|Founding Year||20 August 3028 (Federated Commonwealth Alliance)|
19 June 3055 (Formal)
|Dissolution year:||18 September 3057 (Lyran succession)|
24 April 3067 (Final dissolution)
|Head of State||Archon-Prince|
|Civilian Intelligence||Ministry of Information, Intelligence, and Operations (MIIO)|
Lyran Intelligence Corps (LIC)
|Army||Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth (AFFC)|
The Federated Commonwealth was the union of the Lyran Commonwealth and Federated Suns. The accession of Archon-Prince Victor Steiner-Davion in 3055 formally brought the nation into being, though in practice it had existed as the Federated Commonwealth Alliance since 3028. Katherine Steiner-Davion seceded the Lyran half of the nation in 3057, creating the Lyran Alliance, which would lead to the FedCom Civil War in 3062. Victor abdicated the throne in 3067 and his successor, Prince-Regent Yvonne Steiner-Davion, reverted to the "Federated Suns". In 3084 the Lyran Alliance reverted to the Lyran Commonwealth.
In 3020, Archon Katrina Steiner of the Lyran Commonwealth issued a "Peace Proposal" to all of the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere; only First Prince Hanse Davion of the Federated Suns responded, and the two states began a long-running dialogue. In 3022 the two Successor States signed the FedCom Accords, a treaty which formalized military, scientific and economic exchange between the two states. However, included in the document was a secret provision, promising the marriage of Hanse and Archon-Designate Melissa Steiner, which would unite the two in a vast political entity, the Federated Commonwealth. This provision would become known to the other States in 3027 during the Silver Eagle Incident.
As the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth did not share a common border, this complicated their eventual union. To address this complication in 3024 the two realms began increasing their military readiness by training together in annual exercises known as Operation GALAHAD. Their neighbors were initially alarmed, and went on alert but as years went by without incident they increasingly viewed it as routine. This would be the case for Operation GALAHAD 3028. On 20 August, 3028 the leaders of all the Great Houses met on Terra for the marriage of Hanse and Melissa. It was here that Hanse made his fateful wedding toast: "Wife, in honor of our marriage, in addition to this morsel [of cake] I give you the Capellan Confederation!"
The marriage started several things in motion. Among those, two would shape the Federated Commonwealth the most. First, the formal enactment the Federated Commonwealth Alliance. The Federated Commonwealth Alliance was the official name for the union while the two rulers, Hanse and Melissa, still reigned, and it slowly began to bind the two realms together into one. Though commonly referred to as the Federated Commonwealth even on some official documents, the Federated Commonwealth Alliance would be the legal name of the realm until 3055 when the Federated Commonwealth truly came into being. Secondly, the marriage launched the expansive conflict that became known as the Fourth Succession War
The combined forces of the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth began a massive campaign aimed largely at the Capellan Confederation and the Draconis Combine. The war would end two years later on 10 January 3030 with roughly a third of the Capellan Confederation conquered, along with some 53 Combine and 13 Free Worlds League planets. The conquered worlds would be incorporated into the Federated Commonwealth as the Sarna March and form a corridor between the two halves of the new superstate.
On 12 April 3030, Melissia gave birth to Victor Steiner-Davion, the future ruler of the Federated Commonwealth. While practically born in the aftermath of the Fourth Succession War, the Federated Commonwealth would only technically come into existence once Hanse and Melissa stepped down and allowed their son to assume his rightful position. Efforts were increased to further unify the two States politically and militarily in expectation of his ascension. Both the AFFS and LCAF increased work on combining their command structure, ranking system and battle doctrines into a single unified organization.
In September 3031 the Tikonov Free Republic, a collection of formerly Capellan worlds that were ostensibly independent voted to join the Federated Commonwealth Alliance. The realm was incorporated into the Sarna March.<ref.Field Manual: Lyran Alliance, p. 105</ref>
Rasalhague and Skye
On 13 March 3034, Haakon Magnusson declared himself Prince of the Free Rasalhague Republic which, in a surprise move, was agreed to by Gunji-no-Kanrei Theodore Kurita. The Combine's willingness to give up worlds to the nascent state would force the Federated Commonwealth, and in particular the Lyrans, to do the same. Katrina Steiner had agreed at the onset of the Fourth Succession War to recognize the Tyr movement as the legitimate government of the Rasalhague worlds, yet most of their gains during the war had been in the Rasalhague Military District. To avoid appearing as hypocrites, the Lyrans agreed to relinquish control of these worlds to the FRR, effectively creating a buffer between the two States.
