The Grand Commonwealth of Sovereign States, also known as the Grand Commonwealth of the Milky Way, or the Galactic Commonwealth is the galactic government of the Milky Way Galaxy. Founded by the Treaty of Halcyon which put an end to the Great Xonexian Schism and ushered in a lasting peace between the galaxy's major players, the Grand Commonwealth is a democratic international organization with firm legal, military, and jurisdictional powers over the galaxy, though with strict limits to protect the sovereignty of its members.
The Grand Commonwealth's legislative authority is vested in the Galactic Parliament, located on Paris and composed of representatives from all of its member states. Representatives are allocated equally, and each member nation may determine the manner in which they are appointed, elected, or chosen. Juridical authority lies in the Seat of Law located on Mirenton. The Seat of Law is Commonwealth's highest court within which galactic law is interpreted by the galaxy's most revered legal minds. Finally, the ability to enforce the law rests in the hands of the Protectors of the Milky Way, a council of galactic leaders tasked with extraordinary responsibilities in the maintenance of the galactic order, and in a set of regional agreements with local powers. Currently, the Protectors of the Milky Way are Wormulus of the Delpha Coalition of Planets and Alexandre I of France.
While the Grand Commonwealth of Sovereign States is recognized as the highest authority within the Milky Way Galaxy and draws inspiration from organizations such as the Andromedan Galactic Commonwealth and the Civilisation, the GCSS is unique in that it derives its legitimacy from its ability to govern the "spaces between" states, as opposed to the states themselves. Its representative, juridical, and executive organs create, interpret, and enforce galactic law which governs transnational relationships such as diplomacy, commerce, territorial integrity, and the use of force between state and non-state actors.
- Creation of the Delphan galactic society
- Further reading: The Civilisation
While there were attempts at galactic governance throughout the Milky Way's history – whether through military hegemony or through attempts to create a common set of galactic laws, norms, and restraints – the first widely successful and recognized "government" of the Milky Way took the form of the Civilisation founded in 2772. Also referred to as the Milky Way Cooperative, it emerged as an overarching meta-civilisation composed of technological, infrastructural, and diplomatic agreements between its members, which included nation-states, artificial intelligences, and other alien entities. Reflecting the ideological inclinations of its founders, the Delpha Coalition of Planets and the Allied Terran Republic, the Milky Way Cooperative initially made little claim to governing territorial space, and instead sought to promote dialogue between disparate (and previously incompatible) elements of galactic society.
In an uncrowded galaxy with few conflicting claims or conflicts between its inhabitants, the early incarnations of the Milky Way Cooperative acted as facilitators and enablers, and imposed very few restrictions on the inhabitants of the galaxy. By the late 2770's, the Cooperative was used to facilitate the use and distribution of technology and infrastructure to species which voluntarily upheld a loose definition of the galactic peace. After the Annihilation, the remanants of the old Civilisation shifted to repair, recolonization, and aid in the 2780's, helping to restore the galaxy's teetering empires.
From 2772 to 2803, galactic peace within the Milky Way was maintained through a symbiotic relationship between the Civilisation's many positive initiatives and the military actions of the Delpha Coalition of Planets and associated powers. While the Civilisation enabled the creation of a galactic society founded on a post-scarcity model of free association, technological exchange, and order, the society was defended against antagonistic elements at the periphery by Delphan military campaigns. At a time when there were few overlapping claims between its members due to the relative cultural and physical distance between them, demons composed the only real challengers to the galactic society. It was to combat the threat of beings which could not be reasoned with that the mechanisms of galactic defense were created, and composed the only threat the galaxy knew how to address.
- Great Xonexian Schism
- Further reading: Great Xonexian Schism
As a result of the hyperspatial revolution in the 2780's and 2790's, the galaxy became increasingly crowded and power became more diffuse among a greater number of actors. The Civilisation's old mechanisms of defense and cooperation were no longer enough to maintain galactic peace and stability. In particular, the human microstates in the periphery – an area influenced but never completely absorbed by the Delphan galactic society – aspired to create their own rules, their own empires, and their own model for a galactic order centered around capitalist modes of production and human conceptions of nationhood. Led by the French Republic, these nations established their own system of alliances, economic relationships, and diplomatic agreements throughout the Xonexi Cluster, and came into conflict with established systems and norms.
Meanwhile, the Delpha Coalition of Planets responded to its relative decline in power in the Milky Way not in political or diplomatic terms, but in the same way it answered the demonic threats of past decades. Its leaders and officials perceived shadowy influences everywhere, and imagined that the Gigaquadrant was being manipulated towards war by some insidious force. This outlook was reflected in its geopolitical, diplomatic, and military moves, taking drastic measures to challenge and deny the growth of the Xonexian system and to "save" those nations it could, in extreme cases by forcefully absorbing them purging them of foreign influence. This was alarming from the point of view of the Xonexian nations, who came to understand the war as a massive, effort to overthrow a tyrannical and outdated set of systems and powers which threatened their way of life.
By the late 2790's, a series of overlapping, conflicting, and escalating claims between the old and the new systems brought about a polarization and militarization of both the Delphan and human camps. In 2802, one such conflict led to the Great Xonexian Schism, pitting the Xonexi Allies against the Civilisation in a titanic showdown involving many of the Gigaquadrant's galaxies and major players. For four years, the war raged and repeatedly transformed the political landscape of Xonexi, seeing the demise of the Orion League and consolidation of the Civilisation's power over the Milky Way, the rise of the French Colonial Empire as a great power, the split between the Milky Way Cooperative and the technoospheric Civilisation, and the ultimate collapse of the Milky Way Cooperative and the Delpha Coalition of Planets in the face of a coup led by rogue technoospheric AI's. From all of this chaos, the Xonexi Allies emerged victorious, enabling their ideas of what consisted a stable and equitable galactic order serve as a basis for the ensuing peace.
- Peace of Halcyon
Despite the fact that the Allies emerged victorious from the Great Xonexian Schism, the Peace of Halcyon negotiated between Lunarai I of the Delpha Coalition of Planets and Alexandre I of the French Empire represented consensus between the two powers, not an imposition of the stronger over the weaker. The two Milky Way giants agreed on mutually exclusive spheres of influence in the galaxy, on a new organization which would democratically create galactic law, and on a division of responsibility between them to administer it. The goal, as envisioned by the two Emperors, was to create a viable system by which the use of force and the exercise of power in the galaxy could be governed, while at the same time guaranteeing the sovereignty of states.
With the war finally ended in July of 2806, the campaign began to secure the legitimacy and viability of the post-war settlement. For a month, French and Delphan diplomats made energetic tours of Milky Way capitals, doing everything in their power to bring on board the major powers of the Milky Way. On August 19, the new Milky Way order was officially proclaimed and affirmed through the signing of the Milky Way Concord. France, the Delpha Coalition of Planets, the Milky Way Cooperative states, the Xonexi Allies, and many formerly neutral nations like the Allied Terran Republic all affixed their signatures on the founding document, sealing the creation of the Milky Way's first official galactic government.