Duchy of Marienbourg

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Duchy of Marienbourg
Ducado de Marienburgo (Portuguese)
Motto: "Velle est Posse"
"To be willing is to be able"
Anthem: "The Rose Pathway"
Location of Marienbourg in green.
Location of Marienbourg in green.
Capital
and largest city
Blauberga
Official languagesPortuguese
Recognized work languages
Ethnic groups
(2023)[a]
Religion
(2023)[b]
Demonym(s)Marienbourger • Marienbourgish
GovernmentConfederate elective constitutional monarchy with elements of a direct democracy
• Duke
Arthur V
Gustave Lynch
LegislatureDucal Diet
Independence 
from Brazil
26 December 2022
• Declared
9 January 2023
10 January 2023
1 February 2023
22 May 2023
Area
• Total
1.49 km2 (0.58 sq mi)
• Water (%)
0%
Population
• 2023 estimate
12 (inhabitants)
• Census
52 (citizens)
GDP (PPP)2023 estimate
• Total
ȶ2.321 million
• Per capita
ȶ44,634
GDP (nominal)2023 estimate
• Total
ȶ578.000
• Per capita
ȶ11,115
Gini (2023)Negative increase 30.6
medium · 135th
HDI (2023) 0.877[d]
very high · 34th
CurrencyThaler (ȶ)a (MAT)
Time zoneUTC−3 (BRT)
• Summer (DST)
UTC−2 (BRST)
Date formatdd/mm/yyyy
Driving sideright
Calling code+55
MicrocodeMB
Internet TLD.mb
  1. The Marienbourgish Thaler is the country's official currency, nonetheless the Brazilian Real remains the day-to-day currency.
  2. Official website

Marienbourg, officialy Duchy of Marienbourg (Portuguese: Ducado de Marienburgo; Portuguese pronunciation: /mɑ:ri:əɲbʊəɕɒ/), is a small self-declared microstate, commonly known as a micronation, landlocked in South America. The country is entirely surrounded by Brazil in enclaves within the state of Minas Gerais. Its capital and most populous city is Blauberga. With an area of 1.49 km² (0.57 sq mi) and a total population of 41 citizens, of which 12 are residents, Marienbourg is divided into two municipalities: its capital and the rural area of Orangenbäume. Its official language is Portuguese; French and English are formally recognized as work languages, spoken and understood by many citizens. Marienbourg's culture, population and languages are highly derived from Minas culture with elements artificially introduced from Germanic cultures. The duchy is governed as a constitutional monarchy in which the Duke wields immense political power over the national territory which is a confederation of private holdings whose sovereignty was granted to the Marienbourgish state as long as the private owners remains citizens of the country.

The territories comprising Marienburg were inhabited by indigenous tribes for millennia, who settled in the region close to the volcanic calderas that were found there. After the arrival in 1500 of the explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral on the Atlantic coast of South America, which he claimed as part of the Portuguese Empire becoming the State of Brazil, the surroundings of Marienbourg were colonized by Europeans for gold and agricultural production, creating the parish of Poços de Caldas. With the independence of Brazil in 1822 and the expansion of agricultural activity, fifty years later, in 1872 Poços de Caldas became a municipality where members of the Carvalho family settled promptly. In late 2022 and early 2023 Edson and Antônio Carvalho, great-uncles of Arthur van der Bruyn, who is a member of the Carvalho family by his mother's side, granted him sovereignty over their estates in the municipality, and he proclaimed the independence of these estates by founding the Duchy of Marienbourg that he, who is King of Ebenthal, rules as Duke in personal union. The country adopted its constitution a month after its independence which was recognized by other Brazilian-originated micronations, making it the only sovereign duchy in South America.

According to some international standarts, Marienbourg can be considered developed country with a micronational advanced economy. The country adopts the Maria Theresa Thaler as bullion coin,[e] owning a reserve of 20 thalers inherited by the Carvalho family, and uses the Brazilian Real as common currency in day-to-day business, while the Marienbourgish Thaler is the official currency. The country's economy is largely based in the export of agricultural goods, specially oranges, as well as in tourism, services and retail. Marienbourg is a member of the Micronational Trade Organization and the international forum G5, and is usually considered a potential member of the Conference of Santiago. The country is part of the Brazilian sector in which it is usually considered a small power, but is sometimes described as a middle or soft power due to the personal influence of the Duke of Marienbourg with the heads of state of the sector. Additionally, Marienbourg shares the person of the monarch in personal union with Ebenthal. Citizenship can be acquired by online application or by living in the nation for at least a year, pending registration.

Etimology

The official name of the country is regulated and defined in Article 1 of its constitution:

Art. 1. The Duchy of Marienbourg is the political association of its citizens and their sovereign soil granted of their own free will to the grace of the Duke. They form a free and independent nation as long as there are citizens and which admits of no bond that opposes its sovereignty.

The name "Marienbourg" is a portmanteau of the first name "Maria", Germanized as Marien, followed by German toponymy burg, from the old Gothic burhuc, meaning keep, a type of fortified tower. The same toponym is used in English and French as bourg, and in Portuguese as burgo. The name of the country therefore means "Fortress of Maria" and pays homage to Princess Maria, Grand Marchioness of Blauerhimmel, late grandmother of Duke Arthur and sister of Edson and Antônio Carvalho, owners of the duchy's lands.

History

Pre-Cabraline era

Native children playing in the footprints of an Eremotherium, a giant sloth species predated by humans in the Americas.
A ethnic family preparing for a feast.

Some of the earliest human remains found in the Americas, Luzia Woman, were found in the area of Pedro Leopoldo, Minas Gerais, next to present-day Marienbourg, and provide evidence of human habitation going back at least 11,000 years.[2][3] The pottery found provides evidence that the region supported realtively complex prehistoric cultures organized in social formations such as chiefdoms.

Around the time of the Portuguese arrival, the territory of current day Brazil, on which Marienbourg lies enclaved and of whom derives a large part of its culture, had an estimated indigenous population of 7 million people,[4] mostly semi-nomadic, who subsisted on hunting, fishing, gathering, and migrant agriculture. The indigenous population of Brazil comprised several large indigenous ethnic groups (e.g., the Tupis, Guaranís, Gês, and Arawaks). Among these groups, a Gê ethnic group known as Aimoré settled in the region of the current Brazilian municipality of Poços de Caldas at least 5 thousand years ago due to its hot springs , originated from the rare volcanic calderas active in the interior of the South American continent. The local Aimorés believed that the thermal waters had healing properties and developed a subculture around it. The abundance of resources and access to hot springs made the Aimorés sedentary in that region, which allowed them to prosper far from the harassment of Tupis, who mostly inhabited the Atlantic coast of the continent and who constantly faced the coastal Aimorés.

