|Republic of Carthage
|Motto: "Perseverance Through All"|
|Anthem: The Republic|
Carthage and its homeland dependencies (2013).
|Recognised national languages||American English|
|Recognised regional languages||Arabic, Bambara, Berber, Hausa, Igbo, Swahili, Yoruba|
|Ethnic groups (2013)||Libyo-Phoenician, Ibero-Celtic, Union-American, Black African|
|-||Speaker of the Senate||Adherbal Massyli|
|-||First Citizen of the Popular Assembly||Muttunbaal Tharros|
|Legislature||Legislature of the Republic|
|-||Lower house||Popular Assembly|
|Founding of the city of Carthage|
|-||Independence from Tyre||650 BCE|
|-||Declaration of Empire||March 15, 201 CE|
|-||Sub-Saharan Conquest||September 3, 1254 CE|
|-||Declaration of Republic||May 9, 1848 CE|
6,665,150 sq mi
|GDP (PPP)||2014 estimate|
|GDP (nominal)||2014 estimate|
|Currency||Sheqel (₪) (
|Time zone||UTC -7 to +3|
|-||Summer (DST)||Not observed (UTC)|
|Date format||dd-mm-yyyy CE|
|Drives on the||right|
|Internet TLD||.cth, .cthe, .cthm, .cthg|
Carthage, officially the Republic of Carthage (Punic: Qart-ḥadašt) is a federal presidential republic in northern Africa and central North America, with overseas holdings in other areas. The homeland of Carthage includes the majority of the northern areas of the African continent as well as additional holdings in other regions including Muhr and Iola.
The political and cultural core of modern Carthage was first settled by Phoenician traders in the 13th century BCE, who established a settlement at a strategic point along the trade routes to the western Mediterranean. Over time, this settlement developed into a prosperous city state that established its own colonies and gained political independence following the sack of Tyre, founding an empire on the basis of its vast trade network. Modern Carthage is descended from this original city-state, and is politically considered a direct successor to the Carthaginian trade empire.
Carthage is a developed country with a high GDP per capita and aggregate household wealth, and Carthaginian citizens enjoy high standards of living and health. As a result of a relatively healthy diet and robust healthcare system, Carthaginians have an above-average life expectancy and benefit from a high level of public education. It is a significant exporter of goods, primarily telecommunications equipment and information technology, and a major importer of agricultural products and raw minerals. Tourism makes up a significant part of the economy in the historic northern areas of the country.
Since emerging from a period of relative isolationism during the waning years of the empire, the Republic of Carthage has greatly expanded its diplomatic efforts and involvement on the world stage, being a founding member of the Ctesiphon Pact and its successor as well as a founding member of the CONSTAT Pact. The Carthage Defense Forces are the military force of Carthage and is well-funded and well-equipped, with a modern arsenal of weaponry and a significant stockpile of nuclear weapons. Funding for international development has increased alongside the expansion of the ambassadorial corps to further Carthage's influence on the international stage.
The history of Carthage dates back to its founding in the 13th century BCE by Phoenician settlers from the great Phoenician city of Tyre. During this period, Phoenician settlers colonized much of the northern African coast, along with parts of Sicily and Iberia. Carthage, rendered in Phoenician as Qart-ḥadašt, was one of these cities, although it eventually rose to become the leading Phoenician city-state following the sack of Tyre by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE.
Independence (650 BCE-960 CE)
For 600 years after its founding, Carthage existed as a tributary colony of its parent city, Tyre. However, its great geographic distance from the Levant along with its slow integration to local customs and traditions eventually created a new Punic culture, a hybrid of Phoenician traditions with local and Greek influences. By 650 BCE, Carthage had begun planting its own colonies along the Mediterranean coast, and had begun developing its own military and foreign policy. Carthage, while now politically and militarily independent of Tyre, continued to be closely allied and pay tribute to the older city-state until Babylonian and Persian aggression in the Levant caused a mass-exodus of Tyrian citizens.
The early period of Carthage's history as an independent power center around its clashes with the Greeks over Sicily, an island which it ultimately was never able to fully control during antiquity. Clashes over Sicily led to tensions with the rising city-state of Rome in the Punic Wars, which ended when Carthaginian general Hannibal Barca narrowly defeated Publius Cornelius Scipio at the Battle of Zama in the Second Punic War. With Rome spent of manpower, and Carthage spent of money, relatively neutral terms were agreed to, and both sides turned their focus to expanding their empires elsewhere. Carthage ceded Sicily in exchange for maintaining its claims in the Iberian Peninsula and Sardinia, while Roman suzerainty over southern Europe was assured. Carthage expanded its empire in southern Africa while consolidating its hold along the northern African coast and the Iberian Peninsula south of the Ebro river.
Carthaginian civilization in antiquity reached the height of its power in the 2nd century CE, with firm control of northern Africa west of Egypt, Iberia, and the northern Sahara through the Garamantes, and tributary states and allies comprising the tribes of the Atlantic African coast and Egypt. By this time, Carthage remained a nominal republic, ruled mostly by a group of elder statesmen, but since the reign of Hannibal Barca, the office of Suffet had become increasingly powerful. In 201 CE, Hasdrubal Mago declared the foundation of the Carthaginian Empire, in response to Roman centralization efforts, bringing what had been a network of largely independent tributary states more tightly into the Punic fold. The empire dominated trade in the western Mediterranean Sea and the western European and African coasts, and was sustained by vast agricultural projects along northern Africa, supported by a large system of aqueducts and other public works.
By the 4th century CE, the republic had entered a slow state of stagnation. Trade revenues had remained largely stable for some time, but the expansion of the population strained agricultural output. The limitations of oar-powered ships and the vast Sahara desert to the south limited expansion in Africa, while Roman power in the north limited any further expansion in Europe. Nevertheless, Carthage remained a major political and economic power, and remained in a peaceful state for the next few centuries. Sustained by its trading wealth, the Empire survived the collapse of the western Roman Empire and the travails of its eastern relative.
In the 7th century, Muslim Arab armies attacked Carthage's occasional client-state Egypt, and although Carthage's armies were too late to repel the invasion of Egypt, the armies of the Rashidun Caliphate were repulsed by Carthage at the Battle of Cyrene in modern Libya. Despite this defeat, deserting soldiers along with refugees and merchants operating from Egypt established small pockets of Islam within Carthage's wider holdings, which the Carthaginian senate chose not to expel so long as any settlers swore oaths of loyalty to the empire. Subsequent attacks by the later Umayyad Caliphate were also repulsed, and by 845 CE, most of Egypt had been retaken from Arab hands.
African Expansion (960-1300)
As a result of the population influx, Carthage once again entered a period of vibrancy. Culture and the arts flourished throughout the north African coast, and improved agricultural techniques were able to reduce the pressure on food supplies caused by the burgeoning population. Around this time, the vast expanses of the Atlantic prompted Carthaginian interest in sailing ships rather than galleys, previously the mainstay of Mediterranean navies. Trade caravans traveling south through the territory of the Garamantes brought new wealth from the inhabitants of the Niger area, mostly in the form of raw materials.
