|Republic of Ashkenatza|
רעפובליק פון אשקענאצא
Republik fun Ashkenatza
|Motto: The Eternal Maroon Republic|
|Anthem: Ode to Joy, Zog nit Keynmol|
|13.6.4 - Present|
|Largest city||Benaciastadt, Romersk, Mazeltov, Klymenburg, Nueva Sinagoga|
|Official language(s)||Yiddish, Ladino, Tellian (official), English (administrative)|
|- Nohsi (נשיא) of Ashkenatza||16th Nohsi|
|Establishment||4th August 2008|
|Currency||Ashkenatzi Shekl (ש)|
|National website||Ashkenatzi Website|
|National forum||Ashkenatzi Forum|
|National animal||Eagle, 'Gustavus the Bear'|
|National food||Lox & Cream Cheese Bagel|
The Republic of Ashkenatza (æʃkɛnɑːtɑː) was founded in August 2008 as an experiment in creating a Jewish micronation along the lines of Yiddish and Ashkenazi Culture. Today, Ashkenatza remains an active and prosperous micronation and is an important member of the intermicronational community, known particularly for its cultural development. Modern Ashkenatza is greatly influenced by its adherence to the political philosophy of Maroonism.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Politics
- 4 Foreign Relations
- 5 Culture
- 6 Economy
- 7 Military
- 8 Media
The Republic's short history has been surprisingly eventful- a concise record of it can be found below:
Foundation and Annexation of Tellia
August 2008 - August 2009
Ashkenatza's appearance on the micronational stage in August 2008 was during a time of great confusion for the Anglophone Micronational community- the death of Lovely, the Grand Commonwealth, the MCS-GSO divide and the imminent closure of the Micronational News Network MNN made it very difficult to recruit new citizens, leaving Ashkenatza's citizen base a very particular one, mainly old Matbaics and Babkhans.
Ashkenatza's first intermicronational step was claiming land on Benacia, immediately drawing its foreign relations closer to Shireroth, and balancing the Ashkenatzi-Babkhan closeness which had been forming. Babkhan economic and military support to Ashkenatza was highly important, as was contact with Ashkenatza's neighbour Tellia, who shared similar concerns about possible Amokolian belligerence to the North. There had, however, been disagreements with Tellia regarding land expansions, and although Tellia eventually capitulated to Ashkenatzi ownership over the Southern Litovina area, Ashkenatza guaranteed the constitutional rights of ethnic Tellian citizens living there.
The Central Benacian Conference held in Shirekeep was ultimately unsuccessful. Amokolian dignitaries refused to recognise Ashkenatzi rights and in a generous but ill-calculated move, Ashkenatza ceded regions of its Volhyrian province to Batavia, as compensation for Batavia being unable to participate in the Conference. This would later cause territorial disputes between the two nations, only rectified when Batavia created Ashkenatza Minor, an autonomous region for Ashkenatzi Jews who found themselves under Batavian rule as a result of the conference. Nonetheless, the increasingly interventionist foreign policy of the time, credited with the proclamation of the Yiddishkeyt Declaration, eventually led to a short and bloody war with Tellia in January 2009 near to the end of Krakowski's term as Nohsi (and the nation's first Constitutionally mandated leadership since the end of the Provisional Government, also headed by Krakowski, in September 2008), using oppression of Ashkenatzim in a Tellian region referred to as 'South Litovina' (later to become a province in its own right after annexation) as a casus belli. By this time, the Rozenkhan Protocols, a military alliance between Ashkenatza and Babkha, had been signed and with the help of Babkhan military advisors and armaments, Ashkenatza annexed the Kingdom of Tellia, renaming its capital Romersk and putting its King, Christopher I, under house arrest for allegedly starting the conflict. He would later take the Ashkenatzi name Chaim Wajnstein and become one of the nation's most prominent politicians. Babkha's participation in the conflict earnt it a strategically important port in Southern Tellia, named Bandar-e-Rozenkhan in honour of the pact. The Tellian question would always remain a heated topic in Ashkenatzi politics, as Tellian provinces were reduced to a heartland of the former Kingdom, and large areas of the Trans-Elwynn became a military frontier with Amokolia, with whom there were diplomatic difficulties.
For the Republic of Ashkenatza to fully realise its aspiration to create a multi-ethnic yet democratic imperium on the Benacian continent it will have to acknowledge fully its actions in the past which have brought it to its present state and also address the consequences of those actions lest if fall victim in the long run to the centrifugal forces of regional nationalism. Failure to do so could bring the Imperial Age of the Republic to a shattering and destructive downfall.
Moshe Goltz's first term as Nohsi under a Bundist leadership in February 2009 saw a consolidation of security forces with the creation of the Oberzekh'er Byuro under the Beth Din and, with Pachad Emet ben Mavet as Defence Minister overseeing further military development. A Constitutional Convention and the introduction of Jewish holidays as national holidays were the only noteworthy events in Goltz's first Premiership, which was quickly followed by a Yashkenatza Beiteinu government under ben Mavet which was also fairly uneventful save for the occupation of former CIS fortress, Base I.D 21, which was renamed Kiryat Mavet and made an important Ashkenatzi naval base. The Omer Declaration issued by Goltz forced Ben Mavet to resign which he did in early May, and called for a provisional government with Goltz as Nohsi. This was, however, short lived and only lasted until the end of May 2009. However, it importantly divided annexed Tellia into two provinces and created the Trans-Elwynn Autonomous Region of Ashkenatza, ending its time as a military frontier as relations with Shireroth improved. Ashkenatzi settlement in Tellia and Tellian settlements in majority Ashkenatzi provinces began, creating the complex demographic mix in Eastern Ashkenatza which can be seen to this day. This however was not without incident as the terrorist attacks by Tellian banditti in the cities of Shkov and Mamehblinij showed at the time.
Elections in June 2009 produced what was perhaps Ashkenatza's most controversial leadership to date- the GTL-ADP (Green Thunder Legion and Ashkenatzi Democratic Party) coalition, named by its leader Szhmuel Astopov as a 'national unity government'. Keen to implement a peculiar blend of Integralism and Environmentalism (designed out of sim to use the controversy to generate activity), Astopov declared himself and Ben Mavet triumvirs of Ashkenatza and of the GTL movement, pressuring the Knesset to accept populist policy and in retrospect damaging Ashkenatza's reputation with his ideology and threatening the very stability of the ADP-GTL coalition by alienating ADP leader Wajnstein and dying opposition the GZP led by Yosef Burg. Setting off 'victory bonfires' in Ruzhin Palace and quickly appropriating the educational system for indoctrination, Astopov and Ben Mavet quickly used the nation's inactivity to declare themselves dual executive heads of state which alienated the GTL's original coalition partner, the ADP. The Bund under Goltz and ADP under Wajnstein, allied with concerned legislator Yusuf Burg, rallied in opposition to this daring display of autocracy. Green Thunder rule collapsed with its leadership's inactivity and Ben Mavet declared himself 'Meylekh und Rikhter' of the Republic in early July, 'above the considerations of party politics', in a declaration of 'Pragmatisme à Outrance'. Effectively, he ruled as dictator in a period of low activity but of much interest intermicronationally- it was at this time that Ocia had begun to colonise Amokolia and that a major influx of Elwynnese citizens under Prince Isur-Ai of the Elw made their way to the Trans-Elwynn Region from Shireroth. On July 18th Astopov was restored as Nohsi but with a vengeful and hostile Knesset, and on the 12th of August he was deposed once more by Ben Mavet who called for elections. Astopov left, angry at what he saw as a betrayal, and refused to run in the elections, allowing an easy victory for Goltz and a Bundist leadership.
