National Motto: Ex Unitate Vires
|Government Type||Federal Republic|
|Head of State||Guillem Marques|
| Population |
- 87 million
| GDP (PPP) |
- Per Capita
| 2006 estimate |
- Lf. 3,361,000 million
- Lf. 38,000
|Foundation||August 19, 1927|
|Currency||Levantine franc (Lf.)|
The Levantine States is a country in Southern Europe. It is a federal democratic republic that borders Carentania to the north-east, Talemantros to the east, Wazistan to the west and Frescania to the north-west. The capital is Jerusalem, and the seat of government is Antioch. The Levantine States was found in the crusades, but for an important part of it's history has been more associated with Orthodoxy and the Talemantric Empire. It's a founding member of the Alliance for Greater Europe and the Council of Nations.
The Levantine States was first established as the Kingdom of Jerusalem in the wake of the First Crusade, led by Frankish Crusaders. The Kingdom of Jerusalem would further expand during the next crusades, taking more territory and bringing more crusaders into it's territory many of whom were granted land claims after their tour of duty. In 1116 the city of Barca was captured from Khazar-Berber pirates and turned into the easternmost stronghold of the Kingdom, which it remains to this day. In the coming years, as more crusaders, mostly Catalans and Occitans enter the Kingdom, it's position gets stronger and after warfare on and off with the Shaddadid Caliphate in 1300 Dimashq is finally captured.
The Crusades over, the Catalans and Occitans don't stop coming, nor do the conquests of the Kingdom of Jerusalem stop. In 1356 together with the Terrastanians the Bagration Kingdom, which had been an ally of Jerusalem during the Crusades is attacked and eventually split between the two. Attempts to convert the Iberians to Catholicism fail, just like it did with the Cilicians, however they do become loyal subjects of what in 1369 becomes the Kingdom of the Levant. Proclaimed by King Agustín I, it is a direct successor to the Kingdom of Jerusalem. However, while Jerusalem claimed to rule the Latin Crusaders, the Kingdom of the Levant claims to rule over all people residing within the Kingdom.
While the Levant continues to make some expansions during the 15th Century, it's Golden Age was coming to an end. By 1500, it was increasingly falling under influence of the Talemantric Empire, it's foreign policy often being limited to acting in a supporting role to the resurgent rulers in Talemaniki. Meanwhile, within the borders of the Levantine Kingdom a cultural conflict is raging, with the descendants of the crusaders and other immigrants from the north struggle to form a new identity. Over the centuries, the different groups of northerners, and part of the native Arab, Jewish, Armenian and Georgian communities form a uniquely new culture, with a more southern culture. A landmark in this process was under King Eduard II, in 1678, when the Church of the Levant left the Catholic Church and officially joined the Orthodox Church.
During the 18th Century, as a Levantine culture is growing, the Kingdom of the Levant starts to climb out of the stagnancy it's been in. A virtual vassal of Talemantros and a backwater country with a poor economy, under the rule of King Guillem IV things start to improve especially in the bigger cities, as big investments in the local economies, universities and schools take place. More people learn to read and write. In the next coming years, during the Wars against Marquette, the Levant helps out the Grand Coalition and establishes independent relations with the north, becoming less dependent on Talemantros.
Trade with the North, big during the crusades but having dwindled since is re-established, and advisers and merchants from the north come in. The Levantine Kingdom starts to grow again, however the seeds for revolution have been planted and increasing amounts of people begin to oppose the Levantine Kings. In 1837, a liberal revolution takes place and "Freethinkers" overthrow the King, the Levantine Republic is established. A new country is established, though still without constitution it is bristling with liberal ideas, and enters a new renaissance. Industrialization takes place throughout the then-provinces of Antioch, Carthage, Judea and Phoenicia, who soon take charge of the States-General.
It is in these days, that large-scale immigration of Jews from throughout Europe takes place, encouraged by both a movement of Zionists, and the Levantine Republic, welcoming the skilled labour. Although from many different origins, including Mizrahi, Sephardic, Judeo-Khazar and Ashkenazi, they became known as Judeans within the Levant. Over time, the Levantine economy continued to grow. The economy of the Levant would continue to grow, and on the international front, there is a falling out with Talemantros. After years of good relations, the two countries have split and the Levant becomes increasingly lukewarm towards Carentania. Meanwhile, the Southern Wars start, as the Levant starts to expand southward. In 1879, Kazan is captured and the Principality of Kazan is annexed into the Levantine Republic.
