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Republic of Leatheriver

Republik Lederfluss
República Rio-Courense
República Rio-Cuereña
Flag of Leatheriver
Coat of Arms of Leatheriver
Coat of arms
Motto: "Mögen unsere Taten ein Beispiel für die Menschheit sein"
"Sirvam Nossas Façanhas de Modelo à Humanidade"
"Que Nuestras Obras Sean Modelo para la Humanidad"
"May our Deeds be a model for Humanity"
Anthem: "Ode to the New World"
Leatheriver, in the Southern Cone of South America
Leatheriver, in the Southern Cone of South America
LocationSouth America
Largest cityMontevideo
Official languagesLeatheriverian German, Portuguese, Spanish, Guarani, Italian
Ethnic groups
36.51% Kleindeutsch
17.44% Gaucho
15.32% Poloterrano
10.53% Pampeano
6.6% Afro-Leatheriverian
5.57% Criollo
2.35% Amerindian
2.1% Asian
3.58% Other
41.26% Protestantism
20.31% Roman Catholicism
20.18% Catharism
7.44% Irreligion
3.84% Judaism
3.37% Afro-Diaspora Religions
3.65% Other
GovernmentFederal parliamentary republic
• Grand Magistrate
Hilda Winkelmann
• President
Adão Pedroso Brasil
• Chief of Justice
Johannes Strobel
LegislatureParliament of the Nation
National Senate
Federal Assembly
Independence from the Holy Roman Empire
• Declared
10 July 1798
• Recognized
23 August 1808
• Current Constitution
18 April 1939
• Total
553,309 km2 (213,634 sq mi)
• 2021 estimate
• Density
55.7/km2 (144.3/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2021 estimate
• Total
$2.156 trillion
• Per capita
HDI (2021)Increase 0.853
very high
CurrencyLedermark (LM$) (LDM)
Time zoneUTC-3
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy (CE)
Driving sideright
Calling code+51
Internet TLD.ld

Leatheriver (German: Lederfluss; Portuguese: Rio do Couro; Spanish: Rio del Cuero), officially the Republic of Leatheriver (German: Republik Lederfluss; Portuguese: República Rio-Courense; Spanish: Republica Rio-Cuereña), is the a country in the continents of Latin America and South America. Albeit not one of the largest countries by area in the continent, it is the richest country in Latin America, with a GDP of nearly 700 billion with a population estimated at approximately 31 million. Its capital is the German-speaking Frölichafen (literally "Joyful Harbor"), although the largest city is the former Spanish colony of Montevideo. The country is composed of a union of 9 states, or "federal republics": Santa Catarina, Kuhland, Uruguay (the Three Founding Republics), Entre-Rios, Gran Pampa, Paraguay, Poloterra, San Paolo, and Pantanal. Extremely diverse, the country has the biggest Jewish population in the Americas proportional to the nation's population. The country is one of the few territories in the Americas where German is an official language, the other being Columbia.


The name Leatheriver was adopted by the first German settlers of the region, the Thousand Pioneers, who were sent to the region by the Holy Roman Empire to establish a port in South America. The port would serve as a point of resupply for the German fleets sailing to Africa and Asia. The name Leatheriver came from the fact that, in the vicinity of the Ducks' Lagoon (previously thought to be a river), cows and bulls could be found in large flocks. South American herdsmen known as the Gauchos would often launch expeditions towards the region, seeking to capture cattle and extract their leather. The Ducks' Lagoon became known as the "River of Leather" to the Germans. Eventually, when the German, Portuguese, and Spanish colonies of the Southern Cone were united, the name Leatheriver was passed to designate the entire country and not just the vicinity of the Ducks' Lagoon.


Amerindians from the Río de la Plata, from Hendrick Ottsen's diary.