The Amokolian War and Expansion
August - October 2009
Goltz's second leadership under the Bund was particularly eventful; for it was just days after the Republic's first anniversary celebrations when Ashkenatza's first overseas territory, the Mahoz HaSephardim, was claimed on August the 19th as part of an agreement with Babkha, which had already decided to transfer land to friendly nations before departing from Micras altogether. The position of Jajam-Bashi of the Mahoz was created, with Herschel Ziegler as the inaugural holder. However, Ashkenatza had little time to enjoy the fruits of its expansion a situation developed along the border between Ashkenatza and Ocian Amokolia. The Ocians, closing their border with Ashkenatza, began issuing belligerent statements against the Ashkenatzi leadership which was responded to with an Ashkenatzi occupation of the Ocian sector (Ashkenatza now controlled both the Tellian and Ashkenatzi sectors) of Benaciastadt. In a 'pre-emptive retaliation' against Ocia, Ashkenatzi troops began dismantling the border fence and advanced into Amokolia, vowing to eject the Ocian presence from Benacia and the 'pantheon of civilised Benacian nations'. Before a group of soldiers on the 31st of August in Bozparozbany, White Litovina, Nohsi Goltz declared war against Ocia. The war's progress can chiefly be divided into the assault on Ocian Amokolia which was to a large degree successful, and an unsuccessful secondary phase designed to oust President Kovac and humiliate the Ocian War effort by directly attacking its Keltian homeland. From an Ashkenatzi standpoint the war was successful in that it consolidated Ashkenatzi holdings in Northern Benacia and importantly opened up a port for Ashkenatza, Tsofnhafn, on Benacia's northern coast, but failed to address the issue of Amokolia's future stability as Jess Heimer, the Amokolian President, continued to bring Amokolia into less-than-successful unions with more active nations to ensure its longevity, an endless source of worry to Ashkenatza's leadership. In some views the war helped produce a militaristic strain in Ashkenatzi political leadership which continued until Ben Mavet was replaced by Astopov as Ashkenatzi Defence Minister, but the war had in the long term showed Ashkenatzi diplomatic and military development had to an extent paid off.
the unilateral closure [of the border] is an affront to Ashkenatza's natural dignity which makes normal bilateral diplomacy [with Ocia] impossible. The dangerous and militaristic streak of unilateralism inherent in the foreign policy of President Kovac makes him a reckless leader who endangers the civil society in which he has been, regretfully, permitted to operate [...] in light of which the Republic of Ashkenatza cannot tolerate the Ocian intrusion into the civilised pantheon of Benacian nations. As such the Republic of Ashkenatza considers it its moral duty to liberate Amokolia from its disastrous decision to enter into a formal union with this dangerous pariah state.
Goltz was elected as sixth Nohsi on November 10th, after a prolonged Recwar settlement which saw Ashkenatza annex the Benaciastadt salient and create the new region of Tsofnland and exactly a week later began preparations to grant the Mahoz HaSephardim full autonomy under a new Sephardic executive leader, the Jajam-Bashi, with an advisory body, the Casa Ejecutiva. All military and diplomatic administration remained with the central government and with the Tellia question still looming in the background granting any region of the Republic autonomy beckoned envy from the Tellian community and leadership. In a speech on the Jewish holiday of Sukkot, stressing national unity and reminding Ashkenatzim of their victories in Amokolia, Goltz declared the Republic 'never stronger'. Knesset Bills before the war such as the adoption of the Hebrew Calendar in all official correspondence stressed Goltz's distinctly Jewish view of the Republic which several MKs, among them Astopov, declared to be alienating to the Tellian minority communities. This also manifested itself in the transformation of the Interior Ministry to an extended Beth Din, a traditional Jewish court presided over by a Dayan (Judge) which also incorporated elements of Jewish religious law (Halakha) into the civil judiciary, a move which was later swiftly repealed. Goltz had also taken a risk in urging a Knesset resolution on September 5th which essentially outlawed the remnants of the Green Thunder Legion, declaring to the Knesset "I am your Nohsi; not an apologist for your own party's detrimental public image abroad and in the wider micronational community."- to Goltz's relief, Astopov agreed and the controversial chapter of Ashkenatzi Integralism ended. One could also argue, however, that Ashkenatza had become more isolationist after its war against Ocia, as an annexation of the dying Kingdom of Laurant had been rejected by the Knesset on September 3rd. The intermicronational situation at the start of Goltz's term was favourable to Ashkenatza. September 23rd had seen the signing of the Judæo-Antican Accords (formally known as the Eagle-Bagel Pact) which formalised the already close friendship between Antica and Ashkenatza but whose wording would later cause grave disagreements between the two allies. Antican dignitaries had hinted at Ashkenatzi-Antican economic co-operation (Ashkenatza had by this time established its own phpBank which had since the days of Nohsi Krakowski been abandoned by the vast majority of its population), as a result of which Ashkenatza began to seriously consider economic simulation. Batavian dignitaries suggested Ashkenatza join the Small Commonwealth, but just after Goltz suggested the introduction of Orders and Awards of State and an Arms Trade Control Act, the Sixth Nohsi became inactive.
Consolidation and a Divided Knesset
November 2009 - February 2010
Goltz's term was extended by Knesset resolution in late October as Guy Zalmanov, later to become a leading citizen and Nohsi of the Republic, took the Economics Portfolio and began work towards working for an Ashkenatzi simulated economy. Meanwhile Ben Mavet, then also 99th Kaiser of Shireroth Aurangzeb I (naturally ensuring excellent relations between both states despite Shirereithans describing the Ashkenatzim as "paranoid, militaristic lunatics", had been urging Goltz to make Ashkenatza join the Small Commonwealth, hinting that the organisation was fairly loosely tied and that the political benefits gained for the Republic far outweighed commitments to the organisation. Yet another diplomatic incident with Ocia highlighted the need for foreign friends as on December 1st Generalissimo Kolya Radchenko of Ocia deported ethnic Ashkenatzim to a barren former Chinamese island (which would later become part of the Mala'eretz) off the coast of Keltia in response to imagined 'atrocities' committed by the Ocian citizens. Keltian nations such as Uantir were quick to respond as was the new nation of Victoria, which had only days before annexed Amokolia. Victoria's emergence on the micronational scene in late 2009 had surprised Ashkenatza which, impressed at the professionalism of the Victorian government, had also had little contact with the nation besides the dual citizenship of Guy Zalmanov, Victorian Prime Minister and Ashkenatzi Economics Minister. Victorian vessels HMVS Hovag and Chippeway departed to send medical supplies to the refugees and bring them to Ashkenatza, though the Ocian government declared any vessels nearing the island would be fired upon. Ocian statements had been increasingly belligerent for several weeks before, starting with a declaration for war reparations from Hamland. This minor diplomatic incident nearly sparked a war between Victoria and Ocia though it was generally considered in Ashkenatza that the incident was engineered to provoke an Ashkenatzi reaction and the decision was taken to ignore it, though preparations for an Ashkenatzi taskforce, named Ksulles, had already been drafted in the event of a military response. Victorian secretary of state Bjorn Olsen visited Ashkenatza afterwards as Nohsi Goltz gave his thanks for Victorian political support in Keltia. Ashkenatza's first Small Commonwealth conference was also just to begin, with Szhmuel Astopov having been appointed Ashkenatzi delegate to the Commonwealth on October 2nd.
