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Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea
Rìognum Urciona Abostolo (Ábciwidar)
Motto: Ad majorem Dei gloriam
("For the greater glory of God")
Anthem: Mine Eyes Have Seen the Glory
Location of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea
|Official languages||Julian Ænglish, Latin, Ábciwidar|
|King Riordan VIII|
|James Fallshade (NP)|
|Bridget Farrell (NP)|
|6,089,476 km2 (2,351,160 sq mi)|
• 2036 estimate
• 2030 census
|236/km2 (611.2/sq mi)|
|GDP (nominal)||2036 estimate|
• Per capita
|Time zone||UTC0 (Urceopolitan Mean Time)|
|ISO 3166 code||URC|
|Internet TLD||.urc, .com|
The Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea, also more simply known as Urcea, is a Constitutional Monarchy in Levantia. It occupies a position in the southern half of Levantia, and it neighbors, among others, Kuhlfros to the north. The Kingdom's historic borders have largely sat between the Ionian Mountains and the Odoneru Ocean, though its modern borders includes territories beyond both of its "natural borders", a concept that developed in the 17th century. Urcea has the world's largest population, and the world's largest metropole depending upon one's definition of that term. Urcea's economy is either the largest or second largest in the world, with a nominal gross domestic product exceeding $64 billion.
Although Urcea's roots as a semi-Latinic nation stretch back to the early foundation of Adonerii settlements in the Urce river valley, a recognizable Urcean civilization came into being in the chaotic period following the collapse of Great Levantia and the coalescence of cities and areas into early medieval polities. It was during this period that the earliest roots of modern Urcean culture was established as a fusion between the settled Latins and native Celts, a duality that defines Urcean national identity. It was a major part of the Holy Levantine Empire from its foundation, and its history is shaped by that institution, and has its historical origins as unions of several of the Empire's constituent parts. At times, Urcea came to dominate the Empire, but ultimately played a major role in its downfall throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries. The Catholic faith has proved to be a major factor in the development of the Urcean state, and the Apostolic Kingdom played a pivotal role in the Great Confessional War and the entrenchment of Catholicism in Levantia. Urcea's closeness with Catholicism is one of its best known characteristics worldwide, and the Papacy resides in Urceopolis under Urcean temporal protection. The nation and its government are officially Catholic, and much of the nation's policy decision-making revolves around distributist and Catholic social principles, including subsidiarity. The Catholic faith proves to be one of the defining characteristics of the country; the great Kiravian scholar P. G. W. Gelema once stated that "if Caphiria is an army with a state, than it should very much be said Urcea is a Church with a state".
A very highly developed and influential Occidental nation, the Apostolic Kingdom rates highly in Human Development Index (HDI) and gross domestic product per capita. Urceans enjoy one of the world's largest and healthiest economies, with a per capita income of approximately $45,000 annually and with burgeoning middle and upper classes. The arms manufacturing and energy sectors are among the nation's largest, but the Urcean export economy is perhaps best known for its large scale grain production, earning it the moniker of "breadbasket of the Odoneru". With involvement from Burgundian and Caphirian mercantile interest, many scholars have argued that the Urcean-Odoneru grain trade was the birthplace of capitalism, though there is a significant minority view that questions this assertion.
Urcea's foreign policy focus primarily relies on maintaining balanced hegemony over Levantia and growing its colonial empire abroad, but historically had a focus on involvement in the affairs of the Empire. While a major participant in the Great War and subsequent Occidental Cold War, Urcea's relationship with its powerful neighbor Caphiria has been improving in recent years as shown by the formal end to the Cold War with the Assumption Accords. Both as a consequence and a cause of the end of the Cold War, Urcea's overseas focus has shifted from Sarpedon to Crona, where it maintains an active union and relationship with New Yustona, which many critics have labeled as a Urcean colony. Urcea's involvement in Crona has been growing by the year as a greater number of Levantines move west in search of new opportunities, a phenomenon actively supported by the Urcean government.
- 1 Etymology and Nomenclature
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Government and Politics
- 5 Demographics
- 6 Culture and Society
- 7 Economy and Infrastructure
- 8 Military and National Defense
Etymology and Nomenclature
Main Article: Name of Urcea
The word Urcea is derived from the name of the river Urce, whose origins remain a subject of scholarly debate - many suggest the name is a derivative of a much earlier Latinic term, originating perhaps as early as circa 1000 BC. Regardless, the city of Urceopolis, or the city of the river Urce, was established roughly 887 BC, establishing prevalent use of the river's name by that period. By the late seventh century and early eighth century AD, the term "Urcean" ("Urciona", natively), describing somebody living near the Urce river, was well established in the local lexicon, and was oftentimes used as an epithet, i.e. "Julius the Urcean", regarding someone who lived in the geographical proximity of the river. The term eventually evolved from someone living on the river to somebody living in the southern portions of the Holy Levantine Empire.
