|United Free Reedemia
|Motto: Together Under God We Are Strong|
|'Anthem: 'Hymn: "In Unity We Stand Redeemed"
March: "Bells of Democracy"
Tarephia's Beam, Hen of Tarephia
Free Reedemia's location in southern Tarephia.
|Recognised regional languages||Franquese, Castellanese, Budrian|
|Demonym||Freedemian or Free Reedemian|
|Government||Constitutional Presidential Democratic Republic|
|•||Vice President||Patrick Houser|
|•||Executive Whip||Katherine Nelzer|
|•||Vice Executive Whip||Lily Mae Clarington|
|•||Upper house||*House of Poplators|
|•||Lower house||*House of Equal Representation
*House of Referenda
|•||Declaration of Independence||April 23rd, 1733|
|•||End of Reedemian Independence War||March 25th, 1735|
162,163 sq mi
|Currency||Freedemian Freedin (FRD)|
Free Reedemia, officially United Free Reedemia and commonly known as Freedemia, is a country in southern Tarephia along the Strait of Lyc. Freedemia is located on the Budrian Peninsula and borders Paroy to its northwest, Beldrio and Mirimar to its north, Mandatory Meilan at its southern tip, and the Strait of Lyc to its south. The capital is Quentinsburgh (population 4.5 million) and largest city is Jhuandan (population 4.9 million).
Freedemia is a constitutional presidential democratic republic consisting of 13 states. Freedemia is among the most urbanized countries in Tarephia, with the vast majority of the population living along the southern or eastern coasts and the interior being comparatively sparse. The area was forcibly taken from indigenous populations over time by several colonial powers starting around the 1300s and was home to multiple colonies, including the Castellanese colony of Tierra Redimida, the Ingerish colony of Ingerish Reedemia, and the Rivagien colony of Frankelyn. Fatigue from a series of intensifying land wars from the 1400s-1700s led colonists from the three colonies to unite and declare independence, which was granted in 1735 after the Reedemian Revolutionary War, often referred to as the "War for Peace from War" by Freedemians.
With an HDI of 0.878, Freedemia is a highly developed nation, ranking high in international measures of economic freedom, quality of life, lack of corruption, and education, but also sees sharp inequality between the impoverished rural northern interior and wealthy urbanized coasts. Much of the country's wealth comes from resource extraction from the northern interior, including mining for metals and gems as well as foresting. Freedemia also has large natural gas reserves and has made large investments in nuclear and renewable energy production in an effort to move away from mass oil production. Agriculture in the eastern plains especially also plays a large role within the country. Freedemia is usually seen as one of the economic regional powers of southern Tarephia, and enjoys some diplomatic political power within the Lycene region as well. As a nation with a high pacifist population, partially based in religion, Freedemia lacks an exploratory military, with most armed forces being either defense or national service guard.
Christic Castellanese made it to the east coast of what is now Freedemia in the early 1500s and called it Tierra Redimida, or "Land of the Redeemed", after they miraculously survived a storm to land along the coast. When the first Ingerish expeditions went out later to scout out the land before others followed to take it into Ingerish posession, Alexander Quentins, the Ingerish explorer that led the 1500s expeditions to West Tarephia, butchered the grammar and the spelling of 'redeemed' in his writing and called the place "Reedemed Land". Quentins died shortly after discovering Freedemia, leaving others to refer to his notes. As such, the colony became known as Ingerish Reedemia, and later just Reedemia. Closer to 1700, writers proposing independence began writing of a "Free Reedemia" in pamplets and writings, which eventually was shortened by many to Freedemia in writing. The "United" portion of the official name refers to the unification of the three colonies into one nation.
Further Information: see History of Freedemia
While many groups existed in the area at one point or another, Freedemia was most prominently home to the Budrian peoples before colonial settlement. The Budrian people occupied most of the eastern part of the peninsula, mostly populating along the coasts and eastern plains. One of the most significant pre-colonial settlements was what is now known as the city of Jhuandan, a name closely derived from its original native name. Some historical evidence suggests that there was trade and travel across the strait with Antarephian native populations in Ohesia, explaining much of the shared language despite many ethnic and cultural differences. Jhuandan was a fairly modern settlement by most standards. It is partially believed that one reason Castellanese settlers were more willing to intermix with the Budrian people than with some other native populations was that they were impressed with their "advancement" over other native groups.
In the late 1300s, the spread of the Rivagien Empire founded by Franqueterre reached to the Budrian peninsula, killing much of the native population in the western side and establishing the colony of Frankelyn. The Castellanese would arrive on the east coast in the late 1400s and early 1500s, establishing the colony of Tierra Redimida (Land of the Redeemed). While they took a less violent approach, partially due to being impressed by some of the native settlements on the east coast in comparison to other areas they'd colonized, there was still a lot of stealing of land and forced assimilation, causing many Budrians to flee inward into the northern interior of the country. The arrival of the Ingerish and establishment of the colony of Ingerish Reedemia (named thus from a misspelling of Land of The Redeemed) in the mid 1500s continued this push inward.
By the late 1500s, Ingerland and Castellan had expanded their territory to the point the colonies bordered each other. At a global scale, the Ingerish and Castellanese had agreed to some degree of colonial alliance/truce. There was intermingling across the borders between the Castellanese and Ingerish colonists, and use of Jhuandan as a shared trading hub. However, at the ground level, by 1650 the alliance between Ingerish Reedemia and Castellanese Tierra Redimida had fallen apart. The colonial heads of Ingerish Reedemia had pushed east to take Jhuandan, breaking the truce and creating a series of land wars between the two colonies pushed by the colonial heads and their militaries. Most of the colonists didn't want any fighting, and the fatigue from the growing land wars led by the colonial governors yet opposed by most colonists would lead to many desiring independence from Castellan and Ingerland.
