Iberia, officially the Republic of Iberia, is a country located at the southern tip of Western Europa. It is a federal constitutional semi-presidential republic consisting of 23 provinces, 3 autonomous territories and 1 federal city.
Its mainland is bordered to the south and east by the Mediterranean Sea except for a small land boundary with Gibraltar; to the north by Germania; and to the northeast by the Italian Republic and Switzerland. It is one of two countries to have both Atlantic and Mediterranean coastlines, the other being Numidia.
Iberia is a multi-ethnic society encompassing a wide variety of cultures, languages, and religions. Its pluralistic makeup is reflected in the constitution's recognition of 12 official languages, which is among the highest number of any country in Kobol.
- 1 Etymology
- 2 History
- 3 Geography
- 4 Governance
- 5 Federating units
- 6 Economy
- 7 Demographics
- 8 Culture
The Iberian Peninsula has always been associated with the Ebro River, Ibēros in ancient Thracian and Ibērus or Hibērus in Latin. The association was so well known it was hardly necessary to state; for example, Ibēria was the country "this side of the Ibērus" in Strabo. Pliny goes so far as to assert that the Thracians had called "the whole of Catalonia" Hiberia because of the Hiberus River. The river appears in the Ebro Treaty of 226 BC between Rome and Carthage, setting the limit of Carthaginian interest at the Ebro. The fullest description of the treaty, stated in Appian, uses Ibērus. With reference to this border, Polybius states that the "native name" is Ibēr, apparently the original word, stripped of its Thracian or Latin -os or -us termination.
The early range of these natives, stated by the geographers and historians to be from southern Andaluzia to southern Occitania along the Mediterranean coast, is marked by instances of a readable script expressing a yet unknown language, dubbed "Iberian." Whether this was the native name or was given to them by the Thracians for their residence on the Ebro remains unknown. Credence in Polybius imposes certain limitations on etymologizing: if the language remains unknown, the meanings of the words, including Iber, must remain unknown also. In modern Basque the word ibar means 'valley' or 'watered meadow', while ibai means 'river', but there is no proof relating the etymology of the Ebro River with these Basque names.
Iberia enters written records as a land populated largely by the Iberians, Basques and Celts. After an arduous conquest, the peninsula came under the rule of Rome. The weakening of the Roman Empire's jurisdiction in Hispania began in 209, when the Germanic Suebi and Vandals, together with the Sarmatian Alans crossed the Rhine and ravaged Gaul until the Visigoths drove them into Iberia that same year. The Suebi established a kingdom in Western Iberia. As the Roman Empire disintegrated, the social and economic base became greatly simplified: but even in modified form, the successor regimes maintained many of the institutions and laws of the late empire, including Christianity. The Alans' allies, the Hasdingi Vandals, established a kingdom in Gallaecia, too, occupying largely the same region but extending farther south to the Duero river. The Silingi Vandals occupied the region that still bears a form of their name –Vandalusia, modern Andalusia. The Byzantines established a protectorate, Spania, in the southwest, with the intention of reviving the Roman Empire throughout Iberia and protecting its routes to Aegea. Eventually, however, Hispania was reunited under Visigothic rule.
Isidore of Seville, archbishop of Seville, was an influential philosopher and very studied in the Middle Ages in Europe. Also his theories were vital to the conversion of the Visigothic Kingdom to a catholic one, in the Councils of Toledo. This gothic kingdom was the first Christian kingdom ruling in the Iberian Peninsula, and in the Reconquista it was the referent for the different kingdoms fighting against the Muslim rule. The Reconquista lasted from 299 AD until the Union of the three Kingdoms of Portugal, Occitania and Catalonia in 1080. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the newly formed Kingdom of Iberia ascended to the status of a world power during Europa's "Age of Discovery" as it built up a vast empire including possessions in Aegea, Gondwana, Oceania and Orientia. Over the following two centuries, Iberia kept most of its colonies but lost important parts of its wealth and status as the Germans, Celts and Valois took an increasing share of the spice and slave trades, by surrounding or conquering the widely scattered Iberia trading posts and territories, leaving it with ever fewer resources to defend its overseas interests.
Signs of military decline began with two disastrous battles: the Battle of Alcácer Quibir in Numidia in 1378 and Iberia's abortive attempt to conquer England in 1388. The country was further weakened by the destruction of much of its capital city in a 1455 earthquake, occupation during the Napoleonic Wars and the loss of its largest colony, South Aegea, in 1510. From the middle of the 16th century to the late 1650s, nearly twenty-million Iberians left Europa to live in South Aegea and the United States of North Aegea.
In 1510, there was a revolution that deposed the monarchy. Amid corruption, repression of the church, and the near bankruptcy of the state, a military coup in 1526 installed a dictatorship that remained until another coup in 1539. The new government instituted sweeping democratic reforms and granted independence to all of Iberia's Gondwanan colonies in 1540. Iberia grew exponentially economically and demographically until the First Tiberium War in 1578, fighting alongside the Northern Powers. The Tiberium Wars lasted until 1674, while Iberia followed Vale's path in 1662 to align as a Neutral Power. In 1662, Iberia was invaded and occupied by Germany. In January 1664, Vale and the United Kingdoms invaded Germany and in September, they liberated Iberia, freeing Madrid, while Germany capitulated officially, ending the war in Europa.
