|Flag of Upper Virginia|
|Motto: "Hope for Peace, Prepare for War"|
|Leader||Provisonal President Becka Harrison|
|Population||Over 3 billion|
|Currency||The Dominion Sov. (δ§)|
|NS Sunset XML|
The Dominion of Upper Virginia is technologically advanced but troubled modern nation in the Excalbian Isles. Despite a booming economy and a robust industrial infrastructure, Upper Virginia has a history of political instability and violence. Until recently the nation had been under the control of a harsh military dictatorship. A coup removed the military junta and ushered in a new civilian government, composed of former military officers and business leaders, that recently held the nation's first legislative elections in nearly a century.
- 1 Geography
- 2 People and Culture
- 3 Before the Founding of Upper Virginia
- 4 Founding the Dominion of Upper Virginia
- 5 Modern History
- 6 Politics and Government
- 7 Economy and Industry
- 8 Military
Location and Climate
The Excalbian Isles rise from the Mid-Atlantic Ridge in the Northern Atlantic, southwest of Iceland and southeast of Greenland. The location of the islands ensure mild summers with long days and cool winters with long, dark nights. The flow of the ocean currents, however, keeps the island far milder than Greenland, located to the northwest.
Environment and Topography
The main island – known as Excalbia – is roughly the size of France, Germany, Switzerland and the Low Countries, making it one of the largest islands in the world. The Borodea Mountains split the island from north to south along the path of Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Highlands and foothills extend from the range to the west across much of the island. To the north of the highlands are plains and tundra; to the south are grasslands and forests. East of the mountain range, the terrain drops rapidly to foothills, pine forests and rugged coastline.
Upper Virginia lies northwest of the Borodea Mountains and is mostly composed of plains, with grasslands in the extreme southwest and tundra in far north. Small forests in foothills of the southeast and in the grasslands of the southwest have been largely demolished and converted to agricultural use, while mining - including strip-mining - has eroded the environment in the southeast.
People and Culture
Early Settlement and Ethnicity
The Excalbian Isles were first settled by the Celts around the 6th century. By the early 10th century, they formed a number of stable, agrarian tribal groups, located mostly in the Southwestern grasslands and along the rugged Eastern coast.
In the late 10th century, a second wave of settlers – Norsemen – arrived from their colonies in Iceland and Greenland. While the earlier arrivals, now known as the Lowlanders, remained along the coast and in the grasslands, the Norsemen migrated into the highlands.
The 17th century brought a third wave of settlers beginning with Dutch whalers, who settled along the largely deserted Northern coast in what is now Upper Virginia. Dutch merchants later established trading outposts along the Southern and Eastern coasts, while Anglo-American traders and missionaries settled in the Southwest. A mixed group of escaped African slaves and freedman settled on the island of Deandra in the Southeast in the early 18th century.
While modern immigration has brought people, both human and non-human, from around the world, the largest ethnic groups remain Nordic, Celtic, Anglo-American and African.
Christianity was introduced to the Excalbian Isles in the 12th century. While Catholicism found many adherents among the villages of Eastern coast, which eventually formed the Grand Duchy of Saxmere, most of the inhabitants remained pagan until the early 18th century, when the son of King Ragarth converted to Christianity and proclaimed Christianity the state religion.
Christian dissenters from the Church of Excalbia played a key role in founding the Confederation of Sovereign States. While their importance in the state of New Virginia had already waned by the time Peter Courtland's coup led to the founding of Upper Virginia, the Courtland supporters who fled to Upper Virginia brought their religion with them.
While religion has never been as defining in political life as it has been in Excalbia, the general population remains far more religious than in the Sovereign States. While Protestant Christianity is the majority religion, no single denomination claims a majority. The Upper Virginian Baptist General Conference accounts for 19% of the population, the National Methodist Union 18%, the Church of Excalbia 15%, the Roman Catholic Church 13%, the Anglicans 6% and Orthodox Christians 1%. Five percent of the population is Jewish while other religions, including minor Christian denominations, Islam, Danaanism and Humanism make up 9% of the population.
