New_Republic_(Star_Wars)

New Republic (Star Wars)

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New Republic
Form of Government Parliamentary Federal Republic
Founding Document Declaration of a New Republic
Constitution New Republic Common Charter
Head of State Chief of State
Heads of Government Chief of State, Chair of the Senate
Commanders-in-Chief Chief of State (civilian), Supreme Commander (primus inter pares)
Legislative Branch Provisional Council (5-7 ABY), New Republic Senate, Inner Council (5-11 ABY)
Executive Branch Chief of State (de facto), Provisional Council, New Republic Senate, General Ministry, Inner Council, Ruling Council, Advisory Council
Judicial Branch Court of Justice, Regional Courts
Official language Basic
Capital Coruscant (Mostly), Da Soocha V (destroyed), Nespis VIII,
Formed from Alliance of Free Planets
Establishment 5 ABY
Reorganization into Galactic Federation of Free Alliances 27 ABY
Currency Galactic Credit Standard (Republic Dataries)
The New Republic is a fictional government in the Star Wars universe.

When the Rebel Alliance re-established the Old Galactic Republic after the downfall of the Galactic Empire, it became known as the New Republic, just as the original Galactic Republic had become known as the Old Republic by that time. The New Republic was founded on the same premise that the Old Republic had been established twenty-five thousand years previously: to have a representative parliamentary body govern the galaxy in a fair and equal manner. It was designed to eradicate the shortcomings that brought about the Old Republic's downfall. The New Republic was protected by the New Jedi Order that was established by Jedi Master Luke Skywalker, just as the Old Republic was once protected by the Old Jedi Order.

Although this description of the New Republic is considered canonical, any further details of the New Republic are explained solely in the Expanded Universe.

Basic Premise of the New Republic

"The New Republic is a mutual self-protection pact among over four hundred sentient species, and an economic partnership between eleven thousand inhabited worlds."
—Chief of State Leia Organa Solo

Rebellion and New Republic

The New Republic's ultimate goal, as founder Mon Mothma said, was "to become the New Republic in fact as well as name." Unfortunately for the dreams of Mothma and the Alliance, the institution quickly fell afoul of political infighting of the likes seen in the waning days of the Old Republic. The central government was swiftly rendered impotent. The quote at the beginning of this article is telling: the Galactic Empire (and the Old Republic before it) could boast one million member worlds, combined with colonies, protectorates and governorships both precursor governments controlled (to one extent or another) fifty million systems. It is rather clear that the system and sector governments had quite firmly rejected the New Republic's leadership by the time of The Black Fleet Crisis because of its lack of true leadership and resourcefulness (which is where that quote dated to).

Furthermore, the New Republic Senate, fearing the federal consolidation of power that the Imperial Starfleet permitted, badly underfunded the New Republic Defence Force for many years. The situation reached critical levels in the Black Fleet Crisis where the entire NRDF had mere thousands of warships (as opposed to the millions of the Empire). It was not until some years after the peace treaty with the Imperial Remnant, the Senate finally authorized increased defense expenditure. Sensing weakness, the Yuuzhan Vong began their long-planned extragalactic invasion with nearly disastrous consequences.

Political infighting and weak leadership led the New Republic to a great number of defeats in the war and that government would not long survive the fall of Coruscant. Some time after the Yuuzhan Vong capture of Coruscant, it completely reorganized into the Galactic Federation of Free Alliances, or the Galactic Alliance for short, following its alliance with the Imperial Remnant and also, to an extent, with the Chiss, an insular civilization from the Unknown Regions on the edge of the galaxy.

The Provisional Council

The ultimate goal of the Alliance was to end the Emperor’s rule and to restore "freedom" and "justice" to the galaxy. To achieve these ends, the Rebel Alliance used tactics from subversion to large-scale military actions, such as the Battle of Endor.

The Battle of Endor and the death of the Emperor four years after the Battle of Yavin signaled the end of the Empire. One month later, the Declaration of a New Republic was issued by eight of the most important members of the Rebel Alliance setting forth the goals, values, and ideals of the new government. These eight, Mon Mothma of Chandrila, Princess Leia Organa of the now gone Alderaan, Borsk Fey'lya of Kothlis, Admiral Ackbar of Mon Calamari, Sian Tevv of Sullust, Doman Beruss of Corellia, Kerrithrarr of Kashyyyk, and Verrinnefra B’thog Indriummsegh of Elom, became the first Inner Council of the New Republic provisional government, the Provisional Council.

