Valcluse

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Valclusian Republic
République Valclusienne
Flag Coat of Arms
Motto: Égalité, Liberté, Justice
(Equality, Liberty, Justice)
Anthem: Allons Valclusiens
Location of Valcluse in Wilassia
Location of Valcluse in Wilassia
CapitalValence
Largest city Montreuil
Official languages French
Demonym Valclusian
Government Federal parliamentary republic
 •  President Michel Dubois
 •  Prime Minister Céline Martingy
Independence
 •  First Republic 15 June 1800 
 •  Second Republic 18 August 1958 
 •  Third Republic 30 June 1968 
Area
 •  Total 533,118 km2
205,838 sq mi
 •  Water (%) 4.8%
Population
 •  November 2017 estimate 23,313,532
 •  2015 census 22,728,381
 •  Density 42.6/km2
110/sq mi
GDP (PPP) 2017 estimate
 •  Total $827.4 billion
 •  Per capita $35,490
GDP (nominal) 2017 estimate
 •  Total $663.6 billion
 •  Per capita $28,465
HDI (2016)0.898
very high
Currency Franc (F)
Time zone Valclusian Standard Time UTC+3 (UTCUTC+3)
 •  Summer (DST) UTC+4 (UTC)
Calling code +515
Internet TLD .va

Valcluse, officially the Valclusian Republic (French: République Valclusienne) is a federal parliamentary republic located on the central west coast of Wilassia. Valcluse shares land borders with Prekonate to the north and Respumare to the south. It shares maritime borders with the Morivaine overseas territory of Cap-Métis to the northwest as well as with Van Luxemburger overseas territory of Philipsbaai in the Sirenes through Valcluse's own overseas territory, the Beausoleil Islands.

Human habitation of Valcluse began approximately 23,000 years ago when the first settlers arrived in northwestern Valcluse. Permanent habitation of Valcluse did not occur until around the 8th millenium BC, when the western Karske Sea coast received its first permanent settlers. Eventually forming several successive and distinctive cultures, Valcluse's neolithic inhabitants survived until the arrival of the Palamites from Prekonate in 590 AD.

The arrival of the Palamites signalled the end of Valcluse's neolithic cultures, resulting in a substantial cultural shift. Valcluse became the region where southern Kirilic cultures were established. Cultural institutions such as religion were created mixing existing religious beliefs and traditions. The first script and written language was introduced using the Bůhlithic script, which survived until the late 18th century. Around 980 AD, Mongols from eastern Wilassia invaded and occupied most of northern and central Valcluse. The Mongol invasions resulted in a mass migration of tens of thousands of Palamites from Mongol areas to parts of Valcluse where the Mongols could not reach. Various tribes led by chief Vedran, formed the Confederation of the South in response to the Mongol threat. The Confederation of the South stopped further Mongol expansions and remained in existence for three centuries. It also served as a transition period between the Palamites and the more modern Kirillic peoples, who now inhabit Valcluse. The Kirillics further built on the culture and traditions established by the Palamites, including further development of the Bůhlithic script, language and southern Kirillic polytheism. Kirillic society also became more heirarchal and patriarchal, with individual tribes establishing a similar hierarchy within the tribes by the turn of the 11th century. Weapons development also progressed during this period with iron swords and other weapons, as well as rudimentary armour, created in response to the Mongols. In 1262, the Kirillics, led by Milosz Miocic, invaded Mongol held areas in northwestern Valcluse in a conflict known as the War of Reconquest. In early 1263, the Confederation of the South had successfully driven out most of the Mongols and gained control over lands lost in the initial invasion.

Following the end of the War of Reconquest, disagreements arose between the various tribes that composed the Confederation of the South. Most tribal leaders disagreed on who should get what land, in particular the rich pastoral and agricultural along the Karske Sea. Furthermore, there was also disagreement as to what to do with the remaining Mongols who had refused to leave. As the Confederation broke apart, numerous small conflicts erupted. In among this period of conflict, the remaining Mongols were driven from Kirillic lands or massacred wholesale. The disintegration of the Confederation ushered in a renewal of the pre-Mongol Palamite period, where tribes lived independently of one another. It also ushered in a period of inter-tribal conflict which lasted until the beginning of colonisation by Morieux in 1602.

The arrival of Morivaine explorer Jean-Pierre la Pointe in 1590 marked the first time an Alisnan had sighted the coast of Valcluse, as well as the colonial period. The first Alisnans to step foot on Valclusian soil was another Morivaine explorer, Philippe Thobodeau, accompanied by botanist Jacques Delannoy. Both of them landed in modern day Agenais on June 15, 1591. Following further exploration of the western coast by Morivaine and Questarian explorers, the first Morivaine settlers arrived in Agenais in June 1602. From then on, successive waves of Morivaine immigrants, and others from around Alisna, arrived in western Valcluse and began to spread inland. This created much concern among the interior tribes who had seen conflicts break out between settlers and coastal tribes.Tensions between Prekovis and Morivaines resulted in the Settler Wars, a series of five successive conflicts between settlers moving into the interior and the Prekovis who lived there. The first of the wars broke out in 1612 when a confederation of tribes led by Slavomír Tomášek fought against Morivaine settlers and Morivaine soldiers. The war lasted for five years and ended with the Battle of Donava, where a force of 30,000 Prekovis massacred a force of 4,500 Morivaines. The massacre at Donava halted Morivaine settlement east of the coast, and subsequently many thousands more Morivaines fled their homesteads and moved to the larger and better protected settlements along the coast. Four more successive wars were fought between 1621 and 1692, when Morivaine technological superiority and numbers became too much for the Prekovis to resist. The final act of rebellion prior to the establishment of Nouvelle Morieux came in 1701 in Agenais, when the Bílek Rebellion resulted in the sacking of two Morivaine towns as well as two massacres that ultimately drove the Miloxi tribe from its ancestral lands.

The colony of Nouvelle Morieux was proclaimed on July 17, 1725. The colonial authorities set out to integrate the Prekovi inhabitants into mainstream colonial society, as well as acquire land for Morivaine settlers. Although the policy of cultural genocide began before the establishment of the colony, such acts, especially regarding the extermination of traditional Prekovi culture, became more prevalent during the first decades of Morivaine rule. However, continual Prekovi resistance hampered efforts by colonial authorities to properly subjugate and assimilate Prekovis. By 1750, Morivaine authorities had resorted to simply removing Prekovis from their ancestral lands.

Corruption and the introduction of liberal ideas and enlightenment values saw the beginning of the Valclusian War of Independence in June 1774, beginning with the Patriot's Rebellion. After several battles, Valclusian independence was won in June 1800. Valcluse went to war again, this time alongside Morieux in the Tajmyr War in 1854. A series of rebellions occurred between the end of the Tajmyr War and the late 1880's, as Prekovis resisted further resettlement attempts by the federal government. Remaining neutral during the Great Maredoratic War, Valcluse emerged as one of the strongest economies in the immediate post war world. However, political instability resulted in a coup in May 1922, which brought Pierre Beaupré to power. Beaupré would rule over Valcluse until 1958, when the Grand Revolution occurred. The Second Republic lasted between 1958 and 1968, when the May Rebellion brought a change in constitution and widespread political instability that continued well into the Third Republic.

Valcluse is considered to be one of the wealthiest and most livable countries in Wilassia. It ranks 21st in Maredoratica (6th in Wilassia) in terms of overall GDP and tenth in Maredoratica (2nd in Wilassia) in terms of GDP per capita. Valcluse is well known internationally for its reputation for a safe and liberal economy as well as its world leading environmentalism.

History

Prehistory

Valcluse was first settled by humans around 17,000 years ago, although some evidence suggests that humans inhabited the extreme north of the country as early as 21,000 years ago. Valcluse's earliest inhabitants were nomadic hunters who lived in small family bands that followed vast herds of deer, caribou, musk oxen and other large animals that lived during the last ice age. It's believed these peoples crossed an ice bridge from eastern Alisna into Wilassia and moved southwards to warmer climates. Within a thousand years, these nomads had settled all of Valcluse, with more roving groups managing to settle lands south of the country, including Respumare and Jungastia.

These peoples became known as the Dumas people and they largely remained unchanged until around 5,000 years ago when the lifestyles of these peoples diverged. Groups living on the east and west coasts became more sedentary, choosing to live close to shore or to rivers where ample supplies of fish and game animals could be found. Inland, those living on the plains remained nomadic and continued following the herds of wild animals as they searched for new feeding grounds. The disappearance of north Wilassian megafauna is widely believed to be the catalyst behind these changes in lifestyles as different groups continued to exploit local natural resources in different ways. The adaption of agriculture and, in some cases, animal husbandry is believed to be a direct response to the lack of wild game.

The Dumas people never really formed any unified entities, instead favouring small connected bands of two or more families. It is unsure if these groups spoke different or mutually intelligible languages, as no written or oratory records of these languages exists. Warfare, although uncommon, did exist and it is speculated that these were largely disputes between different groups regarding fishing or hunting grounds, in addition to disputes over fertile land.

Technologically, the Dumas people did not progress substantially beyond stone age tools and weapons, as no people groups with more advanced technology existed in Valcluse prior to the Mongol invasions in the middle of the 7th century AD. Radio carbon dating of burial sites near Lake Supérieur suggests that stone and obsidian tips for spears were still being used at that stage. Other discoveries of pottery and rudimentary metallurgy suggest that the Dumas peoples in southern Valcluse had not yet progressed to metalworking, but were in the very early stages of development. Metal tools were also discovered elsewhere in the south, suggesting a large amount of trade occurring between the Armenians to the south and the Dumas peoples to the north.

Antiquity

The arrival of the Palamites in the middle of the 5th century AD sparked a wave of migration south through the Prekovi Basin and into the Western Wilassian Plain. Although initial contact was largely peaceful, further waves of immigration however from further north brought the two peoples into conflict. The Palamites were better armed and better organized than the Dumas peoples who at that time still lived a nomadic, hunter gatherer lifestyle. Conflicts over land, hunting grounds, water and other natural resources soon escalated into an all out war of conquest. By the start of the 6th century AD, no Dumas peoples remained in the Valclusian Prairies, having either been driven out of their lands or slaughtered. The Palamites soon established themselves in the region and slowly began expansion westwards, as the Wilassian Alps to the east largely limited expansion towards the Karske Sea. By 650 AD they had established themselves on the shores of Levasseur Sound and had largely occupied the western coastline as far south as Aunis by 670 AD. Further conflict came about when the more sedentary Dumas peoples in this area resisted Palamite advances. Like their nomadic brethren, the west coast Dumas were subsequently slaughtered by the thousand, although a substantial number ended up as slaves.

The Dumas peoples south of the Wilassian Alps started to become more influenced by the neighbouring Armenian kingdoms towards the end of the 5th century AD, with an almost complete cultural extinction completed by the middle of the 6th century AD. Armenian expansion northwards through the Livremont Basin and into the areas around Lake Supérieur and Lake Beaupré began in earnest towards the end of the 6th century, with all traces of the previous Dumas culture gone by the end of the century.

Overland and small amounts of sea trade were the only way in which the Dumas living on the Karske coast and the northwestern Piedmont Sea coast had any contact with foreign peoples and cultures. Although they had no idea of the ethnic cleansing and virtual genocide that had happened in the west, the eastern Dumas had seen the cultural extinction under the Armenians and sought to avoid this. In 591 AD, a pact was made between the leaders of the various groups to form a loose confederation in order to face the threat posed by the Armenians. The latter knew them as the Antarri, named after the Armenian word for "east".

Like the rest of the Dumas peoples, the Antarri had not yet entered the metal age and still relied on stone age tools to defend themselves. However, their particular preference for obsidian and mastery of stone flinting still created weapons that were still lethal to their better armed counterparts. In addition, they had also developed small obsidian daggers and axes. Towards the end of the 6th century, some Antarri who lived closest to the Armenians had begun making bows and arrows, using wood from the ample forests of birch trees and other elastic woods. Sinews taken from deer and elk were used to make the strings, which were considered to be on par with Armenian weapons. Antarri warriors also used hunting strategies in their clashes with the Armenians, launching ambushes and quick strikes before escaping back into the forests. These tactics would later be used with good effect against the invading Mongols.

