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Kingdom of Motsvara
Motto: "Framsteg och jämställdhet "
"Progress and Equality"
Anthem: Glorious Motsvara
Location of Motsvara in Vestrim
|Official languages||Motsvaran, Navish|
|Recognised regional languages||Indfødstale, Arday|
• Speaker of the Council
|Legislature||National Council of Motsvara|
• Discovery by Kingdom of Navack
|December 12, 1579|
• Colonization(By Navack)
|February 27, 1624|
• Unification(Under UKL)
|July 22, 1668|
• Independence from UKL
|January 1, 1900|
• Establishment of the First Kingdom of Motsvara
|March 18, 1900|
• Motsvaran Revolution
|September 12, 1914|
• Establishment of the Second Kingdom of Motsvara
|March 8, 1930|
|824,196 km2 (318,224 sq mi)|
• 2017 estimate
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|Gini (2017)|| 24|
|HDI (2017)|| 0.807|
|Time zone||UTC-7 (Central Vestrim Time)|
• Summer (DST)
|UTC-6 (Central Vestrim Summer Time)|
Motsvara, officially the Kingdom of Motsvara (Motsvaran: Konungariket Motsvara), is a Lhedwinic nation located in the eastern part of Vestrim. It borders New Velacruz to the west, as well as sharing naval borders with nearby Isolaprugna. Motsvara is the largest nation in eastern Vestrim and the fourth largest on the entire continent by area. The vast majority of Motsvara's 29,312,963 citizens live along the southern coast and in the central plains, with population density much lower in the far north. Mount Himlenshärd, the tallest mountain in the nation and one of the tallest in Vestrim, lies in the northeast of Motsvara in the province of Fjällmark. Motsvara's capital is Större, located along the (placeholder) river in eastern Motsvara. The largest city by population is Krova, in the Bay of Södravet, also acting as the nation's largest port, through which the majority of trade from the Columbian Sea enters.
The early indigenous Vestric peoples inhabited what is now Motsvara for thousands of years before the arrival of Asuran explorers. Beginning in the 16th century, Navish expeditions entered and explored the region, having crossed over from the northeast, across the Bergspärr Range. These explorers settled Motsvara in the 1600s, first with small cities in the north of the nation (having not yet explored the coast of the Columbian Sea). Ardaima was the first to settle southern Motsvara, with the city of Lucia and the Ciciano Islands, later ceded to the United Kingdom of Lhedwin. These areas maintain notable Ardaiman populations to this day. Motsvara under the United Kingdom acted as a major strategic position in the Columbian Sea, giving Lhedwin access to the profitable trade experienced in that region. After the Great War, Motsvara would gain its freedom as an independent kingdom. The First Kingdom was seen as fair and just by much of the population, and was overall fairly popular post-war.
It was in 1914 that a large scale revolution caused intense social and political reform in the nation. Communist forces overthrew the king and established a dictatorship, exiling the kingdom to Navack, where he continued to claim rightful rule over the nation. The National Council was abolished and replaced with a complex soviet system that promised to bring freedom to the people, but instead led to corruption. Poverty soared and the nation shut itself off from international politics. It was only in 1921, when intervention by loyalist soldiers and foreign intervention toppled the illegitimate government, restoring the royal family and forming the Second Kingdom of Motsvara, and this royal family still rules today.
Motsvara is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy, currently ruled by Oscar III as the head of state. The nation is officially bilingual on the federal level, with both Motsvaran and Navish being prominent languages. Motsvara maintains usage of a social welfare system that provides universal health care and tertiary education for all citizens. Motsvara has the worlds (tbd)-highest per capita income and ranks highly various metrics of national performance, including quality of life, health, education, protection of civil liberties, economic competitiveness, equality, prosperity and human development.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Politics
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
While several theories have been presented regarding the origin of the name Motsvara, it is now widely accepted that the name originates in the indigenous Indfødstale word motsara. The exact meaning of this word is not certain, but most linguists agree that it meant something along the lines of "mountain place". This name is in reference to Himlenshärd, the tallest mountain in Motsvara and one of the symbols of the nation. The Navish explorer attributed with discovering Motsvara, Jørgen Rostad, had heard the word while conversing with some of the indigenous peoples he had encountered, and assumed the name referred to the village he had found. Later, he used the name to refer to the entire territory that was subject to Chief Deganawidah. Over time, the name would be corrupted, changing to the more Lhedwinic pronunciation Motsvara. Most maps of the region printed in the late 16th century and later used this name to refer to the region.
After colonization in 1624, "Motsvara" referred to the region of Navish Vestrim south of the Bergspärr Range, which was a vague area with no defined border. It wasn't until the unification of the United Kingdom of Lhedwin in 1668 that Motsvara would be defined, with the area made up of two provinces, known as Upper Motsvara (In the north, surrounding Himlenshärd) and Lower Motsvara (the coastal areas in the south), collectively known as Motsvara; this was until 1812 when they were unified as the Province of Motsvara. After independence, the new government would adopt Kingdom of Motsvara as the official name of the kingdom, the name still in use today. There have been several proposals to change the name to simply Motsvara, though all of these have been rejected.
The indigenous peoples of Motsvara include both the Indfødstale and the Kryssen, the latter being a mixed-blood people that originated in the late 17th century when Indfødstale people married Asuran settlers. The term "Aboriginal" has come to be used as a collective noun in most legal documents, such as the 1953 Equality Act, which officially granted equal civil rights to native peoples in Motsvara.
The first inhabitants of Vestrim are hypothesized to have migrated from the south, during the time when Vestrim and Rennekka were connected at the location of the Columbian Sea, and Rennekka was connected to Arabekh over the Opal Bridge, some 14,000 years ago. The Paleo-Vestric sites in Motsvara are some of the oldest sites of human habitation on the entire continent. Native societies in Motsvara were characterized by permanent settlements, agriculture, complex social hierarchy, and extensive trading networks. The vast majority of these societies had collapsed by the time of Asuran arrival to Motsvara, ended through war with the surviving tribes of the Indfødstale people. They have only been rediscovered through modern archaeology, conducted across the 20th century.