Emboldened by Paroyan revolutionaries' actions around 1729 and realizing that the Ingerish empire had been weakened significantly by the Ingerish Civil War and other ongoing independence battles, many pacifist Christic pro-independence leaders from within Ingerish Reedemia began to develop plans to fight back against the Ingerish for independence. However, it became clear that everyday citizens in Castellanese Tierra Redimida were also in favor of joining the effort, and that the neighboring "enemy" Rivagien Cabelia colonists were equally fatigued. As such, around 1732, as the Paroyan war for independence began coming to a close, Ingerish independence leaders reached out to independence leaders in Tierra Redimida and in Frankelyn. The Free Reedemia Compact was signed in March 1733 after news of Paroyan independence, unofficially unifying the pro-independence colonists under the "Free Reedemia" banner ( named in contrast to Ingerish Reedemia).
When the Free Reedemian revolutionaries declared Independence on April 23, 1733, both the Ingerish and Castellanese colonial heads declared war, expecting to be supported by their empires. However, the global truce was still in place and the kingdoms were still spread thin and weakened from other independence movements. Unable to agree on how to address the uprising by the Free Reedemia militias and desperate to keep peace with each other, the kings of Ingerland and Castellan withdrew support from the warring colonies, sharply turning the tide of the war in favor of the revolutionaries. The Ingerish and Castellanese would retreat in January 1735, with the already much weaker Cabelia folding shortly after in March 1735.
Benjamin Cholmondeley, one of the biggest figures in helping unify the colonists against the empires, was chosen as king to lead the newly established Freedemian monarchy in 1737. However, anti-monarchy sentiments were rising, and his son Riley Cholmondeley would be the last king of Freedemia, stepping down to help craft the parliamentary republican constitution adopted in 1811. The 1811 constitution was also revolutionary in that it granted women the right to vote, run for office, and not be barred from workplaces, something that happened much later in most other former Ingerish colonies. However, it had major flaws and lacked any sort of checks and balances system, rapidly descending into partisanship and corruption.
The 1898 Constitution officially transformed Freedemia into more of a modern democracy, establishing more of a modern democratic-republican government with presidents instead of premiers, a non-parliamentary system, and a vigorous checks and balances system. Other than a brief rise in nationalism, the early 1900s were fairly uneventful. Freedemia remained somewhat isolationist for several decades, partially out of an attempt to avoid war. This led to the nation being fairly stable during the Great War, attracting large amounts of rapid population growth as people migrated from countries that were being much more directly harmed by the war. This tied in with the election of President Sean Bond in 1951, who spearheaded a campaign to build up infrastructure in Freedemia (such as rail, airports like Sean Bond International Airport, roadways, and public transit) to generate jobs and to catch up to population growth. His successor, Wallace Sanderson, started the discussion of using this infrastructure to open up more to tourism and international commerce, a concept that would be debated into the 1970s but eventually win out, with Freedemia becoming a founding member of the Tarephia Cooperation Council in 1984 and a full opening of the economy under President Fredrick Baum.
An oil spill off the coast of Meilan in 1986 spurred the start of the Freedemian environmental movement. Freedemia would see a shift away from gasoline towards hybrids and to an eventual transition more towards natural gas within Freedemian production and use alongside the hybrids/electric. There was also a shift towards further development and adoption of solar and hydroelectric, along with a doubling down on nuclear. The shift away from gasoline and oil would also lead to significant investment in public transportation and the FreedemiRail network to further improve the system, including the main high speed line along the southern coast. Meanwhile, the newly opened economy and low regulations allowed Freedemia to enjoy substantial economic growth, riding the wave of the tech revolution with the founding of companies like Stepstone Technology and MegamerGames and seeing mass expansion of other companies like All-n-One.
Other Historical and Cultural Influences
Pacifist Christics- driving the independence movement within the Ingerish colonies
Much about Pacifist Christics can be summed up in their creed: "Harm not a brother who hast not wronged thee, and do not lash out in anger".
Pacifist Christics made up a large part of the population of the Ingerish colonies and had a lot of influence. This potentially is a large part of why the Ingerish initiate the unity and independence talks among the three colonies. Pacifist Christicism would have a large impact on the culture of Freedemia over the years- even as the particular religious sect faded into obscurity, many of the pacifist tendencies stuck around.
Nudism culture: Franqueterese body acceptance meets Pacifist Christic rejection of sexual immorality
The Franqueterese influence from the west was already very open about the nude body. It was common in artworks, statues, and even plays and performances, which was also true for Frankelyn and the Franqueterese portion of western Freedemia. Meanwhile, the Pacifist Christics in the Ingerish colony held strong beliefs about respect for women and for others in general, and also strongly denounced sexual immorality and open sexual acts. Over time, these influences met. Rather than clashing, in many ways they largely merged. The body acceptance of the Franqueterese fit well with the respect for women pushed by the Pacifist Christics, and with the body being seen as completely normal and commonplace and the harsh attitude towards sexual actions and content, nudity never gained a sexual connotation in most of Freedemian society. Some exceptions could be seen in the Castellanese regions, which were less directly affected by the Franqueterese body acceptance, but the region still has a loose attitude on nudity.
Women in early Freedemia
Women were more respected as equals with a role to play within Pacifist Christicism than in other religious sects at the time, so within the Ingerish colony especially, women had a bit more of a say than might be expected for the time. In addition, the men across all of the colonies were usually the ones doing most of the hard labor, leaving the women to themselves. This led to a sort of informal politics among the women of the colonies, sometimes known as "washboard politics" or "reading room politics", where they tended to be informed of everything going on and to be some of the more vocal voices while most men besides local and religious leaders focused on the labor and logistics and tended to be informed on politics and current events by their wives. As such, as early as the push for the first post-monarchy constitution, women were pushing for more enumerated rights, and they would get many of their requests, including the right to vote, run for office, and not be barred from workplaces, granted in the 1811 constitution.
