Federal Republic of Meronnia
République Fédérale de Mèronie
Motto: Liberté, Solidarité, Prospérité
Liberty, Solidarity, Prosperity
Official Map of the Federal Republic and Territories
|Recognised national languages||Tavitan, Talamdhic, Zirqic, Lorian|
|Recognised regional languages||Vaalse, Cabecan|
|Government||Federal semi-presidential republic|
|Legislature||Chambre des Députés|
• Crowning of Emperor Lothair
• The Philippine Proclamation
• Signing of the Federal Constitution
|September 9th, 1774|
|646,571.4 km2 (249,642.6 sq mi)|
|132.76/km2 (343.8/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|ISO 3166 code||MR|
Meronnia (Soliçian: Mèronie), officially the Federal Republic of Meronnia (Soliçian: République Fédérale de Mèronie), is a federal semi-presidential republic comprised of 307 Communes in Western Lira, and six overseas territories. Metropolitan Meronnia is bordered by the Bay of Bicscay, the Inoran Ocean, and the coastal enclave Bondragonne to the West, Lunderfrau to the North, Winst to the East, Arideo to the Southeast, Cisparrania to the South, and Produzland to the Southwest. The capital and largest city is Senone, with 2,812,000 living in the Senone Commune. Other major cities include Rochel, Leguine, and Blénoir. The country's land area spans a total of 646,571.4 km2 (249,642.6 sq mi), with a total population of 85.8 million people in 2020.
The country has a primarily mild Oceanic climate, though the metropolitan region varies from warm Mediterranean to Humid Continental. Overseas territories have an even broader climatic range. Executive authority in the republic is shared between a directly elected President, the First Deputy responsible to the legislature, and the Directory, a collective body that governed the early Republican government alone, and has since evolved into a mostly ceremonial role. The legislature is unicameral, consisting of the Chamber of Deputies elected by party proportional list.
Meronnia was historically a borderland for the Orthurian Empire, and later the Gostic Kingdom, before developing into a small independent entity in the early middle ages. Through the high middle ages, the Kingdom of Meronnia became an early colonial power and one of the wealthiest regions in Lira. From 1551 to 1582, Meronnia was ruled by King Philip IV of Produzland in a personal union. Following the Faith Wars and Carelian Revolution, Meronnia became a republic in 1774. Between the Great Continental War of the 1810s and the Olympic War of the 1910s, the Federal Republic prospered in a period called the Époque Dorée. Following the Olympic War, Meronnia gradually withdrew from most of its colonial possessions, but has maintained a large international presence as a neutral power.
Modern Meronnia is a center for arts, sciences, and philosophy. Meronnia is a developed country with high performance in a number of international metrics, including a very high standard of living and fairly low income inequality, though the Federal Republic ranks poorly in ease of doing business. Meronnia is heavily involved in international affairs and participates in a number of international bodies. It is the leading member of the OIS, an organization initially founded as a post-colonial community of Soliçian-speaking nations. It is also a founding member of the EdC, and the West Liran Free Trade Area.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Prehistory (before the 6th century BCE)
- 2.2 Antiquity (6th century BCE–5th century CE)
- 2.3 Early Middle Ages (6th century-10th century)
- 2.4 High and Late Middle Ages (11th century-15th century)
- 2.5 Early Modern Period (16th century-1730)
- 2.6 Revolutionary Meronnia (1730-1800)
- 2.7 Wars and Industrialisation (1800-1925)
- 2.8 Contemporary Period (1925-Present)
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The name Merona was used as a geographic term describing the northernmost province of the Orthurian Empire, which comprised much of the area that the modern nation of Meronnia exists on. This is believed to be an Orthurian exonym based on an unrecorded name for the region in the pre-Taber Ascalic language. The people who inhabited the area became known as the Merons, and a gradual linguistic shift over many hundreds years was confirmed in 1281 when Philip Rusét in his proclamation claimed the title of King of Mèronie. The Lorian exonym, Meronnia, is a modern construction.
The modern demonym for people from the nation of Meronnia is "Meron" or "Meronnian" (Soliçian: Mèronais).
Part of a series on the
|History of Meronnia|
Prehistory (before the 6th century BCE)
The oldest evidence of pre-human ancestor life in what is now Meronnia, a stash of stone tools discovered near Leue in 1979, dates from approximately 1.5 million years ago. The earliest modern humans are believed to have entered Western Lira, including Meronnia, by 45,000 years ago. Over the ensuing millennia, Humans were confronted by a harsh and variable climate, marked by several glacial eras.
Evidence of the early inhabitants of the region, who led nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles, is predominantly made up of artifacts of the distinct Neillais technique of flint knapping. Meronnia also has large numbers of preserved decorated caves of the Paleolithic era, such as the famous Bourdon Caves (approximately 16,000 BCE). Concurrently with the climate becoming milder due to the end of a glacial period, the inhabitants of the region gradually became sedentary, establishing agricultural communities as early as 7,000 BCE in the beginning of the Neolithic era.
Improvements in agriculture, demographic changes, and the appearance of metallurgy in the region by the 3rd Millennium BCE led to societal development which resulted in the formation of larger settlements and tribes, a process which accelerated throughout that millennium. The earliest metals to have been worked in Meronnia were gold, copper, and bronze. Examples of worked iron date back as far as 1,200 BCE.
Antiquity (6th century BCE–5th century CE)
The first civilizations that inhabited the modern territory of Meronnia were oral cultures with no written language, meaning very little recorded information exists about them save what can be gleaned from coins. Therefore, the early history of the region is predominantly a work in archaeology, and the relationships between material culture, genetic relationships (the study of which has been aided, in recent years, through the field of archaeogenetics) and linguistic divisions rarely coincide.
The first societies in what is now Meronnia of which much detail remains are the Ascalic and Collers cultures who spoke similar dialects and were organized into a large number of small polities centered around a loose structure of tribes and clans. These peoples were displaced and absorbed by migrating Tabers and Lorians through the 5th and 4th centuries BCE, building the start of a local fusion culture, which is discussed in depth in an unfinished manuscript of Divicatus of Elusco.
The Kingdoms of Virisimi, Cacudia, Dusella, and Manduissa, collectively the Proto-Meronnian Kingdoms, all rose into prominence between 450 and 300 BCE, and during this formative period the linguistically and religiously diverse region saw regular changes in territory and prosperity through minor and major conflicts, and frequent changing of hands of the position of "Rix Maros" (roughly: "Great King"), considered the first among equals of the Kings, who was identified as the holder of the relic called the Nerto Stone.
By the turn of the First Century BCE, Valatonius was the King of Dusella and holder of the Nerto Stone, and he gathered the armies of most or all of the Meron Kings (historic accounts vary as to whether the army of Manduissa fought), to come to the aid of the Tabers in the campaign against encroaching armies of the Anconan Kingdom. Valatonius's army met King Salus of Ancona, who had declared himself the Orthurian Emperor, north of the Aniene River. In the Battle of Cenos the Meron army were victorious, but in the long term the growth of the Orthurian Empire proved impossible to halt.
In 62 CE, following a series of military defeats inflicted by the returned Orthurian Empire, three Meron Kings threw down their swords and surrendered their lands. King Borso of Cacudia refused to surrender his territory and stole the Nerto Stone. His army was met at the Aniene and defeated in the Battle of Caerub Bridge. Borso, who saw his flanks breaking while on the bridge, threw himself into the river with the Stone, which was lost forever. With this final obstacle removed, Merona was created as a new province of the Orthurian Empire.
Merona as a province served as a frontier with the Kingdom of Taber, the Empire's primary regional rival. A number of forts and walled towns were settled in the province, including Belenora, Litu, Tallius, and Cricero. During this period the province benefited significantly from investments in infrastructure such as roads and public works in the walled towns, leading to significant improvements in overall development.
Originally, Merona had been allowed to maintain its local polytheistic religious traditions under the Orthurian Empire. After Emperor Valerius Patisar converted to Verroist Beoin, Beoin churches and missions were established in a number of walled towns in Merona Province, leading to a partial conversion of the local population, most strongly in the south.
Throughout the 4th and 5th centuries, the migration of Gostic Tribes from East of the Kingdom of Taber, and further migrations of groups displaced by the Gosts, destabilized the province as well as the rest of the Empire. Merona bore the brunt of demographic shifts, with many Gostic groups settling land in the Province and intermarrying, very quickly out-populating Orthurian settlers in the towns they had established. Gostic groups, once settled and established, proved violently opposed to rule from Ancona, and a series of revolts saw the final withdrawal of the Orthurian garrison from forts in Merona Province in 387 CE.
A small part of the former province in the far south which was the most heavily settled and converted region by Orthurians, Osperia, sought direct aid of the Magi, the religious leader who had been installed in the Fluviatta less than a century before. Some minor territories also fell to campaigns by the Kingdom of Taber, though that polity was already crumbling internally and most military efforts were led by Gostic settlers. The majority of Merona would come under the authority of Gostic military commanders who had nominally served the Orthurian Empire, who established a new set of tribally-structured minor Kingdoms.
In 470, Annamatus and Viriata, a co-leading King and Queen of the Kingdom of Licnos, took their armies Southwards after coming to the aid of Gostic forces in Taber. They met with the Magi and made a promise to recognize the Osperia territories as under Magal protection and did not loot any of the towns in that region, instead receiving payments of tribute as they campaigned. They went as far as to attack Ancona, but following this feat their army dispersed to raid and pillage Orthuria and they were unable to continue their momentum.
Only a few years later, large parts of Merona would fall quickly to the forces of Almer the Great, who claimed the title of King of the Gostic People and had previously conquered much of the territory of the Tabers.
Early Middle Ages (6th century-10th century)
Almer the Great's Kingdom continued until his death in 511 CE, but the division of lands and supporters among his nine children led to the end of the united Gostic kingdom. After Almer's death, what is today Meronnia was again divided into a number of small independent polities as a new proto-feudal system began to evolve, built around increasingly complex systems of fealty.
Grimoald the Tall emerged in the 620s CE as the most successful contender among the new class of Meronnian rulers. He did not possess the largest personal demesne of the Meronnian lords, but held large tracts of land in vassalage, which amounted to a territory nearly contiguous with that of the pre-Orthurian kingdom of Dusella. His dynasty, the Grimoaldings, would go on to be the first force to unify Meronnia from the inside.
Louemagne (Louel the Great) was the great grandson of Grimoald, and his successes in both war and diplomacy led to Grimoalding control over much of the core of modern-day Meronnia. In 698, Louemagne claimed the title of "King of all Merons"; though he would not unite the Orthurian provincial borders in his lifetime, this declaration was partially attributable to the origination of a national identity for the people of the region.
While Meronnia had briefly been governed by Verroin monarchs between Emperor Valerius Patisar and Almer the Great, following the end of Almer's Kingdom Meronnia had returned to the rulership of traditional pagans. Lothair II, the grandson of Louel the Great, announced before his court that if he was successful in his war against those forces in Meronnia refusing to recognize his authority that he would convert himself and his kingdom, formally, to a Verroin one. After his conquest of Toulers, he followed through on his promise and was ceremonially welcomed into the Verroist church. Lothair II was also responsible for a treaty with the Magi in Avelino, which returned the Osperia territories to Lothair's realm. In 757, much of his conquests complete, Lothair was crowned by the Magi as the Meronnian Emperor.
The Meronnian Empire became one of the most powerful forces in the region, and a number of innovations in sciences and arts were made as the Empire attempted (ultimately fruitlessly) to claim the mantle that the Orthurian Empire and Almer's Kingdom had once held in Western Lira. The centralized and prosperous empire would ultimately last a little over two centuries. In 944 the Imperial throne passed to a bastard branch of the Grimoaldings through Louel III, and in 998 the death of Charles Louelling led to an internal conflict over the inheritance, which spiraled into war in 999. The Empire was de facto dissolved by the separation of the lands of the competing claimants to the throne, leading to the period somewhat misleadingly referred to as the Interregnum.
High and Late Middle Ages (11th century-15th century)
The Meronnian Interregnum divided the former empire into a number of independent feudal states primarily based on the borders of Imperial provinces. These included the Kingdoms of Aleamme, Nord, and Le Péninsule. Later states to emerge included the Kingdom of the Vaalsers which broke away from Nord in 1086, and the Kingdom of Blénoir based in the city of the same name which emerged in 1217 and would become the vehicle for reunification of the region.
