Social Republic of Bethania
|This article refers to a micronation which is defunct and no longer exists. You can help make the article reflect that or ask on the talk page for further information.|
| Social Republic of Bethania |
República Social de Bethania (Spanish)
République Social de Béthanie (French)
Respublica Soçiale de Béthania (Creaol, the proposed conlang of Bethania)
|Delmarva Peninsula in North America |
|Capital city||Bethany Beach|
|Largest city||Ocean City|
|Official language(s)||English, Spanish, French |
Creaol (The proposed conlang of Bethania is in the process of transitioning into a lingua franca for the country)
|Government||Unitary Parliamentary Republic|
|- Prime Minister||Henry Weiss|
|- Vice Executive (Vice Prime Minister)||Adam Simon|
|Established||October 1st, 2010|
|Area claimed||33.6 km2 (13 square miles)|
|Time zone||-4.5 year round (proposed)|
|National animal||Bottlenose Dolphin|
|The Social Republic of Bethania is a member of the North American Micronational Culture Organization and the Organisation of Active Micronations.|
Official Website of the Government
The Social Republic of Bethania, simply known as Bethania (IPA: /bɛθæniə/ or /bɛθeɪniə) was a unitary constitutional parliamentary republic comprising seven provinces, seven autonomous municipalities (the two groups are generally referred to as "provinces") and two protectorates bordering the American states of Florida and Rhode Island. The country is located on the Atlantic Seaboard and its border with the United States is taken up primarily by rivers, streams, manmade canals and bays formed by the barrier islands which half of the country sits on. Despite many former government squabbles about the location of the micronation now known as Bethania, the country is now one of the most stable and diverse micronations in the community.
At around one hundred square kilometers, Bethania is a larger micronation but a small country in the international community. Most of the country's population lives in high density but the large expanse of farmland and forests taking up about two thirds of the country holds only an eighth of the country's population and various other national parks and protected areas make the country's population density low. The country's main economic industries are tourism and real estate. The population nearly triples in the summer season as people from the area flock to this most touristy corner of the Atlantic Coast.
Indigenous peoples such as the Unami Lenape (or the Delaware) and the Nanticoke had lived in the region for thousands of years before European colonization. The country has been part of the Dutch, Swedish and British colonial empires and then part of the modern American empire. During the American Civil war, Delaware, although being a slave state did not secede and the north maintained control of the Delmarva peninsula, a strategic piece of land. In early October 2010, the country seceded peacefully fro the United States of America because of their unhappiness with the way the country worked and it's policies, both foreign and internal and vowed to become an example for America and other countries as well.
Bethania's middle provinces, especially Dukesville and Bethany, have become known throughout the Atlantic Seaboard as good, family friendly resorts and the population of those places usually exceeds three times as many people than were there during the winter and fall seasons versus the vacation season, while Ocean City is known as a huge hub or tourism on the Delmarva peninsula.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Government
- 4 Foreign relations
- 5 Administrative Divisions and Territory
- 6 Foreign Relations and Military
- 7 Transportation and Energy
- 8 Demographics
- 9 Culture
- 10 International Rankings
The name "Bethania" finds its origins in the name Bethany Beach, which is the capital of the country. The town of Bethany, founded by Christians who wished to find a place to found a Christian meeting place (which ultimately failed as the population is not a very religious one) named the town after the biblical village of Bethany, no known to be location in the city of al-Eizariya in Palestine. The city's name literally means "House of Figs". This may be the same place as Bethany beyond the Jordan, or Bethabara, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist. Bethany is not an unusual place name and is used especially in the United States. It is also a female given name and although the town's name literally meant "House of Figs", the girl's name usually is meant to mean "with red hair".
Some etymologists have pointed out that the names Annie and Beth are related to the name Bethany, and while Beth is very obvious, the name Annie's history is debated. The etymologists who believe the two names are related point out the last two syllables of the word Bethany, saying that Annie was derived from that, while the disputing etymologists say that it came from other words.