In 964 CE, the Nri Kingdom of Sub-Saharan Africa barred trade with Carthage, feeling threatened by the influx of Carthaginian traders and the competing religions and culture they brought. Carthage refused to enforce the ban on its own merchants, allowing them to continue trading with the kingdom at their own risk. In 975 CE, a caravan of Carthaginian merchants was finally attacked and massacred by Nri warriors. Although it was later demonstrated that these warriors operated of their own accord without influence or approval from the Nri priest-king, this nuance was lost on the Carthaginian senate at the time. Despite the geographic distance, Carthage issued a declaration of war, and using merchant trade routes was able to send a relatively small force of 21,000 infantry by land. This force met and defeated a hastily-organized Nri force, and for the next four years campaigned to subdue the nation. Now possessing a secure base, Carthaginian influence began to expand throughout the region, bringing it firmly under Punic control by 1254 CE.
Iberian Colonization and the Trade Wars (1492-1550)
Iberia formed one of the oldest parts of the empire by this point in time, but some lingering cultural differences created an impetus for foreign colonization. The most northern of the Punic holdings, Iberia had long been a leader in the empire in regards to the development of sailing ships, through which the empire traded with more northern parts of Europe. Unsubstantiated claims indicate that Punic-Iberian expeditions may have voyaged to the Cape of Good Hope, but nonetheless, in 1492, an expedition by Ibero-Punic sailors attempting to find a trade route to Asia resulted in the discovery of the Americas. Colonization of the Caribbean and the area now known as Brazil followed in short order, and newly enriched, Carthage became by far the dominant power in the Mediterranean Sea.
In 1494, Venice, then the second-largest naval power in the Mediterranean, fought a brief war against Carthage over trade rights in the Byzantine Empire. The war ended in a Carthaginian victory, with the primary Venetian fleet crushed off Palermo. With Venice's power diminished, Carthage began exploiting additional trade rights in the Byzantine Empire and exploitation of the New World. Most settlers in the New World were of Iberian descent, although Punic settlers were not uncommon. The slave trade became a major factor in the Carthaginian trade economy as the non-annexed kingdoms of Sub-Saharan Africa depended on it for their livelihood. Trade with India also began during this period, and Carthaginian merchants in the east established trade with Japan, introducing firearms to the islands during the Sengoku Period.
By 1540, Carthage reached the zenith of its global influence, with control of much of the New World, dominance of the Mediterranean and Atlantic, and merchant stations as far as Japan. Enriched by this enormous wealth, however, the empire began falling prey to internal divisions. Unrest in Sub-Saharan Africa, and clashes with the Mayans in the Americas attracted a good deal of attention, while ineffective reforms and the declining competency of the monarchy led to the squandering of enormous sums on failed projects and extravagant palaces.
In 1590, the Empire once again became embroiled in a war with Venice, having by then unified the Italian Peninsula and allied with the kingdoms of France and England. With much of its army busy putting down revolts in southern Africa, and its navy protecting trade from Indonesian, African, and American pirates, Venice made great gains in the early war years, crippling the Carthaginian Mediterranean fleet. The return of the Carthaginian American fleet was barred by an indecisive naval battle with the French in the Atlantic, preventing any major reinforcement. As the lack of forests in Africa and the deforestation of Iberia had led to shortages of wood, another fleet could not be built quickly, and in 1598, Carthage sued for peace with Venice.
Although peace terms with Venice were relatively moderate, owing to the lack of Venetian desire to prosecute a land campaign, the loss of the Second Venetio-Punic War exacted a cultural and social toll on the formally vibrant society, and is considered to mark the end of the Hegemonic era, as Venice rose to dominance in the Mediterranean and Carthage entered a period of decline.
Following the conclusion of the Hegemonic era, the empire entered another period of slow stagnation. While the Mediterranean fleet was eventually rebuilt, it never challenged Venice in open battle, although skirmishes on the high seas were not infrequent. Revolts in southern Africa were firmly put down, and attempts at cultural integration began with a new wave of Punic migrants and public works. During the American Revolution, Carthage sent small aid to the rebels in the form of weapons and advisors, but declined to send troops or ships. It also lent supplies to the Sassanid expedition that supported the Americans at Yorktown. During this period of support, and inspired by the Americans, the Iberian settlers of Brazil began a campaign for independence. While the emperor and Senate were reluctant to be deprived of their largest colony, the cold reality of their inability to occupy it forcefully prevented any realistic answer but the affirmative. In 1792, the emperor with the approval of the Senate granted Brazil its independence.
In the 1830s, as revolutions spread through Europe, Carthage reached the nadir of its fortunes. The abolition of the slave trade was a major economic blow, and political unrest was on the rise. While Europe and the Americas began early industrialization via hydro- and steam power, the lack of major fast-flowing rivers in Carthaginian territory prevented any meaningful modernization. Food shortages became acute, while Carthage's remaining wealth was inefficiently managed by an increasingly incompetent monarchy and ineffective senate.
In 1848, these events came to a head, as the Violet Revolution led to the overthrow of the monarchy and the establishment of the Carthaginian Republic. The previous senate, based on noble privilege, was replaced by a freely elected one, and the property of the royal family was commandeered by the state. This was followed by a rapid period of modernization, mostly fueled by the importation of foreign technology funded by the remaining Carthaginian sugar islands in the Caribbean and mines in southern Africa.
Rapid industrialization led to the formation of the current system of conglomerates that dominate the Carthaginian economy, as relaxed regulations and government subsidies encouraged fierce competition and predatory business practices. Out of the initial forty conglomerates that controlled Carthage's economic landscape by the 1860s, only 16 would survive to the present day as increased regulation in the 20th century curbed a number of unscrupulous business practices and competition from abroad squeezed once-secure profit margins.
Aid was sent to the United States during the American Civil War, but was unable to prevent a Confederate victory. In response, industrial development was redoubled, with the resulting chaos of the post-Civil War era annexation bringing significant quantities of skilled American laborers to the new republic. By 1870, Carthage had begun converting its navy to an ironclad fleet, eventually building iron and later steel-hulled warships in its own shipyards. During this period, it also exchanged technological advisors with Japan, and concluded additional economic and security agreements with the Gozen Shogunate. However, full industrial expansion was hampered by a lack of major coal deposits, with most coal being imported from the United States. The development of the oil industry in the later 19th century changed this, and industrial expansion boomed, particularly in the south, where plentiful access to raw materials and cheap labor created vast factoryscapes along the Atlantic coast and Niger River.
In the early 20th century, Carthage began concluding economic and political agreements with several powers known for their opposition to Venetian expansion. Venetian expansion in Africa became a direct threat to Carthage's borders, while the unification of much of western Europe created additional security concerns. Modernization continued, with overall living standards in the Republic finally reaching those of western Europe by the 1920s. Major industries included metalworking and shipbuilding in the south, rich in resources, as well as expanding oil production along the Niger River delta.
