Anthem: Air of Curvilinear Clouds (慶雲歌)
|Recognised regional languages||Dayashinese|
• Current dynasty
|2,899,659.06 km2 (1,119,564.62 sq mi)|
• Water (%)
• 2019 estimate
• 2014 census
|10/km2 (25.9/sq mi)|
|GDP (PPP)||2017 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2015 estimate|
• Per capita
|Currency||Auric catty (鎰, ′jik) (€)|
|Time zone||UTC+4 – +6 (West, East, Remote East)|
• Summer (DST)
|Date format||mm-dd-yyyy (Gregorian)|
Themiclesia is a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy situated on the east side of the Halu'an Sea. It borders Nukkumaa to the north, Polvokia to the northeast, Dzhungestan to the east, and Maverica to the south. It is typically received as stable, well-off, mid-sized country in Septentrion, rich in history and culture, which links it primarily to Menghe, though elements of other cultures are also represented. Themiclesia is internationally noted for its technological advancement and moderate foreign policy, though it is an active member state in multiple international organizations.
- 1 Name
- 2 History
- 3 Geography and Administration
- 4 Government
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Culture
- 8 Foreign Relations
- 9 Armed forces
- 10 Notes and references
- 11 See also
The country's official English name, "Themiclesia", is far removed from its etymological origin. Themiclesia was under the rule of the Tsjinh Dynasty in the 300s, when Maverican merchants started to use Shinasthana as a portmanteau of Tsjinh + -sthana (locative suffix); more than a thousand years later, Shinasthana was borrowed into Rajian as Thimestheni, when either clerical error or arbitrary phonetic Sylvanization, or a combination of both, resulted in its reading as Themiclesia in central Casaterra. As eastern and northern Casaterran nations were not influenced by this change, their names for Themiclesia remain Thimestheni.
Themiclesia originally existed without a permanent name attached to the nationality but adopted a new name as each dynasty came and went. Since the arrival of the Meng in 543, however, the name 中朝 (trjung-n′rjaw), "Restored Dynasty" came into general use as Themiclesia developed an identity disparate from that of Menghe, which was then governed by a series of nomadic rulers, whom the Mengs (and their successors) regarded as illegitimate. Meanwhile, to emphasize its legitimacy, they applied names that originally referred to Menghe to Themiclesia, such as 夏 (gra′), "Cultured Nation", and 中華 (trjung-ghrwa), "Restored Illustrious Nation". On the other hand, the exonym Shinasthana was reborrowed during the 7th c., as 震旦 (tjerh-tanh), two characters simulating the Maverican pronunciation but devoid of meaning. This name found more use in geographical and international contexts, while those stipulating political legitimacy were used in political contexts.
By the 14th century, tjerh-tanh had overtaken the use of trjung-n′rjaw as a political name for Themiclesia, whose government gradually became less entrenched in the doctrine that it derived governing legitimacy as the inheritor of Menghean imperial legacy. Part of this detachment stemmed from the inevitable recognition of the Menghean state as a legitimate country in its own right, in order to establish diplomatic relationship with it; naturally, the name trjung-ntrjaw, which explicitly denigrates Menghe, cannot be used in a diplomatic setting. Nevertheless, the term still retains some use in state ceremonies.
Themiclesia possesses a long tradition of written history, translated from its Menghean origins. A general survey of Themiclesian history typically relies upon official histories and anthologies, books by private authors, and non-academic records left by contemporaries. Traditionally, history is almost exclusively focused on the post-settlement part of history and the history of Menghe (which Themiclesia identified with), but a growing portion of studies incorporate archaeological evidence for prehistoric societies that inhabited the country.