Astopov's appointment on December 23rd as first Speaker Pro Tempore of the Republic heralded a new dawn for the legislative process in the Knesset, as did Goltz's Organised Proposal Bill soon thereafter. Astopov was by the new year of 2010 playing an increasingly important role in Ashkenatzi politics. Early December, however, had seen yet another Foreign Affairs crisis as the Kingdom of Tellia once again declared independence of Ashkenatza, violating the Treaty of Klymenburg, under King Christopher I. The response of the Knesset was swift and uncompromising and the Dayan of the Republic had police units in the Tellian regions placed on high alert. A Bill of Attainer was drawn up for the arrest of Christopher I who was later placed under house arrest and then foreign minister Astopov, through skillful diplomacy, managed to avoid open conflict with Tellian irredentists. Astopov's activity as Foreign Minister was at this time impressive, having contacted nations such as Valencia, Cräiteland, and Nelaga, and had also annexed the formerly Babkhan Benacian port of Bandar-e-Rozenkhan for the Republic, though later on controversially souring his name overseas in the Comme Je Trouve Nuclear Test. Astopov, a business magnate along with Alex Allenby (then Transport Minister), joint heads of Port Side Industries, which by late 2009 had begun to corner Goltz's Shalitov Inc. in indigenously produced weaponry, had designed nuclear armaments in secret for the Ashkenatzi Military despite fierce opposition from Goltz. This streak of militarism had manifested itself in Port Side Industries' November 2009 announcement of the development of the Shark Class Ashkenatzi nuclear submarine, as well as the creation much earlier on of the Oberzekh'er Byuro(Overseer Bureau) under the Dayan to maintain law and order. Ben Mavet, former Feldmarshall of the Republic, had by new year become a provisional ruler, and had no compulsion in immediately dismissing Astopov as Foreign Minister after Astopov announced PSI's intention to detonate its nuclear device on an island off Western Eura (Babkha had by this time decided to become a non-micronational community and had thus abandoned its MCS territories), which caused a minor incident with Alexandria who owned a small archipelago not far from the detonation site. Events in Ashkenatza would however prove more explosive as Chaim Wajnstein, popular former Tellian leader, returned to Ashkenatza in time for the General Election declared on February 5th of 2010 and immediately joined the Bundist Party, campaigning for Nohsi using the new Candidate Manifesto Act. Wajnstein was at this time Speaker of the Knesset and had begun to 'clean up' the Legislature by starting the first debate on Knesset protocol and accepted norms. Wajnstein and Goltz united under a reinvigorated Bundist party whilst Ben Mavet's Natsyonal Farband was supported by Astopov.
Wajnstein's manifesto (announced during Hanukkah 2009) was one of the most comprehensive produced by an Ashkenatzi Nohsi candidate to date and stressed above all else a renewed interest in simulationism, the creation of nationalised government services, and the wide-scale implementation of the Draypintl Bagrif (Three Point-Plan), a document presented by Goltz several months before which outlined primarily a new way of presenting Ashkenatza to the outside world as a professional and mature nation. Wajnstein also was particularly interested in creating a pluralist Ashkenatza with less focus on Jewish identity and culture, which was eyed with suspicion by some who viewed him as seeking Tellian independence through seeking the Nohsi's power. The Bund and Natsyonal Farband's Civic Nationalism differed from eachother chiefly around the issue of autonomy, and the conspiracy theories as to Wajnstein's views on Tellia were used to great effect in the General Election by the Natsyonal Farband's public relations department. Wajnstein also differed from Ben Mavet in his estimation of the Small Commonwealth, which many in Ashkenatza were beginning to see little value in. Despite the Bund's beginning to move away from its Marxist roots, its alleged left-wing extremism was also hinted at by the opposition. However electoral campaigning was cut short as events spiralled out of control in Eura as on January 17th a massive sustained pirate assault on the Mahoz HaSephardim (which had recently been expanded Southwards into formerly Babkhan Euran lands) was underway and the Alkhivan brigands led by Khan Mellah Khan and Yahya 'the Bastard' ibn Yahya pillaged their way across the Mahoz as Jajam-Bashi Herschel Ziegler fled to the Ashkenatzi capital.
Insurrection Overseas and a Cultural Reinassance
On January 17th 2010 the Feldmarshall of the Republic reported heightened civil unrest in the Alkhivan city of Nueva Sinagoga, where civil unrest had turned violent and angry mobs had started attacking the Sephardic Zouave regiments stationed in the region. Babkhan pirate 'motherships' were reported heading northwards from the ruined Babkhi port of Bushehr to the Mahoz proper, and by the evening of the 18th the cities of Toledano and Villa Levi were under a massive assault from Babkhan pirate vessels, whose troops began ransacking civic offices and looting shops- all attempts to contact the remote fortress of Solomon-1 had failed and the lines of the main Zouave regiment, Brigada La Pasionara, had been broken by Fedayeen forces to the south. Meanwhile, Operation Restore Honour was being drafted by Ashkenatzi command, a combined military assault on the Mahoz and a targeted assassination of local Mahoz shipping magnate Solomon Hayyim-Yacoubi, engineered to appear as the work of one of the Mahoz Babkhan warlords Yahya 'the Bastard' ibn Yahya or Khan Mellah Khan. The plan was then to turn the entire provincial ruling classes of the Mahoz against the new warlord occupiers and initiate a grassroots uprising against them. However, military action with the 2nd Ashkenatzi Division and ASCMU detachments under Gyeneral Szhmuel Astopov was deemed more prudent and outgoing Nohsi Moshe Goltz declared Khan and his compatriots 'rag-tag brigand scum'. Operation Restore Honour was a success, crushing insurgent forces with superior air power and alleged Antican support. On January 25th, Jajam-Bashi Herschel Ziegler officially declared the insurgency over, with ASCMU corps under Gideon Perez apprehending Khan and ibn Yahya after a firefight in a small coastal town in the Mahoz, aided by colourfully named local magnate Jenaab Abu Ilyas Eskandar al-Aziz al-Karim al-Rashid ibn Haroun ibn Musa al-Karim ibn Zakhariya ibn Ardeshir Khan Mirza Abdul Shah Kamalshahri, Sarlashkar of the Gârd e Jâvidân, Defender of the Harem Orchards and Holder of the Keys of the Six Golden Cabinets of the Shah’s Bedchamber. In one of the first instances of the Ashkenatzi Judiciary being enacted, a Bill of Attainder was issued for the prosecution of Khan Mellah Khan, closing an interesting chapter in Ashkenatza's history on Eura and serving as a useful milestone in the development of Ashkenatza's armed forces.
As a micronation, there is a limit to the culture we may develop. There can only be so many maps, only so many stories about fictional doo-dahs. Rec-wars aren't fun, generally, at this point. Economic systems fail, usually. Micronationalism, once initial development has been completed, is mostly about politics. I would like to explore new ways of keeping Ashkenatza alive and thriving in this realm.
It was amidst these events that Bundist candidate Chaim Wajnstein won by a small majority and was inaugurated as Seventh Nohsi of the Republic on the 14th of February. The Nohsi's first few days in office saw not only the trial of Khan but interesting developments in foreign affairs as ben Mavet proposed a joint Ashkenatzi-Antican rule of the remainder of Eura which was never realised. Nohsi Goltz had banned paramilitary formations as one of his last Nohsi Orders in office to curtail the possible resurrection of groups such as the Green Thunder Legion and had also implemented a more rigorous sense of decorum whereby standardised signatures for government minsters were introduced. Wajnstein's cabinet was the first to elevate the position of Speaker Pro Tempore to Cabinet level and saw ben Mavet and Astopov share Foreign Affairs and Military portfolios whilst Goltz was returned to the Beth Din to serve again as Dayan. Wajnstein also went to great lengths to standardise the rules of conduct of the Knesset and to make it operate more professionally- the revised rules of Knesset protocol he finalised in late February are still used in Ashkenatza to this day. Not without some controversy, Wajnstein's Sovereignty Bill was passed on the 19th of February which revoked Ashkenatza's membership of the Small Commonwealth. Concerns had been raised about the organisation's ability to be impartial towards its host nation and largest member, Shireroth, whilst it was also felt that the Commonwealth forced artificial relationships between its member nations who in many cases had little or nothing to do with eachother. At a time when Ashkenatza was becoming politically closer to Antica, which was vehemently opposed to the Commonwealth, it was also felt that the Republic's membership of the Commonwealth did not contribute towards a closer relationship with Antica. This was the beginning of a slow downhill slide in Ashkenatzi-Shirereithan relations which would come to a head under Nohsi Henzelli. Only MK Guy Zalmanov voted against the Bill, whilst Wajnstein and Goltz were among its most vociferous supporters. Wajnstein also proposed a great deal of more simulationist legislation at the time such as the Tobacco Control Act, under which the Litovsker Tagblatt was later prosecuted due to its continuing to publis garish advertisements for Fat Solomon's Tobacco Company. Nonetheless Wajnstein came under some scrutiny for his focusing on simulationism from Astopov, who reminded the Nohsi that he had pledged to uphold the Draypintl Bagrif, which had by this time become an official Bundist dogma. Calls for a more presentable, professional Ashkenatza were still many, yet what could be done to remedy the situation was still unclear.
