Culture of Newtdom
|Culture of Newtdom|
|This article is part of a series|
|Social Class and Work|
English is the official day-to-day language of the Empire. However, the government recognizes Latin and Old French as traditional languages of the academia and court-life respectively and still maintains these languages as official in government documents.
To clarify, while Latin and Old French are no longer used in the business world of today, they are still taught to members of the upper-class and aristocracy due to their continued use in official court documents, traditional ceremonies, and investitures.
Due to the expansive nature of the Empire, there are many different dialects of English that are spoken. Most of these dialects are the result of rural populations maintaining their local culture, as most urban dialects are very similar. These dialects are much more commonly found amongst the commoners.
The aristocracy speaks in a much more refined diction, known as the King's. This is caused by several phenomena, including but not limited to fitting in with other nobles, a sense of superiority, and standardized education among the various aristocratic institutions.
The Empire does not recognize one faith or denomination as the religion of state. Rather, the Empire has a policy of free worship so long as it does not conflict with the duty one has for their country.
Social Class and Work
Like any capitalist nation, the ability for economic social mobility is available within the Empire. However, with a strong aristocracy it is certainly more difficult for a commoner to rise in social standing. It is common to see vast differences in the education, expertise, or income equality amongst the different social rungs.
It should be noted that compulsory military service, whether that is as an active or reservist builds a sense of dedication and loyalty to ones job in the private sector.
Even within the aristocracy there are differences of economic mobility. While not every member of the aristocracy is astoundingly wealthy, most live a comfortable life due to their title. However, in tiers one and two of the aristocratic precedence the vast majority of these nobles are independent from work.
Most nobles serve the Empire in someway. There is a sense of duty and honor that is common amongst this class. Many of the independently wealthy types serve actively in the military, particularly the Imperial Navy. Though it is common to see some sign on for a few years and then enter civil service or academia.
Lesser nobles more commonly serve actively for a brief period of time and then return to their homes and work in the private sector. These types are generally found working in high finance, in the judiciary as barristers or judges, or as entrepreneur types.
Commoners generally serve their military obligations as enlisted men, warrant officers, or in the cases of wealthy families as officers. Like lesser nobles, most wealthy commoners do not serve for life, rather they leave the service and enter into private enterprise, generally through some familial connection. Many are well educated obtaining advanced degrees, and thus work in the judiciary as solicitors, banking, sales, or medium and small business owners.
The middle-class is vast in the empire. Some have signed on for life-time military service and make up the warrant and NCO corps. Most others have at least a decent education, and have entered sales, marketing, other white collar jobs, as well as public service jobs such as bureaucrats.
The lower levels of this group generally have a high school education and work in predominately public service jobs such as police officers, firefighters, clerks, and the like. Or private sector jobs like skilled craftsman, skilled labor, and the sort.
Most peasants do not meet certain moral or educational requirements to serve in the military service. However, those that do generally sign on for extended service and may eventually work themselves into the middle-class. This is the easiest way for a peasant to move themselves into a higher class.
The peasantry makes up the lower classes of the empire. Unlike commoners they have very little in terms of social mobility. Most peasants do not have a high school diploma, and thus are limited to menial labor type jobs.
Many work in the agrarian field, and generally tend the vast farm lands of the aristocracy and landed gentry. Urban peasantry work in menial jobs such as janitors, warehouse workers, or other unskilled positions.
Architecture and Housing
Depending on the age of the city or location within the Empire, architectural style differs greatly. In the eastern portion of the mainland, the style of architecture can be considered Gothic in the oldest portions of the cities, but predominately Georgian and Victorian on the peripheries. Winchester Palace is a prime example of Georgian architecture at its height in the center of Winchester City.
In the northern reaches of the mainland, the predominate architectural style is Neo-Classical with a focus on Nordic Neo-Classicalism. There are elements of modern Functionalism, Structural Expressionism, and Post-Modernism.
In the Southeast, Edwardian is the most common style for middle-class homes, while most of the aristocratic mansions are in a Renaissance Revival style. Most of the buildings in the large cities are modern.
In the central portions of the mainland, there is a wide variety of styles, much more so than the East, North, and West which were all established. However, along the coast the predominate style is Ponce Creole.
In the western portions of the mainland, modernism has taken root and most of the new buildings are in this style. The older portions of the west coast incorporate many of the same styles found on the east, but are spread out and not as regional due to migration. Georgian, Edwardian, Victorian, Neo-Classical, and others are all prominent in large buildings and homes.
On the various southern barrier islands, the predominate style of architecture is Mediterranean.
