Nation Name: The Republic of Bretony
Head of State & Age: President Louis Martel of the Centralist Party, aged 52 and Chancellor Felix Bastille of the Centralist Party, aged 38 years.
Major figures in the Parliament: Arthur Melville, aged 54, Minister of Agriculture and Forestry (leader of SDP) and Charles de Fleur, aged 44, Minister of Industry and Economy (leader of RP).
Political Alignment during the Most Atrocious War: Defeated nation, and a military dictatorship, surrendered on December 24, 1917, after the Christmas Revolt, which put Chancellor Felix Bastille into power. Few troops loyal to the Bretonian State were holding out against by the republican forces, though they held out until the end the year. Leaders and officials of the State are arrested and given trials. Currently a capitalistic democracy.
Culture and recent history: A former kingdom, Bretony was turned into a republic about a century ago in a revolution of the masses after years of plummeting economy and skyrocketing food prices. A president is the head of state, but the chancellor holds the real power, acting as the prime minister. Bretony has a unicameral parliament composed of 350 MEPs (members of parliament), and about twenty ministries handling the matters of state. The parliament is led by the Speaker, who directs the parliamentary meetings. Parliament often holds session at least once a week, often more when a law is being prepared.
Laws are prepared in the parliament by committees, and reviewed both by the parliament and a ministry. For example, the Ministry of Defense reviews laws regarding the armed forces, it's spending and reforms. The parliament will vote on the law, and the law needs a simple majority vote to succeed in the parliament. Then it will be signed by the Chancellor and the President, but they have a veto option they use to postpone the initiative.
Bretony has been the home for many writers and philosophers, but it hasn’t been idle on the military front. It’s army has long and proud traditions and many famous campaigns under its belt, although it was defeated in the War. During the century of democracy, the Breton citizens have grown accustomed to both civil and political rights guaranteed by the constitution. Bretonic is spoken in Bretony, and the citizens are called Bretons.
The Breton culture stretches centuries into history, although the modern nation-state is quite recent. Centuries ago a unified state of Bretony was only a dream, as there were several Breton principalities, duchies and counties of differing sizes. The Kingdom of Bretony was born in the 1500s, when Prince Charles Ludovico of the Principality of Guillaume-Cotillion annexed most of the modern-day Breton lands under his rule either by conquest or by political marriages and was named as the king of Bretony. During the next century and half, the kings of Bretony centralized power into their own hands and their bureaucrats. In 1801, a revolution began, which led to the cessation of monarchy and the creation of democracy a few years later after a Revolutionary War. When Bretony became a republic, a wave of nationalism swept across the nation, and the national identity strengthened during the course of the century. The government sponsored many artists, authors and composers, and the arts and sciences boomed. Also, industrialization hit Bretony during the century, which led to economic growth, although a depression hit Bretony quite hard in 1902, lasting until 1906.
On 26th of February, 1904, a military coup d’état took place in the capital city of Guillaume, when a nationalistic cadre of officers and many soldiers, opposing the neutral stance of the country’s government on the continental politics and plummeting economy, Bretony was turned into a military dictatorship run by a council of generals. The generals were ousted from power on December 24th in the Christmas Revolt, 1917, as the population had grown tired of the losing war, dwindling resources and naval blockade. The same day, Chancellor Felix Bastille delivered a speech to the people and an unconditional surrender to the Pact of Unity.
Currently, there are many political parties, ranging from right to left. The Centralist Party occupies most of the seat in the parliament (117 seats) and politically it leans in the middle of the spectrum, but it has formed a coalition government with the left-leaning Social Democratic Party (SDP. 65 seats) and the right-leaning Reformist Party (RP, 37 seats). The three parties hold 219 seats out of 350, a clear majority, although they don't see eye to eye on every matter. Parliamentary elections are currently held every four years, presidential elections every six years and provincial elections every four years.
Next presidential elections will be held in 1924, the provincial elections in 1923 and the parliamentary elections in 1922.
SDP is socially active party, trying to improve the situation of the common man, who work in the industry and other fields of manual labour, centering on creating equal opportunities for all to improve their quality of life by education and welfare. RP is more conservative party, gaining much of its support from the "old money" - former noble families, industrial leaders and others. The Centralists are between them, walking a line between them. SDP was formed in the 1860s, during the height of the industrialization to help the industrial workers and others in the lower classes. The RP is a newcomer on the political stage, having been formed in 1900 by Charles de Fleur, a member of de Fleur industrial family. De Fleur family owns a major industrial concern Chaumont Metalworks, that produces high quality steel and construction materials. The concern provided a lot of materiel to the war effort, although it has gone near bankruptcy in the aftermath of the war. The Centralists were founded during the 1880s, and has acquired a large and loyal voting basis as the "everyman's choice". Every citizen has the right to vote in the elections, if they are at least twenty years of age.
The current Chancellor, Felix Bastille, is a former lawyer and political activist, who was imprisoned during the military dictatorship for political dissent and held captive until the autumn of 1917, when mutinous troops and revolting citizens liberated several prisons and other facilities. The Christmas Revolt on 24th of December, 1917, occurred in Guillaume, the capital city. After the Generals were ousted, Felix was put into the command of an emergency council, which in turn started to put in place a civil government. Parliamentary elections were held in the end of March, 1918, gaining a landslide victory for the Centralist Party and cementing Bastille's political authority. The Generals' time in office, though, left the nation in financial ruin, and they are trying to revigoriate the markets.
The Centralist Party, as other parties, were terrorized by the army and the secret police not to assemble during the dictatorship, although they continued their activities underground and secretly during the war. As bad news from the front continued to come in, the parties came more and more to the forefront, attending protests and peace rallies.
The country is divided into provinces, the most important being, politically speaking, the province of Guillaume-Cotillion, where the capital city is located. Guillaume holds the governmental buildings, many culturally important buildings, like the Royal Palace and gardens, the romance-era Musée National, Le Chevalier Noir hotel and the baroque-styled Concorde Opera Hall. The provincial borders roughly equates to the old borders of feudal lands, with few adjustments. They have provincial councils, which take responsibility of controlling the province on day-to-day basis. Every four years, provincial elections are held, and new councils are formed based on the results.
Bretony is a traditional wine, cognac, brandy and cider country, exporting a great selection of alcohol. Labels include the dark and red wine Comte Rouge, the white and fruity wine Angouleme Blanc and the cheap and bitter cider Harlequin.