In an effort to alleviate resource shortages, new colonies were established beginning in the 1880s, including what would later become the largest overseas dependency of Carthage, the Columbia Territory in Nocturnalya. The population of many overseas territories swelled significantly during the decades following the Inuk annexation of the United States, as Unionists began fleeing to the growing diaspora of displaced Americans. Small numbers of Japanese immigrants were also welcomed to the overseas territories before being restricted in the Gentlemen's Agreement of 1907.
The driving factor in initial colonization was the development of coal deposits to reduce dependency on imports. In contrast to previous colonization efforts, which had resulted in widespread independence movements, new colonies had increased self-governance and protection, and within three decades had received recognition and seats in the legislature. Improved governance following the Violet Revolution also contributed to reduced separatist sentiments among the new colonies, which were formally granted equal status in the federal government in 1931.
Tumultuous Decade (1930-1940)
The 1929 Great Depression caused a major dampening of economic activity, caused by the rampant overleveraging that had funded the Republic's industrialization. As with many nations, attempted economic stimulus projects from the government in the form of additional agricultural projects in northern Africa were attempted. Although generally successful, they were unable to fully reverse the economic decline, which was not fully ended until the 1940s, but they succeeded in reclaiming several hundred thousand square kilometers of arable land from the Sahara Desert, and resulted in the creation of the Sahara Desert Authority, a government organization tasked with developing useful ways to harness the desert for economic activity.
In 1931, the Tyrrhenian Sea Incident between Carthage and the Venetian Empire resulted in the two-month Mediterranean Skirmishes, between small naval units of both nations as well as sporadic fire between land garrisons in Iberia. As neither nation was willing to risk full war in the present economic condition, a formal ceasefire to the undeclared war was agreed up on September 10, 1931. Nonetheless, occasional standoffs and minor engagements would continue to occur through the end of the 1930s, and both nations began investing increasing amounts in defense spending. Carthaginian diplomats also began high-level meetings with the Russian and Sassanid governments, with the hope of countering European militarism.
Cold War (1940-1975)
In 1947, continued tensions with the United European Federation and Venetian Empire to the north led Carthage to sign a security pact with the Russian and Sassanid Empires, later dubbed the Ctesiphon Pact after the location of its signing. Brazil, Japan, and Inukiriniwdene were later admitted to the organization, while in response, Venice, the UEF, the Byzantines, Argentina, the CSA, and the Mongols created the rival Montgomery Pact.
Tensions between the two power blocs remained high during the Cold War period. In 1951, Carthage detonated its first nuclear weapon in the Sahara Test Range, developed with Russian assistance, and began expanding its nuclear and conventional arsenals. Uniquely among the Ctesiphon Pact powers, it was involved both in the Americas and the Eurasian theater, and began developing a carrier-based blue water navy and an army focused on strategic mobility, although smaller in size than its European foes.
In 1955, the Venetian Empire renewed its policy of expulsion and ethnic cleansing against the remaining African natives within its south African holdings, forcing millions into the already-crowded Congo River basin, the last remaining unclaimed space between the Republic and the Empire on the continent. This migration rippled through the territory and resulted in a larger influx of Africans toward Carthage's southern borders. Using this as a pretext, the Carthaginian government initiated a policy of diplomatic expansion into the region, propping up a number of friendly governments and expanding its influence in pursuit of its ultimate goal: control of the Congo basin and its immense hydropower potential.
Although nominally allied with all of the other powers of the Ctesiphon Pact, Carthage found itself most closely allied with Japan, Russia, and Inukiriniwdene, and technological collaboration with those nations improved over the course of the Cold War period. Although not initially a major player in the Space Race, in the 1960s the Republic began investing large sums into developing a space launch complex in Nigeria following the successful European launch of the first man into space.
In 1975, Carthage, Russia, and Inukiriniwdene cooperated to launch the first manned moon landing. Alex Helfelt, Yuri Cheknov, and Carthalo Theveste were jointly the first to set foot on the Moon from the Nirliq lander. This event only further heightened tensions with the UEF after a close encounter between the Russian cargo ship carrying the upper booster engines and a UEF submarine nearly resulted in a hostile engagement.
Northern War (1975-1978)
Three months after the successful launch Tanit 6 launch to the moon, political tensions between the Montgomery and Ctesiphon Pacts were at record levels. Ctesiphon-allied Japan had been engaged with the Montgomery-allied Mongols in Korea for some time, while border skirmishes between Brazil and Argentina were a regular occurrence. Despite this, both sides had resolutely resisted the push for a wider conflict, although they had both reinforced their allies in various unofficial capacities.
In May, 1975, the government of Inukiriniwdene initiated a new competition to select a VTOL fighter for service in the Arctic Fleet. To this end, trials were to be conducted in the Barents Sea, ostensibly as the mid-point between the other two invited powers, Carthage and Russia, but also as an unsubtle show of power to the European government. Two Carthaginian supercarriers, one Russian through-deck cruiser, and the Inuk Arctic Fleet flagship Inuvik took part in the trials pitting the Carthaginian AEV-41 Kestrel against the Inuk F-3 Dragonfly and Russian Yak-38.
The Carthaginian mainland occupies most of Northern Africa and all of Iberia and the Caribbean, and as such exhibits a wide variety of climates and geographic features.
Northern Africa is dominated by the vast Sahara, and is sparsely populated. Encroaching desertification was a common problem in North Africa, threatening the economy and livelihood of domestic farmers until the creation of the Sahara Desert Authority in the 1930s, which began a massive campaign to halt the Sahara's expansion and begin reclamation efforts. Efforts to reclaim usable land from the Sahara continue to the present day through the construction of canals and shelter belts to reduce sand deposits and wind speeds. The ecoregion still influences the warm, dry climate of the settlements bordering it, including Carthage itself. The eastern reach of the Sahara is punctuated by the Nile River, which supports major settlements along the Aegyptian coast as well as further inland in Meroe & Damot territory. The Nile is one of the world's longest rivers and supports the livelihood and economy of several Carthaginian territories as well as neighboring Axum.
Further south, the desert gives way to savanna and more forested territory, which is home to a wide variety of flora and fauna, including some of the world's largest land animals. This region is separated from the desert by the sahel and steppe zones. Rainfall in equatorial Carthage is significant, and the drainage basin in the Congo region feeds one of the world's fastest-flowing rivers. The Great Rift Valley dominates the eastern edge of Carthaginian territory, along the border with Axum.
Iberia is dominated by the Meseta Central and the Pyrenees mountains to the north, forming the border with the European Federation. The central plateau varies from 610 to 760 m in elevation and occupies most of the peninsula's land area. The peninsula is separated from mainland Carthage by the Straits of Hercules, although the completion of the Great Bridge of Hercules in 2007 created a land connection between the two territories, and the only direct land connection between Africa and Europe. Iberia is also the coldest region associated with mainland Carthage, although it is also temperate, with moderate winters and warm summers.
