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Republic of Midrasia
Republique de Mydrazia (Midrasian)
Motto: "La vertat a besonh de paucs mots"
"Truth needs not many words"
Anthem: Hymne des Mydra
"Hymn of the Mydra"
Location of metropolitan Midrasia (green)
– in Asura (green & dark grey)
Map of Midrasia (including overseas holdings)
and largest city
|Recognised regional languages||Rivieran|
|Government||Unitary presidential constitutional republic|
|Melcion Portas (AP)|
• Abolition of Monarchy
• Ratification of Constitution
|592,857 km2 (228,903 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2017 census
|214.22/km2 (554.8/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2017 estimate|
|$6.096 trillion (2nd)|
• Per capita
|Gini (2015)|| 33.4|
|HDI (2015)|| 0.921|
|Currency||Ducat (Đ) (MND)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (Central Asuran Time)|
|Date format||dd ˘ mm ˘ yyyy|
Midrasia (Midrasian: Mydrazia [majdˈrattsja]), officially the Republic of Midrasia (Midrasian: Republique de Mydrazia [reˈpubblikɛ de majdˈrattsja]), is a sovereign state and presidential republic in western Asura, located within Aeia. Metropolitan Midrasia is situated on the western coast of the Asur, from which the Asuran continent takes its name. The country is bordered to the east by Veleaz, to the north by Newrey and Cuirpthe, and to the west by Ardaima, the Arzvan Republic, and tir Lhaeraidd. The nation has a largely temperate seasonal climate, with higher temperatures in the south of the country for the vast majority of the year. Midrasia is a republic with a democratic presidential system, with its capital in Lotrič, the nation's largest city and main cultural and commercial centre. With a population of 127 million and a land area of 592,857km2, Midrasia is one of the largest nations in Asura in terms of both population and territory. The nation was a founding member of both the Aeian Community and Mydramonde, and today remains a leading economic power within the region and the world.
Since antiquity, Lotricien, Mydrollian and other Mydran cultures have flourished in the territory of present-day Midrasia, being eventually absorbed by Fiorentine Empire. For centuries the empire remained the leading political and religious centre of Asuran civilisation, ruling over vast swathes of territory throughout the modern continent. After the fall of the empire and throughout the Dark Ages Midrasia faced calamitous invasions by barbarian tribes, but beginning around the tenth century, numerous Midrasian kingdoms rose to great prosperity through conquest and trade from areas such as Arabekh. Midrasia has been a major power in Asura since the Late Middle Ages, with the outcome of the Sixty Years War (1309 to 1371), leading to a unified Midrasian kingdom, paving the way for a future centralised monarchy and overseas empire. During the early modern period, Midrasia underwent a vast cultural and political development establishing a number of colonies across the globe and overthrowing the absolute monarchy in favour of a presidential system of government under the Consul.
The height of Midrasia's power would only be reached in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries when the Republic held dominion over numerous territories throughout Aeia. Despite this, Midrasia's position in world politics was undermined greatly by the state's inability to prevent the outbreak of the Great War in 1895. The mid-twentieth century saw a period of considerable instability and ultimately the process of decolonisation, with the Congress of Lotrič seeing arguably the most peaceful and successful transfer of power to home rule, relative to other Asuran powers during the period.
Midrasia is a key cultural centre for the arts and science, boasting a rigorous and world-renowned education system. Midrasian universities, most notably the Universities of Mydroll and Roixs, are some of the most prestigious in Aeia. As a member of WECO, Midrasia also has a large number of internationally recognised heritage sites ranging from ancient Fiorentine constructions to modernist architectural sites from the Twentieth Century. Although the post-war era was marred with economic and social unrest due to the global depression and the rise of communism, in recent years Midrasia has been able to reclaim its position as a leading nation within world politics. Midrasia is a developed country and has the second-largest economy in Aeia in terms of nominal GDP, behind only the UVSS. The Midrasian economy is regarded as a social-market economy, with a large emphasis on high-tech manufacturing, particularly in terms of vehicle, aircraft and armament production. Midrasia ranks high in terms of education, healthcare, life expectancy, public transport and human development and boasts one of the most skilled labour forces, relative to other Asuran economies which are largely service-sector based. As a foremost military power in Aeia and one of the few nuclear-weapon states, the country remains a leading force globally.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
The name "Midrasia" is believed to be descended from the ancient Fiorentine, Midria which referred to the "Land of the Mydra". Originally the name only applied to the Fiorentine province of Midria which was isolated to the Mydroll Peninsula. However as the empire grew, the name became synonymous with most lands within the Padanian basin.
A number of theories exist as to the exact origin of the term 'Mydra', with the most prominent and accepting theories suggesting that the term was related to the central location of the pre-Fiorentine Mydra tribe, both geographically on the continent of Asura, but also politically as the Mydra were one of the leading tribal entities within the Padanian Basin, to whom many other tribes owed tribute. As a result, it can be suggested that the term 'Mydrazia' is indicative of Midrasia being the 'central state'. Most etymologists believe this was a name the Mydra applied to themselves and as a result, this lends credence to the notion that 'Myd' was the Old Mydran word for 'middle' or 'centre'.
However, another theory among etymologists suggests the term may have come from the old Vaellenian word Muiythwr which was believed to have meant "farmer". Etymologists draw a link between this and the agricultural communities of southern Midrasia which were and still remain home to vast farmlands for growing grapes, wheat and apples. Hence the Mydra being "farming folk".
- Main article: History of Midrasia
Archaeological evidence suggests that the oldest traces of human life in Midrasia are believed to date from around 1.7 million years ago. Fossilised remains of early humanoids have also been discovered, particularly within the Vaellenian region. Recent studies of the area also indicate that modern humans also inhabited the region in large numbers from around 35,000 years ago. Archaeological studies have indicated the presence of primitive tools, suggesting that the region played host to a large number of hunter-gatherer communities. A number of caves within the Vaellenian mountains also show primitive paintings of animals and humanoids believed to have been created around 20,000 years ago.
However as Asura's climate became milder, many communities began to migrate south towards the valleys and shores, where the first permanent settlements were established utilising basic agriculture and fishing techniques in what was believed to be a subsistence society. This is where the link of Midrasians being "farming folk" is believed to have been established.
- Main article: Fiorentine Empire
Before the rise of the Fiorentines Midrasia itself played host to a number of different societies and cultural groups. The eastern areas of the country were inhabited by a number of tribes collectively known as the "Mydra", hence the name Midrasia. This region was believed to extend from the Mydroll peninsula as far north as the Viure river. The northern regions were inhabited by a number of Thiaric and Alemannic tribes who generally formed a number of pastoral societies within the Padanian basin. The western regions however played host to a number of more established societies, such as the city-states of the Rivieran region. Foreign influence was also visible within the region through a number of Myrian city-state colonies such as Almiaro and Argolis. Early Ardaiman sources however state that around 400 BCE much of this region came under the occupation of the Empire of Artakhshathra, an Iranic conqueror who had subjugated much of the land between Elhazia and Ardaima. It is during this period that the basis of Alydianism was believed to have been brought to the region in the form of rudimentary Iranic fire worship. Nevertheless, the empire eventually collapsed following the death of its titular ruler, leaving little besides its religion in the way of a cultural legacy. Later Fiorentine historians would suggest that the collapse of this empire would ultimately lay the groundwork for the rise of the Fiorentines.
Following the collapse of Artakhshathra's empire, somewhere around the mid 300s BCE the various portions of the conquered land began to break up, with the land either divided up between Artakhshathra's generals, or local polities rising up against their occupiers. The city-states of Riviera would be some of the first to establish their own independence, following a brief war against the Iranic occupiers. Following this war a number of city-states including Laterna, Marsala, Monza and Nissa agreed to form a political union in order to better defend themselves from outside influences. The pact saw the King of Laterna become political ruler over the area, with the other city-states retaining considerable autonomy. The union was ultimately sealed upon the Fiorentine hill near Laterna, thereby creating what historians refer to as the Fiorentine Kingdom.
Initially the new Kingdom struggled against its neighbours, being the victim of frequent raids by the nearby Leccii tribe. During one particular war with the Leccii around 290 BCE the city of Laterna was sacked, which Fiorentine historian Titian suggested resulted in the destruction of all old Fiorentine knowledge. The political crisis following the sack saw the start of the first Fiorentine civil war, resulting in the deposition of the King and installation of a direct democracy extending citizenship to free men of the Fiorentine cities. Over time the new Republic overcame the Leccii threat, subjugating the region and spreading its faith, based on Iranic fire worship to the region. Soon the Fiorentines expanded into modern Ardaima, conquering the other Latin peoples of the area and driving away the Troparcan Empire. Fiorentine conquest of southern Midrasia came around 200 BCE with many of the disorganised tribes being absorbed relatively quickly into the empire. However, northern Midrasia remained relatively lawless, with roaming barbarian tribes posing a major threat to the Fiorentine frontier. The region itself wouldn't be subjugated until around 50 BCE following the legendary "Hundred Day March" of General Titus.
As the empire itself grew, the bureaucracy of the republic became increasingly militaristic, with the power of the Fiorentine senate gradually waning as an increasing number of generals would be vested with the dictatorship of Fiorentina, increasingly utilising authority and rituals comparable with a monarch. Religious tensions within the empire would also come to a head around within the First Century as Saint Alydian would lead a religious revolt against Imperial authorities, leading to reform of the Empire's official church. Over time further strife engulfed the empire, leading to the loss of fringe provinces such as Gaul, Torroso and Aramatheria. However, the empire's largest defeat came at the sack of Laterna in 482 CE, when Veleazan raiders, spurred on by Leonic invaders set the torch to the imperial capital. Following the sack, an Imperial remnant centred around the Midrasian provinces attempted to re-establish the empire, briefly taking back Laterna in 485 CE. However it was not to be, and on what is believed to be the 15th September 493 CE the Betrayal at Mydroll occurred and Emperor Salonius was killed by Marciús Braga, self-proclaimed King of Mydroll, effectively ending the reign of the Empire.
With the collapse of the Empire came the rise of new powers within the region and the establishment of decentralised Medieval kingdoms and Chiefdoms within the region, contending with the rising powers of Arabekh.
Following the collapse of the Empire, many smaller kingdoms rose to prominence throughout the area now known as Midrasia. The region also saw an influx of settlers from northern territories, which were now threatened with Alemannic invasion. The most prominent of these states were the Kingdoms of Mydroll, Toussaint and Ibbeny. Historians of Midrasia generally name this era the period of the Mydran Realms.
Threatened by Alemannic and Leonic raids on the borderlands, many of the Kingdoms and principalities adopted decentralised structures, with many historians marking this as the beginning of feudalism within the region. Local rulers became reliant upon administrative land holders who quickly established themselves as an aristocratic class, with titles passed down on the basis of inheritance rather than appointment, similar to the system utilised under the late empire. Similarly, many of the kingdoms retained Fiorentine military traditions, continuing to utilise late imperial military ranks and formations in combat. Furthermore, the power vacuum in terms of political legitimacy left behind by the fall of the empire was quickly filled by the Alydian church. Although under the empire Alydian authority had very rarely extended outside of temple grounds, the Seventh century saw an increasing number of rulers turn to the church to establish and confirm their own legitimacy and for support against foreign invaders from the Irsadic or Derwyedd world. By the end of the Ninth Century, most rulers within the region had converted to Orthodox Alydianism, recognising the authority of the Pontiff over all matters spiritual.
Despite the new religious bonds tying together the various kingdoms and principalities, the Midrasian region remained divided between a number of monarchs. Nevertheless a number of other governmental forms existed in the Republics of Argois, Almiaro, whilst the Vaellenian Mountains remained dominated by mountain tribes. It was during this period that the Alydian church began a direct military effort to expand the Alydian frontier. Medieval historians generally mark 997 as the beginning of the period known as the Alydian Wars wherein a number of crusades were launched into north Arabekh and northern Asura. The Midrasian kingdoms provided some aid to the Arabkehi crusades which saw the capture of Aramas and Torroso for the faith. However, much of Midrasia's role in the Alydian Wars was spent on the Northern Crusade
against the Newreyan Kingdoms. Using the destruction of a church and alleged persecutions of the Alydian minority in Cyningburgh by the Kingdom of Marchia as justification, Pontiff Constance III declared war against the Newreyans in 1019. Much of the fighting in the war was undertaken by the Midrasian Holy Order the Knights of Savoie who earned the patronage of many Midrasian kingdoms. Following the war, the Knights held the territory on the behalf of the church, with the Archbishop of Cyningburgh installed as the regions representative as it underwent Alydianisation. The Knights would hold this territory until the mid Thirteenth Century with the onset of the Newreyan revolt. Midrasian participation in religious wars did not end here though, as Midrasia would play a major role in the Western Crusade against the Lhaeraidh Kingdom which would see the territories of Shiresia, Hlaanedd and Vaellenia fall to the Alydian fold.
