|United Islands of Georgeland|
| Motto: Latin: Divisus mari - unitus corde |
English: Divided by sea, united in spirit
|Anthem: My Country|
|Official language||English (de facto)|
| Parliamentary republic|
| from the United Kingdom|
July 1, 1891
July 1, 1958
- Water (%)
- 2007 estimate
- 2002 census
- Per capita
| 2006 estimate|
$1.18 trillion (11th)
- Per capita
| 2005 estimate|
$1.31 trillion (8th)
|HDI (2004)||0.961(high) (3rd)|
|Currency|| Georgeland Dollar (G$)|
| Time Zone|
- Summer (DST)
| CET (UTC+5) (west)|
The United Islands of Georgeland, also known as the United Islands, UIG or usually simply Georgeland, is an archipelago located in the southern Indian Ocean. The six islands of the group form an independent sovereign republic. Discovered by Spanish explorer Juan Delmago in 1760, Georgeland was first settled by European settlers in 1781, when the British established their first colony. Georgeland became an independent nation in 1891, though it remained part of the British Empire until 1929, when it became the first part of the Empire to peacefully secede. Georgeland remains a member of the Commonwealth.
Georgeland is a republic, and a federal parliamentary democracy. It comprises seven distinct states, mostly based on geographical lines. Georgeland has a robust and varied economy; although it is primarily a primary producer, it is also a leading source of mineral wealth and has a healthy trade relationship with Asia, Europe, and Africa.
Origin of the Name
Georgeland was named in honour of King George III of England, who commissioned Spanish explorer Delmago to chart and survey the islands in 1765 as a prelude to colonization. The name has remained constant throughout Georgeland's history as a term for the islands, but the name of the country has altered several times. Upon its independence from the UK in 1891, Georgeland was known as the Dominion of Georgeland, along the lines established by Canada in 1867. The name Republic of Georgeland lasted from 1930 until 1958. In that year, the name United Islands of Georgeland was adopted in an attempt by the government to emulate aspects of the United States.
There is evidence to suggest Georgeland was inhabited during the neolithic period, possibly extending to the Bronze Age. However, this pre-civilised society presumably left the archipelago or died out sometime prior to European settlement. Modern scholars differ widely on opinions regarding the fate and identity of Georgeland's pre-settlement population.
Discovery and settlement
The earliest recorded charting of Georgeland's northern coastline is from Ming Chinese charts, but scholars dispute their accuracy. There is also limited evidence suggesting early Indonesian charting of the islands. However, the first verified charting of the islands was by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman in 1642. Tasman, however, did not explore the islands further, believing them to be part of the East Indies - by the time he reached the genuine East Indies, he appeared to have lost interest. The British, however, charted the northern coastline again in 1663, in an expedition by George Brookes and HMS Augustus, but the expedition never returned. The wreck of the Augustus was located in 1985, some five hundred kilometers north-west of Bradmarch.
It was another century before full-scale exploration of Georgeland began in earnest. The Spanish-born Juan Delmago led an expedition aboard his vessel, the Santa Christina to the islands in 1760, but upon his return to Spain, could not convince King Charles III to finance a full-scale charting and colonisation effort. Upon hearing of the islands, George III of Britain commissioned a new expedition to chart, and possibly settle, the islands, which were believed to be no larger than the Maldives. Delmago offered his services to the British government; in doing so he was declared a traitor by the Spanish and was never again allowed to return to his home country.
Delmago returned, still aboard the Santa Christina, to the archipelago and charted the two northernmost island and Delmago Island, on which the expedition landed on August 21.
Delmago Island was used as a base to explore the rest of Georgeland, though full exploration of Capitalia and Long Island would not be undertaken until the early 1790s. Delmago returned to Georgeland for a third time, in 1773, to begin colonising Delmago Island (which would not be named after him until 1831). The first settlement of the archipelago was christened by Delmago as Georgetown, and the islands as a whole as Georgeland, in honour of George III.
Early European settlement
Independence and modern history
Georgeland is a federal parliamentary democratic republic. As a former British colony, Georgeland uses the Westminster system, slightly modified, as the basis for its system of government. The Head of State is the President, who since 1958 has been chosen by the federal Parliament. Constitutional reforms enacted recently will mean the Presidency will again be elected by a nation-wide vote as of 2008.
The head of government is the Prime Minister, who is responsible to Parliament. Parliament consists of the 265-member House of Commons and the 80-member Senate. The Prime Minister is the leader of the majority party in the House of Commons.
Georgeland's Constitution grants considerable powers to the President, but they are never exercised without the advice of the Prime Minister and the government, except in rare special circumstances.
The two largest political parties are the left-wing Liberal Democrats and the right-wing Conservatives. Although Georgeland is in theory a two-party system, the non-Conservative party has shifted several times since 1999. The old Labour Party is now defunct, and in 2004 the new Liberal Party merged with the smaller Democratic Party to form the Liberal Democrats. In addition, a number of smaller parties have made their mark in Parliament over the years, especially since the 1970s. These have included the Democrats and the Georgeland Party (both now defunct), and the modern day Georgeland Alliance and Green Party.
The majority of Georgeland law is based on English common law, except where it has been superseded by legislation. The judicial system follows the English model; however, since the 1940s a more American-style system has begun to evolve.
