The Minervan Union

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The Minervan Union

Post  DrakoWulf on Tue Mar 15, 2011 2:38 pm

Origins and Description: The origins of the Minervan Union and the system itself began with initial colonization efforts in the early 22nd Century when citizens of the United Colonial Confederacy on Earth attempted to flee the ravaged planet through venturing to greener plains. While Mars was the initial planet many ventured to, it was incapable of procuring food for it's colonists and so the need for more agriculturally capable planets was required. Colonists expanding beyond the Solar system ventured to what was known at the time as the 'Alpha Centauri' system, the closest system to Solar by 4.24 light-years. It was here colonists came to see Alpha Centauri as their salvation: A binary system of two stars which they officially titled Vulcan and Victoria. Orbiting them were three comfortably habitable planets of similar proportions to Earth that they chose to call Silvanus, Lamiae, and Taranis. Being of greater capability in food harvesting than the rest, Silvanus was were colonists officially ventured to and began to spread.

The colonists did not venture forth with any strictly organized infrastructure or management that could bind them together, resulting in many outright wanting to abandon those in Solar to die from famine and start their new lives in Alpha Centauri, a name later changed to 'Minerva'. Various settlements rose up across the planet with many seeking to be independent from the others and the Confederacy as a whole, resorting to almost tribal forms of society. But while food was plentiful for once in the lives of these colonists, their lack of unity would be the downfall of many independent settlements as the wild-life of Silvanus began to lash at their intrusion. As many began to die off, colonists began to band back together once more with the Confederate officials whom were still trying to send food exports back to Solar in a timely fashion.

Several years later when more colonists arrive from Solar in 2130, research and excavation of resources comes into full swing. Various officials work to study the nearby planets of the system and in 2131, Silvanus' communications relay satellite is launched and makes transmissions to the Solar system possible. The various settlements finally grouped together into a society, and therefore their government began to form. The settlements grouped into what came to be known as 'Commonwealths', unified territories that still argued their own sovereignty in political affairs. The commonwealths came together into a Confederation government and were centrally ruled by a Parliament of elected commonwealth representatives. Under the parliament, the Minervan Confederation made many advancements such as the first stable warp-drives, and during the First Colonial Wars the development of weapons capable of firing from ships in orbit to a planets surface, and vice-versa.

After the rise of the Federation and the enforcement of a more greatly centralized economy, Minerva became the chief food supplier to the systems by economic law. In theory the growing and exports of food from Silvanus was the systems economic value even into the urbanized colonization of Lamiae and small expansions into Taranis that led to the development of more commonwealths. But as the fuel crisis of the 23rd Century began, exports began to slow to almost a complete stop as ship fuel was nearly depleted. With Alkahest still far from perfected, it was not uncommon for Minervan delivery vessels to experience accidents en-route to planets and stations, leading many organizations unwilling to risk their workers lives. The economy of Minerva tumbled along with most of the Federation and a great depression resulted. With the Parliament at ends with eachother, it divided in half. Half of the parliament and commonwealths sided with the Prime Minister of the Parliament- William Thalberg, who wanted to reform the economy and system to adapt to their current situation and still make food deliveries to prevent mass starvation. The other half sided with Parliament representatives led by Lord Gaston Moreau, a representative of the Florence Commonwealth who opted to separate Minerva from the Federation and preserve themselves. The Minervan Civil War began and raged for a three-year period between the Minervan Confederation under Thalberg and the Minervan Coalition under Moreau, declared it's President. With no ship fuel to spare, the war was completely ground based and eventually led to the destruction of the Confederation's capital city, Yorkshire. Although the Parliament building was lost, it's representatives were not and Prime Minister Thalberg finally convinced the Federal Senate to send the Confederation portions of their last remaining fuel stocks. With the advantage, Thalberg reinstated the Confederation's fleet of starships and unexpectedly initiated an orbital strike on the Coalition capital that destroyed it's government, eliminating President Moreau among many others.