English is the state language. Some people in rural areas of the Southeastern foothills speak Old Excalbian, a blend of old Norse and Baltic languages, while some isolated villages along the Northern coast speak Dutch as a second language.
Before the Founding of Upper Virginia
Celtic settlers arrived in the Excalbian Isles in the 6th century, but mostly remained in the Southwestern grasslands and along the rugged Eastern coast, where they formed stable, agrarian tribal groups. These "Lowlanders" were followed by Norsemen, who migrated into the highlands.
Despite relative isolation from Europe, new arrivals continued to land on Excalbia. These included a small group of Scots, who moved into the highlands and submerged into the Norse Highlanders, and some Irish monks, who in the 12th century introduced Christianity among the Lowlanders on the Eastern coast. The Lowland villages converted to Catholicism and eventually formed the Lowland Grand Duchy of Saxmere.
By the 13th century, the island’s social structure was well established. The Highland clans were warriors, herders and artisans and dominated the Lowland farmers. Clan warfare in the 15th and 16th centuries produced Excalbia’s first monarch, King Alsgood, the Great, who established his capital at Excalbia Castle, also known as Citadel Excalbia.
In the 17th century, Dutch settlers from the United Provinces of Knootoss established small whaling colonies on the baren Northern coast of what would become Upper Virginia. They also established trading posts on the Eastern and Southern coasts. The presence of these outposts led the Knootian Admiral Jongmans to seek refuge in Southport during the Second War of Insolence. In general, however, the presence of Dutch colonies did little to interfere with Highland dominance. However, some descendants of the Dutch colonists remain in isolated villages along the Northern coast, where they continue to depend on the fishing and whaling industries.
By the 18th century, a number of European and North American merchantmen had visited Excalbia, but finding little worth trading along the coast had generally ignored it. In 1798, a small group of Virginia Baptist missionaries took an interest in Excalbia and booked passage on a Yankee merchant ship familiar with the islands. A storm, however, crashed the ''Narwhal'' against the Western coast. Stranded, but alive and still possessing much of their goods and supplies, the missionaries began working to convert the Lowlanders to Christianity and the crew of the merchant ship began establishing control of the local trade routes and building alliances with the local tribes.
Founding of the Holy Empire of Excalbia
In 1801, the newly assertive Lowlanders, joined by Saxmere and backed by the missionaries and the guns of the ship’s crew, came into conflict with the Highland king, Ragarth. Low-level conflict continued until a truce in 1807, by which time the new American arrivals had reestablished contact with their homeland, bringing in new supplies for themselves and their Lowland allies. Seeing the balance of power tilting to the Lowlanders, Ragarth undertook a diplomatic mission to the Lowlanders’ new capital, where his son converted to Christianity and adopted the Christian name Joshua.
Joshua married the daughter of a missionary in 1808 and became king in 1809. At that point, he engineered a union between the Lowlanders and their allies and the Highland kingdom. On Christmas Day in 1809, Joshua proclaimed the Holy Empire of Excalbia.
Founding the Dominion of Upper Virginia
Establishment of the Confederation of Sovereign States
In 1817, a mixed group of American settlers and Lowlanders began demanding a republican government. In order to avoid violence, the Emperor extended a land grant to the republicans east of the Borodea Mountains and a patent to establish an autonomous republican government. The republicans accepted the grant and establish New Virginia. In 1829, New Virginia, along with the later colonies of Southland and Deandra, joined with the Lowland settlement of Saxmere and the Highland settlements of Alud and Trondgard, to declare themselves independent states and to form a Confederation of Sovereign States.
New Virginia and Peter Courtland
In the first few decades after its founding, the Confederation operated more as a coalition of nations than as a single country. This led to great disparities between the sovereign States of the C.S.S. and rising civil tensions. The State of New Virginia quickly emerged as the most prosperous and most advanced of the States. This fueled a number of disputes between New Virginia and its neighbors.