Given the Latinic origin of the term, "Urce", "Urcea", and "Urcean" was originally pronounced with a "hard c", [k], and a "short-u". As the Gaelic natives of Levantia began to more heavily mix with the Adonerii settlers, the modern soft ⟨c⟩ and "long-u" became more prevalent.
Though the nation is usually referred to simply as "Urcea", several other naming conventions have arisen since the nation's founding that are in use in specific circumstances. "The Apostolic Kingdom" is typically used by the Government of Urcea to refer to itself and the nation. Less common, the term "the 34 Provinces" will be used to refer to Urcea as a whole, although this term is somewhat erroneous given that there are 29 provinces, with the remainder being royal holds or states.
Further Information: Early History
The Urcean nation's origins lay in the establishment of the Adonerii colonies in Levantia, but its direct antecedent is Great Levantia, an empire that stretched from the southern coast of modern day Urcea to the northern coast of modern day Kuhlfros. It was during this time that Latinic people began to rule over, and eventually intermix with, the native Celtic population of Levantia. Following the collapse of Great Levantia, several Latin-speaking polities formed, the Duchy of Urceopolis being chief among them. Following a period of feuding with other Latin states states, Hištanšahr, and Gallawa, Urceopolis was subsumed into the emerging Levantine Empire and elevated into an Archduchy under the rule of St. Julius I, and his brother Aedanicus was granted the Grand Duchy of Yustona. St. Julius and his descendants laid the groundwork for continued Latino-Gaelic integration and official recognition of their shared vulgar languages.
Further Information: Archducal Period
As an Archduchy, Urceopolis sometimes feuded with the Emperor, and found itself a part of the Southern Kingdom of the Levantines following the division of the Empire in 917. During the period of the divided Empire, the main line of St. Julius died out and was inherited by descendants of his brother Aedanicus, the Grand Dukes of Yustona, who merged the lines together by marrying a female descendant of the Urceopolitan line. This established the House of Julio-Yustona which ruled both realms, and eventually the unified Kingdom, until 1153. During this period, the Eastern King of the Levantines conquered the Southern Kingdom, reforging the Holy Levantine Empire, and soon after it became an elective monarchy, with the first Urceopolitan Emperor elected in 1014.
Early Kingdom Period
Further Information: Early Kingdom Period
During the first decades of the Kingdom's existence, the Julio-Yustonas reigned in relative peace and prosperity, and King Niall I managed to acquire the long-sought Electorate of Canaery, becoming the first King-Elector of Urcea. However, Niall's two surviving sons both ascended to the throne and both reigned for a combined seven years before the second, Niall II, died as a boy, throwing the country into a succession crisis. Seán Aleckán, a descendant from St. Julius I in the female line who had no ancestors who were King, dispatched several other claimants and became King Seán I, founding the Aleckán dynasty. Seán I's reign mostly involved strengthening his own regime by marginalizing other claimants, and he was succeeded by his son Seán II without incident. The following King, Niall III, was the first King of Urcea elected as Emperor of the Levantines. Niall's death lead to a revolt of the magnates, installing Cónn of Holmfilth, who descended distantly from one of the Julio-Yustonan Kings, as King Constantine I. Emperor Niall's son, meanwhile, was passed over, beginning the Saint's War.
Saint's War Period
Further Information: Saint's War Period
The House of Cónn ruled for a peaceful forty years and encouraged construction before being overthrown by Emperor Niall's long-exiled son, Donnchad of the Aleckán dynasty, in a bloodless coup in 1253. The Cónn Crown Prince swore loyalty to the new King, appearing to end the dynastic struggle, but Donnchad's son relied on Cónn loyalists against his enemies and eventually named the Cónn Prince, James, as his heir. King James I ruled for a long time, but the Crown reverted to the Aleckán dynasty. A Cónn claimant next took the throne, but died childless, plunging the Kingdom into a sixty three year period of military anarchy from 1339 to 1402 known as the Great Interregnum, leaving the country divided and Urceopolis under the control of the Pope. A scion of the de Weluta family, heirs of the Aleckán line, eventually emerged victorious, and the new King Louis II married the Cónn heiress, ending the centuries-long dynastic turmoil.