The cultural group that forms the majority of the Themiclesian populace came from the Menggok culture, which was based in and gives its name to Menghe. Meng people settled in Themiclesia starting from the 8th c. BCE, first in pursuit of the region's lapis lazuli ores, prized by Meng nobility. It is not clear when the earliest Meng settlements actually appeared, though their development was undoubtedly slow, given the sparseness of material remains. Some scholars have argued that the first Meng settlements dates to the 11th c. BCE, though such views are founded on controversial intepretation of archaeological evidence and have met little support from other scholars in the field. The earliest remains that firmly demonstrate Meng affinity is a dagger-axe that dates to the late 8th or early 7th c. BCE, and it is usually interpreted as an import from Menghe. Evidence for bronzeworking, which scholars take as a reliable indicator of Meng settlement, appears in the 5th century.
The earliest Meng settlers lived in clans and left behind little more than oracular and inscriptional records of their elaborate cultic activities, from which only genealogies could be reconstructed, but historical writings emerged around the turn of the 3rd century BCE, which paint a picture of dozens, if not hundreds, of polities engaged through marriage, diplomacy, and warfare. Many texts describe these polities as city-states and point out similarities with those in the Kyraian sense, including the presence of clans as social and political sub-units of the state. The period is principally known from a 4th-century, summative work called the Springs and Autumns of the Six States (六邦春秋, rjuk-prong-t′jur-skw′je), which integrates annals maintained by six of the major states to chronologize interactions and other events. Polities conquered or subjugated each other, until those six major states mentioned in the work emerged.
State power increased during the Hexarchy, at the expense of parriarchal power. All six states experimented with redistributions of power between clans and bureaucracies. Some created hybrid governments, like the Tsjinh, whose unity is commonly attributed to moderate policies, and others, like Kem, sought to concentrate power absolutely. While Kem became a very powerful state, funding a standing army of ten thousand, it was also isolated and opposed by the other states through alliances, whose elites feared loss of power and wealth should its political system spread. Kem's reforms have shown a great degree of Menghean influence and remained active as a major school of thought even after its defeat.
In the 1st c. CE, Kem expanded to its maximal extent but was defeated by a coalition of four states in 51, practicing fabian tactics that stretched Kem's supply trains beyond their reach. Tsjinh was the chief beneficiary as Kem settlements and clans defected, with their lands and population, to it. The state welcomed the fealty of clan leaders and nobles, recognizing their autonomy for commercial freedom and troops. Some scholars believe the Tsjinh sought hegemony through economic volume, though this is not universally recognized. By 200, Tsjinh controlled half of Themiclesia-proper and led a four-state alliance, stirring up fear about Kem's intentions. It infiltrated the other courts with allies and married princesses to their courtiers.
Ultimately, Kem's fall came not from military weakness against a massive, hostile alliance, as its leaders feared, but geography. It needed tin from Sjin for its forges, but Tsjinh imported tin to improve irrigation, which made itself more productive and able to outbid Kem's offers in Sjin's markets. In 231, King Gawh of Kem reversed policy and sought to open new farmland to the north and east to compete with Tsjinh, but it did not progress quickly enough to erode their relative power. Instead, it provoked the aboriginal societies hunting and trapping there, who were traditional allies with Kem. Ensuing warfare required a navy, which further taxed dwindling mineral supplies. In 256, Kem capitulated to Tsjinh, resulting in the Treaty of Five Kings, which formally established the Tsjinh king as hegemon over all five states.
Ancient sources provide that the cultures of the states differed from each other. This is generally borne out by archaeological evidence.
Tsjinh (266 – 421)
The Treaty of Five Kings was described in historical canon as the starting point of a dynasty that governed all Themiclesia, though this characterization shows heavy influence from Menghean historiography introduced in the 6th century. Diplomatically, the hegemonic system persisted through the 3rd century, the Tsjinh ruler requiring an annual meeting between kings where they endorse his position as hegemon. State borders were disarmed, and internal tariffs were reduced, but each state retained its government and forces. The Tsjinh hegemony was otherwise hardly perceptible.
