Angleter - Factbook
THE APOSTOLIC KINGDOM OF ANGLETER
I. Basic Info
II. The History of Angleter
III. Angleteric Election Results
IV. The Politics of Angleter
V. The Angleteric Constitution
VI. Angleteric Culture
VII. Information for Foreigners
The History of Angleter
I. The Three-And-A-Halfth Crusade And The Birth of Angleter, 1192-1377
The Third Crusade, a predominantly Anglo-French expedition called in response to Saladin’s conquest of the Christian Kingdom of Jerusalem in 1187, came to an indecisive conclusion in 1192. Though Jerusalem itself was not retaken, the Crusaders did successfully gain a strip of land along the Levant, mostly in present-day Neo-Venetia, and secured the rights of Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land. A number of predominantly English knights opted not to return home in the autumn of 1192 and instead remained in the Levant, forming an ill-0rganised military order ostensibly dedicated to protecting Christian pilgrims in the region. With the death of Saladin in 1193 and the Ayyubid Sultanate’s subsequent descent into civil war, the English Knights seized their opportunity and captured a number of forts in Syria, ostensibly on behalf of the Crusader states of Antioch and Tripoli. Early conquests included Aleppo (now Halibon), Hama (now Emathus), and Homs (now Shamel), all taken in 1194. Bolstered by the short-lived German Crusade in 1197-98, by the end of the century Christian forces had taken Edessa, which had served as capital of a Christian county in the early 12th century, and the desert outpost of Raqqa (now Calinicon). Though theoretically partitioned between Antioch and Tripoli, the territory – sandwiched between Seljuk and Ayyubid domains – that the unofficial Crusade had carved out for itself was almost universally recognised as belonging to the ‘English Knights’. As early as 1210, French annals were referring to the ‘Angle ter au Liban’, or the ‘English Land in the Levant’.
Though rarely operating as a united entity, with Antiochene, Tripolitan, English, German, French, and Hungarian warlords effectively acting autonomously and frequently at loggerheads with each other, the Christian polities of the Northern Levant benefitted from Ayyubid weakness for the first few decades of the 13th century and were thus able to solidify Christian rule. Successful working alliances were made between the Latin Crusader elite and local native Christians, themselves a diverse community. Armenians dominated in the north, around Edessa; the Calinicon region was controlled by Syriac-speaking Nestorians; the coast by Maronites; and in the rest of the area, the Crusaders successfully kept both Melkites and Jacobites, rival groups who could speak either Greek, Syriac, or Arabic, on side. The slim Arab-Muslim majority was effectively suppressed.
Two new external threats came to the ‘Angle ter’ in the 1240s – the Mamluks, a powerful Egyptian slave caste whose ranks had been bolstered by Cumans and Khwarizmians fleeing their homelands; and the Mongols, whom the Cumans and Khwarizmians had been fleeing. Christian rulers in Northern Syria, recognising their individual and collective weakness, were quick to offer their support to either side as a way of preserving their territories. Crusaders fought on both sides at the decisive Battle of Ain Jalut in 1260, where the Mamluks defeated the Mongols. The Mamluks, now otherwise unchallenged in the Levant, soon turned their attention to the Crusaders, and seized Antioch in 1268. This sparked the Eighth and Ninth Crusades, effectively a single effort led initially by Louis IX of France, and later by Edward I of England. The few remaining forces of the ‘Angle ter’ united under the command of George, Baron of Maien, and allied with Edward I, the Mongols, and Cilician Armenia to relieve Tripoli and then inflict a crushing defeat on the Mamluks at the Battle of Hermel in 1273. By 1274, the Crusaders had restored control over all their domains in the Northern Levant, although Jerusalem and the Holy Land itself remained irretrievably lost. George took advantage of his position to claim the titles of Duke of Antioch and Count of Tripoli, adding the new title of ‘Duke of Angleter’ in 1275.
With the immediate threat extinguished, Angleter entered a period of peace and unprecedented unity, as George of Maien set about establishing a feudal state along Western European lines. Most of the Ninth Crusade’s English contingent remained in the country, making Middle English the predominant language among the growing Latin, or ‘Angleterique’, community. As Latins intermarried with members of the various Eastern Christian communities, their children were almost always brought up Catholic, adopting Latin customs and taking English as their first language. By the middle of the fourteenth century, Angleter was probably around 30% Latin Christian, 30% Eastern Christian, and 40% Muslim.
As Angleter reeled from a succession dispute that had seen the German-speaking House of Maien overthrown by John Noyan, an English-speaker who claimed descent from Kitbuqa, the Nestorian Mongol general at Ain Jalut, the Mamluks attacked again in 1375. Their advance was halted at Tigranakert (previously Amida or Diyarbekir), where Duke John routed the Mamluk army. He pressed his advantage through Syria, taking Palmyra, Damascus (now Damaszka), Baalbek (now Balbeck), Bayt-al-Din (now Faithshouse), Tyre, Acre, and Jaffa. With the Holy Land and even Egypt itself under threat, Angleteric rule over the entirety of the Northern Levant was recognised by the Mamluks in 1377. Pope Gregory XI, already buoyed by his returning the Papacy to Rome earlier that year, offered John a royal crown, which he duly accepted. He was crowned King of Angleter on December 4th, 1377, a date chosen as it was the feast of St. Barbara, the patron saint of Syria venerated by almost all Eastern Christian groups.
II. From Kingdom to Empire, 1377-1493
John’s new kingdom was soon tested by the advent of Timur, the Turko-Mongol conqueror who ravaged Persia and Mesopotamia in the 1390s, in the process effectively destroying what remained of Syriac-speaking Christian culture outside of Angleter. Thousands of Assyrians, Armenians, Georgians, and Greeks fled Timur’s conquests to Angleter, which was fortuitously passed over by Timur as he sought greater glories in Anatolia, India, and China before his death in 1405. The influx did, however, restore Angleter’s demographic balance to about 45% Latin Christian, 25% Eastern Christian, and 30% Muslim by the middle of the fifteenth century.