Even with this advanced approach to women's rights, the move to reasonable gender equality was slow. Social pressures still kept many women from running for office, and most who did run faced sexist campaigns against them. It wouldn't be until 1907 that a woman (President Algenia Dreyser) would be elected president of Freedemia, partially building upon decades of time as a respected "founding mother" and crafter of the new constitution.
Freedemia is located in the south of Tarephia and has a land area of over 420,000km. The territory it controls lies between latitudes 16 and 25°S and longitudes 26 and 35°E.
Free Reedemia forms most of the central portion of the Budrian Peninsula, located at the southern tip of the Tarephian mainland. The shape of Freedemia's borders often draws comparisons to a chicken, contributing to the hen symbolism often used to represent Freedemia. The country has a southern (and western) coastline along the Charmois Sea and an eastern coastline along the Sound of Beaudry, each which includes numerous islands. While most in the region casually refer to the entire body of water as the Strait of Lyc, the strait is technically south of Freedemia touching Meilan. Most observers describe Freedemia in terms of four fairly well defined topographical regions: the urbanized coastal plains of the southern and eastern coasts, the inland agricultural plains of Chavana in the east, the Firqa Adarir (Green Mountain Range, thus named for the very high tree-line and vegetated mountainsides) running northwest-to-southeast through the country's center, and the jungle-filled hills and mountains of the northern interior.
The Firqa Adarir are some of the tallest mountains in the region. Peaks are frequently from 2000 to 4000 meters in height, and are part of a longer range that continues beyond the Budrian peninsula across to Brocelliande and Barzona to the northwest and through Ohesia to the southeast. (Unnamed Peak) in this region is Freedemia's highest point at 5035m. Freedemia is home to many river basins, the largest including the Gaber Rejt basin in the northern interior, the Gaber Gaviera basin in the eastern plains, and the Windross River basin in the urbanized south. Waterfalls like the Emerald Falls abound in many of the mountainous areas, and are some of Freedemia's most prized natural wonders. Several large lakes in the south-central region of Freedemia, known as the (insert name) lakes, are the largest on the Budrian Peninsula and some of the largest in southern Tarephia and northern Antarephia.
Freedemia borders Paroy to the northwest, Mirimar and Beldrio to the north, and the AN mandate Meilan to the south. While separated by international water in the Charmois Sea, Freedemia is also usually considered to border Cabelia and Aerágny. Antarephian countries such as Geare (mainland), Pactone, and Ohesia lie across the strait. Freedemia's most significant natural resources are (insert) It also has large areas of arable land and water.
The climate in Freedemia varies between humid sub-tropical throughout the southern and eastern plains and tropical rainforest in much of the northern interior. The southwestern urban coastal part of Freedemia is considerably drier than the agriculture-rich plains of the east or the rainforests of the far north due to the rain shadow cast by the Firqa Adarir (Green Mountain Range), the major range that runs through much of the country.
Freedemia is broken up into 13 states. While states have less power than the federal government or local jurisdictions, they are still important administrative structures in Freedemia's federal system. Quentinsburgh serves both as the national capital and as the capital of Quentins state.
|Name and Map Link||Abbreviation||Capital and Map Link||Population||Notes|
|Edinshire (map)||ES||Edinhurst||TBD||Edinshire also includes the westernmost Auliffe Island|
|Frankelyn (map)||FR||Frankelyn (City) (map)||TBD||Frankelyn is the heart of the former Rivagien colony of the same name, and is known for its history and lingering Rivagien culture. Frankelyn is also home to much of Freedemia's arts in Frankelyn and its theater and entertainment industry in Vandoveur.|
|Jhelesie (map)||JL||Fotja Rejt (map)||TBD||Jhelesie includes a significant part of the most jungle-filled rural parts of Freedemia's northern interior. While Rosalita is the largest city, Fotja Rejt is the central hub for much of the rural north. Jhelesie is home to the bulk of Freedemia's resource extraction industries such as mining and wood harvesting.|
|Jhuandan (map)||JH||Jhuandan (City) (map)||TBD||Today Jhuandan and its namesake city (Freedemia's largest) are mostly known for being the heart of Freedemia's tech industry. Historically, Jhuandan has also been a point of mixing cultures- besides having a rich indigenous heritage, both the Ingerish and Castellanese held the region throughout the colonial era, and the region has a large Meilanese population today.|
|Lawrence (map)||LW||Lawrence (City) (map)||TBD||Lawrence has historically been the heart of Freedemia's heavy manufacturing industry. Recent international collaboration has hit the industry hard as jobs and contracts are outsourced to other Tarephian and global countries. Lawrence also includes several of the Auliffe Islands.|
|Margo (map)||MG||Sainte-Margo (map)||TBD|
|Pell (map)||PL||Amelins (map)||TBD||Pell is partially known for its large Geare and Meilanese populations.When the Assembly of Nations expanded the Meilan mandate, a part of the state was taken and given to Meilan as punishment for President Daffenschmidt's Tri-State Aggression against Meilan in the 1940s.|
|Quentins (map)||QT||Quentinsburgh (map)||TBD||Quentins is most well known for Quentinsburgh, the national and state capital as well as the central hub for the nation at large. It was the heart of Ingerish Reedemia in colonial times and is still the cultural and financial hub of Ingerish-dominated Freedemia today.|
|Tierra Redimida (map)||TR||Los Redimidos (map)||TBD||Originally the heart of the Castellanese colony of the same name, Tierra Redimida has the largest remaining Castellanese presence in Freedemia, both in culture and in population.|
Freedemia is a very urbanized nation, with most of its population living in cities along its southern and eastern coasts.
