The Macabees

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Second Empire
of the Golden Throne


Díenstadi: Magra Díenstad

Flag
Motto: Non Plus Ultra
Map of the Golden Throne [end of 2026]
Map of the Golden Throne [end of 2026]
CapitalFedala
Largest city Macabea
Official languages Díenstadi, Pantocratian (Cerfonlande Prefecture), Questerian (Zealand Prefecture)
Recognised regional languages Various local dialects
Demonym Macabean
Government Federated Empire
 -  Emperor Fedor I
Legislature Senatorial Government
 -  Upper house Senate
 -  Lower house Congress of Kingdoms
Formation
 -  First Empire of the Golden Throne 871–1898 C.E. 
 -  Second Empire of the Golden Throne 2004– C.E. 
GDP (PPP) 2026 estimate
 -  Total $1.370 quadrillion
 -  Per capita $46,600
GDP (nominal) 2014 estimate
 -  Total $7.526 trillion
 -  Per capita $48,404
HDI (2025)0.831
very high
Currency Ríokmark (Ŗ)
Date format dd-mm-yyyy CE
Drives on the right
Calling code +848
Internet TLD .gt

The Macabees, officially the Second Empire of the Golden Throne, is a federated empire located in Greater Díenstad, with one extra-regional territory. Formally, it is composed of nine senatorial provinces, eleven imperial territories, and four satrapies, each with their own unique local political institutions and all loyal by oath to the Imperial Bureaucracy of the Golden Throne. The country is extremely diverse in almost all concerns, including in its culture, climate, and geography, and has recently taken on the shape of an overseas empire spread over an archipelago of Díenstadi continents.

Etymology of the Demonym 'Macabean'

The term 'Macabean' was originally used to denote citizens of the city-state of Macabea, originally founded circa 1200 B.C.E. As Macabea came to dominate the Díenstad Peninsula, which today forms the northern region of the province of Díenstad, the term gradually began to be applied to the area as a whole. 'Macabean' has become more popular since reunification, because it provides a common identity to the empire as a whole and allows citizens of other provinces and territories to differentiate themselves from ethnic Díendstadis, who are in turn related more so to the original Macabean population.

According to the prominent court historian Klaud Bohem (1213–1298), the word 'Macabea' probably originates from the ancient Jo'Mari term Ma'aca, which means 'Stronghold of the North.' Later scholars, including historian Janus Dorean (1791–1887), posit that the word stems from the Corunean term for gold, Ma, which would read Ma Kor Nea or 'Sea of Gold.' Because of its geographic position, with ample access to the sea but far away from overseas invaders, the Díendstad peninsula has always benefited from ample trade. This, Dorean argued, is the basis for the name of the city-state, although others have disputed this theory on the basis that the Corunean language had mostly disappeared by 1800 B.C.E. according to archeological evidence.

History

Prehistory

Early Civilization

Ancient Civilization

First Empire

Kríerstat Epok

Second Empire

Geography

Administration, Politics, & Vassalage

As a quasi-supranational federated empire, the Golden Throne is composed of a mixture of various administrative districts and vassal states. These are united through their loyalty to the Imperial Bureaucracy, a relationship which is established by individual treaty and represented through an Imperial Governor or a Satrap. Local governments take on many forms, which makes it difficult to define the empire's layers of governance on an abstract level.

Imperial Bureaucracy

Administrative Divisions

Possessions and protectorates of the empire are classified in one of four ways: province, aukitat, lukitat, and satrapy. Each of these holds a different status with the empire that can lead to differences in tax rates and domestic policy.

Provinces

An old map of the provinces of the Golden Throne.
The core of the Golden Throne, which makes up its pre-War of Golden Succession mainland possessions, is organized into nine provinces: Díenstad, Sidi, Sarcanza, Arras, Beda Fromm, Targul Frumos, Ruska, and the Imperial Province.

