Rogatia

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Rogatia
Full name State of Rogatia
Coordinates 12° 0' 0" N, 53° 0' 0" W
Area (km²) 7,048.87 km²
Population 4,391,853
Language (official) English
Language (regional) French, German, Spanish, Antillean Creole
Capital Trouvaille
Largest city/town/settlement Trouvaille
Administrative divisions Shropshire, Elmshire
Highest point Mount Barome
Highest elevation 681.58
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean
Lowest elevation 0
President Hilda Norres
Prime Minister Leon Harris-Charles
Currency East Caribbean dollar
Time zone UTC -4
DST No
Drives on the left
Internet code .hc
Calling code +1-427

Rogatia (pronounced "row-gash-ya", IPA: /roʊɡɑːʃiːə/) is an island nation located in the Atlantic Ocean, about 400 km (250 mi) east of Barbados and 680 km (420 mi) north of the Suriname/French Guiana border. Measuring 7,049 km² (2,722 mi²) in area, and comprising nearly 4.4 million inhabitants, it is the West Indies' most densely-populated sovereign state and one of the world's twenty most densely-populated territories overall.

The capital city is Trouvaille, situated in the lower Orissen River valley in southwestern Shropshire. It is the seat of government, and the centre of business, entertainment and transportation. Other large towns include Byahaut, Gaudium, Hodgence, Weymouth and Jouannigot.

History

Main article: History of Rogatia

Though Amerindians first settled on what is now Rogatia, they left behind little trace of their activity there. Christopher Columbus sighted the area during his third voyage in July 1498, but passed it straight.

European settlers all but ignored it until April 1706, when an isolated group of Catholic Spaniards landed near the mouth of the Orissen River. There, they later set up a town they christened San Pablo, on an island they later called La Isla de Redención. These settlers considered Bartolomé de las Casas, a long-celebrated opponent of cruelty toward Native Americans, to be their patron hero; many of his teachings made an impact on the legal infrastructure of their colony. Within a few months, a cluster of Redención's inhabitants later moved westward, to an island they called Santa Isabel.

In July 1741, the colony was the first in the West Indian region to abolish slavery outright, a matter of decades before Britain and France followed suit.

In 1798, the area was given a new name: Rogatia, in honour of the Major Rogation which the San Pablo residents celebrated every April after Easter.

At the start of the 19th century, Rogatia received its first inhabitants of African descent, all of them former slaves from other colonies who had worked hard enough to buy their freedom.

By the 1810s, the French took over Rogatia and ruled it until 1884, when Great Britain assumed control. Associated Statehood was granted in 1967, and independence followed on 7 November 1973. Rogatia became a republic on 7 December 1979.

Administrative divisions

Rogatia consists of two provinces, Shropshire in the west and Elmshire to the east. The island nation is divided into twelve parishes, which are further broken up into 36 districts and 436 communes.

Geography

Main article: Geography

Considerably far from both the Lesser Antilles and Guianas, Rogatia is among the most remote territories in the Americas; the nearest national capital is Paramaribo in Suriname, and the nearest major airport is Grantley Adams in Barbados.

Compared to other Caribbean islands, most of Rogatia's landscape is low-lying, only reaching as far as 100 m above sea level in most places. Coastal plains are found across southeastern Elmshire and (more prominently) in northern Shropshire. The Morrissey Plateau, measuring 80–95 m in elevation, dominates much of central Elmshire; another extensive plain covers much of southeastern Shropshire.

Mount Barome, the highest point (at 681.58 m above sea level), lies in the extreme eastern portion of Shropshire. Among that province's other peaks are Ketellou, Wethersfield and Pakritin. Elmshire's tallest land area is the miniature plateau at Our Lady of Salvation, at 204.6 m.

Rogatia is not a single island, as scores of publications have usually cited, but actually two. Those entities, Shropshire in the east and Elmshire in the west, also serve as the nation's sole provinces. Connecting them are the narrow Sherbrooke Isthmus, and the portion of the Herbert Hancine Highway (3H) running through it. Separating them, however, are a series of three culverts.

Tectonically, the country is part of South America, as it lies within the Guiana Basin (also known as the Makaroff Deep[1]). Some scientists have identified it as an offshore renmant of the Guiana Shield, broken down over eons by wind and coastal action. In the political, cultural and historical arenas, it is more connected to the Caribbean (and hence, North America).

The country lies outside both the Altantic hurricane belt and major earthquake zones (although very mild temblors occur on occasion), but is not immune to natural disasters: Elmshire was hit moderately by Hurricane David in 1979 (without any casualties), and locals felt serious seismic events from neighbouring islands in 1843 and 2007.