Before the arrival of the Europeans, the boundaries between the different native ehtnic groups and their subgroups were marked by wars that arose from differences in culture, language and moral beliefs.[5] These wars also involved large-scale military actions on land and water, with cannibalistic rituals on prisoners of war which sometimes involved the Aimorés, whether intentionally or not, in alliances with other tribes or in the defense of their territory.[6] While heredity had some weight, leadership was a status more won over time than assigned in succession ceremonies and conventions.[5] Slavery among the indigenous groups had a different meaning than it had for Europeans, since it originated from a diverse socioeconomic organization, in which asymmetries were translated into kinship relations.

Portuguese colonization

Bandeirantes on the way to the gold mines in Minas Gerais, early 1700s.
At the decline of the Brazilian gold rush, many miners settled down south and established cattle farms.

Following the 1494 Treaty of Tordesillas, the land now called Marienbourg was claimed for the Portuguese Empire on 22 April 1500, with the arrival of the Portuguese fleet commanded by Pedro Álvares Cabral at the South American far eastern coast.[7] Initially, the lands of Marienbourg were integrated into the Captaincy of São Vicente, a Portuguese colony established in 1534 which, merged with the other captaincies in 1549, became part of the State of Brazil. However, it wasn't until c. 1650 that the Portuguese penetrated far enough inland through the expeditions of the so-called Bandeirantes that they found the region of present-day Marienbourg, inhabited by tribes of the Gê ethnic group that the Portuguese called tapuia, a word that means adversary used by the natives of the Tupi ethnic group who inhabited the Atlantic coast of the Portuguese colony to refer to the indigenous people of different ethnicities.

In the first two centuries of colonization, Indigenous and European groups lived in constant war, establishing opportunistic alliances in order to gain advantages against each other.[8][9][10] The local natives and the Portuguese Bandeirantes forged a loose alliance, with some natives joining the Bandeirantes and going on missions to capture slaves from other tribes. On the other hand, initially the natives lived in relative peace with the Portuguese. With the discovery of gold in that region and the beginning of the Brazilian gold rush, the Bandeirantes enslaved the natives to work in the mines of what became the Captaincy of São Paulo and Minas de Ouro. The discovery of gold became the new backbone of the colony's economy and attracted thousands of new settlers to Brazil from Portugal and all Portuguese colonies around the world.[11] This increased level of immigration in turn caused some conflicts between newcomers and old settlers.[12]

In 1750, with the prohibition of the enslavement of natives by Sebastião José de Carvalho e Melo, 1st Marquis of Pombal, a large number of African slaves were brought to work at the mines and the natives natives were expelled, displaced even further inland. By the end of the 18th century the lands began to be occupied by former gold miners, disillusioned with the decline of gold activity in the region of the mines. They began to dedicate themselves mainly to cattle raising, travelling long distances in search of pasture for the animals.

Brazilian rule

The parish of Poços de Caldas in 1870, five years prior to it becoming a municipality.
The Thermas Antônio Carlos was the first thermal bath house in Poços de Caldas, innaugurated in 1886, which attracted several settlers.

In late 1807, Napoleonic forces threatened the security of continental Portugal, causing Prince Regent João, in the name of Queen Maria I, to move the royal court from Lisbon to Rio de Janeiro. With the end of the Peninsular War in 1814, the courts of Europe demanded that Queen Maria I and Prince Regent João return to Portugal, deeming it unfit for the head of an ancient European monarchy to reside in a colony. In 1815, to justify continuing to live in Brazil, where the royal court had thrived for six years, the Crown established the United Kingdom of Portugal, Brazil and the Algarves, thus creating a pluricontinental transatlantic monarchic state.[13] In 1818, King John VI granted the fidalgo and military Captain José Bernardes Junqueira the allotment of Paragem of Ribeirão Pinhal, from the parish of Nosso Senhor do Patrocínio do Rio Verde das Caldas, term for the “noble and loyal” village of Campanha da Princesa, district of Rio das Mortes.

Tensions between Portuguese and Brazilians increased and the Portuguese Cortes, guided by the new political regime imposed by the Liberal Revolution, tried to re-establish Brazil as a colony.[14] The Brazilians refused to yield, and Prince Pedro decided to stand with them, declaring the country's independence from Portugal on 7 September 1822.[15] A month later, Prince Pedro was declared the first Emperor of Brazil, with the royal title of Dom Pedro I, resulting in the founding of the Empire of Brazil.[16] Fifty years later, in 1872, the senator Joaquim Floriano de Godoy declared the land next to the sulphurous water wells of public utility and determined the expropriation of the area that belonged to Pedro Junqueira, nephew and heir to José Bernardes, who on 6 November of that year donated 96 hectares of his property to found the parish of Nossa Senhora da Saúde das Águas de Caldas, which in 1875 was elevated to the rank of municipality.

In 1886 Poços de Caldas inaugurated its first thermal bath, and the prosperity of the city attracted people from all over the country, among them Ana de Carvalho, matriarch of the Carvalho family of Céu Azul, Belo Horizonte, who left Sete Lagoas to live and work in the city, where she met her husband, eventually leaving with him for the new capital of Minas Gerais, the city of Belo Horizonte. The impression that Poços de Caldas would leave on the family, however, was enough for Ana's grandchildren, Edson and Antônio Carvalho, to acquire properties in the region, where the family had a farm, in search of better opportunities. The brothers founded an orange farm, taking advantage of the acidic soil rich in minerals, and settled permanently in the city.

Formation

Official portrait of Arthur V, Duke of Marienbourg.

In 26 December 2022 the King Arthur II of Ebenthal approached his great uncles Edson and Antônio Carvalho to explain to them about the micronational political practice and was able to convince them to sign a document in which the monarch appears not as King of Ebenthal, but ex officio as a private citizen, in which the brothers Edson and Antônio pledged to grant the person of Arthur van der Bruyn sovereignty over their properties in the Minas Gerais municipality of Poços de Caldas for as long as they stay subjects of Arthur in the micronation that he would found from those lands, or to which he would annex them. This provided that Arthur hold and keep his position as monarch over those lands. In possession of the sovereignty of those lands, on 9 January 2023 Arthur formally proclaimed his independence from the municipality of Poços de Caldas and Brazil and founded the Duchy of Marienbourg, proclaiming himself sovereign Duke.

