Star League(Redirected from Star League High Council)
- This article is about the interstellar nation. For the McKenna-class WarShip, see Star League (Vessel).
The brainchild of Ian Cameron, the Star League was a self-policing interstellar council formed from the Terran Hegemony, the Great Houses of the Inner Sphere, and the Territorial States of the Periphery. Each of the States of the Star League was required to provide soldiers and war materiel for the mutual protection of the Star League Defense Force, but otherwise was allowed to maintain its own standing army, and even conduct (rare) small-scale wars. Though not completely stable, the relative peace, prosperity, and advanced technology of the Star League have led many to consider the Star League as the zenith of human civilization.
|Time period:||2570 – 2780|
|Controlled systems:||~ 2000|
|Ruler title:||First Lord|
|Military:||Star League Defense Force (SLDF)|
The first treaties of the Star League were penned by the Terran Hegemony, the Capellan Confederation, and the Free Worlds League in 2556. Following these initial treaties, the Lyran Commonwealth (2558), the Federated Suns (2567), and finally the Draconis Combine (2569) also signed. The Star League was officially born with the July 9, 2571 signing of the Star League Accords by Ian Cameron and the five house lords.
During Ian's reign, efforts were made to bring the Periphery into the League. Through the various bloody battles in the Reunification War, a cease-fire was reached with the Outworlds Alliance in 2585, the Magistracy of Canopus was defeated in 2588, the insurrection in the Rim Worlds Republic was extinguished in 2596, and the Taurian Concordat was finally defeated in 2596.
In 2600, Lady Shandra Noruff-Cameron died, followed two years later by Lord Ian. Ian's son Nicholas was then declared leader of the Star League. In 2646, Nicholas Cameron designated Michael Cameron, Nicholas' grandson, as his successor, who assumed power in 2649 upon Nicholas' death. On October 13, 2690, Michael retired after he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, and Jonathan Cameron, his oldest son, was designated his replacement.
During his reign, Jonathan engaged in a build-up of SLDF forces. Unstable and unable to rule, Jonathan consulted his sister, Jocasta Cameron, more and more often, with Jocasta in effect becoming the de facto leader of the Star League. In 2738, Jonathan Cameron died of a stroke, and Mother Jocasta handed over the Star League to Jonathan's son, Simon. In 2751, Simon Cameron died, leaving his eight year old son, Richard Cameron II the only successor. The five Lords convened on Terra and appointed General Aleksandr Kerensky, commanding officer of the Star League Defense Forces as Richard's Regent and Protector.
Stefan Amaris, ruler of the Rim Worlds Republic, slowly began working his way in as a "friend" of the young Richard, poisoning the young First Lord Richard's thoughts. Before long, Richard saw Amaris as his closest friend and confidant, and Amaris took advantage of this, convincing Richard to remove all SLDF forces from the Rim Worlds Republic and ordered all SLDF bases and fortresses be turned over to the Rim Worlds Republic.
Stefan Amaris continued to expand his influence on Richard, as the Houses started skirmishing on the verge of Richard's majority. Convinced by Amaris that Kerensky and the House Lords were against him, Richard became even more embittered. As more and more bases were placed under Republic control, Stefan Amaris proceeded to Terra and assassinated Richard and all remaining members of the Cameron family, taking power of the Star League, removing any trace of the Star League he could.
Involved with fighting in the Periphery, Kerensky regrouped and quickly took the Rim Worlds Republic. After some rest, Kerensky divided his forces up into three groups, one to travel through each of the accommodating houses toward the Hegemony. On January 23, 2777, soldiers on eight worlds moved towards Terra and finally captured the planet after a bloody battle and over 100 million total dead, on September of 2779. Amaris and his family were executed soon after Kerensky heard of the fate of Richard Cameron and his family.