In terms of internal politics within the Midrasian region, for centuries the power of various Mydran kingdoms remained relatively comparable, with diplomatic efforts used to retain what historians see as early semblances of the principle of the 'balance of power'. However, this system was broken following King Louis of Toussaint's accession as King of Piemonte. Although initially the weakest of the Mydran Kingdoms, Toussaint had come to prominence following its union with the crown of Mydroll. With King Louis declared King of Toussaint, Mydroll and Piemonte, the Sixty Years War broke out in 1309 as Padania, Ibbeny and parts of the Piemontese nobility refused to accept Louis' accession. As a result of religious schisms in Piemonte threatening Pontifical authority, Pontiff Alexander II declared King Louis King of all Mydra. The newly unified state would quickly become a major power in the region, thanks to its large population and resource base. The prolonged nature of the unification war did result in a number of tensions within the new Midrasian Kingdom, culminating in the Serfs' Revolt in 1352, the outcome of which saw the abolition of serfdom in the Kingdom and the beginnings of an advisory noble council which would form the basis of the later Estates General.
Early Modern Period
The creation of a united Midrasian kingdom in 1309 greatly shifted the balance of power within Asura, with the new state expanding into surrounding regions such as Piemonte and northern Padania. The new resource base of the kingdom also allowed it launch a number of overseas ventures, seeing the state establish a considerable trading presence in Vestrim and particularly Majula. This new trading network brought great prosperity and cultural advancement in Midrasia, with the importation of goods such as tomatoes, peppers and potatoes which are today staple foods in Midrasian cuisine. The new wealth also allowed the kingdom to establish a number of overseas colonies, with a number of colonies in modern Luixiana being established in 1521 under the reign of Henri III. Early modern historians generally suggest that these developments paved the way for the wider renaissance experienced by Asura during this period.
It should be noted however that this cultural revolution was also brought about by internal conflict within the Asuran world. Ksaiist and Trúathi missionaries operating within Asura began to greatly undermine Pontifical authority. Ksaiism especially posed a major threat to church order as it began to gain huge cult followings among the gentry and aristocracy of Alydian Asura. Such conflicts also spawned considerable religious infighting, with Veleaz and Alpiens officially breaking off from the Orthodox Alydian church. In response the church organised a general response to the crisis which involved military intervention against the breakaway states and religious inquisitions at home. This ultimately had very little effect and only galvanised religious tensions in the Alydian world. This came to a head with the Firenze revolt in 1500, leading to Midrasian intervention and annexation of the region around the Pontifical Domain in 1512 through the Laterna Accords. With the effort to combat heresy failing, the church instead turned to reform, relaxing church doctrine to allow acceptance of elements of Ksaiist thought. This shift in attitude greatly contributed to the Asuran Renaissance, with the rediscovery of classical texts and the rise of humanist education. The era also saw the standardisation of the Midrasian language, which would go on to become the official language of Midrasia and that of Western Asuran aristocracy. Artistic movements became increasingly humanist in tone throughout the period as well, moving towards realistic depictions of shadows and anatomy. It is during this period that the court at Lotrič became a great artistic hub, to the extent that even the Alydian church would commission artwork in the Renaissance style. The cultural revolution also saw the monarchy officially move its court to Roixs in 1587, bringing with it the University of Lotrič, which was renamed the University of Roixs.
Despite this newfound prosperity, religious and cultural and political strife began to brew within the Kingdom. Particular concern was raised over the increasingly centralised administration brought about by the monarchy, especially in regards to moving the court away from the traditional capital to Roixs. This was compounded by the lacklustre ability of the Midrasian army in the field, which began to struggle against foreign mercenaries and modern standing armies. This came to a head in 1623 when the sickly 11-year-old Louis VII acceded to the throne. Believing the boy-king to be incapable of ruling the country, and also seeking to improve their own positions, the nobility and parliament conspired with Louis' uncle, the Duke of Alpiens to overthrow the boy king, installing the Duke as King Henry V. Whilst the nobility were successful in their plot, Henry proved unperceptive of their calls for more power and spoils of war. When Henry refused to call a parliament in 1624, raising taxes without the nobility's consent. The subsequent conflict became known as the Midrasian Civil War and saw parliament led by Jauffre Devreux overthrow and execute Henry V, marking the beginning of the Midrasian Republic.
The early years of the Republic were considerably unstable, with the running question over how to replace the monarch. The first issue was that of the Vaellenian Rising, where the Duchy of Alpiens declared independence, proclaiming Louis VIII as the true king. Although the uprising was eventually quelled, the aftermath of the event saw brutal reprisals across the region, which continue to have an impact on Midrasian-Vaellenian relations to this day. Whilst the position of Protecteur held by Devreux suited wartime leadership, it was inadequate for a peacetime leader. Many parliamentarians suggested that Devreux should crown himself king, or that the crown should be handed to a sympathetic member of the royal family. Ultimately, following much debate it was decided that Midrasia would remain a republic, and would develop a written constitution taking influence from antiquity and early Fiorentina.
The role of Protecteur ultimately transitioned to that of Consul, a position which remains Midrasia's head-of-state and government today. In addition, a number of military reforms were undertaken by the Republic resulting in the creation a modern standing army. Such reforms would see Midrasia establish herself as the foremost Asuran military power, with key victories over both the Commonwealth and Ardaima during the period. The Midrasian armies, known as the redcoats, for their famed dark-red uniforms were feared throughout the Asuran continent for their superior discipline and training in contrast with other contemporary armies.
Although Midrasia emerged much stronger from the Republican revolution, the system put in place would not last to the Nineteenth Century. Political and scientific advances within the Eighteenth Century began to challenge Consular authority, which was in many cases more authoritarian than the monarchies which bordered Midrasia. Particular criticism was levelled at the Devreux family whose continual dominance of the Consulate through multiple generations saw the family compared with the old Midrasian royals in terms of despotism and misuse of power. These tensions would ultimately culminate in 1784 with the outbreak of the Midrasian Revolution. The revolution saw Jean-Jacques Devreux dissolve parliament and install himself as de-facto dictator after members of the nobility attempted to remove him from office. The resulting political crisis saw a bitter six-year civil war take place with law and order breaking down in the country after the demise of the Consul. The war saw a bitter struggle between the revolutionary Tarpeian faction which sought to spread the revolution across Asura, and the Chartist faction allied with a number of foreign armies who sought to restore constitutional stability. The crisis was ultimately resolved with a Chartist victory and the adoption of a new democratic Constitutional Charter which remains in place to this day. Nevertheless, despite renewed stability, the prolonged crisis had cost Midrasia a number of its colonial holdings in Vestrim and resulted in considerable political instability in wider Asura for years to come.
Following the conclusion of the revolution and the return of stability to the republic, the attention of the government turned to the expansion and consolidation of the overseas Midrasian empire. As foremost Asuran military power, the Nineteenth Century saw the country assume the role of diplomatic arbiter in Asuran affairs, generally remaining out of regional alliances, though intervening to resolve disputes as necessary. This position would eventually be detrimental to the Republic which was isolated from regional alliances and thus at the mercy of the Veleazan-Cuirpthean alliance in 1867.
Although Midrasia already held considerable colonial holdings in southern Majula and the eastern coast of Rennekka, attention soon turned to the subjugation of the Majulan continent, seen by many parliamentarians as a limitless source of wealth and resources. Efforts by the Midrasian East Arabekh company succeeded in advancing Midrasian control over the region, with local rulers turning to Midrasia for support and protection throughout of the fall of the Majulan Empire. By 1838 Midrasia had effectively secured control over the south of the continent as a result of the Bashkar war, filling the last remains of the power vacuum left behind by the declining Majulan Empire. Midrasian rule over Majula was centralised around 1847 with the appointment of a centralised Governor General who was elected by the parliament back in Lotrič. The vast population and resources of Majula greatly improved Midrasia's international position, becoming the foremost global power in Aeia. The development of a much greater colonial empire not only boosted Midrasian trade but spurned greater industrial development back in Asura. The import of new textile and material goods had spurned great industrial growth in the late eighteenth century, however much greater links saw the development of modern iron and chemical works throughout Midrasia, catapulting Midrasia to become one of the most industrialised nations in Asura. The production of luxury goods, furniture in particular, along with greater advances in agricultural technologies allowed for a population boom, along with a much greater quality of life for large portions of the population.
However, this overt focus on the country's colonial holdings was to the detriment of the home country, with an increasing number of troops shipped off to guard the colonies and the government generally taking a more laissez-faire approach to economic and social management. The would eventually come to a head in 1867 as a diplomatic insult was used as justification by Veleaz and Cuirpthe to declare war. Although Midrasian troops were generally able to fend off the Cuirpthean advance, the Midrasian Military had fallen behind its contemporaries in quality and discipline. Furthermore, the government lacked the infrastructure for a prolonged mobilisation. Thus three years later a hasty peace was signed, ceding the border region of Perpignan to Veleaz, along with a payment of Đ2 billion over five years.
The resultant peace treaty proved humiliating to the nation as a whole, many of whom believed the country should have fought on. Riots broke out across the nation bringing down the government and forcing the resignation of Consul Georges Vasquen. Within the resultant chaos a new election was called resulting in a hung parliament. Through the disorder a sizeable movement developed seeking the reinstatement of the monarchy. In March, a group of army veterans stormed the parliament and proclaimed Charles IV as king of Midrasia. The new king was immediately condemned by the government and sections of the military who declared war on the monarchy. Although Charles was officially coronated, he would rule over Midrasia for only 5 months and the legitimacy of his reign remains disputed. Nevertheless, despite the defeat of the restoration the republican government remained divided, leading to a number of successive grand coalitions and minority governments. Although divided the new regime was able to pass through considerable institutional and military reforms, allowing the country to be much more prepared for war. The rise of a number of revanchist political movements, such as the Imperial Party saw the country actively seek to rectify its defeat at the hands of Veleaz and Cuirpthe. Military alliances were ultimately signed with tir Lhaeraidd and Vynozhia, greatly increasing international tensions in the area. Ultimately in 1895 a group of Midrasian radicals detonated a bomb at the Perpignan train station, killing a number of Veleazan dignitaries. The resultant political crisis escalated until the outbreak of the Great War on September 13th.
The war itself proved difficult for the Midrasian state. Although the military proved effective on the Arabekh front and after a series of engagements, succeeded in establishing a naval blockade against Veleaz, the ground war in Asura eventually ground to a stalemate. Trench warfare dominated the Mydro-Veleazan front; whilst the war with Cuirpthe was mostly fought in the Vaellenian mountains, with very little change in territory throughout the entirety of the conflict. This situation would continue for a number of years as further countries joined the conflict. However, an allied counter-offensive in 1897 following Veleazan advancements on Argois proved decisive in turning the tide of battle. The implementation of new technologies such as the landship and submarine also proved integral to Midrasian victory against both Veleaz and Lhedwin. The Battle of Vrnallia Sound was a decisive naval engagement in 1899 which saw the destruction of most of the Lhedwinic navy, paving the way for victory on the northern front. Similarly, by 1899 Midrasian and Ardaiman forces had succeeded in breaking through the Veleazan lines, leaving the road to Tolvas clear, as such the Veleazan government capitulated, ending the war.