By the late 1840's and early 1850's, many citizens of New Virginia were disgruntled with the State's response to these problems. Many felt that, in the absence of a strong central government, New Virginia needed an assertive State government that would respond to the rising sense of crisis. The Governor and the state legislature, however, believed that the State should continue to pursue a minimalist agenda. They also believed that, since their capital served as the capital of the Confederation, they should maintain a low profile within the Confederation.
In 1856, Peter Courtland, commander of the New Virginia State Militia, was encouraged by many civic and business leaders to force the Governor's resignation and take charge of the State government. When Courtland and his troops surrounded the Governor's Mansion in Jefferson, the President of the Confederation called for the other States to send their militia's to put down the revolt. The other States were more than happy to respond to the President's request.
Courtland's coup was defeated and he was tried and convicted for treason for attempting to use the threat of military force to install himself as the new Governor. Before he could be imprisoned, Courtland, along with a number of supporters fled across the mountains to the sparsely inhabited plains of the northwest, known then as the Upper Virginian Plain.
A New Nation on the Upper Virginian Plain
By 1862, a number of settlements had been established in the region. Following Courtland’s death in 1870, leaders of these new settlements proclaimed the Dominion of Upper Virginia with a Constitution that, while guaranteeing individual rights and liberties, created a powerful central government. They named the new nation's capital city Courtland in honor of their founder.
Monopoly Capitalism, Depression and Revolution
In the late 19th and early 20th century, as progressives in the Holy Empire worked to break up monopolies and protect workers, unbridled monopoly capitalism gained root in the Dominion. While the elected leaders in the National Assembly spoke of preserving the public trust and developing the nation’s economy for the public good, they consistently enacted policies favouring industry. Labour unions were banned, the concept of a minimum wage was rejected and the working age was kept shocking low.
The the Great Depression of the 1930s led to an economic collapse in the Dominion. Angry workers and intellectuals joined to support a radical socialist party that attempted a violent revolution in 1932. It was ruthlessly suppressed by General Roger Courtland, who suspended the Constitution and began authoritarian rule.
Under the 1932 State of Emergency a Provisional Ruling Council (PRC) was established as the supreme authority in Upper Virginia. The PRC traditionally included the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces, the Attorney General and the Chairman of the Chamber of Industrials, a private entity representing the nation's leading businesses.
The Fall of the PRC
The State of Emergency lasted from 1932 to late 2004. The last PRC to rule Upper Virginia was headed by General Craig Altman, the former Commander in Chief, late Attorney General Diana Silina and Chairman Forrest Turley, the current Head of the Chamber of Industrials.
In 2003 an insurgent group, known as the Free Virginia Liberation Army (FVLA) began a campaign of assassinations and bombings, culminating in the capture of the northern city of Harrington, which the rebels designated a "liberated city." Riots and brutal repression struck many parts of the Dominion, most notoriously in the infamous Courtland Massacre, which left hundreds of civilians dead in the centre of capital. This internal strife gradually turned the members of the PRC against each other.
The PRC began its final collapse when Forrest Turley and rebel elements of the Chamber removed former Chairman Baxter Brandt. Although General Altman backed Brandt's claim that his removal was illegal, it was rejected by Attorney General Silina. In the midst of a still unexplained large-scale movement of Army troops into the capital, Attorney General Silina was assassinated. Initially, General Altman claimed Silina had been killed by the FVLA and traitors within her own paramilitary force known as the Criminal Investigative Bureau. Later revelations have cast doubt on this story and raised the possibility that forces loyal to Altman murdered Silina.
The Anti-Altman Coup
Following Silina's assassination there was a mysterious attack on the Pantocratorian Embassy in Courtland, which seemed to trigger a coup against General Altman. While elements of the Dominion military and political establishment continued to recognize General Altman and the PRC as the legitimate authority for several weeks, the coup-plotters, backed by Excalbian, Pantocratorian and Varessan troops ultimately prevailed.
Although General Altman's military headquarters was completely destroyed in opening moments of the coup, Altman's body was never recovered and his fate is unknown.