A year later, on October 10, 2780, the Council Lords gathered and stripped Kerensky of his title of Protector, refusing an offer by General DeChavilier to help overthrow the House Lords. Ten months later, the Lords had still not reached a decision on a successor for the position of First Lord, each claiming the position for him or herself, the Council being dissolved by the Lords on August 12, 2781. As the spirit of the Star League began eroding, Kerensky gathered 80 percent of the SLDF forces, and they jumped out of the Inner Sphere, not to be seen again for nearly 270 years, completing the collapse of the Star League. The collapse caused the Succession Wars.
The Cameron Star - The Insignia of the Star LeagueEdit
The insignia of the Star League and its defense force, a star with two of its rays longer than the others, would emerge from humble beginnings in the months prior to the formal declaration of the new realm. Dismissing a number of options either for similarity to the star-burst of the Federated Suns or their lack of acknowledgement of the Periphery realms, Ian Cameron's visit to his young niece Tomasina Cameron-Havley and her flawed attempt at drawing a symmetrical star would provide the First Lord with a strong concept that appealed to both him and other Council lords, with Star League Directive 1 formally recognizing it as the official emblem of the Star League on 10 July 2571. 
The Cameron Star would adorn a number of military and civil awards. Despite including no Cameron lineage, the revived Second Star League would retain the Cameron Star as its insignia and the daggerstar emblem of the SLDF's descendants, the Clans, also shares a large commonality with the Cameron Star.
The leader of the Star League was the First Lord, a hereditary position held by members of House Cameron from the League's inception to its downfall. The First Lord had formidable political, economic and military powers, even over the other Great Houses, though the Camerons rarely used these powers unilaterally. Their efforts to govern through compromise and consensus endeared them to the general public, which helped the First Lord in implementing policies, even those privately opposed by the other Lords.
The High Council was the primary governing body of the Star League, composed of the First Lord and the leaders of the five other Great Houses, known as the Council Lords. The Council met biannually to discuss and ratify the government's budget, summon witnesses to testify on an issue, hear petitions, and address other League concerns, but was restricted from discussing the governance of each others' realms. During a crisis an emergency meeting could be called, and for a matter of great importance a Council Directive, or Council Order, would be drafted and put to a vote, with a majority required for passage. The First Lord had the casting vote in the event of a tie. If a matter being discussed involved the Periphery, its Administrators could attend meetings and participate, but were not given the right to vote.
Each Council Lord was also allowed to bring advisers, known unofficially as High Council Members, to Council meetings, to assist or even tell the Lords how they should vote. These advisers were often dispatched on fact-finding missions, and used their prestige to gain wealth and become nobles. Advisers to the First Lord, officially known as the First Lord's Advisors, were members of the Terran Hegemony's High Council, and headed major departments within the Hegemony's government.
Council meetings were held in the capitol city of the Star League, the Court of the Star League. Known unofficially as Unity City, the Court of the Star League was built near Puget Sound, located on the North American continent of Terra. It was also the location of the Royal Court, which met for two months during the spring and winter Council meetings. Though not an official part of the High Council, the Royal Court was ostensibly a social gathering of nobles, intellectuals and celebrities, with the festivities led by the First Lord's spouse or Master of Protocol. It was often during these events that many backroom agreements were forged, such that the Royal Court gained a reputation for rampant political and economic dealing.
Though titles of nobility were reinstated by Michael Cameron, they served more as job titles within the Star League and Terran Hegemony, a distinction purposefully made by the Camerons to prevent the kind of class stratification found in other realms. Towards this end, nobles were never given permanent positions within a planet's government; instead they served at the whim of the public, which could vote them out of office.
Dukes and Duchesses were at the top of the hierarchy of nobles, and either owned the most land or controlled the most industry of a given planet. A variant of this were "Vagabond Dukes", owners of major interstellar conglomerates spread over many Hegemony worlds. The title of Marquess or Marquessa was granted to scientists for making a significant contribution to science. A Count or Countess was the owner of major companies or large tracts of land on a world, with their allegiance often (but not always) tied to the planet's Duke. The Baron and Baroness was the lowest rank of nobility, granted to owners of modest companies or farmlands, or as a reward for excellent service in the SLDF or BSLA. Some of the greatest political dramas were played out between a planet's Duke and their Counts and Barons jockeying for control of its government.