Further Information: Reformation Period
The first reign of the de Welutas saw a focus on rebuilding the international reputation and internal infrastructure of the Kingdom. Ruling for a century over a period of remarkable national unity, the unity came to an end during the reign of James III as the Protestant Reformation began, creating a small but problematic Protestant minority in the Kingdom. A minor succession crisis allowed the Protestant, Riordan V of the House of Julio-Angloise, seized the throne in 1546. During his reign, a period of Catholic persecution began, sparking the Urcean War of Religion, a major theater of what became known as the Great Confessional War. Riordan's son, Donnchad was an accomplished commander but was ultimately defeated and killed in 1565, leading to a restoration of the House de Weluta. His successor, King Leo II, lead the Kingdom on the Catholic side for the remaining period of the Great Confessional War, eventually being elected Emperor and leading Dragonnades against Levantine Protestants. As a consequence of the war, Urcea saw major territorial aggrandizement at the expense of Angla and Gassavelia was firmly entrenched as the preeminent power in the Holy Levantine Empire.
Further Information: Imperial Period
Following the conclusion of the Great Confessional War, Urcea saw a period of growth and prosperity that coincided with greater integration of the former estates in Gassavelia. In 1702, King Riordan VII was elected Emperor Riordan I of the Holy Levantine Empire, beginning more than a century of Urcean control over the Empire. During this period, dramatic changes were occurring in Urcea with the dawn of the Industrial Revolution and the continued decline of the power of the nobility, who had suffered a major blow in the Dragonnades and were continuing to weaken relative to the Crown. King Leo IV was denied the Imperial Crown, but won it on the battlefield during the War of the Caroline Succession, acquiring the Grand Duchy of Carolina in the process and ensuring hereditary succession for House de Weluta. After several decades, the Princes of the Empire eventually won back both Carolina and the right of the Collegial Electorate to select the Emperor during the Second Caroline War. Throughout this entire period, the Constitution of Urcea began to emerge and take form. Urcea acquired part of Urlazio and the Kingdom of Dorhaven during this period.
Further Information: Reform Period
Following its loss of territory and the Imperial Crown following the Second Caroline War, Urcea implemented a series of liberalizing reforms in line with King Niall V's philosophy of Crown Liberalism, which greatly enhanced the power of the Concilium Daoni while also implementing important reforms of the Royal Army. By fully engaging the Urcean population in the affairs of the state, Niall reasoned that he could unleash the full power of the population and economy in a truly national effort in any war the country would face. During this period, Urcea became openly antagonistic with respect to its relation to the rest of the Holy Levantine Empire, ushering in decades of the slow decline of the Empire. Urcea utilized its reforms under King Aedanicus VIII, who won the Third Caroline War in the 1840s, setting Urcea at odds with its Imperial neighbors permanently and reconquering the Grand Duchy of Carolina. Aedanicus's reign would feature continue reforms to the Constitution of Urcea which brought it close to its present form. The King also implemented a large naval reconstruction project which would set the tone for his son's similar construction project a few decades later. Following the King's death in 1889, Procurator and army general Gréagóir FitzRex seized power in a brief period that became known as the Crown-Regency, which lead to the conflict known as the Red Interregnum. The Red Interregnum was fought for five years and resulted in the creation of the short-lived Urcean Republic, which facilitated the restoration in 1902.
Further Information: Restoration Period
Further Information: Modern Period
Magnag, the largest lake in Urcea, as viewed from its western coast.
The Ionian Highlands in the east, a popular vacation destination.
The sprawling tropical jungles of Gassavelia sits in stark contrast to the rest of the country.
Urcea occupies a position roughly constituting the southwestern third of Levantia displays a broad array of geographical and geological diversity owing to the more than thousand-mile length between the Northern and Southern ends of the country, ranging from the largely flat temperate riverine areas that dominate the majority of the country to the Ionian highlands in the east, to the jungles of Gassavelia in the south. Urcea proper, that is, the territory of the Apostolic Kingdom on the Levantine mainland as well as Halfway but not including Dorhaven, Medimeria, or its Crona possessions, has a total area of more than two million square miles, all of which is divided into either a Province, Royal Hold, or State. This figure does not include any overseas territories the Kingdom may possess.
The demographic and political center of the country is in the northern half of the country, particularly in the Urce River Valley, culminating with the political, cultural, and economic capital of the country, Urceopolis, though significant economic weight exists elsewhere, particularly on the coast of the Odoneru Ocean extending from the city of Beldra to the border with Kistan. This region is sometimes called the "Odoneru Megalopolis" and is, along with Urceopolis and Burgundie, one of the primary ways in which imports via maritime trade enter Levantia. The modern industrial manufacturing heartland of Urcea has emerged in the Ionia-Novaterra-Glenfort region, referred to as the "Upper Urce Valley" as the old manufacturing center around Urceopolis and in the "Lower Valley" has switched to primarily to a service economy.
The fastest growing region in the country is the Cape Aedan and Callan area which was historically border swamp lands of Urcea proper, though due to developments in agricultural technology these previously difficult areas have increased their share of agriculture, making them largely the new agricultural heart of the country beginning in the mid-20th century. The eastern highlands have shifted to a largely urbanized economy based on large deposits of recently discovered shale oil and natural gas beneath the ground, creating a large hydrofracking sector in the area. The Bay of Cana, which embraces the provinces of Cape Aedan and Callan as well as the Electorate of Canaery has also yielded large offshore oil deposits discovered at the end of the 20th century.
