Commonwealth of New Virginia

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Commonwealth of New Virginia
Flag of New Virginia.png
Flag
Arms of New Virginia.png
Coat of arms

Motto
PAX MONTANI
Anthem
Oh Providence
North America and Europe
Capital cityNew Richmond (de facto)
Largest cityNew Richmond
Official language(s)English (de facto, unofficial)
Official religion(s)Christianity1
Shorelinian Deadheads1
DemonymNew Virginian
GovernmentUnitary two-party parliamentary republic with local direct democracy
- PresidentSir Joseph Kennedy KNVI
- Prime MinisterDame Eryn Lewis DNVI
- Senate PresidentConsul Adam Belcher
- House SpeakerSir James Stewart KNVI
LegislatureParliament
- Upper HouseSenate
- Lower HouseHouse of Burgesses
Established7 September 2014 (as a duchy of Austenasia)
11 February 2020 (as an independent state)
31 July 2020 (Constitution enacted)
Population59 (includes non-residential citizens)
CurrencyNew Virginian Uncia
US Dollar ($) and Euro (€) (de facto)
Time zoneUTC-5
National animalRam
1. The Constitution prohibits any established religion yet recognises the two faiths as cornerstones of the cultural life of the nation.

New Virginia, officially the Commonwealth of New Virginia, is an autonomous territorial entity which claims to be a sovereign state but is more commonly referred to as a micronation by external sources. Based in North America, New Virginia became independent from the Empire of Austenasia on 11 February 2020 through the New Virginia Act 2020 of the Austenasian Parliament. Most land in New Virginia is enclaved by the United States excluding the Town of Augusta (which borders the Austenasian Territory of Fraternitas to the west) and the Town of San Scoglio (which is on the French Riviera).

The Commonwealth is governed as a unitary parliamentary constitutional republic, with a President as head of state, a Prime Minister and Cabinet for the executive branch, and a bicameral Parliament. The first and incumbent President of New Virginia is Sir Joseph Kennedy KNVI, notable for being a constitutionally-designated Founder of the Commonwealth and former leader of the provisional government. The incumbent Prime Minister is Dame Eryn Lewis DNVI.

New Virginia was officially established as an Austenasian Duchy with the elevation of the then Dominion of New Richmond to the status of Town. The cultural life of New Virginia is primarily influenced by the American South, New England, Austenasia and Havnesgade-Amager. The Commonwealth is the first sovereign nation in history to have seceded from the Empire of Austenasia, however, on amicable terms as the Empire and Commonwealth maintain a close and active alliance. New Virginia is an active player in the diplomacy of the MicroWiki Community, and is a member of the Borean Community, Grand Unified Micronational and Amatine League.

History

Dominion of New Richmond

New Virginian history begins with the cession of land from the Ashukov Federation to the Empire of Austenasia in the form of the Dominion of New Richmond on 16 August 2013. New Richmond was an Austenasian Crown Dependency administered autonomously by a Governing Commissioner in the name of the Austenasian Monarch. New Richmond was the first Crown Dependency in Austenasian history to enact a local constitution with a democratic structure, and for a time had an active local political life. The Dominion was led by Governing Commissioner Joseph Kennedy from the time of its creation until its transition into a Town.

On 7 September 2014, the Austenasian Parliament enacted legislation which elevated New Richmond and Shineshore, a Crown Dependency based in Canada, to the status of Town, granting them representation in the House of Representatives.

Duchy of New Virginia

With the enactment of the New Richmond and Shineshore Act 2014, the Duchy of New Virginia was established. Austenasian Duchies do not have any organs of self governance as Austenasia is a unitary state, however, the Towns within New Virginia developed their own unique local identities, some closely related to others. Over time, New Virginia grew to become the largest duchy within the Empire in terms of the number of subdivisions and population.

New Richmond continued to gain new lands and residents, eventually becoming the most populated Austenasian subpolity and one of the first Austenasian Cities. On 4 March 2015, Lord Dux Joseph Kennedy - then the Representative of New Richmond and Chancellor - was elected Prime Minister, becoming the first New Virginian (and by extension, non-British) chief executive in the Empire. The following year, he appointed Lady Vice Admiral Eryn Lewis, Representative of the New Virginian Town of Terentia, as his Deputy Prime Minister.