- Main article: Red Scare in Midrasia
Much of the early post-war period within Midrasia was marred by both political and economic instability following the conclusion of the Great War. With much of eastern Midrasia having been occupied by Veleazan forces, combined with huge losses within the war, a massive restructuring process within the nation was required. The creation of political stability following the war was of paramount importance to the new government led by Jean-Paul Birou. Due to the great political divisions brought about after the crisis of 1871, it was decided that each party within the country would be required to affiliate with one of two political blocs. These blocs would be the Chartist Bloc representing the right-wing of the political spectrum, and the Reform Bloc representing the left. In addition it was decided that only two candidates, one from each bloc could contest a Consular election, therefore requiring potential candidates to participate in primary elections beforehand. Although initially incredibly unpopular, by 1912 all registered political parties affiliated with one of the two blocs, besides the Communist Party of Midrasia which refused to join any political alliance. The Birou government was also integral in laying the foundations of the Midrasian welfare state, providing old age pensions and financial aid to the unemployed and veterans. In terms of industrial reform, there was limited success within the early 1900s. By 1904 many businesses, especially in the east were closing down due to worker shortages and lack of infrastructural repairs following the war. Nevertheless, in 1912 Midrasia, along with many other Asuran nations, was the recipient of funds from the O'Callaghan Plan. Between 1912 and 1932 Midrasia received around $300 million worth of aid from tir Lhaeraidd, which proved sufficient to invest in infrastructural improvements and return the country to economic growth. In subsequent years, much of the O'Callaghan investment was also used by the government to nationalise key Midrasian industries, such as the Coal and steel, which became state-owned monopolies.
However, in 1928 hostilities broke out with the Aeian Socialist Union, marking the beginning of the Second Great War. Whilst little fighting took place in the country itself, the Midrasian military contributed greatly to the ultimately unsuccessful struggle against the ASU. By 1934, the front-line had generally stabilised around the Avadin mountain range, with both sides weary from the conflict. The following year an armistice would be signed between the ASU and the anti-communist alliance, marking the beginning of the Aeian Cold War. The post-war period was far more turbulent than the one which followed the millennium; with left-wing politics, especially radical Socialism, gaining much greater influence in the nation. Under the PSD government around 60% of all Midrasian industry was placed under public ownership and a Universal Healthcare system was introduced. Further attempts were also made to boost economic output through the colonial migration act, allowing for increased migration from the colonies, although this act was repealed in 1940. However, the global financial crash of 1935 following the war and the earlier withdrawal of O'Callaghan aid only worsened the economic situation across Asura, leading to a great deal of division and isolation among the nations of west Asura.
With Midrasian economic output the lowest in decades, and the ASU at the nation's borders, the possibility of a communist takeover became a reality within the mid 1930s. Although communist elements had already existed within Midrasia since the 1860s, the economic situation in combination with rising Asuran communism in the likes of Veleaz and Wallais saw radical groups emboldened. On April 28th, 1937, members of the Communist party of Midrasia staged a revolt within Lotrič hoping to overthrow the government. The ensuing conflict, dubbed the Bloody Month marked the height of the Red Scare within Midrasia, seeing entire districts of the Midrasian capital sealed off as the Midrasian military attempted to put down the insurgents. The revolt was eventually suppressed by the military, but not without serious damage to the city's infrastructure and national unity. The Consul at the time, Erwann Berthou resigned in the face of the revolt, with the subsequent elections seeing the right-wing National Coalition take power. The party instituted a series of measures aimed at curbing the activities of radical leftist groups within the country, including the institution of the infamous Committee for the Defence of the Republic. The committee, which investigated individuals with alleged ties to communist nations, or beliefs seen as 'harmful to the continued prosperity of the Midrasian Republic', oversaw the imprisonment of over 2,000 people. It is also estimated that as many as 100 people received the death penalty as a result of investigation by the committee. Many organisations with ties to the Communist Internationale were also closed including the Communist Party, Socialist Workers Party and the Red Star Newspaper. The Committee also published a blacklist of individuals who were barred from publishing any intellectual works. Blacklisted individuals also found it difficult to find employment as a result of public access to the names of listed individuals. The National government also employed a hard-line policy within Midrasia's colonial territories. It has been suggested by several historians that the policy of the national government exacerbated existing colonial tensions resulting in the outbreak of several major rebellions including the Kantale Revolt in Majula. Such revolts played a major role in eventual Midrasian and Asuran wide decolonisation movements.
By 1953 however, the National government had all but collapsed through infighting within the party and an economic situation which had remained relatively stagnant. A series of successive divided governments ruled throughout the early 1950s until the election of the PSD in 1953. Facing widespread turmoil within the colonies and a worsening economic situation, the government set about gradual decolonisation of affected areas, with the Congress of Lotrič overseeing the division of Majula. The PSD government also reintroduced the colonial migration act, although modified to give citizenship to former subjects, paving the way for increased immigration from the former colonies.
- Main article: Midrasian Spring
Despite the initial successes of the PSD government specifically in expanding economic growth, the economic situation of Midrasia once again began to decline by 1968. Economic and industrial decline saw the election of the Republican Party party to the Consulate in 1973. The party, under François Bourgogne went about instituting a number of economic reforms, mostly aimed at liberalising the Midrasian economy through neoliberal privatisation. Such reforms were not universally welcomed, especially by the nations many trade unions, which attempted to organise nationwide strikes to bring down the government. Following a series of high profile confrontations between the government and trade unions however, many of the nationwide strikes were called off. Although large unemployment was seen within the early years of the party's governance, the country's economic outlook began to improve, aided by the discovery of oil within the Avadin mountains and near the island of Ōshima. The liberalisation of the Midrasian economy also saw a huge economic boom within cities such as Lotrič and Berghelling, with the rise of service sector banking and later, technology development firms. Despite increased growth within service sector industries however, many former industrial regions, such as Vabre and Argois began to struggle. Although in recent years increased investment within vehicle and arms manufacturing have seen the economic prospects of such regions improve. The liberalisation of Midrasia's economy paved the way for the economic boom of the 80s and 90s, seeing Midrasia once again claim its position as the strongest economic power within Asura. The liberalisation of the Midrasian economy also lead to many other Asuran nations adopting similar models of deregulation.
Since the early 1990s, Midrasia has remained a key player within Asura, working to ensure future unity within the continent. As recently as 2016, Midrasia instigated talks between the nations of Asura within Berghelling, paving the way for the creation of the Aeian Community. In recent years however, the country has begun to shift more leftward politically, with the election of Charles Vauban to the Consulate in 2013 and Melcion Portas in 2017. Such leftward shifts are also visible within the Midrasian Spring a wider movement aimed at tackling political corruption within the country and improving government accountability and oversight. Recent years have also seen greater investment in local authorities, particularly struggling regions such as Avadin and Elsouf, whilst great emphasis has also been placed on Midrasian electricity production renewables as early as 2050 through the Green Economy Act passed in 2012.
Metropolitan Midrasia is located within in western Asura, existing almost entirely within the constraints of the Vaellenian and Avadin mountain ranges, which act as the 'natural boundaries' of Midrasia. To the south Midrasia's coastline lies entirely within the Asur, with the Bay of Mydra extending inland. At 540,857 km² Midrasia is the largest nation within Asura by total area. The country's highest point is Mount Elyda, within the Vaellenian mountain range, at 4,524.65 metres. A number of major rivers run through Midrasia, the most notable being the Viure which is the longest river in the country running from the Mydran Bay near Lotrič, north-westwards towards the northern Vaellenian mountains. The second largest is the river Alpiens which runs westwards from Bordeiu towards Vaellenia.
Much of the population lives in the southern coastal regions surrounding the Mydran Bay, with some of the most populous cities of Lotrič and Bordeiu lying within this area. Nevertheless, other populous regions lie outside of the bay area, including Argois which is located in the east of the country and Berghelling within the Vaellenian region. Nevertheless, the north plays host to a sizeable population, however, the region is considerably more rural than the south. As such, the northern region known as Padania is renowned for its vast vineyards and pastoral farms making it one of the largest wine and dairy producing regions within Asura. As such, northern Midrasia has long been regarded as the 'breadbasket of Asura'. Further north reaches into the Avadin mountains which run along the countries northern borders with Newrey and Wallais, whilst the Elsouf region which is mostly marked by the Aelasef river valley marks the northern tip of the country. The Elsouf region is considerably Newreyan in terms of its culture and demographics, with a sizeable portion of the population being of Newreyan descent. Much of this is a result of the region being part of Newrey until its capture by Midrasia in the late 1700s.
Midrasia has a number of overseas territories across Aeia which are usually organised into two different political divisions:
- Majule includes the territories of Fontnouveau and the Mazarin Isles in and around the continent of Majula.
- The Jade States includes the territories of Ōshima, the Devreuxan Isles and the island of Yuba, all of which are located in the Jade Ocean.
The vast majority of metropolitan Midrasia lies within the oceanic climate zones, however, large portions of the south, particularly Riviera, lie within the Asur climactic zone. Much of southern Midrasia is regarded as Csa or Csb in the Köppen climate classification. By contrast, much of the northern region is regarded as Cfb. Furthermore, the northerly mountainous regions are regarded as having an alpine climate. In terms of temperature, there is once again considerable variation between the north and south. The south generally has an average summer temperature of around 24°C (75°F), whereas winters reach around 7°C (45°F) in January. Northern Midrasia generally has an average summer temperature of around 16°C (62°F), with July being the hottest month; whereas winters generally see average temperatures of around 4°C (40°F) with the coldest month on average being February. The sea surface temperature on the southern coast varies throughout the year at around 18–22 °C (64.4–71.6 °F) in the summer and 13–15 °C (55.4–59.0 °F) in winter. Annual average rainfall usually varies between 600 and 800mm across the country. Despite the north-south climactic difference, precipitation levels generally remain comparable, with only the most southerly region of Riviera receiving considerably less rainfall during the summer.
Snowfalls occur regularly in the winter in the interior North and Centre of the country, particularly in regions such as Padania and Elsouf. The mountainous regions of Avadin and Vaellenia generally receive the highest average snowfall across the year. The average number of days of snowfall each year is 15, whilst the country generally sees around 30 days with temperatures at or below freezing. Lowest temperatures can sometimes reach around −18°C (-0.4°F), however, temperatures as low as −40°C (-40°F) have been recorded in Poullé, Avadin.
The southern regions of Midrasia generally receive around 2500-3000 hours of sunshine every year, whilst the northern and central regions generally average around 1400-1800 hours.
The overseas regions of the country generally have varying climates. The city of Fontnouveau in Majula is within the tropical savanna climate, with temperatures ranging from around 23-31°C (73.4-87.8°F) throughout the year. The Mazarin Isles also part of the Majule dependency are regarded as part of the humid subtropical climate with slightly lower temperatures than those seen within Fontnouveau. In terms of the Jade States, Ōshima is regarded as humid subtropical climate, seeing a great variation in temperatures across the year. Meanwhile, The Devreuxan Isles and Yuba are seen as part of the tropical rainforest climate with temperatures of around 19-32°C (66.2-89.6°F).
According to the Environmental and Ecological Research Institute, metropolitan Midrasia can be divided into four ecoregions: Asuran broadleaf forests, Asur forest woodland and scrub, Alpine conifer and mixed forests and grasslands. Asuran broadleaf, otherwise known as deciduous forest covers the majority of the country and particularly the Mydroll peninsula and central Padanian and Piemonte regions along with grassland biomes. Asur woodland and scrub are usually centred around Riviera and southern Mydroll. Whilst the alpine biomes are centred on the Avadin and Vaellenia mountain regions.
Midrasia also has a considerably diverse range of fauna of birds, mammals, fish, reptiles and amphibians. Perhaps the most notable animal of Midrasia is the red deer which is common among most west Asuran nations. Of particular note is the wolf which despite being extinct in most other Asuran nations, retains a sizeable population within Midrasia. The country is also particularly notable for its mountain wildlife which include the alpine ibex and chamois. The country's many rivers and waters are notable for their large pike and bleak populations. The country's national animal, the Midrasian rooster is also common in many farmsteads in the north of the country.
Nevertheless, Midrasia's biodiversity is threatened by ecological fragmentation, particularly within the south due to urbanisation and pollution. Furthermore, developments within coastal regions have led to significant shoreline erosion, greatly impacting coastal wildlife. Midrasia also suffers from an ecological deficit, with an ecological footprint per capita of 5.5 global hectares (gha) and a biocapacity of 3.3 global hectares (gha) per person. As a result of these environmental issues, an increasing number of governments have focused on tackling environmental issues and focus on adopting renewable sources of energy. One of the consequences of this renewed focus on environmental issues has been the development of a number of nature reserves and national parks across metropolitan Midrasia. In total there are 17 national parks across Midrasia along with another 20 protected ecological sites.
