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Free State of Sungkou
Location of Sungkou (dark green) in the Confederacy of Northern Avalonia (light green)|
Location of Sungkou (dark green)
in the Confederacy of Northern Avalonia (light green)
|Official languages||Goetic, Austrogothic, Tiberian, Bakanese|
|Government||Federal semi-presidential constitutional republic|
Sabine Ri |
• Osceola migration
• New Somkartvelia, New Seratof
• Bakanese North Avalonia
• Protectorate of Söngkow-Neuwellenburg
• Dominion of Sungkou
|12 June 1890|
• Provisional Government
|3 April 1925|
• Plebescite of 1935
|7 December 1935|
|13,806 km2 (5,331 sq mi)|
• 2020 estimate
|GDP (PPP)||2020 estimate|
• Per capita
|GDP (nominal)||2020 estimate|
|Currency||Confederate dollar (LTD)|
Sungkou (Bakanese: ㄕㄤˋ ㄍㄠ, “seung5 gou1”) (Tiberian: Sangou), officially the Free State of Sungkou (Bakanese: ㄕㄤˋ ㄍㄠ ㄗˋ ㄧㄡˊ ㄅㄤ, “soeng5 gou1 zi6 jau4 bong1”) (Tiberian: Estado Libre de Sangou) is a state in the Confederate States of Northern Avalonia. It has land borders on the north by the state of Bakayata, on the west by the state of Tsing Tsi, the southwest by New Austrasia, and the south by Celayeta. Geographically, it is situated on the Iapetus Ocean. Sungkou is the 9th-smallest state by area but the most populous with 9,128,610 residents as of 2015 and an area of 13,806km2, making it the most densely populated of the 10 states constituting the CSNA. Its largest city and capital is its namesake, Sungkou; to differentiate between the state and the city, the city is often referred to as Metropolitan Sungkou. Sungkou was the wealthiest state within the confederacy by median household income as of 2017.
Sungkou was established as a colony of the Goetic Empire after Bakfong ceded the territory at the end of the Alva Delta War in 1853. The colony expanded westwards in 1875; between then and 1900, the colony comprised of its current territories and New Austrasia. Parts of the colony were occupied during the Grand Campaigns by New Valentina; Sungkouer administration resumed in the occupied territories following a negotiated settlement in 1925. With the Goetic Revolution having forced the Imperial Goetic government into exile in Alva, a provisional government was established. Following a referendum, Sungkou joined the Confederate States of Northern Avalonia in 1935, reforming into the current Free State. As part of the CSNA's confederal system, Sungkou retains a separate governing system from that of the central CSNA government.
Initially sparsely populated and largely reliant on agriculture and fishing, the state has become one of the world's most significant financial centres and commercial ports.
The current name of Sungkou comes from a Goetic transliteration of the Bakanese pronunciation of Sungkou, though the initial colony went by Söngkow-Neuwellenburg; the former half was an older transliteration, and the latter was established as a planned capital, though the plan would go under by the turn of the century and would later be incorporated into Metropolitan Sungkou proper as a district.
The territory's name, first romanized as "Soeng-Go" in 1830, originally referred to a small but prominent bluff that overlooked the inlet. The inlet was an initial point of contact between Samot and later Bakanese sailors and local fishermen. Although the source of the Romanised name is unknown, it is generally believed to be an early phonetic rendering of the Bakanese phrase “seung gou”. The name literally translates to “high up”, and probably refers to the Samot fort originally positioned on the top of the bluff. The modern name of “Sungkou” did not come into wide acceptance until the 1910s following orthography reforms in Goetia; the more archaic “Söngkow” continued to be used until the 1940s. Some corporations and businesses founded prior to the 1910s retain the old spelling, like the Söngkower Elektrizitätswerke and the Bank of Söngkow.
In accordance with the CSNA’s language policies, there exists in official use several other names for the state in other languages. Sungkou's status as a major financial hub also warrants a translation of its name into several other major languages otherwise not found in the CSNA.
|Goetic||Söngkow, Söngkou (archaic)
|Bakanese||ㄕㄤˋ ㄍㄠ||Seung Gou|
Prehistory and initial settlement
The earliest known traces of human settlement in what is now Sungkou date to 35,000-39,000 BCE, based on a 2012 archaeological investigation in the Obermarde region. The excavation revealed evidence of stone and obsidian tools. 4,000 BCE is generally accepted to be when human settlement in the Sungkou area was widespread, with its inhabitants being semi-coastal. The region remained sparsely populated up until the arrival of Artemian and Keshian explorers and settlers, starting with Samot explorer Ioseb Balavadze’s February 1749 sighting of what is now Kap Mannheim.