Major General Becka Harrison, until recently the Chief of Procurement and Research for the Directorate of Defence, proclaimed herself President of Upper Virginia. Her claim was immediately recognized by many elements of the military, as well as the Chamber of Industrials, the Commonwealth of Varessa, the Holy and Most August Empire of Pantocratoria and the Holy Empire of Excalbia.
More information on these developments can be found on NS forums
Politics and Government
Official Name: Dominion of Upper Virginia
Short Name: Dominion; Upper Virginia.
Founded: 23 April 1870.
Type of Government: Republic. From 1932 to 2004 the Dominion was under a Military Dictatorship. While a coup has restored the nation’s republican constitution, elections have not yet been held.
Constitution: Written constitution adopted in 1871. It was suspended in 1932 following the declaration of a State of Emergency. The constitution was declared to be in force again after the State of Emergency was lifted in 2004.
Secretary of Foreign Affairs: Graham Yultilde
Secretary of Defence: Jacob Glazman
Secretary of Commerce: Marcus Poole
Attorney General: Grace Smiltene
Secretary of Social Welfare: Greg Baker
Under the restored constitution, the Dominion's legislative authority rests with a unicameral National Assembly. Elections were recently held for the reconstituted National Assembly. The elections were the first since 1932.
|Party||Leader(s)||Description||Seats in the National Assembly (out of 535)||Abb.|
|National Renaissance Party||Graham Yultilde, Secretary of Foreign Affairs||Founded by Graham Yultilde, the current Foreign Secretary and former Vice Chairman of the Chamber of Industrials, the National Renaissance Party exists primarily to support the reform policies of President Becka Harrison. The party favours cutting the formal and informal ties between the government and industry and reducing the hidden taxes that disproportionally affect the middle and working classes. It supports sharp reductions in Upper Virginia's bloated military and security apparatus. It advocates using money cut from the security budget to fund education and basic welfare programmes, such as unemployment compensation. However, the party also argues that, in the near term, Upper Virginia needs "directed democracy." Therefore, it supports granting the President and cabinet broad powers over the day-to-day operations of the government and the reform process until such a time as the National Assembly, as an institution, is sufficiently well-developed to take upon itself the more traditional powers of a legislative body.||147||NRP|
|Democratic Recovery Party||Dean Chandler and Dace Zalitis||Headed by reform activists, many of whom had been jailed under the former military government, the Democratic Recovery Party agrees with NRP on much of the reform agenda. It is a middle-of-the-road party in terms of economics and social policy, favouring the creation of basic social welfare guarantees while maintaining a free market economy. It disagrees sharply with the NRP on two issues: executive authority and foreign policy. The DRP has stated publicly that, while they credit President Harrison for overthrowing the former military dictatorship and initiating an extensive reform movement, they fear that without a strong, vigorous and independent National Assembly she could become yet another dictator. In foreign policy, the DRP believes that President Harrison is too closely tied to the three powers that helped overthrow the previous government and that Upper Virginia should chart a more independent and neutral foreign policy. The most prominent leaders in the DRP are Dean Chandler, the one-time leader of Students Against Dictatorship, who spent 15 years in prison under the former government, and Dace Zalitis, the former Director of Education under the former regime, who was jailed by the regime for more than a decade for publicly complaining about the lack of funding for education and the lack of academic freedom in the universities.||53||DRP|
|Liberty and Prosperity Party||Marcus Poole, Secretary of Commerce||The Liberty and Prosperity Party is led by the current Commerce Secretary, Marcus Poole, and is closely associated with Chamber of Industrials Chairman Forrest Turley. The LPP strongly advocates economic reform, including membership in the Knootian International Stabilisation Treaty and the establishment of free trade through out the region. The party also advocates a strong and democratic National Assembly, open immigration, military downsizing and regional autonomy. It has called for friendly relations with Knootoss, the Confederation of Sovereign States and the Danaan High Kingdom of The Resurgent Dream as a counterweight to the nation's current dependence on Excalbia and Pantocratoria.||77||LPP|
