The Terran Confederation

The Terran Confederation grew out of the old Earth bound United Nations. Due to the revenues generated by UNSCA, by the time of the First Interstellar War the UN was largely free of its former reliance on contributions from the individual nations of Earth for its budget. With the growth of a truly global economy coupled with the massive improvement in worldwide communications at the end of the 20th century the individual nation state lost much of its importance. However the various nations of Earth clung grimly to their sovereignty and nationalism was a major factor in Earth politics during the later 20th and early 21st centuries; to the extent that several previously stable nation states were torn apart by regional nationalism. Indeed the two strongest trends in this era were the rise in nationalism and the tendency towards globalisation through the various power blocs that were slowly evolving. By the end of the 21st century most nations on Terra had grouped themselves into larger trading blocs (the European Union, the Asian Confederation, the Pacific Rim Alliance etc).

Thus the first war was not fought by a single unified Terran command, but by the forces of Earth’s various nations under the tenuous coordination of the United Nations. By the end of the First War it was clear that this situation could not continue. To have any chance of survival against even the Vilani provincial fleet, the Terrans would have to utilise their resources to the full and place all of their forces under a strong central command. Thus in 2120 AD the United Worlds (with the admission of the Terran colony on Alpha Centauri in 2118 AD, the United Nations had been renamed) became the Terran Confederation. Naturally this aroused some strong opposition amongst the various nation states who still jealously guarded their sovereignty (especially true of the smaller nations). However a clever media campaign portrayed the First Interstellar War as a great triumph and stressed the need for cooperation in the face of the “common enemy”. Meanwhile the new Confederation’s more vocal opponents were quietly arrested and deported to the new rimward colonies. Those colonies did not oppose the formation of the Confederation and the subsequent loss of their autonomy due to fear of losing their protection from the “Vilani Menace”.

Initially the new Confederation’s powers were strictly limited to military matters, but gradually the Confederation evolved into a proper interstellar government. In 2125 AD the various national militaries were incorporated into a single Confederation Army and Navy, in 2131 AD the Secretariat was given the power to directly legislate taxation, in 2140 AD the Secretariat was given the power to legislate on matters that affected more than one nation. The final change came in 2150 AD when the Security Council was abolished and the Secretary General was acknowledged as the executive leader of all the nations of the Terran Confederation. The Terran government remained largely unchanged throughout the Interstellar Wars (in 2179 AD a measure of local autonomy was restored to the individual colony worlds); the General Assembly was retained as a generalised debating forum in which all nations and worlds were represented equally, but legislative power over all worlds was retained by the Secretariat. Thus while the Confederation was theoretically a multiworld democracy, it was to remain dominated by Terran interests until it was dissolved by Admiral Estigarrbia in 2314 AD and replaced by the military dictatorship that was to become the Rule of Man.

Despite its ultimate demise, the Confederation remained fundamentally democratic and drew on elements of all of Earth’s many diverse cultures in its make up. The western ideals regarding progress, innovation and individualism allowed it to equal and surpass several thousand years of Vilani technological achievement in just 200 years. Whilst the eastern ideals regarding duty, family and community allowed it to single mindedly apply itself and thus defeat and eventually conquer the vast Ziru Sirka. Indeed this very cultural diversity was to play a vital role in the Confederation’s survival during the early wars. When the Terrans first contacted the Ziru Sirka the bewildering array of nations and cultures convinced the Vilani that they were facing a loose alliance of several minor Human races. Thus, the Ziru Sirka believed that Earth was simply a forward staging post for a pocket Empire located further to rimward. Thus, Earth came to be characterised in the mind of Vilani strategists as a nest of pirates from some unknown civilised region far towards the rim.

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