Geology and Hydrography
Geological evidence within Central Midrasia suggests that originally the area now covered by the country was once occupied by smaller ocean basins, connected to the Asur sea. The Valléin and Avadin mountain ranges were believed to have been formed during the Asuran orogeny, which also gave birth to the Newreyan and Avadin ranges. The mountain ranges take the form of a fold and thrust belt formed by two micro plates within the region. The two plates, known as the Padanian and Vaellenian plates underwent a process of rotation and extension during the Cenozoic period forming the surrounding mountains and Padanian basin as a result. Nevertheless, as a result of this movements, a marginal area of northern and central Midrasia actually exists below sea level. The Autun, Fours region which lies within this area suffers from considerable flooding, particularly during the wetter autumnal months. As a result, a considerable number of flood barriers exist within the area and measures have been taken to reduce the impact of flooding on the surrounding area.
The two most prominent and largest river basins within Midrasia are the Viure and the Alpiens. The former river valley is incredibly important to northern Midrasia, providing the vast majority of fresh water to the region. A number of key settlements exist within this river valley including Vabre, Florence and the capital of Lotrič. The Midrasian coast is located entirely within the Asur sea. Midrasia has a coastline length of 3,924 kilometres (2,438.26 mi) according to the International World Factbook, however, the nature of the Mydran Gulf means the actual coastal length is considerably larger.
- Main article: Politics of Midrasia
Midrasia is a unitary state under a democratic presidential republic. Melcion Portas is both the head the head of state and government. Midrasia has been a republic since the conclusion of the Civil war and has been regarded as a democracy since 1791. Midrasia's current constitution was written in 1791 following the Midrasian Revolution and the dissolution of the standing republican dictatorship. The constitution contains the fundamental law of the realm and can be amended through parliamentary procedure, requiring a supermajority within both houses. In all, there have been 18 amendments to the Midrasian constitution since its creation in 1791.
- Main article: Government of Midrasia
Midrasia has a presidential government with a bicameral legislature. The Parliament of Midrasia meets in the Parliamentary buildings in the city of Lotrič and has two chambers: the Public Assembly and the Senate. All bills passed must be passed by both chambers and be signed off by the Consul before becoming law. Contrary to many other Asuran democracies, the Midrasian legislature is located within two separate buildings, having symbolic significance since the creation of the Midrasian parliament. As members of the Lords prior to the creation of the Estates General of the Fifteenth Century, where landed members of the Aristocracy were barred from entry to the lower house. As such, when the Lord Chancellor or Monarch was to make an address to the lower house they were required to physically exit the building and journey to the location of the assembly of the third estate. Although in recent years in order to avoid issues when travelling between both the Assembly and Senate a tunnel was installed underneath Parliament square for ease of access between both buildings during poor weather.
The position of Consul, Midrasia's head of state and government, is elected by a popular vote every four years. The Consul leads the executive branch of the Midrasian government and acts as the commander-in-chief of the Midrasian military as outlined within article II of the constitution. The Consul is empowered to appoint members to the Council of State with the approval of Parliament and holds final authority over legislation passed by the parliament through signing or vetoing legislation. The Consul is also responsible for conducting diplomacy of Midrasia's behalf and has the power to sign treaties with foreign powers with the ratification of the Senate.
Under the current system, the Senate of Midrasia is elected via first-past-the-post among the nation's 300 constituencies. Elections to the Public Assembly utilise a system of proportional representation. Originally the Public Assembly also utilised the first past the post system among around 400 national constituencies however this was reformed in 1995 under the government of Manuel Pegrant into the modern proportion system following a widespread public outcry over the disparity between the popular vote and actual results. The last elections to take place in Midrasia were in September 2017.
Midrasian politics has for many years been divided into two formal, albeit non-static political blocs. These two blocs are usually regarded as the left-wing bloc known as the Reform Bloc and the right-wing bloc known as the Chartist Bloc. Each of these blocs is made up of a number of political parties with varying political platforms, albeit existing generally on the same side of the political spectrum. Each bloc generally campaigns together for presidential elections, however, operates independently when vying for seats in the Senate or Public Assembly. The two largest parties within these blocs are traditionally regarded as the Social Democratic Party and the Alydian Democratic Union which have both dominated the political scene since the country's political scene since the mid-1950s. Since the new millennium smaller parties have become increasingly prominent in Midrasian politics, with the left-leaning Liberal League coming to challenge the two-party bloc leadership and a number of other parties such as the Green Party and Midrasia First gaining considerable support within recent elections. Many political commentators suggest the formation of the new Progressive Alliance and its current leadership role of the Reform Bloc officially marked the end of the traditional PSD-Republican two-party monopoly. Other parties which currently hold representation within the Public Assembly and Senate include the Socialist Party, The Democrats, Liberty and the Vaellenian People's Party.
As of the implementation of the 1995 Statute of Autonomies, metropolitan Midrasia is comprised of thirteen autonomous regions and two autonomous cities. Each region is largely autonomous in terms of internal management and organisation, however, is reliant upon the central government for funding and resource allocation. Each region is not comparable in terms of population and size, between smaller less populated regions such as Elsouf and larger regions such as Toussaint. As such, regional budgets and targets are allocated based on population data, rather than equal distribution. Each state is governed by a regional council, elected via a Mixed member proportional system. The results of regional council elections also dictate the appointment of Senators from each region. Each region is further divided into electoral districts, of which there are currently a total of 300 throughout Midrasia. Each of these districts represents one seat within the Senate and has an appointed Senator who represents the constituency in the national legislature. Since 1995, Midrasia also contains one devolved administration for the region of Vaellenia.
Midrasia also contains a number overseas territories, several of which are controlled directly by the central government and administered by an appointed governor. The territory of Fontnouveau in Majula however is entirely self governing, whilst relying upon Midrasia for all military and foreign matters. The overseas territories are represented within the Midrasian Senate by one non-voting representative who is able to speak on behalf of the territories, although does not receive voting rights. Historically this position is regarded as non-partisan however in recent years has increasingly be used by each political bloc to influence legislative activity within each house.
- Main article: Vaellenian devolved government
Currently Midrasia has one official devolved administration for the region of Vaellenia. The devolved government was introduced following the 1995 reforms of the Pegrant government and a regional referendum on the issue, which saw 78.2% of voters in favour of the establishment of a devolved administration. The Vaellenian devolved government includes its own executive led by the First Minister and a devolved unicameral legislature. The powers of the devolved administration are explicitly defined within the Midrasian Constitution, covering education, healthcare and local government issues.
Despite the Vaellenian region being the only devolved administration in Midrasia, historically the city of Almiaro has also held a high level of autonomy. Before the 1791 constitution, the city and surrounding area was ruled by an autonomous Doge who had held a high level of authority independent of the Midrasian crown. Whilst the Doge was required to pay tribute to the Midrasian monarchy he had official authority over matters of finance, social policy, trade and could even field a private army. The Doge was ultimately overthrown during the Midrasian Revolution and Almiaro officially integrated into Midrasia proper. In recent years, however, calls for renewed devolution for the city and the wider Riviera region have come to prominence.
Law and justice
Midrasia uses a civil law system, arising primarily from written statutes, wherein it the job of judges to simply to interpret the law rather than make it. Much of the Midrasian legal code can be traced back to ancient Fiorentine law, as is the case with most south Asuran states. Basic principles, such as the rule of law are well-established precedents in Midrasia, first codified within Parliamentary statutes following the civil war of 1624. Whilst Midrasia still has an official religion in Alydianism, the constitution of 1791 explicitly forbids the use of religious motivations in establishing legislation.
The Midrasian Supreme Court acts as the highest court in the land, holding original jurisdiction over a minority of cases involving political or governmental figures. The court also holds appellate jurisdiction over high profile and controversial cases within the Court of Appeals. The court also rules on the constitutionality of legislation passed by both the Senate and Public Assembly. The Court hosts nine members who are appointed by the independent Judicial Appointment Committee and have the security of tenure, except in case of impeachment by the judiciary upon evidence of misdemeanours.
Law enforcement in Midrasia is centralised at the national level which has been the case since 1940. The national police force is usually divided between active and intelligence based agencies. Active-duty agencies include the Midrasian Police Service (Sûreté Mydraziane) which is comprised of patrol and investigative units and the Gendarmerie which is comprised of armed police, riot control and cybercrime units. Each of these units is then further sub-divided into directorates dealing with issues such as active duty patrols, border control, motorway policing and national investigations.
Further government departments such as the Bureau of Investigation (Bureau d'enquête) and the National Intelligence Service (Service de Renseignement National) which provide investigative and intelligence gathering services on behalf of the Midrasian government. However, only the Bureau of Investigation has law enforcement authority as part of the Civil Service under the office of the Consul. The Midrasian Coast Guard covers matters of search and rescue, customs enforcement and is also responsible for the maintenance of seamarks in and around the nation's territorial waters. Whilst nominally an independent organisation, the Coast Guard does have direct links with other law enforcement and military organisations such as the Police Force and the Navy.
- Main article: Foreign relations of Midrasia
Midrasia has foreign relations with almost a majority of independent states, with the perhaps the most notable exception being Veleaz, with whom Midrasia cut relations in 1993. Midrasia is regarded as a great power and is an active and influential figure on the international stage. As a founding member of the Asuran Economic Union and a member of the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations, Midrasia can be seen to play a key role on the international scene.
In terms of international affairs, Midrasia has been a key voice for the elimination of trade barriers between democratic states and further integration of the Asuran continent. Midrasia has 111 seats within the Aeian parliament based in the city of Berghelling, making it one of the more influential nations within the organisation. Midrasian Mattieu Chaubon previously held the position of speaker of the Aeian Parliament. Furthermore, Midrasia has in the past played an integral role in the integration of Asura, founding organisations such as the Mutual Defence Pact and the Asuran Economic Union. Within his acclaimed book Asura and Democracy: The Foundations of Modern Society, political commentator Hadrien Vakkara referred to Midrasia as the "Super-glue with which the region is held together." Midrasia also has notable ties with nations across Aeia with the Royal Navy engaged in training exercises with Vvarden in the Rennekkan Pass and the country also holding key historical, cultural and linguistic ties with sovereign states across the globe.
- Main article: Midrasian Armed Forces
The Armed forces of Midrasia, consists of four main services branches - the Midrasian Army, Midrasian Navy, the Midrasian Air Force and the Nuclear Strike Force. Together all four branches make the Midrasian military one of the largest in Aeia. Unlike other states the Midrasian army's loyalty lies with the constitution rather than the head of state, however, the sitting Consul represents the constitution by convention. The Midrasian Army is made up of around 312,000 active duty troops, many of which are stationed in various overseas territories and military bases on foreign soil. Midrasia also retains a large open water fleet, with 3 aircraft carriers. Historically, the National Gendarmerie was also part of the armed forces, however, in 1940 the organisation was reformed to become part of the law enforcement services. Since the 1940s the Midrasian Armed Forces have become greatly bolstered by the reforms of the Capet government which saw the creation of the wholly government-owned military supplier IMM Systems, whilst placing a great emphasis on the ability of the military to perform and operate independently of foreign states.
The Midrasian army has throughout its history held deep cultural and organisational ties with the ancient legions of the Fiorentine Empire. The Midrasian military's emphasis on tough discipline whilst adopting strategies and tactics utilised by foreign forces have made it a formidable fighting force throughout the ages. Ancient customs such as decimation whilst very rarely used, remained in place until the military reforms of the 1940s. Military service was especially viewed in pre-modern Midrasian society as a viable method for the poorer within society to achieve improved status and wealth. Despite holding considerable roots in the armies of the classical world, the Midrasian military has been reformed a number of times, most notably following the Civil War of 1624, with the creation of an official standing army in the vain of the Lhaeraidh model, and following the Mydro-Veleazan war, with the professionalisation of the Midrasian officer corps and wider modernisation of the force.