With the Coalition dissolved without leadership and it's commonwealths reabsorbed into the Confederation, Thalberg declared and finalized his plans for reform. The Minervan Confederation that had stood for a hundred years was dissolved, and the Minervan Union was built in it's place. With the Parliament backing him by the majority, Thalberg established the new capital of the Union to be on Lamiae in it's largest standing city that was renamed to 'Thalberg' after the new nations founder and visionary leader. Thalberg's policies centered strongly around the embracement of capitalism and the construction of an unparalleled work-force striving for the betterment of the Federation as a singular entity. To better centralize the economy of the system and assure treasury stability, various major corporations in the Union were given seats as advisers and Ministers in the government, forming something vaguely similar to an aristocracy. Thalberg himself was declared Consul of the Union and made the undisputed leader of the system, the Parliament being reformed into a Congress that advised the Consul and spoke as the voices of the people. While many argued the Minervan Union was no longer a democracy but an aristocratic dictatorship that would spell doom and wide-spread poverty for the working class while the rulers lined their pockets with credits, this proved to be false. The system's economy was jump started in full and their stability sky-rocketed, granting them the lowest poverty and homeless rating of any system that still maintains to this day over a hundred years later.

With the corporations centralized into the government and managed almost as a union between both traditional governance and the I.M.C method later incorporated in Xenon, the Minerva system has prospered and expanded across their territories. But the Union does not go unopposed as various anarchist and liberal movements exist, striving to try and bring down the government. These movements are widely unpopular however, politicians, media, and common citizens underlining them as selfish youths who threaten the stability and prosperity the system has been blessed with out of a desire for more freedom than what they already have. But with the rise of terrorism, the Minervan Union has gone under martial law with the Minervan Army directly patrolling cities and towns to maintain order. The move has pushed the terrorist organizations out into the unpopulated regions of the planets, but they still refuse to completely die out.

Government: The Minervan Union through it's actions, is viewed as an aristocratic oligarchy and unitary state formed around a capitalist economy. The older Minervan government was a confederacy with a parliament form of government assembled through elected representatives from the various commonwealths of the confederation. The parliament was led by a Prime Minister, an individual elected by the people for six-year terms who served as the ceremonial head of state and head of government of the confederation.

In the current day the Union is led by the Consul, an individual who reigns as the supreme authority in the system and de facto head of state and head of government. The first Consul was William Thalberg, who was formerly the last Prime Minister of the Parliament before his reforms were passed. Since the reign of Thalberg, the future Consul's have been appointed primarily through means of the former choosing a successor from the government with constitutional guidelines limiting candidates solely to standing figures in politics. The Thalberg family still continues to have influence in politics and five of the seven Consuls of the Union have been from the Thalberg family which has caused many to consider their government a monarchy in some fashions.

The Consul is advised and assisted by three other branches of the government. The first is the Congress, an assembly of over two-hundred democratically elected individuals who represent the various Commonwealths of the Union. While the Minervan Confederation permitted the commonwealths to maintain their own form of sovereignty and methods of management, the current unitary form of state in Minerva grants the central government the ability to alter the commonwealths as they please with no argument, although this power resides only with the Consul. The Parliament of the Confederation also acted as a legislature to the Prime Minister's laws, something the Congress body does not share. If the Consul wishes a law to pass, it is passed without being put through the Congress. Their true role is mainly to stand as advisers and speakers for the people who elected them in the Consul's ear, as the Hall of Congress is where the Consul's have often chosen to voice their intentions and new found laws. While they are not constitutionally able to impact a laws passing, the Congress has been shown to have an effect on the decisions of Consul's in the past through their opinions. The Congress is composed mainly of equal ranking Congressmen, but are led by a committee of five 'Senior Congressmen', the fifth being titled as 'Lord Congressman'. The Lord Congressman directs the affairs of Congress in their discussions and debates with the Consul, as well as being the ceremonial 'leader of Congress'. Congress also has the responsibility of choosing a new Consul through a majority rule vote if the former Consul never chose a successor or died before they could do so.