|City Name||Population||Map Location||Notes|
|Quentinsburgh, QT||4,600,000||Example||The capital of Freedemia and Quentins state, Quentinsburgh is one of the wealthier cities and home to a strong business community.|
|Frankelyn, FR||1,200,000||Example||Frankleyn is the oldest colonial city in Freedemia, and is known for the arts as well as its Rivagien heritage, grandeur, and prestige.|
|Vandoveur, FR||Example||Example||Home to Betterview-Century Media and other major entertainment companies, Vandoveur stands in sharp contrast to Frankelyn as a bustling entertainment city that boomed in the 1900s. The city has a reputation as Freedemia's "weird" city, with a more eccentric and flamboyant population than most of the country.|
|Los Redimidos, TR||Example||Example||Example|
|Qinter Flora, GA||Example||Example||Example|
|Sent Qerlina, CH||Example||Example||Example|
|Fotja Rejt, JL||Example||Example||Fotja Rejt has the largest percentage of native Tarephians of any sizable city in the country.|
|City Name||Population||Map Location||Notes|
|Jhuandan Metropolitan Area||Example||Example||Example|
|Quentinsburgh/Mathers Bay Metropolitan Area||Example||Example||Part of the larger megalopolis stretching along the southern Freedemian coast|
|Frankelyn-Vandoveur Metropolitan Area||Example||Example||Sometimes referred to as "Freedemia's Odd Couple", the metro area is anchored by Frankelyn (a historic traditional city known for arts and prestige) and Vandoveur (a newer progressive city known for entertainment and flamboyance).|
|Lawrence-Lenseter Metropolitan Area||Example||Example||Often referred to as L2 or L-Squared|
Much of the population is of medium or darker skin tones, and mixed native-colonial and native individuals actually outnumber those solely descended from colonial settlers roughly 46% to 42%. However, within Freedemia demographic reporting tends to group by nationality.
- 27% Ingerish-descended (including Ingerish-Tarephian )
- 25% Castellanese-descended (including Castellanese-Tarephian)
- 22% Native Tarephian
- 10% Rivagie-descended (including Rivagie-Tarephian)
- 7% North Archantan
- 5% Other Ulethan
- 3% Other or Other mixed
Out of the 5% Other Ulethan, Navennese, Plevian, and Mazanite immigrants make up the largest amount.
The "freedom to observe or to not observe a religion, including all expression thereof, unless explicitly causing deliberate harm or injury...and without pressuring to the contrary" is guaranteed within the 1898 Freedemian constitution. There is also an expectation of some degree of separation of church and state, though this is usually interpreted as not to preclude "religion-neutral" laws made with religion-influenced values and morals in mind.
Freedemia is a largely Christic nation in population, partially owing to its Pacifist Christic heritage. Most religious tension within the country is actually within Christicism between denominations, as the slow rise of conservative prosperity groups has led to clashes with historically liberal groups like the traditional Pacifist Christics and the dominant pacifist-derived general evangelics. The nation also has sizable Ibriyim and Imani populations, as well as practicers of Koinoia near the Meilan border and others that do not observe a religion.
- 49% Christic- Pacifist-derived evangelic denomination
- 11% Christic- Traditional Pacifist Christic
- 13% Christic- Conservative prosperity denomination
- 11% other Christic
- 5% Ibriyim/Hebraic
- 3% Imani
- 3% no religion/non-practicing
- 2% Koinoia (Meilanese religion)
- 3% other
Ingerish is the dominant language and the main official language, with Franquese as a recognized language and Budrian as a minority language. Most of the country is Ingerish-speaking and Ingerish is treated as the lingua franca. However, Franquese does have lingering influence in Frankelyn and Margo, and Budrian, the primary native language, still has lingering influence in the north and east. Some Castellanese/Latinian influence remains as well, but mostly just in Tierra Redimida where the Castellanese colony would have once been based out of.
Freedemian Ingerish, by far the main dialect of Ingerish spoken in the country, is very similar to other forms but includes some key discrepancies. Some spelling differences exist such as ending words like "boulevarde", "streete", "centre", and "rivermouthe" with the letter e. Terminology differences include the word "rounde" being used for roundabouts/traffic circles and the word "cardinal" also meaning "of utmost importance".
Budrian as a native language has some relation to the Jolantian languages of native groups in Antarephia, including many similar or shared vocabulary. However, due to geographical separation, colonial influence, and other earlier differences between native languages besides Budrian, the grammar structure differs significantly from many of its peer languages, with a structure closer to a simplified Castellanese with a different vocabulary.
Health in Freedemia differs drastically between the wealthy urbanized coasts and the impoverished northern interior.
In coastal cities like Quentinsburgh and Jhuandan, health outcomes are good and healthcare is generally easily accessible. Life expectancies rival that of nations like the Federal States, and quality specialist care is available in partnership with many of Freedemia's best universities. While there are some minor exceptions in some urban slums, where living conditions are below reasonable living standard, healthcare is difficult to reach or obtain, and illnesses spread quickly, as a whole these regions are in good shape on the global scale. The primary concerns tend to involve obesity and health issues stemming from consumption of excessive fried foods.
In contrast, health in the northern interior is worse than some developing countries. Due to the prevalance of dirty industry and environmental exploitation, along with minimal investment in infrastructure and sanitation, towns and villages are highly polluted and water sources are often contaminated. The northern interior has by far the highest rates of cancers and other health issues and the shortest life expectancies. Terrible work conditions and lack of adequate protections also often lead to injuries, amputations, or deaths. Low wages and contaminated soils also contribute to malnutrition.
Major Exports and Resources
Metals, Minerals and Gems
Freedemia has a large mining industry. The largest mineral commodities are copper, nickel, and emeralds, though aluminum, gold, iron, and chromium are also large exports. The copper, nickel, and gold resources also contribute to Freedemia's computing and electronic manufacturing industries. The prevalence of emeralds (along with the rich green forests) has given Freedemia a strong association with rich green colors and made emeralds a sort of secondary symbol of the nation.
Vehicles and Parts
Freedemia has a history of heavy industry and vehicle manufacturing, including export of cars, buses, trucks, some rail infrastructure, and related parts. However, the rise of quality of life and economy in Freedemia has led to a decline in the industry as domestic and foreign brands move manufacturing to countries with cheaper labor. Nonetheless, the industry is still one of Freedemia's largest. Even after outsourcing of much heavy industry, Freedemia's Starmobile Auto Group remains one of the largest auto brands in Tarephia, behind its Vodean competitors and about even with brands from neighboring Paroy. In addition, many Cabelian companies now do heavy manufacturing in Freedemia.