Early colonial era
Initially settled in the 1700s by Samot pioneers looking for new trade routes into northern Avalonia, the Bakanese pushed in from their holdings in the north and claimed the land for themselves in the 1830s. The current territory of the capital was originally a small fort and trading hub for Samot trappers and hunters; the Bakanese, who had hoped for a better-positioned port in the Iapetus, established Seung Gou (Bakanese: ㄕㄤˋ ㄍㄠ) not long after their conquests. The name derives from the bluffs that overlook the natural harbour on which the Samot fort originally sat.
The Bakanese period between the 1830s and 1854 saw an influx of Bakanese migrants looking to support their families back home in mainland Bakfong; Seung Gou and the surrounding region proved capable of supporting agriculture and as such were seen as suitable land to colonize. Inroads from Liao in the north and radiating from Seung Gou became the region’s road infrastructure, linking sprawling farms and plantations inland to ports in Seung Gou and Liao. Despite growth in the region, it remained sparsely populated save for Seung Gou itself and several fishing and farming villages. The swamps of coastal Seung Gou began to be tamed through human intervention, though this process would come to a brief halt during the end of Bakanese rule.
The arrival of Goetia was unexpected, as the main conflict raged on in the faraway deserts of Alva, southern Bakfong, and the seas of the Eurybian. At the same time, a small landing force composed of Goetic marines surprised and overpowered the weak garrison at Seung Gou in 1853. Following a humiliating treaty, Bakfong gave up its Seung Gou colony and overlordship over the Drachyrine League and various Aravan polities in modern-day Alva. With the arrival of Goetic government officials in late 1853, Sungkou’s Goetic period began.
Goetic rule over Sungkou lasted from 1853 to 1925, though the colony would be essentially self-governing by the turn of the century. Sungkou, by virtue of being a natural rest stop for cross-Iapetus travel, prospered under Goetic rule. The incorporation of rural population centres east and north of Sungkou stretched local bureaucracy to its limits; the Legislative Act of 1858 created an advisory Legislative Council (Goetic: Legislativer Rat) to assist the Governor. The Council would eventually evolve into the modern Landrat after Sungkou’s incorporation into the CSNA in 1935.
Due to Sungkou’s outdated agricultural sector, the Goetic administration drafted land reforms to tackle the long-standing issues of absentee landlords and partial owner-tenants. While these land distribution reforms initially proved popular, they were exploited by wealthy individuals and companies who bought the land and forced tenants to work harder for less. As a result, public discontent grew against the plantation owners, culminating in the Rice Riots of 1873. The resulting crackdown on rice cartels bolstered pro-Liaotian sentiment within the colony and birthed the modern pro-Liao political movement within Sungkou.
Goetia’s 1875 war against Agrana and Griegro spread to Sungkou with little warning; bordering the Agranan colony of Santa Radox, the Goetic garrison in Sungkou was unprepared to fight. Despite their unreadiness, little action occurred on the front. Goetic victory over the United Kingdom in 1876 ceded the entirety of Santa Radox to the Goetic Administration in Sungkou, though the bureaucratic strain this applied on Sungkou proved too much to handle. New Austrasia was formed in 1877 from the majority of the land annexed by Sungkou; the land would later be sold to Bakanese Liao in 1900 for a hefty sum of 35,000,000 RM. By 1880, Metropolitan Sungkou had evolved from a transient colonial outpost into a major entrepôt. Rapid economic improvement during the 1870s attracted foreign investment, as potential stakeholders became more confident in Sungkou's future. The University of Sungkou was established in 1895 as the territory’s first institution of higher education.