Following Kennedy's election and Lewis's appointment, New Richmond and Terentia became leading administrative centers within the Empire, serving as the headquarters for the Prime Minister's Office and various ministries. New Virginia was also home to the Imperial Navy, which was at its peak the largest and most well-armed branch of the Austenasian Armed Forces. In 2019, a borough of New Richmond was declared by Parliament to be a separate town, Augusta, with its own representative. Lord Master Chief Riley Kennedy, the younger brother of Lord Admiral Joseph, was appointed as Acting Representative of Augusta.

As New Virginia developed into a leading political and martial power within the Empire, the local cultural identities of Augusta, New Richmond and Terentia continued to evolve to the point that they were significantly closer and were increasingly incompatible with the dominant culture of the Empire. Divisions began to form over issues such as Emperor Jonathan I's refusal to grant Imperial Consent to a bill which would have allowed same-sex couples to enter into civil unions, a bill which was unanimously supported by the three towns.

Foundations of independence

Discussions regarding the potential independence of Augusta, New Richmond and Terentia began in mid-2019 between Joseph Kennedy, Eryn Lewis and Riley Kennedy. It was decided by the three that if secession were to occur, it would need to happen in early 2020 and that independent New Virginia would be a republic. Following discussions between the three and their respective constituents, Joseph Kennedy addressed the Emperor on the desire of the three towns to secede and form an independent nation on 27 September 2019. On Christmas Day later that year, the Emperor publicly announced the upcoming secession of New Virginia through his annual Christmas Broadcast and declared that a general election would be held on 12 February 2020 to determine Kennedy's successor as Prime Minister.

Joseph Kennedy proposed the New Virginia Act 2020, which set the date and processes for New Virginian secession, to the House of Representatives on 8 January. Following a brief period of debate and review, the bill was passed by a unanimous vote of the House and was granted Imperial Consent on 10 January. Following the enactment of the legislation, Joseph Kennedy was appointed to the new temporary post of Minister for New Virginian Affairs and was tasked with coordinating the secession of the Commonwealth.

On 13 January, Minister Kennedy published an executive order constituting the Provisional Council as the provisional governing body of New Virginia following secession and called for an election for Provisional Councillors to be held on 20 January. The Kennedy brothers and Lewis were confirmed as Provisional Councillors-elect, and Joseph was confirmed as Chairman-elect of the Provisional Council.

Secession and provisional government

At 00:00 EST on 11 February, the Commonwealth of New Virginia officially seceded from the Empire of Austenasia and the Provisional Council took office.

Foreign relations

The Commonwealth of New Virginia is an active participant in the diplomacy of the MicroWiki Community. Under the Constitution, foreign affairs are the responsibility of the President, currently Sir Joseph Kennedy KNVI; and the First Ambassador, currently Sir James Stewart KNVI.

The New Virginia Act 2020 of the Austenasian Parliament, which set the foundation for New Virginian independence, provides that close friendship and alliance with the Commonwealth is a top priority of the Austenasian government, and the New Virginian government has stated their commitment to the same. As such, a Treaty of Alliance between the Empire of Austenasia and New Virginia was ratified by both states on 6 May 2020. The treaty was described by HIM Emperor Jonathan I of Austenasia as "the first formal alliance [the Empire has] entered into in almost ten years."

New Virginia's other formal ally is the Republic of Ashukovo, a nation where New Virginian founder Sir Joseph Kennedy KNVI is honoured as a Founding Father. The Commonwealth and the Republic are the sole member-states of the Amatine League, a treaty organisation founded for nations that are descended from the legacy of the old Confederation of Saint Luke and Amager.

New Virginia is a founding member of the Borean Community and a full member of the Grand Unified Micronational, represented by James Stewart as New Virginian Ambassador to the Grand Unified Micronational.