Light Manufacturing, Appliances
Freedemia has a strong light industry, based primarily out of Jhuandan. Appliances, light electronics, and internals for each category respectively make up much of the industry, assisted by the metals mined within the country. Increasingly, this includes a growing tech industry including computers, mobile devices, and game systems from companies like Stepstone Technology and MegamerGames, though many of the internal chips come from Vodean companies like Marathon.
Meat and Dairy
Poultry, lamb, goat, and fish are Freedemia's largest meat exports. Beef is also exported, but makes up a comparatively small amount of Freedemia's meat. Eggs, milk, and cheeses also are major.
Wool and Down
Partially due to the prevalence of chickens and sheep, wool and down products are also two of Freedemia's largest exports, such as clothing and pillows.
Rice, corn, onions, soy, potatoes, mangoes, beans, olives, cotton, turtlefruit (a relative of the pineapple), sugar, and related products are Freedemia's largest agricultural resources.
Wood and Paper Products
Freedemia is known in part for its massive forests and wood quality. The availability of wood resources has led to somewhat of a woodcraft culture for furniture and wooden instruments while fueling many related industries like paper products.
Freedemia has large natural gas reserves and has made large investments in nuclear and renewable energy production. Freedemia exports some natural gas and electric energy to surrounding countries. Historically, Freedemia was also a large exporter and user of oil for much of its modern life; however, environmental concerns in the 70s and 80s led to a somewhat large shift away from new oil drilling and towards natural gas drilling/fracking. Some oil is still used in manufacturing processes but it is not as commonly used as an energy source today.
Government and Politics
The executive branch is headed by the President and Vice President and includes an administration of various advisory positions. The president has the power to veto laws sent to them, though the legislature can override. They are also generally seen as the head of state. Unlike most other countries with a presidential system, the runner up candidate and running mate of each presidential election become Executive Whip and Vice Executive Whip, positions within the administration where they play an advisory role to the president and try to work with them on certain ideas. The Executive Whip is also the 3rd in line for the presidency behind the Vice President, with the Vice Executive Whip 4th in line. The idea behind the Executive Whips is to ensure that candidates with reasonably different ideas are made to work together on a solution that's more problem-solution focused than strictly partisan or ideological, and that candidates coming from different perspectives can help ensure that problems the President and Vice President may not see are brought to light.
Freedemia's legislature is tricameral, consisting of the House of Poplators, an upper house where representatives are based on population, the House of Equal Representation, a lower house where each state gets an equal number, and the House of Referenda, which decides whether legislative-introduced bills need to be approved by the public by referendum to become law and oversee referendas initiated by the public, getting them to ballot or voting them down. The legislature makes federal laws, and has the ability to override a presidential veto with enough support.
Freedemia's judiciary, known as the National Court, handles major cases that involve constitutional rights as well as appeals that reach the highest level of the court system.
This system was made to have a degree of checks and balances, so that no individual branch would have too much concentrated power.
Freedemia, unlike many democracies, lacks a political party system, with a constitutional amendment banning parties from the political system. This was largely put in place to avoid party line votes and to encourage voters and legislators to look at each candidate and policy individually. This policy has been criticized by some as rewarding name recognition and reinforcing power structures, but applauded by others for a reduction in partisanship and attraction of a diversity of individualized candidate platforms.
As Freedemia lacks a party system, there tends to be a bit more variety in political beliefs represented. However, there are still some main political factions that have formed. Freedemia's politics are currently dominated by center-left authoritarianism, mostly exemplified by support for publicly run government programs along with support for existing bans on things like alcohol sales and drug use. However, left social libertarianism has seen a significant rise in recent years, with more support for legalization of things like sex work and alcohol, pushes for further deregulation and public-private partnerships, and a greater focus on liberty. Both groups have a global focus, supporting regional collaboration efforts like the Tarephia Cooperation Council alongside domestic security. In contrast, conservative protectionism is very focused on domestic safety and economy over all else, with the belief that regional cooperation has done more to hurt Freedemia than help and that global connections have put the country at greater risk of conflict. Conservative protectionists are the minority, but have strong support in areas that lost the most jobs to outsourcing like Lawrence and Lenseter.
Split over Alliances, Trade, and the Open Economy
Moves like joining the TCC and taking a liberal approach on trade and immigration beginning in the ~1970s made a large impact on Freedemia's rise. The new approach helped Freedemian businesses in tech, fast food, retail, and other major sectors expand and succeed internationally, attracted the best from around the world to its universities and technology/engineering firms, and allowed tourism and entertainment to flourish. These in turn directly helped most cities like Quentinsburgh, Frankelyn, Vandoveur, and Jhuandan thrive and grow. In addition, new direct rail ferry trade routes from Cabelia and Aerágny to the Vandoveur shore helped Frankelyn and Vandoveur thrive as trade-centered port cities on top of their already growing entertainment industry.
However, in contrast, increased trade and patronage of goods and industry from other TCC nations like Aerágny, Paroy, and Tigeria directly hurt Freedemian heavy industry, as other nations, especially Aerágny, had the edge on manufacturing ability and cost. Lawrence and Lenseter, home to much of said industry, were hit extremely hard and went into a state of stagnation and decline. Many industry jobs have actually returned in recent years in the form of Cabelia-owned companies opening factories in cities like Lawrence. However, for some conservatives with the strongest "Freedemia First" beliefs, losing ownership of the factories was still a major loss even when the jobs were retained.