Bureau of Star League AffairsEdit
The vast bureaucracy charged with carrying out the laws and edicts of the League was the Bureau of Star League Affairs, with its headquarters located in the Court of the Star League. The Bureau was headed by the Commander of the BSLA, whose position was so critical that they were personally selected by the First Lord for loyalty to the Camerons and the Hegemony.It was further divided into six departments: Department of Administration, Department of Social Relations, Department of Economic Relations, Department of Revenue, Department of Education and Information, and the Department of the Attorney General.
Department of AdministrationEdit
The Department of Administration was charged with publicizing and enforcing the laws of the High Council. As the first line of defense in a political crisis, Administrators were trained in the arts of diplomacy and to show initiative during even the most stressful situations.
State Administrators were essentially the Star League's ambassadors to its members states, stationed on each realm's capital planet and kept in constant contact with their own personal HPG station. In an emergency, each State Administrator could call upon the local SLDF commander to undertake military operations to uphold the Star League's laws and legal rights, although their mere presence was normally more than enough to ensure enforcement. In time, five families came to dominate the role of State Administrator to each realm, based upon the family's familiarity with that state's political landscape: House Isu for the Draconis Combine, House Hughes for the Free Worlds League, House Brewer for the Lyran Commonwealth, House Ling for the Capellan Confederation, and House Green for the Federated Suns.
Periphery Administrators fulfilled a similar role in the Territorial States of the Periphery. Due to the destruction of the Reunification War, the Department of Administration had to step in and the Periphery Administrators came to represent the highest governmental authority within each of the four Periphery states. Eventually the Periphery Administrators would cede control to the local governments while retaining the right to strike down any law which would endanger Star League control of the region, and would serve as the Periphery states' representatives on the High Council, though without the right to vote. Their role would eventually be terminated with the passage of Council Directive 41.
District Administrators were assigned to each of the three districts within a member state, were supervised by the State Administrator, and traveled extensively throughout their assigned area. They also oversaw the Planetary Administrators, officials assigned to planets with a minimum population of one million, who were trained extensively in the history and protocols of their assigned worlds. These "troopers of the BSLA" were the eyes and ears of the Department, and were often the first to feel the wrath of anti-Star League hatred, leading to a number of deaths.
Department of Social RelationsEdit
The first function of the Department of Social Relations was to maintain an open, updated database of political information about the Member and Territorial states of the Star League. It was hoped this collection of treaties, agreements, political writings and other information about the different realms would promote open and honest relations. The second function, saved for when relations did break down, was to activate their Political Emergency Response Teams, trained extensively in the art of diplomacy and the background and political system of each realm and their leaders. Each of the three administrative districts in each state had several PERT teams, complete with JumpShips and DropShips, to allow a speedy response to any political crisis.
Department of Economic RelationsEdit
The Department of Economic Relations had the right to judge whether a member state was taking unfair advantage of another state or individual world, with guilty offenders facing stiff fines and embargoes. The Department also closely supervised commerce between the states, forcing companies to adhere to strict guidelines when shipping products between worlds. Those who didn't comply were barred from major ports accredited by the Star League, although many who couldn't afford to license their ships still operated illegally on the black market. An estimated nine hundred so-called "Free-Jumpers" operated within the shadows, and although their activities were not tolerated, efforts to curtail their activities were minimal, as the Department's efforts were mostly focused on the large trading companies.
The Department also worked with the SLDF's Quartermaster Command to monitor all major and minor weapons manufactures, especially since many dealt in advanced technology restricted from sale to member states. If a company was found to be in violation of the law, either organization had the right to seize control of it and all its assets.