The weakness of Angleter’s various neighbours – the constantly infighting Timurids, the venal and feckless Mamluks, and the various Turkish beyliks in Anatolia – led the Angleteric monarchy to expand its powers further over the course of the fifteenth century. Successive Noyan kings expanded Angleteric territory along the Tigris (now Diglath) and Euphrates (now Parat) rivers into Mesopotamia, stopping just short of their confluence at Baghdad; into central Anatolia; and into the plateau of western Persia. The Ak Koyunlu, or White Sheep Turkmen, provided the greatest threat to Angleter in this period, cutting Angleter out of Persia in 1476. Thus modern Angleter’s oldest frontier, the northeastern border running along the Amanic and Shingal mountain ranges, was formed. Most of the territory along this border has since been given the name of Fronteria, reflecting its long-standing role.
King Stanislas I, who came to the throne in 1487, sought to balance his and his predecessors’ ambitions with the changing scenario in Anatolia. With minor beyliks seemingly disappearing daily, the Ottoman Empire began to pose an even greater threat to Angleter than the White Sheep Turkmen had. A brief war with the Ottomans in 1492 bit a chunk into Angleter’s northwestern territories, bringing the border within five miles of Edessa, Maien, Halibon, and Hermel. Seeking to bolster his ideological and strategic position at the same time, Stanislas moved the capital city from the vulnerable Edessa to Palmyra, near which he built New Birmingham in honour of his mother, Sophia de Birmingham, a member of a branch of the Angl0-Norman family who held the original Birmingham in England. In an even bolder step, on 4th December 1493, on the encouragement of courtiers whose families had come to Angleter while fleeing the fall of Constantinople, he had himself crowned ‘Angleteric Emperor’, declaring that New Birmingham was the ‘Third Rome’, the ‘New Byzantium’, and the ‘Defender of the Faith in the East’.
Reaction was not as Stanislas expected. Latin and Byzantine Christendom was united in outrage. Stanislas had wrongly thought that the West would happily accept the idea of two Emperors, the Holy Roman Empire in the West, and Angleter succeeding Byzantium in the East. The Papacy, the Holy Roman Empire, and virtually every other kingdom angrily rejected the idea, not least because Stanislas had crowned himself without bothering to ask the Pope – or anyone – for permission beforehand. The East, of course, was outraged that a Latin Catholic would dare to claim to succeed Orthodox Byzantium. Fortunately for Stanislas, neither West nor East was in the position, or the mood, to do anything about it – only the opinion of his own people mattered, and they loved the idea. A rejuvenated Angleter was soon able to slow and stop the Ottoman advance.
III. The Kafir Caliphs, 1493-1702
Angleter entered the sixteenth century as a reasonably secure Christian Empire in the East, and quickly developed a coherent Imperial ideology based around comparisons to the short-lived third-century Palmyrene Empire – Angleter had established the Third Rome at Palmyra, just as Zenobia and Vaballathus had ostensibly claimed to move the Imperial title to Palmyra. Throughout the early modern era, neighbouring Islamic regimes referred to Angleter as the ‘Kafir Caliphate’, reflecting its claim to an Imperial dignity considered equal to that of the Ottoman Caliphate. Further Ottoman successes in the following decades, including the capture of Mecca and Baghdad, left the Imperial regime concerned for its own future. The advent of Protestantism and its rapid spread across Angleter in the 1530s and 1540s led to outright panic. Emperor Alexander II imposed a new policy of religious oppression in response to the various perceived threats, focussing primarily on the still significant Muslim population. In 1547, after a brief Muslim uprising in Yavur, he decreed that all Muslims in the Empire – roughly 20% of the population – should either convert to Catholicism or leave the country. About half left, and the other half at least ostensibly embraced Christianity. The same went for the considerably smaller Jewish population.
The Counter-Reformation, initiated in the late 1560s in the wake of the Council of Trent, re-energised a Catholic faith that had been flagging in the face of Protestant evangelism. Protestants comprised about 25%-40% of Angleter’s population by 1570, with Catholics at 35%-45%, Eastern Christians at 15%-25%, and Crypto-Muslims at 6%-8%. Emperor Stanislas III, who came to the throne in 1571, introduced Counter-Reformation principles to the Church in Angleter and offered extensive patronage to the Jesuits and, to a lesser extent, the Theatines and Discalced Carmelites. This reinvigorated Catholic identity bore fruit and the Protestant population has since dwindled – to 15% by 1640, 10% by 1800, 8% by 1920, and 4.4% today.
The religious unity of the Empire was also bolstered by the advent of the Eastern Catholic churches. Though the Maronite Church had operated along these lines since the twelfth century, there had been no sustained efforts to bring most Angleteric Eastern Christians into union with Rome, largely for fear of alienating a sector of the populace that had been absolutely key to Angleter’s survival through the medieval era. By the early seventeenth century, however, the example of Eastern Catholic churches being founded in Austria, Poland, and Portuguese India had spurred the monarchy into action. The Melkite Greek Catholic Church was founded out of the Orthodox Church, the Chaldean Catholic Church was founded out of the Nestorian Church of the East, the Syriac Catholic Church was founded out of the Syrian Orthodox Church, and the Armenian Catholic Church was founded out of the Armenian Apostolic Church. In all instances, well over half of each church’s clergy and flock went into union with Rome – though the practice of ‘schismatic’ Eastern churches continued to be tolerated, Eastern Catholics were given rights and privileges equal to Latin Catholics and Maronites. Islam, Judaism, and Protestantism continued to be repressed.
The only non-Christian religions tolerated in Angleter were those which had, for some reason, had a run-in with Islamic authorities elsewhere. Zoroastrianism was tolerated after many of their number fled Persia for Angleter in the wake of Timur’s conquest in the late fourteenth century. Sikhism was officially tolerated according to the Edict of 1607, when news reached Angleter of the execution of Guru Arjan by Mughal authorities in India. Stanislas III offered Angleter as a place of refuge for Sikhs facing Mughal persecution, and though most opted to remain in the Punjab, a significant minority fled to the Levant. Immigration among Sikhs, and even a few Hindus, continued well into the eighteenth century, with the result that Sikhs formed about 10% of the population by 1800.