The first decades of the 7th century AD showed a substantial shift in internal politics within the Antarri as well as surprisingly rapid advances in agriculture. Soil samples near Montreau have shown a distinct blackened layer which is, albeit with some debate, linked to mass burning of forest in southeastern Valcluse. In addition, Karskar settlers in the northern Karkse Sea coast began expanding southwards into the lands occupied by the Antarri and conflicts soon emerged as the Antarri defended their territory. However, the better armed Kaskars soon made headway and by 550 AD, had occupied most of modern-day Lieuvin.

Elsewhere, the Palamites that had all but eradicated the Dumas people were beginning to develop their own distinct culture. They had adopted the polytheistic, largely animist practices of the Dumas peoples and molded them with their own superstitions. They had also divided into a number of tribes. Tribal names were not chosen but imposed by other tribes, initially to describe Kirilics by geological area and later by religious beliefs. For example, the Lučina, taken from the Prekovi word for "grasslands", lived in the central Valclusian Plains and formed one of the primary tribes. Another plains tribe, the Puruni, lived south of the Lučina and were named for their primary worship of Purun, the god of thunder and lighting. Perhaps the most feared and infamous tribe was the Vucari, taken from the Prekovi word for wolf-people. The Vucari gained a particular bloodthirsty reputation and were well known for wearing wolf skin capes into battle. Conflicts between the Kirilic tribes in Valcluse was reasonably common as population growth fueled the need for more and more natural resources. These conflicts resulted in the spread of fortified villages and encampments across the central plains. At the turn of the 8th century AD, fortified villages began appearing along the coast. These fortifications differed from those in the plains in that they lacked the earthen mounds used in the plains. Instead, these fortifications mainly relied on wooden walls to fend off invaders.

Mongol Conquest

Confederation of the South

Colonization

Nouvelle-Morieux

War of Independence

Independence

Tajmyr War

The election of Maxime Laurin in 1859 is regarded as one of the precursors to the outbreak of the Tajmyr War. Laurin, the first Bloc national candidate to win an election in over a decade, was one of the more prominent figures of the civic nationalist faction of the Bloc national. He tapped into concerns about access to the sea from Levasseur Sound and the potential of a blockade should Prekonate impose tariffs or try to attempt to control trade on that waterway. He used it to pursue a much more wary foreign policy with Prekonate. He also pursued a more open and more closer relationship with Morieux and its colonial possessions in northwestern Wilassia, offering protection in case of war.

Domestically, Laurin continued with the modernisation programs enacted by Valéry Côté, expanding the telegraph network as well as railway lines. One of the main challenges that faced the expanding railway network were the Wilassian Alps, with very few suitable areas in which railway lines could be constructed. In April 1860, Laurin turned the first soil on the construction of the first Trans-Alpine Railway between Charleval and Agenais in the southwest of Valcluse. The line would connect directly with the network in the western part of the country as well as open up Valcluse's southern provinces and territories of expansion and settlement.

Laurin also continued with the forced resettlement policy of Prekovi inhabitants. However, unlike previous administrations, Laurin claimed that the land was being used for the expansion of the railways, although the majority of the land was then sold onto Valclusian settlers. Expanding populations meant that new provinces were created. On May 5, 1861, Artois was formally constituted as a province. Artois would become one of the places where Prekovis from the west would be resettled.

Prekovi Rebellions

Industrialization

Great War

July Coup

New State

War with Respumare

Post War

The Valclusian-Respumois War had a substantial effect on Valclusian society. Confidence in the Beaupré regime, both within the military and in the general public had plummeted following the war. The conflict had also depleted the government's reserves and economic stability had disappeared. Valcluse entered into a recession in early 1945 as the effects of the war continued to destabilize the economy. Beaupré responded by continuing his public works. In March 1945, he introduced a special reduced wage for public servants and for private employees working in key national industries including manufacturing and mining, allowing private companies to pay workers below established minimum wages. He also introduced price controls on bread, milk and meat in an attempt to keep basic food products affordable for the working classes. Those who found themselves unemployed and who were considered to be physically fit were drafted into the military. This allowed for the government to reduce spending on social welfare payments and it kept unemployed men occupied.

These laws were not immediately met with protests until that September, when 11,000 workers in Montreuil walked off the job on September 13. These were principally workers at Allais and Russon but were also joined by workers from the state-owned SOVACO factories in Montreuil and in Grandeterre. They were not only protesting against the laws allowing them to be paid below minimum wage but also against dangerous working conditions and long work days. Initially the government refused to talk to the workers and tried to force them back into the factories, which they had gathered outside. However, the government decided against this and instead attempted to broker a deal with the striking workers. As the Beaupré regime has essentially outlawed all independent worker's unions, the striking workers were represented by government appointed lawyers, who were instructed to accept government terms. However, the workers were rejected and formed their own union, the Valclusian Union of Automotive Workers (SVTA) and pooled money together to hire new independent lawyers to speak on their behalf. Negotiations broke down and restarted 30 times. However, a deal was reached and the government agreed to reinstate minimum wage payments as well as introduce new workplace safety requirements. However, the workers would continue to operate long hours whilst being paid double wages in compensation. The strike ended on December 20, 1945.

Nearly a year after the autoworkers' strike, another strike occurred in the city of Longueuil in Mâconnais. On June 1, 1946, 3,000 workers occupied the Longeuil Cotton Mill, as part of a larger strike action involving cotton workers in Montreuil and Valence. The workers were fighting for the extension of the same concessions as those obtained by the automotive workers a year earlier. In addition, the workers wanted to the right to an independent worker's union as well as collective bargaining agreements. A similar strike had taken place in 1937 but failed as the government put down the strike and subsequent protests with police force. Many of those who had walked off the job in 1937 walked off the job again in 1946 and urged the leaders of the strike to be cautious. By August, the striking workers in Valence and Montreuil had obtained the rights and the concessions from the government. However, Beaupré ordered that the government should not grant these concessions until the workers in Longueuil quit the strike. The workers refused and continued the strike, demanding that the government immediately grant the concessions. The government refused the worker's demands and sent strike breakers in to continue running the mill. Violence erupted on August 15 when 5,000 people gathered outside of the mill to stop the strikebreakers from leaving for their lunch break. The police were called in and responded with tear gas to break up the crowd, who in turn, began throwing rocks and other debris at police. Police officers retreated inside the mill and periodically fired additional tear gas canisters onto the crowd. A truce was negotiated and the riot ended that night. By September that year, an agreement was reached for the workers to return to the mill.

With two major industrial labour strikes in less than 12 months, Beaupré acted in order to avoid more instability. He removed his special reduced wages from law as well as introduced new legislation to reduce working hours and set improvements to worker's safety. Included in these measures was the creation of the Federal Bureau of Labour (BFT) which would oversee the creation and implementation of safety measures for workers. However, Beaupré refused to allow the creation of independent workers unions, instead allowing the workers themselves to finance the appointment of lawyers on their behalf.

Beaupré turned his attention to the Orléanais Referendum, which was scheduled for June 1950. He responded to [[Respumare|Respumois}} propaganda efforts by attempting to block radio signals using chaff dropped from light aircraft. Initially military aircraft were used for the flights, which were known as "confetti runs". However following the crash of a military aircraft in the Gulf of Piruz in November 1947, Beaupré ordered an end to such flights. He turned instead to sympathetic Respumois citizens and Valclusian agents to sabotage Respumois commercial radio stations. He also banned all Respumois citizens from entering Valcluse in an attempt to control the flow of information into Orléanais. All Respumois citizens were also deported from Valcluse and the embassy was ordered to close, with diplomats returning to their respective countries. The construction of a radio transmission tower on the border with Orléanais between June and August 1947 further worsened tensions. Beaupré responded by ordering the Federal Overseas Intelligence Service (SFRE) to plan an operation to blow up the transmission tower, with the operation taking place that November. Although the plan was to blow up the tower with dynamite, it was later replaced with a plan to destroy the broadcasting equipment. However, the plan was ultimately cancelled after an intelligence officer was arrested sneaking across the border. The tower was left standing until the referendum, after which it was dismantled.

In February 1949, another major strike occurred. On February 20, 5,000 miners walked off the job in a coal mine in western Forez province, protesting against working conditions and low pay. Six days later, half of the crew aboard the destroyer Agenais locked themselves in their messes. Their grievances, namely the deterioration in relationships between the crew and the commanding officers as well as conditions within the navy and the practice of operating vessels with skeleton crews to save money. The Agenais and her sister ship, the Barrois, were both docked in Maré in the Beausoleil Islands as part of their six month deployment to the islands. Two days after crew members on the Aunis began their strike, half the crew on the Agenais joined them, going so far as to force their commanding officers off the ship. Faced with a potential naval mutiny, Beaupré focused his attention on the naval strike, leaving the authoritarian provincial governor in Forez to deal with the striking miners. As March rolled around, both situations became much more serious. On March 1, several dozen crew members aboard the aircraft carrier Victoire refused to board the ship after they had finished shore leave before she was to sail for naval exercises in the Pearl Sea. Nearly two weeks later, on March 13, the 5,000 miners who were continuing their strike in Forez attacked the group of strikebreakers that had been hired by the provincial government to continue the operation of the mine. There were hundreds of arrests as miners fought with strikebreakers and police.

Grand Revolution

Democratic Rule

May Rebellion

Political Fragmentation

Deindustrialization

Year of the Three Presidents

Geography

Topographical map of Valcluse.

Valcluse is located on the west coast of Wilassia. It is bordered to the north by Prekonate, to the east by x, to the south by Respumare and to the northwest by the Morivaine territory of Cap-Métis. Excluding the Beausoleil Islands, Valcluse has a total area of 533,118 square kilometres (205,838 square miles), making it the 4th largest country in Wilassia and the 15th largest country in Maredoratica. Valcluse is somewhat unique in Maredoratica in that it has two enclaves included outside of its main borders; the province of Orléanais southwest of Valcluse, which is bordered on three sides by the Maredoratic Sea and shares a land border with Respumare, and the Holub Strip, a small piece of land separated from the rest of Valcluse by the Mareš Strait, which connects the Karske Sea with the Piedmont Sea. In addition to having coastlines on three different seas, Valcluse also has maritime borders with Respumare on two lakes: Lake Supérieur in the east and Lake Beaupré in the west.

Geographically, Valcluse can be split into two broad areas: the north (le nord) and the south (le sud). The north of Valcluse is mostly composed of flat prairies, as the southern half of the Western Wilassian Plain is found within Valcluse. The plain's extent in Valcluse is from the Maredoratic Sea in the west to the northeastern tip of the Wilassian Alps in the east. The Wilassian Alps also form the southern border of the plains. The plains are split by the Durance River, which runs a northwest course from the Wilassian Alps to the Maredoratic Sea in the west. A number of important cities can be found along its course, including the national capital Valence and Valcluse's largest city, Lyon. One of Valcluse's most visited natural attractions, the Dry Lakes can be found in the southeastern corner of the plains. Formed from glacial erosion during the last ice age, the lakes were filled with glacial melt until it dried up some 2,000 years ago. As well as being an important natural area, the Dry Lakes also hold some of Valcluse's oldest inhabited sites, dating back over 5,000 years.

Mountains of the Autel Range in the eastern Wilassian Alps.

