Geadland

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Kingdom of Geadland
Geadish: Κογνερηικ Γαυδλȣνδ
or Kogneraik Gaudlund
Swedish: Κωνονγαρικ Γoτλανδ
or Konungarik Gutland

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Flag Coat of arms
Motto: Φȣλκενσ κερλιcϝηιδ εσ Γαυδλȣνδσ στυρκ
Fulkens kärlichhaid es Gaudlunds stürk
The people's love is Geadland's strength
Anthem: Ϋαρε αυτε λανδ
Vare aute land
Our ancient land
Map of Geadland
Map of Geadland
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Location of Geadland within Western Esquarium
CapitalDa Hegner
Largest city Bondhaven
Official languages Geadish
Recognised regional languages Swedish co-official in Leghel and Horgalund
Ethnic groups (2012) Geads (86%)
Swedes (4%)
Other (10%)
Demonym Geadish
Government Constitutional Monarchy
 -  Queen Sofja II
 -  Prime Minister Efa Nordland
 -  Coalition Conservative-Progressive minority government
Founding
 -  Old Kingdom 25 December 1294 
 -  New Kingdom 5 May 1868 
Area
 -  Total 71,908 km2
27,764 sq mi
Population
 -  2012 census 29,482,192
 -  Density 410/km2
1,061.9/sq mi
GDP (PPP) estimate
 -  Total $1.19bn (PPI)/$1.42bn (Nominal)
 -  Per capita $40,522 (PPI)/$48,404 (Nominal)
Gini (2012)30.4
medium
HDI (2010)0.902
very high
Currency Geadish Guilder (Γ) (=100 öre) (GDLΓ)
Time zone (GMT-6)
 -  Summer (DST) (GMT-5) (UTC{{{utc_offset_DST}}})
Date format dd-mm-yyyy AD
Drives on the right
Calling code +722
ISO 3166 code GDL
Internet TLD .ga

Geadland (pronounced /'gid.lənd/), known in Geadish as Gaudlund (full name Κογνερηικ Γαυδλȣνδ or Kogneraik Gaudlund, pronounced /'kɔx.nə.ʁeɪk 'gaʊð.lʊnd/), is a country located in the region of Esquarium with a population of 29 million. The country borders on Luziyca to the west and south and Namor to the east.

Geadland is named after a Germanic tribe called the Geads (Geadish: Gaudens) with the Geadish language being descended from Old Norse, but written with a modified version of the Greek Alphabet. The country also has a protected Swedish-speaking community which is concentrated on the northern island of Leghel and in neighbouring Horgalund. Geadland is one of the most densely populated countries in Esquarium, with a landscape consisting primarily of low-lying coast plains, islands and polders, though there are mountain ranges on the country's borders. Over a third of the population live on islands.

The country has the oldest monarchy in the region, which has reigned for 700 years save for an interruption from 1848-1868, usually sharing power with the Storting, Esquarium's oldest elected parliament. Modern Geadland is a constitutional monarchy, a parliamentary democracy, a unitary state and a founding member of the Esquarian Community. The capital city is Da Hegner, the third-largest city.

History

The history of Geadland is divided between two kingdom - the Old Kingdom from 1294 to 1843 and the New Kingdom which has existed since 1868. These are interrupted by the 25 Years of Turmoil from 1843 to 1868, during which the country somewhat briefly became a republic.

Early History

The territory of Geadland was once historically considered part of Luziyca. Prehistoric civilisation in the area was much more limited compared to the neighbouring parts of Luziyca, as the land was marshy and prone to flooding. Substantial settlement did not begin until shortly after the time of the founding of the Lutheran Catholic Church. By the 6th century, the area had been settled by Luziycan-Slavic tribes known as the Sorbs.

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The raid on Smeerp Priory, often considered the start of the Viking Age.

The area was invaded by Vikings during the period of 800-1000 AD. The first recorded Viking activity was a raid on Smeerp Priory on Audholm in 797. This was followed by more sporadic raids on monasteries and towns in north Luziyca over the next 50 years. Vikings began to arrive and settle the area permanently in the late 9th century. The most significant of these tribes were the Swedes (who mainly invaded the area of Inleda) and the Geads (who mainly invaded the area of Geadland). The Geads made up 60% of the Viking settlers in Geadland, with the others consisting of Swedes, Mears, Wends and Danes. The Sorbs formed the Kingdom of Sorbia in the northeast and for a while were able to resist further Viking incursion, until King Haakon Haraldson conquered Sorbia in the mid-10th century. It was also around this time that the Geads converted to Christianity.

The Geads created three kingdoms which came to cover the territory. Lausitz, with a capital Danzig, is now almost entirely in Luziyca, apart from Solned. Escrovy was centered around Eskrau and included southern Geadland and parts of Acadia, while Sorbia included the majority of Geadland and the two York states of Luziyca. Because Lutheran Catholicism was the state religions of these three kingdoms, they were a de facto part of Luziyca, which at the time was a network of fragmented petty kingdoms tied together loosely by the church.

In 1277, a dispute between Pope Gregory XXII and Archbishop Waldemar of Geadland led to inner Geadland breaking away from the Lutheran Catholic church. Reasons for the schism were Geadland's desire for autonomy, a dispute over the Pope's claim to authority and the nationality of Jesus and whether to use leavened or unleavened bread in the Eucharist. This led to the formation of the Geadish Orthodox Church, which was headed by a patriarch. The Geads in Danzig and York regions did not join and thus were cut off from Geadland, gradually assimilating into Luziyca over the next few centuries.