Carthage's Caribbean territories are composed of a number of island groups, the largest among them by land area being Cuba. Other major islands include Hispaniola, Puerto Rico, Santiago, Tortuga, Guadeloupe, and Barbados. The region is home to a tropical climate with varying rainfall based on elevation, size, and ocean currents, and are generally cooled by tradewinds from the east. The region enjoys year-round sunshine, although the latter half of the year is generally wetter than the earlier half.
The highest point in mainland Carthage is Kibo, in northern Tanganyika. It is one of the tallest free-standing mountains on Earth, and is located along the Axumite Kingdom's southern border in Mawzeni National Park. The lowest point is the Quattara Depression in Aegyptos, although the area has been partially flooded by efforts to develop a hydropower industry.
Since the 1980s, ecological preservation efforts have led to the expansion of the national park system, and Carthage now houses some 243 national parks of varying sizes, alongside several hundred additional natural parks operated at the state and local level. While most of these areas are protected from development, some are host to limited oil and gas drilling efforts, which has been a subject of ongoing controversy. The government owns some 22% of all land area in Carthage, some of which is leased while other areas held for preservation or government use. Government land use is overseen by the Department of the Interior, and monitoring and enforcement of environmental regulations is the responsibility of the Environmental Monitoring Authority. Wildlife monitoring, including of endangered species, is regulated by the National Fish and Wildlife Authority.
Liberal Democratic Union (LDU) (94/221)
Freedom Coalition (FC) (42/105)
Green Party (GPT) (8/24)
Alliance for Progress (AP) (7/16)
Free Democratic Party (FDP) (79/174)
Conservative Union (CSU) (10/26)
Libertarian Party (8/10)
The structure of the government and its basic functions are outlined in the Constitution of 1848 and amended in the Basic Law of 1860, which collectively form the basis of Carthaginian government and jurisprudence. While the Constitution of 1848 was written and ratified by elected delegates, the Basic Law and its amendments were approved by national plebiscite in 1860 as a way of strengthening the legitimacy of the government and correcting several perceived flaws in the original constitution.
As stipulated in the constitution, the federal government is divided into three branches and each has specific powers and purview while retaining a system of checks and balances. The government is administrated at the supranational, national, territorial, and local levels. The previous three-level system of government was supplanted when several overseas colonies reached similar population size as the Carthaginian mainland, and as a result a new layer was inserted in the Governance Amendment of 1927 to reconcile the need for separate governments abroad but a unified structure overall.
The three primary branches are:
- Executive Branch: Headed by two elected suffetes and in control of the day-to-day running of the government through the High Council, which serves as a cabinet. Both suffetes are jointly considered the heads of state of Carthage. Suffetes serve four-year terms and are elected on alternating years, with a limit of two consecutive terms. In practice, the two suffetes act as co-executives, although the senior suffet has veto power over the executive orders of the junior suffet. The two may together veto bills from the legislature, although this may be overriden with sufficient support. Suffetes also serve as nominal commanders-in-chief of the armed forces, although in practice the work of administrating the military is left to professional officers.
- Legislative Branch: The legislature is bicameral in legislating power, but contains a third advisory body with non-binding powers. The upper house is the Senate, composed of 248 members from various districts elected to four-year terms, while the lower house is the Popular Assembly, containing 576 members elected on two-year terms. The third body, the Council of One Hundred-Four (actually composed of only 24 members) serves as a review body for legislation, particularly in terms of constitutional issues. Its members serve for life until retirement, and are appointed by the senior suffet with the approval of the Supreme Court. When matters of constitutionality are brought before the judicial system, the sitting justices of the Supreme Court and the members of the Council of One Hundred-Four convene together as the Constitutional Court to hear the matter and deliberate on a ruling.
- Judicial Branch: The judiciary is headed by the seven-member Supreme Court, whose justices are nominated by the senior suffet with the approval of the Senate. These justices serve for life and are the highest court of appeal. In conjunction with the Council of One Hundred-Four, they also hear matters of constitutionality, and based on a vote may uphold or deny laws passed by the legislature.
Elections for the federal legislature and in most states are through a mixed-member proportional voting system, with a minimum threshold of 5%. Thus, the exact number of seats in the legislature may vary from term to term depending on electoral outcome due to overhang seats. Until 1948, elections were held under a first past the post system and some state and local elections still use this method. Elections for the suffetcy are held through direct popular election with a runoff if a majority is not received by a candidate in the first round of voting.
The three largest political parties in national politics are the center-left Liberal Democratic Union, the center-right Free Democratic Party, and the relatively centrist Freedom Coalition. The LDU and FC currently form the ruling coalition alongside minor parties including the Green Party and the Alliance for Progress while the FDP forms the opposition, alongside the Libertarian Party and the Conservative Union.
|Submitted||October 10, 2013|
|Presented||October 12, 2013|
|Passed||December 5, 2013|
|Parliament||165th Legislative Session|
|Finance Minister||Tumelo Taiki|
Taxes in Carthage are levied at the federal, state, and local level to fund government operation and services. Overall revenue and expenditures for all levels of government is approximately 28.5% in 2012, relatively low among developed nations. Projected receipts for 2013 are ₪51.5 trillion against similar expenditures, with a slight predicted surplus of ₪11.4 million. Primary receipt categories are income taxes, social security taxes, and corporate taxes, with miscellaneous taxes and tariffs making up the rest of government income. Although some states levy a sales tax, no such tax is levied at the federal level. Value added taxes are also rare in Carthage, with most states deriving their income primarily from property, income, and if applicable, sales taxes.
Tax rates are generally progressive, especially federal taxes. The top 10% of earners, controlling 24% of the nation's income contributed 41% of the government's income tax receipts. A portion of the income tax paid by the top 10% of earners is distributed via revenue sharing to municipalities and states based on population. Social security and corporate taxes are less progressive, while states relying on sales and property taxes for revenue have relatively flat tax structures. The federal budget accounts for some 20% of GDP, relatively low by developed standards.
By law, the federal budget is required to remain balanced on a rolling ten-year basis unless exemptions are approved by the legislature in times of national emergency. Tax rates are readjusted biennially to keep federal revenue as close as feasibly possible to 20% of GDP, with allowances for a floating rate in times of economic or national emergency. Tax brackets are recalculated based on census data every ten years but adjusted for inflation annually.
As of the end of FY 2013, the federal government maintains a public debt of ₪34.2 trillion, or 13.3% of nominal GDP. After reaching a peak of 42% in the late 1980s as a result of several military conflicts, government focus on debt relief has reduced the debt to its current levels. The largest federal spending categories are social security and welfare (₪14.4tn or 28%), defense (₪10.3tn or 20%), healthcare (₪7.7tn or 15%), and education (₪7.2tn or 14%).
Based on American and British influence, Carthaginian jurisprudence operates on a common law system. The constitution and Basic Law form the foundation of legal matters, with subsequent legislation and rulings building a body of work and clarifications. The supreme court is the highest court in the country, with the authority to rule on cases appealed to it in any category save constitutionality, for which it convenes in conjunction with the Council of One Hundred-Four.