The Midrasian Navy is one of the largest in Aeia and is most active in the Asur Sea, Atlantic Channel, Majula Sea and Rennekkan Pass. The force retains permanent overseas bases across the globe, with the largest being in Fontnouveau and Oshima, with each basis supplying patrol fleets located in 'surveyed waters' of vital interest to the Midrasian government. The Overseas division of the Republican Army also usually maintains bases on foreign soil. The army previously held bases in Sagalash following the Sagalan Civil War of 1982-85. Although smaller in scale to other operations, Midrasian troops regularly acted as border guards and patrols between the autonomous regions of the country before pulling out in 2006, transferring authority to the Sagalan armed forces. The Overseas division's largest base on foreign soil is located within Renneque, with 12,000 troops stationed at Fort Paulet. Fort Paulet remained under Midrasian control following Rennequan independence in 1868 and is operated as a jointly held Mydramonde facility. The base is regularly used for patrols along the Rennequan border which is viewed as an area of vital interest to Midrasia given the hostile nature of many Rennekkan states.
The Midrasian army also continues to employ foreign nationals willing to fight on behalf the country as part of the Midrasian Foreign Legion, making the state one of the few to continue to utilise such a force. Since the force's establishment in 1834 most soldiers in the Legion have come from former Midrasian colonies, although a high number of Lhaeraidh mercenaries have been known to serve in the force. All soldiers within the foreign legion become Midrasian citizens after the conclusion of their service period.
As a nuclear-armed state, Midrasian also possesses a significant nuclear arsenal as part of the Nuclear Strike Force (Force de Frappe). First constructed during the mid-1940s as part of the Capet government's strategy to combat rising political tensions in Asura due to the fear of a Communist invasion. The utilisation of the nuclear deterrent remains integral to Midrasia's foreign policy strategy especially in preserving peace on the Asuran scene. As of the Lotrič Declaration of 1951 Midrasia has committed to using its nuclear deterrent for the protection and defence of "all free and democratic Asuran nations". Today the Midrasian nuclear program remains in development, despite the implementation of the International treaty on Nuclear Disarmament. The modern Midrasian nuclear project is composed of a nuclear triad utilising intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), strategic bombers and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).
At $6.096 trillion Midrasia has the 2nd largest economy of Aeia in terms of nominal GDP, with a per capita of $48,000. The Midrasian economy is the largest within Asura and the single market of the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations. As a member of both the Commonwealth single market and enjoying close economic co-operation with its other Asuran neighbours, Midrasia enjoys the benefit of visa-free travel with its immediate neighbours, whilst also benefiting from the free movement of goods. Midrasian companies may operate in any commonwealth country without needing to be independently registered. Despite calls for a more integrated monetary policy among Commonwealth states, Midrasia has indicated it would not join a currency union, primarily due to the strength of the Midrasian Ducat. However, the government has suggested it would be open to other nations pegging their currencies against the Ducat.
Midrasia was one of the first countries to embrace the industrial revolution during the late Eighteenth Century, greatly benefiting from increased mechanisation of the agricultural sector. Although early industries involved low scale production of textiles and pottery, production soon extended to heavy industrial metal working and a wider range of consumer goods. Midrasia also hugely benefited from its wide resource base with its colonial empire, importing goods and materials not typically available in Asura. Throughout the Nineteenth Century, Midrasian goods were generally sold all over the world as private merchants and monopoly trading companies expanded their influence and reach into previously untapped markets, considerably strengthening the economic situation back home. However, the considerable economic damage was wrought on the Midrasian economy throughout the Great War. Despite considerable economic setbacks following the conflict, the Midrasian economy underwent considerable reform and growth throughout the 1970s and 80s under the leadership of François Bourgogne and the Chartist Party. Through the various neoliberal reforms initiated by the government inflation was controlled whilst the power of labour unions was considerably curtailed. Whilst this did result in a period of political turmoil the government's hard-line monetarist stance eventually resulted in considerable economic growth. Today most of the reforms of the Bourgogne government remain in place, however, some steps have been taken to increasing government investment and providing avenues for greater union participation within the political scene.
Midrasia boasts a mixed economy, however, the vast majority of assets are in private hands, including energy suppliers, postal services and railway companies. Nevertheless, the Midrasian health service remains majority state-run as does the country's primary defence contractor IMM Systems. The Midrasian service sector plays an integral role in the country's economy. Financial services, banking and the insurance sector are by far the largest service industries in the country. The first stock exchange in Midrasia was set up in 1654 following the Civil War as a method of raising finances for overseas ventures. Today the Midrasian Stock Exchange is one of the largest and most important in Asura and the world, making the city of Lotrič a key financial hub. Although Midrasia was previously dominated by its service sector industry within the 1980s and early 90s, in recent years a much greater emphasis has been placed on the manufacturing sector, particularly in the form of heavy industry and high-tech manufacturing such as aircraft and luxury cars. Cars by far make up Midrasia's largest export, with the country being the home for a large number of prestigious manufacturers such as Âge, Assoluto and Luson.
Midrasia has one of the largest agricultural sectors within Asura and has historically been known for its fertile land within the Padanian basin. Much of the Midrasian agricultural industry is concentrated in the north of the country which boasts the largest beef based agricultural sector of any region in Asura. The region is also renowned for its large Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork industries which make up some of the country's primary exports to neighbouring countries. Whilst the agricultural industry in southern Midrasia is considerably smaller, it is by no means less important. Southern Midrasia is particularly renowned for its wine industry which is the largest in Aeia. Midrasian wines are particularly prestigious worldwide for their quality and vintage. In particular, a number of key wine producing families such as Auditore and Dieulafoy are particularly well regarded for their production using traditional techniques and equipment. A 1884 Dieulafoy vintage was recently sold on the international market for a record-breaking price of $512,000 making it the most expensive bottle of red wine ever sold.
Around 4.2% of the Midrasian population is employed in the agricultural industry and agricultural production makes up around 5% of Midrasia's total GDP.
- Main article: Transport in Midrasia
With its central location within Asura, Midrasia can be considered the transport hub of the continent, with developed rail and road links between neighbouring nations. Southern Midrasia is home to one of the densest road networks within Asura. The Roebas tunnel, constructed in 1975 is Asura's longest rail and road tunnel at 42.63km. The tunnel connects the regions of Firenze to Mydroll and is a key transport link for commuters travelling from Ardaima or Almiaro to reach the Midrasian capital. Despite this developed road system in the south of the country, road connections between Midrasia and Veleaz are somewhat lacking; although the M37 constructed within the early 1990s at the height of Mydro-Veleazan detente connects both nations, a recent souring of relations has left road connections unused and in a state of disrepair. Road connections within northern Midrasia are much more sparse, with only three main highways within the region.
Midrasia's rail network is the most extensive of Asura, covering 31,023 kilometres. All tracks within Midrasia are divided into rail regions, operated as rail franchises by independent companies who bid for ten-year ownership of a specific region. However, in recent years the practice of privatised rail services has come under increased scrutiny, due to rising rail fares and lack of investment in areas such as Elsouf and Ibbené. Despite this, Relier, Midrasia's cross-country high-speed rail is owned solely by the government and operates across the entire Asuran rail system. The high-speed trains can operate at speeds of up to 320km/h (200mph) in commercial use. Future developments may also see the construction of Midrasia's first maglev train line within the city of Lotrič by 2025. Intra-urban areas are also highly developed with extensive underground systems, light-rail and bus services.
Midrasia also has numerous airports, most notably Lotrič International Airport and Berghelling Erwann Berthou Airport which handle the vast majority of air travel within the nation. Both airports are hubs for MYD Air, Midrasia's flag carrier airline. Other major airports include Almiaro International Airport, Ibbené Airport and Monza Airport. There are 8 major ports within Midrasia, with Argois being the largest, receiving around 100,000 tonnes worth of cargo each year. Midrasia also boasts several important waterways and canals, mostly within the southern region of Mydroll.
Energy and infrastructure
As a developed country Midrasia is one of the largest consumers of energy in Aeia. The majority of Midrasia's energy is produced by oil and coal-fired power stations, natural gas, nuclear energy and renewable sources such as wind, solar and hydroelectric. However, around 48% of Midrasia's energy is imported from neighbouring nations such as Tir Lhaeraidd and Cuirpthe. In recent years the Midrasian government has looked to adopt more renewable sources of energy, particularly emphasising wind and hydroelectric power. As such, subsidies are provided to green technologies and the government enforces measures such as energy conservation and emission reduction strategies in order to reduce the country's carbon footprint. Midrasia also has one of the highest household recycling rates in Aeia, mostly a result of government initiatives such as the deposit refund system. Nevertheless, the country's total emissions remained the highest within the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations.
The coal industry had previously been a major part of the country's economy, particularly within the northern and western mountainous regions of Avadin and Vaellenia. The large coal reserves of the north played a significant role in Midrasia's industrialisation throughout the early Nineteenth Century. Despite this, the industry was significantly scaled back throughout the 1970s and 80s as reserves depleted. Nevertheless, there have been calls for the introduction of hydraulic fracturing techniques known as 'fracking' in order to access coal resources that are currently unobtainable. The current government, however, has banned the practice due to the threat of environmental damage, water pollution and minor earthquakes.
Science and technology
Midrasia has made considerable contributions to science and technology throughout the country's history. Disregarding the Fiorentine period Midrasia was historically known for its various explorers and cartographers throughout the Sixteenth Century. Midrasian explorers and pioneers such as Jean-François Jégou made considerable advances in mapmaking and geographic measurement. Many west Asuran nations employed Midrasian pioneers to lead voyages to regions such as Vestrim and Catai throughout the period. Furthermore, it was Midrasian Gustave Cazenave who is credited with the invention of the sextant in the early Eighteenth Century. Midrasia's contributions to science and technology increased greatly with the advent of the Scientific and Industrial revolutions. Midrasian astronomers were credited with discoveries within the solar system whilst scientists such as Norbert Auclair, who is credited with the discovery of gravity, considerably expanded knowledge of the physical world. Furthermore, Midrasian chemist Ricard Damas was notable for the development of a process to produce ammonia on an industrial scale, known as the Damas process, thus providing fertiliser which could considerably increase crop yields.
Midrasia's current technology industry is vast, making up a considerable portion of the country's income. Midrasia plays a leading role in the Asura-Arabekh Aerospace agency, otherwise known as A4; developing rocket and satellite components. Furthermore, the Space agency's launch site is located in the Midrasian territory of Fontnouveau. The Midrasian government is currently initiating a push within the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations for governments increase funding for such projects and has also attempted to develop such initiatives within organisations such as the Mydramonde. Much of this development is also in tandem with private companies such as Espace a Midrasian firm owned by entrepreneur Roch Bourcier which aims to develop reusable rocket components. The region of Vaellenia is particularly known for its role in the Midrasian technology industry, with the city of Berghelling housing much of the country's technology and computer industries. As such, the region itself is nicknamed the 'Silicon Hills' and is Asura's largest technology hub, playing host to companies such as Chirper, Moteur, Tectus and Wyrhta.
Moreover, a number of notable research institutions exist throughout the country such as the Auclair Society, University of Mydroll Scientific Society, Royal Science Association and the Damas Award. The Midrasian government also has a yearly science endowment which it awards to around ten scientists and academics each year, with a prize of around Đ2 million.
Midrasia has one of the largest tourist sectors in Aeia, with around 85 million tourist arrivals every year. This number does not include people who stay in Midrasia for less than 24 hours, such as visitors who transit across the country. The culture, climate and highly developed transport links of Midrasia make the country an incredibly popular destination for tourists worldwide. Midrasia benefits from its key cultural sites, museums and monuments. The country has the largest number of recognised historical sites in Asura according to the World Educational and Cultural Organisation. The country also boasts a high number of natural parks and nature reserves, particularly within the Avadin and Vaellenian mountain regions which feature long hiking trails and key sites for wildlife watching. As a result, Midrasia is also a highly popular destination for eco-tourist from across Asura.
By far the most popular form of tourism in Midrasia is cultural tourism, with the capital of Lotrič being the most visited city in the world. The city itself boasts a vibrant cultural scene and is renowned worldwide for its bistro and café culture. The city also boasts a high number of museums and art galleries which house some of the most expensive artworks from across Aeia from classical works of art to modern productions. Lotrič also has a considerably large opera scene, with the city hosting one of the largest opera houses in Aeia. Other theatre and cinema productions are also prominent in the city and remain highly popular year round.
