesque and Ariel Mouse. Classical composers from Girkmand include the likes of Hans P. Bretzel (composer of Gymnopedie No. 2), August Layman (pianist), Roger Wallington (composer) and George Hitcher (composer of the Girkmandian national anthem).
Girkmand maintains a thriving movie industry by offering foreign filmmakers low location costs and tax incentives. Domestic film companies can apply to the Federal Board of Arts in order to receive government subsidies to help pay off production costs of up to FRG$50,000 dollars. The undisputable national film of Girkmand is considered to be the 1972 hit: "Battle of Goodwill" by Slavo-Girkmandian director Günther Makhno. The film depicts the 1647 conflicts between the Girkmandian Republic and the kingdoms of Jugenilia, Kerlia, and Luwidg. Over 11,000 army conscripts from the Kimberly Brigade were utilized to bring the massive battle at Goodwill to the big screen. Production costs are estimated to have been between fifteen and twenty million dollars in modern value. The movie received critical acclaim on release and continues to top national "Best Movie" -lists.
The Romantic Movement of the 19th century contributed greatly to the amount of Girkmandian folk stories, novels, and poems published in the 1800s. The Fiddler in the Rye (1888, H.G.W Wutz), Who Goes There? (1806, J. Carpenter) and Truth or Die (1859, E. Rommel) remain highly regarded classics to this day. Before the modern era, the first written works produced in the region are believed to have been the translations of the New and Old Testaments of the Christian faith. After the 1900s, the works of socialist writer Frank Louisiana (1889-1949) became increasingly popular in the political genre. Early workers' rights movements and communist groups were directly influenced by the doctrines portrayed in Louisiana's 1908 book: "The Chains That Bind Us Also Divide Us". Marxist revolutionary Alan Childress (1905-1962) remarked in his 1952 autobiography (Life of a Revolutionary) that he was also an avid reader of Louisiana's work. Following the conflicts of 1936-1967, Girkmandian literature was dominated by war memoirs -and -novels. The 1971 book "Division" by author Karl Morrissey is considered to be an integral part of Girkmandian literary culture: it explores the "division" of Girkmandian society by following a fictional infantry company deployed in central Girkmand. The book is heavily based on Morrissey's own experiences when he served in the Republican Army during the war.