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|Star Kingdom of Manticore|
|Form of Government||Constitutional Monarchy|
|Official language||Standard English|
|Head of State||Monarch|
|Head of Government|| Monarch (formal)|
Prime Minister (customary)
|Senior Military Commander||First Space Lord|
|Executive Branch||Royal Council|
|Legislative Branch|| Parliament|
|Military|| Royal Manticoran Navy|
Royal Manticoran Army
Royal Manticoran Marine Corps
The binary Manticore System was located 512 light-years to the Galactic north of the Sol System and Earth. It contained three habitable planets: Gryphon, Sphinx, and the capital planet Manticore. (HH1)
For most of its history, the Star Kingdom was a single-system nation. However, from the 19th Century PD onwards it began to incorporate new systems for strategic reasons, mostly to control the termini of the Manticore Wormhole Junction, and eventually at the request of those systems' own populations and governments. (HH9, CS1)
As of 1922 PD the Star Kingdom of Manticore comprised 7 star systems, beside protectorates.
Member worlds Edit
So far the Star Kingdom of Manticore comprised five member worlds in:
- the Manticore Binary System (capital system):
- Manticore (capital world)
- The Manticore Wormhole Junction's central node was also located in the neighborhood.
- the Trevor's Star System - San Martin – act of annexation passed by Parliament in 1914 PD, the Republic of Haven formally ceded all claims to sovereignty in the peace treaty of 1922 PD (HH9 - HH12)
- The Trevor's Star Terminus was also located in the neighborhood
Other wormhole termini Edit
The Star Kingdom controlled four star systems because of Manticore Wormhole termini located in the neighborhood:
- the Basilisk System with the Basilisk Terminus – annexed following terminus' discovery in 1865 PD, (HHA3.1: MMH, HH1)
- the uninhabitable Gregor-A component of the Gregor Binary System with the Gregor Terminus – seized before 1856 PD
- the uninhabitable Matapan System with the Matapan Terminus, (Companion)
- the uninhabitable MQ-L-1792-46A System with the Lynx Terminus – claimed in 1919 PD.
Termini without claimed worlds included the Hennesy Terminus and the Beowulf Terminus. In these cases, Manticore held sovereignty over the immediate space around the termini themselves, but made arrangements to share with the host systems in both the transit fees generated by the termini and the costs of operating and defending them.
There were a few uninhabited systems claimed for RMN stations purposes, like:
- the Hancock System with Hancock Station - since 1901 PD
- the Grendelsbane System with the Grendelsbane Station - established before 1905 PD, destroyed in 1919 PD
- the Elric System with the Elric Station - destroyed in 1914 PD
- planet Medusa in the Basilisk System - internal protectorate since 1865 PD
- the Endicott System with the planet Masada - military occupation since 1903 PD (HH2, HH5)
- seventeen worlds of the Talbott Cluster - temporary protectorate in 1919-1921 PD (HH12, SI2)
- a part of the former Silesian Confederacy - de facto protectorate since 1921 PD - authority based on the powers taken over from the central Confederate government (HH10, HH11, SI2)
Founding of the colony Edit
The original colonists of the colonial company Manticore Colony, LTD left Earth on October 24, 775 PD aboard the sub-light hibernation ship Jason. The colonial expedition was arranged by over 50,000 people, originating from various regions of Earth. About sixty percent came from Western Europe, most of the others from North America and the Caribbean. The expedition also included a small group of Ukrainians.
Jason's journey lasted 640.5 T-years, though for the colonists it were only 384 subjective years due to time dilation. As was common with Dr. Pineau's hibernation technology, the colonists were woken seven times to refit their condition.
To ensure that Manticore would remain unoccupied when Jason arrived, all information about the Manticoran System was safely deposited in Earth's maximum security databanks. Also, the colonists' leader, Roger Winton, had founded the Manticore Colony Trust (MCT), which invested the remaining money (after dispatching the expedition there was about one billion EuroDollars left) and uses the interest to look after Manticore for its colonists.
The Jason arrived in the Manticoran system on March 21, 1416 PD. However, the colonists were surprised to find human habitation on Manticore. Fortunately, it was a base paid from the MCT, including four frigates guarding the system from pirates and illegal habitants.
