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Zacapican

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United Zacapine Republics

𐐝𐐯𐐹𐐰𐑌 𐐓𐑊𐐰𐐿𐐰𐐻𐑊𐐰𐐻𐐬𐐿𐐰𐐷𐐬𐑋𐐯 𐐞𐐰𐐿𐐰𐐹𐐨𐐷𐐬𐐻𐑊
Cepan Tlacatlatocayome Zacapiyotl
Flag of Zacapican
Flag
State Emblem of Zacapican
State Emblem
Motto: Nochitlaca, Otitocetilique
"All peoples, united as one"
Anthem: Zacapicaltepetlacuicatl
"Zacapine National Anthem"
Location of Zacapican
CapitalQuitzapatzaro
Largest cityAngatahuaca
National lingua francaNahuatl
Ethnic groups
See Ethnicity
Religion
  • 55% Cozauist
  • 31% No religion
  • 3% Sakbeist
  • 1% Jewish
Demonym(s)Zacapine
Zacapicatl
GovernmentFederal presidential republic
• Tepachoani
Zianya Xcaret
LegislatureNecentlatiloyan
Revolution
• Red Banner Rebellion
4 December 1899
• Overthrow of Aztapamatlan
12 February 1904
• Declaration of the United Republics
13 June 1914
Area
• Total
1,845,600 km2 (712,600 sq mi)
• Water (%)
2.1
Population
• 2022 census
70,103,619
• Density
37.98/km2 (98.4/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)estimate
• Total
$2.105 trillion
• Per capita
$30,031
HDI (2019)Increase 0.888
very high
CurrencyAmatl
Driving sideright

Zacapican, formally the United Zacapine Republics (Nahuatl: 𐐝𐐯𐐹𐐰𐑌 𐐓𐑊𐐰𐐿𐐰𐐻𐑊𐐰𐐻𐐬𐐿𐐰𐐷𐐬𐑋𐐯 𐐞𐐰𐐿𐐰𐐹𐐨𐐷𐐬𐐻𐑊, Cepan Tlacatlatocayome Zacapiyotl, CTZ), is is a country located in southern Oxidentale bordered to the north by Kayahallpa and Yadokawona, to the east by the Ooreqapi ocean, to the south by the Amictlan ocean, and to the west by the Makrian ocean. It is a federation of nine constituent republics and one federal district governing a population of 70 million across a territory of 1.8 million square kilometers. The territories controlled by Zacapican include the mainland consisting of the southern portions of the continent, along with the roughly 60,000 large and small islands which include both coastal islands as well as remote possessions widely dispersed across the Makrian, Ooreqapi and Amictlan oceans. The largest city is Angatahuaca located in the Aztaco Republic while the national capital and third largest city is Quitzapatzaro located in the Autonomous Federal District. The Zacapine population is made of more than two dozen distinct native ethnicities and foreign nationalities, however the largest by far are the Nahuas followed by the Purépecha. The Zacapine government has no official language as is a nominally multilingual nation. However, Nahuatl is the common lingua franca spoken between the dozens of ethnic groups across the country and is the main language of business, education and state affairs in Zacapican. The near-universal use of the Nahuatl language as well as the nahuanization of many of the ethnic groups in Zacapican has given rise to a Zacapine national identity that is primarily but not exclusively Nahua, an identity which incorporates a multitude of indigenous and immigrant groups regardless of religion and ethnic identity.

The basis of the modern Zacapine nation is the historical empire of Aztapamatlan which extended across all of the modern day territories of Zacapican as well as large sections of Malaio which are today part of other independent nations. The Aztapaman empire rose to prominence in the Zacapine middle ages as the hegemony of the Nahuanized Purépecha city-state of Angajtakuaka (modern day Angatahuaca), which was governed as an oligarchic republic by the elite families of the city. Aztapamatlan consisted of a network of provinces, vassal states and tributaries which at its zenith in the 17th century spanned two continents and millions of square kilometers of land inhabited by dozens of distinct ethnic and religious groups. This wide reaching hegemony would eventually decline and later crumble in the late 19th century under the weight of its mismanaged industrialization efforts, giving rise to a multitude of independent states including Zacapican and Pulacan. Through the Zacapine Revolution, the Aztapaman territories in Oxidentale as well as most of their oceanic island possessions would be reorganized into the federal and multicultural system of governance which characterizes Zacapican to this day.

The Zacapine economy is built on the mixed market Calpollist model, a system that has been categorized a hybrid of capitalism and syndicalism. Although it originated as an agrarian system, the modern Industrial Calpollism focuses predominantly on heavy industry and manufacturing and the development of an export-oriented economy based in the secondary sector. Zacapican is the third of the Oxidentale economic giants and takes up a large global share of many industries, chiefly shipbuilding, aviation and the machine industry. Significant iron, coal and copper resources in northern and central Zacapican have facilitated a strong steel and copper products industry which primarily supplies the many manufacturing centers across the country with their raw materials. A significant portion of the energy resources and industrial materials consumed by the Zacapine economy are imported from its main trading partners in Malaio and the Ozeros nations, as well as the neighboring states of Oxidentale, while finished Zacapine exports have a more global reach. Zacapican possesses an advanced technology sector and is a world leader in aerospace and nuclear engineering.

History

Prehistory

The region comprising modern day Zacapican, historically known chiefly as Huitztlan, was one of the last territories in the world to be colonized by the human species. The first evidence of human habitation anywhere in the region was found in the Meco valley in 1978, dating back to some 13,000 years ago. No artifacts have ever been found before or since exceeding this age anywhere in the country. Over the next few thousands of years, evidence of human beings spreads southward across the mainland, reaching such remote areas as the southern tip of Anamictlan and Mixincayoco island 7,000 years ago. However, some of the outlying islands that are today part of Zacapican would be alien to human beings until much later. The last part of Zacapine territory to be settled by humans were the Tepachtli islands off the coast of Malaio, as the Aztapaman explorers of the 11th century were the first human beings to set foot on this mid-ocean archipelago. Following the initial migration of human beings into the region, however, the societies which developed over the ensuing millennia were differentiated and largely separate from one other. The massive Mixtepemec mountains and its many sub-ranges break up the geography into what anthropologist Tangaxuan Tukuri termed "civilizational cauldrons", a term which stuck in Zacapine anthropological circles. The three main cauldrons in the Zacapine understanding of their own history are that of the Meco basin, the Zacaco basin, and what has been called the Littoral region, which includes Aztaco, Anamictlan and Mixincayoco island.

The domestication of the yuca tuber, which took place in in the Meco valley around 10,000 years ago, represented a turning point in the history of humanity in southern Oxidentale as it ushered in the agricultural revolution to the remote region of the continent. It also marks the commonly agreed upon beginning of the Meco civilizational cauldron's archeological record. Yuca domestication is commonly attributed to the Zuna culture, a people group predating the arrival of written language which is identified in the historical record by their rudimentary copper tools representing the advancement of the Meco region from the neolithic to the chalcolithic which took place between one and two thousand years following the domestication of the yuca plant. Yuca has the qualities of being high in calories and especially resistant to drought, allowing it to thrive in the semi-arid subtropical climate of northern Zacapican and contributing to a population boom in the region following the beginning of its cultivation, although its inability to survive in cold climates greatly restricted its viability in the Zacaco valley and especially the far southern Littoral region battered on a seasonal basis by frequent polar storms.

Colli period

Remains of the central palatial complex of the city of Tolan

The era of ancestors, recorded as the Colli period in Nahuatl language chronicles, was a span of more than a millennium marked by a series of migrations of outside peoples into the Huitztlan landmass. In modern historiography, this period from roughly 1,000 BCE to the year 100 is considered to fall under the label of classical antiquity in Zacapican, with the later Tariatas marking the transition to late antiquity and the medieval era. Particularly, the Colli period refers to the era of the Nahua waves of migration into Huitztlan and its three civilizational cauldrons. The Nahuas, who would come to be the most widespread, populous and historically significant of the many peoples of Zacapican, originated as an politically insignificant culture of the central Oxidentale plateau extending over what is now Yadokawona and the constituent republic of Xallipan. The original Nahua polity in the region of Huitztlan was seated in Tolan, an ancient city-state the ruins of which became a site of great cultural and religious significant to the peoples that would come later. The site of Tolan, found in the modern day Xochicuahuico Republic, was established in a region of the lower Meco which was and is today wetter and more fertile than much of the Meco basin. At Tolan, the Nahua peoples adopted the mantle of the Zacapine civilization, integrating themselves into the mythology and cultural heritage of the Meco basin as the latest layer in the cultural strata of the Meco going all the way back to the Zuna culture many thousands of years earlier.

