Looking Back

Officially, the war has been over for scant months and already dozens of so-called historical treatments of the Federated Commonwealth Civil War have been published throughout the Inner Sphere, with literally thousands more articles; doc umentaries and other media clamoring for the attention of historians and students alike. As I write this, battles are still waging on more than a dozervof planets in both the Federated Suns and the Lyran Alliance, and that doesn't 6ven begm to lake into account the continued action in the Clan Occupation Zone, the Chaos March and even the so-called Tikonov Reaches.

Pessimists called the Civil War inevitable, Optimists called it the worst quality of humanity. Spiritualists see it as evil incarnate. Bui we historians see It as Just another cycle. Anyone who takes looks back through the annals of humanity will see a trend of war and peace. Well, relative peace, at least. Politicians ran call it what they will. Liberals can blame it on the conservative "war-mongers" while conservatives lay the cause at the feet of the "panty-walst liberal compromisers," but when all is said and done, it's just another cycle. Like the great storms of Nahoni which come and go with almost clock-like regularity, war on a tremendously grand scale has returned to the Inner Sphere, the likes of which hasn't been seen since the fall of the Star League.

That is not to say that wars happen for the sake of happening. No, there indeed is a cause and effect relationship. But we can't predict with any certainty just why a war will happen ten, twenty, thirty or even a hundred years from now. The terrible truth that all historians have to live with is that, while humanity Is destined to repeat their mistakes, all we can truly rely upon is 20/20 hindsight.

But you, the kind readers, are probably not interested in the rambllngs of this humble historian on the nature of his profession.

To say that the Federated Commonwealth Civil War radically altered the course of humanity and drastically changed the lives of trillions is stating the obvious. The war Impacted the life of every inhabitant of the Inner Sphere and the near Periphery In some way. Combat units hailing from just about every nation were involved in some sort of fighting either directly or indirectly related to the Civil War. Conservative estimates indicate thai as many as 70 percent of the people in the Inner Sphere or near Periphery lost a relative or friend in the fighting. It may be known as the Federated Commonwealth Civil War, but it encompassed so much more than just that former mega-nation.

As with any war, the genesis of the conflict lies deep within layer upon layer of politics and intrigue. The average person would say that it happened because Prince Victor forced his sister to secede the Lyran state or that Katherine Steiner-Davion was a power-hungry despot who killed tier mother and usurped her brother (depending upon the person's point of view). The educated person might say that its genesis lies much further back than that, however. While some will urguc that it goes all the way back to the days of Lucien Davion or the Marsdens, or to the evil of Stephan Amaris, most agree that the first embers of the Federated Commonwealth Civil War were lit with the marriage of Hanse Davion and Melissa Stelncr.

What I will attempt to do here is briefly describe Ihc events leading up to the beginning of the Civil War. So while I will not delve into the intricate details ot the history of the Federated Commonwealth—after all, there are more than enough works that already cover thai era I will provide a summary of the major events and sweep irig movements that most directly led to the Civil War. Hopefully, with this brief primer

in 2541, laws that were specifically included in the Federated-Commonwealth Alliance Document when signed in 3022. Moreover, before an individual can become Archon-Prince of the Federated Commonwealth (and by extension Supreme Marshal of the AFFC), that individual must serve a minimum of five years within the AFFC. As she had never served in the military of either nation, Katherine Steiner-Davion could not legally assume that role.

Nevertheless, she began to use the title of First Princess (a title that technically never even existed—no matter the gender of the leader of the Federated Suns, the position was always called "First Prince") in early 3061 with the approval of the Privy Council. She soon began to make a number of significant changes within the government and military of the Federated Commonwealth—including removing the current Prince's Champion and naming another—all illegally.

Of course, the old axiom does still apply: possession is nine-tenths ot the law. While she had no legal standing to assume the throne on New Avalon, the fact that the people in the position to stop her not only did not do so, but actually gave their blessing, gave her the power to secure her position.

Even today, now that the Civil War is over and the Federated Suns is legally a nation again, the legalities of the succession are confusing to all but a few. Victor Steiner-Davion has renounced all claim to the throne on New Avalon, as has his brother, Peter. Prior to doing so, Victor issued dual proclamations that stripped his sisler Katherine (and her children) of any claim to the thrones on either New Avalon or Tharkad and set the lines of succession for both nations.

While she was once named Regent of the Federated Commonwealth, that fact does not legally prevent Yvonne Steiner-Davion from assuming the First Principality, though her lack of military service does. She now sits as Regent on New Avalon. Per the DeBurke Treatise of 2846, the Davion line of succession passes to her firstborn child, though if she marries, her husband would be heir-by-marriage. Likewise, Duke George Hasek is currently heir-presumptive (with no other children of Manse Davion available, the lineage traces back to the children of his half-sister, Marls Davion, paternal grandmother of Duke George Hasek). Even if Victor Steiner-Davion has children, they

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in mind, you, the readers, will have a better sense of just how and why the war progressed the way that it did.

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