Kastera

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Kastera
KasteraFlag.png
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Country Kiravian Federacy
Capital Kāsikova
Largest City Varuna
Largest Metro Xūrosar
Population 64.2 million
Chief Executive Fergus Ɯtikern
Chancellor Syagrius Nātron (CDP)
Stanora seats 3
Official languages Kiravic, Gaelic
Other Languages Coscivian vernaculars
Postal Abbreviation CST

Kastera, officially the State of Kastera (Kiravic: Ārka Kastera), is a major state of the Kiravian Federacy located in north-central Great Kirav. Kastera was the first major destination for Coscivian and Celtic settlers moving deeper into the Kiravian interior after the Cromwelute Wars, and quickly became the third most-populous Kiravian state after Kiygrava and Etivéra. These three states would later become the industrial heartland of Great Kirav, with Kastera contributing innovations in aviation, chemistry, agriculture, business management, and governance as Kiravia entered modernity. Despite weathering difficult economic times after the Tropical Sea War and the end of Kirosocialism, sound public policy has helped Kastera to regain its status as a major engine of Kiravian economic growth.

History

Kastera's first recorded inhabitants were Kirhavite Aboriginals of the Hidenrek, Avitshi, and Kashkashi tribal groups. All three tribal confederations were agriculturalists, practicing slash-and-burn agriculture supplemented by hunting and fishing. During the XXth century anno Domini, Gaelic-speaking warrior bands invaded the northeastern corner of the state, establishing several chiefdoms there followed by others established along the coast as the century wore on. Records kept by Gaelic monks indicate that the coastal chiefdoms were later destroyed by Cromwelute raiders attacking from the sea.

After the Cromwelute Wars,

After the fall of the Coscivian Empire and the Republican Revolution, the Confederate Republics experienced both demographic and economic expansion as a result of proto-industrialism, higher birthrates, and an influx of Coscivian refugees from Éorsa. Both processes spurred Kiravian expansion into the centre of the island continent, which in Kastera occurred on three different fronts: Arnóriem Coscivians from the coastal settlements moving further inland from the North, Candem and Lærem Coscivians from Endivéga and [State] migrating northward into the central and southern lowlands over the Aterandic Mountains, and Gaels and Highland Coscivians establishing new settlements in the Kasteran hill country. The Territory of Kastera was carved out of the Unorganised Territories in [YEAR] and elected its first territorial legislature in [YEAR]. In [YEAR] after [Insert thing about communal political conflict here], it was admitted to the Kiravian Federacy, becoming the first state created from a former territory rather than a Coscivian colony or Gaelic kingdom.

Politics & Governance

Cabinet Secretariat building, Kāsikova

Kastera is a constitutional presidential republic within the Kiravian Federacy. It is governed according to the Law of Laws of the State of Kastera (Thótraálda Ārká Kastera), which grants legislative power to a unicameral Auditorium and executive power to a Chief Executive (also called the Governor), with both the legislative and executive branches being accountable to the courts, principally the High Court of Kastera.

Kastera was the first Kiravian state to implement the single transferable vote system, which is now used for the vast majority of state and federal elections throughout the Federacy. STV was first implemented for municipal elections in parts of central Kastera on the advice of the political science faculty at the University of Belarus, based on its model success in North Amerigo. The Auditorium is elected every three years by single transferable vote, returning three delegates for each of the state's 76 countyships. The Chief Executive is elected every five years by alternative vote.

Law

Kasteran law is derived from the law of the Coscivian Empire and comprises both statutory law and a body of non-statutory customary law. It is also influenced by various aspects of Brehon law. Kasteran law is interpreted and applied by a hierarchy of courts, descending from the High Court of Kastera to include the six Kasteran Appellate Courts, the Civic Court of Kastera (which hears cases to which the state government is a party), and the 76 countyship courts. All cases that do not involve state constitutional matters or do not include the Government of Kastera as a party must originate in the countyship courts.

Kastera retains capital punishment as a possible penalty for various forms of aggravated murder, hijacking, train derailment, treason or espionage against the state, and desertion from or perfidy against the state defence forces. Firing squad is the preferred method of execution. There are currently four prisoners awaiting execution in Kastera, all for committing multiple murders while incarcerated.


Local Governance

Kastera has a strong tradition of local governance, and with the exception of corruption problems in a few larger cities such as Trasón and Xūrosar, Kasteran local governments on the whole are regarded as effective and efficient. There are two tiers of local government in Kastera: Countyships and localities, with localities including both municipalities and townships. Countyships are responsible for providing a number of local services, such as power, water, and waste management contracts; policing and jails, certain classes of roads, certain public health services, public libraries, most parks, vital statistics, and land registration. Electoral boards are organised on a countyship-by-countyship basis and are financed from a portion of the countyship's tax revenue fixed by the state legislature, but do not form part of the countyship government.