The south of Valcluse is dominated by the Wilassian Alps, which run through Respumare to the southwest. Within Valcluse, the Wilassian Alps can be divided into four primary ranges: the Respumois Ranges in the south of Valcluse along the border with Respumare, the Occident Ranges just north of the Respumois Ranges, the Central Ranges to the east of the Occident Ranges and the Orient Ranges located to the northeast of the Central Range. These ranges of the Alps are generally divided by broad mountain passes. Valcluse's tallest mountain, Mount Magnan, is found within the Dubuisson Range in the Central Ranges. One of the most spectacular and most visited areas of the Alps is the Autel Range, located in the western part of the Orient Ranges, where then jagged mountains rise almost vertical from the lower valleys. The Alps also have a huge influence over Valcluse's climate, creating sheltered areas as well as catching the moisture from western and eastern rain-bearing weather systems.

Valcluse occupies the northern third of the Livremont Basin, a depression found in central western Wilassia formed out of a much larger glacial lake. Lake Beaupré constitutes the remains of this lake, which dried up around the same time as the Dry Lakes to the northeast. The lake sits at a much lower level than neighboring Lake Supérieur and forms the only place in Valcluse where the land is below sea level.

Much of the western coast is dominated by broad coastal plains which slowly rise up in altitude towards the prairies in the northeast. The largest coastal plains can be found within Orléanais, where virtually the entire province is flat. The plains are fertile and kept well irrigated, owing to southeast-flowing air currents bringing rain-laden weather systems along the western coast as well as seasonal melt from the Wilassian Alps further east. Valcluse's eastern coast is similar, although the coastal plains are much narrower.

Climate

Valcluse is generally under the influence of a humid continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The country as a whole is considered to have a fairly mild climate for its latitude, owing to the Kovic and Vrabčí Mountains generally blocking most winds from the north. The Kavkaz in southwestern Prekonate also affects Valcluse's climate by Foehn winds which can dramatically increase temperatures at any time of the year. These winds are colloquially known as "le four" ("the oven") as they tend to occur in summer.

Much of the prairies are close to semi-arid, especially in the interior of Valcluse as large parts of the southern prairies are sheltered by the Wilassian Alps. Northern areas of the prairies receive more rainfall than southern areas, as rain-laden weather systems that come ashore from the Maredoratic Sea are not obstructed by mountains. Areas within the rain shadow cast by the Wilassian Alps are usually sustained through short, sharp bursts of rain usually found in thunderstorms which are a common occurrence during summer.

In contrast, both the western coast experiences a oceanic climate, with mild summers and cool winters. The majority of the rainfall that Valcluse receives falls on the western coast as the majority of the rain-bearing weather systems are pushed ashore from the Maredoratic Sea. Southern coastal regions, principally in Orléanais, experience a much milder climate due to a lack of forests and much milder winds from the southern Maredoratic.

The eastern coast is somewhat different to that of the west in that overall it bears similarities to a humid continental climate but shares a lot of features of a temperate climate, including much higher rainfall and milder winters. It is considered to be somewhat unique due to the moderating influence of the Karske Sea as well as the close proximity of the eastern ranges of the Wilassian Alps, which traps a lot of the weather systems that move inland from the coast. Summers along the eastern coast can be hot and humid, with winters being milder than areas inland but still remain quite cold. especially in the north. Lake effect snow falls frequently during winter.

The Livremont Basin and areas around Lake Supérieur also experience a somewhat unique climate. It is predominantly a humid continental climate but borders on a semi-arid climate due to the shelter provided by the Wilassian Alps to the north and west. Because of this, the area is one of the few places in Valcluse that sees maximum temperatures remain above freezing year round. Summers in this region are particularly warm but are somewhat moderated by the lakes, although inland areas often see temperatures regularly exceeding 35°C. Winters are often comparatively mild but frosts are common.

Biodiversity

Forest along the banks of the Martin River in central Lieuvin.

A wide variety of environments can be found in Valcluse. The western coastline is mostly composed of temperate rainforest which extends along the coast from the border with Prekonate southwards. The most thickly forested areas can be found in the provinces of Barrois and Orléanais, where substantial tracts of rainforest have been protected by provincial or federal law. There are a few subtle changes between the rainforest in the northwest and in the southwest, where the climate is warmer. These differences include sparser undergrowth and species of trees which are not found at cooler latitudes.

The eastern coast is predominantly covered with temperate broadleaf and mixed forests, although there are differences between northern forests and southern forests. Northern forests have more hardwood and evergreen trees, such as spruce and fir with southern forests having more deciduous, softwood trees. The spread of these forests is relatively even throughout the eastern coastal provinces. Southern forests in particular are popular with tourists in the autumn as the seasonal transition creates picturesque scenery.

The chevreuil grande is an iconic animal of Valcluse.

Most of the interior is composed primarily of steppe or various kinds of grasslands, especially in northern areas which are more exposed. Sheltered areas within the southern half of the central prairies gives way to more shrubland and temperate coniferous forest, especially in the Dry Lakes region as well as areas close to the foothills of the Wilassian Alps. The steppes and prairies of the north are mostly composed of various grasses and shrubs, with the shrubs becoming more predominant in the south. These shrublands eventually give way to the conifer forests which contain hardwood trees such as pine, cedar and juniper. These forests are also present on the southern side of the Wilassian Alps and extend far into northern Respumare.

Temperate conifer forests also extend into the upper altitudes of the Wilassian Alps, with the forests divided broadly into three geographic areas: Northern Alpine forest, Central Alpine forest and Southern Alpine forest. The forests within Valcluse predominantly fall within the central and northern forests, although a very small fraction of southern forests are found close to the border with Respumare. These forests are divided based on rainfall, with northern forests receiving more rainfall than central and southern forests. The kinds of flora that can be found within these forests are similar to those of the much drier forests at lower altitudes.

Approximately 339 species of mammals can be found in Valcluse, alongside 510 species of birds, 90 species of reptiles, 79 species of amphibians and over 25,000 species of invertebrates. Among the most familiar animals and birds within Valcluse are the élan, chevreuil grande, lynx, Wilassian black bear, outarde, royal eagle, common loon and others. The lynx is the national animal of Valcluse and the royal eagle the national bird.

Government

Valcluse is a constitutional parliamentary republic with a federal division of powers. Powers are outlined in two separate documents; the first being the Constitution of Valcluse, the most recent of which was ratified in 1968 and the Federation Act of 1904. The Constitution outlines the separation of powers between the executive, legislative and judicial branches of government. The Federation Act outlines the powers of the federal government and the powers of the provinces.

Executive power is vested in the President of Valcluse. As head of state, the President is the primary individual that represents Valcluse overseas diplomatically at the highest level. The President can appoint or dismiss the Prime Minister of Valcluse and their discretion and also appoints judges to the Supreme Court of Valcluse as well as the Constitutional Court. Legislation which has been passed on by the Parliament of Valcluse and has been signed off by the Constitutional Court is ultimately signed into law by the President. In addition, the President may also declare war against another state with the approval of a majority vote within Parliament. Presidents are elected to a renewable term of four years.

The Valclusian Parliament building at night.

Legislative power is vested in the Prime Minister of Valcluse. The Prime Minister has two functions; one as deputy head of state and the other as head of government. In the former, the Prime Minister fulfills the domestic roles of President if the President is out of the country or unable to fulfill them due to illness. In the latter, the Prime Minister appoints members to the Council of Ministers. Prime Ministers are the primary directors of government policy as well as budgets and financial policies. The Prime Minister is appointed to their office and their term is technically unrestricted, as they serve at the behest of the President.

The Parliament of Valcluse is a bicameral legislature divided between two houses. The lower house is the National Assembly and the upper house is the Senate. Both houses are directly elected to terms concurrent with that of the President.

The National Assembly is the primary legislative house within Parliament and is composed of 356 directly elected deputies. The primary role of the National Assembly is the debate and construction of legislation which is then voted upon twice before it is passed to the Senate for further debate. Votes of no confidence and the ability to initiate a recall election are two of the additional powers given to the National Assembly. However, neither are particularly common due to the governing coalition retaining a majority within the National Assembly.

The Senate is the secondary legislative house within Parliament. It is composed of 210 directly elected senators. The powers of the Senate are less than those of the National Assembly, with the Senate largely used for debates and votes on legislation which has been approved by the National Assembly as well as the oversight of government activities. The latter is especially important as it forms one of the many checks and balances that ensure government accountability.

Administrative Divisions

Provinces

Provincial boundaries of Valcluse.

Valcluse is divided into 12 provinces plus a small autonomous region containing the national capital. As a federation, each of these provinces have powers delegated to them by the federal government, with these powers and the relationship between provincial and federal governments outlined in the Federation Act of 1904. In addition, both the 1968 Valclusian Constitution and the Decentralization Act of 1948 also affect the powers and governance of provinces.

Each province has its own constitution and its own elected legislature, although there are some differences. More populous provinces have an elected unicameral parliament, known as a "provincial parliament" (parlement provincial) which functions similarly to that of the legislature at the federal level. Provincial parliaments are elected through mixed-member proportional representation which allows more comprehensive representation of political parties at provincial levels. Each member represents an electorate (électorat) with around 60% of the seats in a provincial parliament composed of electorate seats. Ballots in elections for provincial parliaments contain a list of candidates for an electorate plus a list of parties.

Less populous provinces are usually governed by an elected provincial council (conseil provincial). Unlike provincial parliaments, provincial councils do not have members represented through electorates but instead, members of the council are elected through single transferable vote. Members are elected based on how many votes they receive, with the highest vote winner becoming Governor. Parties nominate a single candidate for elections in STV provinces, with electoral ballots containing a list of gubernatorial candidates. In order to win, the candidate must pass a 51% threshold.

One of the unique aspects of provincial elections is the ability for voters to initiate a recall election. A recall election is triggered if there is a hung provincial parliament or none of the candidates make it over the threshold. In addition, a question asking the voter if they support a recall election is provided with two check boxes to confirm or refuse the support from the voter. In addition, referendums on provincial laws and policies are put on ballots if the provincial government approved of a referendum vote. This has often been criticized as it provides an easy method for provincial governments to push through controversial legislation.

Provinces have limited powers over healthcare and education and full powers over transport, culture and heritage, the environment, taxation, energy and mineral resources, utilities, law enforcement (outside of federal jurisdiction), property laws and civil rights. According to the Federation Act of 1904, federal law prevails over provincial law in any legal conflict.

Prefectures

Prefectures constitute the second tier of governance in Valcluse. There are 150 prefectures within Valcluse. Prefectures typically include a large or moderately sized urban center and a number of smaller satellite towns or villages. In large cities, a prefecture can be the entire metropolitan area. In some of the less populous provinces, prefectures often contain one or two towns.

Prefectures have limited powers and are mostly responsible for administration, licencing and maintenance. Prefectures can issue driver's licences, commercial licences for businesses and restaurants, various permits for land use or activities which may impact the environment (such as fire permits). They are also responsible for the maintenance of urban and rural roads within the prefecture that are not under provincial or federal control. In urban areas, prefectures commonly provide mass transit services and maintain public parks and other facilities. Some predominantly rural prefectures also maintain other essential infrastructure such as power lines, phone cables and bridges. Zoning laws for urban and rural areas are also one of the powers that all prefectures have.

Unlike provinces and municipalities, prefectures are administered by a prefect (préfet) who is appointed to office. Prefects are appointed by the provincial government and are usually ex-mayors or other individuals who have experience in administration. Their term in office is technically indefinite as they usually serve until they take up another job or office elsewhere or retire. The powers of a prefect are limited, as their role is primarily to ensure even distribution of federal and provincially allocated funds, the enforcement of regulations and taxes, the smooth and efficient operation of prefectural bureaucracy and ensuring that the mayors within the prefecture cooperate on matters of importance.

Municipalities

Municipalities are the third tier of governance in Valcluse. There are approximately 406 municipalities around Valcluse. Municipalities in Valcluse are divided between urban and rural municipalities. Urban municipalities constitute one single continuous urban area, with most of Valcluse's cities, towns and villages being municipalities. In larger cities, a municipality is usually an additional town or city that is part of the metropolitan area of the main city. Urban municipalities are divided into suburbs or quarters, depending on the age of the city and what part of the city the municipality is located. These subdivisions do little more than serve as geographic areas for services provided by the municipality.

