The Empire of Denmanth was created in the year 00 AD by the treaty of Minaret. In it 21 duchies joined to form a single Empire. The Emperor is elected by the 21 dukes (during a meeting known as a 'Conclave') and serves for life while retaining his position as a Duke.
The Empire has a strong committment to religion, as can be seen by the fact that it was illegal not to be a member of the Church of Denmanath until the pasage of the Religious Freedom Act 1900. The Church is still a very wealthy, powerful and influencial body that is still actively involved in government, though the Church's Bible isn't the same as other 'evangelical' bibles.
The people of Denmanath are know as Denmanathens. Their language is English.
Geographically Denmanath is a vast and varied region occupying the Denmanathen Peninsula. It stretches from the sandy beaches of Pryss and the Quell Islands in the North to the rich farmland of Delter in the South, the metropolis of Minaret in the East and the Mountains of Freece in West. All in all this vast expanse covers roughly 10m kilometres squared. It has a population (according to the 2002 census) of 800,000,000 (75% urban). 5% of the population lives in Minaret the capital city and centre of commerce.
The country is a democracy but it is also a constitutional monarchy, the Emperor more than a mere figure-head and the Duchies have powers defined in the Constitution and it is up to them how they administer them, 5 Duchies have no Parliament and the Duke holds the power in all but one of those Duchies, (an elected Chancellor holds most of it in one).
The people of Denmanath are known as Denmanathens. They are decsended from the ancient Kranntum People that inhabited the peninsula 12,000 yrs ago.
The Empire of Denmanath has one official Church, the Church of Dnmanath. The Church holds a privileged position within society. For 1600 years it was illegal not to be a member of the Church without the permission of your Duke, and even so you still needed to pay the tithe to the Church unless it had been waived by your Bishop. The Religious Freedom Act 1900 changed all of this, and made it possible to worship whatever god, if any, one wanted. However a licence is still required in order to operate as a 'Church Hierarchical' so far only the Church of Denmanath and the Ervonsa Catholic Church have been granted this right.
Church of DenmanathEdit
The Church of Denmanath was formed by the Treaty of Daffnum in 100 AD. This was as a result of the Emperor at the time, Vilmus I being a second-generation Christian. There were by that time only seven Christian Dukes and so the universal imposition of a Church would have been difficult. A compromise was reached in the Treaty of Daffnum.
The main points of the Treaty were:
- The Church of Denmanath was created with a heirarchy headed by the Emperor
- If the Emperor was not Christian then he must nominate any Christian Duke to head it.
- No Duke or Emperor could impede its mission, confiscate its lands, prevent it from operating within their juridstiction
- The Curch could not impose Christianity opun the people without the consent of the Duke
- The Duke could not impose Christianity opun his people nor any other religion
- The Duke had no right to appoint the Bishop of his Duchy/Diocese.
- There could be no ecclesiastical courts
- There could be no persecution of Christians or pagans.
- The Church could not interfere in the affairs of State.
- The Church could not force anyone to pay a tithe though it could excommunicate its members for not doing so.
The Treaty made quite clear that there could be no religious intolerance. This was however in the early days of the Church. It was successful in its efferts to convert the masses (and the nobility) and by 150 AD 70% of the population had converted to Christianity, from the date of signature of the Treaty of Daffnum no pagan Emperor was elected to the Throne.
By 200 AD it was estimated that between 95-98% of the populace were Christian. Under pressure from the Archbishop of Minaret, Archbishop Wilfernus Durade, the Emperor Sermus III called a treaty convention in 299 AD regarding the powers of the Church. It granted the Church sweeping powers including the right to hold ecclesiastical and 'cannon' courts, though the cannon courts could only try clergy and religious where as the ecclesiastical ones could try anyone for crimes such as heresy, blasphemy etc. It made it illegal not to be a member of the Church without a dispensation from the Duke even so a tithe still had to be paid by everyone, regardless of whether they were members or not (unless the bishop waived it of course). It made clear that all Dukes and Emperors must be members. It granted the Church so much power that it informally became known as the 'Durade Treaty' after the Archbishop who was instumental in its enactment. Its official name is the 'Treaty of Henfanto CCXCIX'
Over the centuries the Church became synonomous with government, few Emperors were elected if the Council of Bishops had voiced their opposition to a candidate, bishops were often second only to the Duke in terms of wealth in their diocese and bishops were often made Privy Councillors and Prime Ministers.
