Kingdom of Aspen

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Kingdom of Aspen
other official names
  • Espenische:Küningeriket Aspen
Flag of Aspen SVG.svg
Flag
Aspencoa middle.svg
Coat of arms
Motto: I Gud Mitt Öde [a]
(English: "In God My Destiny")
Anthem: Espensången
(English: "song of Aspen")

Royal anthemKüngsången
Song of the King
CapitalKüngshafn
Largest cityWilhelmsburg
Official languagesEspenisch, English
Religion
66.7% No Religion
25% Christianity
–16.6% Presbyterian
–8.3% Church of Aspen
8.3% Norse Paganism
Demonym(s)
  • Aspenish
  • Aspener
GovernmentUnitary Parliamentary Constitutional Monarchy
• King
Jakob II Christian
• Riksdag Speaker
Vacant
Adam Johnston
LegislatureAspen Riksdag
History
• Independence declared
28 November 2018
• Aspen Empire established
28 November 2018 - 21 November 2019
• Kingdom of Aspen established
8 October 2020
• Provisional Government formed
30 July 2021
Area
• Total
0.0012 km2 (0.00046 sq mi)
• Water (%)
<1
Population
• Estimate
15
• Density
12,500/km2 (32,374.9/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2022 estimate
• Total
$3500
• Per capita
$233
CurrencyAspen Kronor (ASK)
Time zoneUTC-5 (ET)
• Summer (DST)
UTC-4 (EDT)
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy;
Driving sideright
Calling code+1
Internet TLD.ap (pending (add note))
  1. ^ I Gud Mitt Öde has been adopted by Jakob II Christian as his personal motto.

Aspen, officially the Kingdom of Aspen, is a small, self-declared, unrecognized country in North America. It has one land border with the United States and no known borders with any other self-declared states. The Kingdom of Aspen has a defined area of 0.0012 square kilometers (0.0003 sq mi), most of which is composed of crown-held land. The capital city is Konigshaven and the largest city and financial center in Wilhelmsburg. The population density of Aspen is unknown.

The Kingdom of Aspen is located within the coastal plain of Virginia. It has a humid subtropical climate and experiences mild winters and mild to hot summers. the climate is significantly affected by its proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the Chesapeake Bay. Its land area is mostly covered by deciduous forests composed of mainly oak, maple, and sycamore trees. Land used for agricultural and industrial purposes comprises less than 1% of the total land area of Aspen.

The territory of Aspen has been inhabited by various Native American tribes since around 16000 BC when the first Algonquian-speaking tribes arrived in the area . From the period when the Spanish arrived in 1570  to the settlement of Jamestown in 1607  the Powhatan confederation  was the largest of the Algonquian tribes, occupying a large portion of southeastern Virginia up into Maryland. After English colonization the area was under the control of the Colony of Virginia which it remained until 1776 when it declared independence from the Kingdom of Great Britain. During the revolutionary war the area switched between British and American occupation until the Siege of Yorktown after which, in the aftermath of the surrender of George Cornwallis, the area was firmly under American control. During the civil war, the region was under confederate control, with the exception of Fort Monroe which remained under Union occupation.  After the civil war the region became more urban and during the first and second world wars, they were subject to a heavy military presence. The Kingdom of Aspen was founded on 27 November 2018 as the Aspen Empire. Initially simulationist, the Aspen Empire slowly grew and became more secessionist as it came into contact with the Microwiki community. The Aspen Empire joined the Grand Unified Micronational in January 2019 and united with the Kingdom of Misberia to form the Aspen-Misberian Empire in February of the same year. However, the union of Aspen and Misberia was short-lived and Misberia declared its freedom in March 2019. After a period of instability, Aspen left the Grand Unified Micronational in June 2019 and soon after dissolved. On 4 October 2020, after a period of instability, constant reform, and inactivity Aspen was revived as the Kingdom of Aspen and since then it has entered into an era of unprecedented stability.

Etymology

The name of the present territory where the Kingdom of Aspen currently inhabits has been known by many different names with the original name of the area being Kecoughtan after the native Algonquin tribe that inhabited it. Other names that have been used for Aspen are Appalachia and Cordonia, the former referring to the Appalachian mountains located near Aspen, and the latter being a created name.

