Federal Republic of Francisville

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Federal Republic of Francisville

 

2012 — 2014
 

 


Francisville Flag 2008.pngCoA Francisville.png

Anthem
Balladair (Instrumental)
Francisville wiki map.png
Location of Francisville (dark green)
Capital cityKirkburgh (de facto)
Official language(s)Federal: English
Cantonal: French, German, Ripuarian, Francillian, Francillish
DemonymFrancillian
GovernmentFederal republic and direct democracy with a directorial executive
- ExecutiveFederal Council
Electing the Federal President
- LegislatureFederal Community
Electing the Federal Chamber
- JudiciaryFederal Supreme Court
Appointing the Chief Justice of Francisville
Established2011
Area claimed0.9 km²
Population14 (at dissolution)
CurrencyFrancillian Franc


Francisville [/ˈfrɑːnsɪs.vɪl/], officially the Federal Republic of Francisville (Francillian: Federalsrepublik Frankestädt /fɹʌnkəʃtæt/; French: République fédérale de Francisville; German: Bundesrepublik Frankestadt; Ripuarian: Bondesrepoblėck Frankestädt; Francillish: Federaale Republik vus Frankestaad), was a landlocked federal republic of four semi-autonomous cantons, bordered by the Landashir, Germany, Pristinia, the United Kingdom and the United States. The combined territory of the federation encompassed an area of approximately 0.9 km² with the vast majority of its territory being situated in Western Europe, spanning disparate geographic locations neighbouring Scotland, England and North Rhine-Westphalia, with the exception of the Canton of New Scireland which was enclaved by the U.S. State of Maryland in North America. Francisville was a linguistically diverse country. English was constitutionally established as the federation's national and legal language whilst Francillian, Francillish, French, German, and Ripuarian were officially recognised as the regional and cultural languages of the cantons.

The establishment of Francisville as a micronation dates to the foundation of the Democratic Duchy of Francisville in 2008 by James Stewart. Francisville was originally established as a parliamentary representative democracy in the form of a constitutional monarchy where the Grand Duke served as the head of state. Between 2009 and 2010, the nation was instrumental in the development of the MicroWiki community and a prominent member of the Grand Unified Micronational along with Erusia, Renasia, Petorio, and St.Charlie. Francisville had a history of strong neturality and never became involved in a micronational war. Following a prelonged period of political and diplomatic inactivity, the monarchical constitutional was abolished by a referendum instituted by Grand Duke James I in June 2011. Francisville was thereafter reconstituted as a federal republic through the decisions of directly democratic constitutional convention. Its constitution, adopted by referendum on 21 August 2012 established the directorial Federal Council as the federal government and collective head of state. Legislative power was vested in the directly democratic Federal Community directed by the elected Federal Chamber. The nation suffered from internal inactivity leading to its gradual dissolution in Summer 2014 and the independence of the former cantons of North Llabdey and Rudno.

Francillian national identity was routed in common endeavour, pastoral and agrestic symbolism, and shared values such as direct democracy, neutrality, communitarianism, and consociationalism. Despite its brief period of existence, the federal made significant contributions to the Francillian legacy of international negotiation and cultural development, such as the continued enrichment of the Francillian language. Francisville was represented at PoliNation 2012, the 2013 Intermicronational Summit, and the Midsummer Micronational Meeting 2014. National day continued to be celebrated on November 28; the foundation date of the Duchy. Since its dissolution, the culture and history of the nation has been preserved and promoted through the heritage association Historic Francisville.

History

Pre-Foundation

Property of the landed estate bordering Ennerau in 1905

The pre-foundation history of the Federal Republic is defined by the diverse history of the territory comprising its constituent cantons. The history of Wasserbrueck was shaped by its place in the Kingdom of Scotland and the subsequent history of the Kingdom of Great Britain. Pictish jewelry, dating from around 800AD, has been discovered in the territory surrounding Kirkburgh.[1] The area played host to the events surrounding the Jacobite rising of 1745, ending at nearby Culloden Moor. Prior to the Battle of Culloden, the local Baron Rose hosted both William, Duke of Cumberland and Charles Edward Stuart at his two different properties, justifying his impartial toleration of Jacobite troops under the demands of Highland hospitality.[2] Rapid changes occurred in the local area over the subsequent two centuries as a result of the gradual disappearance of Highland culture and rapid economic development. Research suggests that the proportion of Scottish Gaelic speakers living in the territory declined from 41.3% to 5.8% in the period between 1911 and 1961.[3] The region was originally claimed by the Democratic Duchy in 2009 as part of the large municipality of Dallaschyle, before being reconstituted into the two smaller municipalities of Kirkburgh and Ennearu.

The region of North Llabdey had traditionally been part of the greater Llon-Llabdeic geographical area, governed by the Community of Landashir. The region formed a department of the Slinky Empire from September 2009 until it left the empire in response to an electoral crisis in January 2011. The northern portion of Llabdey was subsequently split and briefly formed part of the Kingdom of Zealandia as the territory of "Royal North Llabdey". North Llabdey was integrated into the Federal Republic by a referendum held on 13–16 January 2012. New Scireland was a former territory of the Barony of Sandus. The territory was officially established on 5 January 2010 following a request of charter by Cameron Falby to Guillaume Soergel. New Scireland declared independence from Sandus on 18 January 2010 and Sandus recognized New Scireland's declaration of independence two days later. New Scireland was dissolved by the Citizens' Council on 24 April 2011 upon joining the Federal Republic. Rudno originally formed a territory of Pristinia, whose long micronational history can be traced back to the tongue-in-cheek pretend nation called the "Chambrian Realm" (German: Zimmerisches Reich) founded by Sebastian Linden.