This has led to a major political split within Freedemia, where most of the country is strongly in favor of globalization and an open economy but the Lawrence-Lenseter metro is fiercely in opposition. Lawrence State is known to strongly favor protectionism and to vote heavily against globalization/free trade/TCC alliances and those that support it, while metros like Quentinsburgh, Frankelyn/Vandoveur, and Jhuandan that thrive on it overwhelmingly outvote them.
Neglect and Exploitation of Northern Interior
In many ways the natural resource exploitation of the northern interior is part of what allows Freedemia to function as a somewhat wealthy regional power, but the region's low population leaves its residents with little voting power, and many of the area's unique issues are largely taken for granted or ignored by the populated and wealthier coastal population.
The rural areas of the northern interior are home to the highest levels of poverty in the nation, with most living conditions ranging from rundown mining towns full of trailer parks to villages of tiny shed homes with unreliable electricity, outhouses and water basins. Fotja Rejt, the largest city in the interior, has slightly better conditions, but is still one of the poorest cities in the nation. The region also sees heavy environmental exploitation, as the location where most of Freedemia's natural/mineral resources are mined. These dirty industries tend to be the largest employers in the north and are notorious for terrible working conditions and insufficient protections for employees and for those living in the area. Pollution and contamination of towns and villages throughout the Northern Interior is common, and the region has the highest rates of cancer and other health issues in the country.
The northern interior also has the highest concentration of Native Tarephian population, partially due to many natives having moved inland during the colonial era to flee the encroachment of the colonies along the coast. In contrast to most other parts of the country where assimilation and erasure of native cultures was emphasized, Budrian culture and language are still strong in the communities of the northern interior.
Many theorize that subconscious racism and prejudice against non-assimilated native Tarephians is the true reason for the geographical neglect and heavy exploitation, similar to deliberate disinvestment in areas de-facto segregated in other nations. However, this is often difficult to prove due to the population and geography factors. The northern interior has by far the lowest and least concentrated population in the nation and a difficult mountainous jungle-filled terrain. Because of this provision of services and infrastructure to the most isolated communities is difficult, and many leaders from the higher populated coasts claim that the investments being asked for are not financially feasible for such a large area with such low population density.
National Stability and Avoiding War as Number One Priority
It's been said that the easiest way to get Freedemians to turn on an ally is to make them fear that their partnership puts them at risk of war. This tends to stand true.
Outside of regions like Lawrence state that have been hit hard by regional competition, support for involvement in the TCC, open trade alliances, and other various global partnerships tends to be fairly high across the board. That support, however, though strong, is extremely fragile. For most Freedemians, regardless of what other beliefs they hold or what stances they have on controversial issues, the number one priority is domestic stability and avoiding war/international conflict. While it hasn't come to be in recent decades, polling has consistently shown that the overwhelming majority of Freedemians would swing heavily in favor of isolationism and disengaging from regional partners in the name of national security and peace.
In many ways, it is the prolonged peace itself that Freedemia has experienced that has allowed the pro-cooperation culture and attitude to thrive in Freedemian government and society. While initially met with skepticism in the 60s and 70s, the idea that a country could have close international relationships and lasting peace/good relations simultaneously is somewhat taken for granted in Freedemian society today. However, polling shows risk of war is the one area where fearmongering is very effective on Freedemians. Unlike concerns of loss of industry or changes in culture, Freedemians tend to be legitimately horrified of the risk of being drawn into international conflicts, and such fears have at times been exploited to rile up a very strong protectionist "Freedemia First" anti-collaboration sentiment among much of the population.
Debates Over Strict Approaches to Alcohol, Smoking, Drugs
Freedemia has fairly strict laws banning the sale of alcohol or tobacco products within the country, as well as public intoxication and public smoking. While possession itself and even private use of alcohol or tobacco products are not illegal, any form of sales or public use is fully prohibited. Freedemians generally cite the damage both can have on others (drunk individuals being more of a risk for drunk driving, domestic violence, etc; secondhand smoke causing damage to bystanders and others) as justification.
Rather than being punished with jail time, there has been an attempt in the past decades to turn sentencing towards rehabilitation. Public intoxication, possession of hard drugs, and crimes (especially domestic violence) committed under the influence of alcohol or drugs come with mandatory rehab sentencing. In addition, voluntary rehab is offered at no risk to those who come forward if they have not committed a crime by these standards.
In recent years, there have been debates over whether this approach is too harsh, with some critics advocating for a more libertarian approach, especially to alcohol. Many cite several other countries where alcohol use is fully legal that don't see rampant drinking-related offenses, as well as have a strong economic benefit from breweries and alcohol-serving restaurants and groups. Some also argue that the banning of safe regulated alcohol has led to many turning to even more dangerous moonshines or to mouthwashes and other products with alcohol content. While similar arguments have been made for smoking and drugs, the understanding of the effects of secondhand smoke and some of the more direct effects of hard drugs have prevented them from gaining any traction. In contrast, the debate on alcohol has continued to grow, though the vast majority still currently support the ban.
As it stands currently, Freedemia has a thriving and somewhat unrivaled mocktail industry, with nonalcoholic mocktail bars and pubs thriving in the place of their alcoholic counterparts (partially because of a lack of competition from them). The industry has seemed split on proposals for less strict alcohol policies, with some wanting to be able to expand offerings and others fearing competition. Some pro-alcohol-policy-reform groups have claimed "Big Mocktail" has lobbied to keep alcohol illegal to help their own industry.
The current leading proposal by pro-legalization groups is to legalize but with strict limits on amount purchased at any one establishment and limits on alcohol content in all sold alcohol.
Free Reedemia has an established structure of foreign relations. While historically it had been somewhat isolationist out of pacifist tendencies and fear of war, today Freedemia is known for its regional and internartional collaboration. Freedemia is a founding member of the Tarephia Cooperation Council, allowing free trade and visa-free travel to member nations, and a member of the Assembly of Nations.
