|National motto: ...|
|Capital||Çuá de Montrei|
|Important Cities||San Françisco, Santa Crux|
|Independence||from Alta California|
|Currency||1 aulón = 20 pesetas = 240 scúos|
Montrei is a representative republic. It consists of three branches, the judiciary, the presidency, and the legislature. The legislature is further broken into two sides Council of representatives and the senate (modelled after Alta California's government). The President may serve for two terms of 5 years.
Montrei is divided thusly:
- Provinças - Provinces: The primary divisions
- Condaos - Counties: Smaller administrative areas
- Distritos - Districts: Divisions of condaos consisting of one major city or town and several smaller towns or villages. Or a grouping of several small towns and or villages
The provinces within Montréi are:
- La Val
- Siarra Nevà
- Costa deu Sur
Montrei began as a long forgotten set of northern trading posts and settlements for Alta California. The Montreianos were long esteemed to be backwoods farm folk who spoke a "strange form of Castilian".
Settlement began not long after discovery of Alta California in 1543, and the second expedition up the coast by Sebastian Vizcaíno in 1602. The Kingdom of Castile and Leon, fearing encroachment of other nations upon the newfound territory declared Alta California open to those who would colonize the territory. For a few years, few people saw the territory as worth it, since it was far from any major settlements. Castile and Leon decided to try another tactic. Since the Manila Galleons frequently needed to sail above 30 deg N latitude to find favorable winds, Castile and Leon declared that all ships must stop in Monterey. Monterey thus became an important stop, especially because it allowed crews a place to rest and time to take on provisions for the trip south to Acapulco. The Castilians also set up Presidios at several places, on the Peninsula where the present city of San Françisco is found, Monterey, and San Diego. Small garrisons were set up to protect the harbors and ports from Pirates. After stopping in Monterey, ships were then permitted to sail down the coast.
Despite the promise of wealth, or at least the opportunity to do so, few decided to settle in Monterey. in 1620, a group of Castilians decided to take the risk and settled in the Region. These people would become known as the first Montreianos. The Montreianos originated from an area between Bajadóz, Ciudad Real, and Seville in the Iberian peninsula. Quite a few of their ancestors were Conversos, converted Muslims and Jews who opted at the time of the reconquista to convert to Christianity rather than face the sword or expulsion. Many of them were already Christians under Muslim rule but had always been considered suspect by the new authority. These people slowly filtered into the Monterey area, setting up a small city which supported the Presidio and the port. Monterey slowly grew from a few hundred to several thousand within a few decades.
After about 1770, Castile and Leon took a much more serious interest in Alta California. Until this time, the churches in Alta California were unorganized, and limited to the two main areas of Settlement, San Diego and Monterey. The original church in Monterey stands where the Presìo Chapel stands near the Plaça Maior. At first, conversion of the Indians was not top priority for Castile and Leon, setting up a Castilian presence in Alta California to protect its claims was, bu around 1770, Castile decided that the territory needed to be further developed, and declared that a mission system was to be set up to further protect its claims, as well as convert the local "savages" into the fold and civilize them.
Another reason for the mission system was to make sure the original settlers had not gone too "native". Fortunately, with a steady stream of settlers in Monterey and San Diego, with influence from sailors coming in from Las Filipinas, this "nativization" had not progressed too much, and both cities had grown to populations of several thousand each. Whatever nativization had occured was regressed when the mission system became established under Fray Junipero Serra, a Franciscan Missionary. A chain of 21 missions was set up from San Diego in the south to the city of San Francisco de Solano close to the Russian settlement of Fort Rossiya.
By the 1840's, Alta California, and ultimately, Montrei was a part of the Republic of Méjico from 1838 - 1854. Civil wars between those years ultimately won Alta California, and Tejas as well freedom from Mejico. Peace was short lived in Alta California, because not long after Tejas and Alta California split from Mejico, that fighting between the two began. Montreianos also began a revolt, as their culture and language had become distinct by this time, and no longer saw themselves as either Mejicanos, or Californios. In 1858, seeing that fighting on both sides was a losing battle, Alta California agreed to a Montreiano authored peace treaty (Called the Tratao de San Carlos, as it was signed in the Iglesia de San Carlos Borromeo del Carmelo) that granted them freedom, and the land between the backwater towns of Santa Rosa, and Buana Ventura, as far east as the eastern foot of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range. Alta California foolishly agreed, as it had considered that area either too mountainous, too swampy, or worthless land (and realized its mistake when gold was discovered in about 1865).
