Sanctaria

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Divine Federation of Sanctaria
Flag of Sanctaria
Flag
Official Arms of Sanctaria
Coat of Arms
Motto: Dura Lex Sed Lex
Anthem: Nearer My God To Thee
SancIDUMap.png
Sanctaria (blue) within the IDU (yellow)
Sanctaria green.svg
Sanctaria (green) with state boundaries (white)
CapitalSanctus
Official languagesEnglish
Recognised national languagesFrench, Latin
Ethnic groups (2016)85% Sanctarian
15% unspecified and others
DemonymSanctarian
GovernmentFederal constitutional parliamentary republic
Marian Woodstrom
Charlene Hendry
Establishment
• Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria
25 December 1380
• Papal States of Sanctaria
11 May 1528
• Divine Republic of Sanctaria
19 November 1974
• Divine Federation of Sanctaria
01 January 2019
Area
• Total
4,422,773 km2 (1,707,642 sq mi)
• Water (%)
1.1
Population
• 2016 census
507,416,607
• Density
116.0/km2 (300.4/sq mi)
HDI (2016)0.92
very high
CurrencySanctarian Pound (SCN)
Time zoneSST
Date formatdd-mm-yyyy
Drives on theleft
Calling code+357
Internet TLD.sct

Sanctaria, officially the Divine Federation of Sanctaria, is a sovereign country located on the western part of the continent of Hespia in the International Democratic Union. It is one of the largest countries in Hespia and in the region. The neighbouring countries are the Schnauzer Homelands to the north; and Munsteran and Sciongrad to the east. The population of 500 million is becoming increasingly urbanised, but rural communities are still the biggest concentration of population; urban areas are heavily concentrated on the eastern and southern seaboards. Sanctaria's capital is Sanctus, which is also its largest city. The country's other major metropolitan areas are Corpus, Haven, Nicene, and Cristi.

Sanctaria was inhabited by indigenous Hespians for about 15,000 years before the arrival of Catholic missionaries in the late 10th century. After the colonisation of the area by Catholic missionaries and converts, who named it Terra Sanctus, various wars of conquest as well as conversions resulted in the formation of the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria on Christmas Day in 1380. The population, and Sanctaria’s influence abroad, grew steadily in subsequent centuries, and in 1528, upon the gaining of its first colony abroad, the Sanctaria was reorganised into an empire called the Papal States of Sanctaria. On 19 November 1974, the Papal States were disestablished, and the territory that was formerly the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria became independent, calling itself the Divine Republic of Sanctaria. On 01 January 2019, the country formed the Divine Federation of Sanctaria, after beginning a process of federalisation within the nation. Sanctaria is a stable liberal democratic political system that functions as a federal parliamentary republic comprising six states and three city-states.

Sanctaria is a highly developed country, ranking among the top five of the region's largest economies. It has a high-income economy, with one of the world's highest per capita incomes. It is a regional power though has some of the region's lowest military expenditure. Sanctaria has a strong immigrant population with immigrants accounting for 13% of the population. Having one of the highest human development index and the highest ranked democracy in the region, the country ranks highly in quality of life, health, education, economic freedom, civil liberties, and political rights, with all its major cities faring well in global comparative livability surveys. Sanctaria is a member of the General Assembly and the Security Council of the World Assembly, G5, the IDU States Assembly, and various other international bodies and agencies operating under the World Assembly.

Name[edit]

The name Sanctaria is derived from the Latin Terra Sanctus ("holy land"), a name used by early missionaries to describe what is now considered western Sanctaria. As religious territory expanded, and indigenous peoples with their own languages brought under the influence of the Church of Sanctaria, the name Terra Sanctus was eventually corrupted by the Latin-learning populace was ‘’Sancti Terra’’, before finally ‘’Sanctaria’’ came into common usage, approximately in the 1160s.

In 1380 the various territories were consolidated under the rule of the Patriarch of the Church of Sanctaria as the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria, the first time the name Sanctaria was officially recognised as the name of the territory.

During the ensuing colonial expansion, Sanctaria was considered by successive Patriarchs as the mother country of all new territories acquired, hence why the collective name for the theocratic empire was the Papal States of Sanctaria.