The Great Plague Edit
Manticore was one of few star systems where an alien virus existed which was capable of attacking humans. The primary exploration company, Franchot et Fils, had failed to discover the presence of this virus. There were speculations that the virus has mutated between Manticore's discovery and colonization or that the colonists have brought the virus aboard Jason. The virus caused respiratory infections similar to influenza and pneumonia. It had a high mortality rate, killing off 60% of the population before a vaccine was developed in 1496 PD. (SK1)
Founding of the Star Kingdom Edit
With the colony floundering, Manticore desperately needed new blood. The surviving original colonists however feared to lose control over their own colony if thousands of new colonists arrived, so, before opening Manticore to immigration, they rewrote the Constitution and established a constitutional monarchy.
Roger Winton, Colonial Administrator for over fifty years, was old and his wife and both sons had died from the Plague, but his daughter Elizabeth had survived and had her own children. Both Elizabeth and Roger were successful officers and proved themselves in the service for the colony many times. The orginal colonists therefore elected the Winton family as the Royal House of Manticore, with Roger Winton becoming the first King of the new Star Kingdom of Manticore.
Roger I was crowned on August 1, 1485 PD, but died 1489 PD. Elizabeth Winton took over power and became Elizabeth I. The House of Winton ruled Manticore continuously since that time.
The original colonists and their descendants, who were owners of large estates over Manticore acquired noble titles and became the first hereditary aristocracy of the new Star Kingdom of Manticore. (UHH)
Immigration Policy Edit
The new wave of immigrants that arrived after the Plague consisted of three different classes. Every immigrant obtained a credit of value equal to a 2nd class-ship ticket price from the Solarian League to Manticore.
This credit would be converted into an equivalent piece of land on a planet's surface or as a share in some orbital industry. Most of the immigrants decided for estate, but a few smartly invested into industry. During the Manticoran industrial boom, the value of these enterprises grew enormously.
Every passenger capable of paying for the flight to Manticore himself or herself had after arrival had at his or her disposal the full credit. For those who couldn't, they could draw a loan from the MCT. Immigrants who had funds greater than the cost of the ticket also had the opportunity to put their money into estates or industry while paying only half-price of the real value of the shares. Thus, these richest immigrants became the secondary shareholders and their holdings were often as large as those of primary shareholders. The size of their property authorized them to acquire noble patents, but with a lower status then primary colonists.
Modest immigrants, who retained their base land credit but could not afford to purchase much more became yeomen, and after one Manticoran year (1.73 standard Terran years) received right to vote.
Those who required loans from the MCT (the "zero-balancers") obtained citizenship after they were able to pay taxes for five Manticoran years, or 8.7 T-years.
All citizens had equal rights guaranteed by the constitution, whether one had voting rights or not. However, shareholders, yeomen and zero-balancers formed distinct social groups. These differences survived into modern times, as people whose ancestors were yeomen or even shareholders, were respected much more than descendants of poor immigrants.
After making up the losses from the Plague, this system was abolished and Manticore returned to a more traditional immigration policy.
Native sentient species Edit
The Star Kingdom of Manticore is unique in having two native sentient species on its planets.
After the discovery of a wormhole junction with several termini in 1585 PD, the Star Kingdom's gross system product rose rapidly due to the vast amount of interstellar commerce going through. By 1900 PD, the GSP was seventy-eight percent that of the Sol System. (HH1)
Gryphon Uprising Edit
Occurring in 1721 PD, the Gryphon Uprising was the only armed internal conflict in Manticoran history. Gryphon was the least amicable planet of the system and was colonized last. The Crown, in order of to support immigration declared that after reaching a stated population number, the district would be divided between the colonists.
The required population was reached in 1715 PD and the Crown began to divide the range and assign titles of nobility. However, the yeomen, hopeful about becoming independent, complained about bribery, coercion, threats, and violence, all aimed at expanding a noble's claims. For two years, shooting incidents ran rampant, until the Royal Manticoran Army pacified the planet and a special committee oversaw a strictly regulated privatization.
At least some reluctance between the offspring of the primary shareholders and the immigrants survived to the 20th Century PD.
Annexation of Basilisk Edit
The Basilisk System was located approximately 210 light-years to the galactic north of Manticore. In 260 AL, a sixth terminus to the Manticore Wormhole Junction was discovered, located in that system. Basilisk had a single habitable, and it was surprising to learn, inhabited, world which was called Medusa.
To secure the terminus, Manticore annexed the system under the Act of Annexation.