Montrei shares similar geology to the western part of Alta California. Many of the rocks are conglomerations of island arcs, volcanism, and uplift that has occured over tens of millions of years. As such., Montrei has a very diverse geology. There are quite a few notable features, which are described on a separate page
The most visible element of culture seen often in Montrei is the wearing of traditional dress on Sundays and for important festivals and events. The dress is essentially that of the 1800's, which has become known as the "national dress".
For men, the dress consists of the following
- A black, navy, charcoal, or brown broad brimmed hat, decorated around the crown with gold embroidery, or for those who are not so wealthy, in cotton thread in constrasting embroidery.
- A short scarf tied around the head to protect the inside of the hat from oils from the head and hair.
- A short jacket made of silk, calico, or wool (in winter), lined with silk, or for poorer men, muslin in black, navy, charcoal, or brown color. It is usually embroidered finely along the hem, cuffs and collars in gold thread, silk, or cotton thread. It has a low V neck and shawl collar which extends down to the center of the chest. It is buttoned with two to three buttons. Starting from the last button, it is cut so that it opens and curves at an angle away from the last button, down to the side seams, displaying the waistcoat underneath.
- Waistcoat, highly embroidered or made from imported cloth (Japanese designs are popular).
- A white shirt, sometimes pleated down the center, but mostly plain with a collar and open from the neck down 3 to 4 inches, although the trend is for them to be made with buttons.
- High waisted trousers of the same materials as the jackets are (the materials are matched, never contrasted).
- Or, short breeches with white stockings (more popular inland in summer), decorated in the same manner as the trousers.
- Deer skin shoes are typical, and often tooled and decorated. More popular (and less expensive) are plain leather shoes made of cow hide.
- A red sash is wrapped around the waist, and allowed to hang from mid thigh to the knee. Sometimes embroidered with a subtle pattern, usually plain, but of fine cloth. This is wrapped around itself so that the ends are tucked into it if the wearer will be someplace where it may get caught.
- And the final mark which makes this outfit distinctly Californian, is the cloak. This cloak is either indigo or black, and usually embroidered along the hem at least. It is long and hangs either to the knee or the calf. Wealthy men will have highly figured and embroidered cloaks, some going to the extreme of being somewhat gaudy. Pooerer men have simpler cloaks.
Women's dress by contrast is a lot less complex, but of brighter colors:
- A loose waisted dress which is made of silk, crepe, or calico, extending to the ankle, and with short, fitted sleeves, finely embroidered along the hem. Foreign fabrics have become popular. Colors are usually rather subdued, and red is considered bold. Sleeves are somtimes made so that there is a hanging cuff.
- No corset (which would've restricted work.)
- Satin shoes which are highly embroidered in gold or silk thread, or leather shoes which are tooled similarly to the men.
- Like the men, a sash is worn around the waist, and is highly embroidered, or of a patterened cloth (striped fabric is very popular). This is usually tied into a bow in the back if the woman is doing something where it could be caught or ignited.
- A long mantle is worn over the head. It is not draped over the bosom as it is in church unless it is winter or cold. Mantles worn in public are usually embroidered or patterned.
- If the hair is worn long, it is put into a low bun, tied into a low pony tail, or worn in braids.
While Montrei remains a largely rural society, the cities are said to be cosmopolitan without the squalor and crowding of other cities in the world. These cities feature brick-paved thoroughfares, with all the modern amenities, and have a sort of ‘resort’ charm. Most of the openness is due to the preference for two story family homes, few apartment buildings, and a small population (not more than about 5,000,000 citizens. Most of Montrei has remained uncultivated, or relatively untouched by man due to extensive mountainous terrain or swampy areas. Cattle Ranching remains the prime industry, as well as aquaculture. Japan has major mining deals in the Mountains, and fishing is the primary industry along the coasts. Most of the rural areas are indigenous people, or "mestiço" (mixed) blood.
Montrei is not expected to ever to be a major player in world politics, and in fact often seeks to mediate conflict and produce peace in its near neighborhood, if not the world at large. Montrei realizes that its position within a rather hostile area would be inflammatory in an already hostile part of the world if they became a militarized society, so they prefer to remain neutral in conflicts.
This pacifism does not make the world forget Montrei, but rather, remember it as a refreshing spot, idyllic almost, serving as a spot for those who survive the political games and are looking for a nice quiet corner of the world to vacation in and retire to, to live out their last days in peace and comfort. For this reason, Montréi has large communities of expatriots of various nationalities.
Montrei remains a brisk trading partner with Japan trading its metals and fishing products with Japan. The bay of San Françisco serves as a great deep water port for large fleets and cargo ships. San Françisco also serves as a departure point for coastal cruise ships. San Françisco is a relatively small city, however.