Administrative divisions

New Virginia is comprised of thirteen separate pieces of land, all but one of which are in North America. New Richmond, the largest and de facto capital city, is comprised of four non-contiguous pieces of land and has a population of sixteen. Shoreline consists of two non-contiguous pieces of land and has a population of ten. Augusta, considered to be New Richmond's proverbial "little sister", consists of one piece of land and has a population of three. San Scoglio, the first and only European town, has a population of four. North Watch, the first town to be admitted since the enactment of the Constitution, has a population of five.

New Richmond and Shoreline are cities, administered by a Mayor and City Council. Augusta, North Watch and San Scoglio are towns, administered by a Town Council. The cities and towns are collectively known as municipalities, and are represented in Parliament by elected municipal burgesses.

In addition to the municipalities, the Commonwealth claims five uninhabited pieces of land known as territories. Kush Village was previously a borough of Terentia, and is located near it. Sandra's Isle was previously administered as part of the former Ashukov state of Montania, and is located near New Richmond and Augusta. Nubes Peaks is primarily used as a training ground for the New Virginian Defence Force and New Virginian Police, and is located near New Richmond and Augusta. New Arastraville is located within the US State of California. Carolinia was previously a municipality, and is located within the US State of Texas.

The territories are administered by governors appointed by the President on the advice of the Prime Minister (with the exception of Nubes Peaks, where the Commandant of the Defence Force serves ex officio as governor).

The municipalities and territories, along with non-residential citizens, comprise the cantons. The cantons are administrative divisions which fulfill electoral and judicial purposes, and have no organs of local governance. The cantons also elect at-large burgesses alongside municipal burgesses. There are currently two cantons - Roanoke and New Franklin.

The Constitution of New Virginia also stipulates that autonomous regions, which are not subject to laws enacted by Parliament and are therefore not represented in Parliament, may be established. At present, there is only one autonomous region - New Reinhardt, which has a population of two. Autonomous regions are governed by high commissioners appointed by the President with the consent of the House of Burgesses.

Flag Arms Picture Name Established Population Official(s)
Cantons
Arms of Roanoke in New Virginia.svg Roanoke 11 July 2020 30 Burgesses-at-large
 • The Rt. Hon. Sir James Stewart KNVI
 • The Hon. Chloe Chloris BP
 • The Hon. Sertor Valentinus BP
Chief Judge
His Hon. Sir William Wilson KNVI
New Franklin 11 July 2020 29 Burgesses-at-large
 • The Hon. Leon Montan BP
 • The Hon. Sophia Albina BP
Chief Judge
His Hon. Archie Birch
Cities
New-richmond-flag.png New-richmond-coa.png SaintJosephsburg.png New Richmond
Canton of Roanoke
18 August 2013 (as Austenasian Crown Dependency)
7 September 2014 (as Austenasian Town)
9 January 2017 (as Austenasian City)
11 February 2020 (as New Virginian City)
15 Municipal Burgess
The Hon. Charles Kitchen BP
Mayor
Her Hon. Senator Savannah Wellman
ShorelineFlag.png Stealie.jpg EmperorTerrySquare.jpg Shoreline
Canton of New Franklin
16 November 2013 (as Austenasian Crown Dependency)
3 December 2014 (as Austenasian Town)
11 February 2020 (as New Virginian Town)
26 February 2020 (as New Virginian City)
11 Municipal Burgess
The Rt. Hon. Dame Eryn Lewis DNVI
Mayor
The Hon. Wilson Lewis
Towns
Flag of Augusta.png Arms of Augusta.png AugustaSatellite.png Augusta
Canton of Roanoke
6 September 2018 (as New Richmond borough)
12 June 2019 (as Austenasian Town)
11 February 2020 (as New Virginian Town)
3 Municipal Burgess
The Hon. Sir Riley Kennedy KNVI
Helinium
Canton of Roanoke
1 November 2020 2 Municipal Burgess
The Hon. Bradley van Dullahan BP
Flag of North Watch.png North Watch
Canton of New Franklin
15 October 2020 5 Municipal Burgess
The Rt. Hon. Thomas Bainbridge BP
San Scoglio Flag.png San Scoglio Arms.png San Scoglio e il Porto d'Ercole
Canton of New Franklin
25 April 2020 4 Municipal Burgess
HE Sir Edward Jacobs KNVI
Territories
Carolinia Flag.png Coat of Arms of Carolinia.svg CaroliniaSatellite.png Carolinia
Canton of Roanoke
31 March 2020 0 Governor
His Hon. Sir William Wilson KNVI
N/A N/A Kush Village.jpg Kush Village
Canton of New Franklin
17 October 2018 (as Terentian village)
26 February 2020 (as New Virginian Territory)
0 Governor
The Hon. Michael Whiteman
N/A N/A Sandra's Isle.jpg Sandra's Isle
Canton of Roanoke
26 February 2020 0 Governor
The Hon. William Kennedy
N/A N/A Nubes Peaks
Canton of Roanoke
13 March 2020 0 Governor
Major General The Hon. Alex Francis
New Arastraville Flag.svg N/A New Arastraville
Canton of New Franklin
9 July 2020 0 Governor
The Hon. Leon Montan BP
Autonomous regions
New Reinhardt 13 October 2020 2 High Commissioner
Major General The Hon. Alex Francis

