So, we have a situation where various Earth countries, (the Republic of Alaska, the United States of Europe, etc) now all have colonies on Mars, over venus and under the surface of Mercury. Technology is now highly advanced, with fusion power and space-based solar power being the main forms of power generation.

However, the other colonies aren’t happy. The sheer distance between them and their parent Earth countries means most of the colonists have never seen their rulers, so they decide to secede and each become independent World-states.

What would cause all the colonies on these various worlds to declare independence simultaneously, but without the intention of forming a single political entity if they succeed?

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    $\begingroup$ VTC: Too Story-Based. $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 17, 2023 at 16:41
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    $\begingroup$ Check out this question. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 17, 2023 at 17:09
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    $\begingroup$ @Daron has a good point, this is merely a generalized version of your previous question. Wouldn't that make this a duplicate? $\endgroup$
    – JBH
    Jan 17, 2023 at 17:58
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    $\begingroup$ @JBH Oh right, both questions are from the same user. Hey user98816, If the answers to the previous question do not satisfy you, then indicate why they don't. Have you changed something about the world so they are invalid now? Otherwise all the old answers are still good and there is no reason for a new question. $\endgroup$
    – Daron
    Jan 17, 2023 at 20:06
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    $\begingroup$ Pretty sure the world's current singular superpower started with 13 colonies deciding to secede all at once... Why not start there if you're looking for ideas? $\endgroup$
    – stix
    Jan 17, 2023 at 20:45

3 Answers 3


Secession is a risky business. Colonial concerns tend to not like letting go of their holdings, from which they often derive economic benefit. Wars for Independence are the natural result. Therefore, secessionist movements will often agitate fruitlessly for years and years. When the colonial concern itself becomes weakened, however, and it's ability to project force against the colony is thereby lessened, secessionism can suddenly become far more attractive as a serious political agenda.

This was a huge part of why the United States was able to break away from the British Empire, actually. A massive ocean and the Crown holding a ton of war debt already, plus tensions between the King and Parliament made conditions about as favorable as secessionists could hope for.

It's not simultaneous, per se, but if one colony grew bold enough to secede and drew the ire of the parent state... now that parent state is distracted/engaged and thus weaker. A second colony shaking off the yoke would thereby split the attention of the parent state, making both secessions more likely to succeed.

This iterates, and so rather than simultaneous, you have a nearly-simultaneous chain reaction as more and more colonies get in on the secession game while the getting's good. Pressure would rise to secede if any secessionist sentiment existed because after this wave finished, there would likely be a backlash making a second wave more difficult to launch. "Now or never" becomes the sentiment very quickly.

This is, by the way, exactly the nightmare scenario that Imperial powers are terrified of, and the main reason they tend to drop the hammer pretty hard on secessionists; if they don't make an example of the first, they embolden the n-th.

Being the first requires either political savvy to recognize that conditions are ripe and that others will follow suit if you stick your neck out there... or blind faith in the same. Being wrong has terrible consequences. Being right means glory and the esteem of future historians.

The first mover, therefore, either has been provoked in the extreme - or is distant enough from the parent state that they feel a measure of geographic safety from reprisal. Whether or not this is true is immaterial, it merely needs to be perceived to the point that someone's calculus favors the act.

EVE Online players and other internet communities have a name for this kind of chain-secession. It's known as a "Failscade."

  • $\begingroup$ For an example, you could look at Mexico in the 1830s and 40s, where you had a whole succession of revolts and rebellions all basically independent of each other, but seizing on the same apparent weaknesses of the central government. $\endgroup$
    – Cadence
    Jan 17, 2023 at 22:53

To directly answer the question that was asked: because you allied with the other colonies and either coordinated your efforts or a big spark sets it all aflame anyway. There is a great scene in Robinson's Green Mars where this sort of thing happens: Mars is a planet with many factions on it, but the spark that sets off the revolution is a disaster on Earth that basically distracts Earth from its colonial rule. This sparks the second Martian revolution, but during that revolution one entire region of the planet just decides that they want to be their own thing. The main protagonists just shrug and say something to the equivalent of "as long as they're OK upholding human rights they can do whatever amuses themselves".

In the case of Green Mars, it became obvious that Earth was unable to fight a war, that Mars was strong enough even if it tried (and it did, briefly), and that just about no one on Earth really cared anymore about Mars, given Earth's own problems. It seems that your story could have something similar-ish happen - the colonies are big enough that it is very obvious the old nations can't really fight them anymore, and once the first spark goes off it's in everyone's best interests to keep it going, since that prevents Earth nations from forming aliances to squash any one rebel colony.


Flash mob.

https://www.delnext.com/blog/en/most-famous-flash-mobs/ flash mob


A flash mob (or flashmob)1 is a group of people who assemble suddenly in a public place, perform for a brief time, then quickly disperse, often for the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression...

Independence happened as a multiworld flashmob under the aegis of Snuks, a disgraced cartoon mascot rediscovered as a symbol of prurient lighthearted anarchy. Under Snuks' gentle and nasty tutelage the independence movement caught fire in all the colonies. Also the Aleutian islands.

The persons who set off the flashmob were almost entirely interested in the humorous aspect of it, and were surprised to have set in motion such lasting change.


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