The indigenous population at the time of first contact with the Asuran colonists is estimated to have been close to 300,000 people, a figure accepted by the Motsvaran Royal Historical Society. As a direct consequence of Asuran colonization, the total population of Indfødstale people declined by 40 to 80 percent, and many of the Indfødstale tribes disappeared. The decline is attributed to several causes, primarily the transfer of diseases, such as influenza, smallpox and measles, to which the Native Vestric people had no natural immunity. Other possible causes are conflicts over trade, between colonists and natives, and the loss of land to colonists that crippled native self sufficiency.
While not without some conflict, the first interactions between Asuran settlers and Native Vestrics in Motsvara were relatively peaceful. The tribal leaders of Motsvara, such as Chief Deganawidah, who ruled much of the northeast, and the Kryssen people, played major roles in the expansion and development of Navish colonies in Motsvara. They assisted in exploration and charting of their territories, and participated in trade with settlers, who sought the warm furs collected by Indfødstale hunters. The Navish Crown, and later the United Kingdom of Lhedwin, encouraged Indfødstale people to integrate with Asuran society. Early on, their methods were controversial, employing forced integration and relocation. Later, their efforts would become peaceful encouragement, which, while less effective, would be much more appealing to the natives and contribute to a much more peaceful relationships between Asurans and the Indfødstale.
Motsvara remained untouched by Asuran explorers until the 16th century. The Navish explorer Jørgen Rostad is credited with the discovery of Motsvara, entering from the northeast, across the Bergspärr Range, in 1579. He claimed everything north of the mountains (excluding territory held by natives, in order to protect friendly trade relations) in the name of the Navish king, but the first Navish colony in northeastern Motsvara would not be constructed until 1624. He continued to explore the region, crossing the mountains and charting the north. What he found would be incorporated into New Navack, though most settlements were short lived and actual colonization of the land was slow.
But, long before Rostad had set foot in Motsvara, Ardaiman explorer Alessandro Piacino had explored the Columbian coast of the nation, discovering and settling the territories of the Ciciano Islands and Lucia in 1509 and 1511 respectively. These colonies were the first successful Asuran settlements in modern day Motsvara, remaining under Ardaiman control until the late 1770s, when they were obtained by the United Kingdom of Lhedwin. Lucia remains a major city in southern Motsvara, and the Ciciano Islands colony became the Navish colony of Nye Sørmark (New South Land), later becoming the Motsvaran province of Sörmark. Navish explorer and first governor of the colony Patrick Olsen lent his name to the city of Patreksfjoror. Ardaiman attitude toward natives was much less friendly than that of the Navish. The native population of the Ciciano Islands had been forcefully converted to Alydianism, against their wishes. Those that chose to fight against colonization were shipped to the continent for labor. Ardaiman colonies were a major part of the Vestric slave trade, which formed a major part of both colonies' economies.
By the mid-17th century, Navack had come into control of most of Motsvara, forcing out natives in some locations to further growth and in others, peacefully integrating them. The 1652, Motsvara would officially become a recognized region of New Navack, though the region under this name was vague. Some considered it to extend north of the Bergspärr mountains, while others defined the border across the mountain peaks or southern foothills. Disagreement over the border would continue for years until the formation of the United Kingdom of Lhedwin, after which Motsvara would be defined.
United Kingdom of Lhedwin
Following the formation of the United Kingdom of Lhedwin in 1668, the royal government began the process of officially designating colonial borders. The loose boundaries of Motsvara had become a point of contention with other colonial powers. Without a clear boundary, many Motsvaran settlers found themselves the subject of border disputes. Looking to prevent this, on July 22, 1669, the Boundaries Act defined the western border at the (tba) river and the eastern border as halfway through the (tba) forest. The borders were also based on the extent of Lhedwinic settlement at the time (These boundaries would be revised in 1725, extending both outward to include lands settled by Motsvarans after the original borders were defined).
The act also divided Motsvara into the provinces of Upper Motsvara, surrounding the northeast highlands and the Bergspärr Mountains, and primarily Navish speaking, and Lower Motsvara, south of the mountains and primarily speaking Motsvaran, a dialect of Navish that had evolved with influence from the native Indfødstale people. The division of Upper and Lower Motsvara created rivalry between the two territories, partially due to cultural and linguistic difference, but also because of their respective locations. Upper Motsvara was landlocked, forced to access the sea through Lower Motsvara or through Nordhurlant in the east. This made economic growth for the smaller territory more difficult than for the larger, and the growing population along the coast threatened to overtake that of Upper Motsvara, which historically had been more populated than the south. Upper Motsvaran citizens feared that this would sway voting power in the Motsvaran Parliament in favor of the south.
This left much of northwest Motsvara outside of either province. This area was defined as the Nordreservasjon (Northern Reservation), a territory reserved for the Indfødstale that had slowly been forced out by settlers. Any further settlement of the Nordreservasjon was prohibited until the 1725 revision of the Boundaries Act, which opened it for settlers and redefined it as Filip's Land (Named for Filip Eklund, first governor of the territory). The Nordreservasjon was dissolved and several smaller territories were set aside, generally surrounding major native sites and settlements.
The internal divisions of Motsvara would again be revised by the 1807 Motsvaran Reorganization Act, which united the two provinces into the single colony of Motsvara. The act also incorporated Filip's Land, at the time mostly independent from the two colonies, into the greater Dominion of Motsvara, which itself was divided into fourteen provinces (Filip's land would later be divided in 1813, bringing the total to 15). The Motsvaran Parliament, which before the Reorganization Act, was relatively weak, was granted power over the internal management of laws in the new Dominion, and now held the right to act and pass legislation independent of the Rådet. Colonists now experienced greater autonomy, and this new relationship with the parent nation would contribute to the colony being fairly stable and free of dissent and revolt.
Late 19th Century and Early 20th Century
Because the United Kingdom of Lhedwin still maintained control of all foreign affairs regarding Motsvara, its declaration of war against the Grand Alliance automatically and instantly forced Motsvara into the Great War. Volunteers sent to the Arabekhi and Veleazean Fronts later became part of Motsvaran Corps, a subdivision of the Lhedwinic army that would play major roles in several battles in north Arabekh. Motsvara also served as the Lhedwinic base of operations in the Columbian sea, and the islands of Sörmark hosting one of the Columbian Sea's largest military naval base. Motsvaran ships and sailors would play a large part in the naval battles of the east and north Columbian, and some ships would be sent across the Jade and Opal Oceans to battle in the Asur and in Ashihara. Of the approximately 710,000 Motsvarans that served in various fronts of the Great War, nearly 65,000 were killed and another 180,000 were wounded in battle.
