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Commonwealth of New Estmere
The First State (official)
First in Freedom; Cradle of Liberty
"Venimus, Vidimus, Prosperatur Nobis"
We came, we saw, we prospered
|Colony of New Estmere
(and largest city)
|February 14, 1773 (1st)
|Marci Shaw (NPC-ND)
|• Deputy Governor
|Noah White (NPC-D)
|New Estmere General Assembly
|• Federal councillors
|• Federal representatives
|245,195.34 km2 (94,670.45 sq mi)
|42.65/km2 (110.5/sq mi)
|ISO 3166 code
New Estmere, known officially as the Commonwealth of New Estmere and unofficially as "NE" or "New Est", is a state in northwestern Rizealand that is bordered by Cassier to the north, Charlotte to the northeast, Lothicania to the southeast, and the Vehemens Ocean to the south and west. New Estmere also completely surrounds the Onnohou Nation which is a landlocked entity. New Estmere has a total area of 245,195.34 square kilometers, making it the fourth largest state and political division of Rizealand. New Estmere also has a population of 10,456,900, making it the second largest state and political entity, just behind Lothicania. New Estmere's capital and largest city is Portmouth. It is also home to several other large cities including Belltown, Damesbridge, and Prudence.
Located in the northwest, New Estmere was known for its large and temperate timber forests which have since been greatly reduced due to deforestation and long periods of overlogging. New Estmere also has three large natural harbors, two mountain ranges, and is drained by the Warwick River. Its advantageous position and access to trade routes on the Vehemens Ocean have made it one of the wealthiest and most prosperous states throughout Rizealand's history, often competing with Lothicania. In addition to being one the largest and most prosperous states, New Estmere is often nicknamed the "First State" as it was the first of the United Colonies to rebel against Gaullica and the first state to join the Federation of Rizealand.
Before Euclean contact, New Estmere was inhabited by indigenous people belonging to the Onnohou and, to a lesser extent, the Winadot. After the discovery of Asteria Superior by Assim Asteris, settlers from Estmere established the Colony of New Estmere in 1578 and founded Portmouth in 1586. The colonists in New Estmere aggressively expanded into the interior of Rizealand, often fighting wars with or subjugating indigenous peoples who resisted, and Portmouth became a major seaport connecting Estmere's colonies to its imperial trade network. In 1721, New Estemere fell under the authority of Gaullica. The reduction of local autonomy, imposition of timber quotas, dominance of Catholicism, and the formation of the Province of Charlotte out of New Estmere's eastern territory sparked an independence movement that culminated in the Asterian War of Secession. John Astor first attempted to lead an unsuccessful rebellion in Portmouth before independence was officially declared on May 19, 1764 by James Chancellor. New Estmere joined the United Colonies and after independence from Gaullica was obtained, New Estmere became the first state to join the Federation of Rizealand when it ratified the Articles of Federation on February 14, 1773. In 1781, New Estmere was the location of the first indigenous reservation when the Central Assembly set aside land in the center of the state for the Onnohou, as reward for their support of the rebelling colonies during the Asterian War of Secession.
Since independence and joining the federation, New Estmere was split between agricultural and commercial interests, with wealthy merchants who ran the ports often competing with the farmers and agriculturists in the interior. While Lothicania was very urban and Fáel was a rural agricultural and mining state, the mixed economy of New Estmere led to it being a political swing state whose support would often oscillate between the more liberal and cosmopolitan interests of Lothicania and the more conservative and agrarian interests of Fáel. During the 19th century however, New Estmere began to shift towards a more industrial economy with paper mills and factories replacing farms. With the shift came an increase in urbanization and by the early 20th century, New Estmere was the industrial and manufacturing engine of the Federation. By the mid to late 20th century, there was a steady shift away from industrialization in favor of technological innovation, fueled by strong educational system in the state that was concentrated in Portmouth, Belltown, and Damesbridge. The confluence of top notch educational institutions and a developed industrial sector led to the greater Portmouth area becoming an a hub for technological innovation known colloquially as Innovalley. In modern times, the cities, educational institutions, and research facilities of New Estmere are considered leaders in advanced scientific research, ranging from computer science to medical science to engineering to environmental science.
The Colony of New Estmere was named after Estmere, whose settlers founded it as one of the first colonies in Rizealand. Even after being captured by Gaullica, colonists still continued to refer to the region as "New Estmere." When the Colony of New Estmere declared its independence leading to the Asterian War of Secession in 1764, it became a commonwealth and kept the name "New Estmere."
