The Unified Republic of Stars is the government body that controls the Republican Star Cluster. It was formed in 2173 by the Second Independent Congress on Galileo to unite the fourteen formerly colonial worlds in a common defense against the Universal United Human Authority on Earth.
The Unified Republic of Stars (URS) was end result of the desire for independence by the former colonies of Earth. While the time between settlement of the star cluster and independence may seem short, several factors aided in bringing it to be.
The number one reason for the desire for independence was sheer distance. By 2169, when independence was declared, over 500 million people lived on the colonial worlds. Most of these were native born to the alien planets and thus rarely thought of Earth on any regular basis unless the strictures it had placed on its colonies interfered with their every day lives. The nearest planet to Earth was Galileo and even that remained eight light years from the birthplace of humanity.
While interstellar travel was common, most of the people living in the colonies had little need to ever use it and thus, that vast majority had never been into space much less traveled back to Earth. And yet, this far away world was somehow still dictating what the people could and could not do on what they viewed as their own worlds. The biggest problem, as they saw it, was the sanction against forming their own governments.
The sole governing authority over the colonial worlds was the United Nations, a body made up of the member nations on Earth. And, while the colonists routinely asked for representation in the body, it was just as regularly turned down. Thus, the colonists were left without a voice as to how they would be governed and forbidden from establishing any type of governing authorities of their own. But had this remained the status quo, even still the independence movement might have remained something of a minority position.
Earth forced the issue when, in 2161, the UN began to establish a series of Planetary Governors for the purpose of levying taxes on the colonies to pay the nations back on Earth. Not only that, but the governors were also empowered to make their own laws and enforce them with the establishment of Planetary Police Forces. The people they were to govern had no check on these powers and no input on what laws would be created.
Suddenly, the minority view was becoming much more popular.
When, in 2165, the UN passed a ban on all speech discussing the very idea of independence and the shuttering of a paper in Athena City to place, the situation very soon became untenable. Just a few years later, the same Athenian Planetary Governor who attempted to muzzle the paper was run off the planet by an angry mob. Soon after the people of Galileo went ahead and elected their own governor and forced the Earth representative to vacate his mansion. Those that did not renounce their allegiance to Earth and stand for elections like on Darwin or Kanagawa or excuse themselves from office soon found mobs of people waiting to do it for them.
- See Also: More about the reasons for independence.
Even still, independence was not a forgone conclusion. Many of those who attended the First Independent Congress in late 2168 and 2169 hoped that perhaps a compromise might be worked out and that each of the worlds could still be given representation within the UUHA. The blockades that Earth attempted to place around its former colonies spoke to other intentions however and, by the early part of '69, the congress resolved that independence was the only option.
Following the First "Republican" Defensive in 2172, it became clear to all that the temporary alliance the various now independent planets had made with each other would not ensure their collective freedom. It was decided that a limited, permanent union would be required to adequately fund their defense and ensure open trade across all the worlds. Thus, in 2173, the Second Independent Congress released the Constitution Of The Republic, to be ratified by all the worlds and to form the Unified Republic of Stars.
While the federal government's powers are limited by the strictures of the constitution, it also doesn't mean that there haven't been times when it has attempted to overreach. There was the New Age of Morality Act, passed in 2210, for instance, which attempted to make illegal acts of prostitution and gambling and the production and consumption of narcotics. Hailed at the time as the first step to proving the Republic's "civilization", it was roundly jeered by the people and, after five years of near constant internal turmoil, the act was repealed in 2215.
- See Also: More about the New Age of Morality Act.
A second major crisis occurred in the years leading up the Invasion of 2338 when the Constitutional Court began to enforce the rights guaranteed in the Constitution. The court overturned a series of laws on Columbus that made up the bulk of it's Morality Code, a body of law regulating, among other things, conduct between men and women, proper dress, and even some areas of etiquette. Ruling the means of enforcement violated citizen due process rights, the Court ordered the federal government to enforce its ruling against the planetary government.
The worlds of Al Gharbiyah and and Columbus responded by withdrawing their senators and withholding federal tax collections. The war of words escalated until it seemed that civil war was inevitable until the Invasion of 2338 made the Republican worlds put their differences aside to push out the occupying forces.
- See Also: More about the constitutional crisis.
The Republican government is built along federalist lines. It is composed of three branches consisting of the President of the Republic acting as the executive, the Republican Congress and its two houses invested with the power to make laws and appropriate monies, and the Constitutional Court which would act as the final arbiter and interpreter of laws.
Beneath the federal government are the Planetary governments, typically set up in a similar fashion. The planets maintain a check on the federal level through the appointment of senators to the Senate of Delegates, the high chamber within the Republican Congress.
The popular voice is heard through the House of Representatives, the election of the President, and, if enough individual votes can be marshaled, through direct referendum. Popular referendums are enormously difficult to pass, however, and even when they are, the Constitutional Court frequently strikes them down as being unconstitutional.
On the whole, the government of the Republic was set up to be as slow moving as possible in terms of passing laws and general change. This was both to prevent the federal government from becoming overreaching in its power and to ensure that, when change would happen, it had been well thought out, considered, and discussed. However, there were several places where the constitution did allow for quick actions to be taken. In the interest of quick justice for those falsely imprisoned, falsely convicted, burdened by an overly harsh sentence, or showing remorse, the president is granted full powers of pardon and commutation.
Additionally, by making the president commander-in-chief of the military, the constitution ensures that one voice can lead the Republic through a military episode without the Navy having to considered often conflicting voices of the legislature. Only congress may declare war or ratify a peace treaty but once a state of war has been entered, the president may use the Navy in anyway he sees fit to prosecute the enemy.
- Fenghuang System - See
- Hwon System - See
- New Mesopotamia System - See
- New Nippon System - See
- New Normandy
- Yong Nam
For more information about the founding of the Unified Republic of Stars, see the following books which go into much greater detail about the events that led up its formation and the years after.
There are also some documents that outline the structure of the Republican government and state its goals: