|FREE UNION OF ENGELLEX & BLOIS|
| Motto: “Oro en Paz, Fierro en Guerra” (Spanish)|
"Gold in Peace, Iron in War"
|Anthem: Zodak the Priest|
| Images Unavailable|
Location of Free Union (yellow) in Europe (gray)
The Free Union, formally the Free Union of Engellex and Blois, is a federation of six Duchies, with the city of Woolwich as the location of the federal capital. The majority of the country is situated in Saamiskavia and also touches Borussia, where it borders Batavië to the north by way of the Duchy of Lennox and Devonshire, and Montelimar to the south by way of the Duchy of Blois. The Free Union also maintains the Free Territory of Burgesia in Himyar.
Traditionally the Free Union is recognised internationally for it’s abundance of anachronistic institutions, political and social customs and traditions. The Coronation of Queen Charlotte has, however, initiated an acknowledgement of the urgency of reformation in many quarters of the Free Union, although, the extent of such reforms will not achieve equal standing between the Free Union and it’s regional neighbours in the areas it seeks to bring reform.
Due to the Free Union’s modern history, particularly regarding it’s position before and during the Great War, there was a good degree of public and political support for moderate isolationalism and neutrality, which have also greatly assisted the Union in it’s second movement of industrialisation. Recent conflicts within the region, which look to disrupt the continued economic growth of the country, have caused a rethink of foreign policy, as political leaders seek to contain the Belmont-Coronado Crisis in which ever direction seems easier - in favour of protecting economic and industrial growth. This has lead to much resentment toward the boisterous presence of the European Defence Federation within Preuti-Borussia (Gallia-Germania). Naturally, the Establishment of the Free Union is inclined toward fellow monarchist states, and treats all socialist and revolutionary States with absolute suspicion and distrust. The League of Free States, and in particular, the Empire of Oikawa, is seen as a direction the country should look toward in it’s efforts to reposition itself internationally.
The Free Union comprises two main linguistic and cultural regions: English and French, although there are consistent calls to formally recognise the presence of the Dutch communities in the north. The monarchy is elected by the House of Lords, of which, serves as the Upper Chamber of the Parliament, with the Commons Assembly as the Lower Chamber.
Breotish Rule & DissolutionEdit
Union of the DuchiesEdit
Union of Batavie, Vistrasia & Engellex and the Great WarEdit
Second Industrial RevolutionEdit
Government & PoliticsEdit
The Free Union of Engellex & Blois is a federal constitutional monarchy that is elected with traditional democratic institutions. The monarch is elected by the House of Lords to serve as head of state until they abdicate, are removed by the Lords, or, in almost every case, until they pass away. The democratic principle of electing the monarch from one of the Great Houses upon the credentials of the candidate, which is nominated by Peers of the House of Lords, has become somewhat diluted. Wealth and breeding have gradually been given high priority over political suitability, thus establishing in many cases hereditary succession.
The established balance of power within the Free Union can be quite confusing and complicated, and many of its institutions may seem quite outdated, especially when compared to their neighbouring counterparts. The executive includes the Sovereign and her Cabinet, as well as the Privy Council, the legislative is the House of Lords, Commons Assembly, and the Congress' of the six federated Duchies. The judiciary is the Privy Council and Her Majesty's Crown Court. In terms of the balance of power the Sovereign and the House of Lords sit at the top with an almost equal share in political influence and power.
Her Engellexic Majesty & Her Majesty's GovernmentEdit
The Sovereign : Charlotte, Queen of the Free Union of Engellex & Blois
Home Secretary, and First Lord - Charles Foster, Earl of Onslow
Treasurer, and Second Lord - Thomas Grey, Earl Grey
Northern Secretary, and Third Lord - Mr. A. Pelham-Holles
Southern Secretary - Mr. E. Peel
Justice Secretary - Edward Russel, 3rd Earl Russel
War Secretary - Field Marshal Arthur Batten-Lyon, 12th Duke of Rothermere
First Lord of Admiralty - Admiral of the Fleet Henry Cunningham, 13th Duke of Keswick
Public Works Secretary - Mr. R. Halsbury
President of the Board of Public Enlightenment - Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Southwark
President of the Board of Public Education - Mr. D. Gower
President of the Board of Public Health - Mr. E. Wilborne
President of the Board of Public Welfare - Henry Edward Cardinal Manning, Archbishop of Southwark
President of the Board of Trade - Lord W. Hamilton
Secretary for Burgesia - William Manners, Marquis of Iddesleigh
The monarch is the head of state, and it would presently be Her Majesty Queen Charlotte (Charlotte Georgiana Henrietta Cavendish) who is also the Duchess of the Duchy of Southwark, which is one of the six Duchies of the Union, and the most powerful seat within the peerage system of the Free Union.The monarchy is elected by the Commons Assembly upon the nomination of candidates by the House of Lords. For the last four monarchies there had been no second candidate, essentially meaning they were elected upon the decision of the Lords. Only the leader of one of the noble Great Houses maybe nominated by the Lords, and only the Lords as described by the constitution, and they have no fixed term. It is largely to the discretion of the monarch at the time as to how long their reign shall be, the majority within history have reigned until death, some however have resigned as a consequence of political scandal and/or turmoil. The monarch can also petition the House of Lords to nominate and elect the next monarch. In most cases this is usually the monarch petitioning to have their heir become heir apparent to the Crown. The title and rank to a male elected to be the monarchs heir is the Crown Prince-Elect, for the female it is the Princess Royal. Both positions are placed of the greatest importance within the Court, after the monarch.