The second branch of the advisory is the Ministers, the official cabinet of the Consul that manages many aspects of the day to day management of the Union. Each Minister has their own area of responsibility such as Treasury, Agriculture, Urban Expansion, Military Affairs, Industry, etc. Most of the Ministers in reality as the CEO's and Chairmen of corporations in Minerva that hold monopolies over specific areas of management. For example, the current CEO of Fabrique Nationale- Lord Jose de Santiago is the current Minister of Industry and Production, as Fabrique Nationale holds a strong monopoly over firearm, vehicle, and mechanics industry in the nation as well as holding partnerships with various smaller corporations of similar goals.

The third branch of advisers is referred to as 'The Consul's Court'. The Court does not serve as commonwealth representatives like the Congress or managers of the governments ministries like the Ministers, but rather as deliberate advisers and figureheads for the Consul. The Consul will often consult the Court when in need of advise either politically or economically. The Court will often consist of corporate figureheads (Some even sharing dual roles as members of the Court, and as Ministers.), members of territorial management, and members of nobility such as those in the Thalberg family. Most successors to become Consul after the passing of a previous will often be a member of the court.

At the territorial level, the Minervan Union uses the Federation's default form of devolution government: breaking territories into various levels of administrative divisions and placing a figurehead in charge of governing the area. These figureheads are usually always selected from higher levels of government with the approval of the local commonwealth congress representatives approval. In the case of Minerva, the line-up is fairly typical. The lowest form of territory is a Sector, a single town or city and the area surrounding it, governed by a Viscount. Various Sector's are then grouped into a Province placed under the charge of a Baron. Provinces merged into Districts and are governed by Viceroys, leading to Region's placed under Grand Viceroys. Regions are typically viewed as the face of a commonwealths population, but for the sake of cost efficiency and management are grouped once more into Divisions under Dukes who are personally appointed by the ruling Grand Duke of their Commonwealth. Grand Duke's are appointed by the Consul and the Lord Duke's, one of which being appointed to govern each planet in the Union's territory. While corruption is no strange thing to see in the government, recent Consul's have taken steps to counter it with largely unknown security agencies that have been formed with the mission of removing corrupt Viscounts, Viceroys, and Dukes alike from power without much publicity or political argument.

Culture: The Minervan Union puts a great emphasis on the development and maintenance of it's collective culture. A great deal of Minervan society is heavily influenced by creative and artistic processes, well known for being a corner stone for it's abundance of famous artists and film makers. Famous painters and sculptors exist in Minerva as they still try to keep such dieing arts alive, their efforts receiving widely acclaimed appreciation and admiration from the populace. William Thalberg himself was a well known appreciator of art and had an expansive collection of portraits, statues, and even trinkets such as snow globes that to this day decorate the Consul's palace. Writing and philosophy in general has also been an inspirational source for many in the system, theorists and well known authors having found their origins here.

Lamiae is also the location of New Augustus, the current hub for film production around the Federation. The cities largest active section which is solely dedicated to this pursuit features a large quantity of studios, storage warehouses, and other similar endeavors that gets personal favoritism from the Ministry of Cultural Development and Expansion. The planet also features a strong congregation of musical studios and famous singers, music being another influential factor in Minervan culture. While the younger generations of Minerva relish in the revival of pop and rock music, older generations indulge in orchestras, operas, and other classical music that dates far back in European culture.

The Minervan culture has also come to gradually underline a strong sense of national pride and honor, leading to not only a strong approval of the Minervan Union from it's populace but also a strong pro-federation standpoint that keeps the Federal government in the good graces of the Minervan people. But while they receive a strong measure of love and admiration from the older generations, the younger minds of the system take this as a sign of what to despise. Various groups of younger generations support various underground values that have been lost to time such as a pro-found belief in liberalism and anarchy, many stating they want to see the Federation brought down. Many political officials have taken these statements as being nothing more than younger individuals wanting to appear rebellious against that which their elders hold love for, and in most cases this is a correct assumption.

The system's religious demographic is widely consistent of Catholic and Christian denominations, over 70% of the population listed to be a part of the various faiths. Despite this, the Minervan government and it's people still strongly support the separation of church and state, also maintaining a welcoming stance to accept atheists and other various religious beliefs among them. Former officials in the Minervan Union have been known for stating that when it comes to religion, they prefer to maintain an open mind and maintain the line between simple faith and zealous support. Consul William Thalberg was quoted as having said this after setting his stance on the topic: “I strive to study and learn the strengths and faults of our neighbors with the intent to learn and benefit from them. If the I.R.A has taught me anything, it has shown me what -not- to be when it comes to religion.”