The Rusét dynasty emerged as a powerful force during the middle stages of the interregnum, prominently due to the efforts of the Duke Louis the Fox who oversaw a number of centralizing reforms of his lands and titles, and through careful war and diplomacy expanded his realm to one of the largest in the Meronnian region, though one still in vassalage to the Kings. Throughout the 1200s, the Rusét family was the main source of power for the nascent Kingdom of Blénoir declared by the Charibertean cadet house to the Grimoaldings. The grandson of Louis, Philip Rusét, married Adelaide of Blénoir in 1279 and claimed the title of King of all Meronnia.
Following a short and decisive conflict, Philip victoriously seized the lands of his rivals and issued the Philippine Proclamation in 1281 which established the legality of the new Kingdom. The Proclamation was notably liberal for its era, for example providing protections for widows and women who did not wish to marry, and establishing new rights for landholders and free cities. These new liberties compelled the large majority of minor landholders and freedmen to support loyalty to Philip I as opposed to their former monarchs, and is largely credited for the stability of the newly united Kingdom in it's first centuries of existence.
The 14th and 15th century in Meronnia under the Rusét kings was an era of uncommon peace and prosperity, and renaissance ideals from Parthonopia were quickly adopted in the wealthy and libertine courts of Meronnian nobility and royalty, leading to an explosive growth in the development of arts and sciences. This was the era in which painters such as Raymon Gachet worked, and when Baudrain Girard pioneered astrological sciences and led the heliocentric revolution.
This was also the period which saw the birth of the first parts of the Meronnian colonial empire, settlements and trade concessions along the northern Meridiqi coast, and later valuable acquisitions in South-Eastern Nori. These colonial endeavours led to a number of minor conflicts with Produzland, the other prominent Liran colonial power of the time.
The Meronnian Renaissance period was decisively halted by the 1477 invasion by the rapidly growing Lunderfrausian Empire which had united in 1412. While the core territories of the Kingdom remained, the expanding Lunderfrau seized more than a third of the Meronnian landmass in it's continued campaigns of expansion which would ultimately push further into the Orthurian peninsula and endanger Arideo and the Parthonopian states.
Early Modern Period (16th century-1730)
The successes of Lunderfrau throughout the early 16th century led to the formation of a broad coalition of southern territories to drive them back. The Siege of Lepanto in 1529 in modern Parthonopia was the turning point at which the Lunderfrausian advance was halted, and through the relief of an intervening coalition of Parthonopian, Aridite, Produese, and Meronnian forces, Lunderfrau was turned back from Lepanto and gradually forced northwards. While the coalition was successful in driving Lunderfrau most of the way back to its historic borders, it would continue to occupy the Vaalser Country for three hundred years.
After the success of the war against Lunderfrau, a short military campaign was launched against the small Kingdom of Velarre to the West, in which the Meron king Josset II pressed a vague claim to the territory. Velarre, which occupied much of the territory today classified as Cabeca, became a vassal state of the Kingdom of Meronnia in 1534.
The formation of the coalition thawed relations with Produzland as the two Kingdoms settled a number of treaties outlining a separation of colonial interests, which secured a Produese predominance in Nori and a Meronnian predominance in Meridiq. These agreements were cemented by royal marriage which ultimately led in 1551 to the inheritance of the Produese King Philip to the Meronnian throne through his mother. Philip I and IV led a personal union of the two kingdoms and their other possessions for 32 years, becoming one of the most powerful men in history.
In 1582 on the death of Philip, differences in inheritance law led to Philip's elder daughter Ermelina inheriting the Meronnian throne, while Philip's younger son Vincent inherited Produzland, ending the personal union. Nonetheless, the Produese House of Lugo remained on the Meronnian throne for several generations, retaining a close relationship with that country.
During this period, Meronnia's re-entry into South-East Nori colonialism saw success as the Meronnian Kingdom pursued a trade and concessions focused policy, contrasted with Produzland and others who attempted conquest and conversion of large areas of land. Small coastal trade concessions throughout South-East Nori would coagulate into the Pearl Necklace Cities over the next two hundred years, becoming Meronnia's most valuable colonial territory.
The 1600s were a time of extreme unrest in the Kingdom of Meronnia, primarily driven by religious tensions. Verroist Inquisitors from Produzland, brought by the Lugo monarchs, were unpopular in the less fervently devout region which was still host to a significant pagan minority in the Nosoumettron religion. Tensions were escalated significantly with the spread of Recantism, a Beoin breakaway sect which rejected much of the established doctrine of the Verroist church. In 1601, Recantism was made illegal in Meronnia, sparking the period known as the Religious Wars.
The Religious Wars period saw a large number of uprisings and rebellions motivated by religious disagreements, and several monarchs were successfully deposed. Charles X was forcefully removed in 1608 by Louis Touchard who declared himself King, and in 1613 signed the Proclamation of Primacy which recognized the new but rapidly developing Annic Church (then known as the Church of Roses) as the official church of the Kingdom, leading to Louis' excommunication by the Verroist magi. Ultimately, King Louis VI was also overthrown in 1626 by a return of the Verroist Lugo dynasty, but after Guibert II converted to Recantism and was assassinated, the Touchard dynasty was restored to the throne in 1684 with King Alain I, and the Annic Church was brought back to primacy, permanently ending the Lugo line of Meronnian kings.
This period of internal chaos also saw the loss of several major colonial territories on the Meridiqi coast, after Khaymahian tribes united in the Ajnabi War of 1659-1663. These losses split the remaining concessions along the central coast from those that comprised the Carelian colonies.
The Kingdom of Velarre, which was a predominantly Verroist territory which had sworn fealty to the House of Lugo, did not return to its state of vassalage under the new monarchs and once again became an independent state, which would eventually be consumed by Produzland. However, the North-Eastern territory of the Kingdom, Cabeca Alba, was directly annexed by the struggling Meronnian monarchy. The historic Osperia region, heavily Verroist in population, also broke off during this period and swore fealty to the Magi State to Meronnia's south.
While the Touchard restoration signaled the beginning of the end for the Religious Wars, Meronnia still had many issues to face. As increased emigration from the embattled homeland had ballooned the population of several Meronnian colonies, most prominently Carelia, it had become much more difficult to enforce taxes and tariffs on these overseas holdings. Additionally, the failure of the monarchs to liberalize their rule after the end of religious violence led to the tense atmosphere being redirected, rather than dissipating. In 1730, protests over the price of bread in the city of Senone slowly devolved into a revolution.
Revolutionary Meronnia (1730-1800)
Through the late months of 1730, the city of Senone (which was already the most populous city in the Kingdom at the time) fell into near-anarchy as protests over bread prices devolved into riots which grew increasingly violent, and saw the withdrawal of the King's police from the city. In early 1731 with the city effectively outside the control of the King, a new spontaneous Senone City Committee was established by locals to continue providing essential services such as fire-fighting and policing. Over the month of February, Senone's political scene graduated towards a national revolutionary bent, as opposed to their initial local focus.
In March, a call was put out to gather a Provisional Assembly for a Meronnian republic, and despite warnings by the royal government a number of participants from across the country traveled to Senone to participate. In their first official sitting on March 27th 1731, the Provisional Assembly agreed to a slim constitution, elected the radical poet Fabien Robiquet the position of Captain (head of state), and issued a unilateral declaration of the establishment of a republic, referenced by historians as the First Republic.
What followed was a brief conflict, with the republicans securing victory after many cities in the former kingdom recognized the new constitution and gathered militias to fight. King Florent II was forced to withdraw with his loyalist forces to the safety of Produzland, and the republicans titled their victory the Glorious Revolution, though historians more commonly refer to it today as the First Revolution. For the next eight years the First Republic was in control of the majority of Meronnia, though it dealt with frequent uprisings and unrest, while struggling to provide solutions to problems left unanswered by the overthrown monarchy.
Ultimately the First Republic was governed by the Provisional Assembly and Robiquet for it's entire existence, as the Captain continued to output new theory pieces on good governance and the provisional government continued to stamp out dangers that regularly cropped up. By 1739, no elections had been held to fill an official Republican Assembly. It was in this context that the Last Restoration was carried out by King Florent's loyalist army supplemented by Produese military assistance.
Returning as an invasion force, the royalists found the republicans disorganized and demoralized, and on taking and sacking Senone (and concurrently killing Fabien Robiquet outside the meeting hall of the Provisional Assembly) the First Republic was put to an end. The restored kingdom under Florent made some attempts at reform, including the establishment of a legislative Chamber of Commons, and a relocation of the official capital to Senone from historic Blénoir.
Ultimately, these reforms proved fickle, and Florent's successor Ermelina II fumbled an attempt to enforce order in the Carelian colonies, which led to the 1756-1763 Carelian War of Independence, ultimately a success for the revolutionaries and a defeat for the embattled royalists who struggled to maintain any semblance of loyalty from the Meronnian public.
In 1771, Queen Ermelina moved to close the Chamber of Commons after they attempted to hold a vote to block the introduction of a new royal tax. This was the spark that lit the Second Revolution, which spiraled into the Meronnian Civil War. Across the country a number of groups rose up initially under the banner of the Provisional Republic with the primary intent to remove the monarchy permanently, but soon this broad tent divided into a number of competing factions which fought for control of the nation.
Based in the self-declared Senone Commune, the Communards (the blacks) were the faction that was ultimately successful in reunifying the nation, subsuming several other revolutionary movements such as the National Committee and defeating both the Provisional Republic and the Royalist remnants on the battlefield. While the Communards had established control of a majority of the country by 1774, pockets of resistance throughout the country lasted several years beyond that.
The new Meronnia was now made up of a number of constituent Communes, which sent representatives to a Congress of Communes which served as the provisional legislative body. During the bulk of the civil war, the Committee of General Defense served as the collective head of state of the Communard faction. In 1774 after several successful campaigns brought much of the country under Communard control, the Congress of Communes finalized a new constitution establishing the Federal Republic of Meronnia, also creating the Meronnian Directory as a new executive and the Chamber of Senators as a new regular legislative body made up of the representatives sent by commune governments.
The new government moved quickly to establish and legitimize republican institutions. As the military situation became clearer and another royalist restoration became an impossibility, tentative and cold relations were restored with neighbouring monarchies. In 1784 a federal system for public education was introduced, in 1789 Communal militias were banned in favour of complete focus on a federal army, and in 1799 the Chamber of Deputies was established as a lower house for the Chamber of Senators, made up of representatives elected directly from constituencies.
Wars and Industrialisation (1800-1925)
The early Federal Republic was dominated by militant and radical republican views, as the fervently libertine population of Meronnia found itself surrounded by increasingly reactionary monarchical forces, and with only the distant former colony of Carelia as an ally. Consequently, a large military buildup dominated the first decade of the 1800s. This included a broad expansion of the army by conscription, as well as wide-reaching modernization efforts that saw the Meronnian Model Army become the most advanced in Lira at that time.
On September 3rd 1811, General Augustin Calvet, who commanded the Meronnian Southern Army, unilaterally moved his forces across the border into the Magi State, occupying the historically Meronnian region of Osperia. The Meronnian Directory was compelled to legitimize this move by declaring war on the Magi, and in response a broad coalition of Orthurian Verroist monarchies came to the aid of the Magi and declared war on Meronnia, beginning the Great Continental Wars.
Meronnia was ultimately successful in defeating the Verroist coalition after making significant concessions to convince Produzland to enter the war on their side. Following the defeat of the Parthonopian states, General Calvet then moved to betray his Produese ally, reversing the gains Produzland had made and installing a puppet king on the Produese throne. While parts of Eastern Arideo were never fully occupied, the Meronnian army successfully aligned the Orthurian peninsula in a series of puppet states and "Sister Republics".
During this period, General Calvet became infamous for his continued flagrant disrespect for the commands of the Meronnian Directory, establishing new states personally loyal to himself and issuing commands with questionable legality to the commanders of other sections of the Meronnian army. While Calvet's sidelining of the Directory was seen by many of his contemporaries as a significant risk to the continuation of the Republic, he was extremely popular among the Meronnian people for his continued bold victories.