History[edit]

Early history[edit]

Fossils found in eastern Sanctaria in 1887, such as the Kraken Skull, show that ancient humans were present in Sanctaria at least 600,000 years ago. Hunting weapons as old as 300,000-years-old were discovered in a sea-cave just outside Frida Island, where two wooden spears were unearthed. Evidence of modern humans, similarly dated, has also been found in caves in Sanctaria.

Pre-Christian history[edit]

The earliest written records of Sanctaria come from classical geographers in the region. These records tell of thirty or so nations, or tribal kingdoms, inhabiting every part of what is considered to be modern Sanctaria in 48 AD. The relationship between these kingdoms of ancient Sanctaria and other civilisations in the greater Hespian region is unclear. However, a number of finds of Laeralian coins have been made, for example in the eastern mountain ranges of the country.

A surviving extract from an incomplete copy of the One Law

Sanctaria continued as a patchwork of rival kingdoms but, beginning in the 3rd century, a concept of a culturally unifying rule of law emerged: the early written judicial system, the One Law, administered by a professional class of jurists known as the sages. It is believed that, while each tribal king exercised his own will and rule of law within his own kingdom, overarching subjects like fealty, hospitality, and crimes such as petty theft all the way up to regicide, were uniform across all kingdoms under the One Law; those who transgressed could be punished with uniform punishments in any jurisdiction, not just the one the crime was committed in.

These tribal kingdoms all practiced a similar polytheistic religion which modern scholars now call Ancient Sanctarian. While the names of some of the different deities differed from kingdom to kingdom, the structure and duties of the pantheon of the gods were fairly similar. The sages who acted as jurists also acted as priests to the different gods.

Arrival of Christianity[edit]

Records show that in 985, Bishop Julius arrived in Sanctaria on a mission from the Catholic Church to discover new lands and minister to the "heathen natives". Julius is traditionally credited with preserving and codifying Sanctarian laws and customs and changing only those that conflicted with Christian practices. He is credited with introducing the Roman alphabet, which enabled newly converted monks and prelates to preserve parts of the extensive oral literature. As he had lost contact and communication with the See of Rome, Julius set up his own branch of the church, which later came to be known as the Church of Sanctaria, or the Sanctarian Catholic Church. In later centuries, the dogmatic tenets and faith of the church began to differ considerably from the original Catholic Church.

Sanctarian scholars excelled in the study of Latin learning and Christian theology in the monasteries that flourished shortly thereafter. The excellence and isolation of these monasteries helped preserve Latin, and later English, learning. Missionaries from Sanctaria soon began to spread to the other tribal kingdoms within the lands we now know as modern-Sanctaria, as well as further afield. These sowed the seeds for what later would become the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria, and after that the Papal States of Sanctaria.

Nationhood[edit]

Drawing of Patriarch Gregory VI (1380—1386) who declared the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria

By the 14th century, Sanctaria was divided politically into a shifting hierarchy of petty tribal kingdoms and over-kingdoms, many of which were now under the control of the Patriarch of the Church of Sanctaria. Beginning in 1369, a trio of successive Patriarchs, Adrian II, Adrian III, and Gregory VI (known as the Warrior Patriarchs), decided to pursue a policy of conquering the remaining lands in Sanctaria and bring them under papal control. Though the whole region of modern-Sanctaria was, by this time, adherent to the religion of the Church of Sanctaria, these Patriarchs believed that total temporal control, as opposed to the limited temporal control they enjoyed to this point, was necessary for the preservation and expansion of the religion.

A unified force from all the tribal kingdoms under the control of the Church was assembled, called The Blessed Army of the Patriarch, and was dispatched to the kingdoms in the region that had refused thus far to cede authority to the Patriarch. The overwhelming numbers of the combined kingdoms in the Blessed Army was too much for the individual kingdoms still independent. Led personally on many occasions by whatever Patriarch was on the throne, between 1369 and 1380, the Blessed Army decimated the small kingdoms and forced them to capitulate in what became known as the Papal Wars. Though Adrian III himself was fatally wounded in the Battle of the Mountain Pass in 1380, his successor, and the last of the Warrior Patriarchs, Gregory VI, overcame the last of the chieftains. On Christmas Day 1380, Gregory VI declared himself, and his successors as Patriarch, Sovereign of the Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria, finally uniting all the tribal and petty kingdoms as one under the Church of Sanctaria.