On the foreign policy front, Angleter was successfully able to maintain most of its territory by periodically aligning with the Shia Safavids against the Sunni Ottomans and, occasionally, vice versa, although by 1702 Angleter was reduced to roughly its current borders plus most of what is now Neo-Venetia. Absent a pressing external or religious threat, the Angleteric Empire’s stunningly long run of internal political stability came to an end over the course of the seventeenth century. Stanislas III died in 1620, leaving his infant grandson Stanislas IV on the throne. A series of equally venal and incompetent regents and chief ministers governed for the next decade, and upon assuming absolute power in 1640, Stanislas proved a similarly hapless leader, unable to cope with the increasing financial pressures that had brought most European monarchies to ruin in the previous couple of decades. The Ottomans biting a chunk into the west of the country in 1646 proved the final straw, and Stanislas was forced to abdicate in favour of his distant cousin, Joseph II from the House of Carnite.
The Carnite monarchy was notable for its grand ambitions, aiming to dismantle the various limits on its power in the same way that the French and Russian monarchies had done. Any residual threat from the House of Noyan was dealt with by executing, invariably on trumped-up charges, all male members of the family, and marrying Joseph II’s son and heir to Stanislas IV’s only surviving daughter. The Parliament, always a weak shadow of its English and Scottish counterparts, was dismissed for the final time in 1657. Joseph II then effectively ruled as absolute monarch until his death in 1680, when he was succeeded by his aforementioned son, John III. Matters came unstuck again under John’s rule. Carnite absolutism had enraged almost all sectors of Angleteric society – the untitled gentry and most of the nobility, which had dominated the old Parliament; the Church, which feared Imperial involvement in what had traditionally been the preserve of ecclesiastical courts; and the emerging merchant class, which found few opportunities for political power in the new absolutist system. A bizarre decision by the aging and increasingly eccentric John in March 1701 to make large parts of the judicial system reliant on an armadillo led to open dissent and, by the end of the year, open revolt. John found few friends nationwide, and by September 1702 had essentially lost the entire country to rebel forces led by General Wallace Wall. The childless John and his two brothers were both killed in the Battle of Kingswinford on October 4th, 1702, thus allowing Wall to seize New Birmingham and with it, the country. The reign of the Kafir Caliphs was at an end.
IV. The Wacky World of Wallace Wall, 1702-1713
Wallace Wall turned out to be a man of enormous ego. Offered the Imperial crown, he rejected. In the words of satirist Levon Hayki, “it would appear to most men that there is no more self-aggrandising action than declaring yourself, or allowing yourself to be declared, successor to the Roman Emperors and would-be ruler of all mankind – yet Wallace Wall proved how false this was!” Wall instead chose to outright abolish the Angleteric monarchy in favour of giving himself the title of ‘Dominator’. Angleter was renamed ‘the Domain of Angleter’, and various towns, buildings, and other such landmarks were named after Wall, who compared himself to Alexander the Great. A hand-picked ‘National Council’ was established to ‘respectfully consult’ the Dominator, who was otherwise just as unrestrained as his Imperial predecessors. In a catastrophic and inexplicable misjudgement, Wall decided not to abolish the judicial function of the armadillo, instead deposing John III’s armadillo and putting his own favourite in place.
Wall was deposed in a bloodless coup in 1704 in favour of John IV from the House of Martineau, who restored the Empire before dying in 1706 and passing the throne to his cousin, Ashurbanipal. Though cruelty and sexual deviance wasn’t exactly unknown among Angleteric royals and nobles, the young Ashurbanipal had racked up an unparalleled reputation for both before he’d even took the throne. A sadist and serial rapist, ever more outlandish rumours about the Emperor circulated before his assassination by a prostitute, apparently acting in self-defence, in 1709. Wallace Wall, popular with urban mobs if nobody else, reassumed power and restored the Domain. His first action was to give the prostitute, Catherine, the title of Baroness Blackrock.
Starting from a considerably more precarious position, Wall reverted to type almost immediately after seizing power, relying solely on the lack of any credible alternative to his rule. Wall’s authoritarianism became increasingly extreme, with his ‘guidelines’ on how to live a ‘healthy daily routine’ becoming mandatory for most of the populace in 1711. Wall also added to his personality cult, with various ceremonies and parades in his honour becoming more and more frequent as his rule went on. Wall’s elaborate sartorial choices became the source of public mockery. In April 1713, Wall launched a ‘purge’ against ‘all elements of society that reject the Domain’, with various leading critics, including Levon Hayki, being publicly executed in Centenary Square, New Birmingham. The terror backfired when the urban mob, once Wall’s staunchest supporter, erupted into a riot during one of his many parades through the city. A passing invalid had apparently asked the Dominator for alms, only to first receive a public humiliation, then an extremely vicious beating from Wall. The outraged mob overwhelmed Wall and his guards, killing him. Faced with the question of who to acclaim as his successor, the mob turned to Joseph, Duke of Elkhand, who was the highest-ranking member of the mob. After trampling over Wall’s body – an act which continues to form part of Angleteric coronations to this day – the Duke was acclaimed as Emperor Joseph III. The Angleteric Empire was restored and a slightly moderated form of absolutism took hold. The armadillo stayed.
V. The Elkhand Ascendancy, 1713-1847
Angleter’s borders and foreign relations remained essentially stable throughout the eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, as both the Ottoman and Persian empires weakened to the point that they were no longer a credible external threat. The House of Elkhand practiced a quiet, almost isolationist foreign policy that would prevail for the best part of three centuries.