Immediately after the proclamation of independence, Marienbourg was recognized by Ebenthal, a country with which it has a personal union in the person of the monarch, and soon after by other micronations of the Brazilian sector such as Karnia-Ruthenia and Quinta Velha. A constituent assembly was assembled by the members of the Ducal Diet, which was established as a national unicameral parliament. The initial structuring period was relatively peaceful, compared to the formation of other micronations and based on Duke Arthur's experience. Some Ebenthali, Neo-Rhenish, Karno-Ruthenian, Quintavelhense, Raphanian, Mauritiaanse, Nossian and Lifreian politicians, citizens and leading figures accepted the Duke's invitation to take an active part in the government of Marienbourg, which enabled the country to enact a plural constitution. Following it, the country started its campaign for international recognition outside the Brazilian sector.

In early February 2023 the government passed legislation to create and adopt a new domestic currency backed by the national reserve of silver Maria Theresa Thalers, which culminated in the establishment of the Marienbourgish Thaler on May 1st. In the same period, national politics turned again to the country's structure of government, with Popular Party parliamentarians seeking to install a parliamentary administrative model, removing much of executive authority from the hands of the Duke and transferring greater accountability to parliament, as well as the adoption of mechanisms of direct democracy à la Liechtenstein. The agenda became known as "Liechtenstainization of Marienbourg". Marienbourg's democratic commitment attracted the praise and attention of other micronations, earning the country the expansion of its diplomatic relations. On 23 June the government declined the annexation invitation offered by the Vladastock Confederation.

Geography

View of Poços de Caldas, where Marienbourg is enclaved.
Orange farm in the municipality of Pomerade

Marienbourg is located in the South American Central Highlands region, at 1186 meters (3937 ft) elevation and is entirely surrounded by the Brazilian municipality of Poços de Caldas, in the south of the state Minas Gerais, bordering the state of São Paulo. With a total area of 1.49 km² (0.57 sq mi), the topography of Marienbourg is made up for the most part of a high plateau formed by mountains, fields and valleys with a vast rural area formed by agricultural fields and forests and a small urban area in the form of residential enclaves. The topography is highly suggestive of a volcanic crater and, given that the region's rocks are indeed igneous and there are hot springs, this gave rise to a common misconception that Marienbourg would be located inside the crater of a large extinct volcano. In reality, the duchy is inside a caldera that was formed by the collapse of a central portion of terrain amid elevated areas, and while the latter have volcanic origin, the process that formed the supposed "crater" had nothing to do with volcanic activity.[17]

Marienbourg's size, relief and climate makes it geographically relatively simple. Its flora is varied due to the geolocation of the duchy where the Atlantic rainforest meets the Cerrado, a tropical savanna endemic to central South America. Due to its fertile soil due to its volcanic origin and the history of the foundation of the duchy, c. 80% of the territory of Marienbourg is made up of farmlands The country spans only one time zone, the UTC−3, and the summer time zone UTC−2.

Environment

Maned wolves are regularly seen roaming the Marienbourg countryside.
The southernmost region of the highlands, where Marienbourg is located, has one of the highest incidences of lightning on the continent.

The territory of Marienbourg encompasses the ecosystems of the Atlantic forest and the tropical savannas known as cerrado. The duchy is home to a natural reserve of Argentine cedar, a tree considered vulnerable to extinction. The wildlife is percentage and relatively large for such a small country due to the great biodiversity of the ecosystem and the rural properties, so close to nature, that dot the country's landscape. The most common animal species in Marienbourg is bovine cattle, raised in the local farmlands. Marienburg is inhabited by some native species such as manned wolves and hoary foxes, which prey on local poultry farms. There are other animal whcih are not confirmed to inhabit the national territory, but which have been sighted in the vicinity such as pumas, jaguars, anteaters, deers, armadillos and some monkey species.

Marienbourg has extremely strict and punitive environmental legislation, with crimes against nature such as deforestation and wildlife trafficking being punishable by death penalty. The ducal government actively combats pollution and poor agricultural practices, seeking to reduce GHG emission and using clean energy such as solar, responsible for all electrical production in the municipality of Blauberga. All of the duchy's agricultural production is organic, free of chemicals and genetic engineering, as well as all of its livestock is raised on pasture.

Climate

Due to its location at 1200 meters (3937 ft) inland elevation, Marienbourg has a humid subtropical climate characterized by dry winters and mild summers. The winter lasts from April to September with an average temperature of 15 °C (59 F) and that rarely drops below 6 °C (42,8 F). During the middle of winter it is common to have frosts. Summer, which goes from October to March, has an average temperature of 21 °C (69,8 F) that rarely exceeds 29 °C (84,2 F) and is marked by a lot of rain (1,745 mm). The maximum temperature recorded in the duchy was 31.7 °C (89 F), while the minimum was -6 °C (21,2 F), a situation in which there was a blizzard. The occurrence of lightning is also very common in the region due to its geolocation which experiences shocks between dry winds coming from the continent and cold fronts advancing from Antarctica, especially during autumn and winter, causing frequent weather changes.

Government and politics

The Château de Chêne, seat of the Marienbourgish government.

Marienbourg is a confederate elective constitutional monarchy. The monarch is a sovereign Duke who is both head of state and head of government and his position is semi-elective; he can appoint his successor from among the members of the ruling dynasty. The Duke governs through the ministerial cabinet, whose members he appoints and over which he presides in council. The Constitution of Marienbourg also grants him the powers to veto and propose new legislation, call elections and referendums, dissolve parliament, issue decrees and confer judicial pardon. In February 2023, the position of Minister-President was created to act alongside the council of ministers on behalf of the Duke, who retains ultimate authority. The person of the Duke is inviolable and not subject to any responsability. If the country finds itself without a reigning Duke, it is up to the Ducal Diet to establish a regency and appoint a successor to the throne. Furthermore, Marienbourg adopts features of direct democracy, in which citizens can propose and enact constitutional amendments and legislation independently of the legislature through organized initiatives.