Leatheriver is the name of the region of the Platine Basin that encompasses the former colonies of the Banda Oriental (Spain), Kuhland (Holy Roman Empire), and the captaincy of Santa Catarina (Portugal). Prior to European colonization, the area of Leatheriver was occupied by Amerindians of the Guarani and Charrua ethnicities. The first contact of Europeans with these Amerindians occurred in the 16th Century. Due to its remote location and lack of mineral resources, the region did not attract attention from Spain or Portugal. By the 17th Century, the modern-day republic of Uruguay was colonized by Spain and the captaincy of Santa Catarina was settled by Portugal. What would become the colony of Kuhland ("Cowland" in German) was briefly occupied by Jesuits. The Company of Jesus introduced cattle to the region, which served as the main source of food for both the Jesuits and the Amerindians catechized by the Europeans.

However, in the early 17th century fortune-hunters and slavers known as the Bandeirantes (literally "Flag-bearers" in Portuguese) attacked the Jesuit reductions, enslaving much of the Amerindian population and expelling the Jesuits. What remained, apart from some scattered Amerindian villages, was the cattle introduced by the Catholics. The terrain and the climate of the region proved to be decent, and the cattle population began to grow exponentially. It is estimated by historians that, at the arrival of the Thousand Pioneers, the population of cattle was four times that of humans in the region.

The large presence of cattle in the unclaimed territory attracted attention from both the Portuguese and the Spanish. Both countries began to organize expeditions to capture the cattle: the Spanish were more preoccupied with it as a source of food, while the Portuguese occupied themselves with the extraction of leather and other products. The coastal region of what would become Kuhland was named "Vacaria del Mar" by the Spanish due to the high concentration of unherded cattle.

When the Thousand Pioneers from the Holy Roman Empire disembarked in 1630, the Vacaria del Mar was a disputed territory between Spain and Portugal. Initially, the German colony was a private enterprise, financed and sponsored by the Imperial government, this one which was more occupied with exploiting the riches of Africa and Asia. The Empire saw the region as an opportunity to get rid of dissidents, religious minorities, orphans, criminals, and others considered to be a burden for the state and the Imperial society. It also had a strategic value, since it served as a bridge between Europe and the German colonial enterprises in Africa and Asia. Furthermore, it also was important due to commercial opportunities in the proximities of the La Plata Basin.

Most German pioneers sought refugee from war and persecution in Kuhland. This 19th century painting is an homage to the thousand pioneers.

In the beginning, German colonization was restricted to the vicinity of rivers and the Atlantic coast. The colony of Kuhland, or Cowland, became known for the hunts after leather and other cattle-related products, such as tallow and jerky. These goods were sold to the Portuguese colonies; at the time, Portugal was a close ally of the Holy Roman Empire, seeking protection from Spain. On the other hand, the Spanish colonies boycotted German goods.

Despite the friendly relations between Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire, there was the issue of the Bandeirantes. In 1650 the Bandeirantes crossed the Cowlandian border, attacking villages and small colonies. Despite being contained, the damage had already been done. The Bandeirante attack led to a response from the Imperial government, which reorganized and centralized the colony of Kuhland. Prior to the reorganization, the colony was highly decentralized, where each village and each family survived independently. After the centralization process, now every single settlement was united under the administration of the State of Cowland. This made possible a better capacity to respond against foreign menaces.

The Bandeirantes were Luso-Brazilian slavers responsible for expanding the territory of Portuguese colonies.

In 1660 the Bandeirantes returned, seeking to capture Amerindians, contraband leather and jerky, and annex the German colonies. After a series of skirmishes in the sierras of Cowland and Santa Catarina, the Bandeirantes were defeated at the Battle of Laguna. After the defeat, the Portuguese government acknowledged the problem the Bandeirantes posed to the relations between Portugal and the Holy Roman Empire. As such, the Bandeirantes stopped their attempts to take the colonies of Cowland.

Three years later, in 1663, a lack of workers in the colony was becoming apparent. To solve this issue, the Imperial government authorized the use of African slaves in Cowland, thus keeping the production of leather and jerky up to the growing demand. In 1670 the first African slaves arrived in Cowland, working side by side with the Charruas. The African slaves came from the region of Guinea and Cameroon, while the Guarani Amerindians were spared from enslavement due to their Christian faith. The Charruas, however, were notably hostile, and as such, they were enslaved by the authorities in 1666.

