After the arrival of the Angelics the remaining American forces bifurcated the federal government into two main parts; the Congress and the Executive branches. The Executive branch acts as the military and foreign intelligence branch of the government and handles all external matters. The Congress has elected officials from every territory and serves as a central planner. They see oversight of new national construction projects and set the budget for all programs. New laws are passed to the people every four years for a vote.
Below the federal government are the Territorial Congresses and The Office of the Justiciar. The Territorial Congresses plan and produce budgets for their respective states while the Office of the Justiciar enforces the law. Cities and sometimes small towns have local Congresses to help with the planning and expansion of services.
Crime and Punishment:
Despite the belief of many foreigners, there are indeed laws in place within the American Territories. Most of which are obvious and in regard to damages real or attempted against the government and her people. However, almost anything that doesn’t cause physical or financial harm to anyone else is permitted. People are free to live as they choose, so long as their actions do not produce a negative impact upon others. On occasion that one does cause malice the offending party is brought before a Justiciar. As per tradition the Justiciar allows the injured party to set the terms of release, usually contingent upon undoing the damage done through payment or labor. If the accused fails to agree to the terms of release or denies the injury the Justiciar hears the case and renders a final verdict, often times with a heavy hand. This is to encourage the parties to work together to remedy the problem without government intervention. There are also deep societal repercussions in the event of a guilty verdict. The local community will rally to the support of the injured party while shunning the convicted. Punishments are often unique and follow the theme of “an eye for an eye”. After the debt is repaid it may take some time, if ever, for the community to accept the convicted.
The guiding principles of American society are faith and freedom. This leads most citizens to be ingrained with a genuine sense of community and care. While people are free to do as they please, there is an obligation to take care of one’s family and those who cannot take care of themselves. While independence and self-sufficiency are well lauded traits the elderly and disabled are expected to be provided to by family. There are group homes and shelters in larger cities for people without family. However each individual in care is expected to do what they can to ease any burden they place upon others. Even if it is something as simple as making the bed or brushing their teeth. However, people without home and family who choose to pursue addiction or sloth are quickly removed from care. Instead, they are left to fend for themselves until they learn to work or find themselves before the Justiciar. Likewise if someone is down on their luck and in need of a meal, most people would take someone in and feed them for an honest day’s work.
From the biggest city to the smallest town every day offers many activities for the criticizes of the U.A.T. The Americans celebrate almost every chance to socialize and enjoy the company of their countrymen. Dances, live music, games and potluck dinners are a nightly occurrence across the nation. Of particular interest are the story tellers. Often accompanied by a small band they have the captivate and move the audience with their performance. While stories vary from region to region they often take the form of conflict by external aggressor, complex moral choice or decisions. Performances are held weekly or monthly and often time an entire town will show for the hearing of a new tale. Some of more popular story tellers will do radio performances, however, people still prefer to watch a live performance.
The social mores of the American Territories are arguably some of the most complex interactions found anywhere on earth. Each conversation is a delicate balancing act to assess the troubles of their countrymen so they might be a comfort. But simultaneously keep their own troubles secret lest they become a burden to others. If disaster befalls a family, friends and neighbors quickly and happily come to their aid. Partly because of religious belief and partly because they know should trouble befall them others would help them through. For example, if farmer let slip that their apple trees were not producing very well he could expect dozens of people to visit and inspect the problem. This national codependence forms extremely strong ties within groups, and a formidable fierceness of in defense of life and liberty. Any attack upon a countryman is an attack upon every individual. As such travelers and foreigners are treated politely, but held at arm’s length until their true character is known.
With divine beings living amongst the Americans religion has become a focal point of daily life. While the Angelics have been mostly reclusive, a few have spoken out and people have formed a faith based on their teachings. Simply referred to as “The path and way”, the main tenants can be characterized as do no harm to others or do more good than harm depending on whom you talk to. Religious services are held on Sundays, in homes across the community. People usually go to a different service every week to avoid favoritism and to maintain strong social bonds throughout the community. Thusly, a lively discussion that usually starts on Wednesdays develops in who is going where and what preparations need to be made. Services are small and consist of people talking about their troubles and giving praise for the good in their life. There are several long group prayers and songs sung at the opening and closing. Often an elder will tell a story or parable about faith and good moral values. Afterword’s a large lunch is eaten and people relax and socialize.