The main goal of the New Republic during the time of the Provisional Council was to capture Coruscant. At the time, the Provisional Council, and therefore the New Republic, did not have an official designated seat of government or capital world. Instead, the Provisional and Inner Councils met on various member worlds, such as Noquivzor. To move the government to Coruscant would be more symbolic than strategic, and would establish the legitimacy of the New Republic, for the seat of galactic government had always been on Coruscant since the beginning of the Republic. Until then, the Provisional Government’s goals would be to provide guidance for the new government and to work out a new series of principles and laws.

The First Senate

Shortly after the capture of Coruscant and the relocation of the New Republic government seven years after the Battle of Yavin, the New Republic Senate was established during Restoration Day. The speech of Princess Leia Organa, New Republic Minister of State, reflected the beliefs and principles of the First Senate:

“Today we become a galactic family –- a family of the great and the small, the young and the old, with honor to all and favor to none.”

Mon Mothma became the Chief of State of the New Republic, and under the new Charter, also the President of the Senate and the Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. During her administration, the New Republic government remained very similar and weak to that of the provisional government, with the New Republic Senate Assembly assuming the duties of the Provisional Council and with the Inner Council at its head.

The Senate was able to provide the protection and guidance necessary to end the threat posed by the Empire following the return of Grand Admiral Thrawn nine years after the Battle of Yavin. However, it was not able to defend against a major Imperial counteroffensive lead by a resurrected Emperor that saw the recapture of Coruscant a year after Thrawn’s death, and thus the New Republic found itself again on the run and defeated.

The Senate during the Black Fleet Crisis (The Second Senate)

Upon the successful recapture of Coruscant eleven years after the Battle of Yavin, the New Republic Senate began the first of a series of government restructuring programs. Specialized councils were established, each with greater power than ordinary Senate committees, with the responsibility of providing for a specific aspect of government. These included the Council on the Common Defense, the Council on Security and Intelligence, the Justice Council, the Ministry Council, the Council on Science and Technology, and the Commerce Council.

The Inner Council was replaced by the Ruling Council made up of the chairpersons of the eight Senate councils, with the power to remove the Chief of State from office to protect against having the head of government become too powerful, as Palpatine did as Supreme Chancellor.

During the Second Senate, Mon Mothma retired from public life and named Princess Leia Organa Solo her successor. With the approval of the Senate, Organa Solo became the second Chief of State of the New Republic.

Many important events with long lasting repercussions occurred during the presidency of Organa Solo. The most important of these was the opening of diplomatic talks with the Duskhan League, an alliance of Yevethan worlds in the Koornacht Cluster. This in turn led to what is commonly referred to as The Black Fleet Crisis, during which Organa Solo extended the power of the Chief of State, amidst two petitions of recall from the Ruling Council and a petition of no confidence in the Senate, in order to protect the capital from the Yevethans and their ruthless campaign against the impotent New Republic leadership.

Also, around this time, many former Imperial worlds petitioned for and were granted membership to the New Republic. However, many of these worlds retained their individual governments and generally caused deadlock within the Senate.

Finally, after being criticized for New Republic involvement in the Koornacht Cluster, Almania (during which the Senate Hall was destroyed), and the Corellian System, and because of discord within the Senate, especially between the traditional and pro-Imperial senators, Chief of State Leia Organa Solo took an indefinite leave of absence, upon which the Calibop senator Ponc Gavrisom was chosen as the caretaker Chief of State.

The Third Senate

Ponc Gavrisom’s ascension to the office of Chief of State, the construction of a new Senate Grand Convocation Chamber, and a new round of major government restructuring marked the beginning of the Third Senate. The power of government was shifted more to the local, planetary, system, sector, and regional levels to avoid the centralization of power that marked the Palpatine era. The New Republic Senate’s role was thus reduced to little more than providing for the common defense and mediating inter-system disputes. While any legislation passed by it was still binding, the new limit of one bill per delegation per year prevented gridlock, since any proposed legislation would have to pass the scrutiny of both the committee in which it was introduced as well as the full Senate.

Another development made during the restructuring was the creation of the New Republic Observers, an organization that functioned much like the Jedi Order during much of the Republic. The job of the Observers was to move about the New Republic and to report to the Senate what they saw or heard, especially with regard to improper government activities that local authorities preferred to keep out of sight. This move was seen as an act of privacy disruption by some senators, furthering their dismay against the New Republic.

