Eighty Years War
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|Eighty Years War|
|Location||Sigma-13, northern Frankfurt|
|Result||Sigma-13 made into GMG sovereign territory. Rheinland's defeat led to the Von Rohe's Day revolution.|
The first major conflict since the War of Sol, the Eighty Years War was fought between the Rheinland Empire and Gas Miners Guild from 589-668 A.S. for control of Sigma-13. The GMG's victory ended an era of prosperity and dominance for Rheinland, which resulted in the events of Von Rohe's Day and the formation of the Federal Republic of Rheinland.
While casual conversation will often cite the evils of imperialism as the sole reason for the Eighty Years War, many other factors contributed to the drive for war and the way it played out.
The Rheinland Empire was one of the four original Houses in the Sirius Sector, built around a region chosen for dense material resources rather than livable planets and gas giants. When Rheinland traded construction advances to Liberty for drives capable of interstellar development, Rheinland exploded into the nearby Stuttgart and Dresden systems, eliminating their food shortages and vastly increasing their mineral resources almost overnight. Rheinland grew into a mining and shipbuilding superpower, and massive corporations like Kruger Minerals blossomed for centuries. In addition to a wealth of space stations and architectural marvels such as the Ring, the Rheinland Imperial Navy was by far larger than the militaries of the other houses; even by outside analysts, it was considered capable of conquering any other house in the sector. However, Rheinland's immense shipbuilding industry could not be supported by just the H-Fuel mined in the Frankfurt system. Fearing that a fuel shortage might pop the centuries-old Rheinland economic bubble, Kruger Minerals decided to move in on the GMG-claimed, fuel-rich fields of Sigma-13.
Rheinland Political Climate
The Rheinland Empire, while maintaining a parliament- the Reichstag- with hundreds of representatives, was ruled by a hereditary Emperor. Though the imperialistic success of Rheinland's early centuries maintained public faith in the Emperor, the Emperor's real power in guiding Rheinland's growth came from the corporations. Immensely wealthy, vertically integrated, and completely essential in the day to day operations of every level of Rheinland life, the corporations of the Rheinland Empire dwarfed modern-day Samura in scope and control. Almost non-existent market regulation and a Reichstag virtually bought and paid for by the corporations meant that what the corporations wanted, happened. The Emperor's absolute override authority existed only on paper, as no sane Emperor would oppose the corporations. The corporations rarely attempted to micromanage the Emperor so long as the Emperor did not attempt to cross them, but they had the ability to do so. Kruger, as the largest of the corporations at that time, could do almost anything and force the Rheinland government to support it.
Sirius Political Climate
The Gas Miners Guild, long bullied by Kruger for choosing slower, more sustainable mining methods over raw production, responded to Kruger's mining operations with force. The first set of transports and mining ships were merely scared off, but hoping to force acceptance out of the GMG, Kruger became progressively more aggressive. Within weeks, the first casualties of the war were suffered by a Kruger survey team that got too close to Gas Miner Naha. Using their influence and direct ownership of the media, Kruger turned the incident into a nationwide cry for revenge. Empress Leicht responded by demanding that the GMG stand down. When this failed to prevent further skirmishes, the Empress declared Sigma-13 as sovereign territory of the Rheinland Empire, despite opposition from Kusari.