Montréi has two official languages, Montreiano, which is primary, and Castillian, which is secondary. All Montreiano students are expected to speak Castillian at the level the ministry of education considers advanced high speaking to fluent. Compulsory education in Castilian begins in grade 1 and lasts until the final year of high school where a final test to determine fluency is given.
Other languages spoken are regional indian languages (Txumax, Ohlone, etc.), Japanese near Meidji-dò, Cantonese (around the old Cantonese fishing villages), Tagalog and other Philippine languages.
Official documents are written in a script called Gothic Rotunda. Its retention was helped due to the isolation of the Montreianos that settled the area of Montréi by the 17th century. Rotunda is notable for its retention of the short and long S, a numeral 2 shaped r which follows round letters, and capitals which contain descenders that drop below the line.
Montreiano handwriting is based closely on Rotunda, although the trend in the last few decades has been a shift over to a script based upon the humanist script.
Most Montreianos follow the Mozarabic rite of Catholicism. However, there are slight differences from that of their neighbors in Alta California.
In traditional churches, women sit in the pews to the left, and men to the right. Women also cover themselves in an opaque mantle, which is drawn around the base of the neck, covering the bosom. Girls and young women wear light pastel colored mantles, while older women tend to wear darker colors. For all women, red is considered immodest, but subdued blues, greens, browns, grays, black, and white are acceptable. Widows always wear black, all women wear black mantles at funerals. Men and women typically wear traditional dress on special church holidays (Easter and Christmas) and to weddings and funerals.
- Bernardo Azul is a moderately well-known artist who has done cover art for novels by J.R.R. Tolkien.
- Angelita Diaz is a major pop singer and actress whose popularity has now spread to the NAL.
How To Tell If You're Montreiano
Visit How to tell if you're Montreiano... to discover.
Border Protection and Immigration
Montrei has been able to maintain a rather neutral position in a rather war torn south western North America with a policy that avoids siding with any of its neighbors in their own conflicts, and using the military primarily as a civil engineering and domestic defense force. All roads that lead into or out of Montréi are controlled by Military check points. Along the eastern border, known mountain passes are patrolled by small garrisons which are changed out frequently each month. A perimeter wall or fence has not been erected along Montrei's borders, but outposts (aside from those at easy entry points) are established within sight of each other and manned by small garrisons, just as the outposts at major entry points are. This obviously does not stop all illegal immigrants, but it is credited as keeping the number down to what Montréi considers "manageable" numbers.
Tourism and Immigration
Montréi has rather strict regulations on immigration. Not everyone is allowed to live within Montréi. Tourists receive a 30 day visitors visa, which is unable to be extended while within Montréi. Business people are granted visas as long as needed, but must have a special document signed by designated officials within their company who agree to take responsibility for any transgressions a business visitor commits (such as paying for court costs should their employee commit a crime). Government officials must have special papers designating them as officials for their home countries. Violators of these visas are deported immediately after being caught without any sort of trial or legal counsel (if they have not committed a crime). All visitors are required to have two forms of identification, a passport, as well as a picture ID from their home country. Montréi extradites criminals back to their home countries, unless they are considered by Montréi to be an asylum seeker.
Those who plan to live in Montréi for more than 30 days must apply 120 days before their intended start date of stay for a secial "migrant visitor" permit. This permit requires a copy of their passport information, two signed letters from two separate unrelated sponsors in their home country, a letter of intent which must be signed and dated, and a letter from the sponsor within Montréi who will be hosting them. These regulations primarily apply only to business people, or students. The permit is then sent to the person requesting it as a special ID, and must be with the person once they pass through the immigration checkpoint upon arrival.
While it is obvious the borders, permits, and visas cannot prevent illegal immigration all of the time, entry by illegal immigrants happens mostly through smugglers or those who risk life by crossing the deserts or difficult mountainous areas. Shipping vehicles are stopped at entry points and searched, trains are stopped at special depots and searched as well. Illegal immigrants who are caught are deported. Political asylum is generally not granted unless a nation is considered internationally as a violator of human rights, although refugees from civil wars or severe natural disasters are usually allowed to stay as long as they are considered to have a legitimate reason for settling in the country.
Other than being born of two Montreiano citizens, citizenship is only granted to those who are born within Montréi of at least one Montreiano parent. Although, the child is given the opportunity at age 18 to decide which nation they intend to become a citizen of. Dual citizenship is not recognized within Montréi. Children of non-citizen immigrants within Montréi's territory are not granted citizenship, and like all visitors, are given 30 days to be taken by their parents back to their home country (if the parents' visas are close to expiration or expired, the infant is allowed to stay until is is safe to be taken from the hospital. Special circumstances are babies born that need further medical care.) The chance to apply for citizenship is only granted in the following ways:
- As was mentioned, if one's spouse or parent is a Montreiano citizen.
