- This article is about the interstellar nation. For the McKenna-class WarShip, see Star League (Vessel).
|Time period:||2570 – 2780|
|Controlled systems:||~ 2000|
|Ruler title:||First Lord|
|Military:||Star League Defense Force (SLDF)|
The brainchild of Ian Cameron, the Star League was a self-policing interstellar council formed from the Terran Hegemony, the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere, and the Territorial States of the Periphery. Each of the States of the Star League was required to provide soldiers and war materiel for the mutual protection of the Star League Defense Force, but otherwise was allowed to maintain its own standing army, and even conduct (rare) small-scale wars. Though not completely stable, the relative peace, prosperity, and advanced technology of the Star League have led many to consider the Star League as the zenith of human civilization.
The first treaties of the Star League were penned by the Terran Hegemony, the Capellan Confederation, and the Free Worlds League in 2556. Following these initial treaties, the Lyran Commonwealth (2558), the Federated Suns (2567), and finally the Draconis Combine (2569) also signed. The Star League was officially born with the July 9, 2571 signing of the Star League Accords by Ian Cameron and the five house lords.
In one of his first acts, First Lord Ian Cameron appointed his wife, Shandra Noruff-Cameron as Chief of Staff and Commander-in-Chief of the yet unformed Star League Defense Forces. Dividing the SLDF up into six Military Regions, the capitals being Asta, Altair, Fomalhaut, Procyon, Sirius and Rigil Kentarus, each region stood between a Member State and Terra itself. Shandra assured each region would have few troops from a bordering Member State to prevent insurrection, and assigned loyal Hegemony divisions as the core of each region's command structure. The SLDF also maintained another 4 military command structures, one based on Terra, two reserve divisions, and an elite, rapid-response division known as the Star Guards.
During Ian's reign, the Star League tried to bring the Periphery into the League. Through the various bloody battles in the Reunification War, a cease-fire was reached with the Outworlds Alliance in 2585, the Magistracy of Canopus was defeated in 2588, the insurrection in the Rim Worlds Republic was extinguished in 2596, and the Taurian Concordat was finally defeated in 2596. Each Periphery realm in turn was forced through a reconstruction (at the cost of the conquered realm), and some worlds (particularly Taurian worlds) were annexed by neighboring Member States. Upon completion of reconstruction, each Periphery realm was made a non-voting Territorial State. Though these territorial states held little external sway, each was allowed to enact Star League laws as it saw fit; usually all Star League laws passed through little more than a legislative rubber stamp.
In 2600, Lady Shandra Noruff-Cameron died, followed two years later by Lord Ian. Ian's son Nicholas was then declared leader of the Star League. During Nicholas' reign, the League narrowly averted a war with an unbalanced Leonard Kurita and the Draconis Combine, avoided when shamed Kurita family assassinated the Coordinator. Another feature of Nicholas' reign was a string of important technological breakthroughs, the most significant of which include the HyperPulse generator, new water purification procedures, medical advances, and neural-dimensional computer technology, all leading to rapid expansion of the Star League. Marrying Lydia Petersen, Duchess of Bryant earlier, in 2598, their son Joseph being born two years later. In 2646, Nicholas Cameron designated Michael Cameron, Joseph's son, as his successor, who assumed power in 2649 upon Nicholas' death.
Michael's reign was characterized by incidents with the Rim Worlds Republic and House Kurita, with the Draconis Combine encouraging independent Mechwarriors to engage SLDF forces in self-proclaimed 'duels' in the First Hidden War. On October 13, 2690, Michael retired after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and Jonathan Cameron, his oldest son, was designated his replacement.
During his reign, Jonathan engaged in a build-up of SLDF forces. First Lord Jonathan declared that Royal units would receive new technology first, with house units receiving it as hand-me-downs many years later, and saw to the construction of Space Defense Systems in major Hegemony systems, composed of drone WarShips, computer-run spaceports, and huge ground-based laser and missile emplacements designed to mop up any remaining invaders. Jonathan faced renewed cries of discontent in the Periphery and a second political crisis from the Draconis Combine, when House Kurita launched the Second Hidden War against House Davion over the question of Kurita succession to the Davion throne. Unstable and unable to rule, Jonathan consulted his sister, Jocasta Cameron, more and more often, with Jocasta in effect becoming the defacto leader of the Star League. The appearance of five crack Star League divisions shocked both sides of the Second Hidden War into agreeing to a cease-fire, and the issue was resolved in Davion's favor. In 2738, Jonathan Cameron died of a stroke, and Mother Jocasta handed over the Star League to Jonathan's son, Simon.
