Constitutional Empire of Starhigh
|This article refers to a micronation or element of micronationalism which is defunct and no longer exists. You can help make the article reflect that or ask on the talk page for further information.|
| Constitutional Empire of Starhigh |
|- Emperor||Hugh McFarlane|
|- Prime Minister||Callum I|
|Population||Ranged from 4-30|
|Currency||Starhighan Credit and Australian dollar|
|Starhigh informally passed into inactivity in early 2013|
The Constitutional Empire of Starhigh was a micronation located in Australasia that was existed between 2009 and 2013. Starhigh was led by its Emperor Hugh I and a democratically elected government, however due to low activity within the latter, all power was held by the Emperor. Starhigh saw itself as a nation built on Christian principles that sought to become a peaceful Utopia. During it's existence, Starhigh grew in seriousness and size, however from it's very founding, it struggled with a lack of an active population which eventually brought about its demise. For an extensive time however, Starhigh was a buzzing nation and was active in the intermicronational community.
The name 'Starhigh' was coined in 2009 by Hugh I when the nation was founded, there is no evidence to suggest why the name was chosen, however it is known that Hugh I viewed changing the name of Starhigh to a more serious one would destroy the heritage of the nation. Since it's conception, all citizens of Starhigh were referred to as Starhighans. Much to the revulsion of Starhighans, Starhigh was often accidentally called Skyhigh or Starland by those less familiar with its existence.
Starhigh was founded by its King, Hugh I, who was at the time still a young child. During this era Starhigh was more of a temporary game than a sovereign state; stuffed animals were considered citizens and some of the most serious national issues were when disputes flared up between Hugh I and his younger brother. When news of Starhigh's existence reached Hugh I's school, the nation received fluctuating, but high citizen intakes, unfortunately, these citizens were not very active in Starhigh. This is when Hugh I is known to have realised the primary issue to plague Starhigh for the rest of it's existence, inactivity from the citizenry.
As more and more humans joined Starhigh, stuffed animals were no longer recognised as citizens and the nation grew in seriousness. Before long civil organisations were being created, elections were held and an attempt was made at creating an economy. As Starhigh's seriousness grew, Hugh I came into contact with Jonathan I of the Empire of Austenasia, Starhigh was introduced to the micronational community and after a few months establishing diplomatic relationships with other nations, joined the Grand Unified Micronational. This period is considered the golden era for Starhigh by many former Starhighans. Encouraged by it's new found diplomatic relations, Starhigh assisted citizens of Australia residing in the local area to create their own micronations as protectorates of Starhigh. Examples of these protectorates are Ace (governed by Hugh I's brother), Menace and Cyberfall (governed by friends of Hugh I). The dream of Hugh I was to create a buzzing micronational community in his local area, full of nations friendly to Starhigh (this was inspired by the Carshalton micronational community). Hugh I also hoped that Starhigh would too be active and prosperous but this could not be realised. During the Golden Era, Hugh I, inspired by Austenasia, was renamed Emperor relinquishing his previous title, King. It was during this Golden Era that most of the positive developments were made in Starhigh as it was a time of huge development within the nation.
It is commonly acknowledged that Hugh I was the most serious citizen in Starhigh, and the majority of others were not actively engaged in the nation, this sometimes even included the Imperial (previously Royal) Family and the various Prime Ministers. Many initiatives were put forward to increase activity such as a formal currency and more sporting activities but these were largely met with failure. In late 2011, the Imperial Family announced that it was relocating residencies, this meant that Starhigh was going to have to move with it's Emperor. Initially Hugh I viewed this relocation as an opportunity to build a new Starhigh in a new location with a far more active citizen base.
However, the opposite effect was achieved when the Imperial Family finally moved; only a few of Starhigh's citizens had remained (although some would be added) and much of the culture and heritage of Starhigh had been lost. Starhigh continued passing legislation, signing treaties and even wrote it's constitution in this time but the Golden Era has come and gone. All the remaining Starhighans agreed that the Empire would not be the same again, and after only a few months of relocating, the entire nation fell into inactivity, even Hugh I was not participating in the affairs of Starhigh. It was in early 2013 that Starhigh passed into a period of inactivity it would never recover from.
Government and politics
Starhigh had its own form of government, known as Imperial Constitutionalism (otherwise known as a Constitutional Empire). It consisted of an Emperor and Prime Minister as well as other representatives. In Starhigh the title of Emperor was inherited whilst the offices of Prime Minister and other Representatives were elected every year by the general populous. Multiple political parties were founded by Hugh I as one of his efforts to create activity among the population, these parties included the Popular Starhigh Party, Free United Party and Protestant Party of Starhigh.
Starhigh was also divided into multiple electorates which elected their own local representatives. Prior to there being electorates, towns were what elected representatives and were grouped into counties. Below is the structure of the Starhighan electorates prior to the relocation of the Imperial family in 2012.
- Starville & Tetuarn (otherwise known as Home) was the electorate that contained the original borders of Starhigh, as well as the Imperial Family. Starville was the capital city of Starhigh. In a 2011 election, the electorate of Tetuarn was added to Starville due to it's incredibly low population. Besides Starville, all other electorates consisted of citizenry who were not of Imperial descent.
Law and Order
Starhigh appointed it's own Safety Officers who were responsible for maintaining law and order within Starhigh, and to act as a military force in times of war. Beyond this, law and order was the responsibility of the Australian government. About 95% of Starhighans also held dual citizenship with the Commonwealth of Australia, thus, their protection was in the best interest of Starhigh and Australia. Because of this, all Australian laws applied within Starhigh, and any issues regarding these laws were reported to the Australian authorities.