Initiating the final phase of the war, Calvet assembled an army including forces from Meronnia, most of the Sister Republics, and volunteers from as far as Carelia and Jashnagar, which invaded the Lunderfrausian Empire, still the largest state in Western Lira. The war with Lunderfrau was extremely costly on both sides, but gradual Meronnian successes led to the occupation of the Vaalser Country, much of the territories that would later become Winst, and several other small areas that were provisionally organized into further Republics.
While Calvet's army made significant progress northwards, they were unable to push to Labenhugel, the Lunderfrausian capital, and the harsh winter that followed led to the establishment of very firm lines on both sides, with any level of victory very costly. While still holding their occupied territories, the Meronnian position gradually weakened over the next year due to external factors. Increased tensions within the still partially occupied Produese Kingdom, growing difficulties keeping the reduced Parthonopia in line, and most significantly the Sarzon Betrayal which led to the Duchy of Vinch returning to Lunderfrausian control, all led to question as to the feasibility of securing victory against the remaining enemies of Meronnia.
Ultimately, the assassination of General Calvet would lead to the inconclusive end of the War. After the General's sudden death, the Meronnian Directory reasserted its authority over its armed forces, and immediately sought terms of peace with its enemies. The vast majority of Meronnia's gains were reversed, with the reactionary order restored to Lira, but the Federal Republic retained the Osperia and Vaalser territories seized during the war. The inconclusive end of this conflict has led to much debate among historians as to which side may have been victorious if there was no peace settlement.
Following the end of the war, the Meronnian Directory undertook a number of reforms to the constitution of the Federal Republic. Most significantly, the role of First Deputy of Meronnia was introduced, establishing a more directly representative executive and empowering the Chamber of Deputies significantly.
The Great Continental War is largely attributable for the end of the Lunderfrausian occupation of the Duchies of Vinch and Ester, later Winst, which was successful in its own republican revolution between 1827 and 1829. Shortly following this revolution, the new Revolutionary Republic of Winchester joined with the Meronnian Federal Republic in the Gostic Union, a superstate of the two republics which shared a language and similar cultures.
This Union was short-lived, with the idealistic foundations unable to respond to significant disagreements between the two republics, predominantly the difference in treatment of nobility and remaining anger over the Sarzon Betrayal. In the early 1830s the Union was dissolved, and the two Republics went their own ways. They retained a close relationship, though one interspersed with occasional disputes and often likened to a rivalry of siblings.
In 1835 Noel Boulanger was elected to the position of First Deputy, which he would hold for sixteen years. The domineering politician defined the predominant position of the First Deputy which is still part of the Federal Republic's convention today, and other than his controlling nature Boulanger became best known for forcing through a number of national projects to drive Meronnia into an industrial revolution, including railways and public factories.
Boulanger's economic policies saw Meronnia arise as an early industrial power, which quickly recovered economically from the damaging first decades of the 19th century. His positions also defined the mixed-economy Dirigisme model of economic intervention which has been maintained by successive governments across the political spectrum.
The middle and late 19th century in Meronnia was a period of economic growth, and one in which a new political norm was established of power swinging between the Liberal and Radical factions of the republican movement - since 1851, no independent has served in the position of First Deputy. This period became dubbed as the Époque Dorée as it was characterised by optimism and regional peace, scientific and cultural innovations, increased prosperity, and the maturity of the second Colonial Empire defined primarily by small but valuable trade territories across several continents.
While the late Meronnian colonial empire was primarily cemented by trade and land purchases, military options were occasionally employed. The most famous of these was the Al Wazifa Expedition of 1876 which led to the conquest of territories that, combined with existing concessions, would make up the modern Benardie Territory.
The Olympic War led to the violent end of Meronnia's period of prosperity. This global conflict was the deadliest in history, and Meronnia experienced casualties in the hundreds of thousands throughout the 1910s while battling on three continents. Politically, Meronnia came under the domination of Pierre-Marie Jaubert during the War period, as his grand coalition of Radical Liberals maintained a supermajority of the Chamber of Deputies for three election cycles.
Influencing the Directory and dominating the legislative, Jaubert is credited as having successfully brought Meronnia through the Olympic War victoriously, though Meronnia made few gains other than securing its influence over Cisparrania. Following the war, Jaubert undertook a number of sometimes controversial constitutional reforms. The Directory which had threatened to block the reforms ultimately acceded to them after Jaubert threatened to call a Congress of Communes instead. These reforms, among other changes, established the President as the new head of state, and introduced proportional representation in the Chamber of Deputies. The first proportional election in 1923 was won by Parti Socialiste, making party leader Roland Bozonnet First Deputy.
Contemporary Period (1925-Present)
The Bozonnet government, while only lasting a single term, established a number of the key institutions of the modern social welfare net of Meronnia including the Federal Health System and several key pensions schemes. Bozonnet was also responsible for the nationalisation of several key sectors of the Meronnian economy. Ultimately, the Bozonnet Government's advocacy for social upheaval in neighboring nations would be its downfall, as war-weary voters favoured a return of Jaubert to the First Deputy's seat.
Jaubert's last government was a compromise which was primarily focused on maintaining the status quo and continuing reconstruction from the Olympic War, but was marred in 1926 by the Atomic Affair that shook Meronnia. While the First Deputy was not involved in the affair and modern historians largely attribute the strong federal response to him, the scandal destroyed the reputations of many high-ranking politicians and quickly ended any chance of a second term for Faction Liberale.
The 1930s and 1940s in Meronnia were a period of social unrest and economic troubles, exacerbated by the onset of a number of overseas conflicts as the Meronnian colonial empire drew near its close. This led to the rise of socially conservative movements which had previously struggled in the libertine republic, predominantly led by Parti Conservateur which was the major partner in the governing coalition between 1939 and 1943. Moderate politicians were unsuccessful in their attempts to transition the colonial empire into a theoretical Commonwealth of Soliçiphone Nations which would have retained Meronnian oversight over nominally independent member states.
First Deputy André Prudhomme of Faction Radicale was elected with a strong mandate after the failure of Silvain Beaumont's government, and became one of the most controversial leaders in Meronnian history for both his internal and foreign policies. Prudhomme abandoned the idea of the Commonwealth and instead pursued a downsized but stable Inter-Continental Nation, starting with the return of the Pearl Necklace Cities to the now united Kingdom of Jashnagar in 1952. At home, Prudhomme re-privatized much of Meronnia's publicly owned industry, but significant pushback from coalition partners led to the retention of strategic sectors such as rail transport. In 1954, Prudhomme also oversaw the first successful detonation of a nuclear weapon developed in Meronnia.
Prudhomme's government was ended in 1955 with the return of Ludovic Crevier as Conservative First Deputy, a role he had also held twelve years before. The Far-Right coalition continued for two more elections, though Parti Conservateur became the minor partner to Parti Pays-National from the 1959 election, starting the government of Jean-Philippe Lahaye.
Lahaye is commonly polled as the least popular First Deputy in Meronnian history. He took a hardline stance to colonial secessionists, and at home implemented several laws for policing and immigration policies with open racial biases, he also implemented policies to suppress the use of the Cabecan and Vaalser languages. Gaétan Barrande, the President of Meronnia for the entirety of Lahaye's term, spoke very poorly of him but nonetheless implemented the Lahaye government's foreign affairs agenda. While ties with a number of overseas democracies such as Carelia and Lykens weakened, the Lahaye government was successful in thawing relations with a Produzland dominated by the dictatorial President Frederico Deusto.
The 1963 Nuclear Incident led to the downfall of Lahaye's government. The detonation of a nuclear bomb over a city in colonial Khmongata which was attempting to remove itself from Meronnia's colonial empire, while to this day claimed to be an accident, resulted in a vote of no confidence that collapsed the coalition, and President Barrande agreed to hold a new election. The result was a massive swing towards Faction Radicale led by Carine Cortot who would be the first female First Deputy, commonly called maman for her maternal style of politics.
Cortot's government won an absolute majority in the 1965 special election, and the following two regular general elections. She oversaw the dismantling of the colonial empire with Meronnia's withdrawal from all but a few overseas territories, and the introduction of the Organisation Internationale de la Soliçophonie which retained the cultural and historic links between Soliçian-language territories, without the controlling caveats of the former idea of a Commonwealth. The OIS would later be expanded to become a vehicle for Meronnian foreign aid and investment into member states, and an organisation for scientific and cultural cooperation.
Cortot also reversed the Lahaye government's racist policies, and replaced them with strong protections of civil liberties. In 1971, she presided over Meronnia's space agency, the CNES, launching the Roch Leblanc into space as the first spationaut. Her restoration of Meronnia's international reputation, refutation of racism and authoritarianism, and the frequent attribution of the 1970s-1980s Meronnian Economic Miracle to her steady governance lead to Cortot frequently being listed as one of the most popular First Deputies in history.
Culturally, the 1970s was largely a refutation of the influx of socially conservative opinions, seeing the growth of avant-garde art and support for feminist movements and LGBT+ rights. Conservative and far-right political movements collapsed into obscurity, particularly after the assassination of Jean-Philippe Lahaye in 1972. Far-right elements of both Parti Conservateur and Parti Pays-National were ejected from their parties during this period, leading to the gradual moderation of these parties. Expelled nationalists and populists formed a number of minor parties which would split and combine, gradually leading to the formation of Intérêt National in 1998.
The Economic Miracle presided over by Cortot and the following governments was primarily spurred by a broad reduction in military spending, replaced instead by significant public investment in infrastructure and industries. Other factors include the increase of foreign trade and investment, as international conflicts became rarer and international trust increased. During this period, Meronnia cemented itself as a hub for the international financial market, primarily active in the investment management sector. Meronnia also saw a technological revolution during this time period, developing a broad-based export market in industrial chemicals and electronic components.
After Cortot confirmed she would not be running in a fourth election, her party's polling plummeted from its dominant position back to around 40%, and ultimately the 1975 election was won by Faction Liberale's Christophe Thibault, who promised a single-term government focused on structural change. Thibault's most significant success, in 1977, was the abolition of the Chamber of Senators which was accepted in that chamber by a majority of only one vote.
The Quiet Decade, Meronnia's politically stable period from the mid-1980s to the mid-1990s was ended by the sudden and potent rise of Grégory Antegono, a politician from Cabeca Alba who became the leader of Faction Liberale in 1994 and First Deputy in 1995. The Antegono government is most famous for publicly dismantling and destroying the Meronnian arsenal of nuclear weapons. Other achievements included the series of referendums that saw the confirmation of Meronnian withdrawal from most remaining overseas territories, and which also provided a mandate for the establishment of an Associated State in Taveteaux and the continued existence of the Benardie Territory.
Antegono also brought new attention to the minority cultures of metropolitan Meronnia, establishing legal recognition of the Sahridi travelling people, and introducing legislation to protect the use of Cabecan and Vaalser languages. While broadly popular, the perception that Antegono's government was weakening Meronnia's international position led to the rise of a new wave of nationalist politics under the banner of Intérêt National which was formed during his government. Antegono's sudden death in 2002 destabilized the country, and Meronnia went seven months before the 2003 election replaced him.
After the 2007 election, Intérêt National had won a large enough proportion of seats to deny either the Liberal or Radical factions from governing alone with their usual coalition partners. To maintain the unspoken cordon sanitaire of that party, the two major factions formed a grand coalition, the first since the Olympic War nearly a century before. The Radicale-Liberale coalition returned stronger after the 2011 election, but a number of scandals discredited First Deputy Justin Beaux. In 2013, a Vote of No Confidence was called by the leader of Faction Liberale, Maximilien Sardou, ending their coalition and collapsing the government. President Pierre-Antoine Tremblay, who had been elected a year before, agreed to a new election.
The 2013 special election resulted in no possible majority, but a plurality held by a broad-left coalition brought in Sardou as First Deputy. Securing a large plurality in 2015, the Sardou government was able to achieve many of its policies by collaborating with cross-bench parties. These included a significant new funding package for public transport, strong environmental policies, and a complex foreign policy strategy designed to reduce the risk to Meronnia in any eventuality. In 2019, Sardou's government was successful at securing a majority in the Chamber of Deputies, allowing them to implement stronger economic measures, especially in response to the 2019-2020 Global Recession.
