Republic of Haven

Republic of Haven
Form of government Constitutional Republic
Official language Standard English
Home Planet Haven
Capital City of Nouveau Paris
Head of state President
Senior military commander Chief of Naval Operations
Executive branch Cabinet
Legislative branch Congress
(Senate and House of Representatives)
Military Republican Navy,
Republican Army,
Republican Marine Corps
Currency Havenite credit
v · d · e

The Republic of Haven is a fictional star-nation in the Honorverse, the background setting for a series of novels and short stories in the military science fiction genre, written by David Weber and others and published by Baen Books.

Haven is introduced as the antagonist nation of the eponymous character Harrington's native Star Kingdom of Manticore, and the ongoing Haven-Manticore war serves as the backdrop for the novels' story.

Within the fictional universe depicted in the novels, the formal name of Haven used to be the People's Republic of Haven until Admiral Thomas Theisman overthrew the government and reestablished the planet's original constitution and name.



The Republic of Haven is a multi-system star nation governed from the planet Haven, built after a long campaign of military conquest. During most of the Honor Harrington saga, the Republic of Haven serves as the main enemy; in later novels, many Havenite characters are depicted as honorable and noble, and the role of main antagonist of the saga is being passed to Mesa, an unscrupulous slaver world.

A popular in-universe nickname for a native of Haven, especially during the People's Republic era, but not so much following the Theisman coup, is "Peep" (plural "Peeps").

The capital of the Republic is the city of Nouveau Paris, home to thirty-six million inhabitants.

The Havenite currency is a system of electronic credits tied to a person's identity chip. A credit is divided into one hundred centicredits.

Perhaps the only item on which Manticore and Haven completely agree is the opposition to genetic slavery, which makes both nations sworn enemies of Mesa and its commercial interests.

Fictional History

Most of the known history of Haven is explored in a background essay written by David Weber and which is a part of More Than Honor, the first anthology of stories set in the Honorverse.

Despite being located more than one hundred and fifty light years further from Earth, Haven was settled over a century before Manticore thanks to the development of the Warshawski sail, the primary means for faster-than-light travel in the Honorverse. Haven was exceptionally suited to human life, a fact which coupled with the financial support of a joint venture of eleven Solarian League-based corporate sponsors that funded the original colony mission, ensured an incredibly fast growth rate for the new colony.

During its first centuries of existence, the Republic of Haven was one of the most prosperous human worlds in the galaxy, and was viewed as a sort of "interstellar Athens." Considering the poverty of its less favored citizens an aberration in light of Haven's prosperity, the Havenite government launched welfare measures which, after a few centuries, became a caricature of a welfare state where citizens were entitled without exception to a specified standard of living adjusted for inflation. It did not matter whether these citizens wanted to work or not, and by the time of the First Haven-Manticore War, more than half of Haven's population was on the dole; these were the so-called "Dolists".

A breed of machine politicians, called Dolist Managers, emerged as kingmakers, being able to deliver the votes of millions of Dolists to the candidates (called Legislaturalists) of their choosing. The Havenite democracy disappeared, and power was concentrated within the Legislaturalist families, who established a number of secret police organizations to maintain control over the renamed People's Republic of Haven. The original Havenite constitution was replaced by a new document which enshrined Legislaturalist rule. This constitution was the first step of the so-called "DuQuesne Plan", named after the Havenite politician who proposed it.

People's Republic of Haven
(former regime)
Form of government Socialist dictatorship
Official language Standard English
Home Planet Haven
Capital City of Nouveau Paris
Head of state Chairman
of Committee of Public Safety
Senior military commander Secretary of War
Executive branch Committee of Public Safety
Legislative branch People's Quorum
Military People's Navy,
People's Army,
People's Marine Corps,
State Security military forces
Currency Havenite credit
v · d · e

To support its welfare state, the government spent at a deficit for over 200 years. To sustain its economy, it needed to conquer weaker planets — the second step of the DuQuesne Plan — and plunder them. Eventually, it built up an empire of over a hundred worlds. Unfortunately, this caused imperial overreach: Haven could not support the economies of so many planets — whose inhabitants eventually fell into the Havenite economic system — without continuous conquest.

As Haven began to expand, the Star Kingdom of Manticore took notice and began to prepare for future conflict. In the fifty years prior to the First Haven-Manticore War, Manticore built up its navy, hoping to deter or prevent Haven from conquering them. While some Manticoran politicians felt that the war was unwinnable, the first phase proved otherwise. Manticore managed to beat back the entire first wave of Havenite attacks, including the total defeat of a Havenite fleet at the Third Battle of Yeltsin and the First Battle of Hancock Station. Haven, having entered the war expecting a quick victory, was thrown into chaos, as Manticoran fleets began to advance into their territory.