The Ioni mountains generally serve to denote the delineation between Urcea proper and the rest of Levantia, while the delineation between "north" and "south" Urcea is arbitrary and depends on the context. The most widely accepted dividing line between "north" and "south" is a line running approximately southwest from the Magnag to the Sea of Canete.
The first major ecological area of Urcea is the Urcean Plain, the central part of the country surrounded by the Ionian Highlands and the southern mountains. Historically, Urcea's position near the Tropic of Cancer and wide open plains allowed for megafauna and megaflora to thrive before the growth of civilization, though their decline was acutely felt and early historians noted the consistently shifting and unstable ecological conditions as many animals without natural predators grew without consequence while species without a food supply died out. According to many environmental historians, the ecosystem of the Urcean plain finally settled around the end of the first millennium, though by that period most of the Urcean plain was covered in farmland and most of the animals in it domesticated. Today, this area is heavily populated, but environmental preserves dot the plain allowing some of the natural, temperate flora and fauna to restore themselves. There is a significant white-tailed deer problem in the Urcean plain as natural predators are largely absent from the region.
The second region notable for its ecology is the expansive jungles of Gassavelia in the south of the country. Due to its lesser population density, much of the ecology of the area has been largely undisturbed. Being a near-tropical jungle and rainforest, over a million different types of insects and an estimated 35,000 different kinds of plant. The Urcean government, through the Ministry of the Environment and Energy, actively works to preserve wildlife and natural splendor of the area.
The third major ecological area of the country is the Ionian Highlands that runs the length of the country's eastern border, which has a similar kind of flora and fauna as the Urcean plain.
Climate and environment
A great majority of Urcea has a very temperate and mild climate, with temperatures ranging from 74 °F to 95 °F in the summer and 35 °F to 50 °F in the winter. The exceptions to this are in the Gassavelian and Ionian areas, with the former experiencing tropical temperatures exceeding 100 °F in the summer, and the latter experiencing fairly cold mountains due primarily to its elevation. Very little of the country sees large amounts of snowfall during the winter besides the Ionian Highlands, which can experience up to sixty inches of snow seasonally.
Urcea's southern coasts, primarily from Canaery to its eastern coastal border, are known for it's lush and beautiful environment, and in that way are similar to the Caphirian northern coast. The country is primarily powered by clean nuclear energy, though renewables, particularly wind energy due to the large availability of coastal land, also provide a large amount of power regionally. The Ministry of the Environment and Energy strictly enforces environmental regulations, and efforts are continuously underway to protect the country's environment in the face of its large population and continued economic growth.
Government and Politics
Main Article: Government of Urcea
Urcea is a constitutional monarchy, with the Apostolic King of Urcea serving as the head of state and central constitutional organizing principle of the nation, with Urceans being "subjects" as well as "citizens", though his sovereignty is shared with the national legislature. Under the King is the Procurator, who is elected nationwide and the Cabinet, called the Concilium Purpaidá. The Purpaidá's members are appointed by the Chancellor and Temporary President of the Concilium Daoni, who leads the national legislature. Below them are a series of royal holds, provinces, and states with varying degrees of home rule within Urcea's federal system.
In the Executive Branch, the Apostolic King of Urcea maintains a mostly nominal but important role, directly appointing judges and military officers. The King can also intervene in disputes between the Procurator and Concilium Purpdaidá, typically when the Procurator and Chancellor and Temporary President are of different parties. The Procurator, elected by the nation at large, determines the government's policy program and directs the Concilium Purpaidá to implement it. The Procurator also has functional command and control of the Armed Forces of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea and proposes the Royal Budget. In the 21st Century, the National Pact has typically controlled the office of Procurator.
The Concilium Purpaidá is the nation's Cabinet and has broad powers to implement policies via regulation where statutorily authorized. Members of the Purpaidá nominally follow the Procurator's policies, but are appointed by the Chancellor and Temporary President, who is the leader of the Concilium Daoni.
The office of Censor also falls under the executive branch, and the two Censors are responsible for the maintenance of morality and public virtue as well as for the national decennial census. The Censors have authority to issue media content standards, and can issue formal objections to morally harmful pieces of legislation that come before the Concilium Daoni. The Censors are elected nationwide but the pool of candidates are selected by the Apostolic King of Urcea and Urcean Conference of Catholic Bishops.
