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Region: Nordost Territory, Liberalia
Motto: Libertatem Quam Peperere Maiores Digne Studeat Servare Posteritas
Map: Map of Leonstein
Language|Official Language(s): Platt, German
Capital: Ahlen
Population: 3.082 billion
Currency: Leonsteiner Mark (LM)
Leader: Federal Erich Wenck
Stats: NSEconomy Pipian XML

The Federal Republic of Leonstein (the BRL) is a nation located on the eastern coast of Nordost in Liberalia. In recent years, it has gained a reputation for developing peaceful and progressive policy alternatives, as well as its movie industry.


[edit] People

The population of Leonstein is ethnically homogenous, but has in recent years been exposed to increased immigration. Originally populated by Germanic tribes and Viking settlers in the first millennium AD, modern Leonsteiners see themselves as a unique culture, shaped by its past and its future aspirations. Only today, more than 18 years after the era of conflict and war ended in the country do immigrants become a more common sight on the streets of Leonstein.

[edit] Language

The official language in Leonstein is a dialect of German, but particularly along the coast, Platt is also widely used. This language was first introduced by traders from Northern Germany (Hamburg in particular) who set up various trading businesses and warehouses in some cities. The link between Hamburg and particularly Ahlen was strengthened further when Ahlen became a member of the Hanseatic League.
Further inland, High German is the accepted language, but the government's strong focus on education has led to about 75% of the population being reasonably fluid in English as well.

[edit] Religion

First introduced to catholic Christian beliefs in 1123 AD, Leonstein has always been home to a variety of denominations. Today the dominant religion is Protestant Christianity, with Catholicism being more prevalent in the South. Other religious groups adhere to traditional Germanic heathen beliefs, Sunni-Islam and Orthodox Christianity. It must be noted however that the government has taken a strictly non-religious approach to politics in recent years, a move often criticised by lobby groups.

Od5IEy Is anybody strong in radio here? We need a colleague who would tell us briefly about the transistor T2. I hope there are radio amateurs here. If it`s not on the subject at all, then I`m sorry. I have to write because I have no choice. PS: if the spelling is not right then also I'm sorry, I'm just 13 years old!...

[edit] Government

The Federal Republic of Leonstein is, since its reunification in 1987, a democratic republic. It is formally a federation of 7 states and principalities, but various governments have reduced the power of state governments to near naught. The parliament (known as Bundestag) has 100 seats, with federal elections every four years determining the distribution. Furthermore the Bundesrat serves as upper house, with 50 seats. The Bundestag votes for the Federal Chancellor, who is the head of government and chooses his ministers.

See also:
Political Parties in Leonstein
Military of Leonstein

[edit] Economy

The restructuring of the formerly socialist south has been virtually completed in recent years, and former Chancellor von Bilgen had made it his goal to ensure that a modern social market economy can survive in a globalised world. This entailed a progrssive tax system with a focus on keeping non-wage labour costs low and financing retirement, welfare and health expenses directly through a mixture of tax earnings and subsidies on private provisions. This path has been largely abandoned by the much more free-market OLP, resulting in unprecedented economic growth but also increasing inequality.
Today the markets in Leonstein are among the most free in all of Liberalia, leading to incredible stories of personal success, but also many unfortunate tales of hardship.
The major industries in Leonstein are retail and IT, but recent uranium finds in the western mountains have opened another market. In recent years the emergence of a vibrant movie industry, particularly in Leonberg, often dubbed "Lollywood", has put Leonstein on the map internationally.

[edit] History

[edit] Early Settlement

The earliest archaeological findings along the eastern coast and islands suggest that the first Germanic settlers (most likely originating from what is today England and France) landed in today's Leonstein in between 400 and 500 AD. Some recent finds suggest that there had been earlier populations, however their cultural roots could so far not be identified. Little is known about life in these early Germanic towns, but there is little to suggest that their culture changed much from its origins. This changed however when Vikings, likely originating from Norway, settled on Leonstein’s coast. Often violent conflict followed, with the battle of Hugenord (approx. 850AD) the most prominent confrontation. But until the first arrival of Catholic priests in the 12th century Florianistan remained unknown to European culture, such that written records from the time before this are sparse.

[edit] The Middle Ages

The introduction of Catholicism and its strict order of feudalism merely served to reinforce the power of local warlords, both Germanic and Nordic, who now took to assuming the grace of god as justification for hereditary rule. Feudalism thrived in these years, and indeed, the first mention of the name “Leonstein” (Leon’s Rock) was found in a 1345 edict by Leon I. as the name of his grand castle. This king defeated a number of Viking leaders, and crowned himself Emperor of an area which encompassed much of today’s Leonstein. His dynasty held on to most of the land over the next 400 years.

