|National motto: Life, Liberty, and Responsibility for all.|
|National anthem: For the People!|
|Region: The Heartland|
|Official languages||English, French|
|Largest city||Locke Harbour|
- Prime Minister
- Total (est.)
| GDP (PPP)
- Community of PopularFreedom
- PopularFreedom Union of States
March 1, 2005
January 1, 1954
|Oldest City||Victory Union est. 1553|
|Time zone||UPT +3|
|National game(s)||Rugby & Hockey|
|National flower||Wild rose|
PopularFreedom is a country located in the northernmost part of the continent of Ratio in the Northeast District of The Heartland region. It extends from the Sea of Cervidia in the west, to the Gulf of Storms in the east, and northward to the Nolan Sound. PopularFreedom shares a land border with Lomo Saltado (the nation formerly known as Loveworld) to the south.
PopularFreedom is a parlimentary democracy and is known for its compulsory military service. A federation comprising nine regions, PopularFreedom is a bilingual country, with both English and French as official languages at the national level. Its compassionate population of just over 100 million are highly moralistic and fiercely conservative.
Government spending is concentrated on law & order, although education and healthcare are adequately funded as well. Crime is quite low compared to the regional average. The average income tax rate is 48%. The nation is known for its healthy GDP which is strengthened primarily by private enterprise.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 2.1 Cervidia Spice Wars & The Thompson Declaration
- 2.2 The Tribute Years & the assassination of Henry Brocker
- 2.3 Expansion of Victory Union's sphere of influence
- 2.4 Transcontinental Railroad, the Magna Carta Declaration, and the Northwest Ratio War
- 2.5 The Boshen Peace Declaration
- 2.6 The Inland War of 1929
- 2.7 PopularFreedom Union of States
- 2.8 The Community of PopularFreedom
- 2.9 The Drake Incident
- 2.10 Free Trade with The Varangian Confederacy
- 3 Government & Politics
- 4 Geography & Climate
- 5 Economy
- 6 Demographics
- 7 Transportation
- 8 Sports
- 9 External links
|Camelot president Samuel Josephs signs the PopularFreedom Union of States document joining his nation of Camelot with the other eight northern Ratio nations into one political union.|
The name PopularFreedom was created as the name for the political union between the former nine nations in the north of Ratio in 1954. It was chosen to help embody the purpose of the foundation of this political entity.
The term 'Popular' was chosen to represent the fact that all choices by government were to be based on the consent of all the people, equally from all the regions of the new nation. The term 'Freedom' was chosen as the latter half of the new country name to indicate that the people of this nation, from all regions, would be free from unjust persecution in all forms.
The northern part of the continent of Ratio was completely absent of known human habitation until the late 1400's. In 1473, a trading ship heading to the village of Mar Y Vida was blown off course during a vicious storm on the Sea of Cervidia and took refuge in the mouth of the Jose River, in present day Victory Union. Though the crew of this ship only stayed in the vicinity for a few days to make repairs, the immediate coastal region and a few kilometres up the Jose river were mapped by famed explorer Jose Ruiz. In 1551, explorers using a number of maps from the Ruiz Cervidia Collection, left the trading post of Mar Y Vida to explore the western part of north Ratio. Their expeditions led to them setting up a resupply and trading post, called Valle Picante, along the mouth of the Jose River in 1553.
Cervidia Spice Wars & The Thompson Declaration
Beginning in 1604, the Cervidia Spice Wars began along the eastern part of the Sea of Cervidia. The then citystate town of Mar Y Vida tried to impose a number of new taxes and laws upon its 'colony' of Valle Picante. These taxes and laws, by a Spanish town on a predominentally English speaking village, as Valle Picante had become over the years, led to instantaneous rebellion & revolt. Mayor John Thompson declared the indepedence of Valle Picante from the 'outsiders from the south' and offered tribute to 'any and all forces willing to protect his village'.
|A photo of Fort Wilson in 2004, along the banks of the Jose River.|
The Cervidia Spice Wars started poorly for the residents of Valle Picante initially with the Mar Y Vida navy razing the village within weeks of their declaration of independence. The residents however fled to Fort Wilson which was a few kilometres east along the Jose River in the area where high northern ridges dwarfed the river valley. Meanwhile, the Mar Y Vida navy stayed in the mouth of the Jose river due to the mistaken belief that the villagers from Valle Picante would be forced to eventually surrender due to their connection of supplies from the outside world being cut off by the Mar Y Vida naval blockade of the Jose River mouth. This naval blockade however only led to anger among many nations and villages along the Sea of Cervidia that Mar Y Vida would become too powerful and aggressive if they were the sole controllers of the spice trade from the Jose River.