New Estmere is located in northwestern Rizealand and has a total area of 245,195.34 square kilometers, making it the fourth largest state and political division of Rizealand. The highest point in New Estmere is Rutgers Peak in the Clarbagne Mountains at 4,549 meters above sea level. The lowest point is the Vehemens Ocean at 0 meters above sea level. Located on the west coast of Rizealand, New Estmere has the longest coastline out of any other state. New Estmere has four large natural harbors along its coast. The largest harbor is Portmouth Harbor in Flurland County, which is accessed by Portmouth and its greater urban area, the largest in New Estmere. Other large natural harbors include Prudence Harbor (which is accessed by Prudence), Grey Harbor (which is accessed by Belltown), and Hunt Harbor (which is accessed by Storeybrooke).
The Warwick River runs through southern New Estmere, emptying into Portmouth Harbor. One of the largest rivers in Rizealand, it forms the Warwick River Valley which includes much of the southern half of the state. The Rockford River runs through the center of the state and empties into the Warwick River. The Warwick River also has two other tributaries including the Kirkland River, which runs through the southeastern corner of the state, and the Cheratoga River, which serves as the eastern boundary between New Estmere and Charlotte. Three other rivers run through the northwestern corner of the state and empty into the Vehemens Ocean, including the Prudence River which empties into Prudence Harbor, the Kattarack River which empties into Grey Harbor, and the Darby River which empties into Hunt Harbor.
There are two mountain ranges located in New Estmere. The largest one is the Clarbagne Mountains which are located in the northeast corner of the state, straddling the borders of Cassier and Charlotte. Part of a large mountain range than extends north into Cassier, the Clarbagne Mountains are home to Rutgers Peak which is the highest point in New Estmere and serve as the origin for the Cheratoga and Warwick rivers. The Monkhill Mountains are a chain of smaller mountains located in the western half of the state, serving as the origin for the Kattarack, Prudence, and Rockford rivers. The Monkhills also cast a rain shadow over the Rockford River Valley, making it drier than the rest of the state.
Historically, New Estmere was covered by temperate coniferous forest but today, temperate coniferous forest biomes only exist in the parks and preserves scattered throughout the state. The Clarbagne Mountains in the northeast corner of the state are covered in boreal forests. In higher elevation forests like around the Clarbagne Mountains, there are different varieties of fir trees, larch, spruce, and hemlock. At lower elevations where forests are still standing, there are different varieties of alder, birch, hackberry, dogwood, juniper, oak, ash, maple, and willow. Other plants growing in New Estmere include various ferns, elderberries, cranberries, cluster lilies, common camash, ookow, valley lilies, grass lilies, wild hyacinth, deer foot, wild grapes, bearberry, rhododendron, mock oranges, trout lilies, peonies, and beardtongue.
New Estmere has many species of birds including Asterian robins, chestnut-backed chickadees, New World sparrows, jays, juncos, and eagles. In forest areas, there are also wapiti, shrew moles, pikas, snow rabbits, red squirrels, gray squirrels, and marmots. Some species like robins, sparrows, rabbits, and squirrels also have adapted to live in urban areas of the state as well. Some species that are rare or endangered in New Estmere, though once widespread, include brown bears and Asterian beavers. Reptiles and amphibians located throughout New Estmere include horned lizard, spiny lizard, side-blotched lizard, skink, alligator lizard, kingsnake, common garter snake, bull snake, racer snakes, ring-necked snake, sharp-tailed snake, rubber boa, painted turtle, pond slider, pond turtle, salamander, newt, bullfrog, Clarbagne mountain frog, northwest spotted frog, green frog, northern spotted frog, northwest tree frog, northern red-legged frog, spadefoot, western toad, and wood toad.
In freshwater lakes and rivers throughout the state, there are cutthroat trout and rainbow trout. New Estmere also has a variety of anadromous fish including pink haddo, silver haddo, king haddo, red haddo, and coastal cutthroat trout. Off the coast of New Estmere in the Vehemens Ocean or in coastal marine habitats, there are orcas, dolphins, seals, sea otters, gray whales, humpback whales, crabs, clams, mussels, oysters, moon snails, geoduck, and a variety of seagulls.
Most of New Estmere is dominated by a marine climate due to its location on the western coast of Rizealand. The west and south coastal areas see moderately dry summers with precipitation ranging from 3 to 2 inches a month and highs ranging from 64°F to 75°F. Winters in the west and south coastal areas are wetter with precipitation ranging from 7 to 9 inches a month and highs between 44°F and 51°F. The interior of the state around the Rockford River Valley sees slightly less precipitation due to the Monkhill Mountains acting like a rain shadow, with precipitation falling to as low as an 1 inch per month during the summer and 3 to 4 inches per month during the winter. The Rockford River Valley also has slightly more extreme weather than the coast, with summer highs of 67°F to 91°F and winter highs of 35°F to 45°F.