Freedemia has especially close partnerships with several neighboring countries in Tarephia and Antarephia, including Paroy, Aerágny, Cabelia, Geare, and Mandatory Meilan. Countries such as Vodeo, Allendea, and Barzona are also close regional partners, and Freedemia has strong relationships with most other Ingerish colonies such as New Ingerland and the Federal States. Freedemia also has many close partners across other continents.
Freedemia is generally understood to aim for diplomacy and mutual understanding with most countries, even those it is not very closely allied with. While relations with countries like Bai, Suria, and Demirhan Devleti sometimes see tensions, collaboration still occurs frequently, and the only countries Freedemia currently does not recognize relations with at this point in time are Antigo and Kuehong, both over human rights violations and militarism.
Partially due to the good relationship Freedemia has with most countries and membership in the Tarephia Cooperation Council, Freedemia has one of the strongest passports in the world.
Due to the strategic position along the Strait of Lyc, Freedemia is theoretically a ripe target for attack. As such, Freedemia has a fairly large and strong defense-oriented military, but does not use it as an exploratory military.
The typical foreign policy stance is that Freedemia would only go to war when attacked or at very imminent threat of being attacked, and as an anti-interventionalist nation, never to initiate an attack. However, Freedemia will fight back whenever and wherever it is attacked. Freedemia does not attempt complete neutrality, and it will generally assist nations it aligns with using internationalist methods- monetary assistance, diplomatic assistance, and in select cases weapons and assistance. However, it will almost never take militaristic action against another country or in favor of another nation unless put directly at risk. One major exception is Geare, as Freedemia has an agreement with Geare to provide defense services.
Freedemia's national railways are operated by FreedemiRail (short for Free Reedemian Railway Group), a railway group consisting of three for-profit companies. FreedemiRail South (FRS) serves Freedemia's urban southwestern coast, including the large amount of services based out of Quentinsburgh, while FreedemiRail East (FRE) serves the eastern coast and services branching out of those cities. While separate in operations, on the passenger side FRS and FRE are both simply branded as FreedemiRail, acting as a mostly seamless combined network.
While the companies are private and for-profit, they do receive various forms of support from the Freedemian federal government. Most initial construction of new lines is paid for by federal transportation funding, and to ensure that important but unprofitable lines are not cut by the private operators, the federal government funds and requires continued operation of certain lines under the Essential Transportation Service Act. The federal government also helps pay for track upgrades, major track maintenance, and new rolling stock.
FreedemiRail Freight (FRF) operates and manages most freight within the country.
Further information: Culture of Freedemia
Religion in Culture
Freedemia has a rich heritage in music
Despite its pacifist culture and not having an exploratory military, patriotic military-style marches are significant parts of Freedemia's music history, being extremely popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s and remaining popular to current day as patriotic celebrations of Freedemia. Much of the march trend was driven by composer Oliver Newcom, known as Freedemia's "Master of Marches", known for compositions such as "Bells of Democracy", "The Matriarch", and the "Service Guard March". Several places have been named in his honor, such as Newcom Streete outside the Freedemian Institute of Music in Quentinsburgh.
Ragtime and Novelty
Similar to how Budrian syncopation and musical styles intertwined with Ingerish music styles in ragtime, in the formerly Castellanese part of Freedemia, a unique dance music emerged from the mix of Castellanese and Budrian styles. Redimidan dance tended to be mostly upbeat and celebratory, using primarily major chords. The traditional song "La Gallina de Tarefia" ("The Hen of Tarephia", referencing Freedemia's nickname) is one of the most well known examples of the style.
Swing and Jazz
Hymns and Gospel
The jingle culture that places like the Federal States had in the 1940s-1960s never quite died out in Freedemia. The local phrase of "Sex sells, but a good jingle sells triple" exemplifies the culture around jingles in Freedemia. Most major companies use jingles in their product advertising, political candidates use jingles in their campaign ads, and even the doors closing sound on many metro trains tend to be jingles (such as the Quentinsburgh Metro doors closing sound) rather than just tones or beeps.
One of the most significant parts of Freedemian visual art culture is landscape painting, largely inspired by Freedemia's grand landscapes of mountains, meadows, and beaches. This would eventually evolve into a wider culture that included paintings of cityscapes
Somewhat at the intersection of art and fashion, body painting is a uniquely Freedemian art. It is believed to have been inspired some by the paint markings Budrian tribes were known to adorn in leiu of colonial style clothes. Today styles of Freedemian body painting range from abstract designs to representations of landscapes to painted-on clothes.
Poultry is by far the most popular meat in Freedemia, with chicken especially being a staple of Freedemian cuisine in various forms, partly owing to the domestication of the native green-headed chicken adapted for the tropical climate. Mutton/lamb and beef are also quite popular, along with seafood in many coastal areas and in the Auliffe Islands. Partially due to the Pacifist Christic, Ibryim, and Imani populations believing pork is improper to consume, pork is uniquely nearly nonexistent in Freedemian cuisine. Turkey, beef, or lamb are often substituted for pork in things like sausage, bacon, lunch meats, "ham", and chops. Beef and chicken barbeque are popular in the formerly Ingerish and Castellanese regions. Fried chicken skins (akin to fried pork skins/pork rinds elsewhere) are popular snacks, especially in the Castellanese region. Mazanite immigration has led to meat kebabs being popular as well, while Navennese and Plevian immigrants brought sausagemaking and fine deli meats.
Freedemians are known to have a very cheese-filled diet. While cheeses originating from Plevia and other regions are very popular as well, several types of domestically-produced cheese are some of the most popular. Chavana cheese, from the eastern agricultural regions, is similar to Plevian hard, granular cheeses and is produced from cow's milk, typically aged for at least 9 months. Redimidan queso is similar to forms of queso blanco around the world, but is usually mixed with a special variant of Chavana specifically made to melt easier for dipping and filling. Wallacian cheese, from the Rivagien and Ingerish regions, is a soft crumbly cheese made from sheep milk.