Legislative power is vested in the Ducal Diet, a unicameral legislature of ten members members, eight of which are directly elected for a six-month term from the country's two constituencies through a majority electoral system, and two are directly appointed by the monarch to serve 1-year terms.[18] Despite being appointed by the reigning Duke, the members of the government are collectively and individually responsible to parliament; parliament may ask the Duke to remove an individual minister or the entire government. National politics is divided into two political parties: the Popular Party and the Democratic Union.

Judicial authority is exercised by the Supreme Ducal Court which serves primarily as the supreme and constitutional court of the nation. The court is organized in the form of a triumvirate of judges appointed by the Duke with the same prerogatives. Court decisions set out interpretive guidelines; however, they are seldom binding on other specific cases. The court can overrule laws passed by parliament if it considers that they violate the constitution or the criminal code. Marienbourgish law is based on Roman-Germanic traditions and civil law concepts prevail over common law practice.

Military

Without its own fire brigade, Marienbourg relies on the Minas Gerais Military Firefighters Corps.

Marienbourg has a small ground military force called the Ducal Army, performing primarily ceremonial functions. Nominally, however, the Ducal Army is responsible for protecting the country's sovereignty and its borders. The army is formed by, in addition to its regular corps, a bodyguard unit called Duke's Knights Company, active mainly in ceremonies and responsible for the protection of the Ducal Family and civil authorities, a unit specialized in warfare information, the Ducal Corps of Cybernetic Combat and an air unit, the Ducal Corps of Army Aeronauts. Being landlocked, Marienbourg has no navy. The country's two municipalities are each free to set their own internal security system, as long as they can pay for it without the resources of the Central Governemnt. Notwithstanding, the wider defense of the nation is provided by Brazil, which does not recognize Marienbourgish sovereignty.

Marienbourg was never involved in any war or bellicose conflict and its activities are limited to participation in humanitarian campaigns and ceremonies. It is common for the country to recruit into its ranks foreigners, granting them honorary military ranks. Marienbourg has a no enforced conscription policy. The army reports to its general staff, which in turn reports to the Ministry of Home Affairs, maintaining civilian control of the military. The ministry answers to parliament and, in a few specific matters of defence, also to the Duke, who is commander-in-chief of the armed forces.

Administrative divisions

According to the Marienbourgish constitution, the territory of Marienbourg is not indissoluble; rather, it is made up of private property over which the state holds sovereignty exclusively as long as its owners remain citizens under the state, so that they can withdraw along with their property at will. The State is a confederation formed by two municipalities, each administered through a devolved assembly-independent executive-led government by a Prefect directly elected for 1-year terms. Municipalities, in turn, are subdivided into burgs that make up non-administrative civil districts, both urban and rural. According to the constitution, the duchy is subdivided into two municipalities:

Arms Municipality Code Category No. of burgs Pop. Area (m2) Official language(s) Government Leader
Municipalities
Blauberga BL Urban 3 6 0.57 Portuguese Assembly-independent executive-led devolved administration Prefect
Edson Carvalho
Pomerade PO Rural 4 6 0.93 Portuguese Assembly-independent executive-led devolved administration Prefect
Antônio Carvalho

Foreign relations

Territories in which there are micronations with which Marienbourg maintains diplomatic relations.

In the absence of political or military power, Marienbourg seeks to preserve its sovereignity through membership in legal communities and association with reputable micronations. International cooperation and multi-sector integration are therefore constants of Marienbourg's foreign policy, aimed at continuing to safeguard the country's sovereignty as recognized under international law. Marienbourg further establishes non-intervention, self-determination and peaceful settlement of conflicts as the guiding principles of its relationship with other nations and multilateral organizations. According to the Constitution, the Duke has ultimate authority over foreign policy and is tasked with reviewing and considering all diplomatic nominations and international treaties, as well as legislation relating to Marienbourgish foreign policy.

Marienbourg's international policy is a by-product of its position as a minor micronational state in the Brazilian sector, yet it benefits from its personal union with the Kingdom of Ebenthal. Marienbourgish foreign policy has generally been based on the principles of multilateralism, peaceful dispute settlement, and non-intervention in the affairs of other countries, wether they be internationally recognized countries or labeled as micronations. Nonetheless, Marienbourg pursues a strict policy and resolution strongly opposing simulationism and ficticional claims through its adherence to the Treaty of Persenburg. Marienbourg is considered a major ally of the Conference of Santiago, which it is barred from membership due to sharing the head of state with a member state. The country aims, however, to join the Micronational Trade Organization.

Economy

A stack of 10 Maria Theresa Thalers. The currency serves as bullion coin and backs the national currency, the Marienbourgish Thaler.
The Hotel d'Oeste in Blauberga, the only hotel in Marienbourg, owned by the Carvalho brothers.

Marienbourg has a micronationally emerging economy, with its official currency, the Marienbourgish Thaler,[19] having little use in national financial dealings. In return, the country receives a regular and steady inflow of private investment into its public sector and the state is de facto supported by private investment for administrative purposes. The Marienbourgish Thaler, which is the domestic currency and legal tender, has its value backed by the national reserve of Maria Theresa Thalers which is used as bullion coins. Despite its low national circulation, the Marienbourgish Thaler has real commercial value in international transactions due to its backing in silver coins at the value of its grammage in the precious metals market. In addition, the Brazilian Real is used in day-to-day commercial relations between the Marienbourgish and in external commercial relations, functioning de facto as a complementary currency.

The Ducal Bank, acting as the country's central bank, is responsible for setting the monetary policy together with the Ministry of the Treasury in an economic board. The bank also has the monopoly on the issuance of banknotes,[19] minting and storing the national treasure, including financial reserves. It is subject to the Ministry of the Treasure, which defines the economic policy and manages the macroeconomic aspects of the country. The Marienbourgish government classify the economic model of the country as laissez-faire for relying heavily on private investment and for being virtually free from any form of economic interventionism.

Marienbourg has a mixed economy and a developing internal market. Private investments are the main source of income for the State. These investments come mainly from the Marienbourgish transnational agricultural industry, whose main export products are oranges, chicken meat and milk. Another sector that substantially subsidizes the Marienbourgish economy through private industry is the tourism, followed by the service sector.