The nine provinces are organized under an increasingly independent bicameral legislature, known collectively as the Senatorial Government. At the time of the Second Empire's founding in 2004, the Senatorial Government was a unitary unicameral system established via the Treaty of La Mure. Membership was restricted to citizens of the Imperial Province and it performed the role of a counterweight to imperial authority. In 2026, the Senatorial Government and Imperial Bureaucracy reached an agreement to reform the provincial government by dividing the legislature into two houses, the Senate and the Congress of Kingdoms. This, along with a transition from a unitary provincial government to a federated system, was solidified by the Treaty of Fedala (2027). These landmark decisions follow a trend towards the decentralization and delegation of power within the empire.

The Senate is made up of 27 representatives, each province contributing three elected Senators to the house. Symbolically, the chamber represents the interests of the provinces against those of the Imperial Bureaucracy and the territories. In contrast, the Congress of Kingdoms is formed of 400 Porodoi, each province and territory selecting a total number determined by the size of their relative populations. The Porodoi are elected or chosen based on rules determined at the provincial or territorial level. In four-year cycles, both chambers elect a Kríeror, or "War Lord," who acts as an executive with the power to directly negotiate with the Imperial Beauracracy.

Both chambers of the Senate participate in the passing of new laws and other legislation. However, only the Senate has the power to introduce legislation concerning the provinces. In turn, only the Congress of Kingdoms can initiate legislation to incorporate qualifying territories as new provinces within the Senatorial Government. The Macabean emperor has veto powers over both chambers and a three-fourths vote is required in both houses to request a veto overturn, which the emperor can choose to accept or not.

Territories

Outside of the provinces, the Golden Throne is organized into a number of territories (aukitats) and free cities (likutats). These aukitats include: Guffingford, Zarbia, Nuevo León, Levante, Belmonte, Viñera, Monzarc, Indras, Gerul, and Theohuanacu. Each is appointed an Imperial Governor, whose position and term length is determined by the emperor. Power is distributed between the governor and locally-determined institutions of governance.

How a territorial government forms depends on various factors, which include existing cultural traditions, previous institutions, and the length and type of war fought prior to annexation. In the case of Guffingford, for example, parts of the original governmental structure was maintained and modified, while much of the internal administrative network was left intact. On the other end of the spectrum are territories such as Zarbia and Indras, where neo-feudal systems were replaced by democratic institutions. In some cases there is no central territorial government, but instead an Imperial Governor negotiates with separate governments. Such is the case with Theohuanacu, where the governor in North Point balances power with up to six individual territorial governments. Thus, governance can vary widely by territory and domestic policies by just as much, which allows the Golden Throne to better administer in a culturally heterogeneous empire.

There is a strong policy of minimal interventionism in the formation of local governments. Where governments must be replaced, an Imperial Governor will simply organize discussion and incentivize decision-making that aligns with the policies of the Golden Throne. If an annexed government is maintained, Macabean influential may be almost non-existent. Governors are, however, given the power of veto and are able to directly block any legislation that is deemed anti-imperial. There are no formal rules or guidelines around what can be considered anti-imperial, which suggests that policy is largely determined by who sits on the Golden Throne.

By treaty, the Imperial Bureaucracy regulates trade and foreign policy. It also demands an annual tax known as the Imperial Levy. The rate of the levy is determined by treaty and can be renegotiated over time, which is done often in accordance with the volume of imperial expenses. The Imperial Bureaucracy also holds the right of free military recruitment, which makes any and all territorials eligible for military service with the empire.

Twenty years of military service with the empire awards a territorial the status of citizen, who pay the provincial tax rate and are eligible for service in the Congress of Kingdoms. An aukitat can vote to become a province and therefore fall under the jurisdiction of the Senatorial Government. A change in status requires a referendum that must be won with a three-fourths majority of the popular vote. An aukitat has never successfully voted for a change in administrative status, although it is projected that citizens will become the voting majority in certain territories within the next 60 years.