The prefix Social Republic of is often mistaken to mean that Bethania is a socialist nation, but in fact, that is not true. Bethania's name comes from the ideology of Social Democracy, an ideology that makes it possible for strong worker's rights to exist in a country that still has a rate of production which is that of a capitalist country. The Social Democratic Party of Bethania is currently in power, and the prime minister, Henry K. Weiss, is the founder of the party.
The Delaware and Early European Contact
The Delmarva Peninsula, the landmass on which Bethania is located has been inhabited for upward of 10,000 years by Lenni Lenape (Delaware) Native American Indian tribes, although much of the remnants of their culture was erased by development. The political structure of the Lenape was typically tribal, divided into clans in territory divided by the clan's leaders. The clans were then put into groups of language dialect and culture, in Bethania's area, the Big Siconese.
The Lenape were some of the most powerful American Indian groups of the region and practiced large scale agricultural traditions that mainly involved the "Three Sisters", Maize (corn), Beans and Squash. The Three Sisters are the most widely used system of planting, stretching from the Pueblo Indians of Arizona to the Algonquin tribes of the Great Lakes. They also hunted and finshed in the plentiful waters off Delaware and New Jersey.
It is debated as to which group of Europeans first lay eyes on what is now Delmarva. Some say that the Portuguese or Spanish, traveling from South America and the Caribbean, navigated the Delmarva Coast whule others say that the Dutch or Swedish were the first, because, after all, they were the first Europeans to settle the region. Two other, more far fetched theories also exist, and the first goes back about five hundred years to the Icelandic explorers, led by Lief Erickson and his band of adventurers. They, it has been universally agreed on, were the first European settlers ever, in North America, first colonizing southern Greenland and then Newfoundland and places they called Stone Slab Land and Vinland (Wineland), located in Northern Quebec and New Brunswick, respectively. The Canadian colonies were very short lived, but they were still a significant event in American history as the first outsiders made contact, and the believers of this theory argue that the Icelandic settlers journeyed down the coast, in search of fishing from Vinland and "discovered" Delmarva, even if they did not know what it was at the time. The other theory is probably the least likely, as it involves aimlessly drifting. The Basque of northern Spain and southern France (a region called Euskadi) have long been known to have drifted, in search of fish, to remote islands and the middle of the Atlantic Ocean. During the early 1600's, Basque traders in Spain began to have an abundance of dried fish to sell, and from descriptions, these fish were endemic to North America, generally Cod. Some archaeologists have put two and two together and concluded that the Basque were the first Europeans to see the Delmarva, or the southern coast of the United States. Whoever discovered the Delmarva, it is generally accepted that the Dutch and Swedish were the first to settle the area.
After the arrival of the Dutch and the Swedish, forming such colonies as New Sweden and New Netherland, the Lenape, then called the Delaware because of their language became heavily involved in the North American Fur Trade. The Dutch colony of New Netherland, centered at New Amsterdam in present day Manhattan spread up the Hudson River and traded more with the Munsee and Mahicans, tribes related to the Lenape but not usually included in the Lenni Lenape's different groups. Sweden's colony, New Sweden, centered around Fort Christina (present day Wilmington, Delaware), in New Sweden held more of an influence over the Big Siconese, as their small colony extended down the Delmarva Coast, with small settlements, most of whose names have been forgotten, acting as trading posts.
However, the Swede's colony was ill fated. After joining the Second Norther War by attacking Poland-Lithuania, Sweden had entered on the side fighting against the Dutch and their allies, who happened to have a large number of ships station in New Amsterdam to protect their economic interests in the area. They sent their small fleet down to New Sweden, where the colony surrendered without much fighting. The Dutch were kind rulers, giving the Swedes autonomy and de facto independence from the Dutch colony until the Dutch colony's end.