Location and Borders
The home region of Meronnia is called Metropolitan Meronnia, which distinguishes it from the Federal Republic's overseas territories. This comprises the 307 Communes, and holds a large majority of the Federal Republic's population and economic activity. Metropolitan Meronnia is located in Western Lira, at the northern edge of the Orthurian peninsula. It is bordered by the Bay of Biscay, the Inoran Ocean, and Bondragonne to the West, Lunderfrau to the North, Winst to the East, Arideo to the Southeast, Cisparrania to the South, and Produzland to the Southwest.
With the exception of some parts of the Eastern border with Winst which lay on relatively flat grasslands, most of Metropolitan Meronnia's land borders are roughly delineated by natural boundaries and geographic features: to the South the River Aniene, to the Southeast the Barrière Hills, to the North the Oures Mountains, and to the West the Bay of Biscay. Metropolitan Meronnia is roughly 235,810 square kilometers in area.
The Federal Republic has six overseas territories. Two are located in Meridiq:
- Benardia, located on the northern coast of Meridiq, bordering Ras Al-Khaymah in the East and South, the Dominion of Northern Meridiq in the West, and the Rosel Sea in the North.
- Souchon Overseas Commune, comprised of a small set of islands in the Rosel Sea, near Benardia.
Four of Meronnia's six overseas territories are located in Nori, all are centered on small island possessions:
- Taveteaux, comprised of one primary and several smaller islands located at the eastern edge of Nori, near Meniti.
- Sainte Liliane, comprised of one small island in the Inoran Ocean near Taveteaux.
- Bain and Dubouissia, comprised of two primary and several smaller islands in the Galician Ocean Southeast of Jashnagar.
- Meronnian Southern Seas Territory, comprised of a large number of small islands in the Galician Ocean Southeast of Jashnagar.
Meronnia's territories in Meridiq make up more than half of its land area, at roughly 397,620 square kilometers. Meronnia's Norian territories comprise only roughly 13,200 square kilometers, and have no land neighbours.
Geology, Topography and Hydrography
Metropolitan Meronnia's natural topography varies widely. Many parts of Meronnia were uplifted in ancient tectonic episodes, resulting in the formation of a series of small massifs throughout the country such as the Barrières and the Arges which divide it into a number of sedimentary basins, including the Coeurie basin with historically fertile silt beds. Despite the presence of these massifs, most of metropolitan Meronnia is easy to traverse due to flat valleys and wide passes between hills.
Much less eroded than these massifs are the Oures mountains in the north, mostly within Vaalser Country, which occupy the border region with Lunderfrau and the Northern section of the Winstonian border. Mont Dommel, located in the Ourine range, is the highest point in Meronnia and one of the highest points in Western Lira. Meronnia is not dangerously near any major fault lines, but nonetheless the majority of metropolitan Meronnia is classified as having a small seismic risk.
Metropolitan Meronnia has an extensive river system, dominated by the four major rivers - the Pais, the Rede, the Bisson, and the Aniene which delineates the Southern border - the combined catchment of these four rivers makes up a majority of metropolitan Meronnian territory.
While nuanced, the metropolitan Meronnian climate is primarily Oceanic, with cool summers and mild winters. There is no distinct dry season, with consistent precipitation throughout the year. The extreme Southeast is classified as a Warm-Summer Rosel climate, and some areas along the Northwest coast share that classification's features due to the climate effects of the Inoran Stream.
The Federal Republic's overseas territories have distinct and very different climates to the metropolitan region. The Meridiqi territories are dominated by dry arid and semi-arid climate zones, while the small territories in South-East Nori are tropical and wet.
|Climate data for Senone (Parc Municipal), 1980-present normals, 1878-present extremes|
|Record high °C (°F)||14.0
|Average high °C (°F)||5.8
|Daily mean °C (°F)||3.3
|Average low °C (°F)||0.8
|Record low °C (°F)||−16.3
|Precipitation mm (inches)||66.6
|Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1 mm)||12||10||11||9||10||10||10||10||12||13||13||13||133|
|Avg. snowy days||6||6||4||2||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||5||26|
|Mean monthly sunshine hours||63.2||87.5||126.3||182.7||221.9||205.7||217.0||197.0||139.4||109.1||61.7||50.5||1,662|
Meronnia, although very industrially developed, is one of the more environmentally conscious nations in Lira. The Meronnian Environmental Bureau was created in 1976 and is responsible for the Federal Republic's many natural parks and marine protection areas.
The territories of the Federal Republic of Meronnia are divided into two classified regions, the Metropolitan Region and the Overseas Region.
Metropolitan Meronnia is divided into ten Territorial Authorities (Soliçian: Autorité Territoriale), an administrative division instituted by the Federal government. These Territorial Authorities are subdivided into 47 Departments (Soliçian: Département). The integral parts of the federation are the 307 Communes in Metropolitan Meronnia that are grouped into the federal administrative divisions.
The Overseas Region of Meronnia is comprised of six parts; divided into different classifications for historic and demographic reasons. The six parts include one Overseas Commune, one Associated State, and four Overseas Territories - themselves split into one Federal Territory and three Overseas Collectivities.
Metropolitan Meronnia is divided into ten Territorial Authorities. These Authorities are administrative divisions of the federal government which administer federal responsibilities including environmental conservation and regulation, natural resource management, organisation of civil defense, and the maintenance of parks and monuments. The Territorial Authorities are managed by a Commissaire appointed by the Federal Government, who employs the Offices of the Authority which are operated by civil servants. The operations of the Territorial Authorities are funded by the Bureau of the Interior.
The modern Territorial Authorities of Meronnia are nearly contiguous with Meronnia's ten Historic Regions which have retained significant cultural and historic significance. These regions were the main territorial division of royalist Meronnia, and there are still many references to the regions in sports leagues and other cultural institutions.
Meronnia's ten Territorial Authorities are subdivided into 47 Departments. These Departments are managed by a Prefect appointed by the federal government. Departmental Prefectures are responsible for issuing identity cards, licenses, passports, residency and work permits, vehicle and firearm registrations, births deaths and marriages records, and registrations of associations.
Departments also have Departmental Councils, elected by STV within those departments and chaired by the Prefect. These councils are responsible for overseeing the execution of many Federal policies within their territory, including distributing funding to public schools and universities, maintaining departmental police, management of some welfare allowances, and contribution to regional infrastructure. Historically, Departmental Health Boards distributed funding to Free Hospitals and subsidized doctor visits within a department, but these were abolished in 1978, since which the Federal Health Service has autonomously made funding decisions.
Formally, the Meronnian Departments are referred to by numerical codes. Since their introduction, the Departments of Meronnia have adopted common de facto names, some of which have been legitimized by use in Departmental documents, logos, and press statements. Most Departmental common names derive from a local geographic feature, typically a river.
|Department Code||Common Name||Prefecture Commune||Communes||Territorial Authority||Named after|
|02||Côte du Pais||Carlat||7||Coeurie||Pais (River)|
|05||Le Quatrigord||Aincourt||6||Coeurie||Historic region|
|06||Laux||Saint-Marcel||5||Coeurie||Mont Laux (Mountain)|
|07||Vernet||Leue||7||Coeurie||Mont Vernet (Mountain)|
|08||Mont Saint-Jean||Saint-Loup-de-la-Lande||9||La Recoine||Mont Saint-Jean (Mountain)|
|09||Bisson du Nord||Sylvestreville||10||La Recoine||Bisson (River)|
|10||Cazaux||Perier||7||La Recoine||Cazaux (Peninsula)|
|11||Iseldines||Auxais||9||La Recoine||Iseldines (Forest)|
|14||Urruna||Argoen||6||Cabeca Alba||Historic region|
|15||Aniene||Lareatta||5||Cabeca Alba||Aniene (River)|
|16||Bizkonderria||Leguna||3||Cabeca Alba||Historic region|
|17||Le Demeine||Benoir||9||Doisselie||Historic region|
|19||Souzy-et-Bisson||Brix||10||Doisselie||Souzy and Bisson (Rivers)|
|22||Mont Trèves||Gaumont||11||Doisselie||Mont Trèves (Mountain)|
|28||Toulonne||Leroville||7||Aleamme||Mont Toulonne (Mountain)|
|29||Orgon-Pais||Mouzay||5||Aleamme||Orgon and Pais (Rivers)|
|36||Ledigny||Huisseau||6||Sud Mars||Ledigny (River)|
|37||Barrières Ouest||Villemandeur||7||Sud Mars||Barrières (Mountains)|
|38||Barrières Est||Chapelon||6||Sud Mars||Barrières (Mountains)|
|39||Setranges||Tousson||8||Sud Mars||Setranges (Forest)|
|40||Noarde||Isdes||5||Nord Mars||Noarde (River)|
|41||Piseaux||Beaumont||4||Nord Mars||Piseaux (River)|
|42||Écaquelon-et-Saint-Élier||Écaquelon||2||Nord Mars||Écaquelon (Town)|
|43||Thilly||Haineut||9||Nord Mars||Thilly (River)|
|44||Naal||Mattendam||12||Vaalser Country||Naal (River)|
|45||Dommel||Einze||4||Vaalser Country||Mont Dommel (Mountain)|
|46||Baarne||Ap||8||Vaalser Country||Mont Baarne (Mountain)|
|47||De Grens||Wersmuide||5||Vaalser Country||Historic region|
The integral parts of the Federation are the 307 Communes. Meronnian Communes are municipal corporations, with the ability to levy their own property and sales taxes. Every Meronnian Commune has its own written constitution. The Communes fund and administer their own facilities for services such as education and healthcare, policing, public transport, infrastructure, and utilities, frequently with assistance and supplementary funding by the Federal Government. Each Commune has its own elected legislative chamber, a Communal Assembly (Soliçian: Assemblée Communale) elected proportionally, and an executive branch lead by a Maire, either directly elected or appointed by the Communal Assembly.
Communes may subdivide into a number of Arrondissements, a division with primarily local administrative responsibilities (for example the organization of local police departments and school boards), administered by an elected council. Some Communes with small populations only comprise one Arrondissement, in which case no responsibilities are devolved to local councils. Many larger Communes are subdivided into a large number of Arrondissements, and devolve significant authority to local councils. The powers of local councils are enshrined in Communal constitutions. Arrondissement councils may further create neighbourhood committees (conseils de quartier) but these are primarily consultative bodies with no devolved authorities.
Intercommunalities are several different forms of structured cooperation between communes. Syndicates are a form of intercommunality which Communes voluntarily join (and may leave at any time) and financially contribute to, to manage one or several specific purposes such as policing, water supply, or public transport. Métropoles are an association of Communes with a separate Metropolitan Council as well as a chairing President, which have the right to levy their own taxes and provide services and infrastructure as agreed among the participating Communes. For example, in the Cabeca Alba Métropole the constituent Communes have empowered the Métropole's administrative body to manage joint policing, higher education facilities, public transport, public housing, and waste management. A Commune enters or leaves a Métropole with assent via a referendum.
The territories of the Federal Republic outside the metropolitan region are collectively termed the Overseas Region. The Overseas Region is divided into six territories which, for historic, demographic, and political reasons, each have distinct degrees of autonomy and responsibilities.
Souchon Overseas Commune
The Souchon Overseas Commune is a territory comprising several islands off the coast of Northern Meridiq. Souchon functions identically to the Communes of Metropolitan Meronnia, but it is not part of a Department or Territorial Authority, the responsibilities of which are shared between the Souchon communal government and the Bureau of the Interior. Souchon is closely administratively integrated into the Federal Republic, and political movements have called for recognition of Souchon as a 308th Metropolitan Commune. Regardless, it is terminologically and administratively considered part of the Overseas Region.
Ile de Taveteaux
Ile de Taveteaux has been an Associated State of Meronnia since the passage of the 1997 Taveteaux Independence Referendum. Formerly a Federal Territory, the result of the referendum gave Taveteaux significant autonomy in most areas of government. It is comprised of two main islands located at the eastern edge of Nori. Taveteaux has its own government, though the Federal Republic is responsible for Taveteaux in defense and foreign affairs, and the associated state voluntarily continues cooperation and integration into some federal services, such as the Federal Health Service.
Benardia Federal Territory
Benardia is a large Federal Territory comprised of a significant area of land along the Rosel coast of Northern Meridiq. It is administered by a Governor appointed by the Meronnian Secretary of the Interior, who consults a Territorial Advisory Council made up of representatives of local interest groups.
Sainte Liliane is an Overseas Collectivity. The small island near Taveteaux has a local elected government, but this government has little autonomy and is responsible to a Representative appointed by the Meronnian Secretary of the Interior.