Free Cities

Likutats, or free cities, are special administrative districts that are ruled directly by the emperor. Today, there is only one official Likutat: Tarn. Jumanota is considered by many a Likutat, but its status is ambiguous, as its annexation was not sanctioned by the Imperial Bureacracy. Jumanota is directly administered by Navitek and only the company's direct assets are taxed, leading to suggestions that Jumanota is in fact an independent country.

Because Tarn has shaped the image of the Likutat by virtue of its uniqueness, imperial free cities have been known to sit largely outside the law. Imperial authority is exercised at will, but the lack of a steady imperial presence is notable. The Likutat of Tarn, for instance, is defended by a trade coalition of private military contractors headquartered in the city. These contractors buy and sell contracts in accordance with their own company cultures and they are not constrained by imperial foreign policy, something which has led to tension between the Imperial Bureaucracy and private security companies.

Free cities are typically established as colonies, to spread imperial influence to areas where large-scale annexations are not favorable. Tarn was established soon after the War of Golden Succession in what was then disputed territory, between Apdates Astrates and Holy Panooly, as a means of securing a counterweight to the heavy Stevidian presence in the area. Its role evolved from there and is today one of the most commercially successful cities in the Golden Throne.

Satrapies

Vassalage is a common political arrangement between the Golden Throne and a sovereign state. There are currently four Satrapies: Holy Panooly, Pezlevko-Rubino, Nicaro, and New Empire. This type of arrangement is characterized by the appointment of a Satrap, who must be a citizen of the country and is required to have lived in the home country for a minimum of the previous 10 years. The position is directly appointed by the emperor. The legislative and judicial branches of government are locally determined and only foreign policy is imposed by treaty with the Golden Throne, although treaties also tend to include stipulations for bilateral free trade.

All Satrapies pay an annual tax known as the Imperial Tribute. The rate is set by treaty and can be negotiated by the Satrap.

Usually, vassals are allowed to form small self-defense forces, however, by Treaty the Golden Throne is required to come to the defense of any satrapy attacked by a foreign force. This leads to the establishment of permanent military bases in these countries and frequently command of local armies will be given to Macabean general officers.

Military

Economy

Trade

Since the mid-17th century, and coinciding with a burgeoning of the middle class, the empire has implemented a fairly laissez-faire trade policy. Cities such as Macabea and Targul Frumos, as well as the coastal trade centers of Beda Fromm, have for many centuries been known for commerce they have attracted. These areas retained their economic prominence even during the kríerstat epok, and they encompassed the most powerful of the warring states. The Second Empire has sought to protect this heritage and to promote it through a largely unregulated import-export market. Today, tariffs and quotas are almost non-existent, and the volume of intra-imperial and international trade is at its highest in history, interrupted only by a sharp fall (and subsequent recovery) between 2016–23.

Imperial foreign trade is predictable in accordance with the gravity model of trade, which operates on two rules — in both cases, ceteris paribus:

  1. The closer two countries are to each other, the more they will trade with each other.
  2. The more similarly sized two countries' GDPs are, the more they will trade with each other.

Thus, the Golden Throne's major trade partners include Stevid, Independent Hitmen, Tir, Adaptes Astrates, Hailandkill, United Gordonopia, Pennslyvannia, Imbrinium, and Lamoni. With the acquisition of significant overseas territories following the end of the War of Golden Succession, beginning with the annexation of Thoehuanacu, the empire began to creep closer to the other large economies of Greater Díenstad. Territories such as Indras are valuable precisely because of the trade income they bring the empire. Strategic territorial conquest, attached to a strict policy of free trade, has not only helped to promote ever growing volumes of trade, but it has also benefited the Imperial Bureaucracy through tax profits from growing domestic incomes and the historic trend of an appreciating currency.

Safehaven has always represented a strong trade partner, although this relationship was disrupted for many years following the Havenic 2016–17 invasion of Ruska. However, much of the inter-border exchange of goods has picked up, despite the southern country's post-war fracturing. While not as large as it once was, trade between the two countries is still very strong due to their geography proximity and the sheer size of Safehaven.