Tolan was likely founded some 2,800 years ago and stood for five centuries, although the well preserved monumental architecture and stonework urban structures for which Tolan is remembered only appeared towards the end of the proposed lifespan of the civilization, drawing its early years into question. The collapse of Tolan in the late 1st millennium BCE, traditionally recorded as taking place in the year 282 BCE, proved to be of great consequence to the fate of the Nahuas and of the entire landmass and its people. Tolan was brought down by a combination of forces, likely including a drought and famine, but is thought to have also coincided with the third wave of Nahua migration from the arid central Oxidentale plateau to the northwest. The result of the implosion of the Tolan civilization was to scatter this urbanized, literate culture across Huitztlan, creating a Nahua diaspora that spread far and wide across the Zacaco and Littoral sub-regions of the landmass. The seminal Nahua settlement in the far south was Pochutla, the city of the eastern Nahuas that displaced the Selk'nam from parts of the Aztaco peninsula and would serve as the originators of the eastern Nahua cultural heritage that would produce Cozauh Tlecoyani and by extension the Aztapaman polity. On the other coast, the Nahua refugees which settled in the fertile Zacaco valley established Cholollan, the "place of those who fled", eventually establishing their hegemony over much of the northern Zacaco valley until themselves coming under the influence of the Purépecha city-states centuries later.

The main lasting effect of the Colli period, however, would stem not from ethnic diaspora and cultural upheaval, but from an impactful agricultural and technological revolution which occurred as a result. When the first Nahua migration wave swept through the Meco valley, they brought with them the three sisters and more generally a maize-based system of agriculture which would displace the yuca-based agriculture of the pre-Colli Meco. More importantly, however, the collapse of Tolan and scattering of the Nahuas far and wide across Huitztlan brought these crops and the highly productive agricultural techniques of the milpa to the southern regions of the landmass, which had long been inhospitable to agriculture due to the poor cold-resistance of yuca. The Colli period, therefore, effectively ushered in organized agriculture and its many ramifications to the Zacaco and to the Littoral region. The period from the height of the Tolan civilization (500-300 BCE) to the end of the diasporic era (200 BCE - 100 CE) is also marked as the transitional period between the Zacapine bronze and iron ages. This came as the Nahua migrations spread the techniques of ironworking and more advanced metallurgy across the continent, where they would inevitably be adopted far and wide by Nahua and non-Nahua peoples alike.

The Tariatas

The First Tariata ("Great Wind"), as it is remembered in Purépecha chronicles, refers to the great ocean-borne migration of the Purépecha ancestors from an unknown homeland to the western coast of Zacapican. The origins of the Purépecha are the subject of widespread speculation, with neither archeological records nor their isolate language leaving any conclusive evidence as to the location of their original homeland. Written records of the arrival of these seafaring colonists from another land are sparse, but corroborated by archeological investigations. The most notable of the great Purépecha cities were Motihuato, Tukuhurio and Quitzapatzaro, all of which trace their origins to the original colonization of the coast. The Purépecha were initially very few in numbers, corroborating the hypothesis that the original fleet of ships that carried the Purépecha to western Zacapican was far smaller than the Aztapaman trans-oceanic colonial fleets they had once been thought to match in size and grandeur. However, the colonies adopted a policy of assimilation of the local populations of the Oztotl escarpment separating the Purépecha cities from the great kingdoms of the Zacaco valley. This resulted not only in territorial expansion as the Purépecha brought the neighboring hill peoples under their hegemony, as it also caused the urban populations of the once minute colony ports to balloon in size over the ensuing decades and centuries. This sustained population growth through assimilation allowed leagues of Purépecha city-states on the coast to become a much more important force in the politics of the Zacaco basin, and is also one of the main factors that facilitated the beginning of the Second Tariata which saw a new generation of Purépecha colonies established across Littoral Zacapican. Among these was the far flung city-state of Angajtakuaka, which would one day become perhaps the most consequential power in the long history of the Huitztlan landmass. The Second Tariata would also serve to propagate advanced Purépecha technologies and scientific understandings of the era, specifically their exceptional knowledge of steel alloys and their production.

Aztapamatlan

Mural depicting medieval Aztapamatlan

Many centuries passed between the foundation of Angajtakuaka on and island in southern Aztaco and the transformation of the city-state into a hegemonic power uniting what would become Zacapican for the first time in history. Like the west coast Purépecha city-states, Angajtakuaka began its existence as an assimilationist state which sought to preserve the Purépecha culture of its founders and assimilate the surrounding peoples under its banner. Contrary to common belief, the Nahuanization of the city was not a gradual process, but was instead a wrenching transition away from assimilationism to an integrationist approach that resulted from the sudden and extreme territorial expansion of the city's territories on the Aztaco mainland as part of the conflicts which followed the death of Cozauh Tlecoyani in 932. The Nahua-Purépecha polity which resulted from this cultural shift proved to a powerful military contender, quickly expanding towards the unification of Littoral Zacapican, from which the conquest of all of southern Oxidentale would be based. The hegemony of the city-state, which came to be called Angatahuaca, came to be known as Aztapamatlan, or the "Land under the Heron's Wing", and is widely recognized to be precursor state of the modern United Republics.

Aztapamatlan was ruled as a republic of the elite lineages of its capital, the descendants of the city's original Purépecha colonists known as the Cuauhtli or Eagles who had settled the city in the 8th century. The state of the Eagles, the Cuauhtlatollo, consisted of a grand assembly of the Nahuanized Purépecha ruling class and their dual executives or Cuauhtlatoani. Aztapaman society was highly militaristic in nature, with a period of service in the army or navy required as prerequisite for most public offices and the period of service required growing longer with the stature of the office. At the apex of the state, a Cuauhtlatoani could be nothing less than a renowned general or admiral with a prestigious military career before even being considered fit to stand as a candidate in the elections. Culturally, the Aztapamans were of the eastern Nahua diaspora with a ruling class of Purépecha origins. Although they differed from the other Nahuas of the west and north, particularly in their monotheistic Cozauist religious doctrine, the Aztapamans became an empire of the Nahuas over the other nations of southern Oxidentale. Nahuatl had already become something of a lingua franca for the region long before the rise of Aztapamatlan thanks to the widely dispersed Nahua peoples who had migrated into the region over the preceding centuries and formed enclaves from the Zacaco valley in the west to the shores of Aztaco in the east. This facilitated the establishing of an internal order and renewed regional trade between the cauldrons of divided cultures within Aztapamatlan following the conquest of the region, which laid the groundwork for the more unified and cohesive identity which would be built upon to create the modern Zacapine nation.

Ultimately, the rise of the Nahuanized Purépecha Eagles in the east could result in the downfall of the original western Purépecha from which they had emerged and differentiated over the centuries. Of the three great western colonies, Motihuato was razed with the city of Acalchimalco later founded over its ruins, and Tukuhurio was renamed Tecolotlan after a concerted campaign to Nahuanize the population of the city. Only Quitzapatzaro would retain its Purépecha identity into the modern age.

Colonial era

Aztapaman merchant vessel of the colonial era

The expansion of Aztapaman hegemony across the vast ocean to the east was a gradual process which began in the 11th century when the first trans-oceanic voyages were made. These first expeditions aimed to explore the newly discovered lands and to make contact with the native cultures, including the powerful Tahamaja who held sway over much of the region in those times. By 1151, pochteca merchants hailing from Aztapamatlan established trading posts across the southern coast of Malaio, representing the first but certainly not the last settlements of an Oxidental people on the continent. The trade with Malaio and the Tahamaja in particular proved promising enough to draw the focus of the rulers in Angatahuaca, who invested in these trading outposts, established Cozauist temples, and send many missions to the Tahamajan courts. This disposition would changed dramatically in the aftermath of the Siriwang Eruption, which saw the collapse of the Tahamaja and a global volcanic winter which plunged Aztapamantlan itself into crisis, disrupting communication across the ocean. When Aztapamatlan finally did re-establish contact with Malaio in the 15th century, it discovered a region in political turmoil. It did not take long for Aztapaman commanders in the region to take advantage of the disunity between the local polities to fill the power vacuum themselves, and in so doing extend the rule of Angatahuaca over significant portions of the continent for the first time.

The Aztapaman Malaio territories were spread across much of the southern coast of the continent, where Aztapaman administrators in port cities directly governed coastal provinces and maintained suzerainty over a network of vassals and tributaries further inland in the rugged Malaioan interior. This mirrored the fashion in which Angatahuaca governed its territories in Oxidentale. The Aztapaman authorities made many attempts to expand their sphere of influence in this eastern land. Repeated attempts to extend naval supremacy of the Aztapaman armada across the Karaihe and Ozeros seas were met with failure, thanks in large part to the arrival of the Mutulese and the establishment of their Global Circuit across much of the northern Malaio and southern Ochran coastlines. The Aztapaman defeat at the hands of the Mutulese at sea largely put an end to expansion across maritime channels, even after the downfall of the Mutulese as the colonial masters of most of the Ozeros region. The only succesful campaigns of colonial expansion for Aztapamatlan were overland campaigns conducted with the help of their local auxiliaries, expanding the Aztapaman sphere of influence in Malaio and adding new territories to their vassal states across the Malaioan hinterland.