Rural municipalities differ in that the area mostly consists of farmland or other unincorporated areas or settlements. Although most rural municipalities consist of a single town or village, a number of rural municipalities in less populous provinces often include unincorporated settlements within municipal boundaries in order to provide services to these areas and levy taxes. Often these settlements are below 100 residents in size.

Municipal powers vary according to location, size and population. Municipalities are sometimes contracted to perform the maintenance of public parks, museums and other public property as well as roads. This is especially the case in rural municipalities in order to make the best use of available resources. Building codes and other regulations surrounding the construction of houses and other commercial or private buildings are also handled by municipalities. They also enforce prefectural regulations and laws at a local level. In rural municipalities, water quality is under the jurisdiction of municipal governments and issues surrounding water pollution are handled at a local level. Law enforcement and fire protection are key powers that municipal governments have. Depending on the size of the population and the location of the municipality, police and fire services are either provided directly by the municipal government or contracted to the prefecture or the province. Many urban municipalities often provide their own municipal police and fire services, whilst some municipalities contract law enforcement out to private or community-based municipal security.

Each municipality is headed by a mayor (maire/mairesse) who serves as the executive of a municipal council (conseil municipal). The size of a municipal council depends on the population of the municipality, with municipal council sizes varying from less than ten members to more than 30. In rural municipalities, any unincorporated areas usually elect a special representative to sit on the council through public meetings. Mayors and councilors are elected to a renewable term through the STV voting method. Special representatives are generally not limited by term limits and serve at the pleasure of their local communities.

Judiciary

The judiciary of Valcluse is independent of the other branches of government. Valcluse's judicial system operates under civil law, with the Civil Code of Valcluse codifying all passed laws and legislation. It is made up of multiple courts with differing levels of superiority and are separated by jurisdiction.

Jurisdiction and powers are outlined in two documents, the Constitution of Valcluse and the Federation Act of 1904. The former outlines the separation of powers from the other branches of government and the latter outlines the powers of federal and provincial courts. This includes powers over criminal and civil laws.

The judiciary in Valcluse is known in French as "le trois des c", as the letter represents the three principal courts in Valcluse: "civil", "cassation" (appeals) and "constitutionnel" (constitutional).

Federal courts in Valcluse are small and usually hear cases pertaining to matters under federal control. These include national security, taxation and cases relating to federal government agencies. Federal courts also include the Court of Cassation, which functions as the national appeals court, as well as the Constitutional Court of Valcluse, which reviews all passed legislation and interprets the constitution.

Civil law is applied through the network of provincial courts in Valcluse. Each province has the power to establish provincial civil courts as well as appeals courts. Civil courts hear matters pertaining to criminal law as well as personal legal disputes and civil suits. Judges are appointed by the governor of the province. Appeals can be made to provincial appeals courts and if not resolved, are passed to the Court of Cassation for final rulings. Trial by jury is considered to be a legal right in Valcluse and is enshrined in the Constitution. Although not enshrined, the right to legal representation is court is guaranteed under the Judiciary Act 1897.

The Constitutional Court of Valcluse is different in that its primary role is the review of all passed legislation as well as interpreting the Constitution and approving constitutional amendments. All laws which have passed votes in the Parliament of Valcluse are passed to the Constitutional Court for review. A panel of five judges reviews the law before it is passed to the President to be signed into law. Three signatures are required for the law to be passed. All judges serving in the Constitutional Court are appointed by the President.

Law Enforcement

A Sûreté fédérale roadblock.

Law enforcement in Valcluse is carried out at the federal, provincial and municipal level. Policing has been the responsibility of the provinces since Valcluse became a federation in 1904. Currently each province maintains a provincial police force in addition to municipal and federal law enforcement agencies.

At the federal level, law enforcement is carried out by the Sûreté fédérale (SF). It is primarily tasked with carrying out enforcement of federal laws, providing domestic and counter-terrorism security, providing protection for the President and Prime Minister as well as members of the national government and security of all federal government buildings and civil installations. In addition, the Sûreté fédérale maintains some of the roles of the Gendarmerie nationale, which was replaced in 1990. These include the maintenance of a battalion sized contingent of officers who are combat trained. The force is known as the Groupe mobile and is designed primarily to serve on peacekeeping operations both overseas and within Valcluse in times of national crisis.

Each of Valcluse's 22 provinces maintains its own provincial police force. Under the Articles of Federation Act 1904, provincial law enforcement agencies can legally enforce provincial and applicable federal laws within each respective province. Provincial police also carry out the majority of rural law enforcement in Valcluse. Criminal investigations and prosecutions are also primarily carried out by provincial police forces. Each provincial police force is under an independent command which in itself is part of the province's Ministry of Internal Affairs.

Municipal law enforcement can come in two forms: municipal police or municipal security. Municipal police function like other police forces in that they enforce municipal laws. In larger cities, municipal police can also investigate and prosecute criminals. Each municipal police force is funded by the municipality itself and is under the command of the Mayor of the municipality. Municipal security is different to police forces in that they are largely staffed by paid volunteers and have less powers of enforcement and investigation. Typically a municipal security force functions similar to that of a neighborhood watch. Usually a municipal police force is either under the control of the Mayor of a municipality or an elected board of community representatives. Funding for these forces includes donations from individuals and businesses as well as small grants from municipal or provincial government. Sworn members of municipal security forces are known as vigiles.

Foreign Relations

Valcluse has traditionally maintained good relations with other Francophone states in Maredoratica, especially Morieux. In addition, Valcluse maintains good relations with a number of other non-Francophone states, most notably Prekonate. Questers is also an important partner for Valcluse in maintaining good relations, especially in resolving disputes in the northern Maredoratic Sea.

Although not official policy, successive governments have maintained neutrality towards conflicts and disputes elsewhere in Maredoratica. This has translated into support for peacekeeping initiatives using forces raised by the Maredoratic League. Valcluse has been active in ML peacekeeping missions, the most recent in Karaman.

Valcluse is a member of three international organization: the Maredoratic League, the Brezier Group and the Francophone Organization. It is also a signatory of two major international treaties: the Martigues Agreement and the Treaty Against Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons.

Military

The Valclusian Armed Forces (Forces armées valclusiennes) is the primary territorial defence force of Valcluse. It is a volunteer force composed of 84,550 standing personnel and a further 82,387 reservists. Currently, the armed forces contains three branches, the Valclusian Army (Armée de terre valclusienne), the Valclusian Navy (Marine nationale) and the Valclusian Air Force (Force aérienne valclusienne). It previously contained a fourth branch, the National Gendarmerie (Gendarmerie nationale), which was largely replaced in 1990 by the Sûreté fédérale, although it still maintains a battalion of officers who receive combat training. As of 2015, the annual budget for the Valclusian Armed Forces was ₣110.27 billion ($28.6 billion) or 3.50% of the GDP.

Conscription was enforced in Valcluse between 1940 and 1991, when it was ended in favour of an all-volunteer force. Laws regarding conscription were codified in the Conscription Act, which still enables conscription to be reintroduced in the event of a military invasion. The minimum age at which a person may be drafted is 18 and the maximum age is 45. The Conscription Act requires that all men and women must sign the National Defense Register (Registre pour la defense nationale) which will enable them to be conscripted should it be required. In addition, the Conscription Act requires that the reintroduction of conscription during peace time must be put to a public vote, with all those who vote in favor of reintroduction to be conscripted first.

Economy

Valcluse is the 18th largest economy in Maredoratica and the fifth largest in Wilassia, with the current GDP at $818.4 billion as of 2016. It is ranked 11th in Maredoratica and fifth in Wilassia in terms of GDP per capita, which currently sits at $35,490. It is a somewhat mercantile nation with a trade-to-GDP ratio of 66%. Total exports in 2015 amounted to approximately $271.708 billion (33.2% of GDP) and total imports amounted to approximately $281.529 billion (34.4% of GDP).

Valcluse's economy can be broadly described as a social market economy with a heavy ordoliberalist influence, especially with the country's strict anti-trust laws and extensive regulatory frameworks. Historically, governments pursued planned economic policies which were begun to be implemented in the late 19th century during industrialisation and continued throughout most of the 20th century. Substantial economic changes began in the 1980's with a shift towards neoliberalism and a new focus on free trade. Because of this, most government subsidies and tariffs were removed from key national industries, which resulted in widespread closures and industruial action taken by remaining workers. This resulted in a deindustrialisation of sorts in a number of cities across the country. Since the 1980's, successive presidential administrations have invested heavily in manufacturing and other industries to ensure economic diversification, as well as competitiveness with other Maredoratic nations.

Agriculture

A hay field in central Durance.

Agriculture collectively accounted for 21% of exports ($58,528,848,000) in 2015. It has traditionally been an important industry within Valcluse, owing to the country's fertile coastal plains as well as its vast, open prairies in the interior. The proportion of people employed in the agricultural sector fell substantially throughout the 20th century. As of 2015, the industry still directly employs 6.1% of the labour force, approximately 738,407 people. Agricultural production is highly mechanised and industrialised, with most Valclusian farms operating on a split export-domestic supply ratio.

Four percent ($11.1 billion) of exports are composed of grains and vegetables. Valcluse is a significant producer of cold-season grains such as wheat, barley, oats and rye. Grain exports were worth $9.4 billion in 2015, mainly to Wilassian countries such as Rochehaut. Most of Valcluse's vegetable exports are of those which cannot be grown in tropical climates such as potatoes and pumpkins. In 2015, vegetable exports were worth $2.7 billion.

Processed foods accounted for another four percent of agricultural exports. Beverages is currently the largest of this export sector at 54% of exports and contribute $6.02 billion annually. The majority of exported beverages are alcoholic, mostly beer and wine. Among the most prolific exporters is the LeMaiheu Brewery which was founded in 1752 and is the oldest operating brewery in Valcluse. The wine growing regions of southern Valcluse are internationally reknowned for producing distinct red wines such as Merlot and Malbec. Wine exports accounted for 40% of beverage exports in 2015 or $4.4 billion.

Dairy farming is an important sector of the agriculture industry, with the industry generating $7.1 billion in 2015 alone. Most of the dairy products produced is exported, with the domestic market taking up 47% of total dairy production. Domestic prices are set by the Federal Dairy Board (Comité fédéral des produits laitiers, CFPL) which ensures guaranteed incomes for dairy farmers. Export prices are determined by international markets, with the largest export company being Synlait, a private cooperative owned collectively by the 12,308 dairy farmers that supply the company with raw milk. The industry has seen significant in the decade between 2015 and 2015, with the number of dairy farms increasing by 51.4%. Most of these farms have been converted from farms which previously raised cattle for meat or other livestock. This has created a number of environmental issues, such as water pollution in many western provinces as well as irrigation issues in the prairies.

Cows graze in a field in eastern Aunis.

Commercial fishing is an important industry that sustains many coastal communities on the eastern and western coasts of Valcluse. Fishing exports currently generates $6.02 billion in revenue annually. Valcluse has heavily invested in fish farms which produce about 30% of annual fish exports in order to better manage local fisheries. It is also among the world's largest exporters of lobsters and other crustaceans.

Valcluse is one of the largest producers of beef and lamb in Wilassia, with the industry generating $9.1 billion in exports annually. Federal law places bans on Valclusian live exports to countries with unsatisfactory animal welfare regulations, meaning the vast majority of animals slaughtered in Valcluse for meat are for export markets. The majority of Valclusian meat exports go to Alisna.

Forestry is another important sector in Valcluse's agricultural industry. It generates $13.9 billion in export revenue and employs over 31,000 workers directly, around 4.1% of those employed in agriculture. Valcluse benefits from vast tracts of forest across the country, most of which contain suitable tree species for construction and furniture making. The vast majority of forestry exports consists mainly of treated timber for construction and other fabrication industries, with around 90% of the species harvested for export being pines. Valcluse also manufactures and exports significant wood products, including paper and wood chips.