Democratic Duchy

Original national flag of Francisville, adopted in November 2008

Francisville was founded by James Stewart by the adoption of the First Constitution on 28 November 2008.[4] Founded provisionally as a powerful elective monarchy, the Archduke (or sometimes Grand Duke) acted as an executive prince-president. Francisville gained membership of the recently founded Grand Unified Micronational on 10 February 2009 with the Archduke assuming his position as Delegate to the Quorum. Following the First Constitutional Assembly on 16 January, the Second Constitution was adopted and the political system transitioned towards a model of constitutional monarchy in the form of a Grand Duchy whereby the Grand Duke served as head of state and a more powerful Prime Minister was elected to serve as the head of government.

Francillian domestic politics soon focused on the perceived deficiencies of the Second Constitution, leading to the Third Constitution being brought into force on 5 March 2009.[5] Following the recommendations of a Constitutional Assembly (sometimes referred to as the "April Convention") organised by the Grand Duke, the final Fourth Constitution was adopted on 15 May 2009. The Duchy's first election was held between 28 May and 3 June 2009,[6] following which Jeremy Abrahams was elected as the inaugural First Minister of Francisville, an office which replaced the defunct premiership.

Domestic improvements were accompanied by Francisville's expanding influence on the international stage. The Duchy assisted in the resolution of the Siple War and Meissner-Antifan War from her position on the GUM Security Council. During the later conflict, the reputation of the Duchy as a cautious neutral power was established through its direct involvement in the mediation between Scientopia and New Europe. Francisville received the Chair of the Quorum of Delegates on 13 July 2009, leading the organisation through the transitional period between the Conflict Era and the Peaceful Era. Francisville was a signatory to the Treaty of Peace at the end of the Rhodesian War and the Treaty of Universal Non-Aggression at the close of the New Euro-Erusian War. The first anniversary of the founding of the Duchy was celebrated on 28 November 2009, the date thereafter declared a public holiday and designated Francillian National Day.

Francisville's respected international position and internal political development were maintained into early 2010. The state's GUM delegation acted as a negotiator during disputes between Sandus and New Scireland in January 2010. This period witnessed the increasing hegemonous international control of Erusia over the MicroWiki Community which raised concerns amongst Franicsville's Deputies. Following the international tensions caused by the establishment of the Organisation of Active Micronations and the Great Ideological Conflict, the government adopted an undisclosed policy of retreat from the community of MicroWiki states. The dissolution of Erusia in July 2010 prompted a revival of Francisville's presence within the MicroWiki community. A sense of skepticism towards intermicronational organisations was strong within Francisville at this time and the emergence of the Organisation of Active Micronations encouraged further pursuit of isolationism. Francisville once again returned to a largely inactive position in foreign affairs.

June Convention

After the general election due to take place on 28 May 2011 was postponed, concerns were raised over the future practicality of the Duchy's constitution, with one deputy calling for either the greater empowerment of the Crown or the replacement of the constitutional monarchy with a Presidential system, reforming the Duchy into a republic. In refutation, James I broke with constitutional protocol to argue that the political stagnation had been caused by the de facto centralization of political power in the hands of the Grand Duke through his prerogative over foreign affairs. On 3 June 2011, James I issued a declaration calling for the dissolution of the Fourth Constitution and the transition to an alternative model of government. The declaration was endorsed by the Chamber and later became known as the Declaration of the Republic.[7] The Grand Duke's constitutional reform proposals were accepted by the population in a referendum held on 10 June 2011. The referendum result returned 100% in favour of constitutional reform but with a voter turnout of only 45%.

The declaration called for the new political system to be decided by the process of a citizens' assembly directed by a Convention Council comprised of the incumbent Deputies. The assembly became known as the June Convention, following the form of the April Convention convened to to write the fourth constitution of the Democratic Duchy. The first assembly, held between 13 and 17 June, moved in favour of a federal republic composed of largely autonomous Cantons. A further seven national surveys and binding referendums were held. The key issues raised during the convention were (i) the relationship between the federation and the cantons, (ii) Francisville's place in the micronational community, and (iii) the degree of direct democracy to be instituted at federal level. A referendum held on 13–16 January 2012 incorporated two new cantons of North Llabdey and Rudno whilst dividing the the Duchy into the two cantons of Wasserbrueck and New Scireland. The Constitution of the Federal Republic of Francisville was officially adopted on 16 August 2012, being accepted by 100% of voters with a 57% voter turnout. The Democratic Duchy of Francisville was thereafter declared to be officially dissolved.

Federal Republic

By the time of its enactment, the provisions of the federal constitution had already become well-known. This was partly due to Francisville's participation in Polination 2012 where James Stewart delivered a presentation outlining the constitutional reforms[8] After the conference, Stewart stayed with James von Puchow with whom he toured North Llabdey. Both statesmen participated in an official tour of Austenasia and the Carshalton Nations organised by then Crown Prince Jonathan[9], further establishing the international reputation of the Federal Republic. The first elections to the Federal Council and the Francisville were held on from 28 September to 6 October 2012. The inaugural Federal Council was comprised of Sebastian Linden (Rudno), Cameron Falby (New Scireland), and James von Puchow (North Llabdey), with Puchow being elected as the first President of Francisville on 13 October. Elections were held simultaneously for the executive branches of the four cantons.