This created discord within the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth. While objections to the alliance was mostly confined to small extremist groups within the Federated Suns, it was much larger and more organized within the Commonwealth. The loss of men and matériel for what became almost no gain sparked anger and protests, especially within the Tamar and Skye regions. The First Skye Rebellion, started by separatists seeking independence similar to Rasalhague, would end after successful negotiations by Duke Ryan Steiner; these negotiations has the simultaneous effect of shaming Hanse for seemingly overreacting to the crisis with the use of AFFS troops. This crisis would tie up FedCom forces and delay their expected attack against the Draconis Combine, originally planned for 3035, by several more years.
Conflict with ComStar
Although it had been instrumental in facilitating the alliance, ComStar had no wish to see any one nation dominate the Inner Sphere, especially one dedicated to scientific progress. During the Fourth Succession War, much of the Federated Commonwealth had been placed under a communications blackout, ostensibly in response to the Suns' attack on the HPG station on Sarna. Later investigations would exonerate the AFFS of any wrongdoing and suggest an underhanded plot by a third party; the same would be discovered regarding an apparent attack by the Death Commandos on the New Avalon Institute of Science. Only later would it be discovered that ComStar had been the one behind these false-flag attacks. In any event, the Federated Commonwealth was forced to accept the stationing of the Com Guards at all HPG stations, and a hidden war would commence between ROM and the combined forces of the LIC and MIIO with Operation Flush.
War of 3039
Renewed conflict with the Combine was seen as inevitable, especially with both the Suns and Commonwealth facing political pressure not only to renew the conquest but also against the alliance in the first place. When Katrina Steiner stepped down as Archon on 15 March 3039 and her daughter Melissa took her place, the die was cast and preparations for the conflict began. The War of 3039 would start the following month, and end in December. What should have been a massive victory ended in a practical draw, with the FedComs capturing seven planets to the Combine's three, far short of the projected forty to fifty worlds prior to the conflict.
The delay in the start of the conflict had given Theodore Kurita time to revamp the DCMS into a more effective fighting force, while the AFFS and LCAF continued to fight as two separate organizations. FedCom communications were intercepted by the ISF, due to their recovery of a black box during the Fourth Succession War, which were lax in following encryption protocols. ComStar also assisted the Combine, secretly giving them BattleMechs incorporating advanced lostech from the Star League and preferential HPG rates, and indirectly through their hidden war with the FedCom intelligence communities. Finally, the FedComs were unwilling to call the Combine's bluff with their final counterattack, and signed the Exeter Accords in 19 January 3040. The war would highlight problems with the Federated Commonwealth, which despite efforts still remained two distinct political, economic and military entities.
Decade of Peace
Following the disastrous War of 3039, the Federated Commonwealth would go through a period of rebuilding and integration. Learning their lesson from the war, in early 3041 the Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth was officially established. In order to eliminate confusion, the two militaries were reorganized into State Commands, one for each realm, with full authority over all troops within their area of operation regardless of origin. The LIC and MIIO was similarly grouped into the Intelligence Secretariat, which was charged with coordinating the disparate agencies under its command. The industrial and economic might of the two realms also helped them to recover swiftly from the aftermath of the war. The Skye March in particular was seen as an opportunity for corporations in both realms, such that in 3036 Melissa was forced to intervene to prevent the exploitation of entire planets by greedy industrialists.
However, the FedComs' enemies also took the time to regroup: the Draconis Combine had proved itself more than a paper tiger, while the Capellans were eager to avenge their losses, and the Free Worlds League emerged from the Andurien Crisis with its house in order. A Fifth Succession War was seen as inevitable.