Within the Dolists was a terrorist organization known as the Citizen Rights Union (CRU) and further subdivided into a multitude of subgroups including the "Aprilists" and "Citizen Rights Party".

Shortly after the start of the Haven-Manticore War, the CRU assassinated almost every member of every Legislaturist family in a plot masterminded by Quorum Leader Rob Pierre. Pierre created a new government called the Committee of Public Safety that was composed of Quorum Members, CRU cell leaders, and Oscar Saint-Just, the deputy director of the Internal Security service (InSec) and the sole surviving member of the Legislaturist government. Saint-Just headed up the new Office of State Security, former CRU cell leader Cordelia Ransom was placed in charge of Public Information, and Pierre himself was the Committee's chairman.

The first serious challenge to the Committee's power came about seven years after the Pierre coup. A splinter group of anarchists called "LeBoeuf's Levellers" attempted to overthrow the Committee. The group was very well organized, with unknown agents in the Committee of Public Safety itself. They managed to pull together a large, well trained, well armed fighting force, and arranged for a massive generalized riot to flare up within the city's population. They also succeeded in taking over the net, effectively ruining communication lines between the government and the military. Last but not least, they timed their attack to take place during one of the rare meetings of the entire Committee of Public Safety. The attack would have succeeded had it not been for Admiral Esther McQueen who dropped cluster bombs onto the rioters. As a reward for her quick thinking and loyalty, Esther McQueen was offered a place on the Committee as the Secretary of War.

After Honor Harrington escaped from Hades, the main prison planet of the People's Republic, Pierre and Saint-Just pressured Admiral McQueen into turning up the pressure on the Manticorans. This McQueen was reluctant to do, and her reluctance caused Saint-Just to doubt her loyalty to the People. Saint-Just's suspicions caused McQueen to fear for her life, and she attempted to overthrow the government. Her attempt might have succeeded had it not been for a concealed nuclear bomb hidden in the basement of the Octagon (the main military command center of the People's Republic). Saint-Just detonated the bomb, destroying the Octagon, and killing every member of the Committee except himself.

Less than a year later, the People's Navy, led by Admiral Thomas Theisman, successfully revolted against the Committee and destroyed what was left of it after ten years of dictatorship. Theisman reinstated the nation's original constitution, and handed the reins of power to Eloise Pritchart.


The original government of the Republic of Haven was very similar to that of the United States; separation of powers, a President and a bicameral Congress. The two houses of Congress were the Senate and the House of Legislators. The concentration of power into the hands of the House of Legislators led to the later Legislaturalist regime.

Under the Legislaturalists, power was concentrated into the hands of the Legislaturalist clans, which made all the decisions under a façade of democracy. The executive power was vested in a Hereditary President and Cabinet. The regime was supported by the military, the secret police agencies and the "Dolist managers"; machine politicians which controlled the Dolist votes. The People's Quorum, a special body formed by the Dolist Managers, was incorporated into the Legislative branch.

By the time of On Basilisk Station, the PRH is led by Hereditary President Sidney Harris, the People's Republic of Haven is the fastest expanding star nation. His prominent staff members included Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ronald Bergren, Secretary of War Elaine Dumarest, and Secretary of Economy Walter Frankel. Frankel had recently put to the cabinet the idea that the current form of government was doomed and that for Haven to survive it would have to reform its economic system. On President's Day 1905 P.D. a group of naval shuttles dropped four five-thousand-kilo precision-guided warheads on the Presidential Palace where that year's celebration was being held, killing Sidney Harris and his government and ending the Legislaturalist regime.

The overthrow of the Legislaturalists saw the ascension of Pierre's "temporary" Committee of Public Safety, which was to govern the People's Republic until order was restored and the war with Manticore was won. The Committee appeared to incorporate the Cabinet into itself, as Cabinet secretaries are referred to as "Citizen Committeeman," "Citizen Committeewoman," or "Citizen Secretary." The Committee was led by a Chairman, which effectively wielded the power of the old Hereditary Presidents (and greatly expanded upon it).

The new government that emerged after Admiral Theisman's coup restored the original Constitution of the Republic of Haven, albeit the new Congress is made up of the Senate and the House of Representatives instead of the House of Legislators.


Prior to the Committee for Public Safety taking over by assassinating Hereditary President Sidney Harris, the People's Republic was ruled by a hereditary class of politicians known as the "Legislaturalists". This class of families descended from the legislators which established the People's Republic under the DuQuesne Plan. Two-thirds of the rest of Havenite society belonged to a class known as the "Dolists": unemployed, ill-educated yet franchised citizens which lived off a state-supplied Basic Living Stipend (BLS). The need to constantly raise and adjust the Basic Living Stipend to the rampant inflation (thus calming the Dolists' appetite) is the main drive of the Havenite expansion campaign.

The Legislaturalists were eradicated by the CRU in a plot masterminded by Quorem Leader Rob Pierre. Pierre and his chief co-conspirators Cordelia Ransom and Oscar Saint-Just formed a new government called the "Committee of Public Safety". The new government began incorporating the Dolists to the workforce, giving them technical training and taking them out of their stupor. The Committee attempted to eradicate "elitist" and "recidivist" forms of address, ordering that every Havenite be referred to as "Citizen (title)".

During the People's Republic the media was controlled by the powerful Office of Public Information (PubIn). This agency was in charge of censorship, propaganda and general truth distortion. The most famous head of PubIn was Citizen Committeewoman Cordelia Ransom. After the fall of the People's Republic, PubIn's vast media holding was privatized.

While the identity-tied credit was in use, many people used plates or smaller pieces of precious metals as a black market currency. In the period just before coup by McQueen, this currency was in some instances more common a currency than the credit, and it was said (privately of course) that perhaps the only person who did use it was Citizen Committeewoman Cordelia Ransom.


The People's Navy (PN) and its successor, the Republic of Haven Navy (RHN — also known as the Republican Navy) is a fictional space navy in the Honorverse, a series of military science fiction novels written by David Weber.


The PN depends from the Havenite Department of War (headed by a Secretary). The senior military officer of the PN held the office of Chief of Naval Operations during the Legislaturist era; the Committee of Public Safety officially eliminated the title of CNO but the office continued to exist. When the Committee was overthrown, Admiral Thomas Theisman resurrected the full office of CNO.

Compared with the Royal Manticoran Navy, the People's Navy was numerically larger and had an impressive record of victories achieved during the previous half century. However, the PN was technologically inferior to the RMN, its crews consisted mostly of conscripts who came out of the Republic's ineffective educational system, and officers' initiative was not encouraged — as it could lead officers who were too enterprising and had failed to face a firing squad. Political interference in the Navy also resulted in less than stellar flag officers who were promoted for political reliability or family connections rather than professional ability.

The ship prefix for Havenite warships is "PNS" (People's Navy Ship), which was later replaced by "RHNS" (Republic of Haven Navy Ship).


As with most space navies in the Honorverse, the PN began its life as the system defense fleet of the Republic of Haven, and served to protect the prosperous world's space trade from piracy. When the Havenite government resorted to outright conquest of their neighbor star nations to support their crumbling welfare state, the People's Navy experienced a massive buildup of forces that transformed it into the second largest navy in human space, second only to the Solarian League Navy.

In a period of fifty years the People's Navy conquered almost one hundred star systems and annexed them to the People's Republic. The Navy was again expanded to police Haven's new empire and to keep up with the naval expansion programs instituted by the People's Republic's concerned (and not-yet-conquered) neighbors, most notably the Star Kingdom of Manticore. The constant increases in the naval budget taxed the Havenite economy to the point of collapse, until war was the only solution.

After the Legislaturists were deposed, the Committee of Public Safety began a round of purges within the People's Navy, arresting and executing senior officers with Legislaturist ties (most notably the Legislaturists' last Chief of Naval Operations, Admiral Amos Parnell). The Committee also appointed People's Commissioners to every fleet, squadron and ship commander, to oversee the crews' loyalty to the People's Republic. These Commissioners had a higher authority than the military officers they supervised, and any command decision had to be approved by them. Also, the only approved way to address a superior officer was by adding the word "Citizen" before the other officer's rank (e.g.: "Citizen Admiral Theisman"); the more traditional "Sir" or "Ma'am" were reserved only to People's Commissioners. Naval Intelligence was dissolved and merged with the Office of State Security, thus depriving the People's Navy of its own military intelligence branch. Another major point of contention between the People's Navy and the Committee was the creation of a wholly separate navy operated by State Security. The State Security Naval Forces gobbled up most of the ships belonging to newer classes (such as the Warlord-class battlecruisers, the Mars-class heavy cruisers and the Frigate-class light cruisers) into its service, rather than issuing them to the Navy. The State Security Naval Forces was planned to be used with internal affairs as well as to control People's Navy.

The People's Navy suffered heavy casualties during the war with the Manticoran Alliance, beginning with the failed offensives against Hancock Station and Yeltsin's Star. The chaos provoked by the Committee's purges contributed to the PN's poor performance in the war's early years. When a new crop of leaders, such as Admirals Thomas Theisman, Lester Tourville, Javier Giscard and most notably Esther McQueen, emerged from the purges, the People's Navy regained confidence and struck back at Manticore, momentarily evening the odds with their enemies. Despite the reduction of the technological gap with Manticore and some victories such as the Battles of Adler and Operation Icarus, the People's Navy could not stand up to the RMN's new weapons systems. An attempted coup by Admiral McQueen only resulted in a new round of purges, which fortunately were stopped before being initiated when Admiral Theisman overthrew the Committee of Public Safety.