Zacapine Revolution

The Zacapine Revolution was a bloody conflict that claimed the lives of many of its most notable leaders

The Zacapine Revolution was a protracted and deeply consequential conflict waged in every region of the former Aztapamatlan, lasting some fifteen years and involving a multitude of belligerent factions. The ultimate result of the conflict was the overthrow of the Cuauhtlatollo and the broader empire of Aztapamatlan, having as a consequence the effective end of the hegemony of Nahuanized Purépecha lineages that had dominated the country for some seven or eight centuries without interruption. As the foundational conflict to the modern state of the United Zacapine Republics, the effects of the Zacapine Revolution are of major significance and can still be felt today. The uprising in Zacapican began in 1899 with the rebellion of the Red Banners in the Zacaco valley, which was part of a larger wave of uprisings all across the bi-continental territory of the late Aztapaman state. The ultimate overthrow of the Aztapaman government in Angatahuaca would take five years of civil war between the Angatahuacan armies and a multitude of rebel factions. The final overthrow of Aztapamatlan in 1904 resulted in the independence of the Malaio provinces, which would go on to form their own independent states. However, the civil war in Oxidentale continued unabated as the rebel factions which had overthrown the Cuauhtlatollo of the Aztapamans now turned on one another, unable to peacefully recognize their incompatible visions for the future of southern Oxidentale. The Western Army faction of the revolution, representing the original Red Banner rebels and their newfound allies, fought to establish a new centralized state with its seat of power in the Zacaco valley. They were opposed by a broad coalition of ethnic militias and federalist revolutionaries fighting for the promise of regional autonomy and a highly decentralized state. Both the Western Army and the Federalists were opposed by groups such as the Mapuche in the north and the Ona in the south, who wanted total independence and loosely aligned with one another with the objective of defeating those who wanted to keep the remaining territories together under one state and bring about a total fragmentation of Zacapican along ethnic lines.

Fighting between the revolutionary factions continued for a decade after the overthrow of the Aztapaman government. The Western Army was able to inflict many defeats on their opponents and became the militarily dominant faction by 1910, but became bogged down fighting a guerilla war against Federalists and ethnic secessionists for years. As the insurgency continued unabated across the country, it became clear that no side would be able to achieve a military victory. The revolutionary war ended in 1914 with a negotiated peace between the Federalist insurgent forces and the Centralists of the Western Army. The terms of the armistice established the United Republics, whose federal organization with several constituent republics reflected the compromise between the revolutionary factions. The years of civil war had devastated the country but also also taken a heavy toll on the revolutionary leadership which had been thinned out by many deaths in battle and countless political assassinations during the war. As a result, no political faction was able to consolidate enough power to democratically control the new government, leaving a power vacuum at the highest echelons vulnerable to any potential political strongman attempting to seize power through coercive means.

Xolotecate era

Many factory towns, railways and dams were built during the Xolotecate

The 24 year rule of Tepachoani Xolotecatl Acuixoc from the 1914 elections to his death in 1938, better known as the Xolotecate, was a transformational period in the history of Zacapican marked by rapid modernization, industrialization and unparalleled improvements in the general standard of living in Zacapican. The Xolotecate saw two of the three major waves of 20th century immigration to Zacapican which were primarily driven by the dictatorial policies of Xolotecatl Acuixoc, which bolstered the economy in the short term but carried the additional consequence for permanently altering the demographics of many regions of Zacapican with the introduction of large contingents of migrants into Zacapine cities. Although the political and civil rights of Zacapines had massively improved in a short period of time due to the Zacapine Revolution, the Xolotecatl had a cooling effect on the expression of political and especially economic rights. Xolotecatl proved to the most repressive Tepachoani in Zacapine history as a consequence of his aggresive industrialization campaign which antagonized the common people and the peasantry due to the enclosures of public land privatized and sold off to industrialists. Many of those affected by Xolotecatl's policies were the same sections of the peasantry which had only a few years prior taken up arms against the Cuauhtlatollo for very similar transgressions. The Xolotecatl would be remembered as a period of contrasts, seeing the boom of the great cities of Zacapican as they industrialized and drew in millions of migrants yet nearly simultaneously a dark period in the history of the Zacapine countryside marked by a spate of rebellions and brutal repressions.

The assassination of Xolotecatl Acuixoc on the 21st of May of 1938 brought about the immediate end of the Xolotecate, with the dictatorial regime of the Tepachoani office disintegrating in a matter of days to weeks following Xolotecalt's death due to his lieutenant's inability to fill the vacuum of power left in his wake. As a result, power reverted to the democratic institutions that had been established by the revolution and codified in the Zacapine constitution and which had existed in a subordinated state during the Xolotecate. Political factions formed around the existing interest groups, creating a new system of partisan electoral politics in the wake of Xolotecatl's effectively single-party rule. A further legacy of the Xolotecate would be the lasting effects of the fall of the dictatorship, which would temper Zacapine democracy with a wide array of restrictions, checks on power and contingencies against abuse of power. This would include the introduction of a single term limit for the Tepachoani, although this would later be abolished in 1971. The Xolotecate era economic policies and the subsequent post-Xolotecate redressment of grievances across the countryside laid the foundation for Industrial Calpollism and the modern Zacapine economic system which combines the principles of the Zacapine Revolution with the developmentalist model of the Xolotecate era policies.

Modern era

The rapid industrialization of the Xolotecate established the basis upon which modern Zacapican would be built. Steel production, machine manufacturing and shipbuilding industries set up in the 20s and 30s would continue to grow for decades to come, becoming the core of the modern Zacapine economy. The internal migration of millions of Zacapines to the growing cities, along with the immigration of many foreign demographics to work in Zacapine factories during the Xolotecate, established the Zacapine proletariat with its roots in industrial calpollism. The peculiarities of the calpolli system served to greatly amplify the political weight of this new class within society once the Xolotecate dictatorship came to an end, which would only further drive the growth of the industrial calpolli and the trends of urbanization and immigration which came as a consequence of the empowered factory-calpolli. The first half of the 20th century deeply altered the social makeup of Zacapican, dividing its society into three divisions each corresponding to one of the modern Zacapine political affiliations. The industrial workers became the dominant interest group across the country starting in the 1950s and 60s, mobilizing to protect and expand factory employment and the livelihoods of the workers. They are differentiated from the more technocratic class of educated engineers, scientists and the rest of the Zacapine intelligentsia emerging within the national academic system and becoming deeply embedded in the administration, generally pushing for ideals of social progress and the pursuit of a technological utopia within Zacapican while protecting their own privileged positions in the political and academic ecosystems of the country. The rapid changes brought about by both of these groups over the course of the 20th century also spawned a reactionary current. This third group is made up primarily of the social classes which benefitted from the pre-Xolotecate socioeconomic system and which have therefore been economically and socially disadvantaged by the modern transformation of the country, including the Cozauist clergy, the remnants of the old Aztapaman elite, and those who form part of the rural agrarian economy. The shifting balance of power between these three factions has generally dictated the course of the country over the past century.

Geography

Zacapican is a highly diverse region in terms of physical geography thanks to the major mountain ranges and geographic barriers which divide its landmass into distinct climatic and ecological regions with a wide range of conditions. The northern and southern extremes of the country consists primarily of high altitude deserts with wildly fluctuating extreme temperatures, contrasting heavily with the highly fertile and biodiverse Zacaco, Meco and Aztaco regions in the eastern and western reaches of the territory. The west coast of Zacapican abuts the Makrian ocean and is reached by oceanic currents traveling north from the polar sea, bringing cold weather and seasonal storms along with nutrient rich waters supporting the local fish stocks. In the east, the confluence of these same cold currents and the warm Rezese waters flowing south from the equator creates the Matlayahualoyan off the coasts of Anamictlan, Aztaco and Mixincayoco island, which is one of the richest fisheries in the world and historically served as a linchpin for the economy and food supply of these eastern and south Zacapine communities.

The geological activity of Zacapican is significant, with a prevalence of earthquakes and volcanic activity along the western edge of the country. An uplift which occurred relatively recently in the geologic timescale resulted in the formation of the Mixtepemec mountain range which runs through the entire country from north to south, dividing the eastern and western coasts into distinct sub-regions of the country. A large number of these mountains are also volcanic in nature. The tallest peak in Zacapican, Itzamixtiani, is a dormant stratovolcano with a summit reaching 7 kilometers above sea level. The volcanic ash which results from the activity of these mountains contributes to the biodiversity, specifically to the soil fertility, of the surrounding lowlands as meltwater and precipitation wash these rich sediments down the slopes of the Mixtepemec into the major Zacapine watersheds of the Zacaco valley in the west and Meco basin in the north and east, creating the "black soil" on which the high agricultural yields of these regions is founded.

Biodiversity

The Ahuatetz, a penguin species unique to southern Zacapican

The varied environments of the United Zacapine Republics house an abundance of life including many unique species found nowhere else. Zacapican is a megadiverse country with a large number and variation of distinct ecosystems and biomes ranging from sub-tropical forest, wetlands, temperate, dry and cold steppes, mountains, semi-arid and even polar climate regions. The eastern Ayomazaco and Xochicuahuico Republic boast a tremendous degree of diversity in fauna including the Capybara, Zacaco deer, Maned wolf and Ñandu. Central and western regions of the Cuauhtlaco and Zacaco Republic are home to the Spectacled bear, the Puma and the Guanaco while Xallipan Republic is known for its many species of scorpions and the Vicuña which often used as a mascot by Zacapine children's media. The Fishtail peninsula is better known for the species of the surrounding waters but is nevertheless recognized for such unique species as the Southern river otter and varied avian species such as the Aztlacapalltli woodpecker. The Zacaco Valley at the heart the Zacaco Republic is a flat grassland with little forest cover which is naturally sparse in native tree species. One of these few tree varieties native to the valley is the Ombu now common as an ornamental species across the United Republics in urban centers prized for its rapid growth and wide canopy providing ample shade. Norumbrian sycamore and a number of coniferous species have been introduced into the valley from other regions of Zacapican and from abroad in order to provide a local supply of wood, as the native Ombu has a soft, spongy trunk and does not produce true wood. The many mountain ranges, plateaus and hills found all across Zacapican are heavily forested by pines and other evergreens such as the native Araucaria tree with such regions as Tlaximallico becoming centers of logging to meet the economic need for good timber.