Despite repeated attempts from the Small Commonwealth to invite Ashkenatza to the Summit at the Tree, a conference designed to rethink and reform the Commonwealth for the future, Ashkenatza still focused on its relations with Antica which were under Wajnstein perhaps the strongest in the history of the two nations- Ashkenatzi citizens regularly visited Antica unofficially to get to know the Antican community and a strong sense of friendship developed. Tensions were still fraught at home, however, as Wajnstein began to compromise the independence of large Arms Companies such as Port Side Industries, which by this time was becoming the nation's primary arms producer. A compromise was eventually reached as Astopov was a key government minister, but tensions still remained. Since December, however, there had been a distinct development in Ashkenatzi culture, particularly with Goltz as Dayan who from December to March produced the Ashkenatzi Concise Atlas and Kolmenitzkiy street map. Due to the bureaucratic niceties of the first ever use of an Ashkenatzi Judicial Code Mellah Khan was only sentenced to high treason by late March 2010, his execution being the only result which could 'fully sate the Republic's anger'. An important step in countering his opponents' claims that Wajnstein was in secret a Tellian autonomist was the revocation of the Trans-Elwynn's autonomous status in March 2010, which caused some concern in Shireroth but left Ashkenatza with no autonomous regions whatsoever in its Metropolitan provinces. This culminated in significant military unrest as on April 1st, commanders of the 2nd Ashkenatzi Armoured Division stationed in the Trans-Elwynn, anrgy at the possibility that the province may be amalgamated with Tellian territories to the South. Commanders Altetshkerbarg, Smirnov, Korolyov, Kokoity, Ardzinba, and Bagapsh declared they would fight if necessary to maintain the status quo in the region. Dayan Goltz insisted either on a court martial or Bill of Attainder for a civilian prosecution and within hours the Feldmarshall, Pachad Emet ben Mavet, had the unit disarmed and its commanders exiled to a weather station on the frozen northern island of Leng.
Herr Wajnstein, the Bundist candidate, is an astute politician and a credible leader. Make no mistake he would make an honourable Nohsi worthy of the office. However it would be contrary to the honour of our civic society for him, virtuous as he undoubtedly is, to be permitted to stand unopposed for high office. Indeed for the good of our nation the Bundist Manifesto must not be allowed to pass unchallenged for without that the liberal and social-democratic element of the party will wilt in the face of the Leninist cadres still lurking within the formal structure of the Bundist party lest they and us with them succumb to self−aggrandizement and bureaucratic megalomania. We must never permit ourselves to become a mirror to vanquished Ocia. [...] The fruits of centralised economics are corruption, poverty and servility—and in the socialist society the only medicine which may be prescribed is heavier doses of the same socialist poison.
With the Mahoz beginning to quieten with the Bill of Attainder to execute Khan still being debated in the Knesset, Nohsi Wajnstein's term came to an end after an unexpected and sudden Emergency Executive Order on April 5th, in which Wajnstein immediately tendered his resignation and stated Goltz to be his successor to carry out the remainder of his term as a Bundist Nohsi. This was quickly contested by Pachad Emet ben Mavet who immediately brought a Nohsi Renewal Act before the Knesset later that day, calling for immediate elections for the Eighth Nohsi. Ben Mavet's Natsyonal Farband Party stood unopposed in the election and declarations of support for it came from Zalmanov and Astopov, the latter having already moved toward the Farband during his time as GTL leader, declaring Ben Mavet as an 'august leader'. On the 15th of April 2010 Ben Mavet was officially inaugurated as Eighth Nohsi of the Republic, stressing the importance of social democracy and civic nationalism. There was initially much speculation as to how the Natsyonal Farband would rule in its first term. Bundism's monopoly was seemingly broken, and Ben Mavet's second term would be instrumental in forging modern Ashkenatza.
Trouble at Home and a Tellian Nohsi
Ben Mavet's term began with a flurry of new legislative development. The Farband's position was immensely strengthened by factional infighting between Wajnstein and Goltz, spurred on by Wajnstein's beginning to talk once more of Tellian autonomy. As expected of a government committed to Civic Nationalism, Ben Mavet's response was swift and uncompromising on the issue, earning him tacit support from Goltz. Wajnstein began to drift further towards the ADP, and it was feared that the Bund may become an irrelevance, with Goltz its only supporter and member left. Ben Mavet also began to earn the respect of private contractors such as PSI by making increased use of the simple and effective Credit Note economic system for contracting these firms' services. Immediate security measures were put in place by proscription notice in the Mahoz on the 27th of April by Ben Mavet, increasing exponentially the security forces stationed in the region following the 'extinction in all forms of the hitherto constituted persona' of Khan Mellah Khan on May 11th, in which the accused, declaring his opposition to the 'Noxious Kuffar' to his end.
- Amir Rabin gets citizenship. Number of Ashkenatzi-Babkhan citizens therefore increases.
- May 3rd- Abdulkarim Hamdibaggi al-Hummus, an Alkhivan intern in the Mahoz, is found publishing anti-Ashkenatzi posters. The Nohsi himself demands his arrest and a complex insurgent cell is discovered. Insurgent leaders Ibrahim-Beg and Fuad Al-Basmachi are reported to be alive and still in hiding, whilst this scheme is found to be supported by petty political demagogue Gjørg Galloweg, Ashkenatzi citizen of Stormarker extraction who after doubtlessly excessively vigorous cooperation with the forces of justice is never heard from again.
- May 5th- Henzelli joins the Republic and is made Minister of Public Works and Finance.
- May 12th- A plot is uncovered by the Kolmenitzkiy constabulary in the centrifuge laboratories of A.Q Cohen who is acting as a front for the tattered remnants of Khan Mellah Khan's organisation. Fifty boxes of gem encrusted Kalashnikovs are seized and Cohen is thrown in jail. Christopher I of Tellia, still under House Arrest, is implicated, though theories abound that this is actually just an attempt to discredit Tellian autonomists in the Knesset.
- May 14th- Power struggle between Anandja II and Mors VI in Shireroth. Elwynn River border guards are mobilised and masses of Shirereithan refugees are expected, who never arrive as the situation soon stabilises.
- May 15th- Amir Rabin proposes the Environmental Protection Bill, which is duly passed and creates national parks and nature reserves within the Republic. Ben mavet issues Nohsi Order II on Tellia, restricting calls for Tellian autonomy
- May 31st- Nohsi Ben Mavet declares the 'Great Northern Expedition', claiming Ayzstanstye Gnu, Herzl, and Zebra for scientific research and military deployment to the Arctic regions of Micras, as well as 'exploitation of the Hyperborean wastes'. Wajnstein's Healthcare Bill is passed in the Knesset.
-Jun 1st- A review of the Mahoz Insurgency prompts the General Staff to reorganise and review the Tercios Ladino de Zouave, which are retrained and rearmed.
-Jun 3rd- Wajnstein withdraws his Tellia Bill, a controversial move to make a Tellian Autonomous Region.
-Jun 4th- A Polish Micronation, the Republic of Sclavinia & Trizondal, contacts Ashkenatza and a large number of its citizens join the Republic, very briefly holding positions in the Beth Din and Ministry of Public Works and Finance. Linguistic differences cause difficulties in interacting with the Republic's Anglophone citizens and all gradually become inactive. These citizens are Jonas Jokubauskas, Azarias Potocki, Katarzyna von der Ice, Aliza Abramovich, Tomas Sokolowitz and Izaak Potocki.The Mount Octavius Hydroelectric Plant, jointly built by Antica and Ashkenatza, is overhauled for immediate link to the national electricity grid to further Ashkenatza self-sufficiency. Henzelli devises a working macronational rate of exchange for the Ashkenatzi Shekel by taking the relative GDPs of Macronations upon which Ashkenatza is based/themed- one of the first of its kind in economic advances in micronationalism.