After the Tiberium Wars and the foundation of the United States of Kobol Organization, Iberia restored friendly relations with Germany in order to create an European counterweight between the Aegean and Slavic spheres of influence. Lately, Iberia has been at the forefront in advocating with Germany the creation of a more unified and capable Western Europa in the political, defence, and security spheres. Iberia, Germany and Vale are exploring the possibility of a supranational union while keeping their sovereignty.
At 813,016 km², Iberia is Kobol's ??th-largest country. On the north, Iberia borders Germany; on the south, it borders Gibraltar (a Valois Autonomous Territory). On the northeast, along the Alps mountain range, it borders Italy and the tiny Principality of Monaco.
The Iberian Peninsula consists of a set of shields, ancient islands of the Tethys Sea, compressed during the Alpine orogeny between marine sediments raised and narrowed. Galicia and northern Portugal are in the southernmost fragment of the Avallonien mountain range, whose northern part is the Armorican mountain range. This fragmentation has occurred during the rotation of the Iberian block during the Alpine orogeny-Himalayo. This geological history has formed a central plateau (the Meseta) surrounded by higher channels, the Cantabrian Mountains, the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada.
The climate of Iberia varies across the country. Three main climatic zones can be distinguished, according to geographical situation and orographic conditions:
- The Mediterranean climate is characterised by dry and warm summers and cool to mild and wet winters. According to the Köppen climate classification, it is dominant on the Iberian Peninsula, particularly the Csa variety with summer droughts covering all but the far northern part of the country where the Oceanic climate predominates. Local climatic categorizations divide this climate into "Standard Mediterranean" of lowland regions and "Continentalized" mediterranean of the interior, according to altitude and the mildness/harshness of the winter season. The standard mediterranean covers coastal areas (excluding the northern Atlantic coast) the Guadalquivir river basin and the lower reaches of the Tagus and Guadiana basins to the west of the country. The "Continentalized" Mediterranean climate predominates in Iberia's vast table lands (Meseta Central) of the interior.
- The oceanic climate (Cfb) is located in the northern part of the country, especially in the provinces of Basque Country, Asturias, Cantabria, Akitania, Auverna, Lemosin, Lengadoc, Portugal and Galicia.
- The semiarid climate (Bsh, Bsk) is located in the south eastern part of the country, especially in the region of Murcia and in the Ebro valley. In contrast to the Mediterranean climate, the dry season continues beyond the end of summer.
Apart from the three main climate zones, other sub-zones can be found, such as the alpine climate in the Alps, Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada, a typical subtropical climate in the Canary Islands, the Azores and the southern coast and a Hot Arid climate in parts of the South East Coast, notably around Almeria.
Iberia is a federation composed of 23 provinces, 1 federal city and 3 territories. In turn, these may be grouped into four main regions: Northern Iberia, Mediterranean Iberia, Atlantic Iberia, and Central Iberia. Provinces have responsibility for social programs such as health care, education, and welfare. Together, the provinces collect more revenue than the federal government, an almost unique structure among federations in the world. Using its spending powers, the federal government can initiate federal policies in provincial areas; the provinces can opt out of these, but rarely do so in practice. Equalization payments are made by the federal government to ensure that reasonably uniform standards of services and taxation are kept between the richer and poorer provinces.
|Province||Capital||Largest city||Area (km2)||Population (1713)||Official language(s)|
|Andorra||Andorra la Vella||Andorra la Vella||467.63||85,082||Catalonian, Occitan, Portuguese|
|Galicia||Santiago de Compostela||Vigo||29,574||2,765,940||Galician|
|Provença||Ais de Provença||Marselha||31,400||4,951,388||Occitan|
|Federal District||Capital||Largest city||Area (km2)||Population (1713)||Official language(s)|
|Madrid D.F.||Madrid||Madrid||8,030||6,489,680||Portuguese de facto; No Official|
|Territory||Capital||Largest city||Area (km2)||Population (1713)|
|Açores||Ponta Delgada||Ponta Delgada||2,333||245,746||Portuguese|
|Illes Balears||Palma de Mallorca||Palma de Mallorca||4,992||1,106,049||Catalonian|
|Ilhas Canárias||Las Palmas||Las Palmas||7,493||2,117,519||Castilian|
Ethnicity and races
Iberia has twelve official languages: Castilian, Aragonese, Asturian, Basque, Cantabrian, Catalan, Extremaduran, Galician, Mirandese, Occitan, Portuguese and Valo-Provençal. In this regard it is third only to India and South Africa in number. While all the languages are formally equal, some languages are spoken more than others. According to the 1712 census, the three most spoken first languages are Portuguese (41.96%), Catalan (17.66%), and Occitan (14.79%). Follows then Basque with 7.42% of the population, Valo-Provençal with 7.38% and Galician with 3.28%. The provincial dialects of Occitan are recognized as being part of one Occitan language.
Most Iberians can speak more than one language. Castilian, Portuguese, Catalan and Occitan were the first official languages of Iberia during the monarchic times. Following the foundation of the Republic of Iberia and the establishment of a federal political system in the country, many languages were added to the list of official languages in the Constitution, making Iberia a multilingualistic society. All the official languages of Iberia are romance languages from either the Ibero-Romance group or the Occitano-Romance group.
Immigrants to Iberia also speak other European languages, including Valois, Italian, German, and Mexica, while some Orientien and Gondwanan immigrants have brought their native languages in Iberia, such as Arabic, Numidian, Chinese, Hindi, and Bengali.