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First Exodus

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After the maiden flight of the [[TAS Pathfinder|TAS ''Pathfinder'']] and its arrival in the Tau Ceti system on December 5, [[2108]], the Terran Alliance began a crash program to produce faster-than-light colony ships. The first such ship was the [[TAS Ark|TAS ''Ark'']], which in [[2116]] established its first extrasolar colony on [[New Earth|Tau Ceti IV]]. By [[2123]], corporate production of JumpShips had become feasible, and the race to space became the new, global ''Manifest Destiny''.<ref name=DAS11>''Dropships and Jumpships'', pp. 11-13</ref>
During this first colonisation colonization wave, new planets were settled monthly. Eventually, disaster struck in April [[2128]], when the privately constructed and operated colony ship ''Liberator'' disappeared without trace. The Alliance Parliament quickly passed regulations, forcing colony ships to be escorted by Terran Space Navy ships, and installing planetary administrators as colonial governors.<ref name=DAS11/>
The first [[Alliance Grand Survey#First Alliance Grand Survey|Grand Survey]], conducted in [[2168]], counted 108 registered colonies. <ref name=SL8/>
=== The Seperatist Separatist Conflicts ===The Terran Alliance of the early 22nd century was still only an alliance dominated by the wealthiest states, not even uniting the entire planet. The sleeping conflict between the ''SeperatistSeparatist'' nations and the Terran Alliance not only fueled colonisation colonization efforts, but also created an atmosphere of constant threat.<ref name=JHST144>''Jihad Hot Spots: Terra'', pp. 144-145</ref>
After [[2177]], the [[Ryan Cartel|Ryan Cartel's]] newly developed iceshipping ice shipping process became the main source of drinking water for colonies, further increasing the pace of colonisationcolonization.<ref name=DAS13>''Dropships and Jumpships, p.14</ref> [[Rudolph Ryan]] himself was - after his death - revealed as a strong supporter of the colonies' independance independence and had often "lost" technicians or JumpShips full of colonisation colonization equipment in support of budding Seperatist Separatist colonies, which his corporate subsidiaries had helped create in the first place.<ref name=TPS12>''The Periphery (sourcebook)'', p. 12</ref>
Despite Ryan's support, not all Seperatists Separatists and anti-Alliance groups emigrated off-world, but radicalised radicalized in the face of increasing Alliance oppression. Terrorist organisations organizations like Elias Liao's ''New World Disciples'' sprang up. Quickly gaining notoritynotoriety, Liao's group was responsible for the death of no less than 26 heads of states, and 14 Terran Alliance Parliament members (and at least 135 bureaucrats, scientists, and technicians), further destablising destabilizing Terra's political system. Rudolph Ryan himself was killed by an anarchist assassin in [[2185]].<ref name=HL8>''House Liao: The Capellan Confederation'', p. 8</ref>
The simmering conflict between the Alliance and the Seperatists Separatists and the constant threat of nuclear terrorism finally erupted into a series of unification wars. By the early 23rd century, Terra was finally unified under the Terran Alliance. The Alliance itself, now without external opposition, began the slow process of unifying from an alliance of independant independent states into an actual federal state, although more through inertia than by design. <ref name=JHST144/>
During this period of consolidation, the Alliance Parliament (stuck somewhere between a discussion chamber and an actual legislative body) polarised into two opposite political parties - the authoritarian Expansionists and the slowly radicalising radicalizing Liberals. The Expansionists had informally been in power since the developement development of the Hyperdrive, while the Liberals had begun imitating the tactics of their successful opponents. <ref name=SL10>''Star League sourcebook'', p. 10</ref>
=== Collapse and Isolation ===
The final [[Alliance Grand Survey#Fourth Alliance Grand Survey|Grand Survey]], conducted in [[2235]], listed 628 colonized worlds in a radius of 250 light years. In May of the same year, [[Denebola]] declared independanceindependence, and just a year later, the [[Outer Reaches Rebellion]] began on [[Freedom]].<ref name=HBHD19>''Handbook: House Davion'', p.19</ref>
While local protection treaties, such as the [[Chesterton Trade League]] had already been established for decades, the Alliance-appointed colonial governor's demand for extensive regulative rights was - in the face of the Alliance's overall benign neglect - the driving force behind an independance independence movement that rose to power in several loosely aligned colonies. When Terran troops first fought the well-entrenched insurrectionists, they were soundly defeated, to the shock of the Expansionists on Terra. <ref name=HL9>''House Liao: The Capellan Confederation'', pp. 9-10</ref>
The conflict continued well into [[2237]], with more and more declarations of independance independence reaching the Terran Alliance Parliament. Saddled with passive resistance and refusal of support from other colonies, the Terran forces finally realized the futility of their situation and returned home. <ref name=HL9/>
Following this first defeat and with others soon following, the political situation on Terra turned into chaos, allowing the Liberal Party to oust the Expansinoists in [[2240]]. Unfortunately, the Liberals had become as radicalised radicalized as the Expansionists, and acted accordingly. For a while, even mentioning Terran offworld colonies was treated as a criminal act. Finally, the Liberals passed the [[Demarcation Declaration]]: from [[2242]] onward, all Terran colonies (aside from a 30 light years bubble around Terra itself) were released into independanceindependence, whether they desired it or not. The age of the First Exodus was over.<ref name=JHST144/>