Domestically, the Tsjinh state remained a patchwork of directly-governed (the demesne) and alienated land held by aristocrats; the demesne expanded primarily by colonizing new territory. A landless peerage was set up to combine the perceived virtues of aristocracy and bureaucracy; it granted a share of state revenue to bureaucrats, who would then have an interest in the state's stability and prosperity. Royal cadets also periodically received titles to settlements, though their fiefdoms usually smaller than non-royal ones, to protect the demense against alienation as much as possible.
While a meritocratic bureaucracy is said to have flourished under the Tsjinh, public access was restricted. Recruitment and promotion valued administrative effectiveness, but since were no public schools that spread literacy or taught aspiring bureaucrats, the requisite knowledge was passed from generation to generation. By the 3rd century, families holding bureaucratic positions also became dynastic, obtaining vast tracts of land and hosting hundreds or even thousands of tenants and clients. The gentry class that later dominated Themiclesian politics begun in the Hexarchy but flourished under the hegemonic system. Ambitious commoners often started their careers as clients and earned their lord's recommendation.
In 317, King K.r′ang of Tsjinh (晉康王) sought to stem the increasing noocratic power, which was customarily nepotistic. Conceding that there was no way to break the monopoly on knowledge, he decided to systematize bureaucratic recruitment by asking the gentry of each prefecture to assemble and rank, by consensus, local candidates from First to Ninth Class. The recruit's future career depended on his showing here. An officer represented the crown and dissuaded bribery and intimidation. Each house granted a voice, the policy redistributed the inlfuence from more powerful houses to less powerful ones, making the crown popular in the meantime and limiting the most powerful of houses. Though a political device, it proved one of the most resilient institutions and gave rise to the House of Commons, fifteen centuries after initial implementation.
Pre-modern historians generally write of the Tsjinh period as one of great achievement, stability, and a political model for later dynasties. Even under the imperial order, dynasties paid lip service to the Tsjinh's hegemonic political order, symbolically erecting the palatine states as successors to the four states that politically dissolved in the 5th century and maintaining a peerage that was far less influential than it was under the Tsjinh. Some have criticized this image as romantic and assert that social mobility during the Tsjinh was extremely poor, and a commoner, even one educated, faced insuperable barriers in seeking office.
The Sungh (宋) dynasty replaced the Tsjinh though a bloodless coup in 420. The causes of this coup are not well-understood, though infighting amongst princes of the blood (諸子) has marred the throne's prestige in the late 4th century.
The Rjang replaced the Sungh in 492 through a coup led by King Ngjon (梁元王), whose reign lasted nearly the entire dynasty. King Ngjon pursued military dominance across the palatine states, which were commanded to disband their forces. While the princes were willing to comply, their barons on the peripheries opposed the change. They conspired with each other, citing the Treaty of Five Kings, and pressured their princes to rebel in 497. King Ngjon anticipated this and went on the offensive, promising his barons were the rebelling barons' lands. Rather than allowing the barons' troops to lead his campaign, he interspersed them amongst peasant levies, which initially resulted in considerable gains. However, a defeat in 499 diminished those gains and opened the diplomatic phase of the war.
After a victory in early 500, he offered baronial leaders positions at his court and increases in their fiefs.
Being the first dynasty to bear the imperial title in Themiclesia, the Meng (domestically, mrangh) court encountered an unprecedented need to assert itself as a legitimate continuation of the Meng Dynasty of Menghe. This dogma was to define the Meng court and shape many of its policies. Immediately after the abdication of the Rjang monarchy, Emperor Ngjon, who fled to Themiclesia after his home state Chollǒ fell, began reforming the Themiclesia to support his rule, with mixed results. In his construction projects, the court support him, but in concentrating more power in the throne, the court resisted. The Chollǒ aristocracy that arrived with him possessed few resources to fortify him and were more interested in re-establishing their economic position locally. Moreover, in Chollǒ, they were accustomed to a nominal ruler and did not desire to see change. To Emperor Ngjon's chagrin, they and the Themiclesian aristocracy entered a stable relatioship and jointly dominated government.