There was fierce Manticoran internal debate over the annexation. After a few years of political frictions between the "sticklers" (King Roger III, the Centrists and the Crown Loyalists) and their opponents (the Liberals and the Progressives), the Star Kingdom declared a protectorate over Medusa and guaranteed the rights of the local natives. To achieve this, a political compromise proved necessary, resulting in a muddled military and political landscape that caused trouble immediately and large troubles later.
The decision to annex Basilisk eventually proved correct as it twice became target of the People's Republic of Haven's military expansion. The First Battle of Basilisk occurred in 1900 PD, a few years before the First Havenite-Manticoran War broke out; Second Basilisk was part of a larger Havenite offensive called Operation Icarus in 1913 PD.
In 278 AL, Parliament amended Section 10, Subsection 3 of the Commercial Regulations, requiring any commercial transfer of goods in Manticore space to be inspected.
Alliance with Grayson Edit
In 1903 PD, Manticore started to send money and supplies to the planet Grayson in the nearby Yeltsin's Star System in an effort to gain another ally against Haven. Admiral Raoul Courvosier was sent as a diplomatic envoy with a convoy of merchant vessels filled with supplies along with a small naval squadron as escort.
One of the agreements between the two nations was that Manticore would get basing rights at Yeltsin's Star, and build facilities in the system that would be shared with Grayson with a permanent security detachment. (HH2)
Original Constitutional GovernmentEdit
The constitutional monarchy system worked well for the first five T-centuries thanks to a high proportion of capable monarchs, a continuously growing population, and after discovery of the Junction a very fortunate commercial position. The Constitution contained a clearly defined Declaration of Human Rights, though the right to vote was applicable to citizens who had been paying taxes for five Manticoran years. Policies encouraging immigration were stopped fifty years after their declaration.
The Star Kingdom had a bicameral Parliament, consisting of the upper House of Lords and the lower House of Commons. Both houses had the power of self-veto (one was able to cancel resolutions of the other). The monarch, whose office was orderly marked as the Crown, also had the power of veto and could introduce legislation.
Before the rise of the Grantville government and the major reforms creating the Star Empire of Manticore, each House enjoyed privileges key to the balance of power. The Lords had the exclusive right to introduce finance bills, and the Commons had the right to confirm patents of nobility issued by the Crown. Conversely, the Commons could block finance bills; the Lords could block a peer from its rolls, though it did this as a rare punishment.
Members of Parliament in the Commons won seats via elections required to be held every four years, with few exceptions. Elections also affected the Lords. New peers could not become members if the Lords' roster had grown by 10 percent since the last election; shifts in the Commons could facilitate blocking bills from the Lords; and a major defeat at the polls could devastate the government's credibility, leading to a new regime.
The role of managing government services in the Star Kingdom was handled by the Royal Council, informally called the Cabinet. The Cabinet comprised of the Prime Minister, individual ministers, the Lord Prince Seal and the Heir of the Throne, with the current monarch presiding. The Crown reigned over the Star Kingdom through the Cabinet, but the monarch mostly listened to the advice of his or her ministers.
The Prime Minister was traditionally a member of the House of Lords, and had to maintain a majority in that house; a majority in the House of Commons was also advisable, though not necessary. (HH9) The Prime Minister and the Cabinet set the economic, financial, and foreign policy. The crown could also suggest what the national budget should be. The budget had to be agreed on by both Houses.
The Crown had the power to grant amnesty and commute punishment. With the approval of the House of Lords, it designated ministers and judges. The Crown could expound Constitutional law by its delegates in the Royal Court if not being vetoed by both Houses.
The Queen's Bench was a high court of law, and the Admiralty Court oversaw vessel salvages, seizures, and captures. The Crown enjoyed the most unchecked power via the judiciary, as unlike ministers (who served at the Prime Minister's pleasure, with Crown consent and parliamentary oversight), judges served the monarch directly and answered to parliament only in the confirmation process and rarely afterward.
The Manticoran monarch, as with most monarchies, can be deposed for committing a crime or losing the ability to reign, as for instance through mental or physical disability. However, the Manticoran system went further: an investigation on the Monarch could be started for any reason, including allegations of high crimes, if two-thirds of the House of Commons agreed. The House of Lords itself could not initiate such an investigation.
Lastly, to ensure that the Crown does not become out of touch with the people, the heir to the throne can marry only a commoner. History contained at least a few cases where the heir involuntarily ended a relationship with a noble, though most monarchs kept tabs on their children and discouraged dalliances with aristocrats.