The monarch commands real executive power, but only as part of the balance between the Cabinet and the Parliament. The monarch can refuse Royal Assent to any Bill, which is an actively used power, can declare war, dismiss the cabinet and dissolve the parliament. Regarding the dissolution of parliament, it is only possible for an eventual election, as opposed to an effort to assume absolute power. Bills can also be composed by the monarch in concert with the cabinet or the shadow cabinet (which is rare), they are known as Special Bills. A Decree can also be made with immediate effect upon the advice of the Privy Council, although the constitution does not make this a bound custom it is instead a traditional convention. Generally the monarch commands many and extensive powers, and is particularly active in the politically world.
The official residence of the monarchy is the Royal Palace at Woolwich, which is situated within the capital city of Woolwich.
Traditionally the cabinet is formed upon the invitation of the monarch from the party that commands the largest share of seats within the Commons Assembly, but members can be also be seated within the House of Lords, which has become increasingly common. There is no Premier Minister of the cabinet as all members of the Cabinet are equal and also that the monarch is the executive and partakes in its business as often as the monarch allows themself. The position as First Lord and Second Lord does not equate to practical dominance within the cabinet but is traditionally within theory. A government has a fixed term of four years, and a limit of four consecutive terms.
Political System & InstitutionsEdit
House of LordsEdit
The House of Lords is the upper chamber of parliament where the members are there through hereditary privilege. Currently there are 425 members of the Lords, of which one is a member of the government: 3rd Earl Russel.
Members of the Lords have considerably more power and influence individually compared to their counterparts within the Commons Assembly. A Lords Bill can be formed by any member of the House and if it receives the minimum of two thirds of the vote then it does not need to go through the Commons Assembly to be passed. However if it fails to attract that number of votes it will enter the Commons and will need a majority to be passed. The Lords can also block any Bill from the Commons and only delay or amend a Special Bill from the monarch.
The Lords convene within the East Wing of the Royal Palace at Woolwich, located in the centre of the city of Woolwich. There exist no disciplinary methods for members of the Lords within the constitution, however, it is with convention that a peer who has had his name hit by scandal and sleaze would resign from the House and either resign from politics completely or become elected to the Commons Assembly.
The Commons Assembly is the lower chamber of parliament and it is where the majority of legislative activity is, as well as the majority of members of government sit.There are 600 members of the Commons who are elected to their seats every four years. Due to the limitations of the constitution only nationals who own property exceeding the sum determined by the Commons Electoral Commission may sit within the Commons; presently that is £500,000. That makes it somewhat impossible for a woman to sit within the Commons due to the social and cultural conventions of the Free Union, but there does a woman within the lower chamber. It also makes it absolutely impossible for any man, or woman, from the Lower Middleclass down to the Working Classes to take a seat.
The electorate is also a very limited percentage of the population. For a man, he must be over the age of twenty-three, and own property within the Free Union, of any value. For a woman, she must be over the age of thirty-five, have an acceptable education and own property within the Free Union, something which is quite difficult. Due to this you will find that the only women who are eligible to cast a vote are women of High Middleclass or Aristocratic society. For men it means the majority of the Working Classes are unable to vote. There hasn’t been any element of electoral reform since 1872.
Any member of the Commons can form a Members Bill, which will need a majority to pass through the Commons and another majority within the Lords to become law. The Commons Assembly is sat within the Howe-Ssex Hall (HSH) in central Woolwich.
Notable Political PartiesEdit
Pitt PartyEditThe Pitt Party is the largest political party and oldest within the Free Union. It was first unofficially formed in 1669 with two hundred and thirty-five Members of Parliament founding an alliance to the political ideals and direction of Thomas Pitt, in what was known as the Wettin Club named so after the village where they held their first meeting. It would be not till 1703 that the alliance would be officially cemented as a political party, the first of it’s kind. The party adopted the name of it’s founder Pitt.