Ruin of the Saint Michael Church, in the Guarani Missions, which were devastated under orders of Kistler

In 1714 Spain and Germany signed the Treaty of Leipzig, which delimited the borders of the Banda Oriental and Cowland. If not for the Revolutionary Wars of the 18th Century, present-day Leatheriver would probably not exist, and Cowland would have the 1714 borders. Between the years 1700 and 1780 Cowland received large waves of Imperial immigrants. 40 thousand African slaves also were imported to work in the "leather-houses". Until 1730 Amerindians had the largest share of the population, with approximately 180 thousand Guaranis and Charruas living in Cowland. However, over the years the Amerindian population began to decline sharply. One such reason was diseases introduced by the European settlers and African slaves. Unfortunately, the biggest impact on the Amerindian population was the Massacre of Saint Borja, when a German army attacked and razed the Jesuit reductions near the Uruguay River, killing half of the Amerindian population of Cowland. Similar massacres occurred during the rule of governor-general Gerfired Kistler between 1730 and 1745, where those killings were carried out with the aim of expropriate the land of Guaranis, in turn giving them to the growing German population.

Despite slavery and all the massacres, such a period coincided with the growth of Cowland, with the construction of the port of Rackel and the inauguration of a university in Langhaus. For being a settlement colony, given the fact that the land had little colonial value, Cowland was more autonomous and developed than the neighboring territories. Since the Holy Roman Empire had no intent to establish a colonial pact, such as the one that occurred in Brazil under the Portuguese crown, led to the rise of manufactories and colleges in Leatheriver. The development and the autonomy of the Imperial colony worried both the Portuguese and the Spanish, the latter of which feared a possible German invasion of its colonies. In 1737 the Braga Accord was signed: the possessions south of the Uruguay River would become part of Cowland, while those in the north were to become part of Portugal.

To understand the process of formation of Leatheriver, it is important to learn the context of 18th Century Europe. During the course of the 18th Century, the Holy Roman Empire built an extensive colonial empire, going all the way from the East Coast of America all the way to Japan. However, the Holy Revolution of 1750, in which the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth broke free from the Holy Roman personal union, put an end to German hegemony over Europe. This fact, coupled with many years of high taxation, abuses perpetrated by nobles, and Imperial tyranny, fostered sentiments of hatred and revolt against the government. In 1775 Poland-Lithuania, allied with France, invaded the Holy Roman Empire, seeking to annex the rich region of Silesia. In 1776 emperor Friedrich II was captured in the Battle of Berlin, which led to the ascension of his brother Ignatz to the throne. Deeply unpopular, Ignatz was defeated at Lübeck and decided to surrender.

Despite paying the ransom of his brother Friedrich II, Ignatz refused to leave the Imperial throne. Irritated, Friedrich II mustered support from nobles and initiated a civil war to restore himself to the throne; Friedrich II was killed amidst the Battle of Aschaffenburg in 1778. Ignatz, triumphant, thought the war was won and began preparing for his revenge against Poland-Lithuania. However, he did not prevent the revolt of the population against his tyranny. In 1780 Ignatz was betrayed by one of his guards, who stabbed him in the back.

With the death of Ignatz, a power vacuum took place in the Empire. In the end, Emperor Rudolf succeeded Ignatz. He was the uncle of the last emperor, and since Ignatz died without heirs, Rudolf inherited the Imperial crown. A romantic and reformist, Rudolf was popular with the burghers and the peasantry but had a tense relationship with the nobility and the clergy. Since Empress Mariane (1682-1720), every monarch had issues with the Catholic Church. Preocuppied with the promises of reform coming from Rudolf, the nobility launched a pretender to the throne: Clemens, Rudolf's younger brother, a man who had profound links with the nobility and sought to restore the power of the Pope over religious affairs.

In this painting, an exiled Rudolf is pictured in military uniform.