[edit] The End of the Leonide Dynasty

With the 18th century beginning to change the social landscape to a large extent, and revolutions threatening a number of European kingdoms, Leonstein too came to an end. Two sons, who were meant to share the kingdom after their father’s death, fought each other bitterly over more than twenty years, until a popular revolt overthrew the house of Leon and instead resulted in a large number of smaller provinces coexisting peacefully. Over time it became clear though that the Industrial Revolution and Imperial Power would bypass the nation. While never being claimed by a European nation, the Leonsteiner states nonetheless remained powerless.

[edit] The First Republic

This state of obscurity and disunity continued until 1889, when the treaty of Ahlen resulted in the first Republic being declared. Modelled after the earlier French republics, the nation did have a large noble class, but gave power to popular representation. Obviously, the large wealth disparities, and the relative power of local nobility resulted in the peasants being excluded from the political process, a phenomenon reinforced by the 1895 introduction of an income-contingent suffrage. The first Republic survived both WWI and WWII by staying neutral and not getting involved, although ties to the Anglo-Saxon Allies became a predominant pillar of the ruling classes up until 1951.

[edit] Revolution

After 62 years of no political representation and a continued status as servants, the poor finally had enough. Inspired by successful revolutions in Eastern Europe and Asia, and anticipated successes in Africa and Latin America, the People's Front for a Democratic Leonstein (PFDL) was founded, and soon began its operations.
Initially a peaceful movement, the harsh treatment of dissenters by the ruling strata soon resulted in violent uprising. Roughly a year later a combination of attacks on Government institutions and campaigns of civil disobedience succeeded in bringing about the end of the First Republic. However, all was not well. The revolutionaries had split into two major factions: the Ordoliberals, who wished for a free country along capitalist lines, and the Communists, who instead wanted the establishment of a socialist republic. The irreconcilable tension between the two factions resulted in civil war by the end of 1952.

See also:
Leonsteiner Revolution

[edit] The Divided Country

February 1953 saw the final split between Communists and Liberals in the Ahlen conference. The Communist leadership had issued an ultimatum and when the Liberals rejected, the civil war began. It lasted until 1955, with approximately 700,000 dead, and was particularly gruesome due to the direct involvement of the civilian population. Militias raided and plundered aimlessly, and no conventions of warfare were adhered to by either side.
However, in May 1955 the sides signed a ceasefire, after both factions had come to the conclusion that neither side had a realistic chance of winning. The Communists, under their leader Max Bechtel, had succeeded in claiming the south of the nation for themselves, while the Liberals kept control of the north, as well as the capital Ahlen. From now on, Leonstein was split into the southern Socialist Republic of Leonstein (SRL) and the northern North-Leonstein Republic.
The peace only lasted until 1961, when tensions between the two states lead to an attack by the SRL and a second war, lasting four years after early offensives resulted in stalemate.
After a final attack by the South failed, peace talks began, and resulted in a definitive recognition of both countries' borders. A DMZ was created between the two, and all trade and contact was made illegal. Spies and intelligence agents were now the only ones still trying to pass.

See also:
First Leonsteiner War
Second Leonsteiner War

[edit] The Third Leonsteiner War

All was not well in the SRL. The socialist planned economy, which had served the country so well in the post-war years was now starting to crack under its growing weight. New developments in technology and weaponry meant that the state had to cut production of consumer items to steadily decreasing levels to keep up with the North. As a result, the populace became less and less content, occasionally beginning to protest against the Government.
By 1982 Max Bechtel had become old and frail, and rarely showed himself in public anymore. His popularity had reached new lows, and his position became untenable. After a student protest could only just be crushed without an international scandal, Bechtel died in his office in Zentralia's People's Headquarters. It is suspected that he was poisoned by his guards on orders of the party leadership, but this has not been proven.
His successor became Günther von Hagen, a young and energetic officer who had made a name for himself through party work and excellence in his political and military education. He had not been anticipated by the North, which failed to see how dangerous this man would be.
Hagen's first priority was to turn the SRL into a major military power. He believed that by crushing the rich North, the South could eliminate its productive shortages and move back on its path towards Communism. He termed his new ideology "Expansionist Socialism", and transformed the country into a war machine in a space of only two years.
His attack on the DMZ came in the early morning of the 13th of January 1984. A vast tank army moved forward, supported by unprecedented artillery- and aerial bombardment. Due to the concentration of the offensive, the line was quickly pierced, and huge parts of the Northern Army were encircled. Nonetheless, issues with the mobility and reliability of von Hagen's tanks slowed progress and allowed the North to regroup its remaining forces in order to strike back.
The counter-offensive was a success, and von Hagen found his forces pushed back as far south as Leonberg, with Zentralia under attack from missiles and bombers. With his victory threatening to go up in smoke, von Hagen launched a last desperate attack. It succeeded, and the Northern Forces retreated in sometimes less than orderly fashion, with the victorious Southern Army on its heels. The offensive was only stopped near Lemmburg, deep in Northern territory. It was here that the SRL expended its last strength, but failed to pierce the city's defensive perimeter.
Von Hagen was insane with rage and disappointment. Feeling everything was already lost, he issued the fateful order to bombard the city with nerve gas. Having been trained from young age, his elite troops did not hesitate, and executed his order with terrible efficiency. More than 200,000 citizens in Lemmberg died of the attack and its after-effects.