In addition to terrestrial life, Zacapican is known for its abundant maritime biology sustained by highly fertile polar waters. An abundance of plankton and krill in Zacapine waters and parts of the surrounding ocean sustains not only a tremendous number and variety of fish species, but also larger and iconic marine species including penguins, seals and whales. The Orca, a common sight on Zacapine shores, is particularly prevalent in local cultures and is regarded as a Zacapitec national symbol. The extremely rich marine ecosystem of Zacapican's waters has sustained an extensive fishing industry particularly within the world-renowned Zacapine Sea Fishery off the country's eastern shore. This fishery specifically has suffered from overfishing historically, but is considered to be in the process of recovering its normal fish stocks thanks to fishing restrictions put in place by the Zacapine government for the express purpose of regenerating the economically important Teeming Sea Fishery. Historically, many Zacapitec mariners undertook whaling as a means to exploit the abundance of Minke, Humpback, Sei and Cachalot whales. In response to the depletion of these species and the decline in economic demands for baleen and whale oil, whaling of any type has been strictly prohibited by federal law since 1910.

Conservation

The preservation of the natural beauty and diversity of life in Zacapican has been of great concern for many years. The expansion of human activity, particularly during the rapid industrialization process of the 20th century, placed significant areas of wilderness under threat as the negative environmental effects of mining, logging and industrial activity have ramped up through the decades. Efforts to reverse the negative effects of industrial expansion and human activity have increased in recent decades, but have not yet been centralized into a national organ to coordinate environmental protection and ecological conservation. The main vehicle through which ecosystems receive protections from the government is through the various land use commissions at the level of the constituent republic and the local altepetl. Because all land in Zacapican is property of the state, these councils and committees governing the allocation of land to various calpolli for any number of practical uses also have the power to prevent land from being used for agriculture, mining or human habitation. According to the national land registry of the United Republics Geological Survey, there are 64 separate tracts of land in Zacapican that have been specifically marked as a region not to be used or exploited for economic purposes. 52 of these have been designated as recreational parks where outdoor recreation is permitted, while the remaining 12 are treated as nature reserves where visitation is permitted by explicit permission only. Designated nature reserves are generally only accessible to scientists and state employees for the purposes of scientific study and conservation.

Zacapican also has two zones of alienation, which are not counted as nature preserves but are also highly restricted areas. These are the zones of radiological contamination surrounding the sites of the Zacatlilco and Xochitlalpan nuclear disasters where the danger of adverse health effects and the spread of radioactive contaminants remains high. The zones of alienation are imposed by the national government and enforced by the Zacapine military. Although their purpose is not conservation, they are monitored by scientists interested in the ecological developments of these depopulated zones as well as those monitoring the long term radiation levels and radionuclide pollution.

Marine conservation is the purview of the United Republics Oceanographic Survey, a major state organization under the Science Secretariat concerned with the study of the worlds oceans as well as the preservation of marine life. This organization clashes with the Maritime Affairs Authority, an agency of the Agriculture Secretariat responsible for overseeing the fishing industry and monitoring the major Zacapine fisheries.

Government and Politics

Government

The Huei Tecpanchan tower in Quitzapatzaro serves as the seat of the national administration

The United Zacapine Republics are a federation of democratic republics with a presidential central government in which the legislative and executive powers are divorced from one another. The constitution of the state lays out four levels of administration, these being the federal level across the whole of the union of republics, the constituent level of the individual republics, the municipal level of the altepetl and finally the individual calpolli ward within the municipal district. The upper three echelons of the state are required by the constitution to hold a republican, democratic tri-partite government consisting of a legislature, an executive administration and an independent judiciary. The governing system of the wards is not mandated by the constitution and varies across the union according to local principles and traditions of self-government in each region. Each level of the state is held under the authority of the entity it is a part of, such that the federal courts, legislature and executive are able to override those of the republics, which in turn may override the altepetl municipal entities within their borders. The only locality which diverges from this tiered system laid out in the constitution is the capital, which functions as a fusion of a municipal and constituent authority. The federal district of Quitzapatzaro functions primarily as a municipal level authority but is granted some privileges normally reserved for full fledged constituent republics, such as representation in the federal legislature, but does not hold the full suite of powers a normal republic would benefit from, such as the power to form a paramilitary republican guard or to independently manage economic planning. Instead, the federal district relies on the federal level authorities to manage its economic planning, security needs and other functions normally carried out by the constituent republican governments.

The Necentlatiloyan, the federal legislative body, is unicameral as are the republican and municipal legislatures. A representative or ixiptlatl is elected from within a electoral district within a republic, usually consisting of one large or a number of small municipalities, to serve a single five year term which once completed will bar that ixiplatl from running for the federal legislature in that or any other electoral district. It is common for lower government officials, members of lower legislatures or ambitious members of the public to view a potential term in the Necentlatiloyan as transitional move through which to gain more widespread political notoriety with which to secure a long term position in the federal or republican administration. Occasionally deputies fail to accomplish anything of note or tarnish their reputations while serving their single term at the national level, causing them to either retire from politics or return to lower echelons of political activity with less stringent term limitations. The legislature deliberates on the passage and content of bills, voting on legislation and holding a check on executive power by providing a vehicle for the impeachment and removal of the executive, although this requires a supermajority of the Necentlatiloyan.

The Tepachoani is the single federal executive of the United Republics, being elected through a nationwide vote using a first past the post system in which the candidate with a plurality of the vote wins the election. The term of office for the Tepachoani is two years. Unlike the Necentlatiloyan, there are no term limits of any kind imposed on the executive elections, allowing incumbents to be re-elected for an indeterminate number of consecutive or non-consecutive terms provided they are able to maintain a plurality come the day of the election. The Tepachoani appoints the members of the cabinet and the leaders of various federal agencies, only some of which must be approved by a special hearing of the Necentlatiloyan such as the secretaries of justice and of defense. The main power of the Tepachoani stems from their power over the Secretariats and their daily function, which encompasses the whole of the Zacapine state administration as it supersedes and encompasses the activities of the lower echelons of the state. The Tepachoani also holds veto power over bills which pass the lesgislature's voting process.

Politics

National and local politics in Zacapican are dominated by three major parties, the Tiachcaume ("Elder Brothers"), the Tlayacanques ("Progressors"), and the Macehualques ("Popular Ones"). The Tiachcaume and the Tlayacanques correspond to the conservative and progressive factions of the Xolotecate era Centiliztli party, the party encompassing all factions of the Zacapine Revolution which ruled the nation under a one party system until the death of Xolotecatl Acuixoc in 1938. These two parties splintered and formed competing groups after the fall of the Xolotecate, the Tiechcaume forming a Cozauist-conservative bloc with a base of support among the clergy and the rural population while the Tlayacanques formed a secular progressive party supported by the urban intelligentsia and a number of business and development interests that had emerged during the Xolotecate modernization and industrialization program. The Macehualques had no legacy in the Xolotecate or the defunct Centiliztli party, emerging spontaneously from unrest in the rapidly growing urban centers of the country which crystalized into a movement of the industrial workers. Macehualque politicians are often accused of demagoguery due to the overwhelming populist, anti-establishment and anti-elitist philosophy and rhetoric.

In the recent history of Zacapican, the the Xolotecate was followed by the Occanquizqui or bi-partite era of the Tiachcaume and Tlayacanques alone holding power from 1938 through 1949, the first major electoral victory of the Macehualques as their movement began to mature. This would usher in a period of tension in which the Tiachcaume and Tlayacanques began to collaborate against the powerful political threat of the Macehualques sweeping the national and state elections, a period known as the Excanquizqui or tri-partite era. In 1966, the tripartite era would come to an end with the defeat of a Tiachcaume-Tlayacanque coalition by the Macehualque party which for the first time secured a majority across the Necentlatiloyan and controlled the office of the Tepachoani. This electoral sweep would usher in a time known as the Macehualtlatollo, the Rule of the Masses, in which the Macehualques would maintaign uninterrupted control of the executive and legislative branches, governing unopposed for 25 years. The defeat of the Macehualques in 1991 and the end of the Macehualtlatollo returned the political situation to a state resembling the Excanquizqui in which all three parties would freely compete against one another, a state of affairs preserved into the present day.

