The Denali Commonwealth (alternatively the Commonwealth of Denali—the government uses both interchangeably) is a fictional non-canonical star country in the Honorverse continuity. It is located between Erewhon and Phoenix, and is very close to the common definition of the Solarian League's 'Verge'.
It is a loose confederation of systems operating under a presidential system, whose Congress is purely an organisational organ of the government, while the constituent members are free to form their own laws and judgments. This is particularly frustrating for some, in that many members of the Commonwealth have differing views on copyright, fair use, etc., and it is hard to nail down one consistent view on the subject.
It has a single wormhole junction near the Denali system, with one terminus to Woodmoor, a star system in the inner reaches of the Shell of the Solarian League, which provides most of the country's revenue—particularly, tourism and exporting exotic food from Sosel. It is, despite its location in what many consider to be the backwoods of the known galaxy, a first-world nation, so made through its dealings with the Solarian League and the Manticoran Empire.
Because of its proximity to the People's Republic of Haven, and given the policy of expansionism that was pursued during the Legislaturist leadership, the Commonwealth unilaterally recognised that, unless they erected a significant roadblock to annexation into the People's Republic, not only would their quality of life plummet, but they would also be relegated to a statoid of the People's Republic, and so embarked on an ambitious defensive campaign, building numerous small orbitals with as many weapons as the engineers could strap on, alongside a naval expansion policy (although at the time, it was not feasible, given fiscal restraints, to build anything larger than a very large heavy cruiser), which gave birth to the modern Space Force.
In PD 1422, the Keizler & Sherman Corporation bought the colonizing rights to a system on the fringes of feasibility. The system, a quaternary, was dubbed 'Denali', meaning 'The High One' in Athabaskan, and a ship containing roughly two thousand colonists set out on its two-year journey across the stars. The ship experienced no abnormal problems, and on April 9th, 1425, the first Denali colonists set foot on Hunter III (also named Denali), the third planet in the Hunter system in the Hunter-Archer binary. It was found that it had a small ring hugging the planet's upper atmosphere, along with a small, pinkish moon.
For the next one hundred eighty-one years, life progressed normally, with most people living in small communities on a single continent, with many even smaller communities on the mountainous 'frontier' continent, Southra, and the two northern continents, Northa Major and Northa Minor. The planet was decently connected, but there were some who chose to shut themselves off from the rest of the colonists, and it was the descendants of these people who would eventually spark a genocidal war, similar to the 'Final Solution' of Nazi Germany. The initial cause of the war was a territorial dispute, when colonists from Northra Major set sail for eastern Northra Minor, when the southern and eastern coasts had become too crowded for their likes (and, not wanting to cross the frozen wastes to the west, decided that it would be a better idea to simply go to greener pastures). Several colonists on the west coast of eastern Northra Minor objected to what they perceived as an invasion into their lands, and some went so far as to start attacking the quasi-foreign settlers. It might not have exploded into a war, however, if Jacob Manaenkov, a very charismatic and fiery pastor from Northra Minor, had not began to advocate a total extermination of what he called invaders.
In 1607, Manaenkov and his Northra Minor Liberation Party stormed the provincial capital at Tavringrad, and cemented their iron hold on the city in the following months, before expanding their influence outward in a campaign that eventually transmutated into a global policy, consisting of Manifest Destiny and the concept of a territorially-based Übermensch.
The conflict would eventually encompass the whole planet, devastating cities, farmlands, and even mountains in the colossal war that spanned twelve years, at the same time decimating much of the technology that the colonists had originally brought to Denali, leading the planet into a dark age. It was during this time that the gord of Seryjbrod was founded, eventually developing into a large city, which spread its influence over much of the surrounding shattered territories and paving the way for a unified government of the planet.
Three hundred years after, when the Commonwealth had at last salvaged enough of their prior technology to be put on an equal footing with other countries in their immediate vicinity, six other systems were eventually brought into what was now the Commonwealth of Denali by the Treaty of New Florence, signed on the planet of Gryphon. Worries of Solarian and Havenite expansion brought the Commonwealth to align with the Kingdom of Manticore and their budding Alliance. Several technological exchanges were made with their new ally, and the Commonwealth's economy began climbing in value, while its infrastructure was rapidly modernised with the help of loans from Manticore. It was during this time that Denali discovered the wormhole junction nearby, and used it to facilitate trade with the inner worlds of the Solarian League, providing a means for the federation's economy to skyrocket, laying the foundation for the economic ties with the League in modern times.