Tourism

Tourism in Marienbourg is a growing sector and key to the economy of the country, being the second largest national industry after agribusiness. Natural areas are its most popular tourism product, a combination of ecotourism with leisure and recreation. Among the most popular destinations are the cedar forest, the orange orchards and thermal pools and falls in Pomerade. Another attraction are the tours rarely offered by the other environments of Fazenda Carvalho, the central and administrative burg of the city. The duchy also benefits from its geographical position enclaved in the Brazilian municipality of Poços de Caldas, so that tourism in that city attracts visitors who not only inherently end up frequenting the Marienbourgish tourist destinations, but also stay in the only hotel in the country, in Blauberga.

Cultural tourism has also grown, mainly due to the growth in gastronomic tourism in the neighboring country, Brazil. Many tourists are attracted to Marienbourg for its mineira cuisine. Another attractive aspect of cultural tourism is the regional festivities and the capiria culture and lifestyle, which are being more valued.

Infrastructure

Sciences and energy

Marienbourg is the country with the highest per capita production of solar energy in the Americas.[citation needed]

Scientific research and technological development in Marienbourg is mainly carried out by private citizens in conjunction with foreign associations and institutions, but also by the State in some areas under the care sometimes of one or more ministries in partnership with other public or private institutions, depending on the situation. area of scientific activity. The most researched scientific area is agronomy. Every year, the Marienbourgish business community commissions agronomic research, especially on soil enrichment and the climate effect on crops. The Duke's College of Agronomy is a superior education institution based in Pomerade that conducts research and field classes in partnership with the administration of the Poços de Caldas campus of the Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais. Some of the work carried out jointly by the two institutions include the study of the influence of the region's volcanic past on the local soil and the differentiation of traces of volcanic soil in other regions of Portuguese-speaking America based on data collected in Marienbourg.

The Marienbourgish Aerospace Research Institute and Agency (MARIA, or M.A.R.I.A) is responsible for the Marienbourgish space program, which consists of the study of space and everything related to aerospace. In 2023 the Marienbourgish and the Ebenthali governments reached an agreement allowing MARIA agents to have access to all the technology and resources of the Ebenthali Space Research Institute, with which MARIA works in close partnership. However, Marienbourg's space program is still very incipient.

Marienbourg prides itself on possibly being the micronation (and nation) on the American continent with the highest per capita generation of solar electric energy, with 100% of the energy in the municipality of Pomerade being produced by 48 solar panels producing 45 watts each. It is estimated that around 80% of the energy consumed in the country comes from domestic solar energy, and the remaining electricity is imported from Brazil and produced through hydroelectric power plants, so that all energy consumption in Marienbourg is clean, coming from renewable sources. Although the Marienbourgish government does not have regulations on energy production and consumption, nor a regulatory agency or a responsible state company, the Ministry of Home Affairs assumes responsibility for managing national energy affairs.

Transport

Poços de Caldas Viação Cometa ticket office, the main bus company operating between Marienbourg and Brazil.

Marienbourgish roads are the only carriers of freight and passenger traffic since the small duchy does not have railways, airports, helipads or navigable rivers. All roads in the country are located in Pomerade and connect the municipality to the surrounding neighboring country, all of which are dirt roads. The roads that connect Pomerade to Poços de Caldas are flanked by wooden fences and gates, signaling the border between Marienbourg and Brazil. The country has about 1.5 km (3,6 mi) of roads. Due to road conditions and the commercial needs of the country, its automotive fleet has developed mainly in the form of pickup trucks with rear-wheel drive, that dominate the national market with 75% of the fleet. There is no annual registration fee or road tax; however, all Marienbourgish roads are privatized.

Due to typical micronational limitations involving financial and geographic resources, Marienbourg does not have, therefore, a complex road system or any system of public transportation. The duchy is, however, served by the public transport system of the neighbouring foreign municipality of Poços de Caldas. Poços de Caldas's bus lines are the main means of public transportation between the enclaves that make up Marienbourg, feeding the duchy's outskirts and connecting it to several neighbouring municipalities in Brazil such as Caldas, Águas de Prata, and even to the Brazilian state of São Paulo.

Education

The Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, the most frequented college by the Marienbourgish.

According to the constitution of the duchy education is a universal basic human right and must be provided to citizens and foreigners on national soil alike, without distinction. National educational policy is officially in charge of the Ministry of Social Affairs, which is also responsible for managing the administration of Duke's College of Agronomy, the only educational institution, of level superior, in the country. In addition, the national government leaves the educational initiative to the autonomy of each of the municipalities, in accordance with the Law of Guidelines and Bases of National Education.

Due to the multiple limitations typical of a micronational state, Marienbourg is not able to fund a public education system. The government therefore encourages its citizens, all holders of dual citizenship, to seek out the educational systems of other countries in which they hold citizenship, in order to have a complete education. According to the Ministry of Home Affairs, the university most attended by the Marienbourgish is Pontifical Catholic University of Minas Gerais, both on the campus of Poços de Caldas and on the campus of Belo Horizonte. The Ministry also estimates that all citizens between the ages of 5 and 17 are enrolled in public or private schools.

The literacy rate of the population is 100%, with illiteracy completely eradicated.

Health

The Santa Casa da Misericórdia of Poços de Caldas, one of the most frequented hospitals by the people of Marienbourg.

The constitution of the duchy establishes free access to health and medical treatment as a basic and universal human right, to be offered to citizens and visitors alike. The micronation, however, is incapable of providing a proper public health system and, as in the case of education, it advises its citizens, all holders of dual citizenship, to seek out and take advantage of health systems of the countries in which they have citizenship. However, the Marienbourgish government manages the Medical Treatment Support Service, an institution whose objective is to collect funds to help with the most varied medical treatments of the citizens of Marienbourg. Furthermore, the country adopts a universal private health insurance system policy, whereby the government obliges people to have access to healthcare via private insurance. In view of this, private healthcare play a major role among Marienbourgish, with the entire resident population being beneficiaries and often seeking treatment in private health, using public health only in emergency cases.

The Marienbourg government actively combats the use homeopathy, belief in its results is widespread among the resident population, but the practice remains legal and non-prohibited, and some officials connected with the Ministry of Social Affairs encourage it. homeopathic treatment in cases of simple and low-risk diseases due to its placebo effect, but condemn the widespread use of homeopathic treatment and always recommend that any type of treatment should be carried out under medical supervision. Additionally, the government recommends the use of traditional medicine in the treatment of mild symptoms, for example through teas and herbs, as a complement to professional medicine.