Criminal laws are a mixture of local and state-level statutes as well as national laws. In cases where states pass laws contradictory to national laws, national laws are considered to have precedence. Generally state courts will be tasked with prosecuting criminal cases, although they may be appealed to the federal level and potentially all the way to the supreme court. The penal system is focused on the rehabilitation of offenders and the protection of the general public. Jury trials for criminals are stipulated by the constitution, and all citizens are eligible to be called to serve as jurors.
Religious law has relatively little history in Carthage, although monarchs of the imperial period made known their favoritism for the traditional Punic pantheon. Following the Violet Revolution in 1848, the constitution has banned the enactment of any law based on religious strictures or morals. The constitution also guarantees freedom of speech, the press, assembly, and religion to all citizens, among other rights.
Law enforcement is primarily handled by municipal and county-level police departments, with support from territorial and national agencies. Territorial police agencies are commonly tasked to police areas outside the jurisdiction of municipal police, especially the interstate highway system. The National Police Service is responsible for providing support for local and territorial agencies as well as handling crimes that would be tried in federal courts or which involve multiple jurisdictions, while the Coastal Inspection and Patrol Service is responsible for patrolling Carthage's territorial waters and enforcing customs regulations on merchant vessels.
Plea bargains are relatively common, and most cases are resolved without the use of a jury trial. Violent crime rates in Carthage are average overall for developed nations, and the incarceration rate is 120 persons per 100,000. The death penalty was outlawed by plebiscite in 1964 for all crimes save high treason, although no defendant has been accused of treason for the past century. Despite an average incarceration rate for developed countries, controversy remains regarding the over-representation of certain minorities in prison, as well as sentencing laws that critics contend disproportionately punish blue-collar crime over white-collar crime.
Carthage has historically been a moderately active nation in international affairs, although since the election of the Ibrahima-Afolayan administration has pursued a more proactive stance in regards to potential foreign conflicts. The chair of the Council on Foreign Relations serves as the government's chief diplomatic representative, and the council itself serves as the primary advisory body for the executive on matters of foreign affairs as well as the administrative body of the Department of Foreign Affairs. The incumbent chairwoman is Zheyna Linda, appointed and confirmed in March, 2011.
As of 2014, it maintains diplomatic missions in hundreds countries and formal diplomatic relations with many more. Carthage is one of the original signatories of both the original Ctesiphon Pact as well as the Treaty of Alexandria (commonly referred to as the New Ctesiphon Pact), and its relations with fellow Pact states is a defining point of its international relations and defense posture. It has supported stronger ties between Pact powers, as well as a moderate stance in regards to the politically opposed European Liberation Treaty Organization and Asian Security Agreement. In particular, Carthage has enjoyed strong relations with Japan for the past few centuries, having been instrumental in the development of Japan into a modern power. Both nations have seen significant cultural exchanges in spite of the geographic distance separating them.
Carthage has historically donated significant amounts of aid to developing nations, and has even offered such aid to members of the ASA and ELTO, although to date no nation of either bloc has accepted such assistance. Within the last few decades, part of the development budget has been spent internally in the southern Congo region to improve economic standards and quality of life in the historically underdeveloped region, but foreign spending remains a priority of the current administration. In recent years, a greater focus on spending in impoverished Aelian nations has been a priority, in line with the government's policy of increasing Carthaginian influence on the continent.
The Carthage Defense Forces are organized into the Army of Carthage, the Punic Navy, and the Carthage Air Forces. The Defense Forces are headed by the suffetes in their role as commanders-in-chief, while administration is carried out by the Defense Committee, composed of the committee chair, the undersecretaries, and the ranking members of each branch. Field command is exercised by the appointed heads of the Combat Commands, who have authority over forces from all branches assigned to their area of operations. Civilian control of the military has been a fundamental principle of the republic since the ratification of the Constitution of 1848.
Military spending for FY2013 is estimated at 4% of GDP, with a similar amount expected for FY2014. Defense spending currently accounts for some 20% of the federal budget, including mandatory spending. As of 2013, the Defense Forces stood at 28,200,000 active duty personnel along with 18,500,000 reservists for a total of 46,700,000 total personnel, excluding civilian employees of the Defense Department or civilian contractors. It is a recognized nuclear weapon state, with an estimated arsenal of between 40,000-45,000 active nuclear weapons, with several thousand more in storage or awaiting reprocessing and disposal.
As a result of its relatively large budget, the Defense Forces maintain significant expeditionary warfare capability. The navy maintains a large fleet of aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships capable of deploying Carthaginian troops abroad, and the Defense Force maintains rapid response units both domestically as well as in allied countries to respond quickly to developing incidents. Protection of diplomatic missions also falls under the auspices of the Defense Forces, normally handled by detachments of naval infantry.
Supporting the Defense Forces is the National Militia, composed of those who select the military for their mandatory national service tenure. While organized and led by reserve officers in the Defense Forces and funded in part by the Defense Department, the militia by law cannot be deployed for foreign operations except in times of declared national emergency, and are normally at the command of territorial governors. Extended military service is otherwise voluntary, although provisions for a draft exist through the Citizen Mobilization Program. The Maritime Patrol Service is also designed to be placed under navy command in the event of war, but in peacetime is focused on the patrol and inspection of local waters and the enforcement of safety and customs regulations.
|Nominal GDP||₪257,504,841,840,000 (Q1 2014)|
|Real GDP growth||0.8% (Q1 2014, annualized)|
|CPI inflation||1.5% (March 2013 – March 2014)|
|Employment-to-population ratio||58.9% (March 2014)|
|Unemployment||4.6% (April 2014)|
|Labor force participation rate||65.2% (April 2014)|
|Public debt||₪34 trillion (Q4 2013)|
|Household net worth||₪1,150 trillion (Q1 2014)|
Carthage has a social market economy with a highly-skilled labor force, high productivity, and abundant resources and capital. It is the largest economy in the Ctesiphon Pact and the largest financial contributor to its operations. Since the 1960s, the government has moved to privatize former state-run industries and shift toward providing social security programs as a means of controlling the income gap and alleviating unemployment. In Q1 2014, the unemployment rate was 4.6%.
Consumer spending accounted for 72% of economic activity in 2013, with the private sector accounting for 88.2% of the economy. Like most developed states, the service sector dominates, comprising 71.3% of the GDP. Carthage retains a large industrial sector and is a net exporter of agricultural products, which account for 1.7% of economic output. The remaining 16 zaibatsu account for some 27% of economic activity, an all-time low, although they retain a significant influence in economic affairs, while unaffiliated private and public companies are responsible for the remaining activity. Carthage's largest imports are agricultural products, textiles, and transportation equipment, while its largest exports are electronics, defense equipment, and chemicals.
Despite a strong export sector, in 2013 Carthage experienced a ₪324 billion trade deficit, primarily against Inukirinwdene. Japan is the largest holder of Carthaginian foreign debt, while Carthage holds moderate foreign reserves in other Ctesiphon currencies, and even a stock of Euros. Concern remains regarding the possible expansion of the trade deficit in light of the increasing value of the sheqel, with some economists believing the currency may be overvalued. The Bank of Carthage has thus far maintained a policy of floating exchange rates and monetary policies designed to control inflation and unemployment.