Old Kingdom

The immediate consequence of the schism was the Ten Years' War between Bethlehem and Geadland. With outside support, Geadland won and was united into a single country, with King Robert I being crowned in 1294. Independent Geadland prospered, primarily due to its important on the Golden Spice Road and its strategic location by the sea which allowed trade between Iglesiantis and the Golden Spice Road. By the 15th century it was the most densely-populated country in Esquarium. This left the country short of land. One consequence was the beginning of the draining of marshland and inland lakes to create polders. Another was the development of a prosperous wool and textile industries, making Geadland one of the most technologically advanced economies for many centuries. However the country was not always fortunate; in 1492, Geadland was devastated by a plague, which killed nearly a third of the entire population.

The most notable development of the 15th century was the introduction of a parliament called the Storting. The Storting contained two chambers, the first chamber containing the most powerful noble families and clerics, while the second chamber contained delegates from towns and counties, elected by a limited electorate. The Storting provided a check on the power of the monarchy, particularly since it could control when taxes were raised. The power of the Storting gradually grew over the next few centuries, but it was sometimes interrupted. Two kings deliberately kept the Storting inactive for long periods of time by avoiding the raising of taxes. King Robert III disbanded the Storting in 1640 after it refused to raise taxes for him, but after a civil war was threatened the Storting was brought back as part of a compromise solution.

Hegnerburgh Castle, the former seat of the Storting and a scene of several notable events in the country's history.

Starting in the mid-17th century, the country saw the growth of a Protestant movement which was founded by Johannes Ynilo. This was fuelled with resentment at the corruption and political power of the Orthodox Church. The Protestants were met with hostility and repression from the government, but gradually they were forced to accomodate them. In 1795, King David IV reformed the church to accomodate the Protestants, converting the Geadish Orthodox Church into the Church of Geadland. Much of the religious community, leading to the Bishop Wars of 1796-1805, which the government won. Those who resisted the reforms formed the Geadish New Orthodox Church, which survives to this day.

Starting in the 18th century, the Storting became increasingly democratic. The voting system was reformed to end malapportionment and the franchise was increased to cover 20% of the adult male population. In addition, monarchs began to delegate more executive powers to ministers, who by convention had to have support of the Commons. There was no actual post of Prime minister, but by the 1820s, there was a convention that one minister was significantly more powerful than the others.

25 Years of Turmoil

The gradual democratic developments were reversed when King Alexander III forcefully disbanded the Storting in 1843 after the Commons refused to pass laws banning socialist parties, triggering a three-way First Geadish Civil War between the monarchists, the parliamentarians and the left-wing Godolfen Uprising. An alliance between the parliamentarians and the Godolfenites let to the overthrow of the monarchy in 1848, with Alexander III being assassinated.

The Republic of Geadland established a constitutional presidential republic. However, the republic was short lived; after a defeat in a war, the republican government was overthrown by the military, led by General Norbert Öffervik. Öffervik initially planned to install King Alexander II's daughter Princess Sofja (who was far more liberal), but decided instead to seize power for himself, triggering the Second Geadish Civil War from 1854-1857 between the military and a joint monarchist-liberal rebellion in support of Princess Sophie. A ceasefire was declared in 1857, but the Kingdom of Bethlehem then invaded Geadland months later, taking advantage of the instability.

The Bethlehem rule ensured stability for a few years, since the Luziycans initial plans were to exploit the industrial and military power of Geadland without interfering with their culture, and Geadland even continued to use the guilder. However, especially after the unification of Luziyca in 1863 and the appointment of Archbishop Tomas Kirk as Governor of Geadland, Luziycan rule became increasingly authoritarian. Geadish Christians were subject to discrimination in an attempt to encourage a Lutheran Catholic revival, Luziycan was made the official langauge of the government and universities, taxes were greatly increased and the government introduced plans to convert to the Latin script.

Growing unrest culminated in the St. Steven's Park Massacre in June 1867, when Kirk ordered soldiers to open fire on unarmed protestors in Da Hegner, with many being arrested, tortured and executed. Just 33 days later, Kirk was deposed by the Luziycan 1st Geadish Brigade, to be tried and executed two years later. The coup led to the Geadish War of Independence against Geadland. The monarchists, parliamentarians and leftists now united to oust Luziycan rule and author a constitution. After a Geadish victory in the Battle of Aage Um Böül in March 1868 and the expulsion of the Luziycan army from Bondhaven the following month, the country declared independence on 5 May when Princess Sofja returned to Geadland from exile. In October, she was crowned Queen Sofja I, to great celebrations.

New Kingdom

Sofja I of Geadland, the first monarch of the New Kingdom.

The 1868 Constitution of Geadland was progressive, but included some concessions to political conservatives. Suffrage was given to 60% of the adult male population for elections, the office of Prime Minister of Geadland was created and a Charter of Rights entrenched freedom of speech and freedom of religion. The new political system saw the emergence of a two-party system featuring the Conservative Party and Liberal Party.

Christjan Euchensshepping served as the first prime minister until his death in 1873. His government consolidated the independence of Geadland with successful foreign policy and presided over the start of a Second Industrial Revolution, a population boom and the creation of a small colonial empire. The period from independence until the end of the 19th century is known as the Sofian Era. Despite being known as a time of propserity, the growth in the population put a strain on the limited agricultural land. Although farming became more efficient, poverty and hunger remained widespread in both rural areas and the industrial cities. Some Geads sought a better life by emigrating abroad to the colonies. Others began to join the growing trade union movement and the socialist parties.

During the Sofian Era, the Liberals were only able to form the government from 1879-1885 and from 1891-1893. Despite the dominance of their Conservative adversaries, the country's culture became increasingly progressive with a tolerant attitude towards atheism, homosexuality and women's rights, partly as a reaction against Kirk's ultraconservative policies. In 1893, Geadland became one of the first countries in the region to give women the right to vote, though this covered less than 2% of the adult female population.