Due to the nature of the first past the post voting system using in the elections for Tepachoani, the broadly popular Macehualques almost always win a plurality and secure the seat of the Tepachoani. In the decades since the end of the Macehualtlatollo era, there have only been four non-Macehualque Tepachoanis for a total of eight years of any administration other than a Macehualque one. However, the more stringent parallel voting used to assign the seats of the Necentlatoloyan has frequently denied the Macehualques the ability to secure a majority themselves since the end of the Macehualtlatollo. In the case of a Macehualque Tepachoani, the Necentlatiloyan may either be controlled by a supporting coalition of the Macehualques and one other party which will collaborate with the Tepachoani to advance a legislative agenda agreed upon by both parties, or else an opposing coalition will form of the Tiachcaumes and Tlayacanques forming a united front to stall and restrict the Tepachoani and the Macahualques in the legislature as much as possible.

Foreign Relations

The foreign relations of the United Zacapine Republics are generally non-ideological, following a tradition of realpolitik rooted in realist and pragmatic principles. Zacapican instead pursues bilateral partnerships on the basis of economic, technological and academic cooperation that affords a mutual beneficence to both parties. As an independent great power, it is not aligned with the principal power bloc of Oxidentale consisting of the Rezese, Kayan and Mutulese powers, nor is it generally affiliated with the Latin sphere or the opposing Kiso sphere. Instead, Zacapican has resumed the policy of its predecessor states and pursued the development of an expansive cooperation pact of its own known as the Transoceanic Co-Prosperity Sphere (TOCPS) with the developing nations of southern Scipia and Malaio. Outside these immediate regions of interest, Zacapican maintaigns a partnership with Wazheganon and an interest in the Periclean basin, particularly eastern Belisaria.

Military

Carrier aviation forms the basis of Zacapine military strength and power projection

The Zacapine military consists of the Zacapine Army, the Zacapine Air Force, and the Zacapine Navy. In many respects the Zacapine Navy, or "the Armada" as it is known, functions as an independent military force unto itself through the integration of ground combat units, amphibious assault forces and its own naval aviation wing in addition to its maritime combat units. This force represents the power projection capabilities of the Zacapine military, built on the framework of a blue-water navy the core of which is a pair of nuclear-powered fleet carriers and their associated fleets of supporting ships. This powerful navy enables the United Zacapine Republics to intervene militarily across the world, with the Armada centralizing all of these capabilities within its own command structure. By comparison, the Army and Air Force are largely restricted to operations within the Zacapine homeland and are organized according to a defensive doctrine. The Army consists of a small peacetime skeleton force and a large body of reservists with a wartime mobilization-based structure designed to cut costs during peacetime yet still raise a significant force to resist any direct invasion or security threat to Zacapican should such an occasion arise. The Army reserves are mainly members of the Republican Guard forces of the constituent republics of Zacapican, who preform law enforcement and civil disaster response duties in their respective areas while not under military mobilization. The Zacapine Air Force operates an inventory made up mainly of bombers and strike craft as well as aerial interceptors intended to support any ground operation by the Zacapine Army, with the more high risk operations requiring the most advanced equipment largely being taken up by the Naval Aviation units of the Navy. The result is a Zacapine military force with a homeland defense force consisting of the Army and Navy, and a largely separate global military force consisting of the Navy and its accumulation of capabilities through its various combat arms subdivisions.

Economy

Agriculture

Industrial cultivation of maize in eastern Zacaco

Maize and potato agriculture is the basis of Zacapine agriculture, with the country being internally divided between highland areas in the interior which depend on the potato as their staple and the coastal plains and foothills regions as well as the Zacaco Valley where extensive maize agriculture can be found. Crops found alongside these staples include beans, tomatoes, chilies, cassava and squash. All of these crops are indigenous to Oxidentale and were either domesticated in or introduced to Zacapican over the course of thousands of years of history and migration, and remain the principle staples of the Zacapine diet and the myriad local cuisines found across the country. Much of the agricultural activities aimed at food production are based on the system of the traditional communal farm, which over time evolved into ownership and labor model today known as Calpollism. Under this system, the land is held in common and usufruct rights are granted to members of the local community to cultivate sectors of this common land. This traditional calpulli is found primarily in the rural regions of the country, while the industrial Calpollist model is employed to modern mass agriculture in the country's more intensively cultivated arable land such as the central Zacaco Valley. In the most intensely cultivated lands these is high production of maize as well as sunflowers, soybeans, flax and sorghum which are used to produce edible oils and for the production of biofuels on an industrial scale. Livestock such as chickens, pigs, cattle and sheep are also raised in the hills of northern and central Zacapican using the industrially produced oilseed plants as well as available pasture for animal feed. A minor component of the agricultural sector is the production of wood and paper products through logging, which was originally based on the dense forests in the Xochicuahuico Republic and Tlaximallico Republics but has since largely transitioned to tree plantations operated on land already cleared of natural woodlands. Intensive cultivation of monocultures of specially selected species, generally of coniferous tree varieties, allows these plantations to produce a large quantity of timber for wood and paper products in a short amount of time and is considered more sustainable as well as more economically sound than the continued harvesting of the now limited regions of natural old growth forests.

Fishing, which is considered a part of the agricultural sectors, is a major industry in Zacapican and contributes to nearly one third of all food production within the United Republics. Much of this fishing takes place in the Teeming Sea fishery off the eastern coast of the country, although Zacapine fishing vessels have ventured further and further afield across the Makrian and Ooreqapi oceans in response to declining fish stocks of the Teeming Sea and the corresponding government restrictions. Sardines and anchovies are fished, while shortfin squid and hake are approaching status as overfished. The Teeming Sea Saurel is overfished. Southern bluefin and Yellowfin tuna are highly sought after by those fishing vessels that venture into the open oceans beyond the coastal fisheries of Zacapican. The average Zacapine consumes around 25 kilograms of fish every year, making it one of the largest per capita consumers in the world. Increasingly, even the well-developed Zacapine fishing industry is not able to meet mounting demand and fish as well as other seafood such as crustaceans must be imported from other countries or fishing contracted out to foreign fishing firms. The fishing industry makes up three quarters of the economic contribution of the agricultural sector and is far more lucrative relative to the size of its labor force than the cultivation and tending activities taking place on the mainland.

Manufacturing

A blast furnace and steel production facility outside Angatahuaca, Aztaco Republic

Production of manufactured goods makes up the bulk of the Zacapine economy by GDP and percentage of the national workforce employed in these secondary sector. Development of industrial manufacturing in the United Republics began in the early 20th century with the expansion of steel production and subsequent diversification of machine producing factories and mechanical works through the 1910s and 1920s. The mainstay of the manufacturing sector remains the production of mechanical components, metal products and machines used in other industrial sectors and factories. Much of the industrial equipment used in Zacapican is itself manufactured in the United Republics, while such products are also widely exported to the industrial economies of the wider world. Simple assembly has for the most part been replaced across country by more complex manufacturing, particularly of engines, vehicles, aircraft and ships. In particular, Zacapican is one of the world leaders in the manufacturing of oceangoing vessels by large shipyard facilities employing tens of thousands of calpolli workers. Many Zacapine shipyards employ a streamline production line taking advantage of the economies of scale, producing ships in prefabricated sections to be transported to a building dock to be assembled into a completed ship. This technique allows industrial shipbuilders such as the 4A Yards faster and at lower cost than the international competition. The United Republics produce container, bulk carrier, tanker and ro-ro ships that are sold to shipping companies across the world. There are 17 major port cities in Zacapican, all of which are home to a shipbuilding industry of some descrtibtion, be it a large scale manufacturer exporting finished vessels to the global markets or smaller scale shipyards which primarily service the large domestic shipping and fishing industries. With most of Zacapican's largest cities invested in the shipbuilding industry to one extent or another, the industry represents one of the central economic interests of Zacapican.

The rest of the Zacapine manufacturing sector is itself focused primarily on products related to industry in some way, such as tools, industrial machinery, and components needed for other finished products. While, shipbuilding and the production of finished vehicles and aircraft for export forms some of the major pillars of the industrial economy, most of the products produced in the United Republics are intermediate components or machinery to be exported and used by foreign industrial firms. The most notable example of this is the auto industry. Zacapican has no domestic automobile manufacturer, yet the country is home to many factories producing automotive components for foreign auto manufacturers. Another large section of the manufacturing industries in Zacapican is metallurgical, producing the necessary steel and other metal alloys to be used in the manufacturing process, while specific strategic resources such as lithium, coltan and nickel are imported from other countries to facilitate industrial processes. A small but lucrative subsector of manufacturing in Zacapican is high tech manufacturing, in particular the semiconductor industry consolidated under the Centlaxotlaltica corporation chip foundries. While the costs of entry into high tech manufacturing are too high for many industrial calpolli to be able to afford, the high profitability of the semiconductor and other high technology industries is expected to draw larger calpolli conglomerates into these sectors in the near future.