The hurricane of 1901 left a lasting impact on Metropolitan Sungkou and influenced Sungkou overall in regard to its culture. With most buildings built to Artemian standards, they were not meant to withstand hurricane-strength winds, leaving Metropolitan Sungkou in tatters. Refugees fled to the rural countryside and away from the coast, with some permanently settling inland. The reconstruction process that followed was swift and was carried out on a grand scale. The Sungkou Housing and Development Commission (Goetic: Sungkou Wohnungs- und Entwicklungskommission) was established in 1902 to establish new construction and quality standards for housing across Sungkou after the hurricane. The reconstruction process started in 1902 and finished in 1915, in time for the 80th anniversary of Metropolitan Sungkou’s founding and the start of the Grand Campaigns.
Grand Campaigns and independence
Sungkou, being a colonial possession of Goetia, joined the Grand Campaigns at the war’s beginning on the 15th of April, 1915. Due to Sungkou’s small size and distance from the conflict, the majority of support came in the form of materiel. The Sungkou administration was wary to retain its garrison in the chance that Tiperyn and her colonies (especially New Valentina) would join on the side of the Ovancians. This assumption proved to be right in 1919, when Tiperyn entered the Grand Campaigns on the side of the Ovannois Royalists, claiming Goetic forces had overstepped their claims.
Low-level ethnic conflict between the Agranan population in the newly incorporated western districts and the Goetic population had existed since Sungkou annexed the territory in 1876; it quickly escalated into violence at the outbreak of war. Faced with an internal crisis and an external threat from New Valentina, the Sungkou administration enlisted the help of Liao in order to quell the Agranan crisis. Results would be mixed; mainland Sungkou would eventually be pacified following brief fighting and moderate concessions to Sungkou Agranans, while the island of Guadallon was invaded by New Valentina. Guadallon remained in New Valentine hands until the 1925 Gullhavn Armistice returned the island to the new Provisional Government.
The fall of Goetia to communist revolutionaries in 1925 marked the end of proper Goetic rule in Sungkou. While martial law was already in effect since 1919, the former colonial government now fully took on the reins of power; Caspar von Halle, appointed Governor of Sungkou in 1910, installed a provisional government with himself remaining as Governor. The large influx of refugees hailing from Goetia spurred not only a massive housing crisis but increased political tensions between Sungkou’s ethnic groups. With a rapidly increasing population, the government attempted reforms to update and improve infrastructure and public services. Under the advice of a majority-liberal cadre, Caspar forced through subsidized public housing programs and public transit projects in the majority-conservative Legislative Council. The discontent and disarray in the Council following these events caused the nominally one-party state to fracture.
By 1926, Sungkou’s Legislative Council had fractured into three distinct factions. The largest bloc, the Centre, supported maintaining independence from Liao; given the circumstances at the time, the bloc was quickly losing ground within the Council. In contrast, the Imperials and Confederates were gaining seats. Imperial ambitions called for patience; the common view of Socialist Goetia at the time was one of an occupying force that would fracture quickly. The Confederate view saw Liao as necessary to keep Sungkou afloat; the issue of Goetia would come later, once the situation at home eased up. With Goetia’s colonies eventually turning to entrench autocracy in the case of Lower Alva or being forced to share power with another overlord in the case of Singaradscha, Caspar and his government toed the line between the two cases.
While still technically a military dictatorship, Caspar allowed limited freedoms that would usually be restricted under martial law. Under his rule, he would turn his focus inwards, implementing a rigorous program of political, economic, and cultural reforms with the end goal of establishing Sungkou as a self-sufficient nation. Primary education was made free and mandatory under his rule; hundreds of schools began to spread across Sungkou. While most overt Agranan resistance to the central government ceased with the 1925 Gullhavn Armistice, Santa Isabel remained a difficult district to control; Caspar allowed the formation of paramilitary forces to help supplement the existing military presence in the region.
Coinciding with the fall of the Imperial faction of the Council in 1933 due to Goetia’s resurgence as a new socialist power, Caspar repealed the outdated three-class franchise electoral system and replaced it with universal suffrage to set the stage for Sungkou’s eventual democratization and incorporation into the CSNA. Following a successful 1935 referendum on Sungkou’s incorporation into the CSNA, Caspar von Halle announced his intention to step down as Governor; his successor would be elected to the new position of Minister-President of Sungkou.
