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|Time period:||2270 - 2310|
|Ruler title:||Prime Magnate|
|Military:||Capellan Hegemony Armed Forces|
- 1 History
- 1.1 Formation
- 1.2 Early Wars
- 1.3 The Capellan Renaissance
- 1.4 Political Structure and Internal Corruption
- 1.5 The Capellan Hegemony/Sarna Supremacy War
- 1.6 The Commonality
- 2 Notes
- 3 References
- 4 Bibliography
The origins of the Capellan Hegemony lie in two separate but linked interstellar groupings - the nation known as the Capellan Republic and the defense and trade pact known as the Capellan Co-Prosperity Sphere. By the late 23rd century, the Capellan Republic and Capella in particular were recognised as being a "Teacher Of Worlds", the home of hundreds of the brightest minds of the day; this continuing growth in intellectual and artistic talent provided a constant boost to the Capellan economy and with it commercial prosperity. Capella was soon a commercial hub to rival Chesterton or Sarna, and other worlds increasingly worked to develop goodwill from and good faith towards Capella, subtly shifting the flow of goods and barter away from older, more established worlds in favour of Capellan goods.
This came to a climax in 2270 when the ruling senate of Capella, the Capellan Agoropolis, declared to be a fact what was already a de facto truth in the region - the formation of the Capellan Hegemony, a new nation which included every inhabited world within twelve light years of Capella as well as all of the founding members of the Capellan Co-Prosperity Sphere. While this was well received by the Capellan people, it antagonised the nearby Sarna Supremacy, who implemented a full-scale economic blockade of the Hegemony that would last twelve years.
It also triggered an actively expansionist attitude from the Agoropolis and it's leader, Nicopolo Aris. In addition to acts of goodwill, such as the combined Capellan-Sian task force that freed Highspire from a pirate blockade in 2288, the Capellan Agoropolis also ordered brief conflicts with other states. These conflicts saw Capella attack both the St. Ives Mercantile League and the Ingersoll Concordium; the Concordium was annexed in 2272 with little difficulty, leading directly to the attack on the St. Ives Mercantile League in 2273, another success that allowed the Hegemony to secure economic dominance over several League worlds, before completely annexing those worlds by 2292.
The Capellan Renaissance
Despite the two wars prosecuted by the Hegemony in the 2270s, the period between 2270 and 2314 became commonly known as the Capellan Renaissance. The Hegemony was born out of genuinely democratic values, and during these years the Hegemony was the most progressive interstellar government of the era, establishing a unified and orderly society out of the chaotic factionalism that typified the Second Exodus. The Hegemony not only guaranteed the rights of individuals, it directly contributed to the preservation and expansion of human knowledge throughout it's worlds, building more than 300 schools throughout the nation - both public and specialised - reducing illiteracy levels for the first time in more than a century. Just as the Capellan Republic had directly supported both academia and the arts, the Hegemony continued to support hundreds of painters, composers, poets and other artists, and formed such entities as the Capellan Ballet Interstellar to preserve the classics and advance the avant-garde.
Political Structure and Internal Corruption
The first Prime Magnate of the Hegemony, Nicopolo Aris, was an aristocrat at heart, just like his father; he believed that while Capellans everywhere should have a stake in public affairs, he also believed that those who undertook civic responsibilities should be rewarded with handsome salaries and other forms of remuneration, encouraging them to continue to act responsibly in their roles and reducing the temptation to engage in corrupt, under-the-table practises. This view failed to take into account the increasing economic prosperity of the Hegemony, which gave many the opportunity to explore other options for the life's work. This led to fewer and fewer individuals turning to Capellan politics as a calling, but those individuals who did actively worked to ensure that wealth continued to be concentrated in their hands, moving the Hegemony away from it's democratic founding principles.