Under the traditional paradigm, shared by the Themiclesian and Chollǒ aristocracy, a dynasty that enjoyed the mandate of heaven should see tribute from other states. In Ngjon's reign, under pressure to prove his legitimacy, his sent emissaries with gifts to natives in Columbia with promises of more largess if they appeared in Kien-k'ang with a token tribute. While Ngjon never meant this as a permanent measure, aristocrats' reluctance to use military power confined the dynasty's future rulers to this measure. As the number of tributary states rose, expenses mounted. In the 8th century, these expenses sometimes amounted to 30% of annual outlays.
The Dzi Dynasty was established by Tong Kruh-ljoi (董鋯陲) after a struggle for power against the final Mrangh emperor, Kjung (孟恭帝). In the respect of foreign policy, Dzi pursued expansionism and involved the state in intermittent warfare. Domestically, its politics was generally divided along the lines of the aristocracy (士族) and the commoners (庶族). The "commoners" refers to aristocratic but new clans that have risen to prominence during the second half of Meng rule. A smaller faction sometimes surrounded the Emperor, that did not belong to either group. Conflict between these two groups and the Emperor's struggle for power, defined the Dzi court.
While the Meng emperor protected his position by strategically appointing aristocrats, often creating debate and inviting input from the throne, the Dzi emperor sometimes circumvented his court in financial and military affairs. Organizationally, this translated to an expansion of the Inner Court.
One key development is the institution of the Themiclesian Navy, incorporated from the merchant marine that existed under the Mrangh, then having some diplomatic functions. The navy, unlike the army, was not funded by the public moneys, which were firmly under aristocratic control, but by the privy purse. Equally, revenues from the Navy flowed into it too. Additionally, since the Navy posed no threat to the land-based aristocracy, they generally did not interfere with its operation, allowing the emperor to field them according to his whims. Under Emperor M′jin (齊昏帝), the Navy was able to subjugate the Arokwa and Minuaka nations of Columbia and force them to do homage, as a second fork of the prime minister Gwjang Tjep's (王執) expedition to the continent.
Geography and Administration
The Themiclesian political system is a modified Hadaway-style government. There is no codified constitution.
The executive branch is the Government. As a whole, it is politically responsible to Parliament and ceremonially to the crown. Because the House of Commons is the dominant house in modern practice, the Government must be able to maintain a working majority in this house to remain in power; the same is not as true of the House of Lords, without a majority wherein the Government may still govern. The Government consists of about 100 ministers, whose tenures in office is wholly dependent on its ability to maintain the confidence of Parliament. It is responsible for enforcing laws and issuing ordinances that are required by primary legislation.
The Cabinet, or domestically Council of Correspondence, is a committee of the most senior members of the Government. While there are subordinate ministers within the Government, the Cabinet is a council of peers. Procedurally, any Cabinet minister may put forth a proposal to make Cabinet resolutions, which are binding upon the entire Government, but all members of the Cabinet must assent to give it effect. The prime minister holds slightly more influence than his colleagues. Without a department of his own, the PM oversees interdepartmental policy, granting him more weight in general discussions; over a specific policy area, the responsible minister is expected to be dominant. If a lone minister cannot assent to a policy, he is expected to resign. If he is the responsible minister over the disputed policy, he has the option of asking his colleages to re-start discussions or to wait for further information; this option cannot be abused. If the Cabinet cannot come to an agreement internally or with Parliament, the Government also resigns by custom. Such a situation is infrequent, as most governments are composed of like-minded individuals.
House of Commons
The House of Commons, or Council of Protonotaries, are elected by the people and represents their will in the political process. Because of the principle of democratic government, it is the source of political legitimacy and the chamber to which the executive is most frequently held responsible. The modern Commons, having taken shape of a legislative chamber in 1801, consists of 210 members directly elected by the first-past-the-post method in single-member constituencies. Both candidate and elector must be above the age of 18, of sound mind, not an undischarged bankrupt, and not a member of the armed forces. Currently, scholars of politics describe Themiclesia to have, primarily, a two-party system.
