Pages and Forals
Within the Federated States of Faeland there are two recognized forms for member states: Pages and Forals. Historically, these referred to semi-feudal distinctions between different types of sovereignty. Today these titles have no such meaning but have been retained for traditional reasons.
As of union in 1935 they have been defined as states with or without arable land, respectively. Specifically, a Page is defined as a state whose total land area is at least 50% arable; whereas a Foral is a state whose total land area is at least 50% urban municipality (by their own laws) and/or the ability to claim an historical charter of sovereignty.
For example, Argenteau has a small population and so its municipal territories are very small. But it can prove chartership from Louis the Pious of France, therefore it is a Foral, not a Page.
While these two terms have modern currency across the island, this was not always the case. In Pentapolis for instance, Page, or pago, was a rather perjorative term used to describe the Faelish Kingdoms of the heartland, as the term meant district or region, but also country people or rustics. Similarly, Forals are a Continental feudal concept and existed primarily in the south of Faeland in the Spanish communities. Argenteau as well was a traditional Foral. The Latin cities of Pentapolis and Falcatta were not chartered as such, but were created as colonies during the Roman Empire, when no such feudal system existed.
"Page" comes ultimately from the Latin word pagus, -i.: m. a) district, canton, region; b) village; villagers, country people. It's use was related to the fact that the kingdoms of the medieval interior held sway over vast stretches of land, but were nevertheless rather agrarian and less urbanized than the Latin Coast.
Foral is descended from the Portuguese foro and Spanish fuero. Fuero is a Spanish legal term and concept. The word comes from Latin forum, an open space used as market, tribunal and meeting place. The same Latin root is the origin of the (French) words for and foire, and the (Portuguese) words foral, forais and foro; all of these words have related, but somewhat different, meanings.
The (Spanish) fuero has a wide range of meanings, depending upon its context. It has meant a compilation of laws, especially a local or regional one; a set of laws specific to an identified class or estate (for example fuero militar, comparable to a military code of justice or fuero eclesiástico, specific to the Church). In many of these senses, its equivalent in the Anglo-Saxon world would be the charter.
In the case of Faeland, charters were granted by the Portuguese and Spanish Courts, respectively, to certain cities founded in Faeland. By extension this term for independence granted to city-states has been applied to other cases across the island where the path to sovereignty was not necessarily identical.
Problems with the Definitions
Due to the nature of political manifestations there have been some instances wherein a state might not meet either of the definitions. During unification, for instance, Sânts-Nemhora declared all her local, allied cities to be colonies and municipalities of the metropole itself, thus making the nation "urban" by its own legal terms, and in effect turning the state into a unitary instead of federal system. In the process, some of these smaller towns lost significant rights to self-government. In this fashion, the Republica Falcatta was deemed a Foral.
There are some autonomous regions within Pages that, should they wish sovereignty and independence, would be eligible by the Organic Law (see "Sovereignty in the V.F."). However, not all of these areas qualify as either Page or Foral. The Organic Law's Self-Determination Clause permits qualifying ethnic/cultural/and linguistic groups the right to appeal to the General Government for independence, sovereignty and full rights as a member of the V.F. Should this happen, a new class of state would de facto exist, as in some cases neither definition could be met.
Fáel comprises 11 states which are classified as Pages or Forals:
- Federated Dhíall - The Dhíall
- Caudian Republic - Valaduria
- Dominion of Litus - Lito
- Federation of the Latin Coast - Pentapoli
- Ríocht Fíl - Kingdom of Faeland/Midlands
- Democratic Republic of the Aroës - Aroës