In the fall of 1604 naval forces from the south approached the town of Mar Y Vida forcing the recall of the Mar Y Vida ships blockading the Jose River. Within weeks, trade began again for the residents along the Jose River who predominently resided in Fort Wilson now. Over the next few months, mayor Thompson struck a number of deals with traders offering huge discounts on spices in exchange for military protection from Mar Y Vida forces. These deals led to the Thompson Declaration which in summary, offered 50% ownership of all spices from the lands within 10 kilometres of the Jose River for the next 100 years, to whichever force or forces razed the town of Mar Y Vida.
This declaration, within weeks led to open war between Mar Y Vida, and virtually all nations and villages that had ships or armed forces within hundreds of kilometres of it. The resulting conflict led to the annihilation of the Mar Y Vida navy by 1606 and the partial bombardment of the town of Mar Y Vida in 1607 by a number of naval forces.
The Tribute Years & the assassination of Henry Brocker
In the summer of 1607, after the destruction of the known Mar Y Vida navy, things returned to normal in the area of the Jose River, though a number of mercenary groups, led by Henry Brocker leader of a group known as the Cervidia Mercenaries, demanded tribute for helping to remove Mar Y Vida forces as a threat. Mayor Thompson, though unhappy with the continued existence of Mar Y Vida, along with the revelation that numerous Mar Y Vida residents had fled south and founded the village of Great Jason, decided he had no choice but to relent and pay the tribute as dictated by the Thompson Declaration. On July 28, 1607 in a ceremony in Fort Wilson, Mayor Thompson and Henry Brocker signed the Victory Union Agreement which called for the honouring of the Thompson Declaration by the people along the Jose River, and the renaming of the area to Victory Union, 'in recognition of the great victory wrought by a collective force against the Mar Y Vida oppressors of freedom'. Many residents of Fort Wilson however were unhappy with the agreement as it was felt Henry Brocker did not fulfill the terms as stated within the Thompson Declaration. Within days of this agreement being signed, Mayor Thompson was assassinated by Walter Scott Herr. The appointment of new mayor Johnathan Brown however did not cause the agreement to be altered in the slightest after his appointment to office.
On December 13th in the year 1618, Henry Brocker was assassinated by members of his crew for reasons unknown. The result was an all out war between the numerous factions within the group known as the Cervidia Mercenaries who controlled virtually all the shipping lanes from the Nolan Sound southwards to and beyond the Herculean Sea. Though these events did not directly impact Victory Union, two major battles were fought close to the mouth of the Jose River, the spoils of which were the right to collect the 50% tribute as agreed upon by Victory Union under the Thompson Declaration.
|An artist rendition of the first Battle of the Jose River Mouth, in 1623. Another, smaller battle took place in 1631 with the prize of the Thompson Declaration tribute as the main driving force behind both of these major naval battles.|
Expansion of Victory Union's sphere of influence
In January 1706, prospectors from Victory Union discovered gold in the mountains about 1500 kilometres north of Victory Union, along the coast of northern Ratio. Within months, prospectors and travellers alike had flocked to the area which almost overnight became the village of Loyalty Bay. The resulting gold found in the area, helped Victory Union quickly build a strong navy to help them expand in the area and protect their territorial interests.
In 1779, Victory Union decided to begin expanding their sphere of interest. They already controlled much of the trade along the northern Ratio coast in the Sea of Cervidia, however they were concerned with the increased aggression from forces in Mar Y Vida, who now fell under the sphere of influence from the city of Great Jason to the south. Especially of concern was the Patrick Incident of 1778 in which three Victory Union ships and two Mar Y Vida ships had been sunk when both sides opened fire on one another in the Sea of Cervidia, midway between the two cities. With no agreed upon border it was recognized by the Victory Union government that incidents like this would only continue unless something was done to prevent them. It was therefore decided to expand their influence in the area by building a military outpost in the location of the present day city of Camelot. This military outpost was originally called Fort Collins, named after the governor of Victory Union at the time, Frank Collins.