The Liberal Party won a landslide victory in 1902 and would dominate governments for the next 20 years. They lost their majority in 1910 due to growing support for the two socialist parties - the Social Democrats and the Labour Party. They stayed in power by agreeing to the two party's demands to introduce universal adult suffrage. The Liberals and Conservatives only agreed to this if the voting system could be converted to proportional representation. Subsequent elections strengthened the socialist movement and the Liberals had a coalition government with the Social Democrats from 1914 to 1922 before switching to a coalition with the Conservatives instead.

Although the economy was in good health, Geadland fell behind other developing countries in the early 20th century. The rise of the Nationalist regime in Namor opened up a second threat to the nation. Like Luziyca, Namor exerted a teritorial claim over Geadland (referring to it as the Polderlands) but in practice, neither nations attacked Geadland due to its alliances and their conflicting claims. As with much of the world, Geadland was prosperous in the 1920s but in the later years was hit by recession and fell into a Great Depression.

Erik Erskine is a popular and heroic figure in Geadland due to his role as the architect of the welfare state and his leadership in the Polder War.

The 1930 election, held at the nadir of the Depression, led to the socialists parties winning a majority and Erik Erskine becoming the country's first left-wing prime minister. The two parties maintained their majority for 20 years and reformed the economy to create a Nordic model welfare state. In 1935, shortly after the partitioning of Luziyca, Luziyca invaded western Geadland, claiming that they would take full control of the Solned Delta. In the small conflict known as the Polder War, Geadland put up an unexpectedly effective defense but was forced to give up some of the land as a condition of the peace treaty. Erskine remains a heroic and popular figure in Geadland due to his leadership in the Polder War and his role as architect of the welfare state.

Erskine's successors consolidated the welfare state and presided over economic development and a rise in living standards. The discovery of natural gas in Horgalund was also a boon for the economy and helped offset the decline in coal and metal resources in the mountains. The late 1940s also saw the beginning of the dismantling of the colonial empire and Geadland became an ally of Namor after the Liberationist revolution in 1950.

The socialist parties formed the Social Democratic and Labour Party. Since then, the SDLP has always been the largest party in the Storting. In 1952, the SDLP received 45% of the vote, which to date is the highest a party has ever got under universal suffrage. Under the leadership of Pir Muinten, the SDLP began to persue some innovative and radical social policies. During his second term, his government legalised abortion, prostitution and cannibis. These measures were not always initially popular and the SDLP began to lose power for the first time.

The 1960s saw growing issues with defence and social problems. Txotai fell to a Luziycan-backed independence movement in 1966 and while Namor took back the region in 1970, they soon cut off relations with Geadland during the Green Fever. Then in the 1970s, the country entered a period of economic stagnation and industrial decline. The right-wing parties regained power in 1979 after forming the Pact of '79 alliance. Under the influence of Conservative leader Gunnhild Måssendal, Geadland's first female prime minister, the government cut taxes and spendings, privatised several government services and persued a monatarist economic policy. These controversial policies initially delivered high employment, but ultimately brought economic growth, especially in the service sector. They also achieved improved relations with both Luziyca and Namor, with the former former recognising Geadland's independence for the first time in the Treaty of Vesterhag. The SDLP made a brief return to power in 1983, but soon suffered a catastrophic election defeat due to a gerrymandering scandal.

Luziyca was reunified in 1992, an event which had long been feared in Geadland. The government (which had been led by the SDLP since 1991) responded by participating in the founding of NOSDO, as well as further military co-operation with Namor. Geadland supported Namor in the Third Namo-Luziycan War but also assisted in brokering peace with Luziyca. The SDLP's 22-year long time in power ultimated ended in 2013. The new government, formed by Efa Nordland, controversially includes the right-wing populist Progressive Party, who have been gaining support in recent years. The primary issues facing the current government are the struggle to recover from the 2008 recession, the deficit, the future of the welfare state and foreign policy challenges within Esquarium.

Geography

Geadland has a mountainous region in the south known as the Geadish Mountains, which rise up sharply out of the generally flat landscape. The highest mountain is Storpeik (1,204m), located within that region. However, the majority of the landscape of Geadland consists of fairly flat plains, apart from a few ranges of minor hills known in Geadish as Δȣνε (dune). The landscape has long been prone to flooding by both rivers and the sea. Since as early as the 15th century, numerous flood prevention works have been undertaken such as the building of dikes, levees and storm drains.

Large parts of the country lie below sea level. Due to its historically dense population, Geadland has reclaimed land from the sea since the 16th century. Nearly 25% of the Geadish mainland is artificially reclaimed and maintrained by a system of dikes, levees and water-removal pumps. An area of land reclaimed from the sea is known as a πωλδερ (pålder, English: polder). Compared to the original mainland, polders are almost completely flat with many storm drains and straight layouts of roads and fields.

Apart from the mountain regions, the Geadish land is very fertile and used for farming, especially of vegetables. However, the country is also very densely populated and urbanised and the growth of cities in the last two centuries has put the countryside under pressure.

Climate

Geadland experiences an oceanic climate (Köppen climate classification Cfb). Due to its relatively small land area, there is relatively little variation in the climate. Bondhaven has the hottest climate, mainly due to its coastal but sheltered position and its urban landscape. The mountains are the coldest and wettest parts of the country.

