The United Republic of Mars and Martian Colonies, also known as the United Republic or simply Mars, is a sovereign multi-species astropolity located on Mars in the Sol system, and also in various territories across the Solarian Reaches, Alpha Quadrant, and Delta Quadrant. It is the second largest nation on the planet of Mars, covering much of the southern hemisphere, and one of the largest nations based in the Sol system. The UR's capital is Laconia City, and its three largest metropolitan areas are Hypatia City, Port Anseris, and Takoma.
Laconia City was founded as a research settlement in the Anseris Basin during the First Migration of the 2020s and 2030s. The settlement declared independence in 2053 with the 'Laconian Declaration', and established itself as a neutral city-state on Mars. From the 2050s on, the small settlement grew rapidly into a sprawling urban centre that dominated the Anseris Basin. In 2075, Laconians established the First Martian Conglomerate with the 'Acts of Union', comprised of a few interstellar colonies. This colonial empire doubled in size and was reformed into the Second Martian Conglomerate in 2135. A tumultuous era followed with the rise of terrorism and rebellions, with the nation suffering two civil wars, the Colonial Wars (2153-2170) and the Great War (2175-2177). In 2177, the Second Conglomerate collapsed and was replaced by an interim government that later established the United Republic in 2180.
The United Republic is a federal constitutional republic and representative democracy with a Secretary-General as its head-of-state, and a President as its head-of-government who is also the President of the nation's legislature, the National Assembly. The United Republic is a founding member of the Martian Commonwealth (MARCOM), an economic union of its territories, and of the Lakon 5, an international economic trade-bloc. The nation is also a member of the Solarian 8 security and economic organisation, the Martian Forum - a diplomatic organisation representing nations on Mars, and a bilateral member of the SOLSTART strategic arms proliferation treaty with the Menelmacar Ascendancy.
One of the first settlements on Mars, Laconia was established in 2030 as a research outpost within the Anseris Basin on the edge of the modern day Hellas Sea. The settlement was a part of an international program from Earth to study Mars' geography and climate to determine the viability of a future terraformation project. For the next two decades, the settlement gradually grew, with its population being mostly scientists, engineers, and other workers. The political situation on Mars became more robust as other nations began to lay claim to the land surrounding Laconia. In order to remain neutral, Laconia's top officials made the 'Laconian Declaration', effectively declaring independence, and established the Directorate of Laconia.
The Directorate governed the newly independent city-state during a period of large migrations that greatly expanded the city's population. However, with limited land to expand into, Laconia quickly became one of the most densely populated settlements on the planet. Laconia's first exploration vessels were sent beyond Sol in the 2060s, and the city-state's first interstellar colonies were founded in the early 2070s. Laconia and its colonies were subsequently reformed into the First Conglomerate in 2075, placing the city-state as the hegemon of a small, but growing mercantile empire during an Era of Prosperity (2075-2135).
By 2110, after annexing its first non-human astropolity, the nation had already tripled in both size and population. The nation continued to greatly expand during this period, establishing or annexing territories in all four quadrants of the galaxy. As the nation grew larger, the government also grew more complex. A colonial assembly was established in the Senate, and the nation's first Monarch, known as a Sovereign, was elected by the Senate in 2115.
The nation encompassed nearly a trillion people by 2130, but had suffered an economic decline for the last decade. Political issues in the government and abroad forced Sovereign Agatha I to launch reforms, establishing the Second Conglomerate in 2135, and ending the Era of Prosperity. Rebellions throughout the 2140s further exacerbated colonial tensions as the economy continued to slide. The Great Crash of 2150 devastated the nation's economy, forcing corporate colonies to be abandoned around the galaxy. This sparked further unrest and rebellion that culminated into the Colonial Wars (2153-2170).
A Conglomerate victory ended the wars in 2170, but left a struggling national economy, colonial resentment, terrorism, and political turmoil in its wake. A failed coup in 2172, by the Camerata against the Sovereign, created a power vacuum in the Senate, which was later taken advantage of in 2175 with the assassination of Agatha IV. The resulting civil war, known as the the Great War (2175-2177), ensured the collapse of the Second Conglomerate, with the nation being forced to make significant reparations and territorial cessions. By 2177, the Conglomerate had lost all of its Gamma and Beta colonies.
