The Holy Orthodox Empire of Marquette (Marquetien: Ел Терреъте Ортодоксо Дияъо Монтесса'но) is a constitutional monarchy located on the southwest peninsula of Norda, wedged between the Pacific Sea on the west and the Bay of Duresia on the east. It shares borders with Eurasia and Arveyres to the south.
Marquette is a unique country and is comprised of 9 principalities, each vying for power and influence with the king and Parliament. It is a very insular nation, and its foreign interactions are mostly limited to Arveyres and Eurasia. During its Golden Age, Marquette had small city-state colonies dotting the globe, but they have all since gained their independence.
The name Marquette comes from the Eurasian Empire which invaded in the second century BCE. It literally means "marketplace" and was given due to the importance of trade to the natives, and because every city's focal point is its expansive market.
To an outsider, Marquette's history is the history of a quiet, modest nation, punctuated with brief eras of excitement. While this is often the case, there is alwas an underlying current of action taking place in one section of society or another.
The coasts of Marquette are abundant and have some of the best soil in the world. They are lush and green and are able to provide the nation with the majority of its food supply, promoting Marquette's initiative of self-sufficiency.
However, there is a stark contrast between the coastal regions and the inland. The Brìca Mountains prevent moisture from moving east, and has turned most of the inland into tundra. In these deserts, however, one of the world's largest reserves of crude oil has been found.
The Marquetien government has taken many progressive measures to prevent the degradation of the tundra by unethical oil extraction methods, and actively protects the environment throughout the nation, funding several gargantuan national parks.
Marquette has two major climates:
- A temperate climate on the coasts. These regions experience every season. Temperatures in the warmer months average around 70-80 degrees F and 20-30 degrees F in the colder months.
- A vast tundra in the inland. Very bare and dry and mostly uninhabited. Temperatures in the warmer months average around 50-60 degrees F and -10-10 degrees F in the colder months.
The Bureau of Industry and the Bureau of Environment are constantly combating for influence over the natural resources of Marquette. While Marquette boasts a highly industrialized and advanced economy, the government enforces 20 Green Days a year, where cars are banned from major cities and factories and other sources of pollution are prevented from operation. There is also an enforced tax on carbon emissions, and oil production is limited to 4.5 million barrels a day.
The government of Marquette is officially a republican monarchy with both elected and non-elected officials sharing equal power. There is a hierarchy of landed aristocracy that have different responsibilities at each of the five different levels of Marquetien government, and there is a one-chambered body at each level.
The Marquetien federal government consists primarily of a single house -- the Senate, consisting of 170 members. 135 members are elected in single-member districts by a majority runoff, nine members inherit their seat via seniority from within the nine princely families, and 27 members are appointed.
The government of Marquette is officially a republican monarchy with both elected and non-elected officials sharing equal power. There is a hierarchy of landed aristocracy that have different responsibilities at each of the five different levels of government, and there is always a one-chamber elected body at each level.
The Marquetien federal government consists primarily of a single house -- the Senate, consisting of 171 members. 135 members are elected in single-member districts by a majority runoff, nine members inherit their seat via seniority from within the nine princely families, and 27 members are appointed by Gentle Factions, as members of the gentry are not allowed to join political parties as of the Constitution of 1682. The elected members serve terms of four years, the inherited members have a seat for life, and the appointed members serve terms of ten years.
At the federal level of Marquetien government, there are the two seats of the executive:
- Head of State -- the king is elected in a majority runoff race, but only the nine Princes are eligible to run. The king serves for a term of 20 years, and makes all final decisions regarding the military and the nation's foreign policy, and represents the Marquetien people globally.
- Head of Government -- the chancellor is elected every six years in a majority runoff race. All native-born Marquetiens above the age of 35 are eligible to run. The chancellor sets the pace for domestic policy on the senate floor, and is responsible to uphold the Principles of Stability within Marquette. The chancellor is also responsible for approving or vetoing legislation passed by the senate.
The Senate, consisting of one house:
- A total of 171 members, consisting of 135 members elected from a majority runoff, the nine princes, and the 27 apointed members.
- The 27 members of the senate who are appointed are members of the gentry. Every ten years, each faction's number of allotted seats is redetermined through popular vote.
- Drafts and votes on legislature, their laws are federally binding and are only checked by the High Court.
And lastly, the High Court:
- Consists of 13 members who serve for life and are appointed by the chancellor
- Ensures the Principles of Stability are enforced in the senate's general leadership of the country
Marquetien politics is heavily splintered, with several different parties and factions vying for control of the senate. The constitution of 1682 forbids the unelected senators from joining political parties, thus they are organized into opposing factions.
- Independence Party -- 53 senators
- Unionist Party -- 34 senators
- Green Marquette Party -- 23 senators
- Democratic Union Party -- 19 senators
- Social Advancement of Marquetien Workers Party -- 6 senators
- Conservative Faction -- 10 members
- Unionist Faction -- 15 members
- Green Faction -- 11 members
While not legally allowed to become unified, each faction works closely with its affiliate party.
The Marquetien military is split into three branches, the Air Force, the Army, and the Navy. The military is under the complete discretion of the king, who acts as commander-in-chief. The king appoints several other senators to serve on his Council of Defense, whose duty it is to advise him.
The military receives dozens of billions of dollars a year in private investment and the vast majority of its funding is directed towards technological advancements. It enjoys one of the most technologically sophisticated militaries, thanks in large part to donations from Eurasia and Duresia, and its nuclear program is also a product of Eurasian aid.
Marquette is home to a very robust economy, and enjoys some of the lowest corporate and personal income taxes in the world, making it the go-to place for multinational corporations to do business. Low regulation on industry and commerce have also allowed it to surpass many of its neighbors, however, regulations on the environment are rigidly enforced.
Much of Marquette's econmic success is due to to the massive oil reserves in the tundra, as well as offshore drilling on the west coast. The oil company MarqOlo is the only state-owned enterprise, and all of the major princely families have significant shares, ensuring that no one faction within the government has too much influence over its dealings.
The information technology sector has seen a boom since the advent of the Internet, and some of the most well-renowned tech companies are strung along the west coast.
Marquette is mostly homogeneous, with 96.5% of the population claiming Marquetien heritage. 2.3% are Arveyran, while the other 1.1% are of other ethnicities.
There are two official languages: Marquetien and French. Marquetien is spoken in everyday use by the majority of the population and is the language of commerce. French, on the other hand, is spoken by the upper nobility and is the language used in all levels of government.