- Those who are seeking political asylum from a nation recognized as a violator of human rights or a nation embroiled in civil war or a humanitarian crisis.
- One has a degree from a recognized university in their homeland, and they are considered a "professional". Skilled workers are denied citizenship unless they meet the preceding two regulations.
- One has been accepted into a Montreiano university, and is planning to stay to work after getting their degree.
However, under the government of President Geraudo Braun, Montrei's immigration laws have loosened somewhat. A certain degree of tolerance towards so-called "çuas de sanctuario" has emerged, and Braun has supported measures to allow for the naturalisation of illegal immigrants who have resided in Montrei for long periods of time. Nevertheless, immigration reform remains stuck in political quagmire, and analysts do not believe that the current strict immigration laws will be significantly changed in the next few years.
Education in Montrei is considered optional from the ages 3 to 5 years, and is called "Eucaçón Infantiu". Afterward, education is considered compulsory until after the age of 18. The remaining levels from ages 6 to 18 are divided into three categories:
- Eucaçón Primaira - Primary education, ages six to eleven, levels one through six.
- Eucaçón Secundaira - Secondary Education, ages twelve to fifteen, levels seven through ten.
- Liçeo - High School, ages sixteen to 18, levels eleven and twelve.
Higher education is divided into three areas, universities, colleges, and vocational schools.
Universiás - universities, these are considered the most prestigious form of higher education. There are two systems, the Universiá de Montrei (UM), which focuses on research and traditional arts (Philosophy, fine arts, literature, etc.), and the Universiá Naçonau de Montrei (UNM), which focuses more on engineering, agriculture, business and teaching. Most of the teachers in Montrei graduate from the UNM system. The two systems were originally the same system, but were divided in the early part of the 1990´s into the current two systems. Private and religious institutions also exist; these usually charge tuition fees, and can be very expensive.
Institutos - colleges, these are the alternative to the universities. The colleges offer education at a fraction of the cost of the universities. Colleges allow students to fulfill the general education requirements of the universities, but to obtain a degree, one must transfer to universities in either of the university systems. The real focus of the colleges is to provide professional certification for careers which do not require a diploma from a university.
Scuala Profeçonau - vocational school, these schools only provide job training. They allow students who are not interested, or eligible for admission to universities to learn a trade. Most of the training for what would be considered "blue collar" jobs are learned by students at these schools.
Entry into universities and colleges require entry tests to be eligible. These tests are considered to be very rigorous. Most of the instruction that happens in the liçeo is focused on learning the types of subjects a student is expected to know in order to be admitted to the universities or the colleges.
Public universities and colleges are free to whoever passes the national entrance exams. Since the entrance requirements for the colleges are less rigorous than those for the universities, many students who decide they would like to study at a university attend the colleges and later transfer after receiving sufficent credits. For students wishing to enter a public university, this usually allows them to have a more relaxed liçeo and distribute their plan of study over a longer period of time, while for students wishing to enter a private university, studying in a college and then transfering is usually cheaper than entering a private university immediately after liçeo.
Montrei has two divisions of civilian law enforcement, the Poliçía Çiviu (PÇ) - Civil Police, and the Poliçía Muniçipau (PM) - Municipal Police. The PÇ control all matters outside of the cities, unincorporated villages and towns, and rural areas. The PM handle all police business within cities and incorporated towns. Both branches often cooperate, especially when matters of jurisdiction are questionable. The PÇ are accountable to the PM when within their jurisdiction, and vice versa. The PÇ are distinguishable by their gray uniforms, and the PM are distinguishable by their dark blue uniforms.
For national security, there is the Poliçía Naçonau (PN). They control all security matters on a national scale, such as airports, train stations, and border check points. They have jurisdiction over federal crimes and investigations. They are not accountable to either the PM or PÇ branches, both of which are subordinate to both in matters of federal investigations, even if the crimes occur within the jurisdictions of either the PM or the PÇ. The PN tend to wear formal business attire during their investigations.
Agriculture is third in importance economically, behind fishing and mining. Drier valleys are used for growing grains such as wheat, and fruit trees. Wetter areas, such as near Lago Tular is used for growing rice, which is the main staple in Montreiano cuisine. On the hillsides and rich alluvial fans of the side canyons in the major valleys, the art of viticulture is practiced, producing some of the finest wines in North America.
Among common agricultural crops, the following are the most important:
- Grapes (table and wine)
General Food crops
- Chile peppers
- Olives (oil and olives)
- Sugar Beets
- Cherimoya (Anonna cherimola)
- White Sapote (Casimiroa edulis)
- Prickly pears (Opuntia spp.)