Climate data for Bondevik, Audholm
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C
(°F)
5.6 (42.1) 6.4 (32.5) 10.0 (50.0) 14.0 (57.2) 18.0 (64.4) 20.4 (68.7) 22.8 (73) 22.6 (72.7) 19.1 (66.4) 14.6 (58.3) 9.6 (49.3) 6.1 (43.0) 14.1 (57.4)
Average low °C
(°F)
-0.3 (32.5) -0.2 (32.4) 2.3 (36.1) 4.1 (39.4) 7.8 (46.0) 10.5 (50.9) 12.8 (55.0) 12.3 (54.1) 9.9 (49.8) 6.9 (44.4) 3.6 (38.5) 1.0 (33.8) 6.0 (42.8)

Governance

Geadland is a constitutional monarchy and a parliamentary democracy. The Monarchy of Geadland is ceremonnial in modern times, with Queen Sofja II of the House of Walen-Albard being the current monarch and head of state. The current head of government is Prime Minister Efa Nordland.

Administrative divisions

Geadland is a unitary state which has two main tiers of local government: the county (λανδ, land) and 358 municipalities (κομμȣνε, kommune). Responsibilities of the 15 county governments include health care, policing, emergency services, public transport, infrastructure, universities and certain cultural institutions. Responsibilities of the 358 municipal governments include planning, schools, welfare administration, waste collection, elderly care and rescue services. Additionally, Geadland is divided into 37 water board districts, which have some responsibility over water supplies, sewage management, flood prevention and waterways. The water boards are one of the oldest local government institutions in Esquarium.

The powers of the two types of local council are mostly symmetric but not completely so. There is some distinction between two types of counties: the counties of Bondhaven, Eskrau and Da Hegner consist of a single city and are referred to as "free cities" (φρεισταδε, freistade). The other 12 counties are referred to each as "area counties" (φληςενληνδε, flächenlände). In the free cities, a few local government powers that would be administered on a municipal level are instead administered by the county government. Several types of municipalities also exist: they may consist of a single city, a medium-sized town with its surrounding rural areas, multiple towns with no dominant settlement, an entirely rural area, or a "borough" (βυδηλε, büdäle) of a free city.

County councils and municipal councils are elected every four years through the single transferable vote system using 3-7 member districts. The most recent local elections were held in 2015 in the counties and 2016 in the municipalities. Both tiers of governments have a cabinet-style council system of government. Municipalities are led by mayor. Typically they have an executive mayor and a ceremonial mayor, though some combine the two posts. A county government is led by a commissioner.

The lowest-level tier of government is the 5,249 civil parishes (φøρσαμλινγ or församling). These are based off the traditional divisions of the Church of Geadland and its predecessors. They typically consist of a single village, town or urban neighbourhood and are used as districts for some government statistics and for conducting elections. Incorporated parishes employ a parish council and/or town meetings to manage local facilities. Most villages have incorporated parish council, but they are rare in urban areas with a population over 40,000.

Political System

Composition of the House of Representatives
List of Parties:
     Socialist Party
     Green Party
     Social Democratic and Labour Party
     Swedish People's Party
     Liberal Party
     Christian People's Party
     Conservative Party
     Progressive Party
     New Alliance
     Independents

Since Geadish independence in 1868, the Constitution of Geadland has limited the monarch to having only ceremonial and reserve powers. An unusual feature of the constitution is that there is a term limit on the monarchy, with each monarch mandated to retire in the 32nd year of their reign. Prior to the overthrow of the Old Kingdom in 1868, the monarchy had a tenure for life.

Legislative power is vested in the Storting, which is divided into two chambers, the directly-elected House of Representatives (Second Chamber) and the indirectly-elected Senate (First Chamber). Although majority approval from both chambers is needed to pass legislation, the House of Representatives is far more powerful, and has additional powers such as selecting the Prime Minister of Geadland.

Elections to the Storting take place at least every four years, with the Senate elections usually taking place a month after elections to the House of Representatives. The 543-seat House of Representatives is elected directly through the single transferable vote system. The 200-seat Senate is elected through open list proportional representation by local councillors, but with bonus seats given to the governing coalition. While the government can request a snap election at almost any time for either chamber, a chamber will only be elected to fill out the remainder of the previous chamber's term.

Following the most recent general election, the current prime minister is Efa Nordland of the Conservative Party, who leads a coalition between the Conservatives and the Progressive Party. The government holds a minority of seats in Parliament and relies on centrists such as the Liberal Party to pass legislation.

English name Geadish name Abbr. HoReps Senate
Government 219 90
Conservative Party Höüre (H) 152 63
Progressive Party Framstegpartiet (F) 67 27
Crossbenchers 85 29
Liberal Party Vinste (V) 61 25
Swedish People's Party Sveenste Folkspartiet (SF) 12 4
Independents Partilös 12 0
Opposition 239 81
Social Democratic and Labour Party Sosjaldemokratens ogh Arbeiderspartjet (SA) 163 49
Socialist People's Party Sosjalist Fulkspartiet (S) 22 10
Christian People's Party Christenlegh Fulkspartiet (K) 20 9
Green Party Grönpartiet (G) 11 9
New Alliance Nü Allianse (A) 15 4
Independents Partilös 8 0
Total seats 543 200

Law Enforcement and Justice

Police in Eskrau, with typical officer uniforms and car liveries.

The Geadish legal system, known as Geads law, which combines elements of common law and Napoleonic law. A key difference is that criminal trials are conducted under the inquistorial system, whereas civil cases use the adversarial system. The highest source of law in the land is the Constitution of Geadland, authored in 1868. Prior to this, Geadland had a constitution which was uncodififed and often violated by the monarchy.

The High Court is the most powerful court in the country, being responsible for interpreting the constitution and the judicial review of legislation passed by the Storting. Most of its cases concern the Geadish Bill of Rights. It is the only authority which can override the Storting, though this power has only been used on 14 occasions. Justice Adam Larssen, a former court president, once argued that this lack of interventionism is due to "the reluctance of judges to challenge the will of elected politicians and the fact that the constitution is easy to amend." The High Court contains 12 justices (justitieråde), appointed to serve for up to 10 years.