Colonial expansion and decline[edit]

Centuries of international missionary efforts which led to the spread of the Church of Sanctaria into other nations had the consequence of many foreign leaders becoming devout subjects of the faith itself. In nations such as Galway and Athlone and Atlantaena, the conversion spread rapidly, likely in part due to policies set by successive Patriarchs of a "top-down" approach; this policy of proslythising suggests attempting to convert leaders or highly influential figures first, as common folk or people on lower social levels would emulate those above them. It was a successful policy.

On 08 April 1528, the Grand Duke of Atlantaena announced that he, and his successors, would recognise the Patriarch as "the King of Kings on Earth", as set forth by Church of Sanctaria teachings. The then-Patriarch, Thomas IV, seized on this announcement, and after swift negotiations, declared on 11 May 1528 that Atlantaena had joined with the Papal Kingdom in a new empire - the "Papal States of Sanctaria" - with Sanctaria itself remaining the mother country. By the turn of the next century, the number of constituent countries within the Papal States would number fourteen.

While the Papal States become a global power quite quickly, with constituent nations not only in the International Democratic Union but also other regions, an undercurrent of resentment was continuously present throughout the empire, further inflamed by successive Patriarchs referring to other nations within the Papal States as "colonies" of the mother nation, Sanctaria.[1] In 1746, the Papal States suffered its first fracture when Mount Solace, an island nation located far from the heart of the empire, attempted to become the first nation to leave the Papal States. Though the then-Patriarch Mark IV dispatched the Blessed Army and the rebellion was soon quelled, the violence with which the independence-movement was stopped shocked citizens throughout the entire Papal States.

Onward, a depiction of the sacking of Mount Solace during the quashing of their rebellion.

The atrocities committed during the put down of the Mount Solace rebellion, coupled with mounting laws and financial levies placed upon the colonies by what they increasingly viewed as an out-of-touch and distant (both figuratively and literally) leader inflamed independence movements within the constituent nations of the Papal States. Over the next century, the Blessed Army was further dispatched more than a dozen times to put a halt to what Church saw as "blasphemous treason". However unlike in Mount Solace, the Papal forces were not always successful.

In August 1818, Galway and Athlone became the first colony to successfully leave the Papal States. Though their differences with Sanctaria was more theological than temporal, the reality that they were far from Sanctaria itself, and that the leaders of the country themselves wanted to break with Sanctaria was insurmountable for the Church. However, despite the success of Galway and Athlone, no other nation managed to gain independence before the end of the century when, in 1901, Mount Solace attempted another rebellion in the hopes of independence - this time, the Patriarch of the Church of Sanctaria didn't even bother to muster the Blessed Army, and Mount Solace was permitted to officially leave the Papal States.

With the Papal States now down by two countries since its height, successive Patriarchs opted to treat the remaining members of the empire with more fraternity and egalitarianism than they had previously, with many of the countries given permission to form their own governments, giving the Patriarch only a limited say into their affairs as head of state. This culminated in 1973 when Patriarch Aequitas IV announced that, on his death, the Papal States of Sanctaria would be broken up, and all constituent countries would be fully independent and free to go their own separate ways. This was codified in the Aequitaen Treaty of 1974. In the summer of 1974, Patriarch Aequitas IV announced he was dying of cancer, and advised the countries that made up the Papal States to begin preparation for independence following his death. Many of the constituent countries, Sanctaria included, held elections in the early autumn so that governments and institutions would be able to carry on seamlessly following the Patriarch's death. On 19 November 1974, Aequitas IV died, and with him died the Papal States of Sanctaria, leaving the Church of Sanctaria remaining as a religious institution only, with no temporal or political power or holdings.

Modern era[edit]

Following the disbandment of the Papal States of Sanctaria, the Divine Republic of Sanctaria came into being. Comprising of the territory of the old Papal Kingdom of Sanctaria, the Divine Republic's initial few years post-heartland of the empire was a difficult one. Many of those who came to the Papal States' capital during the time of the empire left for their home countries. The wealth of many of the colonies no longer flowed to Sanctaria either.