-Jun 11th Treaty between the Nation of Mala'eretz and Ashkenatza. Amir Rabin, last acting president of Cyberia, declares the nation dissolved and cedes the Mala'eretz, a semitic territory of Cyberia, to Ashkenatza as the Mala'eretz territory on Keltia with himself as Shofet, or Councillor, of the Mala'anshi Nation. Causes a minor diplomatic incident between Rabin and other former Cyberian citizens.
-Jun 12th- Henzelli announces a plan for the Nationalisation of Natural Resources
Tellians, together with Ashkenatzim as well as Elw and Babki and even the upland Amokolian primitives are all citizens of this Republic, a national union that is predicated on absolute equality and a common dignity as a part of the brotherhood of man.
Consider now the upheavals that have occurred in the year since the incorporation of Tellia into the Republic, the fundamental nature of the nation has changed. We are no longer an insular shtetl orientated nation-state based on one homogenous ethno-linguistic and religious community, but instead we are a community of many multiple faiths and nations all existing side by side. Consider also the utter folly of trying to disentangle the communities of the Republic now that they have so intermingled. The rapid industrialisation of our economy and the breakneck pace of urbanisation engendered an unparalleled level social mobility which makes it ridiculous to speak of Tellian autonomy when there are at any given moment as many Tellians in Kolmenitzkiy as there are Ashkenazi in Romersk, and who is to tell them that they must abandon their customary laws on one side of the line or another because of some petty diktat that has declared some territory autonomous when they already enjoy a perfect autonomy within their very souls? I believe that there can exist in this Republic a civic nationalism that can accommodate our minorities without diluting the fundamental identity of the nation-state. Autonomy is accordingly superfluous and can only lead to more needless bureaucracy, the dissipation of energy, the duplication of effort and the deepening of antagonisms best left buried. http://ashkenatza.net/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=65&t=1283&sid=b11f2107b03b24a8c6bdd97642cf9915&start=0 May 15th Nohsi Order ii
Zalmanov as Nohsi-Three terms of Astopov and escalation of the Euran struggle-Gambetta as Nohsi (Mention a while earlier (Zalmanov era) that around that time the distinctions between in-sim and OOC had become much more mature and Ashkenatza)
From it's foundation in 2008, when Ashkenatza merely constituted a slither of South-Central Benacia, the Republic now spans four continents, with numerous research stations, military bases and islands scattered across the globe. This incorporation of many different peoples, and the strategic/geopolitical considerations that arose from this expansion had, by 2011, thrust Ashkenatza into the status as an established major power on the world stage. Accordingly, the citizens of the Republic have their own terminology for referring to the many possessions of the Eternal Maroon Republic, which are outlined below.
The Republic's oldest territories are those on Benacia, known as Metropolitan Ashkenatza, which have expanded to the west and north over time. These include the provinces of Volhyria, Porolia, Merenia, Litovina, White Litovina, South Litovina, Izaria, Zaprogia, the Pale, Tsofnland, Thither Tellia, Hither Tellia (formerly the heartland of the annexed Kingdom of Tellia), and the Trans-Elwynn (formerly an autonomous region), a strategically important territory along the Elwynn River. These territories are often divided in common parlance into Ashkenatza, The Trans-Elwynn and Tellia. The subdivisions within Ashkenatza proper itself are occasionally used - most notably when differentiating between the people of Volhyria, Porolia and Merenia (known collectively as the Kossars) and the Litovinans. The capital, Kolmenitzkiy, and the formerly Babkhan port of Bandar-e-Rozenkhan are their own autonomous urban districts within the Republic. At the time of writing, Metropolitan Ashkenatza bordered Shireroth, Batavia and Elwynn (Or more precisely the Union State of Elwynn, Amokolia and Hurmu).
Ashkenatza's territories on Eura are known as the Mahoz HaSephardim. The Mahoz HaSephardim was divided into the Mahoz Occidental, whose capital is Nueva Sinagoga (Alkhiva and its river delta islands), and the Mahoz Oriental (a coastal archipelago and peninsulae on the coast of Eastern Eura). The Mahoz Oriental was transferred to Babkha in August 2010, leaving the Mahoz Occidental the remaining Sephardic region of Ashkenatza. The Mahoz is responsible for the administration of Jerba and it's surrounding islands, which although are run as part of the Mahoz, are often referred to as a seperate entity. The Mahoz borders the Imperial State of Babkha.
The small Ashkenatzi enclave in Northern Apollonia is called Nordpunkt, which possesses no outlying territories or subdivisions. This region is considered to be a region of Metropolitan Ashkenatza in regards to the organisation of the Republic as a whole, due in no small part to it's tiny population and main use as a fishing port and military base. Nordpunkt borders the Safirian Empire - a Protectorate of the Imperial Republic of Shireroth.
The Mala'eretz refers to the autonomous region in Southern Keltia which constitutes much of the historic lands of the Mala'anje people with it's capital in Bat Mala. Somewhat like the Mahoz, the Mala'eretz is regarded as a district other amongst all of these subdivisions. The Mala'eretz consists of a large peninsula jutting into the Eastern Ocean, bordered by the waterway that feeds the vast Lake Cherusken in South-Eastern Keltia, with a large island at its tip. The Mala'eretz borders A1.
Further afield, Ashkenatza owns three polar research stations, Ayzstanstye (Ice-Station) Herzl, Gnu, and Zebra. These polar bases are operated solely for military and scientific purposes, and have no political representation as part of the Republic, and are thus not usually conceptualised as Republican territory as the other areas above are.
Ashkenatza is a Parliamentary Democracy led by the Nohsi (Or Nohsetzin (Female)), who is the executive Head of State of the Republic and whose role is defined as the 'defence of Kehile (community), Land (territory) and Kultur (culture)'. The Nohsi resides in Ruzhin Palace, Kolmenitzkiy, and generally rules for a three month term, with more than three consecutive terms being prohibited by law. The Nohsi's executive powers are considerable, and are enacted through Executive Orders known as 'Nohsifabeln', however, the office is subject to powerful checks and balances and on some issues - such as a declaration of war - only a resolution of the Knesset is sufficient. The Nohsi in practice assembles a multi-party cabinet (Kabinet) from members of the Knesset, but in-sim this is presumed to be a coalition government. The Nohsi additionally has a second, known as the Secretary of State, who in certain instances may recieve executive powers should the Nohsi be absent for a period. In practice, the Secretary of State is often the Foreign Minister and/or Speaker (Redner) of the Knesset (see below).
The Knesset is the nation's highest legislative body and also has the power to censure the Nohsi or hold a vote of no confidence if the Nohsi is not felt to be acting in the Republic's best interest. There are also limits on a Nohsi's Executive Order- notably, that it cannot contradict passed legislation or the constitution. The Knesset, housed in an impressive neo-classical building in Kolmenitzkiy, is presided over by a Speaker (Redner) who is also appointed by the Nohsi as part of his or her cabinet. The Knesset also contains several private committees - the National Security Committee and the Foreign & Defense Policy Committee - that serve to provide the administration with a private forum in which to formulate defense, intelligence and foreign policy, which is then passed through secure channels to the Ministers responsible for enacting it should the Nohsi deem it necessary. The Knesset has become known as the Fount of Maroonism, and is naturally venerated as part of the Maroonist political culture.
Other Ministries of State
The cabinet of the Nohsi (Known as the 'Administration') comprises of the Secretary of State, Speaker of the Knesset and perhaps most importantly, numerous Ministers who continue to represent their constituency in the Knesset, as well as bring special skills to their leadership of the ministry in question. The Republic's government has traditionally been comprised of an Interior Minister, Minister of Public Works and Finance, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Minister of Defense. The Nohsi assembles his or her cabinet in an executive document entitled 'Kabinet'.
