Brought to you by popular demand, the next entry in the Exile: Into the Dark Waters Historical Database: The Second Interbellum.
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Category: History, Selected Article: #38
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* * *The Second Interbellum
The Decline of the FederationThe Martian War ended in a draw, but its aftermath was far more consequential to the Federation than one would have expected. A peace initiative undertaken by Martian leaders was taken as an insult by the Earth regime as well as by the military units under Admirals Walker and Rossendarch, both of whom insisted on continuing the war. Open and successful opposition to the EFN agenda by Mars encouraged Earth's less radical parties to demand political reforms such as restoring GTA-era individual liberties and restraining internal security services from persecuting their own citizens. Mass protests broke out in New York, Shanghai, Hong Kong, and other major cities on Earth, but they were brutally pacified by police and military alike. The government responded with more radical propaganda, greater restrictions on freedom of speech and even more government surveillance of the civilian population. In October 2352, a year after the Hesperian Armistice, the EFN had become a fully totalitarian regime where every aspect of life and the economy was controlled by a paranoid, fascist government.
The direction of EFN policy was another reason for further tensions between Earth and Mars. The assorted provincial governments of Mars concentrated their efforts on fighting the Xanthean cataclysm, clearing the atmosphere of the nanobots, decontaminating the Martian environment, and providing humanitarian aid to the residents of the most vulnerable areas. EFN-aligned Martians had no problem working with the governments of pro-Syndicate provinces or even accepting aid from the ORS itself to clean up the Xanthean disaster.
No dictatorship could remain in power without directing social anger against an enemy -- real or imagined. In August 2354, the government in Shanghai nationalized Triton Dynamics and arrested their board members officially for fraud and tax evasion, but the real reason was because the corporation supported the Hesperian Armistice and cooperated with ORS rescue and decontamination teams.
This policy of full centralization and terror adversely affected Earth’s economy. In December 2354, following the nationalization of Mesa Corporation, the stock markets collapsed and resulted in Earth’s greatest recession in 120 years. The political officers and statesmen that replaced corporate management made a series of tragic mistakes and military production began to drop.
In order to save the EFN from total economic collapse, Admiral Walker announced martial law throughout EFN territory and gave power to a new government comprised entirely of military officers and technocrats loyal only to him. They began a purge in the EFN administration, arrested politicians and statesmen responsible for previous disastrous policy and sentenced them to death or imprisonment in show trials. They restored some of the previous more liberal corporate laws, but they didn't end the persecution and government surveillance of civilians. The economic crisis in the EFN ended in 2358, but even then, the Federation hadn’t regained its former vitality. Admiral Walker continued to be the strongest force in EFN politics while Admiral Rossendarch focused on reorganizing the 3rd Martian Fleet and his own secret military projects.
Throughout the 2360s, the ORS was the dominant faction in Sol and the EFN's influence was restricted to Earth, Luna, the central provinces of Mars and several outposts on Mercury and Venus. However, as the economic situation on Earth began to slowly improve, Admiral Walker's agents in the EFN government began a new fleet construction program, introducing new ship classes like the EFC
Viscount, the EFFg
Vidar and the EFD
Talos, the latter of which was specifically designed to confront the Syndicate’s
Galahad-class heavy destroyers in close combat.
Meanwhile, in the Outer Rim, seeing the EFN’s weak but improving economy as an opportunity that could soon slip away, the Syndicate began preparations in early 2367 for a preemptive strike to bring the Federation to its knees once and for all.
To be continued in...Operation Mjolnir (Part 1)!