Under the new constitution, passed earlier in the year with the provision it would come into effect on the Patriarch's death, Sanctaria was a unitary bicameral parliamentary republic, with a strong executive led by a Prime Minister, and a weakened head of state, the President. Initially the lower house of parliament, the House of Deputies was much stronger than the upper house, the Senate, but reforms over the next forty years strengthened the power of the upper house so that they became relatively equal. The government of the day, however, was formed from the lower house, the House of Deputies.

Same-sex marriage was legalised in the country in 2005.

With the help of targeted Foreign Direct Investment in the late 70s and early 80s, Sanctaria's economy began booming, with the growth of its manufacturing and service industries. Despite a brief, but deep, recession in the mid-90s, Sanctaria's economy has been broadly stable since independence, and is now considered a regional powerhouse. It is believed that the highly educated workforce, and plethora of land available, has enabled Sanctaria to quickly recover from being newly-independent and developing, into a stable, highly developed regional power.

Social attitudes too have changed hugely since independence from the Church of Sanctaria. Though initial governments attempted to keep the mores and behaviours of its citizens under religious control, by the end of the 90s, Sanctarian society at large was very much liberal in its outlook. Abortion and divorced were legalised during the Democratic Left government in the 90s, something that was reported as a defining moment for a country than, only twenty-five years previous, was devoutly Catholic and anti-abortion and anti-divorce. Same-sex marriage was later legalised in 2005, with may commentators saying that it "cemented Sanctaria's status as a liberal democracy".

In 2018, the newly elected DLP government led by Charlene Hendry held a referendum that would significantly change the state institutions and organisations of Divine Republic of Sanctaria. Nicknamed the Great Devolution Bill, the law would federalise the nation, giving significant power to individual states with Sanctaria itself. The referendum was held in late 2018 and was passed with a significant margin. On 01 January 2019, the Divine Republic was legally succeeded by the Divine Federation of Sanctaria, marking another milestone in the nation's political and social development.

Geography[edit]

Sanctaria makes up most of the western sixth of the Hespian landmass. Its maritime borders consists of the Gulf of Sanctaria to the south, and the Union Sea to the west.

Land relief in Sanctaria shows great variation within relatively small areas. The eastern and northern regions are more mountainous, while moving west and south the terrain descends from the high mountain ranges, through hilly uplands, into broad, low plains, which are vast in the central region. This extended lowland is known as the Great Sanctarian Plain.

Sub-regions contain their own complex features, as does central Sanctaria itself, where the relief contains many plateaus, river valleys and basins that complicate the general trend. Island sub-regions are special cases, as they are often upland areas that were once joined to the mainland until rising sea levels cut them off.

Climate[edit]

A vineyard in Glorionis on the south coast of Sanctaria.

The climate of Sanctaria is of a temperate, continental nature, with a maritime climate prevailing on the western coast and a mediterranean climate in the south. The climate is strongly conditioned by a warm ocean current coming across the Union Sea, which warms the western region to levels unattainable at similar latitudes on other continents. Western Sanctaria is oceanic, while eastern Sanctaria is continental and dry. Four seasons occur in western and eastern Sanctaria, while southern Sanctaria experiences a wet season and a dry season. Southern Sanctaria is hot and dry during the summer months. The heaviest precipitation occurs downwind of water bodies due to the prevailing westerlies, with higher amounts also seen in upland areas. Tornadoes can occur within Sanctaria, but tend to be weak.

Mildest climate within Sanctaria occurs in the island of Siam, where the average temperature varies from 19 °C (66 °F) during the day and 13 °C (55 °F) at night in winter to 26 °C (79 °F) during the day and 19 °C (66 °F) at night in summer. This island lies on the border of the Gulf of Sanctaria and the Union Sea. As for the land on the Sanctaria continent, mildest climate occurs in the southwest part of the country, in the state of Aquitanium. Along one particular coastal strand, the average temperature varies from 10–14 °C (50–57 °F) during the day and about 5 °C (41 °F) at night in January to 22–26 °C (72–79 °F) during the day and 15–16 °C (59–61 °F) at night in the middle of summer.