Energy

  Nuclear (81%)
  Hydroelectric (15%)
  Solar (2%)
  Other (2%)

Electric power generated in the United Republics is a valuable local export in southern Oxidentale, where it is sold across the northern border to Kayahallpa and in particular Yadokawona. Electricity generation in Zacapican is centralized under Cenikpitikayotl corporation, an anonymous limited company under majority ownership by the government of Zacapican. Cenikpitikayotl does not have a total monopoly in the energy sector in Zacapican but remains the largest energy corporation by far in part thanks to government subsidies for its operations. Electricity arrived in Zacapican relatively late, first appearing in the 1890s and still not reaching many rural regions of the mountainous interior until the mid 1930s. When it finally began to expand, the electrification of the country was accomplished using many coal burning power stations clustered around the major industrial centers on the coasts. The detrimental effects of burning coal were relatively well understood early on during the Zacapine industrialization process, although few viable alternatives existed in this era. Hydroelectric dams were built in many areas to reduce the need for coal power stations to provide power to the country's growing industrial cities. Public pressure to reduce air pollution by eliminating coal power built up during the 1940s and 50s, culminating in the "nuclear decade" of the 1960s. Nuclear was favored as a stable, year-round source of energy which could increase or reduce production based on market conditions rather than being reliant on environmental conditions like other renewables, and so was considered to be a true alternative to coal as a means of powering Zacapican's heavily industrialized economy. The first nuclear reactor, the now famous Angatahuaca-Chapulco Power Station, began operation in 1961 and would soon be joined by dozens more supplying the enormous energy demands of the large coastal urban centers of the United Republics as part of a nationwide nuclearization initiative directed at the level of the federal government. Today, there are a total of 61 nuclear reactors in Zacapican providing four fifths of all electricity in the country. Hydroelectricity takes up the position of distant second in terms of power generation in Zacapican and is especially common in the north and interior regions where it is based on small hydroelectric dams in the high-altitude valleys which supply power to otherwise isolated regions. Many of these dams were built prior to the nuclearization and so were built as an alternative to coal power stations rather than nuclear reactors. Additionally, the northern highland dams provide important reservoirs used to provide water for human consumption, irrigation and industrial purposes in the arid regions of the country.

Electricity from the grid is widely used to power transportation systems such as metros, trams and both passenger and freight trains which have undergone sweeping conversion from diesel to electric over efficiency concerns. A majority of the Zacapine freight rail network has been electrified over the last few decades, enabling most of the rail system to operate on the supply of low cost electric power provided by the nation's array of nuclear power stations. Zacapican is an outlier of Oxidentale in that its private motor vehicles, namely cars and trucks, continue to operate gasoline and diesel engines as opposed to the electric vehicles commonplace elsewhere on the continent. This is primarily due to the high cost of lithium which makes the powerful batteries of electric vehicles prohibitively expensive for the Zacapine market. Vehicle owners in Zacapican continue to show preference to gas and diesel-powered personal vehicles due to their low cost and longevity compared to expensive electric vehicles which often have a shorter shelf life. Because of this, the scheme of energy used for transport is a mixture of electric powered freight, passenger rail and urban public transportation, contrasted with urban and rural personal transportation which relies more on hydrocarbon fuels. Due in part to this latter demand, some domestic companies have emerged to supply biodiesel produced from sorghum, corn and miscellaneous plant matter produced by the agricultural sector. Biodiesel has in the past served as an attractive and domestically made alternative to foreign petroleum fuels, particularly when market disruptions cause international oil prices to fluctuate. The biofuels sector also serves to meet demand for heating, which has remained largely based on gas or gas-alternative biofuel rather than the more expensive electric heating alternative.

Transportation

National Route 30 traversing Amegatlan Seaport and the Amegatlan-Angatahuaca international airport

The transportation scheme found across the United Republics is heavily influenced by the Calpollist development model that has shaped the expansion of its urban and industrial centers. Zacapine urbanism is highly industrial in its nature, with most cities having a nucleus of industrial plants and factories that form the economic basis of the surrounding calpolli communities. Widespread and rapid urbanization in the 20th century saw the emergency of rapid transit, light rail and electric omnibus transit networks all across the largest Zacapine cities as new districts were built up in a matter of months around the ever expanding manufacturing industries and millions of people began to move into the major cities from across rural Zacapican and the rest of the world. In general, the sustained outward expansion of the typical Zacapine city relies on new Calpolli being added to the periphery which is typically accompanied by the extension of roads and rail transit lines to move inputs and end products to and from those new calpolli factories, as well as transit lines to move the workers to and from the rest of the city. The largest cities in Zacapican rely heavily on the rapid transit train network due to its great efficiency in moving vast volumes of passengers which makes it optimal for closely packed, dense urban cores. Less dense and less developed cities in Zacapican rely more on busses traveling on the surface streets, which are typically electic busses powered by overhead lines.

Overall, the road network across the United Republics has an extent of 377,195 km (234,378 mi) of which 216,822 km (134,726 mi) are paved. Roughly 7% of the total length of roadways in the country consists of multi lane expressways and major arteries for the automotive transportation system which plays a significant role to the overall transit system of the country. Both the roads and railways are nationalized in Zacapican. Most expressways operate on a system of tolls which help to finance their upkeep, while the railways permit the passage of trains owned by private companies on their rail network for a fee for the same purpose. In general, the state ownership model for these means of transportation is regarded as most efficient. Because of the mountainous terrain of the Zacapine interior, the development of these vital overland transport networks has been somewhat impaired. For much of the modern history of Zacapican, the road and rail networks were in disjointed fragments isolated to the flat and densely populated zones and did not form a cohesive network until the 21st century when expensive cross-mountain bridges and tunnels could be built to unify the system.

Ximahk bridge along the Tzopilopan-Quitzapatzaro railway

The most extensive network of railways and roadways are the coastal avenues which travel along the relatively flat and densely populated eastern and western coasts. Of the 21 national expressways in Zacapican, 15 are found in the north and west coast regions, with the remainder primarily traversing east to west to connect the two traveling through mountain routes over central and southern Zacapican and the rugged Fishtail peninsula. These expressways are the main means of regional and interregional passenger transportation. The railways are primarily used for freight purposes and serve as the main arteries of non-passenger industrial tranportation, with effectively all Zacapine goods traveling at some point in their production or distribution through the freight cars of the national rail corporation Tepozcoatl. Two high speed rail lines exist in Zacapican disconnected from one another, these being the east and west coast lines which interlink the major metropolitan centers on each coast and are able to remain financially viable due to the high traffic between these destinations. However, due to much lower density of demand in the interior as well as terrain making it difficult to lay rail for high-speed trains, high speed rail has not yet been able to establish itself between the coasts of the country in the interior regions which remain the domain of conventional passenger rail and the motorway system.

Sea links have historically been the lifeblood of the Zacapine state and its precursors, due to the difficulty of the interior which made overland travel generally unforgiving. In the modern day, both sea and air links are grouped in the same non-terrestrial transport category in the United Republics and remain in regular use for travel along the densely populated coasts and between these regions. Air travel in Zacapican is closely regulated by the government but is entirely controlled by private firms making up many dozens of national and regional airlines. There are nearly 1,400 airports in Zacapican and every city above 400,000 inhabitants have a dedicated and modern airport for its service, with domestic air travel making up another large category of passenger travel in Zacapican. However, the eight largest airports in the country corresponding to the five largest cities handle around 90% of all air traffic in the country. By comparison there are 79 seaports in Zacapican, 49 along the west coast and 30 along the eastern coast. Roll on-roll off cargo shipping is commonly used for short range maritime transportation of goods, while major ferry terminals exist in every port city in Zacapican to connect to other ports as well as many smaller terminals along the waterfronts of the same city. Smaller coastal cities and towns are connected by these same maritime passenger and freight transit connections to each other and the major hubs, and in some port cities a portion of commuting workers enter the city from nearby towns or outer wards of the city itself by way of ferry transport rather than rail or road transportation.

Communications

The majority of Zacapine telecommunication infrastructure is owned by the state corporation Cecnitlacayoh Nuhhuian Macho Huehcacaquiztli Atlepetequipanoliztli (CNMHA), a public utility corporation which enjoyed a total monopoly status between 1925 and 1961 when the sector was liberalized and deregulated to allow private competitors for the first time to establish their own telecoms and broadcasting networks. CNMHA in the modern day has retained its near total monopoly on communications infrastructure in the country, however, and operates using a business model of renting its established equipment out to private networks for a fee which covers the equipment maintenance costs. Zacapican has a state owned internet service provider, Nahuanet, which provides free internet access across the country and operates as a subsidiary of CNMHA. While many private competitors also offer commercial internet services which are generally faster and of a higher quality, the Nahuanet internet service which is publicly available to all residents in the country is considered an indispensable public asset despite its annual losses subsidized by the state treasury. CNMHA telephone, telegraph, facsimile and television infrastructure services however are not free to use and the fees the corporation is able to charge to media networks and private companies to use its equipment enables it to generate revenue and effectively cover many of its own expenses without state subsidization while keeping the fees and costs down for the average citizen for basic services as the costs are absorbed by neither CNMHA nor the individual user but rather the private firms paying for the privilege of service on the public system. This model has remained in place for decades thanks in large part to the extensive network of public infrastructure owned by CNMHA the construction of which was paid for by the state, making it more affordable for most private firms to pay the fee to use this network rather than finance and establish their own parallel private networks for their own use. Nevertheless, limited broadcasting stations, especially for radio and television, have been established in large cities like Angatahuaca and Quitzapatzaro where the high density of customers can make the investment into private infrastructure financially sound in the long term.