The Pitts tended to garner the support of the great aristocratic families of the 18th and 19th century, and still do to an extent, although support has dwindled there as the party shifted toward the appeal of the gentry, industrialists and other business leaders.
The political programme of the Pitt Party is quite unique when compared to it’s younger brother the Free National Party and the largest opposing party the Whigs. The Pitts do not lend support to any particular denomination of Christianity, it used to be a firm supporter of the Catholic Church but abandoned the allegiance in 1903, although it is quite evident that the teachings of the Catholic faith remain well founded within the ideals of the Pitt Party, consequently leading to a split off of party members opposing the move who themselves then formed the Free National Party. The contemporary programme now encompasses free market policies, opposition to a fully nationalised health service, opposition to parliamentary reform, preservation of controlled immigration, evolving expansion of franchise as opposed to immediate, investment in public transportation.
For Foreign Policy the party has always been cautious and reluctant to eagerly align with foreign powers and alliances, instead opting to refine and develop relations with states independently that would ultimately serve to further the economic interests of the Free Union. The Pitt Party has maintained a majority within the Commons Assembly since the 1950's.
Number of seats within the Commons Assembly: 421
Number of members within the House of Lords (Although Parties are Prohibited from the Lords): 176
The Whigs form the HM Official Opposition within parliament. The party was formed in 1711 as an effort to halt the dominance of the Pitts in the Commons Assembly, the term originates from the Eastern Bamburghshire word of whiggamor meaning cattle, originally a negative connotation. Whigs were originally supported by landed gentry and acted to further advance and preserve the interests of the rural communities, hence the Whig term. The arrival of the First Industrial Revolution (and short) to the shores of the Free Union in the early 19th century paved the way for dramatic and revolutionary changes in agriculture that allowed the Whig Party to dominate politics through the first half of the 19th century.The dominance of the Whig Party during that period allowed many drastic elements of their political programme to be implemented that have had a profound effect on the evolution of the Free Union. Protestant emancipation, which continues to be slightly controversial to this very day, had considerable influence on the direction the country took economically and politically, which ultimately lead to the partial abolition of slavery in 1818. The advancements within agriculture that have allowed it to thrive and be a dominant export of the Free Union is attributed to the policies put in place at the time by the Whig Party.
Present day policies of the Whig Party place it within the centre-left of the Free Union political spectrum. They advocate the expansion of franchise, and while not fully and immediate, their policy is by far more progressive than the Pitts. The emancipation of ethnic minorities, which is strongly opposed by the Pitts and the Free National Party, as well as the Salisbury Coalition and the Fox-Labour Alliance. With many aspects of the Whig political programme consisting of classic liberalist ideals, the party does not fully support freedom of religion instead believing the encouragement of the Catholic Church within the Free Union, politically and socially, is a must.
While the Pitts foreign policy consists of being pacific and isolationist, in regards to international conflicts and disputes, the Whigs are more bellicose and imperialistic in their rhetoric, preferring to ally with powers to impose ideological will over unwilling states.
Number of seats within the Commons Assembly : 79
Number of members within the House of Lords (Although Parties are Prohibited from the Lords): 135
The Fox-Labour Alliance was itself two different parties until 1993, prior to that there was the Fox Party and the Labour Party.
The Fox Party, with the revelations on the appalling work and living conditions of the working classes as a consequence of the first period of industrialisation, demanded further commitments from the Whig Party on concrete action to address the damning situation. Foxites were originally part of the Whig Party, on it’s left wing, but due to the unwillingness of the Whig elites to act more heavily and decisively on the conditions of the poor, decided to break off with William Fox to form a new party in 1854.While the Fox Party were the more outspoken and demanding party within politics for the left, at the time they were deemed not as far-reaching enough. In 1903 the Labour Party was founded by wealthy union leaders to bring a political front to the issues that were on the minds of the unspoken millions; the working classes. The difference between the Fox Party and the Labour Party was evident at the dawn of the 20th century, however following several progressive laws and gradual improvement of living standards (but incredibly little), the Labour Party’s rhetoric and stance become more diluted and less radical. By 1983 the two parties were almost identical in their goals and aspirations, in 1993 they formed an alliance and became the third party.