The main cause of death in Marienbourg is due to heart diseases, reportedly due, in part, to the high rate of consumption of carbohydrates and sugars by the resident population, in addition to sedentary lifestyle. In many cases, heart disease is accompanied by respiratory diseases, which are the second leading cause of death in the country. A considerable part of the resident population suffers from innate diseases related to the respiratory tract, such as asthma, Rhinitis and sinusitis. Other diseases such as cancer, intestinal and bone diseases, affect the quality of life of the population, but so far have not had an impact on the national mortality rate. Marienbourg's life expectancy is 80 years.

Demographics

Citizens
YearPop.±%
2022 13—    
2023 41+215.4%
2024 52+26.8%
Information taken from every year

Marienbourg's population is recorded through biannual censuses by the Ministry of Social Affairs. According to the census carried out in December 2023, Marienbourg has 52 citizens, 12 of whom live in national territory, with a ratio of men to women of 10:4. There is a balance between the resident populations defined as urban and rural, divided between the two municipalities of the country.

With the establishment of the duchy, the sovereign Duke actively sought to recruit, among his closest friends involved in micronational politics, citizens to integrate the government, and began the registration of other citizens, including all residents, transmitting them knowledge about matters micronationals, making them citizens capable of exercising their micronational rights. A citizenship policy has been established whereby anyone, regardless of personal characteristics, can apply for citizenship, provided that the person is able to speak Portuguese or English, has been duly vaccinated according to their countries of origins' requirements, and the Citizenship Commission, a body under the Ministry of Social Affairs, evaluates applications for concession or veto.

The life expectancy of the resident Marienbourgish population is 80 years. There is a balance between the mortality rate and birth rate of the resident population. Nevertheless, population growth exceed expectations of achieving 100% population growth, quadrupling the number of citizens in one year through citizenship policies and immigration incentives.

Race and ethnicity

Race and ethnicity in Marienbourg.

  White (53.8%)
  Mulatto (Multiracial) (28.8%)
  Black (7.6%)

According to the December 2023 census by the Citizenship Commission of the Ministry of Social Affairs, 53.8% of the population declare themselves as white, 28.8% as multiracial, often described as mulatto (i.e. mixed race between European and African), 7.6% as black, 5.7% as East Asians (i.e. people of Chinese, Korean, Mongolian, Taiwanese or Japanese), 1.9% as arab and 1.9% as caboclo (i.e. people of mixed race between European and Amerindian). Ethnic-racial classification in Marienbourg is based on self-determination, identification and/or phenotypes. A large part of the white population, despite having mostly European ancestry, is also descended, to at least the fifth degree, from African or indigenous peoples. The same happens with part of the population that declares itself as East Asian, sometimes being mixed with European peoples, mainly Portuguese and British.

Since the arrival of the Portuguese in 1500, considerable miscegenation between local Amerindians and Europeans has taken place in all regions of the country (with European ancestry being dominant nationwide according to the vast majority of all autosomal studies undertaken covering the entire resident population [of Brazil, and thus, of Marienbourg], accounting for between 90% to 98%). Socially significant closeness to one racial group is taken in account more in the basis of appearance (phenotypes) rather than ancestry, to the extent that full siblings can pertain to different "racial" groups.

Due to low income disparity, centuries of miscegenation and relatively homogeneous society, racism and classism rates are low in the country. East Asians reportedly suffer more from racism than other ethnic groups present in the country. Society is mainly divided between resident and non-resident citizens, who sometimes speak different languages and come from different cultural backgrounds.

Religion

Parish of Saint Dominic near Blauerhimmel and frequently attended by the Ducal Family.

Christianity is the country's predominant faith, with Roman Catholicism being the only denomination present. According to the December 2023 census, 84% of the population declare themselves Catholic. The largest religious minority group is formed by the spiritists with 8% of the population declaring to be adherents. Despite being a minority religion, due to a series of cultural aspects typical of Brazilians (and Marienbourgish of Brazilian origin), some beliefs of Spiritism spill over to other religions, so that, for example, it is common for part of Marienbourgish Catholics to believe in reincarnation. According to the January 2023 census, 61.5% of the population declare themselves Catholic. The largest religious minority group is formed by the spiritists with 15.3% of the population declaring to be adherents. Despite being a minority religion, due to a series of cultural aspects typical of Brazilians (and Marienbourgish of Brazilian origin), some beliefs of Spiritism spill over to other religions, so that, for example, it is common for part of Marienbourgish Catholics to believe in reincarnation. The rest of the population is split between atheists and agnostics which together make up 9.6% under the Irreligious label, Buddhists, with 7.6% adherents and Protestantism, encompanssing 5.7% of the population.

The Mariebourgish state is secular and there is religious freedom. However, the state, in the person of the Duke, condemns neo-charismatic movement as "religious populism", "predatory of the less fortunate" and "propagator of ignorance and prejudice". This stance undermines Marienbourg's diplomatic relations with countries governed by people affiliated with Christian denominations considered neo-charismatic. The State prohibits religiously based moralistic policies, as well as the participation of priests in national politics; one must resign from the priesthood if one wants to rise to politics. Due to these positions, there are questions about the extent of religious freedom in the duchy.

Language

Miranda do Douro, in Portugal. The Mirandese language severely influenced the Portuguese spoken in Marienbourg.

The official language of Marienbourg is the Portuguese, which is spoken as native language by all the resident population. English is officially considered a working language and is used as a lingua franca between Portuguese-speaking Marienbourgish residents and citizens living abroad. All national media, business and administrative work is done in both Portuguese and English. The State still considers French as a diplomatic language; in the past it was taught as a second language in schools, which made it popular among the over-40 generation. Despite having no official status, English plays a major role in the Marienbourgish multinational society, with estimates that 83% of the population speak the language in some capacity as both a first and second language. The Diet has approved the use of the Brazilian Sign Language, commonly known by its Portuguese acronym LIBRAS, as official language to the resident deaf people and highlighted the importance of recognition of national sign languages by citizens of foreign origins.

The vernacular of the Portuguese language spoken in Marienbourg is Brazilian Portuguese which has had its own development, mostly similar to 16th-century Central and Southern dialects of European Portuguese with a few influences from the Amerindian and African languages, especially West African and Bantu restricted to the vocabulary only. As a result, the language is somewhat different, mostly in phonology, from the language of Portugal and other Portuguese-speaking countries other than Brazil and Brazilian-originated micronations.