Ashkenatzi governmental ministries have traditionally been establised by the executive power of the Nohsi, and whilst in recent years the existance of the central four ministries (listed above) has been enshrined in legislation, the power Ministers wield is technically still an extension of the Nohsi's executive powers. This is testament to Ashkenatza's long history of very strong executive powers, yet the precedents that have been set by Nohsim in regard to ministries are increasingly being legislated, predominantly owing their existance to the Knesset.
The Beth Din acts as an Interior Ministry, Boarder Agency and Judiciary all roled into one. Originally known as the Interior Ministry, the name was changed to the Beth Din (house of judgement) after several in-sim disputes with the then large Hasidic community forced the government to compromise and frame the organ of government in religious terminology before those citizens would agree to be policed by it. Events have come full circle, however, and discussions regarding additional tranches of constitutional reform have again resulted in a major upheaval of this core Ministry, with it's name being changed to the Kommissariat and the Ministry itself absorbing the functions of Ministry of Public Works and Finance.
The Ministry of Public Works and Finance acts as a conventional treasury, but also oversees the maintainence of numerous nationalised public services, which are subordinate to it. Since Ashkenatza has very rarely attempted to actually simulate it's finances and economics beyond their being mentioned in some other context, the Ministry of Public Works and Finance has had little use, and attempts to reverse this dormancy have been totally unsuccessful. The nationalisation of Ashkenatza's power and water supplies in early 2012 did result in having the heads of the newly created National Power Authority and National Water Authority - the Power Marshall and Hydro Marshall respectively - placed under the overall control of the Minister of Public Works and Finance, but soon the relevant legislation was amended to subordinate these services to the Beth Din instead. It is more than likely that the Ministry of Public Works and Finance will cease to exist late in 2012.
Ashkenatza's Foreign Office - the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is naturally one of the more active both in-sim and out of sim, and the Ministry is often so busy it has now become usual for the Minister of Foreign Affairs to appoint a Deputy. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs because of the nature of it's mission has far more executive oversight than other Ministries, and it recieves it's orders from the Nohsi in a private Knesset committee specifically tasked with formulating Defense and Foreign Policy. These factors usually result in the Minister of Foreign Affairs being one of the more active citizens of the Republic - if not the Nohsi him/herself.
The Ministry of Defense is a relatively recent invention which broke a long tradition of simply having the chief of the general staff sit as a Minister in the Nohsi's cabinet. This is still very much the case, but due to the nature of the office as a governmental Ministry, the Chief of staff and overall head of the AMK (aside from the Nohsi, who is technically commander-in-chief) is an elected MK alongside his or her commission. See below for more details.
Constitution and Party Politics
Ashkenatza's Constitution, a radically altered one from that published in Ashkenatza's first few months, is colloquially known as the 'Ben Mavet Constitution' after its author and has been described as 'ruthlessly minimalist'. Controversial yet of immense use to the ruling party, this new Constitution significantly increased the Nohsi's Executive Power. A series of constitutional reform acts from the tenure of Nohsi Zalmanov onwards have substantially eroded many of the immense executive powers enjoyed by the Nohsi under the unaltered Ben Mavet constitution.
Politically, Ashkenatza has always been fairly divided, with its wealth of political parties housed in Rubinshteiner Street in the capital and their incessant political infighting more than adequately representing the 'street politics' of Central Europe, and thus Ashkenatza in a cultural sense. Political parties in Ashkenatza are generally fairly short-lived, the one exception to this being the Algemeyner Bund, named after the macronational General Jewish Bund Party and as of late reformed to become social democratic rather than Marxist as it once was. Centre-right and civic nationalist parties have included Yashkenatza Beiteinu, the Dray Bagrif Partei, and more recently the Natsyonal Farband. The Bund has won the most elections in Ashkenatzi history, though by 2011 the old party rivalry between the Bund and Astopov and Wajnstein's Ashkenatzi Democratic Party- which had also met with great successes, providing two Nohsim for the Republic, was becoming stale. By the time Leon Gambetta (the Republic's second Independent candidate to win as Nohsi) was inaugurated, there was a general loss of faith in party politics. The Bund and ADP were felt to only have existed in order to preserve a sense of continuity and extend the rivalry between their leaders as opposed to their standing for real policies. As of mid 2012 Ashkenatza's Knesset is dominated by members of the Democratic Socialist Tendency (successor to the ADP), the centre-right Tsenterpartey and a host of smaller parties and more than every before, Independent MKs. A series of in-sim political parties have also been developed, including the Konservatives Sozialbünd, Arbeter-Revolyutzioner Front, Emet! and Il Partito di Tellia Grande, but these are largely relegated merely to in-sim posts and of course do not practically exert any influence.
Ashkenatza has throughout its history engaged in numerous shifting alliances and conflicts due to its position in Central Benacia, historically an unstable one. This has led to some tensions with Batavia (over small regions of Volhyria and Porolia transferred to Batavia after the Central Benacian Nations' conference) and Ocia, and Ashkenatza's foreign policy has often led it into open conflict. A powerful nation on Benacia, Ashkenatza was briefly a member of the Small Commonwealth but then left, and has expanded its territory on Benacia significantly since its founding, annexing Tellia and carrying out a number of frontier adjustments with Amokolia to the north. Partnerships with Antica, Hamland, and Shireroth proved useful during the Amokolian War against Ocia. Conflicts with Shireroth to the East during the Laqi Crisis, as well as Ashkenatza's supporting of the seccession of Elwynn and the Laqi Free Republic in 2010 led to strained relations between Shirekeep and Kolmenitzkiy which are now improving. On the other hand, relations with the newly formed Union State of Elwynn and Hurmu have been strained over recent months.
Ashkenatza had a military alliance with Babkha known as the Rozenkhan Declaration for Babkha's last few months as an active micronation (hence Ashkenatza's possessions on formerly Babkhan Eura), and currently enjoys its most important relationship with Antica, with which it is a signatory of the Eagle-Bagel Pact, a military alliance with clauses for cultural and diplomatic co-operation. September 2010 saw Ashkenatza transfer the Mahoz Occidental to Babkha in exchange for political understandings which never materialised. Disagreements with Babkha regarding the Mahoz HaSephardim have led to the two states withdrawing recognition and frequently engaging in espionage and border skirmishes in a rapidly deteriorating situation. Known as the 'Babkhan Cold War', this has come to preoccupy Ashkenatzi foreign policy and accordingly relations with close Babkhan partners, Antica, Natopia, and Elwynn also began to deteriorate. Ashkenatza formed a military and political alliance with Alexandria, the Treaty of the Two Eagles due in part to the security concerns shared by both nations over Babkhan claims on their Euran territories. Additionally, a territorial dispute over the Ashkenatzi-held Skerry Isles in 2012 led to tensions with Flanders and Batavia which are currently being resolved.
In general, it is fair to say that Ashkenatzi Foreign Policy has been traditionally marked by selective isolationism with a strong component of militarism and interventionism when it suits it. Ashkenatza's historical concern over the instability of central Benacia has contributed to a tradition of cynicism and suspicion on it's part towards other powers with designs on central Benacia. However, Ashkenatza additionally has a long history of fostering inter-Benacian co-operation, as evidenced by it's long held tradition of holding a large ball in Kolmenitzkiy for various dignitaries from around the continent known as the Benacian Friendship Waltz. Due to certain philosophical trends in it's political culture (Maroonism, Social Democracy, Republicanism, Classical Liberalism, Bundist Communism, Liberalism) Ashkenatza is often somewhat suspicious of autocratic systems of government, and regards states without restraints on executive power, a civil society, open press and strong legislature to be positively dangerous on the world stage. Despite these complex and conflicting trends in Ashkenatzi Foreign Policy, the Republic has cultivated a large number of long lasting and very beneficial friendships with some of the larger powers on Micras; notably Alexandria, Batavia, Craitland, Stormark and Shireroth.