Department of RevenueEdit
Charged with the thankless (and sometimes dangerous) task of collecting taxes, the Department of Revenue were one of the least-loved departments of the BSLA. Member states often paid their share, a percentage of their gross national product along with any other fees incurred (such as renting advanced Hegemony technology), with little to no problem. However, collecting taxes from individual planets could prove more difficult, and often the SLDF was called upon to perform vigorous and public "maneuvers" to convince recalcitrant planetary governments.
Collecting from individuals was the most difficult and dangerous duty. Revenue Agents, derisively known as Cameron's Thieves and Money Grubbers, were charged with running down the most flagrant violators, typically rich businessmen. These special tax collectors were given considerable combat training to perform their duties.
Department of Education and InformationEdit
The Department of Education and Information was created with the goal of maintaining a first-rate education system and providing free information to anyone with access to a computer or library. Executive Order 4 had been created to promote peace and understanding between the member states, and the Department was charged to fulfill that order by training and accrediting teachers from all over the Inner Sphere. The title of Teacher of the Star League became a highly-coveted privilege, especially in places where they were in short supply.
The Department also ran Prometheus Inc., a government-owned subsidy responsible for publishing books and managing almost a thousand libraries across the Star League. Putting out material designed to promote peace and understanding, Prometheus Inc. also ran a massive information database, accessible by anyone within their libraries or through a personal computer, which was located on Terra.
Department of the Attorney GeneralEdit
Charged with capturing and trying anyone accused of breaking Star League law, the Department of the Attorney General was divided into the Attorney General Command and the Judicial Command. The Attorney General Command was responsible for prosecuting suspects, though it relied heavily on the SLDF to capture them, specifically detachments of Military Police authorized to search and seize anyone suspected of breaking the law and pursuing them if they fled between member states.
Judicial Command was in charge of training judges and maintaining the system of courts used to try suspects. Regional Courts handled most criminal cases, while Appellate Courts reviewed their decisions and handled political cases between planets and member states. These Appellate Courts were often located on border worlds owned or administrated by the Terran Hegemony. The highest court was the Supreme Court, located in the District of Columbia on Terra, which handled cases too important or complex for the lower courts. It consisted of seven judges, two from the Hegemony and one from each member state, and was headed by a Chief Justice. The first Chief Justice, Iona Devorla of New Earth, was largely responsible for making the Supreme Court an independent institution, often siding with the rights of a planet's people over the wishes of the leaders of member states and Star League.
Even though the Star League would collapse after the Amaris War, the once-mighty empire had inspired many leaders to take up the cause of resurrecting the Star League. Each of the incarnations would form under different ideals or with different governments.
|Star League-In-Exile||2786 – 2801||This was the first group composed of the SLDF that fled from the Inner Sphere. They would disband after Nicholas Kerensky inherited remaining group and formed them into the Clans.|
|The Clans||2807||The descendants of the Star League who have been reformed from the Star League in Exile. The Clans would adopt a warrior-styled rule for their society and invade the Inner Sphere 250 years later.|
|Second Star League||3058 - 3067||After the Battle of Coventry, Victor Steiner-Davion would rally the rest of the Inner Sphere to reform the Star League with the intention of ending the Clan Invasion. After the defeat of the Smoke Jaguars and victory of the Great Refusal, the Second Star League would continue for seven years. The Second Star League would disband following a vote of no-confidence igniting the Word of Blake's Jihad.|
|Third Star League||3250||This third incarnation of the Star League would be created after the destruction of the Republic of the Sphere. The information of this incarnation remains unknown.|
- The Star League, p. 100 "Sociopolitical Structure - The Cameron Star"
- Era Report: 2750, p. 30 "History and Review - Star League Directives"
- The Star League, p. 99
- The Star League, p. 100
- The Star League, p. 101
- The Star League, p. 40
- The Star League, p. 102
- The Star League, p. 203
- The Star League, p. 130
- The Star League, p. 104