The Meronnian Southern Seas Territory and Bain and Dubouissia are two Overseas Collectivities in the Galician Ocean that jointly comprise the Meronnian Southern Islands. These Collectivities also have small local governments, but are ultimately governed by Representatives from the Meronnian Government.
Meronnia is a federal semi-presidential representative democratic republic. The Constitution of the Federal Republic was formally signed by the Congress of Communes on September 9th, 1774. There have been a number of constitutional amendments made, the most recent in 1977 abolished the Meronnian Legislature's upper house. The head of state is the President, elected every five years directly by universal adult suffrage in a two-round system. Formerly collective head of state and still part of the executive, the Meronnian Directory is a mostly ceremonial council which holds some emergency powers. The head of government is the First Deputy, the individual who holds the confidence of the Chamber of Deputies and chairs the Council of Government.
The Meronnian legislature is unicameral. The Chamber of Deputies is comprised of four hundred deputies, directly elected in a Party-Proportional List system every four years. Because the Chamber of Deputies is the body that expresses confidence (or a lack thereof) in the First Deputy, the majority coalition in the Chamber determines the parties involved in the government.
Meronnia uses a civil legal system, wherein law arises primarily from written statutes. That is to say, unlike in common law systems, judges are not to make law, but merely to interpret it. Principles of the rule of law have been laid in the "Sources of Law", such as the Constitution, international treaties, legislation, and a series of Codes, most prominently deriving from the Civil Code of Cloviz Pretre, and while case law (i.e. past legal decisions) may be referenced in judicial decisions, it may not be cited as a substitute for written law.
Pretre, and his successor Aymeric Lefeuvre, defined the principle that law should only prohibit actions detrimental to society. Pretre elaborated on this in his writings, saying: Freedom is the rule, and its restriction is the exception; any restriction of Freedom must be provided for by Law and must follow the principles of necessity and proportionality.
Meronnia's law does not allow for an adversarial court system, and instead is very heavily entrenched in the inquisitorial system. In adversarial systems, prosecution and defense present arguments to an impartial judge and/or jury. By contrast, in the Meronnian legal system the court has an active role in investigating and the truth of a case. This includes Inquiry Judges participating in investigations prior to a trial, and Trial Judges who actively participate in questioning and bringing evidence for examination. A prominent difference with adversarial systems is that in Meronnian court systems, standards of evidence are deferential to the decision of Trial Judges. The implications of this include that there is no concept of a "plea deal", as confession of guilt does not alone form the grounds for a guilty verdict.
Meronnian law is fundamentally divided into three areas, private law, criminal law, and public law. Private law governs relationships between individuals; it includes civil law (which itself encompasses family law, property law, contract law, and more), commercial law, and employment law. Criminal law governs the interactions between individuals and the state. Public law governs the workings of the government; it includes administrative law and constitutional law. Each of these three areas of law have a distinct Court of Last Resort.
Meronnia is heavily involved in international affairs. It maintains productive relationships with nations and international bodies across Olympus, and has been described as one of the best-networked states in the world for its numerous bilateral and multilateral relationships.
The highly-connected nature of Meronnia is largely attributable to the Federal Republic's long-term foreign policy strategy of détente - which incorporates easing of tensions by regular communication and cooperation, encouragement of continued inter-personal contact and verbal discussion between leaders, finding and focusing on potential areas of agreement, and minimizing political or ideological conflict. Meronnia's use of détente began after the conclusion of the Olympian War, and has been refined by governments across the ideological spectrum since.
This foreign policy strategy has allowed Meronnia to stand outside the polarization of ideologically unified blocs, and maintain functional economic, technical, cultural, and even strategic relationships with nations sometimes considered hostile or ideologically opposed to liberal democracy as in Meronnia, including absolute monarchies like Lunderfrau and socialist states like Tanaya.
Aside from broadly functional relationships across Olympus, Meronnia maintains strong bonds with a number of closer allies. Historic partner Produzland has continued in the modern day to be Meronnia's closest ally in maintaining strategic interests in Lira. Carelia, a former colony, is now seen as Meronnia's Sister Republic and participates in a number of bilateral treaties. Lykens, while historically distant, has in the modern age been a partner of Meronnia in peacefully propagating liberal and democratic ideals.
Through the Organisation Internationale de Soliçophonie (the programs of which are funded more than two-thirds by Meronnia), a commonwealth of nations united by historic, cultural, and linguistic connection, Meronnia has access to further economic and cultural partners. It is predominantly comprised of states with historic connection to Meronnia's colonial empire, as well as states like Winst with other significant historic and cultural links.
Meronnia's position as an exerciser of significant soft power on the world stage is enforced by its cultural and technological advances, its place as an international mediator and connector, and its economic position as a significant international finance center, source of international investment, and donation of foreign aid (Meronnia is one of the largest foreign aid donors in the world both proportionally and in absolute terms).
Although détente means Meronnia primarily achieves its strategic goals through soft influence, the Federal Republic does maintain another doctrine of défense disproportionnée (disproportionate defense), which describes Meronnia's tendency towards rapid, militant, and often excessive response towards direct targeting of Meronnia's interests. The most recent example of this doctrine in action is the Meronnian intervention in Irpan including bombing campaigns, special forces deployment, and economic and political aid to support regime-change towards a democratic republic - this was in response to the capture of roughly twenty Meronnian expatriot citizens in Irpan by a terrorist group.
Common Meronnian philosophy on international affairs is that by presenting détente as a functional option to nearly all international regimes, contrasted with extreme defense against direct attacks on Meronnian interests, the Federal Republic can establish itself in a secure position of armed neutrality with regards to most international conflicts that do not directly involve Meronnia.
The Meronnian Armed Forces are the military and paramilitary forces of Meronnia. The President serves as the Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces, though this ceremonial role is only exercised on the advice of the government led by the First Deputy.
The Meronnian Armed Forces is divided into an unusually large number of distinct branches. These are the Meronnian Army (Armée de Terre), Meronnian Air Army (Armée de l'Air), Marine Nationale (formerly the Armée de Mer), National Guard (Garde Nationale), National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie Nationale), Strategic Force (Force Stratégique), and the Meronnian Foreign Legion (Légion Étrangère).
While the Army, Air Army, and Marine National fulfill conventional roles as the three main branches of the armed forces, there are four others in existence. The National Guard is a distinct and independent branch of service for reservist forces, which train semi-regularly. This branch, while primarily land-based, also includes naval and air trainer groups. The National Guard, apart from offering regular training and an entryway into other branches, primarily serves in civil defense and acts as a force multiplier for the Gendarmerie and Army.
The National Gendarmerie is a predominantly internal security and policing service with a range of responsibilities. The Gendarmerie takes part in national policing actions, security enforcement, military police responsibilities, security at strategic locations, and anti-terrorism. A section, the Maritime Gendarmerie, forms the Meronnian equivalent to a Coast Guard. The Gendarmerie also maintains several ceremonial bodies such as the Republican Guard which offer security for high-level government events and locations. While an integral branch of the armed forces, the Gendarmerie is operationally attached to the Justice Bureau for its responsibilities in civil policing.
The Strategic Force is the newest branch of the armed forces, formed to administer a number of significant high-level duties. These include logistics and coordination for other branches, oversight of strategic military sites (such as missile silos), operation of the Cyberwarfare Division, operation of Meronnia's joint Military Intelligence Task Force, and a number of other miscellaneous tasks. Due to its range of responsibilities, the Strategic Force is sometimes referred to as the Miscellaneous Force or similar monikers. It is the only branch to not employ armed and enlisted soldiers, as security at Strategic Force sites is provided by the National Gendarmerie.
The Meronnian Foreign Legion is a branch that originated as a special section of the Meronnian Army, but has grown significantly to the point of being granted administrative independence as another branch of the Armed Forces. The Foreign Legion consists primarily of foreign nationals (primarily from nations with cultural and historic links to Meronnia such as Jashnagar) who become Meronnian citizens after their period of service. The Foreign Legion comprises a number of Corps of ground combatants as well as independent air and marine detachments and special forces (notably the Pioneers, commonly viewed as the most elite units in the Meronnian Armed Forces). Most of the Foreign Legion's bases are overseas, and the Foreign Legion is the most regularly engaged branch in peacekeeping and other tasks, commonly serving as Meronnia's first response force and expeditionary force. The Meronnian Foreign Legion's level of operational independence has drawn occasional criticisms from pacifist politicians in Meronnia.
Meronnia's ground forces, other than the expeditionary forces in the Meronnian Foreign Legion, are primarily trained and equipped for defensive combat where force-multiplier factors can amplify the potency of Meronnian ground forces resisting an opponent with superior numbers. The primary military doctrine of Meronnia is one of significant combined arms operations, where ground, air, naval, and strategic units actively and rapidly cooperate to amplify all military capabilities. Meronnia's ability to be proactive militarily is built primarily from its air and naval forces - Meronnia's Air Army is one of the highest quality and largest in Lira. While the Meronnian Navy is not competitive with the capabilities of naval powers such as Carelia and Velkanika, the Marine Nationale is one of few to maintain a carrier group for international response, while significant focus on submarine warfare is the primary response to superior naval force.
Historically home to significant military industry, Meronnia's military equipment in the modern era is predominantly sourced from high-quality international manufacturers, with some capability for retrofitting and upgrades in the Federal Republic, primarily focused on Meronnia's native military computing hardware. Notable examples include the sourcing of the majority of the Meronnian Air Force from aircraft manufacturers in Carelia, and the production of a native licensed model of the Lunderfrausian Panzer Braunbar, the Perruche MBT.
Meronnia's strategic capabilities include a range of high-quality ballistic and cruise missiles that were derived from designs by Meronnia's space agency, CNES. The warheads on Meronnia's long-range missiles are purportedly all conventional, as the government of Grégory Antegono claimed to dismantle Meronnia's armed nuclear program throughout 1997 and 1998, it is the only state to have developed nuclear capabilities and voluntarily removed them. Meronnia claims not to maintain any reserve of biological or chemical weapons other than small, publicly disclosed collections used in scientific research. Despite this, Meronnia's native industrial chemical sector has been shown, in several independent reports, to be capable of mass production of several types of chemical weapon with a very short theoretical turnaround time.
The Meronnian Economy, measured by GDP, is around the average for Western Lira, though it is wealthier than average in GDP per capita. Meronnia has used the Livre as its currency since 1838 when it replaced the Assignat which was introduced following the success of the Federal Republic in the Meronnian Civil War.
Meronnia has a mixed economy governed by the principle of dirigisme, sometimes termed a "directorial economy". That means that within the context of a capitalist market economy the use of indicative planning, state-directed investment, active use of market instruments, and state-owned monopolies in strategic sectors (such as rail, energy, and telecommunications) allows the Federal government to curb inefficiencies and market failures, and effectively action its policies within the broader economy.
This economic system has roots as far back as the policies implemented by the government of Noel Boulanger in the 1830s, but was refined into its modern form following the Conservative governments of the 1950s' removal of the most powerful economic regulatory powers installed by the socialist Bozonnet Government, and the subsequent pushback that settled Meronnia into a mixed system.
The Meronnian economy stands out from many in Olympus for its relative proximity to self-sufficiency, with a broad and generally unspecialized economy active in a range of sectors. It has nonetheless participated in economic globalization, and relies on a number of specialty imports to support industries such as construction and electronics manufacturing, though the Meronnian trade balance is generally positive.
Meronnia is a historically major producer of agricultural products. Extensive fertile lands in Meronnian valleys and sedimentary basins allowed the nation to be among the leaders in agricultural production and exports in Lira. In the modern era, increased population density and a significant shift in land use in much of central Meronnia has led to the Federal Republic being unable to compete in scale with leading agricultural exporters from regions like Mukal, though Meronnia remains one of the more significant agricultural producers in Lira and is a moderate exporter to its neighbors.
Wheat comprises the bulk of Meronnia's carbohydrate production, centered in large-scale corporately owned farms. Meronnia is also home to significant orchards producing a variety of temperate fruits, though much of this produce is internally consumed by Meronnia's producers of alcoholic products; Meronnia is one of Lira's major wine producers, with rosé wines commonly viewed as the specialty of the Federal Republic.