Fruits and Vegetables
The tropical environment makes it convenient to grow tropical fruits, such as the turtlefruit, a fruit closely related to the pineapple but with an exterior that resembles a turtle shell and a slightly greener interior, and the huevomango, a mostly whitish-reddish mango that mainly grows in Freedemia.
Rice and egg dishes are some of the most common in Freedemia, sometimes together (such as eggs, onions, and rice as a popular breakfast meal). Potato and maize dishes are also common, with mashed potatoes and corn on the cob being popular and potato flour and cornmeal being some of the most used in cooking.
Fried foods are fairly common in Freedemian street foods, and often viewed as the most representative of typical Freedemian cuisine.
The most typical street food of Freedemian cuisine is the pizacyro, a type of fried flatbread usually topped with toppings similar to that of pizza, tacos, or gyros, where the name is believed to originate. It is believed that the pizacyro came from some of Freedemia's poorer communities, where creating the fried bread was an effort to make a meal out of leftover foods and small amounts of flour and oil. Meats (usually beef, lamb, chicken, or sausage), sour cream, melted shredded or crumbled cheese, tomatoes or tomato sauce, lettuce (or other similar leafy greens), onion, and garlic are the most common toppings. Turtlefruit and pineapple are also common, though highly controversial. Today, pizacyros are a staple of Freedemian street food, and have slowly risen in popularity around the world, even spawning fast food varieties such as the Pizacyro Hero fast food chain. Dessert pizacyros have also become popular over time, often topped with jellies, fruits, and ice cream.
Empanadas are also very popular throughout the country, partially deriving from Castellanese influence. Fillings are quite diverse, but lamb, beef, chicken, beans, and shredded or grated cheese are the most common. Other fried Castellanese or Latinian-derived foods, such as tostadas and Redimidan chalupas (with more of a fried shell), are also popular street foods. Fried vegetables and fried meats (especially poultry, such as fried chicken) also make up much of the cuisine.
International favorites such as cheeseburgers, franquese fries, hot dogs, and pizza are popular in Freedemia, often with their own variants such as Quentinsburgh-style pizza and turtlefruit on burgers. Many Freedemian deserts, such as crêpes, come from Rivagien cuisine. Many staples of Tigerian cuisine such as pain mei and aux perles are popular as well, partially from Meilan's proximity, and mediterranean dishes have been brought over by Mazanic immigrants.
Drinks and Beverages
While alcohol comsumption in private is technically legal, alcohol sales are currently illegal in Freedemia. Filling this gap, mocktails are extremely popular in Freedemia, with various mocktail bars and pubs throughout the country.
Freedemia is also somewhat known for an abundance of vending machines in urban areas. Due to the heat and humidity Freedemia sees consistently, dehydration is common, and people are frequently looking for places to get something to drink. Around 1960, seeing the budding success of vending machines in countries like Izaland and Freedemia's similarly low rates of vandalism and theft, beverage companies like Jewel-Polar saw an opportunity, and around the 1970s began a mass rollout of vending machines across the country. Snack machines followed shortly after, and today it is hard to go anywhere in a major city in Freedemia without there being at least vending machine nearby. The lack of alcohol in mocktails also allows popular mocktails to be available at vending machines.
The love for cartoony characters and worlds carries over to nearly every part of Freedemian life, such as video games remaining cartoony when other regions moved towards realistic graphics, and mascots and cartoon characters used in advertising.
Attitude towards alcohol, smoking, substances
Attitude towards the body
Freedemian Bath Culture
Fashion and Dress
Due to the extremely hot and humid climate, typical Freedemian clothing tends to be very thin and airy, often made of sheer cotton, lace, or mesh. Most of the time, people of both genders only wear one layer of clothing, and undergarments are rarely worn. Unlike in places like the Federal States, cultural perceptions of modesty in Freedemia is not associated with dress or amount of skin showing. Barechestedness, regardless of gender, is both legal and extremely common in casual settings, and it is normal for Freedemians to be nude at parks, beaches, or pools. The modesty of the culture, cultural acceptance of the body, and the intensity of the climate mean general acceptance of the aforementioned overall clothing style.
For more business-casual or formal dress, light short-sleeve polo shirts and polo skirts are very common, as well as light button-ups.
Sports culture is very strong in Freedemia, with attending games as a favorite pasttime. Baseball, field hockey, ringbowl (sometimes known as Freedemian basketball), football (soccer), and foosball (table soccer) are the most popular sports, while other sports such as tennis and cricket also have moderate followings. Both men's and women's sports are popular, and in many cases will share stadiums.
Most major team sports leagues in Freedemia are set up with a relegation club setup, where teams can be in an upper or lower league based on their previous season. As such, for the most popular sports like baseball, there are lots of teams in major cities and even some smaller regions.
Lycene League Baseball (LLB) is the main men's baseball league for Freedemia and the Lycene region at large. While the majority of teams in the league are Freedemian teams, several surrounding countries, such as Barzona, Geare, Paroy, and Meilan, also have teams that play in the league. Freedemian Women's League Baseball (FWLB) is the main women's baseball league, and at this time teams are only from Freedemia. Annually, there is a "Battle of the Sexes" all-star game between the best of the Lycene League and the best of the Women's League. Every two years, the best of the Lycene teams play a series of games against teams from the Federal States.
Ringbowl, sometimes referred to internationally as Freedemian basketball, is a ball sport that plays similar to a court-sized version of the skip-ball games found in many arcades. Players from each team have to get across a basketball-styled court and "bowl" a ball off a ramp into ringed baskets on the ends. Points are scored by what ring the ball lands in (either 1, 2, or 3 points), and balls rolled into the basket from beyond the "plus one" line gain an additional point. Balls that don't make it over the ramp and roll back in are considered still in play. To pass the ball, players must "bowl" the ball to each other across the court.
Television and Film
Freedemia is home to one of the largest movie industries in Freedemia. Betterview-Century Media (the conglomerate parent company of Betterview Studios) and StudioOwl are both based out of Vandoveur's iconic Studio Boulevard district.