Both sides of the Federated Commonwealth would deal with the might of the Clans. They would see action against Clan Jade Falcon from the Lyran half of the FedCom border. In order to compete with the Clan's technology, they would begin to reverse engineer captured technology that they received in battle. This would make them the first Successor State to create Battle Armor from captured Elemental suits creating: the Inner Sphere Standard, Sloth and Infiltrator. Even BattleMechs like the Bushwacker were made from salvaged Mad Dogs. Hanse Davion himself would begin to deal with "Thomas Marik" for the Free Worlds League's Refit Kits in exchange for treating his son, Joshua Marik's leukemia. While the Federated Commonwealth was successful in 3052 after the Battle of Tukayyid, disaster would strike when Hanse Davion would die of a heart attack. This would weaken the Commonwealth as the responsibility would be passed to an ill-experienced Victor, on the other side of the coin, Katherine Steiner-Davion would work to carve her own piece of the Commonwealth for herself.
In 3057, when Thomas Marik's son succumbed to leukemia, Victor would use a body double devised by his father in case of failure. Victor would use this plan as a way to fool the Captain-General to keep his late father's deal intact. After discovering this plot, Thomas (along with House Liao) would launch Operation GUERRERO in retaliation for Victor's deception. Using this opportunity, Katherine would secede the Lyran half of the Federated Commonwealth and rename it the Lyran Alliance, stating her brother had tarnished the name "Commonwealth". She would later call herself "Katrina Steiner" after her grandmother and even dispose of her own mother and siblings in an effort to consolidate more power.
FedCom Civil War
The unity of the Federated Commonwealth would not last forever. After Victor Steiner-Davion had returned to the Inner Sphere from the events of the Great Refusal in 3060, he found that the Federated Commonwealth's borders were sundered, leaving him in command of the Davion half of the Commonwealth. At first, Victor tried to ignore warring with his sister, Katherine. However the deaths of his mother and brother had forced his hand, igniting the FedCom Civil War. This would split various AFFC and mercenary units between pro-Kathrine and pro-Victor forces. The FedCom Civil War would end seven years later, culminating in the Battle of Tharkad in 3067, with the defeat of Nondi Steiner by her nephew, Peter Steiner-Davion. With the end of the FedCom Civil War, the once mighty empire would cease to exist. While the Davion half of the Federated Commonwealth was renamed back into the Federated Suns by Yvonne Steiner-Davion, the Lyran Alliance kept their name until three decades later when they finally renamed themselves, Lyran Commonwealth.
Despite the split of the Federated Commonwealth, both sides would learn from each other. The Lyrans would learn to use competent commanders to lead wars instead of relying on so-called "Social Generals", while the FedSuns would learn to care about and protect the people of their worlds instead of acting as conquerors. The lessons of the Federated Commonwealth also had an unforeseen consequence that came with it: The Jihad. With both sides of the former empire refusing to rejoin the Star League, their capitals were leveled in retaliation as the Word of Blake would do this to the other Successor States and Clans to start off this inevitable war.
In truth, for most of its existence the Federated Commonwealth was a joint venture between Hanse Davion and Melissa Steiner-Davion. With their deaths, the head of the Federated Commonwealth would formally be conferred onto the Archon-Prince, though this position was only ever filled by Victor Steiner-Davion for a couple of years from 3055 to 3057. Below him in the hierarchy would be the First Prince and Archon of the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth, respectively, who would take over governing duties during his absence.
The lowering of trade restrictions between the Federated Suns and Lyran Commonwealth would do much to strengthen their respective economies, especially after the Fourth Succession War and War of 3039. The conquest of fresh territory would also help strengthen the business sector as corporations began to expand and grow into these new markets. This led to massive exploitation, such that in 3036 Melissa Steiner-Davion had to step in and put an end to their unfair practices. In the years afterward, most effort went towards strengthening local firms, such as the revival of Asuncion Industries.
Trade with the other Successor States however dropped dramatically in the years following the Federated Commonwealth's formation. Only with the St. Ives Compact and Free Rasalhague Republic was the Federated Commonwealth an active trader, and even the latter felt constrained to keep economic activity with the new superstate at much lower levels for fear of offending the Draconis Combine.
The Armed Forces of the Federated Commonwealth was the combined military of the AFFS and LCAF. By early 3041 AFFC High Command formally accepted control of the two organizations, and by 3042 the last vestiges of both militaries was discarded. By 3050 the AFFC was the largest military organization in the Inner Sphere, with a BattleMech strength of 256 regiments and 1 battalion.
- Interstellar Operations: Alternate Eras, pp. 14 & 18
- 20 Year Update, p. 12
- 20 Year Update, p. 15
- 20 Year Update, p. 18
- 20 Year Update, p. 19