The Federal Council pursued policies which broadly focused on cultural development and re-establishing Francisville's place within the MicroWiki community. Puchow's first formal proposal as President was to enact Balladair as the national anthem.[10] A number of major issues of governance were raised by the Federal Council within its first two months. The most pressing issues were the status of the national currency, the adoption of a digital engagement strategy, and the adoption of a working federal budget. Francisville was ranked equal 16th in the eleventh MicroWiki influence survey released on 10 September 2012, but dropped two places to 18th in the twelth survey released on 12 November 2012. Despite not formally holding membership in any international organisations, Francisville commented periodically on ongoing issues in the MicroWiki community including the 2012-13 GUM leadership scandal.[11] In November 2012, discussions emerged about Nemkhavia joining Francisville as a canton but the plans were subsequently dropped.

The second federal elections were held on 5-7 July 2013. The incoming Federal Council was elected unopposed, with James Stewart replacing Cameron Falby and Sebastian Linden acting as President of Francisville from 8 July. Linden also assumed responsibility as Federal Councillor for Foreign Affairs, replacing James von Puchow who elected to maintain minimal executive commitments within the new administration. During his term, Linden was responsible for pursuing more active diplomacy and established closer relations with Austenasia, Juclandia, Mercia, Nemkhavia, and Sandus. He represented Francisville at both the 2013 Intermicronational Summit and the Midsummer Micronational Meeting 2014. Linden conducted a state visit to Austenasia on 26 October 2013 and addressed the CCPS Party Conference in Sandus on 13 November 2013.[12]

Dissolution

Francisville suffered from period inactivity throughout the era of the Federal Republic. Sebastian Linden explicitly raised the concern during a meeting of the Federal Council in April 2013. This issues became increasingly problematic by late 2013, with decision making capacity available on the Federal Council due to the absence of some of its key members. The last public statement issued by a member of the Federal Council concerned the 2014 New South Scotland crisis.[13] North Llabdey declared independence from the Federal Republic on 3 June 2014[14]. Landsmann James von Puchow states the decreasing activity of the federal authorities to be a crucial factor in his decision to withdraw the canton from Francisville.[15] The independence of North Llabdy caused a similar discussion to arise in Rudno. On the same day, Rudnan governor Sebastian Linden issued a statement promising a referendum on Rudnan independence.[16]

Linden's statement was followed by negotiations on the future of the federation between Linden and James Stewart. The discussions outlined a series of reforms, known as the “AGREE programme”, which would include the abolition of the Federal Council, the empowering of the Federal Chamber, and redistributing further powers from the federation to the cantons.[17] Following the lack of progress on these proposals, Rudno declared independence on 8 June 2015[18] Following a lack of response to these events, the state was considered defunct by the intermicronational community. Austenasia officially recognised the Commonwealth of Rudno as a successor state to Francisville at London summit on 18 July 2015. On 28 November 2017, James Stewart founded Historic Francisville to preserve the culture and history of Francisville.[19]

Geography

Country road on the eastern border between Wasserbrueck and Scotland

The Federal Republic was situated in North America, and Western and Central Europe, occupying approximately 0.97 km² of territory across four non-contiguous pieces of land associated with the four cantons. Francisville was bordered by three sovereign states (the United Kingdom, the United States, and Germany) and three micronations (Landashir, Pristinia and Erephisia). Wasserbrueck was the largest of the four cantons, occupying an area of land approximately 0.67 km² (0.37 mi²) in the Scottish Highlands. Wasserbrueck was an enclave of the United Kingdom, separated from Scotland by a river boundary on the southern border and by a land border elsewhere. The 4 km long border between Wasserbrueck and the United Kingdom was the longest uninterrupted boundary with another state. The federation had no coastline as all four cantons occupied landlocked locations. The Wasserbrueck river boundary was therefore the only water-form border surrounding any part of Francillian territory. The territory of North Llabdey was bordered almost entirely by the Landashir'n district of Llabdey, with one road border from Buckinghamshire providing direct access from the United Kingdom. The northern portion of Rudno shared a border with the German state of North-Rhine Westphalia whilst its southern territory bordered Pristinia. New Scireland was an enclave of the US state of Maryland.

Woodland in North Llabdey

Despite the discontinuity of its physical location, Francisville had a broadly consistent geography, consisting mainly of woodlands and countryside with limited suburban residential settlements. A sizable portion of Francisville's terrain consisted of agricultural land in the form of planned rectilinear fields and permanent pastureland. Land reserved for agricultural purposes constituted approximately 63.7% (0.63 km²) of all usable land within the territory. The Duchy also had extensive coniferous woodland mostly located to the south of urban Kirkburgh in the Upper-lands and along the river valley bordering the United Kingdom. A large area of parklands and formal gardens covered the area to the east of Ennerau, Wasserbrueck. This territory was populated with diverse fauna including deer, red squirrels, pheasant, foxes and tawny owls. The greater area of Rudno consisted of a significant expance of parks and woodland, as well as a still freshwater body.