Manufacturing

Manufacturing is a very important sector within the Valclusian economy, contributing $119,844,784,000 in export earnings annually. The sector covers a wide variety of industries in both light and heavy manufacturing. Historically the manufacturing industry was one of the largest employers in Valcluse, with as many as 31% of the workforce employed in some form of manufacturing job in the 1920's. However, declines in manufacturing as well as automation has substantially reduced the number of workers employed in factories across Valcluse. As of 2015, 14% of the labour force, or 1.6 million people, were employed in manufacturing.

Automotive manufacturing was one of Valcluse's largest manufacturing industries. At its peak in the late 1960's, Valcluse was manufacturing nearly eight million vehicles every year. Production has halved since the 1980's, with the closure of many factories and the loss of large manufacturers like Safrane due to the removal of automotive subsidies. In 2015, Valcluse manufactured just over 2.5 million vehicles, the majority of them models assembled by foreign manufacturers. Valcluse is a key automotive manufacturer for the North Wilassian market and the vehicles manufactured are sold domestically as well as exported to Respumare and Prekonate and other countries. Several Valclusian manufacturers have gained international recognition and export globally. The commercial vehicle division of Favre exports buses around the world. Renard is the largest domestic Valclusian manufacturer and exports its products across Maredoratica. Valcluse is also a significant producer of agricultural and construction machinery. Bühl is one of the largest tractor manufacturers in Wilassia and exports its products worldwide. Other significant manufacturers include Silvestre, which is Maredoratica's second largest manufacturer of specialized forestry vehicles.

Tourism

Tourism is an important tertiary industry in Valcluse, generating $15.3 billion annually. Approximately 13.5 million tourists visit Valcluse every year, the majority visiting during the winter.

Winter tourism is an especially important sector of the tourism industry as it accounts for 52.3% of the visitor numbers and 61% of the revenue. The ski season lasts roughly from November until May, with around 7.06 million tourists visiting Valcluse's ski resorts during that period. Although there are over 30 ski resorts and ski fields, most tourists visit Valcluse's four main ski resort towns; Saint Charles, Les Pins, Grande Montange and Lac Glacier. Winter tourists also come to experience various winter festivals, such as the Neufchâtel Winter Carnival which attracts over a million visitors. There are also various winter celerations in towns and cities across Valcluse. Annual Réveillon celebrations take place on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve, the latter being more public in nature. These occur across the country and include a number of public celebrations.

Summer tourism accounts for the remainder of the visitor numbers and revenue. Although less people visit during summer, Valcluse offers a wide variety of festivals and activities for tourists to experience. Seasonal tourist destinations, especially ski resorts, are increasingly offering more activities in and around resort towns to keep visitor numbers up during the off season. Hiking and adventure tourism are increasingly being used to bring tourists in during spring and summer. Most of the spring and summer tourists head to Valcluse's coastal areas, as well as its southern provinces which offer a large number of activities, from hiking and Mountain biking to waterskiing on Lake Supérieur and Lake Beaupré. Wine tours are becoming popular activities for older visitors to the region as the area has a large number of wineries. Leaf peeping brings thousands of tourists to the east coast every year to see the rich display of autumnal colours in the region's forests. Many summer festivals also take place, including the Valentinois Hot Air Balloon Festival and the Neufchâtel Music Festival, the largest of its kind in Valcluse.

Domestic tourism accounts for another 5.9 million tourists and an additional $7.1 billion in revenue annually. As with foreign visitors, most of Valcluse's domestic tourism is generated during winter. Most Valclusians tend to visit smaller ski resorts and ski resort towns in order to avoid the more well known towns and resorts, which cater to foreign tourists and are more expensive.

Resources

Excavations at an open pit mine in Artois.

Valcluse is rich in natural resources. It is a significant producer of minerals, including rare earth minerals. Crude oil and natural gas are also important natural resources that Valcluse exploits for international and domestic markets. In addition, Valcluse is a net electricity exporter, with exports primarily going to Prekonate.

Mining and other related mineral extraction and production industries collectively contribute to 29% of annual exports, roughly $80825552000. It is also one of the more labour intensive industries, accounting for 9.2% of Valcluse's labour force (1,120,209 workers). Mining is the highest paid primary industry in Valcluse, with an average wage of ₣510,350 ($132,558). It is also one of the most diverse, with 35.1% of those employed in the industry (386,875 workers) are born overseas.

Valcluse is a producer of various metals such as nickel, copper, zinc, gold, silver and titanium. It is also the only Wilassian country that produces rare earth minerals, with Valcluse being one of the largest producers of neodymium in Maredoratica. Valcluse's mines are mostly found the central, southern and eastern parts of the country, with most of the minerals extracted by domestic companies such as Exval and OFT, which are the largest mining companies in Valcluse. Both companies have significant mineral extraction operations around Maredoratica. Metal extraction accounts for seven percent of Valcluse's total exports ($19509616000) and 21.4% of Valcluse's mineral exports.

Iron ore contributes approximately $19.62 billion, making it larger than Valcluse's entire non-ferrous mining industry. Valcluse is one of the largest iron ore producers in Wilassia, with most of its exports to other Wilassian states as well as significant mineral importers such as Questers. There are currently 12 iron ore mines in operation across Valcluse, with half of them operated by domestic mining companies. The iron ore mining industry also accounts for 27.5% of the mining workforce (308,057 workers).

A drilling rig on the Valclusian Prairies.

Valcluse has substantial crude oil deposists both onshore and offshore. Valcluse has been exploiting these deposists since the late 1960's but persistent low oil prices for the last decade and a half have significantly scaled back both state and private investment and development of existing oil reserves. Since 2010, Valcluse has not issued any new exploration permits to domestic or foreign companies and has significantly scaled back production of domestically extracted crude oil. Despite this, the production and refinement of crude oil and petroleum contributes to $27.5 billion annually, 34.1% of resources export revenue and 9.9% of total export revenue. Around 65% of Valcluse's total petroleum production is consumed domestically.

Natural gas is another important energy industry in Valcluse, generating $12.1 billion a year. The development of Valcluse's natural gas reserves, which primarily comes from shale deposists in Valcluse's prairie provinces, has been slow owing to environmental issues and cheap natural gas imports from neighbouring Prekonate. Natural gas exploitation did not begin in earnest until 1976 and did not become a significant resources industry until the mid-2000's. In 2010, hydraulic fracking became the most widespread method of natural gas extraction, which has caused controversy. However, the government has since increased investment in its natural gas industry and has begun reducing exports in order to achieve the goal of having 45% of all natural gas consumed domestically come from domestic sources by 2025.

Construction materials, chiefly cement, is one of the smaller industries in Valcluse, contributing $3.2 billion in exports annually. Most of Valcluse's material exports are to Wilassian countties, especially developing economies with fast growing construction industries. 45% of material exports went to Prekonate in 2016, with another 36% to Guurdalai and 10% to Rochehaut.

Transportation

Road

Valcluse has a total of 692,118 kilometres (430,062 miles) of roads. Autoroutes constitute approximately 14,302 kilometres (8,886 miles) of the road network. Valcluse has one of the highest percentages of unpaved roads in Maredoratica, with 31% (214,556 kilometres, 133,318 miles). The vast majority of these roads are in Valcluse's most sparsely populated and rural areas.

Roads are managed through all tiers of government in Valcluse. The federal government constructs and maintains the country's motorway network as well as all of Valcluse's interprovincial routes, which constitute the Federal Highway Network (Réseau fédéral des grandes routes, RFGR). As of 2015, the Federal Highway Network's total length of roads (including the motorway network) is 36,168 kilometres (22,473 miles), approximately 5.2% of the total national road network. Motorways carry the "A" prefix and federal highways carry the "R" prefix.

Major roads within provinces are given the "P" prefix and are built and maintained by provincial governments. These connect many of the rural communities and towns in Valcluse as well as act as feeder routes for federal highways and motorways. Most of these roads are single carriageways although some roads between larger urban areas may be dual carriageways.

Municipal roads carry the "M" prefix, although this is restricted to use on rural roads. Most urban streets are maintained by municipal authorities.

Rail

Valcluse has 16,182 kilometres (10,055 miles) of railways. Approximately 9,127 kilometres (5,671 miles) of the total route length is electrified. Around 96% of the network (15,334 kilometres, 9,528 miles) is composed of standard gauge track with the remainder of the route length composed of various narrow gauge track, including Valcluse's several rapid transit systems. In addition, 3,045 kilometres (1,892 miles) of the network is composed of high speed rail.

Passenger and freight services are operated by a number of companies, the largest of which is Valclusian Federal Railways (Chemins de fer fédérales, CFF) which operates the majority of inter-city passenger and freight services. CFF is majority owned by the Valclusian government and was founded as a consolidation of various regional railway companies in June 1948. In addition, logistics company Interfret operates freight services using its own fleet of locomotives and rolling stock. All of Valcluse's larger cities operate commuter rail services independently.

Valcluse has a number of private and hertiage railways, many of which operate in the mountain. Around 50% of Valcluse's narrow gauge railways are located in the Wilassian Alps and are composed of various railway lines built to serve ski slopes in the late 19th-early 20th centuries.

Air

Valcluse has a total of 157 airports and airfields. These are divided into 38 public airports, nine military airports and 110 general aviation or private airfields. Most of Valcluse's airports and airfields have paved runways, with 61% of airports having paved runways as of 2015.

Civil aviation is administered by the Federal Civil Aviation Bureau (Bureau fédéral d'aviation civile, BFAC). It currently regulates approximately 27,108 licenced pilots, 9,917 licenced aircraft engineers, 1,892 licenced air traffic controllers, 109 aviation maintenance, production and design companies, 32 airlines and 138 licenced airports and air fields. In addition, it maintains the Civil Aircraft Register (Registre des avions civiques, RAC) which keeps detailed records of every commercial and private aircraft registered in Valcluse. The BFAC is a statutory corporation and receives the majority of its funding from licencing and registration fees.

Most of Valcluse's public airports are run independently either as private corporations in themselves or under the ownership of municipal or prefectural councils. Valcluse's four largest airports by passenger volumes are owned by Aéroports de Valcluse (ADV). ADV also provides technical and security services to other major international and domestic airports.

Valcluse has 32 registered airlines operating domestic and international flights. Air Valcluse is the largest airline in Valcluse and is the country's official flag carrier. Other important airlines include Republic Airways, low-cost carrier VOLEZ! and travel airline Voyageur Airways.

Sea

Demographics

Population

Valcluse as a population estimate of just over 23 million inhabitants as of August 2016, an increase of approximately 346,839 people over the population recorded during the 2013 Federal Census. This represents an average population growth rate of 0.50% over the last three years, or an average of 115,613 new arrivals. This is considerably lower than the 1.57% average increase in population Valcluse recorded in the 10 years prior to the census.

On average, immigration accounts for 30.2% of the population growth (34,915 people per year). Approximately 3.1%, or 1,117 people, are refugees, admitted through the government's "Vie nouvelle" program administered by the federal government's Ministry of Immigration and Citizenship. According to 2015 statistics, the largest source of refugees is Alqosia followed by Alisna and Leucia. Maalukhir is listed as the country of origin for the majority of admitted refugees, followed by Prekonate and Questers.