The abbots and abbesses were no diferent and abbeys often controlled vast estates. By 1700 20% of the land in Denmanath was owned by the monastries, and a further 15% by the rest of the Church. In other words the Church owned as much land as all the Dukes combined.
The Church had huge moral authority as in most rural parishes the priest and the squire's family were usually the only literate people in the village. People asked him to write will and read documents etc. he was trusted by the parisheners and if he had the squire's backing few would question him.
With the decline in Imperial power in the seventeenth century the Church's power did at first suffer slightly, however the Church did bounce back and wasted no time in adapting to a new form of politics.
It retained most of its power through the eightteenth and nineteenth centuries though admittedly democratisisation did result in less high offices for Church leaders, especially in the 1700s, by 1900 there were far fewer bishops and other Churchmen in high office than in 1600.
In the 20th century the Church did its best to hold on to power, at a time when Church power was in decline in other countries the Church of Denmanath stayed strong.
The Church has never had all of the same 'moral' objections as other Christian Churches, it has never voiced any negetive teachings on issues such as homosexuality (it has blessed gay marriages since 1900) and contraception.
It has its own version of the Bible, first approved in 103 AD and it has changed little since then, and hasn't changed at all since 776 AD.
Mass is in English as is the Bible. The ultimute authority on matters of doctrine is the Emperor (technically the Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of Denmanath, however the Emperor holds this title ex oficio.
The Church of Denmanath is hierarchical with the Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of Denmanath at its head, in theory at least, (the Emperor holds this office ex oficio). Underneath him is the Archbishop of Minaret, the Archbishop is the real head of the Church as most Emperors take little interest in actually running the Church and allow the Archbishop to do with it what he pleases. In practice the only decisions made by Emperor are appointments of bishops and other such major matters. The Emperor can dismiss the Archbishop (and any person of any rank in the Church) but this is rare in practice.
The Emperor is the absolute ruler of the Church and can do whatever he pleases with it, he can excommunicate members, dismiss bishops, defrock clergy etc.
A distinction should be made between the 'Ordinary Church' and the 'Orders Religious'. The formert refers to the system of parishes and diocese etc. whereas the latter refers to monks and nuns and their orders.
The Ordinary Church is organised into a system of diocese, archdeaconries, deaneries and parishes.
Every parish has a Parochial Committee which is elected annually by the General Parish Vestry which consisits of every Church member in the parish. It has a parish priest at its head, often assisted by one or more curates. The PP along with the Comittee run the parish.
The next tier is that of deanery. Every parish belongs to a deanery (the deanery seat itself is one of the constituent parishes). The deanery seat is fixed (ie the PP of the deanery seat is the ex oficio dean of the deanery not the other way around. The Deanery Council (DC) consists of all the clergy in the deanery and one lay representitive for each clergyman representing each parish (eg if the parish of North Bowlder has 1 PP and 2 curates then 3 lay reps are chosen to be on the DC). The Deanery Chapter consists of the Deanery Council minus the lay reps. Every Deanery has 4 parishes (including the seat)
The tier directly above that again is the of archdeaconry. Unlike a Dean an Archdeacon holds a 'personal' appointment (ie he does not hold the title by virtue of any other Church). He is not a PP. He is the representitive of the bishop. He is in many ways similar to an area bishop as his jurisdiction is limited to geographical boundries. However, unlike an area bishop all the deaneries of a diocese belong to an archdeaconry and archdeacon hold far less power than an area bishop (in theory at least). Theoretically, the power of an archdeacon extends only as far as the bishop permits it to and the bishop can dismiss and appoint archdeacons at any time (in theory at least, though in reality the Archbishop and others are consulted first). The Archdeaconry Synod consists of every dean in the archdeaconry plus 3 parish priests and 4 laymen from each deanery.
The power of the archdeacons has dwindled in recent years, for centuries most bishops were either absentee or as good as, they [the bishops] took the position because of the money and power it gave them, not because they had vocations. They neglected their diocese in order to persue their careers in politics. As a result the archdeacons were the effective governors of the diocese, the Lord Archdeacon (the bishop's official deputy) was at their head. As a result bodies such as Archdeaconry Synods were introduced along with Houses of Archdeacons in every Diocesan Synod. In the mid 20th century however, things began to change. Bodies such as Archdeaconry synods and Houses of Archdeacons still exist but are less powerful. The title of 'Lord Archdeacon' still exists but since the Archdeaconry Reform Measure 1970 it is a purely honourary title (on paper that is).