House of Lords
The modern House of Lords forms, together with the House of Commons, the Parliament of Themiclesia. The House of Lords consists of the peers of Themiclesia. Members are nominated by the Prime Minister and appointed by the Emperor; when a member dies, the seat is inherited by his or her heir as part of the title. Since the House of Lords is not democratically elected, it is by convention less powerful than the House of Commons. The Government may continue to govern without its confidence because it does not have power to reject spending bills. Since the end of the Pan-Septentrion War, the upper house has never rejected a bill, but it retains the function of debating measures passed by the Commons. Since it is not elected, some believe its views are less politically-motivated and may reveal shortcomings in the Commons' decisions to the public.
The Themiclesian economy is founded primarily on the service industry, which accounts for over 64% of its national product; main services in which Themiclesia has a noted position internationally are those of finance, education, technology, business consultancy, and insurance. Nevertheless, the nation is still involved in agriculture and industry, but has focused, after the Pan-Septentrion War, on high value-added or specialized goods.
For most of its history, Themiclesia's economy was one of subsistence agriculture. Most dynasties openly promoted this form of production, sometimes even at the expense of suppressing commerce, as it fostered social stability and order by securing peasants to their land; this was further supported by land policies that protected a minimum allotment of arable land to each male and female subject. By the early 20th Century, high production costs meant it competed poorly with the industrialized agricultural market. Failing prices in agricultural goods forced many peasants to migrate towards the city, causing much unrest and tension, and also industrial wages to drop precipitously. In 1932, the government introduced a program to lease machinery to the peasantry, but it hardly made a dent until after the war. The traditional fishing industry also suffered a similar collapse, until an injection of funding in 1952 to modernize and revive it.
Modern agricultural in Themiclesia produces only a handful of cash crops, namely rice, wheat, and millet. The temperate climate of Themiclesia's heartland supports growing a wide variety of high-value cash crops, such as exotic fruits, premium vegetables, flowers, and spices. Themiclesia has a large fleet of fishing boats that utilize trawling nets to harvest the rich seafood that was previously inaccessible to manual divers and thus untapped. Further from coast, the natural current of the Halu'an Sea brings tuna and several other commercially viable species close enough to the coast that fishers do not need to brave the high ocean tides. Themiclesia's many long and peaceful rivers is also the reproductive habitat of salmon and herring. Inland lakes have sections closed off for the purpose of fisheries that produce halibut and sole, species suited to intensive farming.
Agricultural and rural tourism is now a hot topic and booming industry in Themiclesia. Service providers establish hotels and lodges in farming communities and provide the opportunity for tourists to acquire in-depth and hands-on knowledge of traditional agriculture; revenues from this industry is shared in co-operatives with the local community for perpetual development.
Mining and Industry
Themiclesia is particularly well-endowed in terms of mineral deposits that command value on the international market. Themiclesia, being home to an ancient civilization, has cultivated the use of copper, tin, iron, silver, and gold several millennia ago. With the introduction of modern technology, previously exhausted mines are being re-developed; many investors value them higher than new mines, as existing shafts and tunnels could be re-used, drastically reducing the costs of initiating operations. Of these, copper and tin are the most intensively mined metals in this country. While Themiclesia may be one of the first users of a blast furnace, which creates cast iron, a key component of steel, this has never developed into a steel industry in Themiclesia. This also largely applies to coal.
There are large uranium deposits in Themiclesia, located to the northeast of the nation.
Service, IT, and Finance
Income and Income Distribution
Themiclesia produces roughly OS$1.86 trillion worth of value annually at the previous statistics announcement, for fiscal year 2018. Spread across the nation's population of 40.4 million, each citizen produces accordingly $46,000 of value; this is next to the Organized States of Columbia and (recently) Dayashina-proper. Income is distributed fairly equitably, with a Gini Coefficient of under 30.