 
Largest Cities in Valcluse
Bureau fédéral des statistiques et des informations nationales, 2016 population estimates
Rank Province Pop. Rank Province Pop.
Montreuil
Montreuil
Beaulieu
Beaulieu
1 Montreuil Durance 4,127,100 11 Saint Maurice Aunis 344,615 Châtillon
Châtillon
Valence
Valence
2 Beaulieu Orléanais 2,389,228 12 Radisson Artois 210,556
3 Châtillon Barrois 2,313,318 13 Saint Jean Forez 196,966
4 Valence Valentinois 1,234,324 14 Grande Vallée Charleval 179,839
5 Montreau Dauphiné 1,114,563 15 Laterrière Dauphiné 157,790
6 Neufchâtel Forez 756,706 16 Cacheval Santerre 98,754
7 Grandeterre Beaujolais 730,018 17 Reichlieu Bourbonnais 98,021
8 Argentan Lieuvin 474,786 18 Villemont Dauphiné 92,394
9 Supérieur Guyenne 427,415 19 Gatineau Gatinais 88,403
10 Portnouveau Charolais 390,328 20 Duval Nivernais 72,584

Ethnicity

Valcluse is a multiethnic society and is home to over 30 different ethnic groups according to the Federal Bureau of Statistics and National Information (BFSIN).

The largest ethnic group in Valcluse are the Valclusians at 60% of the population. Although not a distinct ethnic group, Valclusians can trace their collective ancestry back to the Moriviane settlement of Nouvelle Morieux in the late 17th century. However, a majority of Valclusians have their ancestries rooted in the subsequent waves of migration during the 18th century, especially after the Morivaine Revolution. The population has since expanded considerably and developed its own distinct French dialect as well as a distinct culture.

Around 17% of the population are Prekovis. Most of the Prekovis arrived in Valcluse some time during the 12th century AD, where they settled along the more fertile regions along the western and eastern coasts. Moriviane colonialism subsequently depopulated a lot of these regions and Prekovis were forced inland to less fertile areas of Valcluse or they fled north into Prekonate proper. Ethnic Prekovis were subject to systematic assimilation programs after Valcluse gained independence. In some respects, these programs were considered by some to be Cultural genocide. Historical records have made it difficult to determine population sizes prior to 1856, when Prekovis were included in official census information. This, in turn with the large number of people with mixed heritage, has made it difficult to determine the true size of the Prekovi population.

Approximately 13% of the population is considered to be of mixed heritage. These include people with multiple ethnic heritages, with the most common being of mixed Valclusian and Prekovi heritage at 63%. It's believed that the percentage of the population that has mixed ethnic heritage is much higher due to the high periods of contact between the original Slavic inhabitants and the colonists.

Valcluse saw sizeable population growth after the Great War where thousands of refugees from the conflict in Alisna moved to more stable Wilassian states. During this time, new ethnic communities grew and became well established in contemporary Valclusian culture. The largest of these is Borgosesians, who compose 3.2% of the population. Although there were small amounts of migration prior to the early 20th century, most Borgosesians emigrated during the period immediately after the war, as well as during the 1920's and 1930's but began to stop following the freeze on Borgosesian immigration in 1940. Immigrants and refugees were admitted again after the Grand Revolution in 1958, with refugees escaping the fascist dictatorship composing a substantial proportion of Valcluse's annual refugee quota. Among the other minor communities include Styrians (1.2%), Questarians (1.1%) Magyars (0.2%) and Pollonans (o.1%). Arabs compose 0.4% of the population and Alqosians compose approximately 0.05%, although they are one of the fastest growing ethnic groups.

Language

A sign which says "Speak French - Be Clean" in a school in Gatineau.

French is the most widely spoken and sole official language in Valcluse. It is spoken as a first language by 89% of the population and as a second language by 97%. French has become the dominant language in Valcluse due to centuries of government legislation and provisions for promoting the use of French but also enforcing its use among minority communities, especially Prekovi speakers. Federal language policies have become a source for controversy and tension between the government and the Prekovis, especially in regions of Valcluse where native Prekovi speakers outnumber native French speakers. Language policies at the federal level have remained the same since they were instituted in the middle of the 19th century, but the greater powers granted to Valcluse's provinces has seen an increase in provincial laws granting minority languages official language status.

Valclusian French is the most commonly spoken dialect of the French language in Valcluse. The roots of the dialect date back to the colonists who arrived in the west in the late 18th century. It is spoken by 82% of the native French speakers in Valcluse. The dialect contains significant differences in pronunciation and spelling as well as a distinct vocabulary of words that are shared with Respumois French. These words, in addition to differences in pronunciation, can often confuse other native French speakers. This is because Valcluse gained independence long before neighboring Respumare and had less linguistic contact with Morieux before the 20th century. The relative remoteness of eastern areas and the difficulty in reaching them in the 19th and early parts of the 20th century allowed for the preservation of the dialect and for it to be embraced as the national language of Valcluse.

Respumois French is commonly spoken among the inhabitants of Valcluse's southern provinces, in particular the provinces of Orléanais and Charleval, where Respumois French is spoken at rates of 87% and 62% respectively. Orléanais in particular is unique in Valcluse in that although its inhabitants fought for independence during the Valclusian War of Independence, its inhabitants were geographically and linguistically isolated from Valcluse, meaning its inhabitants speak the Respumois dialect. Charleval, although not nearly as isolated, still contains a significant population of Respumois speakers.

Despite being 17% of the population, just nine percent of Prekovis speak Prekovi as a first language, with 12% speaking it as a second language. The Prekovi language was historically suppressed in Valcluse, owing to the government's policy of Francophonism, the forced adoption of the French language as well as the Francophone's cultural ideas and identity. Speaking Prekovi was discouraged in schools and it was not recognized as a national language by the federal govermment until 1961. Federal support for Prekovi language and cultural programs was not implemented until 1993 and even today, the language largely survives thanks to non-profit organisations like Náš Dědictví (Our Heritage) as well as grants from provincial governments.

Borgosesian is the second largest of the minority languages. Although just 2.7% speak it as a first language, nearly six percent of Valclusians speak it as a second language. Borgosesian was the second minority language to be added to the national curriculum after Prekovi. It is becoming increasingly popular as an elective course in many secondary schools. German and English are the third and fourth largest minority languages respectively. Styrian is spoken by around 2.3% of Valclusians as a first language and by 3.1% as a second language. English is spoken by 1.9% of Valclusians as a first language and by 2.8% as a second. Among the remainder of the minority languages include Arabic and Zulu.

Religion

Valcluse is predominantly Christian with a majority of its inhabitants identifying as Christians. Since the foundation of Valcluse in 1800, religion has been the source of controversy and tensions, especially over the roles of religion and the state. The Religion Act of 1805 was one of the first pieces of legislation to enshrine secularism in national law. Subsequent government policy has been similar to that of laïcité practiced in Morieux. Attempts at suppressing religions, such as the Slavonic Church have also caused tensions, although there has been a revival of the Church within Prekovi communities. There has also been a loosening of restrictions that were formerly imposed and even Christian political parties have formed.

Approximately 65% of Valclusians are Christians. Of these Christians, 71% are Catholics, 22% are Protestants and five percent are Slavonic. The remaining two percent of Christians are a combination of other denominations. One of the most notable of these denominations are Evangelicals, who have seen substantial growth over the last decade. The fastest growth comes from Valcluse's prairie provinces, especially in very conservative communities.

33% of Valclusians are irreligious. These are a combination of agnostics, atheists or individuals who don't identify with any kind of religion. Irreligious people in Valcluse have seen substantial growth, from 21% in 2003 and 27% in 2009.

Approximately 1.2% of the population are Jews, most of whom are descended from Alisnan immigrants and refugees who fled the violence of the Great Maredoratic War and its immediate aftermath. The remaining 0.8% is primarily composed of Bhuddists and Template:Islam.

Healthcare

Healthcare in Valcluse is administered through a single payer system, although individual health insurance plans are dual-payer.

At a federal level, the Ministry of Public Health funds a number of federal health programs and agencies. It directly administers the specialist health system for Valcluse's armed forces as well as the Federal Pharmaceutical Agency (Agence fédérale des médicaments, AFM) which oversess the import and subsidy of pharmaceutical drugs and medicines in Valcluse and the Federal Insurance Fund (Fond fédéral d'assurance, FFA), which provides health insurance funding in case of unemployment. It is the principal source of medical research funding for Valclusian universities and also partially funds provinces. Medical regulations are also outlined by the federal government.

Healthcare is one of the many powers provinces have almost complete control over. Each province implements its own health insurance which is not funded by the province and instead, funded by individuals and employers. Each province offers a basic plan which covers accidental injuries, emergency treatment, dental care and cancer treatment, with other coverage added to the basic plan. Provinces directly fund public hospitals and emergency medical services through a combination of provincial taxation and federal funding for revenue shortfalls.

The private healthcare system generally consists of medical specialists, general practioners and pharmacies. Outside of pharmaceuticals, the government has also subsidised medical specialist and general practioner visits for children under the age of 16 through the Notre avenir program implemented in 2011.

As of 2016, the life expectancy in Valcluse was 80 years of age for men and 82 years of age for women. The government spends around 8.1% of GDP ($66.2 billion) annually on healthcare.

Education

Education in Valcluse is primarily the responsibility of the provinces, although the federal government does maintain some oversight of the education system. Primary and secondary schools in Valcluse are joint funded by provincial governments and the federal government, however the majority of federal education funds goes towards public universities.

At the federal level, the Ministry of Education provides two basic regulatory functions. It sets the basic National Curriculum (Programme national) which all provinces must adhere to and regulates all primary, secondary and tertiary qualifications and exams through the Federal Qualifications Institute (Institut fédérale des certifications, IFC).

Provinces have the ability to chose what subjects are taught in primary and secondary schools in addition to basic subjects established in the National Curriculum as well as establish school term limits and school holidays. Provinces are also responsible for the wages of all primary and secondary school teachers and staff.

Currently the government estimates national literacy at 99%, with the same literacy rate for males and females. As of June 2015, the percentage of people over the age of employment who have a secondary school diploma was 82%. The percentage of people who have a teritary qualification was 72%. In addition, there were 3.8 million students at a primary, secondary and tertiary level in 2015. Federal spending on education amounted to $50.74 billion, or $13,352 for each student.

Culture

Art

Art in Valcluse has traditionally been influenced by Morivaine artists and art movements, with visual art not really developing domestically until the late 19th and early 20th centuries, as most artists spent their time in Morieux and other Alisnan countries where the arts was regarded more highly. Beginning in the 1870's, painters such as Robert Fresnel, Rémy Beaugendre and Gauthier Dieudonné began producing landscape paintings depicting everyday life in Valcluse as well as paintings of Valcluse's countryside and scenery. Government patronage of the arts didn't come about until 1905, with the establishment of the Federal Arts Fund (Fond fédéral des artes) which gave grants for artists to commission public works of art, mostly in the form of paintings for the national gallery as well as sculptures of important military and historical figures.

Visual arts entered into a regression during the dictatorship of Pierre Roland between 1922 and 1958 which saw a lack of government patronage for the arts and the repression of modern art trends. Most artists who did not conform to government regulations on what could be displayed fled overseas, primarily to Respumare and Morieux where they founded the Union of Exiled Artists, a forerunner of the modern Union of Artists and Sculptors.

Modern art did not develop until after the Grand Revolution, with the return of artists bringing new art movements with them. The decade between 1958 and 1968 was considered to be a "renaissance" of Valclusian visual art, with the introduction of new trends such as abstract expressionism and geometric abstraction. Famous artists of the "renaissance" include Borgosesian-born Lauriano Monte as well as local artists such as Mathéo Guilloux, Pierre Chéreau and Marc Sardou. Various women artists also participated in the "renaissance" period, the most famous being Édith Cousteau and Valérie Clérisseau, both of whom are well known for their depictions of women from the colonial period as well as abstract paintings depicting feminist values. The renaissance period also saw a revival of public art, with many cities in Valcluse commissioning sculptures and other artworks.

Photography became popular in the 1970's with the advent of cheaper cameras and film. Although the initial trend was for visually appealing photographs both in colour and in black and white, the réalisme movement soon grew in popularity, as it was seen as a reflection of Valclusian society at that time. It was also regarded as an important documentation of Valclusian society, with realism listed as a "protected art movement" by the Valclusian government in 1985. Important realism photographers include Sylvie Crépin, who is famous for photographing couples, and Jérémie Marché, who is famous for his photographs of working class families, farmers, miners and factory workers.