During the Early Era, Starhigh's diplomatic activity extended as far as observing other micronations but not actually communicating with them. After sending an email to the Talossan government, Hugh I and his government became increasingly interested in making diplomatic connections. During the Golden Era, Starhigh was introduced to Austenasia and from there was able to meet many other micronations at the time such as Juclandia, Dorzhabad and Renasia. For a time, Starhigh was also an observer member of the Grand Unified Micronational (GUM) before being upgraded to full member statues. It is common knowledge to most Starhighans and to those of the intermicronational community that Hugh I enjoyed participating in the GUM Quorum debates on a weekly basis.
Besides micronations far beyond Starhigh's borders, Starhigh also fostered relations with several micronations of closer distance. Inspired by the Carshalton Nations, the Starhighan government encouraged the creation of numerous protectorates of Starhigh, these included Ace, Menace and Cyberfall. Whilst not being hugely active, these nations did have strong ties to Starhigh and shared the same Emperor. Starhigh is known to have participated in multiple events with these micronations including it's own version of the Olympics and diplomatic discussions. Starhigh and it's protectorates were known as the Starhighan Commonwealth.
During the Golden Era, intermicronational organistations were founded by Starhigh as a means of encouraging cooperation between nearby nations; the OMSA and the SCTFA. As far as the Starhighan government was concerned, it held no negative relationships with any nations at any time of it's existence.
Due to Starhigh's peaceful existence, a military was not a high priority for the Starhighan government, but one was still created. Compared to other aspects of Starhigh, little is known of the Starhighan military. It consisted of a modern, regular army that fought with non-lethal firearms, by international standards this army was illegal as it consisted of underage soldiers but this was of no actual consequence since the Starhighan military did not actively participate in many armed conflicts. The only conflicts that Starhigh faced was in it's very dawn when it struggled to maintain it's sovereignty after being threatened with invasion and disbandment at different times.
The most notable conflict was the Starhighan War of Independence which took place after who would become the elder members of the Imperial Family threatened Starhigh with removal, citing it's size and occasional disruptions to normal, Australian life. Feeling threatened, Starhigh reacted by declaring war however no battles were actually fought, instead acts of civil disobedience were committed, including graffitying what would become Starville with chalk and protesting. Eventually Starhigh was able to keep it's independence and remain a sovereign state. The date peace was made was not recorded, however the date was informally known as April 15, which became Starhigh day, a date still celebrated among former Starhigahns.
Starhigh also created Safety Officers who were in part responsible for defense of Starhigh in times of war, as well as having many other civil duties. If Starhigh was to be involved in a war, the Starhighan government had decided that the regular army (which would be made of regulars and Safety Officers) would fight with elite Starhighan knights. These knights formed the Order of Starhigh and were trained in a Starhighan form of martial arts as well as being under a Starhighan code of chivalry.
Geography & Climate
Starhigh was located on the Indo-Australian plate and was at most times, completely bordered by Australia. During most of it's history, Starhigh experienced a mostly temperate climate with hot, dry summers and cold, but above Celsius winters. Rainfall was often sought after in the hope of saving the local, Australian farmers as Starhigh experienced at least one drought in it's history. When Starhigh relocated, it's climate was more subtropical with hot, humid summers and similar winters as well as a cool sea breeze from what is the Pacific Ocean. Starhigh noticed increasingly extreme weather events, putting them down to climate change.
Many attempts were made at creating a Starhighan economy including a stock market, credit based economy and banknote system. Plans were also put forward to create a stall to sell Starhighan goods in Australia. To the disappointment of the Starhighan government, it was never able to produce enough/any goods to sell at this stall. Towns (which were later known as electorates) were assigned goods and or services to produce and specialise in. This system was almost exactly the same as the district system in the Hunger Games series although not at all related.
Due to having an economic structure, but no production, the Starhighan government did not find it appropriate to tax the population at any time in it's history. Thus, Starhigh became a tax-free state, however the government still held a treasury with a sum of money inside of it. Starhigh relied on the generosity of the Imperial family and the funds in it's treasury to make any economic transactions however few transactions were actually required or made. In 2014 the Starhighan treasury was located after being lost when Starhigh fell inactive, the funds were donated to the former Imperial family. Former Starhighans usually agree that a functional economy could have saved the nation from it's crippling lack of inactivity from the majority of the population but recognise that it is difficult to form an economy in a micronational context. Recent revelations have also made it known that Starhigh had a currency, called the Starhighan Credit that was used across Starhigh and the Starhighan Commonwealth.
Starhigh had a large media presence which included an extensive website, it's own newspaper and a large sum of multimedia content. It's website, www.starhigh.net was taken down in late 2014 due it's running costs and no digital copy was made. The website included information regarding most aspects of Starhigh including the Imperial family, economy, defence etc; it was well maintained by Hugh I and averaged at least 10 unique visitors each week.
The Starhighan newspaper was known as the Starhighan Post and new editions were produced and published semi-annually. Throughout it's history the Starhighan Post produced numerous editions which usually featured election results, general Starhighan news, intermicronational news, notices from the Starhighan government and a fun page at the end. Each edition of the Starhighan Post provides a good cross section of Starhigh at the time, for example the original edition was published during the Early Era, at a time when stuffed animals were still citizens and features multiple stories and announcements from these toys. After the relocation of Starhigh, only one more Starhighan Post was published, making this the last edition ever produced and read. The Starhighan Post was written by Hugh I and curated by other members of the Imperial family. Because of it's documentation of events in Starhighan history, the Starhighan Post is often used by historians studying Starhigh as an accurate source of information.