The Earth-Sphere Confederation, known largely just as "The Confederation" was the third major power to organize in the power-vacuum created by the death of Samuel Fate and the end of the Long Night. The Confederation was short-lived, lasting only about thirty years.
While most nations of the old Alliance were ruled by direct puppets of the emperor Samuel Fate, many regions developed independent, autocratic leaders who came to power by being more efficient than, yet totally subservient to that same Fate. Such leaders had been common throughout the Long Night, and were even allowed to attain great wealth, so long as they lived by the tenets set forth by the emperor. This was one of the few areas in which technological and social regression or homeostasis was not the norm.
The Long Night ended abruptly, but these rulers were still left with a considerable amount of power. Along with the power came sudden complete autonomy. While most regions were quick to re-establish their former nations, these areas instead turned to the wealthy landowners who had ruled them under Samuel Fate. New nations were quickly established as different groups came together.
In the power vacuum that remained, those who were organized rose to power very quickly.
When Samuel Fate was defeated at the Battle of the New Day, the newly-freed industrial worlds where his ships and weapons had previously been manufactured were quick to organize. These worlds in particular lacked any kind of leadership within the cities, but most had independent autocratic leaders in the countryside, who ruled over food-producing regions. Such leaders laid claim to the cities, cementing their power easily. The practice of slavery (and not the loose "You live here, so you work for us" policy of the dragons), was common under Samuel Fate, and continued within the Confederacy.
While most of Samuel Fate's military equipment was rendered useless by his death, Confed scientists were able to design and restore partial functionality within ten years: far faster than the largely disarmed Gudersnipe Foundation or newly-formed Trans-Draconic Federation could bring battle-ready fleets to the field.
This gave the Confederacy, largely found in finite dimensions, considerable legitimacy. While there was talk of reforming the Alliance even in the early part of the age, most of the old member worlds were forced to concede to the confederation.
For a brief period, the Confederation was poised to gain control of much of the former known worlds. A string of sabotages coupled with terror-attacks from a powerful, unknown force, gave them pause until a sudden economic collapse weakened the empire beyond all hope of recovery.
A major stake in the legitimacy of the Confederation was the recognition of property ownership. Early in their history, these worlds laid claim to land and mineral holdings which previously belonged to the Gudersnipe Foundation. Unable to face them militarily, the Foundation was forced to concede these rights, to gain recognition for the few regions they did still have the ability to defend. For the Confederation, this meant significant economic and political power drawn from strategic resources they now controlled.
Like many advanced civilizations, the Confederation relied on an electronic money system of fiat currency. Territory was divided into economic regions, each of which used its own currency; this in turn was pegged to the value of a single centralized standard currency. This system allowed the value of local currency to vary with the health of the economy, while allowing for trade based on a standardized unit of value. The central standardized currency, called the "Sawback" formed the basis of the entire ConFed economy.
In theory, regular citizens were never meant to use sawbucks. Only entities large enough to do business on an inter-planetary scale would exchange local money for sawbucks, then exchange those in transactions. Further, economic regions were forbidden from using their local currency to deal with the other competing powers, the Foundation and the Trans-Draconic Federation. In practice, many economic regions were geographically close enough to either the Foundation or the dragons to make interacting with them on a day-to-day basis necessary, which in turn meant any ConFed citizen had to be able to exchange their local money for sawbacks in order to buy things from the neighboring states. The local currencies were typically so volatile they were only used in situations mandated by the government(such as paying taxes or using state-run utilities. In fact, most citizens could abuse the system, trading currencies back and forth to earn considerable extra income, all while exhausting an effectively flawed financial system.
The sawback had no physical unit, it was an entirely electronic currency. Local money usually had physical markers(bills and coins). The backbone of the system was a centralized exchange network that tracked all the relative values of the different currencies. In the N.D. thirties, the sawback was worth 1.73 GATE credits or 1 Wingbeat and 15 Talons. The core of the network was a table which held all of the valuations, with the sawback always being worth 1 of itself.
