The Kingdom of Belmont (French; Royaume de Belmont, also known as Belmont) is sovereign state in North-west Gallia. Bordered by Montelimar, Lorraine and Marquette - north-east, south-east and south, respectively - the country is at the heart of the Francophone world. Belmont is surrounded by water on two sides; the north and the west, and has a significant share of the Champlain and Vernier lakes' water.
Belmont is a monarchy and unitary state consisting of the four countries: Montaigne, Couserans, Tréguier and Visidame. Its governed by a parliamentary system of democracy with its seat of government in Paris, the capital, but with three devoted national administrations in Nantes, Strasbourg and Orleans, the capitals of Couserans, Tréguier and Visidame respectively.
Belmont is one of the world's most developed and industrialized countries, and has the sixth largest economy in terms of GDP. Belmont is one of the most active members of the international community and has for much of the last fifty years worked independently from the alliance structure of modern international politics.
Belmont enjoys a high standard of living as well as a high level of public education and has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Belmont is one of the most frequently visited countries, with an estimated 76 million tourists having visited the country annually since 2001. Belmont is one of the founding members of the Council of Nations and remains an active member of the organization. A member of the EDF's Partnership for Peace program, mainly for economic reasons. Belmont maintains a sizable nuclear arsenal.
The term "Belmont" originates from the time of the Frankish Empire. First mention of the term has been recorded in a codex, dating from 788, detailing tax revenues from the duchies of Montaigne, Couserans, Tréguier and Visidame. In that document, the area which covered the duchies has been collectively called Belmont. The term was only used in official documents since, not coming into common usage, it is thought, till the formation of the Kingdom of Belmont in 814.
The meanings behind the term "Belmont" have been subject to much debate throughout the past millennia, but it is generally accepted that the term is a derivative of an ancient Tiburian name for the region. Other legends in regards to the name of the country suggest that The Great King, himself, had referred to the land as Belmont when he first visited it in 781.
See Main Article: History of Belmont
In 808, The Great King's daughter, Marianne, was married to the Duke of Montaigne, as his other daughters were married to other dukes. In 810, he issued his Succession Edict in which he granted the entire Province of Belmont to his son in law, the Duke of Montaigne. On his death in January 814, the Frankish Empire dissolved and was divided into the Francophone kingdoms of Gallia. On January 27, 814 the Kingdom of Belmont was established.
In June 814, the Duchy of Visidame revolted and broke away from Paris' authority, following its example, the Duchies of Couserans and Tréguier followed suit. Faced with the possibility of his Realm falling to pieces, Philippe I in August 814 called on the nobility which had remained loyal to him and to the other Frankish kingdoms for support in a war against the rebellious duchies.
With their support with him, Philippe I launched a brazen offensive into Couserans, starting the War of Unification - a conflict that would last for the next five years and end with the ultimate defeat of Visidame in 819. With the war at an end, Philippe I declared the founding of the Kingdom of Belmont along the borders envisioned in the last will and testament of The Great King.
Government & PoliticsEdit
See Main article: Politics of Belmont
The Politics of the Kingdom of Belmont takes place in the framework of a monarchy, in which the Monarch is the Sovereign with all powers vested in his/her authority. Executive power is exercised by the Government of Belmont, under royal mandate, and is headed by the Premier, who is appointed from the members of the party with a plurality in Parliament by the Monarch.
Legislative power is vested in both the government and the two chambers of the Parliament; the Chambre des Communes and the Chambre des Noblesse. The judiciary is independent from the executive and the legislature, though Justices are required to take an oath of allegiance to the monarch.
Belmont has always maintained a multi-party system in Parliament. The national politics are dominated by the Libéralistes and the Nationalistes multi-party coalitions. Provincial and local politics tend to have a stronger presence of smaller regional parties. Elections are held once every five years.
The constitution remains uncodified, being made up of constitutional conventions, statutes and other elements.
Devolved National GovernmentEdit
Couserans, Tréguier and Visidame each has its own government or Executive, led by a First Minister, and a devolved, unicameral legislature. Montaigne, the largest country of the Kingdom, is administered by the Prince of Montaigne and a council appointed by him.
The governments of Couserans, Tréguier and Visidame have ranging powers over any matter that has not been specifically 'reserved' to the Central parliament. The agreement to form the DNGs was reached in 1967 and only on the condition that the DNG's would not at any moment try to secede and declare independence. The first Devolved National Government and Parliaments were installed in 1970 in all three of the realms. The arrangement has so far worked very well for the nation.
The governance of Montaigne has, since 822, been handled by the Prince of Montaigne, who is also the heir apparent of Belmont. The Prince rules with absolute authroity in the Realm and his authority is only overridden by the monarch of Belmont.
Main Article: Armed Forces of Belmont
The Army, Navy, Air Force, Air Defense Forces and Strategic Forces are collectively known as the Armed Forces of Belmont and officially as HM Armed Forces. The five forces are managed by the Ministry of Defense. Belmont fields one of the most technologically advanced and best trained armed forces in the world. Belmont maintains the one of the largest armed forces in the world. The Navy is a blue-water navy, currently one of the few in the world.
The Armed Forces are charged with protecting the Kingdom of Belmont and its overseas territories, promoting the Kingdom's global security interests, and supporting international peacekeeping efforts.
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Main Article: Economy of Belmont
Belmont has a highly developed and mixed economy. Belmont's economy is one of the largest in the world and also one of the most industrialized.
Belmont's economy combines extensive private enterprise (nearly 2.5 million companies registered) with substantial (though declining) government intervention. The government retains considerable influence over key segments of infrastructure sectors, with majority ownership of railway, electricity, aircraft, and telecommunications firms. It has been gradually relaxing its control over these sectors since the early 1990s. The government is slowly selling off holdings in Belmont Télécom, Air Belmont, as well as the insurance, banking, and defence industries. Belmont has an important aerospace industry led by Vertille Aeronautics, and has its own national spaceport, the Centre Spatial Orleanais.
Belmont is the smallest emitter of carbon dioxide among the most industrialized countries in the world, due to its heavy investment in nuclear power. As a result of large investments in nuclear technology, most of the electricity produced in the country is generated by 59 nuclear power plants (78% in 2006, up from only 8% in 1973, 24% in 1980, and 75% in 1990). In this context, renewable energies are having difficulties taking off the ground.
Large tracts of fertile land, the application of modern technology, and EDF subsidies have combined to make Belmont the leading agricultural producer and exporter in Gallia. Wheat, poultry, dairy, beef, and pork, as well as an internationally recognized foodstuff and wine industry are primary Belmontien agricultural exports. EDF agriculture subsidies to Belmont have decreased for the last years, but still amounted to $8 billion in 2007.
Belmont features cities of high cultural interest (Paris being the foremost), beaches and seaside resorts, ski resorts, and rural regions that many enjoy for their beauty and tranquility. In 2009, the Ministry of Tourism reported that 56 million tourists visited the country and contributed up to ₣6.34 billion to the local economy.