Geology[edit]

The geology of Sanctaria is hugely varied and complex, and gives rise to the wide variety of landscapes found across the region, from the eastern highlands in Terra Monticolarum to the rolling plains of Glorionis.

Flora[edit]

Having lived side-by-side with agricultural peoples for millennia, Sanctaria's animals and plants have been profoundly affected by the presence and activities of man. There are few areas of untouched wilderness currently found in Sanctaria, except for various national parks.

A view of the Great Mountain Forest, located in Terra Monticolarum, eastern Sanctaria.

The main natural vegetation cover in Sanctaria is mixed forest. The conditions for growth are very favourable. In the west, an unusually warm ocean current warms the continent. Southern Sanctaria could be described as having a warm, but mild climate. There are frequent summer droughts in this region. Few corners of mainland Sanctaria have not been grazed by livestock at some point in time, and the cutting down of the pre-agricultural forest habitat caused disruption to the original plant and animal ecosystems.

Probably 80 to 90 percent of Sanctaria was once covered by forest. It stretched from the Gulf of Sanctaria to the northern borders. Although over half of Sanctaria's original forests disappeared through the centuries of deforestation, Sanctaria still has over one quarter of its land area as forest, such as the broadleaf and mixed forests in Novum Limium, mixed rainforests in southeastern Terra Monticolarum and the oak forests in the west of the country. During recent times, deforestation has been slowed and many trees have been planted. However, in many cases monoculture plantations of conifers have replaced the original mixed natural forest, because these grow quicker. The plantations now cover vast areas of land, but offer poorer habitats for many Sanctarian forest dwelling species which require a mixture of tree species and diverse forest structure.

In temperate Sanctaria, mixed forest with both broadleaf and coniferous trees dominate. The most important species in central and western Sanctaria are beech and oak. In the south, many olive trees have been planted, which are very well adapted to its arid climate; Cypress is also widely planted in southern Sanctaria.

Fauna[edit]

Glaciation during the most recent ice age and the presence of man affected the distribution of Sanctarian fauna. As for the animals, in many parts of Sanctaria most large animals and top predator species have been hunted to extinction. Today wolves (carnivores) and bears (omnivores) are endangered. Once they were found in most parts of Sanctaria. However, deforestation and hunting caused these animals to withdraw further and further east.

Sanctarian wild cat, foxes (especially the red fox), jackal and different species of martens, hedgehogs, different species of reptiles (like snakes such as vipers and grass snakes) and amphibians, different birds (owls, hawks and other birds of prey) are also present throughout the region.

Important Sanctarian herbivores are snails, larvae, fish, different birds, and mammals, like rodents, deer and roe deer, boars, and living in the mountains, marmots, steinbocks, chamois among others. A number of insects add to the biodiversity.

Sea creatures are also an important part of Sanctarian flora and fauna. The sea flora is mainly phytoplankton. Important animals that live in Sanctarian seas are zooplankton, molluscs, different crustaceans, squids and octopuses, fish, dolphins, and whales.

Government and politics[edit]

Marion Woodstrom.png CharleneHendry.jpg
Marian Woodstrom
President since 2012
Charlene Hendry
Chancellor since 2018[2]

Sanctaria is a federal parliamentary republic. Citizens are usually subject to three levels of government: federal, state, and local. The local government's duties are commonly split between county and municipal governments. In almost all cases, executive and legislative officials are elected by a plurality vote of citizens. There is no proportional representation at the federal level, though it can be found at lower levels.

The federal government is separated into three branches:

In the Senate (the upper house), there are 100 senators: two each from the various administrative counties.[3] The House of Deputies (the lower house) has 799 members elected from single-member electoral divisions, commonly known as "electorates" or "seats", allocated to states on the basis of population.

Elections for both chambers are not usually held simultaneously; senators have seven-year terms, while those from the lower house have five-years terms; if less than 2.5 years remain of the senate's term when the Chancellor seeks a dissolution, he or she has the option to also dissolve the Senate, but this has not been done to date. The Senate may also decide themselves to dissolve before their seven-year term ends, by majority vote.

