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Dependent Territories of Bethania
In Bethania's constitution, three types of entities that exceed a provincial level of independence (which is almost nil), which are called "Dependent Territories", which is not to be confused with a Dependent State, which is a type of Dependent Territory. These three types, in order of how much autonomy they receive (least to greatest) are Commonwealths, Protectorates and Dependent States. In the Social Republic of Bethania, commonwealths and protectorates do not conduct heir own foreign relations and Dependent Territories in Bethania, by law, cannot have autonomous territories of their own. All citizens in Dependent Territories of Bethania have the right to vote in Bethanian Prime Ministral Elections and elections concerning their representation in the Provincial Council and they are all dual citizens, of their Dependent Territory and the Social Republic of Bethania. The terms "commonwealth" and "protoectorate" have been used since Iceland in 930 AD and used extensively during the colonial period from 1500 to 1918.
The term "commonwealth" literally means "common well-being", to show that both nations receive equal amounts of well-being and prosperity. The Commonwealth of Nations, made up of most of the former colonies of the United Kingdom is an example of a true commonwealth, as all the nations receive equal representation in the entity. In Bethania, however, the term does not mean that the nation is equal to Bethania in political power, but that the government of Bethania would do everything within its power to make it so that commonwealth is equal in well-being and prosperity to the Social Republic of Bethania. This is standard policy with all of Bethania's Dependent Territories.
Under the Constitution of Bethania, the definition for a commonwealth is "a state with increased autonomy from the provincial level". The Constitution also states that Commonwealths may not have their own constitutions, but may ratify amendments to the Constitution of Bethania and pass laws that only apply in that commonwealth, as long as they "do not cause friction with those of the Social Republic of Bethania". Bethania is also obliged to protect a commonwealth from invasion, warfare or internal violence. Generally, an individual treaty is signed between Bethania and the nation that wishes to become a commonwealth which usually outlines the commonwealth's representation in the Provincial Council and other issues not outlined in the Constitution. Bethania does not currently have any commonwealths.
The term "protectorate" generally has two meanings, which are both similar to Bethania's protectorates in some ways but are not the actual meaning of what Bethania defines as a protectorate. The first type of protectorate was used extensively after World War II, when vast swaths of captured Axis territory were left to the allies to decide what to do with. They were protected by one nation or under joint protection by two nations (this happened mostly in the Pacific Islands), but were governed by international law, and other states generally regard them as independent but do not hold diplomatic relations with them. The second type was used extensively during Europe's colonial period, when colonized territories were referred to as "Colonial Protectorates" but were de facto colonized territories.
Under Bethania's Constitution, however, Protectorates are defined as "a state with increased autonomy from the Commonwealth Level and the title "Protectorate of" in front of its name or the adjective "Protected" in front of its full name". Protectorates are allowed to have their own constitutions and laws, as long as those laws do not violate those in the Bethanian constitution. However, if a protectorate passes a law that causes friction with a Bethanian law that is not in Bethania's constitution, the protectorate can pass that law.