Other minority languages spoken in Marienbourg include Japanese, spoken natively or as a second language by Japanese-Brazilian citizens and Mirandese, a modern Portuguese variant of Asturleonese, spoken rarely and mainly by the senior generation of the Carvalho family, holders of the lands that make up the Marienbourgish duchy.

Culture

"Caipira picando fumo" oil on canvas by Almeida Júnior, 1893. The caipira culture is the most influent subculture in Marienbourg and its whereabouts.
The Neoclassical architecture is the main architecture style in the region of Poços de Caldas, where Marienbourg is located.

The Marienbourgish culture is derived from the Brazil's Minas Gerais sub-culture, which is a by-product of Portuguese culture strongly influenced by African and Amerindian elements, being also part of the larger Brazilian culture, with elements artificially adopted from the Rhenish German and French cultures, also suffering strong organic influence from the Asturleonese culture, which the older generation of the Carvalho family, landowners of the duchy, grew up in it. Among other influences, the Portuguese introduced the Portuguese language, which is the national language, Roman Catholicism, the country's predominant religion, and neoclassical architecture styles. Extending from the Portuguese colonial period to the present, Minas Gerais culture is reflected in customs, traditions, strongly linked to the image of the caipira, the country bumpkin. German and French influences predominate in the national nomenclatures and in the structural organization of government, inspired by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg and Principality of Liechtenstein.

Architecture

The architecture of Marienbourg is influenced by Europe, especially Portugal. It has a history that goes back to the time when the bandeirantes explored the interior of what would later be incorporated into the Portuguese colony of Brazil. Portuguese colonial architecture was the first wave of architecture to go to Brazil and it became the basis for all Brazilian architecture of later centuries. In the 19th century, when the Marienbourgish territory was part of the Empire of Brazil, architecture in that region of the country followed European trends and mostly adopted Neoclassical architecture that still prevails today in the municipality of Poços de Caldas that surrounds Marienbourg and in the duchy itself.

The history of architecture in Marienbourg starts dates to the mid 17th century, 150 years following the exploration, conquest and settlement by the Portuguese in the area. The Portuguese built architecture familiar to them in Europe in their aim to colonize their American posessions. They built Portuguese colonial architecture which included churches, civic architecture including houses and forts in the then Parish of Nossa Senhora da Saúde das Águas de Caldas. Following the independence of the Portuguese colony as the country of Brazil and the creation of the municipality of Poços de Caldas, the first neoclassical buildings were built starting a gradual substitution to the older colonial buildings. During the 20th century, Eclecticism and Art Deco were introduced in Poços de Caldas, but when Marienbourg gained its independence from that city and from Brazil, only neoclassical buildings were incorporated into the new sovereign state.

Music

Adoniram Barbosa's Trem das Onze is the most popular song in Marienbourg.

Music production in Marienbourg is negligible, and the country is not home to any musical artists other than amateurs. Nonetheless, music is a widely considered important part of citizens' lives and a central part of what defines their caipira cultural identity, with many songs about country lifestyles. The state has never conducted any formal research in the area, but estimates that the music styles most listened to by Marienbourgish residents are Sertanejo, or Brazilian Country, oldschool Brazilian popular music and classic Samba. Such musical genres have persisted through the generations to the taste of the Marienbourgish. Scholars and observers believe that this phenomenon is a result of the strong cultural identification of Marienbourgish residents of all generations in the music with their lifestyle or, in the case of younger generations, with their origins. Among the most popular artists and groups are Inezita Barroso, Tonico & Tinoco, Tião Carreiro, Noel Rosa, Adoniram Barbosa, Carmen Miranda, Roberto Carlos, Demônios da Garoa and Ary Barroso. Other musical styles heard with some frequency in the country include Rythm and Blues, Eurodance and Rock n' Roll .

In February 2023 the government of Marienbourg announced that one of the topics researched in its next census will be the citizens' favorite musical style as well as their proficiency with a musical instrument.

Literature

Cora Coralina is a Brazilian poetess considered the main inspiration for Marienbourgish literature.

Despite a low literary production, Marienbourgish literature emerged in the 1940s, almost 80 years before the country's independence, with the production of poetry by Princess Maria, Grand Marquise of Blauerhimmel. Between that decade and the 1980s, romantic, short-story and brutalist poetic literature flourished in what would become Marienbourg, among members of the Carvalho family who resided in or frequently visited the region. Marienbourgish literature is heavily inspired by Brazilian literature, which is present in the lives of the resident citizens in the form of the classic works of Machado de Assis, José de Alencar, Clarice Lispector, and especially in the realistic and brutal works of poetry by Cora Coralina, whose works are admired for appreciating the harshness of country life. Besides poetry, other literary genres greatly appreciated in Marienbourg are romance, realism and history. According to reports from the Ministry of Home Affairs, a large part of the resident population aged over 50 effectively completed their literacy through spontaneous consumption of literature.

Authors and poets appreciated by the Marienbourgish include, in addition to the aforementioned, Monteiro Lobato, Paulo Coelho, José Saramago, Dom Hélder Câmara, Sigmund Freud, Lima Barreto, Olavo Bilac, Euclides da Cunha, Clarice Lispector and Ariano Suassuna.

Numismatics

Example of Gordian III antoninianus rare genuine ancient Roman silver coin 238 AD.

There is a strong presence in Marienbourg of the numismatic tradition introduced by the Carvalho family back in the 1950s, pre-dating the independence of the duchy, when Antônio Carvalho inherited from his uncle Fernando Carvalho a bag containing 20 Maria Theresa Thaler silver coins. From there, Antônio started a collection of foreign coins, old and rare, and encouraged other members of his family, as well as friends, to embark on self-taught numismatism. Of the 12 resident citizens, 4 are numismatists, plus the reigning Duke, and develop a particular numismatic research work and often participate in numismatics or antique fairs and events. According to the Numismatic Association of Marienbourg, the most valuable coin in the country is a silver antoninianus from the reign of Roman Emperor Gordian III with the emperor's effigy and the image of Jupiter.

In July 2023, the government of Blauberga plans to open the 1st Marienbourg Numismatic Fair at the Hotel d'Oeste in order to attract attention to the micronation, public for the hotel and in an attempt to create in the region of Poços de Caldas a nucleus of events of numismatics and related subjects. Thanks to the national numismatic culture, the government plans to issue most of its money in the form of aluminum or nickel coins, in order to incorporate tradition into micronationalism.