The Capella-centric viewpoint of the Hegemony's rulers in the Agoropolis also had a corrosive effect on internal freedoms; as Capella retained the primary role within the Hegemony and had the greatest decision-making authority, the Hegemony began to devolve into being an organ for the export of Capellan politics, politics that were enforced by control of the internal planetary affairs of the various Hegemony client states and worlds. While each member of the Hegemony retained representation within the Agoropolis based on relative population, government control increasingly relied on the services of the Deimosis. Originally a government agency originally created to co-ordinate the internal census and other such matters between the various client states, the Deimosis evolved to become an internal secret police organization, one charged with the protection of Hegemony policy against all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Internally, these two factors worked together, resulting in the Hegemony evolving from a democratically-inspired representative state into a greedy plutocracy. These weren't the only problems affecting the Hegemony though; external factors also beleaguered the Hegemony. The greatest of these was interstellar geography; unlike the majority of other states formed or forming during this era, the Hegemony didn't have a contiguous border. The core of the Hegemony remained densely packed around Capella, just beyond the borders of the Sarna Supremacy and the Sian Supremacy, but numerous client states joined the Hegemony during the 2280s and 2290s that lay outside this region. Three members, Asuncion, Zion and Arboris were halfway between Capella and Terra; other states, such as Homestead, Nihal, St. Andre and Highspire had other nations between them and the core of the Hegemony. While Homestead and Nihal could be reached via special transit arrangements agreed between the governments on Capella, Sian and St. Ives, worlds like St. Andre and Highspire were close to the borders of the Sarna Supremacy and the Tikonov Grand Union, states which considered them to be uncomfortably close. Other worlds located heavily spinward of the Hegemony core such as Anaheim, Brusett and Wernke were not only a long way from the Hegemony core but were also increasingly contested diplomatically by various mercantile interests backed by the Davion family. The wide dispersal of Hegemony member worlds and client states threw up the same problem over and over again; how could the Hegemony defend and control such widely dispersed worlds?
The Capellan Hegemony/Sarna Supremacy War
The combined flaws of the Capellan Hegemony were brought into sharp focus by the Capellan-Supremacy War. In 2304  the star systems of Palos and Wei rebelled against the Sarna Supremacy after years of economic exploitation and heavy-handed taxation and declared themselves to be independent. Despite the Hegemony worlds of St. Andre and Tsitsang being neighbours of both worlds, it took three weeks for the Hegemony to become aware of the rebellion due to the effective manner in which the Supremacy closed its borders to all outside traffic at the first sign of trouble.
The news prompted days of debate within the Capellan Agoropolis; the general consensus was that while war was inevitable at some point between the Hegemony and the Supremacy, prudence dictated that the Hegemony bide its time and work towards a negotiated solution. The Hegemony was ostensibly a democratic nation with high standards for individual rights, while the Supremacy was a dictatorship that prized efficiency and productivity at the expense of personal freedoms. Palos and Wei were mining worlds, major sources of metals. The Supremacy had already had three weeks to mobilize forces, could surely move troops around the relatively compact realm more easily than the Hegemony could draw on or move troops from all of it's far-flung members, and the Hegemony lacked clear intelligence due to the block on movement into or out of the Supremacy.
Unfortunately, this view contrasted with that of Prime Magnate Paula Aris; an impatient ruler, Paula Aris viewed the Supremacy as an "evil empire", a state diametrically opposed to all that the Hegemony stood for. Paula Aris didn't want to follow the route suggested by the Agoropolis of calling in old favors and generating new ones to apply diplomatic pressure on the Supremacy; Paula Aris instead saw the overthrow of the Sarn government as a triumph of democratic ideals over dictatorship, as well as an opportunity to increase the geographical union of the Hegemony and bring freedom to more worlds than just Palos and Wei. Overthrowing the Supremacy would also ensure that the Hegemony became the dominant military power in the region, of course...
Shortly before the final decision was due to be made by the Agoropolis, a personal message for the Prime Magnate from Premier Chandler of the Supremacy arrived; condescending and dictatorial in tone, the letter not only alluded to the recent revolts as minor internal squabbling, it also warned the Hegemony to stay out of Sarn affairs or suffer enduring the same lesson at the hands of the Sarns that the Sarns were currently teaching their recaltriant members. The letter provoked the Prime Magnate and the Senate into an immediate response. Opposition to assisting the rebels evaporated, and the Hegemony declared war on the Supremacy. The Strategios - the Capellan Military Command - issued mobilization orders, down-playing the problems involved in gathering forces from across the widely-dispersed nation and assuring the Hegemony that the war would end almost as soon as it had begun through a direct and rapid attack on Sarna, seat of the Supremacy government.