The name Aspen is derived from the tree of the same name. The origin of the use of that name can be traced to early 2016 when the town of Aspendale was established on a Minecraft towny server. The name Espen is ultimately derived from this original name, the word Espen being the direct Espenishe translation of the name Aspen.

History

Foundation and early imperial era

Prior to the adoption of the Charter of the Aspen Empire on 28 November 2018, Aspen was not a micronation in any formal sense. Initially created in early 2018 as a town on a Minecraft server, Aspen, then known only as Aspendale, was only a small community of Minecraft players and a few friends. This original Aspen was completely simulationist, lacking any formal political power. The idea for the establishment of an Aspen micronation was originally inspired by Commonwealth of Pazistan, a micronation also formed in 2018 by Cai O'Gorman. O'Gorman was instrumental to the creation of Aspen as a micronation, and after lengthy discussion the Charter of the Aspen Empire was drafted and subsequently adopted.

Second official flag of the Aspen Empire, the colors of this flag later became the official national colors of the Kingdom of Aspen

The Charter of the Aspen Empire outlined four branches of government, in which power was divided between an executive branch, a unicameral legislature, a judiciary, and a purely ceremonial monarch. Under this system the Chancellor was the head of the executive branch and was given broad powers over appointments and the organization of the state. The early imperial era was highly influenced by the monarch, who, although constitutionally had very limited powers, mostly exercised the powers of the Chancellor on their behalf. Therefore, although the charter strictly limited the powers of the monarch, in practice the early imperial era was highly authoritarian and autocratic in nature.

Despite the increased political legitimacy, the early imperial era was still highly simulationist in nature and would remain that way until its ratification of the Grand Unified Micronational charter on 30 December 2018. After signing the GUM charter, Aspen greatly expanded its legitimacy and influence, this led to the subsequent unification of Aspen and its ally Misberia with the ratification of the Treaty of Newport on 9 February 2019. The Following day, Aspen was admitted as a full member of the Grand Unified Micronational.

The Aspen-Misberian Empire

The Flag of the Aspen-Misberian Empire from February 2019 to March 2019.

The Establishment of the Aspen-Misberian Empire, although heralded in both Aspen and Misberia as a way forward for both countries, was proven to be an important but ultimately disastrous union for Aspen. After the treaty was ratified the Aspen monarch attempted to exert his control over Misberia despite lacking any constitutional right to do so. This unequal relationship between Aspen and Misberia within the empire persisted despite Misberian protest. The growing disdain for the treaty came to a head on 21 February 2019 when the Aspen monarch illegally merged the Kingdom of Misberia with the Aspen Empire, further isolating the people of Misberia and attempting to push Aspen culture on Misberia. Following the decision to unite Aspen and Misberia as a single state under Aspen hegemony the Kingdom of Misberia declared independence thirteen days later on 6 March 2019.

Although the union between Aspen and Misberia was short lived and ultimately led to the end of Aspen's imperial era, it laid the foundation for reconciliation between Aspen and Misberia and ultimately the alliance that stands today.

Late imperial era

The breakup of the Aspen-Misberian Empire was a major blow to Aspen; however, it was not the sole reason for its collapse in June 2019. Following the breakup of Aspen-Misberia the Aspen government became increasingly erratic. The union between Aspen and Pazistan was formally ended in April 2019 and Pazistan became a constituent part of Aspen. This union made official the takeover of the Pazistani government by the Aspen national government which had been ongoing since Pazistan first expressed its interest in joining Aspen as an autonomous region in late 2018. As Pazistan became better integrated into Aspen, so did the idea of a fully Westminster-style parliament. The concept of a Westminster-style parliament in Aspen dates back to the first constitution, however a true parliamentary monarchy had yet to be established until the O'gorman chancellery, which instituted the Parliament Acts, reorganizing the legislature and requiring the chancellor to have the confidence of the newly formed House of Commons.

In the first election after the accession of Pazistan to the Aspen Empire the new Constitutional Party, led by Suyash Adhikari, held a majority. However, the election was found to have had significant irregularities with many people having become citizens of Aspen solely to run in or vote in the election. With this information, Cai O'Gorman, then the leader of the opposition, filed a no-confidence motion in the Adhikari government. The motion subsequently passed the House of Commons with a significant majority making O'Gorman Chancellor.