Cuisine

Pork shoulder with orange sauce, Marienbourg's national dish.

The cuisine of Marienbourg is almost a fac simile of the cuisine of Minas Gerais, the Brazilian state that surrounds the duchy and from which the country derives the core of its culture. The cultural basis of its cuisine is the small farmhouse, and many of the dishes are prepared using locally produced vegetables and meats, especially chicken and pork. Traditional cooking is done using coal- or wood-fired ovens and cast iron pans, making for a particularly tasty flavor. Many of the cakes and appetizers of the local cuisine use corn or cassava (known there as mandioca) flour instead of wheat, as the latter did not adapt well to the local weather. Many of the cakes and appetizers of the local cuisine use corn or cassava (known in Portuguese as mandioca) flour instead of wheat, as the latter did not adapt well to the local weather. The best-known dish in Marienbourgish cuisine is the "pão de queijo", a small baked roll made with cheese and cassava flour; The national touch, to the dish of Minas Gerais origin, is the addition of cream cheese made from buffalo mozzarella. The region on where Marienbourg is located is also recognized for its doce de leite, since it is the largest milk producer region in the South American continent.

The region is also known for its cheese and seasoned sausage. However, as Marienbourg is a major producer of oranges, many dishes are made with or served with oranges, such as the pork should with orange sauce roasted on a wood stove, considered the typical national dish, and the orange cake with fennel and topping of vanilla.

Sports

The most popular sport in Marienbourg is football. The micronation does not maintain any sports team. It is estimated that most of the population, including the entire resident population, due to their Minas Gerais ancestry, follow sports teams in Minas Gerais, among which the most popular is Atlético Mineiro. The government actively encourages the practice of sports among its citizens. The sports most frequently practiced by the Marienbourgish include swimming and Mountain biking. Trail riding is also a very popular outdoor physical activity, although its status as a sport is debatable.

National holidays

Name Date Notes
New Year's Day 1 January The first day of the Gregorian year.
Annunciation Day 25 March Commemorates the annunciation of Virgin Mary.
International Workers' Day 1 May Honours the contributions that workers have made to the country's strength, prosperity, and well-being.
Abolition Day 13 May Celebrates the end of slavery in Brazil by Isabel, Princess Regent, which signed the Golden Law that date, 1888.
Maria's Day 14 June Commemoration of the birth of Princess Maria III of Marienbourg.
Feast of St. Mary Magdalene 22 July Honours the wronged memory and true story St. Mary Magdalene.
International Missy Barrat Day 30 August Marked as a day dedicated to doing and encouraging others to do good deeds, associated with the fictional character Missy Barratt.
Children’s Day 12 October Honours children, promote mutual exchange, understanding among children as well as their welfare.
Teachers's Day 15 October Special day for the appreciation of teachers and their special contributions to the society.
Christmas Day 25 December Traditional commemoration of the birth of Jesus.
Independence Day 26 December Independence of Marienbourg from Brazil.
New Year's Eve 31 December The final day of the Gregorian year; Saint Sylvester's Day.

External links

Notes

  1. Percentage calculated from the population of 52 citizens as of mid-December 2023.
  2. Percentage calculated from the population of 52 citizens as of mid-December 2023.
  3. Brazil never recognized the independence of Marienbourg and continues to claim the country's territory. The date regards when Marienbourg was firstly recognized by another self-proclaimed sovereign state.
  4. Ranked 34th according to the incomplete micronational ranking.[1]
  5. The Maria Theresa Thaler is adopted as a bullion coin to back the issuing of Marienbourgish Thalers, the country's official currency.

References

  1. "List of micronations by HDI, 2017-2023". MicroWiki. 8 September 2022. Retrieved 12 November 2023.
  2. About.com, http://gobrazil.about.com/od/ecotourismadventure/ss/Peter-Lund-Museum.htm Archived 12 August 2017 at the Wayback Machine
  3. Robert M. Levine; John J. Crocitti (1999). The Brazil Reader: History, Culture, Politics. Duke University Press. pp. 11–. ISBN 978-0-8223-2290-0. https://books.google.com/books?id=R28K2JA9PM8C&pg=PA11. 
  4. Levine, Robert M. (2003). The History of Brazil. Palgrave Macmillan. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-4039-6255-3. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 Fausto, Carlos (2000). Zahar, Jorge. ed (in pt). Os Índios antes do Brasil. pp. 45–46, 55. ISBN 978-85-7110-543-0. 
  6. Gomes, Mercio P. The Indians and Brazil. University Press of Florida 2000. p. 28–29
  7. Boxer, p. 98.
  8. Meuwese, Mark "Brothers in Arms, Partners in Trade: Dutch-Indigenous Alliances in the Atlantic World, 1595–1674" Koninklijke Brill NV 2012 Chapter III
  9. Metcalf, Alida C. "Go-betweens And the Colonization of Brazil: 1500–1600" University of Texas Press 2005, pp. 70, 79, 202 View on Google Books
  10. Minahan, James B. "Ethnic Groups of the Americas" ABC-CLIO 2013 p. 300, View on Google Books
  11. Boxer, p. 169.
  12. Kohn, George C. (1986). Dictionary of Wars (1st ed.). Facts on File, Inc.. p. 174. ISBN 978-1-4381-2916-7. https://books.google.com/books?id=OIzreCGlHxIC&pg=PT186. 
  13. Jeffrey C. Mosher (2008). Political Struggle, Ideology, and State Building: Pernambuco and the Construction of Brazil, 1817–1850. U of Nebraska Press. p. 9. ISBN 978-0-8032-3247-1. https://books.google.com/books?id=T_yszWOZUCkC&pg=PA9. 
  14. Lustosa, pp. 117–19
  15. Lustosa, pp. 150–153
  16. Vianna, p. 418
  17. "A Verdadeira História sobre o Vulcão (The True Story about the Volcano)" (in português). Retrieved 23 December 2010.
  18. "Parliament Expansion Act". Daily Duchy. 6 November 2023. Retrieved 10 November 2023.
  19. 19.0 19.1 "New series of Marienbourgish Thaler banknotes is introduced". Blauberga: Daily Duchy. 6 July 2023. Retrieved 6 July 2023.