British Colonial Era
In 1664, New Netherland was occupied by the British during the Anglo-Dutch Wars, although the next year the Dutch recaptured the colony. However, the Dutch found that they had no need for their New Netherland colony as they wanted to build their empire in the Caribbean, South America and the Indian Ocean, and so ceded the colony to the British.
The British divided the New Netherland Colony into different colonies, chiefly New York, New Jersey and what would become Delaware. Originally, the three counties of Delaware, Newcastle, Kent and Sussex were given to William Penn's Pennsylvania but disputes between the colonies arose when the Baron of Baltimore, the de facto colonial governor of Maryland who claimed that the southern border of Pennsylvania ended at the town of Lewes, at the former Dutch settlement of Zwaanendael. However, the dispute was quickly resolved, creating the southern border of Delaware, and the southern border of Bethania, which follows the boundary line on Fenwick Island, although not in the western limits of South Fenwick.
During the American Revolution, Delaware, like the other middle colonies (Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York), at first remained neutral, thinking the war was meant for independence of the New England colonies and not the others. This was because Wilimington and Dover, the colony's two biggest cities and large port cities, had their economies tied heavily to the British shipping industry and trade and so did not want to lose that advantage. However, they gained enthusiasm as it became clear that the war would not only be confined to New England and that war was a business too, and money could be made by building ships and manufacturing guns.
However, due to poor commanding and bad tactics, Wilmington and most of Delaware was captured by the British after the Battle of Brandywine and the Delaware River was under British control for most of the rest of the war, interrupting trade but providing encouragement for the loyalist population that was especially evident in Sussex County.
1800's and the American Civil War
During the American Civil War and the years leading up to it, Delaware was deeply divided about whether to secede from the United States or not and both sides watched this political battle so that they could have (or keep control of) this strategic region. Delaware was a state in which slavery was legal, but in reality, it was only practiced in the south; Southern Kent County and Sussex County, and only inland on plantations. Most of the population was centered in Newcastle where slavery was virtually nonexistent and the population there voted against secession in a very close, and some say rigged, election. However, the Union managed to stay in control of the Delmarva peninsula for most of the war (the small part of the Delmarva that is part of Virginia was occupied early on in the war.)
Founding of Bethany Beach
In 1898, F. D. Powers, a minister at the Vermont Avenue Christian Church suggested that a meeting place for christians be established in coastal Delaware, like those that had already been founded in New Jersey and Connecticut. They decided that the ideal place would be the coastal area west of Ocean View, a town just across the border from what is now Bethania, owned by Ezekiel Evans. The names "Wellington Beach" and "Gladmere Beach" were suggested, but the final name chosen is the current name, Bethany Beach.
In 1900, the Vermont Avenue Christian Church's leaders, the Disciples of Christ, formed the Bethany Beach Improvement Company, which would raise money to purchase and build the town of Bethany Beach. After the town was purchased and construction had begun on cottages and the famous Bethany Beach Tabernacle, a temporary town government began to operate and the year of 1901 is marked with Bethany Beach's founding, although the town was not incorporated into Delaware until 1909.
The date for when the town government began to operate is disputed, as some of the first town meeting's documents say April 13, and others say April 28. The government, while not actually taking a stance, has declared that the holiday known as Founding Day will be on April 13 and so has effectively named that the true date of the first town meeting.
World Wars and Late 1900's
During the World Wars, U-Boat attacks on the Delmarva was always a concern, although it never came to pass, and the American government built large lookout towers on the coast of Sussex and Kent Counties in Delaware, most of which still stand today. Their job was to always be on the lookout for German Unterseaboats that controlled most of the Northern Atlantic ocean and were easily concealed in the depths of the Atlantic. During World War II, a nine o'clock lights-out curfew was enacted to prevent and invading German marines from seeing where the different towns were.