During the O'Gorman chancellery, the Aspen Empire saw increased civil conflict, this included a rebellion in Aspen-held Fesmar, as well as the beginning of a civil conflict between the breakaway Aspen Republic and the still existing Aspen Empire. The rebellion in Fesmar eventually led to its full independence from Aspen, further destabilizing Aspen and increasing pressure on the O'Gorman chancellery. The civil conflict initiated by the Aspen Republic was resolved in July 2019, reuniting the breakaway republic with the empire. However, although Aspen regained its territorial integrity, the stress induced by the conflicts in Fesmar and the formation of the Republic, the dissolution of Aspen-Misberia, and the scandals that plagued the May 2019 parliamentary election, the Aspen Empire was unable to restore an active government. At the same time, there was increasing pressure from the Grand Unified Micronational for Aspen to cease from spreading false statistics and information about the micronation and its population, resulting in Aspen withdrawing its membership in July 2019.

In the wake of decreased activity and scandal within the micronational community due to the Aspen-Misberia crisis and delusional claims made by the monarch, the Aspen Empire was formally dissolved on 19 July 2019.

Aspen dark age

With the dissolution of the Aspen Empire the government reformed the remaining parts of the Empire into the Kingdom of Appalachia. Appalachia, although initially successful, continued down the path of gradual decline that the Aspen Empire did. Appalachia attracted a number of prominent micronationalists, including Bradley, the Duke of Dullahan and Thomas Bainbridge, the King of Hrafnarfjall. However, Appalachia too was short lived, after a period of mental instability the King of Appalachia abdicated and leadership was transferred to Bainbridge, who promptly placed it under the authority of the North Sea Empire.

After the occupation of Appalachia by the North Sea Empire, the government became splintered and those sympathetic to the former monarch created their own Aspen state. It wasn't until the treaty of Hrafn Myrar on 6 October 2019, in which the second Aspen Empire agreed to become a principality under the suzerainty of the North Sea Empire, that the Aspen government reconciled with that of Hrafnarfjall. However, the Principality of Aspen was also short lived, resulting in the independence of Aspen and the dissolution of the Treaty of Hrafn Myrar on 30 October 2019 after a period of discontent for the absolute monarchy of Hrafnarfjall by the democratic government of Aspen.

After the dissolution of the treaty of Hrafn Myrar there was no formal Aspen state until December 2019 when the Aspen Empire was formally re-established. The new empire was not without controversy, however, and it was abandoned in early 2020 for the formation of the Kingdom of Cordonia. Cordonia however, remained inactive despite the best efforts of the crown, and was soon abandoned in April 2020.

After the dissolution of Cordonia the Aspen Empire was again reformed for the last time on 7 April 2020. This marked for the first time in history the creation of a stable Aspen state. Due to scandals and issues with other micronations over its existence the empire was no longer active enough to maintain a central government, this coupled with Aspen's poor image led to the Great Reformation in October 2020.

The Great Reformation and cultural renaissance

In October 2020, the need for an update to Aspen's image increased greatly. This was in part due to the tarnished image the name Aspen Empire carried with it and in order to re-enter mainstream micronationalism, Aspen needed an update. Thus, on 8 October 2020 the October Reform Decree was promulgated in which Aspen became a kingdom. Many government institutions were reformed and streamlined in order to improve the functioning of Aspen. This led to a period of unprecedented stability. Although activity never reached that of the imperial era, the Kingdom of Aspen nonetheless has been able to remain afloat and organized for well over a year, thus making the Kingdom of Aspen the longest stable Aspen state in Aspen's three-year history.

The Aspen renaissance, a period deeply connected to the Great Reformation, began in summer of 2021. On 30 July 2021, the Provisional Government Decree was promulgated, this decree reorganized and renamed many Aspen institutions. This was in part due to a need to create a cohesive yet unique culture for Aspen. Relying on its historical Germanic heritage and use of the Nordic Cross on its flag, Aspen adopted a culture termed as "Espenisch" which combines many elements of German and Scandinavian culture. The adoption of this new cultural ideal led to the creation of the Espenisch language, as well as a Lutheran-Anglican leaning church being established as the state church of Aspen.

Although Aspen has never recovered its pre-dark age levels of activity, nor has it become as influential as it was during the imperial era, the long-term stability of the Kingdom of Aspen as well as its developing culture have allowed for a cultural and political renaissance. This renaissance, although interrupted by brief periods of inactivity, is largely responsible for allowing Aspen to continue to grow despite its earlier shortcomings.