Sports in the Minervan Union is extremely varied with a mix of different institutions of classical sports. The systems national pass-time sport is considered to be soccer by 52% of the voting population, the sport coming in second for this position being baseball at 35% on the poll. Other activities that don't necessarily qualify to Federal standards as official sports are still widely practiced, the art of fencing being a significant example.

Military: The armed forces of Minerva are considered to be the third best out of all the system armies, not counting the U.G.A.F itself. With the I.R.A in first and the Dominion in second, Minerva sports a great technological prowess over the systems below in it in addition to a strong number of service personnel. With technological development being a favored institution in the system, Minerva's technological edge is it's key advantage against rebel groups and other domestic threats to their security. A great deal of said equipment is produced on a rapid scale by Fabrique Nationale following it accepting various smaller production corporations as sub-branches to expand it's development from firearms to vehicles and other aspects, all under a mixed budget. With the entire system under martial law, Minervan infantry make use of the Helios APC as their chief patrol vehicle which makes it a common sight on the streets of urbanized areas and even in the uncolonized outland regions.

The Armored Corps's of the Minervan Army also boast the largest number of walkers out of all armed forces services in the Federation, second only to the U.G.A.F. With the I.R.A mainly focused on the production of equipment for their basic infantry in addition to mass producing other machines of war aside from walkers, as well as the Dominion's stock pile of walkers which once rivaled Minerva's being reduced to half it's former size following the Second Colonial Wars; Minerva has been free to dominate the said field of warfare. The production of walkers has been highly beneficial for the Minervan Army due to their role in martial law leading to their average deployment in urban and residential locations, making mobile and versatile walkers a favored alternative to advancing purely on foot or in less maneuverable APCs.

The Armed Forces currently operate under the control of the Ministry of National Protection, directed by Minister Martin Thalberg. Due to his role as the Ministries acting director, Martin has been given the rank of Commander-General in the Armed Forces, making him the go-between for military leaders and the Consul himself who functions as commander-in-chief. Although the military of Minerva holds little actual influence on the governance of the system unlike the I.R.A, Martin Thalberg did use them to stage a coup of the ineffective sixth Consul, his younger brother Peter Thalberg. Following Peter's removal and suicide, Louis Thalberg was given the role of Consul by the military.

Economy: Minerva boasts the most stable standing economy and strongest political influence in the Federation with Xenon following in second, maintaining the lowest rating of poverty and homeless citizens. The economy of the Union is primarily based around the growing and exporting of food to the neighboring systems, preventing mass starvation at a galactic level. The perceived causalities in an event where Minerva's food deliveries were to stop is theorized to mark up to 65% of the Federation's population. In most ways, the corporations that maintain seats in political affairs work tightly together in a unified effort. The majority of food is grown and harvested by the Cameron Produce corporation that supports and has ties to various smaller corporations of similar occupation, all of their exported food being sent to the Hyperion Trading Directorate that manages both the delivery of food supplies across Minerva as well as across the Federation through their fleets of starships. In turn, the Trade Directorate is payed in credits by their consumers with an equal amount going to the Cameron corporation. While a percentage of the return funding is delivered to the various workers of the corporations as well as other personal assets, another portion is delivered into the Minervan Union's state treasury. This portion is then in turn utilized by the state for urban expansion, technological development, military funding, and other ventures that spread to various other corporations. One corporation in particular is Fabrique Nationale, one of the standing largest firearm manufacturing corporations in the Federation that has expanded it's assets into production of both standard transport vehicles, as well as a large percentage of farming equipment and other vessels. While many argue these large corporations hold a strong monopoly which makes small businesses bound to suffer, the corporate bodies will often offer financial support to small business owners to get them started with loans in return for business partnerships which has raised small business success up to 87%.

"It is lamentable that in order to become a true patriot, one must become the enemy of the rest of humanity."
Director of IC Affairs

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