Residential street in Kirkburgh

Urbanization was limited across the territory. The two most significant residential districts were New Scireland and Kirkburgh. Kirkburgh contained much of Wasserbrueck's public infrastructure including the headquarters of the cantonal authorities, the National Archives, and all major public transport links. Kirkburgh functioned as the de facto capital of the federation as well as its largest town. Other residential settlements were concentrated in two small hamlets in the Ennerau region. One principal road and one farming road connected the north and south of the territory along its western and eastern borders respectively. These routes each connected to footbridges which marked the southern border with Scotland. New Scireland was almost entirely residential with an extensive public garden to the rear of Government House. The rural regions of North Llabdey, Rudno, and Wasserbrueck were connected by an extensive network of footpaths.

Climate

The four cantons of Francisville were all located within some form of a temperate/mesothermic climatic zone (Köppen classification: Group C) with cool to warm summers and mild to cold winters. The Europeans cantons of North Llabdey, Rudno, and Wasserbrueck experienced a maritime temperate climate (Köppen Cfb), while New Scireland experienced a humid subtropical climate (Cfa). Despite their relatively similar climates, temperatures throughout the Federal Republic varied greatly. New Scireland experiencing the widest seasonal variation from an average of 31 °C through July and August, dropping to -4 °C in January. Wasserbrueck experienced the lowest summer temperature with a July average of 18.9 °C The lowest temperature recorded in the region was -15.7 °C in January 2010 but temperatures lower than -5 °C were rare in all four cantons.

Climate data for Kirkburgh, Francisville
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 44.4
(6.9)
45.1
(7.3)
48.7
(9.3)
52.9
(11.6)
58.3
(14.6)
62.4
(16.9)
66
(18.9)
65.5
(18.6)
61
(16.1)
54.7
(12.6)
48.7
(9.3)
44.6
(7.0)
54.5
(12.5)
Average low °F (°C) 34
(1.1)
34.2
(1.2)
36.3
(2.4)
39.2
(4.0)
43.5
(6.4)
48.7
(9.3)
52.5
(11.4)
52.2
(11.2)
48
(8.9)
42.8
(6.0)
38.3
(3.5)
34.2
(1.2)
42.1
(5.6)
Average Precipitation inches (mm) 3.028
(76.9)
2.307
(58.6)
2.268
(57.6)
1.551
(39.4)
2.031
(51.6)
2.335
(59.3)
2.102
(53.4)
2.343
(59.5)
2.646
(67.2)
3.075
(78.1)
2.606
(66.2)
2.559
(65.0)
28.85
(732.8)
Source: worldweatheronline.com
Climate data for New Scireland, Francisville
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 42.8
(6.0)
46.4
(8.0)
55.4
(13.0)
66.2
(19.0)
75.2
(24.0)
84.2
(29.0)
87.8
(31.0)
87.8
(31.0)
78.8
(26.0)
68
(20.0)
57.2
(14.0)
46.4
(8.0)
66.2
(19.0)
Average low °F (°C) 24.8
(-4.0)
26.6
(-3.0)
35.6
(2.0)
44.6
(7.0)
55.4
(13.0)
64.4
(18.0)
71.6
(22.0)
68
(20.0)
60.8
(16.0)
48.2
(9.0)
37.4
(3.0)
28.4
(-2.0)
46.4
(8.0)
Average Precipitation inches (mm) 3.15
(80)
3.15
(80)
4.09
(104)
3.82
(97)
4.57
(116)
4.21
(107)
4.06
(103)
3.43
(87)
4.61
(117)
3.98
(101)
4.21
(107)
3.78
(96)
47.05
(1,195)
Source: weather.com

Politics

Political system

The Federal Constitution, adopted by referendum on 21 August 2011, was the legal foundation of the Federal Republic of Francisville. The constitution outlined the rights of Francillian citizens, defined the rights and relationship between the federation and the cantons, and established the federal organs of state separated between executive, legislative, and judicial branches. During the federal era, Francisville was a federal republic and direct democracy in the form of a directorial system. There were four principal governing bodies on the federal level; the Federal Council (executive), the Federal Community (legislative), Federal Chamber (deliberative), and the Federal Supreme Court (judicial). In addition to forming the executive branch and directing the administration of federal governance, the Federal Council served as the collective head of state. The Federal Council operated according to the principle of collegiate responsibility whilst each individual Councillor was appointed as the executive head of a single federal department. The size of the Federal Council varied according to the size of the population consisting of a minimum of three Councillors, rising to five for a population higher than twenty-five and seven for a population higher than forty. The President of Francisville served as the presiding officer of the Federal Council as primus inter pares with no powers over and above their colleagues. The Federal Council was elected for terms of one year by means of the single transferable vote from a single national list.