For many years ashkenatza has the distinction of being the only Jewish Micronation in the Anglophone sector of micronationalism, with the possible- though debatable- contender for this position of Attera. A German Israeli-themed nation, Medinat Naftael, has also been found but is defunct, making Ashkenatza also the only active Jewish micronation. With Yiddish culture and the macronational Pale of Settlement as its inspirations, Ashkenatzi culture can be generally described as 'Middle-European', with a large traditional Shtetl culture in the nation's countryside. Ashkenatza is notable due to its intense cultural focus, which has been a subject of some division in the Knesset over the nation's history, and encourages its citizens to contribute to works of fiction, city plans, and other such development. As with Matbaa, Ashkenatza boasts a wide range of maps, with the City Map of the capital, Kolmenitzkiy, being its most detailed. The nation's National Library, named after Sholom Aleichem, serves as the repository for all works of cultural development and as de-facto Ministry of Culture.
However in recent history Ashkenatza has expanded her borders into non-Ashkenazi areas, bringing large Tellian, Amokolian, Elw, Malanje and Alkhivan Babkhi minorities under its rule. Whether Ashkenatza can remain as exclusively Jewish in cultural conception as it once was is an ever-present question, and Tellian seccessionism and autonomist movements' activity show the importance of this issue. The Trans-Elwynn is another non-Jewish region, colonised by Elwynnese settlers escaping from Shireroth in 2009. There are also other Jewish ethnic divisions within the Republic, most prominently the Sephardim, urban inhabitants of the Mahoz HaSephardim, their autonomous region, in Eura. The Mala'eretz is another Jewish region, with the majority of its inhabitants being Mala'anashim, a well established micronational culture with links to Cyberia and the Melangian culture of Shireroth. Also important are a small but influential diaspora of the Laqi People, who settled in Southern Ashkenatza after the defeat of the Laqi Free Republic by Shireroth.
Under the Wajnstein dominated ADP (Ashkenatzi Democratic Party), a somewhat Federalist agenda was pursued for Tellia, which threatened to split the citizenry and nation itself - finally a more inclusive form of national self-perception was organically developed in the political philosophy of Maroonism, yet the split between some more traditionalist citizens and Maroonist ones remains a political issue. The adoption of this new consensus has become one of the most historically important cultural developments in Ashkenatza - if the Ashkenatza of early days was once seen as 'Fiddler on the Roof with machine-guns', modern Maroonist Ashkenatza has been seen by some as a 'micronational DDR'; Ashkenatza is now a markedly different society and culture to that which had been founded in 2008.
The extent to which a history of Ashkenatza can be written in-sim is dubious, as any attempt to do so will naturally stumble into the unique micronational historiographial problem that plagues all attempts to do so - namely, that an attempt to write an in-sim history will clash with the acknowledgement of nations that occupied the same space of Micras on the MCS map before the foundation of the nation in question. The historian therefore undoubtedly has a great deal of explaining to do as to how an entirely new culture sprang into existence seemingly from nowhere. Attempts to write such a history for Ashkenatza have been few, and the few allusions to an in-sim history are usually deliberately vague, and usually incorporate some implication of a 'dark ages' from which the state emerged to explain the problem outlined above. It is generally acknowledged that the modern regions of Ashkenatza constituted to some extent political entities of unified city states which were at war at some time in Micran history corresponding closely to the late middle ages/Renaissance to early modern period on earth. Porolia and Zaprogia constituted two federations of city states that adopted a spirit of enterprise, exploration and trade (that marked the same period on Earth), creating an urban merchant class, which contrasted sharply with a highly centralised, feudal monarchy ruled by a Litovinan king. After a series of conflicts which the Litovinans ultimately lost due to internal dissent, Zaprogian cossack incursions and the superior technology of the Porolian and Volhyrian alliance, a military leader known as Itzhak Lubkin Peretz united Porolia and Volhyria into a single political entity known as the Kossar Commonwealth, with it's capital in his city state of Kolmenitzkiy and organised - at least in theory - on a Republican model. This small framing history has the virtue of being sufficiently vague as to not impede future innovations, yet provides some historical basis for the Maroonist assertion of Ashkenatza as providing a democratic tradition originating on Micras. It also allows for some justification for intense regionalism amongst the Ashkenatzim (indeed, the Litovinans are sometimes alluded to in-sim as a seperate people from the Porolians/Volhyrians (Known together as 'Kossars')), and the nature of descriptions and maps of Ashkenatzi cities as being clearly inspirated by the fortified medieval city states of Eastern and Central Europe. Another loose historical narrative that has been utilised to frame Ashkenatzi culture has been lifted in it's entirety from Batavia - this tradition asserts that some time in Micran history that corresponded with the ancient world on earth, a near carbon copy of the Roman Empire existed on Benacia, and provided a cultural template in some manner for the entire continent - indeed, much Ashkenatzi civic architecture appears to be classically inspired; just as is the case with the grand palaces, museums and chancelleries of much of Europe. Although these narratives have helped form to some degree the intellectual basis in-sim for Maroonism, the have negligable day to day impact upon most cultural development in the Republic, and are not frequently alluded to outside of large cultural projects.
Ashkenatza is de-facto secular state but the influence of Judaism is of course important - in many respects, Ashkenatza is a fairly socially conservative country, and it is suggested that the secularism, feminism and multiculturalism of many administrations does not sit easy with some more reactionary segments of the society - Ashkenatza's ultra-orthodox Jewish population remain a considerable force in-sim in politics, and have occasionally opposed measures from the more secular and socially progressive administrations. For a long time after the incorporation of Tellia, the Mahoz, the Mala'Eretz and the Trans-Elwynn into the Republic, many of the trappings of key offices of state remained openly religiously inspired, and the creation of a new, more Maroonist and secular oath of office for the Nohsi caused some consternation amongst more traditional, long time citizens in the Republic. The use of the term 'Beth Din' for the combined interior ministry and judiciary has only relatively recently been challenged and discussed on the floor of the Knesset, and the original legislation establishing the Ministry even required that the post of Dayan as head of the Beth Din be an observant Jew. A proposal for some kind of Ashkenatzi analogue to the first amendment of the United States constitution has been discussed, and the Republican government is rapidly becoming a far more secular body in principle.
Much Ashkenatzi aesthetic seems to derive from Earth in the 1920s - 1960s, and photographs from that period are often used to illustrate various in-sim events in Ashkenatza's forums. Fashion, some styles of behavior and some architectual elements are heavily influenced in particular by the 1950s, and the juxtaposition of this and the increadibly progressive and inclusive social attitudes of the Ashkenatzi state are often exploited for comic effect.
The Republic's national flag (ratio 1:2) was adopted in the State Symbols Act of October 2008 and is modelled on the Latvian, Belarussian (1991-1995) and Israeli flags, Latvia and Belarus being states on the historical territory of the Jewish Pale of Settlement. The Hebrew letter Aleph in the centre of the flag stands for 'Ashkenatza' and also, as the first letter of the alphabet, reminds citizens to strive to be all they can in life, to their fullest potential, and also as a Hebrew letter shows the importance of Jewish identity of the state. The two thick white bands represent hope for the future and happiness, whilst the thick red band shows the difficulties which must be overcome to attain them. The dark maroon of the flag has become something of a national symbol in its own right and is often used to show patriotism.
The Republic's first official State Arms and National Anthem were also adopted in the State Symbols Act (before, a simple Hebrew letter Aleph was used). The Republic's Arms show an Eagle- Ashkenatza's unofficial national animal- bearing a shield with the letter Aleph- surrounded by a crest of olive leaves (symbolising peace at home and abroad), crowned with a small star of David. The banner beneath the Eagle reads 'Fun undzer Yiddishkeyt' in Latin Yiddish text (Hebrew Yiddish text versions are also used).