Notionally, all land and internal water in Kastera is divided into survey townships with fixed boundaries. Any territory not belonging to a municipality is subject to the jurisdiction of a civil township, the boundaries of which are coterminous with its corresponding survey township, excluding any areas covered by municipalities. If the entirety of a survey township is annexed by one or more municipalities, the corresponding civil township goes into abeyance, and its assets and archives are turned over to the countyship government. If a municipality loses territory as a result of disincorporation or boundary adjustment, the territory reverts to the jurisdiction of the civil township associated with the survey township that encompasses it, sometimes resulting in the restoration of a civil township that had previously been in abeyance. This can result in the formation of small "rump" civil townships with few or no residents, an extreme example of which is Lektrosvin Township in County Ānura, which encompasses a lake but no dry land. Civil townships that are uninhabited, have too few eligible voters, or fail to form a commission and submit an annual report to the countyship for any other reason, as classified as "suspended" (for uninhabited townships) or "inoperative" townships. The responsibilities of suspended and inoperative townships are assumed by the countyship, but the townships themselves continue to exist in dormancy.

There are four classes of municipality in Kastera: Cities, towns, burghs, and villages.

In the Gaelic-speaking areas of the state, countyship governments subdivide survey townships into townlands. Unlike in Irovasdra and the Gaelic-majority states of the Far Northeast, townlands in Kastera do not have any political significance, and mainly serve as navigational aids to facilitate mail delivery in rural areas. The Federal Census collects data on the townland level in Kastera as it does elsewhere.

Society & Culture

Kastera has a large and diverse population reflecting its history as one of Kiravia's main centres of economic growth over the centuries. 74% of the population of Kastera belong to Coscivian ethnic groups, 22% are Celts, and 2% come from other ethnic backgounds such as Finno-Ugric, Aboriginal Kiravite, and Levantine.

The cultural and demographic foundations of Kastera were laid by three different groups of settlers: Arnóriem Coscivians descended from the original Coscivian and mixed Coscivian-Celtic settlers of the North Coast reinforced by soldiers and sailors arriving from Coscivia after the Cromwelute Wars are the oldest and strongest cultural influence in the far northern part of the state, making that area part of the wider North Coast cultural region. Although today ethnic Arnóriem are only numerically predominant in rural areas along the northern coast, their ethnic culture formed (and continues to form) the basis for the regional culture that Northern Coscivian, Ańlem Coscivian, Finno-Ugric, Kaltem Coscivian, and other immigrants to the region would assimilate into. Kiryaniv Coscivian groups who migrated over the Aterandic Mountains primarily from Etivéra and Váuadra, as well as Kiygrava and (especially southern) Niyaska were the first to settle in the central, western, and (most of the) southern parts of Kastera, where they played an equivalent formative role in the area's culture. The third group of settlers was made up of Gaels (some of whom had been present in Kastera before Coscivian colonisation) who moved into the eastern and southeastern portions of the state from neighbouring Arkvera and were later joined by Highland Coscivians.

The Celtic-Kasterans are mostly Kiravian Gaels, though there are four Prythonic-speaking villages in the southeastern part of the state, and a significant number of Gaelic-speaking families of more recent Kuhlfrosian and Alban ancestry. Ethnic Gaels and Gaelic-speakers can be found in many areas of the state, and all of Kastera's major cities have Gaeltacht quarters, but the Gaelic-speaking population is mostly concentrated in the southeastern and far-eastern upland regions of the state. Gaelic is the primary language of education, business, government, and daily life in these areas, and its use has been protected by law since before Kastera became a state.

Language

Kastera has two official languages, Kiravic Coscivian and Gaelic. Kiravic is the government's main working language, and in the event of a discrepancy between the Kiravic version of a statute and the Gaelic version, the Kiravic version is held to be authoritative. Nonetheless, all government documents are published in both languages, and government agencies have a policy of responding in Gaelic to any inquiries from the public made in Gaelic. Court proceedings in Gaelic-speaking countyships are usually conducted entirely in Gaelic, but countyship courts elsewhere have interpreters, translation protocols, and other resources in place to ensure that Gaelic-speakers can communicate comfortably in court. The Gaelic language enjoys addional privileges under state law to protect its use in education, local government, and broadcast media.

The Midlands dialect of Kiravic Coscivian is the most common spoken language in Kastera, and Nohæric is the preferred literary register. Antaric Coscivian is the third-largest language in Kastera by number of speakers (following Gaelic), including both standard Great Antaric and the divergent Etivéra Antaric dialect spoken by long-established Antaric Coscivian families in Etivéra, many of whom migrated to rural areas of Kastera with the first wave of Coscivian settlers. There are numerous Antaric-language periodicals, television programmes, and radio stations in Kastera, including three local newspapers and two AM radio stations in Etivéran Antaric. Several Kasteran universities and a large number of private schools use Great Antaric as their medium of instruction. Arnórian Coscivian is the fourth-largest language, and is commonly spoken by non-Arnóriem living on the northern coast as a second language.

