A single man ruled and controlled 3,000 star systems.
The Lords of Davion, Kurita, Steiner, Marik, and Liao deferred to his will.
After the explosive spread of mankind through the stars and before the chaos of the Succession Wars was a golden age of advancement.
Unequalled levels of technology, human rights, and prosperity were reached.
Planets bent to the will of man, as terraforming and weather control became both possible and economical.
Agro-technology fed billions. The average human lifespan was extended to 108 standard years by medical science.
But those same advances carried a curse, for the engines of war from the Star League era possessed power unequalled in the Successor States today.
And in that time of great deeds stood the greatest warrior of all time, Aleksandr Kerensky.
The Star League is a ComStar document detailing the history, commerce, organization, and military campaigns of mankind's finest moment, and the tragic failures that doomed it.
The Star League era, dating from 2571 to 2751, marks the Golden Age of Humankind. In this era, all of occupied space became united under a single political, economic, and military aegis-a feat that almost defies the imagination. For most of the period, peace ruled the Inner Sphere as well as the distant Periphery worlds, allowing science and technology to reach unsurpassed heights. The League was doomed, however. With its collapse, Humanity entered the period of continuous warfare that we know as the Succession Wars.
This volume is the most complete and accurate sourcebook ever compiled on the rise and fall of the Star League. Commissioned ten years ago by the First Circuit, this recently completed study represents the work of more than 250 historians, researchers, writers, and editors. Though much documentation has been lost in the centuries of war that followed the collapse of the Star League, ComStar is probably the only contemporary agency with the resources to piece together the history of the League.
Though we could not hope to include every fact uncovered, this volume does provide a thorough introduction to the most important people, places, and events. In particular, many will find new information in the account of how and why Ian Cameron went about making his dream of a united Humanity come true, how Stefan Amaris managed to become powerful enough to bring down the First Lord, and why General Aleksandr Kerensky did not seize power for himself after Amaris’s death. The section on the Star League military is also the first representation of what made the Star League Defense Forces the most powerful military in the universe. Also included are sections on the League’s economy, political structure, culture, important planets, and celebrated personalities. We have also attempted to resolve contradictions or errors of fact that have crept into previous volumes.
Though we try to avoid editorializing, the careful reader will be able to draw his own conclusions about the many factors that contributed to the collapse of Cameron’s noble experiment. His own motives for founding the League are a curious mixture of lofty dreams and a desire for power, as were the motives that persuaded most of the other member states to join. Idealism and ambition made for strange bedfellows, and the contradictions between them would eventually bring down the dream of peace and prosperity known as the Star League.
-Nonda Toolippi, Adept XIX-delta
Merle Jimmus, Adept XV-sigma
George Spelvin, Adept I-omega,
Research Team Maximus, Star League Project,
ComStar Archives, Terra
4 October 3028
If the star league had survived, I’d have worn the uniform proudly.
-In Honor of the Past, R.R. Andrews, Comstar historian and Collector, ConStar Press, Terra, 3024
If written accurately, history is always a terrible disappointment for the idealistic, the romantic, and the opportunistic.
-From History and Culture, by James Dugan, University of Washington Press, 2031
Mere mention of the Star League is enough to transport the average citizen on a dreamy, romantic journey composed of white starships, miraculous machines, and wealth beyond comprehension. In these fantasies, the men and women of the Star League seem larger than life-smarter, wiser, and more beautiful than ordinary mortals. Even war becomes a more heroic, tidy affair in such a seemingly golden age. Instead of conjuring images of lost lives and smoking ruins, one imagines Star League warriors basking in glory and the losers dying politely out of sight. These fantasies are, of course, more a testament to the entertainment media’s ability to distort reality than to actual fact.
Another common misconception about the Star League is that it sprang fully formed from the mind of Ian Cameron, the legendary figure who made the League a political reality. It is true that he was a brilliant and charismatic visionary, but the roots of the Star League trace even further back to Terra, when the homeworld had become a battlefield of nations armed with barbaric nuclear weapons.
The Star League’s most distant ancestor is the Western Alliance. Founded in the 21st century, the Alliance was the first successful attempt to mold whole nations, each with its own personal aims, into a single political entity. Next came the Terran Alliance, followed by the Terran Hegemony, each contributing to the eventual birth of the Star League. It is essential to understand how the early successes and failures of these forerunners influenced the Star League’s creation and operation. This chronicle would also be incomplete if it did not give considerable space to the Camerons and others whose actions-for better or worse-shaped the Star League.
Long before the Kearny-Fuchida hyperdrive made interplanetary travel an everyday occurrence, Terra lay on the brink of total ruin. Two major superpowers, the United States of America and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, vied for domination of the planet, with each willing to risk almost anything short of all-out war for their goals. Though the two sides claimed to represent different political ideologies, both suffered from chronic corruption and internal conflicts.