|Upper Virginia Liberal Party||Jan Harrelson||The Upper Virginia Liberal Party is a centre-left party that advocates economic reform, including the creation of extensive social-welfare guarantees, under a centralized government and free market economy. It rejects the Democratic Union's calls for regional autonomy as a cover for allowing the FVLA to continue covertly undermining the central government. The party, led by economist Jan Harrelson, who spent two decades in prison under the former military government, also advocates extensive guarantees for civil liberties and constitutional reform to abolish the current presidential system and replace it with parliamentary democracy.||177||UVLP|
|National Independence Party||Ralph Armistead||Led by the former mayor of Courtland, Ralph Armistead, the National Independence Party is closely associated with loyalists to the former military government. However, the party is striving to position itself as a mainstream centre-right party. It calls for the immediate withdrawal of foreign troops from Upper Virginia, an independent foreign policy, restrictions on immigration and pro-growth economic policies. It has publicly called for Upper Virginia to join the Knootian International Stabilisation Treaty and to pursue a free trade agreement for all of the Atlantic. It also calls for reversing the current policy of downsizing the military and believes that Upper Virginia military supremacy in the Excalbian Isles must be reestablished.||33||NIP|
|Democratic Union of Workers, Farmers, Greens and Students||Greg Baker, Secretary of Social Welfare||The Democratic Union of Workers, Farmers, Greens and Students – known as the Democratic Union – is the legal face of the Free Virginia Liberation Army. The Democratic Union advocates the gradual implementation of extensive social welfare policies. It supports converting the nation to an ecologically sound policy of sustainable growth and putting the material needs of the people ahead of economic special interests. The party calls for the adoption of a federal system that would grant the areas around the city of Harrington that are currently occupied by the FVLA autonomy from the central government. The party also calls for the immediate withdrawal of Excalbian, Varessan and Pantocratorian troops.||39||DUWFGS|
Other Key Officials
Special Advisor to the President for Economic Reform: Elizabeth Pilmana
Chairman of the Liberated City of Harrington and Official Representative of the FVLA: Uldis Marko
Chief of the General Staff: General Alex Holmes
Director of Dominion Intelligence Service: Richard Thorsen
Assistant to the President: Gwen Ubrecht
Chairman of the Chamber of Industrials: Forrest Turley
Economy and Industry
Despite years of political turmoil the economy continues to prosper. The county’s main areas of economic activity are mineral extraction - particularly uranium mining, information technology - it is actively researching bio-computers and weapons production - it is particularly advanced in the aerospace sector.
While there is no income tax, a combination of sales taxes, user fees and value-added taxes make for a high effective tax rate on individuals. The current government is slowly reducing taxes on the poor and middle class, although a progressive income tax on individuals or corporations remains a political impossibility. Despite the tax rate, the government provides very little in the way of services for the average taxpayer. Military and internal security traditionally consumed over 80 percent of the government budget. Since coming to power, however, President Harrison is slashed new military spending to minimal levels and cut the overall military and internal security budget to half of the total government budget.
High taxes and low wages have driven most average workers into a high level of commercial debt in an effort to maintain their relative standards of living.
Currency: The Dominion Sov (δ§)
Exchange Rate: 1δ§ = $1.92
Gross Domestic Product: 119,923,356,276,406.46δ§
Per Capita GDP: 22,065.02δ§
Government Expenditures: 11,995,986,070,250.00δ§
Defence and Security Expenditures: 5,557,471,224,257.50δ§
Exports and Imports
Total Exports: 14,044,812,744,281.45δ§
Uranium, minerals, bio-neural computer components, aerospace technology and military sales.
Total Imports: 14,307,911,288,125.00δ§
Agricultural goods, consumer electronics, information technology and textiles.
The nation's major corporations belong to the Chamber of Industrials, which acted as a corporative council within the former government. The Chairman of the Chamber was one of the three members of the Provisional Ruling Council. The current Chairman, who played a role in the coup that brought down the PRC, is Forrest Turley. Because of his role in the coup and his influence with the new government, the Chamber remains a powerful force in Upper Virginian politics.