Meronnia is also heavily involved in animal husbandry, a producer of diary, poultry, beef, pork, and lamb. Much of Meronnia's animal agriculture is based in the north, particularly in Vaalser Country, which has a long history of small, family owned farms and ranches. Aquaculture and wild-catch fishing have a low prominence in Meronnia, though form part of the staple food sources in some areas including Cabeca Alba and the overseas associated state of Taveteaux.
Metropolitan Meronnia was a historic source for small amounts of a number of natural resources including iron, coal, copper, and precious metals. In the modern day, virtually all of Metropolitan Meronnia's economically relevant mineral extraction sites have been expended.
The exception to this is the significant production of quartz and silica from quarries within the Meronnian portion of the Jurian Mountains, which remains a major economic factor. Much of the production from these quarries is used commercially with little processing in, for example, industrial construction and the creation of ceramics and glass. Silicon is also a major part of Meronnia's chemical industry, which produces polymers of silicone for use as sealants, adhesives, lubricants, and other purposes.
A relatively small portion of extracted silica becomes part of the production of highly purified elemental silicon, which is used in the manufacturing of transistors and integrated circuits which are essential to most modern technology. While some of this production occurs in Meronnia, much of the elemental silicon produced in Meronnia is exported overseas to large-scale semiconductor manufacturers in nations like Storsnia.
Outside of forest preserves and parks much of Meronnia's historic forests have been replaced with other forms of land use, and as such Meronnia has very little forestry industries. The Federal Republic and its territories has significant maritime area, though no economically viable resources have been discovered in Meronnian maritime area other than fishing zones.
Meronnia's Benardie Territory in Northern Meridiq is home to significant hydrocarbon resources. The extraction of oil and natural gas resources is the most significant sector of the economy in that territory, and the Federal Republic is a very slight net exporter of hydrocarbons.
Énergie Mèronais (EM) is a state-owned enterprise in Meronnia with a monopoly on the generation and transmission of electricity, making it one of the largest single electric utility companies in the world. Meronnia is a net energy exporter, though only very slightly; an average of 104% of Meronnian energy demand is generated within the Federal Republic. While Meronnia has little capability to use its energy exporter status strategically, it has been more or less immune to induced oil shocks and other tactics sometimes used by energy exporters in Meridiq to force international actions thanks to sufficient internal energy capacity including hydrocarbon extraction in the Benardie Territory.
The largest portion of electricity generated in Meronnia is from Nuclear Energy at 38%; while Meronnia has committed to nuclear energy as a long-term source of hard capacity it has not yet achieved the same level of nuclear generation as its Eastern neighbor Winst. The second largest source of electricity generation in Meronnia is from fossil fuels, generally Oil and Natural Gas plants, at 29%, though successive Meronnian governments have contributed to policies for gradually reducing reliance on this source. Hydropower, predominantly along Meronnia's four largest rivers, contributes 19% of generation. Other renewable sources, including solar, wind, and geothermal power contribute 14% of generation capacity in Meronnia.
Meronnia is home to a broad base of secondary and manufacturing industries. These include apparel, foodstuffs, furniture, luxury items, petroleum refining, construction materials, textiles, and measuring instruments. These industries are generally small and uncompetitive with international sources, but continue to exist due to the protection of, and support from, Meronnian economic policies which encourage the use of Meronnian products. There is virtually no export market for these goods.
Meronnia is home to several industrial sectors of international economic relevance, particularly in advanced and high-technology industries. Meronnia is a major hub for chemical industries, which produce or refine pure chemicals and compounds for a large variety of purposes within the Meronnian economy and in export markets, including for cosmetics, fertilizers, steel manufacturing, and scientific use. Electronic hardware manufacturing is another sector which the Meronnian economy performs well in; Meronnian industries produce a wide variety of electronic goods including military electronics, supercomputers, and consumer items like cellphones and televisions.
Meronnia is also a hub for niches in the aerospace industry thanks to the Federal Republic's strong support for space sciences and exploration. Meronnia is home to several private companies involved in rocketry and space launches, most prominently Celeste Aerospace, as well as a small but high-value sector involved in the design and production of satellites for local and international contracts.
Meronnia is home to a significant hospitality sector, and is particularly known for its cultural activities and institutions such as the numerable museums and art galleries in the major cities of Meronnia. Senone, in particular, was transformed into a significant tourist center following the Meronnian Civil War, when the ancient city's destroyed streets were replaced with broad boulevards, parks, and walkways, now punctuated with some of the largest art museums in the world. Meronnia's Associated State, Taveteaux, also serves as a significant tourist hub thanks to tropical weather, lax gambling laws, and one of the highest levels of safety and government stability in Southern Nori.
International tourism to Meronnia is not competitive with the large numbers that visit nations like Produzland or Jashnagar each year, but the Meronnian hospitality sector is supported by unusually large levels of domestic tourism supported by some of the Federal Republic's cultural policies including a 500L stipend to graduating tertiary students for use within Meronnian cultural activities.
Meronnia has a significant role to play in the field of international finance. The Federal Republic is home to a large number of private investment firms, development banks, index funds, and stock and commodity traders, and the Meronnian government also directly owns and manages a number of investment funds and sovereign wealth funds which frequently invest in international assets, as well as the Federal Republic's large foreign aid and development grant schemes.
The central position of Meronnia in the OIS is of significant value to the Meronnian financial sector, with upwards of 70% of international investments being made within the organization's member states - also an incentive for some member states which specifically sought foreign investment as a main purpose of becoming a member. Meronnia also benefits from proximity and functional economic relations with Winst, a global-scale hub for banks which many Meronnian investment firms share a symbiotic relationship with.
Leguine in central Meronnia is the center of the Meronnian financial sector; the Leguine Stock Exchange has been described as the heart of Meronnia's economy, and is the largest in the nation by a wide margin.
Meronnia has an extensive and heavily used railway network, the majority of which is operated by the Société Nationale des Ferroviaire Mèronais (SNFM), the Meronnian state-owned railway operator which also maintains a number of bus routes. The Meronnian railway network includes high-speed rail connections between the major cities of the nation called RR, as well as a much more extensive set of conventional rail connections, some of which are operated by communally-owned rail operators, and a handful of historic or notably beautiful routes are operated by cultural and hospitality services.
Most Communes operate their own public transport authorities; in rural areas this typically takes the form of bus routes, but several cities (Senone, Leguine, Rochel) have communally operated metro and tramway systems. In some cases, groups of Communes have agreed to unified public transport authorities under a Metropole. Communes are also responsible for construction and maintenance of roadways outside of the primary network maintained by the Federal Government.
That network consists of the Autoroute system of controlled-access highways, alongside the more extensive National Road network. Meronnia has no annual registration fees or road taxes at the federal level, but does impose excises on petrol; some Communes have instituted general road taxes or congestion charges. The large majority of road vehicles used in Meronnia are from Produese or Lunderfrausian brands.
Meronnia has relatively few commercial airports, though there are a multitude of small aerodromes used irregularly and for hobbyist aeronautics. Boulanger International Airport, located near Senone, is the largest airport in the country. It, and Piaget Airport near Leguine comprise the vast majority of commercial traffic in and out of Meronnia. Meronnia has little domestic air travel, due to the prominent place of high-speed rail. The exception to this is travel to and from Meronnia's overseas territories. Aéromèr is the national carrier airline, though the government only owns a minority stake.
Meronnia has five major ports, the largest of which is in Derocles on the central West coast.
Science and Technology
Meronnia has been a major source of contributions to scientific and technological achievement since the Middle Ages. As early as the 14th century, patronage of the Meronnian royal court was the foundation behind a number of innovations, some of which were of entirely Meronnian origin (for example, the 1319 display of the first modern armillary sphere) but many of which were popularizations of discoveries and inventions from the Parthonopian states in the midst of the renaissance. In the early 1500s, Baudrain Girard was a pioneer of the heliocentric revolution as well as an early innovator on the scientific method. In the 17th century, in the midst of the Meronnian Religious Wars, figures like Marcelet Bachelet and Aubert Leloup defined rationalist scientific methods and gained acclaim for their works in mathematics and physics.
The scientific focus of Meronnia strengthened during the 1850-1900 Époque Dorée where popular culture idolized advancement and progress, and turned scientists and inventors into heroes and celebrities, and in the modern era Meronnia remains a major hub of scientific innovation following significant investments into public research and development in the decades following the Olympic War. Modern Meronnia's scientific contributions largely originate from public institutions under the umbrella of the Federal Republic's Bureau of Science.
Significant Meronnian scientific institutions include the Agence Atomique which developed (and later dismantled) an arsenal of nuclear weapons and now operates the Meronnian nuclear energy program as well as a number of research labs for nuclear physics, the National Climate Lab, the National Institute of Quantum Science, the Meronnian Supercomputing Center, the Scientific Modeling Center, the Rochel Chemistry Institute, the College of Anthropology and Sociology, Minitec, the Meronnian Academy of Advanced Mathematics, and more. The Département de Recherche Spécial is a special department of the Scientific Bureau responsible for a variety of advanced scientific projects, often related to national security.
Meronnia's National Centre for Space Studies (CNES) is arguably the most developed and successful space agency in Olympus. The first Meronnian rocket to breach the atmosphere was an Eloise B1 launched in 1953, l'Ambulant achieved orbit as a satellite in 1956, and Roch Leblanc was Meronnia's first spationaut in 1971. Meronnia's first space station was Saluer in 1994. In the modern day, Meronnia has a varied launch vehicle fleet, maintains the space station Saluer 3, and is preparing to attempt the first manned landing on Selene.
Metropolitan Meronnia is highly urbanized. Meronnia has an uncommon trend towards a very large number of small to medium-sized cities across its land area rather than specific centers of urban density. A significant majority of the population of Metropolitan Meronnia lives in these cities.
Largest cities or towns in Meronnia
Ethnic Meronnians are a group of primarily Gostic origin, with an admixture of Orthurian and North Liran influences. Historically, this group was regionally diverse, but in the modern era standardization of language and interbreeding across regions has led to a decline in the diversity within the Meronnian socio-cultural and ethnic group.
Metropolitan Meronnia also holds two other major native groups. In the North, the Vaalsers are a Gostic group with significant Lunderfrausian influence, primarily defined by their native language, Vaalse. In the South, Metropolitan Meronnia includes Cabeca Alba, the Northern section of the larger region of Cabeca which also encompasses parts of Produzland and Parthonopia, the origin of Cabecans, an Orthurian group with a distinct language and culture.
Long-term trends of intermarriage and mixing between groups means it is difficult to genetically distinguish Meronnia's major ethnic groups, which are primarily defined in the modern era by an individual's first language.
Metropolitan Meronnia is also home to significant migrant populations, from other Liran nations (in particular from Orthuria), internal migration from the territories of the Federal Republic, and from states in Nori and Meridiq with historic links to Meronnia (such as Jashnagar). Additionally, Meronnia is host to the plurality of the Sahridi, a "travelling people" that migrated to Lira as early as 500 CE.
Due to historic sectarianism, ethnic data is not collected for censuses in the Benardie Territory. Taveteaux has an independent Bureau of Statistics, which also does not collect ethnic data.
Meronnia has historically held a Beoin majority, though that religious affiliation has become more split between increasingly distinct sects as time has gone on. Meronnia is also home to the Nosoumettron faith, the only major religion native to Western Lira to have survived the rise of Beoin. Meronnia, as the home to many millions of migrants, also hosts sizable minorities of religious groups native to other regions, particularly Maism and other Damic faiths such as Rangatira Damism native to Taveteaux.
Over the past thirty years, Meronnia has seen a significant rise in the non-religious affiliation, which includes both Atheists and Agnostics. The 2020 Census was the first time a plurality in Metropolitan Meronnia identified as non-religious.
The largest Beoin sect in Meronnia is the Annic Church (35.93%), followed by Verroin (28.14%), Recantism (18.34%), Ardalism (9.30%), Hephsat (7.29%), and Other (1.01%). Meronnia's very diverse religious makeup is commonly described as a result of the nation's position as a central point between the "epicenters" of a number of faiths and sects, including the Verroin Fluviatta, Annic Motherhouse, and the Recantist and Ardalite centers of Winst and Lunderfrau respectively.