The criminal justice system has three tiers, with municipal courts dealing with minor offences, crown courts dealing with serious offences and the Assizes hearing appeals. The civil justice system has three separate tiers - district courts for first instances, the Court of Appeals, an intermediate appeal court divided into five geographical branches, and the High Court as the final court of appeal.

Law enforcement in Geadland is primarily carried out by 15 seperate county police forces, which are responsible to the Ministry of the Interior and their relevant county council. Additional law agencies are the Geadish Task Force, a national SWAT unit, the Geadish Border Police, and the Geadish Security Service, responsible for counter-espionage, anti-terrorism and providing state protection to people or artifacts.

Foreign Relations

See also: Foreign Relations of Geadland

Since its independence over 160 years a go, Geadland has long viewed neighbouring Luziyca as the primary threat to its security. In 1935, a war broke out between Geadland and Luziyca, known as the Polder War. Geadland lost territory as a result, but fared better against their opponents than expected. The wars in Txotai in the late 1960s led to a number of border skirmishes. Relations later improved and Luziyca recognised Geadland in 1966. Both countries have cultural ties despite the tension. Luziyca has a significant Geadish population, especially in the regions immediately surrounding Geadland. There is also a large migrant community of Luziycan people. Luziycans often travel to work in or visit Geadland, especially around the Sofjastad-Westerhag region.

Geadland began to develop friendlier relations with Namor after Yunglang Antelope's rise to power. Namor viewed Geadland as an important buffer state against Luziyca, and has constantly stressed the importance of an alliance with Geadland, considering that the two countries were both located on what Antelope called "the Frontline of the Liberated World." Relations were temporarily frozen during the Green Fever, in which Namor temporarily alienated itself from many of its allies for a decade, but after democratisation began in the 1980s, the two countries developed an alliance.

Military

The Geadish Royal Defence Forces (Geadish: Γαυδστε Κογνερλεχ Φορσϋαρετ, Gaudste Kognerlegh Forsvaret) contain a total of 140,000 active members, 90,000 reserve members and 300,000 militia members. The GRDF itself is divided into three branches: the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Home Guard militia. Queen Sophie II is the ceremonnial commander-in-chief of the armed forces, with all members swearing an oath of allegience to her. Geadland spends nearly 2.8% of its GDP on defence.

Economy

Geadland operates a mixed-market capitalist economic system. The word Pålderhaid ("polder-hood") describes the system of negotiation and concensus between employers, trade unions and the government which developed during the late 19th century.

Geadland was a relatively early participant in the Industrial Revolution. In modern times, the majority of the population are now employed in the tertiary sector, but the country still has a prominent manufacturing industry. Well known Geadish companies operate in the fields of car manufacturing (Skense Automobiles), chemicals (Pirsens), electronics (Alekman) and brewing (Loitna and Walen).

The currency of Geadish is the Guilder, which has been in circulation since 1823. The guilder is issued by the Geadish Royal Mint while the semi-independent Royal Bank of Geadland is responsible for issuing currency and setting interest rates and monetary policy. Another important financial institution is the Bondhaven Stock Exchange, one of the oldest stock exchanges in the Esquarium region.

Resources

About 3% of the workforce work in agriculture and another 1% work in other primary industries. Geadland's agricultural sector is highly mechanised and benefits from the fertile land; as a result the country is a net exporter of food despite its dense population. Geadland farms and exports fruit, vegetables, flowers and animal produce, but is a net importer of cereal crops. The country also has extensive fisheries in its open waters, while freshwater fish such as salmon are farmed in the mountains.

Since the 1950s, several natural gas fields have been discovered in Geadland, particularly in the northern region of Horgalund. Oil has also been discovered and extracted from the country's waters, though the country is a net importer of oil. Fossil fuels are extracted by Aerio (60% state owned) and Geadish Petroleum (fully state owned). In the 1970s, exploitation of fossil fuels increased the value of the guilder to a point that exports became less competitive and the country entered a period of industrial decline (an effect now referred to as "Geadish disease"). Since 1992, most revenues from gas exports are now stored in a sovereign wealth fund. The government has also made a major effort to generate more renewable energy, especially through wind turbines.

Transport

As with most countries, the car is the most popular form of transport in Geadland. However, there are also popular alternatives. Cycling is very common in Geadland, especially for travelling around towns or to school, and accounts for nearly 20% of all journies made. This rises to as high as 50% in some cities. Geadland has a highly developed network of cycle paths and infrastructure which makes cycling easy and safe.

Geadland also has a dense and busy railway network, operated primarily by Gaudlundste Sporbanens, though private companies and PPPs operate some lines on the network (most notably the Audholmspor). Five cities have a metro network and eight others have a tram system. The country was unusual in that its railway usage remained stable during the period of 1960-1980 at a time when it was in decline worldwide. This was due to the building of a number of key bridges and dikes which helped shorten journey times between many key cities.

Demographics

Largest cities of Geadland (2012 census)

Neue Skyline Hamburg.JPG
Bondhaven
Ben Franklin Bridge-2.jpg
Eskrau

  City Population County   City Population County

CphDhView.jpg
Da Hegner
Middlesbrough Skyline.jpg
Elhaas


1 Bondhaven 4,129,803 Free city 11 Walen 303,759 Archipelago
2 Eskrau 1,873,291 Free city 12 Rödkirk 261,785 Upper Sorbia
3 Da Hegner 1,342,950 Free city 13 Bondevik 248,539 Audholm
4 Elhaas 1,011,919 Lower Sorbia 14 Arje 238,294 Leghel
5 Grönching 778,415 Upper Sorbia 15 Sofjastad 235,830 Solned
6 Fajum 616,417 Lower Sorbia 16 Osling 225,974 Venden
7 Nordport 419,450 Horgalund 17 Südport 195,801 Langemark
8 Da Fugh 403,409 Mearland 18 Alburgh 171,492 Lower Sorbia
9 Kottemburgh 356,196 Upper Sorbia 19 Båpperden 157,385 Lower Sorbia
10 Stanhorst 329,481 Eskraulund 20 Dafidstad 152,574 Robert Island

With a population that recently passed the 30 million mark, Geadland is a medium-sized nation in Esquarium.

