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Santiago is a republic occupying the islands and coastline of Berkner Bay in Antarctica, bordering Maudland to the northeast, the United Republic to the east, and Byrdia to the south. Santiago also shares a maritime border with Ognia, to the west. Other than Indigenous Antarctic nations (such as the Kingdom of K'athar and the Kilaiye Confederacy), Santiago was the first independent country on the Continent.
During the congress which wrote the country's first constitution, there were two prominent proposals for the country's name. The Chilean settlers supported "Santiago", a common name for the region with unclear origins. The Chileans claimed that the name (which translates as "Saint James") was religious in nature, but the Argentines opposed it on the grounds that the name is shared by the capital of Chile. The Argentine counterproposal was to name the country after "Berkner Bay", the geographic region it occupies. This name was also problematic, as it emphasized the British discovery of the region: Berkner Bay is named after its discoverer, the English explorer James Berkner.
Ultimately, Santiago's first constitution gave its official name as la República de Santiago de la Bahía de Berkner, meaning Saint James' Republic of Berkner Bay. There are multiple Saints named "James" in Christianity, but the constitution specified James the Just, the first Bishop of Jerusalem, as Santiago's namesake.
In Spanish, the country has always been referred to most commonly as "Santiago", except in Chile, where the terms "Bahía de Berkner", "Santiago Antártico" and more recently "RDS", an abbreviation for "República de Santiago" are preferred for practical reasons. In many English-speaking countries, especially the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand and British Antarctica, "Berkner Bay" and "Saint James" were the most commonly-used names for the country until the 1950s, when "Santiago" became more common as a result of improving Santiago—Commonwealth relations. In the United States, "Saint James" was occasionally used in early texts, but "Santiago" had become commonplace by the time of World War I, partially as a result of the writings of Lionel Palmer, who always referred to the country as "Santiago".
The country's current official name, la República Santiagana de la Bahía de Berkner (the Santiagan Republic of Berkner Bay), was first proposed by then-President Benito Zapata in 1962. However, any change to the country's name must be ratified by the House of Delegates, and throughout his entire 10-year Presidency, Zapata never even put an official proposal to the House. For over 30 years, his proposal was forgotten, until his grandson Jefe Zapata (another President) finally put it to the House in 1998, and it passed with little opposition. The reasons for the change (which removes the reference to Saint James) were to emphasize that Santiago is now an officially secular nation, tolerant of all faiths, and to honor the memory of Benito Zapata, who remains one of the country's most respected Presidents.
The country's islands were never inhabited by Antarctic Natives, though they did occasionally use them as a hunting ground. Some of the land near the Byrdia border was K'atharan, while Santiago's north-east (the region near the Maudlandic border) was home to the Kaiws Nation, a major group of Kilaiye people. These Antarctic Natives remain a significant portion of the population. President Okha Shinin, who led the country from 1986 until 1996, was a Kilaiye.
Colonial Claims and Settlement
- See also: Berkner Land War
Russian and British presences were established on Antarctica during the 1820s, though only the Russians were remotely close to modern-day Santiagano territory. Russian settlement began on the tip of the Grahamland peninsula, though this colony was small, and was considered unimportant; so most of the Russian colonial effort was focussed on the Bellinsgauzenia area, across the continent from Santiago. Starting in 1834 (the First Russian-K'atharan War), Russian expansion in the area increased, and by 1886, the Russian Empire claimed much of modern-day Santiago.
Conversely, in the 1870s, the British began trying to claim as much Antarctic land as they could; and by the late 19th century they were also claiming much of Santiago. With the establishment of German and Scandinavian colonies in the 1890s, the British finalised the borders of their claims on the Continent.
By this time, Chile and Argentina had also invested in Colonization efforts in Antarctica; which quickly became the largest in the Santiago area. The Russian claim was administered from Russian West Antarctica; the British from British Interior Antarctica; and the Chilean and Argentine claims had no central government.
Between roughly 1886-1900, there was a series of unofficial, un-military clashes in the area between British, Russian, Chilean and Argentine colonists; known as the Berkner Land War.
Foundation and Establishment
At the turn of the 20th Century, the four countries were still undecided about the area; though the British seemed like they would soon dominate the area. The vast Hispanic majority of the area were worried at the prospect of becoming a British colony, so the Chileans and Argentines banded together to declare the region independent (it was impossible to unify the population in favour of joining either Argentina or Chile). Miguel Suárez, a Chilean, emerged as a prominent leader, and led the movement for independence; and in 1901 an interim government was established, with Suárez as President.
The British and Russians soon relinquished their claims, realising that their own colonists were a tiny force, with no legitimate claim to the area (or any real chance of securing it). Delegates from Suárez's government, led by Luciano Hernandez II, visited Buenos Aires and Santiago de Chile, and proved to both governments that their country was well-established and independent of foreign powers.
The Great War and the Winter Uprising
At the outbreak of World War I, Santiago and Norwegian Antarctica were the only neutral areas. The German colony of New Swabia was the only Central-aligned area, and the rest of the continent was controlled by the Allied nations of Britain, Russia and France. However, Santiago had been bettering its relations with Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottoman Empire for years before the War began; and on September 1st, President Esteban Sanchez signed the September Agreement with Ministers István Tisza and Karl von Stürgkh of Austria-Hungary.
This brought the country into the War on the side of the Central Powers; and Santiago immediately began mobilizing troops to fight against the encroaching Russian and British troops. Due to the small Central presence on the continent, the majority of Santiago's combat was focussed on defense, though Santiagan troops also fought in British Interior Antarctica, New Swabia and Russian West Antarctica, where they aided the Katharan Liberation Army, a paramilitary AIP-nationalist group.
Though there was some opposition to the War in Santiago, the Antarctic campaign remained comparatively small-scale for several months, so this opposition was also limited. In early 1915, the Allies began to step up their offensive, and the Santiagan Military stepped up its defenses in response. This further increased the anti-War movement, especially among members of the Military - Colonel (and future President) Francisco Bodega later wrote: "We began to realize - almost universally - that there was not one among us who could explain what it was we were killing and dying for".
In May of that year, Bodega and six other officers led a mutiny against the Military high command; which was continued by supportive Civilians in the form of a general strike. Sanchez' government attempted to pacify the rebels, and were quickly forced to resort to violence (it is a matter of great dispute whether the Military or the Rebels initiated the combat). After over five months of what was effectively a Civil War, Bodega's rebels stormed the government building and Sanchez surrendered his office.
Bodega met with leaders of the Liberal Party - the country's only remaining major party, after the collapse of the National Party following Sanchez' defeat - and established an interim government run by the Rebel officers, the strike organizers, and the Liberal Party. This provisional administration immediately declared itself neutral in the War, and signed peace with all of the Allied nations. German soldiers stationed in Santiago were allowed to return to New Swabia peacefully.
Bodega soon established his own political party, the Santiagano People's Party, and an election was held a few weeks later to determine who would finish Sanchez' term. Bodega won this election, and went on to win the following election, which was held the next year, in line with the normal schedule of Santiagan elections.
Immigration to Santiago began increasing in the 20's and 30's, mostly from other Hispanophone regions (especially Spain and South America; though Mexicans and Central Americans also arrived), bringing with them various cultures and traditions.
Involvement with the Spanish Civil War
Following World War I, Santiagan politics began to quickly drift towards the Left, and Socialist parties began to dominate. The Spanish Civil War (between Spanish Republicans and Spanish Nationalists) had a phenomenal impact on Santiago; as almost the entire population strongly supported the leftist Republicans, and as the League of Nations had prevented countries from joining the War, a Santiagan International Brigade (the Bodega Brigade, named for Francisco Bodega, a former President and national hero) was established. Over 1,000 Santiagans joined the Battalion; which became some of the very first support which the Republicans received throughout the war (only Poland sent earlier aid).
With the Republicans' defeat by the Nationalists in 1939, the Bodega Brigade was shipped back to Santiago (having lost over 400 men over the course of the conflict); one of the last Brigades to leave Spain. Santiago immediately declared that any and all Spanish Republican refugees would be welcome within its borders, and began severing Diplomatic links with Franco's Spain.
In 1940, the Republican Government-in-Exile began operating from Santiago; and to this day, Spanish Republican and International Brigade flags fly outside Santiago's Capital Building in San Martín.
World War II Period
During the Spanish Civil War, Santiago's relations with pro-Nationalist nations (especially Bellinsgauzenia) became increasingly tense, culminating in a War against Bellinsgauzenia, beginning in 1939 and lasting until mid-1943.
World War II in Antarctica was brief. New Swabia, a small ex-German colony which had effectively become a Nazi puppet state, was the only significant Axis presence on the Continent; and other than Santiago, Bellinsgauzenia and Ognia, the rest of the continent was controlled by Allied nations. New Swabia fought a small campaign until 1941, when it withdrew from the war after the USA joined the Allies. Santiago declared its support for the Allies, but didn't declare war on Germany, Italy or Japan until 1945, long after the Antarctic Campaign was over. Even when Santiago did join the war, it made little contribution to the war effort (like many countries who joined the War so late, Santiago's declaration of war was mostly symbolic).