In 1847, a few years after the formation of the nation of Loveworld to the south, explorers from Victory Union left to explore and settle along the eastern coast of North Ratio, beginning with the foundation of the village of Locke Harbour in 1854 and continuing with the foundation of Viscount Bennett in 1861. By the 1890s, villages were also founded in the far northern reaches of North Ratio at Workers Point in 1895, and Pearson Cliffs in 1897.
Transcontinental Railroad, the Magna Carta Declaration, and the Northwest Ratio War
|The Union to Bennett railroad over the Bennett River in 1904.|
At the turn of the century, Victory Union and her satellite cities were struggling to keep up with her southern neighbour Loveworld in terms of economic and military supremacy on the northern part of the Ratio continent. The transcontinental railway however would soon change all that. Beginning in the late 1800's, the Victory Union government began to expand the current Union to Bay railway to include lines built eastwards from Loyalty Bay and Victory Union towards Locke Harbour and Viscount Bennett respectively. By the early 1900s these dreams of a transcontinental railway were soon realized and North Ratio now had 2 railways crossing the interior of its domain as of 1903. This increase however, in contact between Victory Union and her satellites proved to be a major catalyst towards the signing of the Magna Carta Declaration in 1904. The eastern cities of North Ratio were especially unhappy with the amount of taxes charged by Victory Union towards them in the wake of the opening of the transcontinental railways. Prior to 1903, these cities, along with the northern ones, simply paid a portion of the taxes charged by Victory Union and blamed bad weather among other reasons for the 'delay' in payments. With the opening of the transcontinental railways, it became much easier for tax collectors from Victory Union to collect payment within days instead of weeks or months as used to be the case. Outside influences and the supply of weapons from Loveworld cities along the Gulf of Storms to her North Ratio counterparts along the same body of water also had a part to play in the lead up to the Magna Carta Declaration of 1904. In it, the mayors of Loyalty Bay, Athens (founded 1903), Pearson Cliffs, Workers Point, Viscount Bennett, Locke Harbour signed an agreement agreeing to form their own seperate nations of citystates. These citystates were by 1905 referred to as the citystate nations of:
- Locke Harbour
- Loyalty Bay
- Pearson Cliffs
- Viscount Bennett
- Workers Point
Victory Union politicians were furious with the signing of the Magna Carta declaration however they recognized that they could not realistically compete against the financial power of these combined citystates until they had successfully reacquired Loyalty Bay under their control. Victory Union leaders therefore dispatched word to their military outpost in the south of Fort Collins to prepare for civil war against Loyalty Bay and her allies. However, unknown to the politicians of Victory Union was the fact that leaders of Loyalty Bay had months earlier signed an agreement with mayor Sam Peer of Fort Collins to provide Peer with financial payments in return for military protection for Loyalty Bay from hostile forces, '...including any from North Ratio...'. Therefore when Victory Union delegates arrived to seek support for their campaign against Loyalty Bay, they were refused the allowance to even speak with Mayor Peer. This refusal to act by the Fort Collins government resulted in the Northwest Ratio War of 1904-1905.
In November of 1904, destroyers and cruisers from Victory Union departed for Loyalty Bay while over 10,000 ground troops, along with a delegation from Victory Union with a telegram declaring war against Loyalty Bay and her allies, departed via railway at the same time. Meanwhile, 30,000 troops from Loyalty Bay and her allies were already stationed at the southern end of the Loyalty Mountains awaiting any sign of military forces heading northwards from Victory Union. On November 9, 1904 at 2:31 pm Loyalty Bay loyal troops opened fire with cannons and sharpshooters on the trains from Victory Union causing widespread panic among the Victory Union troops. The resulting battle saw the complete defeat of the Victory Union ground contingent with 3,243 dead and numerous more injured. Only 197 troops from the original 10,000 Victory Union contingent in fact escaped without injury or being captured.