Admiral Theisman did not take over as a military dictator. Instead, he appointed Eloise Pritchart as provisional President, but took over for himself the dual hats of Secretary of War and Chief of Naval Operations. For the following five years after the truce with Manticore, Theisman had to deal with reshaping the old People's Navy into the Republic of Haven Navy and fighting remnants of State Security still in power in some of the Republic's systems. Eventually, the Republican Navy commissioned hundreds of new warships which were almost technologically equal to their Manticoran counterparts. These ships were used during Operation Thunderbolt, a surprise attack on Manticoran-held systems which succeeded in causing massive damage to the Royal Manticoran Navy, thus giving the Republican Navy a considerable numerical edge in the new war.

Security and intelligence agencies

During the Legislaturalist regime, the People's Republic had a number of agencies responsible for maintaining order and suppressing anti-government dissent in the Republic's worlds (especially those that had been forcibly annexed). The most important of these agencies was the Office of Internal Security (InSec for short), supported by others such as the Mental Hygiene Police (MHP, which had the worst reputation in the Republic) and Naval Security (NavSec, directly reporting to the Department of War). The People's Navy operated its own intelligence branch, known as Naval Intelligence (NavInt).

When the Committee of Public Safety was installed into power, InSec, the MHP, NavSec and NavInt were combined into a single "Office of State Security", popularly known as StateSec. This agency, personally led by Oscar Saint-Just, became more brutal and repressive than any of its predecessors, crushing any perceived disloyalty to the new regime, especially within the military, which suffered endless purges. There was also a Public Order Police, responsible for the day-to-day maintenance of law enforcement.

In addition to the power which came with being the most powerful security agency of the People's Republic, StateSec was allowed to arm military forces of its own, and Saint-Just eventually planned to merge the Navy and Marines with StateSec. These plans were interrupted by Admiral Theisman's coup, after which StateSec was officially dissolved, even though several remnants of StateSec's private military resisted the new government for years.

The restored Republic of Haven established two separate agencies: the Federal Intelligence Service (FIS), responsible for foreign information gathering and espionage operations, and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA), led by General Kevin Usher, which replaced StateSec in its internal security roles, albeit without its repressive elements. Naval Intelligence was resurrected and restored to the Navy's control.

State Security

The Office of State Security, referred to as StateSec or simply SS, is the all-encompassing security and intelligence agency of the People's Republic of Haven. It was formed by the merger of all the existing Havenite police, security and intelligence agencies. For the entire period of the Committee of Public Safety government, StateSec was the new regime's strongest supporter and the source of its power over the People's Republic. Exerting what was for all intents and purposes a terror regime, StateSec was present in every facet of life under the Committee's rule, from domestic policing to control over the military. After the failed military coup of December 1914 P.D., preparations were begun for joining of Havenite security and armed forces, creating a single unified force. Another military coup of May 10, 1915 P.D. ended Saint-Just's dictatorship and the Office of State Security was dissolved. Several senior StateSec officers resisted the new government and turned to warlordism as well as several StateSec warship captains abandoned the Republic and effectively became pirates.

With the experience of a single all-powerful security new Republic of Haven government replaced StateSec with two new agencies with very specific areas of responsibility: the Foreign Intelligence Service (FIS), specifically organized as a civilian, non-politicized intelligence gathering and analysis organization; and the Federal Investigative Agency (FIA), responsible for internal crime fighting at the federal level and counter-intelligence operations. Naval Intelligence or NavInt was returned to the Republican Navy as its intelligence branch.

The Office of State Security is organized in a number of mutually-supporting branches aimed at enforcing the Committee's will throughout every aspect of Havenite society and institutions. People's Commissioners were established as senior StateSec officers posted to every ship, squadron and fleet command in the People's Navy. They served as political commissars, watching over the unit commander, countermanding his or her orders if necessary, and reporting any possibly treasonous activity by any member of the crew. Despite the degree of tension between commissioners and career naval personnel, many commissioners finally became real partners for supervised unit commanders (eg. Eloise Pritchart and Admiral Javier Giscard (who in fact became secret lovers), Dennis LePic (later Attorney General under the restored Republic) and Admiral Thomas Theisman, as well as Everard Honeker and Admiral Lester Tourville).

Under the Committee of Public Safety government StateSec was amassing an entire fleet of warships, which were either commanded by SS officers or even manned entirely by SS personnel. StateSec Naval Forces were used to cope with internal affairs.


David Weber has said specifically that the Republic of Haven is not an allusion to the Soviet Union or Revolutionary France but "more an example of the United States of America after a couple of centuries of deficit spending by politicians who had cut an unscrupulous deal with the managers of a massive welfare state in return for permanent, hereditary political power for themselves and their heirs".[1]

Notable Havenites


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