Realising the imminent confrontation with Haven, along with Manticore, Denali established the Space Force in 1907, and undertook a massive construction effort, continued for the next seven years. Three other systems joined the Commonwealth in the following two and a half years.
Government and politics
The Commonwealth's constitution established the country as a federation, and in its original form, was simply a list of things that were forbidden for the government to do (such as taxing the people without sending a liaison, granting the right to free speech, forbidding the government from keeping any group from voting, etc.). Although not explicitly forbidden in the Constitution, no federal authority has ever imposed a federal-level police force, intelligence agency, judiciary or law-making body, for fear of the possible backlash of the constituent members of the Commonwealth. All of these agencies, however, exist in a purely organisational form as the Commons, which is both a physical and electronic entity, which serves to unite all Commonwealth members' various government agencies under a banner of cooperation.
Given the Commonwealth's diverse ethnic population and myriad political viewpoints, it comes as no surprise that their politics are equally pluriform, if not divisive and confusing as well. On the surface, there appears to be many political parties that hold the same viewpoint, but many members of the aforementioned parties will adamantly deny such an equivocation, and will often cite a list of items in which their ideals diverge. Denali citizens are fiercely independent, however, and even if they do in fact hold the same political views as another group, they may just form a party because they do not feel that the original party would represent themselves well enough at a local level. This is further complicated by the diverse names, emblems, and colours by which parties represent themselves, and it takes a skilled observer (most often native, or someone who has spent significant time traveling and living in the Commonwealth) to distinguish one from another. It must also be noted that even native Denali citizens sometimes are confused by their politics.
The Commonwealth is a member of the Manticoran Alliance, and shares the common enemy of the corporation Manpower, Unlimited, and also the Republic of Mesa, in which it resides, declaring them a rogue state. However, due to the immense distance between the two nations and the presence of the Solarian League directly in any warpath, the war, although declared, has turned into a cold weapons buildup. With the recent plotting of the sixth wormhole terminus of the Manticoran Junction, however, the Commonwealth (and the rest of the Alliance members) now have a direct line of fire to Mesa.
Administrative subdivisions, astrography and geography
See Denali system, Brinkman system, Creedmoor system, Gryphon system, Hercules system, Samson system, Sosel system, Terrace system, and Wolf system.
The Commonwealth has one of the most advanced systems of terrestrial public transportation in its locale, providing a well-connected network of highways, inner city bus routes, and railways on every member planet. The network is so well-maintained, in fact, that many citizens of the Commonwealth jokingly say that the 0300 bus is more reliable than most government agencies.
The Commonwealth uses an alphanumeric system of postal codes, beginning with the first letter of the planet's name, a letter series indicating the territory on the planet, a further letter to indicate the subdivision of that territory, and a number to indicate the district.
For example, the postal code for an area in Seryjbrod is DMS2 (Denali, Medin, Seryjbrod Special Administrative Division, District 2), a commercial district near the centre of the city.
Compared to most surrounding star nations, Denali has a fairly sizable space navy (what it calls the Space Force) and army. However, even with the frenetic buildup of 1907–1914, Denali's military still lags behind the Manticoran Empire's.
Denali's military consists of two branches: the Denali Commonwealth Army and the Denali Commonwealth Space Force (commonly shortened to simply the 'Denali Army' and 'Denali Space Force'). Various atmospheric cavalry mounts are maintained by the Army, along with terrestrial planetary defence forts. Orbital forts, minefields, patrol craft, and missile pods are maintained by the Space Force, in addition to the main naval force.
Denali uses mainly Manticoran-designed ships and LACs, although most of its smaller escort ships and cruisers are of Denali design. Battlecruisers are of a mixed variety, while dreadnaughts and superdreadnaughts are exclusively Manticoran.