By 1902 however, relations with Carentania due to a number of crises, not least the presence of Barca have escalated into the first Carentanian-Levantine War. It is regarded as a victory for the Levant, and in the aftermath Carentania descends into chaos. By 1927, Talemantros attacks Carentania. The Levant observes, however becomes worried about quick Talemantric expansions. Hinting towards an intervention, the Levant brokers a peace treaty between the two, hoping to contain both communist and Talemantric expansion. Over the years, due to activity of illegal Unions and Communist parties within the Levant and increased influence from Counter-Revolutionary movements, anti-communism becomes central to Levantine foreign policy. Carentania however is not attacked, as it is seen as a counter-weight to Talemantros.
During the Great War, the Counter-Revolutionaries in the east are supported in their fight against communism, the Levant sending blueprints, planes, pilots and a number of military units to support in the struggle. Aside from this there is economic support going to Oikawa, oil and other raw materials being sold at generous rates, and loans being given out. It would be the beginning of a tumultuous time for the Levant. In the hopes of eradicating communism completely, in 1941 Carentania is attacked (second Carentanian-Levantine War). Due to the rather poor performance by Carentania in the past wars, the Levant mobilizes only partially, and refuses to ask allies for support. After initial gains, the city of Barca is besieged. During this siege, increasingly turning into a meatgrinder, a peace between the two countries is signed, of which certain clauses have remained confidential to this day.
Life in the Levant
The disastrous war against Carentania leads to increasing reforms within the Levantine military, and it gets a second chance to prove it's capabilities during the Volgan War. In the aftermath of the Great War, in 1947, the dictatorship of Oikawa expands into the Kingdom of Volga. The Levant and a number of allies, increasingly at odds with Oikawa protest and intervene. The Levantine States Marine Corps lands on the shores of Volga, and supporting Volgan forces manages to secure the Western part of the Island, advancing against Oikawan forces. In the coming decades, the relationship between the AGE and the LFS would become the center stage of international affairs, known as the Cold War.
The Levant can nowadays be described as a federation, after increased federalization over the years. It is a constitutional republic and a representative democracy. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the LCS Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. The government is regulated by a system of checks and balances defined by the LCS Constitution, which serves as the country's supreme legal document. In the Levantine federalist system, 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.
The House of Representatives is elected at a federal level, which means that elections are held at this level: no distinction is made between a vote in Kazan and one in Antioch, a Representative is therefore not representing a specific district, although many politicians do have ties to certain states or districts. Each State elects a Governor, who gets to send two representatives to the Senate, usually elder statesmen, who have almost without exception taken seat in the House of Representatives before. Originally intended to protect State rights at an federal level, their modern task is to ensure that laws do not conflict with the constitution.
After the federal election, a cabinet is formed, the person with the most votes receives the duty to lead this formation. Since it hasn't happened since the 19th Century that one party had a majority in the House of Representatives, and as such a coalition has to be formed (though a minority coalition is possible). It is law that the person who has led the formation becomes President, it has however happened in the past that the person with the most votes could not bring a formation to a successful end, after which the duty to form a coalition passes to the representative with the second-most votes.
Business and politics in the Levant have always been rather intertwined, many politicians go on to serve on the Board of Directors of large Levantine companies, many companies having a clear affiliation with a certain party and giving generous donations to preferred parties. There are also a number of lobby organizations at work in and around Antioch, representing industry interests and attempting to change political and public opinion.
The Levant is a multicultural society, including Levantines, Levantine Arabs, Judeans Iberians and Cilicians. Often the ethnic group into which an individual is born will determine their course in life, as many of the ethnicities go to different schools, different churches, different shops and watch different media. This is not universal, a number of Levantine publications will also publish in other languages, and the segregation is completely unofficial and non-compulsory.
Levantine culture itself is a mix of Arab and European culture, over many centuries however it has increasingly developed, incorporating aspects from Talemantric, Cilician and Iberian culture, the Church having become a mix of Papal States and Talemantric influences. In language, Levantine has mostly been based on Occitan and Catalan dialects, having taken loanwords from Arab and Scandinavian. Levantine Architecture has mostly been based on northern trends, though with a distinct Arab influence. Since the 19th century, Levantine Architecture, through new modernist movements has becoming more original and celebrated, partially thanks to such renown architects as Antoní Gaudí and Santiago Calatrava.
Traditional music in the Levant has often been based around classical music, heavily featuring the guitar, and similar instruments. There were little developments in Levantine music till the Great War, and it's aftermath when many soldiers who had fought abroad brought back stories of new music with them. This would lead to the arrival of foreign types of music to the Levant. Over time, popular music became widespread in the Levant, so did Rock and various types of electronic music. Today a number of internationally well-known DJs hail from the Levant, and a number of rock bands. Levantine popular music has been unable to make a breakthrough abroad, despite attempts by a number of artists.