The highest court in Georgeland is the Supreme Court of Georgeland, the justices of which are appointed by the federal government; notionally by the President but in reality by the Prime Minister. Beneath the Supreme Court is the Georgeland Federal Appeals Court, which handles only appeals from each state's Supreme Court, the highest courts of appeal in the individual states. The Court of Appeal also takes appeals from other federal courts, including the Family Court, which handles family-related cases.
There are a number of state-based and local-based courts, each of which has its justices appointed by the state government. Recently, the state of Bradmarch has begun experimenting with community justice programs, in which courts are replaced by members of the local community, who try and sentence an offender (usually in juvenile cases) to a non-statutory punishment appropriate to the crime. This system is used in Bradmarch only, and not in all judicial cases.
All judges in Georgeland, at all levels of jurisdiction, have a mandatory retirement age of 72 years.
Foreign Relations & Military
Georgeland is an active participant in international affairs, and a long-time proponent of multilateralism and regional partnerships. Georgeland is a member of the United Nations and the Commonwealth, and is not a member of, but has close economic and political ties to, APEC, ASEAN and the African Union. It has also signed the International Antarctic Treaty and the Agreement on the Organization for Indian Ocean Marine Affairs Cooperation (AOIOMA).
Georgeland is also a member of the World Trade Organisation and has practiced free trade policies for decades.
Georgeland's government still advocates the establishment of an Indian Ocean economic and military alliance, similar to NATO. One proposal, the Indian Ocean Tactical Alliance was scuttled in 2003.
Militarily, Georgeland is a regional power but in recent years has cut back some of its military budget in favour of social programs. The United Islands Defence Force is Georgeland's armed services organisation, an umbrella for the United Islands Army, United Islands Air Force and the United Islands Navy. Due to Georgeland's maritime nature and culture, the Navy is of paramount importance in defence terms. Georgeland maintains a very well-staffed and equipped navy for a nation of its size, though the majority of its vessels are non-combantants.
Georgeland has long-standing military partnerships with Australia and the UK, and until recently with Saydney. Recent government restrictions on the operation of nuclear-powered vessels in Georgeland territorial waters has seen a drop in military relations with Saydney, France and particularly the United States.
Georgeland is divided into seven states. Five of these states - Bradmarch, Capitalia, Delmago Island, Long Island and Scoita consist of one island of the same name. In 2000 the state of Mainland was subdivided into East Mainland and West Mainland, bringing the total number of states to seven. Each State has its own government similar to the federal government. Every state has a Governor, who in all states but one is directly elected, a unicameral state legislature and a Chief Minister as head of government. The state governments hold considerable powers, and the conflict between states and the central government in Topstad has been an issue for some years now.
Georgeland's largest city is Doubledance on the eastern coast of the island of Mainland.The second-largest city is Santa Christina on the opposite coast. Georgeland's capital city is Topstad on the island of Capitalia. Other major cities include Emilypolis, New Kikipolis, Lylecity, Huzzah, Zigit and Sergiocitta.
Geography and Climate
Georgeland has a total land area of 1,762,207 sq. km. It ranks sixteenth among nations for land area - it is smaller than Indonesia, but larger than Libya.
Georgeland is an archipelago consisting of six islands, five of them large and one small. The largest island, Mainland, is a roughly-horseshoe-shaped land mass, with the other five islands arranged around it. It has been proven by geological and seizomological evidence that the islands were once part of a single land-mass roughly 500,000 years ago and that the archipelago probably originally formed as part of the Indian subcontinent. Another theory suggests that parts of Georgeland formed part of the subcontinent and the rest part of Antarctica, and that the two land-masses met with tectonic movement and later broke into islands.
At the 2002 census, the population of Georgeland was determined as 31, 336, 207; the national statistics unit has calculated Georgeland's mid-2006 population at 32.1 million. Georgeland has a significant immigrant population; immigration accounts for most of the country's population growth. Roughly 63% of the population live in urban areas; this population is concentrated around the large cities, notably Santa Christina, Emilypolis and Doubledance.
Georgeland is ethnically diverse; the 2002 census identified 24 ethnic groups with more than 100,000 residents. Roughly 82% of Georgelanders are Caucasian, with the majority of English or Irish descent. The overwhelmingly largest visible minority is the Indo-Georgelander community, consisting of people of Indian extraction, numbering 2,318,879 (7.4%) in the 2002 census. The other large minority ethnic communities are of German, French, Italian, Greek and Arab origin.
Roughly 75% of the country's population identified themselves as religious in the 2002 census. The variety of religions practiced is diverse, but Christianity is dominant over the others. 30% of Georgelanders identified as Roman Catholic and 34% as Protestant; the largest Protestant denomination is the Anglian faith, or Church of England, though there are large numbers of Methodists and Presbyterians as well. The largest non-Christian belief system in Georgeland is Hinduism, followed by Islam.
Georgeland's well-funded education system has led to a roughly 99% literacy rate among adult Georgelanders. The education system is primarily the responsibility of the state governments; however, in 2006 the National Education Service was established, giving the federal government greater influence over this area and standardising some aspects of education. The mandatory school age is now uniform across the country as being from 5 years to 16 years. In 2002, 37% of Georgelanders had attained some form of post-secondary education; this number is 56% among those aged 25-35.