Voting is compulsory for all citizens 18 years and over in every jurisdiction.

The party with majority support in the House of Deputies forms the government and its leader, or designated individual, becomes Chancellor. In cases where no party has majority support, coalitions may be formed. If no coalition can be formed before a specific date, decided by the outgoing government prior to dissolution, then another election must be held.

There are two major political groups that usually form government, federally: the center-right Sanctarian Conservative Party and the center-left Democratic Left Party. Independent members and several minor parties, for example the Christian Union Party have achieved representation in the federal parliament, mostly in the lower house.

In January 2018, the Democratic Left Party, led by Charlene Hendry won a majority of seats in the House of Deputies, and Hendry became Sanctaria's first female Prime Minister. Following the federalisation referendum of 2018, Hendry's position of Prime Minister was renamed as Federal Chancellor.

States[edit]

Sanctaria has nine states, three of which are cities —Aquitanium (AQ), Corpus (CS), Galvium (GV), Glorionis (GL), Haven (HV), Novum Aeternum (NA), Novum Limium (NL), Sanctus (SC), and Terra Monticolarum (TM).

Under the constitution, the federal Parliament has the power to legislate on any subject, whereas the states may legislate only within the subject areas enumerated either by the constitution, or those which the federal Parliament chooses to devolve itself. For example, state parliaments have the power to legislate with respect to education, criminal law and state police, transport, and local government. Federal laws prevail over state laws to the extent of any inconsistencies.

Each state has its own parliament; unicameral in the city-states, and bicameral in the other states. The states are sovereign entities, although subject to certain powers of the Federation as defined by the Constitution. The lower houses are known as the State Assembly; the upper houses are known as the State Council. The head of the government in each state is the Premier. The head of state in each state, the state equivalent to the President, is the Governor.

The flag of the World Assembly, a voluntary intergovernmental organisation.

Foreign relations[edit]

Over recent decades, Sanctaria's foreign relations have been driven by a desire to have a closer association with other nations within the International Democratic Union; in recent years, Sanctaria was a driving force behind the creation of a regional council, the Council of IDU States, and one of its own statesmen served as Secretary-General of the body before the council was disestablished. Sanctaria later joined the council's successor, the IDU States Assembly.

Sanctaria is also a member of the World Assembly, having also been a member in its predecessor, the United Nations. As a member of the WA, Sanctaria also has a presence in both the General Assembly and the Security Council. Representatives from Sanctaria have authored many pieces of international legislation in the body, the entire work of which Sanctaria is largely in compliance with.

Being a member of the World Assembly, Sanctaria is also member of the various agencies, organisations, and commissions created by the body, including but not limited the World Health Authority, the International Trade Administration, the Global Emigration, Security, Travel And Passport Organisation, and the World Assembly Development Foundation.

Along with Grosseschnauzer, Bears Armed, Sciongrad, and Laeral, Sanctaria is a founder member of the G5, which aims to secure a peaceful and prosperous International Democratic Union via mediation, conflict resolution, and mutually agreed economic policies.

Military[edit]

Sanctaria's military, the Sanctarian Defence Forces (SDF), is organised into the Army (Army and special forces), the Navy (Navy and marines), the Air Force (Air Force), and the Coastguard (Coastguard and marine rescue services) branches. In absolute terms, Sanctarian military expenditure was, in 2016, at S£40 billion.

As of 2016 the SDF employed roughly 178,000 service members, including about 9,000 volunteers. Reservists are available to the Defence Forces and participate in defence exercises and deployments abroad. Since 2001 women may serve in all functions of service without restriction. About 19,000 female soldiers are on active duty.

The role of the SDF is described in the Constitution of Sanctaria as defensive only. But after a ruling in 2007 the term "defence" has been defined to not only include protection of the borders of Sanctaria, but also crisis reaction and conflict prevention, or more broadly as guarding the security of Sanctaria anywhere in the International Democratic Union.

Economy[edit]

Sanctaria is a highly developed social market economy. It has one of the largest national economies in Hespia.