An interim government was created in the wake of the Great War under the autocratic leadership of Empress Nerys Harlow, the former Grand Admiral and commander of the Martian Conglomerate Navy. Empress Harlow focused on establishing a new national government over Mars and its remaining colonies, and launched significant democratic, social, and economic reforms that helped bring the nation out of its recession in what became known as the 'Martian Miracle'. In 2180, the Harlovian Accords were signed which founded the United Republic and established the nation's first democratically elected administration.
The United Republic is described as a federal constitutional republic and representative democracy that embraces good government, moderate political ideology, and liberalism as founding principles. The nation has a bill of rights and promotes egalitarian policies, fair justice, and equal representation of its constituents.
At the federal level, the nation's central government is led by three branches with an executive, legislative, and judicial branch, which all have specified duties and powers as outlined in the nation's constitution. Power is further divided between the federal government and its administrative divisions, allowing a great deal of autonomy within the nation's borders.
The head-of-state and chief executive of the executive branch is the Secretary-General, who is popularly elected every four years. The Secretary-General's duties include acting as Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, appointing a cabinet of advisers known as the Secretariat, form executive departments and committees, appointing up to three justices, working with the Security Council to manage the nation's security, representing the nation in diplomacy, signing bills into law, wielding veto power over the legislature, and setting national policy. Term limits are imposed on the Secretary-General limiting them to only two terms, or a total of eight years in office.
The head-of-government and chief administrator of the legislative branch is the President of the Assembly, who is appointed by the National Assembly to a tenure of three years. The President's duties include convening and adjourning the assembly, tabling legislation for debate or a vote, representing the assembly, appointing up to three justices, managing and overseeing debates and votes in the chambers of the assembly, and managing government affairs as a mediator between delegates. The President is also limited to two terms, or a total of six years.
The legislative branch is comprised of the National Assembly, with elected delegates serving two years, and representing their respective regions. Each delegate is allowed one vote, but can propose and debate legislation in the Assembly. Other duties and powers of the legislature include the ability to declare war, approve and manage treaties negotiated by the executive, manage the nation's finances including taxes and tariffs, appoint a President, form committees and commissions, create and pass legislation, raise national forces, perform impeachment procedures, and override the General-Secretary. In all, there are three hundred delegates, two from each stellarate, in the National Assembly, with one-third coming up for election every two years.
The judicial branch is led by the Supreme Court of the United Republic (SCOTUR), headed by a panel of federal justices known as the Justice Committee. In total, there are seven justices, three are appointed by the Secretary-General, and three are appointed by the President. The final justice, known as the Chief Justice, is nominated by the Secretary-General but approved by the National Assembly. Justices serve life-terms.
The government exercises a checks-and-balances system between the three branches, with the General-Secretary able to veto legislation that comes to their desk from the National Assembly, the Assembly able to override the General-Secretary, and the SCOTUR able to provide pro-active and reactive judicial review of legislation and directives conducted by the Assembly and General-Secretary.
The nation's federal structure allows the formation of regional governments in the nation's administrative divisions known as 'stellarates' across the United Republic's expanse. Under the nation's constitution, power is divided between the federal government and these stellarates, which are led by Stellarate-Governors. There a total of one hundred and fifty stellarates in the United Republic.
The United Republic's constitution is the supreme law in the nation, consisting of written text and unwritten conventions. The nation's judiciary, that is, the SCOTUR, plays an integral role in the nation's law process by interpreting the constitution and these conventions and establishing judicial policy. SCOTUR is the supreme court and final arbiter in the judicial system, with lower circuit and appellate courts subservient to SCOTUR decisions.
SCOTUR's power allows it to immediately strike down any legislation in the works with the National Assembly, and any executive directive made by the Secretary-General that it deems unconstitutional in a process known as 'pro-active judicial review'. It also has a reactive role, interpreting law and cases as they came to it. SCOTUR also has the power to formally try any federal officers that have had articles of impeachment passed against them.