The Concilium Daoni is the lower chamber of the Kingdom's national legislature and its primary legislative body, and it is led by the Chancellor and Temporary President who serves as majority leader within the Daoni. The Chancellor nominates the members of the Concilium Purpaidá, although they are formally appointed by the King via constitutional advice. Members of the Daoni, called Delegates, are elected from 500 single-member constituencies using first past the post voting. Made up of committees that mirror the structure of the Concilium Purpaidá, the Daoni considers legislation as well as treaties and Royal budgets. In the 21st Century, the National Social Union has typically controlled the Concilium Daoni.
The Daoni is joined by the Gildertach, the nation's upper chamber, which is comprised of representatives from each of the guilds in Urcea. The Gildertach's responsibilities are primarily constrained to approving or denying trade deals and regulating the guild system itself.
Main Article: Subdivisions
Federalism is a key element of the construction of the Government of Urcea, and home rule is considered a necessary provision of the philosophy of subsidiarity. Accordingly, there are three federal subdivisions in Urcea. Crownlands are the first kind and the most prestigious, consisting of the Archduchy of Urceopolis, the Grand Duchy of Yustona, and the Electorate of Canaery. These are areas that the King directly holds title to through his own personal right, and not through his position as King. In crownlands, a unicameral parliament serves as the local legislature under the direction of an appointed Governor-General. The second and most common kind are Provinces, which are general lands bound to the Kingdom as a legal entity. In provinces, an elected bicameral legislature and elected Governor serve as the government. The third kind are "States", which are semi-autonomous entities designed for ethnic enclaves. States are governed in the same way as provinces except that the elected executive is called Secretary-General. Besides their administrative apparatus and relation to the central government, the primary difference between the three forms of government are differences in tax rates and the types of taxes levied.
Counties and Local Governments
See Also: Local Governments
The various provinces, holds, and states of Urcea are divided into dioceses which are coterminous with Catholic dioceses but have little function other than electoral and judicial organizing. The municipal level is where local government in Urcea is effectively exercised, and the most common kind of local government is that of the commune, where every citizen over the age of 21 can vote in a communal assembly on legislative and budgetary issues affecting the commune. There are also guild communes and more traditional mayor-council types of local governments, though these are rare and usually reserved only for the largest of cities. The prevalence of communes in Urcea have earned the nation both praise and condemnation for its commitment to what some have called "radical subsidiarian Christian democracy", a relatively uncommon philosophical persuasion even in Levantia.
See Also: Politics of Urcea
As a consequence of the division of power between the King, the Procurator, and the Chancellor and Temporary President, there are four distinct political power structures that can take form. In a situation where the Procurator and Chancellor are of the same party, members of the Concilium Purpaidá are all from the leadership's party and that party's platform become the government's program. When a Procurator and Chancellor come from a different party but reach an agreement called a "Purpaidá Coalition", whereby a minority of members of the Purpaidá are appointees of the Procurator's party in exchange for a mutually agreed upon policy program being established by the Procurator. In a situation where a hung Daoni exists, the Procurator can help broker a majority coalition in the Daoni, whereby a mix of the Procurator and Chancellor's parties sit on the Purpaidá in a roughly even split between parties. In the final form, the Procurator and Chancellor are of different parties and do not reach an agreement, typically leading to "Royal Rule", where the King can intervene in government affairs in order to solve policy divisions between the Chancellor's appointees on the Purpaidá and the Procurator.
There were traditionally two major political parties in Urcea, a stable system that existed roughly from the end of the Red Interregnum and restoration of King Patrick III up through the 2035 Urcean political realignment. Under this system, most recently the National Pact and the National Social Union contested major elections along with the Julian Party and the Democratic Labor Party sometimes playing important roles in deciding majorities in the Concilium Daoni in addition to holding local offices. Following the 2035 realignment, however, the National Social Union dissolved into two new major parties; the Union for National Solidarity and the Social Labor Party, the latter of which formed as a result of a merger between former National Social Union members and the Democratic Labor Party at the Casanam Conference in 2036. The National Pact and Julian Party both remained unchanged during the realignment, resulting approximately in three major parties and the Julian Party left.
The 2030 national census of Urcea counted a total population of 1,341,602,401, though the country enjoys a net population growth of approximately 1.46% per year, and the total population of the Apostolic Kingdom in 2036 was estimated to be 1,463,679,455. Much of the population growth is natural, as Urcea's considerable population density and development means the country is a world leader in out-migration, and Urceans leaving the country typically relocate to one of its possessions in Western Crona, such as New Yustona. Urcea's population density - 611.2 per square mile - is among the highest in the world, though this density is not evenly spread throughout the country and a majority of Urceans live in just six of Urcea's subnational divisions, of which there thirty four.
In terms of identity, Urcea is a relatively homogeneous country; some 78% of people in Urcea view themselves as ethnically Urcean. Sizable minorities of other ethnicities exist in Urcea, though many of these also consider themselves to be part of the larger Urcean identity, such as Caenish people and Gassavelian people as well as the small percentage of Derian people within Urcea. The only major ethnic group in Urcea that retains a significant and separate identity are the Ænglish people who occupy the northeastern most part of the country, known as Ænglasmarch.