The Golden Throne has recently taken on the role of spearheading international trade reform. One of its most successful programs has been the Global Aerospace Trade Association (GATA), which promotes orbital trade by establishing a common defense network against threats to high-altitude trade routes. This has brought the empire much closer to countries such as Haishan, Morrdh, and Mokastana, which are otherwise far on the geographic fringes of Greater Díenstad. It has also increased Macabean trade with extra-regional countries, including Havensky. GATA is projected to grow the empire's foreign trade by over 25 percent in the short-term by allowing for a greater volume of goods to be exchanged over distances previously believed to be uneconomical for non-luxury items.

Trade balances vary by trade partner, and sometimes the empire may find itself perpetually in deficit and others perpetually in surplus. Overall, the surplus and deficit regress to zero, although strengthening capital markets — and the frequent issuing of war bonds, financed to a consider extent by the auctioning of territorial acquisitions — have increased the demand for local currency. This often takes the form of foreign investments, especially in the territories which are ripe for industrialization. This has caused some bias towards current account deficits, but in favor of growth in the country's overall productive power.

Agriculture

Historically, Ruska has been the breadbasket of the Second Empire, much as it was for the First Empire. Prior to the War of Golden Succession, Ruskan agriculture was characterized by small land holdings and relatively labor intensive crops. During the Kríerstat Epok, Ruska had consolidated into a federation of farmers' syndicates and this system carried over into the first decade of the Second Empire. Average incomes in the southern province were therefore up to Ŗ10–20,000 lower than in other provinces and industry-related trade was restricted to intra-imperial distribution, with exports principally moving south into Safehaven.

A tractor tilling soil on a Ruskan vineyard.
The War of Golden Succession and technological progress have disrupted the Ruskan countryside and much of the original agricultural infrastructure, the latter of which was destroyed during the course of the war. Extensive ground battles, round-the-clock bombings, and slash-and-burn tactics all contributed to the widespread dismantling of pre-war Ruskan farmland. During the post-war, the vacuum caused by large loss of property, high civilian death tolls, and population displacement made for a fast-paced transition into large-scale, commercial farming. Today's provincial agricultural economy is tending towards greater economies of scale, with the market becoming increasingly monopolistically competitive. These industries allow more production to be concentrated amongst fewer producers, giving farming corporations the room to spread capital costs — farming equipment, infrastructural construction, and other fixed costs to capital-intensive farming — over a greater number of units. This has lead to a lowering of food prices across the empire, but also to the structural displacement of hundreds of millions of small farmers.

Among the products grown and processed in Ruska, and on a smaller scale elsewhere in the provinces, include grains, olive oil, mazeta (similar to corn), cotton, cannabis, poppies — and opium —, and industrial livestock. Capital intensive techniques are predominant, including labratory and synthetic production, allowing agricultural companies to produce more with less labor. This has led to growth in the agricultural supply industry, including tractor and machinery manufacturing, and large commercial processing plants that service farmers throughout the empire.

The Havenic territories enjoy the empire's strongest tradition of agriculture. However, very little of the industry's current landscape was inherited from the pre-war structure of the Havenic agricultural economy. While Safehaven has always enjoyed a relatively market-oriented economy, its government protected small farmers via subsidies and import restrictions. Barley and other ethanol-producing crops were particularly heavily subsidized, which led to their widespread cultivation. There are extensive vineyards, especially in today's Viñera — its name suggestive of its heritage —, and this too is largely the product of pre-war subsidies. As of late, traditional agriculture in these areas has also seen increased competition from synthetic agricultural producers.