For the rest of the 1900's, Bethania was a quiet corner of the Atlantic Coast but was slowly growing into what is now the major beach town it currently is. The religious beginnings of the town started to slip away and the population, mostly people from Pittsburgh and Scranton in Pennsylvania and Washington D.C., was not as religious as Bethany Beach's founders were, and while a second Tabernacle is currently still standing (the first one was destroyed by a fire in 1961), it is usually not used for religious purposes and is just a gathering place for the town.
Formation of the Social Republic of Bethania
The Republic of Bethania was formed on October 1, 2010, and that date is celebrated as Independence Day in Bethania. The government that began to operate was lacking a constitution and many other essential things that make a nation legitimate and a constitution was declared on November 27, 2010 and that day is celebrated as Constitution Day. During the month of October in 2010, the government of Bethania quickly formed strong ties with nations such as Subenia, Starland and Los Bay Petros but was somewhat isolated from the micronational community. However, in the time since then, the government has tried to open up and has made some very powerful friends, such as Yabloko.
The Social Republic of Bethania is a Unitary Parliamentary Republic which means that sixteen divisions are all governed directly by the national government. It has a parliament and the head of state is the Prime Minister who serves a maximum of three consecutive three-year terms and is elected directly by the people.
The current parliament, headed by Henry K. Weiss, is composed of Social Democrats, a party that represents the leftist spectrum of Bethania's political parties and the party that the country's principals are most evident in. Currently, the only other party of the country is the Bethanian Conservative Party, which has very few members. No member of the national government is currently a member of the Conservative Party.
The different ministers of parliament are all heads of their bureaus of the government, which are often called departments in other countries. Generally, the minister's name will be the title of the bureau he or she belongs to (e.g. the Minister of Finance belongs to the Bureau of Finance, etc.) but some of the ministers do not, as their names do not allow for it, or their bureau's name is just different.
In a parliamentary republic, the power is given to the prime minister, the head of state, while the head of the government is the whole parliament, divided equally to each member. This system of government is very common, especially in countries that were previously monarchies and in Republics of the Commonwealth of Nations, whose head of government/state position has been taken over by a prime minister instead of a governor-general.
The Social Republic of Bethania has opened up diplomatic relations with many micronations, and shares a strong friendship with countries like Los Bay Petros, Starland and Yabloko. Bethania's foreign policy is that of many micronations. It has zero tolerance of dictatorships such as the Myanmar, North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe and does not recognize them. Instead, it recognizes Aung San Suu Kyi as the President of Burma (Myanmar), the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as the sole authority over the Korean Peninsula, the Southern Sudanese Rebel Government as the temporary authority over Sudan, Mir-Hossein Mousavi as the President of the Republic of Iran (it does not recognize the name "Islamic Republic") and Morgan Tsvangirai as the President of Zimbabwe. The Republic of Bethania does not currently have embassies but hopes to establish one soon, probably in the next twenty years.
Bethania considers itself a regional power among micronations as there are not any other micronations in the Delmarva region and so Bethania has the highest amount of micronational influence.
Administrative Divisions and Territory
Most of the country is just a few feet above seal level, but surprisingly, even during storms, flooding has usually never been that much of a problem. The barrier lagoons formed by the barrier islands that comprise the coastal region of the country are known as Rehoboth Bay, Indian River Bay, Little Assowoman Bay, Assowoman Bay and Isle of Wight Bay. Various canal systems such as the Indian River Inlet, the Fenwick Canal and the Bethany Canal help with transportation from one bay to another and into the Atlantic Ocean, while rivers such as the Saint Martin in the center of the country provide water transportation into the agricultural inland portion of the country. Although the country does sit on a large amount of salt water, the water supply has never been a problem because of bottled water and the many wells in the country, especially in the middle south that supply the country with their mineral enriched water.
Bethania is split into seven provinces, seven autonomous cities and two protectorates. The provinces are indirectly represented through the Parliament of Bethania and do not have much power or any central governments, making Bethania a truly unitary republic.