The major event of the Third Senate was the Caamas Document crisis, which threatened to begin a civil war between pro-Bothan and anti-Bothan factions of the New Republic. The crisis, which began with the uncovering of the Caamas Document at Wayland, ended with the signing of a final peace treaty between the New Republic and the Imperial Remnant, finally ending the thirty-seven year Galactic Civil War.

Organization

Notes on the Mature Organizational and Administrative Structure of the New Republic By Donn Gulek, Chief Historian, Kellmer Institute (adapted from Cracken's Threat Dossier, with corrections made where necessary)

Membership in the New Republic

The New Republic is a voluntary confederation organized on republican principles under a common Charter and in accordance with the ideals and purposes embodied in the Declaration of a New Republic. Primary (voting) membership is available to any independent sovereign political entity representing one or more unified planetary populations, or to other recognized and definable territories. Membership follows an application process (during which the candidate member reviews the Charter and other governing statutes and agrees to abide by them) and an assessment process (during which the candidate member's annual support contribution is determined).

Affiliate (non-voting) membership is available to subordinate political units (for example, the individual members of a league of worlds) and to duly recognized representatives of sentient species not constituting a political unit.

Observer (non-voting) membership is available to nonmember allies of the New Republic.

The Declaration of a New Republic sets forth the principles to which the New Republic is dedicated; the common Charter is the actual mechanism by which planets become members, and specifies both the rights and duties of members, and the various institutions of government and their powers. The common Charter was a creation of the transitional Provisional Council.

The Senate

The government of the New Republic is organized around a unicameral legislative body called the Senate, replacing the Provisional Council. Primary members are represented in the Senate by a Senator. Each Senator has a single vote, regardless of the population represented. Affiliate members are represented on Coruscant by a Legate, who may speak in general sessions of the Senate, but may not vote on official Senate business (to avoid dual representation) or serve in the Senate's various working bodies.

As a body with a large and potentially unlimited membership, the Senate-in-whole is an almost impossibly unwieldy structure for getting work done. Consequently, most of the real governance is performed by the Senate's councils, committees, and commissions. The daily business of the Senate proper is primarily speech-making and public debate. When the Senate meets as a committee of the whole, it is sometimes referred to as the New Republic Assembly. Councils are appointed bodies with autonomous decision-making and appropriation authority over some segment of government operations outside the Senate proper (for example, the Defense Council, which oversees the Navy). The most populous and powerful members of the New Republic are disproportionately represented on the Senate's councils. Committees are elected bodies with the authority to administer various aspects of Senate operations, including the general budget. They are semi-autonomous; in the event of a unanimous committee vote, the approval of the Senate-in-whole is not required (however, the Senate-in-whole may override a less-than-unanimous committee decision with a three-to-five majority). Commissions are voluntary bodies with an advisory capacity only. They may prepare reports on issues of concern for presentation to the President of the Senate, to the Minister of State, to the Supreme Commander, or to the general membership; schedule and conduct hearings; and contract for independent research.

President of the Senate / Chief of State

The President of the Senate, elected by a sixty percent super-majority of the Senators, is Chief of State of the New Republic and Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet.

(Tradition varies on the proper form of address for the President. Mon Mothma preferred "Chief of State," but the address has varied under Leia Organa Solo depending on context. In general, Senators, the Senate bureaucracy, and the Coruscant media refer to the President, while the General Ministry, member worlds, and the population of the New Republic often refer to the Chief of State, depending on local languages and history. Part of the problem and confusion arises from the lingering association of the term President with the last holder of that office before the Empire -- Senator Palpatine. Most of the subsequent Presidents of the Imperial Senate were designated by or chosen by vote of the senate or the Emperor. The term retains a certain stain; contributing to Organa Solo's difficulties during the recent crisis. The concerted effort by certain public relations aides to bring the term "President" into common use invoked old fears of Presidential tyranny. - Na'al.)

(Actually, the term President was never used before the fall of the Old Republic, the Head of State was the Supreme Chancellor, so any attempt to invoke fear of the President would not have referred to Palpatine, as a more effective term to bring into use would have been Chancellor, this would have been a term some were afraid of.)

