Within the Tau Station Universe there are two great “superpowers” that have been rivals for centuries. Though the Consortium and the Gaule Protectorate have reached agreements on numerous mutually beneficial economic, military, and scientific policies, their basic ideological and cultural differences have always been major points of contention. In an earlier blog we discussed the Consortium; here we take a closer look at the Gaule Protectorate.
Understanding the Gaule
Prior to the Catastrophe, the Gaule were a Federated Republic based on traditional and historic democratic principles born out of the ashes of a failed European Union on Earth. The Catastrophe and its devastating aftermath significantly altered the Gaule’s form of government (out of necessity, argued the survivors). Officially, the Gaule saw the Catastrophe as a deliberate attack by some unknown source or entity. Some within the government, however, feared collusion by the Consortium. It should be noted that within the Consortium, a similar suspicion regarding the Gaule was being considered.
In light of the crisis, the Gaule Protectorate (honoring an ancient European tradition) elected a “First Consul of the Protectorate” to lead the government. This position of First Consul, historically adopted in times of war or other emergencies, and usually given to a person of high military rank and/or distinguished service, was given absolute control of the government and military. This temporary dictatorship was supposed to be relinquished after the crisis had passed. To date, the First Consul of the Protectorate, Simone Beauharnais, remains the leader of the Gaule Protectorate.
In the duration, the Gaule have become a highly militarized society, despite its deep roots in republicanism, liberal citizenship, human rights, and social reform. The people of the Gaule Protectorate, after centuries of struggle against the Consortium, are willing to sacrifice individual liberty (temporarily) for the security of maintaining their identity as a sovereign state. Military service of 21 cycles is compulsory for females and males 65 – 146 cycles old and is required for full citizenship.
In this regard, the Gaule are considered to have the most advanced military services in the known systems. This military might, for now, is the shield and sword that keeps the much larger and economically stronger Consortium at bay.
Though Gaule suspicions about the cause of the Catastrophe were never completely quashed, both sides agreed to broker a tenuous detente. Diplomats took over. A treaty was later signed by representatives of both affiliations at Nouveau Limoges in the Sol System. This treaty is known as the Nouveau Limoges Accords, which outlined terms for expansionism, technical cooperation, claims to stations, and trade.
Under the Accords, the Gaule Protectorate and Consortium agreed to combine their efforts in producing and repairing ships, exploring the galaxy, redoubling the effort in recovering surviving stations, and answering the great question of what caused the Catastrophe—and how to prevent another. Despite the Accords, a deep distrust continues to exist between both powers, leading to an ever expanding cold war.
Authored by Will Hiles