Demographics

Zacapican is considered a medium to large nation relative to the world standard, playing host to a variety of unique ethnic groups and populations. There are 70,103,619 people living in Zacapican according to the 2022 census carried out by the United Republics Office of Statistics within the Secretariat of Internal Affairs. 63.6% of the recorded population, roughly 44,585,901 people, is between the ages of 15 and 64 while 24.2% (approximately 16,965,076 people) are under 14 while only 12.2% or 8,552,641 people were recorded as being over 64 years of age. In general, the population has a mostly balanced sex ration averaging 0.98 males to females across all ages, with a surplus of males under 15 at a ratio of 1.05 males to females in that cohort, compared to a ratio of 0.72 males to females 65 and over. The average life expectancy is 77.14 years at birth. Less than 30% of Zacapitecs identify as Nahua ethnically, while 88.9% speak Nahuatl as a first language compared to 97.9% of the population which are proficient in Nahuatl. 99.6% of those aged over 15 can read and write in at least one language. Over the past 40 years, Zacapican has maintained a relatively stable rate of population growth averaging at a 2.1% increase every 5 years. The nation experienced its most precipitous growth in the past hundred years between 1914 and 1947, a period of Zacapitec history marked by industrialization and urbanization, following which the growth rate stabilized towards its current norm.

Ethnicity and Language

Ethnic Composition of the United Zacapine Republics
Nahua
27.5%
Purépecha
9.9%
Tzhuana
6.1%
Xi'oi
5.7%
Chaan
5.2%
Otomi
4.9%
Caxcan
4.8%
Iakan
4.6%
Zacateco
3.9%
Cochimí
3.4%
Kayan
3.3%
Ludics
3.2%
Biele
3.1%
Ona
2.9%
Mapuche
2.4%
Guaycura
2.2%
Lushyods
2.1%
Jin
2.0%
Onekawan
1.4%
Nuu Savi
1.1%
Other
0.3%
Values represent self-identification

The United Zacapine Republics is an ethnically diverse nation inhabited by more than two dozen recognized groups, eighteen of which exceed one million members. The ethnicities present in Zacapican can be divided into the categories of Huecachane or those who immigrated into the country within the last 200 years, and those who have inhabited the country for more than 200 years. The latter group can be further subdivided into Huitztecame or peoples originating in southern or central Zacapican, and the Mictecame or peoples originating in northern Zacapican, broader Oxidentale or Norumbia. The Mictecame cultures are the most prevalent in the recorded history and modern-day society of Zacapican, with such influential peoples as the historically significant Purépecha and the widespread and culturally dominant Nahuas being Mictecame of northern origins. Together, all Mictecame groups make up a simple majority of the Zacapine population, while the Huecachane narrowly surpass the Huitztecame in the modern day. However, no single ethnic group approaches a majority of the population, with the most numerous being the ethnic Nahuas making up slightly more than one quarter of the population. There is a strong distinction between ethnicity and nationality in Zacapican. Ethnic classifications describe the heritage of any given person, even those who may be mostly nahuanized and may no longer speak the language or keep the cultural practices of their ancestors. Zacapine nationality, on the other hand, describes a persons sense of belonging within the Zacapine national identity which is based on civic rather than ethnic nationalism. Nationality corresponds to a legal status as a citizen or a Zacapine national, whereas ethnicity confers no legal status one way or another.

Mictecame

The Nahua groups in Zacapican are not only the most numerous but also the most geographically widespread ethnic group across the country. The Proto-Nahua peoples originate in what is now the Xallipan Republic in northern Zacapican, migrating into the more hospitable central and southern territories some time in the 1st millennium BCE. Being a widely dispersed and numerous group the Nahuas are divided into many regional variations and subgroups which are grouped together into western Nahuas inhabiting coastal Cuauhtlaco and Zacaco Republic, central Nahuas inhabiting the Zacaco Valley and the Mixtepemec mountains, and eastern Nahuas primarily inhabiting Xochicuahuico, Aztaco and eastern Tlaximallico Republics. Nahuatl became the lingua franca of the entire region following the Nahua migration as nearly every tribe and kingdom across all of what is now Zacapican had some contact with the Nahua diaspora, making the Nahuatl tongue a convenient and nearly universal bridge language for commerce and diplomacy between any two groups.

Of the non-Nahua Mictecame, the Purépecha are the most notable and well documented historically. They originate in Norumbia in what is now Belfras where they were documented by the Kayamuca as a technologically advanced seafaring people. Very little remains of the Purépecha migration by sea in modern day Mutul or Kayahallpa as the only documented post migration Purépecha colonies can be found in western Zacapican and are first recorded in the late 1st millenium CE. The Purépecha remained a significant presence in the Zacapine west coast, establishing a number of sea-faring city states and even establishing outposts around the south and east of the Fishtail peninsula including the settlement of Angatahuaca. Other Mictecame originating in interior Oxidentale are the Zacatecatl, Otomi, the Pame and Caxcan peoples, all of whom migrated southwards into the Zacapine region in the centuries between the Nahua and Purépecha migrations.

Huitztecame

The least numerous and most sporadically dispersed of the three categories of Zacapine ethnies are the Huitztecame. In the modern day, these groups are primarily found within ethnic enclave regions in the Mixtepemec mountains in the Ayomazaco, Xochicuahuico and Zacaco Republics, as well as the other isolated and rugged regions such as the interior of the Aztaco and Anamictlan peninsulas. The most accepted definition of a Huitztecatl tribe or ethnicities are those which were already inhabiting the region during the time of the Nahua migration, as many groups of the region can only be attested through archeological means and are only documented in contemporary history by the first recorded accounts in Classical script. Many of the ancient Huitztecame lacked any indigenous writing system, making their histories prior to the arrival of the Nahuas difficult to verify. The Cochimí as well as the smaller Guaycura originally inhabited the fertile Zacaco valley but were largely displaced by the Nahuas and other Mictecame tribes in ancient times and now inhabit the highlands of the eastern Zacaco Republic and western Xochicuahuico and Ayomazatl Republics in concentrated ethnic enclaves.

The Mapuche, who inhabit the Cuauhtlaco Republic, have achieved periods of independence from the dominant Zacapine polity miltiple times in history with the most recent being a short lived breakway state during the Zacapine Revolution. Significant numbers of the Mapuche people reside on the Kayahallpan side of the border, further exaserbating the general suspicion and hostility between the Zacapine government and the leaders of the Mapuche. Consequently, the Mapuche enclaves in Cuauhtlaco are among the most economically depressed regions in all of Zacapican and have become a hotbed of Mapuche seperatist sentiment which has contributed to further deterioration in the living conditions of Zacapine Mapuche. The opposite is true of the Ona and Iakan people, native to the southern Fishtail peninsula in what is now the Anamictlan Republic. These peoples of the far south have enjoyed preferential treatment by the Nahua-Purépecha Zacapine polity for most of modern and medieval history and have partially assimilated into the dominant cultural institutions of Zacapican.

Huecachane

The majority of the Huecachane migrated to Zacapican in the decades following the Zacapine Revolution, during the modernization and industrialization phase of the Xolotecate which rapidly raised the standard of living for many Zacapines and introduced many new industries to the country which demanded more laborers than could be made available from the native workforce. This was particularly pronounced during the decade of the 1910s as the steel industry boomed in Zacapican, prompting many steel producing companies to begin appealing for workers in foreign countries with full approval of Tepachoani Xolotecatl who would implement a citizenship path for those migrating to Zacapican to work. The earliest contingents of such migrant laborers were the Biele, a persecuted group originating in Drevstran which had already begun to flee the country into neighboring states in Belisaria. Due to the economic hardship experienced in the country and the ongoing Drevstranese Civil War other Drevstranese demographics, the Lushyods in particular, were drawn to the option of emigration to Zacapican by the same efforts of the Zacapine industries to draw on Biele migrants. The success of these early efforts to attract migrants triggered a ripple effect and popularized the growing United Zacapine Republics as a destination for those living in poor conditions and seeking a better life. This reputation alone proved a major factor in drawing other ethnicities including the Chaan, Ben Zaa and Nuu Savi originating in the Mutul or the Onekawans and Tzhuana originating in Malaio to relocate to the growing Zacapine industrial centers and establishing themselves in the growing immigrant enclaves being established in the major Zacapine cities such as Angatahuca and Quitzapatzaro. The Kayan and Aymara contingents of the Huecachane are the most recent major migration wave to come to Zacapican and the only major wave to arrive after the Xolotecate era, primarily coming to Zacapican in flight of the political instability and persecution experienced in Kayahallpa throughout the mid 20th century.

Most of the Huecachane have resided in Zacapican for at least two generations and have generally assimilated into Zacapine society and some aspects of the local cultures. The most prominent of these forms of assimilation is linguistic. Taken as a group, Huecachane have a higher rate of proficiency and greater literacy and fluency rates in Nahuatl than any other non-Nahua contingent be they Mictecame or Huitztecame. Moreover, the majority of every Huecachane ethnicities have seen declining rates of proficiency in their ancestral languages as the successive new generations more often speak Nahuatl as their first language than their own ethnic mother tongue. This effect is more pronounced with the earlier Huecachane immigrants such as the modern descendants of the Drevstranese and Mutulese immigrants whose families have now inhabited Zacapican for 100 years. The native cuisine and religion of Huecachane groups has proved far more resistant to assimilation than the language, as the latter becomes easily ingrained by the public school system in Zacapican which may teach a Mictecame or Huitztecame language in addition to the required Nahuatl, but rarely offer any lessons in Huecachane languages. Nahuatl proficiency is frequently reinforced in successive generations born in Zacapican who are educated in the Zacapine school system and whose proficiency is reinforced by a lifetime of participation in the Nahuatl speaking social institutions and business world.