The Enlightenment filtered through to Angleteric governance in the 1760s, with Emperor George IV instituting the sum cuique law in 1771. This seminal decree guaranteed a variety of basic freedoms to Angleteric subjects, including freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, and due process of law and the right to a trial by jury. Various elaborate methods of execution were also abolished in favour of the garrotte and, for military crimes, the firing squad. The Catholic Church, though outraged, were unable to act in the face of the monarchy’s overwhelming power. Suum cuique was followed by a series of political and administrative reforms – the various customary laws of various parts of Angleter were consolidated into a single common law system that prevailed across the country in 1773, land ownership was reformed and recorded in 1774, serfdom and slavery were abolished in 1778, and the country was reorganised from a patchwork of fiefdoms into the seventeen provinces known today (sixteen + Neo-Venetia) in 1779.
Economic changes brought prosperity with Angleter’s new-found freedom. The financial revolution was embraced early in the eighteenth century, and a combination of that and the success of George’s agricultural reforms led to Angleter being one of the wealthiest states in the world at the start of the nineteenth century. This was further boosted by George I’s irrigation system that transformed much of the east of the country from desert to habitable steppe, thus rapidly increasing the potential of Angleter’s ever-more efficient agricultural sector. Tentative steps towards industrialisation thus began to be made in the early nineteenth century, with Angleter following narrowly behind mainland Western European states such as France, Belgium, and Prussia. A railway from New Birmingham to Asten was opened in 1839.
Angleter’s monarchy, however, eventually proved unable and unwilling to keep pace with Enlightenment reforms. Though the ‘Georgian’ reforms of the 1770s staved off any French Revolution-inspired dissent, and though Angleter’s distance and relative isolation kept Napoleon at bay, by the 1830s Angleter was clearly an unhappy nation. Repeated petitions and protests against the absolutist state fell on deaf ears as Empress Jane sought to maintain autocracy. In January 1847, protests in Dionysias turned violent, with twenty-eight people killed by the army. Liberal protests and riots spread across the country like wildfire, with regional nobles and governors defecting to the liberal side and declaring themselves independent of New Birmingham. Jane abdicated in favour of her brother Walter II, who declared the introduction of an elected National Council.
VI. Prosperity and Humiliation, 1847-1963
Walter’s reforms failed to satisfy the rebellious provinces, who were now operating as de facto independent republics and constitutional monarchies. The Empire was reduced to a rump and, after a reactionary coup d’état by Walter’s sister Stefana in 1850, abolished. Stefana’s son, Julius, declared himself Grand Marquess upon his coronation in 1852, both a reflection of reality and an expression of humility before an angry populace. The Grand Marquessate of Angleter comprised only New Birmingham, Elkhand, and Quareytene. Fourteen other states ruled, more or less, what had previously been the territory of the Angleteric Empire.
The Ottomans’ ongoing decline preserved the Angleteric nation through this period of division, and the overwhelming majority of states – including, eventually, the core – pursued (classical) liberal economic policies that, combined with the relatively small size of each state, led to unprecedented economic growth in the second half of the nineteenth century. By 1900, the Angleteric states were on a par with Western Europe in terms of standard of living, although they also suffered Western European standards of inequality. Grand Marquess John VI responded to these problems and the issue of the growing socialist movement by introducing a variety of basic welfare schemes in 1903, including state-funded education, health insurance, a state pension, and unemployment benefits. A number of splinter states introduced similar laws.
The early twentieth century saw Angleter reconsolidate most of its territory. The dictatorial Domain of Palmyra, which controlled Kerkesion and most of Maðbara, was brought into union with the Grand Marquessate in February 1911 when Dominator Martin Quincy named John VI as his successor. The conquest of the Free City of Bashan in Maðbara followed months later. A series of agreements protecting the autonomy of the various monarchs of the royalist breakaway states in 1914 and 1915 expanded the Grand Marquessate across the east of the country with an exclave in Maien, while a concordat with the Theatine Order in 1917 reincorporated central Fronteria into the Angleteric state. A communist uprising in the United Provinces of Maron-Berea led to its conquest and annexation in 1920.
The Grand Marquessate’s political system from 1850 on was much the same as it had been for the previous several centuries – a near-absolute monarchy limited only by the common law, the rights and privileges of the church, and various customary autonomies, including the treaties of 1914-17. Liberalism in the Grand Marquessate was a spent force after the counter-revolutionary settlement of the 1850s, and socialist rebellions in 1908, 1912, 1919, and 1924 were all brutally crushed. Further instability hit Angleter in 1937, when major protests in the cities of Hermel, Halibon, and Bashan – all previously under liberal republican rule – turned violent. The government, led by the young Grand Marquess Stanislas V, was slow to act, and as monarchist opposition dissipated, left-wing coalition effectively controlled the provinces of Maron, Berea, and Maðbara by the middle of the year.
Stanislas responded by drawing from the fascist movements of Italy and Spain. In October 1937, he co-opted the Levantine Legion – a small Falangist movement led by Peter Gemayel, a veteran Maronite courtier – and declared it to be the ‘party of the nation’. Gemayel was installed as Chief of Government, and sought to organise a ‘national resistance’ against ‘revolutionary forces’. The army, supplemented by LL paramilitaries, swiftly restored order by Christmas. Blaming ‘subversive regimes’ in the vicinity for the unrest, Angleteric forces then swept through four of the six remaining republics (Calinicon, Livan, Deux-Rivieres, and [South] Fronteria), leaving just South Angleter and Neo-Venetia outside New Birmingham’s grasp by the end of 1938. The various treaties signed in 1914-17 were also abrogated and direct rule restored.
Though the overriding narrative was one of a restoration of order, the wilful transfer of (some) power from the monarchy to a political leader and their movement was a watershed moment in Angleteric political history. Truly absolute monarchy was dead. Unlike in Spain and Portugal, where fascistic symbolism remained until after World War II, pressure from the Grand Marquess led Gemayel and the Levantine Legion to transform considerably quicker into a ‘normal’ ultra-conservative Catholic authoritarian movement, and an unspoken division of responsibilities developed. The LL took the lead on social issues and promoting the Church, while the monarchy continued to pursue free-market economic policies and preserve the rule of law. Influenced by ‘social credit’ theories, however, Gemayel did insist that unemployment benefits and the state pension be replaced by a more expansive ‘national dividend’, a basic income offered to all civilians.