Early modern era
On the 7th of December, 1935, the Free State of Sungkou officially joined the Confederate States of Northern Avalonia as a member state. Elections were held the month after; Sören von Pracht became the first elected Minister-President of Sungkou, leading a big tent coalition. The early modern period heralded a new era of Sungkouer politics. Whilst political activists from Imperial Goetia had faced heavy censorship in the years prior and during the Grand Campaigns, Sungkou found itself trying to establish a new political tradition. For this reason, many exiled activists, such as Augustin Heidemann (who would later become minister-president himself) flocked to Sungkou to help; a significant number of them then went on to take key positions in the newly formed political and governmental structures. Despite a clear majority of Royalists forming the bulk of Sungkou's institutions, former Republicans and dissident Socialists began arriving from Litania, Insennia, and Red Goetia; these expatriates would eventually coalesce into Sungkou's opposition groups.
The years between Sungkou's 1935 admission into the CSNA and the 1975 Sorland War saw the formation of three powerful political blocs, mimicking the state of Sungkou's 1926 Legislative Council. The Centre and Confederates of old merged into the pro-CSNA Bundist bloc, working to increase economic cooperation with the CSNA in favour of dropping its more nationalist commitments. Centre-right and right-wing figures, pro-independence movements, and royalists banded around the Sovereignist label. Agranan and Bakanese interest groups fostered a close relationship with the Bundists, but their de facto nature as second-class citizens put them at odds with the majority-Goetic administration. This split along ethnic lines weakened the central government's control over the majority-Agranan and majority-Bakanese districts of Santa Isabel and Obermarde respectively; effective control was only solidified with the assistance of paramilitary forces affiliated with local populations.
Sungkou's status as a haven for political activists brought instability to the state. Exacerbated by a resurgence of right-wing Goetic nationalism from the successful 1941 coup in the Imperial Goetic holdout of Lower Alva, political violence reached new highs. Due to the central government's perceived lenience regarding paramilitary forces, right-wing paramilitary groups saw a dramatic rise in membership. As a counterbalance, leftist parties like the Committee for Agranan Labour, Seung Gou Confederation of Tradespeople, and the newly created Communist Party of Sungkou saw the same rise in membership. Attempts were made to restore cross-bench relations in the 1953 Neuwellenberg Conference; the end result failed to appease both ends of the spectrum, leaving Sungkou with rampant partisanship in its halls of government and rising tensions between leftist and right-wing groups.
Loewe Affair, Sorland War, and modern day
Sungkou has a population of approximately 9.5 million inhabitants (2020). Of the ten largest cities within the CSNA, Metropolitan Sungkou ranks second with 3 million residents (4 million if counting the Greater Metropolitan Sungkou Region). Sungkou's population density is 691/km2.
Largest cities or towns in Sungkou
2020 State Ministry of Statistics
|10||Santa Barbara||Santa Isabel||59,125|
In spite of its size, Sungkou's economy is consistently one of the largest within the CSNA; its gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010 exceeded $600 billion.The GDP of the region increased to $661.3 billion in 2019, accounting for 22% of Confederate economic output.
Although oil production exists in Sungkou, the output is miniscule and fails to reach domestic needs. Most oil is imported from other states within the CSNA via pipelines. Sungkou's largest refineries are located near Neuchatel and Reisfurt.
Aerospace and Defense
Government and politics
Since its 1935 reorganization into its current form, Sungkou has a multiparty system dominated by the centre-left Social Democratic Party of Sungkou and the centre-right National Conservative League - Sungkou.
The Constitution of the Free State of Sungkou was adopted on the 15th of March, 1935. The Sungkouer Constitution became the basis for Sungkou after its integration into the Confederation, and defines Sungkou's political system. Sungkou is a parliamentary republic within the framework of a representative democracy. The Minister-President is the country's head of state. Citizens can run and vote in parliamentary, municipal, and presidential elections.