In 2011, a Moslem assassin killed Oleg Tikonov, Premier of the USSR, initiating an internal power struggle within the Soviet government. One faction was loyal to Premier Tikonov’s liberal policies; the other believed in a more conservative communism. The internal fighting soon became so violent that it spread to other nations under Soviet control. When the Poles staged an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow their longtime oppressors, the Soviets brutally stamped out the rebellion. The Western nations’ sympathy for the Poles quickly turned to panic about their own safety when the massive Soviet military split into two evenly matched political factions fighting for control of the nation’s nuclear arsenal.
With the fate of the world hanging in the balance, leaders of the West felt compelled to intervene. After liberating Czechoslovakia and Poland, the military forces of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization launched a daring invasion of the Soviet Union by way of the newly independent Latvian port of Riga. Their opponents were fanatical Soviet conservatives willing to die to the man. The liberal faction became allies because they were more interested in defeating the conservatives than fighting the NATO forces.
With the victory of the Soviet liberals, peace was restored. The costs were heavy, however, including the chemical destruction of Riga by a Conservative Soviet Army division. The United States now stood unopposed as the strongest nation in the world. Accustomed to having the USSR as its arch-nemesis, the USA was suddenly uncertain of its role. When the Prime Minister of Britain called for “a new alliance of Western nations,” the best minds of Europe and America met to formulate the basic outline for what would eventually become the Western Alliance.
How much power a member-nation had in the new government depended on a formula based on a nation’s resources, industrial output, and potential for development. The arrangement was similar to the way conglomerates organize their many divisions, and most members viewed it as the most equitable way to combine developed and undeveloped economies. The poor nations were especially supportive of the plan.
Many leaders from the United States of America were initially reluctant to join, fearing that the new alliance would result in a loss of the nation’s power and prestige. It was only after the fledgling Western Alliance threatened a boycott of all American products and resources that the superpower agreed to join. Certain nations, such as the seven new ones created out of the breakup of the USSR, eventually joined the Alliance as full members after a probationary period.
One of the first acts of the new government was the creation of the Western Alliance Armed Forces, a military that would differ from previous multinational armies. The WAAF was conceived as a single military under a single command structure and supplied with standard weapons and equipment produced by all member-nations. Though the economic advantages of this arrangement were obvious, many people doubted whether a truly multinational force could fight efficiently. In 2023, the WAAF proved itself by preventing the Chinese from forcing Japan to join their own version of the Alliance, which they called the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere.
It was not long before more and more nations began to seek the important benefits of membership in the Western Alliance. Because this was an era of relative peace, resources were being poured into scientific research to improve the quality of life rather than into production of bigger and better weapons. Under the Alliance treaties, science and technology was shared among member-nations, leading to the quick and democratic spread of new ideas and equipment. One of this period’s most important inventions was an efficient fusion reactor that not only provided inexpensive and almost unlimited power, but set the stage for a future, even more radical discovery.
By 2086, more than 120 nations, representing some 80 percent of the planet’s population, had joined the Western Alliance. In recognition of its global status, the Alliance changed its name to the Terran Alliance. At about the same time, it cast off most of its previously benevolent attitude.
At this point in history, Alliance formulas for admitting and governing nations had evolved into a mass of incredibly complex equations. Those formulas left poorer member-states feeling slighted, overburdened, and victimized because they were paying too much for too little in return. Strikes and violence became common as the people of the poorer nations struggled with the rich nations for social and economic equality. Despite this chronic situation, the Terran Media was more concerned with stories of amazing new scientific discoveries than with news of ruinous wars.
The mass production of fusion reactors one-tenth the size of previous reactors made possible many important technical advancements. Operating costs had also been drastically cut, making atomic power very inexpensive. After scientists discovered techniques for cleaning up Terra’s fouled environment, environmental engineers turned their attention toward transforming Mars and Venus into habitable worlds.
All of these scientific discoveries paled in significance with the rediscovery of Kearny-Fuchida Pan-Dimensional Gravitational Mathematics in 2102. This breakthrough in Einsteinian physics seemed to suggest that if a hyperspatial field could be created around an object possessing mass, that object could travel instantaneously to a distant location. Through an intensive, top-priority research effort known as the Deimos Project, Alliance scientists developed the first faster-than-light space ship powered by the Kearny-Fuchida Stardrive. On December 5,2108, the TAS Pathfinder successfully made the round-trip voyage between Terra and the Tau Ceti system.
After this triumph, Alliance shipyards tooled up to mass-produce colony and exploration ships in large numbers. Though there was considerable wrangling and even violence among member-nations over how to pay for these new Jumpships and who should be able to use them, most agreed that they should be built.