The opening stage of the war consisted of Capellan forces making repeated efforts to capture Sarna. Every effort was rebuffed; time after time, the Capellan ship captains attempted to breach the strategic defenses in the Sarna system, only to be turned back by unexpectedly heavy planetary defenses and a constant and seemingly endless stream of Supremacy reserves. Ground assaults against a dozen different border worlds fared no better; the Hegemony had never experienced the rapid reinforcement system employed by the Supremacy before, and the better-quality forces fielded by the Capellans were outmatched by lower-quality Supremacy troops that fought back with sheer fanaticism. As the Hegemony struggled to make any headway against the Supremacy capital or any of the contested border worlds the Supremacy forces re-occupied Palos, punishing the bitter resistance offered by the rebels by executing one in three of the male population of the planet.
October 2305-May 2306
The eight months between October 2305 and May 2306 became known as the Kluanian Period, after the pirate groups from Kluane recruited clandestinely by the Supremacy inflicted attacks against Hegemony worlds such as Bell, Daniels, Highspire, Lee and Redfield intended to inflict the most damage possible in the least time and to continually draw Capellan troops away to defend the Hegemony's exposed borders. Time and again, strikes against Sarna were postponed and troops redeployed to meet the pirate threat. While the Hegemony managed to successfully defend Wei and blockade Palos, it wasn't until the St. Ives Mercantile League and the Chesterton Trade League allied with the Hegemony and committed forces to the war in early 2306 that the pirate menace was finally countered. Having beaten the pirates at Alcyone and then crushed the the remainder en route to Aosia, Capellan intelligence recovered from the Alcyone battle indicated that several of the pirate groups were not just being funded by the Supremacy, but also by influential members of the Davion family, setting the stage for later clashes.
June 2306-November 2307
The third phase of the war began with an attempt by the Hegemony to bring greater numbers to bear on the Supremacy. The Hegemony entered into an agreement with the Free Worlds League that had been negotiated in secret, promising Capellan support for League territorial claims in exchange for troops to assist in the Hegemony campaign. The secret agreement, named the Ryerson Conventions, backfired badly on the Hegemony; the troops provided by the League turned out to be little more than newly trained militia, and when the combined Capellan-Free Worlds troops "liberated" a world, they found themselves instead hated as invaders, with civilian population rising up to kill hundreds of Capellan soldiers. Adding the Hegemony's problems and to the political embarrassment of Prime Magnate Aris was the second front opened by the Free Worlds League, intended to retrieve the Berenson and Wasat systems for the League.
November 2307-December 2309
The heavy casualties inflicted on the Hegemony forces at the hands of the civilian population of various Supremacy worlds triggered the fourth phase of the war, which was driven by the belief that the only way the various Supremacy holdings would be pacified was through the imposition of draconian measures within the Hegemony to ensure that the necessary soldiers and material were supplied to the armed forces. A series of emergency legislative measures was fast-tracked into law by the Agoropolis, and for the third time in five years the Hegemony came to the verge of economic ruin as the various Hegemony worlds funnelled resources into the war effort. These resources allowed the Hegemony to occupy seventeen Sarn worlds between December 2307 and September 2308, but on every world the Capellans were viewed as butchers and invaders; far from receiving the welcome as liberators the Hegemony troops expected, they instead found civilian populations continually rising up against them. Even on those worlds considered to be pacified and in the rear of the campaign saw the locals massacring garrisons, particularly Free Worlds League garrisons, with entire battalions of troops vanishing in the night.
It was in December 2308 at this point that things went from bad to worse for the Hegemony; the latest in a series of emergency draft and tax legislation pushed out by the Agoropolis sparked off a city-wide riot in the capital city on Arboris, the most coreward of the Hegemony worlds. Arboris had been bled white by debilitating troop drafts and tax assessments, the citizens of Arboris were no longer willing to participate in what was viewed as a foreign and plutocratic war. The Prefecture of Arboris announced that it was withdrawing from the Hegemony with immediate effect to save it's own people from misery and starvation.