Until recently, fifty percent of the country’s budget was spent on the military, which had several million troops in all services. Currently, however President Becka Harrison, herself a former Major General, is rapidly reducing the size of the military. The military draft has been suspended and many troops are being demobilised. At the same time, with the help of Varessa, Excalbia and Pantocratoria, the Dominion is trying to professionalise its remaining armed forces. The new government has removed most of the nation’s military leaders.
Supreme Commander: Under the restored constitution, the supreme commander of Upper Virginia’s armed forces is the President. Despite the restoration of civilian rule and the abolition of the position of Commander-in-Chief – a position long held by former dictator Craig Altman, the uniformed commander of the armed forces remains the President’s chief military advisor, eclipsing the civilian Secretary of Defence.
Command Structure: Formally, the Secretary of Defense sits atop the civilian command structure of the military. Under the restored constitution, the military is strictly subordinate to civilian authority. The newly created position of Chief of the General Staff, which replaced the former position of Commander-in-Chief, is the Dominion’s senior military officer. Below the Chief of Staff, are the Chief of Naval Operations, the Chief of the Army Staff, the Chief of the Air Force Staff and the Commander of the Special Security Service. The Special Security Service is an independent branch of the service that combines intelligence, special operations and internal security functions.
Order of Battle: One unique feature of the Upper Virginian military has been its reliance on the brigade as its primary unit of organisation and movement. While divisions exist, they have rarely been garrisoned or deployed as single units. Many believed this was a tactic employed by the former military government to deter coup-plotting among its commanders.
Demobilisation and Professionalisation
Since the ouster of General Craig Altman and the Provisional Ruling Council, Upper Virginia has demobilised nearly half of conscript military and is now inducting only volunteers. It has instituted extensive training programs and is instituting a programme to expand the number of career non-commissioned officers.
In the last years of the military government, Upper Virginia developed ultra-hypersonic warplanes, code-named Ozymandius, that skim the edges of space and that are equipped with bio-neural controls. These aircraft also boast a powerful magnetic particle weapon, developed by the Commonwealth of Varessa, known as Crimson Star. Since the coup, Upper Virginia has apparently been trading its aircraft technology and the Crimson Star for access to Excalbia's Mark V Shipbuilding Programme.
The General Staff
Chief of the General Staff (CGS) – General Alex Holmes
Vice Chief of the General Staff – 3 stars
Chief of Research and Procurement – Major General Mildred Petersen
Chief of Sea and Air Lift – 2 stars
Chief of Information – 2 stars
Chief of Personnel – 2 stars
Inspector General – 3 stars
Judge Advocate General – 3 stars
Quartermaster General – 2 stars
Surgeon General – 2 stars
Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) – Vice Admiral Robert Turgman
Chief of Engineering – Vice Admiral
Sea Systems Command – Rear Admiral
Air Systems Command
Space Systems Command
Chief of Weapons and Warfare
Weapon Systems Command
Chief of Policy, Planning and Tactics
Commander of the High Seas Fleet – Vice Admiral
Commander of the Coastal Fleet – Vice Admiral
Chief of the Army Staff (CAS) – Lieutenant General Alvis Kirkis
Chief of Strategy, Tactics and Planning – Major General
Training Command – Major General
Chief of Ordinance and Warfare – Major General
Armaments Command –Major General
Ground Systems Command
Air Support Command
Corps of Engineers – Major General
Commander of the Field Army – Major General
Commander of the Reserve Army – Major General
Commander of Forces in Demobilisation – Brigadier General
The Air Force
Chief of the Air Force Staff (CAFS) – Lieutenant General Morton Sykes
Chief of Policy, Planning and Tactics –Major General
Air Combat Command – Major General
Air Systems Command – Major General
Space Systems Command – Brigadier General Janet Holmes
Chief of Strategic Forces – Major General
Commander of the Active Air Forces – Lieutenant General
Commander of the Reserve Force – Major General
The Special Security Service
Commander of the Special Security Service – Major General Vita Trase
Chief of Military Intelligence – Brigadier General
Chief of Counter Intelligence
Chief of Special Operations
Chief of Police Services