Geography

Marshes in Tvåfloder National Park near Küngshafn, Much of Aspen's territory is covered by wetlands and other transitional ecosystems.
The Virginia Cardinal is one of the predominant species in Aspen, it is the symbol of the Order of the Cardinal, one of Aspen's highest orders of chivalry.

The Kingdom of Aspen is located near the Chesapeake Bay with the capital, Konigshaven, being located along Aspen's Chesapeake Bay coastline near the Hampton Roads Harbor. Aspen is located primarily in the coastal plain of Virginia known locally as the Tidewater, an area of low-lying land, marshes, and pine forests. both the capital and largest city are located on the Virginia peninsula, created by the James and York Rivers. Aspen's local territory includes many beaches, creeks, and wetlands. Aspen is not particularly biodiverse, many species in Aspen include the Gray Squirrel and Virginia Cardinal.

Climate

Aspen primarily has a humid subtropical and humid continental climate with hot, wet summers and cold, dry winters. Average summer temperatures average well into the 80s with winter temperatures averaging in the 50s. Hurricanes and other tropical systems are common in Aspen, occurring with regular frequency between May and September, although most years only result in one direct landfall if any. The most severe climate risk to Aspen is flooding, which is common in low-lying areas near creeks and waterways. Climate change is of particular importance to Aspen due to its proximity to the coast. With water surrounding Aspen's primary territory, sea-level rise, accompanied by erosion and the destruction of wetlands has increased flood risk in the immediate area.

Climate data for Kingdom of Aspen
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 49
(9.4)
52.4
(11.33)
58.6
(14.78)
68.6
(20.33)
76.3
(24.61)
83.5
(28.61)
86.5
(30.28)
85.2
(29.56)
79.4
(26.33)
70.7
(21.5)
60.7
(15.94)
53.4
(11.89)
86.5
(30.28)
Daily mean °F (°C) 40.4
(4.67)
42.8
(6)
48.8
(9.33)
58.8
(14.89)
67.3
(19.61)
75.3
(24.06)
78.8
(26)
77.7
(25.39)
72.6
(22.56)
62.9
(17.17)
52.4
(11.33)
45.1
(7.28)
60.2
(15.67)
Average low °F (°C) 34.1
(1.17)
35.7
(2.06)
41.4
(5.22)
51.1
(10.61)
60
(15.6)
68.4
(20.22)
72.3
(22.39)
71.7
(22.06)
67.1
(19.5)
56.8
(13.78)
46.1
(7.83)
38.9
(3.83)
34.1
(1.17)
Average Precipitation inches (mm) 3.5
(89)
3
(76)
3.9
(99)
3.3
(84)
3.9
(99)
4.1
(104)
5.4
(137)
4.8
(122)
4.6
(117)
3.8
(97)
3.3
(84)
3.5
(89)
46.9
(1,191)
Source: NOAA

Politics

Aspen is a parliamentary constitutional monarchy. Legislative power is vested in the Riksdag (Diet of the Realm). The Riksdag is elected in free, secret, and democratic elections through a method of proportional representation. The Constitutional framework of the Kingdom of Aspen is laid out in the Instrument of Government, a document that sets out the foundation of human rights, separation of powers, democracy, and rule of law. Amendments to the Instrument of Government can only be enacted by a constitutional act, which must secure a two-thirds majority of the Riksdag in order to become law.

The monarch of the Kingdom of Aspen, currently Jakob II Christian, is head of state and is vested primarily with ceremonial and representative duties. However, the monarch is not powerless, they perform an important role in the selection of a Prime Minister and the formation of a government. The next highest office in the order of precedence is the Speaker of the Riksdag, who is elected from among its members and serves as a neutral mediator of that house. Lastly, the Prime Minister, currently Adam Johnson, is the head of government and together with the cabinet forms the Government of the Kingdom of Aspen.

Law and justice

Aspen has a mixed system incorporating elements of both civil law and common law. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial authority in the Kingdom of Aspen, it is responsible for not only constitutional matters, with the power of judicial review, but also civil and criminal cases as the court of highest instance. Administrative law is conducted by the Supreme Administrative Court which has exclusive jurisdiction over cases related to the civil service and government administration.