Then there is the tier of diocese. The bishop is the headf of the diocese and has ultimute responsiblity for the financial well-being of the diocese. No piece of land may be sold without his permission and he is responsible for the Pastoral Bounty of the diocese. All parish, deanery and archdeaconry accounts must be submitted to his office (it should be noted that parishes have to submit accounts to the deanery and archdeaconry as well). In recent years bishops have begun to concentrate more on their diocese and less on their political careers (which have collectively taken a battering since the 1700s). The diocesan synod is more complicated than the archdeaconry one and is organised as follows:
- House of Archdeacons
- House of Priests
- House of Laity
Note: since the Diocesan Synod Reform Measure 1901 the House of Deans has merged with the House of priests.
The chambers generally meet and vote together in a 'joint sitting'. However is either the bishop, a majority of one house or one fifth of the request a 'vote by house' then they must vote seperately though they debate the motion together. If either the bishop, a majority of one house or one third of the assembled request a 'sitting by house' then they must debate and vote opun the motion seperately.
Voting by house:
No house approves a motion: It is defeated
One house approves: Bishop may sign it but if 2 houses over-ride his signature it is defeated. If he doesn't sign it, it is defeated
Two houses approve: Bishop may veto the motion, he may also sign it
All three houses approve: Bishop must sign it
Voting by house is rare. The bishop may however, if the Synod isn't voting by house, veto the motion.
The Archdiocese of Minaret is no different to the other diocese, it merely holds a different title, it is however the diocese of the Archbishop of Minaret (commonly; the Archbishop) who is generally the most powerful of the bishops and the real ruler of the Church.
The Government of Denmanath can be divided into the Federal and the Duchies.
The powers of both are outlined in the constitution below.
The Constitution was created along with the Holy Empire by the Treaty of Minaret in 00AD, though it is seperate from the Treaty.
It is the highest authority on all legal and governmental issues despite being over 2000 years old.
The Constitution contains 7 'parts' totaling 74 articles and over 750 sections and over 2000 subsections making it an extremely long constitution.
However, it wasn't aloways this long, when it was first enacted it was only a third of the size it is today, today it is the longest constitution in the region. This is due to 2000 years of amendments (numbering 803 in total, including 101 repealed and 22 repealed and later re-instated and one reapealed, re-instated and then repealed again).
Process of AmendmentEdit
There have been 803 amendments in 2000 years. The process of amendmenting it is however, unchanged in those 2000 years.
The 'Constitutional Bill of Amendment' is introduced. This can be in the form of a petition (from a Duke or the Emperor to Congress (by tradition the Assembly)) a Senator may introduce such a bill to the Senate and an Assemblyman to the Assembly.
If the bill is accepted by the relevant house (majority vote required) it is then debated if it is passed (majority vote required) it proceeds to the other house, here it is debated again and voted opun again.
If it is passed by both houses then it proceeds to the Great Council which meets in a 'Session of Constitutional Amendment Proposed' if it is passed by majority of the Council it 'goes to the Duchies'
14 Duchies must approve the amendment. The way in which this is done is down to the particular Duchy, the Federal Govt has no control over the treaties individual 'Ratifications of Constitutional Amendments Federal' as they are known. In most Duchies that have parliaments the parliament decides, in 4 duchies it is voted opun by a referendum and in one the Duke decides. If it is not approved by the necessary 14 within 18 months of 'going to the Duchies' then the amendment is considered defeated. There is no means by which a Duchy can 'vote against' an amendment as if it doesn't ratify it then it is a de facto vote against as it makes it harder for the necessary 14 to be reached. If 14 Duchies approve before the 18 month deadline then it may go immediately to stage 5.
If the 14 Duchies have approved the amendment then it goes before the Emperor. He can grant a dispensation for the amendment to be accelerated to stage 5 before the 18 month deadline if the necessary number of Duchies have ratified it. Then the Emperor may either accept or veto the amendment. He has however, only vetoed a few amendments that have got to this stage, and no amendment has been defeated at stage 5 since 1635. Once he signs the amendment it is the law of the land.
The Emperor is chosen by the 21 Dukes (collectively know as the Great Council). Opun the death of the Emperor the Dukes customarily travel to Minaret and 3 days after the funeral they meet in the Conclave House (a building within the Royal Quater of the Imperial Kremlin), there they discuss the succession and cut off contact with the outside world. They are ballotted every morning and every evening starting the next day until one candidate receives 14 votes. After 28 unsuccessful ballots all but the 2 candidates with the most votes are eliminated, if then neither candidate receives 14 votes then one final ballot is held and whichever of the 2 that received that majority wins. Theoretically it can take up to 16 days to elect one though that has not happenned in 150 yrs.