The Golden Throne's policy of post-war deportation saw the displacement of tens of millions of people from the Havenic provinces. Young Havenic men were given the option to join the auskilares on 10-year contracts, after which veterans and their immediate family members would be granted citizenship. Those who chose not to were deported south into post-war Safehaven. Roughly half of what is now Levante, Belmonte, and Viñera was directly confiscated by the Imperial Bureaucracy during the course of the war and later sold via market-value auctions to provincial commercial farmers. Many auskilares sold their land, a trend that accelerated when many veterans were granted lands in Theohuanacu. Ironically, the demand for labor that the commercialization process generated caused many of the Havenics who were originally transported over the southern border to return, taking advantage of the empire's lax border laws to initiate the largest immigration wave in its history.

Agricultural products of the Havenic territories include, among others, wine, barley, corn, olive oil, and fruits.

Tropical farming is also practiced in Holy Panooly, Indras, and the coastal sections of western Theohuanacu. These are known for the large-scale production of sugar, coca, tropical fruits, coffee, and cacao, among other crops. Finally, Guffingford's traditional agricultural products include wine and olive oil, as well as industrial livestock farming (much of which is synthetic). Much of this industry was maintained intact during their annexations, in the case of Theohuanacu and Indras, or their transition to vassalage, as was the case with Holy Panooly.

Banking

Since its founding, the Second Empire of the Golden Throne's money supply has been privatized and competitive. To facilitate the easy exchange of private notes, prices are typically standardized to the ríokmark, which floats freely against private and foreign currencies. There are over 30 major currencies currently in circulation throughout the empire.

Like with any modern banking system, there exists a division of labor between banks that specialize in different roles. The majority serve the population at large, accepting deposits that can then be loaned via consumer or business credit. Many provide investment services for low and middle-income clients via partner institutions. There are also larger investment banks that specialize in corporate cash deposits (e.g. repo), which are usually short-term and overnight. Any bank can issue its own currency, but for a bank's note to survive there must be demand for it. There are two main constraints on a bank's ability to issue money, if there is even demand for its notes:

  1. Private bank notes, termed inside money, are liabilities which can be deposited and converted into a hard asset, called outside money. Historically, these assets have been metals such as gold and silver, but today they can include a wide variety of information-insensitive assets, such as certain securities and government bonds. Because of the competitive market — meaning a bank's own notes must ultimately return to that bank —, the drain on a bank's capital reserves can threaten insolvency, which can happen if the bank over-issues currency.[1]
  2. If a bank has already issued the maximum amount of currency (liabilities) it can sustain, the only way to profitably generate more loans is by attracting more deposits. While banks compete for deposits in many ways, the principle method is to raise the rate of interest offered on deposits. However, the more capital loaned by the bank, the lower the rate of interest it charges on its loans. This creates a restraint on size, as a bank can only accept more deposits to the extent that interest on deposits is less than or equal to interest charged on loans.[2]
An example of a mid-19th century competitively issued currency.
Lender of last resort functions are fulfilled by clearinghouse unions. Clearinghouses originally evolved to facilitate the clearing of asset-claims between banks. To facilitate things for the client, banks tend to accept rival bank notes. These are then returned to the issuing bank for redemption. Rather than having each bank deal with every other bank individually, clearinghouses help to centralize the clearing system. Over time, clearinghouses accumulated capital reserves of their own and began to issue their own liabilities to banks looking for overnight loans to pay for short-term liabilities. This relationship eventually led to the establishment of clearinghouse unions, where a clearinghouse imposes a set of rules on member banks who then count on the clearinghouse for subsidized loans in case of illiquidity. This not only helps to protect depositors, but also serves to regulate the actions of member banks.

A clearinghouse may reserve the right to temporarily suspend redemption services. In client contracts, this is usually stipulated by an Option Clause which defines for how long a clearinghouse can call a suspension for and at what rate of interest. It is common to offer a higher rate of interest on deposits during periods of suspension to compensate the customer. This clause can help protect a member bank and the union as a whole from systemic redemption crises that can be caused by macroeconomic instability or union-specific instability that results from the over-issuance of currency.