Carthage has been a proponent of increased economic cooperation and connection between Ctesiphon Pact members, sponsoring additional economic provisions in the Treaty of Alexandria as well as the annual meetings held since. Among these provisions are reductions in trade barriers and barriers to the flow of capital and persons, and easing of regulations on foreign companies relative to domestic ones. Despite this, the government has resisted calls from some lobbying groups to introduce a common currency, preferring to protect the value of the sheqel and the Bank of Carthage's independent monetary policy.
The initial foundation of the Carthaginian economy in ancient times was control of trade within the western and southern areas of the Mediterranean, in particular trade from east to west. This trade provided the economic base from which the Carthaginian empire was founded, although by the beginning of the first millennium, Carthage was also a major producer of pottery, metalwork, grains, and luxury goods. Trade declined throughout the first half of the second millennium due to the rise of competing European merchant republics, including Venice and Genoa, which challenged Carthage's control of sea trade. By the end of the 16th century, overseas trade made up a relatively small part of the Carthaginian economy, which was focused primarily on agricultural production and had largely failed to modernize.
Following the Violet Revolution in 1848, the new republican government began heavily sponsoring the development of the economy in an effort to close the wealth gap between Carthage and its European neighbors. This included significant subsidies for new companies founded in areas that were believed to be in the national interest as well as new trade barriers to protect fledgling industries. The mixed results of this policy resulted in a shift in the 1870s toward sponsoring specific companies either regionally or within a given economic sector, giving rise to a handful of particularly wealthy and powerful integrated conglomerates that came to dominate the Carthaginian economy into the early 20th century. Industrial development during this period was also driven by the influx of Union Americans into Carthage, bringing a skilled, highly-motivated labor force that provided the foundation for much of the Carthaginian industrial revolution.
While successful in developing the Carthaginian economy, the economic downturn of the 1930s led to widespread discontentment within the labor force, and in 1933 the Free Labor Movement succeeded in breaking the political power of the conglomerates and beginning a trend away from market domination by integrated zaibatsu. A combination of increased regulation and government intervention through public works programs designed to alleviate unemployment as well as a wave of small businesses reduced the economic dominance of the conglomerates, although they remained a powerful influence on the economy. The 1930s also marked further government intervention through the creation or sponsorship of state industries through the Carthage Rail Company and Phoenician Airways in an attempt to reduce the danger of a harmful conglomerate monopoly on transportation.
Since the 1960s, government policy has shifted toward one of less regulation and greater spending on social programs as a means to promote the general welfare of the population. State enterprises such as Carthage Rail Company and Phoenician Airways were broken up or privatized, while social safety net programs were expanded through the Healthcare Reform Act of 1968 and the Pension Act of 1969. The government has steadily reduced its intervention in economic affairs beyond the central Bank of Carthage, while maintaining or expanding welfare programs as a means of controlling the wealth gap.
One recent trend has been the formation of "miniature zaibatsu, smaller integrated conglomerates that emulate the basic structure but lack the size, reach, and age as the original zaibatsu. Facing less regulatory scrutiny than their larger predecessors, these conglomerates have seen their market share grow rapidly in recent decades, leading critics to wonder whether this new wave of companies may assume the same dominant position enjoyed by the zaibatsu at the turn of the century.
Automobiles are the most common mode of transportation in Carthage, accounting for some 66% of all distances traveled and supported by an extensive and developed network of roads and highways. Car ownership rates are approximately 590 cars per 1,000 residents, average among developed nations and lower in older cities whose congested streets and public transport make the use of automobiles less convenient. Federally-funded highways are toll-free and funded through fuel surcharges although some states may levy tolls on state-maintained highways as an alternative source of funding. Both new and used cars are relatively inexpensive and easily acquired but taxes and fees are used to promote fuel efficiency, with increasing fuel and emissions standards in recent decades providing further impetus for efficiency.
Widespread development of urban mass transit began in the 1960s, particularly in the densely populated cities of Carthage, Dakar, and Lagos. Light rail and bus systems gained popularity in conjunction with rising fuel taxes and currently an estimated 16% of work trips are via mass transit. Bicycle programs in cities have also gained popularity in recent years, with several major cities including Dakar, Madrid, Dar-es-Salaam, and Lagos implementing municipal bike-sharing programs.
Rail is a popular personal and cargo transportation method with rail development beginning in Carthage in the 1870s following the influx of American immigrants in the wake of the American Civil War. Much of Carthaginian rail development is based on American designs and terminology, including the use of Janney couplers for nearly all rolling stock. Carthaginian railways operate on the 1,500 mm Ctesiphon gauge although initial developments took place in broader 1,600 mm gauges. Track gauge was standardized by the 1889 Railroad Act, which mandated the use of Janney couplers and the standardization of the 1,500 mm gauge. Inter-city rail service is controlled through a series of fifteen private companies formed from the breakup of the former Carthage Rail Company, now known as the Carthage Railway Group. The group is relatively loosely affiliated but participates in co-branding and codesharing agreements with government oversight. High-speed rail is popular for regional trips and has developed significantly via technology exchange with the Gozen Shogunate while rail freight is a common method of transportation for bulk cargo and commodities.
Since 1967 the airline industry has been deregulated and the previously government-owned flag carrier Phoenician Airways privatized. The two largest airlines are Phoenician Airways and Mediterranean Skies while the busiest airports are Admiral Niklos International Airport in Lagos, Dakar International Airport, and New Carthage International Airport. Most major airports are publicly-owned and initially maintained through subsidies to spur economic growth. The largest aircraft manufacturers in Carthage are Cordoba Aerospace, Mehmud-Tabnit Aircraft Systems, and the Bissau Corporation.
Electricity consumption in Carthage is estimated at 36,934,000 terrawatt hours per year, for an average of 18 kilowatt hours per capita per day. Energy use per capita peaked at 27 kWh per day in the late 1970s before more energy-efficient appliances and design techniques began entering the market, and has been slowly declining ever since. Primary power sources vary by region with nearly 60% of electricity in the Carthaginian mainland derived from hydropower and another 40% from other renewable sources primarily in the Sahara Desert. Nuclear power makes up another 10% with fossil fuels making up the remaining 10% and providing peak load capacity.
Nuclear power has historically played a relatively limited role in electricity generation due to the abundance of hydropower provided by the Congo River basin in the south and the Niger and Nile rivers in the north. Most nuclear power plants in operation are Generation II+ pressurized water reactors designs dating from the 1970s to 1980s, although newer Generation III designs have begun construction in recent years. Experimental reactors built to other designs also exist but typically provide little power to the grid.