The Kearny-Fuchida drive freed a long-buried urge to exploration among the people of Terra. Now that it was possible to leave the homeworld and the entire Sol system for unseen worlds and uncharted lands, thousands, then millions, began to leap at the chance.
The first interstellar colony was established in 2116 on Tau Ceti IV, also known as New Earth. In 2172, the First Grand Survey reported that there were more than 100 Human-colonized worlds spread across a sphere 80 light years in diameter. Just 63 years later, the Fourth Grand Survey recorded more than 600 colonies.
Second Soviet Civil War ends with the surrender of the last Old Guard-controlled ICBM site to Loyalist forces.
-True to their word, NATO forces begin to pull out of Russia.
-Leaders of the various Western powers meet in the newly reunited Berlin to discuss the British Prime Minister’s call for “a new alliance of Western nations.”
-NATO and the European Common Market are dissolved in favor of the Western Alliance.
-Leaders of various Soviet political and ethnic groups meet at Kiev. These representatives formally dissolve the USSR and create seven independent Russian States in a loose confederation. They are:
The Democratic Republic of European Russia
(formerly the Ukraine, Byelorussia, Moldavia, and parts of the RSFSR)
The People’s Union of Kazakh
The Islamic Republic of Turkmen
The Soviet Socialist Republic
The Democracy of Yakut
The Magadan Socialist Republic
The Confederation of Free Orient Peoples
-The seven states begin a ten-year probationary period, after which the Western Alliance will consider making them members.
While working on a prototype fusion reactor at Stanford University, Professors Thomas Kearny and Takayoshi Fuchida notice anomalies inconsistent with known laws of physics. The two scientists publish “What Happened to the Universe When Einstein Wasn’t Looking” in the September issue of The Western Alliance Journal of Theoretical Physics.
Kearny and Fuchida publish “Einstein’s Theories: The Cooked and the Raw.”
First full-scale fusion reactor is completed by a team of Harvard and MIT engineers and General Motors Corporation. The reactor exceeds all expectations.
-Kearny and Fuchida publish their famous paper entitled, “Now What?”
Kearny and Fuchida publish “Pan-Dimensionality.” Other scientists consider the contents of these papers to be even more amusing than their titles. The two scientists are laughed out of their jobs and their profession.
-Professor Takayoshi Fuchida marries Katherine Kurita. Many generations later, the descendants of this marriage will rule one of the largest and most powerful interstellar realms.
General Motors patents first commercially available fusion reactor.
-China, the Hong Kong Collective, and the recently combined Korean States announce their intention to form the Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere. This action is seen as a direct threat to the Western Alliance. Both sides actively court Japan, the one country that could make the ACPS a rival to the Alliance. International tensions escalate.
January-The ACPS announces a naval blockade of Japan to “better present its case to the Japanese people, free from the influence of Western venom-spreaders.” The heavy pacifism of the Japanese leads them to decide not to fight the blockade unless absolutely necessary.
April-Supplies airlifted from the Western Alliance are insufficient to make up for the effects of the ACPS blockade. The Japanese government collapses. Public sentiment is split evenly between the two alliances. The Emperor of Japan assumes temporary control and imposes rationing. He requests major assistance from the Western Alliance.
May-First Western Alliance relief convoy leaves Pearl Harbor. It is composed of ships from both the U.S. and the Free Soviet Nations navies.
-ACPS says it will not back down.
-The Chinese cruiser Iron Flower runs over a surfaced Western Alliance submarine that had been scouting for the relief convoy. The submarine, the USS Bremerton, sinks with all hands.
-The Akagi and the Kongo, the two Japanese Defense Force destroyers closest to the incident, challenge the Iron Flower and order it to surrender. The Chinese cruiser opens fire. In the subsequent battle, the two Japanese ships destroy the Iron Flower, but not before the Akagi is sunk.
-The Japanese public sides with the Western Alliance. The Emperor frees the Japanese Defense Force from its strict rules of engagement. The JDF begins immediate military actions against the blockading ships of the ACPS.
-The relief convoy enters Tokyo Harbor. Western Alliance forces in the Free Russian States and in the member-states of India are placed on a war footing.
-As both sides gird for war, the Japanese launch an intensive diplomatic effort.
The Osaka Agreement is announced early in the year. The accord provides for the entry of Japan, China, and the Korean States into the Western Alliance, with the proviso that they retain the power to resolve some regional questions without need for Alliance approval.
-The Western Alliance accepts Japan, China, the Korean States, and the seven Russian States as members.
-Takayoshi Fuchida, his credibility as a physicist destroyed by his controversial work, returns in disgrace to Japan. He and his wife, Katherine Kurita, set up a small stationery and oragami supply shop in the poorer section of Tokyo.
First working fusion drive developed.
The AS Columbia, a fusion-powered spacecraft, voyages to Mars.
-From Official Timeline of Ancient Events, Volume X, ComStar Press, 3022