Cold War Era
Santiago occupies a large strip of land along the coast of Berkner Bay, as well as the various nearby islands, where the majority of the population live.
The islands of Berkner Bay vary greatly in size, from the massive Berkner, Korff and Henry; down to the tiny rock outcrops such as Albatross Island. The larger islands, for the most part, have craggy, fjord-like coasts; which give way to tundra further inland. Much of the country's eastern-most (which are also it's southern-most) areas are south of the tree-line, meaning that no trees grow; and that ferns dominate the flora in these parts. In fact, trees are comparatively rare even North of the tree-line, except on Berkner Island and the country's extreme North, where several forests exist.
- Main article: States of Santiago
Santiago is a unitary republic consisting of eight separate States. Upon foundation in 1901, there were only three states: Berkner, which covered Berkner Island; Esparcidia, which covered most of the country's lesser islands; and Nueva Patagonia, which covered the mainland areas and nearby islands.
The city of San Martín (formerly part of Berkner) became its own state in 1948; the Islas Meridionales were separated from Esparcidia in 1958; Pensacola, a large mining area, was made independent of Nueva Patagonia in 1965; the traditional homeland of the Kaiws Nation (formerly part of Nueva Patagonia) was granted statehood in 1973; and Ubézice, a small ethnic enclave of Russians and Ognians, was granted statehood in 1990.
States are governed by Estadistas, a term which roughly translates as "Statesman".
Government and politics
- See also: List of Presidents
Santiago operates a Presidential system, whereby the President is both the Head of State and Head of Government. Democracy has been enforced since the country's foundation in 1901, but election-rigging has occasionally been an issue for the country.
The President heads the executive branch of government, which also contains the Cabinet - a group of seven Ministers, who are selected directly by the President. Any major decision (eg. Declaration of War) made by the Cabinet must be ratified by the House of Delegates.
The Santiago House of Delegates is the legislative branch of government. It has 122 members (delegates), who are elected by local districts; and is presided over by the Chief Delegate, who is elected by the delegates themselves, meaning this position is usually held by the leader of the majority party.
Major political parties
There are four significant Santiagan Political Parties (ie. those with seats in the House of Delegates). Currently, the People's Party control the legislation, as they have a plurality of seats.
Santiago's major parties are generally considered to fit into two "alliances" (parties with similar ideologies who often caucus together to gain larger majorities): the Liberals and the Greens form the Progressive Coalition; and the PPS and the Santiago Party form the Populist Coalition.
The main Santiagan Parties:
- Partido Liberal (PL; Liberal Party) - est. 1902; Center-Left, Liberal
- Partido del Pueblo Santiagano (PPS; Santiagano People's Party) - est. 1914; Leftist, Democratic Socialist
- Partido de Santiago (PS; Santiago Party) - est. 1915; Center-Right, Conservative, Christian Democrat
- Partido Verde (PV; Green Party) - est. 1963; Center-Left, Environmentalism
- Partido Nacional (PN; National Party) - 1902-1915; Rightist, Nationalist
Historically, the Liberal Party have had the most Presidents, with a total of five (four of whom were members of the prominent Political Zapata family). The People's Party have had four: Francisco Bodega, José Guerrero, Felipe Juárez and incumbent Juán Setälä. Two have been members of the Santiago Party - Pekka Tulenheimo and Jorje Rosadilla — and the National Party and the Greens have each had one President: Esteban Sanchez and Okha Shinin, respectively. First President Miguel Suárez was not a member of any Party.
Over the course of its 110-year history, Santiago's political parties have formed various "systems":
- 1901-1915 — First two-party system; the Liberals and the Nationals.
- 1915-1956 — Second two-party system; the Liberals and the People's Party.
- 1956-1985 — Three-party system; the Liberals, the People's Party and the Santiago Party.
- 1985-present — Four-party system; the Liberals, the People's Party, the Santiago Party and the Greens.
- See also: Western Bloc
With political, cultural and economic links to both Latin America and Antarctica, Santiago has been called an "anomaly" in terms of it's position in global politics. However, despite being part of both regions, it is also distant from each: geographically from Latin America and linguistically from Antarctica. Much of Santiago's foreign policy is influenced by its "middleman nations" — Argentina and Chile for Latin America; and Maudland and New Swabia for Antarctica.
- Main article: Military of Santiago
Santiago, operates a Social-Capitalist economy, whereby private businesses dominate most industries, but Government regulation is greater than in many Western countries. However, the Government only uses its full regulatory powers in certain industries – notably mining. Some industries have been heavily nationalized, such as transport, healthcare, and the postal service; while some industries are almost completely privatized, such as small-scale retail (i.e. small local businesses).