Legislative authority was officially vested in the Federal Community; the directly democratic assembly of the people and cantons of Francisville. In order to become law, all legislation required the support of a double majority in Federal Community, achieving the approval of the majority of voters in the majority of cantons. Although the Federal Community retained ultimate legislative sovereignty, the responsibility for the proposal, drafting, and review of legislation was vested in the elected Federal Chamber of Francisville as the federation's supreme representative body. The Federal Chamber was comprised of representatives, known as Federal Deputies, elected from each canton according to its population. Each canton was entitled to elect at least one Deputy, thereafter receiving an additional Deputy for every five citizens. The Chamber was elected by means of the single transferable vote with each canton functioning as a single electoral district. Legislation could be proposed to the Chamber by any Deputy, any Federal Councillor, or any cantonal government. Following drafting and legislative review, the Federal Chamber submitted all legislative proposals to the Federal Community, only after the approval of which they could be adopted as federal law. The President of the Chamber was elected by the Deputies to serve as the speaker and ex officio as the Convener of the Federal Community. The Federal Chamber also exercised a number of reserved responsibilities including passing the federal budget and approving all foreign treaties and agreements.

Francillian law was a unique mixed or hybrid legal system based mostly upon the influence of Scots law. The Judiciary was procedurally independent from all other state authorities although the Federal Council had a signifant role in the judicial appointments process. The only court established at federal level was the Supreme Court of Francisville which held jurisdiction over all federal and constitutional law. The Supreme Court acted as the court of last resort for all criminal and civil matters as well as exercising the power of judicial review. Beneath the Supreme Court, the court system was the responsibility of the cantons. Each canton was required to establish its own judiciary to provide the courts of first instance for both criminal and civil law and handle all legal matters strictly within cantonal jurisdiction. Justices of the Supreme Court was appointed from the cantonal courts by the Federal Council upon the advice of the Federal Judicial Appointments Commission.

Direct democracy

Proclamation declaring a referendum on Rudnan independence

Direct democracy and federalism were the hallmarks of the Francillian political system. At federal level, legislative authority was vested in the Federal Community as the assembly of the people and cantons of Francisville. Legislation was drafted by the elected Federal Chamber before being submitted to the Federal Community for approval or rejection. Article 116 of the constitution also established a mechanism by which citizens could demand a referendum on matters not submitted to them directly by the Federal Chamber. Upon the demand of one-fifth of eligible voters, the federation was obliged to organised referendum on any proposed ballot initiative, provided that the minimum number of signatures had been gathered within 28 days of its publication. The same criteria also applied to the appointment of justices of the Federal Supreme Court and the approval of international treaties and agreements, powers normally vested in the Federal Council and the Federal Chamber. Member in international organisations required a basis in federal law and was therefore subject to the approval of the Federal Community as standard practice. Notwithstanding their right to adopt their own political systems, the cantons were similarly obliged to institute partial direct democracy by guaranteeing the right to a referendum on any piece of legislation, constitutional amendment, or inter-cantonal agreement if demanded by one fifth of the population within 28 days of its publication.

Constitutional amendments were also subject to direct democratic approval by the Federal Community. Proposals for the partial amendment of the constitution could be proposed by the Federal Community, the Federal Council, or the Federal Chamber. Article 155 of the constitution also outlined a mechanism for demanding a full revision of the constitution. A full revision could be demanded by one-third of eligible voters in a ballot initiative, one-quarter of the cantons, the Federal Council, or the Federal Chamber. Required majorities for constitutional amendments were more stringent than for ordinary legislation. Constitutional amendments were subject to the approval of either an absolute majority of eligible voters or a two-thirds majority of participating voters, in addition to the approval of the majority of voters in the majority of cantons. Article 157 outlined certain constitutional principles to be guaranteed in perpetuity. Constitutional amendments which threatened the secular, democratic, republican or federal nature of the state, or the general essence of fundamental human rights outlined in "Title 2 - Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", were prohibited.

Cantons

The Federal Republic was a highly decentralised state. Francillian citizens were subject to three levels of legal jurisdiction: the federal, the cantonal, and district level. Francisville consisted of 4 cantons as the first level federated states of the Federal Republic, each with a guaranteed permanent constitutional status and a high degree of political independence. The cantons had the right to determine their own political systems with the stipulation that this should be in the form of a secular, democratic republic. The cantons were considered autonomous entities in their own right and they maintained jurisdiction over all matters which were not explicitly delegated to the federation by the constitution or federal law. The cantons of New Scireland and Wasserbrueck were formed through the division of territory and population of the Democratic Duchy of Francisville, whereas North Lladbey and Rudno were integrated into the federation during the June Convention.

Map Flag Canton Area
(km²)
Population
(2012)
Executive
Flag Canton New Scireland.png New Scireland 0.002 4 President
Flag north llabdey.jpg North Llabdey 0.02 1 Landsmann
Rudno flag small.jpg Rudno 0.3 2 Governor
Flag of Wasserbrueck.png Wasserbrueck 0.67 7 First Minister
(Executive Council)

Cantonal political systems typically followed a similar structure to the federal government. Each canton had a direct democratic citizens assembly as its legislature, alongside its own judiciary. Three cantons elected a governor (also known as a landsmann or president) as their executive branches. The exception was Wasserbrueck which elected a collegiate Executive Council, presided over by the First Minister of Wasserbrueck in a similar structure to the Federal Council. The cantons were free to determine their own internal structure with the result that administrative divisions varied between individual cantons. The second level divisions of the Federal Republic were collectively referred to by the informal term, districts. The cantons of New Scireland and North Llabdey were unitary states with no district level of government.