Palaces: Newtdom offers an array of Royal Palaces, Castles, Mansions, and Courts. Around Winchester, the capital city of Newtdom there are the five main Royal Palaces. To the North of the city is where the Winter Palace, to the South the Summer Palace, to the East is the Autumn Palace, and to the West is the Spring Palace. In the center of the city is the Imperial Quarter, which houses Winchester Castle, along with Newtdom Court, and other major buildings.
The Summer Palace is located about 10 miles out of Winchester. It is a massive estate, painted in the Royal Yellow as it has been called. It is beautifully crafted, and was built in 1680 during the reign of Newt XII. It is stunningly built, and when not being used by the Emperor and his family it is used to host conferences between foreign dignitaries.
The Spring Palace was constructed in 1334 during the reign of Newt III. It was the first additional residence constructed by the Winchester Dynasty.The original building was a three story stone tower. Over the years the palace has been upgraded, and now has three additional 2 story wings. One to the south, one to the east, and one to the west. The entire structure was given an external face-lift in 1925 with alabaster, making the spring palace gleam for miles.
Constructed in 1845 under the reign of Newt XVII, it is designed in a neo-classical style. It is beloved by the people. And is about 20 miles out of Winchester. It currently is the residence of Arch-Duke Alfred. It also has on its grounds the Imperial Marching Grounds, where certain units upon gaining prestige march before the royal family.
The Winter Palace was built in 1755 by Newt XIV. The farthest from the city in terms of miles. It was stunningly crafted for its time, and holds the Council of Lords. It is the primary residence of Prince William. Though it is still used by the family regularly. It was constructed close to the ocean. And contains with in its grounds, the Imperial Yacht Club. Where the Emperor's private yacht collection is housed.
The ancestral home of the Winchester Dynasty. The main house was completely rebuilt in 1532 under the reign of Newt IX. The original manor was outdated, but Newt IX kept the original foundation as the basis for the main house. Initially just a rectangular shaped two story manor built in Tudor style, the manor has since been added onto and enhanced. Now a sprawling complex that houses Royal Guard units, members of the aristocracy, and the Imperial Court. Winchester Palace is the quintessential jewel of Winchester City. Never open to the public, this building has stood the test of time, entertained countless monarchs and heads of state, and been the seat of power for over 1100 years.
The Royal Court was built by Sir Louis Stroller, in 1756. The previous court had fell into disrepair, and rather than renovating the building. Sir Stroller donated the money to build this lavish structure dome topped structure. The statue on the top of the dome is of Newt, Duke Winchester the founder of the monarchy. Today it is used as the Imperial Courthouse.
Sporting events are common throughout the Empire, however many are regional and most are split between the various socio-economic classes.
Several sporting events are cross cultural, such as shooting, fishing and skiing (alpine sports in general). Many of the sports participated in within the Empire are martial in nature which harps back on compulsory military service.
The Upper-Classes (upper-middle class, landed gentry, and aristocracy) generally are active in more genteel sporting events. Fencing, sailing, equestrianism (dressage, jumping, polo, racing, etc), tennis and golf are all common. These sports became popular due to the downtime many of this class and extended periods in country homes.
Additional sports enjoyed by the aristocracy include rugby, cricket, rowing, shooting, and archery.
Most of these sports are offered in secondary, college/university, and professional levels.
Hunting is a popular pass time of the aristocracy, though most hunts are done on horse back (e.g. fox hunting), falconry is also popular, as is hunting with dogs. Most hunts are primarily a social affair and not necessarily done for the purpose of the kill, though a kill is desired.
Commoners enjoy some of the same sports of the aristocracy such as shooting, rugby, cricket, and horse racing. Most commoners do not have the opportunity to purchase actual race horses, however they are welcome to follow the sport and bet.
American style football, basketball, hockey and soccer are all common amongst commoners as well. While boating is prevalent amongst this class, it is mostly in the form of recreational speed boating and not yacht racing.
Hunting is common amongst this class as well, however most commoners hunt for subsistence, and generally use fire arms or other weapons in the take down of game.
Due to the age of the Empire and its extensive reach, visual arts differ from period to period as well as region to region. There are many different styles of painting, photography, and sculpture. A common theme is history (in particular martial history).
Most visual art is commissioned either by a benefactor or an artist may be sponsored by an aristocrat to merely produce what the artist wishes. There is very little in terms of government florins spent on artistic ventures.
While there is no actual national music, classical works are commonly played by the Royal Family at various ceremonies, most of which were commissioned by the family for a particular event.
In terms of popular culture, rock and country (including folk, bluegrass, and ballads) are the most prevalent.