Gemayel died in 1955, being replaced as Chief of Government by his protégé, the 29-year-old Charles Catt. With a resulting power shift towards the Grand Marquess, Angleteric society slowly began to open up, a process that gathered steam as social attitudes themselves changed in the late 1950s and early 1960s. On 22nd November 1963, Stanislas V promulgated a ‘Constitution’ that established a ‘Consultative Assembly’ comprised in equal numbers of nobles, clergymen (all Catholic), and delegates appointed by newly-established elected local councils. The Constitution, which Stanislas hailed as ‘the new suum cuique’, also separated the powers of Grand Marquess and Chief of Government, guaranteed a raft of civil rights for women, liberalised sexual legislation, offered recognition to political parties at the local level, introduced referenda into the governance of the country, and further simplified the legal system. Though still far from a democracy, Angleter was slowly moving towards the modern era.
VII. The Constitutional Era, 1963-2008
With further social change and the death of Stanislas V in 1971, the balance of power shifted towards the Chief of Government, Catt, once more. Sensing that the new Grand Marquess, Joseph IV, was considerably more conservative than his father, Catt seized the opportunity to maximise his power by having the Consultative Assembly proclaim itself a Parliament in 1973. After a six-month-long stand-off, Joseph IV chose the tenth anniversary of the original Constitution to sign into law a new, fully liberal Constitution that resolved the dispute. This law allowed for a bicameral Parliament with a dominant elected lower house, the Chamber of the Plebeians, and a subservient upper house comprised of aristocrats and clergymen, the Chamber of the Nobles. Parliament was made supreme over the executive and judicial branches of government, although the monarch retained certain reserve powers. The Levantine Legion was abolished, although much of the old party’s structure was retained in Catt’s Conservative Party, which swept to victory in a hastily-arranged election later that month. Catt became Prime Minister.
Catt was defeated six years later by the Socialist Party, which placed Baron Lindett of Murshetpinar into office. Lindett’s second term required him to share power with the Social Liberal Party of Dame Janet Norris, who served as Prime Minister between 1984 and 1987. Those eight years of left-wing rule brought a smorgasbord of progressive laws to Angleter, including judicial reform, proportional representation, the reorganisation of the national dividend into a negative income tax, universal healthcare, and the first secular schools. War also broke out with South Angleter, leading to its annexation into Angleter in 1980.
The fading Conservatives merged with the Libertarian Party to form the CLP, which swept to power under Alan de Lassy in 1989. De Lassy repealed many market regulations imposed by Lindett and Norris, bolstered suum cuique, and made the Chamber of the Nobility non-partisan, thus effectively ending Baron Lindett’s political career. He was replaced by Socialist Sir Steve Ferrers, who was most notable for embarking on a disastrous reform of provincial borders that lasted only until 2009. He too served just one term before Jeremy Jones led the CLP to victory. Jones, who finally abolished the judicial powers of armadillos in 1998, was replaced in an internal party coup in 2000, bringing Charles Catt’s son Monty to power. In 2008, under Marquessial advice and following the example of neighbours such as Neo-Venetia and the Duxburian Union, Catt brought Angleter into the European Union, promising a better diplomatic future for the country.
VIII. A European Power, 2008-
Angleter had a rocky start in the EU. A number of diplomatic gaffes failed to amuse the Grand Marquessate’s regional partners, and the invasion of Neo-Venetia, ostensibly prompted by the country’s descent into anarchy just as a pandemic of the Animortus virus was breaking out across Europe, was greeted with hostility by the Soviet Union in particular. By February 2009 the situation had come to a head, and the imminent threat of invasion by most of Europe’s major powers led to the disintegration of the CLP. Navdeep Khatkar, previously Angleter’s first European Councillor, left the party, taking dozens of MPs with him, thus leaving Catt without a Parliamentary majority. War was narrowly averted, and Khatkar’s new Democratic Party soon toppled the minority CLP government and won power in a landslide election, taking 51.5% of the vote. Khatkar made a series of reforms, including abolishing proportional representation and re-establishing the old provinces, as he sought to repair relations with Europe.
Helen Smith was Angleter’s first European Commissioner, and was elevated to Premier in June 2009 due to the resignation of Jacques Duplessis. Smith brought Angleter to the forefront of European politics in a more constructive manner, and after her have come four Commissioners, including Premier Commissioner Peter Montfort, and even more Justices on the ECoJ, including Chief Justices Sir Kenneth Frobisher, Hilary Sandu, and most recently Salim Joubran. Anatoly Keith also served as the first Speaker of the European Council, and was instrumental to drawing up the new EU Constitution, which passed in 2015, a year after his retirement. In international relations, Angleter – by 2015 one of Europe’s foremost economic and military powers – has built cordial relations with most European nations, especially its neighbour the Duxburian Union, and has intervened in regional affairs a number of times, declaring war on Dromund Kaas in 2012 (a war that is still ongoing), and sanctioning Davishire in 2015. On the cultural side, Angleter has taken part in various sporting events, from football to cycling, and has been a regular participant in the EuroVoice song contest since its inception, winning EuroVoice 4 and hosting EuroVoice 5. Peter Montfort was also appointed Chief Executive of EuroVoice in November 2015.