Standard mains power voltage is 230/400 three-phase power with a tolerance of ±10% at 60 Hz, provided through NEMA type A and B outlets. The high-voltage three-phase power system was developed as a result of Carthage's small reserves of natural gas, which made electricity the favored source of power for stoves, water heaters, and dryers. The development of more energy-efficient appliances reduced the need for such power and as a result many houses do not contain any 400 volt outlets, although power to the house is still provided at this voltage. Long-distance transmission is normally done through 750 kV HVAC and HVDC lines. Development and implementation of a smart grid system is underway, with the Carthaginian mainland having largely adopted such a system while other regions are still installing the necessary infrastructure. Adoption of a smart grid was considered a high priority in the Carthaginian mainland to improve coordination among renewable energy sources in the Sahara and provide improved load-leveling between solar, wind, and geothermal plants.
Carthage is self-sufficient in oil and natural gas production but is a net importer of coal, as current deposits are insufficient to meet demand. Under the government's current energy policy, fossil fuel power plants are to be steadily reduced in number and load and coal self-sufficiency is expected by 2020. This reduction is to be achieved mostly through the construction of additional nuclear and renewable energy sources. Despite a growing population, oil consumption has remained relatively stable over the past decade as a result of rising fuel efficiency standards, while coal consumption has declined. Roughly 33% of daily oil consumption goes to automotive use through gasoline and diesel refinement.
Gas prices are not subsidized but the government-maintained strategic petroleum reserve is used to maintain market and price stability for consumers. As of 2010, the strategic petroleum reserve contains 4.4 billion barrels of crude oil, enough to supply sixteen days of consumption and stored at twelve sites across the nation operated by the Department of Energy. The reserve was most recently tapped in June 2013 during the Cornellian War Scare in order to offset speculative changes in price. Refilling of the reserve to replace sold oil was achieved in November 2013.
Science and technology
Carthage invests significantly in scientific research and technological development, and possesses a highly developed intellectual base. Scientific expenditure is estimated at over ₪4.5 trillion annually, and scientific enterprises and research programs employ over 75 million scientists. Carthage has produced numerous winners of international prizes in the natural sciences, the applied sciences, and mathematics, and hosts the selection committee for the Yakumo Prize, recognizing contributions to the understanding of physics. Important Carthaginian technological sectors include computing, telecommunications, industrial robotics, space exploration, optics, and metallurgy.
The Carthage Space Research Agency (CSRA) is Carthage's space agency, and is tasked with developing and maintaining a national presence in and beyond orbit. In addition to space research, it is also responsible for atmospheric and planetary research, and cooperates with private companies and institutions in other scientific enterprises. Under the auspices of CSRA, Carthage put its first man in space in 1963, began a multi-national moon program in 1965, and is a major contributor to the Ctesiphon International Space Station. Carthage maintains an independent manned launch capability, as well as a significant civilian and military orbital presence.
Carthage Imperial University, the Engineering and Technical Institute of Carthage, Dakar Technical College, and the University of Havana are the top research institutions measured by private and public grant money. The University of Kinshasa has also posted significant and consistent growth in scientific research funding within the past few decades. The Department of Energy also sponsors a number of national laboratories in conjunction with private educational institutions or the military, generally focused on the natural and applied sciences and especially on high-energy particle physics. The 140 km, 100 TeV Large-Scale Supercollider at Intombwe National Laboratory is the most powerful particle collider in the nation, and is jointly operated by the Department of Energy, CSRA, and ETIC.
In recent decades, green technologies have become an increasing subject of research, aimed at reducing pollution and harmful emissions. Significant resources have been allocated to the development of a renewable energy system, using a combination of solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and tidal power. Additional research in the fields of waste management and recycling has become prominent, to alleviate the effects of increasing quantities of waste generated by the growing population, as well as water management to balance hydropower and potable water demands.
|Source: Census Bureau of Carthage|
The Census Bureau of Carthage estimates the 2014 population of Carthage to be over 5.6 billion, including citizens, permanent residents, and illegal immigrants. This represents more than a quadrupling of the population since 1900, when the population had just surpassed the 1 billion mark. This represents an average annual growth rate of just under 1.5% for the past century. Carthage is the most populous of the Ctesiphon Pact powers, although population growth rates in the future are projected to decline due to declining fertility and immigration rates. Despite this, the population growth rate is expected to remain net positive for the foreseeable future, driven by growth rates in the overseas territories.
The current birth rate is 16 live births per 1,000, below average globally but above average for developed nations. In 2013, 54.3 million immigrants were admitted, mostly in overseas territories and for family reunification purposes. The overall life expectancy is 81 years, average for developed nations. In 2011, over 213 million Carthaginians identified themselves as gay, lesbian, or bisexual.
Carthage has a very diverse population, with over 40 identified ethnic groups having more than one million members. The largest ethnic groups are Black Africans, Libyo-Phoenicians, Ibero-Celtics, Union-Americans, and Arabs. Originating from Sub-Saharan Africa, Black Africans are composed of numerous subgroups, including Hausa, Yoruba, and Igbo. Libyo-Phoenicians originate from a mixing of the original Phoenician settlers of Carthage with local Libyan tribes, and can be divided between those living in the environs of Carthage and other Phoenician colonies, and those living more distantly from these settlements, with ethnic proportions varying between them. Ibero-Celtics are natives of the Iberian peninsula, and represent a major part of the population of the outlying Carthaginian colonies. Union-Americans are the newest major group, having emigrated in large waves beginning in the mid-1860s from the United States in the wake of the American Civil War. The largest subgroups are German, English, and Dutch Americans. Arabs have been a major minority since the Rashidun crusades, and are the dominant ethnicity in Aegyptos and the territory of Meroe and Damot.
Major minority groups include the native Berbers, Mande, and Habesha as well as immigrant groups, including Asians (especially Japanese), Indians, and direct immigrants from Europe. Birth rates among minorities, especially among immigrant minorities, tend to be higher than among larger groupings, contributing to an increasing proportion of first and second-generation citizens. Some 26% of Carthaginians report being of mixed race in the 2010 census, an increase from 22% in 2000 and 17% in 1990, indicating an increasing proportion of interracial marriage and families.
Approximately 81% of the population lives in cities and urban areas as of 2010, with the majority of those living in cities with populations above 100,000. Population growth in cities remains high, and the expansion of cities has led to the creation of several major conurbations, among them the Carthage-Sfax conurbation, the Ruhondo-Shyanda megalopolis, and the largest, the Dakar-Lagos megalopolis, which covers a large swath of the western coast. Overcrowding in cities has become an ongoing concern, encouraging the development of mass transit and more space and energy-efficient housing models.
| Largest cities of Carthage |
|Rank||City name||Territory||Pop.||Rank||City name||Territory||Pop.|
|1||Lagos||Nri||20,743,764||11||Khartoum||Meroe & Damot||14,256,345|| |
|3||New Washington||Columbia Territory||17,546,741||13||Shin Osaka||New Kansai||12,456,345|
|4||New Dublin||Columbia Territory||17,443,672||14||Carthage||Capital Region||12,222,643|
|9||Nuevo Madrid||Versemia||15,006,375||19||Havana||Caribbean Territory||10,227,946|
Punic, an offshoot of the Semitic family of languages, is the de facto national language, although by law Carthage has no official language at the national level. All government proceedings and documents are in Punic, although they are also commonly translated into other regional languages as needed, and certain territories may recognize official languages within their boundaries. Naturalization requirements include learning at least a basic working knowledge of Punic. The 2010 census indicates that 75% of residents use Punic at home, and it is the primary language of instruction in the school system. Despite sporadic campaigns to declare Punic the national language, no such bill has ever been seriously proposed in the legislature.