White Nights are held every year as part of various arts festivals held in Valclusian cities, most often in the spring. These nights, which involve major and minor galleries, are opened up to the public for free and are often used as a way to promote new or lesser known artists. These festivals vary by city, with Montreuil hosting the largest nuit blanche in Valcluse.

Architecture

The Château Beaudouin in Valence is a classic example of Châteauesque-style architecture.

Architecture in Valcluse has largely followed international styles, principally those that arose out of Morieux, although the late 19th century saw the rise of archictectural styles that were considered unique to Valcluse, particularly the Châteauesque-style.

The first architectural styles were brought to Valcluse by Morivaine colonists in the late 17th century, who constructed homes and towns that reflected the areas of Morieux from which they had originated. This reflection of Morivaine architecture continued with the development of the Châteauesque-style in the mid to late 19th century, with the government using this style to build a large number of public buildings. Private builders also used this style, in particular Vacluse's railway companies who built railway hotels in this style. Gothic Revival architecture saw surprising patronage from the dictatorship of Pierre Roland, who wished to emulate the former Alisnan imperial states whilst achieving a style that reflect Valclusian national pride. This continued until the mid-1950's when the International style became more prevalent. Both Brutalist and Postmodern architecture became popular in the 1970's and 1980's respectively but these faded considerably by the turn of the 21st century.

Modernism is one of the more common architectural styles in Valcluse in the early 21st century, although a number of other architectural styles have considerable influenced over modern architecture, including deconstructivism.

Prominent Valclusian architects include Léon Ménard (1832-1919), whose designed the Château Beaudouin among other buildings and was one of the main proponents of the Châteauesque-style of architecture, and François Corriveaux (born 1947) , a well known postmodernist architect.

Cinema

Cinema was first introduced into Valcluse in the late 19th century, with the first projection screening taking place in March 1896. Valclusian cinema and film making has largely been a reflection of Valclusian culture as a whole, as well as a reflection of society at a given time. Commercial growth came with the opening of new purpose built theaters between 1899 and 1905 and mostly showed foreign Francophone films, particularly from Morieux. A domestic film studio was not created until 1912 as neither the government nor private banks were interested in investing in film. The first movie studio, Bonaventure Productions, was initially funded through a combination of private donations and funding from the Federation of Motion Picture Theaters, the forerunner of the Cinematic Union (Union cinématographique).

Claude Maunier is widely regarded as the first Valclusian film director, with the Claude Maunier Prize, the highest domestic award for film making, named after him. He inspired the first wave of filmmakers in Valcluse who made films between 1912 and 1922. Among the more famous silent films are Une vie dans l'Orient (A Life in the Orient), known for its footage of Guurdalai during the older imperial era, and La vague de Fer (The Iron Wave), a 1921 film about the Great War.

The regime of Pierre Roland utilized film as a tool for propaganda and greatly invested in filmmaking studios and directors. Despite heavy government censorship of films critical of the regime and of government policy, flimmaking and cinema in Valcluse flourished. Among the non-government films that received international acclaim were Note vie sans l'amour (Our Life without Love), a 1930 film about a married couple going through divorce and La flueve rapide (The Swift River), a 1936 film about a family living in the remote foothills of the Autel Range. Government control over cinema loosened during the 1950's with a wider variety of films made. Examples include the 1951 film Ne m'abandonnez (Don't Abandon Me), where a woman grieves for the loss of her husband killed during the Valclusian-Respumois War and Retrouvez-moi à Saint-Lô (Meet Me in Saint-Lô), a 1956 film about a young university student studying abroad in Saint-Lô. Some of the most well known directors of this period include Claude Rousseau (1909-1943) and government filmmaker Antoine Verniac, who is well known for his 1949 film Notre Patrie, notre destin (Our Fatherland, Our Destiny).

The Grand Revolution in 1958 brought a substantial change in cinema and filmmaking with more liberal regulations surrounding the film industry. It also became an important period for Valclusian actors and actresses who became recognized throughout the Francophone world. The 1960's saw the establishment of the Western as a distinct and integral part of the Valclusian film industry. The film credited with establishing this genre and the career of Valcluse's most prolific Western actor, Jean Desmarais, is Un homme, un pistolet (One Man, One Pistol), a 1961 film about a law man brought into a small town in Artois to restore peace and justice. Other important Western films include Le pays de Dieu (God's Country), a film released in 1971 about a ranching family during the Prairie Wars, and Les yeux regardant (The Watching Eyes), a 1982 film about a man fighting against a corrupt town council. The film is particularly notable in that it is set in the modern era but fulfills the classic genre plot of a Western film.

The 1980's and 1990's brought a new set of films and filmmakers into the public spotlight, with many films confronting social taboos such as sex and alcoholism. Other taboo subjects were also touched on. For example, the 1991 film L'Enfer et Moi (Hell and Me) followed the story of a woman dealing with schizophrenia. Le Djâbe dous (The Sweet Devil), released in 1995, told the story of a man dealing with heroin abuse. Important directors include Céleste Génin, known for her films about domestic violence and domestic abuse, and Gérard Lajoie.

Cuisine

Valclusian cuisine is a mixture of Morivaine, Prekovi and local influences and ingredients. Often traditional dishes and ingredients of both countries can be found in Valcluse, in addition to unique local dishes and ingredients. In addition to national dishes, regional cuisines can be found which can be differentiated between preferences for certain ingredients due to availability or tradition.

Traditional dishes in Valcluse include poutine râpée, a potato dumpling with pork filling that originated in the Valclusian Prairies, râpure, a casserole like dish made with grated potatoes, onions and a meat filling and fricot, a type of stew made with potatoes, onions and meat. Most of these dishes originate from western Valcluse as well as the Valclusian Prairies, where many people often made do with what meat was available. For example, a râpure comes with either beef or chicken, but pork and lamb are also used. Coastal areas often served râpure made with clams. Fricot is made with any variety of meats, including wild game like rabbit and deer. It can also be served without the meat and is often called fricot affamé (starving stew), as a lack of meat was often attributed to starvation.

Morivaine influences on Valclusian cuisine come from the colonial period when Valcluse was a part of Nouvelle Morieux and dishes have survived to become culinary icons of both Valcluse and neighbouring Respumare. Examples of this include the tourtière, a large pie made with a meat filling, usually beef, pâté gallois, a dish made with ground beef, corn and mashed potatoes similar to a Questarian cottage pie, gâteau fermier (farmer's cake), a small cake made with hot syrup or caramel, and tarte au sucre, a dessert pie popular in both Valcluse and Respumare. The origin of many of these dishes is a source of friendly debate between the two countries.

Prekovi influences on Valclusian cuisine stem from the first settlement of Valcluse by Palamites and the evolution of traditional foods and dishes. They have survived into the modern era largely due to the support from Valcluse's Francophone community and adoption as part of mainstream Valclusian culture. Prekovi soups are popular as winter meals in restaurants as are a lot of dishes that have winter ingredients. One of the most popular Prekovi dishes in Valcluse is svíčková, a dish composed of marinated sirloin, a sauce composed of carrot, parsley root and cream, Chantilly cream and served with bread dumplings or poutine râpée. Prekovi snacks and desserts are also popular, with various commercial brands of křížaly achieving commercial success. Various Prekovi variants of doughnuts and other sweets are also popular commercially.

Valcluse has prolific beer and wine industries. Beer production was introduced by the Kirilics sometime in the 1200's, with wine production beginning in the early 18th century. Around 90% of beer produced in Valcluse is Pilsner with a few other beer styles. Pilsner has been manufactured since the 1860's in Valcluse and was the earliest mass manufactured alcoholic beverage to be commercially sold. Today Valcluse is home to over 300 breweries, the largest of which is Beran, named after the founder, Štěpán Beran. Valcluse is also Maredoratica's largest producer of fruit beer and smoked beer, the latter of which is known internationally for having malt exposed to smoldering cedar planks, creating a unique flavour. Valcluse is home to over 200 wineries with most common wines being red wine, white wine and sparkling wine, which collectively account for 75% of Valclusian wine production. In addition, Valcluse is a significant producer of fruit wine and ice wine, the latter being produced in the exposed Valclusian Prairies.

Music

All types of music can be found in Valcluse, but the most prolific genres are country music, electronic music, pop music and traditional music.

Traditional music in Valcluse is split between the music and traditions developed by Morivaine settlers or inherited from Morieux itself, and the native Prekovi population. Traditional Valclusian music is largely composed of songs regarding local folklore. Most traditional music tends to be fast-paced and involves a few predominant instruments such as the fiddle and the guitar. In addition, songs tend to focus on a few core subjects, such as hardship and love. After the conclusion of the Tajmyr War and the Prairie Wars, songs about brave resistance or heroes arose and became part of Valcluse's traditional culture. Alongside music, traditional dances have also appeared. One of the most well known is the gigue. Although the gigue had been in Valcluse since the beginning of Morivaine colonization, it did not gain popularity until the middle of the 19th century and today remains one of the icons of the Valclusian Prairies. The gigue has two predominant types: the marche which has a slower tempo and has more melodic music, and the gigue itself, which is faster and has more upbeat music. Traditional Prekovi music involves instruments such as the bagpipes and is largely similar to traditional Valclusian music. The polka is a traditional Prekovi dance that has gained popularity in mainstream Valclusian society.

Country music is linked to Valcluse's traditional music in that it was developed using traditional themes and similar music styles. However, the genre began developing in the 1930's with artists like Jean Toussaint and Hervé Passereau pioneering and developing the genre within Valcluse. In particular, they developed the "Prairie Sound", which involves extensive use of the slide guitar. The genre first reached the mainstream in the 1940's with artists like Albert Bourdon and Grégoire Lemaître as well as the first prominent female artists like Élodie Clair. These artists popularized the genre in Valcluse and in other Francophone countries and gave rise to the city of Radisson as being the "country music capital" of Valcluse. The genre grew in popularity and size during the 1950's and 1960's, until pop music became extremely popular in the 1970's. The advent of country pop in the late 1990's and early 2000's with artists such as Marc Leavitt and Chloé Grandis gaining international fame largely rescued the genre and it today enjoys an albeit restrained popularity across Valcluse.

Pop music has been a popular and prolific genre of music since the late 1950's. Valclusian pop music has its origins in the nouvelle shanson era after the end of the Great War. Nouvelle chansons dominated the popular music scene until the late 1950's, following the introduction of of yé-yé music from Morieux. The first Valclusian yé-yé artist to achieve fame internationally was Giselle Rousseau with her 1962 hit single Manège. Other popular artists include Noëlle Brugière, Milo Auguste as well as the band Les Comètes. Although pop music waned during the 1970's, it resurged during the New Wave era of the late 1970's and early 1970's, with bands such as Autostop and Tek6 gaining fame. Pop music continued to develop and now has a substantial international presence, with artists like Mélissa Bain, Haydée and Noël Martin reknowned internationally.

Electronic music grew out of the arrival of synthesizers onto the underground music scene in the late 1970's. One of the music groups that came into the mainstream in the early 1980's was Tektonik, who rode the popularity of New Wave pop music and was the first band to make electronica mainstream in Valcluse. Trance quickly became popularised in the middle of the 1990's with the expansion of the club scene. Artists like Marc Antoine and Du Val became famous in the late 1990's and early 2000's during the peak of the trance era. Electronic music faded until the late 2000's with the popularity of house as well as new electronica influences in modern pop music. Of the new artists to emerge is Loïc Delaunay, who often collaborates with a number of other artists.