The Conscription Crisis of 1898 erupted when the Parliament of Colonial Motsvara's proposal to augment the military's dwindling number of active members with conscription was met with vehement objections from the vast majority of the Motsvaran population. Eventually, the Military Service Act would be introduced against intense opposition, a decision that would go on to alienate the more liberal parties of Motsvara and damage interparty relations. In 1899, the United Kingdom capitulated to the Grand Alliance, officially marking the end of the Great War. The postwar treaties would partition the various Concordat powers, releasing Motsvara as an independent republic in southern Vestrim.
The supposed liberation of Motsvara was met with mixed reactions. Motsvara was overwhelmingly royalist, and a large part of the nation supported the royal family and the Kingdom. When the royal family was ousted and the United Kingdom partitioned, many were outraged. Others were relieved, and happy to see an independent Motsvara free from Asuran rule. But despite this dislike of rule from Navack, it was clear that the support of the people lay with the Navish royal family. Seeing its own dwindling popularity among its citizens, the new government recognized that rule under the monarchs was the only solution that would satisfy the nation. In late 1901, the president of Motsvara extended a formal invitation to the King of the United Kingdom, Karl IV, and his family to live in their former holiday estates in Motsvara, under official government support. The family happily accepted the offer, traveling to Vestrim in early 1902. Karl IV was forbidden from ruling any nation, in Lhedwin or abroad, and so his son, Oscar I of Motsvara, was placed on the throne in his place.
Economic Growth and Downturn
Following the establishment of the monarchy, the new government focused its efforts on expanding and improving the economic output of Motsvara. While there was little damage to Motsvara in the war, much of the nation had been somewhat neglected in terms of mass industrialization. The government wished to rectify this, and the newly formed National Council passed the Industrial Reorganization Act of 1804, also known as the "Six-Year Plan", which aimed to rapidly improve the industrial capabilities of Motsvara and bring them to the standard of other modern nations. The plan was designed to be completed by 1910, but actually lasted until 1911. It established the Industrial Oversight Committee (Industriellövervakningskommitté), which passed resolutions designed to facilitate economic growth. Under its guidance, there were vast improvements in national infrastructure and economic output. Exports increased exponentially, and Motsvara established itself as a player in the international market.
It was in the mid 1910s that this economic growth began to stagnate. The Great Depression would hit in the following decade, but even before it, the effects of economic downturn began to appear in many countries. The unemployment rate in Motsvara rose dramatically, and prices began to rise while wages remained low. This created unrest within the people of Motsvara, primarily the increasingly growing radical left. The Labour Party, founded in 1912 as a splinter of the much larger Liberal Party by members who were unhappy with the actions taken by the former and current governments of Motsvara. In 1912, they reestablished themselves as a socialist party, and in doing so, rapidly grew in popularity among unemployed workers. More votes went to the Labour Party, which quickly became one of the most powerful in the National Council. In 1914, the Council was split between what came to be known as the National Coalition (Comprised of the Liberal Party and People's Party, the two having agreed to a tense alliance in the interest of preventing Socialist domination of the Council) and the Socialist Block (Comprised of the Labour Party and several other radical left-wing parties), with the National Coalition holding slightly more seats.
The rapid growth in support for socialism between 1912 and 1914 had quickly sown unrest among the workers of Motsvara. Various leaders of the socialist movement gave speeches and lectures across the country in hopes of converting people to their beliefs. This, unfortunately for the government, would lead to the formation of a much more extreme group of socialists that advocated revolutionary action against the current government. These radical socialists advocated for violent protest against monarchist rule, nationwide revolution, and attacks on capitalist institutions. These ideas spread to more members of the socialist movement, and soon, advocating for revolution gave way to riots in the streets.
The largest of these riots was the Socialist March in Krova, in late June 1914. Hundreds of protesters attended what was originally intended to be a peaceful march through the streets of Krova. Within an hour, the marching protesters began to impede the daily business of the city, obstructing main roads and gathering in already crowded public areas. Counter-protesters gathered as well, opposing the March and causing further congestion in the city. It is unknown which side attacked first, but by two hours into the protest, violence had broken out between the two sides. Military police arrived at the city a half hour after that, and eventually were able to break up the violence and scatter the protesters. The National Coalition was outraged, and attempted to pass legislation that would ban mass protests. The Socialist Block and other members would narrowly defeat this act, and the Council erupted into intense argument. The supporters of socialism and even more moderate citizens nationwide found the very idea unacceptable, and protests increased in frequency. Meanwhile, the Socialist Block began passing legislation that would extend the power of socialist dominated services in the government.
September of 1914 was the tipping point. More radical members of the National Council, supported by a small force of revolutionaries marched on Större, led by notorious revolutionary Joseph Sjögren. They stormed the various government facilities and imprisoned members the Royal Cabinet and National Coalition, declaring a Motsvaran Socialist Republic. King Oscar I and his family fled to Navack and the monarchist government collapsed. many leaders of the National Coalition were executed by firing squad following the coup, and the Royal Cabinet was replaced by the position of President, to which Joseph Sjögren was elected near unanimously in an orchestrated election. In the following years, the government would be reorganized, and international cooperation and trade were temporarily suspended to "facilitate the shift from a capitalist to a socialist economy", according to an official statement by Sjögren in 1915. The new government was widely supported by workers across the nation, and the military did little to combat the coup, legitimizing the status of the socialists as the new ruling government of the Vestric nation.
Restoration of the Monarchy
The years following the revolution were dominated by new socialist mandates and regulations that drastically changed daily life in Motsvara. Many of these new laws would suspend citizen's rights that had traditionally been upheld by the Motsvaran constitution. Voting rights, freedom of speech, freedom of press and freedom of religion were among the extensive list of freedoms that had been revoked following the coup. Initially, the people of Motsvara were willing to accept these new laws, still convinced that every sacrifice was for the greater good of the nation as a whole. But over time, the improvements in conditions and abundance of jobs promised by the government had still not appeared. Confidence in the socialists began to drop by the mid 1920s.