In 2014, Sanctaria recorded the highest trade surplus in the International Democratic Union. Sanctaria is one of the largest exporters in the world with trillions of pounds in goods and services exported in 2016. The service sector contributes significantly toward the total GDP, with industry and agriculture close behind. Exports account for 41% of national output. The top 10 exports of Sanctaria are vehicles, machinery, chemical goods, electronic products, electrical equipment, pharmaceuticals, transport equipment, basic metals, food products, and rubber and plastics.

The economy of Sanctaria is one of the largest manufacturing economies in Hespia and it is less likely to be affected by a financial downturn.

Energy in Sanctaria is sourced predominantly by nuclear power, then gas, wind, biomass (wood and biofuels), hydro and solar. Sanctaria is the leading producer of wind turbines in the International Democratic Union.

85% percent of all Sanctarian companies are small and medium-sized enterprises, which are mostly family-owned. Of the world's 2000 largest publicly listed companies measured by revenue, 554 are headquartered in Sanctaria.

Aerial view of Cristi International Airport, in Terra Monticolarum, in eastern Sanctaria

Transportation[edit]

Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a vast network of public roads, including some of the region's longest highway systems. A leading automobile market, Sanctaria has the high rate of per-capita vehicle ownership, with 650 vehicles per 1,000 Sanctarians. About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks. The average adult spends 45 minutes driving every day. In 2017, there were 425,009,283 motor vehicles—including cars, vans, buses, freight, and other trucks, but excluding motorcycles and other two-wheelers.

Mass transit accounts for 9% of total work trips. Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 50 million annually) use intercity rail to travel, partly because of the low population density throughout much of the Sanctarian interior. However, ridership on the national intercity passenger rail system, grew by almost 50% between 2000 and 2010, largely due to government initiatives to increase numbers using public transport. Also, light rail development has increased in recent years. Bicycle usage for work commutes is largely minimal nationally, but in high density urban areas is quite popular.

The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned, while most major airports are publicly owned.

Demography[edit]

With a population of over 500 million according to the 2016 census, Sanctaria is the most populous country in the International Democratic Union. Its population density stands at 117 inhabitants per square kilometre (303.8 per square mile). The overall life expectancy in Sanctaria at birth is 80.19 years (77.93 years for males and 82.58 years for females). The fertility rate of 1.41 children born per woman (2016 estimates), or 8.33 births per 1000 inhabitants, is one of the lowest in Hespia. Since the 1990s, Sanctaria's death rate has exceeded its birth rate. However, Sanctaria is witnessing increased birth rates and migration rates since the beginning of the 2010s, particularly a rise in the number of well-educated migrants. Approximately 45 million Sanctarians live abroad.

Sanctaria is a popular immigration destination. As of 2016, 8% of the country's population did not have citizenship. The majority of migrants live in western Sanctaria, in particular in urban areas. Regarding the immigrant background, 15% of the country's residents were of immigrant or partially immigrant descent in 2016.

Language[edit]

English is the official language of Sanctaria, with French and Latin also recognised as additional languages worthy of special recognition.

According to the 2016 census, English is the only language spoken in the home for close to 80.7% of the population. A considerable proportion of first- and second-generation migrants are bilingual.

Religion[edit]

St. George's Basilica in Sanctus, capital of Sanctaria.

Forms of Christianity have dominated religious life in what is now Sanctaria for over 1000 years. Although a majority of citizens still identify with Christianity in many surveys, regular church attendance has fallen dramatically since the middle of the 20th century, while immigration and demographic change have contributed to the growth of other faiths. This has led some commentators to variously describe Sanctaria as a multi-faith, or secularised society.

In the 2001 census 71.6% of all respondents indicated that they were Christians. 15% of respondents stated that they had no religion, with a further 7% not stating a religious preference. A survey in 2014 showed only one in ten Sanctarians actually attend church weekly.

The Church of Sanctaria is the established church in Sanctaria, though it retains no political or temporal power or influence. Despite having an established church, however, Sanctaria's constitution also provides for religious freedom.

Health[edit]

Healthcare in Sanctaria is a state matter and each state has its own system of private and publicly funded health care, together with alternative, holistic and complementary treatments. Public healthcare is provided to all Sanctarian permanent residents and is federally mandated to be mostly free at the point of need, being paid for from general taxation. The World Health Authority ranked the provision of healthcare in Sanctaria as one of the best in the International Democratic Union. Since 1993 expenditure on healthcare has been increased significantly.

