The Grand Duchy of Marslava is a colossal, cultured nation, ruled with an even hand by its government. Its hard-nosed, hard-working, intelligent population of 6.267 billion have some civil rights, but not too many, enjoy the freedom to spend their money however they like, to a point, and take part in free and open elections, although not too often.
It is difficult to tell where the omnipresent government stops and the rest of society begins, but it juggles the competing demands of Education, Defence, and Healthcare. The average income tax rate is 69%. A powerhouse of a private sector is led by the Uranium Mining industry, followed by Book Publishing and Tourism.
The Grand duchy has been established at the end of the XVth century after a long period of civil war between the Catholics and the Hussites. Unable to mantain order the Holy Roman Empire preferred to leave its rule over Bohemia and just recognised as vassals the warlords who fought for the control of the territories.In 1473 the family of the Voidebrady emerged among these warlords and its first leader, Boguslaw the Great, unified the warlords thanks to a mix of war and diplomacy. The warlordism however persisted in more limited forms for another century and ended only when the warlords integrated the ducal aristocracy, which conserves its aggressive nature and is also today the prevalent influence in the Army. In 1485 arrived the recognition of the Emperor of Constantinople and of the Pope in Rome and the Boguslaw became officially Grand Duke of Marslava. His successors expanded the rule of the Duchy often struggling with its neighbours of Slovakia and then Podelia . After the death of Viktor II in 1587, his nephew Ladislaus succeeded to the throne and started an ambitious sery of military campaigns against the Kingdoms of Poland and the principalities of Ukraine. For ten years the influence of the Grand Duchy stretched from the Elbe river to the Cossack tribes of the Don.
However the " Greater Moldova " wouldn't last longtime : Ladislaus died in 1600 in a battle against the Poles and the empire that he has built collapsed with him. The cossacks successfully rebelled and the dominions of the Grand Duke were considerably reduced. Since then Marslava never regained its status of regional power.The Poles were repelled after a violent battle under Prague, in which Frederick III, the last member of the first branch of the Voidebrady dynasty died. What followed were years of civil war in which two lateral branches of the dynasty fought against each other, again the war saw a struggle between hussites and catholics. For a while it seemed that the Catholics triumphed (Battle of Lipany), but the Hussites finally won in 1634 when their pretendent, named Procopius I, conquered Prague. For one century the new dynasty held in peace the country, avoiding the great wars of the XVIIth century and fending off the interference of the Hagsburgs who ruled from Hungary. In the XVIIIth century the country was also part of the reformism and the enlightened monarchy found its happiest expression in the figure of Louis II of Moravia, who abolished serfdom, reformed the state administration and centralised the kingdom by abolishing the decisional power of the aristocracy.
In the XIXth century the country underwent, first among all the countries of the continent, a fast process of industrialisation with the exploitation of the Silesia basins and the creation of a flourishing textile industry around Prague. The reforms proceeded undisturbed for all the XIXth century, but the political reforms were rendered ineffective by the aristocracy which found a way to monopolise the political positions. During the end of the XIXth century the country closed more and more of itself off and declined on any foreign policy, until the German aggression of 1878. There the Germans were stopped on the mountains of the Sudeten by the local guerilla led by Jon Virkz, but the Army overall performed badly. The war finished without winners but the Duke Josef IV was convinced of the necessity to reform the army : he proceeded to the institution of a modern artillery, established the now famous weapons factories in Plzen and gave the command to the general Mihalovis, maybe the greatest Marslavan general, who repelled successfully a German offensive and made a successful military campaign against the Austo-Bayern. The XXth century started with the economical improvement of the nation and the 1930s were maybe the happiest age for Marslava : the democracy worked perfectly during these years, the aristocracy seemed to disappear, the welfare state triumphed and finally universal manhood suffrage was extended to women. However the economical recession destabilised the democracy and the Parliament was victim of a large number of coups .
The 1940s saw the prevalence of " Authoritarian Dukes " : Philip I dissolved the Chambers and ruled alone, while his successor Mihail IV increased the influence of the Army. The accession of Vladislav II, now Grand Duke, was the start of a normalisation which was however opposed by the Army and the Military Aristocracy. An aborted coup under general Cerdescu was violently suppressed, but after another war against Germany, the collapse of the Madrid Treaty and the secession from the Holy Roman Empire, the military took the power and imprisoned the Grand Duke. Finally the officers who found themselves in power committed the catastrophic mistake of joining the Dominion and Marslava was forced to follow the Dominion into the war which exploded after a Mircanian provocation in Gdynia. The war stopped for few years in which the junta of officers was overthrown by Vladislav II who encouraged nationalism, consequently Marslava swapped sides, was occupied by the forces of the Dominion and was finally liberated by the Russian Empire and forces loyal to the dynasty. Vladislav II died just after the end of the war, while his successor and the last member of the dynasty, Charles II, died few months after his accession. Currently the throne is vacant while the main aristocratic families of the Grand Duchy plot to acquire it or bar any other individual from taking it. The same families sit in a Cabinet that takes all important decisions.</span></p>
Marslava doesn't lack of resources. It has indeed benefited of the coal basins and iron mines in Silesia and has used these resources to establish thriving heavy industries. Marslava is indeed among Europe's biggest producers of steel, cars and weapons. Marslava's most famous industry is Skoda, a car and weapons producer active since the 1870s, but it has other important industries such as the Aero, the planes producer, and Bata, one of Europe's first industrial shoes producers. Industry is not the only source of wealth: in Prague there is an important service and financial sector, with all of Europe's greatest firms having their branch in the Marslavan capital. Commercial farming is also practiced, as Marslava has very fertile lands, but it is not the principal economic activity.
The population is is composed mainly by Bohemians and Slovaks, with a sizeable German minority. The composition is the following: - 63 % Bohemians - 25 % Slovakians - 10 % Germans - 2% Others