The President can be recalled by a majority vote of the Senate on presentation of a petition of no-confidence by a majority of the Ruling, or Inner, Council, or by a quarter of the primary members of the Senate. The election of a President may be blocked by the Ruling Council on a unanimous vote. In practice, the power of the Ruling Council to void an election and initiate the recall of a sitting President means any candidate proposed by or approved by the Ruling Council is likely to be elected by the Senate. The Ruling Council consists of the chairmen of the Senate councils and the President of the Senate. The President may select any member of the Ruling Council to conduct the business of the Senate in his/her absence from that body.

If the president should become incapacitated, incommunicated, or die, the chairman of the Ministry Council selects an acting Chief of State from among the following: any former President, the current Minister of State, any former Minister of State.

List of Chiefs of State

The General Ministry

The General Ministry is the non-military bureaucracy of the New Republic. It is organized into several large permanent Ministries, smaller task-oriented service Agencies, and several semi-independent Institutes. The various Senate councils have oversight and financing authority over the corresponding Ministries.

The Cabinet consists of the heads of the various ministries and is headed by the Minister of State. This body is the link between the Chief of State and the Ministries.

The First Administrator, appointed by the Ministry Council with the approval of the President of the Senate, heads the New Republic General Ministry. He reports to the Chief of State.

The Court of Justice

The members of the Court of Justice are selected by the Senate Justice Council from a list of nominees presented by the President of the Senate. The First Justice is elected by the other members of the Court from among their number. Nominally independent, the power of the Court of Justice is limited by its narrowly defined jurisdiction: to review charges of violations of the Charter by members of by the other branches of the New Republic's government. The Court of Justice does not serve as the court of last appeal for ordinary civil and criminal cases; those are settled by local judicial authorities on member worlds.

The New Republic Defense Force

The New Republic Defense Force is the military arm of the New Republic. It operates five full fleets, each consisting of hundreds of warships, transports, and support vessels, divided into battle groups and task forces, in addition to ground troop divisions and starfighter wings.

Since the reorganization of the military into a single unified command, the former Minister of Defense is now called the Supreme Commander, and the posts of Minister of the Army and Minister of the Navy have been abolished.

The Supreme Commander, appointed by the Defense Council with the approval of the President of the Senate, heads the Defense Force. He reports to the Chief of State.

Death of the New Republic

During the New Jedi Order series, the Yuuzhan Vong, an alien species from outside the known galaxy, invaded the New Republic, and over a series of incredibly bloody battles, destroyed the government. Through a mixture of unbelievable corruption and cowardice, the New Republic folded, leaving a loose coalition of Jedi and their allies as the last remaining defenders of the galaxy. Coruscant, the capital planet of the New Republic, was crushed by the Yuuzhan Vong and slowly turned into a bioengineered haven for their creations. Gradually, the coalition broadened, and the Galactic Alliance was created. Through the mysterious Jedi Vergere's teachings to Jacen Solo, the help of Cal Omas and the remains of the New Republic fleets, and the planet Zomana Sekot, the Yuuzhan Vong were defeated. The Galactic Alliance succeeded it as a mostly democratic government based on Mon Calamari under the leadership of Cal Omas, but after the victory over the Yuuzhan Vong they relocated to Coruscant. The government became a dictatorship under Darth Caedus (Jacen Solo). This new empire caused atrocities such as a Jedi massacre on Ossus and the orbital bombardment of Kashyyyk.

References

  • Anderson, Kevin J. The Essential Chronology.
  • Denning, Troy Star by Star.
  • McDowell, Michael P. Before the Storm.
  • McDowell, Michael P. Shield of Lies.
  • McDowell, Michael P. Tyrant’s Test.
  • Schweighoffer, Peter. Tales from the New Republic.
  • Slavicsek, Bill. A Guide to the Star Wars Universe, Second Edition.
  • Stackpole, Michael A. X-Wing Rogue Squadron: Mandatory Retirement.
  • Stackpole, Michael A. X-Wing: Wedge’s Gamble.
  • Star Wars Official Site. http://www.starwars.com
  • Star Wars Technical Commentaries. http://www.theforce.net/swtc
  • West End Games. Cracken's Threat Dossier.
  • Zahn, Timothy. Heir to the Empire.
  • Zahn, Timothy. The Last Command.
  • Zahn, Timothy. Specter of the Past.
  • Zahn, Timothy. Vision of the Future.

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