With the growing discontent in the Periphery and worried that Periphery forces could soon rival that of the Regular Army, First Lord Simon instructed that more fortresses be built in and along the Periphery border. The only Periphery kingdom apparently supporting the Star League was the Rim Worlds Republic, the high praise and show of admiration from the Amaris family, rulers of the Republic, only making some observers skeptical, aggravated by the hidden Rim World forces bringing its power two to three times above the allowed numbers.
 Waning Years
Angered by the lag in the Star League forcing a cease fire between the Federated Suns and Draconis Combine, Richard Davion slowly withdrew its cooperation from Simon's reign, as Houses Davion and Kurita drifted further and further from participation in the Star League. Finally, in 2751, Simon Cameron died, his peace initiatives a failure, leaving his eight year old son, Richard Cameron II the only successor. The five Lords convened on Terra and appointed General Aleksandr Kerensky, commanding officer of the Star League Defense Forces as Richard's Regent and Protector.
Stefan Amaris, ruler of the Rim Worlds Republic, slowly began working his way in as a "friend" of the young Richard, poisoning the young First Lord Richard's thoughts. When the Council Lords imposed a series of heavy taxes on the Periphery worlds, heavy fighting broke out, drawing in more of the SLDF forces, the new tax money being redirected to help the house Lords build up their own forces. Richard now saw Amaris as his closest friend and confidant, and Amaris took advantage of this, convincing Richard to remove all SLDF forces from the Rim Worlds Republic and ordered all SLDF bases and fortresses be turned over to the Rim Worlds Republic. After attempts to strip bases of technology, some managed to fall into Republic hands.
Stefan Amaris continued to expand his influence on Richard, as the Houses started skirmishing on the verge of Richard's majority. In an act of revenge for slights cooked up by Amaris, Richard ordered all House armed forces to be disbanded. Angered by this, the Lords protested, and when convinced by Kerensky on the illegality of the action, Richard rescinded his previous order.
Convinced by Amaris that Kerensky and the House Lords were against him, Richard became even more embittered. When the Periphery again exploded in violence, with Amaris as its chief architect. As more and more of the SLDF forces were required to fight the war in the Periphery, Amaris offered the service of Rim Worlds forces to help defend the Terran Hegemony. Under objections, Amaris' offer was accepted.
As discrepancies showed up, with many more Rim Worlds forces seeming to arrive than planned, House Kurita unsuccessfully requested that joint action be taken against the Republic. As more and more bases were placed under Republic control, Stefan Amaris proceeded to Terra and assassinated Richard and all remaining members of the Cameron family, taking power of the Star League, removing any trace of the Star League he could.
Involved with fighting in the Periphery, Kerensky regrouped and quickly took the Rim Worlds Republic. After some rest, Kerensky divided his forces up into three groups, one to travel through each of the accommodating houses toward the Hegemony. As time wore on, Kerensky's forces had only captured eleven worlds and were contesting another ten, while losing 30 divisions and 40 major warships. As Amaris forces withdrew to regroup, Kerensky advanced further, finally capturing the worlds nearest Terra.
On January 23, 2777, soldiers on eight worlds moved towards Terra and finally captured the planet after a bloody battle and over 100 million total dead, on September of 2779. Amaris and his family were executed soon after Kerensky heard of the fate of Richard Cameron and his family.
A year later, on October 10, 2780, the Council Lords gathered and stripped Kerensky of his title of Protector, refusing an offer by General DeChavilier to help overthrow the House Lords. Ten months later, the Lords had still not reached a decision on a successor for the position of First Lord, each claiming the position for him or herself, the Council being dissolved by the Lords on August 12, 2781. As the spirit of the Star League began eroding, Kerensky gathered 80 percent of the SLDF forces, and they jumped out of the Inner Sphere, not to be seen again for nearly 270 years, completing the collapse of the Star League.
|First Lord of the Star League, 2571 - 2765|
|Ian Cameron||2571 - 2602|
|Nicholas Cameron||2602 - 2649||Son of Ian|
|Michael Cameron II||2649 - 2690||Grandson of Nicholas|
|Jonathan Cameron||2690 - 2738||Son of Michael|
|Simon Cameron||2738 - 2751||Son of Jonathan|
|Richard Cameron||2751 - 2765||Son of Simon|
 High Council
The leader of the Star League was the First Lord, a hereditary position held by members of House Cameron from the League's inception to its downfall. The First Lord had formidable political, economic and military powers, even over the other Great Houses, though the Camerons rarely used these powers unilaterally. Their efforts to govern through compromise and consensus endeared them to the general public, which helped the First Lord in implementing policies, even those privately opposed by the other Lords.