Because of the country's size, the provinces are governed directly by the Parliament and by the people living in them. Provinces have governors and autonomous municipalities have mayors and municipal councils. Because of the country's size, the provinces are governed directly by the parliament and by the people living in them, and are divided into cities, towns, and unincorporated communities (much like traditional counties are in the United States.)
Provinces and autonomous municipalities of Bethania are often grouped into one category and called provinces, much like states and commonwealths are in the United States. Provinces, however, are generally devote most of their land to unincorporated communities, with their capital cities and a few towns in addition, while autonomous cities are larger urban centers, with all of their land being part of a city or town, and are generally located on the coast, since that is where the most urban parts of Bethania are located.
In Bethania's constitution, three types of entities that exceed a provincial and autonomous municipal level of independence (which is almost nil), which are called "Dependent Territories", which is not to be confused with a Dependent State, which is a type of Dependent Territory. These three types, in order of how much autonomy they receive (least to greatest) are Commonwealths, Protectorates and Dependent States. In the Social Republic of Bethania, commonwealths and protectorates do not conduct heir own foreign relations and Dependent Territories in Bethania, by law, cannot have autonomous territories of their own. All citizens in Dependent Territories of Bethania have the right to vote in Bethanian Prime Ministral Elections and elections concerning their representation in the Provincial Council and they are all dual citizens, of their Dependent Territory and the Social Republic of Bethania. The terms "commonwealth" and "protoectorate" have been used since Iceland in 930 AD and used extensively during the colonial period of Europe from 1500 to 1918.
Republic of Sarasota
The Republic of Sarasota is the only dependent state and the only dependent constituency of the country. Very similar to Bethania in its geography, Sarasota is made up of barrier islands and a mainland which roughly lines up with what the United States claims as the city of Sarasota. The territory is made up of twelve municipalities, the equivalent of Bethanian provinces, that are further divided into boroughs.
Sarasota is officially known as the Free Dependent Constituency of the Republic of Sarasota but commonly known as the Republic of Sarasota or just Sarasota, as the Bethanian constitution calls for any dependent constituency to be known by a name that includes the title "Free State", "Dependent" or "Constituency" in front of its title. Originally, the country was known as the Free State of the Five Islands Republic, when it contained only five barrier islands which now comprise the municipality of Saint Armands.
While technically, the capital of many equivalent entities to a Bethanian dependent constituency is the capital of the country they depend on (so the technical capital of Sarasota would be Bethany Beach), but since Sarasota is regarded as a dependent constituency under the constitution and protection of the Social Republic of Bethania, the dependent constituency chooses its own capital, which, in this cade, is the City of Sarasota.
Bethania formerly only encompassed the area known as the Quiet Resorts, which today include the provinces of Aecoria, Atlantica, Bethany, Middlesex and South Bethany. However, to start with, there were only four provinces in central Bethania, Atlantica, Bethany, South Bethany and South Rehoboth. Middlesex was created out of the northern parts of South Bethany and some of the southern parts of Bethany. After a few days of existence, the Social Republic of Bethania annexed the land north of it that was east of the Rehoboth Canal and turned that land into the provinces of Henlopen, Rehoboth and Dewey. There is a large swath of emptiness in the center of Bethania, the Bethanian Seashore Park which is within the borders of Dewey and makes Dewey the largest province, which is left over from the 1800's when settlers in the region decided not to settle on the half a kilometer long strip of land. If they had, Bethania's population would be much larger than it is today. In mid December 2010, Bethania annexed the land south of South Bethany which was formerly the southernmost province, and turned them into the provinces of North and South Fenwick. However, the names were changed to Fenwick (instead of North Fenwick) and Marylandia (instead of South Fenwick). Early in 2011, Bethania completed its annexation of the entire South Delaware Coast by annexing the Ocean City Metropolitan Region, creating the provinces of the Gold Coast, Ocean City and West Ocean City.