|The aftermath of the bombardment of Oceancove village in December 1904.|
The naval contingent of Victory Union meanwhile would take a week to arrive at Loyalty Bay where they were met by the combined naval forces of Locke Harbour, Loyalty Bay, and Fort Collins ships. Recognizing he was outgunned, Victory Union Admiral Wesley Sharp had his forces retreat from battle. His ships however would not retreat from the war. Recognizing that the brunt of the Fort Collins ships were guarding Loyalty Bay, Admiral Sharp sailed his forces south. They arrived along the coast of Oceancove, just north of Fort Collins, on December 1st, 1904. At 5:53 am they began their bombardment of the Oceancove village and military installations. Numerous ships in numerous states of repair were sunk in Oceancove Inlet. The resulting bombardment attracted the interest of the Fort Collins fleet, guarding the city to the south however they arrived not as a pack of ships but one by one and were easily picked off by the Victory Union armada. The resulting battle saw the loss of 3 destroyers, 5 cruisers, and 1 dreadnought on the Fort Collins side and the loss of no ships on the Victory Union side. Meanwhile the bombardment of the village and military installations in Oceancove, and later on at Fort Collins resulted in the loss of over 10,000 civilians and the reduction of the city of Fort Collins to rubble.
The Boshen Peace Declaration
|A map of North Ratio in 1905 after the signing of the Boshen Peace Declaration.|
In January 1905, after a number of small ocean skirmishes in the Sea of Cervidia, an armada of ships from Locke Harbour, Loyalty Bay, Pearson Cliffs, Viscount Bennett, Workers Point, and ships part of the now devastated city of Fort Collins arrived just north of Victory Union. This fleet far outnumbered the ships of Wesley Sharp and therefore he had no choice but to either seeks terms of a ceasefire or face the annihilation of his fleet and the city of Victory Union.
The leaders of all the fleets met in the Ruiz Hall in Victory Union to discuss the terms of the ceasefire. Under the leadership of Cedric Boshen, Admiral of the Locke Harbour fleet, all sides agreed to the signing of his Boshen Peace Declaration. In it, the cities of Athens, Locke Harbour, Loyalty Bay, Pearson Cliffs, Viscount Bennett, and Workers Point were recognized to be independent city states from the city of Victory Union. The declaration also recognized the jurisdiction of Camelot, formerly known as Fort Collins as an independent city from Victory Union and that it would be rebuilt, to an extent, with gold from the Victory Union treasury.
The Inland War of 1929
|Troops assemble near the docks in Athens in preparation for an attack against Stanislav in the spring of 1929.|
In 1925, the village of Stanislav was established along the Great Range River, upstream from Great Trout Lake by settlers from Athens. It was expected that taxes would be paid by the residents of Stanislav to tax collectors in Athens however by 1929 tax revenue from Stanislav no longer was sent to Athens at all.
John Simons a member of the Athens municipal council was sent by ship to collect the taxes from the government of Stanislav however was arrested and hanged upon his arrival in Stanislav. When word of his death reached Athens, troops were dispatched by ship towards Stanislav. They arrived at the mouth of the Great Range River and began the long hike west along the northern shoreline of the river. Midway between Stanislav and Great Trout Lake, they met and engaged forces from Stanislav resulting in the first battle of The Inland War of 1929. This first battle, known as the First Range River Battle resulted in a stalemate for both sides and the loss of over a thousand lives.
Battles that followed rarely produced a winner for either side and by the end of 1929 a peace deal was signed recognizing the independence of Stanislav and setting the borders between the two city states of Stanislav and Athens.
PopularFreedom Union of States
In 1953, the nine leaders of the city states of North Ratio gathered in Athens to discuss terms of a political union between them. After a series of meetings in 1954, on January 1st, they gathered to sign the PopularFreedom Union of States Document creating the nation of PopularFreedom. This document identified the nine founding cities of PopularFreedom as being Athens, Camelot, Locke Harbour, Loyalty Bay, Pearson Cliffs, Stanislav, Victory Union, Viscount Bennett, and Workers Point. It gave these nine cities virtually all the power for jurisdiction over their 'regional' affairs however limited their expansion.
At first the terms of this document proved highly favourable for both the people and the jurisdictions under them however over time a number of the smaller cities felt limited by it, while larger cities, most noteably Locke Harbour felt hindered by its limits on expansion.