On the home front, Angleter’s growing confidence and near-unity led the Grand Marquess, with Parliamentary support, to ‘elevate’ the country back to Kingdom level, restoring the medieval title of the Apostolic Kingdom of Angleter. Khatkar was re-elected comfortably in 2012, with the new first-past-the-post electoral system making up for a reduced vote share. However, his fortunes soon started to fall. Public dissatisfaction with the Democratic Party’s apparent deviation from its original reformist agenda, and a poor response to the terror attacks that claimed nearly 1000 lives in September 2014, led to the government’s approval rating tumbling. Joseph IV’s retirement in February 2014 in favour of a Regency led by his son, George, furthered the appetite for change. Khatkar was replaced by Levon Bagratian in early 2015, but he was unable to avoid defeat by a resurgent Social Democratic Party – the product of a split in the Socialist Party in 2010 – led by Sam Courtenay. The CLP, for its part, was decimated in 2012 and folded into a socially conservative alliance called the Traditionalist Communion, whose support collapsed at the same May 2015 vote. Courtenay replaced Bagratian as Prime Minister in June 2015 with the support of Emryc Isla, the leader of the right-wing populist Citizen Alliance, who continues to hold the balance of power into 2016.
Appendix: Rulers of Angleter, 1275 to Present
Dukes of Angleter
House of Maien
George I 1275-1288
Joseph I 1288-1309
George II 1312-1330
House of Noyan
John I 1368-1377
Kings of Angleter
House of Noyan
John I 1377-1408
John II 1408-1420
Anthony I 1420-1441
George III 1441-1446
Stanislas I 1487-1493
House of Noyan
Stanislas I 1493-1502
Alexander I 1502-1510
Anthony II 1510-1530
Alexander II 1530-1557
Stanislas II 1557-1559
Theodora I 1559-1568
Walter I 1568-1574 (Regency of John of Digbeth, 1572-1573)
Anthony III 1574-1593
Stanislas III 1593-1620
Stanislas IV 1620-1647
House of Carnite
Joseph II 1647-1680
John III 1680-1702
Dominators of Angleter
Wallace Wall 1702-1704
Angleteric Emperors (restored)
House of Martineau
John IV 1704-1706
Dominators of Angleter (restored)
Wallace Wall 1709-1713
Angleteric Emperors (restored, second time)
House of Elkhand
Joseph III 1713-1722
George IV 1722-1784
John V 1791-1818
Theodora II 1818-1829
Walter II 1847-1850
Grand Marquesses of Angleter
House of Elkhand
Charles I 1864-1887
Charles II 1887
John VI 1887-1925
Stanislas V 1935-1971
Joseph IV 1971-2011
Kings of Angleter (restored)
House of Elkhand
Joseph IV 2011-Present (Regency of Crown Prince George, 2014-Present)
Chiefs of Government of Angleter
Sir Peter Gemayel (Levantine Legion) 12.10.1937-28.4.1955
Sir Charles Catt (Levantine Legion) 5.5.1955-13.12.1973
Prime Ministers of Angleter
Sir Charles Catt (Conservative Party) 14.12.1973-7.6.1979
Baron Lindett of Murshetpinar (Socialist Party) 8.6.1979-25.11.1984
Dame Janet Norris (Social Liberal Party) 25.11.1984-7.5.1987
Harold Peters (Socialist Party) 8.5.1987-19.10.1989
Alan de Lassy (Conservative & Libertarian Party) 20.10.1989-13.5.1993
Sir Steve Ferrers (Socialist Party) 14.5.1993-24.4.1997
Jeremy Jones (Conservative & Libertarian Party) 25.4.1997-9.4.2000
Monty V. Catt (Conservative & Libertarian Party) 10.4.2000-30.7.2009
Navdeep Khatkar (Democratic Party) 31.7.2009-9.2.2015
Levon Bagratian (Democratic Party) 9.2.2015-23.6.2015
Sam Courtenay (Social Democratic Party) 23.6.2015-Present
Angleteric Election Results
Individual Election Results
The Politics of Angleter
I. THE MONARCHY
Angleter’s sovereign ruler is the King, currently George V. Having traditionally functioned as the absolute ruler of the country, the monarchy has been transformed by constitutional developments in the last 50 years. The day-to-day running of the country has long been devolved to royally-appointed ministers, but the Constitution of 1973 made it impractical for the monarch to appoint ministers at will and impose his own agenda. The monarch now appoints a Prime Minister that they believe to have the confidence of Parliament, who in turn recommends ministerial appointments that the King approves. As a result, Angleter essentially functions as a Parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
This does not, however, mean the King is irrelevant to Angleteric politics. He is still free to dismiss ministers, and to dissolve Parliament and call elections; and should an election deliver an unclear result, he is freer than usual in terms of appointing a Prime Minister, and his actions can determine the course of the coalition-building process. The King can also veto legislation, and must also sign off on, among other things, declarations of war and the signing of treaties – however, these are usually formalities, since the vast majority of legislation that reaches the King’s desk has been passed with the support of his own ministers. The King and Government legislatively work in lockstep, and together they are known as the Apostolic Crown. The King would, therefore, have to dismiss his ministers before vetoing legislation that they had recommended he pass.
The King usually maintains a degree of silence on day-to-day and partisan political matters, since it is necessary that he be capable of working with governments of any of the major parties. However, the late King Joseph IV spoke out occasionally on specific single issues, such as Angleter’s accession to the European Union and its claim to Neo-Venetia; and it is widely recognised that the King’s voice, on the rare occasions it does get involved in politics, is extremely powerful.
II. THE GOVERNMENT
The day-to-day administration of the state is the responsibility of the Royal Government. The government is headed de jure by the King, and de facto by the Prime Minister; and consists of a number of Offices, each headed by a Cabinet Minister, who is in turn assisted by a number of Junior Ministers. No more than 8% of either Chamber of Parliament may serve as a Minister, in order to avoid governments using ministerial appointments to shore up their Parliamentary majority – it is expected that ministers vote for all government-sponsored legislation in Parliament. There are currently 12 Cabinet Ministers, including the Prime Minister, and 31 Junior Ministers.