The United Republic adheres to a Common Law system, with Criminal Law solely being a federal responsibility. Law enforcement and criminal courts are the responsibility of stellarates, conducted by colonial marshals and local law enforcement with the exception of interstellar space and stations, which fall under federal jurisdiction. Other cases of federal jurisdiction include terrorism, rebellion, other acts of sedition, federal crimes, or crimes that cross stellarate boundaries into more than one stellarate. The State Guard is the national police force with federal authority which can, when needed, override local law enforcement in cases that fall under its jurisdiction.
Foreign Relations and Military
The United Republic is a regional power that promotes open dialogue and diplomacy with foreign astropolities and manages a diplomatic corps with this express purpose in mind. This diplomatic corps is a part of the Office of Foreign Affairs, a department of the executive branch, and is comprised of appointed ambassadors and other officials that regularly meet with foreign diplomats, and manage embassies in foreign astropolities.
The United Republic's foreign policy is based on securing its interests in regions around its territory with its main focus on national defence. To this end, the United Republic frequently participates in international peace-keeping operations around its volume, and maintains a sizeable interstellar navy to ensure it can exert its authority within and around its territory. The United Republic is a member of a number of international organisations, chiefly as a founding member of the Solarian 8 security organisation, the Martian Forum - a diplomatic organisation representing nations on Mars, the Lakon 5 economic pact, the Martian Commonwealth - an economic union within the UR, and is a bilateral member of the SOLSTART strategic arms proliferation treaty with the Menelmacar Ascendancy.
The United Republic is a major importer of raw resources and goods, including luxuries, while exporting technologies such as nanotech, artificial intelligence architecture, cybernetics technology, and FTL navigational systems. The nation is described as having a robust service industry with much of the economy being automated by machines, while also having a large manufacturing sector to import technological goods and services. This has led to a large mercantile empire dominated by Martian trade, which has necessitated a large military to safeguard it as it moves along the nation's many domestic and international trade-routes.
The military arm of the United Republic is the United Republic Armed Forces, which is led by the United Republic Security Council under the Secretary-General. The Armed Forces' role is to provide for the national defence against foreign and domestic threats, patrol interstellar trade routes, perform anti-piracy operations, and secure the nation's interests abroad. The Martian Navy is the central pillar to these goals and is the largest and most heavily funded military branch in the Armed Forces with the Marine Corps being the second largest and main ground combat force.
The United Republic's military doctrine focuses on naval supremacy and projection and avoids long drawn out engagements involving planetary invasions. To this end, the United Republic favours decisive naval engagements and surgical strike capabilities to cripple enemy war efforts and pacify enemy resistance. Because of this, the United Republic is limited to its force contingent in the Sol system on behalf of the SOLSTART treaty to ensure a balance of power with the Menelmacar Ascendancy. The Martian Expeditionary Perimeter, however, is a major defensive component to the United Republic's defence strategy in and around Sol, where the SOLSTART treaty does not apply.
This perimeter is routinely patrolled by Martian warships and dominated by hundreds of military outposts, giving the United Republic the ability to closely monitor trade traffic coming into the Solarian Reaches. Many of the nation's important anchorages exist within the MEP, allowing it to maintain a sizeable presence in the region and conduct anti-piracy operations that threaten trade-routes.
The United Republic's economy is dominated by automation with much of its industry being wholly or partially managed by machines. The nation has a booming service and manufacturing industry that provides technological exports to neighbouring states and trade partners. And it manages an extensive trade network with its stellarates as a part of the Martian Commonwealth. The average income of Martians as of 2180, was £42,283 MSP with a total GDP of £20 quadrillion, roughly $12 quadrillion USD based on the Uniform Standard Denominator calculation of the galaxy's currencies.
The nation's industry is mostly concentrated in and around the Martian Delta, with Hypatia City being the astropolity's economic centre. Among the nation's manufactured goods, it creates and exports a number of cutting-edge and easily available technologies and technological products from nanotechnology to artificial intelligence architecture. The northern part of the Martian Delta, near Takoma, is dominated by an extraction economy providing the nation with raw resources, and feeding its manufacturing capabilities.
Since 2180, the United Republic has experienced an economic boom thanks in large part to the change in demographics. Resettlement programs helped consolidate the UR's territory which drove greater urbanisation in the colonial regions following the Great War. This urbanisation, with other major economic reforms such as extensive infrastructure spending, helped expand the economy and drive the creation of businesses and innovation throughout the region.