Language

90% of the population speak the Geadish language as their first language and almost all of the population can speak it fluently. The Geadish language is a Germanic language descended from Old Norse. As a result of the influence of the adoption of Orthodox Christianity, the Greek alphabet was adopted for spelling the language.

Swedish is spoken by 5% of the population as their first language, with the Swedish-speaking community concentrated on the island of Leghel and in the northern parts of Horgalund, and in both counties it has co-official status. In the past, Swedish was co-official on a national level and was extensively taught in schools, while many government institutions were required to accomodate Swedish speakers. However, since the 1980s Geadish is now the sole official language of all levels of government, except for Horgalund and Leghel.

There are a number of extinct languages in Geadland, such as Sorbian, Old Mearish and Wendish. These languages were displaced from towns and cities in the 13th century, but continued to be widely spoken in rural areas until as late as the Industrial Revolution.

Religion

Religion in Geadland
Religion
Percentage
Church of Geadland
  
45.2%
No religion
  
35.3%
New Orthodox
  
9.1%
Christianity (other)
  
5.4%
Other religions
  
3.3%
Unknown
  
1.7%

For much of its history, Christianity has been the dominant religion of Geadland; in the most recent census just over 60% of the population identified it as their religion. The most popular sect was the Church of Geadland (45%), followed by the Geadish New Orthodox Church (9%); Lutheran Catholicism accounted for the majority of the remaining Christian population. The two main sects are both descended from the Geadish Orthodox Church which was created during the Geadish Schism from the Lutheran Catholic Church. The split of this original orthodox church occurred when King David IV carried out a Protestant-inspired reformation; the majority of the population followed the reforms, while conservative opponents (especially in the south) founded the New Orthodox Church. The Church of Geadland is often considered to be a Protestant church, though others have described it as "Protestant-Orthodox".

It is ambiguous as to whether Geadland is a secular state. Upon independence, the Constitution of Geadland was authored and enshrined the right to religious freedom, but it also stated that the monarch is the head of the Church of Geadland. Since then, the role of the church in society has declined. For example, at the time of independence, education and healthcare were respectively dominated by church schools and church hospitals, but now these are now a minority. Nominal adherence to the two Geadish churches has declined from 90% (1952 census) to 63% at the 2002 census, and then to 54% at the 2012 census. This marked the first time that the Church of Geadland was no longer reported to be the majority religion of the country. Historian Tomas Smid notes that "Non-religious Geads are often uncomfortable with the term 'atheist', as they still consider the Geadish Churches to be part of their culture. The overwhelming majority of them still choose to have their weddings and funerals in a Christian ceremony."

Despite the decline of the established churches, other religions have enjoyed growth in the country, primarily due to immigration, such as Lutheran Catholicism, other sects of Christianity, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism.

Health

See also: Healthcare in Geadland

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Pie chart of health care funding in Geadland.

It is estimated that health care funding in Geadland is equivalent to 11% of the country's GDP (PPP). Health care funding is provided by a dual system. National Insurance - a component of the income tax bill - pays for 25% of costs and primarily funds long-term care, particularly for the elderly and people with disabilities, as well as for providing assistance to the poor. Private insurance is the largest source of funding, contributing 41% of the cost, and primarily funds short-term treatments. All citizens are required to be covered by private insurance and to facilitate this, the government mandates that insurance companies charge the same for patients regardless of age or health status. The private insurance funding is split 57%-43% between money paid in insurance premiums and the money paid into a risk pool by payroll tax. Other contributors to the cost are county governments (10%), upfront payments (8%), miscelleanous government funding (7%), optional additional insurance packages (5%) and other sources (3%). The majority of hospitals are owned by county governments and operated by insurance companies, though some hospitals are operated by county governments (mainly university hospitals) and an increasing number are entirely privately owned.

Education

See also: Education in Geadland

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Structure of the education system in Geadland.

Education is compulsory from the ages of 5 to 18, though from the age of 16 onwards, they may enter the workforce in an apprenticeship instead of studying at school. The school year runs form mid-August to late June, with holidays for Christmas and Easter. While most pupils go to state schools, Geadland has a tradition of offering alternatives. Education reforms in the 1980s and 1990s converted fee-paying private schools (often associated with the aristocracy) into charter schools, which are currently attended by 9% of schoolchildren. Homeschooling, on the other hand, is only available to students with severe behavioural or learning difficulties and is closely supervised by the government.

Students attend a barneskul ("children's school") from the ages of 4 to 8. They then attend mittanskul ("middle school") from the ages of 8 to 13, which ends with an exam to gauge students' abilities. Higher education takes place at a öngdomskul ("youth school") for the rest of their education. In their first three years, the students study a mix of optional and compulsory subjects and finish with a Diploma. In their last two years (if they choose to take them), they study a narrower range of courses and finish by taking the academic Geadish Baccalaureate (Bakkaloreat) or a vocational qualification.

