Maya Crisis

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The Maya Crisis was a political, social, and military insurrection in the Maya Sector of the Solarian League against the Office of Frontier Security in an attempt to establish an independent Mayan state.

Source text Edit

"Beyond the Protectorates, starting at a distance of 210 light-years or so from Sol and extending for depths of from 40 to over 200 light-years, was the region known as "the Verge." The Verge was very irregularly shaped, depending entirely on where and how colony flights were sent out, and consisted of scores of independent star systems, many of them originally colonized by people trying to get away from the Shell Systems, which could be considered the equivalent of what were called "Third World nations" in pre-Diaspora times. Individually, very few of them had populations of more than one or two billion (there were exceptions), their economies were marginal, and they had no effective military power. Many of them had all they could do to resist piractical raids and none of them had the power to resist the Office of Frontier Security and the League Gendarmerie when it came time for them to slip into protectorate status. There was a constant trickling outward from the inner edge of the Verge to the outer edge, fueled more than anything else by the desire of people along the inner edge to avoid the creeping expansion of the Protectorates. Indeed, some people living in the Verge were the descendants of ancestors who had relocated three or four or even five times in an effort to avoid involuntary incorporation into the Protectorates. Their hatred for the Office of Frontier Security - and, by extension, the rest of the League - was both bitter and intensive."
Hester McReynolds, Origins of the Maya Crisis
Ceres Press, Chicago, 2084 PD

Prelude Edit

The beginnings of the Maya Crisis date to the 18th Century PD, when it became evident to the inhabitants of the Maya Sector that the steady expansion of the Solarian League -- and the operations of the Office of Frontier Security -- would eventually come to threaten them. The two hundred years since their initial settlement at that point had done nothing to change the Mayans' minds about the oligarchical system their ancestors had escaped and they harbored no illusions about the reality behind the vaunted rhetoric of the OFS or its partners.

The Shuttlesport Conference of 1709 PD was hosted in Shuttlesport, capital of the Maya System, with almost no publicity or public notice of it despite the fundamental changes that would come as a result of it. The delegates to the conference assembled a comprehensive strategy designed to turn Maya and her trading partners into a political and economic unit. While the conference delegates never expected to transform themselves into a multi-system star nation -- at least not with enough time to create a degree of 'legitimacy' that would inspire OFS to leave them alone -- the delegates were able to forumlate a common economic strategy to bootstrap their less affluent members. At the same time, the delegates deliberately fostered a sense of the "Maya Sector" as a cultural, economic, and -- to some extent, at least -- political unit. Having carefully analyzed the reality behind the Solarian League's facade of representative government, the delegates (and their successors) began to very cautiously establish direct contact with members of the bureaucracies which truly ran the League. Meanwhile, Maya began actively courting investments by Solarian transstellars, offering attractive opportunities but putting into place local protections and controls at the same time.

The plan was successful. When the ever outward-lapping OFS tide started to arrive in their vicinity around the middle of the 1700s PD, the Maya Sector was ready. Instead of being involuntarily incorporated by the OFS, the Sector actively petitioned for Solarian "protection" in 1772, and the influence it had spent the last 60 T-years obtaining on Old Earth through judicious investment (i.e. bribery) of bureaucrats and recruitment of major transstellar sponsors meant that its petition was granted very much on its own terms. That petition was a simple bargain. Basically, it was a deal with two devils. Maya would accept a OFS administration, but unlike a typical Verge protectorate, the citizens of the Maya Sector would retain local self-government and any sector governor (not a commissioner) appointed by OFS would have to be confirmed (accepted) by a majority of the Sector's voters. It was understood that OFS would levy the usual "administrative fees" on the Mayan economy, since those "administrative fees" represented a substantial chunk of the League's revenue stream in light of the constitutional prohibition of any form of direct taxation by the central government. At the same time, Maya had built an unusually comfortable relationship with the League's transstellars, which provided the "second devil" of their bargain. There was substantial local investment and ownership in most of those transstellars: local Solarian managers were often Mayan-born, and even those who had been transferred into Maya by their employers tended to become more Mayan than Solarian and settled comfortably into the local population; the corporate masters of those transstellars had discovered that Maya was actually considerably more profitable for them, in the long run, than the sort of "slash and burn" exploitation which was the norm in the Verge. They recognized that they had a good thing going for them in Maya and used their own contacts with the League bureaucracy to protect their own perceived interests in the Sector. As a consequence, the Sector wielded an enormous amount of influence back on Old Earth for a collection of mere eight Verge star systems.

Despite all of those protections, however, the Maya Sector was well aware that its degree of local autonomy existed on sufferance. A steady Mayan public relations effort on Old Earth helped to bolster a public perception of the Maya Sector as one of the jewels in OFS's crown, which would make it more difficult for OFS to unilaterally abrogate the agreement which had granted that local autonomy, but no one who had watched Solarian bureaucrats in action could feel any huge degree of confidence in them. Moreover, despite the Sector's "interest" with members of the bureaucracy, and despite the protection of its transstellar "partners," the "administrative fees" being charged against the Sector's economy steadily rose as a percentage of its combined Gross System Products.

In 1911 PD, 200 years after the Shuttlesport Conference, the Maya Sector, while well aware of how fortunate it had been, was beginning to chafe under the increasingly heavy hand of OFS' "administrative fees." Moreover, OFS' exploitation of other Verge systems had become progressively uglier over that same two centuries, and despite its own protected position, Maya didn't like what it was seeing. In fact, in many ways, the Maya Sector had become a breeding ground for subversively-minded people who didn't much care for their nominal Solarian overlords.

The significance of 1911 PD lay in the fact that it was in that year that Oravil Barregos was first nominated as OFS' governor for the Maya Sector. He was confirmed by a narrow margin in the 1912 PD referendum on his appointment. In 1917 PD, he was reconfirmed for a second five-year term with 68% of the vote. In 1920 PD, despite strenuous efforts by OFS to campaign against their own official "nominee" he won reconfirmation by a majority of 76%. (tech bible)

Course of the crisisEdit


See also Edit


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