Government

New Virginia is governed under the provisions of the New Virginian Constitution of 2020 which established the Commonwealth as a constitutional republic with a parliamentary system of government. The President of New Virginia is the head of state, responsible primarily for ceremonial affairs, foreign relations, the military and culture. The President is elected by an Electoral College consisting of various national and local government officials. The first and incumbent President is Sir Joseph Kennedy KNVI, former Chairman of the Provisional Council.

The Parliament of New Virginia is the legislative organ of governance, consisting of the House of Burgesses and the Senate. The House of Burgesses is elected by the citizens to represent the municipalities and the cantons-at-large. The Senate is led by its President, and the House of Burgesses is led by its Speaker. At present, Parliament has yet to be formed following the enactment of the Constitution. The Senate is responsible for advising the President and interpreting the Constitution, and is comprised of ordinary senators, who are appointed by the President with the consent of the House, and extraordinary senators who consist of Presidents emeritus, former Prime Ministers, and former Speakers of the House. The first Parliament was elected on 22 August 2020.

The executive authority of the Commonwealth is vested in the Prime Minister and Cabinet , which is comprised of government ministries vested with executive authority over certain state functions. The Prime Minister presides over the Cabinet and directs its activities. The incumbent Prime Minister is Dame Eryn Lewis DNVI. The National Security Council is an independent government organ responsible for coordinating national security and defence policy in conjunction with the Foreign Office and Ministry of Defence.

Ministries

The following government ministries are headed by ministers who comprise the Cabinet:

Members of the Government

Political parties

There are two major political parties represented in the New Virginian government: the Free Democrats and the National Party. The Free Democrats were the first party founded in New Virginia and are recognized as a generally left-leaning party. The National Party was founded shortly after, and is seen as a right-leaning group. Currently the Free Democratic Party hold a majority in the House of Burgesses and the Cabinet.

Party Name Logo Short name Leader Ideologies Position Colors Seats in government
House of Burgesses Cabinet
Free Democratic Party FDP Transparent.png Free Democrats FDP The Rt. Hon. Dame Eryn Lewis BP New Virginian Left Gold, red, black
6 / 11
4 / 6
National Party National3.png Nationals NP The Hon. Bradley van Dullahan BP New Virginian Right Blue, gold, white
3 / 11
0 / 6

Law and Order

NVP officers at a training exercise

Law enforcement in New Virginia is the responsibility of the New Virginian Police. The NVP is led by a Commissioner, currently Charles Kitchen, and has local police forces in every municipality, each led by an inspector. Under the provisional government, jurisprudence operates on the civil law of the Empire of Austenasia, with all crimes being tried by the Provisional Council.

Military

The New Virginian Defence Force is the sole standing military force in the Commonwealth of New Virginia. The Defence Force is administrated and funded by the Ministry of Defence, which is led by the Minister of Defence, currently The Rt. Hon Thomas Bainbridge BP.

The Defence Force was established on 23 March 2020 from the remnants of the Austenasian Imperial Navy, which had defended the three founding New Virginian municipalities when they were under Imperial rule. Alex Francis, a former New Richmonder local politician, was appointed the first Commandant of the Defence Force, and was commissioned as a major general.