The Community of PopularFreedom
In 2004, the leaders of the nine regions of the PopularFreedom Union of States again gathered to discuss the remaking of the constitution. A number of meetings were held culminating in the signing ceremony on March 1st, 2005 in which the community of PopularFreedom was born. This 'community' had the same land jurisdictions as the PopularFreedom Union of States before however granted much more power to smaller cities within regions. It also allowed the expansion of regions and the capital cities within these regions, something that was not allowed under the PopularFreedom Union of States Document.
The Community of PopularFreedom Constitution though extremely young, has already had numerous significant impacts upon the way in which the nation has evolved. The biggest impacts felt in the nation revolve around the allowance for the expansion of jurisdictions. This has led to the formation of a number of 'supercities' including the Locke Harbour City State. Another key change is the allowance for smaller cities to be able to have their voice heard at the national level. The has greatly aided in the ability for the nation to work more as a whole instead of as seperate regions though it is strongly attributed to be the catalyst behind the Drake Incident of 2005.
The Drake Incident
The Drake Peters incident, or Drake Incident as it is more commonly known, happened as a direct result of the signing of the Community of PopularFreedom Constitution.
Under the PopularFreedom Union of States Document which preceeded the new constitution, the town of Camelot found themselves to be on an equal footing with the other eight capitals in PopularFreedom. A lot of funding was diverted to the Camelot region due to this political clout, inspite of the fact that they had far less then 1 million people under their jurisdiction regionwide.
The amount of funding diverted to the Camelot Region, especially in relation to the Oceancove Span Project, was one of the key reasons for the signing of the Community of PopularFreedom Constitution in that it reduced the amount of power Camelot had in national affairs. This infuriated many within the Camelot Region and led to an open rebellion led by Drake Peters in the fall of 2005.
On August 31st, Private Drake Peters, a lower level member in the PopularFreedom military, led an uprising that was supported by the majority of PopularFreedom forces stationed in the 'city' of Camelot. He and his forces covertly entered and secured Camelot city hall before killing Mayor Erik Regan.
The next few weeks saw the PopularFreedom Government and the rebels in a stalemate with the rebels completely surrounded in the town of Camelot by both forces from Lomo Saltado to the south (at that time referred to as the nation of Jastica) and PopularFreedom troops to the north.
On November 22nd, loyal forces covertly working for PopularFreedom, were able to apprehend Drake Peters without incident inside a government building in Camelot. Over the next 24 hours the rest of his forces surrendered without incident, accepting the offer of the PopularFreedom government for amnesty upon their complete unconditional surrender.
In December 2005, Drake Peters was sentenced to life in prisonment for the death of Mayor Regan. Mr. Peters has yet to undergo trial for his attempts to subvert the government in relation to the actual rebellion itself.
Free Trade with The Varangian Confederacy
On July 20, 2006 the PopularFreedom government entered a free trade agreement with the nations of the Varangian Confederacy. This agreement had been originally created in 2005, however the signing of it had been delayed for over a year due to the change of leadership in the Prime Ministerial office in PopularFreedom. This agreement is commonly referred to as the Ahlving Free Trade Agreement named after the city in the Varangian Confederacy in which it was signed in.
Government & Politics
PopularFreedom is run by a democratically elected government. The Community of PopularFreedom Constitution governs the legal framework of the country.
The position of Prime Minister, PopularFreedom's head of government, belongs to the current leader of the political party that can obtain the confidence of the largest percentage of voters during an election. The Cabinet of the Prime Minister is chosen from members of the winning party who were the appointed representatives of the party in voting jurisdictions across the nation. The PopularFreedom Cabinet is traditionally drawn from members of the Prime Minister's party. The current Prime Minister is Julia Westerlake who has held office since obtaining power on April 26th, 2006.
There are currently 118 seats in Parliament along with a seat for the Speaker of Parliament. These seats represent the 18 major municipalities in the nation along with 100 seats which are alloted based on the percentage of the vote each party receives from the population. The 18 municipalities that get their own representative are those cities with a population of over 100,000.
The consititution of PopularFreedom does have provisions allowing that any future municipality that breaks the 100,000 population barrier will be permitted to elect an individual to represent them in Parliament within a month of national census takers confirming this population amount.
Elections are held every 5 years on the 1st of March.
PopularFreedom is currently run by the ruling Peoples Economic Party who held 85% of the national vote in the last election. The official oppostion is the Civil Party which holds 11% of the seats in Parliament. The remaining seats are held by the Economic Party who attained 4% of the vote in the last election.
