New Home: History
4512-4810AD The Landfall Hierarchy
For the first 300 years of its history New Home was governed by a hereditary caste system called The Landfall Hierarchy. Social position within the hierarchy was based on the order in which colonists were unfrozen upon arrival. The Last Batch of colonists who oversaw the C-Jammers final approach to New Home became the overlords of an entire planet.
The society of the upper social orders was heavily Crew influenced, while the common masses were firmly rooted in the 21st century of their origins.
4535AD Bread Riots
The first serious test of the Hierarchys autocratic system of government came 23 years after landfall. A poor harvest meant that commoners starved in the streets while the Overlords gorged themselves on the emergency stocks.
The inevitable riots were put down with shocking brutality by the Colonial Guard. Yet, many of the people still remembered the freedom and prosperity of Earth, and the idealism of the C-Jammers journey. Far from cowing the rioters, harsh measures only fueled their bitterness and anger.
Finally, terrified that the Colonial Guard might join the rioters and overthrow the Hierarchy, the Overlords consented to be bound by the Covenant of Landfall. This instrument guarantees a commoners right to live unmolested by his government. It has gone on to form the basis of New Homes tradition of relatively unrestrictive laws.
The Development of the Hierarchy.
Cities grew. New Homes economy blossomed under the stern gaze of the Overlords as the hierarchy developed into a rigid caste system. Each Overlord family controlled a city or large area of economic activity. Below them were the privileged Favoured, who formed the managerial élite of the régime. Next came the Commoners who were generally educated middle class professionals. Below them, the Peons or Workers were manual labourers or worked the land, often as tenants of small plots. At the bottom were the Underclasses who were mostly drawn from ethnic minorities- Asians particularly suffered.
It was at this time that the faith of the Wheelies was born. It gave the Underclasses hope in the face of the oppressive régime.
New Homes cultural mindset has been molded by the attitudes of the Hierarchy. Even today the typical New Homer is somewhat xenophobic. In the days of the Hierarchy it didnt pay to trust anyone outside ones own caste. Those above were exploiters, whilst exploiting those below was often the only way to move on in society. A drive to succeed above all else became firmly entrenched as a national characteristic. And it is this which has ultimately allowed New Homers to push their living standards far above those of other worlds in the Clusters.