Furthermore, the climate of southern Midrasia makes the region a particularly popular destination for beach tourism within Asura. The rise of package holidays and the development of key resorts particularly within the Riviera and Florentina regions have seen Midrasia become an increasingly popular choice for holidaymakers from the likes of Newrey, Cuirpthe and Navack, with the sector being greatly aided by visa-free travel within the Asuran free travel area. The largest holiday resort in the country is Benedormo in Riviera which sees around 5 million tourists arrive each year. Whilst destinations such as Benedormo usually cater for cheaper holidays, Almiaro is renowned as a key high-class destination. The city and surroundings play host to a number of luxury resorts and the city itself has the largest number of second homes of any city in Asura, with Aeia's richest 10% regularly purchasing villa's within the surrounding region.
Midrasia has a population of 127,004,562 according to the 2015 national census, with net migration of around 500,000 over the past five years. Midrasia is the most populous country within the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations, and the most populous Asuran country. The country has a population density of 214.22 people per square kilometre (554.84 per square mile). The most populous territories are generally within the south, with the regions of Grand Lotrič, Candare and Toussaint being the most populated; whilst the northern regions generally less inhabited. The only real exception to this is Vaellenia which boasts a population of around 14 million. Overall, life expectancy in Midrasia generally hovers around 82.81 years (79.39 for males, 86.23 for females). As of 2016 the fertility rate of the country currently stands at 1.75 children born per woman, which remains moderate for an Asuran nation, however by international standards it remains particularly low.
Midrasia also plays host to several protected "national minorities" within several regions of the country. The state usually only bestows protected status on groups which have inhabited regions within the country for a considerable period of time, usually dating back to the middle ages. The most notable of these minorities are the Vaellenians who mostly inhabit the Vaellenia region. The total Vaellenian population is around 7.8 million, though prevalence of the Vaellenian language among these groups is low, especially within more urbanised areas. Other groups include the Ardaiman population in Riviera of around 400,000 and the Newreyan minority in Elsouf of around 250,000. A large number of Midrasian citizens also live in overseas territories, mostly within member states of the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations, Mydramonde, or other Asuran nations. The government estimates that the Midrasian diaspora currently numbers just under 4 million people worldwide.
A portion of the world's population is also descended from Midrasian settlers from the country's former colonial empire. The vast majority of these people exist in countries such as Luixiana and Renneque. Though sizeable populations also exist in Indragiri and Sabanin. Large numbers of Midrasians also migrated to the Democratic Federation following the Great War, making Midrasians one of the largest ethnic groups within the Vestrim nation.
Midrasia is a highly urbanised country, with a number of large cities, particularly within the south of the country. The largest city in the country by far is the capital of Lotrič which has a population of 7,929,621 within the city's urban area. The next largest are Berghelling (2,985,762), Bordeiu (1,632,344) and Argois (1,341,802) which are the only other cities to surpass a population of one million.
Largest cities or towns in Midrasia
Modern Midrasians are believed to be the descendants of early Mydran tribes and Fiorentine settlers who arrived in the region during the Second Century BCE. However, Alemannic genes from Burgundian and Gothic tribes who arrived within the region around the Fourth Century CE are also present within the modern population. Recent studies, however, suggest that the prevalence of these genes is much greater in the northern and eastern Midrasians than southerners. As of the 2015 census, 85.02% of the population identify as 'White Midrasian' or 'White Vaellenian' making up the largest portion of the country's population. The next largest portion of the population identifies their background to be 'Other Asuran'. Members of this group tend to belong to immigrant populations who settled within Midrasia either through the Asuran Cooperative Agreement, or the Commonwealth of Democratic Nations.
Midrasia also has a significant non-white population, with the vast majority settling in the country following the introduction of the Colonial Migration act from 1925 until 1940, or following its re-introduction in 1954. The act saw citizenship granted to former colonial subjects within the empire, significantly bolstering the country's population and ethnic makeup. As of 2015 4.11% of the population identifies as 'Black or Mixed-Race Midrasian', with the vast majority of groups being the descended from Black Arabekhi or North Majulan backgrounds. The overwhelming majority of these groups live within the south of the country, particularly port cities such as Argois or Almiaro.
A further 3.23% of the population identifies as ethnically 'Majulan'. The vast majority of these groups are descended from former colonial subjects within the Midrasian Raj in southern Majula. 0.83% identify as ethnically 'Arabkehi'. The Midrasian census regards 'Arabekhi' as any non-black person of Arabekhi background. In addition, 0.4% of the population identifies as ethnically Cataian or Yidaoan. The vast majority of these groups are descended from an Indragiran background. Historically each of these groups would have been categorised as 'Oriental Midrasian', however, as of 1975, these groups were broken up into several distinct categories. The remaining 1.2% of those who took part in the national census did not attribute themselves to any prescribed category.
In recent years the Midrasian census has come under considerable criticism, particularly from academics, due to its conflation of the concept of ethnicity and race in ethnic categorisation. This practice has been the case since 1902 and remains in place to this day. As a result, numerous political groups and think tanks have suggested that the system be overhauled to institute a 'colourblind' policy or to solely represent ethnic groups within the census.
'Mydran' is a term used to denote a particular identity or grouping which has important historical, political and cultural connotations for Midrasians and those of a Midrasian background living overseas. What constitutes a 'Mydra' has changed much throughout its history of usage, though most accounts suggest that it originated with the Fiorentines. The term was used by the Fiorentines to refer to the tribes and people of the Mydroll peninsula which made up the province of Midrium. Over time, this ethnic grouping came to be referred to as Midrasians, although the term 'Mydra' could also be used interchangeably. By the Sixteenth Century however, usage of the term Mydra had generally become subordinated below the far more common 'Midrasian' when referring to the largest ethnic group of the nation.
Within the late Nineteenth Century however, particularly as the Midrasian Empire began to decline in terms of overall strength, and independence movements began to grow within colonies, the term Mydra was picked up by politicians and philosophers to refer to all members of the Midrasian Empire, regardless of political and social status or ethnic origin. The term in its new form was first used by MP Thibault Poulin during a speech delivered to parliament in 1891 when referring to the ongoing Kilando Revolt within the Arabekhi colonies. The term was quickly adopted by politicians, particularly those of a more liberal persuasion who favoured reform of the Empire to accommodate the wishes of natives and provide more political representation for the colonies. The new definition officially entered the Midrasian dictionary by 1894 and was used to reflect the new reorganisation of the Empire into the Mydramonde in 1902. Throughout the early Twentieth Century, the term also began to take on more patriotic and unifying political undertones, especially during the two Great Wars and the decolonisation efforts of the 1950s. However, the political significance of referring to someone as a 'Mydra' ensured that it would rarely be used in everyday politics and media, and would only be utilised during times of crisis when a Consul addressed the nation. The last use of the term in an official broadcast was in 1971 by Consul Marine Jupe following the Alzur Attacks.
Today the term continues to be used within political life and on occasion by the press. The term is very closely associated with Midrasian civic nationalism, however, it is also used far more by right-wing Midrasian news outlets such as L'Oracle or Le Ciel. The term was last printed in a news article in 2018 by Le Ciel following the gunning down of refugees on the Midrasian border by Veleazan soldiers. Moreover, it has been proposed that the term be included on the Midrasian census as a method of creating a 'colourblind' system of categorisation. Whilst a number of political parties within the Reform Bloc have backed this idea and current Consul Melcion Portas has indicated he is open to the idea, a sizeable opposition exists within the Chartist Bloc who suggest that such reform would "devalue" data collected within the census.
Midrasian is the official national language of the country according to the constitution. Two other languages are recognised, Rivieran and Vaellenian, but only within their respective regions. The Midrasian language itself is broken up into a number of mutually intelligible dialects across the country. Standard Midrasian is officially based on the Lotrič dialect and is most common in the south-east and centre of the country. West Midrasian, spoken mostly in Piemonte, tends to have more Ardaiman influences; whilst North Midrasian, mostly spoken within Padania and Elsouf, is more influenced by Newreyan and Alemannic dialects. Most Midrasians speak either Arday, Newreyan or Lhaeraidh as a second language. Historically, Veleazan was also very common as a second language among Midrasians, although within the last few decades the number of Veleazan speakers have begun to decline. This decline has mostly been attributed to the political separation of Midrasia and Veleaz within recent years.
Given the Midrasian language's historical status as the lingua franca of Asura between the Twelfth and Nineteenth Centuries, Midrasian is an incredibly prominent language globally, both in terms of the number of speakers and official use. Midrasian is commonly spoken and used in a number of countries around the world. The nations of Indragiri, Luixiana, Renneque, Sabanin and Sant Masllorenç all have Midrasian as an official language, or a sizeable population of first-language speakers. Midrasian is also an official language for a number of international organisations, most notably the Aeian Public Health Organisation, Commonwealth of Democratic Nations, Mydramonde and World Educational and Cultural Organisation.
Orthodox Alydianism is the official established church of Midrasia, although in reality this status is more symbolic than anything. The head of the faith is the Alydian Pontiff in Laterna who manages all canon law within the church. As of the 1791 amendments to the Laterna Treaty, the Midrasian government has the authority to establish its own religious legislation within the Republic. Since then the government has followed a policy of laïcité in regard to religious law, effectively making the country a de-facto secular state. As a result, the government does not involve itself in religious affairs, and religious affairs have little to no influence over legislation. However, this does not stop institutions such as independent Alydian religious schools from operating within the country (though they are subject to some restrictions). Nevertheless, a number of right-wing parties, particularly the Alydian Democratic Union are opposed to this policy and have pushed the government to more actively follow Alydian doctrine. Alternatively, many on the left-wing of the political spectrum have tended to support a policy of official secularisation.
According to the 2015 census, around 60% of Midrasians identify as Alydian, the second largest group at around 26% do not affiliate themselves with any particular faith, whilst nearly 4% did not state any particular religion. Other religious groups within the country include Ksaiism, held by around 3.3% of the population; Derwyedd, mostly centred around the Vaellenian region at around 3%; Irsad at around 2% mostly followed by Arabekhi and Majulan migrants; and Trúathi at 1.17%. The remaining 1.5% is made up of a number of faiths including Judaism, Göktanrism and various other religions. Despite this, church attendance levels remain much lower than those who identify with a particular faith. Records suggest that around 15% of the population attends church services at least once a month. Church attendance levels tend to be proportionally higher in religious minority communities however, particularly Irsadic or Derwyedd groups.
Historically, Alydianism in one form or another has been the dominant religion of Midrasia ever since the rise of the Fiorentine Empire. The country continued to be religiously homogeneous until the Sixteenth Century when Ksaiist and Trúathi missionaries began to make inroads into the country. Ksaiism in particular began to take on a sizeable following among some members of the gentry and aristocracy. By the Seventeenth Century, Vaellenia had been integrated into Midrasia, creating a sizeable Derwyedd following; whilst the new Republic itself began to tone down its religious overtures. By the Twentieth Century, considerable migration from Arabekh and Majula following decolonisation greatly increased the number of religions followed within the nation. Furthermore, Asuran integration also led to high levels of migration across the continent, further affecting religious demographics.
Midrasian influence within the Alydian Orthodox Church has usually been quite high throughout history, with there being Sixty-Two Pontiffs from Midrasia. Some of the more notable Midrasian Pontiffs include Marius II, Constance III, Alexander II, Ignatius V, Sixtus IX and the previous Pontiff, Pius XII. Furthermore, Midrasian religious orders have been particularly important throughout the history of the Alydian Church, most notably the Knights of Savoie, the Ursulines, Templars and Hospitallers, all of whom had their origins in, or major operations within the country.