Main Article: Language in Urcea
Over the course of its history, Urcea has had a diverse linguistic heritage spanning many different languages from different ethnic and regional backgrounds. Beginning in the late medieval period through the present, however, Julian Ænglish is the language spoken by the majority of people in Urcea. By 2030, census information suggested almost 90% of the population spoke Ænglish as a first language. It is an official language of the Government of Urcea and used in nearly every government document and meetings of government bodies, but it is not the only official language. Ábciwidar, the traditional language of the people of and around Urceopolis, is an official language and was once believed to be the traditional language of the entire country, though that theory has since been disproven. It is still spoken as a first language today in isolated, rural parts of the country, such as some parts of the Ionian Mountains, and according to the 2030 census and subsequent studies this Ábciwidar-speaking population amounts to 5% of Urceans. Gassavelian people, the majority of whom speak Ænglish as a first language, also have a small population of individuals who retain their unique ancestral language. This population, which speaks a Latinized version of the ancient Audonian language, comprise no more than 3% of all Urceans. Least prominent as a primary language - but extremely prominent otherwise - is Latin, which is spoken by a minority of Urceans of Derian descent in the eastern frontier of the country. Latin, however, is an official language of state and is the primary liturgical language of Urcea according to a 2034 study which stated that 78.4% of Catholic parishes use the traditional mass, which is said entirely in ecclesiastical Latin. Some documents of the Ministry for the Church in Urcea are propagated in ecclesiastical Latin.
Main Article: Religion in Urcea
|Affiliation||% of population|
Religion is considered a fundamental cornerstone of public and private Urcean life, and consequently the vast majority of Urceans identify as members of the Levantine Catholic Church according to census information, and the national average for weekly mass attendance is 66.45% according to a 2034 study. The Catholic Church, as the central institution of Urcean life, is embedded in state activity in addition to serving as the central organizing place of most communities and localities throughout the country. Catholicism is recognized as the official state faith, though non-adherents are under no legal obligation to be members of the Church since the early 19th century, and discrimination against non-Catholics is against the law. Despite this, religious discrimination remains a common problem, and many of the small percentage of non-Catholic Urceans often don't reveal their true religious beliefs for fear of becoming social outcasts.
Besides the majority Catholic faith, a small percentage of Urceans hold other religious beliefs. Less than 2% of Urceans are Protestants of various forms; of this 2%, the largest denomination is the Free Ænglaschurch, the remnant of the Protestant state church of the Kingdom of Angla. Ænglaschurchers comprise about 54% of non-Catholic Christians in Urcea; the remainder are typically either methodists or mennonites. There are also a variety of non-Christians - approximately 2% of the population - within the Apostolic Kingdom. These are typically immigrants from Western Crona or adherents to the revived neo-Audonian faith among some Gassavelian intellectuals and nationalists.
The final religious group in Urcea are those adhering to irreligion, in both the atheistic and agnostic forms. In 2030, this figure was around 2% of the population, though it declined from a high of 3% in 1990. The vast majority of irreligious live in or around the Urceopolis Metropolitan Area, and of these the majority of irreligious are aged 55 or older.
Culture and Society
Main Article: Culture of Urcea
Attitudes and worldview
Arts and Literature
See Also: National symbols of Urcea
Economy and Infrastructure
The Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea has market mixed economy, owing to the origins of the country and the modern philosophical constitution of the country on semi-distributist and Catholic social principles. The country is generally appraised a strong economy, with a GDP per capita of roughly $43,000+ and a total national GDP of $80 trillion, which makes it one of the world's strongest economies. Industrial manufacturing, agriculture, and natural resource gathering (yielding uranium, among other resources) constitute the largest segments of the economy. The Urcean economy experienced rapid growth in the late 20th century due to increasing economic modernization and technological innovations, allowing an average 3.1% growth rate between 1972 and 1999, after which point the economy began to slow down and "normalize" relative to potential growth in productivity.
Urcea's trade relations primarily involve countries in Levantia owing to the lack of tariffs within the southern part of the continent, though trade agreements between Urcea and other countries, such as Kiravia, have been growing more prevalent in the 21st century. Urcean economic interests in Crona have lead to greater trade across the Levantine Ocean, with a particular emphasis on new markets in New Yustona, which serves as a hub for trade goods in the eastern hemisphere and a gateway for goods to flood back to Levantia.