Foreign Relations and Military
Bethania's foreign policy is that of many "micronations" and, to a lesser extent, many smaller and less influential states around the world, such as Vatican City and Costa Rica. Its zero tolerance of dictatorships such as the governments of Myanmar, North Korea, Iran, Sudan and Zimbabwe and does not recognize them. Instead, it recognizes Aung San Suu Kyi as the President of Burma (Myanmar), the Republic of Korea (South Korea) as the sole authority over the Korean Peninsula, the Southern Sudanese Rebel Government as the temporary authority over Sudan, Mir-Hossein Mousavi as the President of the Republic of Iran (it does not recognize the name "Islamic Republic") and Morgan Tsvangirai as the President of Zimbabwe. The Republic of Bethania does not currently have embassies but hopes to establish one soon, probably in the next twenty years.
Bethania does not have a military of sorts, although one is technically established by the constitution. Instead, it has the Bethanian police, a nation wide force whose subdivisions are confined to specific provinces, and the Bethanian Defense Forces (BDF). Both forces are responsible for the country's safety and protection from invasion, but the police are more regional and internal, confined to crime and internal affairs, while the BDF has influence outside of Bethania and are closer to a conventional army than the police are. While an airforce or navy do not exist, Bethanian policies would probably be more focused on those branches of the BDF than the army, since Bethania's meager population of 4,200 with less than 200 enlisted men and women, most of them in the reserves, would do little to protect Bethania from invasion from a huge country like the United States. However, a navy and airforce especially are mainly focused on high-tech weaponry, which Bethania has no shortage of.
Transportation and Energy
Because of Bethania's small size, transportation through the strip of land that is the Social Republic is done by going on the Bethanian Autostrata, the equivalent of a superhighway, which is an uninterrupted line of streets running up Bethania. The road is very steady starting in the south of the country, where it brings tourists up from Ocean City, where parking is often scarce, and then gets a little hectic in the capital of Bethany Beach. It then smooths out again as it gets into Dewey's huge national park. It then gets a little more uncertain as it skirts around Lake Rehoboth and goes into Henlopen. After leaving the borders of Bethania, the road gets smaller and smaller, eventually turning into a dirt path that leads to a campsite.
The Bethanian Autostrata, which is not included as a main road, runs through all of the provinces, but some provinces do not have main roads. Bethany and Rehoboth, for instance, have six main roads, while Dewey, the third largest province in population, has only one, and South Bethany and Fenwick have none. Since Bethania's borders are made primarily of canals and bays, most of the ways to get into Bethania are through bridges. Out of the eight ways out of Bethania, five are bridges over canals, and the others are over land. No bridges currently go over the bays of Rehoboth, Indian River Little Assowoman or Big Assowoman bay, although the Bethanian autostrata is less than two kilometers from the shores on the other side of Rehoboth Bay at its closest point. The Bethanian government, however, has no plans for any kind of bridge over any of the bays.
Airports and Trains
The Bethanian government's dream of an airport for Bethania is limited to a small airport, mainly because of the little space this project would have to be completed. The best and most probable site for an airport is, unfortunately, Dewey's large national park, as it has many miles of land that could be used for a runway and currently, the populous is served by Washington and Philadelphia's international airports.
Bethania is looking into a monorail train system that will run from Ocean City to Lewes Delaware, called the TransBethanian Monorail. It will run from outside of Bethania (in Ocean City) to Lewes (which is also outside of Bethania) to attract tourists to come on the monorail which will be cheap and comfortable. The monorail would have many different stations throughout Bethania at different popular spots or province centers around the ccountry.
Bethania has a number of green-houses within its borders that rely on solar energy alone, and plans for massive wind turbines that will be placed off Bethania's beaches are also in place. The Bethanian Bureau of Energy has set goals that will be finished when every house within Bethania is using wind or solar energy for their electrical needs. The department of Transportation has also set goals that aim for the majority of cars in Bethania to be electric ones. Nulcear energy and coal-based energy are banned in Bethania and the country hopes to get the United States and other North American countries to do the same.
