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United Republic of Cascadia
Flag of the United Republic of Cascadia
Flag
Motto: Regnet Pax Omnem Per Terram (Latin)
May Peace Prevail On Earth
Anthem: We Are One
United Republic of Cascadia Political Map
Map of Cascadia, its states and counties
Capital Portland
45°31′N 122°40′W
Largest city Seattle
Official languages English
Demonym Cascadian
Government Federal directorial republic
Toby Bair
John Brooks
Zhen Chou
Blake Emery
Piper Hoskins
Florence Jamieson
Mia Keating
Tarif Athir Khoury
Dennis Orozco Carranza
Jolene Waterford
Aaron Svoboda
Legislature Federal Parliament
Senate
House of Representatives
Independence from United States
October 22, 2014
January 1, 2015
Area
• Total
141,399 km2 (54,594 sq mi)
Population
• 2013 estimate
8,873,299
• 2010 census
8,573,438
• Density
60.6/km2 (157.0/sq mi)
Currency Cascadian dollar ($) (CSD)
Time zone PST (UTC−8)
• Summer (DST)
PDT (UTC−7)
Date format yyyy-mm-dd
Drives on the right
Calling code +1
ISO 3166 code CS
Internet TLD .cs
Cascadia is a partially-recognized state in western North America that declared its independence from the United States in October 2014 as the United Republic of Cascadia. As of January 2015, the United States refuses to recognize the Republic's governance of the territory, and considers it part of the U.S. states of Oregon and Washington.

Cascadia is situated along the Pacific coast, extending inland as far as the Cascade Mountains. Its capital is Portland and its largest city is Seattle. It is bordered by the Sierran province of Shasta to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Canadian province of British Columbia to the North, and the remaining portions of the U.S. states of Washington and Oregon to the east.

Ideological and economic differences between the more populous, wealthier, and culturally cohesive Cascadia region in western Oregon and Washington and the eastern portions of the two states left them divided, both state governments in deadlock. In September 2014, a bi-state constituent assembly convened in Walla Walla, Washington, to create a region-wide solution. The assembly failed in its goal as the delegates from eastern Washington and eastern Oregon withdrew.

The remaining delegates declared the independence of Cascadia on October 22, 2014, and took on the task of creating a constitution for the new state, officially named the United Republic of Cascadia. The constitution was published on December 1, 2014, and went into effect on January 1, 2015. It has since gained diplomatic recognition as a sovereign state by 32 UN member states. Cascadia is not a member of the United Nations due to its lack of diplomatic recognition from several countries. It is, however, a member of several international organizations, including the International Monetary Fund, World Bank, and International Road and Transport Union.

Name

The word Cascadia, taking its name from the Cascade Range of mountains, has long been used to refer to the Pacific Northwest Region of the United States and Canada.

History

Main article: History of Cascadia

Pre-European history

Archaeological evidence suggests that present-day Cascadia was one of the first populated places in North America. Evidence of human habitation in Washington's Olympic Peninsula dates back to approximately 9000 BCE. By 8000 BCE, there were settlements across the region, with the majority concentrated along the lower Columbia River, and around coastal estuaries.

Anthropologists estimate there were 125 distinct Northwest tribes and 50 dialects in existence before the arrival of Europeans in the region. Throughout the Puget Sound region, coastal tribes made use of the area's abundant natural resources, subsisting primarly on salmon, halibut, shellfish and whale. Clothing was made from the bark of cedar trees.

Early European settlement

Spanish explorers heading eastward across the Pacific landed along the Oregonian coast as early as the mid-1500s. By the late 1770s, both Spanish and British explorers had extensively toured the region.

Oregon Country

American interests in the region grew as part of the concept of manifest destiny. Spain ceded their rights north of the 42nd Parallel to the United States by the 1819 Adams-Onís Treaty. Britain had long standing commercial interests through the Hudson's Bay Company and a well established network of fur trading forts along the Columbia River in what it called Columbia District. These were headquartered from Fort Vancouver in present day Vancouver, Washington.

By the Treaty of 1818, following from the War of 1812, Great Britain and the United States established the 49th parallel as the border west to the Continental Divide of the Rocky mountains; but agreed to joint control and occupancy of Oregon Country. In 1824, Russia signed an agreement with the U.S. acknowledging it had no claims south of 54˚40' latitude north and Russia signed a similar treaty with Britain in 1825. The abundant amount of fertile farmland drew large numbers of settlers to the region, and as the number of permanent settlers grew, a sizable pro-independence sentiment grew also, seeking to establish a neutral, sovereign country, free of both United States and British administration.

Joint British–U.S. occupancy was renewed, but on a year to year basis from 1827. Eventually, increased tension between U.S. settlers arriving by the Oregon trail and fur traders led to the Oregon boundary dispute. On June 15, 1846, Britain ceded its claims to the lands south of the 49th parallel, and the U.S. ceded its claims to the north of the same line, in the present day Canadian border, in the Oregon Treaty.

In 1848, the Oregon Territory was established. Washington Territory was formed from Oregon Territory in 1853.

Oregon and Washington Territories

The United States federal government left their part of the region unorganized for two years, until the news of the Whitman Massacre reached the United States Congress, and helped to facilitate organization of the region into a U.S. territory. On August 14, 1848, Congress passed the Act to Establish the Territorial Government of Oregon, which created the Territory of Oregon. The territory originally encompassed all of present-day Cascadia, plus the U.S. states of Washington, Oregon and Idaho, as well as those parts of present-day Wyoming and Montana north of the 42nd parallel and west of the Continental Divide.