On 15 June 1780, Rudolf was arrested by Clemens and his clique of nobles. Attempting to avoid a war (which would weaken the Empire even further), Rudolf did not resist and was exiled to Cowland. It was for nothing: on 10 July 1780, masses of peasants invaded Wien, seeking to behead Clemens. Under orders of the usurper, the army intervened, killing hundreds, if not thousands. The Massacre of 10 July was the starting point of the Revolutionary Wars, which would torment Europe in the following decades.

While the Holy Roman Empire was engulfed by the flames of a revolution, Cowland was at peace. The exiled Rudolf lived peacefully in a leather-house in the vicinity of Rackel. Nevertheless, the revolution arrived at Cowland. In 1782 Emperor Clemens and his supporters were killed, sending waves of shock throughout all of Europe. In the end, the revolutionary leadership became divided among Republicans, Imperialists, and Communalists. In Cowland, the exiled emperor heard of the news in 1783. While he organized his return to Europe, Portugal and Spain invaded Cowland, allegedly to protect their colonies from "nefarious ideologies". Thereby, Rudolf became stuck in Cowland. Meanwhile, the National Convention was underway in the Holy Roman Empire. The Imperialists won the National Convention's election, and after dictating the Constitution of All Romans, it was determined that the Imperial Federation of Rome was to be a constitutional monarchy and that Rudolf was the "most legitimate Kaiser".

Fearful that the ideals of "Truth, Justice, and Fraternity" would become the norm in their own realms, France and Poland-Lithuania invaded the Imperial Federation, and, with the support of Portugal, Spain, and Scandinavia, they formed the Grand Coalition. Upon learning of the news coming from Europe, Kaiser Rudolf covertly escaped to Hamburg with the help of English privateer Lincoln Whitlock. In Europe, Roman general Jochim von Wickten defeated the Polish army, retook Silesia, and killed French general Bastien Choquet. In 1784, to the surprise of the Grand Coalition, Rudolf disembarked at Hamburg, being applauded and cheered by the population.

In 1786 Rudolf and von Wickten convinced the countries of the Grand Coalition to put down their weapons. As a result of the war, Rome conquered Silesia and recovered control over their colonies. However, this was not the end of the revolution. The European Revolutions would see their end only in 1804, with the French defeat against Rome in Bordeaux. Between 1786 and 1804, several revolutions occurred in all of Europe, reverberating throughout the Americas. It was in such a context of revolts and uncertainties that Cowland, Santa Catarina, and the Banda Oriental (Uruguay) began their processes of independence.


A park at Sea's Ridge, 2009

With 553,309 km2 (213,634 sq mi) of continental land, Leatheriver is one of the smallest countries in the South American continent. The landscape ranges from rolling plains and low hills (the cuchillas) in Uruguay, to the Serra Geral mountains of Kuhland and Santa Catarina, which divided the Republic of Saint Catherine into a narrow coastal plain and a larger plateau to the west. In Kuhland, the Serra Geral (or General Sierra) occupies the northern half of the state, with a range of low mountains that extends southward from the Serra do Mar of Santa Catarina and crosses Kuhland into Uruguay. West of this range is a vast grassy plain devoted principally to stock-raising – the northern and most elevated part being suitable in pasturage and climate for sheep, and the southern for cattle. Kuhland also has the Ducks' Lagoon, one of the largest lagoons in the world, separated from the ocean, by two sandy and partially barren peninsulas.

Each state of Leatheriver has a distinct climate and geography. Uruguay has a climate that is temperate and uniform. Most of the Uruguayan state has a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Santa Catarina has a humid subtropical climate in the Atlantic Coast and the Western border, while the Serra do Mar (Sea's Ridge) has an oceanic climate (Cfb). Kuhland is mostly subtropical, although the mountainous regions that extend from Santa Catarina have an oceanic climate. The geography of Uruguay is also uniform, as the country is entirely dominated by the Pampas, fertile low grasslands that also cover the southern half of Kuhland. The geography of Kuhland is divided into the Southern Half (low grasslands) and the Northern Half (low mountains). Santa Catarina is mostly mountainous, although the Atlantic Coast has many beaches, islands, bays, inlets, and lagoons.