By 1928, conditions continued to decline. The Great Depression had begun to affect nations worldwide, and hit the socialist state especially hard. Poverty levels were skyrocketing and the government did little to assist the impoverished. Any dissident that spoke against the government was declared an enemy of the state and arrested, usually imprisoned with a life sentence, and in some cases, executed. Furthermore, those that were still employed in state owned factories and farmland found their already low wages dropping. It became more and more difficult to meet one's basic needs, many forced to survive on only a single full meal a day, and in some cases even less. Just as the ideas of socialism sowed dissent against the royalist government, the effects of communism now revealed the corruption in the leaders that had been supported in the coup.
Between June and September 1928, a notable resurgence of support for the old monarchy occurred. Protests against communist rule erupted across the nation, swiftly put down by agents of the Statensäkerhetskommitté ("State Security Committee", abbrev SSK), the Motsvaran secret police. In retaliation, protests turned to attacks against the SSK, forcing the police to fight against rioting citizens. Hundreds were imprisoned and executed in this time, in an attempt by the government to set an example and incite fear. Instead, these executions only served to create martyrs for the royalist movement. The killings of royalist leaders featured heavily in speeches at Krova, Bjärgaoss, Noromoerr and Kjarra. Fearing that the growing tensions could lead to military intervention, the royalists also began secretly training paramilitary forces, in preparation for what seemed like an inevitable civil war. In late August 1928, royalist paramilitary forces marched on and occupied the city of Noromoerr, marking the beginning of the Second Motsvaran Civil War. The war raged on for two years, with the vast majority of the fighting occurring in southeast Motsvara and leading to a total casualty count of almost 25,000 soldiers and 7,000 civilians. The war concluded on February 13, 1930, with the occupation of Större and capture of Sjögren. Sjögren's second in command, Hugo Lindberg, took command of the state for a short tenure of just 34 minutes, after which he officially surrendered to the rebels.
King Oscar I and the royal family returned to the nation in March, 1930. A parade was held in their honor, hundreds of rejoicing citizens lining the streets of Större. They spoke at the capital building, promising a new era of freedom for the nation and the reinstitution of the pre-socialist constitution. The first free elections in 16 years were held later that year, and the first bill passed by the new Council was to ban socialist parties, at a vote of (tba) to (tba). This ban would later be overturned in 1973, allowing a new Socialist Party to be founded the following year.
Following the collapse of the People's Republic and the reinstitution of the democratic government, new legislation was introduced to combat the economic and unemployment crisis. These laws are collectively known as the "Economic Reform Plan" (Ekonomisk reformplan) or simply the "Reform plan". The vast majority of these laws focused on creating job opportunities, forming agencies to aid economic growth and assisting those affected by poverty with government aid. By 1938, the economy had begun to stabilize, and many of these agencies would either be disbanded or reorganized for the purpose of preventing another economic crisis.
Motsvara would take on a policy of non-alignment and neutrality during the Second Great War and the following Cold War. The conflict between capitalism and communism that quickly dominated politics in much of the world had already hit Motsvara. The majority of the population either disliked communism or wanted no part in another ideological war. With much of the socialist and capitalist powers on the other side of the Opal Ocean, and the general Motsvaran dislike for communism, it would have been incredibly difficult to cause a proxy war in the Vestric nation. Motsvara became yet another nation in the growing non-aligned movement, seeking to keep Asuran influence out of its politics.
The divide between Upper and Lower Motsvara only continued to grow during this time, and reached its peak in the early 2000s. The Navish population sought greater and greater autonomy, with the region consistently dominated by independence movements. Marches and protests in Upper Motsvaran cities (primarily Helgvatn) occurred throughout 2003 and 2004 in favor of independence for the Navish Motsvarans. This ultimately led to the Equality Act in 2005, that made Navish a national language and granted more local autonomy to the region.
In recent decades Motsvara, primarily in the south, has become a more culturally diverse nation due to significant immigration; in 2013 it was estimated that 5 percent of the population was foreign-born, and an additional 3 per cent of the population were born to two immigrant parents. The influx of immigrants has brought new social challenges. Violent incidents have periodically occurred, including the 2014 Krova riots which broke out following the police shooting of an elderly Bevenian immigrant. In response to these violent events, the anti-immigration opposition party, the Democrats, promoted their anti-immigration policies, while the left-wing opposition blamed growing inequality caused by the centre-right government's socioeconomic policies.
The majority of Motsvara's territory sits on the southern coast of Vestrim, the northernmost continent in the western hemisphere. The entirety of the nation's coastline runs along the northern boundary of the Columbian Sea. Located just south of the mainland and within the northern Columbian Sea are the Sörmark Islands, the southernmost territory of Motsvara. To the west of Motsvara lies New Velacruz, and to the southwest is the island nation of Isolaprugna. Motsvara is the fourth largest nation in Vestrim by land area, behind Meithtalamh and ahead of Utamucanee. Motsvara can typically be divided into two regions. These are Upper Motsvara, the northeastern region, surrounding the Bergspärr mountains and the northern highlands, and Lower Motsvara, comprised of everything southwest of the mountains. The northwestern lowlands are generally considered part of Lower Motsvara, though some consider it its own seperate region due to its historic status as an Indfødstale territory. Of Motsvara's 15 provinces, only five have direct access to the sea, while the other ten are landlocked.
Motsvara's longest river is the Halvera, originating in the Himlenshärd and draining into the Sörsvann Bay. Other major rivers are the Mittelve, west of the Halvera, the river Lucia in the southeast, and the Västten, which runs into New Velacruz. The nation's tallest mountain is the Himlenshärd, towering over the surrounding landscape and the southern Bergspärr mountains at 5,544 m.
The climate of Motsvara varies by season and by location. It is primarily affected by two major air sources; the cold, dry, arctic air from northern Vestrim (dominant factor during the winter months, and for a longer part of the year in far northern Motsvara) and warm, most air from the Columbian Sea and Opal Ocean. The effects of these major air masses on temperature and precipitation depend mainly on latitude, proximity to major bodies of water and to a small extent, terrain relief. In general, most of Motsvara's climate is classified as humid continental.