The other 18 seats are represented by one individual from each of the following cities:
|Athens||Base Victory||Camelot||Laurier||Lenita||Locke Harbour|
|Loyalty Bay||Magna Carta||Miprate||Peace||Pearson Cliffs||Port Northview|
|Sacredicity||Sifton||Stanislav||Victory Union||Viscount Bennett||Workers Point|
PopularFreedom is a federation composed of nine different regions. The regional governments are in fact those members of the federal government who represent the region. Traditionally these regional governments meet in caucus sessions to discuss ways of allocating federal money assigned to their jurisdiction, to discuss ways of seeking funding from the federal government for regional issues, and to deal with unique issues at the municipal level within their borders.
The following are the nine different regions of PopularFreedom:
|Athens Region||Camelot Region||Locke Harbour Region|
|Loyalty Bay Region||Pearson Cliffs Region||Stanislav Region|
|Victory Union Region||Viscount Bennett Region||Workers Point Region|
Geography & Climate
PopularFreedom is relatively flat in the northeast where much of the population is based. In the southeast is the Viscount Bennett mountain chain, a relatively small group of mountains that reach just over 2 kilometres in height at their highest point. In the southwest, except for a few small hills in the vicinity of Victory Union, the area is primarily plains and semi-desert with the bulk of the area owned by ranchers. The northwest provides the most scenic area, except for the rainforests in the south central portion, with both the Pearson and Loyalty mountain ranges which both have numerous peaks over 4 kilometres above sea level.
The most densely populated part of the nation is along the Athens-Magna Carta Corridor.
PopularFreedom has a wide diversity of plantlife with northern PopularFreedom vegetation consisting of coniferous forests while the south has an abundance of tropical jungles.
Average winter and summer temperatures very widely across the nation. In areas such as Pearson Cliffs the winter temperature averages −15 °C while the summer averages 15 °C. In contrast, the city of Camelot in the south averages 15 °C during the winter months while during the summer the average temperature is 35 °C.
PopularFreedom is an economically strong nation in the Heartland region. PopularFreedom is a free market economy though does see government intervention frequently in certain industries and areas. In recent years the PopularFreedom economy has flourished resulting in exceptionally high living standards when compared with the rest of the world. As of December 2006, the national unemployment rate was 5.1%. Regional unemployment rates vary with a low of 3.9% found in Locke Harbour compared with 9.3% found in Camelot.
Over the past century the growth of manufacturing, mining, and service sectors has transformed the nation from a largely rural economy into one that is primarily industrial and urban. The PopularFreedom economy is dominated by the service sector.
PopularFreedom has an abudance of energy projects scattered across the landscape including the hydroelectric dams along numerous rivers nationwide making the nation a net exporter of energy.
PopularFreedom is a world leader in the production of gold, aluminium, copper, and zinc.
PopularFreedom has a sizeable manufacturing sector located in and around the city of Athens.
PopularFreedom was founded on international trade and recently signed a free trade agreement with the Varangian Confederacy to help expand PopularFreedom markets further abroad.
Currently PopularFreedom does not have a national debt though this is primarily due to the exhorbently high and fluctuating income tax rates that citizens have to pay on an annual basis.
PopularFreedom's 2005 census counted 100,987,112 citizens. This was an increase of about 5.1% since the year 2000. Population growth is due primarily to both immigration and a higher than average birth rate for industrialized countries. The majority of the population are found in urban centres with the Locke Harbour City State accounting for over 10% of the total national population on its own. In fact the bulk of the population of the nation are found in the Athens-Magna Carta Corridor which includes the Locke Harbour City State. Other areas of the country with noteably high populations include the Viscount Bennett-Sifton Corridor, the Greater Pearson Cliffs Area, and the Greater Workers Point Area.
According to the 2005 census, there are 3 main ethnic groups in PopularFreedom. Those of English descent are predominately the largest with over 93% of respondents claiming to be English speaking. Spanish was second with 9% of all respondents claiming to be able to speak Spanish. French, inspite of it being the second national language, only had 3% of all respondents claiming to be able to speak it (though the majority of those respondents, unlike the Spanish speaking residents, were unable to speak in English).
PopularFreedom immigration rates are higher then the Heartland region averages. Most new immigrants tended to settle in the larger cities.