Foreign relations

James von Puchow (far left) and James Stewart (far right) during the 2012 state visit to Austenasia

The constitution of Francisville outlined the guiding principles of national foreign policy. Francisville was a neutral country and the government was constitutionally prohibited from engaging in wars of aggression or any acts which would similarly endanger peaceful coexistence and cooperation between nations. Article 77 of the constitution established a number of foreign policy aims: (i) the protection of national sovereignty and the right to self-determination, (ii) the preservation of human rights and the promotion of democratic values, (iii) the alleviation of poverty, suffering, and injustice, (iv) peaceful coexistence and cooperation between nations, and (v) the protection of natural resources and concern for environmental issues. Nevertheless, Francisville avoided alliances which were likely to require direct military, political, or economic action in detriment to her own sovereignty or to that of other nations. Despite these limitations, Francisville established herself as an active and visible presence in the MicroWiki community, building upon the reputation for diplomacy established by the Democratic Duchy of Francisville. Foreign affairs were the responsibility of the Federal Council which aimed to promote these values through positive example and voluntary partnership.

The federation participated in a significant number of international summits and state visits during the two years of its existence. Francisville was represented at PoliNation 2012 by James Stewart who delivered a presentation outlining the constitutional reforms of the June Convention.[20]. After the conference, Stewart stayed with James von Puchow with whom he toured North Llabdey. Both statesmen participated in an official tour of Austenasia and the Carshalton Nations organised by then Crown Prince Jonathan on 15 July 2012.[21] Stewart dined with Jacob Tierney of Renasia along with Alexander Reinhardt and James Lunam of St.Charlie later the same evening, where the parties discussed topical issues such as the Lethler controversy and Scottish independence. As Federal Councillor for Foreign Affairs, Sebastian Linden represented Francisville at the 2013 Intermicronational Summit in Paris. Austenasia hosted Linden on a state visit to on 26 October 2013.[22] Francisville also attended the informal Midsummer Micronational Meeting 2014, represented by Linden.

Economy

Social principles

Economic activity was limited within the Federal Republic but it broadly took place within the framework of a regulated mixed economy which incorporated elements of market socialism with protection of private property and free trade. The federal constitution outlined a number of key principles to be followed in economic policy. Whilst broadly adhering to elements of a market economy such as the protection of private property, economic structures which favoured mutuality, workplace democracy, and individual entrepreneurship were favoured over large-scale corporatism and globalisation. The status of legal personality was not recognized for any profit-making organisation which did not conform to the principle of mutuality, a principle guaranteed by Article 59 of the constitution, introduced during the June Convention with 100% approval.

The constitution established an extensive set of economic rights, each accompanied by a set of "state aims". Although no direct state assistance could be demanded or guaranteed by these rights, the constitution required the federal government to pursue them to the best of its ability. These included the rights to general education, adequate housing, clean water and sanitation, and minimum health protection. Workers were gauranteed the rights to a safe working environment, the ability to unionize and strike, and the state facilitation and protection of collective bargaining between workers and employers. Article 65 also recognised the important social role of the family.

Currency

Obverse of an old Ducal 5f "Figures and Ideas Series" banknote (2009), depicting Jane Addams.

The national currency remained an unresolved issue during the existence of the Federal Republic. The Federal Bank of Francisville was responsible for the issuing and regulation of currency, pursuant to the monetary policy outlined by the Federal Council. Federal law could delegate this responsibility to cantonal state banks but not to private financial institutions. The Ville Franc had served as the national currency of the Democratic Duchy since 2009 and therefore remained the de facto currency of the Federal Republic. Its value was pegged to the pound sterling at a rate of 1f to £0.20. This rate had been previously set by the Council of Ministers and remained unaltered since 2009. The Ville Franc had been issued exclusively in the banknote form in 1f, 5f, and 10f denominations. The Duchy issued three series of banknotes throughout its existence; the Season Series (November 2008), the Micronations Series (January 2009), and the Figures and Ideas Series (March 2009).

In September 2012, Federal Councillor Sebastian Linden proposed a currency reform which would divide the money supply into separate internal and external issues[23]. The external currency, known as the Francillian Effective Franc (FEF; Fr), would be a convertible currency available for both internal and external use. It was initially to be backed by a macronational currency with the long-term aim of transitioning to a commodity backed system. The Francillian Domestic Franc (FDF; fr) would be a non‐convertible fiat currency based on voluntary use for the initial internal exchange of goods and services. The proposal aimed to finance the commodity backing of the FEF before merging the two supplies into a single currency once this had been achieved. The proposal was not implemented. As the Federal Bank did not issue any currency, the pound sterling (GBP: £) remained the de facto currency for the exchange of most goods and services in Francisville.

Culture

Francillian culture was richly influenced by its own history as well as the strong cultural and historical links it shared with its neighbours. Influences on Francillian culture can be traced to a diverse range of nations and traditions, most predominantly Scotland, the Rhineland, New Scireland, and Landashir. The influence of the low countries, a dominant feature of the culture of the Democratic Duchy, could also be seen in the development of the Francillian and Francillish languages. Francisville developed a unique social and cultural identity which valued cultural, linguistic, and philosophical diversity, whilst being bound together by a shared national symbolism and political culture.