Criminal and civil laws are codified on the federal level in the Federal Penal Code and Civil Code respectively. The Aspen justice system seeks the rehabilitation of criminals and the protection of the public. Except for petty crimes and misdemeanors, which are tried before a single professional judge, all charges are tried before mixed tribunals including both professional and lay judges. The Aspen judicial system includes three distinct forms of the verdict" "guilty", "not guilty", and "not proven". "not guilty" and "not proven" result in an acquittal, however, a "not proven" verdict is different in that it means that there was not enough evidence to convict someone as either "guilty" or "not guilty".

The National Police service of the Kingdom of Aspen is responsible for the administration of justice throughout the entirety of Aspen and reports to the Home Ministry. Special services including the National Prisons Service and the National Border Police service are special services that report to the Chancellor of Justice and the Home Ministry respectively.

Prolitical Divisions

The Kingdom of Aspen is a federation and is composed of six provinces (Espenische: Provins). Each province has its own constitution and laws and they are generally autonomous in their internal affairs. In addition to provinces, there are federal cities which are effectively city-states and have all the functions of a province. Provinces are each divided into cities and counties each with equivalent powers. Aspen is unique as its provinces use a similar system of defining cities (kommunen) and counties (Fylken) as the state of Virginia where counties and cities operate differently constitutionally.

Economy

Aspen's economy is heavily based on agriculture and food production with primary goods sold in Aspen being Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Eggplants, Peppers, Squash, Zucchini, and Pumpkins, as well as bread and cookies. The economy is also heavily service and education-oriented. The National Bank of Aspen, the Bank of Aspen, is the highest economic and financial regulatory agency and is the sole issuer of currency in the Kingdom of Aspen.

Culture

Aspen culture is unique in that it has been influenced by several other cultures including British, French, German, and Scandinavian cultures. Initially, Aspen developed a culture primarily based on that of Imperial Germany, however, this culture served as more of a political culture than a practical or universally adopted one. The culture of the Old Empire continued until the Parliament Act which introduced a notably British cultural scheme. Aspen flipped between a more Germanic culture and a more British culture until late 2021 when the King introduced specific cultural measures that established a single, unified cultural model for Aspen.

The cultural decision reached in August 2021 created a uniquely post-Christianization Scandinavian culture based heavily on the culture of Sweden and Norway, this included the creation of a constructed language: Espenisch, as well as renaming many government institutions in the new language, with Prime Minister becoming Staatsminister, the National Assembly becoming the Riksdag, etc. In addition to the new language, Aspen adopted Christianity as its national religion and its state church as the Church of Aspen with the King as its head. These cultural reforms also introduced new endeavors in education and art with the creation of Konigshaven University.

Cuisine

Aspen cuisine is a unique hybrid of cuisine found in the southeastern United States and Scandinavian cuisine with the national dish of Aspen being Kottbullar, or meatballs, traditionally served with Cranberry or Lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes. Although the official dish is meatballs, fish, specifically fried cod, is also a very popular dish inspired by traditional British fish and chips. The fishing industry around Aspen has created a distinctly maritime cuisine with crab-based dishes and fried oysters common in nearby restaurants. Cinnamon rolls are very popular in Aspen, especially around Christmas. Traditionally cardamom buns and gingerbread are eaten on St. Lucia's Day, a public holiday in Aspen.

National Symbols

The Kingdom of Aspen has several national symbols, these include the national flag and coat of arms. The first Aspen Flag was created on November 30, 2018, and used a maroon and gold vertical bicolor with a black eagle in the center, since this flag, all other flags have been bicolor flags with the notable exception of the tricolor which was used between 7 June 2020 and 10 October 2020. The current Aspen flag is a maroon and gold bicolor with a white cross. The cross as a symbol of Aspen became prominent after the second redesign introduced a white and black cross with a shield emblazoned with an eagle in the center of the cross.

The Royal Banner of the Kingdom of Aspen, emblazoned with the mythical Guldörn, the primary symbol of Aspen.

The Coat of Arms is also prominently displayed, the Coat of arms appears on several government documents and is composed of a gules shield emblazoned with a lion rampant and pearl. The colors red, white, and gold are very prominent in Aspen symbols as the colors of the Royal House of Aspen, the red symbolizes bravery, valor, and liberty, gold symbolizes courage and justice, while white symbolizes purity and equality.

Other national symbols include the Aspen eagle which appears on several government logos, the eagle was Aspen’s first national symbol, and is still used as a symbol of the Aspen monarchy and government.

See also

External links