Although Bethania, being a small country with mostly liberal citizens who are concerned with the environment, has idealistic goals that may well be met by the populous, it may not make a difference, as the second biggest polluter in the world, the United States, is Bethania's next door neighbor, and until the United States reforms, Bethania's reforms just really wont not count for anything. The United States, which has not signed on to the Kyoto Protocol, a reasonable pollution-limiting pact that the United States has not signed, making up the category of nations that have not signed it, a mere four percent of all macronations, which include Andorra, the SADR, Vatican City, San Marino, Palestine, Somalia, Afghanistan and Taiwan. Bethania hopes to accomplish that in a short time, but that can only happen after Bethania is in direct diplomatic relations with the United States and the USA has recognized Bethanian independence.
Bethania is not a racially diverse country, as the population is over ninety percent white. However, the government hopes to change that soon with liberal and accommodating immigration laws that have been put into the constitution. Bethania is also planning to pass laws to give money to airlines or individuals so that they can fly to Bethania or an airport around Bethania. The population gets generally more diverse in Dewey and Rehoboth, as more young people of different races (as in the United States, the younger generation is the more diverse one) immigrate to these party towns and to the houses lining the beaches, while the white majority is more evident in places like Henlopen and the Quiet Resorts.
Bethany Beach and the Quiet Resorts area in the middle of the country have a large senior population, as they are considered retirement towns, with senior citizens taking up 39.2% of the population. The second largest group was from 45 to 64, which took up 31.5% of the population in Bethany. In other provinces in the Quiet Resorts, especially Aecoria and Atlantica, the population of seniors is much higher. However, to the north of the country approaching Rehoboth and Dewey and to the south approaching Ocean City the population gets more and more young, as these are often considered party towns and many young people flock to them every summer.
The Social Republic of Bethania is an officially secular country and the ninth clause of the Bethanian Constitution is devoted to the idea of freedom of religion. Much of the country, however, is christian, and the capital city, Bethany Beach, was founded as a religious gathering site. Nonetheless, most of populous has stated that religion does not play a large role in their lives, and there is a large number of Jewish people in the country. The current Prime Minister is an agnostic and the parliament has a few members who follow Islam and Hinduism.
The official languages of Bethania are English, Spanish and French, although English is the de facto national language since over 80% of the population speaks only English or English as a first language, and literally all of the population knows English to some extent. Some members of the parliament are fluent in Spanish, French, Hindi and Hebrew. Bethania's constitution is written in English and a Spanish, French German or Chinese copy has yet to be produced. However, in the constitution, the official language of Bethania is not discussed, and so if a wave of immigrants from a country that spoke something other than English, Spanish, French, German or Chinese a law would be passed relatively quickly to give those people's language an equal voice.
Upward of eighty percent of the country lives in a city and two thirds of that lives in an autonomous municipality, most of which are on the coast. The autonomous municipalities of Ocean City and Rehoboth are the most populous and are the largest centers of tourism. The fastest growing parts of the country are coastal areas and inland autonomous municipalities, which both have populations that have nearly tripled in the past fifty years. The inland population is decreasing slowly but steadily as more people move to coastal areas and out of Bethania all together.