The High Council was the primary governing body of the Star League, composed of the First Lord and the leaders of the six other Great Houses, known as the Council Lords. The Council met biannually to discuss and ratify the government's budget, summon witnesses to testify on an issue, hear petitions, and address other League concerns, but was restricted from discussing the governance of each others' realms. During a crisis an emergency meeting could be called, and for a matter of great importance a Council Directive, or Council Order, would be drafted and put to a vote, with a majority required for passage. The First Lord had the casting vote in the event of a tie. If a matter being discussed involved the Periphery, its Administrators could attend meetings and participate, but were not given the right to vote.
Each Council Lord was also allowed to bring advisers, known unofficially as High Council Members, to Council meetings, to assist or even tell the Lords how they should vote. These advisers were often dispatched on fact-finding missions, and used their prestige to gain wealth and become nobles. Advisers to the First Lord, officially known as the First Lord's Advisors, were members of the Terran Hegemony's High Council, and headed major departments within the Hegemony's government.
Council meetings were held in the capitol city of the Star League, the Court of the Star League. Known unofficially as Unity City, the Court of the Star League was built near Puget Sound, located on the North American continent of Terra. It was also the location of the Royal Court, which met for two months during the spring and winter Council meetings. Though not an official part of the High Council, the Royal Court was ostensibly a social gathering of nobles, intellectuals and celebrities, with the festivities led by the First Lord's spouse or Master of Protocol. It was often during these events that many backroom agreements were forged, such that the Royal Court gained a reputation for rampant political and economic dealing.
Though titles of nobility were reinstated by Micheal Cameron, they served more as job titles within the Star League and Terran Hegemony, a distinction purposefully made by the Camerons to prevent the kind of class stratification found in other realms. Towards this end, nobles were never given permanent positions within a planet's government; instead they served at the whim of the public, which could vote them out of office.
Dukes and Duchesses were at the top of the hierarchy of nobles, and either owned the most land or controlled the most industry of a given planet. A variant of this were "Vagabond Dukes", owners of major interstellar conglomerates spread over many Hegemony worlds. The title of Marquess or Marquessa was granted to scientists for making a significant contribution to science. A Count or Countess was the owner of major companies or large tracts of land on a world, with their allegiance often (but not always) tied to the planet's Duke. The Baron and Baroness was the lowest rank of nobility, granted to owners of modest companies or farmlands, or as a reward for excellent service in the SLDF or BSLA. Some of the greatest political dramas were played out between a planet's Duke and their Counts and Barons jockeying for control of its government.
 Bureau of Star League Affairs
The vast bureaucracy charged with carrying out the laws and edicts of the League was the Bureau of Star League Affairs, with its headquarters located in the Court of the Star League. The Bureau was headed by the Commander of the BSLA, whose position was so critical that they were personally selected by the First Lord for loyalty to the Camerons and the Hegemony.It was further divided into six departments: Department of Administration, Department of Social Relations, Department of Economic Relations, Department of Revenue, Department of Education and Information, and the Department of the Attorney General.
 Department of Administration
The Department of Administration was charged with publicizing and enforcing the laws of the High Council. As the first line of defense in a political crisis, Administrators were trained in the arts of diplomacy and to show initiative during even the most stressful situations.
State Administrators were essentially the Star League's ambassadors to its members states, stationed on each realm's capital planet and kept in constant contact with their own personal HPG station. In an emergency, each State Administrator could call upon the local SLDF commander to undertake military operations to uphold the Star League's laws and legal rights, although their mere presence was normally more than enough to ensure enforcement. In time, five families came to dominate the role of State Administrator to each realm, based upon the family's familiarity with that state's political landscape: the Isu family for the Draconis Combine, the Hughes family for the Free Worlds League, the Brewer family for the Lyran Commonwealth, the Ling family for the Capellan Confederation, and the Green family for the Federated Suns.
Periphery Administrators fulfill a similar role in the Territorial States of the Periphery. Due to the destruction of the Reunification War, the Department of Administration had to step in to fill the gap, and the Periphery Administrators came to represent the highest authority with each of the four Periphery states. Eventually the Periphery Administrators would cede control to the local governments, while retaining the right to strike down any law which would endanger Star League control of the region, and would serve as the Periphery states' representatives on the High Council, though without the right to vote. Their role would eventually be terminated with the passage of Council Directive 41.
District Administrators were assigned to each of the three districts within a member state, supervised by the State Administrator, and traveled extensively throughout their assigned area. They also oversaw the Planetary Administrators, assigned to planets with a minimum population of one million, who were trained extensively in the history and protocols of their assigned worlds. These "troopers of the BSLA" were the eyes and ears of the Department, and were often the first to feel the wrath of anti-Star League hatred, leading to a number of deaths.