The Clarbagne Mountains have a colder boreal climate, due to their location away from the coast in the northeastern corner of New Estemere and their high elevation. During the summer, the Clarbagne Mountains receive 1 to 2 inches of precipitation a month with high temperatures of 48°F to 59°F. During the winter months, the mountains receive between 5 to 11 inches of precipitation a month with high temperatures of 14°F to 23°F. On average, the west and south coasts receive between 15 and 5 inches of snow a year, with less snow along the southern coast and more snow on the northwestern coast. The Rockford River Valley sees an average of 33 inches of snow a year and the Clarbagne Mountains receive the most snow in the state, averaging at 300 to 500 inches of snow a year. Coastal New Estmere can be subjected to extratropical cyclones from the west which can range from minor to severe. Other natural hazards include flooding along major rivers like the Warwick, wildfires in the forested areas of the state, avalanches, and landslides.
New Estmere has significant problems with deforestation as overlogging for commercial purposes and clearing of trees for farmlands have greatly reduced the number of forests in the state, compared to when it was first settled in the 1600s. The loss of habitat has caused a reduction in the populations of bear, deer, and other forest animals. New Estmere also has significant water pollution in its major rivers as a result of the contamination from farms, industrial areas, and urban centers. The major urban areas of New Estmere also have trouble with air pollution, especially around Portmouth, but pollution levels are lower than other Rizealander cities of comparable size. New Estmere is both the target of federal and state regulation aimed at reducing pollution and advanced public transport options within New Estmere's major urban areas have helped in reducing some of the air pollution. The federal and state governments also limit modern timber harvesting operations and have designated protected areas to start restoring forestland.
Below are a list of state preserves and reserves maintained by the government of New Estmere.
- John Astor State Forest Reserve
- Matterhorn State Forest Reserve
- Monkhill State Forest Reserve
- Navagesset State Forest Reserve
- Resolution Point State Forest Reserve
- Rockford State Forest Reserve
- West Clarbagne State Preserve
Government and politics
The government of New Estmere is established and organized according to the Constitution of New Estmere, which is the oldest constitution in Rizealand and one of the inspirations for the Articles of Federation. Because New Estmere is a constituent state of Rizealand, the powers of its government are subject to certain limits by the Articles including the requirement of a democratic form of government and prohibitions on forming alliances with foreign governments, declaring war, raising or maintaining armies, establishing forms of currency, and placing unlawful restraints on interstate and international trade. In addition to constitutional restraints on state power, the Articles also allow the Central Assembly to enact legislation that can supersede state laws when involving national security, interstate commerce, foreign affairs, immigration, and the public's welfare. Like the federal government of Rizealand, the government of New Estmere is divided into three branches of government.
The legislative branch consists of a unicameral General Assembly. The General Assembly's 230 seats are filled through closed party list proportional representation elections held every five years. As the state legislature, the General Assembly is responsible for enacting legislation and can do so with a simple majority, although a majority of three-fourths is required to override the veto of the Governor or enact super laws. The General Assembly is also responsible for approving the Governor's executive and judicial nominations and has the power to remove government officials from office.
The executive branch is headed by the following constitutional officers elected in statewide two-round direct elections at the same time as the General Assembly for five-year terms, with a two-term limit.
- The Governor is the head of state and government responsible for signing legislation into law, nominating executive agency heads and judges, and enforcing the laws of the state.
- The Deputy Governor assists the Governor in carrying out her duties and becomes governor if the office falls vacant.
- The Attorney General is responsible for providing legal advice to the state government, representing the state government in court, overseeing all criminal prosecutions, and nominating the Inspector General of the CIS.
- The Commonwealth Treasurer is responsible for collecting taxes, managing the New Estmere Lottery, and regulating controlled substances and alcohol.
- The Commonwealth Auditor is responsible for auditing government finances and accounts.
The judicial branch consists of the High Court, Appeals Court, and the circuit courts, which are divided into civil divisions, criminal divisions, land divisions, housing divisions, juvenile divisions, probate divisions, and family divisions. There are also local courts which are handle small civil or misdemeanor cases within a specific administrative division. The justices of the High Court, judges of the Appeals Court, and judges of the circuit courts are nominated by the Governor and appointed by the General Assembly for lifetime terms. Magistrates of the local courts are nominated by the governing body of their administrative division and appointed by the General Assembly for lifetime terms.
There are also independent agencies and commissions established by state super laws that do not neatly fit into any branch of government, as they often enforce state laws (executive), issue rules and regulations (legislative), and adjudicate cases or claims (judicial). While their agency heads or commission members are usually nominated or appointed by constitutional officers like the Governor, they can only be removed from office through impeachment and removal by the General Assembly.
New Estmere has a common law legal system with some Estmerish influences. In addition to the protections of the Articles of Federation, the New Estmere Constitution also establishes additional protections and gives citizens the right to recall state government officials, refer legislation to a referendum vote, enact legislation via an initiative vote, and approve amendments to the state constitution.