Levantine cinema has been known for it's large productions, including famous actors and large amounts of special effects. It has been criticized as being relatively shallow, lacking deeper story lines.
The economy of the Levantine States is one of the largest in Europe, and plays a central role within the framework of AGE nations, Barca functioning as the financial and economic capital of the AGE. The Levant benefits from large oil deposits in the Sumerian Bay and in the seas north of the Levant, and deserts around the provinces of Gilgamesh and southern Antioch. Many of the deposits have been sold to private companies, but through tax revenues and their re-investment, the Levantine economy has been developing since the early 20th century into what it is today, a high-tech service-based economy integrated into the global economy in general. Important trade partners are AGE nations, and a number of neutral nations, such as Fjäderholmarna.
Among the most important industries within the Levant are Petroleum, Finance and Insurance, Computer electronics and programming. In the past there have been mining operations in the regions of Iberia, Cilicia and Nabatea but most mines have closed in the 70's and 80's, though a handful continue to operate. Many Levantine mining conglomerates, often associated with Oil Companies such as Bagration Oil have moved into Soledad de Pacifica. Agriculture persists in the Levant, and some regions almost completely rely upon it. Olives, grapes, citrus fruits, guavas, cotton and peppers are among the Levantine agricultural products. There are relatively few large industries in the Levant, ship-building is centered around Edesa and most other large-scale industry is centered around Kazan.
While the economy of the Levant is rather large, it has it's problems. There is no widespread social net, decades of free market politics by the Government has reduced government social welfare to become one of the worst in Europe's developed world. Although there are companies and trade unions offering what is known in the Levant as "social insurance" which give people regular income in case of disease or old-age, they are only affordable to the (upper) middle-class. Policies on free healthcare and education differ throughout the Levant, the state of Antioch granting free healthcare and education, whereas most other states only do so partially at best. All of these have only contributed to income inequality in the Levant, leading to a Gini Coefficient of 41, one of the worst in developed Europe, this income inequality is also visible in the country itself, along the Phoenician and Barbary Coasts there are small villages dominated by the Levantine jetset, with harbours filled with opulent yachts, while in regions such as Assuria there is 10-20 percent unemployment.
Taxation in the Levant is organized on a state level, taxation policy differing between states. Carthage has a relatively low flat tax rate, whereas Antioch has a progressive tax system, the lowest tax bracket being around the Carthaginian tax rate. A percentage of Tax income is given to the Federal state, although this percentage is higher for the prosperous northern States and yet even higher for the oil producing states. Tax reform is a contentious issue in the Levant, with attempts having been made every decade since the creation of the constitution to overhaul tax policies, none of which were completely successful, though a number of compromises have been implemented. This is despite leading economists arguing that the Levantine system of taxation contributes to disparity in income between states, and further setbacks the more impoverished states.
The Levantine States is a party to a number of international agreements, including the Alliance of Greater Europe and the Council of Nations. Within the Council of Nations the Levantine States holds a permanent presence in the Security Council, and together with Oikawa has veto powers meaning that Security Council resolutions and amendments to the CoN charter require the approval of the Levant. Traditionally, the Levant in the Security Council has often been at odds with the Oikawan chair, Levantine representatives often being prone to taking a strong stance against Oikawa.
The Levant has strong relations in particular with neighbouring Frescania, an AGE ally and closely related in culture to the Levant. Internationally, apart from the AGE, the Levant has strong bilateral relations to Fjäderholmarna. As of recently, controversy has started to rise on Levantine ties to Soledad de Pacifica, an unstable dictatorship in Western Europe, a number of Levantine businesses investing in this country, and the regime of the nation having bought small arms from Levantine arms manufacturers.
|Ethnic groups in the Levant|
|Arab Levantines - Berber-Levantine - Cilicians - Iberians - Jewish Levantines - Levantines - Khazanites|
|Minor ethnic groups: Angmarites - Bahrevandi - Bhurjedans - Chaldeans - Dhruze - Narikalans - Slavic Levantines - Talemantine Levantines - Yevonites|
|This page is part of EuroWiki Project:Levant||http://i228.photobucket.com/albums/ee181/PrimoDeRivera/WikiFlags/newlevantavatar.png|
|This page is part of the EuroWiki Project about the Levantine States, led by User:Levant. You are advised to go to the relevant thread in the forum before editing this page.|
|Alliance for Greater Europe||Members||American Union - Austurland - Frescania - Hosagovinia - Levantine States - Shinryeo - Skånskige Statsunionen|
|Topics||AGE Foreign Policy - AGE Headquarters - Barca Monetary Agency & Stock Exchange - Common Nuclear Partnership - Partnership for Peace - Secretary-General of the AGE|