There has never been a fully left leaning government, as no party on the left has held a majority, as such the influence of the FLA in the developments of the Free Union has been rather null. But the significance of the party is that the centre-leaning elites are finding themselves isolated within the party itself as more radicals are voicing concerns over lack of progress. Living conditions continue to be disgustingly contrast to the country's neighbours, and in some heaving labour towns, completely unbearable. Working conditions have improved by several notches, but children are still used within the workforce of several of the industrial cities, and there has been zero interest of adopting a minimum wage and maximum hours by the two main parties. The exploitation of uneducated working class women within large cities has risen sharply, and the frustration of unions having their influence and power marginalised is alarming.
Number of seats within the Commons Assembly : 53
Number of members within the House of Lords (Although Parties are Prohibited from the Lords): 5
Historically the Duchies of the Free Union were independent and sovereign territories that have become unified under various political movements throughout modern history.
At the conclusion of the Medieval Era, the territories of Salisbury and Southwark were made Duchies, with certain powers accruing to their Dukes. The Duchy of Salisbury was created in 1398, the 1st Duke of Salisbury was Thomas Talbot-Cecil-Villiers, and it was in recognition of his efforts and dedication in reinforcing the Breotish King’s control over Engellex. The Duchy of Southwark was established in the same fashion with Richard Bentinck as the 1st Duke of Southwark. Following a turbulent history under Breotish rule the Duchies of Rothermere, Keswick, Lennox and Devonshire, Grafton-Ormonde, and Rothesay were established through successive devolution of Crown authority to Engellexic nobles, in an effort to consolidate political factions into one powerful class that supported the Crown of Breotonia. The collapse of Breotish rule in Engellex followed with the seven duchies determining an independent and sovereign direction, until (????) with the formation of the Union of Greater Engellex. The first of such unions.
The Duchy of Rothesay has merged with the Crown of Engellex following the extinction of the Ducal line.
Despite the move away from geographic territories of Duchies in other countries in the Modern Era, within the Free Union, the Duchies remain distinct geographic and political, as well as, cultural territories that retain devolved legislative and executive institutions. The duchies each have a Congress acting as the legislative, forming legislation in areas and on concerns relating to the duchy itself, and alone. The Ducal Families continue to act as head of the duchies, providing the executive function for regional matters. Constitutionally, the executive is the Duke - the leader of the Ducal House. However, in recent times, notably the last hundred years, the duty of governance has increasingly fallen upon the shoulders of the Duchess Consort, or in Queen Charlotte’s case, the Duchess. This is due to multiple reasons, most importantly, the determination of the Dukes to the achievement of more of a national role in politics.
Therefore it is argued publicly, and without objection from the Establishment, of the fact that behind the face of their husbands, it is the Duchess Consorts who are fulfilling the need of executive authority, regionally.
The offices that form the duchy administrations are those on areas which are devolved, and, although they receive national focus, are constitutionally, the remit of the duchies. While not all of the duchies maintain identical offices, and, while not all have control in the areas usually devolved, the following are common departments between the duchies.
Privy Council of the Duchy of
Lord Chancellor of the Duchy of
Attorney-General of the Duchy of
Department of Public Education
Department of Public Health
Department of Public Welfare
President of the Board of Trade
President of the Board of Public Works for the Duchy of
Do note, the office of Lord Chancellor is to oversee the finances as determined by the constitution, and, to regulate the distribution of finance to the relevant departments of the duchy. The Lord Chancellor also forms a budget for the duchy they are responsible for, but, they do so alongside advice and with consideration from the Duchess, in some cases the Duke, and the Privy Council of the Duchy.
The Privy Council acts as the guarantor of the constitution within the duchies. What this means is to ensure that the national executive does not assume duties and powers that are not permitted to them by the constitution, unless with the full support of Parliament, and the Privy Council of the Duchy acts with the Attorney-General to maintain the boundaries as laid out by the constitution. But, also, the Privy Council works to see that the Ducal Family does not over dominate the political institutions, and sees that the legislative institutions remain independent of executive control, ie. the Duke or Duchess does not dictate legislation on a regional level.
Education, health, and, welfare are areas explicitly devolved to regional administrations. Although national there are government bodies known as boards that work to maintain a balance nationally in those areas. Recently, with support of the Parliament, the late Queen Georgiana assumed the responsibilities of health and welfare to a national level from the Duchy of Lennox and Devonshire following the outbreak of cholera, and the international outcry from it. On a similar note, the Duchy of Blois does maintain all of those offices due to the unique circumstance between the Duchy of Southwark and the Duchy of Blois, the latter being formerly part of the former, but only recently recognised as distinct. Therefore, many key offices are actually maintained by the Duchy of Southwark, and responsibilities they would have in Blois are actually performed by the offices belonging to the Duchy of Southwark. The areas include President of the Board of Trade, and the President of the Board of Public Works for the Duchy of Blois.
