Greater Jade

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Greater Jade
Flag of Greater Jade
Motto: Stórjádens Stærggë; Stórjádens Kloggë; Stórjádens Fré
(Greater Jadan Strength; Greater Jadan Wisdom; Greater Jadan Peace)
No Map Available
Region Scandinavia
Capital Krovnsavn (Crownshaven)
Official Language(s) Jádens (Jadan), plus a number of official regional languages
Leader Kynge Pér XII fre Jáde (Emperor Peter XII of Jade)
Population 596 000 000
Currency krovn (crown) = 100 ør 
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Empire of Greater Jade

The Empire of Greater Jade (Stórjádens Impérijë) is a large but sparsely populated country located in Scandinavia. Her capital city is Crownshaven (Krovnsavn), also her largest city; her national language is Jadan (Jádens), closely related to Danish and Scanian, whilst the government recognises a number of official regional languages.

The term Jade (Jáde) strictly refers only to the empire's central 'mother' region, containing the capital city, whereas the term Greater Jade (Stórjáde) traditionally denotes the whole empire. However, the entire country is nowadays often known simply as Jade.

Brief history

Jade has existed as a state, with a monarch and government at Crownshaven, for many hundreds of years; mention of her can be found in documents written by the kings of Scania (now southern Sweden) and of Denmark, as early as 1020 AD. Jadan kings were known to be expansionistic, claiming sovereignty over a wide area they called Greater Jade, which often included territories under the control of Denmark, Scania and the Brothers of the Sword. King Knude II, by annexing of the neighbouring city-state of Dennever (1280) and the Isles of Sylsærre (1285) and by proclaiming himself the first Jadan Emperor, began to make this claim a reality. His descendants were able to forge a huge Baltic empire with Crownshaven at its heart, which, at its peak in 1375, stretched from Lybæk in the West to Tallinn in the East.

However, as the surrounding Nordic empires united (formalising as the vast Kalmar Union in 1397), Jade came under increasing pressure to defend its central regions and was unable to maintain control of its outlying territories. By the time the Kalmar Union fell apart in 1521, the seven regions of modern Greater Jade (plus Jade itself) were what remained of the empire. During the period that followed, Jade abandoned her centuries-old policy of expansion, and concentrated on maintaining the unity of her Empire. This was achieved via appeasement of the peoples of the Empire: successive Emperors began free elections for certain public offices, allowed the regions to exercise their own powers, and eventually opened regional and imperial parliaments.

This period of remarkable peace and political freedom, plus its strong economic links with former imperial territories, allowed Jade to grow rich. In 1721, Emperor Peter (Pér) II recognised that political freedoms and civil liberties, in addition to a strictly neutral foreign policy, had been the key to Jade's success, and laid out a series of laws which transferred much of his power to democratically elected bodies. This is widely regarded as the beginning of true democracy in Jade.

Jade maintained her neutrality ever since 1721, allowing her to prosper whilst other nations were stricken by war; she refused to join NATO numerous times between 1949 and 1970. Jade broke with this policy in 1972, the year of her accession to the European Union.

Imperial Flag

The Jadan flag is one of the oldest known European flags, possibly second only to the Danish Dannebrog in age. In its original form, it consisted of a light blue Nordic cross (standing for Stórjádens Kloggë, Greater Jadan Wisdom) on a black field (for Stórjádens Stærggë, Greater Jadan Strength). The flag has traditionally been hung from the high towers of the Kyngeshavsë (Emperor's Palace) in Crownshaven, and so is longer than most Scandinavian flags (and indeed most other world flags); today the dimensions are fixed at 2:5. Emperor Peter II in 1721 added the white outer cross for Stórjádens Fré (Greater Jadan Peace), also adding this to the Imperial motto and anthem.

System of Government

Although still formally an empire, with Emperor Peter XII (Kynge Pér XII) as its head of state, Jade today has a democratic, almost federal government, with its citizens enjoying universal suffrage and high levels of social welfare.

Real power in Jade rests with the Imperial Government (Impériregerengë) and the Imperial Parliament (Impérifolgesdengë). Three hundred members of Parliament are elected directly by the people, every five years, under a system of proportional representation. From amongst its members, Parliament then elects a head of government, the Prime Minister (Førsde Regerrë); he or she then appoints government ministers, also from amongst the members of Parliament.

Although the Jadan legislature is nominally bicameral, the tiny, unelected upper house (the Council of Vice-Emperors (Unnerkyngerrajë), consisting of a Vice-Emperor for each region of the Empire, plus representatives of the church and of the military) is now largely ceremonial.

However, power in certain key areas - including education, healthcare and certain forms of taxation - is devolved to, or shared with, regional parliaments (tragdesfolgesdenger). This devolution acts as a check on the government's power in the absence of a powerful upper house or head of state. Jade has no written constitution to guarantee the rights and powers of the regional parliaments, and cannot therefore be called a federal state; however, since 1721, each Emperor has sworn on his coronation, and each Prime Minister on his election, to uphold these rights.

Modern Society and Politics

Modern Jade is recognisably Scandinavian in her politics, following extremely liberal social policies and pursuing equality in society, although she has traditionally been slightly more economically liberal (and therefore business-friendly) than other Scandinavian nations. Extremism is almost unheard-of in Jadan politics, and, due to the great value Jadans place on freedom, democracy and social progress, organised religion is all but dead throughout the Empire.

The Jadan people are proud to be both Scandinavian and European, although they share many of the reservations that other Scandinavian peoples have regarding the Union (particularly as regards social policy). As in other federal or near-federal member-states such as Germany and Spain, Europeanisation has led to a limitation of the powers of the regions, which has at times made it rather unpopular. Jade has yet to join the Union's single currency, the euro. On the other hand, Jade has been a great supporter of the common European defence project, in part due to poor (and worsening) relations with the US and a continued refusal to join NATO.