The waters of the Sörsvann and the Columbian Sea greatly influence the climate of the southern coast. The warm air from the sea moderates the climate near the shores, giving the coastal regions and south a much more mild winter than the northern part of the country. The relative strength of low and high-pressure systems of marine and continental air define the highly variable summers. When hot continental air hits the country, the long days and short nights frequently bring temperatures up to 30 °C (86 °F) or above even in coastal areas. Nights normally remain cool, especially in inland areas. Coastal areas can see so-called tropical nights above 20 °C (68 °F) occur due to the moderating sea influence during warmer summers.
On average, most of Motsvara receives between 500 and 800 mm (20 and 31 in) of precipitation each year, making it considerably drier than the global average. The south-western part of the country receives more precipitation, between 1,000 and 1,200 mm (39 and 47 in), and some mountain areas in the north are estimated to receive up to 2,000 mm (79 in). On occasion, hurricanes have been known to make landfall in southern Motsvara, most notably Hurricane (tba) in 2001, which caused extensive damage in Sörmark and some coastal cities.
The Constitution of Motsvara is constructed upon the foundation of the four fundamental laws (Motsvaran: grundlagar); These laws are the Instrument of Government (Regeringsformen), which lays out the basic powers and procedures of the government, the Act of Succession (Successionsordningen), which outlines the laws and rights of succession to the Motsvaran throne through a system of absolute primogeniture, the Freedom of the Press Act (Tryckfrihetsförordningen), which officially protects the rights of the press to operate free of censorship and regulation, and the Fundamental Law on Freedom of Expression (Yttrandefrihetsgrundlagen), which formally protects the right of the Motsvaran people to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly and other basic rights.
The public sector in Motsvara is divided into two parts: the legal person that is the state (staten) and the local authorities. These local authorities include smaller regional institutions such as the State Councils (landsting) and local municipalities (kommuner). The local authorities, rather than the State, comprise the vast majority of the Motsvaran public sector. State Councils and Municipalities are independent of one another, the former merely covers a larger geographical area than the latter. The local authorities have self-rule, as mandated by the Constitution, and their own tax base. Notwithstanding their self-rule, local authorities are nevertheless in practice interdependent upon the State, as the parameters of their responsibilities and the extent of their jurisdiction is specified in the Local Government Act (Kommunallagen).
Motsvara is a constitutional monarchy and King Oscar III is the head of state, but the role of the monarch is limited to ceremonial and representative functions. Under the provisions of the 1967 Instrument of Government, the King lacks any formal political power. The King opens the annual Council session, chairs the Special Council held during a change of Government, holds regular Information Councils with the President and the members of the Royal Cabinet, chairs the meetings of the Advisory Council on Foreign Affairs (Utrikesnämnden), and receives Letters of Credence of foreign ambassadors to Motsvara as well as signs those of Motsvaran representatives headed abroad. Apart from strictly official duties, the King and the other members of Royal Family undertake a variety of unofficial and other representative duties within Motsvara and abroad.
Legislative power is vested in the unicameral National Council with (tba) members. General elections are held every four years, on the second Sunday of August. Legislation may be initiated by the Government or by members of the Council. Members are elected on the basis of proportional representation to a four-year term. The internal workings of the Council is, in addition to the Instrument of Government, regulated bu the Council Act of 1981. The fundamental laws can be altered by the Council alone; only an absolute majority with two separate votes, separated by a general election in between, is required.
The Royal Cabinet (Kungligrådet) is a nine member council that operates as the head of government in the form of a collegial body with collective responsibility. The Cabinet is elected by members of the National Council to a term of four years. The Cabinet members then select a President from among themselves. The President of Motsvara has few powers over the other Cabinet Ministers. He or she is capable of executing veto power (opposed to the normal method of veto within the Cabinet, which is by simple majority in a vote). The President then selects a Vice President, who holds no official power and merely acts as a diplomatic and public representative of the Royal Cabinet as a whole. The position of president rotates between Cabinet Ministers every 5 months, allowing each member of the Cabinet a single term as President (the final three months of a Cabinet term have no acting President in order to prevent one minister holding two terms). The Government is the supreme executive authority and is responsible for its actions to the National Council.
Most of the State administrative authorities (statliga förvaltningsmyndigheter) report to the Royal Cabinet, including (but not limited to) the Armed Forces, the Enforcement Authority, the National Library, the Motsvaran police and the Tax Agency. A unique feature of Motsvaran State administration is that individual cabinet ministers do not bear any individual ministerial responsibility for the performance of the agencies within their portfolio; as the director-generals and other heads of government agencies reports directly to the Cabinet as a whole; and individual ministers are prohibited to interfere; thus the origin of the pejorative in Motsvaran political parlance term ministerstyre (Newreyan: "ministerial rule") in matters that are to be handled by the individual agencies, unless otherwise specifically provided for in law.
The Judiciary is independent from the Council, Cabinet and other State administrative authorities. The role of judicial review of legislation is not practiced by the courts; instead, the Council on Legislation gives non-binding opinions on legality. There is no stare decisis in that courts are not bound by precedent, although it is influential.
Political Parties and Elections
The Motsvaran National Council has consistently been dominated by several large political parties in the nation's 119 year history. The most prominent of these parties is the Motsvaran Social Democratic Party (socialdemokratiska partiet), playing a leading role in politics and dominating the majority of governments since 1948. Only four general elections since the end of the Second Great War (1964, 1972, 1989 and 2007) have resulted in a majority for the assembled center-right bloc.
For over sixty years, Motsvara has had five major parties that continually receive enough support to gain seats in the National Council. These are the Social Democrats, the Moderates (Den måttliga partiet), the Center Party (Centerpartiet), the Liberal People's Party (Liberal folkparti) and the Left Party (Vänsterpartiet)—before the Green Party (Grön Partiet) became the sixth in 1987. The Alydian Democrats (Alydiska demokraterna) became a prominent party in 1994, though much smaller than their six predecessors. In 2009, an eighth party would join the group, the Motsvaran Democrats (Motsvarisk demokraterna).
In the early 2000s, the Moderates would form a center-right coalition with the Center Party, named the People's Alliance. They would win a majority of the seats in this year, as well as contending the Social Democrat's majority in 2010, 2011 and 2016. This growth in the center-right would inspire an opposing center-left bloc, which managed to maintain parliamentary majority in close elections.