|City (capitals in bold)||Province||Population||Rank|
|Ocean City||Autonomous Municipality of Ocean City||6,173||1|
|Rehoboth Beach||Autonomous Municipality of Rehoboth Beach||4,327||2|
|Bethany Beach||Autonomous Municipality of Bethany||3,948||3|
|Millsboro||Province of Millsboro||3,877||4|
|Dewey Beach||Autonomous Municipality of Rehoboth||3,341||5|
|West Ocean City||Autonomous Municipality of Ocean City||3,311||6|
|Ocean Pines||Autonomous Municipality of Salisbury||3,230||7|
|Lewes||Province of Lewes||2,747||8|
|Nassau||Autonomous Municipality of Nassau||2,371||9|
|Selbyville||Province of Saint Martin||2,167||10|
Bethania's culture reflects the fact that they are very close to the ocean. This means that the population explodes during the summer season and then shrinks at the end. The most popular beaches include Rehoboth, Bethany and Fenwick Isle while Dewey is know for being a place for partying and fun. The provinces of Atlantica and South Rehoboth provide a buffer from the noise of Dewey and Rehoboth. South of the border lies Ocean City which is a large tourist attracter but is not part of Bethania. Fenwick Isle experiences some of that industry while still being included in what are known as the Quiet Resorts, comprising Atlantica, South Rehoboth, Bethany, Middlesex, South Bethany and North Fenwick. One of the great national symbols of the country are the large totem pole at the entrance to the main street of Bethany Beach and the long continuous beach that runs down the country, broken only by a few inlets on the coast.
The national flower of Bethania is the red rose, as it is the symbol of Social Democracy. A red rose with the thorns removed is presented to anyone who is given Order of the Red Rose, along with a medal with a red rose on it. The Red Rose is used by Social Democrats and as a symbol of Social Democracy everywhere, and was mostly adopted after World War II, when Social Democrats experienced much success in the world. It was adopted as it is red, to symbolize workers, and it has thorns, to symbolize how they can be a good force and a bad force, depending on how you deal with them.
The current national anthem of the Social Republic of Bethania is called Hope, and is an instrumental, going with the trilingual tradition of Bethania so as not to give English, Spanish or French an advantage over the other. Bethania, unlike places like New Orleans or New York City, has no real original music style that its national anthem would be based on, or historical event or religion for the lyrics to be based on. Instead, the national anthem comprises many east coast attributes of alternative rock, such as Reggae-Rock and Soft Rock. This leads to an interesting combination of quiet guitar and dub horns add a lot of soul and creativity to the steady drum beat and quiet synthesizer bass line. It was composed by the prime minister, Enriqé V. Qeli, and was approved by the parliament, largely because it has no lyrics for there to be controversy over.
The national animal of Bethania is the Bottlenose Dolphin, which can often be seen off the coast of the country, from the country's beaches in the Atlantic Ocean and get quite close to the shore. It is the national animal because it shows the relaxed attitude and popularity Bethanian citizens have and it lives in the water, and is abundant near Bethania. Bethania does not have a national bird.
Bethania's public holidays are days that are set aside to be celebrated or observed on which, by law, workers are given paid vacation time, and, on some holidays, vacation time for two days afterwords also.
The Social Republic of Bethania is a generally average nation with the exception of size and population. It is the largest nation out of the group of twenty nations it recognizes and the one with the largest permanent population. Below is a list of the rankings which Bethania has been evaluated upon.
- Bethania is classified as a 6th world micronation using the Boodlesmythe-Tallini system of micronational classification. Its specific ranking is number eight, "Bricks, Mortar, Small, Statehood".
- Bethania is classified as a 5th World micronation using Dan's System of Classification
- Bethania scores a 4.0 using the Denser System of Classification which shows that it is a micronation that, while not one of the best known in the community, is one that could potentially become very powerful, especially considering its large population
- Bethania scores a 3.4 using the Miles System of Economic Classification, meaning that Bethania is just in between having the potential for a small or decent economy. However, the Bethanian government has criticized the fact that in this system of classification, the option for "Pure Socialism" and "Socialism" in the system are not as beneficial for the nations taking the test as the options "Pure Capitalism" and "Capitalism" in the Economic System category. Bethania's economic system is number three, a "Mixed/Balanced Economy".
- Bethania has scored over 5.0 on the David Micronational Potential Index and has since ceased to use it as a way to classify Bethania, as this system of classification is an index for micronations that are just starting out in the community.
- Bethania scored a "Rising Power Sub-Class using the Parker I Group System of Calculation, comparable to nations like Starland and Dorzhabad.