Meronnia was dominated by a series of conflicts called the Religious Wars throughout the 1600's, instigated by violent disagreements between Beoin sects. Prior to the Religious Wars, the Kingdom of Meronnia's state religion was Verroin. Following the Religious Wars, the state religion was Annism, a sect which originated within Meronnia during the conflict. Following the 1730-1739 First Republic's abolition of the State Church, the restored monarchy did not reinstate one. The Federal Republic is constitutionally defined as a secular state.
As with ethnicity, religion is not recorded in censuses in the Benardie Territory. Most recent estimates are that the territory has a strong plurality (45%) of Hephsati Beoin, followed by Other Beoin and Non-Religious as affiliations. In Taveteaux, a majority (58.6%) identify with Rangatira Damism, followed by Other Damic (17.1%), Beoin (12.8%), and Non-Religious (10.7%).
The Official Language of Meronnia is Soliçian, a Gostic language. There are two Regional Languages, Cabecan and Vaalse, which have legal rights in Cabeca Alba and Vaalser Country respectively. Finally, there are Recognized Languages, which include Tavitan, Talamdhic, Zirqic, and Lorian. There are movements to recognize Produese as well as the Jashnagari national languages (Jash, Mahkeen, and Pa'ea) as Recognized Languages, but these movements have yet to enter mainstream discussion. Additionally, the Communes of the Federal Republic may have their own language policies and legitimize Communally Recognized Languages. As an example, Senone which is home to a significant migrant population from Jashnagar has recognized Jash as a Communal Language.
The Soliçian language is shared as a native language with Meronnia's Eastern neighbour, Winst. The two have subtly different dialects, the Mèronais dialect of Meronnia taking up slightly more Orthurian influence. The Mèronais dialect is standardized by the Académie Soliçiane, part of the Institut de Mèronie, an independently-operated public institution.
Language used by individuals is not regulated by the Federal Republic, though all communication from and within the government is in Mèronais Soliçian, with exceptions for Regional Languages within those regions. The right to use Recognized Languages is recognized in several settings, in particular in medical care.
The Federal Republic does not record language fluency in censuses, though it is estimated that only a very small percentage (between 1%-2%) are not fluent in Soliçian. The large majority of people in Taveteaux are bilingual speakers of Tavitan and Soliçian. Benardie Territory is home to a number of local languages, but Soliçian is used as a 'bridge language'.
The Federal Republic of Meronnia maintains the Federal Health Service, a healthcare service established in the 1923-1927 Bozonnet Government that provides universal healthcare to Meronnian residents. This functions as a network of free hospitals, as well as significant subsidies for regular visits to General Practitioners, Dentists, and Counselors. Further, regular preventative visits to Health Advisors are encouraged, and while not under the FHS, the Federal Government also offers some subsidies for healthy foods and at-counter medications.
The Federal Health Service's expenses are payed primarily out of the interest profit of the Meronnian Health Fund, a Sovereign Wealth Fund established for the long-term purpose of providing for increasing health costs. Typically, this income is supplemented by additional contributions from the Meronnian budget.
Communes are able to maintain their own health services, and many do, supporting Communal medical institutions and/or contributing funding to Joint-Jurisdiction Hospitals also supported by the FHS. Some provide additional services such as elderly call-out checkups, and there is a growing trend of Communes reimbursing the final cost of access to mental health care, introduced first to reverse a trend of increasing suicides in Meronnia which became a key political issue in 2004.
In Meronnia, most vaccines are mandatory for non-immunocompromised individuals. Additionally, Meronnia has adopted an explicit opt-out system for organ donation, rather than opt-in. Meronnia spends a higher-than-average amount per capita on healthcare, but virtually all major political parties in Meronnia do not support any introduction of "Health Austerity". Meronnia has a relatively healthy population, with an expected lifespan of 84 years for Women and 81 years for Men, low rates of overweightness and obesity relative to the nation's wealth (35.2% combined), and a very low rate of child mortality (2.3 per 1000 live births).
The most common cause of death in Meronnia is Cancer (31.1%), followed by Cardiovascular Diseases (26.3%) and Nervous System Diseases including Dementia (15.4%).
Healthcare is one of few internal competencies for which Taveteaux has voluntarily remained within the Meronnian system, still fully participating in the Federal Health Service alongside the Federal Republic and Territories.
Meronnia's modern education system can trace its establishment to the efforts of Valéry Bassot, Captain of the Chamber of Deputies 1807-1819. First Deputy Marian Blanchard was responsible for the standardization of free and compulsory education in 1861.
There are five divisions of the Meronnian education system, the core three of which are compulsory. The first division is Préparation Préscolaire (PP), nominally for ages 3 and 4, followed by École Élémentaire for ages 5-9, Collège for ages 10-14, and École Supérieure for ages 15 to 17 or 18 depending on stream. This is followed by Enseignement Supérieur, Higher Education, which includes a number of different streams and qualifications.
Meronnia has a high-performing education sector, supported by Federal, Communal, and Private institutions. In particular, Meronnia is home to a number of institutions of Higher Education with international acclaim, including Duissely and Bazalgette. Meronnia is host to a large number of international students, particularly from OIS member states, citizens of which may study at domestic rates in Meronnian Private Universities, as well as being eligible for a number of OIS-targeted international scholarships.
Since the Parthonopian Renaissance shifted North, Meronnia has been a center of Liran cultural development, recognized for rich cultural traditions and renowned artists. Successive Meronnian governments have maintained a policy of direct and active support for Meronnian cultural outputs, including the Bureau of Culture which actively sponsors artists, the L500 cultural activities stipend to graduating tertiary students, and public support of many museums, monuments, and other cultural sites.
The oldest works of art in Meronnia are the paintings on the walls of the Bourdon Caves, as old as 16,000 BCE. Traditional works of art in a varied style exist dated between -1000 BCE and 200 CE, after which time Meronnian creators followed the Orthurian Imperial style. After around 500 CE, Meronnian art gradually progressed through Gostic, Grimoaldian, Orthurianesque, and Taberic styles. The early Renaissance led to the rise of the Flamboyant style, defined by the use of a number of new pigments and techniques, pioneered by artists including Gazonus Droz and Auberjonois.
The late 1400s saw the rise of the Mannerist style inspired by earlier Parthonopian works, which stylistically focused on elegance, compositional tension, and asymmetricality. Dionisia Lussier, who spent the summers of 1493 and 1494 in Ancona was the leading Meronnian figure of the Mannerist movement. A unique artistic style of Meronnian origin started becoming distinct around the 1550's, possibly as a reactionary response by Meronnian artists to the increasingly dominant position of Orthurians (in particular the Produese due to the Lugo inheritance) in Meronnian leadership.
This style developed over the next decades, with focus on detail, deep colour, movement, and contrast. In the 1580's this style came to be known as Perle for the popular use of pearl in jewelry, architecture, and decor. An even more ornamental and theatrical style, Rocaille, developed and thrived during the reign of Ermelina I. Key Meronnian artists of these movements included Guillelmus Balzac, Evrart Delcroix, and Andriet Sharpe - often claimed to have been a lover of Ermelina I's husband, Gilles Mallett Moitessier.
After the beginning of the Religious Wars in 1601, Meronnian art broadly suffered from suppression and violence. Nonetheless, the Classicist movement grew during this period, venerating classical figures and glorifying historic events, particularly focused on military successes. The early 1700's saw the rise of the Neotaberic style in contrast to the dominance of the Classicists, defined by decorativeness, philosophy, and a return to proliferation of secular works and less strict ideals of aesthetic painting; contemporary with such movements as the Absolutists.
The early republican period, in culture, was dominated by the rise of academies and institutes for art, some even established by the new Directory. This led to a convergence and syncretism of prior and contemporary movements into the Academist movement, a style of greater allegory and ideal which also drew from mythological and classical themes empowered by previous creators. The Academist style would give way to Romanticism, and later Realism, in an explosion of Meronnian art during the Époque Dorée.
The pendulum of artistic style swung away from the desire for real and natural imagery in the late 1800's as Impressionism and later Expressionism saw their rise. The Olympic War and the decades following it saw an explosive growth of abstract, intentionally strange, and esoteric art, starting with the Surrealist movement and graduating through Cubisme and the Alienes. While Pop-Realism made an emergence in the 1940's and remained popular well into the 1960's, Senone School and later Abstractist movements remained dominant forms of expressive and subjective art.
These trends evolved in the mid-1970s to a celebration of avant-garde and often highly subjective artworks in a movement self-described as 'Bad Art', though the Bad Art movement became quickly criticized for perceived low effort and dull works. The Art Brut movement was a refined and much more successful cultural sibling to Bad Art, which celebrated raw and naïve art in a variety of unique styles, but this movement too would gradually fall out of favour as it grew to be seen as glorifying the mental illness and psychosis of some of the most successful artists of this time.
The 1990's in Meronnia saw the rise of "New Realism", originally inspired by digital mediums, which obsessively aspired for near-perfect realistic depictions of people, places, and events. The Postmodern movement, considered by critics to be the most popular style in Meronnia presently, gradually arose through the mid-2000's as an extremely abstract counter-culture, though some have criticized the style's works for sometimes not having any larger meaning.
Meronnian architectural trends, with little variation, have related strongly to their contemporary prominent artistic movements.
Relatively few of the country's multitude of Middle Ages fortifications remain, though a handful of large and prestigious examples still survive, such as the Castles of Tete and Cauterier, and the Fortified City of Sainte-Yves. Considerably better preserved are the multitude of Châteaus, Cathedrals, and other constructions of the Early Modern Period. Meronnia is well known for its extravagant palaces in classical, perle, and rocaille style, many of which today serve as museums or other forms of cultural attraction, while a select few remain in service in the use of the Federal Government.
Studied late 1600's and early 1700's Meronnian architecture is primarily military in nature, efficient and effectively designed fortresses were developed in Meronnia as a necessity by successive governments. A return to typically rurally-focused large classical constructions in the 1750's - followed shortly after by the rise of Neotaberic architecture in Meronnia - became secondary by the early 1800's; calls for modernization and civic works in Meronnia's dense cities began to take priority.
The Barrault Architecture revolution of the 1860's was sparked by the works of Fabrice Barrault, a civil engineer and architect who chaired the Comité pour la Restauration de la Capitale Fédérale (CRCF), a committee established and supported by the Federal Government as well as the Senone Commune in 1849 for the purpose of a massive modernization and refurbishment of the city of Senone; the works overseen by Barrault inform much of Senone's architecture and layout even today. While the necessary changes and demolitions were at times unpopular in Senone itself, the resulting wide avenues, parks, monuments, and Cazenave Buildings of consistent height and design quickly grew to popularity quickly, and many major cities in Meronnia would go to great lengths over the following decades to emulate the style.
The nascent Art Deco architectural movement was interrupted by the onset of the Olympic War, which necessitated that architects prioritize cost and function. Functionalist architecture in Meronnia continued to be used well after the end of the war, and eventually developed into an artistic architectural form of its own, Brutalism. Since the 1970s, the Modernist style of glass and steel has informed many of the major constructions in Meronnia, though communal regulation has retained the older styles of cities like Senone.
Non-fictional accounts of Meronnian history exist dated as far back as the Orthurian period. The earliest period from which a large amount of Meronnian literature survives is the Middle Ages, from which a number of Chansons de Geste (epic poems originally sung or recited) have survived. The Matière de Mèronie is a compilation from the 12th-13th Century of some of the earliest prose stories of Meronnia, many recorded from earlier oral traditions, the authors/compilers of which are a subject of historic debate. The Chansons and Matière collectively comprise the origin of much of Meronnia's folklore and traditional literature.
Thevenin Marchant was a late 16th-Century writer who penned a number of works which remain famous and appreciated in literary circles such as Selene and Sylvestre (or just Sylvestre), a pentalogy of the adventures of a number of classical gods and spirits. This and other works, as well as those inspired by Marchant, include more humor and satire than prior literary works in Meronnia, as well as large amounts of wordplay and obscenity. While suppressed during the Meronnian Religious Wars for heresy and vulgarity, the late 1600's would see a rebirth of popularity for such stories.
In the mid-17th Century, as the persecutions of the Religious Wars began to expire, Meronnian literary circles grew much more experimental and innovative. Alixandre Lemoine wrote the Essais in 1614 and the growth of a literary movement adopting his style effectively created the literary genre of the essay. Iuette Beaulieu was an author prolific in the 1670's and 1680's who wrote some of the earliest examples of Psychological Novels including The Elegy of Bouthille. Her contemporary, Tyonius de La Vandame, was a leader of the Fabulist movement and wrote many hundreds of fables which were compiled into a number of volumes.