Today, most private monies originate from the clearinghouse, where member banks have the right to manufacture and issue this currency in return for deposits and other assets. Successful clearinghouses impose strict rules on member banks, and deviations from the rules can result in severe penalties or even expulsion from the union. This system is often described as privatized central banking.

Banking composes over 10 percent of the Golden Throne's GDP and earns almost 40 percent of non-farm business profits. Much of this wealth stems from the expansion of the banking industry to the territories, where the elimination of centralized money services often causes vacuums that can command large returns to early-entrants. There are no government branching laws and charter issuance is often regulated by the clearinghouse unions. By some accounts, there are as many as 30,000–40,000 banks throughout the empire. The industry can be segmented between large, monopolistically competitive banks that have branches throughout the empire and smaller, more local banks that compete on a smaller scale.

Immigration

An important source of population and economic growth for the Golden Throne, immigration comes from two major sources. One is intra-imperial migrations, which typically occur between recently acquired territories and the wealthier areas of the empire. The occupation of Zarbia, for example, was followed by a surge in emigration from the newly incorporated territory to northern Guffingford and the eastern provinces. Similarly, this phenomenon can happen between the empire and the satrapies. Following the Panooly Civil War and the occupation of South Panooly by the Ordenites in late 2026, there was a considerable exodus of Panoolies — both white and non-white alike — to Theohuanacu.

Immigration policy is set by Senatorial Government in the provinces and, in theory, by local governments in the territories. Historically, imperial governors have not been shy to veto anti-immigration laws, which has been a source of political conflict between the Imperial Bureaucracy and its subjects outside of the provinces.

Immigrants make up an important source of labor in the empire, especially in the provinces which up to 2018 had seen substantial depopulation as a result of ongoing wars over the previous century. Up to almost 10 percent of migrants in the Havenic territories work in agriculture, with a large proportion throughout the empire also involved in industry and the service sector. Because of the Golden Throne's relaxed stance on capital accumulation and business ownership, it's very common for migrants to bring their savings to to start their own businesses within imperial frontiers. These often involve the selling and provision of services back to their countries, which in turn has helped to promote an even greater amount of international trade between the empire and her neighbors.

While the empire's immigration policy is typically highly lauded, it has also stirred much controversy. Experts such as political scientist Evard Delot, from the University of Beda Fromm, have pointed to political tensions caused by this policy, namely due to the role of capital flight — both physical and human — in perpetuating the impoverishing of the Golden Throne's neighbors. This, for example, continues to beset Safehaven, which collapsed after the War of Golden Succession and has failed to recover its former wellbeing. Economist Gerard Menopos, however, has made the case that domestic policy has more to do with those countries' weak economies, and that the emigration they suffer from would be abated by better economic policy to promote investment in their own country. He also cites the positive mercantile effects of growing inter-border trade between Safehaven and the empire, noting that Havenics living near the Frontier enjoy a standard of living that would disappear if the Golden Throne's immigration were to change.

Space

This section will be written out soon. Some notes, for now:

  1. Mining and exploratory robots and vessels are powered via microwave beam receivers, which get their signal from 'pack satellites' which are powered by nuclear reactors. Additional infrastructure includes solar-powered 'pack satellites' around Earth's and the moon's orbit, but these power local attached infrastructure (because the intensity of light nearer to the belt is a magnitude less than around Earth).
  2. Robots, vessels, landers, and rovers attach themselves to the asteroid's surface via magnets.
  3. There is a space-oriented manufacturing industry that requires irons, nickles, and other ferrous materials outside of territorial demands. This includes the construction and launching of satellites, allowing for cheaper costs than launching from Earth.

Income, Poverty, and Wealth

Tourism

Culture

Food

Cinema

Art & Literature

Architecture

Sport

Intellectualism

Notes

  1. See George Selgin, The Theory of Free Banking (Rowman & Littlefield, 1988)
  2. See David Glasner, Free Banking and Monetary Reform (Cambridge University Press, 1989)