 Department of Social Relations
The first function of the Department of Social Relations was the maintain an open, updated database of political information about the member and Territorial states of the Star League. This collection of treaties, agreements, political writings and other information about the different realms was hoped promote open and honest relations between them. The second function, saved for when relations did break down, was to activate their Political Emergency Response Team, trained extensively in the art of diplomacy and the background and political system of each realm and their leaders. Each of the three administrative districts in each state had several PERT teams, complete with JumpShips and DropShips, to allow a speedy response to any political crisis.
 Department of Economic Relations
The Department of Economic Relations had the right to judge whether a member state was taking unfair advantage of another state or individual world, with guilty offenders facing stiff fines and embargoes. The Department also closely supervised commerce between the states, forcing companies to adhere to strict guidelines when shipping products between worlds. Those who didn't comply were barred from major ports accredited by the Star League, although many who couldn't afford to license their ships operated illegally on the black market. An estimated nine hundred so-called "Free-Jumpers" operated within the shadows, and although their activities were not tolerated, efforts to curtail their activities were minimal, as the Department's efforts were mostly focused on the large trading companies.
The Department also worked with the SLDF's Quastermaster Command to monitor all major and minor weapons manufactures, especially since many dealt in advanced technology restricted from sale to member states. If a company was found to be in violation of the law, either organization had the right to seize control of it and all its assets.
 Department of Revenue
Charged with the thankless (and sometimes dangerous) task of collecting taxes, the Department of Revenue were one of the least-loved departments of the BSLA. Member states often paid their share, a percentage of their gross national product along with any other fees incurred (such as renting advanced Hegemony technology), with little to no problem. However, collecting taxes from individual planets often proved more difficult, and often the SLDF was called upon to perform vigorous and public "maneuvers" to convince recalcitrant planetary governments.
Collecting from individuals was the most difficult and dangerous duty. Revenue Agents, also known as Cameron's Thieves and Money Grubbers, were charged with running down the most flagrant violators, typically rich businessmen. These special tax collectors were given considerable combat training.
 Department of Education and Information
The Department of Education and Information was created with the goal of maintaining a first-rate education system and provide free information to anyone with access to a computer or library. Executive Order 4 had been created to promote peace and understanding between the member states, and the Department was charged to fulfill that goal by training and accrediting teachers from all over the Inner Sphere. The title of Teacher of the Star League would become a highly-coveted privilege, especially in places where they were in short supply
The Department also ran Prometheus Inc., a government-owned subsidy responsible for publishing books and managing almost a thousand libraries across the Star League. Putting out material designed to promote peace and understanding, Prometheus Inc. also ran a massive information database, accessible by anyone within their libraries or through a personal computer, which was located on Terra.
 Department of the Attorney General
Charged with capturing and trying anyone accused of breaking Star League law, the Department of the Attorney General was divided into the Attorney General Command and the Judicial Command. The Attorney General Command was responsible for prosecuting suspects, though it relied heavily on the SLDF to capture them, specifically detachments of Military Police authorized to search and seize anyone suspected of breaking the law and pursuing them if they flee between member states.
Judicial Command was in charge of training judges and maintaining the system of courts used to try suspects. Regional Courts handled most criminal cases, while Appellate Courts reviewed their decisions and handled political cases between planets and member states. These were often located on border worlds owned or administrated by the Terran Hegemony. The highest court was the Supreme Court, located in the District of Columbia on Terra, handled cases too important or complex for the lower courts. It consisted of seven judges, two from the Hegemony and one from each member state, and was headed by a Chief Justice. The first Chief Justice, Iona Devorla of New Earth, was largely responsible for making the Supreme Court an independent institution, often siding with the rights of a planet's people over the wishes of the leaders of member states and Star League.
 Second Star League
After the Jade Falcon invasion of Coventry in 3058, the leaders of the Inner Sphere decided to re-form the Star League with the express purpose of fighting the Clans. This second Star League used a revolving schedule to elect the First Lord, and made efforts to form a new SLDF to fight the Clans.
 See Also
- ↑ The Star League, p. 99
- ↑ The Star League, p. 100
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 The Star League, p. 101
- ↑ The Star League, p. 40
- ↑ 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 The Star League, p. 102
- ↑ 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 The Star League, p. 203
- ↑ The Star League, p. 130
- ↑ 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 The Star League, p. 104
- ↑ Jihad Hot Spots: 3070, p. 10, "Timeline of the Jihad"
- ↑ Blake Ascending, p. 170, "Timeline of the Jihad"