There are 68 universities in Geadland and over 500 colleges and institutions of tertiary education. The oldest, the University of Alburgh, was founded in 1432, followed by the Royal University of Da Hegner in 1675. The largest institution of higher learning is the University College of Bondhaven, a federation of eight colleges in the city centre which together are attended by 80,000 students. Tuition is free to citizens and moderate fees are charged for foreign students. It is currently estimated that 32% of the population hold a tertiary degree. Degrees are awarded in compliance with the Bologna process.

Culture

The Geadish National Museum in Bondhaven, also a former royal palace.

Since its independence, Geadland has been characterised by a highly progressive culture, though this has been mixed with moderate nationalism. It is notable that the Geads have a tradition of defining their race along cultural lines (Gaudhaid, or "Geadhood") rather than ethnic or biological lines. Liberal philosphers like Georgus Am Skeelft instead emphasised that speaking the Geadish language, respecting the country's traditions and identifying emotionally with Geadish culture as being the defining traits of Gaudhaid. This tradition is often attributed to the Geads' lack of interest in fascism or antisemitism during the 20th century. In modern times, this has the effect of making it easy for the Namorese, Luziycan Geads and (to a lesser extent) Luziycans to integrate into Geadish society, but sometimes created issues for immigrants from the Third World.

Cultural progressivism is sometimes referred to in the Geadish language as antag ogh kom geantagd (equivalent to "live and let live") and it developed as a reaction against the ultraconservative regime of Tomas Kirk. The 1960s saw a further stage of liberalisation: politically, the decade saw the legalisation of pornography, soft drugs and abortion; socially, it saw the the sexual revolution develop at an early stage. In modern times, the country enjoys high levels of civil liberties and equality. Some strongholds of social conservatism survive to this day in certain parts of the country, especially the Bible Belt and the southern mountains.

The Geadish Golden Age in the 17th century and the Sofian Era in the late 19th century saw some of the most famous cultural works being produced in Geadland. In modern times, Geadland's contributions to literature, cinema and the arts have been exported to many neighbouring countries, including neighbouring Namor and Luziyca.

Cinema

Cinema in Geadland dates back to the earliest years that the medium was invented. During the silent era, Geadland also exported many films to other countries, though since the 1930s Geadish cinema has largely been confined to within the country and its former colonies. Nevertheless, many Geadish-born actors such as Astrid Lexman, Karl Westerberg and Lena Sörensen have had success in other countries (particularly Iglesiantis) along with directers such as Andras Ingsburgh and Villem Kåss. More recent figures include Pir Haven and Sesilia Freiman.

Media

Newspaper readership is high in Geadland and almost every town has its own newspaper, in addition to the national newspapers which are primarily based in Bondhaven. The most prominent morning newspapers are Dagposten (liberal-conservative), Fulksrekorden (social democratic), Telegrafen (liberal-agrarian), Solen (social democratic tabloid), Stirnen (conservative tabloid) and Sladder (non-political tabloid). The largest evening tabloids are Kvöüdposten (social democratic) and Expressen (conservative). The largest English-language news source for domestic news is The Local. Metro Geadland operate a chain of freesheet newspapers which are distributed in major cities.

GRK (Geadish Broadcasting Corperation) is the largest broadcasting organisation in Geadland and operates as a licence-funded public broadcaster. It enjoyed a monopoly on TV broadcasting from 1938 until the creation of Independent Television. Independent Television became the country's first commercial broadcaster after its privatisation in 1967. Other major TV stations to be created were New Geadish Television (1984) and Fernplus (1992). While most homes are now covered by satellite television, cable television is relatively rare and is only covered by 10% of houses. Digital terrestrial television was first introduced in 1999 and analogue terrestrial television was phased out from 2005 to 2009.

In addition to its TV operations, GRK operates five national radio stations, with the oldest being created in 1925. Non-profit community radio stations were first licenced in 1966, with many often working in partnership with GRK. Commercial radio stations were not available for licencing until 1988. Both TV and radio broadcasters are required to be politically neutral in their charters.

Literature

The oldest surviving literature in Geadland consists of rune carvings, with the most famous being the Halbergard Runestone which dates from approximately 850 AD and is now on display at the Geadish National Museum. The Geads brought the Norse traditions of Skald poetry and Saga story-telling during their migration to Geadland; these stories were normally carried by word-of-mouth and were rarely written down. Since the 19th century, many of these tales and legends have resurfaced and many have become popular children's stories.

After the Christianisation of the Geads, writing and literature became concentrated in monastic communities and was done in Latin — and later in Greek following the Geadish Schism. Rune writing continued to be used in some places until the introduction of the printing press in the late 15th century. The Geadish language then underwent a revival and would gradually replace Greek as the standard language of the government. Two notable works were the King Christian I's first Geadish translation of the Bible and Edvard Westerbjerg's The Wreck of the Rösneiger, became the first major fictional work to be written in the Geadish language.

The Geadish Golden Age saw some of the country's most famous literature being produced. The so-called "Big Three" were Fredrik Reedl, who wrote plays, novels and poems which often were inspired by conflict between the merchant classes and aristocracy, Georgus Ribbel, who wrote realism-inspired novels and plays which often dealt with controversial subject matter, and Augustus Smilling, who based his writings on travels around Esquarium with colonial explorers. Works often crossed stylistic boundaries; Reedl wrote several novels in a form which could easily be adapted to stage. The 18th century saw the rise of the Romantic movement. Johanna Kraft also became one of the country's first female authors and poets.

In the New Kingdom era, some Geadish authors have occasionally found international recognition outside of Geadland, such as the pioneering spy novel author Leonard Barker, detective novellist Trügvi Larssen, Lena Ruikschen, socialist author Peter Irskirke and more recently, Torstein Litner and Efa Samuelsen.

Edvard Langfeld, one of the most renowned classical composers to come from Geadland.