Election turnout in Motsvara has always been high by international comparison. Although it declined in recent decades, the latest elections saw an increase in voter turnout (81.11% in 2002, 82.33% in 2006, 84.43% in 2010) and 86.02% in 2014. Politicians enjoyed a high degree of confidence from the citizens in the 1960s, However, that level of confidence has since declined steadily, and is now at a markedly lower level than in other Lhedwinic and Vestric nations.
Motsvara is a federation composed of 15 states, which in turn can be grouped into three or four major regions: Upper Motsvara, Lower Motsvara, the Maritime Regions (Sjöfartsområden) and the Northern Regions (Norrområdet, sometimes included as part of Lower Motsvara). Motsvaran states enjoy a large amount of autonomy in regards to their internal affairs, having responsibility for social programs such as health care, education, and welfare. Together, the states collect more revenue than the federal government. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate national policies in state level areas; the states can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer states.
State legislative power rests in the State Councils. State Councils have the power to create and enforce legislation at a state level. The laws created and enforced at this level can contradict federal law, however federal laws always overrule state laws, and the federal government reserves the right to enforce its own laws within state jurisdiction.
Throughout the 20th century, Motsvaran foreign policy was based on the principle of non-alignment in peacetime and neutrality in wartime. Sweden's government pursued an independent course of nonalignment in times of peace so that neutrality would be possible in the event of war.
Motsvara's foreign policy is a direct result of the Communist regime in the 1910s. Both the general public and the government feared that if they were to involve themselves in the matters of other nations, they risked drawing international attention to themselves and by extension, risked the possibility of foreign intervention in Motsvara. Motsvara did not participate in either side of the Second Great War, and formally cut ties with many of the involved nations until the conclusion of the war. During the early Cold War era, Motsvara combined its policy of non-alignment and a low profile in international affairs with a security policy based on strong national defense. The function of the Motsvaran military was to deter attack. At the same time, the country maintained relatively close informal connections with the democratic nations of the CDN, especially in the realm of intelligence exchange.
Motsvara maintains embassies in (tba) countries worldwide, and (tba) countries in turn maintain embassies within Motsvara. The state holds close ties to the other nations in Vestrim as a founding member of the Vestric Forum, though in recent years has had friction with fellow member state Ovandera due to its shift into a communist state.
The law is enforced in Motsvara by several government entities. The Motsvaran police is a Government agency concerned with police matters. The National Task Force is a national SWAT unit within the Police Service. The Motsvaran Security Service's responsibilities are counter-espionage, anti-terrorist activities, protection of the constitution and protection of sensitive objects and people.
Försvarsmakten (Motsvaran Armed Forces) is a government agency reporting to the Motsvaran Ministry of Defense and responsible for the peacetime operation of the armed forces of Motsvara. The primary task of the agency is to train and deploy peace support forces abroad, while maintaining the long-term ability to refocus on the defense of Motsvara in the event of war. The armed forces are divided into Army, Air Force and Navy. The head of the armed forces is the Supreme Commander (Överbefälhavaren, ÖB), the most senior commissioned officer in the country. Up to 1978 the King was pro forma Commander-in-Chief, but in reality it was clearly understood all through the 20th century that the Monarch would have no active role as a military leader.
Until the end of the Cold War, nearly all males reaching the age of military service were conscripted. This was primarily due to the Red Scare and the fear of a second communist takeover. In recent years, the number of conscripted males has shrunk dramatically, while the number of female volunteers has increased slightly. Recruitment has generally shifted towards finding the most motivated and enthusiastic recruits, rather than solely those otherwise most fit for service. All soldiers serving abroad must by law be volunteers. In 1975 the total number of conscripts was 85,000. By 2003 it was down to 35,000.
On 1 May 2008 Motsvara stopped routine conscription, switching to an all volunteer force unless otherwise required for defense readiness. The need to recruit only the soldiers later prepared to volunteer for international service will be emphasized. The total forces gathered would consist of about 50,000 men. This could be compared with the 1980s, when Motsvara could gather up to 1,000,000 soldiers.
The Motsvaran economy is an example of a mixed economy, a prosperous capitalist welfare state and social democracy country featuring a combination of free market activity and large state ownership in certain key sectors. Public health care in Motsvara is free (after an annual charge of around 2000 krona for those over 16), and parents have 46 weeks paid parental leave. Motsvara has an unemployment rate of 4.8%, with 68% of the population aged 15–74 employed. Motsvara possesses one of the highest GDPs amongst Vetsric nations, at 18076 krona (12,912 USD) per capita. People in the labour force are either employed or looking for work. 8.5% of the population aged 18–66 receive a disability pension and 30% of the labour force are employed by the government.
The egalitarian values of Motsvaran society have kept the wage difference between the lowest paid worker and the CEO of most companies as much less than in comparable western economies. The state has large ownership positions in key industrial sectors, such as hydroelectric energy production, aluminium production, the largest Motsvaran bank and telecommunications provider. Through these big companies, the government controls approximately 30% of the stock values at the Krova Stock Exchange. When non-listed companies are included, the state has even higher share in ownership.
Motsvara's currency is the Motsvaran krona. The Motsvaran Statsbanken is currently focusing on price stability with an inflation target of 2%. Trade largely flows through neighboring countries such as Isolaprugna, Liberimery, New Velacruz and some colonial states like the Leidense Republic.
Financial deregulation in the 1980s impacted adversely on the property market, leading to a bubble and eventually a crash in the early 1990s. Commercial property prices fell by up to two thirds, resulting in two banks having to be taken over by the government. In the following two decades the property sector strengthened. By 2014, legislators, economists and the IMF were again warning of a bubble with residential property prices soaring and the level of personal mortgage debt expanding.
Motsvara's energy market is largely privatized. In 2006, out of a total electricity production of 139 TWh, electricity from hydropower accounted for 61 TWh (44%), and nuclear power delivered 65 TWh (47%). At the same time, the use of biofuels, peat etc. produced 13 TWh (9%) of electricity, while wind power produced 1 TWh (1%). Motsvara was a net importer of electricity by a margin of 6 TWh. Biomass is mainly used to produce heat for district heating and central heating and industry processes.
