James Moroney was the first president of the Rim Collection.
Born in the Duchy of Andurien, James Moroney was a Professor teaching social sciences at the University of Regulus during the 3030s. A decade of considerable turmoil and strife within the Free Worlds League due to the Andurien Secession and war with the Capellan Confederation in the early 3030s, as well as the assassination of Captain-General Janos Marik in 3035, the 3030s saw the League government become increasingly paranoid and heavy-handed. Moroney found himself under suspicion due to both his Andurien heritage and his political views; Moroney was an outspoken advocate of self-determination and political freedom, and his views were uncomfortable for the League central government.
Whilst Moroney never openly called for the Duchy of Andurien to secede, his publicly stated opinion that no government could keep control of a population determined to be free - repeated many times - led to Captain-General Duncan Marik issuing orders for Moroney's arrest for treason in 3036. The war to regain control of the Duchy saw Moroney's trial date set for 3037, but the apparent return of Thomas Marik in December 3036 to claim the Captain-Generalcy following Duncan's death in battle combined with a general decline in the belief that the Anduriens were somehow involved with Janos' death led to Moroney being acquitted. Although Moroney wasn't convicted of treason, he was fined heavily for making what was deemed irresponsible public statements in a time of martial emergency.
Although Moroney was free, his tenure had been revoked by the University of Regulus, and his attempt to tour the lecture circuit led to him being declared a political undesirable by the government, who banished him and his family from League space. Moroney relocated his family to the Lyran Commonwealth world of Aberystwyth, where he'd obtained apart-time teaching job at a community college. Moroney began writing a personal account of his experiences in the League whilst lecturing and speaking about his trial and expulsion. His speeches on the human right to self-determination were popular, and garnered him considerable attention; that attention culminated in members of Free Skye circulating copies of his speeches around the Isle of Skye, provoking support from those members of both the Commonwealth and Federated Suns who were either uneasy about or opposed to the formation of the Federated Commonwealth. The central government asked Moroney to leave Commonwealth space, politely but firmly, and Moroney moved his family yet again.
Lacking the funds to travel far, Moroney decided to relocate his family to the Periphery, having resolved to try living a simpler life as a farmer. Arriving on Gillfillan's Gold in 3041, Moroney managed to build a new, simpler life for himself and his family, and might well have managed to live out his life in obscurity if not for events in 3043. Moroney had become friends with a local town councilman, William Roberts, a passionate member of the Unification Movement - a political movement attempting to bring together the unification of former Rim Worlds Republic worlds in the region into a new nation. While visiting the Commonwealth, Roberts happened to find tapes of one of Moroney's speeches, and he was impressed by both Moroney's eloquence and his beliefs.
The Unification Movement had suffered from the lack of a skilled speaker, someone who could catch the imagination of the population; in Moroney, Roberts saw someone who could become an outspoken advocate for the movement, and who would swing popular opinion in favor of his cause. When he returned to Gillfillan's Gold, Roberts began efforts to persuade Moroney to step back into the public arena. Moroney was initially resistant, but was ultimately convinced to join the Unionist cause when he saw their dedication and the desperate need for a way of elevating life on the various planets to more than a struggle for simple survival.
The Unification Movement
Moroney began traveling from world to world in the region, speaking passionately and eloquently in favor of the Unification Movement cause. Between 3044 and 3046 he helped increase popular support for the Unionist cause, which began to sway opinion in its favor, despite a number of concerns among the independent-minded natives. One of the major concerns about unification was the likelihood that it would lead to increased pirate and bandit raids, a plague that already afflicted the worlds, and which they wouldn't be able to oppose as a state because of a lack of resources to employ a military capable of defending the various worlds. A devastating pirate raid on Otisberg in 3046 highlighted this risk in dramatic fashion, and nearly derailed the Unionist cause.
The breakthrough came with the arrival of Able's Aces on Gillfillan's Gold, looking to recover from a bitter contract dispute with the Federated Commonwealth. The unit commander, Major Jerry Able, attended a lecture given by Moroney, and was so impressed that he brought his entire unit to hear Moroney speak again the next night. Able persuaded his unit to sign on to protect the various worlds, and tracked down Moroney and Roberts to pitch for the Aces becoming a voluntary part of what would become the Rim Collection Militia, whilst also working to train local militia forces. Moroney and Roberts accepted the offer enthusiastically, and publicized the offer extensively. By the end of 3047, they had widespread support, and in 3048 the Rim Collection came into being with the Rim Collection Charter, unifying the worlds of All Dawn, Caldarium, Gillfillan's Gold, Otisberg, Slewis and Waypoint into a new nation.
The Rim Collection
The Rim Collection was established around a government structure whereby the population of each world elected a representative to the Council of Planets, with the entire Collection population voting to elect someone to the post of President. Moroney was elected as the first President by unanimous acclamation.
As President, Moroney was a keen advocate of increased central government control, as the high degree of autonomy given to the various worlds initially left growth sluggish; Moroney argued for a temporary expansion of his powers as President, so that he could work to expand the Collection economy more quickly. Progress and economic growth had been slowed by the tendency of representatives for the individual worlds to put the interests of their own world first; Moroney argued for more central control temporarily to boost economic growth, and ensure that the benefits of this were shared equally by all of the worlds. The result was a political firestorm, with opinion sharply divided among the population and with the majority of the Council of Planets opposed to Moroney, while local politicians and business leaders favored the proposal.
Death and Legacy
In 3060, with arguments in full swing, Moroney was assassinated via a massive car bomb that struck the Presidential motorcade, killing him and dozens of innocent civilians. Those who killed Moroney intended for his death to bury his ideas for good; instead, Councilman William Roberts was elected President with a considerable majority, and while he had opposed Moroney's ideas, his discovery that powerful planetary councilmen were blocking the investigation into Moroney's death led to a profound change of heart. Drawing on staunch backing from Able's Aces and the same local political and business leaders he had been opposing, Roberts enacted martial law for six months and rebuilt the government of the Collection from the ground up. While martial law was in place Roberts worked hard to highlight the benefits of Moroney's ideas, and put himself on the line by calling for new elections three months after he lifted martial law. Roberts won the election once again, and was reelected President in mid-3061, with his term of office due to end in January 3068. Roberts remained clear on his intention to retire as the end of his term drew near. Under Roberts' rule, the Collection's interstellar trade expanded considerably through increased exports and the reopening of the world of Hunter's Paradise.
During the Dark Age the Rim Collection founded two new colony worlds; one, named Able's Glory, served as a waypoint between the Collection and Hunter's Paradise, as well as a source of germanium for export. The second world was named Moroney, presumably in honor of James Moroney.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 1.6 1.7 1.8 1.9 The Periphery, Second Edition, pp. 70–72: "Rim Collection"
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 173–174: "Beginnings"
- ↑ 3.0 3.1 Handbook: Major Periphery States, pp. 174–175: "Coming of Age"
- ↑ Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 175: "Economics"
- ↑ Handbook: Major Periphery States, p. 175: "Hunter's Paradise"
- ↑ Field Manual: 3145, p. 187: "Rim Collection"