Regulatory bodies are organised on a federal basis such as the General Medical Council, the Nursing Council, and non-governmental-based regulatory bodies. However, political and operational responsibility for healthcare lies with the state governments; each Sanctarian Health Service practice has different policies and priorities, resulting in contrasts.

Education[edit]

Sanctarian public education is operated by state governments, but items like curricula and school standards are regulated by the federal Department of Education. Children are required to attend school from the age of six or seven until they turn 18; some states allow students to leave school at 16 or 17 if they have completed final exams.

About 12% of children are enrolled in parochial or private schools. Homeschooling is not permitted. Some 90% of Sanctarian college students attend public universities.

Sanctaria has many competitive private and public institutions of higher education. These tertiary education institutions are regulated by the federal government, regardless of the state they are located in.

Culture[edit]

Sanctaria's culture is influenced by its history as a developed state, a liberal democracy, a great power and its predominantly Christian religious life; its history as the mother nation of an empire means that former colonies also influenced the development of culture in the nation. The wider culture of Hespia has also influenced Sanctarian culture, and Humanism, religious diversity, and representative democracy developed from culture in the region as a whole.

The headquarters of Sanctarian Television (STV).

As a result of the Papal States of Sanctaria, significant Sanctarian influence can be observed in the language, law, culture and institutions of a geographically wide assortment of countries both within the region of the International Democratic Union and beyond, including Munsteran, Buckingham, Mount Solace, Galway and Athlone, and Atlantaena. These states, now fully and wholly independent, remain among some of Sanctaria's closest allies. In turn the empire also influenced Sanctarian culture, particularly Sanctarian cuisine.

Media[edit]

Sanctarian Television (STV) is Sanctaria's public service broadcaster, funded by a television licence fee and advertising. STV operates two national television channels, STV-1 and STV-2. Other independent national television channels are available, as are both national and international subscription-based television providers.

Supported by the Sanctarian Film Board, the Sanctarian film industry grew significantly since the 1980s, with the promotion of indigenous films as well as the attraction of international productions.

A large number of regional and local radio stations are available countrywide. A survey showed that a consistent 80% of adults listen to a mixture of national, regional and local stations on a daily basis. STV operates a radio arm, called Sanctarian Radio (SRO), which operates four national stations: SRO-1, SRO-2, SRO-Classic, and SRO-Talk. There are also many independent national stations.

Sanctaria has a traditionally competitive print media, which is divided into daily national newspapers and weekly regional newspapers, as well as national Sunday editions. The strength of the international press is a unique feature of the Sanctarian print media scene, with the availability of a wide selection of IDU published newspapers and magazines.

Approximately 82% of Sanctarian households had Internet access in 2013 compared to the Hespian average of 79% but only 67% had broadband access.
A group of Sanctarians participating in an archery competition.

Sport[edit]

About 29% of Sanctarians over the age of 15 regularly participate in organised sporting activities.

Association football is the most popular sport in Sanctaria, but archery is the officially designated national sport. With more than 38.8 million official members, the Sanctarian Football Association is the largest sports organisation of its kind in the nation.

Other popular spectator sports include winter sports, boxing, basketball, handball, volleyball, ice hockey, tennis, horse riding and golf. Sanctaria is a powerhouse in water-based sports, such as swimming, sailing, rowing and surfing as well.

Sanctaria is one of the leading motor sports and cycling countries in the world too.

Historically, however, Sanctaria does not tend to take part in international sporting competitions or organisations, such as the IDU Football Championship or Olympics, but recent governments have made efforts to reverse this policy.

References[edit]

  1. Today most scholars agree that the other constitutent nations within the Papal States were in fact treated more likely colonies of Sanctaria than equal partners.
  2. Until 01 January 2019, the post was called Prime Minister of Sanctaria
  3. This is scheduled to change in the Sanctarian Senate elections, 2019, when each state will each return four senators; emigrants and expats living abroad are also afforded the opportunity to return four senators, bringing the total to forty.