The highest point of the country is the Morro da Boa Vista (Pleasant View Hill), at an altitude of 1,827 m, in the Republic of Saint Catherine.

Government and Politics

The Republic of Leatheriver is a representative parliamentary democracy under a multi-party system. Government members (Senators and Assemblymen) are elected for four-year terms under universal suffrage. The Grand Magistrate is the head of government and is elected by the parliament, whereas the head of state is the president, who is elected in direct elections. Leatheriver is a federation composed of three states, or 'republics': Uruguay, Cowland, and Saint Catherine. Each republic has its own constitution, although the local constitutions must abide by the federal law of Leatheriver: the Constitution of Leatheriver, which was promulgated in 1939 following the Leatheriverian Insurrection and the toppling of the Illuminist government.


The legislative power of Leatheriver is embodied by a bicameral system, known as the Parliament of the Nation. There are two legislative chambers, the National Senate and the Federal Assembly, respectively upper and lower house. In order for a bill to become law, it must be approved by the Federal Assembly and the National Senate, and then be signed by the President. Depending on the law, it will require a simple majority (for the vast majority of laws), two-thirds (for constitutional amendments), or three-fourths of the Parliament (rarely used, only when the government has a vote of no confidence from the president).

The head of government of Leatheriver is the Grand Magistrate. The head of government is elected by the Federal Assembly in indirect elections; usually, the party (or the coalition) with the most assemblymen gets to win the election. The two most-voted candidates in the Federal Assembly qualify for the second round. The National Senate is responsible for the second round of the election and gets to decide who will be the head of government.

The head of state is elected in direct elections every four years, or when snap elections for the Parliament of the Nation are called. The president has the power to dissolve the parliament, enact or veto laws, suggest judges to the Supreme Court, and approve a vote of no confidence (which is usually started through the Parliament).

The Federal Assembly has a total of 342 seats. Each seat represents an electoral district, which is distributed throughout Leatheriver. Each of the three republics has a number of seats proportional to its population. The National Senate has a total of 45 seats, with each republic being represented by 15 seats. Differently from the Federal Assembly, there are no electoral districts for the National Senate; instead, the fifteen most-voted candidates of each state will be elected to the Senate. Elections for the Federal Assembly and the National Senate occur every four years. The presidential election also is concurrently held with the legislative elections, be they general or snap elections.

Political Parties

The Leatheriverian government is a multi-party representative democracy. When the Parliament of the Nation was opened in 1803, there were no parties, as federal law passed by the first Grand Magistrate Bernhard von Sternberg banned political parties. However, in 1813 Grand Magistrate Gottfried Sommerfeld repealed the law and founded the Conservative Party, leading to the First Electoral System, which was dominated by the Conservatives and the Liberals, an era that lasted until the 1830s, with the beginning of the Caudillo Era (or Second Electoral System), marked by the decline of the Conservative Party and the rise of the Imperial Party.

During the 19th century, several parties marked the Third Electoral System (1856-1891), such as the Situationist Block, the Advancionist Party, the Cordialist Party, and the Regressive Party. However, with the advent of the Revolutionary Republic (1891-1912), most political parties were banned, remaining solely the Rationalist Congress and the Immortalist Party. With the overthrown of the Revolutionary regime in 1912, the Military Republic (1912-1925) re-established democracy, although the militarization of the state meant that elements from the military were actively mining the democratic system. In 1925 the Englithened Republic (1925-1938) banned all parties except for the Immortalist Legion, leading to a period of unrest that would culminate with the Insurrection of 1938.

Since then, the Seventh Electoral System (or the Seventh Republic) has been in place. The country has been ruled by the National Labour Union since 2012, under the rule of Hilda Winkelmann. The last grand magistrate to rule without a coalition was Oscar Andrada (Republican Party), from 1956 to 1962.