Fashion

Fashion in Valcluse has mostly followed international trends, with traditional fashion and clothing based on that of the Prekovis or Morivaine settlers. Valclusian fashion has principally grown out of utilitarian clothing worn by working class men, with clothing developed primarily for workers or for those working on ranches or in other manual labour environments. A large amount of western wear, known in Valcluse as "prairie fashion" (mode de la prairie) has remained popular in Valcluse, although most clothing has evolved to be in step with different influences and trends from overseas. Jeans in particular have become one of the main clothing items that have remained popular since their introduction in the late 19th century. Male fashion throughout much of the late 19th and early 20th centuries was dominated by the "cavalier du pays", which

In addition to utilitarianism, traditional Valclusian clothing and fashion has been influenced by the climate, especially Valcluse's bitterly cold winters. Garments such as the capot, tuque, manteau du cavalier and the Ceinture fléchée were all developed with the goal of keeping the wearer warm, as they were inspired by Prekovi clothing or by Morivaine settlers responding to the harsh climate.

A number of fashion events are held across Valcluse, with two events occurring biannually to showcase winter and summer styles. These events are among the more prestigious in Wilassia and are used to showcase existing and emerging fashion designers. International fashion houses also showcase their designs and launch products. In addition to clothing, Montreuil also hosts F/H, a fashion week dedicated to hair styles and beauty products for men and women. The event is the largest of its kind in Wilassia and is also free to attend as many beauty product manufacturers open stalls in between shows to sell products.

Six fashion magazines are in circulation in Valcluse, the largest of which is Mode. Four of the six fashion magazines are dedicated to women with two dedicated to men. Homme is the leading men's fashion magazine and also includes information skin care products, colonges and other male beauty products. Valcluse also has a fashion magazine dedicated for the LGBT community; Spectre.

Valcluse is home to a few fashion designers and brands. The most famous is Hugo St-Armand, who is the founder and current CEO of St-Armand, a well known manufacture of men's suits, cologne and other apparel. St-Armand has received international acclaim and sells its products around Maredoratica. Another well known Valclusian fashion brand is Soulières, founded by Valentin Soulières. It is the oldest surviving fashion house in Valcluse, having been founded in 1925. Soulières is known for women's apparel and accessories, including its jewelry and handbags. Notable Valclusian fashion designers are André Clérisseau, who is a prolific designer of wedding dresses, Marie Sartre and Adèle Seyrès.

Literature

Literature did not develop in Valcluse until the middle of the 18th century when colonial writers began developing their own distinct literary styles. The printing press' relatively late arrival in Valcluse also delayed the development of Valclusian literature. The first written accounts of Valcluse date back to June 1591 when Morivaine explorer Philippe Thibodeau anchored off the coast of Agenais. He wrote in his journal of the land that he saw and his remarks about it.

Prior to the arrival of the Morivaine settlers, most history and cultural traditions were oral, as the Prekovis in the region did not possess many writing tools or reliable methods of publishing. The Morivaines did not immediately introduce the printing press when they began colonisation in the late 17th century. It wasn't until the 1740's did the press finally arrive. Most accounts written about Valcluse during that time were by explorers venturing into the interior of Valcluse. Among these early accounts was Observations du pays by Émile Vaugrenard, who explored the lower northern slopes of the Wilassian Alps between 1721 and 1726. Those who did write accounts often had their papers sent back to Morieux to be published. Questarian explorers also wrote a number of early accounts of Valcluse, the earliest being written journal entries of William Morris who explored the Levasseur Sound region in 1702.

Jacques Laframboise was the most important figure in 18th century Valclusian literature.

The latter half of the 18th century saw the emergence of the first Valclusian writers. The first published writer of this time was Emmanuel Dujardin who published a set of small stories and poems in 1759. The first Valclusian novelist was Jacques Laframboise who published Un Hiver dans les Pins (A Winter in the Pines), a fictionalized account of his time spent in Charleval between 1747 and 1752. Laframboise would go on to write La vie de la grande tristesse (The Life of Misery), in 1773 which detailed the experiences of several people under the Morivaine colonial regime. The novel is widely regarded as one of the pieces of literature than inspired the Patriot's Rebellion in June 1774 which lead to the outbreak of the Valclusian War of Independence. Laframboise was made a National Hero of Valcluse on the 100th anniversary of the Patriot's Rebellion in 1874.

Valclusian literature further developed during the 19th century. Most of the subjects of books, as well as the emergence of Valclusian poetry, initially centred on heroism and patriotism, especially in the immediate post-independence period. Among the most well known poems of the early independence period was Ma belle Patrie (My Beautiful Homeland) by Césaré Clément, who reflected on the pride and achievements of the soldiers in winning independence for Valcluse. Towards the middle of the century, the heroism and patriotism themes were revisited after the conclusion of the Tajmyr War. This mood was reflected in the poem Le col des martres (The Hill of Martyrs) by Jean Tousignant. The aftermath of the war also saw the emergence of Prekovi authors and poets, the most notable being Lubomire Turec, whose poem Les sauvages nouveaux (The New Savages), centred on the Prekovi Rebellions and reflected the mood of the Prekovi people in Valcluse. Turec was also the first Valclusian poet to achieve international recognition as his works were translated into Prekovi and received acclaim in neighboring Prekonate.

In addition to poetry, different genres emerged in Valcluse. Among them was the prairie novel (Roman du prairie), a genre which initially reflected settler life in the Valclusian Prairies. Often the stories centered around the survival of a family through the bitter winters, coping with issues such as harvests, crop failure and other life threatening events. By the 1850's, other themes were introduced into these. Romance was introduced during this period and proved commercially successful, which lead to the rise of female authors such as Mathilde Benoît who was one of the first to introduce romance into the genre. A brief romanticist influence came into the genre during its early years but was quickly replaced with new influences from individualist authors. The Prekovi Rebellions let to many Francophone authors drawing inspiration from Prekovi homesteaders who resisted government seizures of their land. Gallant last stands became a common theme in prairie novels until the turn of the century.

The 20th century saw substantial changes in the development of Valclusian literature, especially in the content and themes. After the Great War, anti-war sentiment became pervasive among Valclusian artists, including writers. In 1921, Valclusian war correspondent Jean-Pierre Hennequin wrote La guerre que j'ai vu (The War I've Seen), a semi-autobiographical work containing his personal experiences during the Great War in Alisna, especially in the Moravian Empire and it's associated internal conflicts. One of the best selling non-fiction literary works in Valclusian history, Hennequin became the most vocal anti-war advocate and wrote several essays and other books on the subject before his forced exile in 1938. Other Valclusian writers and authors mainly kept to the more familiar themes until the advent of the État Nouveau regime.

The État Nouveau regime under Pierre Beauvais had a substantial effect on Valclusian literature. Writers and authors were subject to heavy censorship and many fled to other states where they continued to write pieces critical of the regime. Ève Lajoie wrote La maison nouvelle (The New House) during her self-imposed exile in Rochehaut between 1937 and 1961. The novel is a fictionalised account of a mother and her young family forced into exile by an autocratic regime and how she and her family deals with the upheaval. The regime also took an interest in literature as a method of propaganda but the coercive methods in which many writers and authors were forced to comply often saw many of them either forced into exile or force themselves into exile. Among those that stayed were authors like Thierry Chausson, Marc-Antoine Gérin and René Côté who wrote novels and books for the government. The État Nouveau period was considered to be a renaissance for heroism and patriotism in Vaclusian literature. Despite the harsh times during and following the Valclusian-Respumois War, few anti-war pieces were published and much of the anti-war works came from overseas.

Following the Grand Revolution in 1958, Valclusian writers, authors and poets returned in droves and throughout the first four years of the 1960's, many pieces were published reflecting on people's experiences during the regime as well as feelings of hope for the future. Two of the most important and controversial books of the 1960's were written during this period: Libération by Jean-Paul Chéreau and Été by Marie Lafrenière. Libération was published in 1963 and told the story of a teenage boy who had his coming of age during the Grand Revolution. The novel dealt with the concept of a loss of innocence, reflected in the murder and sex scenes. It was considered controversial as Valclusian society at that time was still traditionalist and influenced by the Sévéracois Church, with the novel being the first mainstream literary depictions of murder and sex. Été received similar controversy when it was first published in 1964. Although it did not involve any depictions of sex or murder, the story had repeated uses of nudity as a symbol for freedom. The May Rebellion in 1968 further saw the emergence of writers and literature that pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable at the time. This trend continued onward throughout the 1970's.

The 1980's saw the emergence of science fiction as a literary genre. Valclusian science fiction differed slightly from elsewhere is that it primarily focused on subgenres such as dystopias and alternate history. The 1984 novel La dernière guerre by Martin Blanchard focused on an alternate history in Maredoratica where various nations locked in a nuclear arms race become embroiled in a nuclear exchange that destroys most of the globe and kills millions. It won several international prizes and was considered to be one of the important works that solidified the anti-nuclear movement in mainstream Valclusian society.

Media

Valcluse is the third largest producer of Francophone media in Maredoratica behind Respumare and Morieux. Much of Valcluse's media is privately owned, either through large media companies or through smaller, independent media outlets. Most Valclusian radio and television programs and content comes either from domestic media companies and outlets or from neighbouring Respumare, thus largely limiting the influence of Morivaine media on Valclusian audiences. A 2017 press freedom index by Maredoratic League affiliated NGO Journalistes pour une presse libre ranked Valcluse fifth in Maredoratica in terms of press freedom.

The Federal Telecommunications Council (Conseil fédéral des télécommunications, CFT) is the federal government agency responsible for the enforcement of federal regulations that apply to Valclusian media and foreign media intent for distribution in Valcluse. Its role varies considerably, from reviewing media content and setting age limits to processing broadcasting licences to determining how much content television and radio channels must broadcast that is made in Valcluse. It also sets out the standards for acceptable broadcasting content and also handles public complaints for breaches of broadcasting standards.

Print media in Valcluse is entirely run by private enterprises, many of them for-profit. There are currently 15 daily national newspapers that are printed and sold across Valcluse, with La République the largest of these with a weekly readership of just under two million. It is also considered to be the newspaper of record. In addition, several of its journalists and photographers have won numerous domestic and international awards for their work. Outside of the national newspapers, there are also over 300 daily local newspapers in print in cities and communities around Valcluse. Readership rates have remained steady over the last decade, with over 35% of Valclusians reading a newspaper once a day. Valcluse has approximately 34 magazines sold nationally through direct sales and subscriptions, covering a variety of topics from current events and politics to motoring to fashion. The largest of these magazines is La Semaine, which covers largely political and general interest topics, in addition to investigative stories and photojournalism. Numerous smaller magazines, including those run by collectives, also exist. Valcluse is home to a number of print media companies, the largest of which is Groupe Lanoue, which owns 41 newspapers and magazines nationwide.

Television in Valcluse was introduced on an experimental basis in 1931 and launched full time in 1955. Television broadcasting is performed by a mixture of private and public companies. Public television in Valcluse is broadcasted by Radio and Television Valcluse (Radio et Télévision Valcluse, RTV). RTV provides all of Valcluse's free to air television channels and most of the flagship content, including current events shows, dramas and others. It is a publicly and privately funded company, with roughly half of the funding obtained through commercial advertising and customer subscriptions. The other half is provided by federal and provincial governments through direct funding and grants. Both public and private broadcasters based in Valcluse are, by law, required to have at least 30% of their broadcast content made in Valcluse. This does not apply for broadcasts originating from outside of Valcluse.

Radio was first introduced in Valcluse in 1920 with Radio Valence being the first station to broadcast. As with television, radio broadcasting is performed by a mixture of public and private stations. Public radio is exclusively broadcast by Radio and Television Valcluse, who broadcast five public channels in addition to public radio channels for each of Valcluse's 13 provinces, including the Capitale-Nationale region. In addition to these public channels there are over 100 private, student and community radio stations. Many of Valcluse's public radio stations have some of the largest audiences. Pulse is the largest commercial radio station by listeners, with 3.4 million listeners a day. Radio is subject to similar laws as television regarding content, although these laws are limited to radio stations that play any kind of music.

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