Urcea's economy is divided into forty statutory industries; within these industries, every firm and their workers are federated together into guilds. Unlike many other industrialized countries, much of Urcea's economic regulation takes the form of self-regulation within the guilds. The guilds, which feature equal representation between employers and labor, are responsible for setting labor conditions, minimum wage, and other related policy areas. Most guilds also pool resources in order to provide benefits of some form, reducing the burden of businesses within the guild while simultaneously providing sound retirements and, in some cases, health insurance, for its members. Urcea's guilds exercise wide authority over the economy, as they not only self-regulate but also are responsible for approving any proposed trade deals with foreign nations. The guilds are assembled with elected representatives for each guild in the Gildertach, Urcea's upper legislative chamber, and in the Gildertach they have the limited authority to approve or disapprove trade laws and the ability to change the guild law, under which the guilds are governed.
Because of the guild system and the nation's economic philosophy, Urcea enjoys low class antipathy and relatively low income inequality.
Industries and Sectors
Arms manufacturing is one of the nation's largest industries, providing military equipment both for the Urcean military and militaries abroad.
Agriculture is a major industry in Urcea. Urcea's fair climate and sweeping plains are perfect for growing both wheat and maize, and the country exports both of these in large numbers, particularly to countries circling the Odoneru Ocean. As a consequence of the wheat surplus, the dairy industry became large in the 19th century and is another important sector in the economy today, with milk being another major export besides being consumed in most homes across the country. Another sector that benefits from the nation's agricultural strength is beer production, and in the province of Goldvale hops and wheat for brewing purposes are grown in large quantities. In the south of Urcea, and especially in Canaery, wine production is a major industry.
Further Information: Taler
The Taler, sometimes called the Dollar, is considered one of the world's strongest currencies, currently exchanging at U$1 for $1.95 USD. The currency itself is the common currency issued by the Levantine Union; nevertheless, it is coined in Urceopolis and much of its stability is attributable to the Royal Bank of Urcea. The Taler is often used as the "default currency" of business in Levantia and even in some parts of Crona and Sarpedon, as well as finding use in parts of Crona as a general currency of trade. It is a fiat currency, though in the past it was based on a gold standard. The Taler is one of the globally accepted hard currencies and is a primary reserve currency in Levantia and abroad.
Adoption of the Taler was not uniform in Urcea or within the Empire at first, but rather, continuous efforts through the centuries to adopt a common Imperial currency in place of local currencies found success, many times at the behest of Apostolic King for the purposes of enhancing Urcean commercial interests. Finding its origin in the thaler of the Kingdom of Ultmar and in some smaller mercantile states in Crona, the Taler eventually became the trade currency of the Empire as a whole, and after the Empire's collapse Urcea continued to use it..
Despite the relatively uniform economic nature of the Taler, it will still have some regional variety in the type of bills and coins themselves; Urcean bills, for example, tend to show scenes of the Holy Levantine Empire's history related to the Apostolic Kingdom's role within it, particularly the Battle of Drumfree and Emperor Leo III as well as other Urcean-born Emperors or other themes commonly relating the country and continent. Other adopting states have tended to display their own head of state or historic heads of state, though New Yustona and others continue to use the Urcean-printed version. As such, the Urcean variety of the Taler is the most commonly found variety due to the volume of currency required for the Urcean economy to function.
Main Article: Healthcare in Urcea
Guilds and Labor
Main Article: Guilds (Urcea)
Personal transportation is dominated by automobiles, which operate on a network of public roads, including one of the world's longest highway systems. The world's second-largest automobile market, Urcea has one of the highest rates of per-capita vehicle ownership in the world, with 765 vehicles per 1,000 Urceans. About 40% of personal vehicles are vans, SUVs, or light trucks. The average Urcean adult (accounting for all drivers and non-drivers) spends 55 minutes driving every day, traveling 29 miles (47 km). Mass transit accounts for 9% of total Urcean work trips.
Urcea's transportation infrastructure is characterized by a large network of super-highways, called the "National Interprovincial Highway Service", and traditional railways in both the heavy and freight varieties for transporting people and goods, respectively. Air travel is also prevalent within the country.
The National Interprovincial Highway Service (NIHS) is owned by the Royal government under the Ministry of Commerce, which does not charge tolls with the exception of the immediate area around Urceopolis which has the roads with the highest use in the nation. The NIHS is largely paid for using general tax funds from the Royal Treasury, though the Ministry of Commerce does use these toll incomes to offset some of the costs that would otherwise be part of the budget.
The national railway infrastructure is also owned by the Ministry of Commerce as the National Interprovincial Railway Service, though the government owns nor operates any railway companies, and all users of the National Railway System are privately owned freight and passenger service corporations that use the rails free of charge. Transport of goods by rail is extensive, though relatively low numbers of passengers (approximately 150 million annually) use intercity rail to travel.
The Royal government owns Archducal International, the largest airport in the nation, which is located in Preserve County just outside of Urceopolis. All other airports are owned by provinces, local municipalities, or even in some cases, by private corporations. The civil airline industry is entirely privately owned and has been largely deregulated.