See also:
Third Leonsteiner War

[edit] Trauma, Peace and Unification

Life in all of Leonstein came to a halt. The attack was the single worst war crime the world had seen, and the true nature of the entire conflict was laid bare for everyone to see. Liberal party officials in the South rebelled almost immediately, removing elements loyal to Hagen, while the people took to the streets in their millions on both sides of the front. When Hagen's fanatic elite regiment was encircled by its own allies, most gave themselves up. Hagen made a dash for it, followed by about 50 of his most loyal soldiers, but was forced into the ruins of an old factory only about 20km south. In a final battle, every last one of the men was killed or committed suicide, and Hagen killed himself before he could be captured.
The war was immediately declared over by both sides. For another year or so the leadership in the SRL was divided as to how things should proceed, but eventually the proponents of unification won. On the 20th of October 1987 the Federal Republic of Leonstein was founded, with its first Chancellor the Northern candidate Udo Hessler.
Hessler mirrored the population with his demilitarisation and fostering of peace and compassion. The army was shrunk to a force of only 100,000 border security guards, and all traces of militarism were eradicated. At the same time, Hessler oversaw the creation of a new concept of Leonstein, where equal rights and equal opportunity were paramount, but the public interest was writ large. Imitating the concept of the "Social Market Economy", Hessler aimed to reconcile the differences between the welfare state and the pressures of globalisation. He died at the age of 84 while still in office in December 2003.
Wolfgang von Bilgen, Hessler's economics minister and vice-chancellor, followed him in office and immediately called for an election, which he won by a small margin. His controversial policy of reintroducing compulsory military service and a more active foreign policy have seen public opinion sharply divided, but it is largely accepted that Leonstein cannot forever close itself to the realities of the world, and that it is the duty of any nation to stop such events as the gassing of Lemmberg from occuring anywhere on the planet.

[edit] A new place in the world

Von Bilgen's reign was marked by changes both domestically and in foreign relations. Leonstein opened itself up to the world and soon realised that its size and enormous economic strength put it in a position of some influence in the region.

Still, the government was cautious and preferred to get involved in peaceful endeavours moreso than the conflict and competition that marked Liberalian politics at the time. It wasn't until Operation Helferling that Leonsteiner troops were actually deployed, despite the military having long since gained a position amongst the top few forces in the region.

Ultimately political infighting, scandals (particularly about Leonstein joing the Allies just as they began their campaign against Gmany and the LTO) and a gradual change in public opinion brought down the Social Democrats in the 2006 elections, with the OLP gaining a majority of seats. Von Bilgen's foreign policies were continued by the new Chancellor, Matthias Kasselbroek , but domestically the country devoted itself to more radical free market solutions.

The major break with tradition came when Leonstein actively took a position in the spat between the Allies on one side and Carops and Ardalia on the other about perceived aggression and a series of maneuvres, Operation Rattlesnake, held near the Ardalian border. Leonstein had clearly chosen sides and begun a long history of shaky relations with several regional powers, particularly Carops and the Pontanore.

Almost a logical consequence of this process was the decision to invade Joguk, communist dictatorship and longtime neighbour when the country announced its alliance with Carops during the beginning of the Third Liberalian War. Even though the military made good progress and ultimately defeated the Jogukian military, this war ultimately ended with a political defeat for Leonstein. When a de facto peace was announced, Chancellor Kasselbroek had resigned from office along with most of the government. A caretaker authority was provided by Forthampton, which had sided with Carops. Therefore there was a general feeling of being occupied in the country, which served to remind the people of Leonstein of the true effects of war. The new Chancellor Erich Wenck has announced that he will heed this lesson well and renounce the use of the military as a tool for everyday diplomacy.

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