The 18th Century saw a massive growth in the popularity of plays, leading to the success of dramatists such as Lancelinus Gérin and Renilla Boulle. Other literary movements of the period included the rise of symbolist poetry, and the growth of children's stories and/or fairy tales, most prolifically written by Alesia Côté. Additionally, the late 18th Century saw the rise of Academic literature in Meronnia, prominently including the Encyclopédie which aimed to summarize all knowledge of that century.
The 19th Century saw the rise of Taberic Fiction, a vague genre often defined by darker themes but also inclusive of romanticism, most well known for the subgenre of Taberic horror. Allemand: L'Homunculus is the most famous Meronnian work of Taberic horror, authored by Alis Lacan under the pen name Moysent, which was an early example of a growing theme of scientific advancement bringing arcane or esoteric potential. Social and economic developments of the mid-19th Century led to the popularization of periodicals and serial literature, often of sensational subject matter such as crime or the supernatural.
The Surrealist art movement of the early 20th Century was championed in literature by Gartzen Azueta, a Cabecan-born author well known for exploring themes of alienation, guilt, absurdity, and existential anxiety. Mid-to-late 20th Century Meronnian literature was a hotbed for the growth and development of the Science Fiction genre.
Meronnian Middle Ages philosophy was controlled by Scholasticism presupposed on a Verro Beoin theistic paradigm, which dominated teaching in Meronnia's medieval universities. The late Renaissance saw the rise of Humanist philosophy in Meronnia, originally inspired by the Parthonopian movement. The 16th Century saw the rise of the Neostoicists led by Vaalser Remko van der Veen, whose philosophy was based predominantly on the classical Stoics, a Pre-Orthurian movement in Arideo created by Renard of Sarcei.
Ko Maret, also of Vaalser origin, was a scientist, mathematician, and philosopher of the early 17th Century, whose syncretic natural philosophy and frequent refutations of preceding philosophers led to a revolution in philosophy in Meronnia, laying the foundations for epistemology and the rationalist school of thought. Floquart Lecocq, who later took the name Sautille, is one of Meronnia's most famous philosophers; his writings from the 1680's-1710's were well known for their wit, as well as the controversy of his criticisms of religion and thinly veiled criticisms of the Meronnian monarchy. Sautille wrote plays, poems, novels, and expositions, though his most famous works are compilations of his many letters, as well as his scathing and often mocking polemic essays. His continuous dodging of censorship and suppression in the late Meronnian Kingdom is the subject of the play Le Glissant.
Sautille's works produced a movement of philosophers whose targeting of social and political issues would grow ever more radical. One writer of this movement, the poet Fabien Robiquet, would become a leader of the early revolutionary movement, and would go on to be elected as the Captain of the First Republic. That Republic's governance and policies was heavily inspired by a clique of philosophers centered around Robiquet. The Revolutionist movement would later split between remaining supporters of Robiquet's philosophy and those who accepted the retorts of the radical Vincent Remot, who migrated to Meronnia from the Lunderfrausian Empire (modern-day Winst).
Cloviz Pretre was a scholar and political philosopher who served as a Tribune Supreme of the First Republic and survived the Restoration, going on to produce a number of treatises, most prominently The Spirit of the Laws, a pioneering work of comparative law and political theory which - among other innovations - established the concept of the "Separation of Powers" of the executive, legislative, and judicial functions of the government. Pretre, and his protege Aymeric Lefeuvre, would define in a series of essays the legal system that would ultimately be adopted by the Meronnian Federal Republic. He was also the author of the Pretran Code, a civil code with stress on clear and accessible law which is referenced in the preamble of the Meronnian constitution.
The 19th Century would see the rise of new Rationalists in Meronnia, followed by empiricist Positivism. Spiritualism in Meronnia, inspired by international movements, emerged largely as a reaction around the middle of the century, but failed to capture significant support within academic circles. Following the Olympic War, phenomenology and existentialism would become dominant in Meronnia.
Meronnian music has an extensive and varied history. The Chansons were a historic lyric-driven form of songs of the Middle Ages, originally epic poems performed to simple melodies by professional ménestrels. Meronnia experienced a golden age of musical development and dynamism through the late 1500's, especially with the development of Perle Classical music by composers and musicians employed by Ermelina I. In the late 17th Century, Opera became a dominant form of music in Meronnia. Classical genres would remain the most popular through until the 20th century, though a number of distinct movements within Meronnian Classical can be expounded on, such as the Romanticists most defined by the influential composer Michault Haillet.
While Classical was dominant in academic music, the 19th Century would see the gradual rise of Popular Music, including the Musette style of music and dance which predominantly uses the accordion, and the growth of the Cabaret and Salon Melodies. Contemporary music in Meronnia is varied, and includes contributions to Jazz, Pop, Rock, Disco, Hip-Hop, and Electronic genres. Meronnia, and in particular the Vaalser Country, is a hub for Country music. Traditional and Folk Music has survived primarily as a cultural attraction, as well as part of regionalist sentiments in Cabeca Alba and the Vaalser Country.
Meronnia has historically strong links with cinema. The survival and successes of the Meronnian film industry are in large part due to protections and cultural support afforded by the Meronnian government. Nonetheless, independent Meronnian cinema tends towards smaller-scale artistic films and niche industries and communities; Much of Meronnia's film industry instead integrates within the dominant and global-scale film industry of neighbouring Winst. There are a large number of examples of Meronnian-Winstonian co-productions, Winstonian films filmed in Meronnia, and Winstonian films that include Meronnian-born directors and/or actors.
Fashion has been significant to Meronnian culture and social life, as well as the economy, since the 16th Century. The creation and development of the fashion press with prints of the latest fashion would popularize the notion of changing styles and the fashion "season" in the 1680's, leading to the expansion of the prominence of fashion beyond the aristocracy to Meronnia's growing wealthy upper middle class.
Royalist fashion trends of extravagance and rapid shift in style, while visually striking, made Meronnian fashion inaccessible and ultimately political. Following the 1731 First Revolution, the revolutionary sans-culottes became idealized revolutionary figures, and their manner of dress influenced Meronnian fashion. Liberty Caps and short-skirted jackets called Carmagnoles became associated with the iconography of the First Revolution, but the most significant change in fashion of this period was that of the namesake of the sans-culottes, the end of the popularity of culottes. These silk breeches were replaced by cheaper, simpler trousers.
The mid-to-late 18th Century was dominated by informal styles, replacing the lace, wigs, and powder of the Royalist trends. This celebration of naturalistic appearance was gradually replaced around the turn of the century by dandyish trends, most prominently the Incroyables who dressed in eccentric outfits drawn from both modern and classical styles, popularized light and even transparent fabrics of tight cuts, and used exotic fragrances manufactured by perfume houses.
The Époque Dorée of the later half of the 19th Century saw renewed strength for the Meronnian fashion industry with the establishment of the new fashion press, fashion shows, and the great couturier houses. Haute Couture, hand-tailored and custom-fitted clothing made of expensive and often unusual fabrics was the dominant trend, and the term remains a protected term in Meronnia, the use of which is restricted to firms meeting a set of high standards.
The 1910's and 1920's saw a massive change in fashion trends caused by the effects of the Olympic War. As clothing-makers were organized into syndicates for producing uniforms, and perfume-makers restricted like other civilian chemical industries for war-time purposes, Meronnian fashion became more austere and innovative. Masculinity and robust athleticism became the trend for both men and women, and restrictions imposed on the materials used to produce clothing items led to the popularity of practical suits.
The fashion industry in Meronnia was gradually restored over the 1930's and 1940's. In 1958, the designer Beauvilliers broke with norms and launched a prêt-à-porter (ready-to-wear) line in contrast to the Haute Couture standard. Initially heavily criticized, this move was extremely financially successful and soon copied, leading to the growth of ready-to-wear clothing as reputable high fashion in Meronnia, though luxury clothing remains predominantly custom.
Meronnian cuisine is internationally renowned, and draws influences from surrounding cultures including Orthurian and Lunderfrausian groups. Le Boucherie is the earliest surviving Meronnian recipe book, a collection compiled by a court chef named Guion some time in the late 1300's. Meronnian regional cuisine has in the modern era generally amalgamated towards a single broader Meronnian standard, though the Institut national de l'origine et de la qualité (INOQ) certifies regional wines, cheeses, butters, and other products based on the concept of terroir (the character of the environmental factors where a crop is grown) and geographic protectionism.
While some aspects of Meronnian cuisine such as the traditional Pâtisseries hold centuries of history, much of the development of Meronnia's modern Haute Cuisine took place in the 19th Century, championed by such figures as Georges Carême who authored Le Guide Culinaire, and managed the cookeries of several of the most fashionable hotels in Senone in the 1880's. Haute Cuisine is defined by meticulous preparation, careful presentation, and extravagant ingredients.
A Meronnian meal generally consists of three course, hors d'œuvre or entrée, plat principal, and fromage and/or dessert. Typical hors d'œuvres include bisque, foie gras, onion soup, or a croque monsieur. Most Plat Principals are meat-based, most typically steaks or beef stews. Desserts, which Meronnian cuisine is particularly famous for, include macarons, éclairs, crème brûlées, and crêpes.
Meronnia is a major and renowned producer of wines. Other spirits, particularly Gin, are much more prevalent in the Vaalser Country in the North. Meronnia is also a producer of a large variety of cheeses. Famously, Meronnia is home to more than three hundred varieties of cheese.
Popular sports in Meronnia include football, tennis, rugby, and pétanque. Football is the most popular sport, with over one million registered players, and more than ten thousand registered clubs. The premier football league in Meronnia is Ligue Première, and the Meronnian Football Federation maintains mens and womens national football teams (both colloquially known as Les Coqs for their use of the rooster in symbology).
Gridiron is a sport which originates in Lunderfrau which has a small but devoted following in Meronnia which has grown quickly over the past twenty years. Fencing is the most popular martial art in Meronnia, followed by Savate.
Meronnia is also a global hub for auto racing. Successful drivers are some of Meronnia's most popular celebrities, and the premier motorsports competition sanctioned by the Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile, the Codex Gold, is headquartered in Meronnia.
According to polling, Meronnia is highly liberal in general on a number of social issues, significantly more so than the international average. Meronnia has high levels of religious tolerance, and secularism is enshrined in the Constitution. Racism is legally punishable in many forms, though continued mistreatment of some minorities such as Sahridi travellers is an ongoing issue. About 80% of Meronnians, according to a 2014 poll, support same-sex relationships being accepted by society, and same-sex marriage has been protected in Meronnia since 1998. A bill securing equal rights in other areas such as blood donation and adoption for LGBT individuals was passed in 2012 with support from both sides of the Chamber of Deputies.
Some drugs such as Cannabis are legal for recreational use in Meronnia, though these drugs can only legally be sold by a state-owned or commune-owned supplier to individuals older than 20, and there is no advertising of Cannabis or other drugs. Meronnia performs well in most metrics of gender equality, though only a third of seats on corporate boards are held by women. Historically, misogynist sentiments have been politically linked with opposition to the Lunderfrausian Empire (which is politically dominated by women), a correlation that successive Meronnian governments have made many efforts to disentangle.
Meronnia's collective memory is permeated with the symbols of the Revolutionary period. The Meronnian flag, anthem, and motto, are defined in Title 1 of the Meronnian Constitution and all originated from the early revolution.
The traditional national symbol of Meronnia is the Rooster. This association stems from a number of possibly apocryphal sources. During the Middle Ages the ménestrels of Meronnia were displaced by Orthurian-inspired musicians, and the traditional Meronnian Chansons were supposedly decried as "Rooster Crowing". As far back as the Orthurian Empire, it is notable that the classical Orthurian terms for a rooster (gostus) and the Gostic people (Gostus) were homonyms. Meronnian traditional paganism includes the agricultural god Landrico, commonly portrayed as a rooster. Through some combination of sources, by the late Middle Ages Meronnia was associated with the rooster, and the symbol's value as part of national iconography grew significantly due to its use by republican revolutionaries in the 1700's.
The Soliçian onomatopoeia for the sound of a rooster crowing, "Cocoricou", is sometimes used as an expression of national pride.