As a predominantly rural country, pastoral and agrestic symbolism played an important role in Francillian national identity. Representations of the rural life and scenery of Wasserbrueck were particularly common on national publications, cultural media, and greetings cards. National holidays played an important part in Francillian life. Francillian National Day was celebrated annually on 28 November involving regular traditions including the sending of holiday cards and the holding of community gatherings. Christian holidays such as Christmas and Easter were celebrated according to the Western liturgical calendar. By Scottish tradition, Hogamanay was also an important festival of the winter season.

Society

The principles underlying the Federal Republic were representative of the ideals of an open, tolerant, and egalitarian society. Francillian society was definitively shaped by the many of the philosophical influences which arose during the June Convention. The political culture of the Federal Republic saw the influence of left libertarian, classical republican, and communitarian ideas. These influences developed into an indigenous Francillian tradition which drawn upon liberal, conservative, and socialist instincts in order to balance the importance of tradition, community, and national identity with strong support for individual liberty and economic, social and cultural rights. Francillians were influenced by a number of thinkers including John Locke on government, Adam Smith and Francis Hutcheson on moral philosophy, Adam Ferguson and Alasdair MacIntyre on society, and Henry George and R. H.Tawney on economic structures.

Francillians emphasised the value of civil society and collective responsibility. Environmental and historic conservation were also highly valued and Francillians took pride in pursuing rural life, cultural heritage, and environmental protection. Francisville was a highly educated country with the majority of the population either pursuing or having received formal higher education qualifications. In collaboration with Pristinia, the federation was involved in the Sutherland system of association between micronational univeristies. Francisville was a secular country with the constitution guaranteeing religious liberty and prohibiting the government from privileging any religious group in political life. Most Francillians were liberal protestants, predominantly Scottish Presbyterians and Quakers, whilst Roman Catholics and Orthodox Christians were significant minorities.

Languages

Francisville was a linguistically diverse nation as the cantons regulated their own official languages. Six official languages were recognised across federal and cantonal levels and a number of other languages were spoken without official recognition. English was the official language of the federation as outlined in the constitution. This status required that all statutes and official government documentation were published in English. Apart from being the official legal language, English was also the most prominently used language in public life, dominating daily communication, education, and the media. Rudno was the only canton which did not recognise English as an official language. As a consequence, it was also the only canton to have a citizen who had not attained native level proficiency in the English language.

Francisville is known for the development of Francillian; a constructed language based on Moselle Franconian with Scots and French influences. The history of the language can be traced back to the development of Old Francillian in 2009. The language sharply declined and became virtually extinct by spring 2010 before new Francillian dialects were revived. Despite not being constitutionally guaranteed official language status, Francillian became accepted as the national language or "language of the heart" among Francillians. Wasserbrueck was the only canton to adopt it as an official language, although it was also well spoken in Rudno where it developed a distinctive dialect. The language was principally used for cultural reasons such as the publication of literature and National Day addresses. Some Francillians called for the language to be recognised as official at federal level but no formal proposals were made. Francillish, a related language, was spoken in North Llabdey which neighboured Landashir.

The predominant official language of Rudno was German. Additionally, the Ripuarian language was spoken and official in Rudno. Rudnans placed emphasis on preserving and promoting the use of Ripuarian and government publications were typically translated into the language. Kölsch was the predominant Ripuarian variety spoken in the canton. French was also an official language in Wasserbrueck. Approximately 62% of the Wasserbrueck population reported fluency or excellent working knowledge in French, although it was largely spoken in everyday conversation only among native speakers in addition to its cultural use through the popularity of French literature and history. French was typically not used in official contexts such as education or government documentation.

Media

Francisville had a rich print media landscape with access to domestic and international sources. The Francillian was the largest and most influential national newspaper. The publication was run as a private online newspaper focusing on the Francillian politics in addition to providing occasional commentary on the MicroWiki community. The online magazine d'Zäit (literal translation: The Time[s]) was the only Francillian language publication. It also occasionally published articles in Francillish. Some cantons were in close proximity to other micronations and thereby benefited from coverage by their news agencies. Rudno had regular access to Pristinian publications including the Pristinian Herald, the Pioniermagazin and the Weiherland-Kurier whilst North Llabdey benefited from coverage by the St.Charlian Observer due to neighbouring Landashir's membership in the St.Charlian Commonwealth. Francisville had no radio or television broadcasters during the era of the Federal Republic.

Music

Music was an important aspect of Francillian culture. The populations of New Scireland and North Llabdey had a high proportion of professionally trained classical musicians, with skill-sets encompassing piano, trumpet, and voice. The national anthem was an instrumental piece to the tune Balladair, written by the American composer Frank William Erickson in 1958. The anthem was adopted by the Federal Council on 14 October 2012 upon the proposal of James von Puchow. Compositions which spoke to the rural symbolism of the nation were particularly favoured. Popular pieces included Beethoven's "Pastoral" Symphony No. 6 and Violin Concerto, Elgar's Falstaff – Symphonic Study, and Mendelssohn's "Scottish" Symphony No.3. The Scottish composer Thomas Erskine, 6th Earl of Kellie was arguably the most culturally significant musical talent for many Francillians. In 1989, a number of Erskine's manuscripts were discovered in the possession of a major estate bordering Ennerau, shedding important new light on his musical style and influence.[24] Francillians also valued folk music and traditional tunes. The territory of Wasserbrueck was associated with a number of traditional 19th-century tunes evoking the ancestry of its landed families[25] [26]. The traditional Francillish song De Klëng was adopted as the official anthem of North Llabdey. The Rupurian song Drogt Gedochte was similarly considered to be the anthem of Rudno.