Adopting a "divide and conquer" strategy to deal with the sizable pro-independence community in the Oregon Territory, the U.S. Congress created the Territory of Washington out of part of the Oregon Territory on March 2, 1953. The Washington Territory consisted of the portion of the Oregon Territory north of the lower Columbia River and the 46th parallel east of the Columbia.

U.S. statehood

The pro-independence residents, effectively cut in half with the creation of the Washington Territory, now comprised minority populations in both Oregon and Washington, and were significantly outnumbered by pro-statehood settlers in both territories. Oregon petitioned for statehood in 1857 and, following a constitutional convention, was admitted to the United States on February 14, 1859. The eastern portions of the Oregon Territory were transferred to the Washington Territory, further diluting the voting share of those pro-independence Washingtonians, however it would be another 30 years before Washington was admitted as a state of its own.

Secession and independence

Government and politics

Main article: Politics of the United Republic of Cascadia

Cascadia's political system is based on the Swiss federal model. The federal constitution, adopted in 2014, is the legal foundation of the republic. It outlines basic and political rights of individuals and citizen participation in public affairs, divides the powers between the federal government and the constituent states, and places limits on federal jurisdiction and authority. There are three governing bodies at the federal level: the bicameral Parliament (legislative), the Presidential Council (executive), and the Supreme Court (judicial).

The Cascadian Federal Parliament consists of two chambers: the Senate and the House of Representatives. Each chamber has 72 members. In the Senate, the seats are equally divided between the two constituent states; in the House, the seats are apportioned according to each state's population, provided no state has fewer than one-quarter of the members. The current House of Representatives consists of 44 Washingtonian representatives and 28 Oregonian representatives. Both chambers are elected under closed-list proportional representation, and members of both chambers serve for 4 years.

The Presidential Council constitutes the federal government, directs the federal administration and serves as collective Head of State. It is a collegial body of six voting members and three non-voting members, elected for a five-year mandate by the Parliament, which also exercises oversight of the Council. The President and Vice President of the Presidential Council are elected from among the members, on a single ticket and for the Council's five-year term. The President and Vice-President alternate in their positions every twenty months. The President chairs the government and assumes representative functions, however, the president is a primus inter pares with no additional powers, and remains the head of a department within the administration.

The function of the Supreme Court is to hear appeals against rulings of constituent state or federal courts. It also serves as a Constitutional Court and Court of Primary Federal Jurisdiction in limited cases. The judges are elected by the Parliament for nine-year terms. In extreme cases, the Supreme Court has the power to take decisions in the interest of resolving a deadlock in either of the other branches of the federal government, or of a state government, to avert a constitutional crisis.

Administrative divisions

Main article:Political divisions of the United Republic of Cascadia

The United Republic of Cascadia consists of two constituent states, Oregon and Washington. The constituent states have a permanent constitutional status and, in comparison with the situation in other federations, a high degree of independence. Under the federal constitution, both states are equal in status. Both states have their own constitutions, parliaments, governments and courts.

At the second level, each state is divided in 19 counties. Each county has a County Commission, led by a Commissioner, appointed by the state government for a term of six years. The main responsibilities of the County Commissions is to coordinate the development of the counties in line with goals set by the state government, and to deliver state services to the people.

In each county, there are also incorporated cities and towns, smaller entities for local government and administration that constitute municipal self-government. The municipal government are responsible for a large proportion of local services, including schools, emergency services and physical planning. People living outside the boundaries of a city or town have most services provided directly by the state through the County Commission, or by a neighboring city's government through a contract agreement.

Geography

Cascadia lies in western North America, occupying a narrow strip of land between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Range. Its southern border, the international boundary with Sierra, follows the 42nd parallel north. It's northern border, the international boundary with Canada, largely follows the 49th parallel north, though the border dips southward in the west to exclude Vancouver Island. The Cascade Range contains several volcanoes, which reach altitudes significantly higher than the rest of the mountains. From north to south, these volcanoes are Mount Baker, Glacier Peak, Mount Rainier, Mount St. Helens, Mount Adams, Mount Hood, Mount Jefferson, and South Sister. While all are still considered active volcanoes, only Mount St. Helens is currently erupting. Its most recent eruption occurred in 2005.

Washington is also home of the Olympic Mountains, on the Olympic Peninsula, which support dense forests of conifers and ares of temperate rainforest. The Columbia River, which forms the boundary between the two states, has played a major role in the geological evolution of the region, as well as its economic and cultural development. One of North America's largest rivers, the Columbia cuts though the Cascage Range at the Columbia River Gorge. About 15,000 years ago, the Columbia repeatedly flooded, resulting in the modern fertility of the Willamette Valley.

Economy

Demographics

The most recent census took place in 2010, when Cascadia was still part of the United States. At that time, the territory that constitutes present-day Cascadia had a population of 8,573,438. The population is highly urbanized, with over two-thirds of its population residing within the metropolitan areas of its two largest cities, Seattle and Portland.

Administrative divisions

Main articles: Oregon (Cascadia), Washington (Cascadia), Counties of Oregon (Cascadia), Counties of Washington (Cascadia)

The United Republic of Cascadia comprises two constituent states, Oregon and Washington. The territory of the states is divided into counties, which are further divided into cities and towns.

Society

See also

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