The successful candidate is presented to the outside world from the accession balcony and a week of celebration begins. He is eventually crowned (a few months later) and inaugurated as the Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of Denmanath. He is re-creowned every year by tradition.
A distinction should be made between theoretical power and power in practice.
Theoretically he can call a meeting of the Great Council, grant pardons, veto bills from Congress, grant and revoke titles (eg Sir, Baron), act as commander-in-chief of the military and issue decrees and Orders Imperial.
In practice the Emperor takes little part in running the military and rarely issues decrees nowadays. He does however hold a near absolute veto of Bills of Congress, as his veto can only be over-ridden by the Great Council if it is pettitioned to do so by 2/3 vote of the Senate, therefore a veto hasn't been over-ridden in 200 yrs.
He is the ex oficio Governor of Wentwestor of a significant section of Minaret (the Historical, Business and Government districts).
He is also the ex oficio Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of Denmanath. As such he is also a titular bishop (Bishop of Wentwestor) and has the right to wear a white 15- tassled galero (a symbol of his position as governor) and a mitre (a symbol of his position as bishop).
The Privy Council is an advisary body to the Emperor, it has no political power and isn't recognised by the constitution though it is recognised under the Privy Council Decreee 1296 d'Emperor Rupurto V (the origin of the 'd is obscure and is an ancient custom, it means of). Its members are Privy Councillors and use the 'PVC' after their names. Its members are appointed at the discretion of the Empeor. They are paid a handsome salary by the Crown Imperius. Meetings are held in secret apart from ceremonies
Due to the age of the office many titles have built up over the years, some are offices of power where as others are purely ceremonial.
Here is the complete list
Offices and titles temporal:
Emperor of the Holy Empire of Denmanath
Duke of (Name of Duchy)
Governor of Wentwestor*
President of the Great Council
Knight of Glin**
Successor of the Witnesses of the Union Treaty**
Supreme Guardian of the Constitution**
Supreme Governor on Earth of the Church of Fronceirno
Bishop of Wentwestor***
Ambassador of God on Earth in Denmanath**
High Defender of the Faith#
- largely ceremonial
- purely ceremonial
- Diocese of Wentwestor doesnt exist, he is a titular bishop.
- Purely Ceremonial. Dukes have the title Defender of the Faith
The Imperial Congress, commonly reffered to as Congress, is a bicameral body with an upper house ((Imperial) Senate) and a lower house ((Imperial) Assembly).
In order for a bill (excl. money bills) to become law it needs to be approved by a majority vote of both houses. The Prime Minister is usually a Senator as is most of the Cabinet though there is no constitutional requirement for the PM to be a member of either house, though in modern times it's very unusual for him not to be.
Due to the different ways in which the houses are elected it is not uncommon for there to be two different controlling parties in each house. The Tories have an advantage in the Senate due to the fact that they have an advantage in rural areas and nearly all dukes support them. The PM is therefore often a Tory.
The houses can be dissolved at any time by order of the Emperor, though the Constitution dictates that a Congress may serve more than four years. All members of both houses risk losing their seats every time Congress is dissolved.
The Imperial Senate consists of 126 members. 6 Senators represent each duchy. It is up to the individual duchies to decide how the senators are (s)elected.
The Constitution makes plain the fact that the duchies and only the duchies can decide how they run their own affairs and select their senators. In 4 duchies all the senators are chosen by the Duke. In one the duchy is split up into 5 districts and the candidate with the most votes is elected and the final one is chosen by the Duke. In 6 duchies the Parliament elects the senators and in the remaining 10 the senators are elected by various means.
The approval of the Senate is required in order for the bill to continue on for Imperial Assent. Custom, though not law, dictates that 'money' bills be introduced in the Assembly, they are however debated opun in the Senate as well as the house.