The decision made by Arboris rocked the Hegemony; never before had a world or client state attempted to secede from the Hegemony, but suddenly the threat that the Hegemony might dissolve overnight as and when other worlds joined Arboris in leaving the Hegemony loomed large. Forced to choose between preserving the Hegemony or her government, Prime Magnate Aris chose the Hegemony. Aris dispatched a considerable sum of Capellan currency along with secret orders to Admiral Ishidai and the 2nd Andurien Reserve Fleet, stationed at Zion for refitting at the time. The orders instructed Ishidai to deploy to Arboris, seize key installations on the planet and levy the most recent tax demands by any means necessary.
Ishidai attempted to follow orders, but his route to Arboris took him through the Liao system, where he discovered a flotilla of hastily-armed merchant vessels awaiting him. The fleet belonged to President Emile Falkner Liao of the Liao Republic, who stated that Arboris had applied for, and been granted, the status of a protectorate under the neutrality laws of the Liao Republic, and that any move against Arboris would be considered an act of war. Ishidai immediately attacked the Liao vessels, only to be ambushed by a second hidden flotilla of Liao ships; the resulting conflict saw the Liao vessels driven off and the 2nd Andurien Reserve Fleet badly mauled and left incapable of completing their mission.
The defeat at Liao signalled the end of the war and the end of the Hegemony in short order. The Free Worlds League withdrew it's support when it learned of Ishidai's defeat; anti-government protests were breaking out on a daily basis, and the cost of continuing to prosecute a war against the Supremacy would be economically crippling for the Hegemony. Prime Magnate Aris seized on a Capellan Navy victory near Sakhalin in April 2309 to conclude an armistice in May 2309, and in December a representative from the Tikonov Grand Union handed both sides an arbitrated peace agreement. Signed in silence, the agreement ended the war.
A week after the peace agreement was signed, Paula Aris committed suicide. The terms of the agreement mandated the disbandment of the Capellan Hegemony in favour of a more representative, republican state to replace the plutocratic realm the Hegemony had become. Aris' death led to a bloodless revolution and the creation of a new realm, the Capellan Commonality, in which anyone - even non-nativeborn Capellan candidates - could seek public office.
House Liao (The Capellan Confederation) states that the Capellan Hegemony incorporated every inhabited world within 12 light years of Capella when it was founded in 2270. This statement seems incongruous with the published maps of the region, which have to date only shown a single system within 12 light years of the Capella system - Ilmar - which has not been confirmed to have been an inhabited system in 2270. Other systems located close to Capella and known to have been inhabited as of 2271, determined via the map published in Handbook: House Marik of the local astrogeographical region of the Inner Sphere as at the founding of the Free Worlds League in 2270, include Geifer (14.1 light years distant), Bora (14.4 light years distant), Aldertaine (20 light years distant), Raballa (21.9 light years distant), Cordiagr (23.4 light years distant), Bandora (25.5 light years distant) and Lesalles (29.2 light years distant). Sarna, the capital of the Sarna Supremacy, is only 24.2 light years distant from Capella, implying that the core worlds of the Capellan Hegemony must have been closer than this distance, but the disconnect between the statement in House Liao (The Capellan Confederation) and maps is likely an error during writing.
Capellan Co-Prosperity Sphere
| Succeeded by|
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 13, "Capturing The Markets"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 14, "Blood and Gold"
- Field Report: Capellan Confederation 2765, p. 9, "Capellan Chargers"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 14, "Seeds Of Destruction"
- Handbook: House Liao, p. 12, "Timeline: Capellan Zone"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 14, "The Capellan Renaissance"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 14-15, "Blood And Gold"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 15, "A Condescending Ultimatum"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 14-15, "The Capellan-Supremacy War"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 16, "Enter Marik"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 16-17, "Arboris Secedes"
- House Liao (The Capellan Confederation), p. 17, "Loosening Up"
- Handbook: House Marik, p. 16, "Free Worlds League Founding "