Midrasia has a universal healthcare system which was introduced in 1927 under the government of Erwann Berthou. The system is financed through a combination of government statutory health insurance and private health insurance. Although initially 100% funded through taxation, the Midrasian healthcare system was reformed in 1981 so as to reduce costs and make the system more efficient through private funding of healthcare contracts. Nevertheless, the system remains regulated through a number of healthcare reforms, allowing the Midrasian system to strike a balance between complete government oversight and a free market. As of 2015 the system was 75% government-funded. Observers suggest that this allows the system to be both sustainable in the long-term whilst providing comprehensive high-quality patient care. According to the Aeian Public Health Organisation the Midrasian healthcare system is regarded as one of the best in Aeia for quality of overall care. Healthcare is free at the point of service through government health insurance, however individuals may opt for a private health insurance contract if they wish. Healthcare spending in Midrasia accounts for 11.5% of the country's GDP, equalling $5,520 (Đ3,680) per capita.
The principal cause of death in the country is heart disease which has been linked to the country's growing obesity problem. Nevertheless, Midrasia on average still possesses a relatively low level of obesity relative to other developed countries. Many health experts have put this down to the prevalence of fish, vegetables and other healthy foods within the Midrasian diet. Smoking however is another major health issue within the country, with successive governments attempting to reduce levels through restricting the use, sale and advertising of tobacco. Over the last decade smoking levels have fallen considerably, though lung cancer remains one of the leading causes of death in the country.
The Midrasian education system is organised into three age-based tiers regarded as primary, secondary and tertiary education. All matters of education are governed by the Department of Education, however educational matters in Vaellenia are the responsibility of the devolved government. Law requires that all students must be in full-time education between the ages of 5 and 16, with the option of continuing secondary education until the age of 18 before progressing to the tertiary level. School uniforms in Midrasia are compulsory for all schools operating within the Primary and Secondary education tiers.
Parents have the ability to send their children to non-compulsory nursery centres between the ages of 3 and 4. Many of these centres act as feeders to the varying Primary Schools located across the country. Recent studies suggest that around 72% of parents choose to send their children to nursery centres. Mandatory primary schooling takes place between the ages of 5 and 11. All Primary schools across the country are non-selective with their curriculum being controlled by the government. Religious Alydian primary schools do exist across the country, however they are required to follow the national curriculum and are forbidden from denying entrants based on their religion. Religious primary schools may only make changes to the teaching curriculum on religious holidays or in non-standard teaching periods such as after-school clubs or school assemblies.
The secondary schooling system within Midrasia is in many ways unique to other countries in Aeia, in that there are different types of secondary schools with varying levels of government oversight. Schools are divided into four categories: Public, Religious, Private and Grammar schools. All children must attend secondary school between the ages of 11 to 16, with the option of continuing until the age of 18 at a school with College level facilities or at an independent Educational College. Public schools are non-selective and must follow the Common Core curriculum as outlined by the Department for Education. Public Schools also act automatically take in any students from within their local authority who do not qualify for entrance to any other category of school. Religious secondary schools are generally selective, with a set number of students having to qualify based on merit points which take into account church attendance and membership of religious-based clubs and organisations. Generally, religious primary schools act as feeders to these religious secondary schools. Religious schools must also follow the national curriculum, however they have the ability to set their own curriculum for Religious Studies and Personal, Social and Health Education. Historically religious secondary institutions made up a major part of the Midrasian schooling system, however recent studies suggest they are on the decline with as few as 500 religious schools operating across the country. Private schools are fee-paying secondary education institutions that operate with their own curriculum and without funding from the government and are regarded as charitable institutions, thus not paying tax. The vast majority of these institutions act as boarding schools and are known for their high standard of education. Currently, the government holds a charter with private schools which mandates that they reach certain performance targets to maintain their status. Furthermore, the government currently institutes a ban on the creation of any new private schools. Grammar schools are the core foundation of the Midrasian secondary education system. These schools are selective based on an entrance exam and are highly independent of the government; insofar as they can set their own curriculum, although they may not institute faith-based education. The schools themselves receive funding from the government, although they must meet specific results based performance targets in order to retain their status and attain it in the first place. Many of these institutions have specialisations, such as Science and Mathematics, whilst others have an intake from a range of abilities displayed within the entrance exam.
Tertiary education within Midrasia is fee-paying with levels of selection based on the University itself. Tuition fees in Midrasia are set at Đ3,000 per academic year, although local community institutions may charge less. The two most prestigious institutions Mydroll and Roixs however are private institutions and charge Đ5,000 per academic year. Government loans are available to all students looking to pursue tertiary education. This includes loans which cover 100% of tuition costs and additional loans based on family income which cover living costs. Living cost bursaries are also available for students from poorer economic backgrounds. Government loans are only repayable once a graduate begins to earn over Đ20,000 per anum and are written off after 30 years if unpaid. Midrasia is known for its high-quality tertiary education, with many universities within the global top 100. The country also boasts two universities, Mydroll and Roixs within the top 10 universities in the world.
Midrasian culture is one of the most influential in Aeia, with many nations taking cultural and artistic cues from the country. This strong cultural identity has effectively allowed the country to become a huge centre of cultural life within Aeia, with Midrasian culture being very highly regarded across the world and Lotrič being a key centre for artistic and cultural life. The influence of Midrasian culture is particularly notable in other south-Asuran nations such as Carcossia and Ardaima within which heavy Midrasian influence can be seen.
Midrasia is one of the most visited countries in Aeia, welcoming an average of 55 million people annually. The plethora of cultural and historical sites in Midrasia, such as its large number of museums and art galleries see large numbers of tourists visit the country for city breaks; whilst high temperatures, an active nightlife and well-maintained beaches see a large number of tourists flock to Riviera for beach-side holidays. despite high levels of tourism, the majority is limited to the southern, more populated regions of the country.
Midrasia has a large number of heritage sites, as officially recognised by the World Educational and Cultural Organization. The sites generally range from the classical period, with the earliest site dating back to the year 450BCE; to as late as the 1970s. The vast majority of sites within Midrasia are buildings of particular significance, such as the University of Mydroll or Almiaro Opera House. The majority of heritage sites within Midrasia date from the Medieval Period to the early 1900s. Castles and palaces make up the majority of the country's sites, however in recent years efforts have been made to include other sites of regional significance, such as the Druid stones of Vaellenia. The largest heritage site in Midrasia is the town of Roixs which was designated a heritage site in its entirety in 1964. The town plays host to both the former Royal Palace and the University of Roixs and was de-facto capital of the Midrasian Kingdom during the final days of the monarchy.
Midrasian architecture has in the past been incredibly influential on the international scenes, especially between the seventeenth and nineteenth centuries. Midrasian architectural influences can be seen across Asura, with some locations in Catai and Rennekka taking cues from Midrasian buildings.
Most surviving classical Midrasian architecture is dated from around 450BCE to 500CE, although a small number of surviving constructions from before this period have been discovered in a select number of locations, such as around Laterna. Such sites include the Fiorentine forum and the public baths of Midrisium in modern day city of Mydroll. Medieval architecture is mostly present within the north of Midrasia, particularly in the regions of Piemont and Vaellenia, which play host to a number of crusader outposts from the Alydian Wars. The vast majority of these constructions are of Fiorentine design as with other Medieval constructions across southern Asura.
It wasn't until the fifteenth century that an independent Midrasian architectural style began to emerge, with the rise of a number of neoclassical constructions, particularly among the more wealthy cities within Midrasian society. The seventeenth century saw the rise of arguably the most recognisable Midrasian architecture with the Baroque movement. Baroque constructions make up the largest number of palaces and governmental buildings within Midrasia. The city of Lotrič is also notorious for having entire streets filled with baroque buildings, particularly toward the central regions of the city. Despite the prominence of Baroque within early-modern Midrasian society, other architectural styles such as gothic buildings were widely constructed throughout the period.
The nineteenth century saw the rise of Riquesa architecture, particularly among the industrial cities of the southern coast, although Riquesan buildings are clearly present in cities such as Lotrič and Berghelling. Riquesan buildings were usually limited to public service buildings such as hospitals or train stations constructed during the period to cope with the demand of urban growth. Despite the great influence of Riquesan designs well into the twentieth century, a notable shift can be seen within Midrasian architecture following the conclusion of the Great War. Most postwar buildings tended to follow art deco or modernist styles, which are mostly present in the cities of the west and those most affected by the Great War such as Argois. Although such constructions were originally shunned as merely imported styles from Vestrim, the art deco and modernist styles quickly became synonymous with the post-war period. This post-war style soon took on more Midrasian characteristics, seamlessly blending in with existing architectural styles within Midrasian cities.
Recent trends in Midrasian architecture have seen a rise in postmodern designs such as deconstructivism, which have become particularly prominent in the financial quarters of cities such as Lotrič, Berghelling and Almiaro. Most historians point to the construction of Almiaro Garden as the starting point of the postmodern movement in Midrasia. The arena, constructed following a competition for a new design, was initially denounced by Midrasian cultural institutions for abandoning classical Midrasian styles in favour of "metal and glass". However, in recent years the building has come to symbolise the growing postmodern movement within Midrasia and beyond. The growth of the service sector industry following the economic liberalisation of the late 1970s saw the construction of new "glass cathedrals" in many Midrasian cities. Recent polls also suggest that around 52% of the Midrasian public now views the architectural style in a positive light.
Midrasian visual art can be seen to have gone through a number of distinct phases throughout its history. Early Midrasian artistic movements can usually be traced back to the late Fiorentine Empire, who brought with them several Myrian influences. Most Fiorentine art consisted primarily of mosaics and statues of notable figures. Such works were usually created through the direct patronage of artists by notable political figures. A number of early artworks can still be seen in a select number of art galleries in Lotrič or the Fiorentine quarter of Mydroll, which was known in the empire as Midrisium. Similarly, medieval Midrasian art mostly consists of patronage-based works, however, the influence of the Alydian church is much more notable. The vast majority of art created within this period is religious in origin, with most images picturing notable saints or biblical events. Other notable paintings feature images of political figures, such as the former royal family or of great battles; usually created by court painters on behalf of the aristocracy. Experimentation is almost entirely absent in early Midrasian art, with the most images retaining similar colour schemes and imagery. Much of this is the result of a limited cultural base within the country, as painters within the period were either Monks or courtiers.
By the mid-Fifteenth Century, Midrasian artists can be seen to have moved away from the styles of their medieval predecessors to embrace more realistic imagery, with a greater use of accurate lighting, anatomy and perspective. The shift within the Midrasian artistic tradition can be seen to link with the wider cultural renaissance taking place within Asura at the time. Similarly, art depicting great battles or leaders was also commonplace throughout the period. Particularly notable is the work of Midrasian court painter Henri de Mas whose work, on behalf of the Devreux family, was renowned for its size. Mas' paintings, the majority of which are on display in the Midrasian parliament regularly covered entire walls, and featured religious depictions of political figures such as the Midrasian Consuls. Despite this, the earliest renaissance art remained patronage-based, with most images continuing to depict biblical or mythical events of classical antiquity.
Despite this, as the period progressed and Midrasia came into contact with an increasing number of cultures across the globe, Midrasian art became exposed to an increasing number of influences. In particular, Majulan and Yidaoan art in the form of silks, needlework and porcelain became increasingly popular in Midrasia. In response, Midrasian art began to move away from its traditional patronage based form of production to a more market-oriented approach, or 'art for art's sake'. Great degrees of experimentation in Midrasian art throughout the seventeenth to nineteenth centuries led to the birth of movements such as Romanticism, Realism and Impressionism. The Great number of Midrasian painters throughout the period would allow the country, and particularly the city of Lotrič to become a hub for cultural and artistic movements. Dozens of artists from across Aeia would flock to the city to display their work or engage with the local culture, defining the city as a true capital of cosmopolitanism. Lotrič would see its first public art gallery open in 1815 and the city would go on to host a world-famous art festival each year, beginning in 1868.
The twentieth century can be seen to have heralded the beginning of the modernist movement in Midrasian art, with the rise of art forms such as cubism, surrealism and other avant-garde styles. Initial reception of such styles was far from positive. Although works such as François Pisare's Fille à la Mandoline were immediately popular, other more abstract works were denounced as 'degenerate art'. Art critics at the 1901 Lotrič art festival were appalled with many of the more abstract works of art. Such styles would not gain mainstream acceptance until the early 1920s.