The average age of Themiclesians is 40, and this figure is set to increase on any ten-year outlook. The government is concerned if this trend is not corrected in the long term, but income shows a stronger correlation with age in Themiclesia than in other countries, as older people tend to be better-paid, which explains the relatively high retirement age in Themiclesia. The average retirement age in Themiclesia is 67.2 years.
Themiclesia is highly urbanized; over 80% of its population resides in urban areas. The most populous city is the capital city of Kien-k'ang, with a population of 2.65 million; counting the metropolitan area around it, around 8 million or 1/5 of the nation's population live close to the capital city. The second and third most populous are Ghwap-bo and Kwang-tshiu, each with 8 and 6 pepole residing in their respective metropolitan areas. There are 12 cities in Themiclesia with a population greater than 1 million.
The official written language of Themiclesia is Shinasthana, though no law formally recognizes this. It is the de facto national language of Themiclesia, as it is the main language of instruction in primary and secondary schools as well as a mandatory subject in literature courses. This language belongs to the Menghic Family, sharing much of its vocabulary with the Menggok languages.
Aside from Shinasthana, various varieties of Menghean and Dayashinese are spoken natively by immigrants or their second- and third-generation descendants; they account for around 10% of the total population of Themiclesia. These two languages are also intensively studied by native speakers of Shinasthana, due to commercial and cultural relationships between these countries. Behind these two languages, Tyrannian is widely spoken as a second or third language by individuals of all backgrounds, but it is not usually a first language in Themiclesia. Rajian is spoken by a smaller but more distinct community residing in Themiclesia's far north, along the Nukkumaan border; formerly, it was farther north, but when Sngrak-tju was ceded to Nukkumaa in 1857, they decided to remain in Themiclesia.
Themiclesia maintains standing and reserve forces to defend home territories and national interests, to fulfill military commitments to allied states, and to maintain international peace according to foreign policy. The Themiclesian emperor is personally the commander-in-chief of the Themiclesian Air Force, but the Emperor-in-Council, as head of the civil service, exercises ultimate authority over the Consolidated Army and Themiclesian Navy. In practice, the Cabinet acts as commander-in-chief, though the Secretary of State for Defence and junior ministers under him. The Ministry of Defence directly administers all the armed forces under the central government and indirectly those under prefectural or ethnic governments. The Themiclesian Coast Guard is considered a fourth branch of the armed forces.
The Themiclesian forces evolved from a group of agencies, services, and units, which evolved slowly in the 19th century. Two-party politics stunted long-term leadership and broad reforms, while favouring piecemeal ones and creating new, dedicated units to address specific defensive needs. The absence of pressing external stimuli may also have contributed to this lethargy. In 1900, Themiclesia possessed one of the smallest (relative to population) and most fractured militaries in the world. In the 1870s, graduates of the Army Academy began building consensus amognst themselves and political parties to unify the army, fruiting only in 1921. While they are divided into the three conventional services for ground, sea, and aerial operations, what constitutes a service branch remains very much a matter of custom and tradition in Themiclesia. Each of the three services consist of a number of sub-branches with varying forms of autonomy from their parent service, from operational jurisdiction, to training and recruitment, to unit culture and uniforms, and to and rank and pay structure.
Notes and references
- "Parriarch", a neologism meaning the traditional power of a senior parent of a clan, who was often, but not always, male.
- "Appointment is at the royal court, but learning is in private houses" (簡在公廷，學在私門).
- According to state records, a single blade of grass was acceptable as tribute, since grass was used in filtering alcohol used at the Emperor's ancestral temples.
- In 732, the Secretary of State for Finance wrote to the Emperor, "[...] may it please Your Majesty, to have pity upon your subjects, when half their remission to Your Majesty is exchanged for silk, gold, and artifacts, made by tireless artisans who are not compensated for their services, and shipped abroad for the enjoyment of barbarous princes. None can doubt Your Majesty's great stature amongst the states and generosity to foreigners..."