The Governance of the DuchiesEdit
The people who exercise the power within the duchies of the Free Union. The table is in order of precedence of the Ducal Families.
|12.8.10 – Present||Charlotte of the Free Union of Engellex and Blois, Queen, Duchess of Southwark, Duchess of Rothesay||Woolwich, Federal Capital of the Free Union, as Sovereign. The Ducal seat remains within the town of Southwark, within the Duchy of Southwark.||Louis de Brissac, comte de Harcourt, Prince of the Free Union, and Duke Consort of Southwark||Queen Charlotte of the Free Union, is also the Duchess of Southwark, and so, head of the House of Cavendish-Bentinck. Despite being the head of state of the Free Union, and, the National Executive, Queen Charlotte is highly regarded for being particularly dutiful toward her national and regional responsibilities. The Queen, as Duchess of Southwark, summons the Privy Council of the Duchy of Southwark every Tuesday and Thursday to perform her duties to the Duchy.|
|? – Present||Blanche Talbot-Cecil-Villiers, Duchess of Salisbury||Warlingham, Duchy of Salisbury||Edmund George Talbot-Cecil-Villiers, 13th Duke of Salisbury||The Duchess of Salisbury is regarded as the most liberal of the Establishment, and, is noted for her declination to not rely upon her status and background to gain achievement. Due to her political ambitions of gaining the vote for educated women, note not all women, within the Free Union, the Duchess is less engaged with her duties to the Duchy of Salisbury, compared to her counterparts, but, nonetheless exercises executive authority to the benefit of her people within the Duchy.|
|? – Present||Maude Bosville-Ellis, Duchess of Grafton-Ormonde||Eroll-Upon-Lewe, Duchy of Grafton-Ormonde||William Graham Bosville-Ellis, 11th Duke of Grafton-ormonde||While known locally as the ‘Iron Duchess’, the Duchess of Grafton-Ormonde is especially keen to perform her duties within the Duchy of Grafton-Ormonde. Her abilities to organise, and, maintain strict conduct within the governing institutions of the Duchy have allowed the Duchy of Grafton-Ormonde to become an example of excellence with regard to efficiency and quality. However, what the Duchess excels at is basically executive management, while also not performing well at all at public speaking and appearances.|
|? – Present||Sarah Spencer-Cuffe, Duchess of Rothermere||Harcourt, Duchy of Rothermere||War Secretary, Field Marshal Arthur Batten-Lyon, 12th Duke of Rothermere||The Duchess of Rothermere employs a great number of advisers, as well as, seeking counsel of experts before making even the smallest of decisions. The expense and inefficiency of this has allowed for wide criticsm. Despite this evident flaw in her performance, the Duchess dedicates herself as keenly as the Duchess of Grafton-Ormonde, which has allowed the living standards of the people of the Duchy to be beyond national average, along with Grafton-Ormonde.|
|? – Present||Harriet Seymour, Duchess of Keswick||Oxburgh, Duchy of Keswick||Admiral of the Fleet Henry Cunningham, 13th Duke of Keswick||The Duchess of Seymour's lack of effort, or interest, has allowed for the hold of Executive authority to slide from the hands of the Ducal family to the elected government in many areas. The Duchess has been approached countless times by many within the Court, and the Duke of Keswick has been motioned within the House of Lords over concerns that this may have constitutional repercussions. The Duke has since taken more interest in the Duchy management.|
|? – Present||Elizabeth Louisa Wyatt-Syon, Duchess of Lennox and Devonshire||Wells, Duchy of Lennox and Devonshire||Edward Charles Wyatt-Syon, 14th Duke of Lennox and Devonshire||The Duchess has come under increasing pressure since the cholera outbreak, and the political unrest, both originating in Sutherland. Her husband, the Duke of Lennox and Devonshire has been reprimanded by the late Queen Georgiana over her actions. The self-indulgence of the Duchess, and little interest in bringing relief to the great number of industrial poor has created a seriously negative image of the politically system in the Free Union, and, has encouraged a breeding ground for revolutionary groups.|
|? - Present||Cecilia Bulwer-Lytton, Duchess of Blois||Lisieux, capital of the Duchy of Blois||Richard Bernard Bulwer-Lytton, 2nd Duke of Blois||The Duchess of Blois, unlike her counterparts, performs the executive role within the Duchy alongside her husband, the Duke. This partnership has freed the Duchess to direct greater attention to need of education within Blois, which she has somewhat become a patron of the cause for. Her ideals of dedicating for public funding to schools for the working classes, and divorcing the national curriculum from the religion, has put her on a war path with the Archbishop of Southwark.|