English is the second most-common language in Carthage, and the most popular language taught in foreign language classes. It is natively spoken primarily by American immigrants and their descendants, and accounts for 14% of the population. The economic and political success enjoyed by a number of American emigres has resulted in increased uptake of the language, and some critics have raised concerns about American English having an excessive influence in Carthaginian culture. Other major languages include Arabic, Swahili, Yoruba, Berber, Hausa, and Igbo.
Carthage is officially a secular country, and freedom of religion as well as the separation of church and state is guaranteed by Article 4 of the Basic Law.
The historic state religion of Carthage is the ancient Phoenician pantheon, a variant of the Caananite religion. Despite this, since its earliest days the city of Carthage itself developed large communities of Greeks, Egyptians, and other minorities which led to a relatively loose policy in regards to enforcement of the state religion. While the Phoenician pantheon remained the state religion throughout the imperial period, attendance and worship rates steadily declined and this privileged status was abolished in the Violet Revolution, in favor of the current policy of state secularism.
In 2012, less than 5% of the population attended worship services on a weekly basis, out of the 47% of the population that identified as religious. Of these, Muslims accounted for the plurality of 33%, followed by Protestant Christians (24%), Phoenician Revivalists (12%), and Catholics (8%), with the remainder composed of smaller religions, including traditional African animism, Judaism, Buddhism, Baha'i, Hinduism, and Taoism.
Attendance at religious services has declined steadily throughout the 20th century and into the 21st, and in 2009 polls began indicating that a majority of the Carthaginian population had reported being either atheist or agnostic. Polls have repeatedly demonstrated declining rates of religion among younger demographics, and some have indicated that a majority of residents born after the year 1990 are atheist or agnostic, with this proportion rising to 64% for those born in the year 2000, the youngest age polled.
Although recognizing the existence of religions based on doctrine-agnostic legal requirements, certain bodies of beliefs and quasi-religious organizations have been classified as cults by the government, preventing them from operating as religions. This policy has been a subject of minor controversy regarding its constitutionality, but has not encountered strong legislative or judicial opposition. Recognized religious organizations are barred from using their status to publicly promote certain policies, although debate remains regarding the role of religion in politics.
Education in Carthage is managed by territorial school boards and overseen by the federal Department of Education, which provides supplementary funding in addition to setting national education standards. The Department of Education is led by the Education Council, the chair of which is appointed by the suffetes and subject to Senate confirmation. The Department of Education is also responsible for providing funding for the national universities and community-level remedial programs to address educational imbalances.
Compulsory education covers the ages between six and sixteen, although the education system runs through the age of eighteen, corresponding to completion of the twelfth grade. This is normally divided into six years of primary school, followed by three years of junior secondary and three years of secondary school. Pre-school for those under the age of six is often offered by state governments along with private providers, usually for 1-2 years. Most public secondary schools are geared toward college preparation, although some states operate vocational schools under the terms of the Education Expansion Act of 1947. Schools not exempted by the act must meet standards in mathematics, natural sciences, language (foreign and domestic), and information technology. While no specific requirements are set, each school must maintain an active physical education program. Private schools account for some 14% of all students educated, while less than 2% of children are homeschooled. Spending per student in public schools has grown to ₪9,800 per student annually. The basic literacy rate is 99%.
Tertiary education is provided through a mix of public and private universities. Unlike primary and secondary education, which is operated entirely by private entities and state governments, the Department of Education provides direct funding to several national universities, including Carthage Imperial University and the University of Dakar. Some 82% of all higher education students attend public universities, with the remainder in private institutions. Tuition at public universities is generally cost-controlled and subsidized for those originating from the funding territory, or for those who gain admission to a national university. Private universities may set tuition independently, although this has led to criticism of rising tuition costs, which have outpaced the growth in real wages for the past few decades. Options for higher education range from local community colleges, larger public and private universities, as well as specialized vocational and online courses. Of Carthaginians over the age of 25, 94% graduated from secondary school, 39% have completed an associate or bachelor's degree, and 10.1% have earned or were enrolled in graduate programs.
Despite high rates of educational attainment, criticism regarding spending on education, the cost of training teachers, and the difficulty in becoming certified in educational fields remains. Entering education requires a graduate degree in either the subject to be taught or in education, and program space is often limited. Critics have accused this system of leading to a shortage of teachers due to population growth, leading to expanding class sizes and decreased attention per student. Ongoing efforts to expand teacher training programs without reducing teaching quality have been underway for the past decade, with mixed results.
Following the passage of the Healthcare Reform Act of 1968, a universal healthcare system has provided coverage to all Carthaginian citizens and permanent residents through a two-tier multi-payer system. Employers are required to provide health insurance to employees working more than 20 hours per week for more than four weeks and a universal healthcare mandate is in place for all citizens regardless of employment. To cover those without employer health insurance, the Republic Medical Fund serves as a government-run insurance program providing basic plans to individuals and families. Employers may either provide insurance policies directly to employees or a subsidy for employees to purchase their own plans, either from the Republic Medical Fund or from private insurers. Insurance companies are legally required to be not-for-profit entities.
Healthcare costs are strictly regulated to keep costs in line, with a single payment structure renegotiated every two years for common medical procedures. While successful at keeping costs for common procedures low, critics have noted that the price for new and experimental procedures not covered through regulations may be exorbitantly high, and that the system may not act quickly enough to control costs given the rapid advancement of medical technology. Copays for services are capped based on patient income, although it is common for higher-income patients to supplement their basic health insurance with copay insurance or additional coverage. Private insurance companies may be entitled to subsidies from the General Health Fund for high-risk clients and are barred from denying coverage or adjusting price based on age or preexisting conditions. Patients have freedom of choice between providers, and both public and private hospitals operate nationally.
On average approximately 20% of coverage costs are paid by the government through payroll taxes. Healthcare costs as a percentage of GDP reached 9.6%, and has remained relatively stable for the last decade. Healthcare spending accounts for 15% of the federal budget, primarily for subsidies for high-risk patients and funding for the Republic Medical Fund. Healthcare utilization rates are higher than the average in developed countries as a result of low costs and a large number of hospitals-per-capita along with a financial incentive toward preventive care.
Average life expectancy in Carthage is 81 years, within the average range for developed nations. The leading cause of death is cardiovascular disease at 36%, followed by cancer at 27%. Infant mortality rates reached a low of 3.15 per 1,000 live births in 2010 and obesity rates reached 18% in the same year. 17% of the population in 2009 were smokers, a decline from a peak of 31.2% in 1974 caused largely by stringent tobacco control laws.