Midrasia is well renowned across Aeia for its performing arts scene, particularly in regards to cinema. Midrasia's position as the cultural centre of Aeia has allowed the country to attract burgeoning talent as well as established figures from the performing arts scene. Midrasia has a number of internationally recognised actors and film directors, such as Thierry de Rou known for his Noir films of the 1950s and 60s. Almiaro is the home of the Midrasian film industry, which is in of itself one of the largest in Aeia. The city also hosts an annual film festival in which upcoming films are screened to audiences and critics before their official release to the public. Midrasian films are sometimes mischaracterised overseas for being overly indulgent in subtle imagery, tone and cinematography; yet despite this, the Midrasian film industry to this day remains popular both at home and overseas. Midrasian theatre also remains rather popular to the present day, despite suffering a decline throughout the twentieth century due to the rise of cinema. Theatre tends to become more popular around the time of particular festivals such as l'allumage or the Winter Solstice, being particularly bolstered by high levels of tourists in summer or winter. Midrasian theatre also benefits from governmental patronage on the part of the National Troupe of Thespians (Troupe Nationale de Thespians) an acting company which was previously under the employ of the royal family. The acting troupe regularly performs shows at important events such as the l'allumage festival or at the opening ceremony of the Copa d'Aeia 2016.
Opera is also another highlight of Midrasian cultural art, with the practice having deep cultural roots within Midrasian aristocratic and bourgeois lifestyles of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Opera houses can regularly be found in major Midrasian cities with performances ranging from recreations of classical Fiorentine operas to newly written performances. Although opera has suffered a decline in popularity in recent years, the practice is still commonplace across the country and remains highly popular with tourists. Midrasian is also renowned for its music which is particularly popular across the globe. The country boasts a high number of orchestras, many of which have access to governmental patronage. Classical Midrasian music is particularly ingrained with Midrasian bourgeois culture, with the work of classical composers such as Ruemont or Sancerre being held in high regard by many. Besides classical music, Midrasia also has a strong rock and indie scene, made up of bands such as Sacré Coeur and Tsar. Electronic music has also become particularly popular in Midrasia in recent years, especially among the younger generation. The burgeoning popularity of electronic music has been particularly linked with the strength of the Midrasian clubbing and nightlife scene, which regularly makes use of such music.
Midrasian philosophy is for the most part political in nature, with a large amount of Eighteenth-Century liberal and early socialist thought is particularly attributed to the nation. Midrasian liberal philosophy is usually derived from the legacy of the Midrasian Civil War and Revolution and the creation of the Constitutional Charter. The supporters of the constitution, known as Chartists advocated for ideals such as inalienable rights, citizenship, popular sovereignty, freedom of the press and religious toleration. Particular philosophers such as Henri de Châtelier or Alexis Oyonax were influential in the drafting of the constitution. Châteliers work on inalienable rights, including the right to "life, liberty and property" defined specific rights which could not be taken away from any citizen within society, not even by a monarch. Oyonax's work particularly developed the idea of limited government, which he believed necessary in order to preserve the liberties of individual people. Oyonax believed that government should only intervene in the lives of others when it could be certain that an action taken would cause harm to another human being. Other later Midrasian liberal thinkers include Jean-Philippe Orleans who is known as the founder of social liberalism. Orleans' philosophy allowed the creation of the early Midrasian welfare state introduced in 1903 following the Great War by the Liberal government. A number of Midrasian philosophers were also influential in the creation of modern conservatism, particularly during and following the revolution. Philosophers such as Alois de Vespin advocated for the restoration of the absolute monarchy which would be better placed to provide stability within society. Such philosophers played a major role in Midrasia's transition to a constitutional republicanism. Midrasia is also known for its early Socialist philosophers such as Pierre Regard, who is sometimes known as the 'father of Socialism'. Regard's work "Sur les inégalités de la société moderne" is regarded by many political scientists to be the first work of Socialist philosophy, although the book itself does not refer to the concept as such. Regard's work went on to influence a number of left-wing thinkers operating within Nineteenth-Century Asuran society.
Midrasian philosophy also extends into other areas such absurdism and Postmodern philosophy. Philosophers such as Robert Pédan are known for their work on the nature of human and universal existence, specifically arguing that there is no integral 'meaning of life' and all attempts to rationalise existence are merely attempts to make sense of the non-nonsensical and will therefore in vain. Pédan is also known for his work on human nature, specifically arguing that the notion of a universalist approach to humanity is counter-intuitive, with all humans exhibiting differing traits, beliefs and behaviours. Such thought is in direct conflict with socialist and enlightenment ideas regarding human nature being either naturally collectively oriented or naturally rational.
Midrasia has a rich sporting tradition, especially in terms of football. Midrasian football evolved out of the traditional mob football played in medieval Asura, becoming the most popular sport in the country in the late-nineteenth century. Following the official ratification of the rules of the game, the Midrasian national team was formed in 1893, playing its first game against the Vaellenian regional team. The Midrasian national team has enjoyed a high level of success across international tournaments, winning the International Cup a total of five times. Midrasia's domestic teams have also had high levels of success, with Olympique de Lotrique and FC Almiaro being among the most successful and prestigious domestic teams in Aeia. Midrasia also hosted the Copa d'Aeia 2016, the first edition of the new tournament; featuring several nations from multiple continents throughout Aeia.
Other popular sports in Midrasia include: tennis, rugby union, cricket and snooker which all enjoy high levels of viewership and participation. Cycling is also incredibly popular within Midrasia, with several cycling races taking place throughout the nation. The Tour de Mydrazia is the most popular of these races, attracting competitors from across the region every summer. Similarly, the Tour de Vael is a race of a similar variance, although on a smaller scale; with the race limited to the region of Vaellenia. Midrasia also has a small winter sports tradition, although this is mostly limited to the more northerly regions of Vaellenia and Ibbeny. Midrasia competed in the 2016 Aeian Winter Games in St.Quentin with moderate success, prompting increased investment into the winter sports scene. The Motorsport scene is also very large within Midrasia, with the nation playing host to a number of events across the year. Midrasia has many drivers and manufacturers, such as Assoluto and Âge, competing on the international scene over a number of events. In terms of track racing, the country is a regular stage in both the Formula A and World Touring Car Championships. Most competitive track based events take place at the Circuit d'Almiaro, near the city of Almiaro in southern Midrasia. However other international events have taken place at many different circuits across the country in the past. Midrasia is also a renowned stage in the international rallying scene, with the Rally d'Ibben notorious for its sharp twists and turns. The course, which is one of the oldest in Aeian rally racing takes place in the Avadin mountains across a range of tarmac and gravel stages.
Midrasian cuisine varies wildly across the country, especially between the coastal, metropolitan south and the more rural north. This has been the case for several centuries, with the cuisines of more northerly regions usually having more in common with neighbouring nations such as Oserland or Newrey than the Midrasian south, with has a more stereotypical Asur diet of seafood and pasta dishes common in nations such as Ardaima or Veleaz. Midrasian cuisine is usually traced back to its medieval origins, with court recipes from the thirteenth century illustrating a comparative shift in Midrasian diets compared with other south Asuran nations.
In terms of the northern regions, dishes usually emphasise the use of dairy products, beef and poultry which are synonymous with the large farming communities present within the region. Northern cuisine is notable for its broths, stews and soups which are seen as better suited to the milder climate in regions such as Elsouf or Padania. Such dishes usually involve high levels of preparation and their notable use of vegetables and flavourings such as rosemary or thyme. Dairy foods within the North include dishes such as quiche and cheesecake. South Midrasian cuisine is viewed by many to be one of the finest in the world and is notable for its use of seafood and pasta dishes. Whilst usually not a spicy as similar cuisine in Veleaz, such foods are renowned for their richness in flavour, whilst incorporating aspects of north Midrasian foodstuffs. South Midrasian dishes are usually more reliant on ingredients such as tomatoes and spinach however which became more prominent in Midrasian society as the Midrasian empire expanded overseas. Across Aeia, Midrasian cuisine is most notable for its creamy pastas such as fettuccine alfredo which comes from the southern region of Lombardy; and breakfast dishes such as croissants which are usually served with jams, coffee and tartines.
Despite the apparent regional differences within Midrasian cuisine, wine is seen as integral to most Midrasian dishes, regardless of their regional origin. Midrasia's wine industry, which is the largest in Aeia, is renowned for its prestige and high quality. Exports of Midrasian wine, most of which are grown in regions of Mydroll and South Padania, make up a significant portion of the country's GDP. Similarly, Midrasian cheeses are also renowned overseas for their high quality. However, in Midrasian cuisine such cheeses are usually only served as appetisers or side dishes with wine for social occasions.
Public holidays and festivals
Midrasia has a number of festivals celebrated throughout the year, most notable is Allumage a festival with its origins in Alydianism. The festival celebrates the start of the new year on January 1st and sees cities from around Midrasia display parades and light shows with visitors adorned in red garbs. Family members and friends exchange gifts and the Alydian Church oversees the ceremony of the "Kindling of the Holy Flame" in Laterna. The festival in the contemporary period has usually seen extended families gather for meals on December 31st in restaurants throughout the nation, which deliberately remain open throughout the night. Tourists from nations throughout Aeia regularly flock to Midrasia for the Lotrič Allumage festival renowned throughout Asura for its splendour and magnificence. Restaurants in Lotrič are regularly fully booked mid-way through the year for meals during the festival and the entire central district of the city is shut off from any vehicles on December 31st. Similarly, the winter solstice is a major festival event within the Vaellenian region, most prominent for its sky lantern festival. Crowds regularly gather in the Vaellenian foothills to release thousands of lanterns each year, with a record set for nine million lanterns set off in 2007. Although authorities have placed increasing restrictions on the event due to safety concerns, the event still attracts thousands throughout the region to celebrate the event.
A number of other important holidays and festivals exist within Midrasia, perhaps the most important being Constitution Day, which celebrates the anniversary of the end of the Midrasian Revolution and the signing of the Constitutional Charter. Constitution day takes place on February 11th every year and usually involves a public ceremony involving the sitting Consul and parliament. On special anniversaries such as the 200th anniversary which took place in 1991 the original copy of the constitutional charter is taken out of the governmental archives and toured around museums across the country. Another important holiday is armistice day which takes place on October 12th. The event itself marks the conclusion of fighting in the Great War and involves a national ceremony of remembrance for troops killed in the war and any other conflict involving Midrasia. Though, in recent years the event has been removed from its national context and instead poses as a remembrance to all troops killed in combat regardless of nationality or war.
In addition to a number of secular holidays which take place across the country, Midrasia also has a number of other religious observances throughout the year other than Allumage. Throughout the year a number of days are given over to public holidays for the worship of the Eight Manifestations of Orthodox Alydianism. Many of these holidays have their roots in ancient Alydian society and usually take place on the first weekday of their given month. Most of these observances involve feasts and family gatherings, the most important being the Days of Soteria, Muse and Horus. Moreover, each leap year sees All Saints Day take place on February 29th, a festival in honour of the Alydian saints as well as the manifestations of god.
|1 January||Allumage||New Year's Day||Beginning of the calendar year|
|4 January||Journe de Tellus||Day of Tellus||Festival of Tellus, celebration of the birth of the new year|
|11 February||Journe de la Constitution||Constitution Day||Celebration of the signing of the Constitutional Charter|
|29 February||Journe de Tellus||All Saints Day||Celebration of Alydian Saints and the manifestations, only occurs on leap years|
|1 March||Journe de Praeses||Day of Praeses||Festival of Praeses, appeal for guidance and good fortune|
|1 April||Journe de Soteria||Day of Soteria||Festival of Soteria, celebration of fertility and motherhood|
|1 May||Journe d'Ornamenta||Decoration Day||Tribute to those who served in the country's armed forces|
|Variable during the summer solstice||Journe de Muse||Day of Muse||Festival of Muse, celebration of artistry and culture|
|Variable with the september equinox||Journe de Arator||Day of Arator||Festival of Arator, celebration of harvest and labour|
|2 September||Journe de Eudocia||Day of Eudocia||Festival of Eudocia, celebration of law and justice|
|1 October||Journe de Astreus||Day of Astreus||Festival of Astreus, celebration of wisdom and learning|
|12 October||Journe d'Armistice||Armistice Day||Day of remembrance for those killed in conflict|
|2 December||Journe de Horus||Day of Horus||Festival of Horus, celebration of life and memorial for the dead|