The collapse began when the valuation of the sawback on that table was changed from 1 to 0, which instantly collapsed the entire Confederation's monetary system. Though officially the regional currencies should have retained their values, because most people and organizations had their savings held in sawbacks the wealth of entire nations was whipped out.
Those who owned assetts(land, buisnesses, securities) began to sell them at an alarming rate, desparate for money to live on. Both the Foundation and the dragons rushed to buy up all available assets, mostly at less than 1% of pre-collapse valuations. The confederacy was effectively destroyed by what was later deemed a simple computer malfunction.
Post Collapse and New Alliance Era
The legitimacy of the Confederation was primarily centered around land holdings. Without these, their governments had to be restructured. Slavery was ended, and the various member worlds eventually joined the new Alliance. However, while the laws were changed to conform with the values of the Alliance, the confederate worlds retained a certain sense of identity, and often pushed for a return to the old ways; either by seccession from the Alliance, or by the Alliance granting former confederate member worlds the rights to dictate their own laws.
In the early fifth century N.D., most of the former confederate member worlds staged a revolution, breaking away from the Alliance and putting new leaders into power. The coup was well-planned and executed with a high degree of timing.
The Confederation was based heavily around the concepts of ownership, specifically that land can be owned and its owner has complete rights to it. Most of the member worlds also believe slavery is a natural and inalienable right. For validation, many pointed to the dragons and their practice of enslaving humans in their territory. The basic tenet was, if someone is living on your land, you have certain rights over them, and if someone is born on your land, you own them.
There were a great many other social and political ideas at play, with many different member worlds holding different ideologies. The original basis of the confederacy was not that these independent nations shared any ideology, but their ideologies disagreed with the values of the Alliance; and they wanted to maintain their ways of life.
Confederates held property rights were paramount, and land ownership was absolute. A land owner had total power, and his rights extended into space and to the core of the planet. While the actual degree of this varied from world to world, most agreed that only land-owners had any rights in society. The more land an individual owned, the more "rights" they had, so leadership and political power were more dependent on the size of estates than any other factor.
Further, most of their laws agreed that anyone living on land another owned (but not owning it themselves), owed varying degrees of servitude to the owner. This meant that renting an apartment could lead to complete slavery, or various degrees of serfdom, depending on the particular laws of the area.
All of the Confederate worlds practiced slavery to some degree, and most had stratified levels to it.
- Serfs - a serf was an ostensibly free person who only lived on its master's land. In some cases, serfs were not allowed to leave at all, though in others they could come and go, if they left all possessions behind. In most cases, the serfs were only allowed to work for the owner of the land they lived on, and paid or provided for according to the landowners' will. This reduced most serfs to slavery, but it was still regarded as an important legal distinction among the Confederate governments.
- Indentured Servitude - seen mostly in cities and in particular industrial settings, an Indentured "servant" was typically paid a flat fee, usually at the start of the period, to work for a particular person or organization. The owners of the servant would then provide for the indentured as they saw fit, sometimes requiring them to live off of the fee paid. Periods were usually around five years, but up to fifty years (usually for children sold by their parents) were common. There was some overlap with indentured servants and serfs, and it was not uncommon for a person to be sold initially as an indentured servant but be forced to become a serf, when living on someone else's land.
- Outright Slavery - while not as common as the above, individuals could be classified as outright slaves, legally the property of another. The rights of these slaves varied heavily from region to region. In general, anyone born on a specific plot of land was legally the property of the land's owner. In some cases, this merely meant the owners could dictate whether or not that person moved, in others it gave them rights to sell the individual into indentured servitude. In the cases where actual ownership existed, that person legally belonged to the land-owners to do with as they pleased.
While under the rule of Samuel Fate (who ordered himself to be worshiped as a god), most the known worlds came to follow Cardinalism. This became especially prevalent