Like many Antarctic nations, Santiago's economy relies more on Primary and Secondary industries than the rest of the Developed World; though Tertiary industries are still the most common.
Santiago is usually affected by Global economic trends; for example: the economy boomed through the 1920s; and then plummeted during the Great Depression. The current Global Recession is also affecting the country; though many economists say it is now on the road to recovery.
While the rest of Latin America's economies are either emerging markets or newly industrialized; Santiago's proximity to the more developed Antarctica, as well its close trading relationship with Maudland – and, by extension, Norway and the rest of Scandinavia (one of the most developed regions in the world) – has brought the country more in line with newly developed countries such as the Four Asian Tigers (Hong Kong, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan).
From the period of roughly 1994-2008, Santiago, Ognia and New Swabia underwent an economic boom comparable to the ones in Ireland, East Asia, the Balkans, Dubai, Turkey and the Baltic States at around the same period. During this boom, they were referred to as the Three Polar Tigers.
Like much of Antarctica, Santiago's energy policies were drastically affected by the Green Revolution of the mid-1980s. Prior to this, the country relied heavily on fuels such as oil and natural gas, which are found in abundance in some areas of Antarctica; but after the Green Revolution, alternative energy sources were sought. In the summer months, solar energy is a common choice, but this becomes impractical during winter, when some regions of the country can go days without sunlight.
Due to the country's largely coastal geography, tidal power and other forms of hydroelectricity are by far the most common types of alternative energy employed in Santiago. The country has a few geothermal plants, though these contribute little to the overall energy supply.
The Populist Coalition (the People's Party and the Santiago Party) have pledged their support for the development of more nuclear power plants in the country, citing successes in France and nearby Bellinsgauzenia; but this has been strongly opposed by their opponents, the Progressive Coalition (the Greens and the Liberals), and has yet to be implemented by the government.
Education in Santiago is divided into four levels, only two of which are mandatory:
- Preschool (nivel preescolar) – children under 5 years. This level is optional, and consists of only one grade, which is not considered part of the overall grade system.
- Primary education (enseñanza primaria) – ages 5-13. This level is mandatory, and covers grades 1-8.
- Secondary education (enseñanza secundaria) – ages 13-18. This level is mandatory, and covers grades 9-12.
- From grade 11, students can specialize in one of three educational areas (though they still have a few classes in the other areas):
- Scientific major: specializing in mathematics, physics, chemistry and biology.
- Humanities major: specializing in Spanish, history, philosophy and foreign languages.
- Professional studies: training in electronics, mechanics, or some other "technical" area; in preparation for employment straight after high school.
- From grade 11, students can specialize in one of three educational areas (though they still have a few classes in the other areas):
- University (universidad) – for higher, degree-level education.
Universities in Santiago
Santiago's two most prestigious universities are the National University and the Demaurell Institute, which have been called "Santiago's Oxbridge". The National University is state-operated, and has campuses in all of the country's major cities; while the Demaurell Institute is privately owned, with its main campus in San Martín and another in Kaiws.
The country also has several other colleges, most of which are also located in the capital.
Santiago's culture is influenced by the culture of the citizens' ancestry. There are several elements of Latin American culture, primarily inherited through Chile and Argentina; while the Spanish and other more recent immigrants have also imported their own cultures. Many aspects of the country's indigenous peoples have also had an impact on Santiagan culture
Sport in Santiago is more oriented towards singular, outdoor sports; particularly fishing, hiking, hunting and sailing. Team sports are also popular, especially association football (soccer), baseball and cricket; all of which have a major Santiagan national team. Other significant sports in the country include tennis, skiing, rugby, and golf.
The late 1950s saw the development of a comparatively large film industry in Santiago, with the appearance of the urbano genre — a type of pulp action films based around the Santiagan Crime War. Urbano films were produced in large numbers from the late 1950s until the mid 1970s, when interest in the genre plummeted following the end of the Crime War. Most of them were considered "B-movies" of poor quality, and many have now been lost, although some of the most successful Santiagan films of this period did receive limited international success, predominantly in other parts of Latin America.
After the 1970s, Santiago lost much of its film industry, although a small independent scene continues to exist in San Martín. In recent years, Roberto Nanclares has become the most successful director in the country's history, having directed the two most critically acclaimed films Santiago has ever produced: Those Who Fell (2006), set during the Winter Uprising; and Emmanuel (2010), a biopic of Emmanuel Peláez. Both of Nanclares' films have been historical dramas about significant figures in Santiagan history, and have been filmed with a distinct cinéma vérité style. Nanclares has announced an upcoming film entitled Diarquía, about the rivalry between José Guerrero and Rafael Zavala, which he has described as "lighter" than his previous work.
Santiago in popular culture