Sungkou has a unicameral Landtag (English: State Diet), elected by universal suffrage. The Sungkouer State Government consists of the Minister-President of Sungkou, eleven Ministers and six Secretaries of State. The Minister-President is elected for a period of five years by the Landtag and is head of state. With the approval of the Landtag, they appoint the members of the State Government. The State Government is composed of the:
- State Chancellery
- Ministry of the Interior, for Sport and Integration (Staatsministerium des Innern, für Sport und Integration)
- Ministry for Housing, Construction and Transport (Staatsministerium für Wohnen, Bau und Verkehr)
- Ministry of Justice (Staatsministerium der Justiz)
- Ministry for Education and Culture (Staatsministerium für Bildung und Kultus)
- Ministry for Science and Art (Staatsministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst)
- Ministry of Finance and for Home Affairs (Staatsministerium der Finanzen und für Heimat)
- Ministry for Economic Affairs, Regional Development and Energy (Staatsministerium für Wirtschaft, Landesentwicklung und Energie)
- Ministry for Environment and Consumer Protection (Staatsministerium für Umwelt und Verbraucherschutz)
- Ministry for Food, Agriculture and Forestry (Staatsministerium für Ernährung, Landwirtschaft und Forsten)
- Ministry for Family, Labour and Social Affairs (Staatsministerium für Familie, Arbeit und Soziales)
- Ministry for Health and Care (Staatsministerium für Gesundheit und Pflege)
- Ministry for Digital Affairs (Staatsministerium für Digitales)
Ministers-President of Sungkou since 1935
|Ministers-President of Sungkou|
|No.||Name||Born and died||Party affiliation||Start of tenure||End of tenure|
|1||Sören von Pracht||1881-1970||Social Democratic Party of Sungkou||1935||1940|
|2||Augustin Heidemann||1899-1960||Freedom Party||1940||1945|
|3||Ludwig Koch||1891-1947||Social Democratic Party of Sungkou||1945||1947|
|4||Lars Hahnel||1900-1977||Goetic Farmers' Party||1947||1950|
|5||Sebastian Weiss||1903-1995||Freedom Party||1950||1960|
|6||Kasimir Schulze||1906-1981||Social Democratic Party of Sungkou||1960||1965|
|7||Abel Leung||1905-1993||National Conservative League - Sungkou||1965||1976|
|8||Estela Ybanez||1933-2014||People's Party||1976||1981|
|9||Lucas von Halle||1936-2013||National Conservative League - Sungkou||1981||1986|
|10||Marcel Wu||1936-||National Conservative League - Sungkou||1986||2001|
|11||Margareta Kong||1952-||Social Democratic Party of Sungkou||2001||2011|
|12||Ebert Koch||1960-||National Conservative League - Sungkou||2011||2016|
|13||Sabine Ri||1983-||Social Democratic Party of Sungkou||2016||2026|
Sungkou independence movement
|Outcome||Sungkou rejects independence and remains a constituent country of the Confederate States of Northern Avalonia|
Sungkouer independence is the notion of Sungkou as a sovereign state, wholly independent from the Confederate States, and refers to the political movement that is campaigning to bring it about.
Sungkou has not been an independent country since 1935. Sungkou gained self-government in 1890 from Goetia and was briefly independent between 1925 and 1935 following the collapse of the Goetic Empire. Following the 1935 Plebescite, Sungkou joined the Confederate States of Northern Avalonia as a constituent state, an arrangement that continues to this day.
Despite the wide autonomy given to Sungkou, there have been calls for independence as far back as its 1935 accession. While a majority of political parties within Sungkou support remaining within the CSNA, parties like the Goetic National Party and internal factions within major parties like the National Conservative League - Sungkou have voiced their skepticism on Sungkou's part within the CSNA. Public support for independence saw its largest spike in the 1980s; the major contributing factors to this spike were the residual effects of Sungkou's anti-war movement during the Sorland War and the 1980 Alvak Spring which saw Alva democratize.
The ratification of the 1997 Christmas Agreement saw the Goetic Provisional Government relinquish its 72-year long claim on Sungkou on the condition that if it ever voted to withdraw from the CSNA, it would have the Imperial Goetic sovereign as its head of state. Under intense pressure from the pro-independence Goetic members of his coalition, Minister-President Marcel Wu called for an independence referendum slated for October 1998 with the tacit approval of the Confederal government. Voters were asked: "Do you agree that Sungkou should be an independent country with the Imperial Goetic sovereign as its head of state?". Despite expectations of a moderate "No" victory, 22 percent of voters answered "Yes" while a whopping 78 percent voted "No", with a record voter turnout of 87%. The disastrous results of the referendum spelled the eventual downfall of Wu's government.
A second independence referendum has been frequently discussed, though one has yet to materialize. During Ebert Koch's time as Minister-President (2011 to 2016), he openly considered holding another independence referendum, proposing a date of 1 October 2013. While it was entirely possible to hold another referendum, Koch abstained from doing so.