The Cabinet, which consists of the King, all Cabinet Ministers, and any Junior Ministers that the Prime Minister invites to Cabinet, is the main executive body of the government, and determines the government’s overall agenda. It meets twice a week in normal circumstances; but the minutes of its meetings, and individual Cabinet members’ votes, usually remain secret, in order that the unity of the Apostolic Crown be maintained. The King presides over Cabinet meetings and usually does not take part in its votes, unless a deciding vote needs to be cast. Meetings of the entire government are much less frequent, and usually only take place at the start and end of a government’s term in office, and in times of crisis. Junior Ministers usually work in their offices, aiding their Cabinet Minister in implementing the government’s agenda in a certain area.
The Prime Minister may instruct the King to dissolve Parliament and call an election at any time, and an election must be called within five years of the day Parliament opened after the most recent election.
III. THE PARLIAMENT
Parliament is the supreme representative body of the Angleteric nation, and strictly speaking, it is the ‘democratic’ aspect of Angleteric national politics. Parliament comprises two chambers, the Chamber of the Nobility (upper house), and the Chamber of the Plebeians (lower house), and legislation must be passed by both houses. The Chamber of the Plebeians consists of 497 MPs, each elected in single-member constituencies, according to the first-past-the-post system. All Angleteric citizens over the age of 18 may vote, except for the King, members of the Chamber of the Nobility, convicted prisoners, bankrupts, and those certified insane. The Chamber of the Nobility consists of 275 noblemen and 24 Catholic bishops, and is thus entirely unelected; however, it is also entirely non-partisan.
Both chambers have a Speaker, who presides over affairs and is non-partisan (and non-voting, save for tie-breakers) for the duration of their time in office – the Speaker is elected by the chamber by secret ballot.
Legislation may only be introduced into the Chamber of the Plebeians, where it is first either rejected outright or sent to its relevant committee. Committees are bodies of about 15-20 members, with responsibility for a certain policy area, which closely examine legislation and amend it to close loopholes and suchlike, before sending it back to the entire Chamber to be debated, possibly amended, and finally voted on.
The legislation is then sent to the Chamber of the Nobility, which simply debates and votes on it. It is rare that the Chamber of the Nobility outright rejects legislation passed by the Chamber of the Plebeians. Usually it will either pass the legislation unamended, or pass an amended version that will then be subject to debate and vote by the Chamber of the Plebeians. The process of amendment and counter-amendment will continue until the same text is passed by both chambers, or until the legislation ‘dies’ at the end of that year’s Parliamentary session. At the start of each Parliamentary session, the King will read out the Government’s agenda for that session. Sessions usually begin in September and end in May, although snap elections may interfere with this timetable.
Parliament also serves to hold the government to account, and each Cabinet Minister, or an appropriate substitute, is subject to a two-hour-long question period in the Chamber of the Plebeians once every fortnight. Senior judicial, senior civil service, and ministerial appointments must all be subject to a hearing and vote in the Chamber of the Plebeians; which also holds a secret ballot to elect committee chairmen and members.
The Chamber of the Plebeians has ‘whips’ who encourage MPs to vote a certain way on legislation and appointments, but MPs may not be expelled from their party over a Parliamentary vote. MPs are considered responsible to their electorates and to their consciences first, and to their party second. However, all (non-independent) candidates in elections must seek their party’s nomination first through a primary election.
IV. THE JUDICIARY AND THE LEGAL SYSTEM
The judiciary is a relatively under-developed aspect of the Angleteric political system, since the Constitution reserves most powers for the legislative and executive branches, and leaves little room for ‘judicial activism’. Parliament, after all, may simply amend the Constitution by majority vote. People do, however, have the right to challenge laws or government actions in the courts, and such laws or actions may be struck down as illegal or unconstitutional. The supreme court of Angleter is the Constitutional Court, which consists of seven members, appointed for life by the monarch (on the advice of his ministers), with the approval of the Chamber of the Plebeians. It is presided over by the Chief Justice, who is considered ‘first among equals’ among the court’s judges.
Below the Constitutional Court, the Angleteric court system has three main streams – criminal, civil, and equity. In criminal law, the lowest court is the Magistrates’ Court, presided over by elected Justices of the Peace, where small offences may be dealt with (only if the defendant pleads guilty), and where preliminary criminal proceedings are held. Cases are then tried before a 15-member jury at the Crown Court; and convicted defendants may appeal the jury’s verdict, or the judge’s sentence, at the Appellate Court, which may adjust sentences, or overturn verdicts and order a retrial.
In civil law, preliminary proceedings take place at the hundred court, which can also deal with smaller claims. Most cases, however, are dealt with by one of seven civil courts – the Court of Matrimonial Causes (family law), the Court of Admiralty (maritime law), the Court of Probate (wills), the Court of Constitutional Causes (constitutional law), the Court of King’s Bench (claims relating to the Apostolic Crown), the Court of Exchequer (debts), and the Court of Common Pleas (all other issues). Appeals from the former four go straight to the Constitutional Court, while appeals from the latter three go first to the Court of Exchequer Chamber.
Equity law exists as a counterweight to the possible harshness, and slow pace of change, of the normal common law system; and can offer remedy to deserving plaintiffs where the current corpus of common law can offer no relief. Equity cases include, but are not limited to, matters relating to trusts, fiduciary law, relief against penalties and forfeiture, bankruptcy, and injunctions. The main equity courts are the Courts of Chancery, whose decisions can be appealed at the Appellate Court of Chancery.
Angleter comprises sixteen provinces, each enjoying a high degree of autonomy. They each have their own Parliamentary system, some with a member of the nobility serving in the role of the monarch, and some with a royally-appointed Lord Lieutenant filling that role. Their legislatures are all unicameral, and largely operate along the same lines as those of the Chamber of the Plebeians. National law trumps provincial law, although national laws deemed unconstitutional by the provincial Court of Constitutional Causes, or rejected by a two-thirds majority in the Legislative Assembly, may be nullified.
Provincial governments have primary responsibility for most affairs, with various exceptions, largely relating to Angleter’s borders, foreign relations, and internal economic regulations. However, the national government is still free to legislate in all areas for any and all provinces, and does so regularly. Provincial government budgets are almost entirely self-financed, although poorer provinces receive ‘equalisation’ payments from the national government in order that their needs be met.