PopularFreedom residents practice a wide variety of religions with the various denominations that make up Christianity being the largest with over 92% of all census respondents claiming to be apart of that faith.
The regional governments handed over control of education to the national government in 1954. However all students must take a course called, 'Regional Social Sciences', which goes into further detail about the history, geography, and politics of the region the student abides in. This helps to ensure that students, though apart of the larger nation, still learn about the heritage of the specific region they live in. The mandatory school age is from age 5-18 in all regions followed by 2 years of compulsary military service. This contributes to a literacy rate in PopularFreedom which is above 99%. Postsecondary education is funded by the federal government in proportion to the percentage of questions students are able to complete successfully on the PopularFreedom Oral Standardized Test Evaluation (POSTE). This evaluation is broken up into different parts and covers all facets of the education the student should have learned during their secondary and presecondary years in school. As of the 2005 census, just over 59% of all PopularFreedomites had at least one post-secondary education degree or diploma.
The automobile industry took off very early in PopularFreedom (when compared to other nations), much of the development of PopularFreedom urban areas has taken place around the concept of creating cities and residential areas to suit the needs of road vehicles.
To link its vast territory, PopularFreedom built a network of high-capacity, high-speed highways, of which the most important elements are the PopularFreedom Highway System (PHS), and the PopularFreedom Municipal Expressways. The bulk of these highways were commissioned in the 1950s by Prime Minister Frank Hujar. There is also a transcontinental rail system, which is used for moving freight and passengers across the country.
Some cities provide usable mass-transit systems. The largest of them, Locke Harbour City State, operates one of the nation's most heavily used subway systems. The regional rail and bus networks that extend outside of the city state boundaries are among the most heavily used in the nation.
Air travel is the preferred means of travel for long distances. There are several major seaports in PopularFreedom; the three busiest are the port of Viscount Bennett, the port of Pearson Cliffs, and the port of Victory Union.
PopularFreedom has an extensive sporting culture. The national sports are hockey, and rugby. Locally different cities have additional sporting interests including auto racing in Athens, soccer in Loyalty Bay, and bareback bronc riding in Victory Union.
The nation's sporting association created a league that would travel the nation and region having race events with stock cars in 2006 however due to financial troubles, it collapsed before it could officially begin its inaugural season. Currently the largest municipal racing circuit is in the city of Athens known as the Athens Stockcar Racing League (ASRL).
The PopularFreedom Football League (PFL) began the first gridiron league in the nation in 2005. With 9 teams in as many cities it was widely successful in its first season and has continued to increase in popularity ever since. The current defending PFL champions are the Stanislav Riders.
The nation was also apart of the now defunct Rugby Premier League, which included the Camelot Wasps, Brunstone Avalanche, and Sacredicity Saints rugby clubs in this international competition. These teams joined the PRL in 2007.
Soccer is primarily found in the northwest of the nation in the area in and around the city of Loyalty Bay. There are many premier teams though the two most prominent would be the North Beach Sharks and Pleasantview Ravens, both of which are located in the premier soccer league known as the Bay Football League. These two teams have an extensive rivalry dating back for over a century now.
In 2007 the second largest league in the nation, the Pearson Cliffs Football Association located in the city of Pearson Cliffs, merged into the Bay Football League. This left the nation with only one professional soccer league. The Capital Soccer Association located in the city of Locke Harbour operated until 2007 when it folded due to dwindling attendance figures and the expansion of the Extreme Soccer League into both Locke Harbour North and Locke Harbour South.
The Extreme Soccer League (ESL), has teams located in numerous PopularFreedom cities as well as franchises in other nations in the Heartland including teams from Vassfforcia and Lomo Saltado. This league combines the graceful art of soccer with the bone crushing action of rugby into a version of soccer referred to passionately by its followers as 'full-contact soccer'. The league was formed in 1994 and began play in 1995. Though extremely popular in the cities it is played in, it is shunned by the rest of the nation (along with most of the civilized world) as it is the only league for this sport in existence. In recent years however there has been interest in this sport in a few cities in the nation of Vassfforcia, and in the nation of Lomo Saltado. As a result tournaments are held between cities in Lomo Saltado and PopularFreedom on a sporatic basis, while Vassfforcia and Lomo Saltado recently entered teams into the league beginning in the 2006 season.