Ashkenatza's current State Arms were adopted in June 2012- a modified version of the earlier State Arms, they include the national motto which replaced 'Fun Undzer Yiddishkeyt' during late 2011, the 'Eternal Maroon Republic', and show the eagle holding a key and sword. The sword represents defence of democratic values and the Republic, whilst the Key is the Key to the Knesset, the nation's legislative assembly.
Ashkenatza's economy has always been one of the least debated issues in Ashkenatza- a PhpBank system was experimented with under Nohsi Krakowski but was met with little success. Ashkenatzim have generally had little interest in accurately simulating an economy and so passionately rejected attempts to join the Republic as part of a unified, simulationist economy with other members of the Small Commonwealth. However, this is not to say that private industry is not booming in the Republic, with companies such as Osman-Almagro-Mavet GmbH, Shalitov Inc., and Port Side Industries specialising in heavy engineering, aviation and military development, with Fat Solomon's Tobacco Co. as the nation's tobacco giant. Agriculture has generally been the preserve of the Ashkenatzi Kibbutz movement, generally associated with the Bundist Party. The general in-sim narrative overall presumes that Ashkenatza operates a heavily unionised mixed-market economy with the largest sectors being heavy industry, agriculture and raw materials.
Legal tender in Ashkenatza is the Shekel (ש), which is issued in colourful banknotes produced by the central bank in denominations of 10, 20, 50, 100, 200, and 500 Shekels as well as commemorative issues. However, on the odd occasions where economic transactions have been actively simulated between citizens on the forum, financial transactions are simulated using credit notes.
Precise figures for the Ashkenatzi economy are of course impossible to produce properly, and there have been few attempts to simulate anything approaching a budget. One rare instance of scrutiny over the Ashkenatzi economy consisted of long time citizen Bartolomeo Henzelli concluding that the average Ashkenatzi citizen earns between 6,000 and 8,000 Shekels a month. Manufactured goods remain relatively expensive, whereas raw materials are comparatively cheap. The general economic standing of Ashkenatza was estimated by taking the GDPs of macronational nations with cultural similarities to Ashkenatza- namely Moldova, Ukraine, Poland, Lithuania, and Israel, and correlating said values, although the unique qualities of Micras and status of Ashkenatza at the time of writing as an established power complicate this simple calculation somewhat. To help tradesmen gain a feel for the value of the Shekel and price their wares accordingly, it was estimated that there were approximately 4.445 Shekels to the US Dollar and 6.529 to the Pound Sterling, based on rates from July 5th, 2010.
Nationalisation has been a heated topic between centre-left and centre-right political parties in Ashkenatza, with the Bundists successfully pushing legislation which would nationalise all raw materials on Ashkenatzi soil under the government, allowing private companies to buy rights to extract them. Nationalisation of public transport, energy, water, and electricity has also been implemented to the dismay of some Ashkenatzim, but given the work which has already gone into these national networks for such commodities it is highly unlikely that such a policy will change in the near future.
Ashkenatza's military forces - known as the AMK (Ashkenatzer Militerischer Kraft) - were founded in 2008 and are headed by Yabotinsky High Command, located in Yabotinsky Fortress in Kolmenitzkiy. The AMK is a quad-service organisation consisting of the Nationale Bodenkrafte (National Ground Forces), Nationale Luftwaffe (National Air Forces), Bregshomrim (Coastguard) and National Seestreitskrafte (National Naval Forces). The Republic of Ashkenatza has a strong tradition of civilian control of it's military forces, and declarations of war cannot be made by executive order alone, but require a special resolution of the Knesset. The AMK does not operate underneath a civilian Ministry of Defense, but the Feldmarshall is almost always an elected MK (usually with an existing commission in the military), and formally recieves the title "Minister of Defense and Feldmarshall". The Nohsi is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces, and accordingly directs their policy with Yabotinsky Fortress High Command with help from select Knesset committees tasked with Foreign Affairs and National Defense objectives. Conscription is generally assumed to be commonplace in the Republic for both males and females.
Ashkenatza's relatively long history has lead to several total reorganisations of the nation's armed forces - two major geopolitical shifts (the central Benacian question and currently, the Euran cold war) each lead to a total revamping of the AMK order of battle and military philosophy. This long history of sometimes lengthy top-down reorganisations had lead to a great variety of tactical and organisational schools within Yabotinsky Fortress High Command. Due to the nature of the current foreign policy objectives of the Republic, the military naturally possesses a true blue water power projection capability in the form of several aircraft carriers and nuclear powered submarines, and possesses a strategic bomber fleet and early warning radar network.
The military hardware of the Republic has varied immensely over time - the embryonic AMK in the early years of the Republic heavily relied upon an eclectic mix of Matbaic derived aircraft designs, Israeli, British, German and American military vehicles and a great deal of small arms, APC and aviation designs from military-industrial contractors such as OAH and PSI. The modern AMK is quite a different animal, and has adopted a far greater degree of logistical consistency - most core vehicular and small arms resources are of Russian and Soviet origin, yet a vast amount of new indigenous designs are in service, constructed by the state run 'Klymenburg Drive Yards', which is responsible for much of the naval hardware the AMK currently uses.
The AMK was naturally influenced heavily by early 20th century Eastern Europe and Germany - much as the Republic itself was and still is - and this is abundantly evident; military ranks are largely a mix of Polish, German and Yiddish, whilst the standard issue uniform of most AMK personnel includes the Rogatywka (Polish military cap), Gymnasterka (Russian military tunic) and Ushanka (Russian winter hat). Most elements of the uniform more generally are influenced heavily by interwar Polish, Lithuanian, German and Latvian patterns as well as those of the Ukrainian National Republic. Much of this sartorial development was due to the influence of Herr H. Ziegler - the artist laureate who has produced a series of high-quality drawings for the AMK.
The military is a deeply respected organisation for many Ashkenatzim, and the election of numerous one time Feldmarshalls to the post of Nohsi over the Republic's history have furthered this standing of the military in society. Over its relatively short history Ashkenatza has been involved in one major RecWar (the Amokolian War of September 2009), one minor RecWar (the Ashkenatzi-Tellian War of January 2009), one insurrection (the insurgency in the Mahoz HaSephardim (See article on the Mahoz) of March 2010) and a long-standing cold war with paramilitary and insurgency operations (with Babkha and her Raspur Pact allies - the Euran Cold War)
Ashkenatza's Media output has been copious for most of its history, and oftens serves to drive forward the political simulation of the nation. Increasingly, Ashkenatzi media is specifically written to explore the cultural connections Ashkenatzi citizens have with other countries, and to explore their worldview in a context that would not be regarded as official by observers from another nation on Micras. Ashkenatzi media at the time of writing is nearly all written from an in-sim point of view; the lines between OOC (out of character) and IC (In character) having been increasingly split.
Ashkenatzi media largely began with two newspapers - the Tsayt fun Romersk and Litovsker Tagblatt, both of which reflect on monthly micronational developments with a characteristically satirical twist. The Tagblatt was distributed in Shireroth, Antica and the MCS and has won a FNORD award for journalism. Experiments with a television studio - Ashkenatzishe Englishsprakhige Televiziye (Ashkenatzi Anglophone Television, AATV) - have been tried, as well as blogs for the literature and statements of many political parties. More recently, a 'newsflash' thread has consistently been maintained on the forums, which seeks to present excerpts from print media about pressing issues of the day from an in-sim perspective. The production of a near-constant stream of in-sim material has often helped drive forward Ashkenatzi political simulation and provide an entertaining platform for which to further develop the nation.
Leading Ashkenatzi citizens occasionally appear on the Antican audio programme the Antican Round Table, and whilst not in-character or even technically representative of media in Ashkenatza, such contributions are often used to help explain certain developments in Ashkenatza, or approaches to micronationalism by Ashkenatzi citizens that the rest of the Micran community may not be aware of. Ashkenatza has tenuously experimented with creating a relaxed radio talk show interspersed with music in the vain of the Antican Round Table or KZFO, but this has not come into fruition.