The Defence Force is trained to defend New Virginian territory and citizens from foreign and domestic threats, to provide relief and support during various disasters, and to fulfill various ceremonial obligations.

Demographics

Population

New Virginia has a total population of 54 people. Of those, 39 are citizens who actually reside in New Virginian territory or are assigned to a municipality and 15 are non-residential citizens. New Virginian citizens aged thirteen and older are entitled to vote in elections and run for most offices. New Virginian citizenship is restricted to those born on New Virginian soil or to New Virginian parents; or to those granted citizenship by law, typically through an application process maintained by the Home Office and its Department for the Census.

Languages

English is the predominantly spoken and de facto official language of the Commonwealth. English is the only language used for government business and is known and used daily by the majority of the population. Other languages spoken by New Virginians include Dutch, French, German and Russian.

Culture

New Virginia has a very rich and diverse culture which is largely classified as being descended from the culture of Europe. As New Virginia is a descendant of both Austenasia and Havnesgade-Amager, the cultures of those societies have profoundly impacted New Virginian culture, and are especially notable in regards to the government of the Commonwealth; the Consuls and Senate are inspired by the Austenasian institutions of the same name, and the directly democratic municipal councils are rooted in the Amatine tradition of direct democracy. Austenasian symbolism is found in the flag and arms of the City of New Richmond, and Amatine symbolism can be found in the symbols of Augusta.

There are also numerous elements that are unique to New Virginian culture in comparison to the nations from which the Commonwealth is descended, such as the Romance culture found in San Scoglio and the Texan-influenced western-American culture of Carolinia. Shorelinian local culture is heavily influenced by psychedelia and the jam bands of the 1960s. New Richmonder and Augustan culture are heavily influenced by the American South, specifically Kentucky.

Art

A painting by New Virginian artist Savannah Wellman.

The Commonwealth is home to an active and diverse art scene, both visual and musical. Savannah Wellman, a Senator and resident of New Richmond, has began to develop a uniquely New Virginian style of painting, and her works have received acclaim in her home city and throughout the Commonwealth. Sir Edward Jacobs KNVI and Sir William Wilson KNVI are notable graphic designers, having designed most of the national and local symbols of the Commonwealth, and are often contracted by foreign individuals and nations.

Maj. Gen. The Hon. Alex Francis is a leading figure in the New Richmond/Augusta music scene as hip-hop and EDM artist and producer under the stage name AyyoKami. Dame Eryn Lewis DNVI is a singer-songwriter, guitarist, and prominent Shorelinian musician. Carolinia is home to a small choir which performs New Virginian patriotic music and other styles.

Religion

The New Virginian Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state and the freedom of religion for all New Virginians; however, it also acknowledges the Christian and Shorelinian Deadhead faiths as cornerstones of the cultural life of the New Virginian nation.

The Shorelinian Deadheads are organised around the the Church of the Golden Road to Unlimited Devotion which was founded in Shoreline (known then as Terentia) whilst originally part of the Empire of Austenasia. The Church was established in September 2018 by Eryn Lewis, along with a small group of Shorelinian Deadheads, as part of a process of creating a cultural identity for the town. This identity was largely based on the music and phenomenon of the Grateful Dead, along with other jam bands such as Phish, Twiddle, and other bands in the larger 'hippie' genre, such as the Allman Brothers Band and Jimi Hendrix. The religion this Church follows is informally known as the 'Golden Road', and the adherents to this Church are typically refereed to as Golden Road Adherents, Deadheads, and Shorelinian Deadheads.

Protestantism represents the largest Christian presence in New Virginia. A number of New Virginian Protestants are represented by the United Protestant Church of New Virginia (UPC-NVA). The Church is a united and uniting denomination which encompasses a variety of theological traditions, principally Anglican, Baptist, and Reformed. The Church is structured into a system of Connexions between members of similar traditions, together with a set of democratic national institutions. Roman Catholics also have a presence in New Virginia, represented by members of the Catholic Fellowship from the Republic of Nordale.

References

External Links