The National Interprovincial Highway and Railway Services, along with the nationally owned public airports, are managed and maintained by the Ministry of Commerce.
Historically, petroleum was the primary energy source in Urcea. In 2025, energy consumption per capita is 7.8 tons (7076 kg) of oil equivalent per year, among the highest in the world. In the same year, 31% of Urcea's energy came from petroleum, 27% from natural gas, and 23% from nuclear. The remainder was supplied by coal power and renewable energy sources. Urcea is among the world's largest consumers of petroleum. In the decade since, however, many new clean nuclear power plants have been constructed and some estimates have put Urcea's reduction of petroleum consumption at nearly half. Nuclear power is, as of 2034, the nation's largest energy source. A large part of the so-called "nuclear revolution" was the Urcean integration of New Yustona. During the War of the Northern Confederation, it was discovered that massive quantities of uranium ore lay under New Yustona, leading to widespread exploitation for energy use in Levantia.
For decades, coal power has played a limited role in Urcea's power sector relative to many other developed countries, in part because of public perception in the wake of early industrial accidents. In 2024, several applications for new "clean coal" plants were filed, though these make up a far smaller percentage of Urcea's energy supply given the rising supply of nuclear power. Urcea is the world's largest producer of natural gas due to a robustly developed hydrofracking sector and the preponderance of well-designed drilling infrastructure.
Military and National Defense
Further Information: Armed Forces of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea
Urcea's armed forces are divided into three branches:
- the Royal and Imperial Army
- the Royal Air Force
- the Royal Navy, which also includes the Royal Marine Corps
Historically, the Royal and Imperial Army saw the most action and was the primary focus of the nation's military efforts, but since the Great War the Navy has evolved into the branch of primary concern, given Urcea's maritime border with Caphiria. In modern times, Urcea's Armed Forces are primarily engaged in New Yustona and Crona, but prior to the Assumption Accords it was heavily deployed in Urlazio and in Dorhaven. The Urcean military's budget exceeds $3.6 trillion dollars, among the largest in the world during peacetime but trailing Caphiria.
The Royal and Imperial Army is the largest of the three branches with more than 4,000,000 active duty personnel and 4,000,000 personnel in reserves. The Army has some 5,000,000 combat and transportation vehicles of various age that can be called upon for active duty use, alongside more than 127,000 pieces of artillery and rocket artillery. The Army also has more than 78,000 aircraft for use, though the majority of these are transportation helicopters or fixed wing aircraft for transportation use.
The Royal Navy, between its primary service and its attached Royal Marine Corps, has the most active duty personnel of the three branches, with more than 4,700,000 active duty personnel (of these, more than 600,000 are marines) and 1,500,000 reservists (of which more than 354,000 are marines). The pride of the Urcean Armed Forces, the Navy has 1,557 combat vehicles including 54 aircraft carriers, and also maintains 178 amphibious assault and command vessels with 75 other miscellaneous vessels. The Navy, not including the Marine Corps, maintains 24,236 aircraft, including 8,258 fighter aircraft. The Royal Marine Corps maintain more than 124,000 various vehicles, including more than 1,100 tanks and 5,300 aircraft with vertical takeoff and landing capability.
The Royal Air Force is the smallest of the three branches, with more than 3,400,000 active duty personnel and more than 1,000,000 reservists. The Royal Air Force maintains some 47,108 pieces of equipment, including 10,578 fighters, 1,826 bombers, 2,938 ground attack aircraft, 11,132 cargo planes among other varieties of aircraft. The Royal Air Force was previously known as the Royal Air Fleet and was founded in 1904 for the purposes of coordinating all military airships. The Royal Air Force maintains the navy-based ranks from the Air Fleet era, making it similar to the Burgoignesc Royal Air Service in that respect.
In addition to its conventional armed forces, the Armed Forces of the Apostolic Kingdom of Urcea are estimated to have more than 7,500 warheads of various types, though it is surmised that not all of them are active. Given Urcea's 136 active ballistic missile submarines, it's estimated that of the 7,500, at least 3,264 are submarine-based, with the remainder being strategic bomber or intercontinental ballistic missile based.
Despite Urcea's powerful standing military, training of the populace is key. Basic military education (BME) is a nation-wide course mandatory in high schools governed jointly by the Armed Forces and the Collegium Scientificum. In BME, students are taught how to fire and service several types of weapons, how to camouflage themselves within their surroundings, how to form basic entrenchments, and how to properly enter a building in a combat scenario. The training also includes basic instructions on how to drill and move in formation. Unlike other major Occidental countries, Urcea has no organized militia or national defense reserve force. Instead, so-called "volunteer armies" are organized on the provincial level and then federalized during wartime, creating a separate part of the Royal and Imperial Army with a mostly breveted command structure.