Other duties of the Senate include impeachment. The Assembly must first impeach the official and the Senate trys the impeachment. A two-thirds majority is needed to remove the official. If a 'Verdict of Impeachment' is passed then the official is removed. The Senate may the vote to pass a 'Disqualification opun Impeachment' for which a majority is required
The Imperial Assembly consists of 1600 Assemblymen. They are 'sent' from the duchies. Unlike the Senate, the number of Assemblymen sent by each Duchy depends on the population of the Duchy. Every five years the Great Council meets formally in a 'Session of Congressional Apportionment (SCA) to discuss the apportionment of the Assembly, this includes the overall number of Assemblymen and how many each Duchy will have. Their finished plan is known as a Bill of Congressional Apportionment-in-Council. This bill must then be approved by the Senate of the day (as such bills affect the Assembly but not the Senate) before becoming an Act of Congressional Apportionment-in-Council. The Senate may also petition the Emperor to hold an SCA as can a Duke. The Emperor can call an SCA at any time.
In order for a bill to be passed it must be approved by both the Assembly and the Senate. If it fails to be passed by the Assembly then it is defeated.
'Money bills' are customarily introduced in the Assembly, though legally it has no more power over them than it does any other bill.
In order for a 'Charge of Impeachment' to be brought a 'Bill of Impeachment' must first be passed by the Assembly. A 'Trial of Impeachment' is then held by the Senate.
The 21 Duchies of Denmanath form the tier of government immediately below that of the Federal Government (Fed Govt of Fed). They are responsible for health, social welfare and everything not given to the Fed Govt in the Constitution. They are responsible for running their own affairs and the Fed is forbidden to interfere in them. The powers of the Dukes vary from Duchy to Duchy.
Each Duchy has a Duke and 'Derbfinna'. The Derbfinna is an ancient word that refers to the family of the Duke. The eldest son automatically becomes Duke on his father's death. If the Duke has no sons then his eldest brother becomes Duke. If he has no brothers then his eldest daughter becomes 'Duchess Regnant'. If he has no daughters then the closest reletive becomes Duke.
The fact that the Duke's brother takes precedence over his daughter in the succession means that Duchesses Regnant are reletively rare. This is reflected on the Great Council and there have only been 7 Emperesses Regnant in the 2000 years of Union.
Those ineligable for the position of Duchy (besides those who are not in line to succeed in the first place) are: those who are already the incumbents of a Duchy, those who are members of Congress and those who are Federal Judges/Justices.
If the succession cannot be settled within the Duchy then the Treaty of Minaret gives the Great Council the right to 'take the Duchy into trust'. Once the Council has selected a Duke the succession continues as per normal. This usually takes place when the Dukedom is handed from one family to the next
Dukes may name a successor (other than the heir apparent) but only if the Great Council permits it.
The Emperor retains his position as Duke opun his election to the Imperiana (Imperial Throne). Technically it is in this capacity that sits on the Great Council as the Emperor himself technically doesn't have a vote. If he was to relinquish his position as Duke then he would also have to stand down as Emperor as the Treaty of Minaret states that the Emperor must be a member of the great council. The position of 'President of the Great Council' is legally seperate to that of Emperor, though by custom the Emperor is always elected to that position (albeit in his capacity as a Duke).
List of DuchiesEdit
|NAME||POP. (m)||R||AREA KM2||R||DENSITY/km2||R||WEALTH||PO. DESCRIPT.||DUCAL POWERS||PARLIAMENT|
|Minaret||80||1||10,000||19||8,000||1||1||Mixed||Fairly Limited||Yes, bicameral|
|SouthLoúre||65||4||4||Fairly Mixed||Medium||Yes, unicameral|
There is freedom of speech in Denmanath. There are three main political parties at Federal level; the Conservative Union Party (commonly 'the Tories') and the Labour Party and the Socialist Party.
The Tories are associated with the free-market movement and with moderate conservativism, they oppose the erosion of the Church's power to any great extent, however neither the Church nor the Tories are particularly interested in 'Bible-Shoving'.
The Labour party is a left-wing party that is closely associated with the Trade Union Movement. It has most of its base in the Morum and has traditionally had very poor results in the Jutland and Runddel. It wasn't until 1978 that the first Labour Assemblyman was elected outside of the Morum and 1989 before its first ex-Morum (outside of Morum) senator was elected. In terms of policy it is very closely linked to the Socialists.
The Socialist party is another left-wing party that has traditionally had a very strong base in ex-Morum. Although it has had more success in Morum than Labour has had in ex-Morum its base still isn't a solid there as Labour's. Of all the Federal parties the Socialists are the most critical of Church influence, until recent years the Church regularly included 'pray for the demise of evil and the fall of Socialism' during its 'Prayers-in-Request of Earthly Aid'.