Internal Policy Edit
The Executive Branch was originally intended to be the Royal Council, but developments caused changes. The authors of the Constitution did not appear to intend to give many executive powers to the Crown, but Elizabeth I proved to be a very cunning politician, realized that the Manticoran Lords were becoming spokesmen for various interest groups than national statesmen, and essentially hijacked executive power from them.
By deft political maneuvering, she set precedents which gave her unquestioned control over the composition of the Royal Council and even approval of the Prime Minister. For instance, the Crown could not be forced to nominate anyone to the Royal Council against its will. Through such techniques, the Crown was from a figurehead to a strong, though limited, executive leader.
Over time, the nobility lost a significant share of the practical power the founders had intended to secure for their descendants. Monarchs often relied on strong ties with the Commons to keep the Lords in check. Peers opposed to the Crown's primacy formed political parties against what they saw as a usurpation.
Manticoran Political PartiesEdit
The political parties that emerged were based on old personal factions, but they differed in their ideological visions. They strengthened their structure and power for some time and began to find allies in the House of Commons. The leaders of the parties were almost always from the Lords.
The six major parties in existence around 1910 PD were:
- Centrist Party — Strongest in the Commons, it backed laissez faire economics, maximum military readiness, fiscal restraint and moderate views on social and individual liberty issues. Grew to become chief advocates of foreign alliances, defense pacts and, eventually, expansionism.
- Crown Loyalist Party — Dedicated to the leadership of the monarch and whatever policies he or she favored. As monarchs usually favored the Commons, and thus the Centrists, the CLP usually partnered with them.
- Liberal Party — Pacifist in nature, it opposed foreign adventurism and a strong military, while advocating redistribution of wealth and a stronger welfare state at home. Fractured after 1920 PD, with a new faction broadly abandoning pacifism and backing Centrist foreign policy.
- Progressive Party — Sometimes in agreement with the Centrists on economic and social issues, but suspicious of a strong military and foreign commitments, tending to disregard interstellar issues.
- New Men Party — Mercenary and unpredictable, its members tended to ally with the faction which offered it the largest political influence, though they generally favored protecting and expanding the influence of the Lords, where they sought whenever possible to be kingmakers.
- Conservative Association — Reactionary and elitist, they had virtually no backing in the Commons and upheld the political and social primacy of the aristocracy. Isolationist on foreign policy, though willing to back a strong military to protect their isolation. For this reason, a sometime Centrist coaliton partner.
Significant personal or professional feats, particularly in military service, could lead to a Manticoran subject's anointment as a knight in various orders, which also offered simple membership without knighthood for lesser achievements.
Most of these orders' members and knights wore ceremonial decorations and clothing at formal occasions. Except among family and close friends, or for nobles who held higher ranking titles, knights were always addressed as, for example, Sir John or, for women, Dame Honor. Knights, unlike nobles, did not pass their titles on to their heirs.
Among the knightly and other orders of distinction were:
- Order of the Star Kingdom
- Order of Merit
- Order of King Roger
- Order of Queen Elizabeth I
- Order of the Golden Lion
Interstellar Law Edit
The Star Kingdom was a signatory of the Cherwell Convention against genetic slavery, which it vigorously and consistently upheld with deadly force. It originated the Equipment Corollary — as slavers frequently ejected human cargo into space to destroy evidence, this authorized slaver crews caught without cargo to be summarily executed.
All major star nations regarded piracy as a crime punishable by death, though Manticoran officers often did not execute captured piracy suspects on the first offense, preferring instead to jail them or deliver them to local authorities for that purpose. However, any pirate captured a second time could expect to be shot and ejected out an airlock.
Some governments, particularly Silesia and the Solarian League, coddled or overlooked pirates and slavers or corrupt officers who enabled them, to the Star Kingdom's chagrin.
- ↑ Under the military administration of Gregor System Defense Command, RMN. Space station present. (HH6)
- ↑ Originally the same provisions concerned the Trevor's Star Terminus.
- ↑ Provisional Governor of the Talbott Cluster for the Star Kingdom of Manticore established. Talbott Cluster's worlds were united later as the Talbott Quadrant, a member of the Star Empire of Manticore.
- ↑ Pending possible "federalization" as a member state of the Star Empire of Manticore
- ↑ The Star Kingdom pursued a policy of annexing termini as a security measure. Though it had become policy after the Junction was discovered, there was an extra emphasis on this policy due to the growing Havenite threat.