Education

Following Ilánova and Fariva, Kastera became the first state to establish a public education system in [YEAR].

Kastera is home to a large number of institutes of higher learning, in part due to the ethnic and sectarian diversity of its first settlers. Kastera State University is the largest university in the Kiravian Federacy by the number of undergraduate students, and has maintained this title since 21178. Other particularly notable universities in Kastera include the University of Belārus (the first Kiravian university west of the Aterandic Mountains),

Economy

Varuna Central Business District

Kastera was one of the first parts of Kiravia to industrialise, and along with Kiygrava, Niyasca, and Endivéga came to form the nation's core industrial region. Coal from the Eastern Highlands and ore shipped from the Iron Ranges of nearby Intravia allowed the growth of steelworks and derivative heavy industries such as shipbuilding and the manufacture of machinery, arms, railway components. By [Year], 16% of all industrial horsepower installed in Kiravia was located in Kastera.

Ixnay New Financial Centre, Varuna

-Modern ecnomy with specialised indsutries, flexible manufacturing. The importance of the mittelstand firms to micropolitan areas in both "old" and "new" industries.

The Kasteran economy weathered the post-Kirosocialist economic liberalisation, although the transition was not without its casualties and not all areas of the state have fared equally well since. Along with its sister state, Etivéra, Kastera cooperated fully with the ordoliberal "Clarendonomic" policies prescribed by the federal Chief Economic Executive, Karidur Clarendon (himself a native of Kastera), which involved the concurrent decentralisation and privatisation of large Kirosocialist state-owned industrial enterprises, reinvestment and reinforcement of the mittelstand, and the implementation of multiple-payer social insurance schemes. In the long run, these policies allowed the state to maintain a high standard of living throughout the transition and make gains in employment and income figures as a result of overall growth and the expansion of the service sector. However, while some cities such as Varuna and Kāsikova have rebounded tremendously, others such as Palēnkar and Darman have experienced persistent poverty and population loss, and many smaller "one-horse towns" unable to retool for flexible manufacturing have fallen by the wayside. A major socio-economic problem for Kastera and other states with similar profiles is a high elder poverty rate as a large number of former industrial workers from the late Kirosocialist period enter old age.

Seaplane at the Kenmór Naval Aviation Works, Halbarra

Kastera has led the Kiravian ærospace industry from its inception: X and Y, credited throughout the Coscivian World with independently inventing the æroplane in 21067, tested their designs in coastal County Kestran to take advantage of the reliably strong winds blowing in from the Coscivian Sea, and established the first plane factory at Érvisar. The resulting company, Vrixtur Airworks SAK, now has its corporate offices in Tæhusar, Hiterna, but most of its production facilities and many of its subsidiaries are located in the Érvisar metropolitan area. Vrixtur Airworks is a major producer of unmanned aerial vehicles, sold mainly to the Kiravian Army Aircorps, state defence and police forces, and allied governments. Iain Ruarí Kenmór, the inventor of the seaplane was born and raised in Palēnkar and launched his seaplane manufacturing venture in the coastal town of Halbarra where it remains to this day. About a dozen other Kasteran-based ærospace enterprises have remained in place after having been acquired by out-of-state firms such as the Kartika Metro-based Wraith Systems and Lanyēɣar Æronautics. Kastera remains the federal subject with the largest and most lucrative annual output of aviation products, and is also home to Four-Star Airways, a regional airline serving Upper Kirav, Northeast Kirav, and Meridia.

Brewing Kiravian red ale in County Kellam

-Port of Xūrosar and trade with Burgundie and Kuhlfros. Revived importance with KATI. Overland transportation is also a large contributor to the Kasteran economy due to its position on the island continent. The city of Trasón sits at the juncture of the road and rail networks serving the North Coast and East Coast, two of Great Kirav's most populous and productive regions. As such, many national distribution and logistics facilities are located in the state, particularly in Trasón and Varuna.

Many areas of the state remain primarily agricultural. X hectares of Kastera's territory are under active cultivation, mostly by small, family-owned operations producing potatoes, cale, barley, hops, maize, pork, and mutton. There is a significant poultry sector in the eastern upland regions and near the Kiorgia border, ranking Kastera sixth among Kiravian states in turkey production.

Notable Kasterans

  • Netanèn Grancanon - Former Prime Executive of the Kiravian Federacy, born and raised in Belārus.
  • Karidur E.H.M. Clarendon - Economist and politician credited for the Kiravian Economic Miracle of the 21180s-90s, born in Sandervon.
  • Iain Ruarí Kenmór - Engineer and Aircorps officer known as an early pioneer of the seaplane for both military and commercial purposes; born and raised in Palēnkar.
  • Tomáus áu Ardrossan - Kiravian Ambassador to the League of Nations, born in Xūrosar.