Music

Geadland has a rich musical tradition, ranging from the pre-Christian music of the Viking era to hip hop and heavy metal. Most of the folk music from the Middle Ages has been lost, but the Nasjonsfödend movement in decades after independence saw musicians rediscover and reconstruct Viking instruments and songs. There was a further folk revival in the 1960s. Choral music has been part of the folk tradition and remains popular today, with over 1 million Geads belonging to a choir.

Some of the country's most famous musical works date from the Sofian Era in the subsequent decades, particularly the romantic classical composers Edvard Langfeld and Ulrik Hammers and the avantgarde work of Karl Skjimmerhorn. The country has also had a thriving jazz scene since the 1920s. The most notable jazz performances in the year is the Bondhaven Jazz Festival.

From the 1960s until the 1980s, Geadland was one of the largest non-Anglophone exporters of rock music in Esquarium, with the most succesful bands from this era was Hat Kulens. The lead singer of the band, Tom Rosenfeldt, went on to have an internationally successful career in pop music, while the rest of the band moved towards heavier rock. Another internationally successful artist was Karl Lyngstein. Lyngstein belonged to the Polder rock scene in the 1970s, a brand of heartland rock which incorporated elements of Geadish folk elements and in laters years was influenced by the punk rock sound.

While most music exported from Geadland has been sung in the English language, in recent years some artists have had some success selling Geadish-language heavy metal. The country has two metal scenes - melodic death metal and black metal - which have often had a fierce rivalry. In the early 2000s, the Geadish public became concerned about these movements due to a series of violent incidents connected to metal artists, particularly the Kremling massacre and the murder of Antonis Borland. Recent years have also seen many Geadish-born producers and songwriters working for popular music artists in Namor, Iglesiantis and many other countries, such as Johan Tomassen, Markus Mold and Reddi. The country also has a thriving music festival scene in the summer and the beer season with the largest events including Polderfest, in Da Hegner, the Bondhaven Music Festival and Robertöü Festival.

Sport

Association football is the most popular sport in Geadland. The country's national football team competes in several Esquarian and interregional events. Club teams compete in the Geadish league system, which includes 154 professional clubs and over 5,000 amateur clubs. The most popular alternative team sports are rugby football, baseball, handball and volleyball. The most popular individual sports are tennis, golf, bicycle racing and horse racing.

Cuisine

Cheese on sale in Den Halle market, Bondhaven.

Traditional Geadish cusine was characterised as being simple; it developed as a result of the practical needs of labourers and the methods of farming required on low-lying marshy land where space was often at a premium. Breakfast and lunch would consist primarily of bread with toppings, while dinner meals consisted of meat, seasonal vegetables and (from the 15th century onwards) potatoes. After the 17th century, more complex dishes were developed which emphasised contrasting flavours. Since the mid-20th century, international cuisine has become well-represented in cities and even small towns. The overall diet is low in meat and high in carbohydrates, vegetables and dairy products.

The country is noted for its diverse range of cheese. Medieval peasants regarded cheese as a luxury food to eat on rare occasions, so numerous varieties of varieties of cheese developed over many centuries. Today, there are over 400 registered types of cheese in Geadland. A selection of cheeses is often served alongside tea with bread or savoury biscuits. The most commonly consumed alcoholic drink by far is beer, followed by Sveani, a form of eau de vie. There is a large brewing industry in Geadland which specialises in lager, including famous brewers such as Loitna and Walen. Beer festivals are traditionally held in early October around Saint Roger's Day, a time known as Oitiden (the beer season). These have grown larger in recent years, inspired by the German Oktoberfest.

Holidays

National holidays are issued by royal proclamation, though some have existed since ancient times. A Vilsdag (Day of Rest) is a holiday in which the population are entitled to a day off work, or if they do work on the day, extra time off on a different day.

Many festivals originate as a result of the country's Christian heritage. Some like Christmas, Easter and Pentecost are celebrated as a secular festival as well as a religious holiday. Some other notable national festivals are the celebration of Geadland's independence from Luziyca on 5 May, and Höstshöütid (the Harvest Festival), a day which traditionally celebrated agriculture but is also a time of encouraging donations to charities to help the poor.

Date Name Notes
1 January New Year's Day The exact date (or the following Monday) is a day of rest.
variable Good Friday Since the 19th century, Easter has been calculated in accordance to the traditions of Western Christianity. Easter Sunday is defined as being the first Sunday after the first full moon after the Spring equinox. Good Friday and Easter Monday are both days of rest. School holidays are normally arranged to include Easter, unless the date is unusually late.
Easter Sunday
Easter Monday
1 May Labour Day The first Monday of May is a day of rest.
5 May Independence Day
14 May Coronation Day In some years, such as 2012, this was a day of rest.
variable Pentecost The date is calculated as being 49 days after Easter Sunday and always falls on a Sunday. The following day (Monday) is a day of rest.
4th Saturday of June Summerbålnat (Midsummer) The celebrations of the summer solstace, also associated with John the Baptist.
12 August Remembrance Day The anniversary of the conclusion of the Polder War. The first Friday of August is a day of rest.
18 October Saint Roger's Day Geadland's national day. This is by way of being the feast day of Rodgar Eriksen, the patron saint of Geadland, traditionally considered to have led the Christianisation of the Geads. The exact date (or nearest weekday) is a day of rest.
25 December Christmas Day The exact date (or nearest weekday) is a day of rest.
26 December St. Stephen's Day

National symbols

The Flag of Geadland was first adopted in 1542 by King David II, based on the Nordic Cross design. The flag consists of a white cross on a lime green background. The white colour represents purity and Christianity, while the lime background represents the fields of Geadland and the lime tree, a national symbol.