Demographics

Main article: Demographics

In 2007, Rogatia's census recorded a population of 4,391,853. 62% of the country's inhabitants are of African descent, 15% of Caucasian descent (European/American) and 11% of mixed ancestry. Almost four in five inhabitants are above age 15, the highest such rate in the West Indies. High density and overpopulation have run rampant in recent decades; both provinces, as well as the entire country, register densities of no less than 620 people per km² (1,606 people per mi²).

Economy

Rogatia's GDP, at more than US$8,600 per capita, is mid-range for its region. The nation is the most easterly member of the East Caribbean currency union, although it is not a member of the Organisation of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS). The United States dollar (US$) also receives frequent use throughout.

Politics

Rogatia has been a parliamentary democracy since 1979, with its own National Assembly, Prime Minister and President. The three political parties are the Alliance Party, Reformed Party and Kaiser Party. Hilda Norres has been President since 1998; Leon Harris-Charles and his Alliance party came to power in September 2005. The country's elections are known for their low voter turnout, as most islanders do not heavily partake in political affairs.

The country is a member of the United Nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, La Francophonie and the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).

Communications and media

Rogatia is served by one national radio and television broadcaster, the government-owned HCP (or ZHCP before 2009). It runs on cable channel 3 in its hometown of Trouvaille; 6 in Hodgence; 12 in Castle Brook and Gaudium; 17 in Weymouth and southern Elmshire; and 19 in Jouannigot and northern Elmshire. The radio counterpart airs on 98.7 FM in Trouvaille, and AM 595 throughout the country.

Six other radio stations serve the country, among them Elmshire's True 95.7 and the religious 103.3 Salvation of Gaudium.

Rogatia's largest media corporation is Hycam Entertainment, founded in the early 1960s by Louis Harlgen. Hycam specialises in the production and distribution of film and television properties, and also operates the nation's lone cable television service, HyCable. In late 2012, the company will sell its sales, cable and distribution arms to the local division of Canada's E1 Entertainment, while keeping its production unit. Elmshire's TJE Studios has served as a post-production facility for Hycam's films.

A film industry has existed since the early 1930s, and is among the West Indies' most highly-developed (after Cuba's and Jamaica's); as of May 2012, 147 short films and 37 features have been released. The most recent feature is Happy: A Rabbit on the Run, a long-delayed project from TJE. The traditionally-animated film received a two-week run across the Americas (through distributor Gaiam Antilles) on April 20, 2012. It is currently streaming worldwide on YouTube, Dailymotion and the Internet Archive, with torrents available on mininova and ClearBits.

Rogatia has 22 newspapers, the largest and oldest of which is the Trouvaille Crusader. Regional papers include the Castle Brook Pinnacle and the Elmshire Oracle. There are some specialty publications, among them Salvation (religious), RePORT (Portuguese) and Paradis (French).

Several telecommunications providers serve Rogatia: LIME (the Caribbean unit of Cable & Wireless), Digicel, orange, Alltel (whose brand is used under licence from Verizon), and the locally-based tph.

The country's Internet code is .hc, one of the oldest ccTLDs in existence.

Transportation

Roads

Rogatia's major thoroughfare is the Herbert Hancine Highway (3H), named after the Governor who served the territory from 1941 to 1964, and was also an early supervisor of its construction. The thoroughfare runs as a freeway from Jouannigot to Trouvaille's western suburbs, and continues as an expressway until reaching a roundabout in northern Hodgence.

Aside from 3H, the country has four types of road: Routes (R), Secondary Roads (S), Town (T) and Village (V).

Airports

There are three major airports, all of which serve international flights: Jasper Charles Melvin (JCM), Estinda Aerodrome and Nosten Airport. JCM was the first to open, in 1927 (as Swolley Field).

JCM is located in Elmshire, along with Drakesley Memorial Airport near the villages of Charlesbury and Vestrum. In Shropshire, Emmanuel Parlvonne Airfield (north of Ian Taisley) serves agricultural produce.

Rogation Holiday

The government of Rogatia declared April 25, the day of the Major Rogation, a national public holiday in 1921. If it falls on a weekend, then it is moved to the following Monday. Enormous pilgrimages and church rallies are frequently encountered during the festivities, often causing road blocks for hours at a time.

April 25 also falls on the Christian feast day of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the author of the New Testament Gospel after whom one of Rogatia's parishes is named. Grandiose services are held in the parish seat, Young Pond.

References

  1. [1]

This article originally appeared in slightly different form on The Rogatia Encyclopedia, licensed under CC-BY-SA, the GDFL and FAL / Art Libre.