Urbanization

Zacapican is an urbanized nation with roughly 47% of the nation's population living within the city limits of the country's twenty largest urban centers. However, it is not uniformly urbanized across all regions. Most Zacapitecs live on the plains of the Zacaco Valley and on the coastal regions of the eastern and western seaboards. The most populated regions relative to their land area are the Autonomous Federal District almost completely filled by the city of Quitzapatzaro and its suburbs, followed by the Zacaco Republic with its populated Zacaco valley, then the Aztaco peninsula with major coastal cities including Angatahuaca offsetting the sparsely populated mountainous interior of the peninsula. According to the 2019 census, 82% of the Zacapitec population live in urban zones, whether inside city limits or within urbanized satellite communities. Many of the cultures inhabiting the Zacapine territory have a historically urban culture, living and working in concentrated municipalities rather than dispersed across the countryside.

Culture

The culture of modern Zacapican is built on the foundations of ancient indigenous practices and the multitudes of external influences brought to the home country by decades of sustained immigration and centuries of intercontinental trade and exchange. The central pillar of Zacapine culture is the mélange of the native south Oxidental peoples who have intermingled with one another for millennia and integrated several ancient migrants such as the Nahuas and the Purépecha, some of the most prominent native peoples in the country. Ancient and medieval literary works, philosophy, religious tradition, cuisine and visual arts created through the centuries by these native cultures form the basis of the south Oxidental culture into which many external influences have been integrated over the years. The centuries of prosperity and interconnectivity under the rule of Aztapamatlan fostered intercontinental cultural exchange with some of the greatest civilizations from across the world, such as the Tahamaja of the Ozeros Sea, the Kayamuca of northern Oxidentale and Norumbia, and the Latins of Belisaria and northern Scipia, further enriching the culture of Aztapamatlan with their contributions and innovations.

After two decades of civil war, post-Revolutionary Zacapican began its meteoric industrialization and rise to global significance, which brought waves upon waves of immigration into the country on an unprecedented scale. During the first half of the 20th century, millions of immigrants from eastern Belisaria, southern Malaio, Ochran and northern Oxidentale arrived in the ports of Angatahuaca and Quitzapatzaro, living in close proximity to one another and to the further millions of indigenous Zacapine peoples migrating from their isolated homelands in the interior to the burgeoning industrial cities. This created the conditions for a multicultural explosion of new genres of art, music, style and cuisine as dozens of ethnic groups from all over the world introduced one another to their own traditions and philosophies in these thriving melting pot cities. Through generations of cultural exchange and intermarriage, the cultures of Zacapican have blended together in the melting pot into a new distinctly Zacapine culture which is not fully homogenous but is no longer heterogenous either. Nahuatl has become the dominant language spoken by all Zacapine peoples and has largely displaced minority languages as the prime medium of communication even in their own communities. However, myriad local dialects have emerged replete with loanwords from various foreign and indigenous languages. Cuisine likewise has both diversified and homogenized simultaneously as many foreign cuisines have become popular across Zacapican while incorporating ingredients and presentations more familiar to the native Zacapine palette. This phenomenon can be seen across all aspects of modern Zacapine society, which is increasingly made up of mixed-heritage peoples.

Architecture

The art deco style is common in Zacapican, especially in monuments, public buildings and prestige projects from the first half of the 20th century

Zacapican is the heir to a rich history of urbanism and monumental construction going back thousands of years which has fostered the developments of unique styles of architecture as well as many local variations of international styles. Sturdy stone complexes and pyramids dating back as far as the 7th century BCE have been found in the territory of modern Zacapican, many of which still stand to this day. The styles of these ancients were adopted by later arrivals to the region such as the diasporic Nahuas, whose integration into the culture of southern Oxidentale can be measured by their adoption of the local architectural methods and the creation of their own variations of the common styles of pyramid, pillar, wall and rooftop. The distinctive style of what is known today as classical Zacapine architecture was established by Aztapamatlan, which spread their unique style far and wide across their territory through their endless prestige projects and public works all across the landscape. However, as with many other aspects of Zacapine culture, architecture in Zacapican would undergo great upheaval after the Zacapine Revolution.

The Xolotecate era saw the introduction of the Belisarian neoclassical style in Zacapican, where it became influenced by indigenous architectural motifs of the Aztapaman classical style. This became notable across much of Zacapican in the 1910s and 1920s as much of the destruction brought by the Revolution and the subsequent civil war was being rebuilt in the new styles which included the imported neoclassical style which was propagated throughout the country by foreign-trained Zacapine building engineers such as Matiak Seti. However, by far the most prominent style of the Xolotecate era was the art deco style, which was adopted early by the regime for use in public buildings and infrastructure projects due to its sleek and modern appearance. Art deco became synonymous with new construction for decades. Thousands of apartment buildings, monuments, and public projects have been built over the years in this style. It would be replaced in some aspects by the brutalist style of the 1960s and 70s widely propagated by the building boom of that era. The most recent trend in Zacapine architecture is a deco-classical revivalist movement, incorporating aspects of sleek modernist architecture, classic art deco and the old classical Zacapine style.

Art

Sports

Cuisine

A Zacapine tlaxquitl with pork sausage, blood sausage and assorted cuts of beef

Zacapine cuisine is a reflection of the country's diversity of ethnic groups, terrains and climates which manifest a different combination of local tastes and available ingredients in every region and many unique variations on common dishes. The trends of cuisine are however broadly divided into two general spheres, that of maize and that of the potato. Maize is the dominant crop of the coasts and generally overlaps with the most fish consuming regions of the country, whereas the interior mountainous territories where potatoes are most common are where meat from livestock such as sheep or beef which were introduced in the mid 16th century are more common. Belisarian and Ochranian dishes which traditionally use wheat flour, especially pasta and noodles, are typically modified for the Zacapine palette by substituting corn flour in its stead. This is a defining feature of Zacapine Latin and Jin cuisines.

Prior to any strong exchange with the eastern continents, the staple meats of Zacapican were rabbit, llama or guanaco meat and fish. While rabbit remains popular in some regions, by and large the introduced livestock such as chicken, cattle and sheep have replaced the indigenous livestock in the Zacapine diet. Zacapican is one of the biggest fish consuming countries in the world, especially in its densely populated coastal regions where fresh fish is readily available and consumed in large quantities, while it is less common in the interior. Beef, pork, mutton and chicken however are popular both in the interior and on both coasts, and is the focus on the traditional tlaxquitl barbeque which is only occasionally done with fish. In almost all cases, meats are necessarily accompanied in flavorful sauces made with various combinations chilis, tomatoes, garlic, onions and herbs. Hundreds of different varieties of sauces exist in Zacapican and often serve to characterize a specific local cuisine.

Brown chicha, a popular beverage in northern Zacapican

The tlaxcalli made of nixtamalized corn flower is the universal staple and is the basis for the most common street food and popular dishes most often eaten by every day Zacapines. The simple tlaxcalli can be filled with spices, cheese, any type of meat or fish, and various vegetables or mushrooms and serves as a versatile genre of dish which is both exceedingly common among street vendors and is also widely prepared at home for breakfast, lunchtime or as a dinner for the family. Xihuichi, a dish of marinated raw fish and herbs. Tamales are another versatile and popular dish based on nixtamalized maize flour that may have various fruit, vegetable, meat or fish filling and are widely popular and have been liberally modified to fit the diverse tastes of a wide number of Zacapine immigrant communities.

A wide variety of flavored, thickened, alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are found in Zacapine cuisine. Among the most common is Cececatl flavored with fruits, flowers and seeds blended into the beverage to produce flavors such as tamarind, lemon and horchata. An alchaholic variant of Cececatl is Chicha, which uses corn beer rather than simple water as the base substance of the beverage but follows similar flavoring patterns and is often sold in the same places as Cececatl. Octli is a favorite alcoholic drink made of maguey sap, and is the base form and byproduct of the brewing of the sacred beverage Xiuhatl which is a stronger liquor made of the same substance. In colder months, warm beverages thickened with maize flour such as chocolate atole are popular, and are sold widely in local cafes year round. More recent additions to the culture of beverages such as coffee have been adapted to the local tastes in the form of Xoctlicape, coffee brewed in an earthen pot which gives the beverage a unique flavor.

Chocolate in Zacapican is not sweet but is instead usually unsweetened, typically bitter, and often flavored with spices such as many varieties of chili. The Zacapine traditional chocolate is closely related to Mutulese Kakaw, having many aspects in common as both far predate the spread of chocolate to the rest of the world. Indeed most chocolate for the Zacapine market is imported from the Mutul. Sweet deserts are usually based on tzopetlapazcalli, litteraly "sweet milk", prepared as its name suggests by heating a mixture of sugar and milk together. Tzopetlapazcalli is used as a sweet spread on potato bread or tlaxcallis, but is also used to make candy and as a filling in many Zacapine pastries. Candied fruits and fruit flavors are also used as fillings and as sweet deserts.