Cuisine

Francillian cuisine was characterised by diverse traditions, simplicity of approach, and respect for high quality ingredients. Francisville had a rich natural larder of game, dairy products, fish, and wild berries. Traditional main specialities included hearty stews produced from local ingredients such as the Scottish derived cullen skink and Salmonsbouell (Francillian: literally Salmon bowl), a creamy soup made from smoked salmon and potatoes. Another favourite was a creamy stew of potatoes, thyme, lentils, and either wild mushrooms or shredded beef, known as Fränséisechezopp (Francillian: literally French soup), influenced by Provençal cuisine. Many popular dishes were also taken directly from British cooking such as kedgeree, fried fish and chips, haggis, and roast dinners. New Scireland had a fondness for Italian cuisine, with some marked Italian-American influence from the neighbouring United States.

Traditional Francillian apple tart

Francisville was renowned for its confectionery and baked goods, particularly pastry-based desserts. A traditional Francillian treat was a light apple tart based on shortcrust pastry, typically glazed with orange or apricot marmalade. This was served either by the slice as a dessert or produced as small individual pastries and served in the late afternoons along with tea or an aperitif. Either option was typically served with whipped or clotted cream. Neighbouring Scotland provided Francillians with plainer baked goods such as butteries, oatcakes and potato (tattie) scones. The bakery of the Rhineland was important in Rudnan cuisine including regional specialities such as pumpernickel. This influence also extended to savoury cooking with traditional German dishes including Reibekuchen, Sauerkraut and Kottenbotter.

Alcohol was an important part of culinary life with a traditional serving routine for different drinks on different occasions. The most popular daily beverages were lager from Scotland and Bordeaux (claret) wine from France. German white wine varieties such as Riesling, mostly from the Rheinhessen and Mosel regions, were important as good pairings to Francillian food. Scotch whisky was the most popularly drunk spirit. The national drink of Francisville was a liqueur known as Kiirchbuerg (named after the town of the same name), produced by infusing raspberries and honey in either brandy or single malt whisky. This was typically served in the late-afternoon or after-dinner alongside small pastries or cheese and biscuits.

See also

References

  1. SCRAN Learning Images: Fragment of a silver penannular brooch Retrieved 26/11/2016
  2. Rose Clan History Retrieved 26/11/2016
  3. Gàidhlig (Scottish Gaelic) Local Studies: Vol. 23: Inbhirnis & Taobh Loch Nis (Inverness & Loch Ness-side) Retrieved 26/11/2016
  4. National Archives of Francisville: Constitution (2008) Retrieved 27/11/2016.
  5. National Archives of Francisville: Constitution (March 2009) Retrieved 27/11/2016
  6. National Archives of Francisville: Legislative Election (May 2009) Retrieved 27/11/2016
  7. Declaration of the Republic Accessed 22/01/17
  8. Caesar, Nihilus. "Report from the 2012 PoliNation International Conference on Micronations". Imperial News Network. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  9. Augustus, Jonathan. "Polination 2012 Weekend". Austenasian Times. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  10. Proposal - Use of the Federal National Anthem of Federal Republic of Francisville. Onst Heem. 12 October 2012. Accessed 11 July 2020
  11. GUM in turmoil as member states expelled. Austenasian Times. 18 November 2012. Accessed 11 July 2020
  12. Sebastian Linden speech to the CCPS Party Conference. Onst Heem. 13 November 2012. Accessed 11 July 2020.
  13. New South Scotland invaded as Zealandia condemned for aggression. Austenasian Times. 3 June 2014. Accessed 11 July 2020.
  14. James von Puchow speaks of the future for himself and Landashir. Austenasian Times. 4 June 2014. Accessed 11 July 2020.
  15. Von Puchow to withdraw from politics. The Francillian. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 30/12/2015.
  16. Rudnan Governor Linden promises referendum. The Francillian. 4 June 2014. Accessed 11 July 2020.
  17. Negotiations on federation future, Linden alters referendum. The Francillian. 5 June 2014. Accessed 11 June 2024.
  18. Rudno Courier: Rudno proclaims Commonwealth. Retrieved 30/12/2015.
  19. Francisville History Blog: Our Launch Historic Francisville. 28 November 2017. Accessed 11 June 2017.
  20. Caesar, Nihilus. "Report from the 2012 PoliNation International Conference on Micronations". Imperial News Network. 18 July 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  21. Augustus, Jonathan. "Polination 2012 Weekend". Austenasian Times. 15 August 2012. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  22. Augustus, Jonathan. "Sebastian Linden visits Wrythe and Orly". Austenasian Times. 26 October 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2020.
  23. Linden, Sebastian. One Nation Two Currencies, A new economy for a New Francisville. 17 September 2012. Accessed 11 July 2020
  24. Thomas Erskine - Concerto Caledonia - Fanfare Magazine. Linn Records. 1 July 2005. Accessed 11 July 2020
  25. Fraser, S., 1982. The Airs and melodies peculiar to the Highlands of Scotland and the Isles.... Sydney, Nova Scotia: P.S. Cranford.
  26. Anon, 1980. Kerr's third collection of merry melodies.... Glasgow: James S. Kerr.

External links

Historic Francisville