Local government below provincial level is generally the responsibility of the province. However, most large cities (boroughs) tend to have their own administration, with more minor issues further devolved to the neighbourhood, areas of a few thousand people, usually with a common local identity, which generally operate by direct democracy. Most areas outside of boroughs are divided into hundreds, which are small areas, usually centred on one significant settlement, and also generally operate by direct democracy. Most hundreds conduct direct democracy online, and have ‘hundred boards’ (or in boroughs, ‘neighbourhood boards’) that deal with any day-to-day issues that need addressing before the entire community can debate, discuss, and vote.
Federalism in Angleter is a necessity that represents the political variety found in this large nation. While the country’s southwestern border areas, like Neolombardia, trend centrist and hawkish; military issues come a firm second to the economy in centrist western provinces like Maron and Berea. The post-industrial southern provinces are staunchly left-wing, although Yavur province has a strong populist bent. Dominated by cattle and oil country, the banks of the Euphrates, running through the north and mid-east of the country, form Angleter’s conservative heartland, an area where the left rarely gets a look-in. Lower-middle-class Maien, in the northwest, is a swing province between the left, the right, and the populists. Mountainous Fronteria and desert-dominated Mathbara, however, are populated by hardy, independent-minded, right-leaning populists, whose votes in general elections are always decisive, but always difficult to predict. Politically, they couldn’t be more different to the radical liberals of New Birmingham.
VI. MAJOR POLITICAL TRADITIONS AND PARTIES
For most of its democratic history, Angleter has had centre-right governments. The first of these was the Conservative Party, which was founded in 1973 by Sir Charles Catt. It was deeply socially conservative and Catholic and staunchly militaristic, favoured strong ‘law and order’ policies, and adopted a moderately pro-business economic platform. After a humiliating electoral defeat, in 1980 it merged to found the Conservative & Libertarian Party. This party combined moral conservatism and pro-military patriotism with radical free market economics and a more liberal approach to ‘law and order’ issues. The current heirs to this tradition are the Democratic Party, founded in 2009 by Navdeep Khatkar, who opposed the CLP’s war in Neo-Venetia. Ironically, it is now defined by a hawkish military policy, in addition to free-market economics, a moderate social policy, and a libertarian approach to ‘law and order’ issues. The Democrats are currently led by Maria Sakrakur, and are the main opposition party.
The centre-right’s drift away from social conservatism led to the development of a traditionalist movement in Angleteric politics. The militaristic, monarchist, authoritarian National Guard of the 1970s transformed itself into the Angleteric National People’s Party under General Michael de Pforttenhelm, and later rebranded itself as the National Party. In the 1990s and 2000s, a socially conservative split from the CLP formed the Moralistic Concerned Middle Class Parents’ Party, while Social Credit combined left-wing economics with religious conservatism. The CLP itself also formed part of this stream of politics after the rise of the Democrats, reabsorbing the MCMCPP. In 2013, all these parties merged into the Traditionalist Communion, which was virtually wiped out in the 2015 elections.
The decline of old-school traditionalism can be ascribed largely to the rise of the right-wing populist movement. This movement is socially conservative, albeit without overt religious trappings; advocates populist, vaguely centrist economic policies; is actively anti-hawkish; and is predominantly characterised by a nationalism that opposes mass immigration and favours cultural integration. It favours federalism, political reform, and direct democracy; and while the old traditionalists reflected the old upper-class establishment, the new right-wing populists are staunchly anti-establishment. The main party in this movement is the Citizen Alliance, led by Emryc Isla, which burst onto the political scene in 2014. The National Movement Robert Kilroy-Silk is also probably part of this tradition, although it focusses more on its leader’s personality than policy matters. Both parties have often been compared, albeit only by their opponents, to Neil Wash’s Fascist Movement from the 2000s, and to the Agrarian Party, an ideologically-unencumbered regionalist party that endured for several decades before disappearing around 2009.
On the Left, there are two main strands of politics. The most significant is social democracy, which was first advocated by the Socialist Party. Moderately liberal on social issues, its main focus was on economic issues, including wage and price controls, nationalising large industries, promoting mutual and co-operatives, and bolstering workers’ rights and trade unionism. A stunning electoral defeat in 1997 led it to tack to the left, incorporating the Communist Party, an act that left it in the political wilderness for over a decade. Its recovery began after demerging and adopting the name Social Democratic Party in 2008, although this only finally bore fruit with leader Sam Courtenay’s election victory in 2015. The SDP govern Angleter to this day.
The more radical Angleteric leftists could be found in the Communist Party, which never scored more than 9% of the vote despite competing in every election from 1973 to 1997. Marxist, republican, and staunchly socialist, it did, however, successfully avoid the splintering seen in other countries’ far-Left movements; even after merging with the Socialists in 1998, an act which saw its former leader, John Bilson, become leader of the opposition until his death in 2008. It reformed in 2008, seeing off the challenge of the Luddite Party and the Maoist Social Republican Party, and in 2016 merged with burgeoning far-Left student movements to form the Coalition for Socialism and Liberation. The CSL is led by David Wannock-Smythe.
Liberalism has rarely been a major tradition in its own right in Angleteric politics, but the Social Liberal Party was influential in the 1980s, as was the Libertarian Party in the 1970s and 2000s, its first incarnation merging into the CLP, and its later incarnation merging into the Democrats. The vaguely centrist Veritas Party also merged into the Democrats in 2009. Anarchist Angleter represented an anarcho-capitalist movement that relied on the support of about 2% of the vote during the 1990s and 2000s. Two minority interest parties, the South Angleter Independence Party and the People’s Justice Party for al-Sham (the latter is an Arab Muslim party), also claim their ideologies as ‘liberal’, but really have little ideology beyond promoting their communities’ interests.
The Angleteric Constitution
Information for Foreigners