Historically, Motsvara relied on the use of coal and imported oil for energy production. In recent year, electricity has been generated mostly from hydropower and nuclear power. The use of nuclear power has been limited, however. Among other things, an accident at the Avlägs Island nuclear plant in southern Motsvara prompted the National Council to ban new nuclear plants. In June 2005, an opinion poll showed that 86% supported maintaining or increasing nuclear power. Politicians have made announcements about a complete oil and natural gas phase-out in Motsvara, decrease of nuclear power, and multibillion-dollar investments in renewable energy and energy efficiency. The country has for many years pursued a strategy of indirect taxation as an instrument of environmental policy, including energy taxes in general and carbon dioxide taxes in particular. Motsvara is now a net exporter of electricity by a margin of 16 TWh; the production from windpower mills had increased to 11.5 TWh.
Science and Technology
Since the 18th century, science and research has held a place in Motsvaran society. The early 1700s are generally considered the beginning of a Motsvaran scientific revolution. In 1749, the Motsvaran Academy of Sciences was founded, turning out many skilled researchers and inventors. Many of the companies founded by early pioneers still remain major brands within Motsvara and abroad. These brands include the Motsvarisk Gasaccumulator (MGA) and Karlsson Militärvapen companies, which exist today as prominent energy and arms supply companies respectively.
The traditional engineering industry is still a major source of Motsvaran inventions, but pharmaceuticals, electronics and other high-tech industries are gaining ground. A large portion of the Swedish economy is to this day based on the export of technical inventions, and many large multinational corporations from Sweden have their origins in the ingenuity of Swedish inventors. Combined, the public and the private sector in Motsvara allocate over 3.5% of GDP to research & development (R&D) per year. For several decades the Motsvaran government has prioritized scientific and R&D activities. As a percentage of GDP, the Motsvaran government spends one of the largest sums of money worldwide on research and development.
Taxes and Pensions
On average, 27% of taxpayer's money in Motsvara goes to education and healthcare, whereas 5% goes to the police and military, and 42% to social security.
The typical worker receives 40% of his or her labour costs after the tax wedge. Total tax collected by Motsvara as a percentage of its GDP peaked at 52.3% in 1990. The country faced a real estate and banking crisis in 1990–1991, and consequently passed tax reforms in 1991 to implement tax rate cuts and tax base broadening over time. Since 1990, taxes as a percentage of GDP collected by Motsvara have been dropping, with total tax rates for the highest income earners dropping the most. In 2010 45.8% of the country's GDP was collected as taxes.
Every Motsvaran resident receives a state pension. The Motsvaran Pensions Agency is responsible for pensions. People who have worked in Motsvara, but relocated to another country, can also receive the Motsvaran pension. There are several types of pensions in Motsvara: national retirement, occupational and private pensions. A person can receive a combination of the various types of pensions.
The total resident population of Motsvara was 29,312,963 on 30 November 2017. The vast majority of Motsvarans live in the cities of the south (with some major population centers in the north), especially in major cities such as Krova and Större. About 81% of the population lives in urban areas in southern Motsvaraa; 73% live less than 100 kilometres (62 mi) from the coastline. Other major cities include Helgvatn, Kjarra, Patreksfjoror, Nystad, Lucia, Noromoerr and Dyflinn.
Much of Upper Motsvara is dominated by large mountains, and thus the population in this region is much more sparse than that of the coastal Lower Motsvara. Similarly, the northwest is a cool, wide open expanse of plains that is mostly inhabited by farmers and rural populations. Population density is centered around the Halvera and Mittelve rivers, and the coast of the Sörsvann Bay holds the largest concentration of citizens in the entire nation.
A multitude of languages are used by Motsvarans, with Motsvaran and Navish (the official languages) being the mother tongues of around 71% and 23% of the population respectively. As of the 2017 census, approximately 6.7 million Motsvarans listed a non-official language as their native language. Some of the most common non-official first languages include Rigjordic, Lilledic, Midrasian, Gheiravic, Alemannian and Newreyan.
The Motsvaran federal government practices official bilingualism, which is applied by the Commissioner of Official Languages in consonance with Section 16 of the Motsvaran Linguistic Code. Motsvaran and Navish have equal status in federal courts, the National Council, and in all federal institutions. Citizens have the right, where there is sufficient demand, to receive federal government services in either Motsvaran or Navish and official-language minorities are guaranteed their own schools in all provinces and territories.
The 1984 Navish Language Act established Navish as the official language of the six Upper Motsvaran states. Although over 82% of Navish speakers live within these six states, there are significant populations of Navish speakers in Storfältland, Melvatten and Ostdelaren. Other states have no official languages as such, but Navish is used as a language of instruction, in courts, and for other government services, in addition to Motsvaran. There are 11 indigenous language groups, composed of more than 65 distinct languages and dialects, generally referred to in law by the collective name Indfødstale. Indfødstale languages have some official status in Storfältland and Lågland due to the majority of Indfødstale speaking citizens living in the northeast of Motsvara.
Motsvara is religiously diverse, encompassing a wide range of beliefs and customs. Motsvara has no official church, and the government is officially committed to religious pluralism. Freedom of religion is a constitutionally protected right, allowing individuals to assemble and worship without limitation or interference. The practice of religion is now generally considered a private matter throughout society and the state. With Alydianism in decline after having once been central and integral to Motsvaran culture and daily life, Motsvara has become a post-Alydian, secular state. The majority of Motsvarans consider religion to be unimportant in their daily lives, but still believe in a God. According to the 2013 census, 58.3% of Motsvarans identify as Alydianist; of these, Orthodox Alydianism make up the largest group, accounting for 98.7% of all Alydianists in Motsvara. The remainder is made up of Puritans, a slowly dying branch of Alydianism. 8.8% are affiliated with non-Alydian religions, the largest of which being Truathi. The remaining 34% of Motsvarans are irreligious, a mixture of atheist and agnostic beliefs.
Children aged 1–5 years old are guaranteed a place in a public kindergarten (Motsvaran: förskola or, colloquially, dagis). Between the ages of 6 and 16, children attend compulsory comprehensive school. In the standardized testing, Motsvaran 15-year-old pupils score close to the worldwide average. After completing the 9th grade, about 90% of the students continue with a three-year upper secondary school (gymnasium), which can lead to both a job qualification or entrance eligibility to university. The school system is largely financed by taxes.
The Motsvaran government treats public and independent schools equally by introducing education vouchers in 1991 as one of the earliest countries to do so. Anyone can establish a for-profit school and the municipality must pay new schools the same amount as municipal schools get. School lunch is free for all students in Motsvara, and providing breakfast is also encouraged. In 2000, 32% of Motsvaran people held a tertiary degree. The government also subsidizes tuition of international students pursuing a degree at Swedish institutions, although a recent bill passed in the National Council will limit this subsidy to students from Vestric Forum countries and some CDN member states.
The large influx of immigrants to Motsvaran schools has been cited as a significant part of the reason why Sweden has dropped more than most nations in worldwide standardized testing scores.
Immigration has been a major source of population growth and cultural change throughout much of the history of Motsvara, and in recent decades the country has been transformed from a nation of net emigration to a nation of net immigration. The economic, social, and political aspects of immigration have caused controversy regarding ethnicity, economic benefits, jobs for non-immigrants, settlement patterns, impact on upward social mobility, crime, and voting behaviour.
There are no exact numbers on the ethnic background of migrants and their descendants in Motsvara because the Motsvaran government does not base any statistics on ethnicity. This is, however, not to be confused with the migrants' national backgrounds, which are recorded. In 2018, there were 1,465,648 inhabitants of a foreign background (foreign-born and children of international migrants), comprising around 8.6% of the Motsvaran population. The number of people with at least one foreign parent was 3,224,425 which counts for 11.2% of the population. Immigrants in Motsvara are mostly concentrated in the urban areas of Melvatten and Storhalvöy. Since the early 1970s, immigration to Motsvara has been mostly due to refugee migration and family reunification from countries in the Sifhar region of Catai and Asura.
Figures from the 2013 Motsvaran Crime Survey (MCS) show that exposure to crime decreased from 2005 to 2013. Since 2014 there has been an increase in exposure to some categories of crimes, including fraud, some property crime and especially sexual offences (with a 70% increase since 2013) according to the 2016 MCS. Violence (both lethal and non-lethal) has been on a downward trend the last 25 years. The figures for fraud and property damage (excluding car theft) are in contrast with the numbers of reported crimes under such categories which have remained roughly constant over the period 2014-16. The number of reported sexual offences clearly reflect the figures in the 2016 MCS, and car related damages/theft are also somewhat reflected. The number of convictions up to 2013 has remained between 110,000 and 130,000 in the 2000s — a decrease since the 1970s, when they numbered around 300,000 — despite the population growth. Consistent with other Western countries in the postwar era, the number of reported crimes has increased when measured from the 1950s; which can be explained by a number of factors, such as immigration, statistical and legislative changes and increased public willingness to report crime.
Motsvara's culture draws influences from its broad range of constituent nationalities, and policies that promote a "just society" are constitutionally protected. Motsvara has placed emphasis on equality and inclusiveness for all its people. Multiculturalism is often cited as one of Motsvara's significant accomplishments, and a key distinguishing element of Motsvaran identity. In Upper Motsvara, cultural identity defines daily life, and many commentators speak of a Navish culture that is distinct from the Motsvaran culture of the south. Similarly, the Indfødstale people have a distinct identity and culture from the Asuran majority, and their ancient practices are still performed in the modern day.
Motsvara's approach to governance emphasizing multiculturalism, which is based on selective immigration, social integration, and suppression of far-right politics, has wide public support. Government policies such as publicly funded health care, higher taxation to redistribute wealth, the outlawing of capital punishment, strong efforts to eliminate poverty, strict gun control, the legalization of same-sex marriage, pregnancy termination, euthanasia and cannabis are further social indicators of Motsvara's political and cultural values.
Motsvara's national symbols are influenced by natural, historical, and indigenous sources. The use of a bear as the symbol of the nation (as depicted on the coat of arms) dates back to the early provinces of Motsvara in the 18th century. The Coat of Arms of Motsvara is modeled after the original colonial era arms, with the addition of the Motsvaran crown to symbolize the monarchy. The flag of Motsvara follows the Lhedwinic tricolor format used by the mainland Lhedwinic nations. Motsvara is notable for continuing to use this flag, while other former Lhedwinic colonies have attempted to distance themselves from their colonizers.
The Himlenshärd is also an important symbol, depicted as a white point on the Coat of Arms. The great mountain has not only dominated indigenous life and beliefs, but also marks geographical the divide between the two Motsvaran cultures. Indigenous symbols have been used in Indfødstale communities as a form of nationalism. The colors of red and black feature heavily in Indfødstale symbolism, as do symbols of a wolf's paw, a cluster of arrows, prayer rods, eagles' feathers and hunting bows.
Historical re-creations of old Lhedwinic music have been popular through the ages like in other Lhedwinic nations. The instruments used were the lur (a sort of trumpet), simple string instruments, wooden flutes and drums. Indfødstale folk music is also popular throughout the northwest. These native songs are usually centered around native religion, and are meant to be performed at small traditional gatherings. Native dancing features in these gatherings, usually guided by a gathering leader. Instruments used include rattles, drums, flutes, and other percussive instruments.
Patriotic music in Motsvara dates back over 200 years as a distinct category from Lhedwinic patriotism, preceding the first legal steps to independence by over 50 years. An early form of Glorious Motsvara, now the national anthem, was written in 1817. Popular genres of music in the modern day include pop, rock and roll, metal and, most notably, jazz. Motsvara has a rather lively jazz scene. During the last sixty years or so it has attained a remarkably high artistic standard, stimulated by domestic as well as external influences and experiences.
Motsvaran literature is often divided into Navish- and Motsvaran-language literatures, which are rooted in the literary traditions of Navack and, on a much smaller scale, Ardaima. There are four major themes that can be found within historical Motsvaran literature; nature, frontier life, Motsvara's position within the world, all three of which tie into the garrison mentality. Motsvara's ethnic and cultural diversity are reflected in its literature, with many of its most prominent modern writers focusing on ethnic life. Numerous Motsvaran authors have accumulated international literary awards; including history writer Klas Hansson, and children's writer Dania Löfgren.
The roots of organized sports in Motsvara date back to the 1770s. The official national sport and most popular game in Motsvara is football, or soccer. Golf, soccer, baseball, tennis, skiing, badminton, volleyball, cycling, swimming, bowling, canoeing, hockey, equestrian and the study of martial arts are widely enjoyed at the youth and amateur levels.